5 weeks wages and a heart to heart 

I don’t know about you,  but when I’m away from home and my “normal routine” is off, my time in the Word is little and it starts to wear on me. Here and there I try to abide and let my heart connect with Holy Spirit throughout the day – but I end up feeling dry. 

It’s a reminder to me that He’s the One Who gives me life. 

So, here I find myself at home alone while everyone is out. Typing to you from my phone. Elizabeth is napping, so I popped a fresh pod in the keurig, grabbed some chocolate (you know, for baby 😉) and my Bible and journal. My relationship with the Lord has felt mechanical of late – I’ll be honest. But I am a firm believer that when we draw near Him, He draws near (James 4:8). And that when His word is sown, it NEVER returns void (Isaiah 55:11) – no matter how I feel. 

So I find myself finishing the book of Matthew in this rare holiday quiet time. And I land in where Judas is plotting his betrayal of Jesus. He asks the chief priests (Matthew 26:14-16) what they’d give him for handing over Jesus. You know what he agreed to?

30 pieces of silver. Out of curiosity I googled what that was worth in Jesus’ day, and its equivalent to about five weeks’ wages. Think about what the average person makes in five weeks. And that’s what he gave Jesus up for. 

What got me? Judas was in the group. He appeared to do all the right things. But deceit and betrayal was in his heart. He wanted power. Money. He was never really changed after all that time being with the Messiah. 

And I think about all the forms of Christianity we can live out – church, bible studies, quiet time at home, serving. It means nothing if we are not transformed by His presence. 

Later in the chapter, when Judas brings the chief priests to arrest Jesus in the garden, Jesus calls him “friend”, and tells him to do what he came to do. 

Friend. Really? 

And that is the gospel. Friends.

We can’t earn His grace. I’ve done nothing to deserve it. Yet even on my worst day, He would turn and call me friend. Give me another chance. Grace upon grace. 

No matter if my forms and routine are out of whack on holidays, Jesus welcomes me. His grace is sufficient. And dare I say I don’t want any of it if He doesn’t transform and make me more His own and reveal Himself deeper to me in the midst of it. 

It’s the heart. I guess that’s why God says to guard our heart – for out of IT flows life (Proverbs 4:23).  

From this holiday quiet to your heart – if you’re feeling mechanical with the Lord lately – I encourage you to keep pursuing Him. Because even when we aren’t faithful, He is. Just keep sowing those seeds and let Him transform you. Let Him show you a side of Him you never knew. That’s what I am believing for ❤️

Xo 

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Hello from Michigan 

There’s something about a simple change of scenery and not having to be “productive” every day that is so restful. I just wanted to send a quick hello from the suburbs in Michigan where we are enjoying time away with my husband’s side of family. Elizabeth is having the time of her life with her cousins and we’ve been antiquing several times! 

I’ve been napping every time she naps and our days have been filled with new food experiences and gawking at all the adorable shutter-clad American homes. Seriously, the lot sizes are huge, the yards are lush and the houses scream charm. Troy and I went for a walk the other night and noticed how there aren’t any sidewalks in this neighbourhood and every house had a mailbox at the end of their yard. To us, it seems so American! Quaint. 

Here are a few photos from our first few days here. Soak up summer ya’ll and thank God for every breath He gives us. 

Xo

Just a Minute devotional book cover release

Happy Monday everyone! We are gearing up for two weeks away as a family, but before we go, I wanted to release the cover of my devotional eBook/print book to be released in August.  I have struggled to write much of anything else lately, with this taking up most of my ‘free time’. But as it is now finished, I am so so excited to share it with you!

It’s 31 days of faith-filled blog posts over the past three years. As you read it, you will see the hand of God and His work through major transition in my life.

Who is it for? My writing primarily speaks to women, but I believe men can find life in it too. And this is for anyone in a transition stage of life and looking for gospel-filled hope and grace-filled truth of God’s Father heart… from my own life experience 😉

It will be available in both print and eBook versions, and I will share more information later in July.

To give you more insight into the book, I’ve included the introduction below…

JUST A MINUTE – INTRODUCTION

Change has been a constant in my life. When I got married at 33, I realized that I had never stayed in one place (house) for more than 2.5 years my entire adult life. From roommates, to moving for college, to living with my sister, then buying my own place, and living abroad, I feel like I have been constantly packing and unpacking.

But the one constant in my life has been Jesus. And it’s only been in these past three years of marriage and motherhood that I can honestly say I love Him deeper than ever through experiencing life’s biggest changes.

The Lord has taught me how to rest and abide in Him through all the transition. This book captures three years of blog posts written out of my quiet time – out of my minutes of seeking His presence as a new mother, or long moments over coffee and journal with the Lord.

I’m a firm believer that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us (James 4:8). And sometimes through all the craziness of life’s changes, all we need is a just a minute in His presence to reset and hear His voice.

As a new wife and mom, I know that my relationship with the Lord has changed and I’ve had to be flexible in learning new ways of meeting with Him. Whether it was singing Amazing Grace over my daughter as a newborn, or with 6:00am coffee before she woke up, His presence has changed me and sustained me.

Through the past few years of change, He has taught me and shown me the importance of abiding in Him, resting in His finished work, and ceasing from striving. I’m a planner and do-er, so this has not come easy! And while these are old blog posts written weeks and months a part, the work of the Lord was the same. Constant in His care, I began to learn how He really is good. From the beginning of our marriage, to now three years married with a toddler, you can be a witness to the process of healing and grace God has been doing in me. I certainly have not arrived, but God is at work, and there is hope in that. I pray that this book is a great encouragement to you, whatever season you find yourself in.

I challenge and encourage you, take just a minute, meet with Him, learn to know Him deeper, and you will be changed by His love. Guaranteed.

You can use this as a 31-day devotional, with each chapter laying out a scripture to meditate on. Or read through at whatever pace you are comfortable with. I pray you are encouraged to pursue something deeper with God after reading my story!

***

Stay tuned later in July for a giveaway and more information on the upcoming release date! Have a great week everyone! I’m out for some much-needed holidays… xo

What to do in dry seasons with God

I sat down the other morning, coffee and muffin in hand, the sun just shining over the houses across the street, and was hit with the word privilege and what an honour it is to freely get up and read the Word and spend time with God in the morning.

It’s felt like a quiet season, a bit of a dry one. Verses aren’t popping off the page and I don’t hear God’s thundering voice of clarity. It’s a season, and I’m well aware these exist.

But the quietness of this season is a reminder to me that it’s the Holy Spirit that illuminates the Word, teaches, instructs, and counsels. Not that He’s hiding from me, but I know there are just quiet seasons where God is still very present, doing a work, and His Word is growing despite the lack of angel-singing-glory-feeling daily quiet time.

Hebrews 4:12 says that “the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

When we read, God’s word is sown in our hearts and minds, like a seed. And some seeds sprout up quickly, and some take much longer to germinate.

I recently planted a garden, and on the package of spinach, it said you could harvest it twice in a normal growing season. It sprouts quickly and you can plant again in our short growing season. Other vegetables, such as corn, are strong and tall, and take longer to germinate and to reach a harvest.

Either way, the seeds are planted and alive as they do their work beneath the soil. My job is to plant, but God’s job is to make it grow (1 Cor 3:6).

So rather than getting frustrated that I don’t always get the outcome I want right away, I am reminded that God’s word is imperishable and is living and abiding in me (1 Peter 1:23). The results? Are up to Him. My job is to show up, and seek to know Him.

I am reminded of the movie Finding Nemo, when the friendly fish Dory keeps singing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Just keep planting. It’s a privilege to do so.

If you’re in a season of quietness with the Lord, despite your efforts to hear Him, take courage. If you have been planting seeds of His Word, it’s alive in you, it’s there, and will come to life in its time. Right when you need it.

 

Our Father’s Heart and a free printable

In honour of Father’s Day coming up, I wanted to share a FREE Father’s Heart Printable that I made from a list of verses I had written down from the Psalms that have helped me meditate on God’s character.

Over the last few years, I feel that God has been slowly refining, healing and revealing Himself to me in deeper ways – more of His heart – and learning His true character was where it started for me. I still have mountains to overcome and healing needed (don’t we all!), but for many years I felt that God was more of a teacher than a Father – someone who wanted to make an example of me, more than just give me the pleasure of being known and knowing Him. What a journey!

I hope this FREE Father’s Heart Printable is a blessing to you as you post it up somewhere or save it to your phone for a quick reference to Psalms as you meditate on how good God really is!