My Choice Monday

Intentional Living

Monday

I just noticed I haven’t posted anything in the month of September so far…and for that I apologize! The other day, I received an e-mail confirming my speaking to a women’s group in October, and at first, I thought, “Well, that’s still a long way off…”

Well, no ma’am, it is not! October is just around the corner! Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

We get so bogged down in everything we have to ‘take care of’ and before we know it, a week…two…three have passed by. In today’s world, where everything whizzes by in an instant, we have to be intentional about our time, and make the best use of what we have been given.

Now, I don’t say this because I am a particularly good steward of my time, but it is certainly something I am working on!

Several weeks ago, Craig and I went to see ‘War Room’…and it was so moving and heart-wrenching, I saw it a second time with one of my best friends. Once again, I was deeply affected by the film, and if you have been in my vicinity in the past couple of weeks, you have been urged, begged and pleaded with to go and see this movie! (And here I go again, “GO SEE WAR ROOM!!! It is worth the noise and crowds of the theatre. It is worth the cost of the ticket, Diet Coke and popcorn! The Holy Spirit will speak to you in that theatre, so be prepared with a box of tissues. You will NOT be sad or feel you have wasted your evening. I promise.)

And therein lies my whole point about being intentional with your time.

In John 21, beginning with verse 15, Jesus is speaking with Peter:

When they had finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” He answered, “You know I love You.”

Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs.”

Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “You know I love You.”

Jesus told him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was deeply hurt that Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?”

“Lord, You know all things;” he replied, “You know I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Truly, truly, I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.

After He had said this, He told him, “Follow Me.” John 21:15-20

This scripture says more to me than what it appears on the surface. Jesus is saying here, if you want to follow me; if you want to be a Christian (AKA Christ-follower, which is what that means literally); if you love me, your life is about more than just living. Your life is about more than just attending church on Sunday, saying a prayer before bed, reading your ‘Jesus Calling’ first thing in the morning. Your entire life and being should be intentionally devoted to your walk with Christ.

When we saw ‘War Room’, one thing that struck me was the intentional time being set aside for prayer. I don’t want to ruin the movie for any of you who haven’t seen it (because I know you are going to finish reading this and immediately purchase a ticket to see it tonight), but Jesus tells us in the Gospels:

 “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (Berean Study Bible)

I know that much of the time, I get up in the morning, quickly read my devotion and rush to get ready and head out the door to work. I listen to sermons, praise and worship music, and/or Victory 91.5 on my way to work. And honestly, by the time I get home in the evenings I am dog-tired – right alongside our precious pups, who always seem to be dog-tired, no matter how little they’ve done all day! I lay on the couch in front of the television, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I may do a few dishes or a load or two of laundry, but my evenings are always haphazard. By the time Craig and I have our evening phone call before bed, our prayer together is only half-conscious being that we are both so exhausted.

Since seeing the movie, I have a strong desire to make my life more intentional. Ecclesiastes tells us:

“Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Nothing God does is coincidence. Everything has a purpose and a plan, and I think then, if we are striving to follow Him and become more Christ-like, so should our lives. I know I do better at the office if I plan my day, so how about my evening?

What if I returned home from work, fed my pups, changed into comfy clothes, ate dinner and then retreated to my war room? What if I was as intentional about prayer and spiritual warfare as I am about making sure I feed myself and my fur-kids?

How much would my life change from this one intentional addition?

Would He give me the strength and the means and the opportunity and time to serve Him with my whole heart, to feed His sheep, to shepherd His sheep if I only made room for Him in the way He asks me in my busy schedule?

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Food For Thought Friday

Trust & Obey

freefridayHappy Friday Lovies!

Are you as ready for the weekend as we are?!?! I don’t know about y’all, but for me, this has been the longest week ever!

Probably a lot of that has to do with the fact Craig was out of town. I’m not gonna lie – It’s tough being alone so much, and I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss my husband!

But last night, at about midnight, he finally walked through our front door! Yippee!!!

So needless to say, we are excited to be blessed with the weekend together before he heads back to Texas, and…we just might be doing a little bit of celebrating…

Just like we mentioned in our flashback to last year’s post, “Pack!”, on Wednesday, God works in amazing ways – and they look nothing like the expectations of this world! So, almost exactly a year to the day of having a signed contract on our Dallas, Georgia home, yesterday, we sealed the deal on a signed contract for buyers of our Maine home! WOOHOO!

God is good!

And for anyone out there who thinks this is mere coincidence, think again. He tells us in Scripture not to be afraid, for He is with us! He has called us by name, and we belong to Him. (paraphrase Isaiah 43:1)

Can you take a moment to think about that and apply it to the context of your own life?

You are a creation of God, your Heavenly Father, who loves you so much, He never leaves your side. He tells you that wherever He leads you, He will always be right there. How amazing is that? The One who created the universe calls YOU by name, and knows every freckle on your face by heart.

He led us to Maine; He provided for us in what was a very daunting and seemingly impossible situation; We served Him; He opened doors of opportunity for us; We followed His command; He led us back to Georgia; We obeyed Him; He gave Craig a promotion, and He provided for our family, and He continues to provide and lead us step by step.

Trust and Obey. Just like the old, beautiful hymn:

Written By John Sammis, 1887

Lyrics:

  1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
    What a glory He sheds on our way!
    While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
    And with all who will trust and obey.

    • Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
  2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.
  3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.
  4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay;
    For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
    Are for them who will trust and obey.
  5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
    What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
    Never fear, only trust and obey.

That hymn (not to mention that version), especially when I think back over this past year and to our future, gives me goosebumps Jesus-bumps and brings happy tears to my eyes. I hope it blesses you today too!

As a constant reminder of His Faithfulness, we have a little treat for you today – a free printable:

Isaiah43.1.FreePrintableNewlywedlefebvres

Just right-click the image above and choose “Save Image As” to get yours! When I read those words, I can’t help but feel like nothing can stop me!

After all, we are sons and daughters of the RISEN KING! Hallelujah & Happy Friday!

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TTC Tuesday

We Give Up!

TuesdayThat’s right. We. Give. Up.

And we are giving it all to God.

For the past year and a half, (on Saturday, Craig & I celebrated one and a half years of marriage and three years of knowing each other!!!!), we have been trying and researching and going through treatments, therapies, tests, and surgeries in order to reach OUR goal – of having a child.

We still want children and a big family so much it makes our hearts ache, but we want something else even more…

To follow God wherever He leads us.

And obviously, He hasn’t led us to children – yet.

This isn’t to say we have given up on having children…but our first priority is going to be God’s will for our marriage.

I made the call to our fertility clinic yesterday, telling them we are taking a break from all of the testing and medications and hormones. And when I hung up the phone, I expected to feel defeated and saddened.

But I felt exactly the opposite. I felt immediately empowered and excited.

When God blesses Craig & I with a beautiful child – either by natural birth, embryo implantation or adoption – all the glory will be HIS. 

In the meantime, I have felt a calling to something more. A calling from God to truly live for Him. We are discerning that call, and already doors are opening and He is speaking…and we have taken that first step – of obedience.

We gave up, and gave it to the Lord.

Ephesians 1:18

…since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what is the wealth of His glorious inheritance in the saints…

xoxo