I know it isn't here quite yet, but I wanted to say Happy New Year! (a little early)
Where last year was a focus on regaining physical strength and stamina, I sense 2016 is going to be about growing spiritually, in addition to continued physical strengthening. Not only personally, but in my marriage and with my kiddos. For the past several nights I have awoken in the middle of the night with a strong thought to fast social media, in order to grow closer to God and my family. This morning's thoughts were so strong, I know it needs to be done for at least a few months.
What does this mean for the #ShepherdessRiseUp devotions? Those are all laid out and can be downloaded for reference. I may post weekly updates on the blog, it will really depend on where I sense God needs me to go with it all.
SO HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS ON YOUR OWN UNIQUE JOURNEYS!
course to God. He wants us to be in His presence. He desires we seek His will! If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you watch the War Room! Oh my goodness, it is SO good, and right inline with the study (although I know we haven't quite made it there yet). Seriously, if you watch it you will come away truly inspired to begin praying. It is so simple to make a space for your prayer time, yet so powerful! Fasting is another component. This is so personal. For me, it will be social media. Which is part of why I'm posting this today. My social media interactions will be limited, but I will respond to messages and so forth. Remember to pray for God's leading on fasting.
I have realized if we keep ourselves in Scripture, spend time in Prayer and fast whatever it is God puts on our hearts, we rest more in Him. Stress is no longer a factor, because we know and trust we are right where God needs us to be. This frees us from judgments, opinions and attitudes of the world, and empowers us to live as God needs us to. I am also praying for everyone I interact with. If you have a prayer request, please feel free to send them to me. I am taking prayer very seriously in this next season.
The next big one is nutrition. I have gone back through the dinner ideas for the challenge we recently completed and compiled a list. If you click on the nutrition gift package, you can download the PDF of the
The next gift is a workout plan suggestion. It is broken down into fourteen weeks, because that is how many weeks we have until spring break, and it is a goal to work towards. However, spring break is not what I'm working FOR. Like with eating healthy and ensuring I am putting good food into my body to be a
These two days are quite intentional. Wednesday is usually an opportunity to attend a midweek service or Bible study. It is a good time to stretch and reflect. It is a good time for spiritual rejuvenation if the week has already been wearing on you. Plus, it is good for the body to rest and recover when building.
I hope these gifts come in handy in some way! But the final gift I would like to give you is ENCOURAGEMENT. For me, it is one thing to have all the tools needed to live a healthy life. It is quite another to have the courage to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to live it out. It can be hard! It can be easy to give up! But it is so much better if you have someone come along side you and encourage you along the way. Yes, the Holy Spirit is a Comforter and all our strength should come from the Lord. But sometimes God also needs us to be there for one another to encourage and lift one another up. If this is you, please let me know. I am happy to be there for you! Or keep you in prayer. Or check in on you every now and then. This one little act can sometimes be all the difference in the world in helping us get to where we want to be! Have a Merry Christmas, and here is to a wonderful New Year!
I can't say in this marriage. I cant let go of this habit, or that person, or this belief. I can't because I'm not educated. I can’t focus on what seems menial when there are so many more important things going on in the world. I can’t…[FILL IN THE BLANK]. Many of these things I have said to myself at one point or another and God proved me wrong. Because with Him, as I have learned, I can.
So many times we convince ourselves we simply cannot do something and chalk it up to “oh it’s just the way I am, and thank God He loves me the way I am and His grace covers me”. God DOES love us just the way we are, and His grace does cover us, but I believe He desires MORE for our lives. When reading about the life of David, it is apparent God transformed him from a shepherd tending sheep in the fields, to a King over all of Israel. This transformation took time. David felt frustration. But David continued to call on the Lord.
As we read in the beginning of the study, David loved the Lord and was a man after His heart, David delighted to do the will of God, David was chosen, and David had the power of the Holy Spirit upon him following his anointing. As shepherdesses desiring to rise up, we see in the New Testament the first commandment is to Love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength, we too should delight in doing the will of God, understand we are also chosen, and seek the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit in order for Christ’s Love to manifest in our lives.
These personal attributes, these private matters of the heart, are made possible by four very important individual, unique, private practices: worship, getting into Scripture or God’s Word, prayer and fasting. The Lord delights in our praises, Scripture reveals God’s will for our lives, prayer connects us to the heart of God, fasting increases our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit – they all draw us closer to Jesus.
As we grow closer to Jesus, we increasingly grow more confident in God’s mercy, we trust more in God’s sovereignty, and begin to rely more on God’s protection – we become more grounded in who we are in Christ. As a result, we have the potential to grow more faithful in doing little things, prudent in our speech, wise in our ways, as well as generous and tenderhearted. We will also see more fruits of the Spirit in our lives and begin to see others the way God sees them.
But first we have to believe WE CAN, because in Christ ALL things are possible. Not some things, but ALL. If you can’t believe this right now, be encouraged to pray and ask God to help you believe and embrace this truth. If you believe that Scripture but feel stuck, pray and ask God to get you unstuck! His Word revives and encourages. Perhaps you just need to spend a few minutes in His presence for a refreshing. Believe the verse and don’t feel stuck, but feel overwhelmed with not knowing what you SHOULD be doing right now? Pray and ask God what it should be. First, praise Him and worship Him, then ask, then listen, then walk it out with Him. Overwhelmed with the weight of the state of our world right now and can’t fathom how anything viewed as “trivial” could possibly matter? Know that we are called to be good stewards of that which we have been given.
Those things we are “managers” of like our bodies, our homes, our families, our friends, our ministries, etc. Those elements we may view as “little” in our lives RIGHT NOW compared to what we may be facing as a global community, may be the greatest elements to God, for us, RIGHT NOW. He may very well have grander plans for all of us, but He needs to see we will tend to His “flocks” in our lives now, just as David did. He took care of the little things first, before the grand assignment of leading Israel, and this is where we will begin our devotions next week.
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