January Sucks

January Sucks

Daily devotional when you want winter to be over already.
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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)

January is a holiday hangover. This means no more office treats at the front desk, no more red and green garland around the doors, and you’d be lucky to find something chocolate with peppermint crumbled atop. January means the fun part of winter is over. The cold is here to stay and the real work begins.

This means getting up when you don’t want to, going to the gym when you feel too cold and tired. Staying at work until five, even though the sun has already set, and going to class, even though final exams feel a lifetime away. Your goal shouldn't be to survive the winter until the clocks fall back. Your goal should be to find what motivates you even when you are burned out. Find what motivates you and cling to it for dear life.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

God doesn’t get burned out. When you feel stressed, He isn’t stressed. When you are demotivated, look to Him and He will guide you. He will remind you why you are doing the things you do. January might be a holiday hangover, but you can replenish your thirsty soul with God. Pray, read the scriptures, listen to a sermon.

For most, New Year's resolutions only seem to last a week. When people still say "Happy New Year" and ask how your break was. The fresh start slowly dissipates and people return to their old ways. I like resolutions, but to prevent them from being faddish, I'm a strong proponent of waking up every morning and viewing the day as a fresh start. Every day is a mental reset because I wake up thanking God for another sunrise to see. I sit with my coffee, listen to the news, and prepare for the day to come with prayer and reading scripture. Like the wind burns out the candle's flame, so will the cold January winds burn us out as well. Don't pray for help in getting through the day. Ask what you can do in this day to do God's will.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58 New International Version (NIV)
Cover Image Credit: Madison Baird

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Cole & Savannah LaBrant's Story Is Proof Our Lives Are Completely In God's Hands

A spur of the moment meeting, wasn't as spur of the moment as they thought.

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Many people hear the phrase "your life is in God's hands" or "He has a plan for you."

And to some people, that might only be just that, a phrase. There might never be a big "wow" moment in their lives that proves that phrase to be true. They might not be completely trusting and awed by their faith. I know for one, that I am not as strong in my faith as I could be and should be.

I also LOVE to make plans for my life.

I have had my 20's pretty much mapped out since the middle of high school: graduate college at 22, get married around 25-26, have at least two kids before I am 30. You know, the usual things a soon-to-be-20-year-old thinks about (at least the ones I have talked to). In the back of my mind, I have always known, however, that there is a slim chance MY plans will actually work out.

And what is the point of worrying about things I don't know will work out and trying to control things, not within my limits of control?

The one thing I am certain of is God's plan is so much greater than what I have planned for myself.

After reading YouTubers Cole and Savannah LaBrant's book, this certainty of a greater plan was even more solidified.

I have come to see the true and raw faith that God truly does hold the map to our lives if we give in to Him and trust in Him and His ways.

The beginning of the book is where this proof truly is.

The entire book is truly amazing, inspiring, and sprinkled with the love of God and the beauty of a relationship that is focused on faith. The truly amazing part for me was their chance encounter, detailed in the beginning few chapters.

After direct messaging Savannah and asking to meet up when he was in LA, Cole never heard back from her, but really she did reply but he never saw it. Then, he and his friend, John Stephen, who was with him, just happened to be in the exact same place at the exact same time. Through Savannah's sister who just happens to be walking by them at the same time in a different place, they are able to finally meet.

Why did Cole and John Stephen just happen to be at the Grove at the same time and day as Savannah and Everleigh and their friends?

Let me tell you: GOD.

Both of them had finally started to give their lives to their faith and trust in God.

Savannah was struggling through a back and forth relationship while praying for the right man to walk into her life. Cole was praying for a woman to come into his life that was just as in love with her faith as he was with his. Their prayers weren't answered right away, because God is on His own schedule and always knows when the time is right.

But with a little faith and patience, BOTH of their prayers were answered, and here they are years later, happy and expecting a new baby together.

Our lives are completely and truly in God's hands and all we have to do is trust and believe in and love Him to see the magic happen.

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