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

 

The Importance of Nurturing Your Friendships-5 Tips

 

The Importance of Nurturing Friendships

What would we do without friendships!  I just love this photo of my daughter and her friends taken on their senior spring break trip.(*Used with permission from the girls and the Mom that took the photo.) We took a Mother/Daughter trip and it was so much fun for all of us!

These girls have grown up together and have been friends since grade school.  One unique thing about their friendship is that in high school they all had separate interests/activities and sub-groups of friends as a result, but they always found their way back to each other.  They always made time to get together for sleepovers, birthday parties and to just hang out. After high school this continued as they all went to different colleges, but still make a point to get together on school breaks.

No matter where life takes them, they know they will always have this group of friends to fall back on through all the ups and downs of life. What a blessing friends are!

I too have been blessed with so many special friends in my life who I have managed to keep in touch with. From childhood to college and then as an adult through work, church, military wives groups, mom groups, neighbors, school moms I have made some amazing friends.  I have managed to keep in touch with many of these ladies. Technology has made it much easier with those who live far away.

Friends Are There For You In Good Times and Bad

This past year has been a challenging one for me with my Mom having some serious health issues, the Mister traveling extensively and sending my oldest going off to college.  My girlfriends have been there for me to lift me up on days when I just didn’t think I could do “life”.

I distinctly remember the evening before my Mom’s surgery this spring. Feeling so anxiety ridden and panicked about her surgery the next day, I felt consumed with worry.  I texted two of my friends who immediately responded and surrounded me with comforting prayers, scripture and affirmations.  Peace and calmness washed over me.  They even distracted me with silly emojis and I found myself laughing despite my sadness and worry.  During this hard time, friends and family supported us through phone calls, texts and helping with my youngest.

I have other friends who live long distances away, but when we do manage to get together, it is like we’ve never missed a beat.  We just pick up the conversation and run with it!  Then, there are childhood friends who are so very special.  Those friends know me in a way that no one else ever will.  They were there from the beginning!

I have a few  group texts going with some friends and family and is an awesome way to keep in touch with each other.  Sometimes, life feels so crazy busy that it is hard to take the time to regularly get together or chat with friends.  I’m not perfect at seeing everyone as often as I should but I refuse to give up trying.  I always feel refreshed and happier after meeting a friend for lunch or tea.  As I get older, I realize how important it is to maintain these relationships.  Here are a few tips that have worked for me to keep in touch with friends.

5 Tips For Nurturing Your Friendships

1.Keep it simple! Don’t get me wrong, I would love a whole girl’s weekend away, but if you can’t fit something like that into your life, it’s okay. Just going out for a simple coffee or cup of tea can help you stay connected.

2. For long distance friends, make a FaceTime or Skype date.  Grab your coffee or tea and find a location where you can talk uninterrupted. lock yourself in the bathroom if you need to! This is a great way to stay connected. It is such a joy to talk with my girlfriend in Texas this way and seeing her face is so much nicer and more personal than text or e-mail.

3. Start a group chat or text and keep it going! Check in with each other, encourage each other. Send funny memes or uplifting scripture verses.

4. Make the commitment to put a date on the calendar.  Try to stick to it, but don’t stress out if you have to re-schedule.  Just keep trying, it will eventually work and you will be so glad  you made the effort!

5. Try something new together such as a cooking, painting or crafting class. Spending time with friends doing something fun will nurture your soul!

I hope you found some inspiration to pick up the phone or text a friend and make the time to get together! I promise that you will not regret the time spent nurturing your friendships!

~Blessings,

Jen

Update: We have opened our Etsy Shop Beach Blessings Store is up and running. We are still adding products so check back often if you are interested in rock art and beach inspired products.

If you are looking for inspiration for creative pursuits and hobbies, hop on over to our “sister” blog: blessingsfromthebeach.com

You can keep up with the latest happenings on our Blessings From The Beach Instagram-@blessingsfromthebeach and Facebook page. Like our page to be notified of new blog posts.

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

Gratitude

 

Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful word! Today I would like to inspire you to be grateful! It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday activities and stress that we often forget to stop and be grateful for even the smallest of things. I am home recovering from knee replacement surgery. It’s been a week and yesterday I woke up feeling grumpy and frustrated. As I lay back in my bed after putting ice on for the 100 billionth time in a week, I looked to my left and the sun was shining in so bright and beautiful,  I felt guilty for being so grumpy! I pulled out of it immediately. I remembered despite everything, I had so many things to be grateful for. God puts so many things in our life, we just have to stop and remember! What are you grateful for today?

Launch of our New Blog!

Finally! After lots of work, some delays, and life happening we are ready to introduce our new blog blessingsfromthebeach.com

Jules and I decided to create a second blog to share our love of all things beach related and to explore our crafty side! In addition to the new blog, we will also be opening an Etsy store (coming soon) to share unique creations we have made with materials from the Great Lakes of Michigan.

We will also continue to post here on Sweet and Simple Inspirations.

Thank you for your patience with us while we have worked on this new project.

Wishing you many blessings!

Jules & Jen

Exciting News Coming This Week!

We have some exciting news to share this week. It has been a almost a year since you’ve heard from us!  Our big plans took little longer than we originally thought.  My oldest daughter graduated from high school last year and I wanted to enjoy every last moment with her home so our plans got put aside for a while.  I don’t regret it, the year was so special and filled with so many precious memories.  It went by in a flash!

Graduation Day!

Graduation Family Photo

She is off to college, now I have more time on my hands.  We have our new project ready to share with you!  Stay tuned for the launch of this exciting new adventure Jules and I have been working on.  The big reveal will be this Wednesday!

Blessings,

Jen