Be Strong and VERY Courageous

“You make me brave, You make me brave. You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. You make me brave. You make me brave. No fear can hinder now the love that made a way.”

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Joshua chapter 1. Moses has just died on top of the mountain, leaving Joshua the gargantuan task of taking command and leading an entire nation in to Canaan to claim their new land. 

Four times in that one chapter God commands Joshua “be strong and very courageous” because God Himself goes before them and will never leave them. 

Joshua was about to be called upon to lead armies to attack Jericho, to establish God’s nation and God’s people in a land occupied by evil peoples. He knew this, and he was surely afraid. 

But I’m not called to go conquer nations like Joshua. 

So does that mean I don’t need courage? Does that mean I’m not called upon to be brave? And does that mean my bravery is any less than that of say Joshua?

God calls different people to different things. 

I remember painfully deliberating an important decision during my junior year of high school and not seeming to have any indication of which choice was right. I remember lamenting to my mentor about my options. One that seemed hard and difficult, while the other seemed like the choice I would enjoy more, “but I don’t just want to pick the easy way out” I told her. 

Her answer was simple and to-the-point, “Just because it’s the hardest thing, doesn’t mean it’s God’s will”

Wow. 

Does God call us to do hard things?

Yes. 

But just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s God’s will. 

God provides the strength and faith I need to fulfill the purposes that He has planned out for me. Not the strength Joshua needed to command armies. Not the faith that Peter needed to walk on water. Not the courage of Stephen who was stoned for preaching the gospel. The courage that I need. The strength that I need. The faith that I need. 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” — Ephesians 2:10

God prepared good works in advance for me to do, and whatever those are, that’s what He is going to make me brave for. 

So what am I supposed to do?

Have the faith of Abraham who said “yes” to God’s call before even knowing where it was. 

Have the faith of Ruth who didn’t leave Naomi even though she knew nothing of the Canaanite people or their land or culture.

Have the faith of a child who believes without needing any proof. 

“Now without faith, it is impossible to please God. For the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” — Hebrews 11:6

I don’t need the bravery to lead armies, just the courage to be faithful wherever God has called me. The faith to say yes. 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander so my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior. 

— Taryn

I know, I know!! I missed both posts last week. College is hectic, y’all, but God is so good and He always seees me through:)

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His Promises are “Yes”

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This sign hangs on the wall in my room directly across from my bed. My Mom got it for me for my 16th birthday, and every time I look at it, I think about the goodness of my Savior.

The Bible promises so many amazing things that we could never begin to fathom, much less deserve. And you know what the best part is?

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are β€œYes” in Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 1:20

How amazing is that? All of God’s promises are faithful and true, and they are all fulfilled through Christ. I don’t know about you, but that gets me excited! There are hundreds of promises in the Bible and these are just a few of my favorites:

  • “My grace is sufficient for you” — 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • “His mercies are new every morning” — Lamentations 3:23
  • “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” — Matthew 11:28
  • “Those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” — Isaiah 40:31
  • “No! In all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” — Romans 8:37

There’s plenty of things that the Bible doesn’t promise too, and that’s where we often get hung up and let our perspective turn sour. The Bible, for instance, doesn’t promise that God will show us His plans for our entire lives and careers our senior year of high school so we can accurately pick a college and major. We would sure like to think that He does, but it often doesn’t pan out that way.

But what does He promise?

He promises that His ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), that they are for our welfare (Jeremiah 29:11), and that He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6). And these promises all ring true and are trustworthy, whether we believe it or not.

Again, we would like to think that God promises that life will be safe and painless, when, in reality, Jesus said quite the opposite (John 16:33)

This week has thrown me some curveballs, but standing on the promises of my Eternal King has helped me to stay strong and positive and remember that it all comes back to Him in the first place.

— Taryn

You Can’t Earn Love

Most days, I don’t think I deserve love. I don’t think I deserve to have friends. I don’t think I deserve to be liked. 
And you know what?

I don’t. 

Because in the grand scheme of things, I don’t deserve anything good in this life. 

Romans 3 and 6 clearly tell me that I am a sinner only deserving of death, and I can’t deny it. 

BUT (Romans 5) God proved that He loved me anyway when He sent Jesus to die for me. 

And it’s high time that I stopped telling Him He’s wrong. 

God, you shouldn’t love me. Do you not see how messed up I am? God, why do my parents or friends love me? I’m not worth it. I’m a burden. 

Taryn. Did I ask you if you were worth it when I died for you? No. I love you. Accept my love. 

How ungrateful must I be to tell God He is wrongly living me? Shouldn’t I instead be thanking Him for His unending grace and love? And for giving me people to love me too?

I want to spend less time thinking I’m not worth it and more time thanking the people that don’t care if I’m worth it or not. 

Because you know what? I can’t earn love and I don’t deserve it. But my God is good. And He doesn’t give me what I deserve. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1) and He sure has blessed me royally. 

So to all of my friends out there reading this who love me so much and so well, thank you. I don’t say that enough. Thank you, you guys are absolutely amazing. And God? Thank You, I know I’m living for Heaven and not here, but You’ve made here pretty great too:):)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

— Taryn

Just Start Somewhere

I love coming home after a long day at work and school to find this…


My little sister began 2017 with the determination to read the Bible through, and I couldn’t be prouder. 

I was about her age the first time I ever attempted to read the Bible through.. and little did I know how hard it would be to get through Leviticus, much less the whole thing!

Over the past six years, I’ve tried different things every year as I attempt to read God’s Word cover to cover. Some things worked, and a lot didn’t, but I’ve learned so much about what’s really important… so if your New Years’ Resolution to read through your Bible is already crashing and burning… here’s my advice πŸ™‚
1. Don’t let getting a day (or a month) behind stop you!!

I’ve been guilty of this one so many times. I like following my checklists to a T, and when I don’t, I feel like a failure. I trail off, or I try to double up to catch up and just end up even more stressed and behind. Now don’t get me wrong, I think following a plan and setting goals of when you want to finish is great, but that’s not the point. Just read!! Open your Bible and spend time with your Savior!! Don’t let getting behind on your plan stop you, please, please keep reading!
2. Start with what you can handle

The first time I set out to read my Bible, I started in Genesis and took off straight through. I made it through the stories of Creation and the patriarchs, but before long, I got bogged down in Levitical law, dimensions for the temple, and the counts of all the Israelites by family. 

I know those are there for a reason, but if you’re just starting, try the New Testament first or you’ll lose morale way too quickly. Find a plan that fits you — whether it’s alternating an Old Testament chapter and then one in the New Testament, just reading through one or two books that interest you, don’t make it about tackling the whole thing, just start!!
3. Make it yours


My Bible honestly looks like a coloring book. I used to envy the girls with Instagram accounts or perfectly color-coded journaling Bibles and wish I could be like that. But you know what? I’m not. And that’s okay. 

Read your Bible — whatever that looks like for you, just start somewhere, and I promise it will be worth it. God speaks so clearly through His Word. It changes hearts and lives, and I’ve experienced it firsthand in my own life. 

Let the perfectionism go, let the perfect plan go… life happens, and our God is a God of grace, just start somewhere:)
Taryn

White as Snow

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Y’all! It’s snowing in Texas!!!
Needless to say, I’m giddy like a little kid! It hasn’t actually snowed in Texas in at least two years, and even though it’s just flurries, it put me in a great mood and I’ve decided to shelve the post I had planned for today and write a new one instead:)
The snow is so gorgeous. I love watching fall and then swirl together in piles across the road, it looks so pure and perfect and clean.
And that’s what God makes us to be like as His redeemed sons and daughters.
After David committed adultery with Bathsheba he cried out to the LORD, “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)
And later God proclaims through the prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow,” (Isaiah 1:18)
That absolutely floods me with joy. Most days, I don’t feel clean or worthy whatsoever. I feel dirty and shameful and dark. But to be compared to this beautiful clean snow, that just reinvigorates my passion and thankfulness for what Jesus did for me on the cross.
I don’t ever want to cease being in awestruck wonder of the amazing God I serve. Of His cleansing, redemptive power and of His marvelous, unconditional love. I hope you all have a wonderful day and that your new year is starting off amazing!!

— Taryn

Flashbacks

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was going to attend a small, Christian university four hours from home.

*flashforward to now*

I live at home and commute to a large, public university.

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was leaving everything I knew and loved

*flashforward to now*

God has kept me right here

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I had everything figured out

*flashforward to now*

Man, was I ever wrong


2016… It was an adventure. There was so, so much good in it. But it is not at all like I was expecting when it started 367 days ago.

And you know what?

It was better.

Because God’s plan always is

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” — Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

Walking into 2017, I’m tempted to believe the same thing I did a year ago, to believe that I have everything figured out. And then I stop and laugh at myself. If God taught me one thing… it’s that I will absolutely never have Him or His plans figured out:)

So I don’t know what’s coming, I don’t have a clue! And that’s the best place to be:) I know one thing about 2017. God is going to prove Himself faithful. Like He always does, like He always will.

A year from now, I don’t know what kind of year I will be looking back on, but I know that whatever it is, that God’s fingerprints will be evident all throughout.

I hope you stay for the ride, I don’t know what’s coming, but I’m sure glad He does:)

Happy 2017, everyone!

— Taryn