Friday, December 19, 2014

90 DAYS OF ROMANS


Social media is a pretty neat thing.  We’re able to connect with so many people on a daily basis.  People who live in our city, people who live in a different state, people who live in a different time zone, or people who live halfway across the world.  We have easy, easy access to literally millions of people.  I’ve been overwhelmed by social media on more than one occasion.  It’s easy to let it become a big distraction and it’s easy to start the comparison game.  But, I love that despite the negatives there are incredibly huge positives.  Like sharing the gospel.  To tons of people.  That you don’t even know.  Think about how huge of an opportunity this is for us.  Think about the disciples and about Paul and what they would think if they knew how easy it is for us to proclaim the gospel to the entire World Wide Web.  It really is incredible!



I took a month off from all social media in August of this year.  It was sweet and refreshing and really got me thinking about how best to use it.  For me, that meant saying goodbye to twitter at least for a season.  And it meant unfollowing a lot of Instagram accounts.  I want to follow more people who encourage me to love Jesus and read my bible and share the gospel.  I want to keep my mind free of gossip and slander and coveting this or that.  One of my absolute favorite instagrammers (is that a word?) this year is Gretchen from  Life Lived Beautifully.  She has a beautiful shop and is always sharing her heart through her blog and her instagram posts.  She’s become a huge encouragement to me and I am so thankful to have found her!  Her shop is incredible.  So many products that point to Jesus and help us to become better disciples.  Tyler ordered (okay, it was me!) the Live Life Beautifully journal for me for Christmas and I am DYING to tear into it.  I know it’s going to be an incredible resource in 2015!  I also ordered the Give Me Jesus 90 Day journal that I ordered with my spending money so it doesn’t have to hide until Christmas day. ;) I’m already IN LOVE with how Gretchen has laid out this journal.  This journal is designed to be an aid in studying scripture and she even has several “steps” to walk through before you begin so your heart is in the right place!  A friend ordered one too so we had been talking about what we would study and we decided we would study something together.  Our community groups at church will be going through Romans in the new year so we thought that would be a great place to start!  I really wanted to devote the entire 90 days to one book.  I wanted to really pour over it and soak it in.  So, I came up with a little plan that would help break up each chapter of Romans.  I made it into a little bookmark so that I could have easy access to my plan each day!


If you’re interested in studying Romans, HERE is the link to download the bookmark.  I’m so excited for January 1st to roll around so that I can begin!  Every Sunday of the 90 days says “Selah”.  I wanted to add in a few days of rest and reflection throughout the book.  And a little bit of grace if I happen to fall behind. :)  Now, do me a favor and go follow Gretchen! She’s the sweetest and such an encouragement to me.  I know you’ll love her too! 

**I printed the bookmark at 75% scaled.  I wanted it to be a little smaller.  But you could print it at 100% and it would still be fine! **

Graphics for the bookmark found here and here

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE ADVENT, THE WAITING



Advent.  The season of waiting, the season of longing, the season of expectation.  In advent, we wait.  But, we don’t just wait.  We don’t wait as one without hope or one defeated.  We wait expectantly.  We wait knowing the wait will end.  And knowing it ends in Christ.  In this advent season we stop and we savor and we anticipate that morning.  That Christmas morning.  Christ came!  We wait with joy and we wait with excitement.  We wait knowing God delivers.  And he delivers Jesus. 




This season of advent reminds me to savor the waiting.  To trust the waiting.  To know that God always delivers something in the waiting.  We don’t just wait to wait.  We wait to grow.  We wait to trust.  We wait to believe in the One who is worth believing.  


In this season we may wait by the twinkle light of the tree or around the table with our families.  We may wait by the crackle of the fireplace or in the stillness of the snow.  Once all the twinkle lights are put away and families have returned home to schedules.  We may wait in the dark.  In the dark, lonely places that make the waiting hard.  That make the expecting difficult. 


In these days we might not have a calendar to mark off the days until the waiting is over.  Our waiting might be more than four Sundays and 25 days long.  Our waiting might be months, years even.  This waiting.  This waiting comes with the same expectation.  No, it might not come with printables and ornaments and bible reading plans.  But the waiting comes with the same expectation.  Christ came! 


No matter what you’re waiting for, a job, a degree, a paycheck, a house, a husband, a baby, community, security, love, acceptance... we wait knowing that our Christ came and He’s bigger than our wanting.  He’s bigger than our biggest desire.  We wait knowing that Christ came.  He was born of a virgin, He lived a sinless life, He died for the sinner.  For me.  For you.  Christ came, Christ came, Christ came.  Christ came to be the fulfillment of every broken dream.  Of every desire.  Of every longing.  Christ fulfills the deepest longings of our heart.  Longings that can only be met by Jesus.


He knows our desires.  He understands the waiting.  He wants us to wait expectantly.  Not wait for Him to deliver on every desire or want.  Wait expectantly for Him.  Knowing that He is good and His plan is good and our future is good.  We can wait with joy because Christ came!  Jesus came and defeated every enemy, every darkness.  Jesus came and broke our chains of sin and shame.  Jesus came and gave hope that there’s more than this.  There’s more than brokenness.


Christ came!  We can have hope and joy because Jesus laid down His life for us.  We can wait expectantly for God to move because from the beginning of creation He planned for Jesus.  He gave hope that Jesus was coming.  For thousands of years prophets spoke of the one to come.  God fulfilled His promise.  Christ came!  Have hope.  God’s promises will not go unfulfilled. 


I made this little printable for our Christmas celebration at church and wanted to share it with you!  Click THIS link to download this 5x7 print.   Design elements found HERE.

Monday, December 8, 2014

SELAH | AN EVENT FOR GIRLS


In the fall of 2013 I started doing bible study with a group of girls.  My sister wanted to do a study so we invited a few other girls to join in.  We had 5-6 girls from last fall through the summer of 2014 and I fell in love.  These girls are fun and honest and vulnerable and it’s just so refreshing.  Towards the end of the summer we knew we wanted to start another study in the fall so the girls started talking to friends and by the very first meeting we had almost 20 girls.  WHOA.  I am so passionate about these girls.  I love our talks and I love that the Lord is using my testimony.  Isn’t Jesus sweet to use our ugly, sinful days and turn them around for His glory.  AMEN THANK YOU JESUS.

I’ve felt a strong desire to pour into these girls as much as I can.  The more I thought about it, the more the Lord laid on my heart to do an event.  Not something big or fancy, but an event that would bring these girls together for a few hours on a Saturday to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus and find contentment in Him.  

Selah means “a pause, a reflection” and that is exactly what I wanted this event to be.  A time for these girls to pause in the midst of all the big decisions and focus on Jesus.  The Lord continues to work out all of the details for this event and I’m just so excited to see Him move in my life and in the lives of these girls. 

Because venues, speakers, and swag (every event needs swag!!) isn’t free, it’s costing each girl $50 to attend.  This may not be doable for some of these ladies, so I wanted to ask you if you would come beside me and sponsor a girl? I would love to have a long list of people I can email if a girl wants to attend but cannot pay.  I want every.single.girl who wants to attend to be there.  I know that the Lord will provide!

If you would like to sponsor a girl, email me at bloomtheblog@gmail.com and I’d be happy to add your name to my contact list!  If you want to know more about this event, visit the Selah blog and follow along for updates!  I would love to have you praying for me, the speakers, and the girls as February 28th approaches.   :)