How God Speaks To Us Through Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

How God Speaks To Us Through Daily Devotions

Have you ever wished you could pick up the phone, give God a call, and ask him the pressing questions in your mind or just have a chat about life? As you read the Old Testament, have you wondered why God doesn’t speak to us as he did to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and others? In this modern world, we may not audibly hear God’s voice, but nevertheless, He does speak to us in many ways.

Daily Devotional Reading

I have been practicing daily devotional reading since high school.  I received a devotional book for teens and I was hooked.  Currently, I read two daily devotionals: The Upper Room, which is offered in a print and 0n-line version, 40 Powerful Spiritual Phrases That Can Change The Quality of Your Life and Guideposts, a beautiful hard-covered book that is published yearly.  I prefer to do my devotional readings in the morning, it helps me start my day out right.

There are many reasons I love daily devotional readings,  however, what has become most significant about my daily readings, is how they seem to speak to me as if God himself were whispering in my ear.

When I read the scripture verses with the daily passages or the stories shared, I feel connected to God and other believers across the world. Not only have the scripture readings spoke directly to my own situation, I’ve also been prompted to share certain verses with friends.  They have thanked me and have commented that it was exactly what they needed to hear that day.

Speaking To Me

One of the most poignant memories I have of daily devotionals applying to my life was nine years ago. We were an ocean away from home in a foreign land. It was the morning we were to meet our adopted daughter for the first time.  I was beyond nervous and anxious, there were still so many unknowns and fear was trying to get the better of me.  The scripture reading for the devotion that day was from James 1:27

 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Wow! Talk about a voice from God. I immediately felt peace wash over me and knew that no matter what, God was with me and all would be okay.

Finding Peace and Comfort From Scripture

A more recent example was just last week.  My Mom had a very important doctor appointment that would determine if she was able to proceed with a scheduled surgery.  Since early spring, she has been in a lot a pain and this surgery could be life-changing for her.  I was filled with anxiety and uncertainty about the day as I opened my Bible that morning to the suggested scripture reading.  As I turned to Psalm 27:1-3, I saw brackets around these verses and the words “Mom” next to them.

When my oldest was confirmed, I asked each member of the family to share their favorite Bible verse. I compiled them into a book for her.  It was so interesting to see what verses were special to each member of my family.  Psalm 27: 1-3 was shared by my Mom and I wanted to remember it so I had marked it in my Bible.

That was over five years ago and here those verses were comforting me, as well as Mom, on the morning of this big appointment.  Does God speak to us? I think so!

Psalm 27:1-3

1The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

I smiled to myself as I saw her name written in my Bible.  I read the above words and I felt the peace and comfort that only God can provide.  Praise God!  Her appointment went well and she was cleared for surgery. More importantly, we knew that whatever the outcome, the Lord was with us every step of the way. He was guiding us through the uncertainty and fear through His loving words.

Give It a Try!

Through the years, there have been many more times I have felt that God was speaking directly to me through my daily devotions.  If this is not something that has been a part of your daily routine, I urge you to give it a try. It can take as little as five minutes and is a positive way to start the day!

I would love to hear from you in the comments below.  Do you practice daily devotional reading? Do you ever feel as if God speaks to you through the scripture reading of the day? What are some of your favorite devotionals?

~Blessings,

Jen

 

Inspirational Rock Art-Coming Soon Our Etsy Store

Jules and I have been busy working on a new project and will be opening our Etsy Store soon featuring inspirational art.  We are putting all of those rocks Jules has collected to good use with inspirational sayings and creating rock art.  Here is a sample of one of our encouragement rocks.

Inspirational Rock Art

We have been having a ton of fun with this and can’t wait to share it with you!

Blessings!

Jen

Important Life Lessons Before College

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Hi everyone! For those in Michigan-what is up with these warmer temperatures!  I’m not going to question it, I’m just thankful for each day we don’t have to battle freezing temperatures, ice and snow!  Also, where did January go?  Usually it just drags by, but this year it has flown!  I’m not sure why, but I think it might have to do with the fact that time is racing too quickly as we prepare for our oldest to graduate from high school in June!

So I have had this panicky feeling over the past few months of trying to think of everything I need to teach her before she leaves the nest!  Now we have had 17 years to try to impart wisdom and knowledge to her but I’ve realized over the past couple of months that some things may have been overlooked.  Some of the basics she has been doing for a while-she does her own laundry, makes a mean bowl of mac and cheese and is driving herself to school and work.  However, I find myself randomly quizzing her on things: Do you know how to address and stamp a letter, write a check, make a dentist appointment and so on.  I’ve been teaching her about stranger danger since she was a toddler but I had a feeling of pure fear picturing her walking home from a college class at night!

When I step back and take a breath, I realize she will be okay.  We have taught her some of the most important things: love God, be thankful, love family, have a heart for service, treat others the way you want to be treated, work hard, and find some time for fun.   As she gets ready to transition into adulthood and test her wings out in the big world, I know she will have many more lessons to learn.  But as in everything, I have learned to give it all to God, she is His beloved child and I know He is with her each step of the way.

…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

So how about you veteran parents out there that have sent your babies off to college?  What should be on my list of things to know before you leave the nest?  I welcome your ideas in the comments!

~Blessings

Jen

Man’s Best Friend!

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25

This past Sunday, I happened to be sitting near a family who brings a service dog to church for their child.   Looking over,  I couldn’t help but stare at how beautiful this dog was.  The devotion and loyalty he demonstrated to his owner was apparent at a glance.  Just looking at him made me instantly feel calmer.  As I sat there watching him, I felt a great sense of gratitude to God for the gift of pets!

I have had dogs in my life since I was a young child and I can’t imagine life without a furry pal!  I think it runs in the family as Jules and our brother both have had dogs too.  In fact, my brother was known on more than one occasion to bring a stray home on a weekend visiting from college!  This is my faithful pup Louie!  This face and those big, brown soulful eyes have cheered me up on more than one bad day!

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He always seems to know when I need him to just be there for me and he is definitely a great feet warmer on cold winter nights!  Does he act naughty from time to time? You bet, but the good definitely outweighs those times of pure dog stubbornness!  He has seen me through many ups and downs in my life!

As I perused Facebook this weekend, I noticed several comments from fellow teachers who were completing report cards with their dogs curled up beside them offering moral support!  What comfort they give, especially when we are stressed.

Jules follows and is a huge fan of  Captain Luis Montalvan and his dog Tuesday.  Captain Montalvan is a highly decorated U.S. Army Captain who suffered from PTSD.  In his book Until Tuesday, he tells the story of how they found each other and their story of healing. Now they travel the country advocating for veterans and sharing their story.

So if you have a dog, give them a big hug tonight and maybe an extra treat or two and say a little thank you prayer for these amazing animals!

Feel free to share a picture of your furry friend in the comments!

~Blessings,

Jen

Create!

We are halfway through the week!  I hope it has been a good one so far!

I recently read something in  Guideposts Daily Devotional that really struck a chord with me.  The author of the devotion talked about something J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, that one aspect of God’s image in us is our ability to create.  To me this was a really interesting and inspiring thought.  Genesis 1:27 talks about us being created in God’s image and to think that our ability to create is part of that image is a very exciting idea!

I have always loved to write, draw, paint and craft.  Maybe it is a mid-life crisis (ha!), but recently I have felt the need to find more time to work on the crafts and projects that bring me peace and joy.  Jules has written before about finding or making time for a hobby and I think it is great advice!  So one of my New Year’s resolutions is to find time each week to do something creatively.  As you might remember reading in a  previous post, Jules is a “stoner” or rock collector.  She has bags and bags and boxes of rocks!

She has convinced me that painting these rocks is a lot of fun and so I’ve been trying it out and she is RIGHT !(shh-don’t tell her I said so!)  It was fun and relaxing. We ordered gel pens from Amazon for painting and they come in lots of fun colors.   Here are some pictures of some of my recent attempts.

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So how about you?  Do you enjoy expressing your creative side?  What hobbies do you enjoy?  If you haven’t tried rock painting, I would highly recommend it.

Have a great week and remember to find some time to do something that brings you peace and joy!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

Living In The Gap

“Living In The Gap”-This is a phrase Jules uses for those times when you are living in that place of uncertainty and unknowns, of silence in answer to prayers. It is a place where there are more questions than answers and  life may seem unfair.  It is while living in this place that I drew closer to God, learned to trust in His promises and plan for my life and began to understand that silence to my prayers doesn’t always mean no, it might mean-not yet.

Seven years ago on January 13th, we brought home this lively, spunky, loving child from across the world and our lives were forever changed.  Had my prayers for a second baby been answered, we would have never known this precious gift and I could not imagine our lives without her!

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You see as I had been praying for another child, our sweet Little One was not even born yet.  God had plans for our life, but we had to wait for His timing.  That period of waiting for an answer was one of the hardest in my life.  Living in that gap of wondering if we would ever have a second child was challenging.  Every day I had to focus on the blessings in my life- a loving husband, a beautiful healthy daughter, family, friends and good health, as I waited and wondered if our little family of three would expand.  I clung to God and had to give up control to Him and learn to trust in His plan for the situation.  He eventually led us to Russia where we found the missing piece to our family, to our hearts.  The wait was worth it a million times over! God’s perfect, perfect timing.

So if you find yourself “Living In the Gap”, hold on, trust in God and His plan for you!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

This verse got me through some difficult and challenging days.  I hope it brings you comfort too.

~Blessings,

Jen