What does "intentional living," or "living purposefully" mean? Does it require having a mission statement hanging on your entry wall? Does it mean that you are type-A goal-setting-hustler who is only capable of making calculated, unemotional decisions? Does it call for a life void of spontaneity and enjoyment? No. Not in the least
Intentional living offers us freedom. The goal isn’t fulfilled dreams as much as a fulfilling life— one that is rich with relationships, purpose and joy
Want to read more? Link in bio 👆🏼
#purposefulliving#iamwriting#intentionallife 📷 : @unsplash
Being a mom in a lot of ways is the toughest thing I've ever done. When I stopped to ask myself "why?", you know what my soul answered back?⠀
Because no one is singing your praises Danielle..⠀
Hurts because it's true. There is no email in the middle of the day to say "We don't know what we'd do without you". No one cheering "Fantastic job!" "How did you pull that off" "You're the best." And man do I miss the affirmation. ⠀
Are the snuggles, kisses, and giggles so worth it? YES! But you know what I am also learning to do? Throw my own party. ⠀
Remember when the prodigal son came home and the father threw him a party? Remember the elder brother who stood outside having a hissy fit because no one threw him a party? 🙋🏻♀️🙈
Remember what the father told the elder brother? "Everything I have is yours" or in the New Danielle Translation: "You could have thrown yourself a party at any time, you chose not to enjoy the product of your hard work."⠀
Sometimes we are so busy being martyrs that we forget to enjoy being a child of God. ⠀
So if you need me, I'll be over here not only enjoying baby snuggles, but ALSO throwing myself a party (particularly in the form of pedicures and time with friends) because I am kicking ass at this mom thing. ⠀
Hi, I’m Malinda. I’m a writer. Not a wildly successful one by today’s standards (yet!) But while I am working on that, I’m also choosing to live a life that is teeming with material to write about. I share a lot about my faith in Jesus, and I’ll never apologize for that. The world, and the internet specifically, can become a dark place if we let it, so why not spread some light around, right?
On a lighter note, here are a few things you may not know:
1️⃣ In my college years I spent six months driving around the US on a bus with 30 other people my age. We loved Jesus, so that made it better... and probably more weird
2️⃣ When I first met my husband @fullerlights — I thought he was a total dork. It turns out we both were (in a Jim and Pam Halpert kind of way). It made for good friendship-building those couple years before we started dating
3️⃣ This weekend marks 13 years of marriage for us, and I laugh when I think of “all that we knew” years ago, and how much we’ve grown up together as husband and wife
4️⃣ We have two girls, and it’s funny because I always thought I’d be a “boy mom.” I now have friends with boys and I cringe at all their conversations. I’m so glad that God gave me girls!
5️⃣ Northern California is where we call home now. We’ve enjoyed the open spaces in Texas, the green (and gray) of the PNW, the beaches in SoCal, but we are definitely loving the Mountains and lakes here. It’s probably the most “at home” we’ve felt regarding the surroundings
6️⃣ We are slowly switching gears to be in full summer mode (1 more week of school), and we are planning lots of fun things: theater camp for my oldest, kayaking at the lake, watermelon and ice cream as often as possible, and camping trips
If you’re still reading, well done, and I’d love to hear something from you! What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this summer? Drop it in the comments below 👇🏼
📷: @laurenscotti #fridayintroductions
“Let him who boasts, boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these I delight,“ declares the Lord
Of all the things that we boast about, is “knowing God” one of them? Are we excited about spending time with Him— seeking to understand Him better? Or is most of our boasting about all the other things we know: business and relationships, the pathways to success and a more meaningful life, sex and money, parenting and healthy eating
Do we excitedly share about how He exercises kindness, justice and righteousness? Or is most of our sharing about what we are a part of, or the great things our church doing? What would our conversations sound like if we actually lived out this verse? What would social media look like?
I felt the Hustle stirring up my heart yesterday. Its whisper chanted loudly in my ear that to be influential, I had to exhaust myself in self-promotion. To be heard, I had to be BIG and make more noise. Rather than spend my days doing the work God had given me to do, I should be learning the tricks and tips handed down by experts— as if their wisdom was somehow better than God’s plan. For a moment I stumbled onto the hamster wheel that says there is only one way, and that chasing after my dream is more important than pursuing the One who gave me a purpose to fulfill in the first place
Waiting on God is not laziness, friends. Its trusting Him and yielding to His plan and timeline. It’s believing that God’s way is not only better— it’s the best. It’s choosing to obey His voice, instead of hustling to achieve my own agenda. It’s choosing surrender over striving
I choose to trust, rather than tirelessly begging God’s hand to move on my behalf
This is what #obedienceoverhustle looks like. It’s the surrender of what I think is better, or what experts tell me is best— it’s believing that God sees beyond what lies in front of me. His vision isn’t limited. His timing isn’t flawed. He isn’t surprised by anything, nor does He have to scramble to form a back up plan
If God has me sitting still— it’s for a reason. If He has me working hard toward a goal— it’s because He’s equipped me for it. If He isn’t opening doors for me, maybe it’s because I’m knocking at the wrong one, or— I haven’t finished what He asked me to do (or what I started) and so there’s no point in giving me MORE favor, opportunity, or influence
I choose to surrender to His timing, to the details of His plan because really, when have my ways been the better option?
“But Naaman’s servants came near and talked to him. They said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? Doesn’t it make more sense just to do it? After all, he only told you, ‘Wash, and you will be clean.’”” 2 Kings 5:13
How many times have God’s simple instructions caught us off guard? He points to a room full of students, children, or homeless, and tells us to serve quietly, when we’ve come to Him begging for influence and a platform. He reminds us that our family is our first place of ministry, not our church or social media. He opens doors for us to sow deeply into our neighbors and coworkers, and we walk away upset because our eyes were focused on far-off people and places. He urges us to buy someone a coffee, put $100 in the offering bucket, or (gulp) be consistent with our tithing and budgeting, and we get upset because that doesn’t feel like “abundance..” He whispers to us the plans He has for us, and we view them as simple— not grand and heroic, not “the way we were wired,” not what we are passionate about— and we walk away upset because we feel short-changed
Naaman not only wanted the miracle, he wanted to dictate the terms of his healing. He almost walked away from his breakthrough because the directions from God were not what he was anticipating
Thankfully his servants were able to speak truth to him: wouldn’t you have done the hard and heroic thing? Doesn’t it make more sense to just do this simple thing you’ve been asked to do
I’ve never been more sure that what God is after is a heart that is willing to say, “yes!” over and over. Regardless of how insignificant the ask, how small the detail, how foolish it may seem, or how many times we’ve done it already. “Yes”— with a heart that is fully surrendered. Every single time
For the celebration of chapters closing, and anticipation of new doors opening; for friends who are like a favorite pair of jeans— comfortable, dependable and able to make you feel like a million bucks on your “fat” days; for modern conveniences, comfort food, and simple pleasures that infuse the mundane with joy. For all these things and more—
Thank you Lord
Friends, may your weekend be ripe with laughter, and teeming with moments that leave you breathless and in awe. May your pace be slow. May your eyes be open. May your heart, settle on gratitude. May your cup, overflow
I did something a little crazy the other day. I released my words. A lot of them. Not into the cyber world, but to a person— someone capable of opening doors that I could never breach on my own. And even though they requested the document I slipped into their inbox, there was still doubt that rose up.
Even though I’d heard the words, “I want to read more.”
Even though they had assured me that what I had to say was needed.
Even though they had already confessed to me, “I like your words and your style.”
Even though I had already been told, “your voice is one I’ve been looking for.” Still, fear chased me.
I woke up this morning with similar anxiety that I experienced the day after purchasing a home— my mind swirling and shouting, what did you just do?!
So, I turned to the only place I know to run— my Bible. I allowed it’s truth to wash over my mind and remind me of whose I am. I stayed long enough for God’s promises to choke out the doubt— to gird me with strength, to shower me with hope, and joy
There is no amount of self-help can bring me back from the edge of crazy-town like the power of the Bible. And the longer I walk with Jesus, the better I am getting at running to Him first, to opening my Bible more quickly, for challenging doubt sooner, rather than doing laps on the anxiety wheel
We need to be able to build ourselves up, to encourage ourselves, to speak truth to our hearts— whether we feel alone in our fear, or bombarded by chaos and doubt. We need to tell them where to go— doubt, anxiety, fear; they’re all a bunch of liars.
In college my New Testament teacher was passionate about the book of Ephesians. Every chapel service, every theology class - there was a mention of the book of Ephesians + how it tied to our current world. My favorite part she consistently brought up was the historical parallel with the city of Ephesus + the current environment we live in. I think we forget the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9 "so there is nothing new under the sun."
It's easy to get caught up in looking at how bad things are. It's easy to say that things have never been this bad, that no one understands + there is no hope for progress. That's the easy part. But it's harder to wade into the light when darkness has become comfortable. It's hard to remind ourselves that we aren't the only ones who have walked through struggle. It's hard to recognize that your current speed might be slow but it's important to learn to show yourself grace in allowing the process to take as long as it takes (thank you @allyfallon for those words). It's hard to face the truth and walk in that instead of feelings.
In Ephesians, Paul sheds light in a world of darkness, the dark world of the culture of Ephesus c. AD 60-62. He gave truths that held the church of Ephesus accountable to walking the more difficult path. And more than that, Paul gives us hope in his prayer over the church of Ephesus that applies to our hearts today. These words from Ephesians 1 are my guiding light this Monday: "That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask...the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!"
Practice: to perform an activity, or exercise a skill repeatedly (or regularly) in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency
Most of us don’t like this word. It requires exerted effort over a long period of time. It is rarely seen and even less often praised. It is not Instagram worthy because it is unpolished and imperfect. Yet it is necessary— for our art to be beautiful and our skills to be sharp, for our work to be worth noticing and our relationships to be the kind worth fighting for
Today, I am practicing: love and patience, right along with cooking and writing, kindness and selflessness next to parenting and vulnerability. What are you practicing today?
Should I Post this picture, or is this one better! We all ask ourselves that internal question when deciding to post a photo. We then add a few edits and come up with a perfect caption and while all that is fun, it’s also important to realize it’s about the memories and moments we share with others that count! No one will remember you for the amazing Instagram photos you took they will remember you for the way you loved others, lived your life, and how you cared for your family! What an amazing day filled with God moments and sweet friendships @jaynielou4 ! I hope you read my Newest Blog all about this topic! Please share my blog with your friends!
We made it to Friday, mamas! My three favorite things about Fridays just might be #followfriday , #fridayintroductions , and church fellowship in the evening (it's not all about the IG ya know 😉). While I'm over here celebrating today, here's #onetofollow for you. Debbie at @handletteredtruth is the sweetest homeschooling mama. She's super solid and has a sense of humor too. I've been following her for years, way back in the days of her scripture doodling, and it's been such a blessing to see how the Lord has grown and used her gifting for His glory and the spread of truth. Go check her out!
And HAPPY WEEKENDING, friends 😘
“Obedience is active participation, not just a nod of acknowledgment. To obey, means to move. Even if that movement is a mere heart shift— postured in humility instead of self-centeredness. It’s the opposite of stagnant water, or stunted growth. It is the opposite of idle, or apathetic living. Obedience is how we grow, and then mature. To erase it from our vocabulary today is to watch our faith disintegrate into belief only. Obedience is necessary— maybe more today than ever before.”
In church today, we were reminded to look at the next verse in John chapter 3 ... not just the famous verse we all love (16), but the following:
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Isn't that what we are celebrating? A life FREE from condemnation, guilt, shame, and baggage because of the life Jesus lived and the death He died in our place?
Thank you Jesus!
"We were made imperfect because He wants us
to need Him, to run to Him and lay it all out–and His grace covers us. He gives that to us unconditionally.
In our lives, these imperfect moments, situations, feelings,thoughts, they are part of His plan, and we have to know that we can’t fast forward through them. Many times they will last for a season, or years, and sometimes they will remain forever. Yet we get to remain in Him, and that is where we
see Him unfold in our lives.
What's your imperfect purpose? Hear more from @jenniferedewaard in our latest, Issue 005.
A friend asked me recently, “where have you been?” It was attached to a comment about my absence from the social media feeds. I smiled as I pecked out my response realizing that I had been missed, but that “I” hadn’t missed anything
It felt amazing to be present with my husband on our recent trip, instead of dedicated to capturing every moment for the internet to see, to be head up and eyes forward, instead of face down, glued to my screen the entire time, to make dinner plans based on conversations with locals instead of yelp reviews solely, to enjoy a sunset, a view, or a destination with @fullerlights , instead of spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to capture “the perfect photo” in hope that it would be liked or reshared
So, here’s a picture of some gorgeous old, red brick, and my cute boots purchased online (not at a trendy boutique), and my plea to enjoy your getaways. But not just those days or trips, but ALL things. Eat the food in front of you while it’s hot (or that ice cream before it melts!) and get your phone off the table when you’re eating with friends and loved ones! I’m not telling you to delete it all, but to take a break— enjoy what’s right in front of you and re-enter the social media race when you have something worth sharing, not because you feel you have to. Chances are you’ll return with fresh perspective and clear vision... and perhaps you’ll even be amazed at how little you missed 🙃
"Many of us don’t like to think
about that. Take heart dear reader, for I have
seen the beauty that Jesus gives for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
I have witnessed The Almighty God in heaven
turn the sorrow of the night into the joy of the
morning (Psalm 30:5). This is not a momentary
thing but a process. For it is not time that
heals all wounds, rather, it is the precious and
intimate work of the Holy Spirit deep inside a
bleeding heart through time that heals." @joniscott777
Two and a half years ago I quit my day job with the understanding that God was asking me to focus on other things. Writing was one of them. The other was digging into the community around me— the neighbors on our street, as well as a group of college girls who quickly stole my heart. These relationships flourished because I intentionally created time and space for them (physically and emotionally)
The other thing God asked me to do was to fully embrace homeschooling. I didn’t realize how much we had talked about this decision around my kids until one day, almost two years later, my oldest said, “mommy used to do massage until she stopped— because God told her to be a homeschool mom”
We weren't having a conversation about faith or obedience, but her words were spoken in such a matter-of-fact way, that I had to stop and blink back tears. It was such a good reminder they are always listening. Always watching. And I am the model for them of what it means to walk with Jesus, wherever He leads
Friend, what has God called you to? And are you doing it? Would your family recognize the decisions you’ve made as following Jesus, wherever He leads?
I had a conversation with someone today in passing but one small part stuck out to me. Our identity and identity in general has become a huge topic of discussion. From who we are in Christ to who we aren’t, we are a little bit stuck on the idea. But what she said shone like a beam through the murky “self identity” quandary. 🌱We are supposed to lose ourselves in Christ. Jesus said that unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it bears no fruit. 🌱I don’t much like the sound of it, but it’s the truth. While I may love and cherish the mantra of “I am a child of God” and “I am loved, cherished and redeemed” there is also this. We must become nothing. He must be everything. 🌱Who we are has nothing to do with who He is, but who He is has everything to do with who we are.
"I like your writing." Four words typed into an email and slipped directly into my heart. Four words from a stranger. Four words that breathed life back into me, giving me a second wind. That's all it took— the whisper of, "I like you, and I love what you're doing." It renewed my vision and filled me with hope. It lifted me from the place of discouragement, wondering if what I was choosing to create and share was worth the effort
I think many of us are waiting to hear something similar. To know that our words, our photos, our art, our time and energy, the products we are working hard to create, or the businesses we are growing, actually have a purpose and are impacting others. Chances are if we are eager to hear those four words, then so is someone else. And this is my encouragement— find them, and tell them
Find the girl who is two steps, or two years, behind you. The one with big crazy dreams and a heart to match. The girl who is doing amazing things and inspiring others along the way, but you’ve never stopped to tell her. Even if you're a total stranger— turn around, grab them by the shoulders and exclaim, "I like you, and I love what you're doing." It may be just what their heart needs today— and who knows— maybe it's what your's needs as well #internationalwomensday
Here's some beginning-of-the-month LOVE for all my Patreon Patrons supporting The Devoted Dreamers Podcast in March. Specifically, I want to shout out to @jasmine.wildirisphotos, @brieuton, @ElizabethgHenry, @everyseason_ and Cynthia Culver! You ladies are amazing cheerleaders and supporters. I'm so blessed to have you on this team.
I will admit to feeling a bit of trepidation over putting a request out into the world asking people to support the work that I do. Would anyone say yes? Would people be turned off by the ask? How do I describe the "art of podcasting" in a way that demonstrates value to someone who might become a patron?
These are real questions, but they also illustrate the underlying fear of "do I have anything to offer the world?" This is despite the fact that I regularly hear from listeners about how much they enjoy and appreciate the show.
Why am I telling you this? Because I know you probably have some fear about pursuing your dreams, too. I want you to know it's normal (and you’re not alone), but I also want to challenge you to not let those fears rule. If you do, you may never know what God could do with your faithfulness to take a step anyway.
Your dream matters, dear one. Do it scared! And let Him get all the glory!
David said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”1 Samuel 17:37 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
He is with us—— we see no what ifs, no but this, no only if— He is there. In fact, we need the questionable, the fearful times, the uneasy choices and leaps for us to see what He already actually has done in our lives and where He is working to change our view of ourselves so that we can see Him more clearly. We begin to not only see but also walk through the truth that we exist for Him to invade our entire beings and our lives. He could easily give the perfect solution, the words or situation that is viewed as Him “saving” or rescuing— that which delivers us. A way to be drawn out— yes He is that mighty that He can and in many circumstances, He does just that. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But the question stands— is He fully occupying our whole self, really are we allowing Him to do so? We know that He can do anything He wants, and here in this makeup of who we are the grace is there, it is a matter of what we surrender for it to take hold of us. We get to have His existence, through our imperfect story do we then glorify our Lord who wrote it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
RESPOND + REFLECT+ TAKE ACTION:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
+ What does it look like for you to allow Him to invade your life completely ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
+ How can you daily experience Him with you?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
📸 @soulscripts ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you” - Acts 18:9-10
Before we can speak (or do anything) we have to tell our fear where to go. It’s why God started this three-phrase command with “do not fear”. Because He knows we do
We fear what will happen if we try and fall flat on our faces, or worse— if we speak and no one responds and nothing changes. Other times we are afraid that we’ve overshared and wonder if it made others uncomfortable. We are scared of the fallout if we decide that the truth and being politically correct are not the same thing, even if that truth is accompanied with grace. We fear what will happen if we get something wrong, if we don’t have all the answers, if we open our mouths and have too little knowledge, or too much passion for the subject. But even with our long list of rational (and irrational) fears, God doesn’t really leave it open for discussion. He says, “do not be afraid” and then He moves on
Maybe it’s your turn to be done with fear, and to move on. To embrace the second part, which was to “keep on” speaking. It’s time to get back to what you were doing before fear attacked you and left you face down
What is it that you need to “keep on” doing?
#preachingtomyself 📷: @laurenscotti
To the encouragers, hope writers, and kingdom builders:
Do you ever feel like when you post on Instagram it’s like a drop in an ever flowing ocean? Like it just gets lost in the abundance of other beautiful posts? Like your words don’t make an impact and you find yourself asking “Why am I even doing this? What’s the point?” Well I definitely do at times.
And you know what? I think this is the enemy throwing discouragement in my face. It’s comparison stealing my joy and my confidence. I find these feelings start coming when my focus is more on myself and on others instead of on God, where it needs to be.
When my eyes turn to myself, insecurities start bombarding my heart. I feel inadequate, I fear people’s opinions of myself, and I begin to doubt and question what I know God has placed on my heart to share.
I just want to encourage you to keep being obedient to what God is calling you to do no matter what. It’s not always going to feel comfortable and easy. You are going to feel resistance and it will feel like you are swimming upstream at times. Keep your focus on God instead of the distraction of how many “likes” or followers. It’s not always about the quantity. God is a personal God who goes after individuals hearts. He leaves the 99 to go after the 1. Don’t be discouraged my friend, just keep humbly obeying and trusting. Stay the course! 😘
To the woman who wonders if maybe she should change her message, reign in her passionate voice, or choose a topic that is less gritty and counter-culture, who tires from seeing the masses cheer over a watered-down, impotent version of the gospel, who wonders if her voice will ever cut through the noise, who’s thought “maybe it’s just time to be quiet”— please, don’t
We need you. We need your testimony of life change, and your questions that provoke us to dig deeper in our faith. We need you to share what God is speaking, not merely regurgitate another woman’s message prettily packaged and tied together with a ribbon of hipster vocabulary. We need you to attack what you feel needs to be challenged, to stand up for what is true, to be a voice for those who have none. We need you to speak in love, always, but do so with passion in your voice and fire in your eyes
📷: @recreated.co #forthewomanwho
"I have vowed to spend the rest of my life seeking retribution for my wife’s death. But not in the way you may think. I recognize the real enemy was not the group of guys who broke into my house and killed her. The real enemy is the master of all evil—the one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy—satan. As I fight for love and forgiveness, I’m participating in God’s unraveling of the work of the enemy in this world. I’m not fighting fire with fire. I’m not fighting hatred with hatred. I’m still fighting with love. The love I carry for Amanda and the love I carry for others. One day at a time, one work at a time, and in true William Wallace fashion, I’m fighting for my wife’s legacy, by fighting for the freedom of God’s people, and in the process...Gaining revenge on satan’s pillaging of my life." Read more from @daveyblackburn on "Redeeming Memories" in ISSUE 004.
**Sometimes there isn’t a caption...there is just a moment captured...a quick click and reminder of the need to unplug, to get away from the concrete noise and practice listening for the whisper of God in the beauty of Creation. 🌍 **It has been a tough season of following obediently as doors continue to close and our asks seem to go unheard yet we are the most unified we have ever been. In the midst of our spiritual frustration we are growing closer and stronger together. **Making big life choices, taking risks...it isn’t our strength...steadiness and consistency are...so when we take risks as we listen to the Lord we are learning that obedience doesn’t always mean a yes from God but we keep moving forward and trusting ...albeit hesitantly at first...that He knows what He is doing because He is the LORD...and His no’s are for our protection and our growth...because we are HIS.
Acts 13:22 “I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”
Acts 13: 36 “ for when David had served God‘s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.”
1 Samuel 18:14 “ in everything he [David] did he had great success because the Lord was with him”
David did everything the Lord wanted him to do. David served God’s purpose. God gave him success in everything he did
1. Go after the heart of God, not His hand.
2. Do everything God wants you to do (don’t get distracted by what others are doing— their gifts and calling are not yours).
3. Serve God’s purpose— don’t ask Him to fulfill yours
Thinking about these life lessons from David this morning and considering if these things will one day be said of me
"Then sometimes we are presented with opportunities to expand our investment and care to communities that aren’t as close to home. This is one of those opportunities. I would encourage you to engage with the work going on in the impoverished and hard-to-reach area of Bundibugyo and consider what role you could play in developing the lives of these people both physically and spiritually, and see the Gospel reach even the hardest to reach places.
Read more from @jordanmariekavuma in "Expanding Our Care..." in ISSUE 004!
I love my life: my work, my coffee, my church, my home, & my family. But every so often, I look around and suddenly feel insignificant. Other women seem to be conquering mountains for the kingdom, while I am over here in my running clothes. Some women travel the country or even the world, speaking to and influencing thousands of people, while my own circle of influence seems rather trivial. I start to wonder if i even matter.
It can become a bad habit, weighing our worth and viewing our value through the lens of accomplishments. I know all about this because it was my story for many years! Accomplishing everything that was in front of me! Even worse, we measure our significance by what other people think of us. Fearing man’s opinion above God’s is a perpetual trap. It’s a horrible way to live, always evaluating our importance by the world’s standards.
We are hardly insignificant to our Father. We are his creation- created in his own imagine, “for good works, which God prepared ahead of time” (Eph 2:10)
For every day we walk on this earth, our existence reveals God’s glory. Who we are in Him can help point others to the Creator and their own significance in his eyes. He created us and Came to redeem us, we belong to Him, and He calls us by name. May his voice ring louder than all others. 🙏
Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. He didn’t race for the validation from leaders, nor did He seek out the experts who could better explain to Him how to pursue His calling. He didn’t ask His friends whether what He was doing was right; He didn’t seek for His ministry to look like that of John’s, or anyone else. He didn’t compare or compromise the work He was doing, and He wasn’t concerned by public opinion. Jesus answered: “What I’m about to tell you is true. The Son can do nothing by himself. He can do only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does” — John 5:19
If Jesus could do nothing by Himself, then why do I think I can?
It’s the belief that “I I just listen to this podcast, read this book, sit under this leader, attend this conference, get a word from this person, then I will be able to do what God’s asked me to do." Or, “if I just apply these three steps, that persons advice, or work really hard the way so-and-so is, then I can accomplish this task God has given me quickly, or better”. But what if His goal isn’t for us to finish quickly? Or learn without making mistakes? Or experience humility in the midst of failure?
What would happen if I chose to obey the voice of ONE over the chant of the masses, leaning in and listening intently to whatever God asks of me, no matter how giant a leap He's asking me to make, or how small and seemingly insignificant. Regardless of the subject, the timing, the circumstances, or how I feel about it. Simple obedience. On repeat. Every day
"I love what Emily P. Freeman wrote in Simply Tuesday (pg. 83) about a camp she attended, “There was no respect for anyone’s individual experience of God, no room to consider perhaps this isn’t how everyone worships.” The problem is that we as Christians have decided what a “good” Christian looks like. But the truth is that God created us all differently, giving us different gifts. (Romans 12:3-8). The Christian community as a whole can easily make individual Christians feel like they are not connected to Christ because they don’t feel the compulsion to raise their hands and close their eyes when they sing worship music. Let me tell you now that I have learned that this is wrong! We must learn to worship the way that God created us to worship, and that may be different than the woman next to you."
Read more from @erikabault about finding your own way to worship in ISSUE 004!
“What are you building that will outlive you?”
I don’t remember much of the message right after hearing these words. They went deep and have been on repeat, examining my heart, and raising more questions than could fill a page
What am I building: people or platforms? Will it continue to not only thrive, but become even more influential after I am gone? What am I giving my very best to?
When I look at her, I know the answer. When I see her sister, I know that what I’m doing right now may not seem like much— but it is everything. I can name off many things that bring me pleasure, that are my “gifting”, that I am working hard towards, but at the end of my life— watching them run their races well... will be my magnum opus ❤️
"And I’ll be honest, this way of life isn’t always easy. If you think getting rid of the stuff in your house is challenging, wait until you try to start purging some of the things in your heart and your head. It’s intense. Because you have to completely rethink how you’ve approached life in the past. And then you have to actually follow through with it. Most importantly, you have to stop making decisions based out of guilt and obligation. You can no longer do something just because society tells you that’s what’s done." Read more from our minimalism expert, @aspiringminimalist in the society section of ISSUE 004!
I believe you are meant to live your life in a big way. You are meant to make your dreams happen. I believe you are fully capable of turning your excuses and uncertainty into a values driven life that makes you feel authentic and empowered each and every day!
Maybe you are in a position where your job doesn’t excite you every day and it’s leaving you drained when you get time to live your life outside of work with the people you love most. Maybe you have a creative outlet or interest that truly makes you come alive, but you have no idea how to make it into your career. Maybe you know you are meant for something big, but you don’t know where to start, you just know the way you are doing life right now isn’t working for you.
I feel you on this and can help you ♡ See how in this link below.
“Do the work.” I’ve heard these words on repeat in different settings and variations for a week now
Do the work— even if it’s hard
Do the work— even if it terrifies you
Do the work— even if it causes anxiety (and all that an anxious stomach brings)
Do the work— even if it’s in secret (actually especially that which is done in secret)
Do the work— even when there’s no one giving you the 🙌🏼👊🏼or ❤️
Do the work— even when it’s mundane (you know, the stuff that grows your character more than your portfolio)
Do the work— even if you’ve been doing it all week, month, year or decade
If God has asked you to do it, then the only time to stop is if He tells you to
So here I am, Wednesday morning, doing the work. Writing words in obedience. Sharing vulnerable stories. Digging deep into truth. Even though it’s hard. Even though sharing is risky and terrifying at times. Even though it’s character building more than back breaking labor. Even though there isn’t an applause at the end of a chapter. I am doing the work
Here’s to Wednesday and doing what it is God’s asked us to do. Who’s with me? 🙋🏼♀️
Acts 9:32-36 // Aeneas had been paralyzed for 8 years. Until Peter showed up in his town. With one sentence Aeneas was healed. But it was Peter’s second command that sparked an even greater miracle
Rather than just proclaiming, "be healed", Peter told him to “get up and take care of his mat.” It was a call to action. It urged his faith to grow— to see beyond the instant miracle. It was a command to get up from the place and positions he’d been in for 8 years and into something new and glorious. The result? “All who saw him in Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord
They SAW him— the man who had been paralyzed for 8 years, up and moving around. His action activated their faith. His action multiplied the miracle. It was no longer a physical change that impacted one man's life. It was a heart change that affected two towns. ALL who saw him turned to the Lord. Now that's impact! One man’s obedience changing cities
Lord, help me to hear when you speak. Help me to be brave to ACT where you've told me to move. May my actions turn others toward you
“Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by, and a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, [there was] an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, [there was] a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, [there was] the sound of a gentle blowing.” 1 Kings 19:11-12 ++ In this passage we see a quiet God— Elijah is waiting on the Him and yet we see God taking His time. Do you ever feel like you are waiting longer than you want to? These verses are at the top of the list for me when we talk about prayer. The experience of going out and standing on that mountain, no questions asked…. Just go and stand before the Lord. Then we see the Lord was passing by, He never leaves us, not in our prayers not on our mountains. It is powerful to imagine the wind tearing out the mountains— He is at work in these places in our lives. The rocks being broken into pieces, sometimes this is us, being broken so that He can rebuild us. Still, the Lord is not seen, even after an earthquake, maybe some of the hardest moments of our days and lives. I know I have experienced this, have you? Our mighty God, still not present in the fire- do we begin to doubt at this point in our prayer life? We must stay faithful because He is. Many times we are praying to hear Him loud and clear, for Him to tell us on the exact next step, but this isn’t the case a lot of the times— we hear a gentle blowing, that faint whisper. I love God for this characteristic so much, He always has a purpose in what He does— He whispers because that means WE have to lean in closer to Him ++ #theuneditedmovement#christiancreative#womenintheword#soulscripts#encouragementgallery#bedeeplyrooted#wellwateredwomen#influencetribe#pursuewhatislovely#lampandlight#stayradiantxo#pursuitcommunity#weareunveiled#quietthechaos#christianwomen#glintsofgrace#womenoftheword#shereadstruth#goodmorninggirls#womenoffaith#obedienceoverhustle#imperfectpurpose#gospelandgrace#rootedjournal#shereadstruth
For the woman with a feed teeming with photos of powersheets and planners all color blocked and beautiful, whose best friends have all charted their goals for the year, set reminders, and already checked off several items (on the 2nd!), for the woman who feels underwhelmed with anticipation for 2018 because she knows it will be more of the same from 2017— the job that's helping to chip away at a massive debt load, caring for the family member who won't admit the addiction, the agony of feeling alone, or another round of wiping noses and butts on repeat
For all of you who have yet to write your goal list because you know that what was left in 2017 is not yet finished— rest assured, you're not alone. It may feel pointless to ask God for fresh vision, because what He asked you to do you haven't completed— but don't let that stop you from going to Him anyway. He isn't one to turn away His kids when they come to Him (regardless of their state)
Maybe what you set out to accomplish in 2017 didn't materialize as you hoped. Perhaps you lost steam, forgot the plan, or something unfortunate robbed you of an opportunity. Obeying what God's asked you to do sometimes means that we turnabout, temper our expectations, and try again
Sometimes it’s the simple, unspoken goals that trip us up the most— dealing with a complaining or comparing heart, lust, greed, choosing joy in the mundane parts of motherhood, being faithful where He’s planted you— or maybe He asked you to risk big, but you were too afraid to try. Whatever He’s asked you to do, choose obedience— in the big and scary, or small and silent things. If that means changing your course, or sticking at something difficult, no matter what the world shouts, let’s be women who lean in to His whisper. Hey, I think I just heard my word... for the third year in a row 😊
I’m not super into the “New Year, New me” sayings. “New me” sounds like the old me wasn’t good enough or was unable somehow.., but I’m all for goals and growth! So this year, the same ol’ me is excited to do some new things next to great people!