Wisdom Diaries: I am not willing to settle

Justine Leveille

The Wisdom Diaries are posted monthly by Justine Leveille.  Justine is a 24-year-old  who loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her sole purpose is to live life to the fullest measure, to serve God and bring Him glory. She has a huge heart to share the love of Jesus with others and she invites young women to grow a passion for Christ along with her.

Dear Jesus,

As I sit on my bed, I am trying to sort through so many truths You keep revealing to me about trusting you.

Recently You took me on the ride of a lifetime, giving me a grander view of life with You. It is far beyond where I have been.  You pierced my soul with a deep conviction that has been steering my days ever since.

Now I realize how often I settle into living a “practical faith.”  I was reading a new book, Fasting, by Jentezen Franklin, when Your Holy Spirit gently opened my eyes to the lack of faith, hope, and trust I have in You.

As I read Your Word You showed me just how radical the faith of Your saints was.  I began to hunger for the same.

If only I had just one-sixteenth of a mustard seed of their kind of faith! The truth is I have really struggled internally with trusting You when I pray. 

I think I have lacked the faith to really believe in Your desire to answer my prayers.

Regardless of what I pray, I always thought You would answer and work out the details of my life as You choose anyway.

But now Your Holy Spirit is revealing to me just how powerful prayer is.   On this journey of choosing to trust You more I have discovered many of my friends struggle with the same thing.  They are faced with the same decision:  “Will I Trust in You through thick and thin, or will I choose fear, doubt, and worry? Elisabeth Elliot wrote some great words in this regard:

 “But that’s what faith is–the unwillingness to be limited to what we can see and the willingness to believe that there’s a reality deeper than the seeing world that we participate in every day.”

I want to continually strengthen my faith. I need to TRUST in the power of You and in the power of prayer.  I thank You Jesus, that You led me to practice trusting You through a new commitment to spend time praying and fasting.

At first I did not exactly know how it would happen, nor what would happen as a result.  You tested my patience and obedience to set apart time to pray, to fast from food and seek Your sustenance in its place.

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

It was not easy; in fact it was painful at first. 

In completing this discipline you taught me so much about how to trust You.

You called me to trust in you as my emotions were shaky,

when my tummy was grumbling

and when things at work were challenging.

Today I testify, whatever hardship facing me, as I trust in You all things are possible.

 There is a great temptation to be defeated and give up when going through life’s hardships. I think it is equally tempting to just settle into living a life that is not Your best design for us.

I want to always, Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.  In all my ways submit to Him and He will make my path straight,  Proverbs 3:5,6

Jesus, I believe in the authentic Christian life You require your people to take heart and boldly TRUST You by advancing forward — straight through the difficult situations.  It is painful to face hardships head on, yet I must rely on Your Holy Spirit’s guidance. Help me to remember I am not alone. Lord, I am TRUSTING that You will be faithful to lead me through.

 John 12: 27-28 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father glorify your name…”

My encouragement to you, friend:

When doubt creeps in– kill it. Crucify it.  Crush it with faith and hope and trust in our Master.  Begin to:

  • Pray boldly & specifically
  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)
  • Pray with an undivided heart which trusts in the Lord

 Justine

 

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The Wisdom Diaries-Opportunities

The Wisdom Diaries, by Justine, chronicles the heart of a 24-year-old,  whose soul purpose is to live life to the fullest measure,to serve God and bring Him glory.  She loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her heart is to share the love of Jesus with others and be used to ignite and grow a passion for Christ in young woman’s lives.

Dear King Jesus,

The word opportunity resounds over and over again in our every day life. I have found opportunity to be something that everyone craves.  Humans desire open doors to create new paths, the chance to meet the right people, and prospects to grow in success. Mostly, we desire to feel fulfilled and accomplished in all we’ve been created to be. We don’t want to miss out on what’s “out there.”

In a recent conversation I had with a friend, we discussed the ways You have been at work in our lives.  I was able to share how You are providing me with the opportunity to grow in my teaching by providing me a godly mentor, and perhaps the opportunity to be a part of a movement within the public school systems advocating for Your name.  My friend matter-of-factually pointed out, “Justine, you always seem to be finding great opportunities.”  Her words wedged within me as my brain started questioning, “Why is that?”

I believe so much of opportunity has to do with perspective.

 “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

 Jesus, my friend’s words do not leave me. You certainly have blessed me with Your abundant life and opportunity, and I pray You receive the praise and glory for it.  But, I can’t just stop and believe You are only providing for me!  I know You love and want to bless all of Your children—you are a good Dad.  Your word promises all of Your children, not only an abundant life, but the MORE abundant life (John 10:10).

We choose to put on which lenses we will see the world through.  We can choose to see each moment as an opportunity—it is ultimately our decision.

If we seek after You with all our HEART I know you will be faithful to bless us with You. You are the ultimate opportunity in life!  You say in Jeremiah,

“If you seek me you will find me when you seek me with all of your heart.  I will be found by you declares the Lord…” 29:13-14

As children of the Most-High God we must ask ourselves a few questions if we don’t want to miss out on the plethora of opportunities provided to us.

  • Am I willing to listen and to seek opportunity?
  • Am I willing to open my ears to what people have to say?
  • What might God possibly be whispering to me through them?
  • Will I really listen?

My mother has been an exceptional model of this practice.  God has graced her with a heart that listens and eyes that see opportunity. Then she takes the risk to go after it.  She constantly shares her perspective with others—another key part of opportunity.

Being able to network and build relationships around hopes, dreams, and goals is how I’ve seen You provide opportunity after opportunity in practical ways.

Days come and go.  Time passes so quickly. If we don’t take time to slow down and be intentional then we are apt to miss opportunities.

Love,

Justine

Dear Jesus, allow me, by the Holy Spirit, to rely on You, the One who covers me in grace to properly view opportunity and act upon it.  It is You who will get me through to complete the opportunities You provide.  May I not rely on my own strength and work to search out and tackle opportunity, but rather keep my spirit humble and in reliance of You, so Your name will be exalted.

 

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The Wisdom Diaries-Day One

Justine Leveille

Dear Lord,

As I settle in tonight, I reflect on the day and all you have been opening my eyes to as 2011 is past and 2012 is waiting to be opened and explored.  To hear Your still small voice…. clearly…can be quite difficult.

The voices of my friends,

convictions of pastors and preachers,

advice from parents,

my own over-analytical thoughts,

and of course culture’s lure-

they all pull my attention.

They all are influences that creep in and confuse my heart and mind from hearing You.

As a single young woman, You have been increasingly molding and shaping my outlook on life, granting me bits of wisdom and understanding as I seek to know Your ways.

The latest discovery You have taught me is about holding and understanding my personal values.  You have allowed me both guidance and experiences to lead me to claim and understand the importance of acknowledging my values.

Thank you for revealing to me very recently a core value I hold: the practice of hard work, stability and consistency in that hard work.  It has become more and more clear that this value in particular is so deeply engrained in me. It burns in my heart –to my very core. It is a conviction I have discovered I am unwilling to compromise in my dating relationships.

I hope one day to be married to a man, who with his entire heart wants to honor You, Lord. I realize now, how important it is that he shares the desire to provide through hard work.  You know I thrive on hard work, in every form: physically, mentally, socially, spiritually. I feel every dimension of me come alive when I work diligently towards accomplishing a goal. I desire to stay true to these values. You have worked them inside of me.

When hard work and excellence get difficult, I cling to your Truth which gets me through– Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I believe this Lord, with my whole heart.

The values and convictions that make up so much of who I am are worth protecting and fighting for.  Lord, I just pray that You would continue to align my life and my convictions with those that are in your Word. 

I am challenged to continue to explore

and examine my heart

in pursuit of Your truth

and to discover more of the core values I possess that ultimately come from You and serve You.

I am looking forward. Yours,

Justine

(Justine is a 24-year-old whose soul purpose is to live life to the fullest measure,to serve God and bring Him glory.  She loves to learn, exercise in any and every way, travel, eat great food, cook, teach children, read, dance, watch movies, and be social!  Her heart is to share the love of Jesus with others and be used to ignite and grow a passion for Christ in young woman’s lives.)


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The Wisdom Diaries for young women

Justine Leveille

 

Have you ever heard a group of women express their concerns about the younger generation?  They are right to have concern for the character, choices and future of the next generation of young women. These young women will influence culture. The next generation will grow a new generation of family values, or lack there of. They have the potential to carry the light of God’s Truth with conviction–or not.

But, let’s not get caught in the shaking of our heads with negative projections for these young people. There is an army of passionate young women who love Jesus and desire to follow Him with their whole heart. They are studying God’s Word, praying with their friends, and serving Him with love. They are asking gutsy questions about life and influencing their peers for Christ.

I’d like you to meet some of these young ladies. Listen to their hearts as they share their lives in the Wisdom Diaries. Pass their entries along to a young woman in your life.

First, I introduce to you, Justine Leveille.  I met her while serving at Breakaway, our church’s exciting Vacation Bible School.  Justine was always beaming with joy, laughing with girls, and hungry for the Lord. We began meeting for coffee and then for discipleship. She is full of love for Jesus and a desire to look like Him.

“I am a young lady in pursuit of all God has for me and am a firm believer in His promises.  I truly believe that if you seek God with your entire being, He will reveal Himself and His ways, in order that you may live a blessed life filled with His peace (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

I am a fifth grade teacher, living life in search of wisdom and looking for opportunities to serve the Lord and pour into others’ lives. I don’t know what the future holds, but as I trust in Him and His perfect ways, I can rest in the fact that He will guide me each day.”

Look for Justine’s Wisdom Diary entry at the end of this week. Feel free to leave her a note of encouragement.

What topics would you like these friends to share each month?

 

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