Trust Muscles

I want to share a tradition of mine with you.

At the beginning of every year, God inspires me to pick a theme for the year. Then I find a verse that matches that theme, and I memorize it. The verse this year is Proverbs 3:5-6.Trust_blog_061817

The theme this year is definitely TRUST.

Trusting the Lord. Trusting in His perfect timing. Trusting that in all things, in the end He is working everything out for good.

Trust is like a muscle. The more you exercise it and use it, the stronger it becomes.

Times of Growth

One of my biggest trust growing experiences was going away to college; leaving my family behind and venturing out on my own. But my relationship and trust in God grew as He helped me overcome homesickness, a breakup, and a difficult roommate experience.

I wouldn’t trade those years for anything! Not only did my trust in the Lord grow, but I became a more independent and adventurous woman.

You see, when you trust the Lord, there are so many things you gain. Faith, character, and patience, to name a few.

Think of a time when you were diligently praying for the Lord to come through and do something specific in your life. Did He answer as soon as you wanted Him too? He did not for me. He made me wait and see.

In the Waiting

For me, anxiety tends to creep in the longer I wait for His answer. But reading the Word, and having the Holy Spirit hold me accountable for my thoughts, helps keep me grounded on the truth. The truth is, He has been faithful in providing for me, and now for my husband, in every area that I prayed and waited for Him. It took time, but it was always worth the wait!

Right now our struggle is wanting to buy a house in a very terrible market. (Helllooo Colorado!) We went to a home-buyer’s class, and just realized that the timing is very wrong for us to buy at this point. We’ve been praying for months that God would give us wisdom on how and if to move forward with house hunting. And today, His answer was wait…

Which happens to be a very common theme in the life of this go-getter, all-in, dreamer of a woman.

And I finally see that this theme is actually a positive one in my life. The greatest blessings come after trials and long periods of trusting the Lord.

God’s Perfect Timing

So take courage! Sometimes it is God’s perfect timing and will that causes the greatest blessings to have long periods of time pass between them. It makes us even more grateful when they come!

I’ll be praying for you as that trust muscle stretches and grows. May your love grow for the Lord throughout the journey!

In Christ,

Ariel

 

Peace and Quiet

The crumpled wrapping paper has been tossed, the twinkling lights have dimmed. No more Christmas songs on the radio. What do we do now, after such a season of light and joy? Just get back into our old routine?
I’d like to suggest another way.
We just celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace. So my goal for the New Year is to trust the Lord more and be filled with His peace. This peace is steady and unending, though we must slow down to receive it.
We all need some peace and quiet.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15 is especially relevant for all of us right now. Let your heart be ruled and guided by the peace of Christ. We as Christians should be known for being peaceful and kind. And don’t forget the last part! Being thankful for all the blessings you have now, and the rest of the year will give you a positive outlook and contentment on a daily basis.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Can we fully understand how the peace of God works? No, but we can rest assured that His peace is always available, and will guard our hearts and minds. Don’t be ruled by to-do lists, stressful situations, work, or disappointments. Pray that the Lord would fill you with His peace, and rest in the comfort of knowing God’s love for you never fails.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Bible verses found at Biblegateway.com

So Walk in Him pt. 2

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

“So walk in Him,”

Every day. One step at a time. Sometimes I want to run ahead. Funny how every time I do that, things don’t work out very well. They fall flat. Plans that seemed so good, even plans I thought God had blessed, aren’t turning out well.

You know why? Because I rushed His timing. He could have done something to slow me down… and one time, I know I missed His urging. I was too busy worrying about not getting another job offer, so I took the first one I got. Even though in my spirit, I felt it wasn’t right for me.

“Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,”

Where are your roots? Is there some person or some place you always go to when you need some help or advice? It takes a lot of practice to go to the Lord first, but I guarantee it is always worthwhile. Maybe you won’t notice things changing right away, but eventually the situation will, or you will.

You live and learn. And if you aren’t learning, stop to think why that is. Don’t miss the faith growing opportunities God is giving you. Don’t waste those really hard trials; use them to gain wisdom on how to live in the future.

We become established in the faith by coming through the fire. By being refined by what the Lord is doing in our lives. It may burn some; I know the fires I have had to face in my walk with Christ have left me wondering why the pain, why me? Because He loves us and wants our faith in Him to be strengthened. Don’t give up hope! God is for us, not against us.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

 

So Walk in Him

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7~~A adventure's beginning | view from the top of a forest mountain path | by Hanson Mao~~:

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,”

How often do I fail to remember that I have received Christ Jesus?

Why do I forget that He is in me, though He is so important to me?

Why do I sometimes let doubt cause me to fear?

I am never alone, never lost or forsaken. And that is something the Lord promises us in His Word!

Just think of how amazing it is that we have the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, living IN US! Wouldn’t we then be able to face everything that comes our way, if we keep our eyes fixed on Him?

Yes, we can, because of our great God. Will moving forward be easy? To be realistic, probably not. Some days I’m used to having things be more difficult for me; but other days I get so frustrated. Then God stops me in my sizzling tracks, and reminds me who I am… but more importantly, who HE is.

And He is the Savior of the world. The God who sent His Son to save the world from their sins that caused eternal separation from Him. God is loving, forgiving, just, and merciful. Do we always see Him doing those things in our lives? No, we don’t. Because we aren’t always looking for them. And sometimes He doesn’t let us see everything He’s doing.

But remember this; He is working in your life, no doubt about it. It could be a painful or sad season of life. But with a thankful and trusting heart, God will transform you more into the great person He created you to be.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

P.S. Please come back next week for the continuation of studying Colossians 2:6-7!

 

Picture courtesy of Pinterest, search Mountain Path

 

 

Time to Trust

Trust.

Commit

Sometimes it feels like I’ve got it down.

It becomes second nature… until things get turned upside down. You get pulled in a million different directions, and everyone and everything is top priority. It’s nice to feel wanted, and you wish that warm feeling would stay.

But it gets pushed out by the demands. Time squeezes you tighter, and breathing gets harder.

But you know it won’t always be so hard. You look back and see times in your life that weren’t this hectic.

I think that’s why God lets us have seasons when He sends us just a few smaller things to trust Him with. So we can learn to walk in faith, one step at a time. He is training us to be able to take the leap of faith He knows is coming down the road.

Being able to commit your life to someone requires incredible amounts of trust. You have to trust that the other person will love you and care for you for a lifetime. When they love and serve the Lord with their whole heart, this is possible. Not only is it possible, I’ve seen it happen.

I’ve seen this love and trust in the marriage of my parents, fiance’s parents, and grandparents. Through mentors, Sunday school leaders, and pastors. Because Christ is in them; and they are seeking the Lord daily. Their bond is deeper because their love is drawn from the Lord; and poured into their spouse.

Christ is selfless, understanding, and encouraging. He also gives reality checks can remove us from our stupor of self-focus. He cares for us so deeply, so unconditionally.

And that is what He calls us to do for our spouse.

I will be getting married soon, and I am so excited for that day! Joe is a man that truly loves the Lord and serves Him with his life; and I am honored to become his wife. The thing that first attracted me to him is the Jesus I see in him; and I know that love and attraction will only continue to grow. I love everything about him, and look forward to a lifetime of adventures with him!

In Christ,

Ariel

P.S. Thanks for being such an encouragement Joe! Life with you is a grand adventure 🙂

When Plans Go Awry

We plan, we muse, we decide. We think we know exactly what will happen, because we were so meticulous and disciplined in our efforts to plan the ideal day.

But at the end of the day, it’s not up to you.

It’s not up to you at the beginning of the day either.

I struggle with this, but you know what? I’ve gotten so much better.

Because when my plans go awry, I know God’s plan must be better.  He knew He had to derail my plan, so that I would follow His. It’s not that I’m always stubbornly walking in a different direction, but rather I don’t always see that my way is not compatible with His.

And then there are times when you realize the evil one has tripped you up… making it hard to find the narrow road again.

Plans change, but God does not. I want that fact to reassure you, not scare you. We can fully trust God because He is unchanging, and promises to work things together for the good of those who love Him.

Now, my daily hope is that God will guide me in the plan that He has for me. I want to be so close to His heart, that my first reaction is to be kind, loving, and understanding when things turn upside down.

Don’t fall into the pit of complaining and negativity when your plans fall apart. Once you get down there, it may be hard to dig yourself out. I’d like to challenge you to see it as an opportunity; to follow a new path, meet new people, and show God’s love to those you may not have even seen today, if it weren’t for Him taking the wheel.

Every time I surrender, and remember that God’s got this, I am filled with peace.


No matter where I am. No matter who I am with. No matter how many plans fall to the wayside. When my focus is on glorifying God with my life, He will turn my topsy turvy life right side up… and fill my heart with joy.

 

Praying you realize God’s plans for you are good, and that He will give you everything you need to press on.

In Christ,

Ariel

Do You Trust Me?

TrustLet’s Call it a Theme

I don’t have New Year’s resolutions this year, because I know they tend to end up being unrealistic and unfinished. Instead, I came up with a theme for this year. In hindsight, I was probably asking for some challenges…

Trust and Love. Trusting God through all the ups and downs. Through the health problems, work challenges, and friendship struggles. Learning to love through these trials isn’t easy, especially when a person is the cause of the problem.

Often, God is working on my attitude towards the problem. If I fall into self-pity, it’s a lot harder to dig my way out than if I bring the anxious thoughts to God right away. He calms my fears and replaces them with peace.

Time to Practice What I Preach

As some of you know, I am a fresh out of training flight attendant! I recently went on 8 test flights. At one point, there were way too many things to keep track of, and I was falling behind because of my inexperience. I looked at my instructor, informing her that one part of the process wouldn’t get done. She frowned at me, let me suffer through most of it, then came to my aide.

I almost panicked. How could I keep up with the demands? It was then that God told me this wasn’t the end. He had been faithful all the way through training, and even through healing my feet so I could stand for my long shifts. He reassured me that He was still with me, and gave me peace.

The rest of the flight I was a little shaky; and I knew I was off of my game. But God wasn’t done encouraging me. My first class passengers were great, one even smiled at me every time I walked by. After making it through announcements, beverage service, and landing, all the passengers deplaned. As they left, they told me I did a great job, and to keep up the good work! Those were the kind words I needed so I could finish the rest of my flights with more confidence.

You see, God knew what I needed. And once I trusted Him to work in and through me, the obstacles seemed smaller. All obstacles are small compared to the greatness of the God I serve!

Are you trusting God for today? Do you trust Him to take care of tomorrow? If you do, that is all you’ll ever need.

Follow Through

Why don’t many good people follow through on what they say they will do?

I’m talking about the basics. Your friend tells you she/he would like to have dinner or coffee with you. You set a time, and are happy that you shall see your friend again. The time comes for coffee, and they bail on you. As if they had never suggested it in the first place.

It’s disappointing, isn’t it? It seems as if your time and expectations mean little to nothing. You had set aside time for them, and are hurt that they don’t respect your time. It especially hurts when your main love language is quality time*.

I’m not saying all your friends do this to you. I certainly have a few steady friends that I can count on, and their friendship is priceless.

When your friends let you down, don’t let it ruin your day (or week). We all have different characteristics, and once you know someone well, you will be able to appreciate them for who they are, quirks and all! Friendship takes two people who work on it, so if it is always one sided, that’s a different issue.

It makes me remember the one who never lets me down… God. Does He always work in the way I hope or expect? No. But He never leaves me to figure things out on my own. His love never fails. He continues to guide me, moment by moment, through His word and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:38-39

“38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

*Don’t know your love languages? Check out the fun, free online short survey at: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/  I really enjoyed taking the survey, and it helps if your family and friends take it too. Then you know how they receive and show love.

Where’s Your Anchor?

anchor 2

Choppy Waters

You’ve come a long way, and parts of the journey were so much harder than you expected. Sometimes you thought you couldn’t bear the pain and disappointment a moment longer.

What got you through those hard times? I pray that all of you have friends or family in your lives that have helped you shoulder your burdens, lend a listening ear, and just be there for you. I personally recommend having a mentor who is not a relative. They can give you a perspective that is totally new, and get you back on track.

My anchor in the storm is Jesus Christ.

I’ve panicked a time or two as I saw water gushing into my boat. I’m not even a good swimmer, so being surrounded by water (aka trials) could naturally cause anxiety. I wasn’t prepared for this… but God knew that before the storm even came, that I would not feel ready. He knew that I would have to trust Him, and not my own strength.

In Matthew 8, we read of a stormy gale the disciples found themselves in. The disciples struggled with fear and panic during this storm even though many of them were seasoned fishermen!

Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Jesus was not concerned by the waves. In fact, I think He knew they would come. This was an opportunity for the disciples to anchor their trust in Jesus. But their fear caused them to panic.

Even the Wind and the Waves

I’ve felt the rebuke, similar to the one the disciples heard that day. They saw Jesus do a miracle… just think, the wind and waves obeyed Him! The disciples were humbled and amazed. Their faith was strengthened because of it. When God acts, it doesn’t seem to be in our timing, or in the way we expect. Looking back, I’m sure the disciples could see times they could have acted differently, trusted more, or been more prepared.

We can’t undo our past, but we don’t need to. God’s grace covered them, and His grace covers us. We learn from the past so we can have a better tomorrow. We need to live today for God’s glory, and trust Him for tomorrow.

So… where is your anchor?

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%208&version=NIV