Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

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Filtering by Tag: just writing

{Sign | Day 25 of 31}

Ready? Go.

Last summer, my family and I had a big decision to make. It was a big deal to us -- we were deciding whether to stay at our church or not. We'd been invited to join a leadership team at a 2-year-old church plant. We toiled over the decision. There were prayers, fasting, conversations. I asked God to make it undeniably clear if this was a yes. I needed a sign. Have you ever been there? In hindsight, I wonder if perhaps I shouldn't have been more precise in my prayers. You know, like Gideon in Judges 6.

We truly thought we got it right. But after only a few months in, it seemed painfully clear that we didn't. Or, at least, it wasn't the best yes. My family is still sorting through the fragmented pieces and jagged edges left from that season trying to make sense of it. We're trusting God to fill in the gaps and smooth the rough edges. And, He will.

But, I can't help but wonder how I missed it?  Why did I miss it? Nevermind that. I suppose the important thing is that I am confident I am never beyond His reach. And, I am never out of His sight. And nothing is beyond being used for His purpose and His glory.  And so, it's been a Psalm 139 kind of season. He goes before. He comes behind. He hems me in. I'm grateful He works all things for good.


{Five Minute Friday | Mail}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {MAIL}. This is also Day 14 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge! WOO!

Ready? GO.

I almost decided to skip writing when I saw the prompt, mail. So, because I'm not feeling particularly creative this evening, I will make a list. I made a list on Day 9 when the prompt was post-it. I do love a good list, and it was big fun. When I was a kid church camp was one of my most favorite things about summertime. Back in the day, we used to exchange mailing addresses and write letters over the summer and fall. There's something sweet about seeing your name, handwritten, on the outside of an envelope. I do love to get mail. In honor of the pages and pages of handwritten letters, here's a list of fourteen people (because it's day 14 of 31) from whom I would enjoy receiving mail, in no particular order.

1. C.S. Lewis
2. A.W. Tozer
3. Moses
4. J.R.R. Tolkien
5. Jane Austen
6. Rosa Parks
7. Beethoven
8. Leonardo Da Vinci
9. G.K. Chesterton
10. Harry Potter
11. Phoebe, from FRIENDS
12. Walt Disney
13. Ray Charles
14. Paul McCartney

How about you?



{Sky | Day 12 of 31}

Ready? GO.

I love looking up at the sky. The clouds. The sun. The stunning shades of blue. And, the night sky is equally as beautiful. Sunset is my favorite, though. I traveled down to the St. Simon’s Island area this summer and went down to the beach several nights to watch the sunset. It was breathtaking, truly. Just as sure as I was that it couldn’t get more beautiful, the clouds would shift as the sun dipped a bit lower and the most beautiful shade of something painted the horizon. Just wow. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever looked up at the sky during sunset and thought what color IS that?  I’d go back night after night, and without fail, the sky was gorgeous. Always. Then it struck me, that it’s always beautiful but it’s never the same. That says something to me about our Creator. About the depth of His beauty and the grandeur of His majesty. There is no end to Him. We could spend all the days of our life seeking after Him knowing there is no limit to His goodness, faithfulness, love, and power. His glory knows no limit. I love that.  

The psalmist put it this way: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1)

And this: For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Psalm 57:10)

May I encourage you today if the world is weighing heavy on your shoulders, look up. He’s there. Full of infinite power and faithfulness. And, He’s SO much bigger than we can begin to fathom. He loves you so. Rest in that. 


{Post-It | Day 9 of 31}

Ready? GO.

Because I have no clue where to go with this particular prompt, I will make a list. I love to make lists. On post-its, in notebooks, in my calendar. But mostly, on post-its. I can imagine the suspense is killing you, so here are nine of my favorite things to do with post-its.

  1. Leave love notes for my husband around the house.
  2. Leave love notes for my kids on the bathroom mirror.
  3. Leave notes with Scripture on my bathroom mirror.
  4. Use them as bookmarks (multiple post-its in one book, color-coded).
  5. Collect them (all colors, all sizes).
  6. Leave reminders for myself in the car. (i.e. get gas)
  7. Make a short shopping list, usually for Target.
  8. Doodle (with a sharpie).
  9. Doodle some more.

Post-its are the best.



{Five Minute Friday | Miss}

It's Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {MISS}. I am a day late to the party, but I made it. Woo!

Ready? GO.

Is there anyone else out there who loves a good plan? Yeah, me too. Sometimes, though, things happen that I couldn't have planned. Hiccups. Bumps in the road. Difficult seasons. Transitions. In those times, I find myself often looking up asking, "Is this part of the plan?" or "Lord, can we get past this point as quickly as possible?" There's something about the hard spots that make me want to rush through. It's like a head-down-running-as-fast-as-you-can kind of feeling.

Thankfully, the Lord is patient, and He taught me that I was asking the wrong questions in those moments. I learned that a better question was "Lord, What do you want me to see that I'm not seeing? What am I missing?" Yeah, that's the better question.

It's not that I stop praying for a change of scene or a swift resolution to the challenge at hand. I believe our conversations with God should be honest. But, Here's the thing: if we trust He's always working on our behalf, then we have to believe there's always something in every season that will be for our benefit. And because I know that He is good, and He's trustworthy, I don't want to miss the thing He has for me. I don't want to miss what He's doing or saying because I have my head down running toward the next thing as fast as I can. Besides, He always delivers on His promise to use everything for my good and His glory. You know what the best piece is? Lean in a bit so you don't miss this. You can always count on Him to reveal more of Himself, something more about His character, or about His love. And isn't knowing Him worth any momentary, light affliction? Yes, I'd say that it is. That's certainly not something I'm willing to miss. I don't ever want to miss Him.