Savor Prompt #3

Every time I think I have the time to focus on writing/blogging, life happens so I thought this prompt from Savor was fitting.

{Why do you keep yourself busy? What would it look for you to lay down busy, both the drug and the defense?}

I use busyness as a distraction. A distraction from God and a distraction from myself. If I keep myself distracted I don’t have to slow down and process through what God is asking me to notice or do. Stay busy and maybe I won’t hear what God is whispering to me. Keeping the schedule busy, keeps my mind busy. The message had a beautiful verse in Jeremiah 2:25, “”Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.” Yes just what I am after. What are you after by keeping yourself busy?

We also live in a world that promotes busyness. The busier you are the more important you must be because your calendar is full. What often gets ignored are the people and things we love the most. There is sanity in the slowdown. And if anything I need more sanity in my life. What if I only filled my calendar with things that filled me up? We all have responsibilities and obligations, I get that but not everything in our calendar is a have to. I want to slow down to sweeter pace of life so that I can take company with not only Jesus but my family.

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Savor Prompt #1

{How often are you using the word should? Even if your thoughts? Where are you in the continuum between living and drowning? Be honest with yourself about that, and then with God, and with the people you love and trust.}

Should can be a debilitating word. The list of shoulds can take away from the list of CANs. I use the word should to shame and scold myself: I should be a better mom, I should be a better wife, I should be reading right now, I should be making baked goods and homemade crafts with my kids. The list goes on and on. I am drowning in shoulds instead of living in the world of what I can be doing. Taking little steps of what I can do vs. the endless list of shoulds can change my perspective of what God has planned for me into something tangible not out of reach. God wants me to thrive in His kingdom and right now I’m in the process of getting there but before things can thrive they need to grow. What I can do right now is hand over those dark parts of my life, those should zones, to God. He is the creator, the Great I AM. I want to replace my shoulds with not only cans but I am. I am a child of God. I am given the gift of grace. I am enough. The bible list several I am verses but I want to leave you with this one:

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. – John 6:35

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Savor by Shauna Niequist

I started the 365 day devotion book Savor by Shauna Niequist and have been really loving it.At the end of each day there is a question that pertains to the devotion so I’ve decided to write some blog posts answering these prompts. I think this will be a fun way and meaningful way to get in the habit or writing and also deepening my faith walk. I’m not sure if I’ll go back and write the 16 previous questions but my posts regarding this topic will be under the Savor page at the top of the blog. Here is the first one. 

 

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Obedience

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Over last year God has been working on my obedience to Him. Not just in some aspects of my life but all of them. What I’ve learned so far is that the spirit of obedience is most necessary when it’s the most difficult. When God calls you to do something that you love and want to do, it’s simple. But when he’s called you to be obedient in adverse circumstances that’s when your spirit it stretched the most. It makes me think of my kids and if I ask them something easy to be obedient to like go pick out a cookie they’re going to willingly do it but when I say hey go clean your room there is resistance because it’s not with they want to do. The same scenario can be applied to us as believers, there’s resistant in being obedient to God’s calling when it’s something that we don’t want to do. My life looks very different then it did before Jesus got ahold of me. Being apart of HIS kingdom means following HIS will. I might not always want to do to what he is leading me to but I know that the Holy Spirit would not lead me against His will or against His word. His is continually stretching me and pushing me to become who he has called me to be, my job in all that is to get out of his way and be obedient.

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Boldness

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Today I was doing my write the word journal  and a verse that continues to speak to me was included in the today’s verses of Hebrews 10:35-39. After I wrote down the verses for today and moved on to the next page I became flooded with thoughts. I really feel that is the main purpose of the journal, to get you thinking about scripture and how it applies to your life. Right off the bat I wrote BE BOLD!! God wants us to be bold in his name. Who benefits when I retreat into myself and shy away from my faith and purpose? the devil (he does not need any help from me). As Christians we need to be confident in the Lord, His truths, and His promises. He is Holy, He is sovereign, He is Lord. I need to remember I am a daughter of the most high God.

I wilt at the sign of darkness instead of standing tall to catch the light. I need to BE BOLD, STAND TALL. The darkness is not our chance to wilt and die but to stand up in faith and love. God is light. God is love. When the darkness of the world creeps in I must be bold in my faith and my love of Christ. I need to stand tall to let the sun reach my face so that I grow in the love of Jesus.

in grace and love,

amber

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Overwhelmed

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I am typing this bundled up on my couch feeling sicker than I have in awhile, a double ear infection and a gnarly cold will do that to you. The word that has been constantly at the forefront of my mind in the last 8 weeks is OVERWHELMED. I am a person who doesn’t mind to busy and generally prefers to be doing something but lately even I have felt the weight of this kind of schedule and lifestyle. We have been living at a break neck pace for months and I can’t keep up. Typically after I dwell on the thought of being overwhelmed I hear God say, “BE STILL”. I have forgotten what should be at the forefront of my mind HIM. In all the ups and downs, scheduling conflicts, and strain to family time I forgot that, “the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14

This verse draws my attention to that the fact that the Lord is with me and he will stand up for me. The biggest struggle for me is being still. I need to be still in all aspects of my life. I keep trying to take on all the hustle and bustle by myself and shelving my time with God because I tell myself that X,Y, & Z are more important, and if I don’t get this done so and so will be disappointed, and if I don’t sell this we can’t pay this off. The list goes on and on. The Lord is present in all these things regardless if I acknowledge it the difference is if and when I acknowledge Him in all aspects of my life then I am inviting Him into a relationship. A relationship where He is for me not against me and I no longer have to shoulder my burdens alone.

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Rise Up

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I just returned from a long weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina where we attended 2 days of Code Orange revival. God used this revival to encourage my spirit and I have tons to unpack from this trip. The first thing that I heard that really stuck with me was something Dharius Daniels said (I took two pages of notes during his sermon), “Could it be that God will allow us to live on whatever level we settle for.” This struck me so deep that I even wrote MIND BLOWN in my notes next to this quote. I struggle a lot with how I see myself. Often beating myself up with how I could’ve done something better or said something differently and this has really impacted how I see myself and how I view what happens to me. Love others is something I often tell my kids and is preached about on Sunday mornings but loving myself needs to happen first. I need to start seeing myself as God sees me. I am a child of God. I have been settling for who I think am versus rising up to the challenge of who God has called me to be. He didn’t call me be self loathing and critical. I need to RISE UP to God’s call not settle for the low opinion I have of myself.  The song Rise Up has been on repeat for me and these lyrics help me remember that I am to serve God regardless of bad days & self loathing:

I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

I have been living in my doubt and not in God’s delight. Psalm 149:4 says, “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” He delights in us and I should focus on His image of me not that image I’ve let the world create of me. I am a daughter of the most High God and today I am rising up to be who has he called me to be for the glory of his kingdom. 

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Mind Your Business

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This morning I was working in my write the word journal this morning and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. Verse 11 really was trying to tell me a lot this morning. I struggle when I read the words “quiet life” because I immediately equate a quiet life with a boring life. I know that is not what it means but that is always my first reaction to that phrase. Quiet I believe in this sense means without drama. Being a woman I feel that drama is 10x more prevalent than it is with men. Women are often portrayed as busy bodies which to extent is true but I think as Christian women we need to redefine what it looks like to befriend one another. There is a fine line between gossip and discussion and I flirt with that line often. Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true” and discussion is defined as “the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.” While each definition is distinct they often overlap in my mind. What needs to start happening is talking things out with one another through a Christlike lens. I know I like to get my friends opinions on what is going on in my life and 99% of the time that involves other people. How I discuss these people and the lens in which I filter my conversation and actions is the key difference I believe in gossip versus discussion. I am not great at this by any means, minding my own business is something I fail terribly at daily. There is a fine line between gossip and discussion and I flirt with that line often. What I am taking away from my reading this morning is to have grace filled words and actions so that I may have a quiet life in the eyes of the Lord.

in grace and love,

amber

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Persevere

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Even though this scripture just came into my life it has actually been the scripture that’s in guiding my choices over the last several months and I just didn’t know it. Had I heard this scripture months ago I don’t think it would have meant as much to me as it does now. I realize that as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend I have responsibilities but at some point I decided that God was the first thing to be cut from a long list of things to do. Finally I feel my priorities are starting to be in order. God first, family second. When we are pursuing God I think the devil gets scared and then gets busy. Life has been throwing me some interesting curve balls lately but I have been trying my best to catch them and throw them back. I didn’t realize that all this time that I was persevering because that is what God has called me to do. Not just trying to survive for my own selfish benefit but pursuing God’s will despite the devil’s games. I feel like many of us miss out on what God has promised us because we aren’t willing to stay the course. This scripture also reminded me that you get what God’s promised you when you have done HIS WILL. Today remember to persevere towards His will for your life.

in grace and love,

amber

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Building Our House on God’s Word

We are currently building a new home which has been a stressful yet fun process. When we finally decided to build I started looking all over pinterest about new home decor and ideas. I can come across writing scripture on the frame of the house which I knew immediately we would do. I have not so patiently waiting for the framing to be done so we could do this as a family. A few weeks ago we were able to drive over to house and write some of our favorite scriptures on the house. It is so special to me to know that underneath the walls and paint is God’s word surrounding our house. Another thing I love is that one day when we move from the house those words will still be there. We made sure to discuss with the kids that all blessings come from God including our new house. The kids each picked a favorite part of the bible and then I chose a verse from it. Presley chose Noah so the verse I picked was Genesis 9:13: “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Carter picked David and Goliath, the verse I chose was 1 Samuel 17:47: “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lordsaves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” Here are a few pictures of some of the verses we chose:

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