Worship Wednesday #5

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Be blessed and loved today.

One of the favorite verses I am leaning into today…

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” – Psalm 34:8

Take delight in Him today. Thank Him for who He is and what He has done. He loves you.

worship wednesdays instagram

Below are some wonderful songs I have been praising God with this week. Enjoy!

Christy Nockels – For Your Splendor

Passion – A Mighty Fortress

How Do I Wait Well?

Waiting is hard.

I am in the midst of waiting in various areas of my life right now – professionally, spiritually, financially, in ministry…you name it. I am in a season of perpetual waiting.

And for the most part, I have handled it well. Recently, though, I have had some new stresses and additions to the waiting game that have made it feel much harder to remain content in the Lord. I have gone through all sorts of emotions and felt varying levels of frustration and even anger over it all.

Phil 4,6 7

As someone who recently wrote a post to twenty-somethings about loving the questions, I can honestly tell you that I am failing this part of the (continual) test. I am completely annoyed by the fact that I don’t have the answers right now. I am the kind of person who reads the end of the book first; someone who likes to read the spoilers on movies and TV show endings. What I want is for God to move and make sense of the increased chaos and uncertainty around me.

I can, however, take comfort in this: regardless of how I feel, God is for me, not against me. He loves me. I can trust Him. I know for certain that He is using this as a means to teach me to trust Him. To have faith in Him. It isn’t easy for me and will continue to be a life-long struggle, to be sure. I may not always FEEL this…but I can trust His word. And I can trust Him based on past experience. HE IS FOR ME NOT AGAINST ME.

What about you, friends? Are you in a season of waiting? Do you feel like you’re in chaos and desperately want to know the answers? Are you confused?  Please feel free to e-mail me or message me on twitter with some specific prayer requests, or even comment here with them. I think we can support each other through this in prayer.

Here are some verses for those of you going through the same thing – may they be an encouragement to you as they have been to me:

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”- Hebrews 10:23

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” – Romans 8:25

“Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” – Psalm 73: 23-26

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.They will soar high on wings like eagles.They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

“For the Lord your God is living among you.He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.With his love, he will calm all your fears.He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  -Zephaniah 3:17

And one that is hard, but needed in times like this:

“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:23

A song that can encourage you, too….

Getting to know you….

Today I am sharing some fun facts about me as apart of The Influence Network’s getting to know you link-up! We were asked to share one photo of ourselves, three facts and the impact the network has had on our lives. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Photo(s) Of Me: I couldn’t choose just one so I am sharing a couple. 🙂

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{My husband and I at the Third Eye Blind concert in February!}

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{My family. We are weird and we aren’t ashamed!}

Three Facts About Me:

1. I have a tendency to get really obsessed with TV shows. Typically, if I get really into a show, I will watch ALL of the old seasons on Netflix or Hulu right in a row. Sometimes in just a couple of days. I have been through entire shows like Bones, The West Wing, Big Bang Theory….and now I am watching old episodes of Duck Dynasty. 🙂

duck dynasty

2. I have an unhealthy obsession with a local Mexican restaurant’s salsa. Their secret, I believe, is adding cilantro. Whatever it is, I am obsessed. I but a cup full and bring it home about once a week. 🙂

3. I absolutely LOVE Psalm 46. It is one of my favorite passages of scripture, and I use it often to encourage others who might be going through a rough time. For me, it is one of the most encouraging passages of scripture.Psalm 46

{Photo Credit: http://www.newquistvisuals.com}

Side-Note Info:  I am a public high school teacher (for almost 8 years), worship leader/team member (play piano and sing), love girl scout cookies, sleeping in and watching ESPN. I am an avid Florida Gators fan and love carbs. 🙂

What valuable thing have I gained from The Influence Network?

There are so many things I can mention here, but the biggest benefit I have received from Influence Network (so far) has been the tremendous support of the leadership and members. As a newer blogger, I have had tons of questions about a variety of topics. I know I can always go to the leadership for help, or ask questions of the members in the influence network forums. I also have received tremendous support and prayer from the leadership and members when I was in grave need of prayer. It feels so good to know that I now have friends here who love and support me, and want to see me thrive in my walk with Christ and want to help my blog be successful for Him

I am excited to “meet” all of my fellow Influence Network ladies online, and to FINALLY meet some in person at The Influence Conference in September!!!

Have a blessed day, ya’ll!

Brand “You” – The Best Ways to Own Your Voice

I had the great honor and privilege to attend a wonderful class through The Influence Network this past Monday night. Called “Brand You,” Stephanie Bryant gave a wonderful talk about defining your online brand, owning your voice and finding the best and most authentic way you can serve others for Christ (whether that be in a blog, business, or both).

Brand You Pic

What are some of the wonderful take-aways I got from this course?

1. Find your own voice. “Your brand is simply the space that God has called you to fill in the world.”

Stephanie did such a great job explaining this. She mentioned spending time finding out what your “hearts cry” is. Another question she asked us during the class was, “What is the topic or topic(s) that really speak to you? What are you just naturally good or something that comes easy to you?”  God opened my eyes during this portion, and showed me that I am called to be uniquely me, and He has given me a particular voice for this time and this season of my life. It is up to me to use it appropriately.

2. Be authentic. “What is the thing YOU’RE designed to do?”

I have been struggling with this. I think I spent too much time worrying about what other well-known bloggers think of me. I have perhaps lost my way a bit, as I have been too concerned with patterning my blog design, content, networking, etc. after what the majority of other bloggers are doing. While getting advice from mentors or seasons folks in your area is certainly important, straying from who you are as a person (or in my case, as a blogger) is NOT authentic. God has called me to be a unique tool for His use and His glory, not a mediocre copy of someone else.

3. Serve others. “Who are you designed to serve?”

Stephanie talked at length about using your blog to serve others. Ultimately, this blog is a means to serve my readers. God has given this blog to me to use as a tool to serve others, to reach them for Christ and to bring the glory back to Him. What other bloggers do should not be my concern. I am called to serve my readers, not theirs.

Psalm 115 1

What does this mean for the blog?

I have some promises to make to you, my readers. It’s time for me to “embrace my name” as Stephanie put it during the class.

My commitments:

1. A key component of my blog is authenticity. I promise to post authentic, faith-related and lifestyle-related content. If I do not feel I can be “totally real” when writing a post, I will not be sharing the content. This means certain topics may be off-limits to protect others privacy.

2. I will also be sharing more of my struggles on “waiting with joy.” This means I will be sharing more of our church-planting journey as we go through this process, as well as other issues that pertain to “waiting with joy.” I hope this portion can be a support to those working in ministry, too.

3.  Finally, I plan to continue to share Biblical passages/devotionals and worship music to encourage my readers. Encouragement is something I am extremely passionate about, and I love finding songs or Biblical passages/verses/devotionals to help other women who are struggling, just like me!

I’d love to hear more about what your “brand you” is and/or who you feel called to serve in your workplace or in your personal life. Please feel free to share in the comments. 🙂

Blessings,

Is Worship a Corporate or Unique Experience?

What does the term worship mean to you?

What does it look like?

How do you, uniquely you, worship the Lord?

Is worship a corporate-only or unique experience that varies for each individual?

OR BOTH?

These are things I am pondering.

I am inclined to think that worship can be an individual and yet a corporate experience, and both can happen simultaneously. I just believe God is totally able to utilize individuals and their unique make-ups to worship corporately, yet done in a totally unique manner for each person involved.

What about you? What do you think? Please join us on instagram today for the Worship Wednesday link-up to share your thoughts or to share the worship music that is inspiring you/driving you to the throne today.

worship wednesdays instagram

The songs that have been my heart’s cry lately:

Everything to You (Spontaneous)  – Bethel Live: Jenn Johnson

Who You Are – Bethel Live: Jenn Johnson

Prayer Dare – February

Today I am sharing the #prayerdare post from Amanda at A Royal Daughter. I am excited to be apart of the #prayerdare movement! 🙂

Oh friends, I am so excited that this day has finally arrived. Today is the day that we officially launch #PrayerDare: a community initiative with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and holding women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer.

Tools for Praying Prayer Dare

To find out more about #PrayerDare please see our FAQ.

Over the course of the next year we will be joining each other and praying for a specific (and different) topic each month. We’re starting off #PrayerDare by praying for our husbands. For those of you who are not married, please consider joining us one of two ways:

  1. Join us by spending 28 days praying for a man in your life who holds special importance, but is married to someone else. We’re talking about guys like your dad, brother, pastor, or maybe even your best friend’s husband. The point is, they need to be prayed for, and there’s nothing that says it can’t be you praying for them.
  2. If you do not feel called to singleness, why don’t you consider joining us by spending 28 days praying for your future husband? We know that God’s not bound by time or circumstances, and spending a month praying for your future husband is probably one of the best things you can be doing for your future relationship.

In order to help hold each other accountable, we will be connecting on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #PrayerDare. Now is the time to start forging relationships, praying for one another, and holding each other accountable.

how to pray for your husband

If you are not active on Twitter or Instagram, we have created a Facebook page where you can connect with other women who are committed to daily prayer. If you’re not active online at all, feel free to print the prayer cards and share them with your friends, family, and church members. Maybe God is calling you to be a #PrayerDare leader in your own community!

How do I pray for my husband

We are so looking forward to connecting with you this month. We have been praying for you for weeks, and are excited to see what God is going to do in your life.

If you are in a place in your marriage where you or your husband are ready to walk away and call it quits, please e-mail Amanda. We have a prayer team assembled and ready to pray for you and your marriage. We believe that this could be the month that the Lord redeems your marriage.

The Prayer of a Righteous Person

It is not required, but feel free to link up your twitter/instagram accounts so that we can easily connect with you. The linky will stay open all months, so feel free to join us at any time throughout February!

Prayer Dare Day One

free prayer card printable | free prayer card printable in black & white

Welcome to #PrayerDare! We are excited to connect with you, to encourage you, and to be encouraged by you.

Connect with #PrayerDare on Facebook | Twitter


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Overcome The Lie

I was so excited when Ashley over at The Story Project shared her idea for an Overcome The Lie campaign. Her idea was to have women come together to share lies spoken over us, and to support one another through prayer and the Word to diffuse the lies. I was really inspired by this, because I know as a woman that we all struggle with lies spoken over us. I fully believe it goes back to the Garden of Eden and the fall of man.

One of the lies I struggle with often is that I am not “good enough” or “worthy enough”, especially when I think about being a worship leader. I always question my leadership abilities, musical abilities, singing abilities, etc. I am constantly over-analyzing and criticizing myself. I know in my mind that these are lies, but in my heart, I still struggle. I am finding that the only way to combat these lies is through God’s word. I must choose to believe what HE says about me, and not what Satan tells me, which are lies.

What lies do you believe about yourself or tell yourself? What lies have been spoken over you? Please share in the comments below, or follow along on twitter using the #overcomethelie hash-tag.

If you struggle with any lies, I encourage you to consider going to God’s word to combat these lies. Another great resource is Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word. Listed below are some  of the scriptures others have given me this week have helped tremendously.

Zephaniah 3:17

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Psalm 139:17-18

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Romans 8:17

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Ephesians 3:19

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

I pray you find God’s truth and believe what He says about you, and not the lies. We can overcome.

Blessings,

rsz_overcomelie2

{Photo Credit: Ashley @ The Story Project}

Worshipful Wednesdays

At my church, our worship team LOVES  Jason Upton. We feature many of his worship songs during our praise & worship sets. He has the most beautiful testimony and his lyrics speak such truth. I really love how vulnerable his writing is. When I listen to his songs, I feel He is cutting straight to my heart. And yet, his songwriting is also SO focused on Jesus and how we can glorify Him.

I wanted to share some of my favorite Jason Upton songs with you today.  🙂 May you be blessed and worship Him today!

Sons & Daughters

Psalm 23

In The Silence

Never Alone Martin

Jason Upton @ OneThing 2007

Girl Behind the Blog

{Don’t mind the no-makeup look, I was still sick but wanted to participate!}

Hey friends! Today I am participating in the “Girl Behind the Blog” series, featured on Ashley’s blog – 5-0hwifey! Every month, there is a different prompt, and those who participate make a vlog (video blog) to answer the prompt.

This month’s prompt?

When did you start blogging? What have you gained from being apart of the blogging community?

I hope you enjoy my vlog above and that you get a better idea of when and why I started blogging and what the blogging community means to me. 🙂

Blessings,

Click the picture below to see more “Girl Behind the Blog” stories!

5ohwifey

#PrayerDare

Today, I welcome my friend Amanda, who is speaking about a wonderful prayer initiative I am participating in! Read below for more information.
Hi y’all. My name is Amanda and I blog at A Royal Daughter. I’m really not here to talk about me, so if you want to know more, head on over to my little space on the internet and say hi!
I’ve been working with a handful of amazing, godly, praying women, and together we are excited to announce the launch of a brand new, year-long community initiative: #PrayerDare

What is #PrayerDare?

#PrayerDare is: an online community initiative with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and holding women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer. Each month, the #PrayerDare community will dedicate the entire month to praying for a specific topic. #PrayerDare will launch on February 1, and we’ll be spending the “month of love” praying for our husbands*.
*For those of you who are not married, PLEASE don’t feel excluded. In fact, we want to extend a special invitation for you to join us one of two ways:
1. Join us by spending 28 days praying for a man in your life who holds special importance, but is married to someone else. We’re talking about guys like your dad, brother, pastor, or maybe even your best friend’s husband. The point is, they need to be prayed for, and there’s nothing that says it can’t be you praying for them.
2. If you do not feel called to singleness, why don’t you consider joining us by spending 28 days praying for your future husband? We know that God’s not bound by time or circumstances, and spending a month praying for your future husband is probably one of the best things you can be doing for your future relationship.
All the Single Ladies….

…please join us!

The first goal of #PrayerDare is to equip women to practice the daily discipline of prayer. On February 1 we will be providing free downloadable prayer cards on aroyaldaughter.com. The prayer cards are intended to serve two purposes:

1. A daily reminder – After downloading the prayer cards (they will be available in black & white and in color), print them, cut them out, and place them somewhere in your home where they will serve as a daily reminder to spend some intentional, quality time in prayer. Maybe you can put them on your refrigerator, or bathroom mirror. Or you can put them in your Bible or quiet time journal. Just don’t put them in file 13. They’re no help in file 13.
2. A daily guide – The Lord told us that His Word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11). Each prayer card will offer a concise and specific prayer that is based on the Word of God. The prayers that we’ve written are meant to guide you as you begin (or continue!) to practice the daily discipline of prayer. We’d recommend writing your own prayerw, or prayer requests, on the back of each card. They will serve as a sort of testimony to your prayer life, and will allow you to go back and see how God has answered your prayers.
Our second goal is to encourage women to practice the daily discipline of prayer. We’ll be building our community of praying women primarily on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #PrayerDare. Following the #PrayerDare hashtag is an easy way to connect online without having to get involved in another website or follow another blog. We know you’re busy, so are we! But we’re not too busy to spend a few minutes each day praying, and then connecting online and encouraging others to join us.

Our third goal is to hold women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer. This is the doozie, right? We think that having someone (or a few hundred someones) holding us accountable is exactly what a lot of us need. So how are we going to do that?
Using the hashtag #PrayerDare, we want you to check in with the community every day. You can tweet, “Hey #PrayerDare sisters! I’m just checking in – have a great day!” or you can be more specific: “I love teaching my kiddos how to pray for their daddy. #PrayerDare” <— It doesn’t matter how you check in, just that you do. And here’s where it gets real good, friends. Our idea is that if you miss a day or two or three, someone is going to notice. And it’s their responsibility to reach out to you and make sure you’re okay.
Did you see that? In order for #PrayerDare to work, each and everyone of us has to take responsibility. We have to be responsible for ourselves: that we check in each day. But we also have to be responsible for others. We need to be actively encouraging other women to pray, and reaching out to them if they slack off. And we need to do it with loads and loads and loads of grace.
FAQ:
I’m not on Twitter or Instagram, how can I connect?
We’ve created a Facebook page for #Prayer Dare. However, please keep in mind that the primary location of the community will be happening on Twitter and Instagram. So if find yourself on the Facebook page, you might find yourself in a leadership role right away! Feel free to take the reigns and get that community growing!
How do I follow a hashtag?
You can’t actually follow a hashtag, so we’d recommend a two-fold system to stay in touch with each other:
1. Search for the hashtag #PrayerDare.
2. Create a list on Twitter for #PrayerDare. As you see new people in the community, add them to your #PrayerDare list.
How will I find people in the community?
Well, you can start tweeting and using the #PrayerDare hashtag! Get the word out there, we don’t mind! And on February 1 we’ll be hosting a link-up so all those who want to be a part of the #PrayerDare community can link up their Twitter or Instagram accounts. That will be a quick and easy way to make connections!
I’m not really active online, how can I participate?
While the original idea of #PrayerDare was to be an online-community, we DO NOT want to exclude those of you who aren’t very active in the virtual world. You are more than welcome to print off the prayer cards. In fact, print as many as you want as often as you want. You can even use them to start your own #PrayerDare community in your local church, MOPS group, gym…you get the idea. The point is: if you do not want to be a part of the online community, make it happen in your own personal sphere of influence.
Can we share prayer requests?
Yes! In fact, if you’re comfortable sharing prayer requests, please do. You’ll have at your fingertips a whole community of women who will be able to pray for you at a moment’s notice. You might want to take advantage of that!
How can I get the word out?
We’re glad you asked! Start tweeting using our official hashtag, and it would be super helpful to point your followers to this post. Feel free to share in any way your heart desires. If you plan to join us, you can also put our badge on your website or blog.
A Royal Daughter
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If you have any questions that haven’t already been answered, please contact us!We can’t wait to see you on February 1!
richstevenson.org

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