Thursday, July 30, 2020

How Big Is Our God

Hi friends! I'm back today with something I hope can encourage you as it has done for me. Whether it's something I've recently read, something I've been meditating on, something that's been laid on my  heart, I always want to share. Y'all know my motto is if I can encourage just one other person, it's worth sharing! I think one of the biggest reminders we should pass on to each other is that we're never alone. God did not intend for us to walk this life alone. Not only do we have a caring, loving Heavenly Father to hold our hands, but we also have each other. With that, isn't it a beautiful thing that we can come together, pray for one another, encourage one another and more. Well I have something today that I hope will encourage you. 

Something that was laid on my heart over these past few months is the idea of just how big our God really is. Although this is really too much to even fathom, it has greatly helped me when walking through waters that are just too strong for me to walk through without holding tight to One who promised me that He will be with me. In other words, God-size tasks that we cannot take on by ourselves. And again, God did not intend for us to walk through them without His help (Isaiah 41:13, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 121:2, Psalm 46:10, just to name a few). What a beautiful thing that is! When things feel impossible, it's amazing to remember that nothing is too big for God and with him all things are possible. But what has helped me understand how capable our God really is, is to think on how big he really is. I feel like nothing exemplifies this more than creation, which was especially put into perspective for me when I read Psalm 148, better known as the "Creation Psalm."

In this, the Psalmist takes us through a list of creations, many of them being too large for us to even fathom. The heavens and heights above, all his angles and heavenly hosts, the sun, the moon, all the stars, the great sea creatures, the ocean depths, stormy winds, mountains and more. But what caught my attention was the fact that all of these. Every single star, all the great sea creatures, the sun, the moon and everything are to praise him. Not only did he create them, but they also praise him. Wow! After reading this, I wanted to just think through the vastness, how large, how powerful some of these creations are. Y'all may already know some of these facts, but I'll share some of what I found:

The sun is said to have a diameter of roughly 870,000 miles, could hold about 960,000 spherical earths and makes up 99.8% of the total mass of the solar system. But if you think that's large, the sun is actually small compared to some other stars. One for example is Arcturus. Arcturus is said to be roughly 25 times greater in diameter to our sun, and to the eye it shines 113 times brighter than our sun. That's hard to even fathom! And yet that's not even the largest star. It's just one of all the stars that praise him. Next, the number of stars. I'll just go ahead and say, it's a number I quite honestly can't even process. A number that is given is to be just about as many as all the grains of sand on all the beaches on our planet (we'll come back to this). Again, wow! And they all praise him because "at his command they were created." (Psalm 148:5).

Next the Psalm mentions creations on Earth, which again, just brings me to another wow. First, all the "great sea creatures and all ocean depths." From Madeline's love for sea creatures, I could throw out quite a few facts for y'all, but let's just mention the blue whale which is said to grow up to 82 feet in length, and its tongue alone is said to weigh four tons. If a blue whale isn't a "great sea creature" I don't know what would be! Next, just think on that phrase "ocean depths." I don't now about y'all, but deep water scares me like none other. Especially deep, dark water. I was playing in the ocean with Madeline on our float last week. We were in a tide pool which was pretty deep (for a tide pool haha). We hit an area where it was about to my chest and y'all I freaked out haha! Not even that deep. But if we really want to think on the ocean depths, let's just look at the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep, located at the southern end of the Mariana Trench, being roughly 36,200 feet deep (7ish miles). I also find it mind-blowing that with all we know about the ocean, all the creatures, all its depths, just roughly 5% of the oceans have been studied. It's said that 95% of what's out there has yet to be discovered. I think on that vastness and again, wow! But let's continue. The Psalm goes on to talk about characteristics of the weather. Lightning, hail, snow and clouds...forces that are too strong for us and completely out of man's control. Yet, they praise him. Then it takes us to think on the "mountains and all hills". And yes the first mountain that comes to mind for me is the tallest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest, reaching an elevation of 29,029 feet.

When I think on creation, it makes me feel pretty small haha. Last week I felt like I truly experienced those moments. One night on our vacation, I took Madeline out for a little beach walk at night. We had our flashlights and we were just going to venture down to the beach. We got down there, and goodness there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was very dark out, you couldn't see the waves (only hear them) and the twinkling stars were quite the sight! It was incredible! I grabbed Madeline in my arms and we just stared up at the sky. I told her "Madeline, isn't it amazing and so beautiful to see? And just think, God created each and every one of these. He knows the very number of stars and 'calls them each by name.'" To say we felt small would be an understatement. And what was even more amazing was that in my quiet time the next morning, that verse (not knowing) was part of my scheduled reading. To see all those twinkling stars with Madeline the night before and to read that very verse in my study hours following was no coincidence to me. It left me with such a feeling of just knowing how much he cares. Another one of these moments for me were the times of just sitting on the beach, feeling the breeze and watching the waves. I felt so at peace, and honestly, it felt like the first time in months that I could not just emotionally but also physically be still. I just sat there, thinking on what an amazing, awesome Creator we serve. Our loving Heavenly Father that not only created the great sea creatures, ocean depths and all the stars, yet he knows the number of hairs on my head. It was such a moment of peace and just knowing that I truly can trust him with my life and Madeline's life. That I know he cares...about every finite detail. Which leads me to something else. The Psalm doesn't just stop there with these big, awesome creations. It takes things to a much smaller scale as well.

The Psalmist then mentions animals, "small creatures" and "flying birds". "Kings", "Princes", "All rulers on earth", "men...women...and children". To think that we went from the heights of the heavens, to the great ocean sea creatures and depths, now to small creatures and flying birds. From a blue whale to let's say a sparrow. That's quite a change. But what this tells me is how awesome is it that yes, our God not only controls the bigger picture, he also cares about the tiniest, smallest, finite details as well. And what a comfort that is to you and me. I think it's so easy to look at things on a bigger picture and goodness have we all seen that in our world today. But again, we are all facing our own personal struggles as well. With this, it can be so easy to walk through our struggles and feel like, how could this be of importance when compared to everything going on right now?! But guess what, it is. You matter, your circumstances matter, every finite detail of your life matters, because you are precious in God's sight. How awesome is it to think that the same God that created the sun, the moon, Arcturus, the blue whale, the Challenger Deep, Mount Everest and so much more, is that same God that created you and me. And never think for once that he does not care and that every finite detail of your life does not matter to him.

 How Big Is Our God: A post to bring you encouragement you and remind you that the one who created the great sea creatures and ocean depths also cares for the tinies sparrow. And  don't forget, YOU are worth more than many sparrows - Something Delightful Blog #Matthew1019

As I mentioned above, it's amazing to think on a larger scale then bring things down to a smaller scale. It just tells me of how much he cares/knows about every tiny detail. What a personal, near and present help he is. Just the very fact that he created all the stars in existence, yet he knows them each by name (Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26). Again, it's so difficult to even fathom this, and I've even questioned it at times, but how can God really know what's going on with each of us at all times and be in control?! How can he know everything?! But Psalm 139 tells us that his thoughts are so vast, they if we were to count them, they would "outnumber the grains of sand" (Psalm 139:18). Just type that number into your browser, and again, a number we cannot even fathom. God tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts, and neither are our ways his ways (Isaiah 55:8). Psalm 139 continues to tell us that he searches us and knows us. He knows when we sit and when we stand, he is familiar with all our ways. Before we even speak a word, he knows what we are thinking. Such knowledge is absolutely too great for us to even fathom! Psalm 139 continues that even if we go up to the "highest heavens" or down to the "deepest depths", "rise on the wings of the dawn" or "settle on the far side of the sea", even there his hand will guide us and hold us (Psalm 139:1-10). When I read this, those questions I had are canceled out with the truth of again, how big our God really is, yet how close and present he is.

Let's continue with things on a smaller scale. Luke 12:7 tells us that even the hairs on our head are numbered. Again, he knows the number of stars (not that stars are small, but from our view, they certainly look small) and calls them each by name (Psalm 147:4). He "knew of all our days, before even one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16).  I love verses that talk about the sparrow. If God cares about even the tiniest little sparrow and not one of them will fall apart from his care, how much more does he care for us?! He tells us that we are worth "more than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:31). I love how God's Word talk about "faith as small as a mustard seed" (Matthew 17:20). But it continues to tell us, with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can do what? Move mountains! Again, I love that comparison of small to big and with even the smallest amount of faith, we can do big things! Same with us, don't we feel so small compared to the ocean, the tallest mountain, underneath a starry sky? But with God all things are possible and although we may be small, although each of our lives may seem like a tiny speck, we each have a story, the finite details of our lives God is working together for our good and his glory. Do y'all see where I'm going with this? So, just when you start to feel like your story does not seem significant in the midst of everything going on, how can God possibly keep up with all of us...just remember that every tiny aspect of your life matters, and it matters to your loving Heavenly Father.

Yes he created big things, little things, all things, and he cares about YOU and every tiny detail of YOU. Next time you see a little sparrow, let that remind you of God’s love for you! And if you are currently walking through waters that seem to rough, deep and scary for you to walk through on your own. If you feel like a tiny sparrow tossed into the depths of the sea, reach up and grab the hand of your Heavenly Father who created things too great for us to fathom yet he knows the very number of hairs on your head.

"When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." 

Isaiah 43:2

And with that verse above, if you caught my last bit of encouragement on believing, think back to what I said about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Just as Isaiah 43 tells us that when we walk through the fire, we will not be burned. And not just that, believe that when you come out on the other side, not even your clothes will smell like fire. 

I hope this has encouraged y'all today! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read :) Love y'all!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Back To School Finds With Walmart

Hi friends and happy Thursday! It's crazy to think that we're just about half way through July and August is just a blink of an eye away. For me, I feel like Augusta always starts a season of busyness. School, extra curricular and other activities pick back up. That's why I like to use July to get ahead and purchase necessities Madeline will need for the upcoming months. I know things may look a bit (more like a lot) different for most of us this year. I know there's a lot of uncertainty going around and just that feeling of wanting to make the very best decision for our little ones. Homeschooling, going to school, online school, whatever the upcoming school year may look like for your kids, just remember you've got this! :) Especially if you're going to be homeschooling, use this month to go ahead and schedule out lessons plans, buy up supplies and necessities, etc., so that you and your family can jump into the school year on top of the game and ready to go!

Like I said, I've been purchasing and preparing a lot of the necessities we'll be needing. Cute, comfortable, affordable clothing, school supplies, backpacks and more. I've shared this before and I'll say it again, but Walmart has become such a one-stop-shop for us, especially with back to school. I love to have Madeline a variety of cute, comfortable (and affordable!!) clothing that is perfect for school days! Walmart's fashion finds have become a go-to for us. They have gotten in an amazing selection of pieces for the upcoming season that are great for now and transitioning into the fall. My very favorite jeans for Madeline are from Walmart. I have a hard time finding jeans that fit her really well, and I'm again stocking up on her Wonder Nation jeans for the upcoming season. From clothing and backpacks to school supplies, Walmart has it all. I went through and rounded up some fun finds for girls and boys:

Back To School Finds With Walmart - Something Delightful Blog #walmarfashion #walmart #kidsclothing #affordablefashion
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12
// 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19 // 20

How CUTE are #1 and #2 and only $12! The cutest little dresses that are perfect for now and layering with leggings and a cardigan closer to the fall :) There are also lots of fun tie dye finds! Something else I love about shopping for kid's fashion finds at Walmart is that you can get sets that come with two dresses, two tops, etc. #9 is the cutest set that is again a great transition find and comes in several prints/colors. 

Back To School Finds With Walmart - Something Delightful Blog #walmarfashion #walmart #kidsclothing #affordablefashion
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 
11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18 // 19

If I had a little boy, I just know that I'd be stocking up on trousers and jeans for him as well! How CUTE is #12! Again it's a set that comes with two colors for an amazing price, which is such a good deal. #1 and #2 button up tops come in a handful of prints/colors. I also thought #16 sneakers are amazing!

Back To School Finds With Walmart - Something Delightful Blog #walmarfashion #walmart #kidsclothing #affordablefashion
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

And you can't forget cute backpacks! Even if you're schooling from home, I think it's important to have a backpack for your kids. Walmart has some super cute ones to choose from, also a lot of cute character themed ones! See more backpacks here. I also couldn't get over these cute little pencil pouches. I got Madeline the unicorn one, and she's crazy about it!

Also, if you're interested in checking out some great activities and necessities to go along with your child's school year, Walmart has some great ones (like I said, they're got you and your family covered!). They have all your supplies like pencils, glue sticks, kid scissors and more. And also great activities and learning items to supplement your child's schooling, such as flashcards, writing activity books, reading materials and more. See lots of classroom essentials here! I also always love and appreciate how Walmart has so many items that are available for two-day shipping and even next-day delivery! 

Thanks for stopping by, friends! I hope this has been helpful and can give you some ideas for the upcoming school year. Have a great Thursday!

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Recent Target Finds for Summer

Hi friends and happy Thursday! I'm back with a new round of Target finds to share with y'all today. Shorts, dresses, tops, so many cute things! These pieces are my ideal summer pieces and what I basically live in during the summer. I'll be sharing a try-on over on IG stories today to share these pieces in closer detail. Let's get started :)

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion
Eyelet Scallop Hem Blouse (Also comes in Navy & White) // Target Style Denim Shorts (I size up to be looser in the legs) Also love this pair and this pair // Walmart Slides // Similar Target Sandals

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion
Drawstring Sweater (also love this one and this one that's not Target) // Ribbed Tank // Target Style Denim Shorts (I size up to be looser in the legs...Also come in white and black)

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion
Kid's Tie Dye Boxy Tee (I'm normally a XS/S in adult sizes but got the kids XXL and have room! I'd say if you're a XS, S or M, you could make the kid's XXL work) // White Jeans // Target Denim Shorts // Gold Espadrille Sandals (also love this pair)

Same Tie Dye Tee // Elastic Waist Pull On Shorts (Also come in coral and black, TTS) // Cuff Drawstring Utility Shorts (Come in four colors, I size up one size to wear them high waist)

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion
Maxi Dress (Also looks so cute knotted on the hem, TTS) // Drawstring Sweater (also love this one and this one that's not Target) // Gucci Slides

Recent Target Finds for Summer - Something Delightful Blog #targetStyle #summerstyle #targetfinds #affordablefashion
Target Style Romper // Drawstring Sweater (also love this one and this one that's not Target) // Belt // Slides 

I hope y'all have a wonderful Thursday! Thanks for stopping by :)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Recent Amazon Finds

Recent Amazon Finds - Something Delightful Blog #AmazonFinds #AmazonFashion #summerstyle #beachvacay #affordablefashion
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 
// 12 // 13 // 14 // 15 // 16 // 17 // 18  // 19

Hi friends and happy Wednesday! Today I'm sharing some recent Amazon Fashion finds I've picked up for our upcoming beach vacation. I've shared a look at some of over on IG stories but thought it would be fun to round them up in a blog post. Lots of cute tie dye pieces, like this tie dye peplum top (comes in other prints/colors as well), tie dye knot front dress and tie dye pullover. I've also picked up some of the cutest swimsuits for our trip! They all have great reviews, and I'm excited to share them with y'all in person as I style them. I also picked up this sarong set that comes with a yellow, white, black and palm print, all for $20. You can customize the color selection as well. I love finding cute statement earrings on Amazon. And I also have to point out this gorgeous lace dress I got for Madeline. How sweet?! It's only $17 and also comes in navy. I thought it would perfect for some beach pictures. It came in yesterday, and I can't believe how amazing it is in person. It feels like something you'd easily pay $60/$70 for in a children's boutique. It's gorgeous!!

I hope y'all have a great Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by :)

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Don't Be Afraid, Just Believe...

Believe. A word that is so easy to roll off our tongues, but may feel just the opposite when it comes to actually practicing it. It's also a word that is so easy to quickly offer up to one another, but at the same time may feel completely different for those who the one actually facing the challenges in life. I'm writing this post today in hopes of sharing what can come from simply believing: the hope and peace it can bring, what it means to believe, examples we can trust and overall, the power of believing. It's one thing to read it/know it, but another to actually live it. I have always told y'all, if something has encouraged me, I want to share, even if it can simply encourage one other. 

It's been a year, y'all! I think most of us can agree. Not only on a larger scale with so much going on in our nation, our world! But I feel most of us could agree to this on a personal level as well with trials and challenges that we may be facing in our personal lives. If you've felt this way, goodness friend I am right there with you! It. Has. Been. A. Year.

But Y'all, I have hope. I have a peace, one that surpasses all understanding. Have y'all ever felt something laid on your heart. Maybe it was a word, a phrase or even a task. At first, you may have wanted to push it aside and find a validating reason to ignore it, like "Oh it's just my imagination". But then it comes back into your view. It may be brought back by something you read, a song you heard, a sermon you listened to, a word of encouragement from a friend you trust, or maybe even something so widely and unexpectedly out of your spectrum but it gives you a feeling where you simply cannot ignore it again. Almost like a whisper in your ear saying "hold on to this." I am a firm believer (I will be using this word a lot today haha), that the Lord opens doors for us. It may give a scary feeling of unknown, unbelief and just not sure of how to navigate through it or even if you should enter into it. But let me tell y'all, don't ignore it! It's there, it happened, it came into your life for a reason.

For me, the power of believing has taken a front row seat in my life, especially recently (and yes, I said power because y'all it's powerful!). I was thinking back, and I can so vividly remember when this was laid on my heart. It will also give a little example of what I was talking about in the previous paragraph. Back in February, I had been ordering some things from Etsy for our upcoming Disney trip. Let me also throw in, with "trying to balance the normalcy of life", excited to take Madeline on her first Disney experience and more, there were also things going on that were building up a lot of flat out fear and anxiety within me. I had ordered some matching Minnie Mouse shirts for us from an Etsy shop. When the package arrived, I opened it up to not only find our adorable matching tees, but also a note about the power of having faith. There was also a little key fob in the package with the verse Matthew 17:20 on it, which reads:

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

It was truly one of those "Lord, this is just what I needed to hear today. That is the encouragement I need now, for this season I'm in" moments. I was excited for those cute Disney t-shirts, but I needed to hear that message on having faith, and even the tiniest amount, that would spark a mission to live out a life of believing. I know this sounds funny, but I knew I'd somehow loose that key fob. It was small and delicate. I'm rough with my keys, so I knew if I put it on my keychain, it probably wouldn't survive a big drop haha. I had it in the car with me, and somehow it got intertwined on a cord my, so much that couldn't get it off (without some patience that is). Well, it's still there and a sweet reminder to me every time I get in my car. It may have been a tiny little symbol but with a much bigger meaning. And something that the Lord laid on my heart just when I needed it most, to prepare me for the months to follow. Two or so weeks after that, we went to Disney, our second night there we received news that my Uncle Doug had passed away, quickly ended our trip, and I honestly feel like the weeks (now months) have been snowballing ever since. But like I said, I have faith.

Now I can't lie, y'all it has been tested, I have doubted it, I have lost it. But it keeps coming back. Through things I'm reading, through some amazing mentors in my life, from family members, especially from my precious Madeline, but most importantly through ways I see God working. Just when I feel it start to slip, the Lord brings me right back to a place where I can't let go of it. I'm learning to "overcome my unbelief!"

Don't Be Afraid, Just Believe: A story on the power of believing - Something Delightful Blog

I will never fail to be amazing by "the little things" the Lord places in our lives that keep us going. I talked earlier about the doors He opens. They may seem more like "big" (even at times scary) things, but I'm also a firm believer that we can't ignore the little things as well. They're those things that almost feel like a whisper, as I mentioned above. Those little things that, just as we feel like we're about to give up, need that extra little push, a reminder to keep going, we feel it. God knows your sitting down, your rising up and understands your every thought, so never for once think He doesn't know what you're feeling. Just as we, as parents, understand things troubling our children, how much more does God understand with us being His children. and it's through the "little things", that light that is just enough for the current step we're on, that encourage us to keep going. I'll give y'all a prime example of something that was, has been and continues to be "a little light" for me: Madeline's kids Bible Story books :) How amazing to see and witness that "childlike faith." For Easter, Madeline got a kids Bible story book. In a little over a months time, we tore through all 500-ish pages. It was like she couldn't get enough. Seeing her "childlike faith" come to life with these readings was what I felt myself striving to have as well. Since she enjoyed that one so much, I ordered her several others from Amazon. What I love about them is that "childlike faith" they each encourage. I don't know about y'all, but us adults need that just as much. But the reason I'm telling this, I was starting to see those "little things" appear to me through reading with her. Overall, a common theme of believing! And it is through these Bible stories, miracles we see performed throughout God's Word, God-sized tasks that only He could do, that have helped me grasp on to the desire to simply believe. There are so many, and I know we have heard of many of them, but I really encourage y'all to just read through them. And when you do, I want you to pay close attention to the power of "believing" and "having faith" as a common theme. I'll just briefly mention a few that have meant so much to me.

Jesus heals a demon possessed boy: Matthew 17: 14-20 & Mark 9:14-29

In this story, we see a boy who had been demon posessed since his childhood. I don't know about y'all, but reading the description of this boy just gives me an eerie feeling! His father had asked Jesus' disciples to drive out the spirit but, as he goes on to tell Jesus, they could not. I love how this story exemplifies this father's cry for help for his son. He says to Jesus, "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." Boy does that sound familiar. I don't know about y'all, but I for one have certainly found myself crying out that "If" statement many times. But here's what I love, Jesus goes on to say "If you can?" "Everything is possibly for the one who believes." The boy's father replied, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Then, Jesus healed commanded the spirit to leave the boy. Wow. Y'all I have no words. It went from that question of "if" Jesus can, to I believe he can. That belief is what Jesus wanted to see. 

Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman: Matthew 9:18-26 & Luke 8:40-56

In this story, Jesus has just returned to a huge crowd around him. This crowd was so large that it "almost crushed him." It tells us of a man named Jairus whose only daughter was facing death. He "fell at Jesus' feet" asking him to come to his house. It next tells that Jesus was "on his way" to the house when, just as we think in our heads the story will go, there is another individual who interrupts the process. We don't know this woman's name and really nothing other than the fact that she had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. But she had a mission, she had faith, she believed...believed that if she could simply "touch the edge of his cloak" she would be healed. And guess what, she did and she was! But when we read further, we see that Jesus realized what had happened. He stopped and exclaimed that "someone touched me." We may ask how could Jesus, NOT know? Didn't he heal her? But I love this that I read in the notes of my study Bible, "Jesus wasn't asking because he didn't know. He said this so that she could be pointed out and praise God!" It then tells us that the woman came out "trembling" (goodness I know I would have too!) and fell at Jesus' feet. She told him why she touched him and had been instantly healed. And I love these next words. Jesus said, "daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Your FAITH had healed you. 

But the story doesn't end there! What about Jairus' daughter?! By this time, we are told that she had already died. Someone had come from Jairus' house and exclaimed to Jairus "Your daughter is dead,...don't bother the teacher anymore." Y'all I had to stop myself right there. How familiar this felt! How many times in our lives do we feel that. Maybe with something we've been earnestly praying for, a season we've been in for "far too long", just when we're ready to give up. We feel like what's the use! Why bother anymore. We start to loose faith. Just as this individual from Jairus had done (let along Jairus I'm sure started to), Jesus exclaims, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."And she was, just as Jesus said. Something else that came to my mind in this story, how many times do we growing weary in the waiting game. Honestly as if we're saying "anytime now, Lord!" Which is I'm sure what Jairus was feeling. But I believe God works things out in the way, almost as in the final hour, so that we are left with such an awe, knowing it was something only He could do!

Jesus forgives and heals a paralyzed man: Matthew 5:17-26

In this story, the faith in Jesus exemplified by the men carrying their paralyzed friend is on a whole new level. One that I strive to have. Jesus was teaching to a large crowd of people that had come from all over. But these men with a mission; they had their paraplegic friend on his mat and a determination to get him to Jesus. But when they got there, there was a problem! The crowd was so large that there was no way to get him to Jesus. The story doesn't tell us how heavy this man was, what his mat looked like, how easy it was to hold or how many of this man's friends were there to hold him. But what we do see is a whole lot of determination! A whole lot of faith! Their mindset was we've got to get our buddy to Jesus, and right in front of him. The crowd was so large that I would guess it felt next to impossible to push their way through the crowd. So what do they do? They get their friend on the roof, remove the tiles and lower him into the middle of the crowd right in front of Jesus. Then my favorite part, the story tells us, when Jesus "saw their faith", he healed their friend. I also think it's fascinating to now put ourselves from the thoughts of these friends to those of someone in the crowd. Imagine being there listening to Jesus and all of the sudden, this man comes in from the roof, right into the middle of the crowd! The story tells us, when everyone saw this, they were amazed and "filled with awe!" 

Jesus walks on water: Matthew 14: 22-32

One more of my favorites I want to share today and this is the story of Jesus walking on water. But not only Jesus, but also Peter! What I love about this story other than seeing the power of Jesus is something so relatable for you and me. So in this story, Jesus commands his disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of him while he dismissed the crowd. Afterwards, Jesus goes up onto the mountain to pray by himself. As time goes on, the disciples were already a considerable ways ahead of him and caught in a storm. The waves and wind beat up against the boat, and the disciples called out to Jesus to save them. Jesus begins to walk on the lake towards them. The disciples were at first afraid and thought Jesus was a ghost. Here's my favorite part. Peter then says, "Lord if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water." So he did and began to walk to Jesus on the water. But he got distracted by wind, became afraid and sank into the roaring waves. I like to stop here for a minute and think of times when I've been going along in life, everything seems to be going normal and all the sudden something happens that will turn everything upside down. I become afraid, I start to doubt, I loose faith, I start to sink. My fears become a distraction (like the wind) and I loose sight of the One who will pull me through. Nothing scares me more than dark water, nonetheless choppy dark water. I can't begin to think how scary that was for Peter when he began to sink into that water. Peter then shouts, "Lord, save me!" Then Jesus says to him, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" This is such an encouragement that when the waters seem dark and choppy, when distractions are swirling around like the raging wind, tempting me to loose faith, don't! Keep my faith and picture grabbing Jesus' hand to lead you across whatever dark water you may be facing. 

Okay I'll stop here with my favorites because I know this post is getting lengthy. But there are many more to read about: John 4:43-54, Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 9:27-31, John 11: 1-46, just to name a few more. I love reading these because it puts into perspective the power of believing! 

After reading these, I want to bring this power of believing back to a more personal, present level. And the best way I know to do this is share some words taken from my favorite devotional, The Quiet Place my Nancy DeMoss. This is my third time going through this one, and each time I read it, the Lord reveals new and amazing things to me. This was my third time reading this day, but this year, I read it on a day that I couldn't have needed it more. Don't you love how the Lord works in that way?! It's the little things, y'all! Here are some of the words from this particular reading:

"What if we believed in him (God) for the impossible?" "Don't ever forget that God-sized tasks cannot be carried out apart from His power at work in and through us." "And yet God specializes in the impossible - the unexplainable! So that when the victory is won and the task is complete, we cannot take credit. Others know we didn't do it and we know we didn't do it." "We must be willing to get out of the way and let God take over." "We will see Him do what only He can do, and those around us will be moved to believe."
~ Nancy DeMoss ~

Now these stories I mentioned above are New Testament stories that involve Jesus but I quickly want to mention one from the Old Testament, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, exemplifies a huge amount of belief. If you're familiar with the story, you already know, but King Nebuchadnezzar had just issued a decree that when the people hear the sounds of music, they were to bow down and worship the the image of gold. Anyone who did not obey would be thrown into the fiery furnace. However, these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to serve the king's gods. The king warned they would be thrown into the blazing furnace. But I love their response, their belief. They said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold." I'll come back to some of what they said, but the story continues to tell us that the king, in his raging fury, heated the furnace to be seven times as hot! So hot the the soldiers who threw them in were immediately killed by the flames. Then to the king's unbelief, there were four, not three, men walking around in the fire. They were walking around "unbound" and "unharmed". The king then commanded the men to walk out of the furnace, and they did. Not only did they walk out with "no harm to their bodies, their hair was not singed, nor were their robes scorched." But there also "wasn't even a smell of fire on them!" Wow! Then the people were all led to believe! 

I want to address one more thing. I know there are times when we pray, believe and things don't go as we would like to see them. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. Things we absolutely cannot understand on this side of heaven. Things we never signed up for. Sometimes we can't help but want to question God for allowing things to go as they did. You may say "I believed and things went exactly as I had hoped they wouldn't." But regardless of the outcome, I want to encourage y'all of the hope, the help and the peace that comes from believing. It's a process of learning not to fear the outcome but to trust the process. Have faith. Believe. Believe that he "is able" to deliver you, just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exclaimed. I cling to Ephesians 3:20:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

So I ask you, do you believe? Do you believe he is not only able, but able to do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine?! Do you believe "everything is possibly for the one who believes"? Do you believe that you can carry out a mission to live out a life of faith? Even if it's "faith as small as a mustard seed" or simply "touching the edge of his cloak"? Could you have faith so strong that when the crowd seems impossible to get through, even when the wind is so strong and the water is so dark, when you start to drown, that your belief in your Heavenly Father will carry you through? To cry out "Lord, help me!", reach for his hand and walk across on water? Can you believe in him for the impossible? To carry out God-sized tasks that seem impossible without his help? Let me tell y'all, you can. You can believe. And believe so strongly that when you come out on the other side, not even your clothes will smell like fire! And others who see your story, they will be moved to the power of belief. And you especially will.

I'll leave you with one last verse today. One that I love and one that really helps me understand the beauty, peace and the confidence that comes with a heart full of faith and belief:

Now Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

I hope this could encourage y'all today. Love y'all!

© 2017 Something Delightful | by Rachel Timmerman