Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Grace Tips >> Southern How-Tos (+ Tip #1)

The idea for this blog series on Grace Tips began one day while spending time with my grandmother, Manaw. Growing up her mother had this famous tea/punch that was her own signature 'dish'. Fridays after school the Shirley sisters would ask their mom if their friends could come over after the football game. Mimi of course said yes, and then would spend the afternoon and early evening making her famous "Yellow Tea." 

Mana makes a quicker + easier version of "Mimi's Yellow Tea" that she always keeps on hand for when her friends come over to visit. She also uses instant coffee + keeps an electric kettle close by for anyone who'd rather have something hot to drink. Manaw told me that you always need to be prepared for people to come "a' visitin'" - which people don't do that much anymore, and I wish we still did. 
*Side Note: Why don't we invite others over for coffee + dessert after dinner? Its easier than preparing a whole meal, and then serving coffee + dessert later. Did someone recently move into your neighborhood or building? Invite them over! You don't even have to have a clean house - just the kitchen + eating area*

You may notice at your family gatherings people have a certain dish they like to bring, or that you ask them specifically to bring. We definitely do in my family...

Potato Salad - Momma
Mac + Cheese - Aunt Sylvia 
Gingerbread Men - Aunt Jackie

The list goes on {I have a lot of aunts who can cook!!}

So what's my first Southern Graces Tip?

Grace Tip #1 >> Always be ready for visitors by having a go-to treat or drink
{and keep the coffee pot close by}

Do you have any go-to recipes you keep on hand? 
Leave them in the comments below + I may feature you in a future recipe post!! 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Week Three: Romans 12:2

A Redeemed Girl is Transformed 

Romans 12:2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -
His good, pleasing, and perfect will."

This verse actually has the word 'transformed' in it! I know how easy it is for me to get caught up in circumstances. Even just the little every day annoyances, things that shouldn't effect me all that much, can change my mood. It is so important for me {and you} to remember that our God is bigger than our circumstances. 
We can shine His light by not letting the little things {or big ones} effect us as they used to. 
He calls us to transform our minds - that means our thinking, our outlook, our attitude. I encourage you to try this for one day and see how you mood changes back towards the positive. Every time something starts to bring you down, think of something to give Him glory for. 

Trust me, it works! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Week Two: John 15:4-5

A Redeemed Girl is Transformed 

John 15:4-5

"Jesus said, 'Remain in Me & I will remain in you.
No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine.
Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;
apart from Me you can do nothing.' "

Last week's verse was about God giving us a new heart + a new spirit. He just gives it us for free!
So what do we do next? This is a great follow up verse to the first one {I guess that's why they at Redeemed Girl, picked it}. The next step is to remain + abide in Him. How do we do that? What does that mean?

It means we spend time getting to know Him by reading Scripture + praying. I admit, I don't set time aside for Him daily. I need to, oh how desperately I need to! So you're not alone if you don't. However, I do notice a huge difference in my life + attitude when I do spend time with Him on a regular basis.

I encourage you to spend more time with Him this week than you normally do. Whether its more days of the week or longer periods of time, just increase your time with Him. You'll be amazed at how you will begin to change + see Him more at work in your life.

Don't forget, 
Choose Joy! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week One: Ezekiel 36:26-27

Week One of the Scripture memory starts January 5th. 
The first 8 weeks are themed "A Redeemed Girl is TRANSFORMED"

Ezekiel 36:26-27

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees
and be careful to keep My Laws."

This was definitely the best Scripture for me to memorize right after making the decision to choose Joy each and every day. I needed a new heart and new spirit to move past the struggles from last fall. I clung to this verse every day that week and asked for His Spirit all day long. 

I could strive all I wanted to follow His ways and His laws, but without His Spirit in us, we will always come up short. What a sweet reminder that He is there to help us every step of the way and He gives us exactly what we need. He is the one that changes and transforms us! We just have to be available and obedient. 

Are you available for God to work in you and your everyday life? I am a planner {my planner is color coordinated} which doesn't always leave availability for God to work in my life unless its written in my schedule for the day >> "Okay, God, I want You to do big things at 6pm tonight, because that's all the time I have for You." How silly does that sound? Pretty silly to me, and that's how I view Him working in my life sometimes. 

I encourage you to leave room for God to work in the big situations and the small, in the everyday and in the extraordinary. Oswald Chambers wrote something along those lines in his "My Utmost for His Highest" devotional book. When I find it I will put it here as an encouragement to you. 

Choose Joy!