Posts in Women Praying Boldly
Cultivating What Matters: 2018 Powersheets Prep
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Powersheets time is one of my favorite times of the year, and I'm excited to be making some space these last few weeks of 2017 to dig into my 2018 Powersheets and get equipped for the new year ahead. The snow is falling outside, my tree is twinkling, and I'm drinking a hot mug of coffee from my favorite Birds Don't Worry mug.

I'm ready. :)

2017 was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a long time. It was a season of broken and redirected dreams, but through it all, I have seen His faithfulness to me, and I know He has been growing me and strengthening me.

I know the best is yet to come, and my story isn’t over yet.

As I began writing my celebration list for the year, I realized how much GOOD truly did come out of a year I'm tempted to label BAD. It was a hard year, but it wasn't a bad year. God is good on the mountaintop and in the valley. And He doesn't waste a thing. I'm praising Him for ALL the goodness He brought, even in the midst of challenges.

HERE'S WHAT I AM CELEBRATING ABOUT 2017:

  • New adventures (my trip to Nashville and getting to reconnect with a sweet friend)
  • Learning and growing (I read and was encouraged by so many good books)
  • Praising through the pain (I got to worship with my sister and with some of my favorite worship artists this year: Rend Collective and Elevation Worship)
  • Bold prayers (even in the face of disappointment, I found God prompting me to keep praying boldly, and I’m excited to see the ways He answers each of those prayers)
  • I went deeper in my Bible study and am so excited to continue this more in-depth study in 2018
  • I redesigned my website!
  • I began writing my women's devotional Expectant Faith (coming in 2018! Stay tuned!) :)
  • I grew STRONGER - emotionally, spiritually, and physically
  • I started working with a personal trainer in September and have been strength training twice a week for the past four months —  I'm so encouraged by this progress!
  • I completed the Whole30 program
  • I shared my story in Laura Dudek's Written Bible study (releasing in January 2018)
  • I have another piece of writing being published, too (I'll share where in January!)
  • I took another God get-away in June, and it was such a sweet and refreshing time

AND HERE ARE A FEW LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2017:

  • I want to practice praise more often. Doubt, discouragement, and comparison stole my focus and my joy much too often this year. I want to live so fully surrendered to God that I trust and praise Him even when the story looks like it has gone terribly wrong.
  • I want the story that gives Him the most glory — even if it looks different than what I (or culture) expects.
  • Doubt often leads to discouragement and despair. It's so important to remain anchored and immersed in His truth. I want to focus on studying and praising His attributes this coming year.
  • I can trust God with my dreams and desires — even when it feels or seems like I can't.
  • I can do hard things. But not because of my strength. Because of HIS.
  • Waiting is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts (Eugene Peterson). God ALWAYS knows best. So often I trust myself, rather than trusting Him. But I want to wait for the story He knows is best. I want to trust Him even when things don't seem to make any sense.
  • Chasing dreams — even God-given dreams — should never replace chasing God.
  • Prayer changes things — and it changes ME.
  • I am a Teacher, or Light Giver, in the Kingdom (Five-Fold Ministry Assessment); I want to study and teach His Word, using my creativity and curiosity to build His Kingdom.

I'm going to end with a great question Lara asked in her 2018 Cultivate What Matters goal-setting series:

What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

The thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is an expectant faith. I want to trust God completely with my most precious dreams and desires (like marriage and family and teaching and writing for Him). And I want to live with the kind of hope in Him that NEVER gives up, the kind of hope that knows He’s a God who can flip the script at any time.

How are you doing today, friends? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Tell me about your year, what you've learned, how God's worked...I'm cheering you all on as you reflect on the year behind and look forward with HOPE and FAITH to the year ahead. :)

Blessed is she who believes.

unsplashsunset Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.

This little line in Luke 1:45 has become a source of big hope for me. It's been just the reminder I've needed that the dreams and hopes He's planted in my heart are in safekeeping with Him.

I've written this verse on my mirror, so every morning, my heart is reminded of that truth, and every evening, my confidence is encouraged.

For the last few months, I've been praying for Him to help my unbelief — especially when it comes to my singleness — and He has been faithful to bless me with fresh hope and belief.

Choosing to believe takes courage, but thanks to His grace, it's a choice my heart will always strive to make.

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Women Praying Boldly: Waiting

{love this photo by Arrow & Apple}

I believe in the way God knits two people together when they stand before Him on their wedding day. Something sacred happens in that moment, something that will, with grace and intention and faith and hard work, build upon itself and grow in power and beauty and durability, with each passing year.

(Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist)

I believe in that, too — and even though I'm not there yet in my own life,  I do hope to see that heart's desire fulfilled. The truth is, if I'm honest, I certainly thought by this point in my life I'd be engaged or married — or at least dating that person. But to re-quote something else from Shauna Niequist: “Life with God at its core is about giving your life up to something bigger and more powerful. It’s about saying at every turn that God knows better than we know, and that His Spirit will lead us in ways that we couldn’t have predicted.”

So, that's what I'm trying to do. Trust — really trust — that He knows better than I do, and that I'm on the path I'm on for a reason.

And I'm praying boldly.

As I wrote about, here, I'm participating in an online prayer group for women who want to pray boldly for their future spouses/marriages. Periodically, I'll be posting updates like this one, sharing with you how prayer is working in my life and what the Lord is revealing to me through the process of being a part of a focused prayer group.

August update:

A few days ago, the Lord laid it on my heart to start reading Proverbs 31:10-31 each day for the next month. I'm excited to see how He uses this in my life and my walk. I know I can be living these attributes out now, blessing others, while I wait on the Lord.

So far, I've been focusing on her strength. (The word "strength" appears a few times in Proverbs 31:10-31.) A few days ago, I looked up passages with the word strength and jotted them in my journal, asking myself, what does strength look like for a Godly woman/wife, and in what ways does the Lord provide strength to all who seek him?

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I'm excited to continue to learn and pray. And in this season of singleness and waiting, I feel truly blessed to be discovering more and more of who God created me to be. He inspires me on a daily basis and reveals new adventures and creative pursuits that are wonderfully fulfilling. He blesses me with incredible friendships that add color and meaning to my days and family time that nourishes my spirit. So, even on the days when I look at my life and think, When God? I'm ready, and I'm so excited to meet a Godly man, a best friend to share my life with...

I know I have to trust where I'm at and appreciate this season for all it has to give me.

If you're particpating in our Women Praying Boldly initiative, know that I'm praying for you, and I look forward to hearing your own unique stories. Let me leave you with this last encouraging quote from Shauna Niequist:

Part of being a married couple means that you create a new identity together, woven from your experiences and histories and lives...

I love that, because I know that my history will add to his, and together, our story will unfold exactly as it's meant to — at just the right time — with God orchestrating each and every beautiful moment.

{k}

Women Praying Boldly Initiative: Will You Join Us?

{You can find this beautiful Pray printable by Taidye Original, here.}

My friend Carmen is kicking off an awesome prayer initiative over at her blog, Life Blessons. The focus is women coming together and praying about their desire for marriage.

Here's what Carmen writes about Women Praying Boldly:

When I was single, it became a very large burden on my heart to pray about finding a godly man. I truly believe that because I prayed so earnestly and brought that desire to the Lord, that he answered my prayers and wove my love story within months.

I also believe that we not only should pray these things (meaning, godly desires of any kind!) for ourselves but also for one another. Because I saw how that prayer worked so miraculously in my own life, I make it a point to continue to pray for women I know who have that same desire.

And I’d like to take this opportunity to reach out to any of the readers here who would like to share in that, as well.

Here’s what I propose: I would love to start a Women Praying Boldly initiative (taken from Candice Watter’s book Get Married) here on this blog. If you are interested in praying for a godly husband and want others to rally around you in prayer, then fill out this form here with your contact information

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I'm really excited to be a part of this initiative, and I think it will be so inspiring to see the way God works in the lives of all who participate. I truly believe in the power of prayer, and I think it's even more powerful when we join together with other believers in prayer.

You can read more about the Women Praying Boldly Initiative, here.

I hope you'll join us.

{k}