Free to Flourish

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28

What does it mean to FLOURISH?

I recently looked up the word flourish and right there in the definition was the word thrive.

To flourish is to thrive. To grow. To prosper. To be healthy.

I don’t know about you, but I want this for my life. I especially want this for my spiritual life.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Jesus came to give us this life. He came to give us not only life, but abundant life. He came that we might thrive. He came so we could flourish.

But what does this look like in our daily lives? How can we flourish amid all the evils of this world? How can we thrive in all the heartbreak and grief?

Jesus knew that in this world we would have trouble. He faced His cross with joy. He told us to follow in His footsteps…and His footsteps lead to suffering. Yet, He also promises abundant life.

We can flourish because of Jesus because our flourishing and our thriving have nothing to do with our circumstances. We flourish when we are walking in the love and security of Jesus Christ as our only hope and salvation. We flourish in His love.

In other words, we are free to flourish not because of what we have done or what is happening around us, but because of Jesus.

Free to Flourish Devotional Kit

The new kit this month from Dayspring and Illustrated Faith is called Free to Flourish. It is beautiful.

Do you desire to live your life in freedom…the freedom God desires for each of us?—Freedom from…?  Freedom to…?  In the Free to Flourish devotional kit, Bekah Blankenship insightfully gives prompts for “prayerful thought and reflection” and desires us to “step into the freedom God has so sweetly given each one of us.”  “I am certain of God’s plan to bring you out of an existence of simply surviving into one of thriving.  You were made to flourish, my friend!”  —Bekah

Devotional message:
Free to Flourish

Sample copies:
1.  Free from fear
2.  Free from shame
3.  Free from insecurity
Plus 11 more!

Product Details:

  • 1 plastic pouch
  • 1 devotional booklet
  • 1 clear stamp collection
  • 1 roll of washi tape
  • 1 sheet of cut-out paper pieces
  • 2 cardstock sticker sheets
  • 3 tip-ins
  • 1 magnet
  • 1 thank you card from Shanna

More Bible Journaling Posts & Resources

Click here to find all my posts on my journaling Bible and other kits from Dayspring!

What I’m Loving…

What I am loving right now…

Well, I started this post a few weeks ago and I didn’t quite get it posted in January…but I’m still loving each of these.

Please comment below and tell me what YOU are loving right now!

Smoothies

Smoothies are by far the easiest way for me to get in several servings of FRUITS and VEGGIES. I can always tell I have more energy when I’m having a daily smoothie! I have had my Ninja — this blender for years now and *love it.*

Here’s what I toss into the blender for my smoothies, and without measuring, which would feed a few of us:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • small handful frozen strawberries
  • small handful frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit
  • greek yogurt
  • orange juice (half my household likes MILK in their smoothies, I prefer the citrus taste)

Water

I am drinking a GALLON of water everyday! I’m feeling GOOD! I squeeze about half a lemon into my big water bottles and also 1 drop of grapefruit or tangerine essential oil. I love citrus flavored water!

I have big cups that I love and I alternate them each day. I have a stainless Bubba cup that I got from Walmart and then this Rtic cup from Amazon. I also purchased a stainless steel set of straws that I love.

 

My Journaling Bible

I have a renewed love for my Bible at the beginning of this year. I think it must be reading the book Women of the Word and realizing just what a treasure we have in those pages! And the journaling Bible just provides so much room in the margins for note taking and prayers and such…

I also happen to adore the journaling Bible monthly devotional KITS from Dayspring. Craft supplies with a focus on JESUS. Yes, please! If you want to see more pictures of my Bible and all the monthly devotional kits, click here! 

Bullet Journal

Super uber simple, I followed Edie’s methods in her free video found here.  So. I was NOT going to jump on the bullet journal band wagon. I wasn’t going to do it! Til I was at a goal setting workshop with the amazing Dr. Edie of LifeinGrace blog and she pretty much convinced me. {grin} She has a free video you can sign up to receive in your email and it goes over exactly how she does it. Her ideas are so simple that we can all benefit from it!

Essential oils

I also have a growing and somewhat renewed love for my oils. I have been using Young Living oils for a little over a year now. I can tell such a difference in these oils and the ones I used to use. My mood and overall emotional well being is more STABLE, I’m using their fruit juice supplement and have more ENERGY, our house is generally very WELL. I taught my first class on DITCHING THE TOXINS via video on facebook. I am just loving it all!

I wrote about the oils I use every single day as well as 5 simple resources to DITCH THE TOXINS from your home recently!

Exercising regularly

Ouch. Yep. It’s the beginning of a new year, of course I am exercising. LOL! But I feel so.much.better. I told my husband that weight lifting and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week leaves me feeling empowered. Like I really CAN do hard things. Maybe I’m not a wimp after all. And, handling stress is something I actually can do when I’m exercising. My body needs it.

I am blessed to have several friends meeting me at our church facility several times a week to walk and exercise together. I have a personal trainer friend who put together a work out plan for me and I am VERY surprised by how much I am loving it!

Here is what I wrote recently on Instagram about exercising and how I’m feeling!

3 days in a row!! 👊This is my 4th week of exercising 3-4 times per week with an hour or more each time. I think my body was in shock at first, and now I think I’m just on a high. I don’t even seem to care (yet) about the numbers on the scale but I love feeling so good. When you’ve felt lousy, when you’ve suffered from depression, when you’ve come out of a stressful semester, when you’ve been parenting and homeschooling for years, when you’ve got several teens in your home…I guess your body kind of forgets what it’s like to feel good and stays in stressed-out mode. Thank You, Lord!! I know it’s combined with eating better, not so much sugar, my super juice supplement and THE GRACE OF GOD. Help me to keep it up, dear Lord!!!! 🙏 I also continue to be thankful every time I walk in the facility at #manleybaptist because I can come and do this without huge monthly fees. Huge blessing!

Live videos for inspiration

Are any of you enjoying  live videos from your favorite bloggers and online authors as much as I am?? Some of my favorites:

Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace blog, she also leads the essential oil group I’m in, she does videos and classes online and also does AMAZING videos and talks in our business building group. She has done a goal setting workshop, a talk on living out of LOVE and not fear, how to grow your business and more. If you want to join our Young Living team, please send me a message. Here are her public videos from her blog page! 

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – I’ve done a few of her courses which are video based but I also have loved her periscopes and facebook live videos through 2016 as she talked about her year of rest. Here are Crystal’s public videos from her Money Saving Mom page. 

Are there any bloggers or others that you like to follow with their live videos? I would love to hear who you love listening to! 

An In-depth Study of the Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:31-32

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“I am the vine, you are the branches.” John 15:5

“In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Can you believe all of the amazing truths that come from the book of John??

Lenten Bible Study

I am so excited to start studying the book of John with our closed Bible Study group on Facebook! We will be starting our study officially on March 1st and go all the way through the Lenten season up to Easter. Each week we will meet for a discussion on the readings from that week.

We will be following the process and steps that we learned about from Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word. I have created a reading schedule, a page that lists all the steps from Jen’s book, as well as some lovely verses for you to print and place around your home as visual reminders.

I am sharing this blog post BEFORE Lent starts because I have an early assignment for you! Between now and March 1st, read the entire book of John at least once! If you’re able, read it more than once! This is part of the method that Jen Wilkin teaches, read the portion of Scripture you will be studying multiple times before you dig in to actually study it! 

Go here to request to join our closed facebook group for book & Bible studies! 

Click on the graphic or link to download and print your PDF files! 

John in 40 Days Reading Schedule

The Gospel of John in 40 Days PDF

Plan for Bible Study – can be used with ANY book of the Bible

A Plan for Bible Study PDF

 

Scripture Verse Printables

John 10 10 PDF

He must increase PDF

 

More Resources for Lent

Below are listed a LOT of various resources for Lent! Choose 1 or 2 links to add to your Lenten season but don’t get bogged down by a huge list of to-do’s and don’ts.

This year, I will be studying John and reading through this book. She uses passages from John each day in the short devotionals.

If you are unable to join us as we study John, or you may wish to find other resources for Lent, here are some more favorites of mine!

I have been collecting ideas I’ve found online for the past several years, books, devotions, ideas for activities and ways to observe Lent…there are some awesome ideas out there! I hope you will take a look at these resources.

Free Lenten Devotionals 

Favorite Books for Lent
Links Around the Web

Lent & Easter Pinterest Board

Join me on Pinterest where I pin lots of great Christ-Centered ideas for families to use during the Lenten and Easter season!

Follow His Mercy is New’s board Easter ~ Christ Centered Ideas & Other Easter Fun on Pinterest.

Write the Word: Love One Another

What this world needs? What my home needs? What I need?

More love.

More peace.

More joy.

More selflessness.

More Jesus.

I have a Scripture writing & praying plan for February that allows you to pray one verse daily for your husbands. However, I know many of you aren’t married OR may be sensing, as I am, that we need to tune our hearts to HIS LOVE for all. I want to grow in love for my husband, my children, my neighbor, my enemies.

Each day as you begin your time with the Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, comfort you and convict you through His Word. You can pray through these verses or write them out in a journal. Do both! Choose one to memorize. If you have more time in your day, read the entire chapter for the verses on each day.

Why Write the Word?

Take a quick moment and think about the things you write down throughout your day. Now, you may be more digital than I am, but I still WRITE in an actual paper planner, I write down my grocery list, notes to my kids, in my prayer journal…you get the idea.

But, why do we write things down? 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

If you would like more info on Writing the Word, see this page for more details and a video where I show you my journal and how I do it! 

Love One Another Scripture Writing Plan

Love One Another Scripture Writing Plan-2 PDF

More Write & Pray the Word Plans

See this page full of FREE Scripture Writing Plans!

See this page full of FREE Praying the Scriptures Plans!

More Resources

Happiness and the Christian

Are Christians supposed to be happy? Are happiness and joy really that different? What exactly *is* the difference? Aren’t we supposed to strive for holiness more than happiness? Was Jesus happy on earth? Is God happy?

The gospel is good news, right? If we believe it to be such, I think living lives of misery likely doesn’t do much toward showing others the love of Jesus.

My ideas about happiness have certainly changed in the last year or so. It started when I read The Happniess Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her message so deeply resonated with me that I blogged about it, I led an online book club through it and I’ve given the book as gifts. The message has been further applied in my life as I have read 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life and 60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy by Randy Alcorn.

“Among Christ-followers, happiness was once a positive, desirable word. Only in recent times have happiness and joy been set in contrast with each other. This isn’t just biblically and historically ungrounded; it has undermined our understanding of merriment, pleasure, and joy. Are laughter, celebration, and happiness God-created gifts, or are they ambushes from Satan and our sin nature that incur God’s disapproval? Our answer determines whether our faith in God is dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight.” Randy Alcorn from 60 Days of Happiness.

I knew that my life as a believer would include suffering. I knew that Jesus suffered and so would we. I honestly thought that God desired my holiness and NOT my happiness.

God does call us to holiness, of course, YES. But, through our lives of obedience and service and living out the uniqueness of who God has made us to be…there is joy. There is happiness.

I don’t think that there truly is so much difference between joy and happiness. I think we use those words interchangeably and try to make joy sound a little holier. {grin} Not that there is anything wrong with choosing our words carefully or feeling strongly about certain words.

Did you know the Bible references happiness?

Have you ever read this famous passage from Matthew?

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed = Happy

In the original language, the word that Jesus is using in this passage means happy. Hmmm. Although He uses the word happy, the things he tells us will make us happy are not traditionally thought of us happy things. Oh, but that is the way of the cross…that is the way of Jesus…and I think that is the key to understanding happiness as a Christian.

Happiness doesn’t look like what the world says happiness is. As believers, we can find happiness {and joy!} in things that the world may think are crazy. 

For the JOY set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. (Hebrews 12)

Finding joy in giving of your life on a cross?

There is joy to be found in living a life of love. Jesus was the perfect and ultimate example.

There is joy to be found even in sorrow.

There is happiness to be found in obedience.

There is a deep seated happiness in knowing our eternity is secure.

There is a blessedness in knowing Jesus and reminding our hearts that we are never alone.

Let’s take back the word HAPPY

So, I say it’s time that we, as believers, TAKE BACK the word happy. Let’s not look at it as a bad word. Let’s remind our hearts that joy and happiness can be very similar and both can be wonderful benefits of living a life in Jesus. Let’s not look condescendingly at people who use the word happy, but on the same token, if someone has a conviction about the word let’s show grace. Either way: grace. Whether you like the word happy or you don’t, there is grace for you.

And you know what? Grace is one of the ultimate happy gifts of Christ. Let’s enjoy Him.