I love inspiring others with my work. Hand lettering has a way of grabbing our attention and drawing us in, so I am passionate about spreading positive messages through the words I write on each of my products. And, I also enjoy inspiring and encouraging other letterers by providing resources to help you improve your own lettering projects, as well as offering affordable resources for showcasing the beautiful art you spend so much time creating.
If you’re a part of my community or have been following me for awhile, you know that I love God’s Word. Studying the Bible excites me. I talk a lot about the Bible and what God is teaching me, but I wanted to share with you why it’s important that we all study the Bible on our own and why we should get excited about it.
It’s important that we study the Bible because it’s God’s written Word to us and the primary way He speaks to us.
If we want to grow in our faith, studying the Bible is foundational. Many people around the world do not have access to the Bible, but if you are reading this post, I’m gonna assume you do. 😉 So, start reading and studying the Bible online through one of the apps or websites I recommend (visit the link below) and if you can afford it, invest in a study Bible. All scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), living and active (Hebrews 4:12). Learning what messages God has spoken through Scripture for all people, for all time is exciting and it has eternal impact on our lives!
Side note: Do your research on translations. Some are more trusted than others and some are just paraphrases. You want an accurate, word-for-word translation. My personal favorite translation is ESV, second favorite is NASB.
It’s important that we study the Bible to grow in wisdom and discernment.
The world is a confusing place… even the church can be! Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” In other words, as Christians, we are not meant to lean on and live by our own ideas and opinions, we are meant to trust in God’s way and that His way is the best way. We grow in our godly understanding (AKA wisdom and discernment) through studying the Bible. The more we study the Bible, the more we grow in true wisdom, and the better we can discern what’s right and wrong in a world where it’s not always clear.
It’s important that we study the Bible to grow in our love for God and our love for others.
God’s greatest commandment has remained true since the Old Testament, but Jesus reiterates it in Matthew 22:37-38 ESV, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” God’s #1 commandment, the most important, our starting point, is to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. We grow in our love for God through prayer, worship, and studying the Bible. The second commandment flows from our love for God. The better we know His love, the better we can love others in the way Christ loves us.
I hope this post helped you understand better why we study the Bible. We don’t just study the Word of God to gain knowledge and go about our normal lives. It should change us. It should cause us to live and think differently.
The Creator of the universe wants to speak to you through His written Word—He wants to bless you with His love, gifts of knowledge and discernment, and so much more. This is exciting! Bible study is never boring when we ask God to use it to grow us and transform our lives. Pray daily for wisdom, study His Word, and memorize it. Experience how He speaks through Scripture and will grow You in ways only He can. <3
If you are not yet a part of my community, I would love to help equip you to study the Bible on your own and get excited about it. Sign up to join below to receive exclusive freebies and tips only available via email!
Coming to you today with some exciting announcements! The first is…
I am working on a new book… this time, with a publisher! After writing and self-publishing my first two devotionals and Guided Prayer Journal, I determined, the next book would need to be with a publisher. I had no idea how that would be possible, how I would get connected with the right publisher, or what the next book would even be, but I prayed and trusted the Lord would make it happen if it was His will and He did just that.
My publisher and I spent several weeks planning and discussing what the book would be about and the timeline to complete it. We are hoping to release it before Christmas… of this year! Which means, for the next two months, I will be focusing all my writing and creating attention on this book and a few smaller projects that are already in the works. This means I will be taking a break from creating and writing for the blog for at least a month, but the shop will remain open. I might have small pockets of time to connect with you all and provide updates, but it won’t be the same kind of content or consistency you are used to. But, know you are so appreciated and I know many, if not all of you, will be waiting here for me when I return. Thank you so much!
I can hardly wait to share more details with you! I’m thankful for each one of you and I hope you will keep me in your prayers – I will need lots of them in order to write this book! All glory to God!
I said I had more than one announcement, so here’s the next one…
I’ve got a few products available exclusively on Amazon through my partnership with Èccolo, including my best-selling Guided Prayer Journal in three cover designs!
I am grateful to be a part of Èccolo’s catalog on Amazon so that more people have access to a great resource that was created to help others grow in their walk with Christ in a more intimate way. I prayed God would make these journals more available and affordable and He has answered in the most unexpected and abundant ways!
I have even more products than those pictured available at select T.J.Maxx and TJX stores, but I am thrilled to have links to just a handful of my favorites – especially for those of you who have not been able to find them in stores in your area. If that’s the case, check out the links below!
Anyway… that’s all for now. It will be so strange being so disconnected from this community, but you all will continue to be on my mind as I write my new book. 🖤 Hopefully next time we connect, I’ll have more exciting updates, but until then the shop is still open, you can order one of my self-published devotionals in my shop to read daily, or you can just enjoy the blog archives! 😉 Blessings!
P.S. Make sure you get on my mailing list to receive updates, free resources, and shop discounts right to your inbox (and a FREE 8-day devotional instantly)! Can’t wait to see you there! Xo
“This God – his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” -Psalm 18:30 ESV
God is perfect in all His ways and His Word proves true. Let’s pause and think about that for a moment. If God’s Word proves true, it means there is clear evidence of its trustworthiness. But where do we look?
We can look to the Bible (the written Word of God) and even look at our lives, the lives of others, and the world around us to find evidence that the God of the Bible is the one true God and His Word alone is true.
Let’s start with the Bible.
I’ve been studying Genesis this year and what has stood out to me is God’s repeated promises through the line of Abraham. In chapter 12 God promised Abraham that He would make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation and that He would bless those who bless Abraham and curse those who curse him. After several long years, still no children, and Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was well past child-bearing years, God repeated His promise, making a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. (Genesis 15) More time passed, many sinful decisions and mistakes were made, but God’s promise prevailed. Sarah bore Abraham a son named Isaac and through his line would come the Messiah – Jesus Christ (Matthew 1). I find it amazing how God remains faithful to His promises through the generations even when people sin against Him.
God reminded Isaac of His covenant with Abraham, He reminded Isaac’s son Jacob… and God spoke through the prophets to remind the nation of Israel of who they were, who God was, and that a Messiah was to come. And when Jesus did come, He was the fulfillment of the many promises God made from the very beginning – to redeem a fallen world, promising eternal life to all who put their faith in Him.
But just as God remains faithful to His promises of blessing, God is also faithful to His promises of judgment and wrath. But, we see throughout Scripture God’s compassion through His repeated reminders and warnings to His people. When His people listened, they were blessed, when they ignored or disobeyed God’s warnings, they faced the consequences. Still today, God continues to warn us of the consequences of sin and the realities of hell through His written Word and that Christ alone is the way of salvation. And even this promise is good, because God is good and all His ways are perfect.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” -2 Peter 3:9 ESV
Have you ever thought about how compassionate God is in making promises and repeating them to forgetful people like you and me?
Our lives and the world around us
God also uses circumstances in our lives, the lives of others, and creation itself to prove the trustworthiness of His Word. I can think of several times in my life I have experienced God’s promises of comfort, peace, strength, and blessing, but of course, I’m always reminded of how He saved me. I shared that story in this post if you’d like to read it. And of course, God uses the lives and stories of others to prove His faithfulness to His promises. I think of the many amazing stories of God’s goodness displayed through the lives of close friends and family members – even the stories of others through books I’ve read or videos I’ve watched. The stories of God’s people throughout every generation are powerful testimonies to His faithfulness.
God even uses His creation to prove He is God and His Word is true:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” -Psalm 19:1-4 ESV
God uses it all. None of it goes to waste. How have you seen proof of God’s trustworthiness in your own life, the lives of others, or simply in creation?
He is a shield and refuge
God’s Word proves true. That is a promise. But, let’s not forget to look at the second promise in today’s featured verse: “he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Shields are used to protect and defend. They take the blow of a weapon or threat for the person covered by one. When I think of this picture, I can’t help but think of the Son of God, perfect in every way, nailed to a cross, suffering a horrendous death to save sinners. We deserved that death. He did not. And all who put their faith in His atoning sacrifice will be saved from hell and instead promised eternal life. He truly is our shield.
His Word is true and He protects all who put their faith in Him.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” -Philippians 4:8 ESV
This verse keeps coming to mind these days. God speaks through His Word and when a verse seems like it’s on repeat throughout the day, I know it’s from the Holy Spirit. I’m in a challenging season physically and mentally. Months now of aches, pains, trouble sleeping, sick to my stomach, anxiety, and the blues… I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but I am guessing the primary cause is anxiety. I’m on a journey to find relief and healing physically, but as I’m learning and growing in that area, God is also teaching me that this is just as much – or more – a spiritual battle as it is a physical one and it’s the spiritual side I’ll be focusing on in this post.
On the early mornings I can’t sleep, I often get up to pray. One recent morning, I felt compelled to write down all the things I was worried about. The list was long and 99% of what I wrote was entirely out of my control. As I wrote, I prayed, “Jesus, I lay these worries at Your feet.I know these are burdens I’m not meant to carry.”
Later that morning while I was driving, this thought came to mind: How do I lay my worries at Jesus’ feet for good? I could still feel myself hanging onto what I prayed to let go of. That’s when the words, “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable… think about these things,” came to mind. It was the Spirit responding directly to my thoughts, directly from His Word. Through that verse alone, He reminded me of an important step in letting go of anxious, worrisome, fearful, and even sinful thoughts: fill your mind with godly thoughts.
So often we see, hear, and read the “do not be anxious” part of Philippians 4:6 independently from the context of the passage. With just those words, it feels impossible. We wonder how do we just stop being anxious when it feels out of our control? But thankfully, God gives us clear direction in how to do this through the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4-9.
Let’s start by reading the passage in full – slowly and thoughtfully:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:4-9 ESV
How to overcome anxiety (According to Philippians 4:4-9):
Delight in the Lord and remain joyful in Him always. Again, rejoice!
Be reasonable and gentle
Let your gentle spirit and sound judgment be known to others. God is with you!
Pray about everything
Pray to God about everything – He wants you to do this!
Give thanks to God
Practice gratitude. Acknowledge every good thing is from Him.
Allow God’s peace to guard you
Allow the peace of God which surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind in Christ.
Think godly thoughts
Think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
God promises peace when we do these things and He is faithful to keep all His promises! Trust Him. Be expectant!
Put these things into practice, learn, and grow continually.
Remember: Grace abounds! Focus on continual growth, not an impossible standard of perfection. God is faithful to His promises even in our shortcomings. But, we also have to face the truth: There are no shortcuts. The first step is putting our faith in Christ, trusting in Him as our Lord and Savior. The next is renewing our faith in His promises continually and humbly obeying His Word – trusting our loving Father truly knows what’s best for us.
If you are like me and are in need of a clear visual reminder to put this passage into practice, I’ve created a free PDF for you to download and print at home. (Existing mailing list subscribers, check your inbox today!)
And finally, if you are struggling with mental illness of any kind, cling to Jesus. In Him alone there is lasting healing and peace. I believe applying this passage in Philippians will bring peace that surpasses all understanding because God promises it and He is faithful to His promises. Always. I also know that God often uses friends, family, doctors, and licensed therapists to bring about healing as well – to help us apply these truths to our lives and bring about healing where anxiety is effecting our physical health too. There is no shame in reaching out for help if you need it. I’m learning there are so many people in this battle against anxiety right now. You are not alone and our God is a God who sees you, cares for you, and loves you unconditionally. 🖤
It’s that time of year! We are in the midst of the lenten season, chicks, bunnies, and eggs are popping up wherever we go, reminding us Easter is right around the corner… also reminding us how hard it can be to keep Christ at the center of this season. (Can I get an amen??)
I would love to help you keep Christ at the center of your Easter baskets and gifts this year! And if you have yet to check out the new shop, today is the time to do it since I’m offering 15% off everything today only!
Nine years ago this week, by the grace of God, I put my faith in Jesus Christ. So, I thought it would be appropriate to share my testimony of faith with you all today.
My life before Christ
When I share with others that I’ve only been a follower of Jesus for the time that I have, many are surprised to hear that I grew up going to church very regularly. Nearly every week growing up, our family would attend a small, traditional church, go to Sunday school after services, and every summer my sisters and I would attend church camp. the Bible was read in church, Bible stories were taught in Sunday school, but I never understood why all the ancient stories and why Jesus dying and being raised from the dead had an impact on my life personally.
For most of my life, I believed in God, but I was not following Him. I had no idea there even was a difference. I understood God to be a holy judge and that if I followed the Ten Commandments well enough, I would be accepted into heaven. I remember a specific moment from my childhood where I questioned, how do I know when I’ve done enough for God so I can go to heaven? Which I later learned is the opposite of the Gospel message.
For most of my life, I was a Christian by name, but not at heart, which isn’t a true Christian at all. Aside from having some strong morals because of what I did know about God’s commands, I followed my own path and my own understanding. But, in my late teens, I started seriously questioning the existence of God. I had a powerful experience my last year at church camp and reflected on that camp high thinking, I feel like God wants us to feel close to Him all the time, not just one week out of the year. That thought impacted my prayers in a positive way, but not my lifestyle or even my beliefs about God. I prayed before bed many nights that God would show me what it looked like to be close to Him. I wanted that, but had no idea how to experience that. And eventually, by the time I left for college, those prayers were prayed to a God a seriously doubted even existed.
Coming to faith in Christ
As I drifted from God, I became more self-focused, needy for attention and recognition for my accomplishments, the way I dressed, the guys I went out with, and the roles I got in school plays. I started playing ukulele and writing songs and became obsessed with music and the desire for fame, even though I denied it to myself and others for years. Music became my outlet for anger and I hurt several people because of the songs I wrote and publicly released. I destroyed relationships with the two people closest to me at the time, and I started realizing I was on a self-destructive path I had no idea how to get off of.
The spring of 2012, when I was home for spring break, I went to a party with a whole bunch of high school friends. A few of my friends told me they’d be leaving to get ice cream and French fries and that I should meet up with them at McDonalds. Being the introvert that I am, I left the big party shortly after my other friends did and I was expecting to show up and we’d talk about boys and gossip. When I arrived, I realized I had walked in on a conversation about Jesus and Bible studies that these two friends had joined. I was so confused and felt very awkward. A year ago, these friends were into the same kinds of things I was, not God.
I sat there for awhile, panicking a little because I had absolutely zero to contribute to the conversation. But as they turned to me to ask how I was doing, I told them about my fears and how I felt like my life was spiraling out of control. My friends told me that Jesus could set things right and that I should start pursuing a relationship with Him. They encouraged me to start a prayer journal, start writing to Jesus about what I was going through, and to tell Him my regrets and my desires to change.
In that moment, it clicked. Jesus is the answer. I didn’t know it at the time, but I later learned, it was the Holy Spirit who intervened, opened my eyes, made my heart His dwelling place, and made this realization possible. This was the moment God saved me from my sins. I went out and bought myself a journal and began praying. I also wrote an extremely long letter to God about all my regrets and the idols in my life (the things that I valued more than Him) and told Him how deeply sorry I was for the mistakes I had made, how desperately I desired a relationship with Him and to experience His power in my life.
My new life in Christ
When I returned to campus after what was a completely life-changing spring break, I was a new person. I felt it, but I also didn’t understand what had happened to me. I felt that camp high feeling again, which I later learned was the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I was afraid that I would lose that feeling, the desire to rush back to my dorm between classes to journal, to spend my evenings alone at a picnic table listening to sermons my friend sent me, and eventually reading the Bible myself for the first time.
By the grace of God, I began growing in my new faith fast. I learned that I had been saved by grace through faith as I read in Ephesians 2 and that it was never about my own works. I learned that when I put my faith in Christ, I received the Holy Spirit, who opened my eyes to the truth and gave me the ability to understand the Bible for the first time in my life. I learned that this was not just a phase of my life, but that this change was permanent.
As I grew in Christ, I changed for the better. I became more focused on Christ and less focused on myself. I became obsessed with God, totally in love with Him and hungry to know Him – a major shift from my old obsessions and idols. Six months after that night at McDonald’s, I met my husband at a music school we both transferred to and he was such an inspiration, teacher, and encourager to me as a new believer. And he continues to be, though I will admit our path of growth has not always been a pretty or straight one. As the years passed, by God’s grace, I found reconciliation in both the relationships I had destroyed, which had been a source of guilt for a long time. God has done countless other great works in my life since and I praise Him for it all. I truly wouldn’t be the person I am today without Christ and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I still love Him and I’m beyond grateful that as a doubting teen, He heard my prayers to be close to Him, whatever that meant.
I now know that being close to God is not about the things I thought it meant: going to the right church, simply calling myself a Christian, living a moral life in my own eyes, and being good enough to earn God’s favor. I’ve since learned that God used my upbringing to prepare me for the moment He had already planned for me to surrender my life to Himself. I’ve learned that I can confidently call myself a Christian, not because of my own efforts, but because of the Gospel message – the truth that out of God’s goodness and great love for unworthy sinners, He sent His perfect Son to die for our sins and be raised from the dead, to forgive sins and promise eternal life to all who put their faith in Him! My works are no longer rooted in an attempt to gain His favor, but are now an outpouring of my love for Him and a desire to follow His commands, because I trust that truly following what He says in His Word is what’s best for us. I’ve since learned that though our God is a holy judge, He is also our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. A healthy balance of understanding all His attributes leads to deeper trust in Him.
Put your faith in Christ
God declares in His Word that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). Maybe you can relate to my early story of growing up in the church or in some other religion, but you’re not close to God or you don’t feel like your faith has had a significant impact on your life. I encourage you to pray to Jesus. Ask Him to show you what true faith looks like in your life. Start seeking Him diligently, even if you don’t feel His presence. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” That is a promise to cling to. Reflect on your mistakes, your flaws, what might be idols in your life (the things that you put before God), confess them to Him, and ask Him to redeem those areas of your life and help you change. Put your faith in the Gospel. Faith in Jesus Christ requires full surrender. I know this can be scary, but what He promises is far greater and far better than anything we are tempted to hold onto. He assures us of this over and over again in Scripture and I personally can attest to this as well. You can trust Him.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” -1 Peter 1:3 ESV
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 ESV
After weeks of anticipation, the new and improved shop with lots of new products is now live right here on my website!
I am so excited to share this new space and these new products with you and start sending them home for you to enjoy. I can hardly wait to see what you pick out! Mailing list subscribers, make sure you check your inbox for an exclusive coupon code to use at checkout. Everyone else will get free shipping if you spend $35 or more!
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts leading up to this launch, I’ve been feeling a stirring in my heart to create this shop for several months. I’ve been on Etsy for over 4 years and I’m extremely thankful for how the Lord used that platform to launch my career as a lettering artist and graphic designer. I hadn’t created a shop on my website up until this point, because I love to simplify and having a shop here and a shop there felt redundant. But, as the experience on Etsy changed and my desires grew deeper to create an online space to step away from all the distractions of life and just focus on Jesus, I realized that I wouldn’t be creating something redundant. I was ready to create something brand new for my community and for myself, all for the glory of God.
It’s my hope that this website and shop will be a blessing to you and your loved ones – a place where you come to get filled up on the Word of God each week, consider how you can apply the truth to your lives, and to share that truth with someone in your life. That’s why I improved the entire website and blog at the beginning of the year. And now, I hope it will be a go-to place where you come to find reminders of God’s character and promises to add to your home and give as gifts to those you care about and want to encourage.
Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support.
Whether you’ve been with me since the first shop opened or have joined me somewhere in between then and now, I am grateful you are here. It’s a privilege to be a part of your life in this way. I know many creatives experience burnout either through the content they create or the people who follow them, but for me, our great God and His trustworthy Word keep me inspired and this wonderfully supportive community keeps me motivated to keep blogging and creating. I love to create, but to me, it’s a means to be a part of something bigger than myself – trusting God will use my works to make a lasting impact for His Kingdom.
Please consider joining my mailing list if you have not subscribed yet! Joining makes you an official member of my community where we can more easily connect. You’ll get blog posts and shop updates sent directly to your inbox (don’t worry, I’m not spammy about it!) and you’ll get dozens of freebies instantly, including my 8 Days of Romans 8 eDevotional!
If you would like to get even more involved as a partner in my mission to create free biblically based and creatively designed online resources, please check out my mission statement, what I believe, and prayerfully consider becoming a monthly patron.
Boy oh boy, has this transition been a labor of love! I am working on this website all on my own, so it has been a huge learning experience. Thankfully my husband is a software developer, so he has been a huge help when I’ve run into hiccups that I can’t find an answer for on the internet – so grateful for him!
I’ve been thinking back on late October/early November when I thought about getting this shop up and running before Thanksgiving… that would have been a disaster! I’m grateful God gave me patience to wait until I had more time, because even with several weeks to work with, there have been a lot of long afternoons of taking and editing new photos, late nights uploading and updating products, designing the website, and troubleshooting the many problems that pop up and need to be fixed… all on top of my regular work responsibilities with other companies and clients.
It’s been busy around here, a lot of hard work, but I’ve done several big projects over the years and know it’s the ones that cause you to grind, persevere, and rely on the Lord to give you the abilities to accomplish them that are the most rewarding in the end. Holding onto that hope!
I’ve been asked if opening this new shop means I will close my Etsy shop. For now, I will be leaving it open since about 30% of my sales still come directly from Etsy searches. However, this new shop will be the home base from now on. All new products will be uploaded here first. In fact, I will not have time to get all the new products loaded to Etsy until days or weeks after this launch. I’ll be focused on updating my wholesale shop next, Etsy will come last.
I know Etsy is so convenient, but I invite you to shop here for several reasons. By shopping directly on my website:
You will be supporting my efforts to create a shopping experience centered on Christ.
I’ve been working hard to create an online space that feels cozy, calm, and peaceful – a comfortable place to browse and convenient way to shop, centered on God and His Word.
More of your money will be going directly to me, a Jesus-loving small business owner, and less to giant companies.
There are so many hidden expenses on my end with Etsy: transaction fees, listing fees, shipping fees… the list goes on and on. There are significantly less fees on my end when orders are placed right here on my website, so your dollar goes a lot further.
You’ll be able to shop without the distractions of ads and unwanted product suggestions.
When you come here, you’ll know what to expect: Jesus-centered, quality, well-designed products.
You’ll be able to create an account for quick and easy transactions in the future!
A more mindful way to shop, not just here
If you shop a lot on Etsy, I recommend searching a shop or asking the owner if they have a website you can shop from first. I know it’s slightly inconvenient. But until recently, even I (who has been doing this online shop thing for a few years now) didn’t realize how much more you can support shop owners by shopping directly on their website. I’ve started doing this instead of shopping Amazon when I can too! Some will be like the old me and only be on Etsy, Amazon, or wherever, I get it! It’s a great way to start! But, those who have independent shops on their websites will be so grateful for the extra effort you took to support their small business.
See you next week!
It’s crunch time, so unfortunately, I will not be back this week with my usual art and scripture meditation post. But stick around! There’s plenty more of that to come, as well as a brand new, beautiful shop with tons of new items to choose from (including a super exciting one that I’m still waiting for from a new manufacturer in New York)!
Mailing list subscribers will get an exclusive coupon code, so make sure you join my community and introduce yourself!
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” -James 1:2-3
God says through the Apostle James to count it all joy when we meet trials, because this tests our faith and that testing of our faith produces steadfastness. In a recent post, I talked about the word steadfast. It means to be unwavering – fixed or firm in a direction or purpose. In the context of this verse, it means the testing that happens through our trials produces unwavering faith within us.
As Christians, our ultimate desire should be to know and love God more deeply and grow to be more grounded in Him and His Word, whatever the cost. So, from a purely logical standpoint, if trials produce a more grounded, fixed and firm faith, we absolutely can be joyful in trials. But of course, that’s easier said than done.
This kind of joy does not mean we ignore, deny, and avoid our circumstances or suppress emotions of grief and sadness. It means that in the midst of our pain and suffering, we are able to see God’s presence. We are able to trust that God will bring good from our suffering (as He promises in Romans 8:28), that He empathizes with us through His Son, and is actively engaged in the midst of our trials. This type of trust strengthens our foundation in Christ and it’s oftentimes in the most challenging circumstances that we are able to see God do His greatest works.
A woman in my small group shared an amazing story recently, which she gave me permission to share. Her mom was a strong believer and my friend was right there with her as she breathed her last breaths. In those moments, she experienced God’s grace in the most profound way. The reality of the Gospel hit her: Though we are completely unworthy sinners, out of His great love for us, God the Father sent His Son to die the death we deserved and rose from the dead so that we could be forgiven, declared blameless in the eyes of God, promising all who put their faith in Jesus will receive eternal life in His presence. As my friend watched her mom pass away, she was overcome with the reality that we are all deserving of hell, but by grace, through faith, her mom would get to leave her suffering and be with Jesus forever. This realization grounded my friend’s faith in such a significant way. There was and still is deep sadness over her loss, but she said she has not experienced God’s peace and grace like that since – she wishes she could, but she also would never want to go through that suffering again.
This is such a beautiful example of this verse lived out. We do not rejoice in the loss of loved ones, a terminal diagnosis, an unfaithful spouse, a home foreclosure, a wayward child, crippling mental illness, or whatever your trials may be. But as we mourn, we can still have hope, knowing that by grace through faith, we are not only promised eternal life and forgiveness of sin (though that in itself would be enough), we can cling to God’s promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us, that Jesus empathizes with our pain, that He will bring good from the darkest circumstances, and that He will use this testing of our faith to produce unwavering faith within us.
So, dear sister (or brother) in Christ, whatever you are going through right now, no matter how dark and numerous the trials in your life may be, God sees you. He is right here with you, actively at work in your circumstances and the deepest places of your heart to produce steadfast faith within you. Cling to Him in prayer and His Word, worship Him, and trust He is good, His character unchanging, and that He is faithful to every one of His promises.
If you are still wrestling with a past trial, struggling to see where God was in the midst of it, tell Him. Ask Him to reveal where He was, to show you His goodness and faithfulness through it, and to bring you peace that surpasses all understanding. It may take time, but keep seeking Him and worshipping Him as you wrestle. He hears you. 🖤
HEBREWS 10:23 | Remain grounded in Christ. He is faithful to His promises.
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The new shop is opening two weeks from today and I’m so excited to share some sneak peeks at what I’ve been working on (and these are just a few of the new items)!
My main motivation behind launching this new shop is to create a better shopping experience right here on my website. I want everyone that comes here to grow in their understanding and love for Jesus, to be creatively inspired, and shop for well-designed, well-made decor and gifts inspired by biblical truth.
I used to work at a Christian bookstore and gift shop, so I got very familiar with what types of products were on the market and readily available to the body of Christ. While there were definitely some beautifully designed and well-made products, many lacked both of those attributes. And, it was especially hard to find products that were more modern in design, which better fit my personal style and personality. At the time I didn’t have any plans of making my own products or opening an online shop, but I think my experience at the bookstore was like a seed planted which grew in me a desire to create unique, modern, well-made, well-designed artwork and products that boldly proclaimed biblical truth.
It started with a growing love for hand lettering and a few digital prints I listed on my Etsy shop over four years ago and it has grown into a shop with a variety of products, not just hand lettering, but books, digital resources, graphic design, typography, block printing, illustrations, and the list goes on. My shop has grown in more ways than one, so it felt like the perfect time to give it a new space right here on my website.
I have worked hard to provide a calming place on the internet for all to come and reflect on the goodness of God and I am excited for this new shop to be an extension of that, so you not only come here for my posts, but also come here to find those special daily reminders to display in your home, wear on your jacket, read during your quiet time, and give as gifts to encourage loved ones.
Just two more weeks and the brand new shop will be launched! I hope you will be there to celebrate this new chapter with me and find some special items that remind you of the hope we have in Christ. 🖤