Confident

I’m not usually one to write a lot of poetry. In fact, I tend to be pretty skeptical when people say they write poetry (especially when there’s no rhyme in sight). But as I was musing over the topic of pride, confidence, and even self-consciousness (the opposite of both humility and confidence) this happened.

And I decided I’d share it with you, as crummy as the actual poetry is. (I absolutely hate the be, degree, and tree line, but I haven’t a clue about how to fix it).

So here you go, I hope it blesses you:

Uncertain, hesitating, second-guessing
Stopping, pausing, visibly cringing
When her façade is fading
Leaving the raw, unstable mess unveiled.

Something stops her again
An assumption of pain
Another feign
Wondering when she’ll understand what’s true.

Things of beauty, things of worth
Worthless now as they fall to the earth
What is real, what is more than mirth?
If only she could see through the words.

Arrogance and false humility
Both filled with pride and hostility
Even under the disguise of civility
Where will we find humble grace?

Great triumph and deed
Do not lend greater speed
They all seem to impede
The race to the cross.

Confidence or assurance?
Which will bring endurance?
She longs for insurance
Of hope up to come.

They tell her what she ought to be
Assertive and clear in every degree
Pleasant but firm as a tree
In one word, confident.

But what if she can’t be sure?
What if pretense and pride aren’t the cure?
What if confidence can’t make her pure
From the doubts and assumptions invading?

Far from secure but still held.
Can’t stand on her own but still compelled
To say what’s true even where she’s excelled.
Where do humility and truth collide?

Pride cannot stand for long
For it falls down when it is wrong.
But there is still One who can make her strong.
For in Truth she can be confident.

-Faith Gilliosa

I know it’s kinda long, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Where do you think the line between confidence, humility, and truth stands?


“Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.”

-Psalm 27:3 (NASB)

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 1:6 (NASB)


*P.S. I’m still trying to figure out the new WordPress Editor, so I hope everything looks okay!!

Pride.

Yes, pride.

That awful word, that stirs up a hundred emotions. Love, hate, shame, spite.

Each one of us has it. Each one of us loves it. Each one of us hates it.

It ruins our relationships, turns a good day bad, and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

How can we be rid of it? How can we run?

Pride waits in the shadows, leaking into our happiest moments when we least expect.

Beautiful things, priceless things, turned sour with one lurking thought.

“Could they be better than us?”

Pride.

It creeps into our voice, poisoning even the sweetest words, bringing its friend, bitterness, right in with it.

We scream to be rid of it.

But at the same time, the other side of us screams for pride to win. To be satisfied.

When will our pride be satisfied? When will it be finished?

When will this hurt go away? The accusations, the wounds of choice, the pricking needle.

Pride.

Celebrated in us. Hated in others.

Pride.

To say you don’t have it, means you do. To say someone else has pride, means your pride is worse.

Pride.

It’s an ugly word that we try to make beautiful. We try to defend it, we try to cover it, we even try to pretend we are proud of it.

How can you be proud of pride?

It whispers that you are not good enough. But you have to pretend you are. Because pride is make-pretend.

You can think pride means you have it all together, but underneath, it really means you are so broken you just can’t admit it.

When will the lies stop?

When will my pride leave me be? When will it let the hero in? When will it let humility in?

The hard truth is that the true hero doesn’t call themselves the hero. Because humility isn’t proud of itself or it wouldn’t be what it is.

The only way pride can even attempt to be beautiful is as a verb in past tense: proud.

Because humility is proud, but not of itself.

Humility gives credit where credit is due.

Even the greatest man of all time didn’t give credit to himself. The very emblem of humility gave the praise, the glory, to his Father. It was the Father who glorified the Son, and the Son who praised the Father.

If Jesus didn’t praise himself, but the Father, why would you praise yourself?

Why hold on to pride, when you could boast in the Lord?

I wish I never had to deal my pride again. I wish it could disappear forever, because it has never done me one ounce of good, but rather much harm.

I want to say a permanent goodbye to my pride, to all the ugly pride in the world.

But there is one more thing I crave of pride. And it’s something I want to hear.

I want to hear my Savior say “Well, done good and faithful servant.”

I want to hear that my Father in Heaven is proud of me.

And if that’s not enough to get rid of my pride, I’m not sure what will.

 


Note: When I wrote this, I did not know it would become a blog post. One day I simply felt the need to write something, and this is what ended up in my Word document! I hope it blesses you! (I’m thinking a part two might be in order, but I haven’t quite decided yet.)

 

“A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.”

-Proverbs 29:23 (NASB)

Unofficially Featuring: 2020 Summer of Storytelling and Sounds Like Reign + Some Thoughts

Hello everyone! Today I don’t have much to say, but I wanted to share two things with y’all. Actually three things.

Also, I’m pretty sure that is officially the longest blog post title in the history of this blog.

First of all I thought I’d share some of what God has been teaching me lately.

Because most of what I’m thinking about has already been poured out into yet-to-be-published blog posts, I’m just going to share a few verses that have been incredibly instrumental in my life lately. I pray that they bless, encourage, and build you up in Christ.

I know this is a poplar verse, but it has good reason to be. I’ve found myself going back to it so many times this week.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

-Ephesians 6:10-13 (NASB)

This verse has really been convicting me lately about directing my thoughts from that which is “not bad” to that which dwell on excellence and that which is lovely.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

-Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

And finally, this verse.

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

-John 15:2 (ESV)

After memorizing this verse, I’ve been realizing that I tend to focus on the “every branch that does no bear fruit” part, and I forget that when I am bearing fruit, the Father is still pruning. And sometimes that hurts, but I need it.


Secondly, I wanted to share an exciting opportunity I heard about with you. I know there are lot of you who follow my blog who want to write a book, are actively planning to write a book, or have already written a book. So I think some of you might be interested in an opportunity like this.

Pat Roy from Creation Quest (also know as the producer of the Jonathan Parks audio drama) is putting together a group of Christian writers who want to get started on that story they’ve been longing to finally write. He’s calling it the 2020 Summer of Storytelling.

Here’s what he says about it:

WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR? THIS IS YOUR SUMMER! JOIN US! WE’RE A GROUP OF CHRISTIAN WRITERS ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER TO FINISH THEIR OWN BOOK, SCRIPT, DOCUMENTARY, OR ANY STORY BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER!

81% of Americans hope to write a book someday. In reality, only around 40% of us will ever start that book. An even smaller 1.2% will succeed in finishing it. But we are here to defy those statistics!

The “2020 Summer of Storytelling” is a group of Christians that have come together to encourage and support each other to finish their own stories by the end of September 2020! Imagine how God could impact our world if Christians like you, finish the eternal message God has placed in your heart!

-From the Creation Quest website

If this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested check it out here.

And even if you’re not interested in writing a book this summer, spread the word!

Thanks!


And finally, I am on my last point. If you are like me, you are not only finding the quarantine rather distracting and difficult to be productive in, but you also like to listen to music while you work in order to not be distracted. But if you are like me, with everyone at home WiFi can be in low supply. So streaming music on YouTube and Spotify isn’t really an option.

This is where I really appreciate listening to MP3’s of worship music. And simply because I appreciate it so much, I thought I’d share with a family that produces worship music that is available for free download. Sounds Like Reign currently has 5 albums available. You can check their website out here, or if you want to see what their music is like, you can check out their music YouTube channel here. They also have a vlog channel called Tiny Notes From Home that is pretty fun to watch as well.

In addition, Teyo Lee, a friend of the folks at Sounds Like Reign, has his album Arise and Shine available for free via Sounds Like Reign here. My favorites are Hold Fast and Isaiah 40. I hope you enjoy as well!


I know this hasn’t been a typical blog post, but my hope is that it may encourage you and possibly help you!

God be with you!

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

-John 15:8-9


 

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted.

 

As We Wait

Yesterday was Good Friday.

Tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday.

I’ve heard some call today Holy Saturday. While we don’t actually know exactly how the days line up on the calendar, today, at least, symbolizes when Jesus’ body lay in the tomb.

It was the Sabbath. The disciples were resting. But they were afraid. Their unconquerable Savior lay dead. Not only did it feel as though their hope was extinguished, but they feared for the suffering that might come as a result of being his disciple.

Then there was guilt, most notably in Peter and Judas. Imagine the agony they both must be feeling.

Peter who loved his Savior, who proclaimed with all his heart that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Christ. Peter, who in fear, vehemently denied having anything to do with his Savior. Peter who jumped out of the boat into the water and swam all the way to shore as soon he realized that it was indeed his Savior, risen again, at the shore. Peter who repented, who found hope, who was forgiven. Peter, the rock upon whom Jesus said he would build His church.

“So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.”

-John 21:7b-8

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

-Matthew 16:18

Then there was Judas, who stole money from the disciple’s money-bag to use for himself. Judas, who pretended to be zealous for the poor, but only for selfish purposes. Judas, who betrayed the Lord with a kiss, never realizing that it was the Father’s will that Jesus die for our sins so we could have forgiveness. Judas, who was filed with such guilt and despair that when he realized what he had done, he killed himself.

“Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.”

-Matthew 27:3-4

Neither of them saw the end. They didn’t understand what was coming. They didn’t remember Jesus’ words.

But when Judas realized Jesus had been condemned, he didn’t wait on the Lord, he didn’t trust His mercy. Instead, Judas was overwhelmed by guilt and gave up on his very life. And that’s the end of his story.

I can imagine what Peter might have also been going through. Peter had vowed that he would follow his Lord unto death, yet he had denied him. Thrice. And after this, it says, “…he went out and wept bitterly” (Matt 26:75). And now, on top of this, his Lord, the very Son of God, was dead. What was this supposed to mean?

Yet he waited. And on the Sabbath, he rested. Even if it wasn’t for very long, I can imagine it felt like a very long time for Peter to wait. I can imagine the guilt, the sadness, the sorrow at losing the best friend you ever had.

But it wasn’t for long.

Because Jesus rose again.

He couldn’t be dead long.

And then after showing himself to the disciples and instructing them, Jesus ascended to heaven, to be with the Father.

And now we wait.

We wait for our Lord to come again. But this time, we know so much more. We know, we understand that He really is coming again, that He is not dead.

The disciples saw Jesus dead and thought they had lost their hope.

But we know that Jesus is risen, is alive, even though we cannot see Him. And someday we will see Him. Someday our hope will be fulfilled beyond what we could ever imagine.Someday.

So yes, we wait.

And as we wait, we reflect on all the Lord has done for us, and all the Lord keeps doing. We read the old story again, the best story of all, where a sinless man who was God himself, died to save us from our sins. We won’t forget, and we’ll share it on and on.

As we wait, we praise Him. We worship Him, we serve Him, we seek Him.

And one day, when this story melts into eternity, we’ll finally see Him and fall to our knees in worship.

 


Have a blessed evening and a blessed Resurrection Sunday.

He is risen!!!!!


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

-1 Peters 1:3-5 (NASB)


 

 

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted.

Prudence and Fear: The Difference for Christians is Love

Yes, today, after not posting a lot, I’m going to talk about the Coronavirus.

It’s definitely a pretty big topic right now, although I haven’t seen a whole lot of posts on it around WordPress. I have a lot of other things I could talk about including snow and all the exciting or not so exciting things happening on the farm. But I’ll save that for another post.

For right now I want to spend this post briefly talking about what is on my heart right now.

It seems to me that early on there were three different primary reactions to the Coronavirus.

The big one was fear. That scary looming thing creeping up out of the unknown. And yes, it’s very real, particularly now that things are progressing more.

Then a lot of Christians responded with Scripture, as they should. Beautiful, uplifting Scripture. After all, how many times does the Bible say not to fear? Do not fear, the Lord is with us, do not fear, do not fear.

But then another reaction kind of crept in: Scorn. Yes, scorn.

Some fears are quite reasonable and helpful. For instance the fear of jumping off of a cliff. Quite helpful, being as you’d probably die if you weren’t somewhat afraid of jumping of a cliff. But really this isn’t fear.

This is prudence. Wise caution. And in the process of scorning fearfulness, some people also scorned prudence.

So we have fear, we have scorn, and we have prudence.

What the difference between fear and prudence? For Christians it is love.

I understand that the idea of “reckless love” is rather popular right now. But recklessness is rarely if ever paired with Christ-like love.

Christ-like love counts the cost. A person with Christ-like love takes up their cross. They take into account the pain, the suffering, and the loss and consider it worth it.

I’ve thought back a bit to old-time Christians when plagues and sickness came around. There are those stories of the faithful Christians who put their lives in danger just to serve and help the sick, while the rich and fearful went into hiding. Perhaps this picture is filling your mind too.

But this Coronavirus thing doesn’t seem to be like that. There aren’t people dying on the streets, there are simply people in the faithful care of brave and knowledgeable health care professionals.

I’m not a health care professional. So the most loving thing to do is to not carry a life-threatening virus to anyone else. Which might mean isolating myself out of prudence. Not because I am cowering in fear or overreacting, but simply because I don’t want any more Christ-less souls to pass into eternal death and because I don’t want my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to suffer needlessly. This is love, not fear. This is prudence.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t just get this from thinking though it. I got it be studying scripture with my family. Here are some key verses.

“The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

-Proverbs 22:3 (ESV) Emphasis added

It’s as simple as that. The prudent see danger and hide from it. The foolish just go on heedlessly and suffer for it.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

-1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV) Emphasis added

Love protects. Other translations say that it bears all things. In this case for you it could mean caring for the sick. Or it could mean bearing isolation for a short time in order to protect others.

Do what is prudent and what is truly loving. Those are my thoughts, that is all. More importantly, listen to what God would have you do throughout this time.


If you are struggling with fear right now, I have a collection of verses meant to encourage and fight against fear. You can see it and download it here.


And if you are one of those people looking forward to being at home for awhile, perhaps bored, you can hope for some pictures of adorable baby goats and calves in the next week or so! That might help cheer you up! Just do not forget the glorious hope we have in Christ Jesus, despite all trials and hardships we face here on earth.

May you have a peaceful week despite everything going on! Cast you fear and anxiety on the One who cares. God bless you!


“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered”

-1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NASB)


It’s been 2 years.

Hello dear readers,

It’s so crazy to think that it has been a full two years. I wish I had more to share with you all, but really I’m just thankful that you all want to follow and read my blog.

Looking back at my first few followers, I’m so amazed and thankful for those followers who have been with me almost since the beginning.

IMG_3067 as Smart Object-1


Here are some of my first real followers:

Daily Hopeful

Beholding Him Ministries

My Way Home Life

Transforming Waters

JesusLuvsAll

Hannah Gaudette


Thank you so much to those who have been there since almost the beginning as well as those who have just now stumbled across my blog.

God has done so much in my life through this blog. It makes me smile a bit to look back on my very first two blog posts.

group-cows-in-sun-as-Smart-Object-1

In the two years since February 19, 2018, God has changed me a lot. I’m still very much the same, but when I really look back, God has indeed been working in my life. I’m so, so thankful for that. Thank you readers, for the part you have all played in my blog, and the work God is doing in me through it. I cannot wait to see what He brings in the next year and all the years beyond.


Some Stats:

Current Follower Tally: 299

My 299th follower: The Providential Blogger

Current 2020 visitor tally: 276

Number of countries viewed from in 2020: 23

All time visitor tally: 2797

All time views: 6,169

Total posts: 109

Total words: 91,268


Wow, I’ve written a lot of words! That’s almost two 50K books! And I’m really, really close to 300 followers! It’s pretty cool.

IMG_4753-as-Smart-Object-1

If you’d like to look around at some of my older posts here’s some for you to look through (note that some of my older posts mention a contact page or other page that no longer exists):


Some Older Posts

My Top Five Favorite Posts:

Let Me Tell You

Thoughts on the Word of God

Where We Belong

The Fear of God

When You Are Struggling With Lonliness

My Top Four Viewed Posts:

My One Year Blogiversary

Life on the Farm and a Little Encouragement

Be Thou My Vision Tag

Go and Tell the Glorious News of Jesus Christ

My Top Three Least Viewed Posts:

Spring Has Come and Around the Farm

Snow

Resurrection Sunday

My Two Most Liked Posts:

What Have I Been Doing All This Time?

Do Our Petty Struggles Matter to God?

My Most Recent Non-photography post:

2019 becomes 2020


Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

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“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

-Hosea 6:3 (NASB)


 

BIBPC 7 Final Category and Valentines Day

It’s another really rainy, grey day around here.

It’s soaking wet outside, and feels rather dark inside.

Which made it a bit of a challenge to take my picture for the final category of BIBPC 7.

This weeks category is Colorful. Easy for some, but not so easy on this particular day.

In my family Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because of all out family traditions. I love holiday traditions, don’t you? 🙂

The night before Valentines Day, my Dad will come home with flowers for all of us girls. On the actual holiday we (aka myself) make a colored rectangular paper box for everyone in the family, each with their respective names on them. Then whoever wants to decorates their individual boxes and the boxes are set on the counter and begin filling up with sweet notes and candy-like items. Finally at dinner, everyone’s box is placed on or beside their plate. We set them aside while we eat our dinner and then everyone looks through the sweet notes and sometimes eats a few of their treats. I love watching everyone see all the little surprises in their boxes! It’s my favorite part.

I always try to make some sort of surprise show up, and this time, while people were shopping or in other rooms of the house, I made heart-shaped snickerdoodles and snuck them into everyone’s boxes. My mom found out a little earlier then I intended as she was filling the boxes with treats of her own, but as it is very difficult to bake something without everyone knowing, I consider it quite a successful surprise.

Only problem: I’m currently fighting/getting a sore throat, which, it happens, doesn’t go so well with candy. So I’ve eaten like one piece so far and probably won’t eat anymore until I’m done being sick. A forced lesson in self-control, I suppose.

Because colored paper boxes cannot be taken outside into the rain to be taken pictures of, nor can anything be photographed inside the house when it is this dark, I decided the only thing I could get a colorful picture of for this category, was the “roses” (this year they were actually red carnations).

Here’s my entry for “Colorful,” it’s about the most colorful I could get it!

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Thank you Daddy, for the flowers!

What do you do for Valentines Day? (And yes, I know I don’t have comments enabled, but you could always post about it on your own blog.)


“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

-1 John 3:11 (NASB)


 

My Top Books of 2019 + BIBPC 7 Category 1

Hello everyone! I hope your New Year is going splendidly so far!

This year I read a lot of really awesome books! In this post, I’m going to give you my top 5 books I read in 2019 as well as my BIBPC 7 Category 1 picture.

#1:

Andrew Peterson Interview

North or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson

As I expressed in a review of the book:

“After the first third of this book, my thought was “Hey, this might even somehow be better than On the Edge Of Dark Sea of Darkness.”

Two-thirds through I thought “Yeah. This is pretty good, but the first one is still better.”

After flipping the last page to find that it was over, I whispered almost inaudibly with a sniff as I reached to wipe the lingering tears from my face “That. Was. Beautiful.”

Yeah. It was really, really good. Do I dare say the best fiction book I’ve ever read? Very, very possibly. Extremely possibly.

In particular, I really love how beautifully the author wove in the strong redemptive theme. It was beautiful. Definitely a must-read. But before you read this one, you must read…

#2:

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness - The Ohio Digital Library - OverDrive

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

And of course, the first book in the Wingfeather Saga comes next. I have heard everywhere about how good the Wingfeather Saga is. Like a lot. But still, I was a little bit skeptical.

I was not prepared to be swept away. This book was incredible (although North or be Eaten is somehow even more incredible)! I love Andrew Peterson’s writing style. This was (and is) a wonderful book.

#3

Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

This was definitely an incredible book and the most powerful book I read this year. If you are feeling stuck, this is the book to get you out of yourself and worshiping God with your life. If you find yourself asking questions like “Is doing this thing really that bad?” or “How far can I go to be ‘kicked out’ or heaven?” that you really need to read this book. Even if you’ve never asked yourself these questions, if you have even the slightest suspicion you might be border-line on being a lukewarm Christian or are struggling to love God as you ought, you need to read this book.

#4

Will Our Generation Speak? : A Call to Be Bold with the Gospel by Grace Mally 9780971940581 | eBay

Will Our Generation Speak by Grace Mally

I loved this book already so much, and finally, for Christmas, I got my own copy. I’m so happy! This book is so practical and helpful for how to share your faith with courage and God’s strength. This is a book I will read over and over again.

#5

Live Without You - Kindle edition by Sarah Grace Grzy. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks ...

Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy

This was such a sweet and beautiful story. I couldn’t put it down! It was thoroughly captivating and engaging. I love this book so much! If you get queasy with the mention of blood, you might be a little sensitive with this book as it does give a bit of the perspective of a paramedic, though. I still loved it.

Now for BIBPC Category 1!

The prompt is “Unnoticed”.

My picture is of an “Un-noticed” notice sign. 🙂

Here is the small version first, then the big version.

Category1_Unnoticed

Category1_Unnoticed

It was pretty fun to get this picture together! I hope you like it!

Have a blessed week!


But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

-1 John 1:7


 

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

**All photos in this post are taken by myself, and belong to myself, not to be taken for use unless with permission

 

2019 becomes 2020

Hello. It’s me again. Come to think of it, I haven’t posted since November.

I’ve been crazy busy. And mostly enjoying it too. I kind of wish I had posted more often recently, but really I’m glad I didn’t make myself.

I’m not the kind of person who usually makes New Year’s resolutions (at least around New Years). For some reason, I usually make them right before the new school-year starts instead of the calendar year. But I think this year, I might make a few.

What was 2019 for me?

I think I can honestly say that so far in my life it has been the hardest year in my life. I’m not too proud of the person I have been in 2019. But I am amazed at how wonderful, loving, gracious, and powerful God is.

I have grown closer to God the last year. I definitely have no doubt as to whether I need him on a daily basis. I convicted of my lack of prayer.

2019 was hard, but it was oh, so valuable.

What I wish I’d done better in 2019:

  • I wish I’d been gentler and kinder in both my tone of voice and words, even when I was upset.
  • I wish I’d been more ready to listen to my younger siblings when they wanted someone to hear them out.
  • I wish I’d been less controlling and bossy of my younger siblings.
  • I wish I’d written more, both on this blog, and privately.
  • I wish I’d practiced cello more.
  • I wish I’d memorized more scripture.
  • I wish I’d been more eager to find ways to serve and love others, even when it’s hard and I don’t want to give anything more.

What I’m thankful for in 2019:

  • Growing closer to God.
  • Having friends to lift me up and fellowship with when I’m discouraged.
  • A new sunrise every morning.
  • Cars. (I’ve been thinking a lot about amazing and cool cars are lately:).
  • The writing that I did.
  • Lots of friends and family to act as editors even when it’s kind of last minute.
  • The scripture that I did memorize (and all of scripture at that).
  • All the good food I keep learning how to make.
  • The answering of many prayers.

And now, 2020 is here!!!!!!

2020 sounds so… strange. How is it already 2020?

I do have a few resolves for 2020.

Actually, let me say that a different way.

There are a few things that God has convicted me about, and I want to say yes to Him this year. I want to let Him work in me and change me in these ways.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

-Philippians 2:12-13

Ways I want to let God work in me in 2020:

  • I’ve been getting lazy with my reading of God’s word. For a while, I’ve been reading only a chapter of the Bible in a day. But I think this year, I’m ready to read the whole thing.
  • I want to think twice before using sarcasm. Sarcasm can be used to lift others up, but lately, when it comes out of my mouth it has been to tear people down. I don’t have a plan yet for how to conquer this, other than to ask God for help, and to memorize a verse or two on the words from our mouth.
  • I don’t just want to pray more, need to pray more this year. One way I’ve been working on this already is to get up extra early on Monday, the hardest day to get up early, and to use all of that extra time to pray. Monday, of all the days of the week, seems to be the day that needs the most prayer, and I think it has already paid off a bit, as hard as it is. Nonetheless, I also need to pray every day, throughout my day, not just once a week.
  • I want to write more this year. But I don’t want to write my paragraph, my story, my plot. I want God to use me to write His story and message. I know His words are powerful and heart-changing, while mine will never be.

Other little things I’d like to accomplish:

  • Because I want to be a tool in God’s hand through writing, I want to be better equipped to write with passion and expression. I always thought I had a pretty good vocabulary, but recently I’ve realized I need more words in my word pool. Rich ones, too. So I’d like to learn 25 new and useful vocabulary words each month (which equals 300 for the year) this year.
  • I’d like to read 100 books this year.
  • BIBPC 2020 (see here).

Sometimes people will pick a word to meditate on throughout the year. I’m going to pick a verse. Here is my verse to memorize and meditate on in 2020:

Do not tremble and do not be afraid;
Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?
And you are My witnesses.
Is there any God besides Me,
Or is there any other Rock?
I know of none.

-1 Peter 5:6-7

What have you learned in 2019? What has been the hardest thing about 2019? Is there anything you think God is convicting you to do this year? What is a verse that you want to memorize and meditate on this year?

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3:22-23

 

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

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