Sunday, April 13, 2014

The One With All the Weddings {A Giveaway!}

I don't know about you, but I am in that season of life where my friends are entering serious relationships, becoming engaged, and then getting married. I currently have 4 friends that will be walking down the aisle in the next 3 months! {Not to mention two more in the fall!}

Hayley is the first wedding on the list. We've known each other since our elementary days!

Jennifer & I. We met during my years of serving with CEF! 

Audrey & I. {aka my future sister-in-law. well kind of. } 

our beloved neighbor who has found the man of her dreams

While I'm incredibly happy for all of them, I have my moments where I wish I could be the one with a man!

I know I'm only 19, but still. 

It would be nice to have someone who accepts me for who I am, who loves me sacrificially, and who promises to stand by side till death do us part. 

What girl doesn't dream of that?! 

{I mean, have you seen Jim & Pam's relationship on The Office?! And yes, I realize that it's not good to compare your real life relationship with TV characters.} 

Anyway, as I was wishing away at my future, the LORD brought a couple of people into my life to remind me that I already have someone who loves, cherishes, and provides for me. And on top of that, it's for all of eternity! 

For the past month and a half, I've had the privilege to be a part of the street team for a new book, "Spoken For" by Alyssa Joy Bethke & Robin Jones Gunn

As a member, I received an advanced copy of the book along with a couple of "You are Spoken For" cards. On the back of the cards, it lists what God says about us along with Scripture references. {You can snag one here for free from Robin's online shop!}

Here are a few of my favorites on the list…

"I will never stop being good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40)"

"I am your provider. I will meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)"

 "My love for you is not based on your love for me. (1 John 4:10)"

The LORD is so perfect with His timing. 

Through reading this book, I was reminded that He is the one who cannot only satisfy my heart's desires but that He also loves me, has called me to Himself, has set me free from the guilt and shame of sin, and promises to love me forever & always!   

There is so much truth graced in those 200 pages that it's hard to narrow down my favorite quotes. 

But, alas, I shall try my best! 

"Others might look at the outside and see only what seems to be an ordinary, average person. But if they look close and see God's signature on our lives, they know that something of great value is hidden on the inside. When [a] young woman's true self is in Christ, she is carrying around a hidden treasure." 

"If we were to take an honest look at our lives, would we see that we are just like Israel? We are wanted pursued, loved, and cherished; yet how often do we forget God? 

How often do we choose other things, other lovers, over him? 
How often do we do things our own way, thinking we know best? 
How often do we pick the things of this world over him? 
And how often do we forget who we are and go back to the world to find our identity? 

It's easy for us to fall into the same trap as Israel did. We uplift and love the things of this world more than we love Jesus. Even if the things we love aren't anything wicked, the focus on them takes our eyes off our relationship with Christ. When we choose other people and things over Christ, it becomes easy to forget who we are in him."

"A big part of taking risks with the Lord and in relationships is our willingness to be vulnerable. We have to open ourselves up. We have to entrust ourselves to the Lord and loosen our grip on controlling the situation. Instead of focusing so heavily on the situation ahead and all that could happen, we need to place our focus on Jesus and follow, one step at a time, where he leads." 

Isn't wonderful, dear reader, to know that someone loves you enough to pursue you and make you His for all of eternity?!

If you haven't already, I would encourage you to surrender your heart to the LORD, to trust in His sovereign plan for your life, and to embrace the love He has so freely given you!

Now for the giveaway! {Yay!!} 

I'm giving away a copy of the book, a journal, & a gift card to Starbucks! All you have to do is enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you're not doing anything at 8 EST/ 5 PDT Tuesday, April 15th, you can attend the LiveStream Alyssa & Robin are hosting! I'll be there watching with you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Where There Are No Words

I've sat here and typed and re-typed trying to share how the LORD has been working in my life lately.

And I can honestly say, I have no words.

Not because He's not working, but because He is.

I just can't articulate all that God has done over the past few months since last November in one blog post.

The many times I have cried out to God, questioned His plans, and searched the Word looking for answers can't be explained in a few simple paragraphs on the internet.

I'm not in a season of waiting like last summer, (which I think was partly due to my disobedience. But that's a different story for another time), but a season of preparation.

I firmly believe the LORD is leading me somewhere and I have to trust that His plans are true, righteous, and unwavering. 

I may have to walk on roads that don't necessarily make sense in that moment, but at the end will. 

Throughout this season of life, I have learned so much about God and His character that I know I wouldn't have if I had chosen to go my own way. I am so thankful for this journey I'm on right now even though it hasn't been easy.

Maybe I'll share more later and tell y'all exactly what the LORD is doing in my life. But, for now, know that I am trusting the LORD – following Him wherever He leads – every step of the way.