Lessons from the Book of Jonah

Lessons from the Book of Jonah
On Sunday we had a sermon from the book of Jonah, and I just can’t stop thinking about the lessons that we can learn from this short book in the Bible! So here I am today writing up a post about it because I just want to share with you all some of the things I learned.
Have you ever read the book of Jonah?  I’m sure you’re at least familiar with the story of Jonah in the Bible.  Jonah is such an interesting character in the Bible.  He’s a character who made a big mistake, he ran away from God only to find himself stuck in the belly of a huge fish.  Talk about horrible consequences.  Being stuck in the belly of a fish does not sound pleasant.
So we see that Jonah made a mistake.  He had the audacity to think he could hide from God’s presence.  But what can we learn from this story?  I was quite surprised that there is actually quite a lot that we can learn from the way God deals with this big mistake of Jonahs.
Here are just a few of the main truths that stood out to me in the story of Jonah;

Everything, even our mistakes, are a part of God’s Plan

EVERYTHING is a part of God’s plan.  Even out mistakes.  Even the times when we rebel and run from God have a part in God’s plan.
When Jonah ran from God, he thought he could get out of doing what God had asked him to do.  But when a storm hit, Jonah knew his plan had failed.  He couldn’t hide from God, so he asked the sailors to throw him into the sea.  Jonah soon found himself at the bottom of the sea, he was in the lowest place; about to drown because of a choice he made to disobey God.  But then something happened.  The Bible says that God appointed a huge fish to come and swallow Jonah. It wasn’t an act of luck that this fish came and swallowed Jonah.  God had pre-ordained this to happen.  Even Jonah’s running away was a part of God’s plan.
And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)

I don’t know about you, but I find this so encouraging.  I know that I have made mistakes.  I have told God that I don’t want to follow Him and I try to go my own way instead.  Sometimes I feel like I screwed up my life, I ran so far from God that it’s impossible to get my life back on the right path.  But just like God had a plan for Jonah, God has a plan for us.  Each mistake we make, each time we don’t do what God is asking us to do, it is still a part of God’s plan.  

Mistakes and hard times bring us back to God 

After being in the belly of the fish for three days, Jonah was ready to follow God.  He was like a new man, humbled and set back on the right path.  This time he didn’t run. He obeyed.
If we are God’s children, we will still make mistakes, but God promises that He won’t leave us. Sometimes God will let us run from him and make mistakes, as Jonah did.  But it’s through making these mistakes and experiencing the consequences of our own actions that we learn how much we need God. When life brings us to the end of ourselves we find God again.
And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Jesus is our Salvation

The last and most important truth to be reminded of in the story of Jonah is the fact that this story points us to Jesus.  Jonah ran from God and was about to die at the bottom of the sea, but then God sent a huge fish to save him.  Have you ever noticed how well this story parallels the gospel?
Before we were saved, we were enemies of God.  In our sinful nature, we run from God and find ourselves trapped at the bottom of the sea, unable to save ourselves.  But God sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world to save us.  When we believe in Jesus, we are saved from our sins and set back on the right path.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16)
What a beautiful truth this is that Jesus is our Savior!  I hope that these truths from the story of Jonah will encourage you as much as they encouraged me.  Wherever you find yourself, keep trusting in God and find peace in knowing that all things, even our mistakes, play a role in God’s great plan.

Get to know me more!

Get to know me more!

Hey all and Happy Fri-yay!

Sydney here!  I want to do something a little different for today’s post on the blog.  I figured it would be fun to share a bit more about me with you all!  So today, here are five, fun and completely random facts about me!

Five Facts About Me!

1. I work part-time at a Rock climbing gym as a climbing instructor for after-school clubs.  I got into climbing a couple of years ago and being able to teach kids about climbing and lead them in fun games has been such a fun job. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to grow in my skills and love on the little ones in may classes.
2. I have moved over 10 times in my life and I’m still only in my twenties.  The majority of these moves have all been in the state of California. Growing up in the same house and the same neighborhood is an experience I never got to have as a child. I have lived on the east coast and the west coast and who knows where God will take me next.
3. I may have a coffee problem.  I honestly love the idea of coffee and visiting coffee shops a lot more than the actual drink itself.  Although, I’m starting to love and crave coffee more and more and enjoy it blacker and blacker… Coffee shops are my favorite place to chill and work on all my many writing projects.  My go-to drink is always an oat milk latte with a shot of whatever flavor syrup I’m in the mood for. My ideal coffee shops are the small hometown shops that have a strong sense of community and aesthetics.  For a graduation gift I got an expresso matchine so now I am learning how to make all my favorite drinks at home.
4. I consider myself an artist in many ways.  I am very passionate about art, but I never pursued art in school.  I took one art class in college and I really wish I took more.  I’m thankful though to keep art as a side hobby and maybe I’ll pursue it more in the future.  I love all forms of art; painting (preferable watercolor), calligraphy, photography, creative writing (that counts as an art, right?).  Creating watercolor portraits is one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind.
5. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love studying the Bible!  Ever since I can remember, reading the Bible has been one of my favorite things to do.  I love having slow mornings in the word of God and reading through a book in the Bible chapter by chapter.  I will read commentaries on sections I don’t understand and fill my bible up with sticky notes (I write on sticky notes because I don’t have enough room in the margins of my Bible). This year I am going to be leading a Bible study for the first time and I will get to share my love for studying the Bible with others!  I am excited and a little bit nervous about it, but I know God called me to this role and I’m so excited to follow him in this new step!

And there you go!  But I didn’t mention the most important fact you need to know about me;  It’s that I love Jesus with all my heart and I simply want to follow Him with my life.  I pray that all of my writing here on this blog will be a reflection of the love I have for Him and will encourage you in your walk.
That’s enough about me. Now it’s your turn!  Share some fun facts about yourselves in the comments 😉

Meet Autumn!

Meet Autumn!
Hello everyone!  I’m so excited because today I get to introduce you to someone!
A few months ago when I began creating this blog I was struggling with trying to balance a part-time job and be consistent in creating content.  I was really starting to get overwhelmed but I felt a huge pull from the Lord to keep working on this blog and not give up on it.  The lord kept putting this idea in my head about reaching out and finding someone to help me write on the blog.  Then the Lord kept putting a certain person on my heart.  So I took the chance, I reached out to her and asked her to join me in this journey.  Well, long story short, she said yes and I’m so happy to have her here as a part of this blog. So today I’m introducing you to my friend and writing partner, Autumn!
For today’s post and wanted to create a fun little way for you all to meet her! So I decided to write out a few “get-to-know-you” questions and had Autumn answer them. I hope you all enjoy getting know Autumn a little better through this interview style.

Briefly introduce yourself?

Hello! I’m Autumn and I’m just a California girl who has found herself living in the midwest. I grew up in a Christian household but didn’t accept Christ as my personal Savior until I was thirteen. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old in the form of novels, blog posts, and short stories.

How did you hear about this blog and become a contributor?

I heard about it from Sydney, the creator of the blog! Ten years ago, we went to the same church together and became friends. We stayed at the same church together for many years but I moved out of state about two years ago. We stayed connected via Instagram but reconnected through video calls and now here we are, writing on her blog together!

What did you study in School?

Theatre arts! I grew up studying ballet but when I went to college I wanted to take a different route with my ‘stage career’. I was a performer and in a handful of musicals. I also took a year to study the behind the scene aspect of theatre and actually was hired as a technical assistant at my college’s performing arts center. I worked there for about a year designing lights, building sets, and working sound for events. In my final semester, I was in the school musical as well as building the set!

What would be your dream job?

A mother! I’ve wanted to be a mother since I was a young girl.  To someday be a mother would be a dream come true!

What are your favorite Summer activities?

Hiking, swimming, and I love exploring new parks in the area.

What’s you’re favorite Bible verse?

“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

What is something that God has been teaching you about this past year?

He has taught me so much about TRUSTING Him. I have always had such a hard time trying to trust Him and always fell into unbiblical thinking surrounding trusting Him. This year, He has truly challenged me and after a lot of fighting, I realized I would not feel peace unless I trusted Him. It’s hard laying my dreams at Christ’s feet and trusting He will do what is best for me, but I trust Him, and hopefully, He will continue this lesson in trust.

Future Plans

Future Plans
Hey all!
I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve done anything on here.  Don’t worry, I am not abandoning this blog, in fact, I have a lot of great plans for this site.  So I figured a little update is due for you all about this blog.
I currently work part-time as a preschool teacher and summer break has officially started.  Which means I now have a lot more time on my hands.  A lot more time to focus on my plans for this new website.  So I thought I’d make a little post to give you a little peek into some of the exciting future plans I have!

So let’s go!  Here’s a shortlist of what you can expect to see soon!

  • Consistent blog posts!  I really struggle with being consistent with blog posts. But my goal for this blog will be to have at least one blog post a week.  The content on this blog will include fun life updates, product reviews and recommendations, encouragement, and exciting announcements.  I’m also really excited about a new partner who has just joined me on this blogging journey.  She will be popping in to help write posts on the blog.  I can’t wait to introduce her to you all on here!
  • Faith-based products! I am so excited about this one!  The past few days I have been spending a lot of my free time trying to figure out how to create a shop page on this website.  Exciting news!  My shop page is active now!  As of right now I only have a few super cute bible verse stickers available in my shop.  I have plans for more faith-based products to hit the shop soon!
  • New product launch coming soon!  Okay, this one is gonna remain a secret.  All that I’m willing to say is that I have been working on something very exciting and it’s going to be an amazing tool to help you in your daily walk with God!  I don’t know when I’ll announce it to you all because it’s still in the process of being created, but stay tuned!

  • Encouragement and Christian content posted daily on Instagram.  I may not be as active on this blog, but I’ve been pretty active on Instagram.  I try to post something encouraging and faith-based every day.  Whether it’s an actual post, a funny/relatable video, or a little life update on my story.  If you want to have daily encouragement in your feed, give me a follow! @more.of.thee.co
  • Repping a pretty epic faith-based clothing brand! A Christian clothing brand called Hazel Threads reached out to me on Instagram and I decided to join their ambassador program.  I looked at their shop and my jaw literally dropped at how cute and gospel-centered their t-shirts are. I ordered a few shirts from them and can’t wait to share them with you all!  Also, if you use my code: SYDNEYROSE you will get 20% off your order!  Go check them out – Hazel Threads Store
  • Possible a podcast?  Okay, this one is still just an idea, and may never turn into anything.  But I had this idea about starting a podcast and I can’t get the idea out of my head.  I may play around with this idea a bit and see where it goes.  But for now, it’s just an idea.  Maybe someday in the future, If time allows, I will create a podcast to go along with this blog.

And that’s all I have for now

I’m so excited to see where God is going to take this new blogging adventure.  My biggest hope and desire is simply that this blog and website can be a place for you to find encouragement and helpful resources to encourage you in the faith.

Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.  Psalme105:4

This whole endeavor of mine is still a work in progress and I’m learning as I go.  Please let me know in the comments if there is anything that I didn’t mention that you’d love to see on this site?

Our God is Trustworthy

Our God is Trustworthy

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isiah 55:8-9

Dear unknown future
You have a known God

Dear worried soul
Your God is trustworthy

Dear lonely, hurting friend
You are so dearly loved

Dear child of God,
Whatever you are walking through, God is with you.

Our good God loves you so much and he is so trustworthy. His ways are so much higher than ours and so much better. You can trust Him with the darkest hurts and your deepest longings. God won’t ever let you down. He is trustworthy. Oh so trustworthy! You can always trust Him to take care of you.

I felt like someone needed to hear this today. May knowing that God is trustworthy bring encouragement to your heart today