What is Better

Hey Y’all!

Luke 10:38-42

Ever have that moment when you realize you are simply physically not capable to complete the to do list you have set for yourself? It’s kind of a frustrating moment. Even if we actually cannot do what we wanted to get done, it feels like a “not-good-enough” kinda thing. And it stinks. With a growing amount of things on our to-do list everyday we sometimes have to limit ourselves, and it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to put an “x” where we wanted a check mark. Especially when we get to the end of the day and realize we ran out of time for the most important things. I know on days when I’m especially busy things like “Pray for 10 minutes” or “Read a chapter of Scripture” often get put off until last. It’s possible I have exceptionally poor prioritizing skills, but most people I know struggle to do this on a consistent daily basis. It’s hard, it really is, especially when other things have due dates! Then Prayer and Scripture get shoved way down the list! But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. There is so much knowledge, so much wisdom, reassurance, love in spending time with God. It really is what is better. As a child, I would go into Sunday school and listen to the story of Mary and Martha. I absolutely did not understand why Martha was running around cleaning up while Jesus was inside her house! I did not get it at all, being like Mary and listening to Jesus seemed like the obvious better option. And while I can still see why I would think like that, it’s a lot harder to relate to Mary than I like to admit. I personally thrive on being busy. I hate sitting still, especially when there are things to be done. My friend Hannah often commented when we worked together on that. If it was slow I would pick up a broom or glass cleaner, or I would fidget, or straighten everything to the point where anyone would think I was OCD. It’s just my personality, and I’ve noticed it at home too. One day without school and I go crazy, trying to do a thousand things at once; vacuum downstairs? No problem! Mow the lawn? Great! Bake cookies? Why not 6 dozen? Rearrange my entire bedroom? Why the heck not? (Actual examples that really happened.) I don’t like to sit still. But that’s what we are called to do sometimes, be still and breathe in the fact that God is God. We are commanded to rest, to take a break to recharge our hearts and minds so that we are ever ready to pour out into others. That’s just so hard to do! In today’s world it almost feels like a contest on who can survive on the least sleep, who can accomplish the most insane amount of stuff in a day, who has the most overwhelming checklist. It’s not what it’s supposed to be. So maybe it’s time to change things around. Try a new routine that involves time with God, and time for rest. Maybe it means dropping some activities that are not the most important to you. I don’t know what it looks like. Or maybe you are a fantastic planner and somehow manage that time every day- if so I applaud you! Just don’t forget to spend some time with the one who gave it all for you today.

Oh God,

You are so good. You have blessed me beyond anything I deserve. You took away my sins and I am so grateful. I love you LORD! I want to live out that love in how I treat people, in how I speak, and in how I spend my time. Holy LORD you are worthy of all I have to give and more. You are so good.

-Amen.

While we Wait

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; him who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Have you ever prayed for something? Something that wasn’t a little thing that you temporarily wanted but something you longed for and prayed over and over for. Like someone’s healing, or for a situation to improve, or for the fight against a temptation would get easier? I know I have. One example was when we were moving last year we didn’t know if we could get the house we really wanted. So from the time we looked at it until the day we got it I prayed. Like, super hard. Maybe a little selfishly at times, but I did pray because it was something I really wanted, that my family really wanted and I knew that God had the power to either say yes or no. Towards the end of that period of time, when I wasn’t sure what the answer would be doubts started creeping in, like would God really step in and help this family in Texas get the house that they wanted when we weren’t really making an effort to get other people in the world things they needed and had the resources to do so at the expense of our own wants? Yes that is what was going through my  head. I have a tendency not to doubt God’s goodness but to doubt that He would freely give such goodness to someone who doesn’t deserve it. The point is this: sometimes we pray for these things that we desire so much, and after a while of waiting we start to doubt that they are ever going to come. That healing, or comfort, or courage, or material things, or whatever it is we are praying for is ever going to be granted to us. Like maybe we believe we aren’t good enough. Maybe we believe God is holding back so we can learn to trust Him more, or maybe we believe God doesn’t give us things on this earth but instead gives us whatever we need internally to deal with the situation. That’s how I’ve been thinking lately, that no, God isn’t supposed to fix what is going on, He’s just going to give you what you need to get through it. But now I don’t think that’s right. God is over everything. King of the Universe means exactly that. He is over everything! From which way the wind blows, how many leaves fall off of a tree and when all the way to what happens in your life. He is over someone you loves health, he is above the financial things you worry about, He is over the direction of Your life. The hard part is waiting. So yes, God gives you the strength to persevere through a situation, but that is for while you wait for Him to do amazing things in that situation. He is still a God of miracles and He still works wonders in this world. Keep praying. Press into Him while you wait.

Dear LORD,

Thank You for this day. Thank You for the wonders of today, the things that You are doing right now! Thank You for the things that You are going to do, the miracles You are going to work in each and every one of our lives. I love You God. Please help me to live a life that is pleasing to You and press into You while I wait. You are amazing. You are an awesome God!

Amen

Challenges or Idols?

What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

 -Romans 8:31-32

This is a great verse. A fantastic reminder that God is not going to leave us, and He will give us what we need to get through whatever challenge it is that we are facing. This is probably a good verse to memorize, along with Matthew 6:25. God’s got us! Whatever situation we are in God sees us, has a good plan for us and has got us. In a group discussion I was in recently the youth leader said “Some people let their problems become their idols.” This just kinda jolted me, because that is something I have most certainly let happen in my own life, but I had never looked at it like that. When we let the problems of our situations, our homes or whatever it may be become bigger in our lives than our God, then we are setting ourselves up for pain and disaster. We are making idols out of challenges, instead of focusing on how God’s going to get us over the challenges. It’s kind of like if you are in a dark room with a flashlight, see? And you are looking around at all of the darkness and freaking out, because the darkness is scary and threatening, and you forget that you have the solution, the flashlight, at your disposal. It’s easy to do! I’m not faulting you for it, if you’ve let it happen. I have too, so many times. But golly I want to learn to beat that fear long enough to use the flashlight, Jesus, to work through the situation! Being calm and logical is not my natural tendency. I tend to jump straight into drama, playing worst scenarios over and over in my head until I’m about to lose it, and then I remember the flashlight. That doesn’t mean that I cannot train myself to go straight towards the flashlight when things go dark though. God’s always there, always faithful, you’ve just got to remember to turn to Him and hold on tight and not let the problems get bigger in your eyes than He is. He is above everything! Never, ever forget that! He is on our side, He loves us, He is fighting for us, and He has got us. Just go to Him and don’t let go. Listen to encouraging music. Pray. Always read your Bible. He will get you through whatever it is. He is so good!

Dear LORD,

I confess, sometimes I let my problems take up more room in my heart and my mind than You. It brings me down, and it scares me. I lose sight of You when I let that happen and then wonder why it feels like you abandon me. I am sorry. I love You so much God, and I want to remember that You have got me, and You are bigger than my problems. I love You God. I want to praise You with all that I am. I want to remember that You are my God. You have ultimate power over me, not my problems. You are my King forever and ever.

Amen.

You Saved Me

This is a quick song that I made up and recorded today. It’s nothing great, but I hope you enjoy it. All praise to God!

Community!

It is so, so important to have a community of brothers and sisters in Christ who can pray with and for you, who can share your struggles, and who you can help when they are struggling. CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A LONE WOLF FAITH. You have got to have brothers and sisters to help keep you strong and to help you back up when you stumble. And it’s a great way to be there for other people when they need you too! I am so, so thankful for my great friend and pastor Ruby. She is amazing, and I don’t know what I’d do without her! And my wonderful friend Victoria, who actually helped me start my prayer group here in Pampa! She has taught me things about myself and my faith, and I hope and pray that I’ve done the same for her. I am thankful for my great sister, who also helped start the prayer group. She reminds me of things that I need to know, and I remind her of things she needs to know. It’s just so important to have community like that. To surround yourself with people that will help you grow in your faith! So look around in your town or area and try to find some strong Christians to help you grow!

Song of My Father

Hey Reader,

I hope that you are having a wonderful day. I hope that today you remember that you are so, so richly loved. I hope that today you remember that you are created in the image of God. I hope that you remember that you are His masterpiece, that you just aren’t finished yet. You are a work of art. You are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were knit together in your mother’s womb, every intricate detail of your personality, of your wonderful face, was made by the Creator of the earth, the moon, the stars. And I’m pretty positive that He did not make a mistake when He created you. This is what He says about you. This is the song that He sings over you. Can you hear it? Can you hear the Song of Your Father? You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You are made by the King of all the Earth. Daresay you that He made a single mistake? He’s perfect. He made you. He loves you. He is there for you. He made you! Praise Him, the King of all the Earth for the life that you have! Isn’t He good? Listen to the things He sings over you. Listen to His song.  God loves you. Remember that. Remember that.

 

-God’s Girl

 

Song of my Father, by Urban Rescue

Prayer :)

Dear God,

You are wonderful. You are good. Let me say that first because everything else I am about to say is completely dependant on those two truths. I am forgiven. Not because I’ve earned forgiveness. Not because I deserve it. Not because I’m a good person. No, I am forgiven because I am washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.  Because of Your great sacrifice whose name is Jesus. Thank You God for Jesus.

You are a good Father. I am Your child. A child of the one True King. Thank You for being my Father. Thank You for loving me no matter what, and forgiving me when I come running back to You after I fall into sin again, and again, and again. Thank You God for Your forgiveness.

You have saved me. You are my Savior. I am saved. You have taken me out of the sin-filled death pit that I was living in before I met You. So don’t let me fall there anymore, please. You have given me new life. You have given me not only new life, but better life, life worth living, alive life. Thank You so, so much God. So help me to live this life that You have given me, first for you, then for others. Help me to be a selfless person God, following Your example and doing everything that I do for You and Your glory. I love You God. I truly want to serve You today. I want to live a life that is pleasing to You. You are wonderful, You are amazing.

-Amen

Encourage!

Hey guys!

I truly hope that you are doing well and enjoying this beautiful, God-given day today! If you are not, remember that He is with you to help you through it! I am here to pray for y’all whenever you need me to!

I just thought I would warn you guys that I have recently come to the realization that these devotionals, yes, they are for God, but since I am writing them I actually don’t have to follow one specific format of writing! I get to choose! So let me know if I am bugging you by testing out some different methods, styles and formats!

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God, today I ask that You would open our hearts to hear what You want us to hear. Help me to say what You want me to say. I love You. Amen.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who are listening.

                                                                                                                                              Ephesians 4:29

I love this verse! It is so true that the things that come out of our mouths need to help build others up, and most certainly not tear them down! It is so important that we, as Christians encourage each other! Yeah, sometimes people have bad days, but one thing that really isn’t that helpful is to blame somebody for that persons bad day, and talk about what all the person could do to change that. Yes, if the person having a bad day could do something to change that in the future, it should be addressed, but when it is still the bad day sometimes the best thing for you to do is listen and try to help them move on and have a better day.  We’ve got to lift each other up! If we are discouraging and remind people of everything that is rough all the time it’s only going to end in a spiral of self-pity for that person. So this week, everyday, try sending somebody an encouraging message, like a reminder of God’s love for them, or a reminder of how much you care about them, or maybe just be super cheerful and be like, “Good morning! Isn’t this a beautiful day God has made today? I’m breathing the air He as given, reading by the light of the sun He made and walking on solid ground! Thank You God for today!” Although I’ve found this cheerful of a message could quite possible irritate the person, so just make sure you know their general disposition before you send it! I wouldn’t recommend sending it to a person who is grieving or anything like that, if you know what I mean! God is with you today! He will make your day better- if you let Him! So be that to somebody else, make their day better just by being in it! God will see that effort that you put in, and reward you for it! Plus it’s rewarding in it’s own way, like giving a small gift to somebody. 🙂

God,

You are with me every step I take today. Thank You, thank You, thank You for that. You are with me on my bad days and my good days God. You encourage me when I’m down by using the people around me, music, and just blessing me with Your presence. God, help me to bless somebody else with the things that I say today. Use me to encourage, and build others up. I love You God!

-Amen

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Whenever I write the next devotional I plan to go over the “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths” part of that verse, because that is important too! I hope that you all have a wonderful fantastic day today! God loves you!

-Aubrey

P.S.If you like TobyMac, here is his song “Speak Life

Glory to Him always

Today:

Ended close relationship with a guy I’ve known for over 10 years and had gotten really close to.

Woke up thinking my best friend hated me for telling her mom a secret because I was scared for the safety of the friend.

Stressed out because of school

Response:

God’s got a better plan and will help me through this.

You did the right thing. You may be suffering for it, but you did what was right for her.

God’s gonna bring you through this and your gonna be better than gold.

 

God has a reason for everything y’all! He can free you from whatever pain or stress you are enduring today! He loves you. Because of my wonderful God I can have peace no matter what the situation I am going through is! God is so good!

God is good when it hurts.

 

Hi guys!

I hope that you are all doing so very well, and if not know that the God of the Universe holds You in His hands.

 

Before you read this please listen to this song: Here I am

So, to be totally and completely honest, I have really not been doing that great these past few days. Gone through some really rough stuff with a friend of mine. Had to let go of a different relationship that I wasn’t ready for and give it all to God. But you know what? God is good. I firmly believe that. Actually, I want to take a moment to praise Him right now.

God, Father,

Thank You for this day that You have blessed us with. Thank You for the wonderful people in our lives. Thank You for everything that You do in each and every one of our lives. Thank You for always holding on to each of us, and being right next to us when we call upon Your name. God I praise You for You loving kindness. I praise You for Your wonderful faithfulness, and every little detail that You use to let us know You know what we need, and to let us know You love us with a mighty, passionate, Holy love. You are amazing. Jesus, thank You for dying for me.

Amen

Okay, so just know I’m only telling you I’ve been having a rough time so that I can praise God through it, not for sympathy or attention.

Here’s the deal. It stinks to be pouring yourself out for God and for others all of the time and still feel like you are not enough. Still feel like no matter how hard you try, you could’ve done better. It stinks, and to hold onto to those thoughts is exactly the opposite of what God wants for you.  God wants you to try your best, then rest in Him. Not spend all your time wondering why you aren’t doing more or better than you are. It stinks when you are pursuing what God wants and end up feeling like you’ve lost your best friend. So here’s the deal. Life stinks sometimes. Things hurt sometimes. Things don’t always go well. Let it go, and let God take it. Let God take it all away and fill you with His strength and His power to get you through the day.  It really isn’t by your own power you are doing the things you do to serve Him anyway, is it? Surrender it all to Him again and try to remember that it is Him working through you, Him holding you when you cannot walk on your own two feet anymore. Let it go and smile again. Because Jesus is good. Because our God is a great, great God. Let the peace of God smooth out the hurting and smooth out the regret in your heart.

God,

I want to do it all for You. I want every single thing in my life to be for You. I love You so much and want to pursue You to wherever You may lead me. I want to write these devotionals with the right attitude in my heart, and give You all of the praise and all of the glory. Please humble my heart God, so that I never think I write from my own skill, but remind me that I write because I passionately love You. You are so Holy, and so worthy of the praise of every human on the planet. I love You forever God. Forever. Thank You for the music, the songs, that You use to help me through my rough times! You are amazing!

Amen

I love you guys. Hope you all have a wonderful day. If you need prayers let me know!

-Jesus’s girl 🙂

P.S. Listen to these too! Control <My favorite song ever! Warrior, Work of Art (This is for the girls!), Broken Prayers (Love this one!),