Posts in Expectant Faith
A Heart Made Ready
 Ready My Heart
 I like the use of ready as a verb.

It's about being prepared and equipped.

And it holds a bit of strength, possibility, and hope in it.

I love many of the related words, too: support, sustain; cheer, comfort, embolden, encourage, hearten, inspire; rally, rouse, stir…

I want a heart made ready.

I have begun to pray that God would do that kind of work and preparation in me. That He would ready my heart, prepare me, equip me, sustain and support me. That He would comfort and cheer me, embolden and encourage me.

That is my prayer for both the big and the small moments — from the day to day routines of right now, to the unfolding and changing seasons ahead.

I pray for my heart to be made ready.

And in my asking and praying, I seek and know Him and His faithfulness more fully.

 
prayer journals
 

I recently picked up a set of prayer journals from Val Marie Paper. I love the concept, and her designs are just beautiful. I look forward to filling the pages with prayers, scripture, and thankfulness, watching the faithfulness of God unfold.

Join me in praying for ready hearts to follow Him?

Lord, ready my heart. Ready my heart for this day, for the work you have for me to do and the people you have for me to love. Ready my heart to write and create for you. Ready my heart to continually seek you, finding you despite fear or doubt or busyness. Ready my heart for all that this day holds.

Amen

::Ready my heart hand lettering by Kelsey of Pinegate Road::
God's Plan for You is Right on Time

NotBehind

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen this photo. It's part of a new 'lil collaboration I have going with one of my talented friends Kelsey of Pinegate Road. It's my words + her lovely hand lettering. And while it's not a fancy or complicated collaboration by any means, it's giving me lots of fresh inspiration for new stories to write and tell. (You can follow this collaboration on Instagram using the hashtag #aptdnotes.)

You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him.  (‭Psalm‬ ‭119‬:‬ 1-2 MSG)

I've been thinking a lot about these verses lately and how it can be easy to take our eyes off the path God has for us. When I start comparing my story with others,' I'm tempted to veer off course and write things the way I think they should go. I wrestle with God over timing, circumstances, and the way my current season stacks up against those around me.

It's so easy to think someone else is living a better story than we are, isn't it? Or that because our story doesn't look as far along as theirs, something must be wrong with ours — or worse, with us.

But those thoughts are just lies that we believe.

And we don't have to believe them.

God's plan for us is right on time, and He will faithfully reveal each next step for us when the time is right.

The second part of those verses in Psalms does require action on our part, though. The writer of this Psalm is reminding us that we are blessed when we FOLLOW God and do our best to FIND Him. That means seeking Him in everything, asking Him for wisdom and guidance, and making Him a part of everything we do.

I find myself comparing more frequently and feeling the most dissatisfaction when I'm NOT seeking God regularly. And I think that's because when I'm not seeking Him and listening for Him in all I do, I can't clearly see the path He has marked out for me. Instead, I see the path that everyone else is on and what I think is missing or lacking in my life. I completely miss the opportunity to praise Him for what He's doing in my life and what is unique and special about the story He has especially for me.

I am so thankful that we can find Him in every season, in every chapter — in both the joyful and the challenging moments of our lives.

And even though I sometimes wrestle with some of my current realities, I take comfort in knowing that when I seek Him, He will continue to reveal the road before me and lead me step by step.

So, today, I am choosing to celebrate this particular part of the road I'm on, this part of my journey. I am choosing to look around at where I am with gratitude and with eyes that can see and appreciate beauty. And I am choosing to live with hope for what's ahead, for all of the twists and turns and bends that I cannot yet see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Influence Conference Recap - Be Where You Are and Be All There

unnamed-1024x511 It's been a few days since I returned from this year's Influence Conference, and I've been processing through everything — the notes, the heart stuff, the "what's nexts..."

To be honest, I arrived at this year's conference feeling a little heavy...

When I went the previous year, I went with specific hopes and dreams to explore and specific prayers I wanted to pray. I had an eBook I was about to release to the world, and I was just bursting with excitement for all that was ahead.

I was in a quieter, much more tender place this year.

On the drive into Indy, my friend (and conference roomie!) Holly asked me if I had anything I was hoping to hear from God about (she remembered I went with questions and prayers the year before).

But I didn't.

"I guess I just want to be a part of God doing something big," I told her. "I just want to hear from Him."

After the Black-and-White welcome party hosted by Mocha Club, I started  feeling lighter and more hopeful about all that was ahead. I still wasn't sure what I hoped to learn or hear from God, but I was sure He would show up.

SoMuchCoffee

In my still-slightly tender and uncertain place, I had a hard time selecting the sessions I wanted to hear the next day (they ALL sounded so good)! ;) And as we began that first day of speakers and workshops, I found myself reading the tweets from the session I wasn't in, feeling restless and like I was missing out.

But then, all of a sudden, I felt like I was finally hearing from God.

Be where you are and be all there.

Yes.

Be where you are and be all there.

And it wasn't just about those sessions, it was about life in general. It was about continuing to embrace my current season and live it fully and creatively (exactly the topic I had explored in the eBook I wrote the previous year).

LiveCreatively

Later, in Lara Casey's session, I stood up in front of a room full of more than a hundred women and gave voice to one of my deepest fears. As other women stood up to share their own, walls and tears came down, and I felt God continue to work something out in my heart.

And even though I was at a blogging conference, He wasn't speaking to me about how to blog better, create more, or find more followers online...He was speaking to me about my life in general and how I'm living it for Him. He was asking me to trust Him more, surrender more, and make even more space for Him to move.

Lara asked us to answer this fill-in-the blank statement: My life is too short not to______. 

During her session, I made notes, but it wasn't until a few days later that this phrase stuck with me: "My life is too short not to love the story God has for me."

TooShort

It's such a simple statement but it says SO MUCH.

My life is too short to wait for someday.

My life is too short not to live with purpose — right here, right now.

My life is too short not to pray boldly and with big belief.

My life is too short not to believe that God can do the impossible.

My life is too short not to pay attention to all God is doing.

And my life is too short not to share it...

Bookclubbers lipstickgospel    

This year's conference was so much different than last year's, but in the best of ways.

I did leave with new creative ideas and dreams to explore, but I also left with a deeper desire to truly trust God with my story and a hopefulness about all He is capable of doing in my life and in the lives of others.

He's written all of our stories differently, and there's goodness and purpose in that. 

And while He may not give us an outline about what comes next, He has gone before us, and He promises to lead the way in love.

* * *

Before I wrap this up, because I just can't resist, I'll leave you with this picture from my departing brunch at Cafe Patachou. (Honestly, that needs to be a Sunday Influence tradition from here on out...) WOW, that waffle was amazing! I'm STILL thinking about it! ;)

Patachou

If you'd like to learn more about the conference, feel free to email me. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, if you're wondering if you'd like to attend. (You can also check out this fun video recap from The Busy Budgeting Mama. And, yep, that IS me dancing around at minute 3:34.) ;)

 

Influence Conference Meet & Greet x2

polkadots

I love lattes, bright colors, and cute, cozy coffee shops.

Hi, all!

This will be my second time attending The Influence Conference, and I'm so excited to participate in this year's pre-conference link-up.

(P.S. You can read my recap of last year's conference, here.)

Moving on to my introduction... :)

I'm Katie, a writer, creator, and polka-dot wearer (see above). ;) I'm also the author of An Inspired Life, a book about living fully and creatively in every season. I love to help others live and tell inspired stories!

What I'm most looking forward to: The prayer suite! I'm so, so excited to spend some intentional time in prayer during the conference. I'm also excited to gather during break time on Saturday (time change to 1:45-2:15, since it looks like the schedule was adjusted a bit) to pray about singleness and marriage. As a 30-something single, I know the ache of waiting, and I want to gather a group together to pray over the singles at the conference, future marriages that God is orchestrating behind the scenes, and for God to use us right where we are. Waiting time is not wasted time! (And even if you're married and have a heart for singles, I invite you to join us!) Would love for this to be an encouraging time of prayer for all who participate!

What I won't leave home without: A notebook and a few bright, happy pens for note-taking. This former journalist can't help but take lots and lots of notes. :)

I look forward to meeting you at the conference. Please don't wait until next week to say hi, though. Give me a shout on Instagram or Twitter (@aplacetodwell).

See you soon!

How To Be Brave In A New City

Image Siempre verde. Always green.

I scribbled those Spanish words and their translation into my art journal, pasting a magazine clipping of bright green leaves next to them.

A reminder of hope, right there on the page.

Always green. Always growing.

At the time, I felt anything but.

I was 24, living in a city that didn’t quite feel like home, and learning to accept the end of a relationship that was never going to be right.

After dating on and off all through college, my boyfriend and I had reached that place of determining whether or not there was a real future for the relationship. As painful as it was to realize, we were two very different people, heading in two very different directions.

Standing on my own, in a new place, watching my story unfold much differently than I thought it might, I had an opportunity to choose growth, an opportunity to discover my roots and what they might be preparing me for...

Hop on over to Venture Magazine to read the rest. :) I'm super honored and excited to be a part of their writing team.

Happy Saturday and Happy March, friends!

Hope you're off having some fabulous weekend adventures!

An Inspired Life Book Club — Week #2

https://vimeo.com/86257315 Hi, all! Welcome to week #2 of the An Inspired Life Book club! We're talking about Chapter 2 this week — Fully & Fearlessly.

I'm really excited to dig into the idea of fearlessness with you all this week. I believe that there's something God is calling each of us to in our current seasons of life, and I also believe there are certain barriers of both fear and doubt that are hindering each of us from moving confidently toward these callings.

In what areas is God currently calling you to be brave?

For me, I feel God calling me to be brave in a few different areas. The first area is dating. God has been calling me to be brave and intentional when it comes to dating and being prepared for marriage. Dating can be scary and overwhelming at times, especially after we've been hurt before, but God is helping me to keep an open heart and to trust that He's going to be faithful and guide me through the entire process. Another area God is currently calling me to brave in is my writing. He's opened the door to a few new exciting writing opportunities (including joining the Venture Magazine team as a Featured Content Writer), and He is calling me to be brave when it comes to honestly and vulnerably sharing my words and my stories.

I encourage you to take some time to think about this question (as well as the other Prayerful Prompts at the end of this chapter).

Let's speak truth and encouragement in the face of the fears confronting us, and let's practice making courage decisions this week (as Jeff Goins would say).

Can't wait to hear from each of you!

An Inspired Life Book Club - Week #1

https://vimeo.com/85080692 Hi, friends! Welcome to the first week of the An Inspired Life Book Club! :)

I hope you've all enjoyed reading through the first chapter. I'm looking forward to connecting right here in the comments and on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #AnInspiredLife.

For this first week, I'd love for you to take some time to introduce yourself in the comments below. Share your blog address, Twitter, etc. and what inspired you to participate in the book club. We will also be chatting about some of the questions I posed in the video, as well. So feel free to get the discussion going about any of those. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better and encouraging each other to live fully and creatively this year!

P.S. Don't forget: We'll be having the first An Inspired Life Twitter party this Thursday at 9 p.m. EST. 

Okay, so, let's chat, shall we??! :)

What if we planned to be surprised?

plan-to-be-surprised I've been practicing bravery — stepping into areas of uncertainty and inviting God into the answers.

I'm learning how to do that more, how to ask hard questions and invite Him into their answers.

Because I don’t think true growth can happen without that openness and vulnerability to boldly ask and then humbly let Him lead.

We like to plan out our lives. We like to know what map we’ll be following and how long it will take us to get from point a to point b and on and on.

A few weekends ago, I was watching Dan in Real Life. Are you familiar with that movie? Besides the fact that I would love for my love story to begin in a bookstore with coffee and pastries(!), there’s a quote at the end that’s pretty wonderful. Steve Carell's character says: “I want to talk to you about the subject of plans… life plans and how we all make them, and how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of our plans don’t work out as we’d hoped. So instead of asking our young people, ‘What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?,' maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised. 

I want to live out my faith from a place of surprise and delight — surprised and delighted by the ways He’s taken the broken and messy and in-progress parts of my life and myself and made them into something new and beautiful for my good and His glory.

Waiting to be surprised is the tricky part, though, isn’t it? When we’re settled in a season of what’s next, God? Or why not now or why not this? we can’t begin to imagine what He might be doing or how He might be working all things together for our good. We just can’t see it, and we just can’t see Him — or so we tell ourselves.

But what if we were surprised daily?

What if every single day we planned to be surprised?

What if every single day we were amazed at the way He shaped our moments? Surprised by the color of the sky, delighted by the comfort in our cup of coffee, the creative work He gives us to do, and the relationships He blesses us with…

What if we began our days from a place of anticipation, eyes fixed on Him, knowing that what is stretching out before us is a brand new day that we’ve never experienced before, a brand new day filled with fresh new moments He is gifting us.

What if every single day we knew that He was going to use us, that He had plans for us to make a difference, if only we would be still and quiet enough to listen and then brave and bold enough to move and go where and when He calls.

What if today is the day we planned to start being surprised?

Jesus Time Link-Up with Lily & Light

JesusTimeLinky-1 I was so excited when Kristin suggested we host a Jesus Time link-up. I think it's so inspiring to see and read how and what the Lord is speaking to each of our hearts.

And by sharing these small glimpses into our own journeys, I believe we can encourage and spur one another on in our seeking.

As Kristin so beautifully wrote:

Some love coffee.  Some love tea.

Some sit outside.  Some cuddle in bed.

Some read with their friends.  Some read alone.

Some do it all!  

 How do YOU spend time with Jesus?

This link-up doesn't require much writing at all.  Just snap a pic of your Jesus Time and link it here.  Include all the mess; the pens, the notes, the highlighters, the journals.  Show off your bookmarks, your favorite underlined passages, and anything special you use as bookmarks.  

Tell us what you are studying, how long you study, what kinds of supplemental information you use, and anything you find to be a peculiar joy in the way the Lord speaks to you.  

Also, take this moment to pray over your sacred space, and the space of those who are sharing as well.  This is sacred time with our Savior, and girls, it sure is beautiful :)

JesusTimeCollage

In my own quiet time, I'm a highlighter, a journaler, an underliner, and a star-er. I've also been known to add hearts and dates to different passages that hit my heart in different seasons. It means a lot to me to look back through the months and years and see what the Lord has spoken to me through His Word.

Currently, I've going through a YouVersion Deeper Into Scripture study on Hebrews with a friend of mine. I'm looking forward to learning all He has to say through this time with Him. Hebrews is such a great book on hope and faith!

Can't wait to link up with you all of you sweet ladies and hear/see what you're learning in this season.

(You can join the link-up below, and be sure to visit Kristin's beautiful blog, too!)

Despite Our Doubts

stepoutinfaith Sunday's sermon was on Matthew 28:16-20.

We talked about Jesus sending out all of the disciples — even the ones who were doubting. They were all being commissioned to go and live out the gospel everywhere they went. Jesus didn't pick and choose based on how big each disciple's belief was. Perhaps, He knew that in walking out their faith, that's where their belief would grow...that it wouldn't happen overnight, or standing right there in the midst of that moment of worship. Belief is a fundamental part of our relationship with Christ — but it's a living and breathing part. It's tested and strengthened, challenged and refined. It's not something that just IS. It's something that deepens, as our relationship with Him deepens.

As we near the end of this 31 day journey on big belief, I'd love to know: how has your belief grown? Do you have any lingering doubts? Any new doubts that have crept up and surprised you?

Today, I want to encourage you in your doubting, in your questions, in your uncertainty.

There are some doubts and questions in my own life that I'm still learning to navigate. I know their familiar shapes, but I don't want to become too comfortable with them, because I know He is faithful to remove and restore.

When I began this journey at the beginning of the month, I wanted to learn more about what the Lord had to say about belief, and I wanted Him to grow and change mine for His glory. I can sense He is doing that, growing my confidence in Him and in His plan for my life, but I also sense Him teaching me how to surrender doubt whenever I encounter it, knowing He will be faithful to show up right there in the middle of my doubt to lead me through — ultimately past — it.

Wikipedia says doubt is a status between belief and disbelief and that it may involve delaying or rejecting relevant action out of concerns for mistakes or faults or appropriateness.

I pray that you wouldn't allow your doubts to keep you from moving forward and moving toward Him. Because He isn't afraid of our doubts. We can freely share them with Him and know that He's going to walk us through them. We can be confident that even in the midst of the walking and the learning, He is for us, He is with us, and He has a purpose and a plan to use us.

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 
How has He shaped your heart?

dreams I was talking with a sweet friend over the weekend, and we landed on the subject of dating. At one point during the conversation, I said I had hopes to marry a man who would dream with me. For whatever reason, I said that was something I really hoped I could share with my future husband — dreaming for the Lord together and pursuing those dreams together.

I felt silly sharing that, I said, but she firmly encouraged me, saying God placed that unique desire in my heart. I could be confident in it and confident in Him to fulfill it. She said He has purposefully given us all different hopes and dreams (for example, some dream and hope of finding someone who shares the same passion for overseas ministry). Listening to her words stirred up my gratitude for the unique shape of the hopes in my own heart.

God has shaped all of our hearts differently, and not only does He gift each one of us with our own unique talents, hopes, and dreams, He also orchestrates beautiful relationships and community throughout our lives that helps us grow and use those gifts and dreams to serve Him. (From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Eph. 4:16)

Why should my future marriage be any different?

Sometimes, I struggle with whether something is from me or from the Lord. I doubt my own hopes and dreams and fear attributing them to Him. But in listening to my friend, I realized I want to become more confident in believing what He is putting in my heart. And not only do I want to feel more confident in those hopes, I also want to pray over them, daily returning them to Him for safekeeping until He either fulfills them in His own perfect way, or in time, reshapes them, molding them into something new for His glory.

Part of that process means recognizing He made me a dreamer — and an encourager of dreams. It's woven into who I am. I don't want to be too shy to embrace the unique parts of myself and live them out with confident belief that He made me to love and do those things. It also means I'm not afraid to continue to hope that my future husband wants to dream for the Lord with me. Who knows, there might even be a man out there who is praying over the same things... ;)

How has He shaped your heart? And how are you using those beautifully unique aspects of yourself fully and for His glory?

::image::

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 
Open Hearts & Hands

Image How's everyone doing on this 31 Day journey to bigger belief? What's the Lord been revealing to you, as you press in, get honest, and ask Him to build your belief?

This morning, He reminded me of this:

When I wholly commit my plans, dreams, and hopes to Him, He is faithful to align my heart with His will and establish my plans. (Proverbs 16:3)

Wow, was that a reminder that blessed my heart.

I also recently read this post about open hands (remember my motto last year??), and a few lines really tugged at my heart:

  • “Stop clenching your fists so tightly leaving no room for God to move.”
  • "How much of our lives do we actually hand over to God and let His will be done? How often do we find ourselves abandoning our plans-our rigid, outlined, down to the detail-plans, for what we believe God has called us to?"
  • "It’s hard to ask for a gift from the Lord when your hands aren’t open to receive it."

I want to live by faith, fully surrendered to the work He's doing in my life. I want to dream with Him, plan with Him, and wholly commit every hope to Him with an open heart and open hands. It's a daily practice, but every time I do, I believe it's leading me somewhere good — somewhere closer to Him.

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 
 
To Tuesdays

balljar I'm a little more than halfway through Emily Freeman's new book A Million Little Ways.

Last night, as I was reading her words, I happened on a section about ordinary Tuesdays, about the life that happens on those Tuesdays and the freedom we can find to dream when we're planted firmly in our ordinary days.

"As we begin to embrace our own sense of place and time in our Tuesdays, maybe we will be more open to considering our crazy ideas. With your feet planted firmly in the soil of home, allow yourself the freedom to dream a little," Emily writes.

In the last year, the Lord has really changed my perspective on the ordinary and changed my perspective on the season I'm living in. He's spoken value and purpose into my days, reminding me that He is doing good work and using us in ALL seasons. He's building my belief that right where I am is right where I'm meant to be.  That's actually why I wrote my book (but more on that soon in a future post).

Back to Tuesdays.

This post is dedicated to that ordinary day.

So, here's to ordinary Tuesdays... to the waking up in the still-soft shades of sleep, to the familiar ritual of cooking oatmeal on the stove, and to the reading of a few promises from Him to carry with me throughout the day.

Here's to the favorite blue mason jar that holds the usual — cranberry juice and green tea. And to the dark chocolate chips that sweeten up the morning.

Here's to breathing a prayer of thanks for sunshine on my lunch break, and to the joy of evening frozen yogurt dates with good friends.

And maybe most of all, here's to the unseen work He's doing in my heart, to every crazy idea and dream He's blessed me with, and to all of the questions that haven't yet found their answers.

Tuesdays make a good home for those.

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 
Belief & Prayer

IMG_3628 Yesterday, I read Sarah Sandel's beautiful three-part series on prayer.

And I just sunk into her words.

Because yesterday was a day I fought discouragement and discontent, a day I felt tender and more than a little uncertain about the plan God is weaving in my life.

He has been faithful to teach me how to handle those days, though, how to press into Him, pour out my heart, and refocus.

And yesterday, He brought such refreshment through Sarah's words, reminding me of the beautiful power of sharing our stories and experiences. Because while we can't (and shouldn't) compare the plans He's writing for each of our lives, we can relate and understand and share.

In one of her posts, Sarah encouraged me with these questions about prayer:

When I pray, am I...

  • believing that God can move on my behalf? (Matt 21:22, Jas 5:15)
  • praying for things consistent with the will of God? (1 John 5:14)
  • asking with a pure heart? (James 4:3, Jas 5:16, Ps 66:18, Jn 15:7, Matthew 6:14-15) 
  • being persistent in petitioning Him? (Luke 11:5-8, Col 4:2, Romans 12:12)

After reading those, the first one in particular stayed with me. All day, I kept thinking: God can move in MIGHTY ways. Which got me thinking ... am I TRULY believing that? Am I surrendering all those questions I wrestle with, all the unanswered prayers, hopes, and dreams I sometimes hold too tightly to? Am I surrendering them, BELIEVING that God can and WILL move on my behalf?

Sometimes, I think we're too afraid to fully surrender, because we want to control those things we hold closest to our hearts. We think we know best, and we worry that if we give up control, He will do something with them that we don't want or like. So, we clutch onto them, feeling stuck and frustrated and wondering why God isn't moving.

But you know what? He probably WILL do something unexpected, but it will be the kind of unexpected that opens up new doors, the kind of unexpected that changes us and grows us and takes us to a deeper place in our faith.

This morning, I read one of my favorite promises He gives us:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
 and He will make your paths straight.

I also like The Message translation:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
 don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
 Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; 
He's the one who will keep you on track.

We can trust Him with our deepest dreams, friends.

Because He is a God who moves mightily on our behalf.

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::

 
Building My Belief: Part 2

img_1504 So, picking up where I left off yesterday...

There I was, learning what it looked like to follow the Lord and discovering His character, creativity, and compassion. That season was a beautiful adventure in so many ways, but more and more, I became aware of how much I missed home. So, I slowly started to pray for an opportunity to move back closer to my family.

Of course, losing my job wasn't the road I would have picked, but after praying for a while, it's the one I found myself on. And while I'll never know all of God's reasons for allowing that, I do know that in walking out that waiting with Him, He taught me more about His character than I had ever seen or felt before, and He began building a belief that was bigger than the unknowns I was facing.

Every day of that waiting I prayed, keeping my eyes on Him expectantly.

Because despite doubts and frustrations, I believed He would come through. Looking back, I'm almost a bit surprised at the certainty I felt that God would move. But I held onto that belief, and I held onto Him. And while I wrestled through a lot during that time, I continued to bring it all before the Lord, trusting Him to remind me that He was still there, working all things for good, and making plans that I couldn't see.

Yesterday morning, I read this verse, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him."

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I think I found a bigger belief in that season of waiting, because I was earnestly seeking. I NEEDED to believe. And so, every day, I poured out my heart, told him exactly how I felt, and asked for His provision.

And here's the thing, while He didn't answer right away — at least not the answers I was asking for —  every day, He did provide.

He provided me precious time with my grandmother and gave me the chance to serve and love her during a season she needed me. He provided me with new friendships and church community and freelance work. He provided me time for rest and time with Him and the chance to get to know him on a deeper level.

I know I can learn something from that waiting and from those provisions.

Sometimes, I get lazy in the seeking. I read a quick verse here, say a quick prayer there, and call that my quiet time. But I need only look back on seasons where He was building my belief to remember the blessings to be found when I'm earnestly seeking. I need only remember how much I needed that belief to be reminded that I still do — and that He's still building it even now.

Ask. Seek. Knock. Ask for what you want and God will mold your heart till what you want is the same as what He wants. That is a beautiful profound thing and the power of prayer. We commune with Him and learn from Him when we just simply spend time talking to Him... His plans never fail. Ever. And sometimes things take a long time because God wants to change you in the journey. Life happens in the waiting. ~ Lara Casey

 

::For the month of October, I’m participating in The Nester’s #31Days blog writing challenge. My topic? Big BELIEF. For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about three main things: 1. BELIEVING in His good plan for my life, 2. BELIEVING in the dreams He’s placed on my heart, and 3.BELIEVING in who He is and what He promises. So, what do you say? Will you join me? Will you open your heart to Him and allow Him to grow your belief over these next 31 days? You can read all my #31Days posts,here.::