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  • Welcome!

    I am a wife, mom of 2 beautiful children and daughter of my Heavenly Father. God has taken me through some amazing journeys. With each challenge I have learned more about His amazing Love and Grace. Take some time out of your busy, hectic day and join me as we sit in the Calm of God's Presence.

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For well over a month now I have walked past my computer wanting to sit down and type out the words God was laying on my heart but when faced with computer issues, flu, pneumonia & adding 1 more to my taxi service because of a wreck the luxury of sitting and writing just wasn’t there, because yes, in this season of life sitting down and writing is a luxury for me.

After a busy day of cleaning, cooking, laundry, running errands, playing taxi, leading bible study, volunteering & many other things I recharge by filling a blank page with the words God is laying on my heart.

Sometimes the blank page is a white computer screen with a black cursor waiting to move along while other times it’s my “Thanks Giving” journal, my Bible study journal or my Prayer journal.

But over the last month the computer screen, and most of my journals have been left blank. I’ve learned that there are seasons of life when my conversations with God become heart conversations meant only for the two of us.

I’ve slipped quiet prayers to God in the middle of the night as I’ve prayed for healing for my family as they battled flu & pneumonia. I’ve rejoiced spontaneously when I saw my husband standing, only bruised, next to his wrecked car. I’ve spoken morning prayers over my kids as I drove them to school. And I’ve whispered words of “Lord, help me patiently wait until you give me the time to write again”.

This time of heart conversations with God has been frustrating at times, as I’ve had to learn to patiently wait on Him. It’s also been hard, as He has revealed some things I’ve had to work on.

When God gave me the word THRIVE for this year I imagined a year of active progress in His plans for my life. But, that was my agenda-not His. I realized that sometimes in order for me to Thrive as God wants me to He has to pull me back to a conversation only between the two of us and unfortunately it took keeping me in the road to take my focus off of my agenda.

Fall Color at South Carolina State Parks and golf courses

It is in those quiet heart conversations where He is teaching me to Thrive.

So my friends, while God is still teaching me to Thrive; my computer issues are fixed, my kids & husband are well and life is opening up again to give me a chance to write.

I hope you will join me next week as I share something with you that I have wanted to give you for a while.

Until then, does God want to have a heart conversation with you? What does He have to do to get your attention?

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

Yep I know I’ve been gone for a month now, I promise it wasn’t intentional or I would have given you a heads up & not started a new series on Thriving. But I’ve had a bit of computer issues and my family has been hit with the flu, pneumonia & a wreck; which have all knocked me out of my regular routine. While there have been many times when I have really missed writing and sharing with all of you; I have trusted I was where I needed to be and know that the time spent caring for my family and being “mom taxi plus 1″ while a car is being repaired, is helping the relationships with my kids & husband Thrive.

So today I wanted to take a brief moment while I have internet access to let you know what I’ve been reading while waiting in Doctor’s offices, baseball practices, & gymnastics practices.

 

Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future by Tracie Miles

FullSizeRender-3In Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future, Tracie Miles a speaker & writer with Proverbs 31 Ministries, shows us how to overcome a difficult past to be used by God. I have loved slowly reading and working through the Purpose Ponderings at the end of each chapter. Tracie does a wonderful job showing how God can use any difficult situation for His Glory through her story and the stories of other women.

“Do regret and shame over your failures, sins, and shortcomings make you wonder how you could ever be loved, much less used, by a holy God? Tracie Miles felt the same way until she discovered the path to healing, peace, and significance.

She helps you recognize that God not only has a purpose for you, but He has prepared you for your divine purpose based specifically on the experiences of your past.

You will find forgiveness and healing from the troubles of your past, discover the courage to step out of your comfort zone to help others find hope and strength, and be inspired to step into the beautiful future God divinely designed for you.”

 

The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

FullSizeRender-2This is the first book I have read by Jill Eileen Smith but it won’t be the last. In The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab’s Story, Smith brings Scripture to life as she takes us into the life of Rahab, the prostitute who protects spies and helps the Israelites overthrow Jericho. I have loved watching the story of God delivering His people unfold through the eyes of Rahab.

“Wife to a gambler who took one to many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls-or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith’s talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity-and a permanent place in your heart.”

 

The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God’s Love from Today’s Most Popular Writers by Dawn Camp Editor & Photographer

FullSizeRenderIn The Beauty of Grace: Stories of God’s Love from Today’s Most Popular Writers Dawn Camp has invited us to “slow down, take a deep breath and know that (we) are loved”. Dawn Camp has compiled writings from some of my favorite bloggers & writers, – Lisa-Jo Baker, Robin Dance, Mary DeMuth, Emily Freeman, Melanie Shankle, Ann Voskamp and so many more. Through Dawn’s gift of photography and the words shared on these pages The Beauty of Grace is a quiet respite in the busyness of life.

“In this hectic, life, it’s easy to forget that God is always near at hand, even through He sends us frequent reminders. The beauty amid the mess, a well-timed word of encouragement from a friend, the memories that won’t let go of our hearts-they’re all ways God extends an open hand to us. But if we’re not paying attention, we can miss it.

Combining heartfelt stories from some of today’s foremost writers with Dawn’s stunning photography of God’s incredible creation, The Beauty of Grace is your haven of calm contemplation amid the chaos. This inspiring collection includes stories of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, learning to trust, and much more.

If you’re in need of a little peace, a little quiet, a little beauty, find comfort in this: you’re invited to experience them all within the pages of this soul-stirring book.”

 

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle

IMG_7021I am not one who laughs out loud while reading a book but The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life had me in stitches. Maybe it’s because Melanie and her husband were married just a few months before my husband and I were and her stories helped me relive the early days of our marriage or maybe it’s because she has a way of telling a story that makes you feel like you were right there when it happened. Either way this is one of my favorite books I’ve read in a while.

“Melanie’s second book is a hilarious story of two people sharing one life. A laugh out-loud page-turner! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom”

Melanie Shankle blends the romance of marriage with the harsh reality of life – and shows how joy can come through it all. Bravo! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom

Melanie’s description of marriage is spot-on while being hilariously relatable. You don’t want to miss this book! @bigmama #theantelopeinthelivingroom

So that’s what I’ve been reading over the last month. If you get a chance to read these books I would love to know what you think of them.

While I’m updating you on what I’ve been doing while away I want to ask you to pray for me. God laid on my heart a few months back to begin working on a Bible Study through the Book of Nehemiah. I don’t know what it will look like or how I will share it with you but I know God knows and His Plan is perfect. Will you pray for me in these areas?

  • God’s protection over time set aside to study His Word
  • That I will clearly hear and follow the direction God wants to take this study
  • That I will learn the lessons He wants to teach me through the Book of Nehemiah

I miss you all and promise once I get my computer issues resolved I will be back with the Thrive series.

In His Calm,

mary signaturenavy

My friends, how are you doing handing over all your chaos, frustrations, worry and struggles for surviving the day over to God? Have you had trouble this week giving up control? Have you wondered where in the world to start? Have you looked at your to-do list and thought, “there is no way I can catch up on everything, I am drowning”? To catch up on my 2 previous posts you can go here and here.

I’ve been there and know the frustration and exhaustion you are feeling. So my sweet friend today I’m going to share how I gave up control of my schedule and found time for what matters most – time with God, taking care of my family and home.

Last fall I was at a breaking point. I was overloaded and drowning in all my responsibilities. Just a few days before I was scheduled to go to Allume I nearly cancelled going because I was nearing a breakdown from the constant struggle to stay afloat.

After a major “water-shed” moment with my husband we both agreed going to Allume and really listening for God’s direction would be so much better than continuing to tread water here at home.

While at Allume I spent a lot of time in the Prayer Room and had conversations with several well-established bloggers asking their advice on how to juggle the many responsibilities they have.

During the weekend I worked through my list of responsibilities and asked God to realign my heart with His. It’s taken several months to completely integrate this new schedule and way of thinking but it has allowed me the freedom and peace of knowing that when I become stressed over requests, needs & should dos from the world I can look back at this schedule and find the freedom in saying no and finding my focus and allow God to help me Thrive in His schedule.

You may be wondering how to go about making this change, well my friend I am going to share how I did it with you.

9 Principles to Thriving by God’s Schedule

  1. Take time to sit quietly and list all the things you do and are responsible for each day of the week.
  2. Pray and ask God what items from the list above you need to take off your list in order to make plenty of room for what’s most important.
  3. Make a clean list of what’s left on your list of responsibilities.
  4. Break those responsibilities up throughout the week.
  5. Once you’ve got your schedule pray over it and ask God to bless it and help direct you each day to use it to honor him.
  6. At the beginning of each week sit down and go over the schedule and make adjustments as needed over the schedule. Set up the meal plan for the week and make grocery list and shopping lists accordingly.
  7. Each day begin the day asking God to show you how to Thrive His way.
  8. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by social media, phone calls, and other opportunities.
  9. Be flexible and allow God to change your plans so that you may serve Him.

The neatest thing about living by God’s schedule is the fact that it will give you the freedom to serve Him. Just this past week I had the opportunity to help a friend in need. Before making this change I may not have jumped quite so quickly to say yes but because I was in-tune with God’s direction for the day I knew He was interrupting my normal plans and asking me to love on a friend. And my friends can I tell you something? I wouldn’t have traded that time with my friend for anything! I learned first hand when I let go of my schedule and follow God’s schedule I Thrive in ministering to others.

Fall Color at South Carolina State Parks and golf courses

My challenge for you this week is to sit down, pray and begin clearing items from your responsibilities in order to make room for God’s schedule.

In His Calm,

On Wednesday I shared with you my word for 2015…Thrive. When I think about what it means in my life to Thrive many thoughts come to mind. By the end of 2014 so many areas of my life were out of control it was difficult to focus on anything.

As I prayed for my focus for this year I struggled because I knew there was no way I could focus on one thing. God gently whispered to my heart, “I’m not asking you to focus on one thing. I’m asking you to give the chaos, the frustrations, the worry, and the struggle for surviving through the day over to me. I want you to hand it all to me and let me help you THRIVE.”

Fall Color at South Carolina State Parks and golf courses

And that’s what I commit to do. I commit to give up surviving and allow God to show me and lead me in my to-do list, my marriage, my parenting, my ministry, and my finances. I want this year to be a year of THRIVING in my trust in God’s leadership in my life.

I know I am not the only one who struggles with this and I want you to know you are not alone. So my friends over the next few weeks I will share with you my successes and failures as I seek to Thrive by God’s standards.

Will you join me? Follow The Calm of His Presence on facebook or sign up in the sidebar to receive posts via email.

In His Calm,

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