I’m in a spot of waiting.

Waiting for God to move and speak. For doors to open and eyes to see more clearly.

I have questions and am searching. Evaluating my life and heart.

Where am I?

Am I living out who God created me to be?

Asking questions forces us to come to a place of personal brokenness before God. To admit I need help and don’t have answers is humbling. We don’t want to look closely at our souls and hearts. What are we going to find? Are we still going to be accepted by the people around us?

Looking for answers and asking questions tries our patience and makes our hearts heavy. The place of waiting and being still, craving to understand when you can’t, and waiting for light that our hearts are the most pliable. This is when we are the most used for God’s work. It’s only through these times of coming to a place of heart searching that we can become vulnerable and receive fullness of Jesus and His Joy.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:11

May we surrender to the God of TRUTH!

Words: Damarus

Growing Into What?

I work in a greenhouse, so obviously this time of year I think a lot about growth. Growth is not something we obtain, it is a process in which we are taking steps in one direction. Am I growing in my relationship with God? We aren’t just living, we’re either moving closer or further from God. In which direction are you growing? -Ginger

“When you stop learning, you stop growing.” -Unknown
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:18
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” -Gail Sheehy
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

Beginners Guide: De-cluttering and Organizing

Is your room, apartment, or house an incessant mess? Even when it is clean, does it still feel cluttered? Maybe you don’t even know where to start on that mountain of…stuff. Hey, I’ve been there, done that. In this post I would like to give you a few tips on tidying, de-cluttering, and organizing that have changed my life. And my bedroom.

1. This is not an extensive “get-your-house-in-order” list. It is meant to be a spring-board to learn more. I would recommend that you get Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up at your local library. It’s an awesome, fun, and easy read and very helpful.

2. What do you want out of your space? Do you want space for a desk dedicated to art, or a shelf by the window for your plants, or (my favorite), room for another book shelf? If you really want your place to be crowded, messy, and dis-organized, then help yourself, but I would rather a neat, bright, and calming space where I can just chill with a book.

3. Attack! The fun begins! I’m going to come right out and shoot down the saying we’ve probably all heard, “Do it cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer.” I am taking Marie Kondo’s advice, something that has worked beautifully for me, and so we will be sorting by category, not by place. When you go place by place, it is hard to see how much of one category of stuff you actually have, even if your things (i.e. scrap-booking supplies) are already fairly neat.
So, starting with category Clothes, (the easiest one!) pull out all of your clothes; dresses, shirts, skirts, pj’s, shoes, accessories, and purses. Put it all on one big pile. When you are sure you have everything, grab a trash bag for donations and sit down by Mt. Apparel. Remember that anything you happen to find after this, excluding items in the wash and the clothes your sisters are borrowing at the moment:), will be immediately donated, no choice. If you didn’t remember it before, it obviously isn’t too important to you. Now, simply go through your pile, one article at a time. Here are a few questions to help you assess your need of the items.
A. Does it “spark joy”? When you look at it do you say, “Yes! This is totally me.” or are you more like, “Nah, not really my type.” sometimes trying the clothes on to see how they look or feel can help you clarify if you really want to keep it. Remember, it’s not about getting rid of as much as possible, but only keeping what you actually like. And, I always feel better in clothes I adore, rather than something that is not high on my “like “list.
B. Have you worn it in the last 6 months? If not, you will most likely not miss it at all!
C. Can you replace it in 20 minutes for under $20? When you’re just not sure if you do or don’t like it, think about rarity. Is that sweater something generic that you can find cheap anywhere, or is it a bit more high end or unique?

4. So once you have gone through all your clothes, we can learn how to store! You can fold practically all your clothes. It is a bit more practical to hang dresses and coats, but everything else can be folded. Start by folding sweaters, jackets etc. as shown in the example below.

Don’t put them all on a vertical stack in a bin in your closet! When you have a large stack of sweaters, the pile can go up, up, up until it either hits the sky or your closet ceiling! However, if you put your sweaters vertically, you have easy access to all sweaters, not just the ones on the top, and there are no hidden, wrinkly sweaters on the bottom. You are probably like me, and less likely to wear something if you have to iron it. Again, I’m trying to make this post brief, so we’ll move on from clothes.

5. For your other things like crafts, collections, and misc., ask yourself if you really are going to use it, or if you want it clogging up your life. Also remember, tomorrow doesn’t come! If you don’t know when you’ll do that one project you probably never will. When you store things you need to keep, have them organized into like categories. A cup for pens, a bin for cards and envelopes, a file for important papers, a drawer for a relevant hobby, etc.

I hope you all have found this helpful and informative. One thing that challenged me in the area of belongings is keeping in mind that “my” things have only been given to me for a short time to use for God’s glory.

Note from Ginger- This article was written by my younger sister, Kylie. She is, obviously, very passionate about keeping things neat and organized, and keeps our bedroom in top order. I have to admit that the closet is a lot fuller with my stuff than hers!

Can I Really Persevere?

Perseverance: “Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”

Nehemiah is a book of the Bible that gets overlooked too often. As I was reading through it recently the story of Nehemiah and the other Jews rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem really struck me. I don’t have room to type all of Nehemiah 1-6 here, but take the time to read it for yourself. In this post I will be pulling out portions of these chapters and focusing on the incredible perseverance of these Jews.

When Nehemiah, who was a captive in Babylon, heard that the walls of his homeland, Jerusalem, were destroyed, he was very distressed. So he asked permission from the king of Babylon to go rebuild the walls. The king agreed and so Nehemiah and many other Jews went to build, never expecting to face so much opposition.

Let me insert here that no matter what we’re doing doing for the kingdom of God, there will always be someone opposing us. That is why we have to learn to persevere.

Back to Nehemiah. Chapter 4, verse 4 says, “Hear, O out God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity.”

Persevering is not something we can do on our own. We must call on the Lord for help. We are New Testament Christians, so this is our armor. Jesus teaches us to be non-resistant, but that doesn’t mean we are left on our own. Read Ephesians 6:13-18 to learn more about the armor God has given to His children.

All throughout chapters 4-6 of Nehemiah we read about the intense opposition from Jerusalem’s neighboring nations. These men literally wanted to kill Nehemiah. But he had the Lord on his side, so he was able to persevere and continue building.

Nehemiah 4:14, 17-18

“And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not afraid or them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. They which builded the wall, with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side and so builded.”

This is perseverance! There were people physically opposing the builders. But the Jews didn’t stop to fight, they just continued working with a tool in one hand and a sword in the other. Now, this isn’t following Jesus’ New Testament teachings, but do follow their example of perseverance. Keep going! Don’t stop working for the Lord as soon as things get tough and people oppose you. If you keep reading in Nehemiah, you’ll see that the Jews did finish the wall. You will survive too. With the Lord’s help, you too can persevere.

Written by Ginger

Prayer; Talking with God

Dear Father, Let your will be done in my friend’s life. Let her know the power of your word and the truth of your promises. I pray you will encourage her heart, even just for today. Remind her how deep and long you have loved her. Let her know she is loved, she has enough in you. Give her strength to move through today. Draw her to a deeper relationship with you. Amen

As I’m writing and thinking about the topic of prayer, I find myself asking more questions. Am I truly a woman of prayer? Do I truly believe He cares about how I feel? Am I coming to Him in worship through my prayers? Am I fervent in praying? ”The fervent prayer of the righteous man/woman availeth much.” James 5:16b

What comes to your mind when you think of prayer? Do you think of prayer the same way you think of communicating with a friend over coffee?

The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Psalms 6:9

We pray because He told us to, we get to and this is how we communicate with our Abba Father! Praying gives us the opportunity to be a part of the big picture of this world. God really doesn’t need us to help complete His will, but gives us the opportunity to be a part of His mission.

Do you find it easier to pray for your family, friends and big events, or yourself?

We must guard our time in prayer because the enemy hates it. When we find it hard to pray, tell God. ”Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27. We can approach God in prayer not merely to ask for things we need but to come to the realization that He is what we need.

We must pray for ourselves. It may sound selfish, but we will only be able to give what we are receiving. Only through our time with God will we be able to know His heart! It’s through these times we can see what He is doing in our hearts. Go to Him anytime with anything, before you go to someone. This is an area that can be hard for me, but He really is the only one that can be all to you and me!

We need to tell God it’s hard. We all have those seasons when our devotional life isn’t happening; times when we are angry with God. Tell God what you are feeling, communicate with Him and keep praying. Maybe this is a daily happening for you, but keep going, Don’t give up. He still knows, hears, and is there for you.

Praying scripture is a powerful way to pray God’s words back to Him. Claiming His promises and praying them for ourselves and over other people. Find a passage that is near to you and pray it. Sometimes personalizing it can bring it closer. I have been encouraged many times by a friend sharing a verse or portion of scripture with me. Bless others with the Words that stand out to you! ” For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strenghened with all might.” Colossians 1:9-11a

Focusing while praying is challenging. We need to train ourselves to be still. One thing that I have found helpful in focusing when praying is not looking at my phone or planner before having my devotions and praying.

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee, Psalms 9:9-10

Prayer journals are something that can be helpful in our prayer life. I personally haven’t used a ‘real’ prayer journal, but I would love to get one sometime. Writing out prayers, using already wrote prayers, praying scriptures are all ways that we can be encouraged. I would love to hear what you do to make your prayer time special. Feel free to leave comments or email; we love hearing from you!

Dear friends, may your prayer time be a time of laying aside your woes, desires and fears. Allow Jesus to fill you and make you more like Him! Keeping pushing into your prayer life. Jesus is the Way, it’s worth it in the end.

Written by: Damarus