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Having Peace in a Loud World

Having Peace in a Loud World

Having Peace in a Loud World

I’ve been thinking a lot about the peace of God lately, and I wanted to share with you guys a little bit of what has been on my heart. At the beginning of the year someone prophesied over me that I would remember that I have the peace of God that passes all understanding. I remember in the moment thinking..ugh..really? That’s what you got? It seemed so typical and basic, like it was an easy thing to say in the moment. I didn’t realize just how much I would need to be reminded of that this year. 

 

So I started thinking, what is peace? Specifically what is the peace of God and how do we get that? If I were to give you my description of peace it would be something like, sitting on a beautiful sandy beach by the ocean, reading a book and just relaxing(or maybe sitting at a lake house on a weekend getaway with my husband like the photo below). That’s my idea of peace, but that’s unrealistic. That’s not my life and that maybe happens a few days out of the year if I’m lucky. It may happen if I’m on vacation, but it’s just not reality. We often think peace means quiet and restful, everything in our life is perfect, but that’s not always true. Peace doesn’t necessarily mean quiet. If I only felt like I had the peace of God when everything was quiet and calm in my life, I would rarely experience it. It just doesn’t happen that way. So let’s look at a couple verses about peace. 

 

 Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Isaiah 26:3 says, “you keep him in perfect peace whose mind stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

 

Looking at these verses we can see that peace has something to do with our minds. It’s a mindset. You have peace when your mind is fixed on Christ. A pastor who came to visit at our church a few months ago was talking about how we discern the Holy Spirit’s voice more when we have the same mind as Christ, we’re thinking like Christ, we’re saying what Christ is saying. It’s the same with peace. I’ve had this tug of war going on in my mind, lately. A struggle between what the world is saying and what God is saying. When I listen to what the world is saying it just feels so loud and chaotic. The more I listen to the world the harder it is to hear what God is saying. The more I listen to the world the more anxious and frustrated and fearful I become. The world doesn’t have peace because the world doesn’t know God. Because the world doesn’t know God, it’s not going to have God’s peace. This is such a reminder to me that I need to turn off social media, the news, whatever it is that’s becoming louder than the voice of God in my life. We don’t need to listen to the world all the time, but we need to listen to God. It’s ok to tune it out and just sit and listen to God. 

 

I also think it’s easy to have peace when we feel like we can control the situation. We tend to only feel peace when we know everything that’s going on in our lives. As long as we can control the situation and know when it’s going to happen and how it will play out, we have peace. But if something is out of our control or we don’t know the outcome we feel more fearful and anxious. But that’s not what the Bible says, we don’t need to understand everything to have peace. The bible says, “ and the peace of God that passes all understanding” meaning God’s peace can surpass any understanding we have. We may not understand everything, but God does and He is in control of all things. If we can trust God and believe He is in control we can be filled with His peace. 

 

In Mark 4 we have the story of Jesus calming the storm. There’s a huge storm happening, the boat is taking on water, everyone is freaking out, but what is Jesus doing? Sleeping. The disciples frantically wake Him up and what does He say to the waters? “Peace.. Be still..” Why was Jesus able to be so calm during a storm like that? Everything was absolutely chaotic around Him. He was able to be calm because He had the peace of God, He had the Holy Spirit. Just like we do. Everything can be chaotic around me, but I can have peace, because I know God.  

 

I’m not saying that as Christians we are not allowed to be afraid or have days of chaos where we really don’t feel peace. We are human, even the disciples who literally had Jesus with them had times of doubt and fear.  But when those days happen those are times that I need to remind myself of God’s peace and that as a believer I have the mind of Christ and I have the Holy Spirit in me so I have access to that peace.

There are a few things that we can do to help remind us of God’s peace when our life feels like it’s getting out of control. 

  • The first thing would be prayer. Verse 6 in Philippians 4 says do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Taking our worries to God is a great way to take the burden off of ourselves because we cannot bear them for long. 1 Peter 5:7 says, cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you. When we pray about them we’re giving them away.
  • The next thing would be reading scripture. There are so many encouraging verses that let us know God cares for us and He is in control. Reading the Bible helps bring our hearts and minds back into focus and remain grounded in Christ. When we pray it’s a way for us to pour our heart’s out to God, but when we read scripture it’s a way for God to speak and transform our minds, bringing His peace into our lives.
  • Lastly, finding people to share your burdens with. Paul says that we should bear each other’s burdens. We weren’t made to carry them alone. When we share our burdens with other people it gives them an opportunity to help us. Maybe it’s with encouragement because they’ve walked through the same thing or maybe God gives them a word for us to encourage us. When we share our burdens with someone we are physically speaking and letting out our anxious thoughts, fears, worries. They’re no longer inside of us after we share it with someone. We don’t have to carry it anymore.  It’s like with the story in mark 4. Jesus spoke out peace, be still and it came about. The disciples spoke out their fears and Jesus was able to fix it. They gave it to Him and he was able to help.

The more we share our burdens whether it’s through prayer, reading Scripture, or sharing with others the more peace filled our lives can become. These are things that I do when I find myself losing the feeling of God’s peace. We all want to live peaceful lives. The world is in chaos right now and people should know just by looking at us that we have an unexplainable peace about us. They should see us and ask what it is that’s different about us. We have the unexplainable peace of God that passes all understanding in our lives.

I’m praying that you’re experiencing God’s perfect peace in your life today. If you aren’t please leave a comment and I would love to pray for you. We are in this together.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

You Have A Living Hope

You Have A Living Hope

We are living in a very strange time right now. There is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear going around. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced any thoughts that created fear or worry in my mind. I feel fine one minute and then the next I feel like I may lose it. It’s natural for us to worry when we don’t know the outcome of a situation. Times like these can easily make us feel hopeless.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Who or what is my hope in? What does hope mean to me? I think that hope is an expectancy I have for something to happen, or something to be a certain way. This worldly vision of hope I hold can work for some things in my life. I can hope my life turns out a certain way, or I can hope a meeting goes a certain way, but when things don’t go the way I thought it would, I can feel like all hope is lost. 

 

When I think about the biblical definition of hope – the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness – I’m reminded of what I want my own view of hope to be. I want my hope to be in Jesus and the eternal life I have in Him. Placing my hope in Christ sets me up for success, He will never let me down. 

 

A phrase that keeps going through my head is, “You are on the throne.” Every prayer and every whisper is laced with this thought, reminding me that He is on the throne. When I forget Jesus is on the throne, it’s because I’ve put something or someone else there. It’s easy for me to let fear be on the throne, or to let my thoughts be on the throne. I need to put all of those aside and let Christ sit on the throne as He was intended to do. When my focus is on Jesus sitting on the throne nothing else can rule over my life. He is on the throne and He will reign forever. 

 

We don’t know what is going to transpire over the next few weeks, but one thing we do know is God will still be on the throne. It’s ok to be worried and have doubts, but let’s hold onto the hope we know we have in Christ and let go of worry and doubts. Use this time to draw closer to Him. Spend time daily in prayer and in the Bible. We can come out on the other side of this stronger in our faith than we’ve ever been before. So let’s fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith(Heb 12:2). Remember He is our living hope(1 Peter 1:3).

 

Here are some verses that I find encouraging. If you begin to feel hopeless or overwhelmed, spend some time meditating on the Scriptures and in prayer. If we direct our focus on Him we don’t have time to give our attention to worry and fear. 

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

 

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43.1-3

 

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

Studying Your Bible

I have such a passion for studying the Bible and truly knowing what it says. I hope that is something that becomes evident the more you get to know me. I have a heart for teaching people to read their Bible. To really understand it and study it out in great detail. 

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 

This is a big part of why I think studying your Bible is so important. I want to be able to give people a Biblical answer for why I believe the things I believe and without knowing the Bible I wouldn’t be able to do that. 

Studying your Bible is such an important piece of maintaining a deep relationship with Christ. Knowing the Bible and what it says is such an insight to the heart of our Creator. It’s here and waiting for us to open and spend time in communion with Him. It takes time, effort and discipline. If we do not have a routine or a good idea of how to do something before we start it’s easy to make excuses and come up with reasons not to do it. I find that having a routine and clear idea of how I plan to read or study my Bible each day is very helpful. I want to share some of the things that I do when I study in hopes of giving you some ideas in case you may struggle in this area.

First of all, there is no right or wrong way to read your Bible. The most important thing is that you are reading it.  Reading your Bible can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Secondly, you don’t have to have a perfect setup in order to read your Bible. You don’t have to wake up at 5am while everyone else is still sleeping, brew yourself some coffee, have light music, a cozy blanket and a lit candle. If you have this idea in your head that you can only read your Bible with a perfect setup, you are probably never going to read your Bible.. Reading your Bible is more important than creating the perfect quiet time setup. Do what works best for you and the season of life you’re in. If that means reading your Bible at 8 o’clock at night that’s perfectly fine.

My quiet time is more productive if I can do it before my kids get up. Unfortunately, this hardly ever happens. My kids get up early and I’ve just learned that they are going to be a part of my “Quiet Time.” Realizing that my time in the word was not always going to be peaceful and quiet has helped me continue to read the Bible every day. I no longer have this idea in my head where I can only read until my children wake up, or if it’s perfectly calm and quiet in my house. If my children see that I’m reading my Bible when they get up they know that they may have to wait until I’m done before I start doing all the things for them. They know this because they have seen me consistently reading my Bible enough in the morning to know this is our normal routine. It doesn’t mean they don’t interrupt me or ask me things while I’m studying, but the more that this happens on a daily basis, the easier it is for them to expect it. My kids will often just grab a book and sit next to me when they get up and see that I’m still reading. 

Having an idea of what I’m going to read each day is also very helpful for me, especially because I know I have limited time. Knowing what I’m going to read helps me not waste time each morning thinking, “Hmm…what should I read today?” I usually pick a book of the Bible to read and when I finish it move on to another book. I don’t read the books in any special order.  If I don’t have something in mind to read when I sit down or just decide I want something different that day, I will often go to the Psalms and pick a chapter to read. Anything you read from the Bible is going to be beneficial for you. It doesn’t matter if you read a whole book in one sitting, or just one verse, what matters is that you are opening God’s Word and allowing Him to speak to you through it. 

Here are a few things that I have found helpful in studying the Bible:

 

  • Know what you’re going to study before you start. Choose a book of the Bible or have something in mind that you want to read the day before, so you aren’t using all your time searching for something to study.
  • Study with a pen and journal. I like to write down anything that sticks out to me while I’m reading. If I have any questions about something while I’m studying I’ll write those down and if I don’t find the answers as I’m reading I will look those up in a commentary or concordance when I’m done. Writing down the things that stick out to me is also helpful for me in remembering what I’m reading or studying.
  • Look up words that you don’t know the meaning of or understand why it’s being used in that context. There have been times when I didn’t understand a verse or passage and looking up the definition of the word helped me understand what it was talking about. Looking up words in the dictionary and also in a concordance can be very helpful.
  • Check cross references. This is also helpful if you have words or passage you don’t quite understand. Cross referencing allows us to let scripture interpret scripture. 
  • Pray while you read. If you’re struggling to understand a passage that you’re reading, ask God to reveal it to you. When we pray during out study time we are allowing the Holy Spirit to come in and work in us. 

 

These are things that are helpful to me. It doesn’t have to be what you do. If you do all of these things already, great. If you look at this list and think, I would never be able to do all that, that’s fine too. Maybe you can take a couple of these things and start applying it to your quiet time and see if it benefits you. The most important thing is that you’re opening your Bible and reading it every day. God longs for us to have a desire to know Him and the best way for us to do that is to read His Word. He wants us to meet with Him every day, He wants to be the one who fills us up. 

I’m going to link a few resources and websites that I use when I study as well. I plan to share more about these in my stories on Instagram next week, so if you would like to see more information about any of these resources be sure to follow along there.

 

 

I would love to hear how you study the Bible and get in The Word each day. Feel free to leave a comment with what works for you and any tips you may have. I think there’s always something we can learn from each other.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Grace Poured Out

Grace Poured Out

Grace Poured Out

It had been one of those weeks. You know, the week filled with appointments, social commitments, church things, and extra needy children. My husband told me to take a couple hours and go have some time alone. He usually sees the warning signs of me needing to go and recharge well before I do, and I’m forever grateful to him for it. There’s something so refreshing about going somewhere to write and pray without someone asking me to make them a snack, help them in the bathroom, or to find a lost toy. 

I’m an extrovert and a people pleaser. I love surrounding myself with others and doing all the things, but there comes a point when I need to take some time for myself to process things, refresh my soul, and pray. So Jared sent me away to my favorite coffee shop(Amity), so I could have some quiet time and journal. This is my go-to spot when I need to think and write or prepare for an event. I do most of my best writing there. I ordered a pour over and sat down to start writing and praying. While I was praying I asked God what He wanted me to learn during this season. I wrote in my journal:

 

Give… Pour Out… Serve… Love… Empty… Fill… 

 

Give myself to others, Pour out myself into their lives, Serve them and Love them, Empty myself doing His work so He can Fill me up again and again and again. 

 

That was two years ago, during a season where it seemed like all my husband and I were doing was working, giving and pouring ourselves out. God was telling me to keep doing the exact thing that I felt like was draining me both physically and spiritually? I looked back in my journal and I realized He was showing me something that was there the whole time, but I just wasn’t seeing it. The word Fill. Everytime I felt like I couldn’t do any more or help someone in any other way, He somehow filled me with enough strength to do it. This changed my whole perspective. At first I could only see how I was emptying myself doing His work, but now can see how I was continually being filled with more of His grace.

Then I read  Titus 3:4-7, which says “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” God graciously pours out His Holy Spirit on us. Without Him continually pouring His Spirit out on me, I would be weak and tired. I would feel empty. It’s God’s grace that’s being poured out on me every day.

 Because of His pouring out I’m able to surround myself with people and look for ways to serve them and pour myself out to them. One of the ways God showed me I could do this was through writing. I’ve obviously ignored this for a long time, but I feel like it’s time now. I’m going to lay aside all my fears and put to rest the voices in my head that tell me I have nothing to share. 

I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and how it changes and grows my spiritual life. I have complete faith that God is going to use my own words to help me understand Him better. If there’s something that resonates with you along the way, that’s great. My prayer is that you would be encouraged and you’ll find Grace Poured Out here.

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

Writing a blog. This has been on my mind for a few years now and I really didn’t think I would actually do it. I had hundreds of excuses as to why it wouldn’t work. Hundreds of reasons why someone wouldn’t ever want to read it, etc. But here we are… 

I should probably start by introducing myself. My name is Hannah, I’ve been married to my husband, Jared, for 8 years. He teaches 8th grade math at our local school and runs his own photography business. He is my best friend and greatest encourager. We have three children, Elijah, Micah, and Amelia, who keep us on our toes and laughing constantly. We live in the beautiful Finger Lakes where I spend most of my days working in our home, spending time with friends, playing at the lake with the kids and homeschooling our oldest son. I love coffee(my husband spoils me and roasts his own coffee beans), reading books, journaling, cooking, and going on adventures with my family. I have a heart for community and building lasting friendships.

 My real passion though, is studying the Bible. I enjoy spending as much time as I can in the Word and learning all I can from it. God has laid it on my heart to share what I learn with others and I’ve been ignoring this prompting for quite some time now. Through encouragement from my husband and friends I’ve decided to start this blog. My hope is to share with you things the Spirit lays on my heart. Things that are revealed to me during my quiet time. Things that can encourage and lead you to a closer relationship with Christ. My desire is for women to know as much as they can about the Bible. Really study it in detail and grow in it. 

Imagine a little girl sitting at her desk in her bedroom. She has journals, notepads, pens, pencils, highlighters, all sorts of things to write and create with. This little girl sits for hours just taking pen to paper. She may not know how to spell words correctly, or have a specific reason for writing at the moment, but there she is, spending her time at her desk, writing. 

That was me growing up. I loved writing letters to friends(this was before e-mail) and writing short stories. I would take old books and highlight and make notes in them like I knew what I was doing. Perhaps this is where my love for studying came about. I always tried to be a perfectionist. I wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. I wanted to know as much as I could about whatever I was learning. I feel that same passion about the Bible. I will never know everything about the Bible, but I’m here for the long haul to learn as much as I can while I’m on this side of heaven. Let’s get our Bibles and start studying and learning together! 

 

Hi, I’m Hannah.

I am a lover of Jesus, wife, and mom to 3 kids. Occasionally I like to share things that are on my heart and you’ll find them here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my site!

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