Category Archives: Psalm

A Good Bad Day

GoodBadDay

This is follow up from a post I wrote a few days ago.  Check it out here.

Too often, I stuff my feelings in order to protect myself or those around me from uncomfortable topics and emotions.

In my previous post on this topic, I mentioned that sometimes I just want to be able to share, to get some of that out.

While there have been many times I could have used a shoulder to cry on I an ear to hear, realistically, it’s not always or even often available. With that said, how do we get through the tough times without feeling like a burden to others?

I am learning that turning to God in everything, praise or problem, is key in my life.

Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Even though there have been people in my life I could have turned to in tough moments, I have always worried about becoming a burden or pushing them away with my baggage.  I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to open up but even more so, I’m learning how to turn to God in those moments when my heart is so heavy.

Scripture, prayer and music have all been huge in my life in recent years.

Music has always had a huge part in my life.  Anytime I was feeling down, I would drown myself in songs that I could relate to, songs that poured out the same feelings I was feeling, songs that made me feel like I was not alone.  I clung to the lyrics and played them over and over.  On a side note, many times the music I chose reflected the world I was in which was not always good.  While it left me feeling like I wasn’t alone, I see now my choices in music weren’t always the best choices and sometimes fueled my negative thoughts and feelings.  I’m a big believer in garbage in = garbage out (just ask my kids how many times I’ve used that on them, lol!) and am very thankful so many Christian artists are out there now.  You can find music in any style – hip hop, rap, country, normal – in Christian music.  It’s refreshing!

Prayer has not always been an easy one for me.  I have always prayed but I admit, I’ve gone through moments of doubt and have asked questions like, “If God knows everything, why do we need to pray?”, “Why would God want to listen to me?” and “Will my prayers really make a difference?”.  Some days, I still battle those questions but I do believe prayer is important.  I believe it’s one way for us to build/grow in our walk with Christ.  I believe God uses prayer as a way to keep us connected to him.  When we pour out our hearts in prayer, we are seeking him.  When we fail to pray, we are trying to do too much of the work on our own.

Scripture is a tool.  Did you know that?  It’s not just pretty little letters typed into a nice leather bound book.  It’s history, it’s real peoples lives, it’s their stories, their trials, their triumphs.  It’s the emotions they felt, the mistakes they made, the faith they held tight to, the distress and loss, and so much more.  There is really nothing I could face today that I couldn’t find similar responses or emotions to in the Bible.  Every time I have looked a particular subject up, I have found verses that encourage me, words that speak to me, stories that that I can relate to.  Scripture is a tool for when you are weary, hurting, in need of encouragement, hope, peace, to strengthen your faith, give you courage, guide your steps, bring light to your life and so much more.

I haven’t always had a lot of friends.  I still don’t have a lot, but the ones I do have, I love with all my heart.  I put 110% into those cherished relationships and my heart aches for the friendships that have passed.  When someone takes the time to accept me, get to know me and love me just for being me, that means the world to me.  The thing is, to be a great friend back, I can’t put unreasonable expectations on them.  I can’t expect them to be here for me every waking hour.  I can’t expect them to drop everything and rush to my side every time I feel sad or down.  I can’t expect them to know the right words to say all the time or to read my mind.  Sure, they may want to do those things at times, but to expect that from anyone would just be too much.

That’s where God comes in.  He is available anytime, any day, any place.  All he wants is for us to come to him.  If that’s in prayer, then I pray.  If that’s through Scripture then I soak myself in his words.  If that’s through music, then I crank up some Casting Crowns, Third Day or my current favorite, Rhett Walker Band.

He has never failed me.  I have failed him.  I have turned away from him.  I have been angry, doubted his love and concern for me but he has never failed me.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 136:1  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

 

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My morning view…

MorningView

This week, I am taking a break and focusing on the beauty around me.

This morning, the above image was the view shortly after I woke up from a great nights sleep.  My family and I are very blessed to be spending some much needed time together, away from all the busyness of every day life.

My posts this week will be short in words, but hopefully they’ll inspire you to seek out the beauty around you!

I can almost feel the hand of God
reaching for my face
to wipe the tears away, and say,
“It’s time to make everything new.”

“Make it all new”
This is our hope.
This is the promise.
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that’s been made
out of the ashes…
out of the ashes…
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that He’s made

Steven Curtis Chapman | Beauty Will Rise

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8

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Some things never change…

Your love never fails
never gives up
never runs out on me.

If you haven’t heard that awesome song by Jesus Culture, please go listen to it.

Soak in the words.

Rejoice in His love for you.

One thing remains…

He will never give up on you!

During this weeks precept Bible study we learned there are three things that will never change;  Truth about God, Word of God, Truth about You!

Truth about God
Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Word of God
Psalm 119:89  Your word, Lord, is eternal;  it stands firm in the heavens.

Truth about You
Romans 8:38-39  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present, the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Nothing we do will change His love for us.
Nothing from our past, present or future will make Him love us less.
Nothing in His word will ever change.

Our God will be our God, the one true God, for all time! 

What a wonderful promise of security for us to embrace!


© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Security in Christ…

Sometimes our security is shaken.  
We are left feeling uneasy, vulnerable, scared, worried, violated.

Today I seek reassurance that says…

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Psalm 9:9

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.  Psalms 27:4-5

Yes, the LORD is my rock, my fortress.  Even when I feel insecure in my earthly home, He is my fortress.  In Him, I take refuge.  He shields me from the pain of worldly actions, violations.  

I have to remember, we are safe.

While my family and I celebrated our freedoms, others took advantage of their freedoms and broke into our home.  They stole things that we have worked hard for.  Things we’ve sacrificed for.  Things we dreamed of.  Things we’ve waited years to get.  They damaged our beautiful home that we bought just 8 short months ago.  

Most of all, they stole our sense of security.  While we did have an alarm and it did activate and the police did come, the crooks had long enough to take a few of our valuables and do some damage.  It was enough to cause us to lose that safe feeling.  It was enough to rattle our nerves.  

It was enough to shake us but they will not break us.

God has promised me…

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  Psalm 37:39

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.  Proverbs 14:32

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

So today, as we continue to celebrate the freedoms we have in this country, I also mourn.  I mourn for the security that was stolen from my family.  I mourn for the loss of worldly things that we treasured but most of all…
I mourn for the lost souls who have such a crappy life they felt they needed to steal some of our joy.  I can only imagine how their lives are that they had to stoop to this level.  I pray that as they grabbed the laptop from my desk which was sitting right beside of my open Bible, they glanced at the pages.  I pray they saw some of the verses hanging on my walls in front of them.  I pray that when they dig through the life I had on my laptop, they see the images from this blog, the Bible studies I worked hard to prepare, the many moments I captured on camera, the joyous music of a glorious God, that they are overcome with heaviness, guilt and shame.  Perhaps my life can bring change to theirs.  I pray that God touches their hearts, that they find peace in their lives to live better ways, not destroying the lives of those around them.  

Even though the very human part of me will still feel anger, hurt and fear, the wisdom of my soul is at peace knowing that I am well.

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The Name Game!

So with the new look all finished, it’s time to lose the .blogspot.com name.
Can you help a girl out?
I need something fun, fresh and full of glory for the new .com name.  I’ve tried a bazillion things like:
morningglory.com
jenarmstrong.com
jarmstrong.com
jennyarmstrong.com
psalm143.com
etc.  and yes, those are all taken :(  Needless to say, there must be a lot of cool Jen/Jenny Armstrong’s in the world cause there’s sure a lot of domains taken w/ the name.  I ran into that issue years ago when I started my photography website which is why is has the long, boring, confusing domain of www.jenarmstrongdesigns.com.
Nice, huh?
So, this is where I need your help.  I need some suggestions.  I really do like the name Morning Glory but I’m not opposed to changing the blog name to suit a domain name.  It’s still new enough that it will fly just fine.
I’m fine w/ using a Bible verse as well but I prefer it to be something that has to do with glory, joy, prayer, prayer in the morning, etc.  You get the idea, right?
Do you have any wonderful suggestions for me?  If I pick your name, there just might be some kind of goodie involved!

Some of my own thoughts are…

www.theimperfectprincess.com
(right now, this is the one that stands out most to me but is it too long?  I like something along these lines best – something fun or a little catchy!  For me the thought on this is He is King and I am His princess.  I am not and never will be perfect, thus the imperfect part.  Is this too out there or once people get the drift of my blog, the name will make sense?  Thoughts?)

Something with mom in it would be okay – psalmmom.com or morningglorymom.com.  Better suggestions there are much encouraged, welcomed and appreciated ;)

morningpsalm.com
(this is along the lines of morning glory but I wouldn’t want the assumption that it is a daily devotional of psalms and that’s kind of the feel I get from the name. How about you?)

www.jenarmstrong.org
(though with so many awesome jen’s out there would this be overkill & confusing?)

psalm143-8.com
(I like this okay but would the hyphen be too awkward? Not girlie enough?)

Oh boy!  I feel like I’m naming a child – well, this will be my baby for years to come ;)  It would be much easier if I were using my maiden name which is hard to spell and pronounce, HA!

Please help a girl out!
Yours truly, 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

The not so lovely truth about baggage…

I must admit, I’m a girl who loves bags!
Just ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you, I go through purses like babies go through diapers.  My husband would certainly agree that I have a slight huge obsession with bags.
The pic above is from my current stash of bags.  My collection has been purged many times over the years.  I have learned that I am very fond of a particular style and keep going back to that same style which is why I’ve hung on to most of these. 
On the left, there’s a blue & green flower print w/ Phil. 4:13 on it – that’s our church bag!  All the Bibles go in it as we head to church and I keep my current Bible study stuff in it.  It’s a nifty Thirty One utility tote ;)
Notice the bright yellow in the frontthat’s my hot new bag!  I snagged this beauty by Nine & Co. at JCPenney over the weekend.  Yes, I *had* to get the matching wallet because it’s also yellow and all this fabulous yellow will match the tiny huge order of more bags I have coming after a recent Thirty One party at our place.

– shameless plug:  be sure to visit my friend Kelly at the Thirty One links above to get your own awesome bags! –
{ Might I add, encouraging a bag party might not be the best idea for a girl who drools over bags (aka bag addict).  Perhaps an intervention might have been a better idea! *wink* }
So what’s my point in all this?
As much as I love bags, I don’t love baggage!
Baggage is defined as…
1. The trunks, bags, parcels, and suitcases in which one carries one’s belongings; luggage.
2. The movable equipment and supplies of an army.
3. Superfluous or burdensome practices, regulations, ideas, or traits.
Baggage is…
regret, disappointment, shame, guilt, anger, fear, anxiety, hate.
heavy.  it weighs us down.
tiring & exhausts us. it wears us out.
occupies too much of us, leaving too little for the important things.

Or as we know it, it’s all the crud we’ve stuffed away in our pockets (our hearts & minds), lugging it around with us every day, weighing us down, leading us to depression, wearing out our bodies, our minds, our spirit, attacking our hearts, our attitudes, and leaving us open to Satan’s attacks.

The baggage in my life has piled up about as quickly as my purse pile grows.  I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of baggage – that is, give it to God!  He is capable of carrying all the things we drag around.  He can carry my baggage without worry, without anger, without resentment and all the while, He remains caring, loving and gentle.  I don’t have to worry about the strain I put on Him but the freedom it has given me is big huge! 

While I still struggle with my bag obsession, I am happily learning to let go of the baggage that weighs me down and keeps me from glorifying God.  
Hand your bags to God – He will gladly carry them!
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  Luke 18:27
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7
I am thankful for these gentle reminders that I don’t have to carry around a lot of baggage – God will carry it for me! 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com