Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Arbonne Protein Bars

"I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert."~Jason Love

Okay, so with this recipe, you can have "dessert"/snack AND have a good body! 

First off, I've gotta say I love snacking.  I seriously love *just* the right amount of sweet. I love a recipe that you can whip up in a matter of minutes, and most importantly, I love a snack that is loaded with protein and good ingredients! This is one snack I seriously can not get enough of, and I think you won't be able to either!

Let me first say that the best part about these no-bake protein bars is that they are made using Arbonne's chocolate and vanilla protein shakes. A little bit about Arbonne's protein: Arbonne's protein has no ingredients that cause inflammation, especially NO WHEY (not like others that are harsh on your digestive system), DAIRY, GLUTEN OR SOY. It has NO artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or dyes. It is Vegan Certified. This protein has a HIGH amino acid score of 100 which means that it is highly digestible and absorb-able. It is a yellow pea, brown rice and cranberry combined source of protein so it is very gentle on the digestive system while helping to create muscle and promote healing. I also use it in shakes as post recovery workout shake and as a meal replacer. 

Okay so on to the good part- the recipe! This is just the basic protein bar recipe that I make and take to my Arbonne parties for everyone to sample.

What You'll Need:
2 cups of Almond Butter or Peanut Butter
1 2/4 cups of Agave Nectar or Pure Honey
4 cups of Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder (can mix chocolate and vanilla-my fav!)
2 1/2 cups of Oats (gluten free would be best)
9X16 inch pan

-In a bowl, mix the almond butter and honey. Microwave for about a minute, or until the mixture is smooth & easily stirred- try not to eat it all at this point ;)
-At this point you'll want to stir in your protein powder and dry, uncooked oats. It'll be pretty thick, but keep stirring! What you can do it at this point is add a little bit of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coconut milk, or water to bring it to a better texture.
-Once all stirred and desired texture, press into the pan and make sure everything is smooth and even
-Refrigerate for an hour
-Take it out and just eat it with a fork.... or cut it into 24 individual servings :)

Here are the nutrition facts you and anyone you make these for can be wowed by:

Sodium- 86 mg
Fat-7 grams
Fiber- 5 grams
Carbs- 8 grams
Sugar- 10 grams

These would be good with some flax seeds, some added Arbonne's Essential Fiber Boost, or coconut. Feel free to add things that you and your family like :)

If you are dying to make these amazing protein bars and don't have Arbonne's protein, I'd love to help you with your order! All you need to do is let me know in the comment section.

Enjoy friends!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A MOTHER'S DAY POST: Lifting up my Child

I had thought about posting a Mother’s Day blog post for a while, but had no idea what to post exactly, and wasn’t sure if my heart was really in it. Then something happened the other day when I was dropping off my son at Mother’s Day Out.

We always arrive a little bit early to Mother’s Day Out, while the teachers are having their morning meeting, so I can sit with Buddy, and reassure him that God is with him throughout the day, that he’ll have so much fun, etc. Another mother and her daughter are always early too, and we talk occasionally, but typically it’s just the standard let’s politely laugh and tell the other mom how cute their child is deal going on, not really making much eye contact with one another, awkward thing. Well this woman’s daughter is such a talker. She always runs around adventurously, saying whatever is on her mind and in perfectly understandable non-babble sentences, mind you. She looked at Buddy and asked her mom “ Is he a baby??” She asked this because Buddy doesn’t talk. He is very shy in public, as well as having a major speech delay. He cannot communicate with the others in his class as they can, which to a three year old makes him seem like a baby. My first reactions were to be very hurt, and so thankful that Buddy didn’t quite comprehend this. I was angry at this very innocent comment by a three year old. But what was my response? “Noooo, he acts like a baby sometimes though”. WHAT? Why the heck did I say this? Did he hear this and did it hurt him? On my way home I cried because of something that was said about my child that could hurt him, and that I-his mother- said something that could potentially hurt him as well.

You might be thinking, why is she so upset she said that, she just said he acts like a baby? This was just a quick comment, something that seems so insignificant, and Buddy probably didn’t even comprehend what I was saying, but what if he did? How many other things have I said to him that I think are just silly little comments that have hurt him? And how many more things in the future will I say that will affect his self-esteem? I feel like our culture now is not wanting to brag on our children too much, so it’s funny for moms in conversation to say “what a weirdo” or “he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed” in front of friends or family members. We know we are joking, and most of the time, our kids probably know we are too, but what happens when our “joking filter” lets out other things that aren’t uplifting to our children? I know you’ve all heard that quote: the way you speak to your children will become their inner voices. I don’t know about y’all, but that speaks volumes to me.
The words we choose to say about our children and around our children can either bless them greatly or be quite damaging; those words will become an inner voice of confidence or an inner voice of low self-esteem.

So how are we to stop this pattern of talking down to our children or saying things that could negatively impact them?

Realize That Our Children are Rewards and Gifts from the Lord
Psalm 127:3 says that children are rewards and gifts from the Lord. They are gifts from our Father! Gift-implying that we have done nothing to deserve them. We, of course all believe that our children are just perfect, but how often do we show them through our words that we believe they are fearfully and wonderfully made? Only when we are pleased with them? Only when they are being cute or funny? It should come out even when we are disciplining them or frustrated with them. Being fully conscious that our children are gifts, given to us by the grace of God, who has entrusted us with them, puts it all into a whole new perspective. Buddy is a precious gift to me, and therefore I need to cherish him in every waking moment, showing him nothing but constant affection as my Father has shown to me.

It Starts With Us
I always say how much I “hate” a song, or “hate” that certain kind of food. My child will grow up saying he hates everything. It starts with us, moms. It starts with understanding that whatever comes out of our mouths is born in our hearts. And God’s Word says in Ephesians 4:29 that what we say shouldn’t be any unwholesome talk, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs. Our children need to be built up by our words. We worry so much about how others will tear them down, that we don’t think about how much of an impact our little comments could hurt them. This has been a tough tough lesson for me. I should have kind things to say in every situation, because that should be the attitude of my heart. But sometimes I’m an impatient and tired mother who doesn’t stop to think that my corrupt talk has such an impact on my child. And that what my child learns from me, will be not only how he talks to himself, but treats others.

I want my child to love himself. I want my child to respect himself. I want my child to respect others. I want to change the attitude of my heart so that no corrupt words come from my mouth, but words that lift up my sweet Buddy.

Lord, let me see the blessing my child is every day, that he is a gift from you. Give me a kind disposition and to learn to love kindness. Grant me the strength it takes to resist any corrupt talk, or anything negative that could hurt my child’s self-esteem.  Give me the wisdom it takes to teach my child your Word.

Let’s be mothers who train our hearts to focus on the goodness in all situations, in others, and most of all in our children.

Let’s be mothers that speak kind words that will only benefit others around us to be examples for our children, that they will grow up with a healthy sense of self.

Let’s be mother’s that love our children with the love that our Father has graciously shown us.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Scripture Memorization Week Four {Lamentations 3:22-23}

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,   for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.
As I mentioned in my last post, it’s just been Bear and I recently, as we’ve found that the Husby has a new work schedule for the time being {hopefully getting back with us sooner than later}. Needless to say, we’ve been all out of whack around here. I stopped working out {oops}, stopped finding a craft and corresponding Bible verse to teach Bear, let him watch movies all the time, we’ve been back and forth between visiting Dad, visiting my parents, and being here at the apartment. I don’t cook much, laundry has piled up, my daily devotional is now scattered to a couple days a week, I have harbored anger against my husband for being gone, and I just feel all over the place.  I’ve felt like a zombie going in and out of routines, driving place to place, and the monotony of it all has my mind clouded and foggy. This has all resulted in my feeling tired, like a bad mom, a bad wife, and a bad Christian. This morning I dropped Bear off at Mother’s Day out, came home, started laundry, and started praying. I prayed that God would give my mind rest, that He would allow me to be still, and show me what He needs me to read today. In other words, I needed help.  I came across Lamentations 3:22-23, which to me seems quite perfect, honestly.

If you are familiar with Lamentations, you know that it’s a book composed of five poetic laments {corresponding to it’s five chapters} over the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. In Chapter 3 though, we see a change. The author {believed to be Jeremiah}, who has been mocked by his own people, shunned by the Lord at a time, has this to say:
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulnesss.”
He had not lost hope that His God is a God of compassion, mercy, and faithfulness. What a beautiful illustration of how out complete turmoil and chaos comes compassion from the Lord. By the grace of God, this crazy busy and mundane lifestyle will not consume me. The Lord has compassion for me that never fails. The word compassion literally means to be moved in the heart out of love for another. Meaning that my God is moved in His heart when he thinks about me. Me! That in and of itself is encouragement enough to keep going. To revel in His love and compassion for me. That he loves and cares about me that much. It brings me to tears knowing that we have a God who loves us so much that He will never turn his back on us, regardless of any efforts on our part to turn our backs on Him. It brings me to tears knowing that amidst all of the mundane tasks of life-getting caught up in the nitty-gritty of motherhood that no one ever tells you about {feeling trapped and lonely} and cleaning up, driving from here to there, my blatant disregard for all of the blessings He has put into my life- every morning brings with it a day to receive God’s love and start fresh.
I encourage you to accept that God loves you deeply, and that His compassion for you never fails. You are constantly on His heart.

I encourage you to not go through your days, having a cloudy mind, forgetting that each day is a day to start anew by God’s faithfulness to you, his child.

Let that drive you. Let that fact drive you to be compassionate to others because your God gives you compassion. Let it drive you to find the grace in each of your commonplace chores, and to seek His beauty throughout your every day.

*picture found here

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Scripture Memorization Week Three {Philippians 4:8-9}

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”

So this is the last part of the little three part memorization on some of Philippians 4. I’m unfortunately already a week  two weeks behind. I have been all over the place lately, with some changes in my husband’s work schedule! Anyways, I’ve learned a lot from these six verses. I’m excited that I have picked them all apart and can now piece them all together in a way that make sense. I can see the bigger picture of what Paul really meant in part of his letter to his friends, the Philippians. And the best part about all of this is that it’s so applicable to our lives today.

If you look up several versions of these verses, you’ll see that from 4:2-9, these verses are under “Final Exhortations”. The definition for exhortation is “an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something”. In my Bible it’s grouped together with Thanks and Conclusion. These are some of Paul’s final words in his letter to his friends in which he aims to “exhort” or urge them to understand fully what it means to live like he did, a life that is lived for God, and to communicate to them how immensely blessed they’ll be because of it.

Focusing on Truth

Paul says “Finally…”, meaning, this is the last thing I want you to hear “brothers and sisters”, mediate and think of all things true. It seems kind of odd that he starts out with the word “true”. If we’re thinking from worldly standards here, there is no objective meaning of the word truth. It’s based on what each individual person believes is truth. Plus, Paul follows up the word truth with other more pleasing adjectives: lovely, admirable, etc. So why not just say whatever is lovely, to think about those things? But here’s the thing, I think Paul starts out with truth, because as Christians, we only know one meaning of truth. How do we as Christians recognize the one truth that I’m talking about? We can recognize truth by knowing God’s word. That’s why I’m so excited to be on this journey because by knowing his word, all of my thoughts will first go through this filter that will be built up in my mind from knowing God’s Word.  The rest describes what the Bible says is truth: things that are noble, reputable, authentic, lovely, admirable- “anything excellent or praiseworthy”- think about such things. If anyone is in a place to give this advice, it’s Paul. Paul has been the ultimate example for these people of what it’s like to lead a life focusing on God’s truth. And that truth is one that he preached about and taught wherever he went. Preaching about a crucified Messiah, whosedeath on a cross served both to redeem us and to reveal the character of Godinto which we are continually being transformed”. By doing that, he was blessed immensely by Christ’s peace, that peace that transcends all understanding that I talked about in the last post.

An Exhort for Intentional Positive Thinking

In Proverbs 23:7, I love that Solomon wrote “as a man thinks in his heart so he is”. On a daily basis, I am a glass-half-empty kinda gal. I see the bad in people, situations, and myself. What I think in my heart, has made me what I am. Don’t get me wrong, I yearn to be a positive thinker, but I’m just a Negative Nancy. I am. But if I am to call myself a Christian, I can claim boldly that I understand truth, and by understanding truth, by God’s grace, can I be a glass-half-full gal. God’s grace allows me daily to be able to see the true, noble, reputable, lovely, and admirable things all around me, which will in turn free up so many opportunities for me.  Essentially, what I have concluded is that from Paul’s exhortation to his friends, he is encouraging them to daily intentional positive thinking: focusing on Biblical truth and the good things in our daily lives as Christians. It’s a call to focus our attention on things that are noble, things that are right, things that are pure, basically anything worthy of praise in the eyes of our Father. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. The connection between verses 5-7 and 8-9 is clear: 6 and 7 are Paul’s advice on how to communicate with God, 8 and 9 are Paul’s pleas to communicate with ourselves in a way that is influenced by the Lord in order to receive his amazing peace.

The God of Peace Will Be with You

I like the message’s version of these two verses. I like them because of the end of verse 9, where it says this:
Do that, and God, whomakes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Paul would know first hand what it is to experience having things work out into God’s most excellent harmonies. He says “do that”, do all these things that I told you, and that you learned from me and saw me do, and I promise you, God will work you into His most excellent harmonies, He’ll richly bless you, He will bring with Him His peace into your life. This is not the first time Paul wrote to the Philippians about this very thing: the God of peace will be with you. Verses 4:4-9 talk about how when we rejoice in Him for he is near {verse 4-5}, trust in His Sovereignty in our lives {6-7}, and changing our thinking {8-9}, He will do some amazing things in our life. I love this. Paul’s story is such a powerful testament to how shifting our thoughts to focusing on truth and embracing what is good in the eyes of the Lord, we will be blessed immensely. I love this quote by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

'Tis the set of the sail that decides the goal, and not thestorm of life.

What a difference it will make in our lives if we choose to find the beauty in life and shift our thinking just a little to the truth that is the Word.

So what are your thoughts on verses 8-9? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Scripture Memorization Week Two {Philippians 4:6-7}

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have had a lot of changes in the past couple of months. I got married, I moved my son and I from the comforts of my parents’ home {probably to their delight} and moved to the city where I know only a couple of people, and have recently started sending my son twice a week to a Mother’s Day Out program {that he currently hates}.

I have so much anxiety it’s insane.

I can honestly say that anxiety has been the biggest thief of joy in my life presently. The anxiety I have as a mother is twofold to what it was before becoming a mother. I know you other mothers {and fathers} can relate. It’s about everything, y’all. It’s relentless. Am I spending enough time with him? Am I spending too much time with him? Am I teaching him enough about God? What will his relationship be like with his biological father? Will he hate me as a result of said relationship? Have I not talked to him enough? Why isn’t his speech where it “should” be? I don’t want to leave him because I might die. Who would take care of him? AHHHHH

I have trouble going to sleep at night. I tell everyone everything that is troubling me and giving me anxiety. It’s funny how I feel so comfortable complaining to people the things that worry me, when in reality, they can’t do anything about it

In summary: It is absolutely overwhelming relying on my own strengths & the advice of others and it not being enough. 

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith,and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
- George Mueller
I really love that quote, don’t you? I ought to put it on sticky notes to put all around the house. As soon as I let anxiety seep in, it means I’m not having faith that it’s being taken care of. I’m not trusting God. By relying on my own strengths, and the strengths of others, I’m not showing that I have faith in the Lord to take care of my needs. And honestly, I do give my worries to God most of the time when I smarten up and realize I can’t do it alone, but when it comes down to it, I just don’t have faith in His sovereignty. Anyone else have that problem?

Verse 6 says in every situation by prayer and petition present your requests to God. In some versions it says in supplication, meaning to humbly present yourself to God {signifying his Power}. I strongly believe that by making it a pattern to give every single anxious thought to the Lord, believing in his sovereignty to take it all away and handle it will We’re not just commanded to do this just to show the Lord we trust in Him, we do this because he cares for us. {1 Peter 5:7} I can present my worries to Him and tell him all day every day and He can fill that hole that anxiety has brought into my life because he loves and cares for me. God is on my side so I will have no fear, the people that once gave me anxiety will just be mere mortals {Psalm 118:6}. I am given freedom from all anxious thoughts, fears, and concerns.

Right after saying “with prayer and petition” I love how it doesn’t just go on from there.  I says with thanksgiving present your requests to God. This seems like classic Paul, right? As previously discussed {in last week’s post} the guy didn’t exactly have the best life at that moment. Nothing seemed to be going his way, to outsiders, but here he is telling us to give our worries to God, and to do so with thankful hearts. He had no anxiety, despite all of his misfortunes because he trusted in the Lord with a thankful attitude, and told the Philippians to do so as well. Perhaps we are asked to be thankful in our petitions and prayers to God in order to be reminded of the things that He has provided us with. Starting out our prayers to God with thankful hearts, listing off all God has done for us, might make our current anxieties seem pretty puny.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"

Talk about freedom! Verse 7 is my mantra on anxious days. If you have ever experienced the peace that only God can provide, the peace that transcends all understanding, then you know what I’m talking about when I say freedom. To put this into context I want to share what J. Oswald Sanders said:

"Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God." 

God’s mere presence when called upon gives you a peace that transcends all understanding. It’s a joy that you can’t understand! It’s a joy and calming feeling that you don’t know how or why it should be there. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.{Psalm 94:19} YOU SIMPLY CANNOT UNDERSTAND IT. Meaning that it’s unfathomable how there could be trouble or anxiety, and at the same time, have a peace. I’m sitting her typing with a smile on my face, having experience that peace that God has given me that transcends all understanding. It’s such peace that it guards our hearts {which are susceptible to anxious feelings} and our minds {which are susceptible to anxious thoughts}. All this through Christ Jesus. I can’t tell you how powerful it is to experience that.

Just typing out is such a reminder to me that with the Lord, you and I can have peace. We do not have to be anxious because he loves us. He cares for us. He wants us to imagine a peace that transcends all understanding. We can cast our cares on Him.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever experienced the peace that only comes from the Lord?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scripture Memorization Week One {Philippians 4:4-5}

I’m so excited to be starting my weekly scripture memorization, and I’m so happy you are a part of my journey. My plan for the first week was to do Philippians 4:4-9. I decided I wanted it to be my scripture memorization when I was reading in my Jesus Calling the other day. After reading it and thinking on it, I couldn’t help but to break it up in my mind. Each verse was so powerful in itself, that to memorize it as a whole was taking away from the individual parts of it. However, I know there is a reason that all of the verses are organized in that particular order.  I love this passage so much, and perhaps after breaking the all up into parts and understanding them more, I can better understand it as a whole. So, with that being said, the next three weeks of scripture memorization will be as follow: this week: Philippians 4:4-5, week two: Philippians 4:6-7 and week three: Philippians 4:8-9. If this works for you, I encourage you to do this a long with me, I would love to hear what others have learned from this particular piece of scripture.

To be honest, after the first verse though (verse 4), I had a hard time understanding what these verses were supposed to mean. What was I supposed to take from this? How does it fit together? Why were these verses written one after another as if they had some sort of connection? They in fact do, but I needed to do some research* of my own about the book of Philippians to truly appreciate these couple of verses, and subsequently, the

To understand these two verses, we really need to have an understanding of the background of this particular book of the Bible. This book is an epistle (or letter) from Paul to the Philippians. The “Philippians” he refers to are members of a church that Paul started in Philippi 10 years prior on his second missionary journey.  At the time this letter was written, Paul was under house arrest in Rome after a conflict in Jerusalem and was facing his trial. The Philippians, Paul’s friends and great supporters sent one of their people, Epaphroditus, to go to Rome to visit Paul and to give him a gift (probably money). There, Epaphroditus stayed and helped Paul with his missions and became ill. After he became ill, he went back to Philippi, and with him, he brought this epistle (the book of Philippians) written by Paul. Philippians 4:4-9 is most certainly not the beginning of the letter, but in these specific verse, I believe it clearly illustrates Paul’s attitude towards his situation, and the attitude that we as Christians are called to have, should we face tumultuous experiences. After finishing the book, I may just pick more out from it for scripture memory J

What really attracted me to this verse was those very first sentences: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” It seems so cheerful and so encouraging. In fact, this isn’t the only verse in Philippians that has the word “rejoice”. The book of Philippians has the word “rejoice” or “joy” 16 times! Yeah, 16 times is a lot! It seems that this is the general attitude of Paul. Surprising, huh? The man was a prisoner in Rome, and he talks so much about having an attitude of joy and rejoicing in the Lord. I looked up the word “joy” on theopedia. This is what it had to say:

“Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope.” 

If anyone illustrates this perfectly, it’s Paul. But he is calling his church and anyone else who is a believer to REJOICE (have joy) in the Lord. This is saying that we should be content, confident, and hopeful in Christ. This isn’t just a command to do when we have what we need, or when there isn’t anything going terribly wrong. No, it says “Rejoice in the lord always” This is through any and every circumstance. This is a right we should fight for as Christians, to be able to have a joy that comes only from the Lord. A joy and peace that passes understanding.  

Okay so here’s the part of the passage that stumped me. Verse 5 says “let your forbearing spirit be known to all men for the Lord is near”. What the heck? How is that even related to the first verse? This command seems foreign compared to the first.  However, after reading several different versions of the Bible, it became a little bit clearer to me what Paul is saying in verse 5. I began to understand that these two commands are right there, side by side because they are such strong commands, needing to be emphasized for a single purpose. Here’s the NLT version: “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do”. Here’s the NIV version: “Let your gentleness be evident to all”. And here’s the WNT & RSV version: “let your forbearing spirit be known to all men”. These are all different words, but getting a better definition of the word “forbearance” will help us understand how to comprehend this.  

EPIEKES is the Greek word which can be loosely translated as forbearing. Take Teknia’s definition for instance: “Sweet reasonableness, generosity, goodwill, friendliness, magnanimity, charity toward the faults of others, mercy toward the failures of others, indulgence of the failures of others, leniency, bigheartedness, moderation, forbearance, and gentleness”

In other words, graciousness. Now we can relate all of the different versions. We are called to be gracious towards, showing humility, and a forbearing or patient bearing of those who oppose or abuse us. This certainly does not mean physical abuse. No, this is talking about the personal offenses we take every day by others. This is talking about the little annoyances that make up our everyday lives, the little things that push us to the point of exploding after we get cut off by someone in a line, or someone can’t read our minds and agendas. I don’t know about y’all, but I am a complete hot head. I’m stubborn, and I am so very vengeful if we’re being honest. But that doesn’t mean I can’t ask for God’s grace to give me a gentle and forbearing spirit towards those who I have felt have wronged me in some way, or simply just annoyed me.  So at the beginning of verse 5, Paul is speaking to his peeps, telling them what God commands them to do. Why? Because they had earlier faced opposition by those who did not agree with their church (Philippians 1:27-30).

So we have a choice. We can choose vengeance against those who “do us wrong”. Or we can have a forbearing spirit, patiently bearing the injustices done to us by others, showing that we are Christians who have chosen to follow God’s command to us.

I long to be person who rejoices in all circumstances. I long to be a person with a forbearing spirit, having a patient attitude with those who abuse, annoy, or wrong me. I hope you long for the same thing. I hope we can work as Christians together to show others that God can give you the grace to manifest a spirit of forbearing and joy. For the day of the Lord is near and through my actions, I want to bring as many people to Christ that I can!

What did you get out of these verses? How is your scripture memorization going?

*I was really helped to understand this scripture by a sermon I saw here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Journey into Weekly Scripture Memorization

In light of the New Year, my new surroundings, a new place in my role as a parent, I cannot deny any longer how important it is to memorize scripture. I feel as though I cannot go any longer teaching my son about God and discussing it with my husband without the proper knowledge of what the Bible really has to say. I cannot “live on bread alone”. After stumbling upon a quote one day recently, I was compelled to start on this journey of memorizing the Word:

“Repetition expands our capability of recall. Recovering spiritual truth demands repetition and use. The more you hear, think through, and apply spiritual truth, the more it begins to dominate your thinking. Eventually you will react involuntarily in the proper spiritual manner to any situation because a particular spiritual principle has become so much a part of you.” – John Macarthur
I don’t know about you, but that quote got me completely pumped; pumped to start focusing on each individual word, really understanding it, memorizing it, and praying that those words would completely transform my way of thinking, making it easier for me to live the life that God has called me to live. In other words, I want to live and breathe the very words of my Father.

I want to memorize scripture so that I may use it in teaching, correction, and for training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, correction, and for training in righteousness. I’m gunna be honest here: this is one of my main reasons for my journey into memorizing scripture. I want to be a mom who can use the Bible to correct any unwanted behavior or to reward any good behavior. The day will come when Bear asks me why he should or should not do something, and I will be able to say “because this is what the Lord says about that”. But I can’t just talk the talk, I have to walk the walk. I want to back up what I teach to my son. I want to use it in my teaching, in my correcting, and to train him with righteousness. I want the words said by God through me to light the path of my son, that he would then be able to go out into the world and teach those same words that were breathed out by God to bring others to Christ. How powerful that is! My prayer is that by memorizing scripture, I will bring others to the Kingdom of God through any teaching and training.

I want to memorize scripture to keep pure and keep my child pure

I look at my son and constantly think how innocent he is. He has not yet been tainted by the bad and awful things of this world. I want to keep him protected from those things. I want to keep him innocent and pure. In Psalm 119:9 it says the only way a young man can keep his way pure is by guarding according to God’s word. How important that is to do, not just for your children but for yourself as well. By living according to His word and to his precepts, the Holy Spirit gives us the grace to be able to live a pure life for Him, for the word of God is a light for us!

I want to memorize scripture so that I can present myself to be blameless in God's eyes and to please Him

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in thelaw of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” I don’t know about you, but I want to be blameless in the eyes of the Lord. The word blameless means innocent of any wrongdoing. I want to come to the Lord knowing I tried with everything to read his word, memorize, it, hide it away in my heart, and subsequently try to live according to it.  I would love to do my best to present myself to God, as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. How I long to do what’s right by the Lord, to know that I can come to Him as a sinner, but knowing I did my best to be like Him- holy and blameless.

I want to memorize scripture with joy and delight!

Jeremiah 15:16 says “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts”. My hope and prayer for this journey of memorizing scripture is not to do it only because I feel like that is what a good Christian should do, but because I want to know what it’s like to live a life according to the will of God, because he has called me to do it, and to do it in the way HE intended: with delight and joy! In Philippians, Paul, who was in prison wrote to the church with joy- the man had joy in prison because he was living a life according to God’s word. He said to the people make myjoy complete by being like-minded…being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1) I envy those around me who live with such joy. It is always my prayer, and in this journey of really knowing God’s scripture, I can only hope to attain that true joy that wise men and women around me have from being in God’s word. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8)

My Strategy for Scripture Memorization

- An accountability partner: aka, le husband! Accountability partners are so important in any goal we wish to achieve. We do them with diets, with exercise, why not do it with scripture memorization? Houston will not only be reminding me to memorize my verses, but he will also be memorizing along with me. I think this will be so great for both us; for our marriage, for our parenting, and of course, in building a better relationship with the Lord.
- I’ll be writing each verse on a flashcard. They’ll be labeled week 1, week 2, week 3, etc. By having it written and on a flashcard, I can physically hold it and bring it with my anywhere as a reminder. After each week, I will still go back and start from the beginning and recite each verse so that I won’t forget them.
- I use the app Scripture Typer for the iPhone. I’m going to strongly encourage this app. It’s so great because of all of the tools that it gives you while you’re trying to memorize scripture. You first pick which scripture you want to memorize. You can type in whatever scripture you want, or pick from 55 different categories they have and pick individual scripture from there. You can record and playback the verse any time, draw illustrations, or review with flashcards. The app will also remind you when you need to review your verses. It’s seriously so great. I love all of the options that it gives you and that it teaches you in so many different ways.
- I don’t have any certain order or list that I’m going to use to memorize. For example, my first verse came from my daily devotional. It really jumped out of the page at me, and I just felt that it was an important scripture to memorize. There are tons of tools online in helping you with this part of scripture memorization if that’s where you’re getting hung up. I’ve had past attempts at scripture memorization and used this list  of the 50 Best Bible Verses to Memorize on To Love Honour and Vacuum’s blog! A lot of the verses I use will probably be on this list because it’s a fantastic list.
- SEEK OUT RESOURCES! There are tons of blog articles and resources to help you accomplish your goals in memorizing scripture. I love reading what others have to say about it, and it’s exciting to know that we are all on this journey at accomplishing this goal to bring glory to the Kingdom.

So, there is my plan to memorize scripture! I strongly encourage you to join this journey of scripture memorization with me. Document your progress, let me know how it’s going for you!

Do you have any different reasons for starting to memorize scriptures? Any strategies that have really worked for you? I’d love to hear about them!

If I can still sing all of the lyrics to every N’SYNC song on their debut album, then I’m sure I can do this J