Know Your Worth!

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This week, I’ve been learning a lot from small children and foreign dramas.

Let me explain, because I know that doesn’t seem to make sense.

“Small Children” – I watch a pair of toddler boys on Mondays, and they’re the most precious things ever. Recently, the weather here in Illinois has finally started to warm up, so we went outside. That turned into ‘let’s collect rocks from the driveway’. Hold the rock thought, we’ll get there soon.

“Foreign Dramas” – I will admit to watching Korean Dramas because quite frankly they’re just better than most American dramas. That said, because I knew one of the actors from a Korean boy band, I have been watching ONE Chinese drama as well. In this drama, they’re all about the Jadeite trade, which is fascinating and enlightening.

Okay, now that I’ve explained that, let me get to the real point of this post. Are we rocks or are we treasures?

Those little boys (God love ’em) have two different personalities. One didn’t pick up a rock unless it seemed like it would be glittery or pretty. The other just grabbed the first two rocks that struck his fancy. Later, after we washed them and let them dry, do you know which rocks were prettier? The ones I thought were ugly.

Just like that, did you know that Jadeite is hidden inside stones that look like regular rocks? It’s a complete gamble if there’s going to be a precious gem inside. People try to understand what signs show that there is going to be a lot of color in that stone, but they often fail.

Like pebbles and Jadeite, a lot of times even we don’t know our real worth. We may look completely ordinary on the outside, but wait til God gets ahold of us and shows us what’s inside. There’s a scripture similar to this example in 2 Corinthians:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

It’s not our job, necessarily, to look pretty on the outside. It’s not our job to be perfect and irreplaceable.

Jadeite only goes up in value once it’s opened. Once its true colors are shown to the world. It takes some careful calculation and some cutting away of the excess roughness for its true beauty to fully shine.

Sometimes, a stone won’t contain any Jadeite at all. It’s sad, but it happens. These stones are mourned over by their owner, but in the end it isn’t possible to produce Jadeite where there wasn’t any to begin with.

The good news? We’re the stones no one expects. When we came to Christ, we became a new creation, and thus there’s beauty hidden inside us just waiting for the world to see it. Our stone-cutter is Father God, and he’s the very best and bringing out the most shine in our jewel.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

God knows what’s inside of us. He sees the treasure waiting to shine. Trust Him when he starts cutting off the excess roughness. The things we don’t need or shouldn’t hold onto. Trust Him when he washes away the mud we like to hide behind. He knows how beautiful we’re going to be afterward.

Trust God to be your stone-cutter. Because, the best part? Once that roughness is cut off, the treasure inside can skyrocket the price up to 1,000 times the original purchase price. Our purchase price is Jesus’ blood, so our skyrocketed price? Priceless.

We are God’s treasures and He will never sell us or give us away. To Him, we are beyond precious. So trust Him to polish you today.

Is It Time Yet?

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“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2:3

As I ended 2018 and began 2019, this is one of the scriptures that has spoken the most to me. Why? Because, as a single girl looking forward to married life, it’s hard to remember that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how frustrating it may seem to me, God knows why this isn’t the time yet.

Is that what I wanted to hear? Absolutely not.

Is it what I needed? Yes.

This scripture is encouraging to me — and hopefully to you, as well — because it isn’t a “no” kind of answer. It’s all in the timing. Even if the vision before me, the things I want so badly, aren’t here yet, they will have their time.

Timing isn’t my favorite subject because let’s face it, I can be just as impatient as the next guy. Waiting? What’s that? Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it?

Why do I have to wait longer? Hasn’t it been long enough?

These are questions I’ve prayed and journaled over and over again. I’m a hopeless romantic, so why can’t I see some romance? (Can I get a witness, somebody?)

The truth it, God never said I wouldn’t see my romance. He’s just been telling me to wait.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

Even in my period of waiting, God supplies the courage and strength for me to go on. To endure and to thrive in this time of preparation.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about timing lately, but that’s what God has been placing in my heart. His timing is best and He always asks us to do things that will benefit us in the end.

For example (STORY TIME!!!):

I write. Constantly. Mostly books, because I love to craft stories. So, when the beginning of December came and God told me to take a break from writing until January, I admit to balking a little.

Okay, so it was more than a little. I desperately wanted to just push on. To keep going while I had momentum and to start something new while I was at it. However, after a lot of prayers and arguing with Jesus (not my brightest idea), I did as I felt led to do. I stopped writing for the duration of December.

Of course, when I started, I didn’t know that my computer would crash a week later, leaving me without anything to write with. I didn’t know that during that time I wasn’t writing, I would discover a beautiful new idea for an awesome new book and be able to spend all that writing time fleshing out characters and scenarios and places in the story world.

But God knew. And His timing was perfect.

If I hadn’t listened, how stressed would I have been when my computer crashed? I would have lost so much work and been so upset. But I wasn’t, because all my finished projects were backed up.

If I hadn’t listened, would I have been able to hear the new ideas for this story I’m so excited to start? Maybe not. Because I would have been too focused on what I was doing.

God’s timing applies to each and every area of our lives. He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to live to our full potential. It makes Him exuberantly happy when we listen to the things He whispers to our hearts.

Which is why, today, I want to leave you with one last scripture.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

If it isn’t His time yet, that thing you’re waiting for probably just hasn’t blossomed into something beautiful. It will, if you’re patient, and if you keep the faith while you’re waiting.

Keep fighting for the things you’ve been promised! I’ll be right here beside you.

Cultivating Kindness

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“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud”

1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think it’s coincidental that all these are in the same single verse of scripture.

I’ve been noticing lately, in the world around me, how much we lack kindness. A helping hand when someone is struggling. A gentleman to hold the door for the ladies. A simple “thank you” or “have a good day”. All these things are few and far between, but I don’t think they should be.

“So, Megan, what do you want us to do about that?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Today I want to talk about cultivating a culture of kindness. (Nice alliteration!)

As women of God and daughters of a King, we should live our lives above reproach and in a way that glorifies Him. Part of that is living our lives in a kind way.

When people think of kindness, they often think of saying please and thank you. That’s the easy part of being kind. Being mannerly. But people tend to fall short when it comes to going the extra mile. When scripture says that love is patient and kind, it also says that love is not jealous, boastful, or proud.

If love is kind, then showing kindness is showing love. Not to be recognized or to say we did something good, but because it’s the right thing to do. Because we love other people.

“But, Megan, what about all those jerks out there who are never going to be kind to me?”

Here’s the tricky part, guys. Jesus never put conditions on being kind. In fact, in Luke, He says this:

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Luke 6:35 (NLT)

If God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and we are His children, shouldn’t we follow in His footsteps?

You see, kindness isn’t about what we get in return. Kindness is about bringing Heaven to Earth. When we are kind, when we go that extra mile to help someone who needs help, our light shines bright and we stand out.

We aren’t a people meant to blend in with this culture, in this world. We’re supposed to be the shining light in the darkness around us. So what if that person may not thank you or give you a huge reward? Won’t your heavenly reward be that much greater for all the times you portrayed your Savior?

If God can show kindness to the evil, why can’t we show kindness to our neighbors? Maybe even that stranger in the grocery store. The short one who can’t reach the shelf. Or the one who looks completely lost. Toss a smile to people who pass you by. You don’t know how far your kindness will go or whose life it will touch.

Besides all that, did you know that most marriage failures can be traced back to a lack of courtesy to one another? If you’re looking to get married in the future, cultivating kindness in your life is an excellent habit to start now.

In my life, kindness has been my greatest means of witnessing Jesus to others. Because, honestly, who smiles that much? Who gives so much of themselves and expects nothing in return? Why would they do that?

Let’s cultivate kindness in our own lives so it can spread to others. Let’s be the start of a movement that brings joy back to a floundering generation.

Are you with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on cultivating kindness in the comments below!

When Happy Seems Far Away

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There are so many things I could discuss with you guys. So many emotions that go through my mind and heart on a daily basis. So many hopes and dreams that I’m sure you all share with me. However, as we don’t have time or coffee today, I’m going to share with you one thing I’ve been learning recently.

As single women, we often feel that this is a time in life to “get through”. We long for the day our man sweeps us off our feet. We secretly plan our future wedding (don’t deny it, you know you do). We imagine what lazy days will be like after we’re married. How our hubby will treat us. And somewhere in the middle of all that dreaming, we lose our sense of peace and contentment.

We start to wonder why it’s taking so long. If only… 

It’s those thoughts that will drag you down into the quagmire of depression. Did you know that we’re stronger than we think?

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (TPT)

Even though we may feel like it’s the end of the world. Like nothing will ever go right and maybe, sometimes, like God is keeping things from us, I can assure you that isn’t the case!

God sees all, knows all, and is all. He knows the timing that’s going to make your future relationship beautiful. He knows everything you need and everything you want. He knows your heart and He is willing to inconvenience you to bless you with everything He has in store.

Our job is to let His strength move through us. We can’t give up! Even if we’re taking it one day at a time (and believe me, I am), we have to live each day to God’s standard. We have to believe that He knows what he’s doing. There is no one who cares more about us.

So how do we stay positive when the world is looking bleak?

“for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Philippians 4:11b

According to Paul, contentment is a learned art. So what do we do? We let God teach us.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”

So where are you feeling unsatisfied? If you can pinpoint that, it’s not as hard to turn it around and find a new perspective on it. Find the beauty in where you’re at right now. It may seem difficult at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time.

So what are you going to thank God for today? How are you going to walk down the road of contentment while you’re still in this season of preparation?

Tips for memorizing Scripture

Tips Scripture

Memorizing Scripture has been an area in which I’ve struggled. I came up with a process that has helped me a lot. I wanted to share this because someone else could be struggling with the same thing.

It’s important for Christians to know the Scripture. We need to arm ourselves with God’s Word and speak life to ourselves and others. The Bible lets us know how important it is to understand God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11: 18 NLT So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7,9 NLT 6  You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children…. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Somethings that helped me memorize Scripture are:

  1. Flashcards: I make flash cards of key Scriptures that I want to remember. So when I’m in a waiting room, on break/lunch, or when I have free time I pull them out to go over.
  2. Scripture of the Day: I take one of my flash cards and make it my Scripture of the day. My goal will be to have the Scripture memorized before I go to sleep for the night.
  3. Post Scripture: I take Scripture and post it around my home or desk at work. Examples: My bathroom mirror, my bedroom, my computer monitor.
  4. Record Scripture: I voice recorded all my flash cards and repeated each flashcard more than once. My recording is an hour-long. I listen to this when driving, cleaning, walking the dog, and getting ready for bed. Sometimes I play this while I’m in the bed.

I hope some of the things I do can help you in memorizing Scripture. If you have any other tips for memorizing Scripture, please post them below in the comments section. Stay Blessed.