Making time for what matters ~ Quiet times

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This past week was the final week for women’s Bible study group at our church. We were strongly encouraged to devote ourselves to a daily Bible reading plan. After getting a few friends committed to journey through the Bible with me, my husband presented several reading plans for me to consider. I chose the M’Cheyne reading plan because it is 4 chapters a day in 4 different Bible books. I like it this way because when we go through some of the more challenging books, we will only need to read a chapter in them each day and still have 3 other books to read too.  Most likely, in a least one of the books you will have something to really look forward to reading and that encourages consistency. I also like this plan because my friends and I can get it on our phones and tablets through the youversion app.

Today was the second day of our plan. We are reading in Genesis, Matthew, Ezra, and Acts. Several of the other ladies in our church are even doing a 90 day plan (rather than the year plan I am doing), which is some serious reading. I know that some of us would LOVE to do that but may lack the time. That is understandable. However, as a christian we must MAKE the time to spend with our Lord. Each day we should be in the Word to some capacity and spending some time in prayer. Today I timed how long it took for me to do the reading [the 2nd chapters of the previously named books] and it was a total of 8 minutes and 30 seconds. I am not a super fast reader, it really doesn’t take that long. Sure, you will have some longer chapters sometimes but it will probably be 10-15 minutes of reading tops.

Please, be encouraged. I have been feeling so convicted about this lately. I spend more time doing my hair and makeup each day than time in the Word. And you know what else? I would be very uncomfortable leaving my home for the day without giving any time to my hair or makeup. But why doesn’t it phase me at all to leave my home for the day without spending any time with Christ to help me prepare for the day? But in eternity, when I am with the Lord Jesus… what is going to be of more worth: how my hair and makeup looked on this one day of my life… or if I spent time with the Lord to become closer to Him and become more godly? Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that it is wrong to spend time doing your hair, makeup, or anything else for that matter. On the other hand, life is busy and only gets busier. At some point, somethings gotta give. Something may have to be sacrificed to make the time for what is important [prioritizing!].

The best example of a daily walk with God is provided by our Savior Himself. Jesus OFTEN withdrew Himself to pray.

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” Mark 1:35-37

Don’t discourage yourself or cut yourself short. Don’t talk yourself out of such a wonderful blessing: truly walking with the Lord. Find some friends that will hold you accountable and rise to the challenge, you can do it.

I know it has been a while since I have updated on here… I’m sorry and I will try to stay on top of this thing a little better 😉 I just wanted to share what was on my heart today. Make it a great day!

God is so good! Praise Him!

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I can’t help but marvel at the ways of the Lord. It’s crazy how doubt manages to creep in despite the overwhelming evidences of Gods work in my life. The funny thing is, He doesn’t need to reveal His works to me, but He does anyway to increase my faith.

So, I finally got a job 🙂 God worked in amazing ways to provide exactly what we needed. I start on Monday!! Though it will be hard work (nannying for two little ones), I know that this new endeavor will be blessed by the Lord.

Some more good news from the Ezzells:

Due to the nature of Jamie’s previous job, I have been unable to see my family for ANY holidays since we’ve been married. My heart has been so troubled about three Christmas’ away from my family. Since Jamie is now in the ministry, we will be able to see my family this year! So we are in the process of planning our Florida Christmas trip 🙂 God is so good!

And… some MORE amazing news:

A few days ago I never would have thought I’d be saying this but… it is a good possibility that Jamie and I will be going to AFRICA. The trip is probably going to be late December of 2013… yep folks… THIS YEAR! Our fantastic church [Grace Harvest Baptist Church of Amelia, VA] will be meeting up with a missionary that we support in Uganda. Though we are still praying about it all [this is a very premature announcement].

It is so astounding… how much God is moving here. He is so faithful and generous to us. I love seeing Jamie as he making an impact for Christ. 2013 has already been a big year for us! We are so excited about… well… everything! We have been settling in to our new home and adjusting to our new schedules. I wont deny that their has been bumps in the road, but we are taking things in strides and depending on Christ.

The fruits of fellowship


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The crazy adventures continue for the Ezzell family! So, we survived the move 😉 Last Saturday morning Jamie and his dad went back to NC for his final week of work so I am on my own (with the pups that is).

Since this is the first time Jamie and I have been a part, it has been somewhat lonely for me. On the one hand, we are so excited about being here and being surrounded by such wonderful and godly people. On the other, my heart is overwhelmed. From finding out about our “mouse problem” to all the little errands and tasks, I find myself feeling some heavy burdens.

Tonight our church was having a ladies event called “Pinterest Party”. The idea being to have some recipes (taco seasoning, coffee creamer, laundry detergent, and fabric refresher) and some stations set up for us to make them. Although I had been really looking forward to it, I almost didn’t go because I was feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. I felt like I needed to be the “peppy and excited” youth pastors wife… and after a day like today I was far from that.

I decided to go anyway. When I walked in and saw everybody chatting together I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to go and jump in to other peoples conversations, I felt like the outsider. A moment later, a new friend saw me and came over to talk, and that was just the beginning.

Most of the ladies there tonight didn’t know how I was feeling today. They were loving and encouraging toward me regardless. These women may not “know me” but that doesn’t matter: they are my sisters in Christ and they have been through trails and triumphs of their own. Though I was intimidated at first, the fellowship I experienced tonight was exactly what my soul needed. The women of Grace Harvest Baptist Church are amazing. They have so much love that they are ready to give.

Friends, please hear me. Christ knows your need and he is faithful to provide, but you have to put yourself out there sometimes. I encourage all of you to find a church with an amazing support system. Fellowship is so important, it is nourishing for us and as a believer you will need it. When you become involved with a godly and thriving church you receive accountability, discipleship, friendship, and worship.

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

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Jamie and I were pretty comfortable in our lives before the move. God has called us toward something bigger and better. Along with that comes stress, uncertainty, and hardships. However, I know I serve a big God. I know I have Christ to calm my heart. I know I have a wonderful husband to lean on. Finally, I know I have some godly women by my side. This is just the beginning. Bring it 😉

Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I

Psalm 61:1-2

 

The Big Move – 1 Week Left!

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I can’t believe the time has flown by! The holidays has been a whirlwind and now we are left with 7 days before the big move and nothing packed! Things are about to get cray in the Ezzell home! Needless to say, stress has settled in amongst a bittersweet mixture of excitement and nostalgia. 

Now I know that a Christian is called to faith. Stress is the opposite of faith: to stress is to doubt in God’s sovereignty. I find myself anxious about finding a job (I have not yet) and about all the packing, moving, and unpacking. On the other hand, I remind myself of God’s love and faithfulness toward Jamie and me. I know He has a plan for us, and that He will work out all of the little details. Although, we are still called to be faithful and obedient! 

24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?26 If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?

Luke 12:24-26

God has been so wonderful to us. We deserve condemnation for our sin, yet He showers us with love and grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jamie and I have been so blessed to be showered with so much love and support from our family and friends. We are in good health (including Molly who has made a full recovery from last months trials) and we are ready to embark on an amazing adventure.

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I am so excited about becoming a youth pastors wife! I know God is going to use Jamie in mighty ways and I feel so blessed to be a part of that. We always have room for more love, encouragement, and advice in our lives 😉 and we definitely would be honored if you remember us when you are talking with God! I will let you all know how the big move goes and I will definitely let you know when I get a job (hopefully that will be sooner rather than later). How can we be praying for you?

Love you all, xo

Jessie