Saturday, February 21, 2015

Song Love {February}

"Heart Like You" by Love & the Outcome

"Faithful" by Hawk Nelson

"Day One" by Matthew West

Music Love,

P.S.: Here's a bonus song I know I've shared before, but felt led to share again!

"Bloom" by Moriah Peters

Friday, February 20, 2015

Goals {Feb. 2015}

Okay, so I'm pretty late with these.  I mean, really quite late, indeed.  But life happens, & I like to let it.

Without further ado, here's this month's goals...

1. Keep doing new & brave things!  I had some crazy courageous moments in Jan. & I wanna keep doing these things through Christ who makes me brave!

2. Listen & obey what I hear God calling me to do.  You know when you get that feeling that you should say an encouraging word, send a card, give a beggar at the side of the road something besides avoiding eye contact?  And you let the moment pass?  I don't want the moment to pass with my regret.  If God calls us, He also equips us - even when we're scared silly.

3. Finish reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp & pen at least 50 gifts in my journal.

4. Learn to cook &/or bake something new.  I'm quite culinary-ly challenged, so this will definitely be a stretch!

5. Visit my apartment's mini workout room. {Rollover goal from Jan. (see below).}

Books Read:
  • Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist ****
  • It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear & Change by Lysa Terkeurst {children's book} ***
  • Make It Happen by Lara Casey ***
Jan. Goals Check-In:

1. Study God's Word more.  I typically always read my Bible daily, but sometimes it feels like I'm skimming the surface, & I want to put on my spiritual scuba gear & go deep this month!
{I have definitely been more intentional, though it isn't always easy!  I've set aside time first thing every morning for Bible & devotional reading & prayer.  I've also been working on praying before this time for God to speak to me through what I read that day in His Word.  I can see Him instructing me & it's amazing!  His Word is awesome & I'm making this goal a habit!}

2. Drink at least 1 glass of water each day.  I've never been good at drinking enough H2O, & though I know I should drink more I'm gonna start small & work my way up to make this goal as successful as possible.  
{Did it!  Some days I even had more than 1 glass.  Carrying this goal over, as well.}

3. Read at least one good faith-based book. 
{Check out the ones I read above.  My favorite was Cold Tangerines!}

4. Visit my apartment's mini workout room.  I've lived here almost a year & never done it!  
{Totally didn't do this one.  Yes, I know...}

5. Work on my posture.  I've noticed I've been slouching a lot lately & I want to break the habit while I can.  
{I did this & my back's hurt some to prove it, but it's definitely an ongoing thing.  Work in progress.}

Got any goals this month?  I'd love to hear about em {don't forget to leave your prayer requests, too}! =)


Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Letter to Me {& Just Maybe You Too}

Dear Me

Dear Self,

Let’s talk.  That fear in you ain’t from your Holy Maker & Lover of your soul.  It’s from the enemy & it seeks your demise.  Letting go of control is actually safest, because trust in God – no matter what happens – is always safe & what is right & good for your life.  Fear swallows & consumes & never is satisfied.  Trust breathes life & a hope for the next second, & all the mysterious ones that follow.  Gifts are given & grace upon grace has been poured out for you.  Count em & gather em & record em & give the deep thanks that leads to fullness of life, as Ann Voskamp has written in One Thousand Gifts.  The full God life of thanks!

Keep praying for the words to say to those in your life - & then say em bold or quiet or slow, just say em & trust… even if they’re scary words like “I love you” or “please forgive me” or “let’s try again” or “here’s the truth…” “Here’s my story…”   Draw near to God & His Word & watch Him come close & closer still.  Cling to Him in this world that sways & spins – outta control much of the time.  He doesn’t change & His promises are always upheld true as gold.  So trust.  Trust.  Trust.  It is a thing of beauty to trust, a thing of surrender, & an act of the verb-love to bestow upon your heavenly Father who won’t let you go, ever, & is good & for you.  So trust, when the trustings hardest - & give deep thanks for all the ways He loves us deeper than a bottomless well.  It never runs dry & your thirst can be forever quenched.  So trust & give thanks.  

This isn’t bike-riding-knowledge.  You know the quip, “Once you know how to ride a bicycle, you never forget”?  This is the learning of a lifetime, because we are a weary, stubborn, & indisputably forgetful human race, & our race often seems long to the weary bones.  Keep remembering the good gifts worthy of insurmountable, never-enough thanks & trust & give thanks & lay yourself open to such a blessing Giver.  He is oh-so worthy of your trust, my love.

Love you!  Love yourself.

P.S.: I rambled.  Bess, do you still ramble {i.e.: ask myself this next time I read this letter hours, weeks, months, or years into the future}?  If yes, maybe God made you to ramble like an heirloom rose rambling up a gatepost.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bess' Bag Turns 5!

Bess' Bag Turns 5!

Today marks the 5th anniversary of starting up this little ole blog of mine. Half a decade.  Seriously.  Half a decade!  Seems crazy, but crazy good, too.  

I know I've been a bit {okay, way more than a bit} absent this month.  Life - & life is worth putting blogging on hold at times.  It really is.  Because as much as I love all of you & all of this {which I do on both counts}, real life is flesh & blood & 3D & outside & off the screen... & I'm chasing it & seeking to live it & numbering my days.  It's messy & not always pretty, but it's oh-so worth it to surrender your life to God's hands.  It's amazing, really, & I'm so thankful!

Thanks for being a reader, a gal pal, a friend, a sister!  

I love ya!


"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
-Psalm 90:12 NIV