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    Daily Thread

    No Rain, No Flowers

    NO RAIN, NO FLOWERS-- I just recently heard this phrase for the first time and it honestly blew me away. Based on my personal testimony, I found it so profound— short but to the point and SO true! No pain, no gain, right?

    With the first day of spring being just a few weeks ago, I got to thinking about the significance of the change in seasons for a moment. During the winter, the ground and fields experience drought from the lack of water—the grass, the soil and the land look parched, cracked and thirsty. Nothing can really grow in these conditions, and this isn’t the soil you would pick to plant a garden or a tree in. Much in the same way are our hearts when we don’t “water” them with time in the Word, time with our Lord, or following His ways. We need water for life and for growth so that we can produce fruit, flowers and beauty. Sometimes growth, or seasons of drought can be painful, but they can absolutely create something lovely. Take pruning for instance—we have Crate Myrtles in our backyard, and every season, we must prune them so they will bear even more flowers next season!

    John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

    Then the rain comes about. Sometimes it’s a drizzle, other times it comes in as a thunderous and raging storm—with true floods and limited visibility. When we find ourselves caught in the middle of these downpours, we’re drenched and uncomfortable. But after the rain comes a beautiful yield—a well-watered harvest, a well-nourished heart. Roots are quenched and cultivated, and flowers and fruits have their foundation to grow! I want my heart to mirror this. Lord, refine me! Strip away and prune me as you have done to the fields, and make my roots go deep so they won’t waiver in tough seasons. Fill my heart with thankfulness for these seasons that I encounter before I can experience the harvest.

    Spring in Texas means fields of wildflowers and lush, nourished grass. Everything is in bloom and we are in awe every time we look out the window. There is warmth from the sun, cloudless days and the brightest of colors! When we are walking in wholeness with the Lord, scripture says you will know because of the fruit that is born in your life, and your heart will reflect the beauty of a well-watered life. We are promised the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

    Psalm 1:3 A person whose hope and trust is in the Lord “is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wilt or fade—whatever they do prospers.”

     I don’t know about you, but abiding by my plans usually leads to things that are not quite as beautiful as God’s promise from above. In nature and in our hearts, He takes what was lifeless and parched and transforms it into something new and spectacular. In our winters and storms, God is working! What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace, and what looks like the end might actually be the beginning. Be encouraged and take heart! He takes our tough seasons, all being allowed and filtered through His loving and sovereign hand, and turns them into tools of redemption and remaking. Leaves wither and fade in order to bring about new life in the next season. In God’s ecological economy, it’s the same in our lives and our hearts.

    John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

    God works through the pain, loss and storms to remake us, to redeem us, and to make us whole and lacking nothing. These storms and droughts are merely a season—temporary. They’re only a chapter, not the whole book! He prunes us because He loves us. It may be hard, but it’s so we can bear even more fruit than before.

    1 Peter 1:4-8 We have been given “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire.”

    Here are a few great promises in Scripture that have been a great hope to my husband and I in tough seasons:

    Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sew in tears, will reap a harvest of JOY! For though they may weep while going forth to plant their seed, if they persevere, they will undoubtedly return rejoicing—bringing their sheaves with them.”

    Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

    Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning!” 


     

    We should invite the rain and not flee or hide from it. I avoided pain and tears my entire life, and suffered an immense amount of hurt, heartache and loss because of it. Press in. Do not numb or deny those hurting places—the lessons we learn in difficult times often turn out to be our most treasured. There will be beauty from the ashes no matter the situation, relationship or circumstance when you choose to walk with the Lord and reap the fullness of the promises He makes to us in His Word. Let God use your brokenness to be made into abundance. What’s undoing you, can be the things that remakes you! I’ve seen it and experienced it first hand! His grace is waiting for you when you humbly come to Him asking for help, refuge and water (Living Water!). Water that will never run dry! Aren't you thirsty, as I was, for something more than what you can offer yourself?

    John 4:14 "But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

    Isaiah 43:19  “Look, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

    Ecclesiastes 3:11  “He has made everything beautiful in its time.

    Joel 2:23-27 “Rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given the early rain for your vindication; He has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. He will restore  to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.” 

    Thankfully, our God is not “seasonal” and is there to give you everything you every need! Reach out for His lavish and astounding grace! 

    Happy Spring!! There is so much to celebrate and give thanks for!

    R&R

    If y’all have been following along with our Instagram, you know that the family and I just spent a week in paradise for Spring Break (forgive me for some of the repeat pictures below, but they’re just too cute!). Getting away certainly has new meaning and significance to us as a family when we’re able to take a break from the mundane routine and the daily stresses of life. I’ve found that escaping to quietness is the perfect time to refocus and seek after the Lord’s wisdom. 

    While we were gone, I felt the Lord give me new perspective on what “R&R” means. Yes, rest and relaxation, but it means so much more than that, too. He gave me a couple more “R” words of wisdom that I felt led to share: reflection, refined, reset, renewal, refresh, reconnection, rejuvenation, restoration, repair, and refuge. Retreating definitely lends a helping hand to different and better outlooks on life back home, because, to be honest, I went away a little weary, burdened and worn out. We have some rather big, personal decisions hanging in the valence, so getting to spend time with one another and seek after the Lord is where we’ve found great peace while we trust Him to show us the way!

    It’s difficult for someone like me (type A!) to lay down my plans and follow the Lord. He may not always lead me to where I expected we’d go. I’ve learned through personal, very painful, circumstances that my so-called "perfect plan" does not always lead me to the best places. But here’s the good news to what I've learned the hard way— His ways, His thoughts and His purposes are ALL higher than mine. His plans are always good! In the midst of uncertainty, I am so thankful for the unplugged and uninterrupted time together as a family. God knows what we need, right when we need it, and for us that was to trust a refreshing perspective on God’s plans for our family.

    Isaiah 40:18-19 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope 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.”

    Jeremiah 31:25 “He will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

    Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.”

    These last several years have not been easy. There are things I wish I had done very differently, but thankfully God remains sovereign even over my screw-ups and shortcomings. He alone is able to right all my wrongs. Our family has learned and been strengthened more through difficulties than we ever would have through the easy times. God’s redemption and restoration are the most beautiful and real things I have ever experienced. He longs for us to trust Him in and out of the storm, and to follow where He leads. He is faithful to strengthen the weary, to give peace to the worried and guidance to the wanderer. We still choose to stand firm on the covenant promise that His power is made perfect in our admitted weaknesses and humanly flaws. Jesus came and lived among us; He took on our frame and took on all of our burdens and shame so that we would live redeemed, grace-filled, abundant and transformed lives!

    Psalm 119:114 “You alone are my place of quiet retreat. I wait for your word to renew me.”

    Psalm 18:30 “His way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true, He us a shield for all who take refuge in Him!”

    Isaiah 30:15 “In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

    As God’s chosen people, we are called to be obedient to His will. By grace, He takes us places we wouldn’t normally plan to go so that He can accomplish in us what we couldn’t achieve on our own. He loves us too much to leave us as we are. His love is not disengaged; it is always present and never passive. Although it may feel like it, your world is not out of control; it is under God’s careful, selective and redemptive control—to improve, love, refine and sanctify you.

    In refining seasons, our spiritual maturity is put to the test—producing perseverance, hope, character, faith and endurance that are “more precious than gold” (1 Peter 1:6). Genesis 50:20 says, “what was meant for evil, God meant for GOOD.” He uses it ALL—the good, the bad and the ugly—ALL for good! Trust Him at His word that He is leading you into abundantly more joyous and prosperous places!

    I love this quote from Ann Voskamp: “What was intended to tear you apart, God intends it to set you apart.” Be encouraged! God’s hand is in every detail. The question is when will we (preaching to the choir here) learn to trust Him in everything with everything? When we have peace with God, we will experience the peace of God. Press in! There is refuge waiting for you and a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

    The Bible is not filled with stories of heroes or people who lived perfectly or easily (am I the only one encouraged by this?). Take Jesus’s lineage for example—comprised of some of the most wicked people in mankind. These people were sinful, wounded, broken and made their fair share of disastrous failures and poor decisions. He chose to come through this blood-line. To rescue us, to save us, to free us, to redeem us-- demonstrating His magnificent love for us all!  So many stories in the Bible show God’s full redemptive and restorative power, encouraging us to dust ourselves off and try again. They demonstrate His immensity, might, authority and goodness ALL along; how He was in control the whole time and His purposes were being accomplished, even when it looked like darkness was winning the day. Our acceptance has not been or ever will be based on our performance “track record.” It is by what God alone has done for us through His unfailing love and unrivaled grace!

    Proverbs 19:21 “You can make plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

    Isaiah 42:16 “He turns my darkness into light and makes my rough places smooth.”

    After writing all of this out, it seems a bit silly that I would allow anxiety and worry to cloud my judgment of God’s goodness. Ephesians 6 simply spells out the necessary armor to clothe us with in order to protect ourselves from the schemes and creeping thoughts from the enemy. When we are actively girded in truth, pursuing righteousness and walking in peace with God, we bear the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He trades my anxieties of the unknown and replaces them with peace and fullness of joy—leading me to “life abundant” (John 10:10)! Only true peace comes from His presence, not from ease of circumstances or by getting our way.

    Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Isaiah 26:3 “You keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on you!”

    Let’s press in and TRUST Him.

    Have a great weekend! 

    Welcome to Daily Thread!

    Welcome to Daily Thread!
    I cannot tell you how excited I am to be launching this blog and new section of our website— a creative outlet with the sole purpose of expressing personal, genuine and fun thoughts! As a lover of writing, I’m overjoyed to be able to have a space to share more intimately with you all what is going on behind the scenes here at Golden Thread and what God is teaching me personally and us as a team. This is a safe place for true girl-talk, where we can lay out the reality of what life really looks like behind the Instagram highlight reels and picture perfect Pinterest boards. 
    The name and idea of DAILY THREAD has been curating in the back of my mind for a couple years now— the vision was simple, but the execution required a whole lot of vulnerability. We believe that the Bible is meant to be “bread” for DAILY use, not “cake” for special occasions. 

    Isaiah 58:2 “Seek me DAILY and delight to know my ways!”

    Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another DAILY.” 

    Proverbs 8:24 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching DAILY at my gates, waiting at my doorstep.”

    May we be women who keep the eyes of our hearts focused, humble and grateful for what truly matters and what is truly important— seeking first the Kingdom of God! First and foremost, we desire to be women who radiate what is on the inside; not just from the jewels we wear on the outside! I pray that we are a generation of women who seek grace and not perfection, relationship and not religion. Our daily challenge to each other here at Golden Thread is to be good and faithful stewards wherever we are planted and to pour into the blessings God has laid out in front of us!
    Let me tell you, as a girl who struggles and does not have it all together, I find great comfort in what Scripture says about the Lord going before us and being beside us through all of the daily ups and downs. 

    Lamentations 3:21-23 "But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies are NEW every morning; great is thy faithfulness!" 

    My life is not a fairytale, believe it or not! It’s actually laughably far from perfect. I am broken and sinful, but God transforms those who seek Him and makes all things new to those who call upon His name. I am undeserving of these blessings and mercies, but I stand in awe of what the Lord has mercifully showered me with— my incredible husband, Ellis, and our three precious children: Noah, McKenzie and Graham! The Lord graces us with good things not because we are good, but because HE IS!
    Our family has witnessed good days and bad, rough waters and smooth, but we know first hand that the truth of God’s unchanging and unshakeable Word serves as a constant reminder and great hope of a love that never fails and of the redemptive plan He has for our lives. Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10)! He went to the cross for us all, knowing our every flaw and shortcoming, yet He relentlessly pursues us, loves us fiercely and redeems us; sanctifying us to be more like Him. He came to bring the GOOD NEWS - to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to comfort all who mourn, and to give beauty instead of ashes. He is steadfast through all the heartbreaks and failures, joys and celebrations. We have great hope because of his gracious gift of unconditional love, and, thankfully, a hope outside of ourselves! He is faithful to carry our crosses— fear, anxiety, hurts— for us.

    Psalm 103:11, 16-17 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His LOVE for those who fear Him! As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. From everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s LOVE is with those who fear Him.”

    I humbly speak from a position of first-hand-experience, the consequences of doing things the wrong way and looking for hope, love and peace in all the wrong places! Our Lord is the only one who can wholly heal us, make it right, and give us hope! He takes us places we didn’t want to go, in order to accomplish in us what we couldn’t achieve on our own. We are His BELOVED and He has come for our hearts.
     

    Psalm 31:19-21, 24 "How GREAT is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection. Praise the LORD, for He has shown me the wonders of His unfailing love" And, "So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"

    Daily pursuit of the One who created us and knows us best is the sweetest proclamation of surrender and recognition that we cannot do this all on our own. He is where unshakable love abounds and where you find true peace and fullness of joy! Here at GT, we stand on His covenant and lasting promises!  

    Psalm 130:7 “Put your hope in the Lord, for with Him is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption!” 

    Hold us accountable and share with us your thoughts, hopes, ideas, hurts, questions and prayers! We want to hear from you, connect with you and get to know YOU!
    We are so happy you are here to join us in the journey,