Hope…In The Desert {Launch + Sale!}

For those who know barrenness, waiting, thirst, and longing…

…those who know dry seasons of the soul…

…for the one who’s cup isn’t overflowing like it once did:

God makes a way in the wilderness. He provides rivers in the desert, and breaks up our fallow ground. He is the author of hope in, and through the desert.

I have known such desert seasons more than a few times in my life, and can confidently say there is nothing more satisfying than a parched soul whose thirst is quenched — Jesus alone is our balm and sustainer in those seasons. 

I am grateful and thrilled to share with you the Hope in the Desert 2017 (3-in-1) Calendar.

My prayer for us is this:

That come what may in 2017, whether our current circumstances change or don’t; whether we feel relief or not; whether we experience lush growth or press on in drought, we might hold fast to our HOPE in Christ, the source of living water, himself. 

As with the last year’s Garden of Truth 2016 Calendar, the Hope in the Desert 2017 Calendar is meant to instruct, inspire, and encourage us as we speak to our longings with the truth of God’s Word.

It is designed to be repurposed as (12) 8×10 art prints and (12) scripture memory cards. My desire is for us to find the Word of God beautiful, practical, transformative, and purposeful in our everyday lives. That is my heart behind every piece painted in GraceLaced Shoppe, but especially in our annual calendar. We hope you love this year’s version as much as we do. 


WE ARE CELEBRATING WITH A SALE!

 

Now thru September 20, receive the entire 12 image Hope In the Desert Lock Screen download set, FREE with calendar purchase. (You will receive an email with FREE coupon code once you’ve purchased a calendar.)

(FYI: With the 20% storewide discount, our already discounted 4-pack bundles are only $120…making the calendars only $30 a piece!)

Take advantage of the 20% entire store on canvases, including brand new Hope In the Desert Canvas offerings…

I hope these verses are a balm to your soul as they are to mine as we break up the fallow ground of disbelief and hardness of heart, and welcome the downpour of sustaining grace that comes only by way of redemption. He is our hope in every season…even in the desert.

Grateful for you all. Press on, friends.

Because of grace,

 

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Worry, Replaced.

I’ve been a worrier my whole life. Biting nails, thinking too long into the night…and at times, feeling that all too familiar weight upon my chest. And while there are all sorts of enjoyable ways to shake off our struggles and distract us from our worries, the fight is not easily won. I don’t know about you, but I can’t simply apply “Don’t worry, be happy!” or “Shake it off!” or “Believe in yourself!” to the inner beast of worry. You see, the root of worry is rarely a simple rearranging of circumstances or fixing of others’ perceptions of you; worry is rooted in idols of the heart. 

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)

Worry, a sinful trusting in ourselves over a mighty God, stands guard at the doorway of our heart idols: fear, approval, pride, justice, self-sufficiency, comfort, ease. I’m familiar with them all. 

The only way I’ve known to battle worry effectively is only by Grace: to slay the idols of my heart with the powerful love of Him displayed through redemption in Christ, and replace them with the truth of God’s Word. Here’s where we must preach truth to ourselves. Nothing else will do. Not friends, favor, sunshine, good food, travel, nor new shoes. They all lighten the burden, but only the gospel will throw the weight of our self-suffiency upon Christ, and set us free.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

{While we’re on the topic of worry, do any of you entrepreneurs, creatives, or writers ever worry over how to use social media, especially Instagram? How? How often? Why? Is it making a difference? 

I’m over at the Hope Writers Podcast episode: Instagram For Writers. Find the full interview with me about Instagram at Hope Writers site (where you can do a trial membership to check it out!

Between book writing, personal circumstances, and the busy Mother’s Day season at GraceLaced Shoppe, I’ve not yet found my rhythm with how to be more present here at the blog; but, I’m grateful that you show up. I’m grateful that you join me here to find GRACE – not self – as the beauty in our everyday.}

Because of grace,

 

Pressing In and Pressing On

I never meant to take a month-long hiatus from the blog here. It’s hard to write when your heart breaks.

It’s been a month of unprecedented troubles, trials, wounds, and impossible circumstances. (Don’t worry: God is gracious…Troy, the boys, and I are healthy and strong together.) But life is hard…and loss and love go hand in hand more often than not. There is so much to rejoice in, but grief is real and no one is exempt. The brokenness of this world stops us in our tracks and sometimes it’s hard to keep moving. A few weeks ago, in the middle of a month of these heartaches, I launched a pre-scheduled release of my Press On series in the shoppe

I could only smile weakly, as my fingers tapped out the newsletter and Instagram posts that accompanied the new prints, thinking: I serve a good Father that knew I would need these reminders in these very moments. I preach these prints and these truths to myself.

If the promises of God’s Word are true on a sunny day, they are true when the darkest clouds form overhead. What we know, believe, trust, rehearse, and paint when the coast is clear prepares us for navigating chaos of any kind. I’ve known this to be true, but I’ll be honest: I’ve simply struggled to press in to it in the last month.

But the Lord in his kindness, made it possible to do so nonetheless…even when I didn’t want to, when the answers didn’t seem to be “working,” when I didn’t feel in my heart what I knew in my head. But that’s what pressing in and pressing on is: 

Pressing in and pressing on is pushing against the tide of sin and disbelief, and pushing towards what you’ve made a habit of clinging to in calmer waters: that Jesus is enough.

What we practice when waters are still determines how we respond when we’re capsized.

And so, today, I’m popping in to proclaim what I hope you always find at my IG, and what you would hear me say if we could sit together for the afternoon with a cup of tea in hand.

I want to tell you:

I don’t preach truth to myself because I’m so disciplined and so faithful; I do so because I’m not.

I don’t have all the answers for why life is so hard and pain is around every corner; I’m just willing to tell the truth about what He’s given us to combat the suffering we are promised.

I don’t feel positive and confidant all the time; I have to rehearse my identity in Christ because I’m forgetful. 

I don’t know how God will make all the wrongs right and how he will redeem all that’s been lost in your life and mine; I simply know that He does what he promises.

I don’t doubt there’s comfort in food, friends, forgetfulness, but I will keep chasing what is chasing me: Christ’s complete and sufficient love pursues, shelters, corrects, covers, and cancels out anything we might run to for love. 

If you’re fighting for truth today, I’m with you. Don’t stop pressing in, friends. Pressing in to the truth of God’s Word is what makes it possible for us to press on. 

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Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

— Elizabeth Elliot

Because of grace,

 

Preach To Yourself

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I’m penning these thoughts now from the Indianapolis airport, and despite the rest and renewal that came from a weekend away with my Troy…serving and loving others with the word of God, my mind is already racing with the week ahead, the pressing deadlines, the unfinished projects, and the inevitable re-adjustments of returning home to our beautiful boys. 

It’s not enough to simply chill out and stop worrying. It’s not adequate to just get rid of unproductive thoughts. My mind will fill up with something…and it takes intention to fill it with Truth.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of speaking before the women of the Influence Conference…where women are reminded that they have influence, right where they’re at. The battle to live out the influence we have within our mundane moments (and even our extraordinary ones!) is most often an issue of belief and what we speak to ourselves in the midst of unsettling circumstances.

We have a choice:

We can either spin out of control with our web of deceiving thoughts, or bind ourselves to the Lord by weaving strong threads of truth around our anxious heart.

Here’s what Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones says about it…

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking . . . yourself is talking to you! The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself.” 

While the power is not in the practice…but the mighty grace of God, there are practical ways to advance our training to preach God’s truth to our own hearts. Purchase my hour long session, along with the entire conference here

So I’m practicing what I preached this weekend, and taking thoughts captive, and replacing them with what Christ has done on my behalf, not what I can do for Him.

Join me?

(Here are some truths to get you started…

Noise Canceling Truths

Meeting Life’s Disappointments With Truth

Preaching To Your Anxious Heart In the Night

When We Feel Like We’re Failing

When In the Obstacle of the Day to Day

Because of grace,

I’m so honored that you are here. If you enjoy this blog and would like new posts to come directly to your inbox, I invite you to subscribe to GraceLaced by email.