Pouring Out Blessings

Goodness, do I have such exciting news! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have given up social media in obedience to my Father. Well, I know that walking in obedience usually means God is working on something. I am here to tell you He has done so much! A little over two months has passed and slowly but surely doors have opened. Not only that, but I’ve been so much happier and really started digging into my Word even more.

I don’t even miss it. Truly, I don’t mind not using it and when I get it back, I’m not sure that I will even start up again. If I do, it will definitely be rare and I won’t be downloading the apps to my phone. It is relieving, in a way, to not think about Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram constantly. I’ve been able to focus on other, more important things in my free time. I started painting and drawing again. I’ve remodeled my room! (This is a first, it has always been the same). I’ve been reading books and spending more time with God and in His Word. I feel refreshed.

And blessings have started pouring out. God has opened door after door for me. One of the most exciting opportunities is the one for me to be the OFFICIAL Social Media Coordinator for my church! I am creating the new website, along with a Facebook and YouTube page. And I will be monitoring all of those in addition to the Instagram that I have been running since December. I feel so honored to be given this responsibility.

And all of this has occurred because I chose to listen to God Almighty and follow Him. To follow His instruction for me and my life. It’s so incredibly easy and more rewarding than anything ever. I thank God. Thank you thank you thank you, Jesus!

Other things have happened and are in the works, but I don’t want to say too much until it is official. Keep looking out for hopefully some more exciting news from me, y’all.



Walk In Obedience

In January, I felt God lay something on my heart. I felt Him nudge me to give up social media for a while. I kept going back and forth about it, unsure, since I’ve been using social media as part of my ministry. Lent was coming up and I was trying to decide what I should give up this year. (I usually give up food-related items.) However, the purpose of Lent is to replace what you’ve given up with time spent with the Lord. Thinking about that, I chose to give up social media for Lent.

I’m not going to lie, it has been strange. At first, I kept opening my phone to check my accounts– then I realized the apps were deleted. When I was in social settings, when someone else would start using their phone, I would pick mine up out of habit, then realize I didn’t have any reason to use it. I started noticing how often I would have used it. And I started noticing how often others used their phones.

I also began to recognize the weight lifted off of me. I wasn’t comparing myself to others as much as before. (I have an incredibly bad habit of comparing myself to others.) Social media makes it so easy for us to get caught in the trap of comparison that the devil lays. And I have been one of the easiest to catch. Giving up social media has made me feel lighter.

I’m thankful for this break. I’ve been in such a weird season of my life– this has done a great deal for me so far. I was reading a devotion on my First 5 app about Ruth, and it talks about how in life we have “long nows.” A long now is between where we used to be and where we want to be. In times like this, our flesh wants us to run but God wants us to wait. I’m delighting in my waiting.

When God asks you to do something, He has a reason behind it. I’m not sure what God is planning, but I’m being obedient. I’m excited to see what He’s going to do.


Yes, Jesus Loves Me

I have such a sweet and encouraging message for you today, dear friends. These past 2 – 3 weeks this one important message has been repeated to me, at different locations, by varying, unconnected speakers.

First, let me start with two questions.
1. Do you know that Jesus loves you?
2. Do you know what love is?

The story that has kept coming up is the one of Lazarus. [John 11:3] When Jesus receives the letter about his illness, it reads only, “The one who you love is sick.” That’s all that was written. Nothing else. And Jesus knew exactly who it was about.

Have we ever thought about the fact that it doesn’t matter how much we love Jesus, but how much Jesus loves us? Yes, we all should love Jesus but our love for Him will never compare to His love for us. Jesus agape loves us. Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.

Sometimes I think we get used to repeating that “Jesus loves us,” but we don’t truly think about how true that statement is. Jesus Christ died for you. God sent His only son to die so that we could be saved. And not just specific people, but everybody. Jesus died for every single one of us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

Now, when it comes to love, so many of us have the definition mixed up. Love isn’t simply a feeling, true love is a choice. You may not always feel love/loved– there will be days we’ll go through where we don’t feel loved, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t loved. Because real love isn’t a fickle feeling, real love is something we choose to do over and over.

Jesus looked at that cross on Calvary, and looked at us sinners, and said we were worthy

That’s true love. That’s real love. That’s agape love.

You and I have the choice to love and to be loved. Jesus’ love is there for us; overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love. It chases us down, fights until we’re found, and leaves the ninety-nine. His love is there for us, for whoever, whenever we want it.

With love and grace, open your hearts to His love.

Forgive & Forget

I consider myself a fairly forgiving person– I’m not the type to hold grudges. There are only a select few occasions when I have struggled with forgiving someone. When I say struggled, man, have I struggled.

Forgiveness is a choice. A large part of me didn’t want to forgive them. If I forgive them, they will think what they did was okay. If I forgive them, they will keep doing what they did before. If I forgive them, they win.
I’m here to tell you, if I don’t forgive them, Satan wins.

If we want to be Christ-like, we have to put His teachings into practice. Jesus tells us that we have to forgive others so that we can be forgiven. In Matthew 18, the parable tells us of a king who forgave his servant of his debt but then his servant didn’t forgive a debtor, so the king tortured him until his debt was paid off. This story illustrates that if we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven and we will suffer for this.

Forgiveness can be difficult. Trust me, I have been hurt. I have been wronged. I have been mistreated. Dear friend, I know why you wouldn’t want to forgive, but I also know why you and I both need to forgive. Not forgiving only hurts you, truly.

Don’t you think Jesus had a reason not to forgive Judas and Peter? They both betrayed Him, the Son of God. They both hurt Him, our Savior.
What about all those people who wanted Jesus crucified? What did Jesus do as He hung from that cross? He asked God to forgive them. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” [Luke 22:34] In His last moments, Jesus forgave.
Doesn’t that just speak to your heart? The Savior of the world, who experienced more pain than any of us could ever even imagine, did not hold a grudge.

To this day, He doesn’t hold a grudge. His mercies are new every morning. [Lamentations 3:22 – 23]

You’ve been wronged, I know.
How can you ever forgive them for what they did to you?

Remember this:
– The same God, whose hands created the stars, whose fingers molded the mountains, who breathed life into you and I, also breathed life into the person who hurt you. And He loves them, just like He loves you and me.
We are no better than them. We may not have done whatever it is they did, but we all fall short of the glory of God. We all hurt and offend others, intentionally or unintentionally. We all make mistakes. And God said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” [John 8:7]

Can we show mercy and forgive others like God showed mercy and forgave us?

I ask you to pray and ask our Father to help you forgive. Ask Him to soften your heart. Ask Him to show you what to do, to help you pray for those who hurt you. My prayer for you is to allow the Holy Spirit to move you.

With love and grace, forgive and forget.

Barren Is Beautiful

Lately I’ve been listening to Seasons by Hillsong on repeat. It’s one of those worship songs that I relate to so well. It reminded me of the word I chose for 2018: delight.

Sometimes we become frustrated with the season we’re in and long for a new one to begin. Don’t get me wrong, I love seasons changing. It moves my soul when I feel the shift in the air. Still I delight in the season I’m in while I’m in it.

If I easily enjoy the four seasons of Earth, why don’t I delight in each spiritual season? The same truths apply. Though the winter is long, even richer the harvest it brings will be. 

Winter has been around for me for quite a while. While others wore their shorts and sleeveless shirts, I donned a scarf and snow boots. I thought spring would have come for me by now. Impatience slowly crept up on me and sent a snowstorm of concern through my thoughts.

Sweet friends, I want to remind you of this truth today. The other day, with a mind full of worries and fears, I heard the gentle voice of my Father ask, “Don’t you trust Me?” 

Do I trust God? Can I trust Him with my life? Can I put everything in His hands? Can I give up my independence and believe in Him to safely lead me? If the God that has been with me always and blessed me in ways I could never imagine is working for me and my good, why do I doubt Him? [Romans 8:28]

Do I doubt Him because of my own impatience and trouble with control? Because I’m still in the winter but I’m yearning for spring? Because I’m watching others gather their crops when I planted mine at the same time? Instead of delighting in where He has me right now and what He’s doing, I’m questioning Him.

We serve an amazing, unconditionally loving God. He is a good, good Father. He has so many promises and blessings for our lives. And along the way, He has much to teach us.

Take delight in your season. I’ve been learning and growing throughout mine. When I’m finally ready, I’ll see the fresh flowers of spring again.

You’re the God of seasons, I’m just in the winter. If all I know of harvest is that it’s worth my patience, then if You’re not done working, God I’m not done waiting.

With love and grace, His promise is loyal.


We Are The Body

This past Friday, I shyly walked into a church that I had never been in to an event that I had not been to before. I was surrounded by people from all kinds of backgrounds. The ones that stood out the most were the three young gentlemen seated along a row in front of me. They were not dressed like I would expect to see at church; my church is pretty lax on the dress code but not this lax. I wondered if they had been to church before.

As the service started, we sang several praise and worship songs. At different times, I noticed one of the three gentlemen holding his hands up, really worshipping. Periodically we would pause from worship to pray. I watched as one of the guys raised his hand to signal that he needed prayer; he didn’t have a father in his life. His two buddies placed their hands on him and prayed their hearts out for him, along with the rest of the congregation.

Mixed emotions set in. Shame, for judging their looks. Hurt, for the guy without a father. I thanked God for them being there, in that room, worshipping him. It was a Friday night. They could have been doing anything else, but they were there, for two hours, glorifying our Father.

None of us our perfect, including me. In God’s house, I was humbly reminded of this fact. We don’t all look perfect either, but you know what we need to do? We need to be more like our God. He doesn’t look at the outside– that is not what He’s about. [1 Samuel 16:7] He’s about your insides. He’s about your heart.

I thank God for gently whispering this truth me.

With love and grace, let us open our eyes.

love love love

I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE love. Love is the greatest. [1 Corinthians 13:13] And I just wanted to speak some encouragement to you guys today (and for me too).

Let me start off by saying that I am, in fact, a single lady. Being single isn’t an issue for me. I’ve been through several seasons of singleness; I don’t mind being on my own. I’m pretty used to it. However, that does not mean I don’t get lonely sometimes or wish that I had a significant other, because I do– but I want real, God-fearing, forever and ever love. I don’t want someone just to have someone, that’s not who I am. And sometimes I sit here and see all my beautiful friends building their lives together and I quietly say, “Okay God, where is my spouse?” I picture Him just shaking His head and smiling to himself saying, “Jessica, just be patient.”

God loves you. And God has someone out there for you. You see, He created Adam but realized Adam was missing something, so then He created Eve. As Adam was working for the Lord, God thought, “He needs a suitable helper.” [Genesis 2:20] But before bringing him a spouse, Adam served the Lord. All of Adam’s focus was on God and serving Him. Adam didn’t go to God and ask Him about having a partner– He just did what God called him to do and God filled in the rest. God knew Adam’s need like He knows ours.

Sometimes we get caught up in not having our Adam or Eve and we forget to focus on what is most important– our God. I know we do, I’m guilty of it myself. I want to meet my soulmate so badly. I pray for my future husband all the time; I ask God to please bring him to me. But I have to take a step back and remember that I’m more than someone’s girl, I am God’s daughter.

So if you’re feeling lonely or wondering where your person is, they are coming. Just remember to live your life for God’s glory. Focus on what He has called you to do, who He has called you to be. [Deuteronomy 11:13-14] When the time comes, you will meet the one.

With love and grace, Happy New Year! (It’s still January so I can still say this.)