Monday, February 19, 2018

Rooted {Book Review}

Rooted: Going Deep into God’s Transforming Love by Lara Williams officially released today. I've had the privilege of being on the launch team for the book and it's a Bible study I believe God sent my way at just the right time.

A couple of years ago, my One Word for the year was Persevere. It was a hard word to accept and live with, and yet, it was a constant reminder that I was not alone. 


I knew I had to keep my focus on Jesus and keep going. And when I stumbled or something was thrown at me, I had friends to remind me...Persevere.
"When we hear of or see another's faith and love being worked out in everyday life, it produces courage in us to press on. It inspires endurance.…The faith of another can ignite our own faith." – Lara Williams, Rooted: Going Deep into God’s Transforming Love (pg. 36)
It's true. Seeing how someone else walks through her hardest days without losing hope because her focus is on Jesus is encouraging and inspiring. It reminds me that because I'm not walking alone, I can persevere, even on the days I want to throw up my hands and say I've had enough.

When I read these words from Rooted, they not only reminded me to persevere, but made me wonder what others think when they see me.

Can someone else be encouraged when she sees me walk through my days in faith, with my focus on Jesus? 


I hope so, not because of anything I do—but all because of who God is and the way He works.

My job is to keep my focus on Him, draw from His strength, and not lose hope no matter what comes my way. God will use my faith to reach others, as He sees fit. {Tweet this}




If you're looking for your next Bible study (or even if you're not) check out Rooted. Author Lara Williams shares from her own life experiences and leads the reader through the book of Ephesians, without it being overwhelming. This 6-week study is divided into daily sections so it's easy to work at your own pace, either with a group of as an individual study.

For more information about Rooted, visit Lara’s website at tooverflowing.com/rooted. And don't miss out on the launch week bonuses!

(Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The views expressed in my review are all my own.)


In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Lara Williams/Rooted]

Linking up with: #DreamTogether, #glimpsesofHisBeauty, Purposeful Faith, #TeaAndWord, Trekking Thru, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, #porchstories, #RechargeWednesday, #ChasingCommunity, #HeartEncouragement, Moments of Hope, #gracemoments, #DestinationInspiration, Sitting Among Friends, Faith 'n Friends, Grace & Truth, #FaithonFire

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hope Changes Everything


A couple of weeks ago, before our recent snowfall, I looked out the window into our backyard. The grass was brown and the trees were bare. The bird feeder was empty and uninviting. (We fill it when the ground is covered with snow.)

It was a depressing scene, and yet I saw hope. In a few months the trees will have buds and the grass will turn green again. The birds will return to their nests and baby birds will learn to fly.

I know there is hope in the dead of winter because spring will come again. Every year. Without fail, the cold days will become warm again.

The weather seasons will change, but sometimes the seasons of life feel long and drawn out.

I can't imagine what it's like to go through life without knowing Jesus.

With Jesus, I know I'm not alone and that no matter how long winter seems to last, I know it will not go on forever. {Tweet this}

Without winter, there would be no spring.

Without death, there would be no resurrection.

Without the valley, I wouldn't see the mountain.

Without the hard days, I wouldn't enjoy the good days.

Without chaos, I wouldn't appreciate the quiet days.

Without Jesus, there would be no light to break through the darkness.

I don’t know what season of life you’re walking through, but I encourage you to not give up.

The calendar pages turn and the new life of spring will be here before we know it.

God is most certainly at work, whether we can see it or not. Life seasons change, often much slower or quicker than we would like. But in every season there is hope.

Because of Jesus, there is always hope. And hope changes everything. {Tweet this}

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Monday, February 5, 2018

An Imperfect Woman {Book Review}

When God chooses a theme for your year He covers all the bases.

Shortly before 2018 began, God guided me to the word Enough. Around the same time came the opportunity to join the launch team for Kim Hyland's new book An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together.

Enough and imperfect.

Yep, that's me, and most of the time I'm okay with that. 

Or at least, I'm getting there.

Other times, I fall back into old habits of thinking "if I try harder, do more research, push for what I think should happen..." then surely I can fix the situation. I don't need to tell you how well that works, right?

As soon as I received my copy of An Imperfect Woman, I dove in with my journal at the ready. Not far in, I read this:
“Eve just believed the lie that she needed more than God. He wasn’t enough. In her disbelief, she turned her head and heart to her own resources, ambitions, and abilities.”  – Kim Hyland, An Imperfect Woman (pg. 38)
Ouch. I'm not alone.

The enemy lied to Eve. The temptation to want more was there and she fell victim to it.

How often do we fall for the same temptation for more, even if we don't know what "more" is or what it looks like? {Tweet this}

The enemy is a liar. He tells us we're not enough. He wants us to think God is not enough. But God is always more than enough. Always.

Kim explores this topic throughout her book, sharing her story openly and honestly. She doesn't pretend to have it all figured out, but shares what she's learned over the years and how she got there. An Imperfect Woman is grounded in Scripture and offers the reader a lot to think about.

From the back of the book:
The desire to be perfect is actually a God-given urge. After all, we were made for Eden. But there is a difference between perfection and perfectionism, which is our attempt to achieve perfection on our own, by our own strength, and for our own purposes—the original temptation in the Garden. In this freeing book, Hyland offers a stirring manifesto for acknowledging our limitations and embracing the perfection of God through his grace. – An Imperfect Woman, Kim Hyland
An Imperfect Woman is available now! You can learn more about Kim Hyland and An Imperfect Woman at www.animperfectwoman.com

Also, starting Monday, Feb. 12, Kim will be leading a 4-week online An Imperfect Woman Book Study. (If you order today, you might get your book in time for day 1!)

(Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The views expressed in my review are all my own.)

In Christ,
Laura

Monday, January 29, 2018

Surrender


My One Word for this year is Enough, and it feels like surrender to me.

There are certain things I want control over, but I'm surrendering—letting go of the thought that I have any control at all. It's not easy.

I have to surrender thinking I can fix a situation and trust that God will show me if there's something I can do. It means being still and waiting.

Every day, I'm surrendering my worry to God, knowing that He has not forgotten us or walked away. That knowledge has to be enough to keep me moving forward.

My days are not how I thought they would be, but I know God is in control. I'm focused on Him and I'm watching for His work, down to the smallest of ways.

Waving the white flag of surrender is hard. It feels like losing, but I know it's not. When we surrender to God, the gain is always greater than the loss. Even when we can't see it yet. {Tweet this}

I'm joining the Five Minute Friday community with the word prompt: Surrender.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]