Longing for Transformation

Longing for Transformation - simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com

There is always something that we wish to change in our lives. It was the transformation from winter to spring that I longed for this year. It seemed to take forever for nature to wake up and be alive again. Every time I felt the bitter cold in my face I asked: where are you spring? Why haven’t you come? For months, mother nature’s heart refused to be warmed.

In one of my favorite films, Little Women (1994), Jo March says that she is “longing for transformation.” I know precisely how she feels. Don’t you?

In each of our lives there are stages, some good and some bad. It’s the bad stages that seem to drone on forever. It feels like there is no end, for we cannot see it ahead.

With whatever someone is going through, a family member sick or in the hospital, financial burdens, continuous frustration, any trial that we may have, are we guaranteed an end? Are we handed a calendar with a big X on it, symbolizing the day of the transformation from bad to good? No. So how can we continue on with a smile? If there is something to bog down our happiness, why be happy?

As Christians, we “know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV. Trials, loss, pain; it’s all temporary. Every moment we live longing for transformation is a moment of building hope and faith in God. The question is, can we push past our heavy burdens and finally reach that transformation? Only with God’s help, we can. The Lord may let trials fall in our path, but he is always there to help us, never forsaking us. He makes sure that we are equipped, so that we may walk through those trials and come out the other side with a smile.

Choose to look at each of your trials as a test. Can you keep faith that God knows best as you wait for that transformation? Can you keep a smile and uplifted heart as you wait for that change? Can you use your situation for Him? Can you trust in the Lord?

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” KJV

…………………………………………………..

What trials have been in your heart lately?

Do you have any prayer requests? Just let me know and I’ll be happy to pray for you.

………………………………………………….

Megan Joy

Why We Shouldn’t Try to Be Popular

Blue Drops, Simply Megan Joy Blog - Copy.JPG

Being popular sounds inviting, does it not? Isn’t it true that we all like to be liked? Whether we’re scrolling through Instagram, reading a blog, or talking to someone in person, do thoughts of jealousy silently creep in when we see their greater popularity? Do we not, even subconsciously, compare our own lives to what we are presented through social media, the internet, and conversations? That’s the key word here: presented.

For this post, I’m going to use Instagram as the main example, but it can be applied to any social media platform, the internet, or an in-person experience.

The countless Instagram accounts brimming with perfectly planned photos and striking filters may make it seem to any onlooker that those accounts represent the real lives of the Instagrammers. However, I can assure you, they do not. The Instagrammers don’t see the world through the Valencia filter or have lives compiled of only the most seemingly perfect photos they post. Life doesn’t work that way, not for anybody. Many people post content for the sole reason of becoming popular with their audiences. Their content may not even please themselves, and only be posted for sheer popularity/followers/likes.

Now that we’ve established that what some people choose to present to their audience does not necessarily reflect their true lives, let’s each ask ourselves a question. Do I do that?

When we post something either on social media or the internet, or even how we act and speak, are we doing it for popularity, to impress someone, and to seem a little different than we really are? Are we trying to get more likes or friends by presenting things that do not reflect our true selves? What if, by doing that, we are creating a fictional social front and not revealing what we truly enjoy, think, or find interesting?

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this epidemic of trying to become popular: don’t try. Just completely drop everything that is dishonestly encouraging popularity and instead be yourself. Present content that truly makes you happy and interests you. Stop “trying” to be popular, because if you aren’t being yourself, then they don’t like you, they like the artificial life you have presented.

Also, this is a reminder that you do not have to agree with other people (on social media, the internet, or in real life) just to become popular in their eyes. Do not feel as though you must pretend to like or agree with something that a friend likes or agrees with to win their friendship or approval. Lying and being dishonest about what you believe or like to gain popularity is definitely not a good thing to practice. Being popular in the eyes of friends, peers, and strangers matters not a pittance if you aren’t popular in God’s eyes.

DIGITAL CAMERA

When people look at what we present to the world, we should want them to see us, not a fake life that we’ve created for an audience. More importantly, when people look at us, they should see Jesus. We should always remember that what we present should be a reflection of our Lord above; things that are true, things that are pure, and things that are lovely. Be yourself, the daughter/son of The King and be sure to represent Him in everything we do.

As my final question: what are you presenting to the world: content created to gain popularity, or the real you, the child of The King?

…………………………………………………

Do you find yourself presenting content for popularity that isn’t the real you?

Have you ever felt like you had to agree with someone to gain popularity in their eyes?

……………………………………..

Megan Joy

(P.S. There is nothing wrong with posting pretty or pre-planned pictures on social media, but make sure that it represents the true you, things that you like, enjoy, and wish to share with others, like the love of our Heavenly Father!)

7 Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall

Seven Free Bible Verse Posters to Hang on Your Wall - simplymeganjoy.wordpress

What’s a better place to hang some inspiring and uplifting verses other than your bedroom wall?  I’ve created 7 verse designs for you to print out and place where you will see them every day!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3 5-6

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1-9

Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11-28

1st Peter 5:7

floral 5

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4-13

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6-21

Romans 8:28

Romans 8-28 2nd

…………………………………………………………….

You can save these photos to your computer, print, and cut them out, and hang them wherever you like. You could give one to a friend who needs encouragement or fold one up and slip it into your sibling’s backpack with a note on the back saying how much you appreciate them! Be creative by printing them out on cardstock and give them as Valentine’s Day gifts (or save them for Easter)!

P.S. All verses above were taken from the King James Version Bible.

……………………………………………… 

Which verse speaks to you the most?

Shout out to “The Hungry JPEG” for the use of their free graphic designs!

………………………………………………..

Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 51st Week

Quote of the Week - 51st Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Luke, the author of the third gospel in the Bible and one of the twelve disciples, is well known for recording the birth of Jesus, which can be found in Luke 2:1-20. Originally a physician, Luke researched and gathered Jesus’ past history and reported it in his book, which was later selected to be part of our Bibles today. It is said that Luke died at age 84, supposedly of being killed for his religious beliefs. Over 2,000 years later we can read his works of Jesus’ birth.

In the passage above, an angel is speaking to a group of shepherds in a field in Bethlehem, around 4 A. D. Here are those two verses in context:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:1-20, King James Version

Did you happened to notice that between those twenty verses, fourteen of them involved the shepherds? Do you find it strange that the angels appeared in a field to tell a group of lowly sheep keepers of the King of the Universe’s birth? If this baby is so important, why didn’t the angels appear before the governors and priests of the town, or the richest of residents so they could see this baby? Why did God choose poor shepherds?

Shepherds of that day were considered the lower class of the city. They spent all their time out in fields, no matter what the weather or time of day. (Fun fact: each night before a shepherd would doze off each night in the fields, he would count his sheep to make sure they were all together, which is possibly where we get the idea that counting sheep will help us go to sleep!)

Shepherds certainly weren’t the most accepted group in Bethlehem, but to God, the shepherds were the prefect people to tell about Jesus’ birth! It shows us that clearly God loved the shepherds just as much as the priests, governors, and scribes. God didn’t choose from the top of the wealth list, but from the list of those who were less fortunate, those who were looked down upon, and those who knew how to spread the word! Verse 18 says that the shepherds went about to declare Christ’s birth, and that their listeners were curious of the news. I doubt that a governor would go about the streets at night telling news of this baby born in a stable!

It was God’s plan for the angels to appear to the shepherds. Their wealth, social status, and class didn’t matter. God doesn’t look at those things when He chooses people for important tasks or jobs. Instead He looks at the heart. So we must be well prepared and ready for any task that we are given, whether it be traveling to see a newborn king (which is sort of unlikely nowadays), telling a friend about the birth of Christ, or even just simply smiling at a grumpy person you happen to cross paths with. Whether you’re a shepherd or a governor, you never know what God will ask you to do, so be ready and willing for anything, because I know that He has something very special in store for you!

…………………………………………

Do you have any other thoughts of why God choose the shepherds to see Jesus?

Did you know that counting sheep may have come from the Bible?

Are you ready and willing for anything God has in store for you?

……………………………………

Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 44th Week

Quote of the Week - 44th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Audrey Hepburn was a British actress born in 1929. She was once dubbed the third best female actress in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hepburn starred in many box office hits like, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and My Fair Lady. She was a well-studied ballet dancer, and in her later life, a UNISEF ambassador in the 1990s. Sadly, she died at age 62 of appendiceal cancer in Switzerland.

I can just hear those words spoken in her perfect accent! The cleverness of the quote just makes me smile. I had never known that little secret about the word “impossible” before. Just add an apostrophe and you have a whole new meaning to the phrase!

The definition of the word “impossible” is: “something not able to occur or be done.” It means that something is positively, without a doubt, absolutely not possible. Reading the definition got me thinking. It reminded me that nothing is impossible! All things are possible, with God! 

But what about wildly impossible things, like talking animals, walking on water, and surviving an over one-thousand-degree fire? These things seem impossible, right?

 Read Numbers 22:28, where it tells us about Balaam’s donkey, speaking out loud! Also, in Matthew chapter fourteen, we find the story of two different people walking on water. Finally, in the book of Daniel chapter three, is the telling of three men who were thrown into a fiery furnace, and lived! All of these things were done through God and by God! 

With God, all things are possible. The word “impossible” doesn’t apply when it comes to God’s abilities. No matter how out of this world, different, or unusual it is, God can do it and with God’s help we can do it too!

So the next time someone tells you that something is impossible, think of Audrey Hepburn’s little secret in that word, and know that with God, all things are possible.

…………………………

Did someone ever tell you it was impossible to achieve or do something?

What do you think those three stories in the Bible prove to us?

What is your favorite Audrey Hepburn movie?

…………..……………

Megan Joy

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners!

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 1

It’s time for an Autumn outfit post! If you think I mixed up the title of this post, I did, but don’t worry, it was intentional! **salute to Peter Tork**

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 9

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 13.jpg

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 6.jpg

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 8.jpg

I really love this daylily sweater! It’s warm, cozy, and comfortable; all the things a sweater should be, and considering it was only $3 at a church sale, I think it’s perfect!

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 5.jpg

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 10.jpg

There’s something about walking alongside a lake in the autumn time. Somewhat akin to spring, it feels serene and peaceful, though it’s not quite the same. In springtime, everything feels alive as nature finally awakens after the callous months of winter.

During autumn, the peacefulness seems to emerge from the silent and temporary death of nature. To everything there is an end. Autumn seems to signify nature’s farewell tidings, until it can return again. In the meantime, we can enjoy a walk around the lake, a bike ride down a leaf covered trail, or a car adventure getting lost in the countryside. In October, we get to enjoy all those magical moods of autumn, particularly when surrounded by nature! So sometime this weekend, be sure to go outside and enjoy the enchanting environment that God has provided!

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 2.jpg

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 7.jpg

……………………………….

sweater // thrifted

jeans // old navy

shoes // primark

backpack // thrifted

……………………………………….

Now, to announce the giveaway winners!

The 1st name to be pulled out of the hat will get a homemade candle, “Crisp Forest Leaves.”

The 2nd will be sent “Autumn Apple Pie.”

Both winners will receive a specially-crafted piece of jewelry with the candle! Are you ready to draw the first winner?

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 14.JPG

The first winner is. . . . . . . . . .

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 11.JPG

Congratulations Angela Watts, author of The Peculiar Messenger! Go check out her blog! The second winner is. . . . . . . . . . .

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 12.JPG

It’s Hadassah, over at Photography Phun! Head on over to her blog and take a look!

Congratulations to both winners! If you could just email me a P.O. box or address, I will get the packages sent to you as quickly as I can! (simplymeganjoyblogcontact@juno.com)

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! I have a feeling there will be more along the road . . .

Shoe Suede Blues + Giveaway Winners! simplymeganjoy.wordpress.com 4.jpg

P.S. Here are two more giveaways you can enter, hosted by some fellow bloggers!

A Farm Girl’s Life

Clara and Co.

………………………

Megan Joy

Quote of the Week // 41st Week

Quote of the Week - 41st Week Simply Megan Joy Blog

Mickey Rooney was a great American actor born in September of 1920. He grew up performing in vaudeville, and soon found himself on the stage, and later on the big screen. In a career lasting nine decades, he appeared in over 300 films, continuing to act until the last year of his life in 2014. He was best known for his long-running role as “Andy Hardy” in the famous series of seven movies. In 1944, he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in the film, National Velvet, and later, in 1979, in the The Black Stallion, with Kelly Reno, both of which are two of my most treasured movies! To me, he will forever be that funny young man with two charming eyes and a dashing smile!

We all have ideas and dreams of our future success. We envision what we hope to achieve and how we might get there. While we contemplate our dreams and hopes, we may try to decipher a trail that will lead us to where we want to go, The Wonderful Land of Success. We want to choose the easiest and fastest route to get there, a route that cannot fail us.

It would be lovely if this path actually existed. As it turns out, it doesn’t. In every journey to our great accomplishments, shortcoming will turn up somewhere along the road, because “we, as humans, are not perfect.” We can’t expect to live out our entire lives without failing at something. As we drive down that highway, with the wind whipping through our hair, sporting sunglasses and a hopeful smile, we are inevitably going to drive through “Failure-ville.” No matter which route we take, there will always be a Failure-ville. This certainly doesn’t sound very inspiring or motivational. It may even sound depressing. However, it’s not always healthy to sugar-coat the route to success. Way too many calories! Just kidding. . .

What I’m trying to say is, we can’t be afraid of driving through Failure-ville. It can bog us down for a while, but it’s not like we are stuck living there forever. There will be a time when we can just fill up the tank, high-tail it out of there, and hit the highway toward our great accomplishments! We can leave Failure-ville in the dust and get back on the road again! We just have to keep driving, keep dreaming, and especially keep depending on God’s strength and love, because we’ll never have to drive through Failure-ville alone.

Psalms 73:26 – “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” KJV

……………………………………………

Have you ever driven through Failure-ville?

What did you do to get back on the road?

Which Mickey Rooney film is your favorite?

………………………………………………

Megan Joy

Quote of Week // 37th Week

Quote of the Week - 37th Week Simply Megan Joy Blog.png

Albert Einstein, arguably one of the most intelligent humans in history, was born in Germany, 1879. Famous for his many scientific works, including gravitation in physics, gravitational waves, the photoelectric effect, and his mass-energy equivalence formula. As a child, Einstein’s parents thought that he was actually very dumb, not realizing that his strange behaviors were triggered by his extraordinary amount of intellect.

This quote is Einstein’s personal view of intelligence. He believed that imagination is more significant than knowledge. By looking at it from his perspective, I would say that he was absolutely correct. Think about it: you could have all the knowledge in the world and you could know everything there is to know; but without an imagination, what would you do with all the knowledge? You could store it all in your brain and never use it, I guess, but that wouldn’t do any good. Without an imagination in which to utilize that knowledge, you aren’t able to carry out that knowledge much further than your own brain.

Now, I consider Einstein’s quote to be true, yet I would like to emphasize that imagination would not be useful without some knowledge. Imagination and knowledge work together to create wonderful things and ideas. They’re both very important and you really can’t have one without the other.

I find all this interesting myself. Thinking about our minds and how they work reminds me just how complicated our brains were made. How each piece of our mind was placed for a reason is just amazing, especially to know that each of our minds are individually special and unique. It shows us how powerful God is, and how much he thinks about us. He gave us each a mind to think on our own and an imagination to use. He gave us the ability to think and imagine, and to gain knowledge. I consider it truly remarkable how highly God thinks of us that He would give us something so special as the imagination!

…………………………….

What do you think about Einstein’s theory on knowledge and imagination?

Which do you think is more important: knowledge or imagination?

………………………………………

Megan Joy