It's a Girl Thing

Encouragement for the New Semester

Hi friends! I hope you all have had a fabulous summer; how has it flown by so quickly?? I’ve learned so much through my summer experiences, and I’m excited to share more with you in coming posts. But today, I’m not talking about the past couple months. I’m talking about upcoming months. Yeah…the Fall semester. 

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Last week, when one of my close friends started her senior year of high school, I wanted to encourage her in a special way–like she often does for me. So, I grabbed a piece of paper and searched for verses that would help her in the new year. It was so special sending a note with those verses to her the next day, and I want to share some of the same things with you.  Continue reading “Encouragement for the New Semester”

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It's a Girl Thing

Have you seen the new page yet?

Hi friends!

I’m so excited to introduce the newest page on the blog: my bookshelf! I’ll be adding more books as I read, but for now, I wanted to share 11 titles with you. 🙂 Click the picture below to view the bookshelf!

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P.S. Have you or are you getting ready to start school again? Check back soon for a post to kick-start you semester! I think it will encourage you 🙂 

It's a Girl Thing

To My Friend Who Feels Unforgivable

Dear friend,

Have you ever fallen into a pit of sin—been locked inside Satan’s traps—and thought, “How did I get here? I never thought I would be guilty of this sin!” ?

I sure have. And I’m all-too-familiar with guilt and anxiety over past mistakes. I’m not a counselor, and I don’t have life figured out. But I understand those pit-moments. I’ve been in places where I felt beyond God’s reach. I’ve felt unforgivable, shamed, and alone. And you know what? That’s exactly where our enemy wants us.  He wants us to doubt God’s grace. To question the depth of His love. And we cannot let him have victory over our minds. 

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One thing I’ve learned from past (and present) failures is this: Our weaknesses will make us feel lousy, but truly, we can’t experience the intensity of Christ’s love until we understand how weak and needy we are for Him. Each day we refuse to listen to Satan’s whispers, our souls grow stronger, and clinging to Jesus’ grace becomes easier. 

Maybe you feel lonely and distant from God like I have at times. Maybe you’re drowning in the current of sin, and you don’t know how to escape. Whatever your struggle is, please don’t give up. Hang in there and let me remind you of 3 simple truths….truths to throw back at Satan when he tries to knock you down…

1) No sin of yours was too great for Jesus to carry on the cross.

“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” (Ephesians 1:4, AMPC).

When Jesus died for you, you hadn’t committed any sin yet. He knew exactly what wrongs you would commit. He felt your every mistake as nails drove through His hands and thorns pierced his flesh…yet He didn’t back out. His love for you didn’t change. He didn’t rip the crown of thorns from His head or loosen the nails from his hands because He despised you. Jesus chose to hang on the cross for you; chose to be rejected by His Father…so you could be forgiven. You don’t have to fear condemnation because Jesus crushed your eternal penalty when He burst from the grave. Jesus loves you, sweet friend. His grace is abundant forever. Trust Him to forgive you.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).

2) God is patient when we fail Him

I used to think that God was standing in heaven waiting for me to sin so He could sentence me to punishment. I kept a safe distance, fearing a gavel in His hand.

Friend, God isn’t the merciless Being we may think Him to be at times.

1 John says that God is love. He is wrapped in love. He consists of love. And He lavishes deep, pure love on His children. 1 Corinthians 13 describes love as patient and kind…not keeping a record of wrongs. And that love is the essence of the God of heaven.

No matter what your sin—no matter how big the guilt—If you’ve trusted Jesus to save you, then you have a compassionate Father who will lovingly convict you, but not condemn you. Who will scoop you up in His arms when you ask His forgiveness, and hold your hand when you stumble. He’s not a ticking time bomb. He’s patient. Kind. He keeps no record of wrongs.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8, ESV).

3) When we are weak, Jesus is strong

2 Corinthians 12:9 is my absolute favorite verse, and it says this:

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (ESV).

Often we think we’re so strong and put-together that we try to make life work on our own. We try to prove ourselves to others…even God. But, when we stumble and fall on our faces…it can be humiliating to realize how weak we truly are.

Friend, you will sin. You will disappoint yourself and others, and you will learn things the hard way. But the good news is that Jesus knows how feeble we are. He knows we are completely helpless without Him, and the moment we acknowledge our helplessness, He floods our souls with His grace. He empowers us with strength only the God of the universe can give. When you fail Him, His grace is sufficient. When you’re hurting, His grace is sufficient. When you feel weak, embrace it, because the glory of His power shines best in feeble people.

  “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:11, AMP).

The only way to overcome guilt and doubt is to continually speak biblical truths to your soul. Constantly remind yourself of what God says about you, and run to Scripture when Satan attacks you. The pure, simple, beautiful truth is this: Jesus loves you, and nothing can change that. Run to Him. Rest in His infinite grace.

 “For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” ( Romans 8:38-39, AMP).

 “If God’s grace is an ocean, we are all sinking.” -Unknown

Wherever you are right now, whatever doubts you battle against—hold these truths close to your heart. Jesus loves you, and He isn’t finished with you yet! Press on with your eyes fixed on Him. This is your key to victory. Victory over sin, victory over fear, and victory over the enemy of your soul.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14, ESV).

I’d love to hear from you! 

Feel free to leave a comment or email me your thoughts from today’s post. If you need someone to talk to for extra encouragement, I’m always here. 🙂

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It's a Girl Thing

3 Things to Remember When Writing to Your Future Husband

Happy Monday, friends!

If you enjoyed the “Future Husband” posts I wrote last year, then today’s post is right up your alley! The following  tips are the key to keeping your mind focused and hope-filled as you write letters to your future husband.

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A few years ago, I was driving with my brother and his wife on a Sunday afternoon, when we started re-hashing their recent wedding. Brittney told me about the wedding gift she gave Kenan, and I instantly fell in love with the idea. During her single years, Brittney kept a journal with letters and prayers for her future husband (you can read more of that story here). She explained to me how it works, and a few days later, I purchased a leather journal for my own little “project”.

I’ve had my “Husband Journal” for four years now, and it’s been such a special tool in this season. I’ve written a few posts on this subject already, so when Kara asked me to do a Husband Journal post for her blog, I started racking my brain for new ideas. Brittney was my go-to person for ideas, and we came up with three things a single girl should remember when writing to her future husband.

Read the full post at Joy Because Grace.