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

 

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In the Morning

Sometimes the day fades, and so does your confidence. You’ve been facing trials left and right, and nothing seems to change.

I have had a few challenging weeks lately. Bad news, my nephew being sick, stress at work, and now I have a cold. Life seems to kick you when you’re down.

But there is always the morning. Every day I open my eyes, I realize that God still has a plan for me. He has given me another day to make a difference. He is making a beautiful tapestry out of the story of my life. Every day and every person matters.

Psalm 143:8:

Every sunrise is a reminder that God loves us, and that His mercies are new. He hasn’t forgotten about you, dear heart. I want you to know that the One true God that you entrust your life with, loves you unfailingly and unconditionally.

When we diligently seek Him and prayer and read His word, He opens the way before us. Psalm 119:105 says,”Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” He will show us the way we should go, as we wait in trust and hope.

He may not reveal as much of the path as we wish He would. But He gives us one step at a time-and gives us the courage to keep going even when met with changes and obstacles. Without the strength of the Lord, I would have given up so many times. You know what’s amazing? He believes in me; that with the Holy Spirit I am going to accomplish much for the His glory. All my sins and mishaps are forgiven, and will not keep Him from working through me to reach others for His kingdom.

I hope tomorrow morning brings new hope and joy for you! Remember His unfailing love for you, and praise Him.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

 

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

 

 

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

“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 🙂

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

Think About It

Philippians 48

Philippians 4:8 NIV

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

This is the way to control our thought lives. We must be willing to take every thought captive, and submit it to the will of the Holy Spirit.

Believe me, I know it is hard. But it becomes easier with practice.

What do you focus on? What gives you the most happiness? What are your doubts?

Whenever I become down or depressed, I take time to be alone, and pray. Then I ask God, are the things I’m telling myself true? Is what that person said about me true? Is that thought lovely?

He will tell you, if you take time to listen. I am so grateful God gave us a guide to live by. Some people may argue that the Bible isn’t relevant to modern day. They would be wrong. The truths and promises laid out in God’s word are timeless. We get to learn about the history of our faith, and the people God chose to lead the way. And most importantly, we learn about salvation through Jesus Christ.

Our God is timeless, trustworthy, and omnipotent. He is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

So a mind and heart focused on Him is pure indeed.

Whenever your thoughts get out of control, take a moment and give them to God. Ask Him to replace your thoughts with His. Be filled the joy that comes from knowing that He loves you.

No matter what.

In Christ,

Ariel

Verses found on Pinterest and Biblegateway

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.

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