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
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Come to Me and Rest

Sometimes you just want to raise that white flag. You have tried to have a heart of love and peace, but the situation you’re facing never seems to change.

Matthew 11:28 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

We all reach a point of exhaustion. We are weary from trekking on and on, up the steep mountain passes. The view never clears up, the clouds continue to loom overhead.

So take time to rest. Talk to the One who created your heart and knows you better than anyone. Maybe you think the Lord doesn’t want to be bothered with what you’re going through; but I’m positive that He does. It is not insignificant or unimportant, namely because you are His child, and He cares for you.

When you take time to rest and pray, the clouds may still be there. But know deep in your heart that the mountain peak is still there, and that it is breathtakingly beautiful. And that is your future! We have full assurance through salvation that we will join Christ in heaven someday! Nothing could be more beautiful than that.

What about now, you ask? You don’t want life to be miserable. And it won’t always be this way. What I do know is that God will give you strength. He will give you glimpses of His glory through creation. He will encourage you through the words of a friend. He will answer the prayers of those who are petitioning Him on your behalf.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

No one likes to be told to just be thankful for what you do have. Even more challenging is to thank the Lord for the trial He has allowed into your life.

But I hope you will try thanking Him. Not really for the bad thing happening, just that He is going to create good through it. Thank Him for loving you, for never leaving you. You are going through the refining fire, and it can burn sometimes. Just remember when you choose to follow Christ through it, you truly shine!

I am praying for everyone that reads this. I wish you didn’t have the pain and suffering. I desire to encourage you through this blog, and would even give you a hug and pray with you if I could! If you need extra prayer, leave me a message or comment.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Sink or Swim

Sometimes the most exciting time of your life is the busiest time of your life.

Getting a new job, falling in love, planning a wedding, maintaining relationships, and figuring out what married life will be like with your new spouse can get your mind bogged down.

But you wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because when you stop to take a breath, your heart fills up with praise to the Lord. You know your circumstances would not be the same if it weren’t for God working in your life.

Yes, this may be a time in your life when you are stressed. When your temper gets short, and things seem to fall apart.

But this is also the time when you have to seek the Lord more. Because the more you have going on, the more you need Him. You need His grace, His love, and His peace. These aren’t things you will gain from your busyness. These are the refreshing things you have when you are still, pray, and read the Word.

I encourage you not to wait until you are sinking to start to swim. It may be swimming against the stream, figuring out how to make time for God. My heart only has peace when it rests in Him. So it’s up to you; to swim hard and fast after the Lord, or sink under life’s demands. I pray God gives you the courage and energy you need to follow Him, no matter what.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

On the Bright Side

 

It has been brought to my attention, that some people do have things go according to plan.

I was a little shocked, to be honest.

In my life, things don’t go according to plan all the time. Things I order online can get lost, or they send the wrong thing. I am a bona fide red light magnet. I have to allow 5 extra minutes whenever I go anywhere.

And I always pick the longest line at the grocery store. 😉

I’m not being cynical at all. These are just really common occurrences in my life, so I look at them as facts.

Things go crazy, life is turned upside down. But where is your focus when everything comes crashing down? A lot of times, my focus is on me. My troubles, my decisions, and how and when it will all end.

But that is where anxiety creeps in. When you are so focused on all the what-ifs, you lose sight of the big picture. Worse than that, you lose sight of the One who has the complete picture.

So here is your chance to take a step back, and try to see things from a new perspective. Yes, the little things in life will get to you. They will frustrate you so much that all you want to do in sink into self pity. But look up, and see that the Light is still shining.

Light of the world

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Let His light shine on your circumstances, and you’ll see that they are not as dark and bleak as you had thought before. Even on your darkest, saddest days, His light still shines. Will you walk away from it, or towards it? Reside in the light of His Presence, and know the peace that passes all understanding.

 

 

heart ~Ariel

Bible reference: Bible Gateway

Picture: Pinterest

Be Still

Be still

Stillness.

One thing I continually struggle with is being still.

I like to go, to see, to explore and discover. I am a hiker, a reader, a writer, a friend. So why would I ever need to be still?

Stillness is such a rare value in our world today. With crazy hectic schedules, and everyone working or going to school, being still just doesn’t seem to be an option.

That’s because we have chosen to fill our days to overflowing. But if we are honest with ourselves, how many of those activities do we truly enjoy, need, or do very well?

Whenever I get overwhelmed with the schedules and to-do lists, I forget to be still.

But Christians are called to be still; so that we can know God better. And when I make time in my busy day to be still before the Lord, He never fails to reveal His love and grace to me. When I truly quiet my own heart to seek His, he floods my spirit with peace. Have you felt this kind of peace? This is the kind of peace everyone wants, but few attain.

So I ask you, what would your day look like if you scheduled time to meet with God, to pray, and read His word? It will be more than worth it. The Lord will amaze you, if you give Him the chance.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Who Are You?

"Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are."

Who are you, deep down?

Are you the person you had always hoped you’d be?

Why or why not?

I have always been one to support authenticity. You, being you. I don’t get hung up on what other people think of me.

But that wasn’t always the case.

I’m a recovering people pleaser. I still love to bring a smile to a person’s face, and do all I can to make their day brighter. But my goal in life isn’t to win the affection or attention of others.

My goal is to please and bring glory to God, every day. I used to think this was really hard to do. After all, how do you please the One who is holy and fully righteous?

You please Him by using the gifts and abilities He has given you to show His love to people. You please Him when you go out of your way to help someone. Spend time with Him in prayer and quietness. Realize that he delights in you!

“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Do you believe that God loves to rejoice over you? That you are His beloved child?
The opinions of others will never change the fact that God. Loves. You. You don’t have to live your life trying to gain approval from the world. If you are seeking the Lord and His will in your life, I can assure you that you will see His love and peace fill your heart and soul.
Are you ready for that?
In Christ,
Ariel

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

Say Goodbye to Ordinary!

Ordinary.

This word is usually associated with being boring, normal, average, or just okay.

Maybe you view your life as ordinary. Maybe the monotony of your day to day life has worn you down, and caused you to see the glass as half empty.

But life is so much more than meets the eye! The possibilities are endless. God is infinitely creative, and loves to work in the lives of those who have faith in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
We don’t have to be the way we were before Christ came in and turned our world upside down. Actually, there’s no way we could ever be the same! He has called us out of darkness, and into His marvelous light.
The light reveals the good, bad, and the ugly. That must be why some of us run from it. But God can make beautiful things out of the ashes of broken dreams and stained lives.
Dig into His word. Pray. Find out all you can about the One you follow. As you pursue God with your whole heart, you are on the grandest adventure imaginable!
I’ll be honest with you. It won’t be predictable, easy, or always fun. But you know what it will be? It will be beautiful, peaceful, joyful, and full of the love that only God can give. This is how I live my life, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
I love this song by Gungor:
So what do you say? Want to exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary adventure God has called you to?

In Christ, Ariel

Bible verse found at: www.biblegateway.com

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.

Do you want joy that lasts?

Joyful journey

Joy.

What is it? Do you think it is the same as happiness? If it was, why do we have a different word to describe it?

God has taught me a lot about joy the past couple years. These have been the most challenging years of my life. I had a difficult job that had me crunching numbers all day (and, as you can see, I prefer writing), moving away to college (and graduating!), and relationships that broke into a million pieces… and left me broken as well.

Wait. I thought this was supposed to be about joy!

It still is. The back story is necessary to show that joy is not the same as happiness. I was not happy trying to develop the math side of my brain, or happy that a close friend told me they’d be there, then broke off our friendship completely.

At those low moments, God wrapped me up in His arms. He gave me peace, and peace’s friend joy showed up too. I decided I wanted them to stay. I love this quote that defines joy:

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” Rick Warren

Trusting

Settled assurance reminds me of peacefully trusting God. As a child of God, in the end everything will be alright. It will be way better than alright, it will be awesome! It is a determined choice to praise God. Another way of doing that is thanking Him. Have you tried thanking Him for the trials, such as health issues or broken relationships? Yeah right, you say. Honestly, a few years ago, thanking Him for those things would’ve sounded ridiculous to me too. But not anymore.

Why? Because when I thank God for what He will do through the difficulties, I am showing Him I trust Him. His ways are much higher than mine, and I believe He has a plan for me.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

What Now?

The situation may not change. The friend may never ask for forgiveness, and your health concerns may stick around. What truly changes is our attitude. Thanking God, and therefore praising Him, opens your heart to receive the amazing, incomparable joy that He gives lavishly. Go on and soak it up!

John 15:10-12 

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (Jesus’ words)

Thanks for reading! I’m praying that you will be abundantly blessed with the joy of the Lord.

 

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15:9-11&version=NIV

http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/the-definition-of-joy