Dec 30, 2020

An ordered life...

 “The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.” Elisabeth Elliot


Yesterday, a sweet soul reached out to me offering to donate 6 more Bibles. I decided to have the giveaway on my Instagram page this time. I wanted it to be quick because the reading plan begins January 1st. 

After the 6 names were drawn, the generous soul was nudged to double the number of bibles, so TWELVE bibles were given away yesterday! All twelve are being shipped today!

 My heart could just explode!

There is no greater gift than God's Word. 

As I was cleaning out Christmas decor yesterday, I felt lighter as each shelf and countertop was wiped clean. 

I feel the same way when I read God's Word. He cleanses my heart with each word I take in. He dusts off the settling that has taken place in areas of my heart that I have overlooked. 

We crave order and cleanliness, don't we? I mean, who doesn't love coming home to a clean house. 

Reading God's Word has the same affect on our hearts. 

Lately, I am feeling nudged to simplify. I have let things build up, not just in my house, but in my head. 

Thoughts crowd out Jesus' voice, and it creates chaos and clutter in my brain. 

I tend to overthink, overanalyze, and over-process things in my head. Jesus is beckoning me to lay it down. 

Get back to that child like Faith. 

The simple faith of a child without the fears, worries, and anxieties of adulthood. 

It is a choice I can easily make. 

Either I choose to trust Jesus, or I don't. 

Desperately, I want to let go of the clutter in my heart. I want to quiet the chaos with God's Promises in His Word. 

However, I have to choose this daily. It won't just happen. I have to make time to sit with Him. 

For me, it means getting up a little earlier than the rest of the house. 

Having my coffee in hand, my quiet place ready, and my Bible open. 

When we have a plan, we will find peace. 

There will be days when our plans will get messed up, and that is okay. 

We must try again the next day. 

A heart at peace gives life to the body. Proverbs 14:30

Nothing on earth brings Peace like the Words of God. 

Let's get back into His Word this year. Maybe you have fallen away, or maybe you have stayed the course. Either way, continue on sweet friend. 

We are in this together. Walking hand in hand on the greatest journey we will ever get to go on. 


let's do this, 


jill




Dec 26, 2020

Bible Give-Away Winners...

 Christmas is over, and I am ready to get my house put back together. 

I tried to be a good sport as EVERYONE in my family wanted to wake up early and hit the malls. 

*For the record...the last thing I wanted to do was wake up early and hit the malls.*

However, I gave in. 

Finally, it is now 8:39 pm, and I have my pajamas on and my feet up. Praise the Good Lord. 

Despite the long, crowded lines, achy feet, too much traffic day...

We did take the time as a family to draw some names for our Bible Giveaway! I can honestly say, this was the HIGHLIGHT of my day. 

I am so grateful and thankful for all of you and I really do wish I could send a Bible to everyone!

We drew 3 names from the submissions. 

After the third name was drawn, I felt a nudge to draw one more. It just seemed like God was whispering for me to add a fourth name. 

So, I did. 

We now have FOUR WINNERS! 

The winners are:

Kim Cox

Charlene Newton

Sue Garland

Ali McCommons 

I will get in touch with each of you soon!

Thank you for going on this journey with me to know Jesus Christ more!

He really is the Gift that keeps on giving. 


headed to bed real soon, 


jill

Dec 24, 2020

Dear You....

 I hope this Christmas finds you well. This year has been hard. 

I want you to know there is HOPE. 

Honestly, there have been seasons, and many, that I could not see or feel that HOPE. 

Recently, I was pouring over a prayer journal from two years ago. I was crying out to God over one of my loved ones. They were facing a fierce battle and there was NO hope in sight. 

My words on the paper were: 

I believe You will fight for them. I believe You will save them from this battle. I believe You will set them free from this. You are our only HOPE. 

Every single page for about 4 months was filled with these words. It all seemed so bleak and hopeless. 

God answered my prayers. 

This loved is healed and healthy. 

The battle they were facing was not physical, it was spiritual. Of the GREATEST proportions. 

Honestly, I was not sure how it would turn out. I HOPED. I PRAYED. I read in God's Word about the battles of David, and Paul, and Joshua.....

His Word kept me breathing. 

His Word kept me HOPEFUL

His Word filled me when I did not have the breath to pray one more word. 

This morning, as I was sipping my coffee from my Christmas mug, I thought of you, my SHINE readers. 

Lord, how can I pray for them? How can I bless them?

One thing came to my mind...

The greatest gift that I could give is God's Word. 

You have heard my stories. How God has changed me since the day I began reading it in 2012. 

Desperately, I want the same for you. 

Maybe you have many Bibles and do not need one more. 

But, someone in your life does. 

 I am giving away three of the Daily Walk Bibles. 

If I was Oprah, I would give one to all of you, and I wish I could!

Due to spam, I do not leave the comment section open. However, if you would like to enter to win one of these amazing Bibles, email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com

I will draw a name this Saturday. 

Thank you for being a faithful friend and SHINE reader. You are prayed for and you are loved. 

May Jesus fill your heart and home with His PEACE, LOVE, and JOY!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14


Merry Christmas, 


jill





Dec 23, 2020

What's your plan?

 Last night I laid down on my couch and made myself stop everything I was doing. The house was quiet, and I needed it. 

I watched the white lights twinkle on my tree and I wondered how did my life get so crazy and busy these past few months since coming out of quarantine. 

The slowing down of quarantine was needed for my heart and my soul. Even despite an unknown virus making its way into our world, I still felt the peace of ceasing most activity. 

I picked up my prayer journal last night and spilled my heart into words on the lined paper. I told Jesus that I missed Him. I missed the times I had pulled away from my busy life and sat with Him. It had been a while since I had done this. 

My bible reading has become fast and furious as I check off my reading plan for the day each morning. I have not taken the time to let it resonate and root down into this heart so desperate for Living Water. 

I notice the change in me when I am not rooted and grounded in prayer and God's Word. I notice the lies that begin to take hold again, the piercing arrows of the enemy telling me that I will never ever get this right. 

The unbelief. The doubt. The attempt to control things, outcomes, people. It slowly floats up and I feel that suffocating again. It feels like literal hands around my throat, taking the life out of me with each squeeze. 

Can you relate? Have you find yourself on a downward spiral and you cannot seem to change course?

As I read my Bible slowly this morning. I let His Words penetrate deep. I read some passages over and over and over. I needed to absorb His Truth. Often, very often, convicting and artery hitting. 

I notice how even as I type, my eyes are drawn to the lights on my Christmas tree. They beckon me to gaze at them. To take in the beauty, the stillness, the peacefulness. 

I take it in. I breathe in deep the Peace.

We were made for the Light. 

12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

I realize and remember why Jesus often withdrew to quiet places. He longed, He craved, He hungered to be with God. 

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16

Could it be our hearts are just poverty stricken? 

We have fed it so much junk that it does not even function properly. We have fed it fear over faith. We have fed it worldly information over Truth. We have fed it newsfeeds over Psalms. We have fed it fiction over God's Promises. 

What we need MOST is time with Jesus. Even when we cannot get away, we need time with Him in our souls. To rest our worries, cares, and burdens at His feet.

The world is hungry for Jesus. We don't need a cure for Covid to solve this soul hunger, We need more of Jesus. 

I don't think I am the only one feeling this way. I have had countless conversations with people the past few months about this. 

Jesus is beckoning us back. 

He is calling His sheep back to the pen. We have wandered. We have been lured by the world. 

It is time to return. 

However, we need a plan. 

We have been reading through the Bible this year. We must continue. 

We must return to the Light. The Truth. The only Way. 

My plan is to stay the course. My plan is to make more time to let His words resonate instead of rushing through the passages. 

Your plan may be different from mine. 

Maybe you need the discipline and the structure of a reading plan? 

If so, The Daily Walk Bible is a great way to read God's Word. 

I have read it through several times now. 

It will keep you on track. It will keep you in God's Word. 

Let's hold each other accountable, shall we?

I would love to know your plan to stay close to Jesus this upcoming year. 

Set the goal. 

Have a plan. 

I came across this quote in my Bible commentary yesterday....

"I have a very simple thing to ask of you. I ask every man and woman that from this day on they will realize that part of the destiny of  America lies in the daily perusal of the Great Book." Woodrow Wilson

I am in. How about you?


back to the sheep pen, 


jill





Dec 15, 2020

Making up beds...

 Hi, it's me!

How is it December? Anyone?

I am sitting on my couch staring at this Christmas tree wondering if I can crawl under it and take a long winters nap for about 3 months. 

My baby girl just turned 16. 

She drove to school for the first time yesterday, and it was hard. 

I watched her little tail lights disappear into the drizzly rain, and swallowed back a hard lump in my throat. 

I mean, I knew this day was coming. But, why, oh why, does it sting this momma heart so much?

It felt strange having those few extra minutes to get ready to teach my yoga class. It felt weird not rushing out the door in the carpool line. 

The good news is, I made up my bed. Nice and slow. 

The bad news is, I slumped right back down on it, crunching up my neat linen lines and had a small pity party for myself. 

I got myself together and taught my sweet little class. God knew I would need to have something to do that morning. 

Driving home, I felt better. Something really refreshing washed over me. Like God breathed His clean air right into my suffocating lungs. 

I knew I would be okay. 

This would be okay. 

He is trustworthy. 

I see it written in inky smudges all over my old prayer journals...the aches, the losses, the suffering, the grieving, the worry, the fear....

I also see His Hand weaving His Faithfulness through each season of life. He could see the road ahead when I could not. 

He sees the road ahead of me now. 

There is a settling that takes place as you grow older and your children begin to grow up. 

A sweet contentment begins to rain fresh over your heart. A lack of hard striving and hand wringing begin to make their way into your soul. 

You begin to see a little differently. You have a little more wisdom on your side and you know the cost of getting it. 

Things don't quite rattle my bones like they used to. 

I have seen the goodness of God. 

I have the seen the flat out GRACE AND MERCY of God. 

When I am eaten up with sin, bitterness, pride, jealousy, worry, fear, anger....

He loves me anyway. 

He pulls me close, and I crumple in His arms once again. 

He is Faithful. This I know. 

As long as I am breathing in air, I know He has a plan for my life. He never said life would not change, He says HE DOES NOT CHANGE. 

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

This has been a hard year. For all of us. 

Maybe you are in a very difficult season with a child, a husband, a friend, a health issue, a financial burden, a loss, a consuming fear...

I have some really good news for you...

He is still Good. He is still Faithful. He is still Unchanging. 

He sees the road ahead of you, and He will carry you when your legs just cannot take one more step. 

You just have to trust Him. Talk to Him. Crumple right into Him. 

There is no better place to be. 

I told my children recently to keep their spiritual eyes on at all times.  He is right with us. He is so near. We just have to choose to see, and believe. 

I will choose to see Him. I will choose to believe He has good plans for me and my people. 

 How about you?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


making my bed again, 


jill


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