• Quiet Time With God

    Quiet time with God is so vitally important. It is really difficult to learn too. We live in a world that is so over stimulated all the time. How do we shut off the constant noise that fills our world and our minds? How do we focus on giving God our very best and full attention.Β πŸ€”Β I would suggest a quiet place, one with fewer distractions. When you have littles, a job with a commute or just responsibilities in general it can mean getting up 30 minutes before life begins to spend that quiet time with God. Sit at the kitchen table, curl up on the couch, sit outside on your porch as the sun rises...wherever you find peace, start there. It says in Psalms 46:10 " Be still, and know that I am God." Be still...insert deep breath...easier said than done. Where to start? First, sit down with intention. Don't just find a moment, MAKE an appointment with Jesus. Maybe the thought of sitting quietly for 30 minutes in reflection just makes your skin crawl. Then start with 5. Work your way up to more time spent in quiet pensiveness. Time with the Creator should not be torture. Remember, this is a love relationship. Time invested only makes your bond stronger.Β 

    So now we found time, what do we do with it? Personally, when I can't shut my mind off to listen to The Lord, I open my Bible. Try reading a few passages & see where they lead you. It's always important to hear the word of God, that's how we get to know Him better. He already knows everything about us, but we will never know enough about Him!! Now that you are in the Jesus mindset, pray.Β πŸ™πŸ½Β Pray out loud. Pray about what you read in the Bible this morning. Pray about what you saw on the news. Pray whatever is weighing on your heart. Pray for growth, healing, salvation of a friend or loved one. Just spend time being honest and open with God. Before you know it, the quiet settles in. You are listening to Him. You are spiritually recharged, focused and ready for whatever may come your way.Β πŸ’ͺ🏼
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  • Jesus broke the bread before He multiplied it.

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    YOU GUYS. I was rereading Matthew this morning and I have no idea how I missed this all these years. Jesus broke the bread before He multiplied it.Β 
    OKAY, I'M SO PUMPED ABOUT THIS.Β 
    My pastor once reminded us of the phrase "stop and smell the roses." Roses smell beautiful, but most of the time you have to stick your nose in the flower before you can actually catch the scent. Now, when you take that flower in your hand and crush it, the essence of the rose is that much stronger! That light, fruity aroma can fill a room! Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes God has to break us before He can truly use us.

    I'm just in awe. How absolutely cool is it to know that He takes even the broken parts of us that we're ashamed of, or the things that weigh us down, and finds ways to use it for His glory!Β 
    He takes the broken pieces of our hearts and makes a mosaic out of them. He takes the walls we hid behind and helps us climb over them. He uses our most broken moments as stepping stones and pulls us closer to him.Β 
    Trust in His process. Broken can be beautiful too.

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  • Seasons of loneliness.

    sometimes when we're missing fellowship, when schedules just can't match up, when we go through busy periods, it's because the things we have to learn from our friends can't compare to the things He is trying to teach us on His own. At least that's what He does for me. I can easily get lost in the Spirit He shines through my friends that I can forget to bask in the light He is on His own. It always brings forth the question- is He being quiet or am I silencing Him? In the silence we have the opportunity to pursue Him solely based off of faith. And in the silence, we often learn more than we ever could hope. β˜€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸΌ
  • I didn't go to college.

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    I didn't go to college.
    It's not really a big secret if you know me personally, but that ever present frown on people's faces when I tell them always hurts my heart a little.Β 
    When I graduated high school I was done. D O N E. I was so done that I had them mail me my diploma instead of walking at the grad ceremony πŸ˜‚. I wasn't bad at school by any means, I just had been broken by so many people in those four years that I couldn't wait to close that chapter of my life forever.Β 
    Still to this day, people make me feel beneath them, or like the word "loser" is stamped across my forehead, because I didn't go off and become a doctor (which I would NOT be skilled at by the way. πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ)
    What they don't know is that not going to college was actually my first big give-it-all-to-God moment. One of the first faith jumps I made as a Christian. It was the scariest decision of my life, but I don't regret it in any way.Β 
    I ended up starting my own business as a teenager and I fell in love with it. If you could picture God putting a camera in my hand and telling me I was meant to be a photographer, that's basically what it felt like πŸ˜‚. I can't fully explain to you the complete soul-filling MAGIC that comes with people entrusting you to capture their memories. I fell in love shooting first kisses, little ones toothless grins, sweet smiles couples share, the way people's eyes shine as they laugh. I had the opportunity to engrave memories for people and I'll praise God everyday if even just for that.
    Photography taught me how to fall in love with people again and it gets even more beautiful because I see now how it was a stepping stone that led me here. To this ministry. To His Print Shop.Β 
    So as I'm sitting here writing this with unwashed hair, in my jammies, editing photos from this weekend, you might think I'm a loser, or that I made terrible decisions. And that's okay. But I'm finding my way, and while I might not always understand, how lucky am I to have the Maker of the stars as my guide πŸ™ŒπŸΌβœ¨

  • It's Okay to not be Okay

    "Never think there is something wrong with you because you're having a hard time healing through what you're going through."

    It's okay to not be okay.Β 
    There are days, sometimes seasons, when you can't see past the suffering and you'll question your faith, and probably times when you look up to the sky ready to curse His name. Sometimes the weight of this world knocks you down and getting up isn't easy. God isn't going to hate you for hurting. He's not gonna strike you down with lightning for being overwhelmed with grief.Β 
    We serve the God of redemption and second chances, and while I strongly believe He is the ultimate Healer, I know even His healing takes time. Some cuts scab over quickly, some leave bruises, and some leave scars. While a lot of brokenness can be grown through, I believe full restoration won't come this side of heaven.Β 
    Broken hearts never glue back together, but God will find away to rearrange the shards into something even more beautiful. You can still be His masterpiece AND a work in progress.Β 
    Keep fighting the good fight, Christian. πŸ‘ŠπŸΌπŸ˜‰

  • I'm a mess

    In case you're wondering why my eyes are closed in 85% of my pictures, it's because I blinked.
    At first it was annoying but eventually I thought it was funny and decided to post them anyway πŸ˜‚.
    I've said it a billion times before, and I'll say it again- I'm a mess.
    Today alone was a testament to that. You guys, I had a panic attack over a piece of mail, bruised my lip, spilled soap all over my shirt, got realllll grumpy over the heat, burned my tongue on some too hot spaghetti, walked into my screen door, broke some chip thingy on my computer, and chased a puppy out of the street before I LOST it (it kept running and I cried) πŸ™ˆ.
    And surprisingly, today was a calm day. πŸ˜…
    I think that leads to one of my favorite things about Jesus.
    He was HERE. He had good days and bad days too! He had times when he got angry, He suffered through moments where He felt alone, He fought temptations and He knew all the emotions. But not only that!! He probably burned his feet on the hot desert floor once or twice, enjoyed watching sunsets, fell asleep while fishing, and didn't always like things He built. I bet he had favorite foods and loved the feeling of the warm sun on His face. He probably played fetch with dogs every now and then, told jokes to littles just to hear their giggles, and spilled flour on himself while baking bread with Mary.
    He experienced life WITH us. He sat in the brokenness with us and He welcomes us through it. He gave us a chance to bond with Him in ways we never would have been able too.
    Jesus knows your mess. He knows your daily struggles and your spiritual battles. He knows your past, your present and your future and He still wants to be with you. How cool is that??!! The King of Kings sees you beyond your mess. He chose you that day on Calvary Hill and He still chooses you. You are so fiercely loved, Christian β™₯️
  • Be Healthy

    You are what you eat from your head down to your feet. Remember learning that in grade school? It's true! If you eat a bunch of junk food, that tastes good going in but takes up residence as unwanted bumps, tucks and rolls in various locations on your body. But you are like "that's not true, I exercise every day and I look great! I can eat anything I want!" Goodness yes! You do look fabulous ON THE OUTSIDE. How is your body doing inside? Running on optimal thrusters? What damage is all that fake food doing to your cells, circulatory system, your liver, yada yada yada? "But I take vitamins! I use special oils! I use this amazing whatever & I am healthy!" You can bandaid your health as much as you want and justify it to yourself however it helps you to sleep at night. The truth still remains that the cleaner you eat the better your temple for God will run. He gave you what you need to keep your body healthy. Real food. It's the same with your soul. It needs to be fed. Don't keep giving it just a taste of goodness and filling it up with drivel. All the "junk" you take in reading, listening to and watching just fills time in your day not in your heart. If you have time to spend watching the Kardashians, you have time for The Word of God. We need to be invested in the study of it! Yes, we can attend church on Sunday and hear The Word taught to us and that is good for our soul!! It fills us up and it's wonderful!! That is a healthy spiritual meal! We can add reading a devotional, listen to worship music and maybe scroll through some IG ministry chick's posts to take in our daily dose of spiritual vitamins. We need to remember though, even with all these great soul snacks available to us we need to spend time with our substance,The Lord most of all. Spend time feeding your soul His Good Word. Read your Bible. Really think deeply about what is being shared with you. Then talk with God. Ask Him questions! Share your hurts! Praise His name! He is listening. He keeps your spirit healthy. He is the bread of life! He is the living water! He is your soul's healthy food!!
  • Its all about Perspective

    What consumes your thoughts during the day?
    Who or what is the object of your adoration?
    Quickly, answer the first thing that pops in your mind. Do you have to pause and think? Could it be the kids extra curricular activities? Maybe the house just seems to be perpetually in chaos? Laundry is multiplying like rabbits and is about to bury your Maytag under all its little offspring of single socks with no match. Is it your marriage maybe? Do you spend all day wondering where that heated spark snuck off to because by the end of the day you are just too crazy exhausted to even strike a match in the passion department? Is it work, because you have a boss who does not value all the time and effort you put in to make things run smoothly? Where would this company be without you??? So many thoughts that dominate our minds throughout the day. Are any of them uplifting or do we tend to steer ourselves more toward self pity?
    Ouch.
    Right?!?
    What about Jesus? Where is He in your life? Do you think about Him often and spend quality time with Him? Do you thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed on you?
    Those little or bigger mini's that run around the house, thank you Jesus for trusting us to raise them & thank you for helping to find an outlet for all their extra energy! The house that seems to always be so full of stuff and people Lord God, we praise You for!! What a blessing to have such abundance in this world!! Thank you for washing machines Jesus!! Gathering all the clothes brings me so much joy because we are blessed with more than one outfit per person in our family! The laundromat or laundry room does all the hard work of cleaning the fabric and I am grateful! The blessing of a spouse Lord, someone to tackle the challenges of life with. Thank you!! I am thankful and I know the lack of energy is just a season. This is a trial but You are here with me and will help me rekindle that fervor in the private time with my spouse. I am so thankful You are here to help strengthen our marital union and be a light for others as we get through this physically exhausting season of life. Praises lifted high for the opportunity of employment Jesus!! The gift of a job!! May my work habits reflect the joy I have found in You. Earthly thanks do not always come, but I know Lord that when I work to the best of my abilities I am shining for You!
    πŸ’›I love You Lord!
    Thank You for bringing me a cheerful perspective today, for I am lavishly blessed. I am thankful for every breath that fills my lungs for it gives me another chance to praise Your holy name. Praising You fills my life with extraordinary joy! May You be my focus in everything!! Jesus, You are my eternal devotion. Consume my thoughts Lord, consume my life.
  • He Can Use You

    Sometimes life is pretty crappy.

    I often feel like I'm on a rollercoaster of trials. It gets better and then it gets crazy, I find peace then Satan knocks on the door, and when I finally get my groove back it starts raining on my parade. It goes on and on. It seems almost unending.

    But hey, if flowers can grow through the crap, so can we!! πŸ˜‚

    God never promised us an easy life, He warns us several times about how difficult it can be. We're gonna have good days and we're gonna have bad days, but (praise the Lord!! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ) we can have Jesus EVERYDAY.

    God is good. He will provide. Trust in his promises. Pray for wisdom and lean on his strength. Ask for discernment through this lesson and stay faithful in the midst of the chaos.

    He will sit with us through every storm and he can turn any mess into a message.

    We serve the God of redemption. We serve the God of mercy. We serve a God who loves beyond words.

    He can make beauty out of the ashes.
  • Let it Go

    Leave the past in the past.

    It's so on my heart lately to remember this.

    I'm a sinner through and through. I have daily battles with my flesh and I t r y with all my might to fight the good fight. Yet, sometimes, I still fail.

    My past easily creeps up on me and I can get so very lost in it. I love reflecting on happy moments and fond memories, but they can sometimes branch into temptation. Finding the joy in the past isn't the problem, it becomes a mistake when I find myself wishing I was back in it.

    Don't allow memories or emotions to influence you. These things will only distract you from the present. They will keep you in the cycle of sin and only lead to heartache.

    We recall these moments in time for the same reasons we study history: to learn from them, not to relive them.

    The past is behind us for a reason. Staying in the past, or reverting to how things used to be, demolishes all the growth we've worked so hard for. I'm not the same person I was seven years ago and I'm not the same person I was two weeks ago. We're constantly learning and we're constantly climbing the ladder; keep going forward, not backward.

    The past, good and bad, shaped who we are now, but it does not define us.

    If you also struggle with living in the past, I encourage you to pray. Grab the issue, take it to the Lord, deal with it and move on. It's not always simple, but we need to trust in HIS process. He has GOOD things in store for you. He closed those doors because he knew what was behind them and had a better path for you.

    Rewind buttons should only be for movies

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