Bloom Book 3 is One!

Bible study for girls

Bloom Book 3 is one today! The last year has flown by and it’s been so wonderful getting to share this third book in the Bloom series with all of you. If you’re looking for a Bible study for some young girls in your life, these books are a great place to start!

Bible study for girls

If you’re new around here or new to the Bloom books, welcome! Bloom is a three-book devotional series for girls ages 9-14. Mirroring the growth of flowers, the series starts in Book 1 with a girl’s relationship with God and blooms outward in Book 2 (friends and family relationships and Book 3 (community relationships). While that’s the design of the books, they can certainly be read in any order.

Friends, these are indeed strange times. Let us not forget that time spent in God’s word will keep us grounded no matter what life throws at us. But guess what? Kids need to know that too. And I believe with all my heart these books will encourage your daughter, your granddaughter, niece, student, or neighbor to sink her roots into God during this pandemic. You’re not just buying another book. You’re helping to equip the young girls in your life with truth and peace for years to come.

Peace to you and yours!

Buy Bloom on Amazon

Trusting the Promises of God

What do moving a safe and trusting the promises of God have in common? More than you might think…

Not too long ago, my husband and I were moving a large safe from the front of the garage to the back of the garage into a storage room. Kurtis asked me to help tip the hulking piece of metal onto a dolly and then he would wheel it to its new home. On the first try, I was too hesitant because I was afraid the momentum of the massive safe would push the dolly out. I was afraid my husband couldn’t brace it.

But he assured me he was ready and that I needed to tip it and not be timid. This time, I pushed with the full assurance he was ready for the weight of the safe to shift to him. And it worked. It shifted to the dolly and he easily rolled it into its new spot.

What made the difference? The second time, I could “push through” because my husband promised he could handle the weight. I had a promise I could lean into and trust.

Some famous verses from Joshua highlights this truth.

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:6-9

A little bit of context for this passage: Joshua was a new leader leading a new generation into the land God had promised the older generations. Their victory was promised, but there were still battles and choices ahead. There would be many opportunities to be discouraged. Within the first nine verses, God exhorts Joshua to not be afraid or discouraged three times. Why three times? In The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Old Testament), the author notes that Joshua is assured of three different things with each admonishment to be strong and courageous. He’s assured by God’s promise, His power, and His presence.

Trusting the promises of God

There was no need to fear because God’s promise had assured them of their inheritance. The nation could brace themselves in that. In fact, these words from Numbers might have come to their minds.

God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

Numbers 23:19

Where they were unfaithful, God was faithful. Where they broke their promises, God kept His.

There was no need to be afraid because God’s power would be their source of strength. This generation would’ve seen miraculous things as God provided for them in the wilderness. And they would’ve heard their parents’ and grandparents’ stories of the plagues in Egypt, the Red Sea escape, and the demise of Pharaoh’s army. There was no doubt as to if God’s power would be able to deliver them. The evidence had already been collected.

And there was no need to be discouraged as they entered a new land and faced new obstacles, because God’s presence would never leave them. There would be many times when the Israelite army would be outmanned, but over and over we see that God’s presence was the tipping point for their victory.

The encouraging news for you and me is that we can depend on those same things today. During this time of quarantine, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to test these promises. So if you’re wondering if you can really lean into God’s promises, if you’re wondering if he can catch the weight of your finances, your kids, your health, or your relationships, the answer is a resounding yes.

We can brace ourselves in God’s promises and trust His power and presence, no matter what is on our horizon.

A Simple Prayer for Midweek

Dear Lord, we come to you and offer this simple prayer for midweek. Our strength and creativity may be flagging. So where we are tempted to trust in our own resources, let us lean into your strength and trust you for support (Psalm 20:2). Where we are tempted to focus on the negative, let us rehearse your goodness in our minds (Psalm 145:7). For in rehearsing your goodness, your faithfulness, and your love, our minds and hearts are strengthened against the attacks of the enemy.

At midweek, Sunday can already seem so long ago. Let us not forget how you spoke to us on the weekend. Let us not forget how you moved in our circles, our state, our country. Let us not forget how you answered our prayers yesterday, last week, or a decade ago. (Psalm 118:17)

Renew our hope and renew our energy, so that we can soar on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:28-31). Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in your sight (Psalm 19:14). In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Simple Prayer for Midweek

In case you missed it:

A Simple Prayer for Sunday

A Simple Prayer for Sunday Evening

Toward the end of 2019, I was struggling with falling asleep. Especially as I would try and fall asleep on Sunday evenings heading into a new week, my heart would be overwhelmed with processing all the interactions from church earlier in the day and sorting through the tasks awaiting me Monday morning. My heart would race. My mind would ping from a conversation I had to a book I read to the manuscript still needing more editing, ending up in a discouraging place that was not conducive to rest.

And yes, I would pray and reflect on Scripture and avoid caffeine and all the other usual suspects. But I still struggling to voice my feelings and hit reset.

So I decided to write out a simple prayer for Sunday evenings. I knew I kept struggling with the same feelings week after week so I decided to head them off with a thoughtful, purposeful prayer.

And it worked. Naming those feelings and claiming God’s sovereignty was just what my soul needed to relax and climb under the covers. I started writing prayers for the other days of the week which I plan to share in upcoming posts. As we know each day brings unique challenges, my heart needed to hear special messages on those days as well.

So if you find yourself a little anxious and if your thoughts won’t stop pinballing as a new week unfolds, you’re not alone. Let’s set our hearts at ease in the presence of the One who holds it all together.

A Simple Prayer for Sunday Evening

A Simple Prayer for Sunday Evenings

Lord, I come to you as one week ends and another already begins to unfold. Bring me peace and clarity as I process all that the past week brought me and bring me peace and confidence as new unknowns stretch before me. Remind me that I don’t have to process everything tonight and I can be content with unanswered questions and undone tasks on my doorstep (Psalm 131).

I don’t have to fuss and flit about for your approval because in you, I have a delightful inheritance. I can also rest in the boundaries that you have placed around each day (Psalm 16:6).

I don’t have to think all the thoughts, for you are God, not me.

In you, not me, all things hold together. You stand before this new week in authority, not me. (Colossians 1:17).

In Jesus’ name, amen.