Devotional Thursdays- Remembering Who Christ Is

Remembering Who Christ Is

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

A lot of the time, I forget who Christ is. I get caught up in myself, my day, my to-do list, the world, the negativity, whatever is it, I usually find myself caught up in it. I get panicked and scared and worried and all these emotions. I worry about things I have zero control over. I worry about what I’m doing- am I doing the right thing? Is what I’m doing enough? 

Truthfully, no. What I am doing is not enough to save me from my sin. The things I do will never get me into heaven. You don’t get to heaven because you’re a super, duper good person. Morals are great but morals don’t get you into heaven.

Christ does. Christ, who came down to earth, became one of us humans, and took on all our sin to cover the cost we could not pay. Christ bridged the gap we put between us and God. 

In my crazy need to be perfect, I think that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough. There has to be more. It couldn’t be that simple. Christ died for me and just like that I’m covered? Really?

I am not trying to negate the significance of what Christ has done for us, but for me, believing in Christ and taking him on as my savior is simple. It’s a simple choice. It’s a choice I need to remind myself of daily. I need to remind myself that Jesus was enough to cover my sins and he willingly died for me. When Jesus was on the cross, he said “it is finished.” 

Not “it is finished as long as Ashleigh is perfect and does all the right things.” Jesus did not say “it is finished, just as long as Ashleigh keeps her cool.” 

My salvation is in Jesus, not in my works. I have to remind myself of that though because sin runs deep and habits tag along. It isn’t about me or what I do. It is about what Jesus has already done. 

Remember that. God sees you. Jesus choose to die for you. That is how deep his love goes.

Write it Out

  1. Where do you get caught up? Where do you start to lose focus on what Jesus did for you?
  2. How can you remind yourself of what Jesus did? Maybe try memorizing a specific verse. 

Currently- September

General- If you follow me on Instagram, you might have heard about our little flood that happened when our washer machine broke and created a small lake throughout my downstairs. Well, the guy came and tore up the damaged flooring and baseboard and now the fans are gone and we are waiting to fond out if they are able to match our current laminate or what the deal is there. In the meantime, we replaced the damaged things and I wrote about how to make your house work for you. You can check out that post, along with how I used the small lake as an opportunity here.

We are undergoing schedule changes as hubby got a new job and for the time being, our schedules are very different than they used to be. We’re rolling with it though! I get a lot more time that is just me and Little Man so I have been working on creative ways to keep us both occupied and not outside. We are still rocking 90’s here and I cannot wait for cooler temps. 

Reading– I’m technically still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it up in a while. I started reading The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (again). I just really love this book and the entire series. I recently took a mythology in literature class and I spent a majority of that class referencing these books so it made me want to pick them back up. Maybe I’ll get back to Bookish Boyfriends one day. 

Listening– I actually went back and re-listened to Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. Gosh, I love that book! I just need to read the second one. I started listening to The Elite by Kiera Cass. I loved the Selection and since it is a series book, I promptly forgot that I had more books to read so I grabbed the audiobook from my library to listen to. I didn’t finish it in time but I struggled with the audiobook. I wonder if the performer can ruin a book for you. I think I might grab the book to just read it and see if the main character doesn’t annoy me as much. 

As for music, I went back to my high school glory days and started listening to all the bands I listened to in high school and now I don’t listen to the same 20 songs theses days, hahaha. I think I realized why my parents listened to the stuff they loved in high school well into adulthood. Music is constantly changing so when you find something you love, why are you going to try and keep up with the new stuff? (I don’t particularly LOVE the new stuff out there, some of it is good, but I get why my parents didn’t like the stuff I listened to.) 

Watching-We are COMMITTED to the show Younger. That show has me feeling all types of ways and I don’t know what to do with all the emotions. I might be slightly overreacting but oh well. Younger is what we are binge watching. But it is the end of September which means all the new seasons just started back up! So far we got the Masked Singer and I am waiting for some free time to catch up on the premier of Gray’s and Single Parents. 

Writing– I am currently working on a script for my screenwriting class that I am taking this term. Screenwriting is HARD, guys. Seriously, I didn’t realize how different screenwriting is from other types of writing. I am also writing blog posts and journaling a lot. I am working on a journaling challenge for October on Instagram! I decided I am going to do my book for NaNoWriMo this year so I’m just going to write an outline and then come November 1st, write it every day.

Other– There has been a lot of work going on with my Cricut and home stuff. It has been fun. Maybe I’ll post my projects on the blog so you can see all the stuff I work on. If you’re curious. 

What did you spend your September doing? I’d love to hear about it! 

Devotional Thursdays- Choices

Choices

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. – Genesis 3:6b

Eve was presented with a choice. She was talking to the enemy, who presented her with an alternative to what she knew God had said. He convinced her to make the choice to eat the apple from the tree God specifically said do not eat from. They had one job, one rule and they didn’t follow it. Then, Eve handed an apple to her husband Adam because sharing is caring and he ate it without question. The bible never indicated that Adam questioned his wife on where she got the apple from. Granted, there were probably other trees that had apples and maybe Adam wanted a snack. Apples are good. Why not eat it? 

That single choice wrecked humanity on earth. This individual choice effected every single human that would be born afterwards. This choice now made all of us born into sin because of their sin. We are born sinners because of Adam and Eve’s sin. 

Imagine having that sort of weight on your shoulders. I know sometimes we feel like we are carrying the world on our shoulders. How many of us actually make decisions that effect us, our children, and the thousands of generations that follow? I sure don’t. 

Jesus comes next. It is a long time after Adam and Eve, but he comes. He is born, he lives in the wold alongside humanity that is sinful. He also started his ministry, knowing how it would end. Jesus was always aware of why he was on earth. It wasn’t some revelation that was given to him when he was in his thirties and he suddenly had to make a choice on whether or not he wanted his destiny. Jesus always knew what he was. Jesus always knew what he was sent to do. However, as a man, Jesus had a choice. Jesus even asked God to take away what he was sent to do. (Matthew 26:39)  Since I have free will, I think Jesus could have ran away that night if he really wanted to. Just like I could run away from my family and everything I know tonight. I won’t, but technically, I could. 

Jesus’ choice to follow the father’s will and sacrifice himself was the choice that saved humanity. We now can go to God freely and be saved from our sinful humanity. Jesus chose us. He chose you. He chose me. He chose to bare my sin, and your sin. 

The bible has a lot of stories about prophets and people who all had choices to make. Some choices were made to cover up poor choices. Other choices were for the betterment of a kingdom. And still, other choices were made to glorify God.

Just like the people of the bible, we have choices. We go about our day making a ton of choices. We probably make more choices than we even realize. Not all of our choices hold weight, deciding to get into another car lane isn’t as heavy of a choice as deciding to buy a house. Thankfully, our choices most likely won’t effect humanity as a whole. Our choices may have consequences but we are human and as humans, we will make wrong choices. We cannot control that. No matter how much we stress over every decision we make. (Trust me, I’ve tried.) 

The biggest choice we make will be the one that deals with our eternity. Is Jesus the savior God sent to pay for our sins for us or is Jesus a myth about a really upstanding guy thousands of years ago?

That choice is the choice that will effect eternity. 

Write it Out

  1. What are some choices you are struggling with right now?
  2. What are some bad choices you made in the past that you need to forgive yourself for?
  3. How can you rest in God’s grace instead of relying on yourself to make every single right choice?

Self-Publishing Journey: Part One

If you’ve been around this blog for any amount of time, you might know that I published a book back in May. It’s a journaling devotional designed to help you dig deeper with God though journaling. I self-published my book and today I’m going to be talking about that process. 

Before I even wrote my book, I knew I was going to self-publish. Maybe it’s because I’m such a DIY’er but I wanted the control that self-publishing allowed me to have. I enjoyed designing my cover and doing it myself. I even enjoyed the hours, weeks and months of research that went into learning how to self-publish. Choosing to self-publish gave me the ability to write the book I wanted to write, regardless of whether or not someone else thought there would be a market for it. Since I’ve published and all the explaining I’ve done about what a journaling devotional is, I’m guessing a publisher would have told me that the market for that didn’t exist. I don’t even know if it does now. I’ve sold my book though so somebody is interested. 

So how did I finally get there? How did I get to publish my book? Well, first, I researched all my options. I went to a workshop about self-publishing at a book festival I was at. That workshop was helpful and taught me a few things but it was mostly a self-publishing workshop to get you to use a certain company for your self-publishing needs. I don’t remember the company, although I almost wish I did because it would have been nice to have someone to help me when I hit a few bumps along the way. I had google though. One thing that really helped me was Jenna Moreci’s video on Createspace VS IngramSpark which you can find here. It’s worth noting that CreateSpace was Amazon’s publishing before it changed to KDP. 

After this video and reading all the articles I read, I decided I was going to use IngramSpark to publish my book. At least that was my plan. If my life were to have a motto though, it would be how the best of my plans still get messy or how they never go as planned. Launching my podcast would be a great example of this. I digress. 

I finally finished editing my book. I was doing the cover. I was ready to upload and set up my publish date because I had already announced it. I was talking about it for weeks and I had the perfect plan to publish on my birthday. So I’m uploading and using IngramSpark and doing all the right things, checking the boxes until I get to the part about ISBN numbers. Uhm. What is that? ISBN numbers is basically your book ID. It’s a number that is assigned to your book and when it is searched up, only your book pops up. IngramSpark didn’t give your book ISBN numbers and it doesn’t come as part of the plans they offer for publishing. You have to buy your own ISBN. Figuring out that process was relatively easily. A quick Google search told me everything I needed to know about how and where to grab myself an ISBN number. 

This is where all my plans got messy. ISBN numbers are not cheap. The US seller for ISBN numbers offer 1 at like $100+ dollars and the deal is getting 10 ISBN numbers (for future books) for like $100-ish dollars more than the price of one. Obviously the deal is in getting the 10 ISBN numbers. Well, since this was a sudden hiccup and something I wasn’t anticipating, I didn’t have the money to even buy one ISBN. It wasn’t budgeted. I didn’t want to push back my publish date though because I already made it public. 

That is when I switched to Amazon’s KDP. When publishing through Amazon, they give you what they call an ASIN, which is an Amazon identifier for your book to show that you published through Amazon. While this probably isn’t ideal for most people, I don’t like going back on something when I say it. Since I wanted my book available on Amazon anyway, I didn’t see an issue of just switching how I published it. Also, publishing through Amazon, I can edit and update my book however often I need to and it doesn’t cost me anything.

Now that I’ve officially published my book though Amazon, I haven’t had a negative experience with Amazon. Amazon’s KDP is very simple to understand. The reports are a little hard to understand sometimes but they are pushing out a new report system and I have been checking it out and I really like it. The only con I’ve found is that  getting my book in real places, outside of the online world, is harder. I’m learning the literary world isn’t a huge fan of Amazon publishing. However, when I have resources available to me. I’m going to use them. 

This is probably going to be part one of a two part series. The next part I’ll probably talk more about designing my cover and the funner parts of publishing. At least, what I consider funner. More fun. The more fun parts of publishing. Yeah, that sounds better. 

Currently- August

General- Have I talked about the fact that I live in a dessert? Seriously, the past three weeks have had half of the week holding excessive heat warnings. Check on your dessert friends, they are burning up. This month has been very quiet around my house. We’re trying to stay home more and do more family time. We get plenty of family time, we are just trying to stay home while we do it. When we leave the house, we end up staying out way too long and spend money we didn’t intend to spend. Hubby and I have also been working on a lot of projects together. We made him a workstation in the garage (and reorganized that garage and go rid of SO MUCH STUFF) and he is building shelves. He made me a board so I can keep track of upcoming blog posts. I also made bible tabs for my bible and I’m in LOVE with them. They are so cute.

Reading– I’m still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it back up since my trip to Washington. I started reading some business books and books along those lines. It is a struggle to read those too. It’s been a struggle to read lately. It makes my heart a little sad. 

Listening– I quit the Saving Quinton I started listening to. I just couldn’t get into it the way that I did the first book. I might look up what happens because I’m curious but I could not keep listening to it.  I listened to the first books in the Program series. That was very interesting and scary. It reminded me a lot of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan where the government is scared of something and doing whatever they can to prevent it but since they handle teenagers they don’t care what happens to them. Although, in the Program, the program that is supposed to cure depression isn’t ran by the government, just has a lot of power. They were good books. There are a lot more in the world of the program, different story lines and what not. I’m good with what I read (listened to.) 

I’ve been struggling with music lately. I feel like I’ve been listening to the same 20 songs and I need new ones. Tell me what your favorite song is lately! 

Watching– We cancelled Netflix in favor of Hulu Live (heck yes, sports!) so I am no longer watching West Wing or Criminal Minds. We just started watching Leah Remini’s series on Scientology and WOAH. Scientology was always a weird religion to me. A sci-fi writer wrote the textbooks for a religion? Really? And I’m supposed to believe he knew what he was talking about? I’ll stick with Jesus. We’ve also been watching a lot of Cats, the musical. My son loves it. 

Writing– Projects, presentations, blog posts and Instagram captions. I started an outline for my book. It was painful. Since I’m currently on a week long break from school, I am hoping to get caught up on the outline so I can set word count goals and really get working on this book. 

Other– The project I was going to announce has been announced AND LAUNCHED! I started a podcast called Hasta la Pasta where I will talk about all sorts of fun things. It will be an extension to my blog. The first episode is live now! You can listen on the website or on Spotify right now. (I’m waiting on approval for Apple & Google Play)