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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jesus is our Hope

How often do we feel hopeless?

Hopeless marriages, hopeless parenting, hopeless single life, hopeless job, hopeless situatutions, hopeless healthy living, hopeless in school, hopeless money problems, etc. It can be easy to feel weighed down with hopelessness.

We feel like nothing is changing. There must not be a plan. Life is full of uncertainities. We can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we doubt that it even exists. We are confused with the way things are playing out, frustrated that it isn't the way we had planned. All of this pain, hurt, and struggle could never bring about anything good. We have no hope.


The enemy wants you to be distracted, distraught, and defeated. He rejoices in your confusion, struggle, and pain. He dances when we feel helpless and hopeless. He is after us to steal our joy, kill our passion, and destroy our purpose.

The good news is, we don't have to live there. The enemy does not have to have the victory. He can be defeated. We do have hope.

We are blessed to be able to look back. We can see the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Easter story. We look unto Easter with full knowledge of the events, beacuse it has already happened.

But, think about then. The day between His death and His ressurection must have been dark. The Saviour of the world was dead, He was buried, and all hope was gone. His family, His disciples, and His followers were probably all confused. They may have felt like they wasted their time with Jesus. There was no change to happen, life would stay the way it always had been. They were hopeless, swarmed with uncertainities, and filled with doubt. The awful pain of His death would've been all in vain. Nothing made sense.


God had a plan. He defeated sin, death, hell, the grave, and the enemy, so we can have hope. Not a distant hope that doesn't change anything, but a real, lively hope. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3)

God's Word brings us the full, beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us, in love, so we can have hope. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.(Romans 15:4)

So, when your situation feels dark, and you are without hope, remember, God has a plan. He was sovereign when Jesus was in the grave, and He is still sovereign in your life, today. He is not taken by surprise when something alarming occurs. He is in control. He has a plan. He is working things out for good for those that love Him. He is with you. for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6b) There is no need to fear the uncertainty. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.(Isaiah 41:10)

Jesus is our hope. Without His rising again, and conquering death, sin, hell, and the enemy, we would be hopeless. But, He did. He gave us hope.

So celebrate today. We can remember that the day before He arose, He was fighting for us, to bring us real hope.

Happy Easter.

Celebrate who He is, and what He did for you.

Love, M

All The Single Ladies - Part Two

Welcome back for Part Two of my single ladies blog.

Here is the second half of my top ten reminders for single girls. If you did not catch part one, you can find it here.

6. Pray for your future husband. I'm not talking 'the where the heck is he, Lord? Get him here now.' prayer. I mean praying for him right now wherever he is now. Pray for protection, him to know Jesus, for him to learn faithfulness and loyalty, spiritual strength, and even wisdom for his now. The more I pray for him, the more content I become. "Trust also means believing your prayers will work in the life of your future husband even though you can't see him today. ... You have most likely not met him yet, but your prayers will make a difference in his life. As you pray, you too are changed. You're building your trust. You're placing your hopes in God's hands, and there's no better place they can be." (Praying for your Future Husband-Preparing Your Heart for His Gunn and Goyer)

7. Don't believe the lies. Satan is really good at tricking us to believe his lies. So remember: You
will probably not die alone. 95% of singles will be married one day. You do have value in the church. (More value than holding a screaming baby so a mom can attend a service.) You deserve to be loved. You are a treasure.You are wonderful.You are not forgotten. There is a plan. Quiet his lies with truth from God's Word. "When there is a fight between your heart and your head, experience has taught me that the best thing to do is pick up your Bible and remind yourself of what God says. ... You need to return to the truth of God's Word that will last forever, not meditate on circumstances that will change and fade." (Undaunted Caine) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

8. Your waiting is not wasted. God's timing is perfect. He is the author of time, and knows what is going on. Wait on Him. He is working all things out for the good, if you know Him. "God knows everything about us. He understands every thought and feeling before we even think it or feel it. Nothing is wasted in His economy, even though we don't see how that's possible at the time. Take heart. God sees the big picture. Rest in Him, and give Him time to reveal His plans for you." (Praying for your Future Husband-Preparing Your Heart for His Gunn and Goyer)

9. Be happy for your friends. Anytime wedding talk is brought up around me, two things are said. "I don't think that 'once a bridesmaid, never a bride' thing is really true." And, "You're so close to being like that girl in that movie, oh what's it called? 27 Dresses!" These comments flow freely after you have been asked to be a bridesmaid 9 times, before the age of 25. I love weddings, but I would be lying to you, if I told you I jumped up and down every time I received an invitation in the mail. Normally my response is to mark it on my calendar, and go cry in bed. One of my best friends gave me great advice. She reminded me that none of these girls were marrying my man. He was still out there, waiting for me. Instead of being sulky and bitter, I needed to choose to rejoice for my friends. So, anytime I see my name in calligraphy on an envelope, I choose to be happy for them. It has really made a difference.

10. Know you're not alone.
You are not the only single person in the world. Find a girl who is in
the same position as you, encourage each other, and pray for one another. Be careful to choose someone who is not encouraging you to be bitter and desperate. You want someone to keep you accountable, have fun with, and talk out your frustration with. One of the greatest gifts we have, is the gift of friendship. I also have a wonderful group of married friends. Some have been married for a few months, and others have more than 20 years under their belts. Learn from them. Use their
mistakes, trials, and frustrations as lessons. Ask them how they pray
for their husbands, and pray for yours now, even though you may not know him yet. Seek advice from godly women, and remember, you are not alone.

I hope you are encouraged, and are reminded how incredible you are.


Linking up to:

Monday, March 11, 2013

All The Single Ladies - Part One

Today's post is not going to be relatable to the majority.

It is said to write what you know. Well, I am a Christian girl, over the age of 25, and single. So, over the next two posts, I want to encourage single ladies in the same boat. Here's my top 10 list of what I need to be reminded of, as a single woman.

1. Being single while trying to remain pure in today's culture is a battle. It's a more than a battle. It's an entire full fledged war. Media has made sex the number one talked about thing. It is everywhere. Movies, magazines, commercials, tv shows, books, soda cans, the internet, and countless other things tell and show us how we should dress to be sexy, how to have great sex, and even examples of sexy men. How can a girl stay pure in this world? She needs to learn to guard her heart. (Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23) She needs to set standards about what she will allow her eyes to see and her ears to hear. She needs to set boundaries for any physical relationships. Young girls have told me they don't need to set boundaries, that they will just make good decisions in the heat of the moment. The only reason I have little regret in this area is because, early on, I set boundaries, and frequently reexamined them, before situations came up. A single girl who strives to be pure, also needs to avoid at all cost, compromising situations.

2. There is NOT something wrong with you. How many times have I heard this one whispered about me or my friends? Ah! I have been told more times to count, that "By the time I was your age, I was married, and had two babies, with one on the way." Then comes the judging glance. Maybe that's just me, but that's what I feel it is. The look of, "How can you still be single? Obviously, there's something wrong with you, if you can't accomplish what I did by your age." Chances are, they don't really mean that. But sometimes, it really feels that way. It is okay to be single, even if it doesn't feel like it. Choosing to be picky is okay. Don't compromise and settle because of the pressure to have a man. It is better to be lonely and single, than lonely in a marriage. There isn't anything wrong with you and right with others, or even the other way around. We are all on different paths. One is not better than the other, they are just different.

3. You do not have to be a boring person. Having a 'life' does not just mean having a man, babies, a mini van, and dinner on the table at five every night. That is a wonderful life, and I would love to have it, someday. Being single means this may be one of the only opportunities you have to go, to do, and to experience. Dream big dreams, and then do them. Go on adventures. I hopped on a plane, alone, and went to South America for six weeks. I roasted coffee, climbed mountains, held sick babies, played with orphans, loved people on the streets, tried new foods, rode in taxis, met amazing people, and fell in love with life. We have a God who goes with us on our adventures, and believes in us. Live the most exciting life you can. There will be a day, I hope, when I have a baby clinging to my leg as I try to cook dinner for my husband, and times of huge adventure will be limited to naptime. I know I will be glad I went, did, and lived life extraordinarily. This is not an excuse to sow your wild oats, and live foolishly. Make wise decisions, and have fun!

4. Fall in love with yourself. It's okay, be a little vain. You're wonderful. Discover what you like, and what you don't. Learn how you like your coffee. Take yourself on dates. Some of my favorite nights are when I have turned off the phone and computer, and baked in the kitchen for hours, by myself. Taking time for yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do. We all are busy, and this is a great way to relax. My favorite ways are: bubble baths, sitting at coffee shops, going to the movies, baking, going for a run, painting, sewing, reading on the front porch, eating dinner by myself, and any craft project. Don't let yourself not do what you enjoy because you're always waiting for someone to join you. Learn to love yourself.

5. Fall in love with Jesus. I know this sounds cliche, but really, try it. Talk to Him out loud while driving, make Him your best friend, and spend quality time with Him. I have been finding verses that feel like they are just for me, writing them out, and placing them all over my apartment and car. Tell Him everything, even when you are angry. That's what best friends do, they talk. Your trust in Him will grow, and you will see Him be faithful. It's pretty incredible. One of the biggest things I learned as I grew closer to Him, was the fact that He loves me more than I can imagine. It is a perfect, all consuming, unfailing, relentless love, that I could never earn.

I hope you are encouraged.

Look for Part Two of this blog later this week!

Love, M

Linking up with:
Grace Everyday

Saturday, March 9, 2013

True Identity

I am the master of wearing many hats.

I am: Coach Michelle for cheerleading, Baker, Small Group Leader to 10 freshmen girls, Mechelle the Nanny for S and A, Daughter of my parents, Writer for Grace Everyday, Sister to 4 siblings, Best Friend to 12 people, Bible Study Girl on Thursdays, Roommate, Recipe Creator, Sunday School Teacher on Sundays, Meal Planner, Perpetual Bridesmaid, Church Goer, Coffee Drinker, Traveler,  Orphan Lover, Advocate for the Broken, Supporter, Church Attender, Artist, Downtown Resident, Blogger, Crafter, Encourager, Wedding Planner, and probably many more things.

That's me.

Maybe you are a mommy, an office worker, a pet owner, the bill payer, the money maker, a wife, a career woman, a husband, a home owner, the dinner maker, the laundry washer, the taxi driver for your kids, a planner, a student, the nurse, the tired mom of a newborn who just wants a nap, and everything else you are.

And, that's you.

But, is that where we find our identity? Is that all that we think we are? If you and I were take all of those hats off, who would be be? If you were no longer married, if you were no longer a parent, who would you be?

Our true identity is in Christ, alone.

Before you are a wife, mother, sister, employee, coach, or anything you think you are, you are a child of the King.

You are loved by the relentless lover, you are forgiven more than you know, you are known by the God of the universe, and He even calls you by name.

We didn't have to choose Him, He already chose us.

So, take all your hats off, rest in Him, and remember who you really are.

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] (Ephesians 1:4-5 Amplified Bible)

Have a wonderful weekend! M