Devotional – Write Your Story

Today’s post is going to be something a little different than normal. I thought it would be a nice change to post a devotional I wrote last year. Music plays a big part in my life as well as studying scripture so why not combine both? That’s how the idea came about for this devotional. I hope you like it. If you do be sure to leave me a comment letting me know if you’d like to see more.

So without further ado let’s dive into today’s devo. 🙂

Scripture: 

“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world. This woman’s deed will be remembered.” Matthew 26:13 (NLT)

Reading:

Write Your Story was written by Francesca Battistelli and also inspired today’s devotion. Throughout your devotion today I will be sharing some lyrics from the song that have to do with what I am writing about. You know the saying when you are a writer you have the job of writing the story anyway you want. It’s your story because your the author. It’s the same way with God. He is the author of your life. He already wrote your story. You see when you live life and choose to put Him first it is the best decision you will ever make.

Author of my hope, maker of the stars

Let me be Your work of art 

Won’t You write Your story on my heart

I love the verse in Matthew that you previously read. It reminds us that when we tell others about God and Jesus and what He has done for us we will be remembered. One day we are all going to die. Death is just a part of life but if we know Jesus and asked Him to come into our hearts we will live forever with Him.

I want my history, to be Your legacy, go ahead and show this world, 

What You’ve done in me, and when the music fades, I want my life to say, 

G Notes – I’ve thought about my life a lot lately especially during some really hard times. Am I living a life that let’s others know who He is? When I die how will I be remembered? Do I have a legacy to leave? Every one of these questions flood my mind. I want to let God write my story. I want God to use me so that when I die my life would be remembered as someone whose story was written by the author of the universe. 

I let You write Your story, write Your story

Write Your story, write Your story, I’m an empty page, I’m an open book

Write Your story on my heart, come on and make Your mark

As you grow and continue to let God use your story I pray that others with be impacted by your commitment and love for God. Don’t forget to share His love with others. Let Him tell your story like He intended to all along.

Word for the Day:

Legacy – something that is a result of events in the past. As described by Merriam-Webster dictionary. I think this is the word that should be the main focus for today. I encourage you to write the word and meaning on an index card. Remember a legacy is important. We all want to be remembered for something. Let’s be remembered for sharing Christ with others.

Reflect: 

How will people remember you?

What do you want your legacy to be?

Will people know God through you?

Are you letting God write your story?

Prayer:

Father, I pray right now for each and every one that’s reading this. I pray that they live their lives for you. Everyone that they come in contact with I pray they will see you. We want to be remembered for loving you and living our life for you. May our legacy be history of us serving and loving you. In Jesus name, Amen!

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

In the Morning, Give Me Jesus

One of my goals for 2018 is to spend more time in prayer and in spending time with Jesus. Last week I talked about what My Jesus Time looked like and this week I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart. Last week I decided to fast. Now I’m not talking about fasting from food.

God has laid on my heart that I need to be more intentional about prayer and spending time with Him this year. 

So for 40 days I will be fasting and praying. I gave up snapchat, Pinterest, and all music that isn’t Christian. As much as I love my country music and some pop I love Jesus more. I’m one week into it and I’ve already been seeing God work and speak to me. There are some big decisions that I need to make and some projects that I am looking for guidance and direction on. I’ve been using the time that I would usually spend on social media or listening to music now in prayer.

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalms 143:8 (NLT) 

Another major change I made is a challenge I saw on Instagram by The Well Watered Woman blog called Word before World. The concept behind it is to spend time in the Bible before you check social media. It’s been interesting getting use to this.

In a world that thrives on social media because it is the first thing we tend to gravitate towards in the morning. We wake up, grab our phones and start looking through all those notifications when we should be spending time with Jesus. I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to this. Checking my phone to see how many likes and comments I have on Instagram and Facebook that I need to respond to or worrying about how many followers I got overnight. These things are great but they distract me from spending time with Jesus.

My relationship with Jesus is something that I take very seriously. It’s something that means everything to me and I am willing to give up things to make sure it happens. 

Since I made this change, my mornings have been different. First thing I do when I grab my phone is read my devotionals on You Version app before I check my social media accounts. I will say that there were times when I accidentally opened Facebook or Instagram before I realized what I was doing. Making the You Version App the first thing I open and read in the morning has helped me get my day off to the right start.

One thing though that I have learned from this over the last week is that I am craving Him more. I crave my Jesus time! It’s something I don’t want to miss. It’s something that I need and want.

I encourage you to try it. I promise you that it will change your life. Putting Jesus first in the morning will help you go about your day feeling refreshed and filled with joy.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

My Jesus Time

If there is one thing that you have learned about me you know how much I love studying the Bible and spending time with Jesus. There’s nothing better then starting this new year off by making a commitment to spend time reading my Bible, studying Scripture, and opening time in prayer daily then now.

Today I would like to take some time to share with you what I call My Jesus Time. I’m going to be talking about what my daily quiet time looks like and hopefully some prompts to help you get started as well.

I would like to place this disclaimer that there is no right or wrong way. What I share with you is just what seems to work for me. It has taken me time to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for me. What works for me might not work for you. Figure out what works best and then stick to it.

My Jesus Time is usually in the evenings before bed. I have a chronic health issue that makes it hard for me to get up early in the mornings so I find doing my devotions at night works best for me. This doesn’t mean I don’t do something in the mornings, it just means that I do my in depth studying usually at night. In the mornings I do have a prayer time and read the verse of the day on You Version app as well as I’m reading the Bible through in a year chronologically using the She Works His Way 2018 reading plan.

The following is how I usually have my in depth quiet time in the evenings.


1. PRAY – Prayer is a very important part of my daily quiet time. I can’t stress this enough. Without prayer my life would be a complete mess. It’s one of the first things I do in my day. Usually I like to write out my prayers in a notebook or journal. However I realize that writing them out isn’t for everyone. It’s just something that helps me to focus on God and I love being able to go back later and read all my prayers.

Some prompts that might help you get started if you don’t know where to begin with your prayers.

  • Thank God for what you are thankful for
  • Ask Him to forgive you of anything you might need to confess
  • Pray on behalf of others requests
  • Ask Jesus to come meet you in your time in the Word
  • Ask Him to open your heart and eyes to what He wants to teach you
  • Pray for your day

After I spend some time in prayer I usually put on some worship music before digging into my Bible Study or devotional that I am going through at the time.


2. WORSHIP MUSIC – One thing that I love is listening to worship music while I am studying. Being in complete silence while I am reading the Bible or devotional is something I don’t like. In my experience I have found that I focus better with music on in the background.

My playlist consists of slower songs like…

  • Oceans
  • I Need You More
  • Revelation Song
  • Jesus, At the Center of It All
  • What a Beautiful Name
  • Overwhelm Me, etc.

I’ll be writing another article on worship music and playlists options because music is such a big part of my life and I believe that God speaks through music. We all can relate to that one song that was playing on the radio just at the right moment. At least I know I can.


3. JOURNALING MY DEVOTIONS – The next thing that I do after praying and turning my worship music on is dig right into my Bible Study. I like to follow a scripture writing plan. Don’t know where to start? Be sure to check out my scripture writing plan. You can go download it for free here. (Scripture Writing Plan). If you are anything like me then you will understand my love for journaling and writing down what God is teaching me. You can use any journal or notebook you have lying around.

Here are a few question prompts to get you started:

  • What does this passage tell me about God?
  • How can I apply this to my daily life?
  • What is this passage telling me about myself?
  • Is there something I can use to share Jesus and God with others?

I love using my Tending your Faith Journal. The idea behind the journal came to be when I was struggling to understand how to apply God’s Word to my life. It is split up into 2 pages per day. There is a section for gratitude, writing out scripture, how to apply it to our lives, prayer, and something you wan tot remember throughout the day. If you want to check it out you can find it here. (Tending Your Faith Journals)


4. BIBLE STUDY HIGHLIGHTING – When it comes to highlighting Scripture again I believe that there is no right or wrong way. If I am completely honest with you I never use to color code when I highlighted. It was just easier to pick up a highlighter and color the verse any which way. It wasn’t until recently that I found color coding to be helpful to me. The method I use to color code isn’t my own. My friend Amy Hale came up with this method and I just loved it so much that I adopted it into my own routine. You can change up the colors for each categories to make it your own. I changed up the colors a little bit to suit my style and taste. I changed the categories a little bit to make it easier for myself and the way I like to study Scriptures. Just remember that I don’t use all the categories all the time just when it fits the Scriptures I am reading for the day. 

  • GREEN – Anything about God, His character, names, or anything about Him.
  • PINK – Commands that I want to obey or can apply to my life. 
  • BLUE – Conjunctions/Interjections: and, but, therefore, introductions to thoughts,
  • ORANGE – Anything that are statements about a group of people or the church. 
  • PURPLE – Things and verses that would make good prayers for myself or people 
  • YELLOW – Anything else that doesn’t fit in any of the categories above

If this seems overwhelming to you with all these different categories then I encourage you to narrow it down to just these three, GOD, COMMANDS, and PRAYER. There will be another post on highlighting at some point. I will say though that once you get in the habit of highlighting and finding what works for you it will start to come natural. There will be times when I forget which color is which. Never fear because even if you make a mistake that’s okay. Your Bible isn’t suppose to be perfect. It’s suppose to be messy as you lean into all the truths it has for you.

One more tip is if a verse has more then two or three categories within it may be overwhelming to change colors or even frustrate you. Just take a deep breath. Remember to highlight the important parts of the verse. If highlighting the connecting words are too much then leave that category out all together. Just highlight anything about God and anything you should apply to your life and leave the rest plain.


So that my friend is pretty much what My Jesus Time looks like. Sometimes I do like doing a little journaling art drawing or lettering verses on separate paper or journals and then of course end with prayer again. I hope this gives you inspiration to dig into the Word and figure out your own person Jesus Time. I promise you that once you get in the habit of being in the Bible everyday it will change your life. It has changed mine. If it wasn’t for my quiet time and meeting with Jesus everyday my life would be a complete mess.

I’d love to hear about how meeting with Jesus makes your life better. Feel free to comment, send me a message on social media or sending me an email. I always love hearing from my readers and interacting with you. Let’s encourage one another this year as we make it a habit to be consistent in the Word each day.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

Word of the Year

As we are closing out the year it’s come to the time where I reflect on my word of the year and choose my new word. This year was my first to do it and I have to admit that throughout this year my word became more and more relevant.

This year I chose the word Deeper! I wanted to go deeper in my relationship with Jesus and grow deeper in my faith. All of that came true. Meredith Andrews has a song called “Deeper”. These are my favorite lyrics in the whole song.

Every valley made me lift my eyes up
Every burden only made me stronger
Every sorrow only made Your joy go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper

Over the last year I have had more then my share of being broken and spent some time in the valleys. Even though I had trials and heartache it definitely made me go deeper and deeper.

Thrown down but not defeated
I’m worn out but not giving up
I’ve hit ground but even at rock bottom
I’m just getting started, yea, I’m just getting started

This song was pretty much my theme for this year. Even though I have been thrown down and hit rock bottom I’m not giving up. I’m just getting started. There is so much more I want to do. Which brings me to my word for 2018.

As I have been praying a lot about what I wanted 2018 to be God revealed to me that I was made for more then to just survive. I was made to thrive. “Thrive” is my word for the new year. My prayer for the new year is to make a difference and share what God has taught me and continues to teach me with others. This year I have been doing a lot of just surviving, keeping my head just above water so I don’t down. The new year I want to thrive. I know that I was made for so much more and that anything is possible with God on my side.

We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Thrive by Casting Crowns will be my new theme song. It has such a great message and really sums up what I see for the future.

Have you chosen a word for the new year yet? If not it’s not too late to join in. I want to leave you with a little encouragement as you choose a word. Remember when choosing to think about all the areas in your life. Think about what you want to work on, your weaknesses and strengths. Pray asking God for guidance, ask Him to open your eyes, ears, and heart to what He is leading you toward.

I would love to hear what word you have chosen and why. Leave it in the comments below or feel free to reach out to me on all social media platforms.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

Christmas Interruptions

When we think about Christmas we think paint this picture of everything perfect like out of a movie. The fire in the fireplace burning bright, the house decorated and cozy, snow outside and spending time with family and friends. We tend to think that everyone is happy and act like there’s not a care in the world. We build this picture of peace and tranquility during the holidays.

That isn’t life though, something interrupts us that brings us back to reality. Someone comes yelling and slamming doors placing blame on one another for something. We get a phone call that something bad has happened.

Maybe our heart gets broken.

A relationship or friendship ended.

A loved one has passed away.

Someone betrayed us that hurt.

Our perfect Christmas dreams we pictured and painted always has something that will interrupts and change our plans. Sometimes we wish that we could just stay in our little world a little longer but that isn’t reality. Something always comes up to cramp our style. I know just how you feel. There are more times then I can count that I wish life could be picture perfect. I don’t like change and lately have had more then my share of interruptions and bad things happen.

What I am here to tell you is this. Nothing surprises God. All these interruptions aren’t surprises to him. Nothing takes God by surprise and we tend to mistake the bad things as Him loosing control. But this is not true. However we wish that things like this would never happen but truth is that they will.

Jesus said that we’d have trouble but also promised us that He will be there in the midst of it all.

John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

No matter where we are in life whether it is on the path we want or the path we don’t want be encouraged right now. God is with us. He will always be by our side. The brokenness we feel can be made into something beautiful by God.

I love the verse in Romans that tells us God works everything for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose.

The Message version of Romans 8:28 says “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” This version explains this excellently. Every little detail in our lives of love for God is working into something good. His ways are always better then we can imagine.

So right now take heart and listen to what I am saying. Press through and trust God. He is the only one who will never let you down. He loves you so much! That is what Christmas is about. This season instead of worrying or stressing out over the broken pieces just remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. It’s because of Jesus. He loves us so much and He will never leave our side.

Blessings, Grace Mae ❤

4 Tips on Bible Study During Busy Seasons

If you are anything like me being busy on a regular basis can be overwhelming and stressful at times. I know for a fact that I struggle from time to time with finding time to get in the Word and have Bible study or quiet time. It’s extra hard this time of the year since there are all the parties, outreach, and Christmas festivities on top of our daily work, school and life schedules. It’s hard to find that extra time to dig into the Word.

Never fear, I am here to the recuse.

Today I am going to be talking about 4 practical easy ways to stay in the Word during the busy holiday season.

1. You Version App – Yes, I am going to be talking about an app. After all we are in 2017 with all this modern technology. One thing that everyone takes with them and spends time on is their phones. C’mon admit it with me. We spend more time on our phones then we do interacting with people. I know I do but one thing I love is my You Version app. It helps me The simplicity and user friendly options really help me to take the time to spend a few minutes in the Word.

2. Pray- Yes you should be praying all the time but this is one thing that I have found I can do even during the craziness of the holidays with being gone. Just spend time talking to God. You can do this while you are in the car driving (please remember not to close your eyes while driving) This is always a great way to listen too. Pray to God but stop and be quiet and listen to what He is speaking to you.

3. Music- Music is a big part of my life and anyone that knows me will tell you that I know a song for every situation that might come up. If you find that you are always on the go or move this is a great option. You can listen to worship music in the car or on your phone. I love the Spotify app. It’s really my most used app. I love that I can stream music while working around the house, driving in the car, waiting in lines etc.. Give it a try I promise you that it will help you keep your focus on Jesus during this holiday season.

4. Tending your Faith journal- yes I know that it’s a promotion but in all seriousness I designed it with the craziness of life in mind. It’s an easy way to spend 10 minutes at the least in the Word. There’s a place to write scripture, journal what God is speaking to you, write out a prayer, and what you are thankful for. Even in the busiest times we can all spare 10 minutes to spend it with Jesus.

I pray these 4 tips are helpful to you this holiday season. If you try one or more of these out I’d love to hear about it or if there is something you do that I didn’t mention please share. We all love hearing what works for others.

Blessings and Shalom,

Grace Mae ❤

Tending Your Faith Journals

IT’S HERE!!!! COVER

I’m excited to announce that I am ready to accept preorders for the Tending your Faith Journal Christmas edition!

This journal is designed to have enough pages in it for one month. Plus there are other pages which include prayer, scripture, and notes page as well as a New Years Goal page exclusively in this journal. 

These journals have been a project that God laid on my heart two years ago. I have been working hard and praying hard as I created this and I am beyond excited to be able to finally share it with you all.

Everyone that preorders from now until Thanksgiving will get an exclusive personalized hand letter bookmark with your name on it.

Christmas journals are $18

The 3 month journals are coming soon with 4 different

covers to choose from. If you want to preorder both you are more then welcome to.

I’m calling it the Christmas bundle.

Christmas Bundle (1 Christmas and 1 of the 3 month journals) $42

To place your preorder comment with your email address and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Also there will be a shipping charge of $5. If you are local to me we can arrange local pickup.

Blessings and I can’t wait for you to get these journals in your hands. ETA for shipping is the day after Thanksgiving for the Christmas ones and the 3 Month ones will begin shipping in December.

 

Seek a Prayer Life: 4 Prayer Journal Ideas

Prayer is an important part of your spiritual walk with God.

Just like you talk to your friends to build a relationship and know more about them you need to do the same with God. Sometimes you may think it’s hard to pray or you don’t know what to pray for. Let me tell you that you can talk to God about anything at any time.

Some people think that prayer is only for when you have a decision to make or something major happening in your life. I used to think like that too. Over time I have come to realize the truth is you need to pray all the time. Even if nothing major is happening. You need to have that connection with God. Prayer changes you. It sure has changed me.

I remember when the movie War Room came out. I went to watch it let me just tell you that it changed my perspective on prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon! It’s meant to be used for so many different things. God is listening to you. Even if you can’t find the words to say He knows your heart. He wants you to talk with Him on a daily basis.

One of my favorite Scripture Verse is:

“Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.” Psalm 116:2

I love this verse in Psalms because I want it to be my prayer. God always bends down to listen to us. He is never too busy and never gets bored. My response should be to pray and talk with Him as long as I am breathing and have breath in my lungs.

Another verse I love is:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6

Both of these verses have a great message. The second verse really hit me hard one day. It’s a long story so I’ll save it for another post but to sum it up I’d just say that I’m still learning. Praying about everything instead of worrying is learning curve and takes time. I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I’m so thankful that I can tell God everything. Some thing that I have been doing lately is using a prayer journal. I encourage you as well to start one. Write down your prayer requests. Write down what’s on your heart.

Not sure how to get started? Here are a few ideas of what I do in my prayer journal. Remember there is no right or wrong way to use a prayer journal. Be creative and make it your own.

 
1. Write a master list.

Write down the names of all the people you want to pray for. I am still adding to my list as I meet new people. You could write down the names of every single person you knew if you wanted to. 😀

2. Write down specific prayers for certain people.

For example, mother, father, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, spouse, etc. I sometimes even write out prayers for someone who is on my heart because Jesus prompted me to pray for them. I find writing out a prayer while I am praying helps me to focus on them. 😉

3. Keep a place to write down the prayer requests that others ask you to pray for.

Most of my friends know that I am prayer warrior. They ask me all the time to pray for specific needs. I like to write them down so I can remember to pray for them. This probably is one of my favorite ways to pray. I love the idea of interceding in prayer on behalf of others. I consider it a privilege and honor. ❤

4. Write down your own prayers. What is on your heart. What you are feeling.

This is kinda like journaling and writing a letter all at the same time. Consider it your letter to God. I tend to write what is on my heart. Sometimes I find writing is easier than speaking for me. This way I can get all my feelings out of what in on my heart that I need to take to my Father who loves me. Just be honest and real and let your heart speak and pour out. 🙂

I hope this post encourages you to seek a prayer life. I promise you that it will help you in your walk with Christ. It has really changed me and I hope it will change you too.

As I end this post I just want you to know that I pray for each and every one that reads my blog. I pray that God will use me and my posts to encourage you. I pray that He will help you get through whatever you may be facing. He is the only one that will ever love you unconditionally.

If you have a prayer request that you would like me to pray for don’t hesitate to send me a message or leave a comment. I consider it a honor and privilege to be able to pray for you.

Blessings,

Grace Mae ❤

Accountability Partners

Whenever I start a new devotional or Bible study I have found recently that having an accountability partner has blessed me a lot. Some people don’t know exactly what that is so I thought that I would explain it here and give you a few helpful tips on finding one or how to be one.

It is so easy for us to get caught up with the busyness of life. Let’s admit it, we all have good intentions of starting a devotional or Bible study but sometimes we don’t follow through. Things distract us and we mean well but sometimes we just get off track. Trust me I’ve struggled with that and still do. Being honest here, life can sometimes be overwhelming and crazy at times when we least expect it to be. An accountability partner is someone who helps to keep you focus and on track. They check on you to see how your quiet time is going but most of all they pray for you.

I’ve put together a few questions that I hope will help you when deciding who would be a good choice and fit for you as your accountability partner.


1. Does this person share the same faith as you?

I can’t stress this enough. Having the same faith is a vital part and number one thing to take into consideration. If the person doesn’t share your faith then I can almost guarantee you that they probably aren’t the right choice to help you keep accountable. You need someone that shares the same values as you and your love for God.

Just like the Bible talks about not being unequally yoked in a relationship it is the same when you are looking for an accountability partner as well. If they don’t share your beliefs and love for God then they won’t fully understand what you are trying to learn and study and could potentially cause you problems and question your faith. You need someone that is 100% on board with your faith.


2. Do you feel comfortable with this person?

Next, being comfortable around them is another big issue. If you feel like you can’t be yourself and real with them then they are probably the right choice. You need to feel like you can be honest with them and open.

This is such an important thing because if you are anything like me it’s hard to be transparent and real but it’s very important for your Spiritual growth. If you aren’t comfortable with them it could cause you to not be completely honest which isn’t good.

If you miss a day of devotions or quiet time it would be harder to tell them. You have to trust them enough to be vulnerable with them. Make sure you are comfortable with the person.


3. How often do you communicate with this person?

I feel this is another key point. If you don’t already communicate with the person chances are you won’t communicate with them during your quiet time devotions as your accountability partner.

Communication is key! It’s good to practice great communication with the person before considering them as your partner. The thing I always remember when choosing a person to help me is I need to already be communicating with them as least a couple times a week. It’s very important!

Being an accountability partner they need to check in on you at least three to four times a week if not more. It doesn’t have to be long but even a simple text or message just checking in and asking how’s your quiet time going is acceptable. The thing to remember is good communication will make things easier for both parties.


These questions are important! There are more you could take into consideration but I thought these three were the most important. I ask these questions all the time. Although I referred to these to help you choose an accountability partner for Bible Study and Devotions the same concept to be applied to anything you may need help keeping accountable for. I hope this helps explain and you understand more about accountability partners. I will be praying for you all as you think and pray about whether an accountability partner is right for you or if you want to be one.

What has worked for you? Feel free to share your experience in the comments. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to comment or message me. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Blessings,
Grace Mae ❤