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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 124 – For Your Reading Pleasure

smorgasbord

It’s been a little while since we did a smorgasbord blog (check out previous ones here, here and here) so let’s share some link love and get some mutual edification up in this place.

“Sell everything and buy wisdom.” -Proverbs 4:5, MSG
“A wise person knows there is something to be learned from everyone.”
“Knowledge without humility is vanity.” – A.W. Tozer

6 Costs of Real Friendships by Jen Thorn

This. All of it (especially No. 3 and 4). Straight to my heart. Check out a snippet:

Everyone has a dark side. Sin is the great equalizer and our common enemy. Friendship is designed, among other things, for growth in godliness. This means friends help each other identify and fight sin (Eccl. 4:9–12). Doing this requires you knowing their heart and them knowing yours. There must be a willingness to open up our lives and hearts and to let others in. We need to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Intimacy must be a part of friendship, and it must go both ways.

Best Advice for Dating Couples (VIDEO) with Jen Wilkin, J.D. Greear and Derek Rishmawy

These awesome people weigh in with stellar Scriptural advice:

Derek: Be committed to the local church.
Jen, encouraging women: Be sure that a man celebrates your strengths and doesn’t feel threatened by them.
JD: Physical attraction can be intoxicating and misleading.

Save the Drama: Raising Girls Who Speak the Truth by Jen Wilkin

It’s no secret that Jen Wilkin is one of my favorite people. Glean from her wisdom in regards to raising daughters here (and also here):

Don’t panic: drama doesn’t have to plague our daughters. We can help them steward those adolescent emotions as a gift rather than succumb to them as a curse. It’s a stewardship skill learned first and foremost not among their peers, but at home.

Love Demands Holiness by Michael Durham

My pastor has been speaking about love lately (what is love? baby don’t hurt me…) and, wow, so good. Check out some of the goodness here (and here and here):

The woman caught in adultery was told something else besides, “Neither do I condemn you.” What else did Jesus say to her? “Go and sin no more.” The love of God demands a change. It demands that we live holy lives unto God. Why? Because that’s what His love does. That’s what His love is. It loves everything that’s holy and pure and right and good.

When It’s Not Your Heartbreak by Haley Russell

My best friend is a gem (people, she’s the one King Lemuel’s mama is talking about in Proverbs 31 when she says she is worth far more than jewels) and she writes in a way that is real and raw and beautiful. Check it out (and see one of the most adorable photos of all time [spoiler: it’s Haley on her first day of first grade. heart eyes]).

Life hurts. And what hurts worse is that I can’t fix things. I can’t fix break ups or deaths. I can’t fix sadness or grief. I can’t fix loneliness. It’s easy to think of things to do or words to say. It’s easy to give a hug. But what’s not easy is putting all of that love and heartbreak into a prayer. To cry out to our Abba, our Father. I’d rather be spinning my wheels, looking like I’m doing something. Feeling good about helping. Trying to fix. When the reality is: I can’t fix anything. But I can cry out to Abba.

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