Desires of the Heart

Hi Friends!

Please join me on my new website, http://www.desiresoftheheart.com! I will be posting about faith, homemaking, and encouraging words. I hope you’ll sign up for updates, because I’d love to stay in contact with you all.

Thanks for reading and growing in faith with me! I will be devoting my time to building and maintaining my new website. I hope you enjoy it! Please email me or leave comments on topics you’d like to read and learn more about.

Romans 15:13 ESV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Love in Christ,

Ariel

http://www.desiresoftheheart.com

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

 

 

The Power of Words

Have you ever seriously considered the impact of your words? People care about what you say. Your cynicism or judgement can bring down someone’s spirit.

Words can build us up, and words can tear us down.

I had someone say something to me the other day, and it continues to bother me. He may have meant it as a joke, but knowing him as I do, I couldn’t see the funny side of it. I felt he condemned me because I had to go to work, and had to miss church on a Sunday.

Does working on some Sundays make me less of a Christian? What about my relationship with God?

Have you ever treated someone with disdain because of this same issue? I used to be a lot more judgmental than I am today. But God used college, time, maturity, and perspective to give me a kinder and more understanding spirit. I realized that it’s all about your relationship with God.

Don’t get me wrong, I long for fellowship… and the day where I get to do that regularly with my church family.

But please don’t tear down my spirit when it is already downtrodden.

I need you to speak life, to care about each person you talk to. You could totally make someone’s day, just with a few words of encouragement. Be the light of Christ in their lives. Don’t make them feel bad for something they have no control over. Your words can build them up, and give them hope.

So, will you use words to build up, or tear down?

 

In Christ,

Ariel

2015: Year of Confidence

I think confidence is contagious.

Think about it; whenever you are around a person that exudes confidence (not arrogance), you gain some of their strength. When they leave, you wonder what they have that you don’t. What makes them so free, so sure of who they are?

They know everything happens for a reason. They aren’t always striving for control, because they realize they have none. It can be scary to look out into the future, and not know what’s around the bend. But I serve God and believe He has great plans for my life, and I trust Him to work through all the trials to bring about something beautiful and more creative than I could’ve done on my own.

When I start to see all the obstacles and problems piling up around me, I get overwhelmed. How can I handle all these things? Why do I need to face this? It’s then that I stop myself. It’s not about the how and why. It’s about WHO. Who is with me? Who gives grace abundantly? Who has never left my side?

The same God that tells me I belong to Him. That His perfect love casts out my fear. The God that showed me exactly who I was, at a critical time in my life.

He continues to show me who I am; the Christian woman He has designed me to be. I just shake my head in disbelief at how far I still need to go. But then I smile when I look back, and see how far God has already brought me! It makes me excited for 2015-because God is going to do great things!

Be bold in prayer. Ask God to instill deep confidence and joy in you. Listen to His guidance and follow, because He knows the way. Keep your eyes open. Then be amazed at the work He does in and through you! I will be praying that God makes 2015 your year of growing in confidence, and embracing the person He designed you to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

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

Bible reference: http://www.biblegateway.com

 

When will you believe you are wonderfully made?

Hi Friends,

I am excited to tell you that I have been featured as a guest blogger on Blogs by Christian Women! My post is about self-esteem and where we should find our true value. This post was written with women in mind, but men can also find encouragement from Psalm 139, my inspiration for the post.

Comparison is a good self-esteem’s worst enemy. In our perspective, we think that woman is prettier, smarter, thinner, and more graceful than we’ll ever be. She gets so much attention and everyone wants to be her friend. How can I be more like her?

Those thoughts will destroy you…

Please read more at: http://blogsbychristianwomen.com/2014/11/believe-wonderfully-made/

Thank you! Hope you have a lovely week. 🙂

The Heart of a Dreamer

To Live

We are the warriors, ready to slay the dragon.

We dream of a world with more laughter and less pain.

We see more than meets the eye.

We are the Dreamers.

As a dreamer, we believe we can accomplish anything we set our minds too. And sometimes, we don’t understand when others give up easily.

Big Dreams, Big Risks

Do they not know that the biggest dreams require the biggest risks? That seeing something come to life takes a lot of sweat and tears?

Have you given up? Maybe you dreamed, and the dream came up empty. You tried, and everything fell apart… or you were too afraid to try. Did someone, somewhere, tell you that you couldn’t do it? That you’d never be good enough, smart enough, or good-looking enough to reach your dream? Please stop believing those lies.

Take a moment to soak this in: God isn’t done with you. He still has dreams and plans for your life.

Deep down, you know it’s true.

You let the dream go, thinking it could never be. But is that hope I see? That little seed of your dream has just been dormant. Now that it is seeing light, it wants to grow. Will you water it? Some days it may seem to just sit there, not growing or changing. But don’t let it wither away. Work at it, fertilize it, and give it sunlight.

Even More Beautiful

When the time is right, God will bring about a more beautiful bloom than you imagined. Actually, it will be quite different than what you thought the seed would produce. But isn’t that what makes it even more beautiful? The fact that you can tell it was not of your own doing, but Christ at work in and through you, bringing your dream into being?

Guess what?! You are not limited to one dream. On the contrary, you shall have many dreams. Not all of them will be your job to see through from start to finish. You will need people to join you in making your dream happen, people who believe in you, and people to make you think outside the box. Then they may take on your dream as their own, and God calls you elsewhere.

Keep Dreaming!

Either way, keep dreaming, keep fighting, and keep believing. The adventure with Christ is a lifelong one… and someday I truly desire to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” from the One who loved me and held my hand every day of the journey.

Are you excited for an awfully big adventure?

 

Inspiration for this blog is from:

You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, by Holley Gerth

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