852F4A78-36B1-4E2A-BF85-A0D3C3E04BB4*I should preface this by saying I’m heavily medicated at the moment so please forgive any typos and grammatical errors.


Your social media feeds may have been inundated the last 21 days with “thankful” posts much like mine has been. And if you’re like me like right now, you may be finding it difficult to be thankful about anything at the moment.


If you could see me right now (no I’m not posting any photos of myself) then you’d see a girl who hasn’t showered because frankly I don’t have the energy to even stand, I smell like Vicks and essential oils from head to toe, I’ve lived on crackers and Gatorade for days now, and I cry a little every time I have to cough because it hurts so bad. Needless to say, I’ve been finding it hard to be thankful about anything.


A few weeks ago I was with some sweet ladies at a monthly bible group discussing the topic of thankfulness. One of the ladies read a quote from a local ministry:


“Victory belongs to those who give thanks where they are on the way to where they want to be”.


As we discussed this statement, we each took turns saying what we’re thankful for on the way to where we want to be.


Some responded they’re thankful for their health (speaking by faith), others thankful for their marriage even when they’re in the hard times, and some, thankful for their singleness on their way to the husband God has for them.


I’ve thought very long and hard about this while being confined to the couch/bed all week. What do I have to be thankful for?!


I’m in pain.

I’m contagious.

I stink.

I did not want to use my PTO for this.

I’m missing family thanksgiving.

I’m missing the fun of Black Friday.


I’m. Missing. The. POINT.


Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬


God’s will for us is to be thankful no matter what the circumstances are. No, it’s not because He’s wanting to teach us a lesson out of it. God wants us to be reminded that the covenant we hold with Him is greater than any adversity or circumstance you’re going through. And when you begin to give thanks no matter what it looks like around you, instead of mumbling and complaining, we’ll find ourselves standing in the victory sooner than we realize and we’ll enjoy the time spent on the way a whole lot more!


But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 15:57


So today I’m going to stop giving place to the circumstances around me and instead be thankful for where I am because I know the victory is just on the horizon!!


I’m thankful I have a job and have the PTO available so I don’t have to worry about my bills.

I’m thankful for my Obamacare plan (she said begrudgingly) that makes being sick not quite as expensive as it would have been without it.

I’m thankful for a doctor who has wisdom in how to treat this.

I’m thankful for the God given wisdom to Alexander Fleming for antibiotics.

I’m thankful that even though I’m missing family thanksgiving, I still have a family who will be here tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that!

I’m thankful this isn’t the flu.

I’m thankful I’m recovering at home and not at a hospital.

I’m thankful for dry shampoo.

I’m doubly thankful for Cheese-itz and blue Gatorade.

But most of all – I’m thankful that this battle is already won and the victory is mine through Jesus!


What adversity are you in the middle of that you should start giving thanks for instead of mumbling and complaining about?


Maybe you’ve had a diagnosis from the doctor that isn’t good.

Maybe you’re in the middle of a financial crisis.

Maybe you’re in a marriage where you can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Just remember no matter what it is that you’re facing – your victory lies in the thanks you give where you are on the way to where you’re going!


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to give my “to-go” order to my family for my thanksgiving meal – hello pecan pie.


Pure & Simple – *more than just sex

Purity – a topic that is always a hot discussion, yet no one ever really wants to discuss it anymore in public. This week, our youth pastor at church will be speaking on it and I’m really looking forward to his take on the topic. 

Personally, I came out of the 1990’s “purity movement” that took most evangelical churches by storm. And now, 20 years later, I look back on it all with a much different perspective than my young, teenage self did at the time. 

In the 1990’s, purity was taught (sometimes on a level of brainwashing) as simply all about sex – no sex outside of marriage – period. Churches everywhere were holding “purity ring” ceremonies on every awkward level you can imagine. And don’t even get me started on how this was mainly shoved onto the girls only – the guys seemed to be surprisingly absent from this abstinence message. And they were singling everyone out who didn’t live up to the “pure” standards they set. Because of this, most people tossed out the purity message as not being relevant to them. 

So I really started thinking – what was so wrong with the purity message of the 90’s? 

I’ve focused a lot these past few months about what His Word says about living a pure life and guarding yourself and I kept coming back to II Timothy and Proverbs. 

Sure we can all quote scriptures about sexual immorality and fornication (who ever thought I’d use a word like that in one of my posts?!), but what does living a pure life really boil down to? 

II Timothy 2:21-22 NLT

If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.‭

When you set your life aside for God, when you put down your own desires, He will use you in a great and magnificent way! When you put aside your own desires as a sacrifice to Him, everything else will come naturally. But you must do these with a pure heart and the right intentions. 

Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 

Last time I checked, Proverbs 4:23 didn’t say “guard your V card”, as some would like you to believe. It says “guard your heart”. 

Guard your heart from those who only want to mess with it. Guard your heart from what will hurt it – from what it might not yet be prepared for. Guard your heart from the emotional games people like to play. Guard your heart as a precious and fragile gift to one day give to someone. Guard your heart against anything impure so that you can live consecrated and set apart for His good…for His great plan for our lives. 

As you begin to live a life pure and set apart for His good, you’ll find that living purely in other areas will come naturally. 

And that pure life … it can start today, right now, no matter what your past holds. No matter the choices you’ve made. No matter the consequences you may be living with now. When you give it all over to the Lord, you start fresh and anew, washed clean as snow, with everything of the past cast into the sea, forgotten, never to be brought up again by God. 

Start living your life set apart for Him. Let your thoughts and speech be pure (even I am working on this). Let your life be an outward example of the greater one who lives on the inside of you. 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that sexual purity isn’t important – I’m simply saying it’s only one aspect of the pure life we should all be leading. 

Purity is about more than just sex! Purity is also about living a life that is pure, no matter your past. This is what should have been taught back then. And it’s what the purity message should be from here on out. 

So remember, It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your past – determine today to live your life pure as a gift, not only to your future spouse, but as consecrated and set apart for the one who gave His all for us! 



When I wrote Cannonball Faith 517 days ago, I had no idea this is where it would take me or how many people my words, God’s words, would reach. I told God from the beginning, if I did it for just one person to know how valued they are, how precious they are, how beautiful they are, how loved they are, then I would know it was all worth it.


The  Lord has shown me bits and pieces here and there, but it wasn’t until a year ago, when I filled out a card at my church for what I would like to volunteer/do, that I really started to see the big picture.


At that time, all I knew was that my heart was to work with the teen girls – to help them see that their invaluable worth in God is greater than they could ever know – to help them see what I couldn’t see myself as a young teenager. But when I was pressed for what that actually meant, I wasn’t sure. So I sought God for His direction with my heart’s new found desire.


It took longer than I expected – God seemed rather silent on the matter for more than a couple of months. But one night, I gave it all over to Him and found rest in His peace. And in that moment of surrender, I heard the word “Grace” – and just like that GRACE – Girls Rising Above Common Expectations was planted in my heart.


Romans 12:1-2 says to not only live a holy and sacred life, but to allow God to transform you instead of conforming to who the world thinks you should be. It is the foundational scripture for GRACE – don’t become who the world thinks you should be, become who God already knows you are. The world has so many pressures and expectations it places on our girls (and boys too): look this way, weigh this much, wear this brand, date this person, do this thing, etc., etc., etc.


I wrote out my vision, made it plain, and hid it away – sharing only with a few trusted people. One person I shared it with, whom I admire and trust very much, immediately said “You sound like Lisa Bevere”. That is perhaps the most flattering compliment I’ve ever received in my life!


Over the next 9 months (yes I see the irony in that), GRACE grew bigger and bigger inside of me even when things in the natural weren’t going the way I expected them to with it. In fact, in the natural, I was downright discouraged.


A dear friend posted the other day, “Don’t be discouraged when people don’t use you. Don’t quit because people don’t use you. Don’t question your calling or anointing because people don’t use you. Don’t crumble and break because people don’t use you. Push harder when people don’t use you. Seek Him more when people don’t use you. After all, I’m used by God and not people anyway! If people don’t use you it’s because God needs you somewhere else and that’s the only place I want to be.” -AO


This perfectly summarized how I had felt over the past 9 months but also poignantly put what I had done. When GRACE didn’t happen the way I thought it was going to, I went back to God and said, “I know this is Yours, not mine. So show me what I need to do. Show me what You want for GRACE.” And with that, Guiding GRACE was born..


The vision for Guiding GRACE grows bigger within me every day. The things God has shown me, and continues to show me, keep me astounded at God’s goodness in my life! I am so excited for everything that is still to come for Guiding GRACE, but for now, these small steps (that seem so huge), are the first steps towards all that God has for this big vision in this heart of mine.


GertieOnline is now GuidingGRACE!! The blog has already reached thousands of people and  36 countries around the world – and it’s just beginning!! God is so good!!


Every person that has left a comment, message, email, text, social media share, followed, and even your comments in person – every one of those has meant the world to me and helped me see that yes, THIS, was worth it all!


Look for great things in the future from GuidingGRACE and make sure to follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @guidinggrace or direct at 


Don’t ever be discouraged because people aren’t using you the way you think they should. Be confident in what God has placed in your heart and press into Him even more – His visions and callings aren’t reliant on other people to make them happen, they’re only reliant on you and your obedience to Him.