Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Need for Approval

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? 
Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Let me just start out by saying, 'This is not a soapbox rant.' ツ 

I've been feeling this pull for a few days now. A pull to unplug from the quick-connect of social media for a while. While I dearly love Twitter (and now Instagram!), there's this need deep inside my heart to step away from all the tweets, retweets, likes, and hearts. 

After reading Galatians 1 this week, verse 10 leapt off the page. Now, I know I'm taking the verse a bit out of context to apply it to my situation (Paul is talking about his preaching the Gospel); however, hear me out. 

I like all the likes and hearts. I enjoy seeing how many people my posts reach. I truly love to encourage others by sharing my thoughts on His Word. But lately, I've had to stop and ask myself...

Am I doing this my glory or for His?

And that's where the need to step away and post less frequently applies to me. The change came about when I acquired one of those 'smart' phones. Social media was within reach whenever I wanted to look...and I've been looking too much. My nose has been glued to that little screen at times...and I don't like that. I like to experience life as it happens. I want to experience life as it happens. 

So, I deliberately removed all those fun little apps, and turned my phone back into its intended connect with my teens and family and friends via text or (gasp!) a voice call. 

It's only been a few days, but I already feel so much better. My heart doesn't feel the need to see who liked what. I am more focused in my Quiet Time. Instead of reading and subconsciously thinking, "Now, which part of that verse/quote should I share?" I am intentionally centralizing my thoughts to, "Father, what are you speaking to me?"

While I'm not giving up on social media all together, I plan on you seeing me less frequently. I'm looking forward to going down this path He has set...though I won't be sharing much about it. Relying on Him to show me the way. 

How does social media
affect your day-to-day life?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Journaling Bibles for Girls

When I was asked if I'd like to review the NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition, I immediately replied, 'Yes!'

TeenGirl has been requesting one for quite a while. (A journaling bible is on my wish list, too!) She enjoys drawing, and like her Momma, is learning brush lettering. Writing thoughts and drawing a visual in our bible is near and dear to our hearts. My bible is loaded in the margins! 

Upon receipt, she excitedly opened the package. With a dramatic exclamation, she squealed in one breath, "Ooh! Look at it! It's so pretty! And it's in my favorite colors. And look at the shiny gold. And look! It has a blue bookmark AND a pink elastic one." 

Though it doesn't show well in the photograph, this bible is hardcover with gold-foil embellishments on the lacy floral designs. It shimmers as it catches the light, and is truly very pretty and girly. 

We opened the bible up to around the middle, near Psalms. The pages are sturdy, yet thin enough they make that lovely crinkly sound when you turn them. Each page has a 2-inch ruled-lines margin on the outer side of the page. TeenGirl's first reaction was a bit of disappointment. Her preference would have been for blank space; however, she quickly deduced the ruled lines would be perfect for brush lettering. 

From an older-eye standpoint, the print seems rather small. For TeenGirl, this is no problem. As for me, I'll be pulling out my dime-store glasses to read the verses. The NIV (New International Version) translation is one in which we are familiar. The modern language makes it easier for a young girl or teen to understand better than the old-English style of the King Jimmy (KJV). 

She had only two requests for modification:  

1) Tabs! Not just any 'ol tab will do. TeenGirl wants pretty colored tabs to match her pretty bible. Mom thinks if you're buying this for a new believer, you'll want to include tabs. Though each book is listed at the top of each page, tabs would make it so much easier to find the book you'd like to study.

2) Colored Pens Specifically, pens that won't bleed through the pages. Colored pencils will work just fine, but if you have a vivacious girl, the bright colors of an archival gel pen make a nice addition to this bible. (We found some TeenGirl liked at HobbyLobby.)

Overall, both TeenGirl and I love this journaling bible. She's inspired to study and connect to Him through drawing and lettering verses. My heart is thrilled she has the desire to deepen her relationship with Him and His Word. If you're looking for a gift for your tween or teen girl, this is an excellent choice.

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of the NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a favorable review in order to receive the Bible.

Do you have a journaling Bible?