You can flourish in Christ. 

Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life, which means we are not just alive in him, we are vibrant. But many of us don't feel like we are thriving at all in our faith. We feel stuck, stagnant, useless and frustrated spiritually. Could it be that we have not prioritized Jesus' words in John 15:5? "I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." 

He didn't just say we would be fruitful; he said we would be very fruitful. We flourish when we abide in Christ. Here at Abiding Ladies we will explore how we can can abide more richly and intentionally in him, doing whatever it takes to stay connected to Jesus. Engaging our hearts. Nourishing our faith. Walking it out in our every day lives. Welcome, friend. I am happy you are here!

08.27.2019

This article was first published at Risen Motherhood.

Imagine it’s been a long hard day of mothering. A friend stops by because she hears you’re discouraged. She tells you she recently read 1 Samuel and thinks that you may find encouragement from the story of David and Goliath. 

If you’re anything like me, you would smile but half listen to what you think will be the cheesiest, most frustrating advice. Because the last thing you want to hear is an oversimplified comparison between you and David with Goliath representing your challenges.

But what if 1 Samuel 17 is more about the God who saves and fulfills his purposes than it is the young shepherd and his slingshot? 

In this chapter, Goliath—the nine-foot, Philistine warrior—challenges the Israelite army for 40 days, arrogantly demanding they present him a champion to fight. The stakes are hi...

03.27.2019

Today is a day to celebrate the grace of God. 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Let those words sink in deep. Grace saves. We can take no credit for all we have and all we are in Christ. For by grace, we, the Church, have been saved from the penalty of death, from the very wrath of God, and recreated into children of the one, true living God. And who did this saving? Who has shown us this favor? 

In 1 John 4:14, the Apostle John states “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” John emphasizes that this mission was an act of holy love (1 John 4:9-10).

The holy God of the universe saved us from his very own wrath because he loves us, which means his grace is not arbitrary and should not be taken...

03.16.2019

This article was first published at Morning By Morning.

While I love being home with my children, I haven’t loved the work involved in tending to their needs, particularly managing and keeping up with our home. I can be a lazy slob at times. I was the girl who thought hard work was an effect of the fall of man until a college mentor directed me to Genesis 2 and the work God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Nevertheless, I still struggled to believe work was good and worthwhile. After two hard pregnancies and recoveries that forced me to lighten my work load, I lost hope that change in this area was even possible. Rather than choosing to believe God’s empowering grace (Titus 2:11-12)  could help me grow one small step at a time, I preferred to “give myself grace” for all I refused to do.

My lack of belief robbed me of on...

03.01.2019

This article was first published at Servants of Grace as part of a devotional series on the Sermon on the Mount.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:24-27).

One of the most amazing wonders of the Christian faith is that our works do not save us. Rather, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But how is our faith measured? Is it...

02.26.2019

This article was first published at Morning By Morning.

When my husband asked me if I was ready to have a third child, I didn’t know my yes would usher in a season of spiritual dryness. I forgot I would face the challenges of nausea, fatigue, and indigestion while caring for a two and one year old. I forgot how easy it is to trade what’s important for what I think will get me through the day and the effect such a decision has on the heart over time.

Before becoming pregnant, I had been finding a new normal and thriving in my relationship with God. Drowning in the woes of the first trimester, I felt stuck, checked out, and hollow.  All I wanted was more ice cream, more cozy couch time, and more nineties nostalgia on Netflix. But strawberry cheesecake Ben and Jerry’s was beginning to get old, my favorite blanket needed to be laundered, and m...

02.06.2019

We’ve been duped, friends. Well-intended mentors taught us how to do a quiet time or devotion. They held us accountable because they knew that regular time in the word and prayer would help us remain steadfast in our faith. Yet somewhere down the line we began to measure our whole Christian life, how we’re doing spiritually, by how many quiet times we had last week. 

When we have this idea of what faithfulness should look like and our lives don’t measure up, we place ourselves in the camp of the struggling children of God. Something must be wrong with us if we can’t read our Bibles every day. So we begin to obsess over this one detail of our walk, losing sight of the big picture—our faith. 

And not just faith in God for whatever we want. But faith in the Gospel and everything that comes with being in Christ.  We lose sight of the things th...

02.06.2019

This article was first published at Servants of Grace     as part of a devotional series on the Sermon on the Mount.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:1-4).

In today’s passage, Jesus introduces the subject of how we ought to give with the broader application of how we practice righteousness as a whole. He addr...

01.15.2019

This article was first published at Servants of Grace     as part of a devotional series on the Sermon on the Mount.

Everyone seems to be selling a method to their happiness these days. Even Christians offer consultation services to share their wisdom on how to have a more fulfilling life in Christ. While I’m sure God has blessed many of us with particular strengths and gifts that we can offer one another there is no better source for our happiness in the Christian life than found in the Bible. 

In Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus clarifies what a blessed life in him looks like. The word blessed can also be translated as happy, which should make our ears perk up. If we were to consult Jesus on how to have a happy life, what would he say? 

As we’ve seen in the previous article, this meeting would start out a bit rough. He’d begin with our...

12.04.2018

"Persevere," they say. "Take up your cross. Recognize that your crown is on the other side of heaven." My single friends often hear things like this from church friends and leaders when they share about their struggles. But the Bible says so much more than that. Singleness is hard but it not merely a cross to bear; it is also an opportunity. You could be on an adventure of faith with God, pressing on to know him more deeply, and solidifying your devotion to him. You could be thriving in, not merely surviving, your singleness. Because even if your circumstance sucks, God is still good. 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
he does not withhold the good
from those who live with integrity.

Psalm 84:11

You open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Psalm 145:16

You reveal the path...

11.09.2018

"You are not to present anything that has a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf."

Leviticus 22:20 

This isn't the kind of verse folks typically share on social media but sometimes we don't need another verse that caters to our emotions. Sometimes we need a verse that pulls us out of the status quo and reminds us that we can live for something, rather Someone, greater than ourselves. Someone who is worthy of our worship and our very best. 

What comes to mind when you read about the unblemished offerings necessary for atonement in Leviticus? I usually jump straight to the cross and to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God slain to save the world from their sins. But I lose out when I move to the cross too fast, overlooking the context of the book. 

At this point in redemptive history, the Lord is about...

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