Fifty Two Shades of Shay: Finding Faith

A few years ago, the most common questions I received via email were about Sean…and then, after a time, the most common questions I was asked were about infertility…but I would say that over the last year and a half or so, the most common questions I receive every single day are about my faith.  So, in honor of Easter this weekend, I thought it would be a great time for me to answer a few of those questions here.
Here are some of the questions I have received in the last week alone…
1. How do I start my relationship with Jesus?
First, you have to acknowledge him and ask him to live in your heart.  Just simply pray and tell him that you need him…that you want him to be a part of your life forever.  Don’t wait until you feel like you have all of your stuff together and you’re on the road to perfection…Christ isn’t looking for perfection…he’ll take you just as you are.  He’s right there waiting for you…seek him.

From my personal experience, I do not know what I would do without my relationship with Jesus.  I have walked through some really dark days in my life, but I always knew that I wasn’t alone.  The peace, hope, joy and love that comes from having a relationship with Christ has kept me going.  

2. Now what do I do???
Thank goodness my friend Kelly wrote this amazing post several years ago about what to do after you establish you want a relationship with Jesus but don’t know what to do after that.  I bet I’ve emailed this link out to hundreds of people.  Click here to read Kelly’s “Now What?” post.  
3. What version of the Bible do you read?
I really like the New Living Translation.  If you don’t have a Bible, you can always download the Bible app for free!  I use my Bible app all.the.time.  Within the Bible app, you can pick your  translation, get a verse of the day, do Bible studies, just read through the scripture…it’s 2015 and sometimes the best way to do things is the techy way and the Bible app is perfect for that.
It looks like this…
4. What Bible study should I do?
I like the daily devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I typically read the little one minute section every day before doing my actual study.  There are so many good studies out there!  Here are just a few I love…
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs 
Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Radical by David Platt
God is Able by Priscilla Shirer
Pray Big For Your Child by Will Davis Jr.
So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore
Breaking Free by Beth Moore
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

5. I want to start reading the Bible.  Where do I begin?
I always encourage people to begin by reading one chapter of John a day along with one chapter of Proverbs.  As you read, really ask God to help you understand how you can apply these scriptures to your life.
6. How do I find a church?
Ahhh….well, seeing that it’s the week of Easter, you’re in luck…this is the best time to try out a church!  Sometimes, you don’t find the right church right off the bat and it takes some church hopping.  When we lived in Detroit, it took us about 3 months of hopping until we found one where we just automatically felt like we belonged.  We enjoyed the sermon, the music, and the other people there just felt like a match for us.  Don’t get discouraged…and don’t give up.  When we moved to McKinney, TX, we found the perfect church for us on the first try…you just have to get out there and try to find one.
7. What does your daily “quiet time” look like?
I did a post on my daily quiet time last year.  Each morning, I sit down with my Bible, my Bible study, my coffee and prayer time with Jesus :).  You can read that post here.
This week, as Christians come together to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I hope that you too can have the peace, hope, joy and faith in the Savior of the world.  If you have any questions not answered here or just need someone to email, please feel free to contact me (mixandmatchmama@yahoo.com). As much as I love blogging about my life, my travels and my food…I spend more time communicating with people about my faith…and for that, I’m extremely grateful.
And because Easter is approaching…you know I have to share a few more Easter recipes :).
Today, Easter Macaroons.  Yes.  You need these.  Click here for the recipe.
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  • Melinda March 31, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for sharing!! Because He lives, I can face tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  • Macy Strozier March 31, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Thank you so much. I am a Christian, but want to be a stronger Christian. I read the your post you linked to and it says just to get up earlier and read for a couple minutes. Thank you so much.

  • Whitney Plunkett March 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful post Shay!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} March 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Such a great simple guide for how to get started in your faith, and I know this will resonate with lots of people. I'll say a prayer right now that lots of people will either ignite or re-ignite their relationship with Jesus today! His mercies are new every day!

  • Lisa Selan March 31, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Thank you for continuing to live your faith outloud Shay. Thought I would share another great devotional that also has an App – She Reads Truth. You can also jump on the daily devotionals at their website with the same name. Life changing group of ladies in Nashville that are spreading the Word. Happy Easter!

  • Nicole Deterding March 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Do you have any daily devotionals that you would recommend for younger kids?!

    • Noelle April 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Jesus Calling for kids

  • Erika Slaughter March 31, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Great advice to get started! So glad uou shared!!

  • Jennifer Cannon March 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

    So proud that you did this post. I have been feeling like I'm on the highest "peak" with my relationship with God lately and my desire to plant a seed in other peoples lives is at a all time high, as well. I will definitely take some of these study recommendations and tell others!
    I pray that you will plant seeds in many lives today!
    You are a blessing shay.

    Xoxo
    Jen

  • Narci March 31, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Love this post, friend! Beautiful! πŸ™‚

  • Mimi March 31, 2015 at 11:36 am

    "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…" Thank you for letting your light shine each and every day, Shay! πŸ™‚

  • Denise Ross March 31, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Great post shay. I love the centring that Easter sets on me. Thankful for Jesus. I too couldn't live this adventure we call life without him. He has been and still is my Rock and hope, living through a bout of major depression, really built my faith nd He was the one who brought me out the other side. Now I can share my hope with my family, friends and patients. Living life as a living witness for Christ is scary but amazing too.
    Nicole Deterding – some great books I've found for my kids are
    Thoughts to make your heart sing by Salky Lloyd jones and Jago
    Little people in Tough spots by v. Gilbert beers and Ronald a beers
    And my goodnight prayers by Susan l lingo and Katy parks
    And the Jesus story book bible is fabulous too.

  • Krista Youngblood March 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for sharing your faith! And everytime I see your Jesus Calling, I can't help but smile, it's so amazing that so many people are reading the same little devotional :)… it was given to me several years ago and since then I have given it as a gift numerous times.

  • Lori March 31, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Absolutely love this! I would be totally lost without my relationship with the Lord. I have to second the She Reads Truth App/Blog! I read Jesus Calling & She Reads Truth every morning & it is so good.

  • Andrea Towne March 31, 2015 at 11:52 am

    What a great time to talk about your faith! Thankful for the impact you will make on people with this post!

  • Kendra March 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks Shay! How about a post on some church outfits??

  • Monica Carpenter March 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Beautiful post!

  • B.Y.S. March 31, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Good post! I am so glad my parents and I found a good church after my Mom resigned from being a Pastor. We have a good new Pastor and his wife that has been there since 2014 after our old Pastor retired. We've been at this church since September of 2011.

    Amy

  • Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    What else do you so connected to your faith, in addition to your personal quiet time, reading etc. Do you volunteer through church or the community? What has your faith inspired you to do? Thank you!

  • Jessica March 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Shay! I love reading your blog, it is such a breath of fresh air that is full of kindness! I wanted to pass along a link to a great blog that is full of biblical truths http://threeyearsfromthirtythree.blogspot.com/
    This blog also provides links to other sources that are full of great information. Just one of these links that I found helpful was http://whyaretheresomanychurches.com/
    2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth. I hope you will find this information helpful in your future studies πŸ™‚
    P.S. since you like to read, here is a link to a great book, it's a true story about a couple's journey to finding the faith. http://michaelshankministries.com/
    ok, that's probably more than enough information for one comment πŸ™‚ hope you have a great day!

  • She's a big star March 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I love this post so much! Your faith is something I admire so much… thank you for that inspiration and your willingness to share it, it's truly helpful!

  • Goodbyebreadandcheese March 31, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    As cheesy as it sounds, I like the idea of the app. I saw there's a kid version too, which sounds perfect for my 4 year old. Have you tried it with your kids?

  • Jenny Perez March 31, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Great post Shay! I love how you use your blog to share God's grace and love.
    A commenter above asked about kid's devotionals & I hope you don't mind me replying. πŸ™‚ Jesus calling has a great kid's devotional called Jesus Calling Kids. My 10 year old also really likes the adventure bible daily devotional by Zonder kids. I haven't found a daily devotional that I love for my pre-schooler. We usually just read a kid's picture bible to her and talk about it. I'd love to hear what other moms are doing. πŸ™‚

  • Debbie March 31, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Great post! I am currently working through the Beth Moore's Beloved Disciple, the Life and Ministry of John. I have learned so much. Great bible study.

    Wishing you a very Happy Easter!!!

  • Jenny Perez March 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Great post Shay! I love how you use your blog to share God's grace and love.
    A commenter above asked about kid's devotionals & I hope you don't mind me replying. πŸ™‚ Jesus calling has a great kid's devotional called Jesus Calling Kids. My 10 year old also really likes the adventure bible daily devotional by Zonder kids. I haven't found a daily devotional that I love for my pre-schooler. We usually just read a kid's picture bible to her and talk about it. I'd love to hear what other moms are doing. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Shay, Do you mind me asking what Religion you are?
    Are you Baptist? Catholic? Lutheran? Mormon?
    I don't think you have ever mentioned which one you are before πŸ™‚

  • Kim L. March 31, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I have never commented on your blog, but found it through Sheaffer's blog and started following you over Christmas and your trip to China.
    I grew up going to church but stopped in highschool and now want to reconnect with God but wasn't sure how. Thank you for this post and the resources and your guidance. I feel like I have a starting point and what a wonderful week to find Jesus again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Helen Truesdale March 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you, Shay! You have a beautiful heart!

    If only one person is touched or finds Jesus because of this post, you have done your "job".

  • Kelsey Mann Peacock March 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Love this post! There is nothing greater than a strong relationship with Christ and I hope that your blog continues to bring people to you to ask these questions.

  • April Parrish March 31, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    So glad I found your blog a couple of years ago!! This is a perfect example why I return each day. May God bless you and your family this Easter!

  • Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I love this post! I bet it will help lots of people on their faith journey. I was wondering if you could do shades of shay on things like confidence, achieving goals, etc. You seem to be a go-getter and I think you would have great advice for others!

  • Melissa March 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    What a wonderful, timely post! The fashion, food and fun are important, but it all means nothing without Jesus. I'm praying girls read this post today and it's a starting (or returning) point for them.

  • dresselfamily.blogspot.com March 31, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    shay.. I loved this.. would you take a second and watch this video clip, it's such a beautiful reminder of this easter season xxx
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_S3TI4bYerU

  • Alison March 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sallie March 31, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Thankful that you so freely share your faith! I am reading a wonderful devotional that I have enjoyed and been challenged by…New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp. I think you'd love it! πŸ™‚

  • Morgan Eckert March 31, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I really needed this, thanks so much Shay!

  • Lacy McMurry March 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Love this, Shay!

  • Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I live in the Detroit area and am looking for church recommendations. Where did you and your hubby end up attending?

    Thanks,
    Jean

  • Kristyn Luger March 31, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Loved this post!! It's awesome to see other christians speaking about their faith..when we will in such a corrupt world! Thank you!

  • Carrie March 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    This is a great post. I just downloaded the bible app… I never thought of putting it on my phone, now I feel silly I didn't have it on there before now! This will be great to have!

  • Cherrisse March 31, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    This post came at the right time for me! My LIFEgroup is studying Multiply by Francis Chan, and this post is an easy guide to help others multiply. πŸ™‚

  • Nikki March 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Shay- thank you so much for sharing this. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out the "now what". I know I am in in that stage right now. I definitely want a relationship with Christ. I pray and thank him all the time but then I don't know what else to do. I feel like I am not doing something right. Anyhow, I love your blog and your openness. As always, thank you for being so open and honest with us!

  • Chic Coastal Living March 31, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you for always sharing about your faith. XO

  • EYfanatic March 31, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Shay! After seeing your post, especially with #3 (regarding the Bible app), I am so compelled to ask you a question! Two years ago, I was a college Junior, searching for a youth fellowship or a bible study group. I'm the type of person that likes to be as lightweight as possible and not carry a whole bunch of stuff around, so I would always pull out my Bible app (which I'm obsessed with!). They would look down on me and say that I'm sinning because I do not have the "real" thing in my hand. So my question is, is using the Bible app really sinning?

    • Mix and Match Mama March 31, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      Absolutely not! Back when the Bible was originally written, books and the printing press hadn't been invented, so it was written on scrolls…times change…technology changes…it's 2015…the Bible is totally fabulous in your phone!! Unless they're carrying around ancient scrolls, then they're using an updated version themselves ;).

  • Jen March 31, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing this πŸ™‚

  • Hillary Kinzel March 31, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you for using your platform as a popular blogger to share of the power of Christ in your life. I too have been through dark times that I can't imagine surviving without the knowledge of Christ in my life and the promise that God's plans are meant to prosper me and not to harm me (Jer. 29:11. Jesus is my rock and the thought of not going through life with that assurance is so unfathomable to me.

  • Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Shay – I have been reading your blog since Sean was on the Bachelor, and I look forward to it every day. You have a beautiful family and I love your posts and recipes. I was going to comment a while ago about Jesus Calling, but I didn't want to seem like I was coming from a negative place. I purchased it several years ago and while I found some of it really inspiring, I started to question whether or not it was really Jesus speaking these actual words to her as the author claims. I did some more research, and ended up returning the book after what I found. The scariest stuff I have read describes some of the book as almost "new-agey":

    http://canyonhillscommunitychurch.com/news/detail/a-precautionary-review-by-pastor-mark-barrett-of-jesus-calling-by-sarah-you

    http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/jesus-calling

    So, just some food for thought. I would certainly never want to discourage anyone from seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus and there are many tools and study guides to help us do so, I would only caution anyone on this journey to make sure what you are reading is in agreement with the Bible, the one true source of God's word.

    Lisa K.

    • Noelle April 6, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      I've heard this too from Christian Answers for the new age ministry. The ministry leader was an astrologer turned Christian. I like Jesus Calling too, but I read it with a grain of salt due to the way it is written.

  • Karre Havey April 1, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I highly encourage anyone that's new to bible studies to start with a Beth Moore series. You can get the book and download her lessons from I tunes. I love her. I saw her live once on a two day retreat I guess you could call it and I could listen to her talk all day.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time April 1, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Thanks for sharing about what is the most important thing!!! You are setting a great example for ALL of your followers!

  • Anonymous April 1, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Would you do a shade of shay on finances .. it seems like you and Andrew have done really well for people of your age. we are just starting out and would love to get some tips??

  • Anonymous April 1, 2015 at 12:56 am

    You should look at the app "Go Tandem" it is a really awesome app which allows you to get customized content (daily verses, prayer reminders, devotionals) based on your own personal spiritual needs !

  • Anonymous April 1, 2015 at 2:07 am

    I love that you share this!!! Jesus is controversial in our society. I am so glad you give Him glory!!! Let's keep on talking about our King, Savior, and reason for hope!!! Love you, Shay! Karen I.

  • Angela Banae April 1, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Hi Shay!
    Thank you for sharing about your faith! That is one of the great things I love about your blog…you are real and you love the Lord πŸ™‚
    I thought I'd let you know about an AWESOME book I just started reading that I cannot put down – The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. In it, he talks about praying circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears. It's so encouraging! I even wrote about it on my blog yesterday, if you'd like to check it out. I'd love for you to read about my little miracle that happened on Saturday πŸ™‚ http://www.angelabanae.com The post was my weekend recap…praying for miracles big or small.
    Thanks again for always being such a positive influence in the world of blogging! Hugs from Iowa!! ~ Angela

  • Sarah Goldsberry April 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for being so open about your faith and your relationship with Jesus. It is reaching out to more people than you know and I love that anyone can see how important He is in your life.

  • Anonymous April 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Where do you find the sinner's prayer in the Bible? Thanks! ~Shannon

  • Anonymous April 3, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Even though we don't practice the exact same religion, I am so glad to know that there are others that want to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and live a more Christlike life. Sometimes I get discouraged with all the horrible things that are going on in the world, but it is a comforting feeling to know that others are trying to raise a righteous posterity. Thank you! You inspire me to be a better Christian
    ~Alicia

  • Emily April 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Love this! It is so encouraging to be able to follow along with a fellow sister in Christ! Another easy way to be in the Bible daily that one of the pastors from my church suggests is reading 5 Psalms a day based on the date. You ready the psalm of the day and then add 30. So on the first of the month you read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, and 121 .. and so on as the month goes on πŸ™‚ It is amazing how the Lord reveals exactly what you need to hear on each specific day!

  • Leslie Roberts Clingan April 10, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Goodness, Shay, your post was music to my ears. I also read the article you linked to on Kelly's blog. Wish you girls could come over for coffee on my patio and mentor me! Thank you for talking to my spirit.

  • Hilary Boozer March 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I love this post!!!! So glad you love Jesus and use your platform to share Him with others!!