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It all comes down to character. Our true heart is shown in the storms of life.
Join with me as we seek to find the
beauty in our storms along with maintaining our character through them. And let us listen for God's voice when it comes - whether a whisper on the breeze or a shout through the hurricane.....

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The World Has Enough Talkers

It seems to me that we can say just about anything we want to in life. We can express our heart’s dreams, wishes, disgust, criticism, or opinions on just about anything and everything.

We can openly talk about all the things we want to do or intend to do.

We can say we’ll do lots of things.

We’ll pay back that debt.

We’ll be accountable.

We’ll get a job.

We’ll change our ways.

The list goes on and on.

Our politicians say lots of things. Our teachers say lots of things. Our pastors, our community leaders, our parents…. Say lots of things.  But do they DO them?

It seems to me that the world has enough “talkers.”  We need people who put action behind their words. People who are active participants in their life and in the lives of others.  For talk doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s just that – talk.

I want to believe someone when they talk. I want to trust what they say. At times, what I need is hope. I need love, respect, and yes, sometimes I need protection. I need to trust that when someone tells me something, that those words stand on fact. I need to believe in words that hang out in the air with nothing to hold them together except someone’s integrity and character.

We all need that.

There was a time when I’d trust people until they betrayed that trust. Time’s are a changing! It’s more often than naught, that now, I wait to see if someone will actually do what they say they will do. If they will be who they say they are.

I want to believe. Don’t you?  But we can’t expect of others what we also don’t deliver ourselves. WE need to not just be “talkers” but also, be people of action. WE need to deliver on our word and on our promises. WE need to be trustworthy!

The world has enough “talkers.” Let’s start praying for “doers” and let’s start BEING “doer’s” ourselves.


It’s time for action.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Is the Life God Has Called Me To Live





From my point of view, I’ve seemed to go through quite a few things in my life that weren’t “normal.” By that I mean, that I didn’t know anyone else to whom I could talk to or consult with about what season I was in at the time. I understand that doesn’t mean that someone else somewhere wasn’t going through it. But for me, I just felt all alone. I felt like I was navigating that season a little bit blindly – hoping that I made the right choices through it and came out the other side in tact and better from it.

I’ve struggled with these seasons in my life. I’ve struggled because they were things that people would probably view as things that “shouldn’t be done that way.”  There are certain things and ways you should go about things in life. And for whatever reason, my life doesn’t always seem to go about these things in that ‘acceptable’ way.

I’ll give you a couple of examples.

I got married at 23. But I didn’t just get married. I got married to someone who had been married before, and who had custody of his 6 year old son. So I immediately became a full-time custodial stepmom. Not something I knew anyone else in my life had done.

I’ve had two children get engaged at the age of 18. Before they graduated from high school.

Not part of the normal. Not part of the way society says you should do things.

But I’m thinking, “Just who made society always right, anyways?”

Just because something isn’t considered ‘normal,’ doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

There are a few other examples in my life of things that haven’t taken the ‘traditional’ path. I’ve had to adjust my mindset and my thinking to accept these deviances from what everyone else thinks I should do, how I should do it, and when.

There are so many times where I wish I could feel ‘normal.’ I wish I could have the same problems as everyone else. But it seems that I am not called to ‘normal.’ God has a different direction and plan for my life. He has asked me to step into abnormal situations and circumstances and trust Him with them.  It doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle internally with them. I do. But I’m learning that this is my life. This is the one He has called me to. And it’s beautiful.

I’ve been stretched. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been judged. But I’ve also seen glimpses of God at work that I know I wouldn’t have any other way. I’ve seen His hand in my life and in the lives of those I hold dear and I could not wish or ask for anything differently.

I may wish at times that God had called me to a normal and safe life. But I’m honored that He’s called me to this one. Even though it is so different than what I would have thought I needed in my life – it’s a blessed life. And I will handle it with as much graciousness, prayer, and integrity that I can.

Whatever life God has called you to, know that it is tailored just for you. It’s a life that He feels is right for you and how He can best speak to you and through you. Trust His judgment. Trust His curveballs. Enjoy the ride when you can, and hold on to His hand when you’re scared. He will never leave your side.


It’s your life. Whatever you’re going through – it’s what He has designed.

Just. For. You.



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Want to Make a Difference


I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to know that their day was better because of something I said or did. I want to know that they are happier because of my presence in their world.

I want to make an impact.

I want to smile, knowing that I had a part in causing someone to smile.

I want to feel content, knowing that I helped make the load and burden in someone else’s life – just a little bit lighter. I want to feel like I helped someone else realize that they were valued, cherished, and loved.

I want to make a difference.

I don’t want to go about my business and fail to see the tears in someone’s eyes or the droop of their shoulders. I want to notice. I want to act.

I don’t want to ignore the struggle that someone else is enduring.

I want to listen. Love. Hug. Touch. Smile. And care.

If only I could always help someone feel less alone. If only I could help them see their own beauty. If only I could help the cracks in their heart heal – the ones that are there from deep wounds and hurts.

I want to try. I want to love.


I want to make a difference.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Don't Need a Bucket List



Lots of people have “bucket lists.” Things they want to do that year, or throughout their whole lives.

I think it’s truly great.

In fact, my husband had a bucket list when he turned 50. He had all sorts of fun things on it to do – not just large things. He wanted to skip down a street, roll down a hill, do a dot-to-dot, climb a tree – and more. My favorite things were the little things he chose to do. The things that reminded him to enjoy the simple things in life.

It was fun to watch him, and it was fun to do some of his “bucket list” things with him.

But for me, I don’t need a bucket list. And I’ll tell you why.

I have done far more in my life, than I ever could have dreamed of doing. I have ziplined in Guatemala, climbed the Eiffel Tower, touched a dolphin, and seen a lightening storm over the ocean. I’ve seen the miracle of birth with my two daughters, felt the love and friendship with someone who doesn’t even speak my language, and felt the beauty of romance.

I've touched a rock that someone thousands of years old, touched. I've kissed the face of someone I've loved dearly - who has passed on. I've gotten chills down my arms as God has revealed that He protected me and answered a deeply-held prayer request. 

I've seen the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, walked the Mall of America, stood in the FOUR CORNERS, gone on a swamp ride, seen a grizzly through binoculars, white water rafted, gone up the side of a volcano, hula danced, seen a carving of Michelangelo, and gone horseback riding on the beach.

I've been able to do A LOT.

I have travelled to more places than I ever thought I’d visit – Ireland, Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama, Scotland, England, Belgium, and France.

I have lived in many different states – Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and now Texas.

I have gone on road trips all across the U.S.

Most all of these things were unexpected gifts in my life. I didn’t pursue them. I didn’t dream of them. They just naturally came about.

I’m blessed. And I know it.

Everything I do from here on out, is just ‘extra’ for me. I’ve already experienced, and seen more than I could have dreamed possible. So everything I’m able to do from this point on, is a “cherry” on top of the huge cake I’ve already been allowed to eat in my life.

I don’t need a bucket list. The only things I desire from this point on have to do with those people I love, good health, and rich friendships. Sure, there are things that I think would be cool to do. But I don’t NEED to do them. I’m happy enough with what I’ve already been able to do.


Life truly is a gift. We just have to realize when we’ve unwrapped it. And I’ve gotten more gifts in this life than I deserve. How could I ever ask for more?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And We Wonder Why We Struggle




Sometimes we want to lead. We want to have control of our life and a situation or circumstance going on in it.  We want to walk in the direction that we see fit, and hope that God will bless it along the way.

Let’s face it, we don’t always want Him holding our hand and walking step by step with us unless He lets us choose the course of the direction we are walking in.

It’s the truth, yes?

In our heart of hearts, we DO want God’s blessing in our lives. We DO want Him to be with us and to guide us as we make decisions and choices. But often, we want to make those choices on our own – without consulting Him. And then, we want Him to stamp an approval on it.

And we wonder why we struggle.

I am so guilty of wanting things to go in the direction that I think is the right one. I can have quite the ‘heart-to-heart’ talk with my Lord in trying to convince Him that my way is the best way. As if He doesn’t really know the BEST way! Who am I trying to kid? My way is usually – simply – my way.

We often operate in fear. Fear of losing someone, some thing, or some control in our lives. Fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of anything. We let that fear dominate our faith. We let it take over.

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I do that. And I’ve done that time and time and time again.

I want to instead, choose peace. I want to trust in my Lord and Savior; that He knows what He’s doing, even if that DOING might cause me heartache. I want to let HIM choose the direction and course of things – not me. I don’t want to fight against Him or try to talk Him into my logic.

It’s hard not to do those things. So hard. Some battles are so personal and so emotional that it can take everything we have, to just cling to God in that trust. But my God has ALWAYS, ALWAYS been faithful to me. He is good to me. And I want to trust. Not because I believe I will get my way, but because I believe that HIS way will be the best way.

It’s scary – this letting God choose the outcome thing.  I still have to fight against the mentality of thinking that my way should be the right way. I have to swallow a lot of pride and fear. But, I want to know God’s heart more. I want to hear and see Him more. And I think the best way to do that; is if I get out of His way.


Everything I am, and everything I believe in, is riding on my faith and trust in God – especially when I have so much at stake in certain decisions and circumstances. But, that’s who I want to be. That’s HOW I want to be. For I’d much rather be walking through challenging issues in life holding God’s hand, than walking alone and hoping He’ll catch up and accompany me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Am a Reflection





It seems like lately the subject of whether or not certain things are “ok” in the life of a Christian has been coming to the table fairly regularly. I’ve seen them discussed by others, and observed people take one side or the other.

Whether or not some of these things are suitable for a Christian to do or not – is a very hot topic. Someone will always feel excluded if one person says it’s wrong and they, personally, partake in that action. They will immediately feel defensive. Someone else will always be interpreted as ‘judgmental’ simply because they think something is wrong. It can be a tricky thing to discuss.

I can hear some people say, “Well, that’s why I stay away from subjects like that!” But that doesn’t always work either. I believe that God asks us to stand up for what is right. So that means that we sometimes have to take the side of unpopular opinion in order to take GOD’S SIDE.

A lot of these ‘hot button’ issues revolve around things like alcohol, tattoos, gambling, smoking, ‘white lies,’ or swearing.

This is where I stand on these issues and others that might come up.

For me, I want to always remember that I am a reflection of my Lord God Almighty. It is HIM, whom I serve. I don’t serve the world. I don’t have to someday account to the world. But I do, to my Lord.  If someone sees alcohol in my fridge and it in turn causes them to question my beliefs, my Christian walk, and my faith – then to me, and for me, that is wrong, because I don’t want to ever be the cause for someone else to stumble. I don’t want to be the hindrance to someone else’s faith.

Being a believer means I’m held to a higher standard whether I like it or not. It means that someone is always watching me. Watching to see if I’m really different. Watching to see when I will mess up. Watching to see if I can stay true to what I say I believe when temptation comes, when trials come, or when disappointment comes. 

So, yes. Some things may not be a sin in and of themselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to take part in them.

1 Corinthians 10:23

“I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive.”



Not everything is beneficial. And not everything is constructive.  That’s what it comes down to for me. I don’t need to partake. I don’t want to partake. For I am a reflection. A reflection of my Lord.


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Monday, February 9, 2015

Nothing Wrong With a Little "Selfie!"


“Selfies.” The craze of this generation.

Everyone seems to have their own opinions on this craze. I’ve heard it said that people who take ‘selfies’ are narcissists. That it signifies mental or emotional issues. I’ve heard people mock others for taking ‘selfies’ and I’ve seen people think they are ‘above’ the whole craze.

I think ‘selfies’ are fun. And, I think they are perfectly normal and okay to do.

Recently, I went to Hawaii with my husband. We saw people taking selfies all over the place. At the beach, by a palm tree, overlooking the ocean, and more. Sometimes it was an individual ‘selfie’ and sometimes it was a couple.

This is how I see it. There is nothing wrong with taking a picture of yourself, to remember a time, place, or moment. It’s fun. And it’ a way to enjoy life and where you are currently are, in it.

I even think it’s okay to take a  ‘selfie’ once in awhile in your bathroom or car. Make a pucker face, or have fun with a pout. Again, it’s about enjoying life. Enjoying yourself and the moment you are in.

“Selfies” are kind of like photo journals, in a way. You’re recording who you are on a certain date and time. You’re recording your mood, your outlook, your environment.

The only time I can agree with the professionals on ‘selfie’ assessments, is when someone takes CONSTANT and UNENDING selfies, then posts them online or on Instagram. If someone does nothing BUT selfies, then yah, maybe a deeper look needs to be given as to why they don’t find anything else in life worthy of capturing with their camera.

I also personally feel that ‘selfies’ should always be kept classy. Flipping off the camera generally doesn’t make others love you more. And anything you might regret posting one day you get married, have children, or have a relative see – you might want to forget about posting. In fact, forget about taking that shot at all. No shot – no regrets!

But other than those wise words of wisdom, I say, have fun and take some ‘selfies!’ There’s nothing wrong with loving on those around you and taking your own shots of a moment in time. There’s nothing wrong with capturing yourself, either.


Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. So live and enjoy it. And take a ‘selfie’ to show it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sometimes I Forget To Pray



I want to be as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ as I possibly can while I walk this earth. I want others to feel love, encouragement, and warmth in my presence. I want them to enjoy laughing with me, and feel safe crying.

I strive for these things. I believe they are the character traits that my Lord has. Character traits that He’d want me to walk out.

But let’s face it; I am so imperfect. I screw up, and feel like slapping myself on the head over the ease into which I slipped into an area, that is not an area that helps me be the kind of person I want to be.

I know the habits that should be a part of my life. I know the people that I should surround myself with. I know how I should behave.  Yet, sometimes, sometimes, I just neglect the very things that would help me be a better, more faithful, “me.”

Sometimes, I forget to pray. I try to handle a situation myself first before I remember to ask God to intervene.

Sometimes, I don’t read the Bible. I’d rather watch the news, get on the computer, or fiddle with my Iphone, than read the great wisdom, peace, and direction that God has sitting there at my fingertips.

Sometimes, I sleep in and I don’t go to church. I may have been up too late, or I just don’t feel like going. So I don’t.

Sometimes, I prefer to listen to my ‘pop’ music, rather than my ‘praise’ music. It’s usually more danceable.

I am human. Just as you are. None of these things are horrible sins. In fact, I think God expects me to forget to pray, read His Word, or go to church at times. I think He KNOWS that the music, books, and movies of this world will entice me.

And sometimes, sometimes, it’s simply ok to just enjoy this life that He’s given us. It’s ok to enjoy hanging out with good friends until late at night. It’s ok to struggle in our own skin to try and solve an issue – because then we are reminded how much we need to rely on God! It’s ok to sleep in sometimes and not go to church. (Even God needed rest when He walked on this earth). Rest is important. As long as that ‘sleeping in’ doesn’t become a habit more important than being a part of a local church body where we can be encouraged, ministered to, and fellowship with other believers.

It’s ok. Sometimes.

But if I want to be as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ as I possibly can? If I want to love, be loved, encourage, be encouraged, and have others in my life to laugh and cry with…. I need to do those things that I “sometimes” forget.

For they are food and water to the heart and soul of a Christian. I can’t grow without them. I can’t BE the kind of person I want to be in my own strength, in my own will, and on my own terms. Well, maybe, sometimes I can – but not indefinitely. I need God speaking into my life through His Bible, His church, His music, and His whispers in prayer time, for those character traits to permanently take root in my life.

I have to be intentional.

I have to prioritize.


So, sometimes? Sometimes I might forget to pray, and it’s ok.  As long as that “sometimes,” never turns into “all the time.” And that is a slippery slope to watch out for.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Things Will Never Be The Same Again




You usually know those moments when you are experiencing them. Those moments that are timeless. You are making a memory and you know it. You are living a special moment with someone, or several people that are dear to your heart. And you know it will never come again. You know things will change after that moment.

I remember visiting my grandpa three weeks before he died. We knew he was dying. He knew he was dying. And I asked for a hug – knowing it would be the last time I ever hugged him. I tried to soak it in the best I could. Tried to take note of how he smelled and felt. For I knew life would change for me after that hug. I would lose my grandpa.

I knew when I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten and cried in the car. I knew from that day on, that things would never be the same. She would never simply be safe in her momma’s world. She would be exposed to people and things I had no control of. She would never just be ‘home’ with me again.

And I knew when I said ‘yes’ to my husband’s marriage proposal that life would be forever different for me. I knew the life I had known up until that point, would change. It would be new, different, exciting, and tough.

Those are the moments.  The ones where you know you are going to forever try to be reliving those hours or minutes over and over again in your heart and in your head. They are the ones that cause a lump in your throat – for you are happy and sad at the same time. Life is shifting. The ground under you is changing and you will have to adapt.

And you know it.

I recently had one of those moments. The circumstances around it will remain sacred only to me for now, but I knew …. I knew it was one of those ‘this will never be the same’ kind of time. It wasn’t lost on me.

I both love and hate these times. I hate them for what I feel I lose as the season in my life changes. I will miss what once ‘was.’ But I love them for I know that there is ‘new’ around the corner. And ‘new’ is usually motivating in some way. It forces you to grow.

It’s a privilege to be able to be a part of so many of these iconic moments in time with your loved ones. To see special ones be married, to watch graduations, to hug loved ones as they leave your life – all – a privilege.

We can try to force things to stay the same in our lives, but change will happen eventually. Kids will grow up, parents will retire, and health circumstances will alter. It’s the cycle of life. And it’s beautiful. It’s priceless. It’s ours.

Relish those moments. Smell them, feel them, and touch them the best you can. For they will never come again and things WILL never be the same. It’s the bittersweet beauty of life and love.


And it’s a treasure.

Friday, January 30, 2015

That's What Love Is All About





God has answered some pretty big prayers in my life. He has been so faithful to me. I’m always so humbled and blessed when I realize that something I’ve prayed and asked Him for, for years, has finally come to pass in a most perfect way.

I love those moments. I feel so close to God, so in love with Him and His ways.

There is something inside of me, though, that even though I’ve earnestly asked God for something…. There is something inside of me that often feels that I don’t deserve that ‘most perfect’ answer. I often feel like there must be a ‘catch’ somewhere.

I have (many times) gone days, weeks, or even months after a beautiful blessing of answered prayer, and found that something has happened that is a challenge, or an obstacle. I’ve often paused, stopped, and wondered to God, “Is this my sacrifice?” I think that because He gave me something good, I must sacrifice something somewhere along the way.

I know this is flawed thinking.

Oftentimes, God DOES indeed ask us to sacrifice something in order to take us somewhere.  But just as often, He gives us blessings just because He loves us. We, in our imperfect state, need to know that there is nothing we need to reciprocate on our part. We simply need to accept His love and blessings, be thankful, and tell others of what He has done.

That’s it.

Accept His goodness. Accept His love. It’s free. And it’s for us.

It’s hard for me to overcome my thinking at times that I must give something up in order to get a request fulfilled by my Lord. But that’s just not the case.

We ARE undeserving of His great love. That’s what makes it so wonderful. To be loved that much is an awesome, amazing thing. And God wants to shower us with that love so we can share it with others and they too, can feel it.


So the next time you go to God in prayer asking Him for something in earnest, remember He just may answer you with a beautiful blessing. And you don’t have to do anything to earn it. It’s there for you to take and cherish. Because that’s what love is all about.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Words of Wisdom





1.    Be on time. It says a lot about how much you respect the person or people putting on an event and it says how much you respect yourself and your own reputation. Relationships don’t build very well when there is lack of respect.

2.     Keep your word. If you say you will do something – do it. Don’t bail because a better opportunity came along. That’s shallow and selfish. Don’t pretend to forget, just because it wasn’t mentioned. Be honorable. Have integrity. Maintain a reputation that people can trust. Sometimes your word is the best advertisement you have for the kind of person you really are.

3.     Repay your debts. Even if it’s $2 at a time. And it takes years. If someone was generous with you, believed in you, and supported you at a time when you really needed it – honor that. For people like that are hard to find.

4.     Reward your kids for doing the RIGHT thing and for being good kids. Schools love to punish the whole class when someone does something wrong. And kids get away with a lot these days. It can be hard to do the right thing and see how it pays off. Let your kids know you see their efforts and you are proud of them. Encourage them to continue being GOOD kids and choosing to do the right things in life. They need that encouragement!

5.     Say, “I’m sorry.” A lot of people don’t own their actions in today’s world. “Sorry” goes a long way. Be the bigger person and take the high road. Be accountable for when you mess up and make mistakes.

6.     Be kind! It’s one thing to feel like we are free in our own skin – it’s another thing altogether to speak whatever crosses our mind. Be kind! Watch your tongue and how words roll off of it. A gracious word draws more friends than a bold and harsh one.

7.     Pray. Prayer is that simple, overlooked, powerful tool you have, to change your world. To change your families’ world. Use it. Believe in it. Pray for your husband. Pray for your kids! Pray protection over your family and for answers to needs that you have. Watch answered prayer revitalize your world and your faith in a Savior.

8.     Love on others. There is always someone who needs encouragement, love, a kind touch, or a smile. Welcome others in your home. In your life. Give to those whom you are able to give to – whether it’s cookies to a neighbor, or a card to an elderly person at a retirement home. Love people. And watch yourself feel loved in return.

9.      Ditch what’s “cool” for what’s “good.”  Who cares if everyone’s seen that new movie but you? Is it dark? Is it full of witchcraft or sex? Stay away. The same goes for fashion trends, books, or anything that is “in” or “trendy” but betrays your morals and values. Honor. Integrity. Carry those with you in all you do, see, and partake in.

10. Remember. Memories can give us some of our richest lessons in life. Is it the memory of what someone gave up for you? Is it the memory of someone praying quietly on their knees in their bedroom? Do you recall the smells of what a happy home was like or the feeling of love and laughter in a hug?  Remember. Even the hurtful memories can teach us something good if we let them become a strength in our life, instead of a weakness. So remember and let those memories build and grow you.



What would be some of your words of wisdom?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Unwanted





Oh, feelings of inadequacy! You came to us uninvited.

Fear that swept in like a tidal wave and stole our joy, you too, showed up uninvited.

Worrisome and blue thoughts – we never asked you to stop by – or to stay a long while.

Loneliness, we’re sure you picked the wrong house. For we only sought friends to stop by.

You were all uninvited. And yet, we let you stay. We believed the lies you whispered to us. We let you turn our heads away from the content, trusting, and courageous thoughts that we were having before you rang our doorbell.

We shouldn’t have let them enter. But we did. And now we don’t know how to get them to leave.

Those unwelcome and unwanted visitors that steal away the truths that God has handed to us. Those truths of being valued, wanted, delighted in, and handed strength to. The unwelcome visitors are so loud and ‘in-our-face’ that we have no room left to remember the faithful friends we already had with us.

That’s satan for ya. He loves to come in when we think the ground is solid and sweep it out from under us.

We all have dealt with those uninvited guests in our lives. We ALL have struggles with them  - some of us deal with all of them at once, while others deal with one or two at a time. But they get around. They like to visit and invade our homes and our hearts.

It’s time that we take our hearts and our minds back. It’s time to let these unwelcome feelings and thoughts know that it’s time for them to leave.

Usher them out the door. Hang out a ‘no soliciting’ sign and be on the watch – always. Know when you are vulnerable to unwelcome visitors stopping by. Don’t open the door to them.

We have a shield that we can use to protect us.

We have wisdom to help guide us.

We have strength to help arm us for the battle.

We have joy to help heal us from the wounds that are left behind on our battle-scarred bodies.

We have these tools at our fingertips in God’s Word. He’s given it to us to help us keep those walls of protection up. To know when an unfriendly visitor is disguised as a friendly one. But we have to listen to Him. We have to speak to Him. We have to read the words He’s spoken to us.

Otherwise we are left out in the open – vulnerable. Unprotected. Unarmed. And scared.

Friend, you are not in this battle of life alone. Whether it’s an emotional, spiritual, or physical battle. It can be fought and it can be won. There are others out there fighting the good fight just like you.  They can help you. Encourage you. Love on you and strengthen you.

You don’t have to be a victim anymore. You don’t have to sit there and let the unwanted take over your life.

Nor do I.

Satan would like us to think we have no choice. We’re stuck. But we’re not. God wants us to be victorious.

So let’s fight! Fight hard! Fight for your own life, your own worthiness, and your own mind. No one should have to live their life with unwanted guests stealing their inheritance.


Not you. And not me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Are We Afraid God Won't Say 'Yes?'


I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t pray big enough. I’m too realistic, too conservative.

I’ve always been a dreamer but somehow over the course of my lifetime, I grew to be practical, as well. Maybe it’s the “mom” in me. The moment my children came into this world, I was very cognizant of life and all the realities it brings with it.

Yes, in my prayer life, I often ask God for things. If we’re honest, I think most of us ask Him for more than we thank Him for. But, in my asking, I don’t find that I’m often audacious with my requests. I don’t ask for much. I don’t often choose to ask Him for something that would overwhelm me or blow my off of my feet.

Why? Am I afraid that God won’t say ‘yes?’

I want to dream big dreams. I want to throw my wishes out to God and see Him do above and beyond all that I could think or ask! I want to see His power at work. In my life. In my kids’ lives.

So, I’ve decided I don’t pray big enough.  I’m not bold enough and I haven’t dreamt enough for myself, or my family in a long time.

It’s about time I start. It’s about time I change that.

How about you? Are you an audacious pray(er) or are you “safe” in your prayers? Do you ask for patience as you deal with an illness, or do you ask for healing? Do you pray big prayers for your children?

Let’s start abandoning our practical side when it comes time to pray. Let’s truly throw our dreams at the Lord and see what glorious things He can do!


He might just be waiting for us to ask!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Parenting Is a Process




I’d like to think I’m a “cool” mom. But the great thing about parenting is how it humbles you. Just when I think I’m doing things right and am on the smooth track, one of my children will tell me that something I do really irritates them and that they hate it.

Yikes.

I hate it when that happens. Coolness factor goes out the door quickly!

Sometimes of course, I don’t agree with my children or see why something I say or do would bug them. Sometimes I can see the error in my ways and I apologize and try not to do or say the offending thing again. But either way, I try to work with my kids on the issue. I may try to explain my position or I may ask God to show me how to be more open in changing my approach. I don’t want them to think that life is all about them, yet at the same time I truly want to weigh what they have said to see if there is some merit in it.

To me, parenting is a process. Just like life is a process. I’m always learning, I’m always growing and I’m always changing.

I remember telling someone years ago that I hadn’t changed. That I was the same person inside that they knew year’s prior. But I was wrong. I’m always changing. I’m constantly learning things that God is teaching me and I’m tweaking who I am to be a more Godly wife, mother, and woman. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sometimes the process is painful, embarrassing – or as in the case I mentioned above with my kids: humbling.


I’m not perfect. Not even close. But I do try to have honest, pure motives in what I do and how I treat those in my life. Yeah – I’d like to think my kids think I’m “cool,” but I know in reality this will not always be the case, as much as I hate to acknowledge that fact. Life is not about “coolness” … it’s about relationship. And the one I have with my kids is more valuable than any “cool” factor ever could be. If I’m doing something for their good, regardless of whether or not they like it, I’m going to stick to my guns.  Because I love them.  Hopefully, I can still be somewhat “cool” in the process. But if not, at least I will know that I did right by them and right by God. And that’s all anyone can ask.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shaped By Loss




My first experience with loss came when I was just 6 years old.  My great grandma died. I remember seeing her in her hospital bed – so very frail. I have few memories of time spent with her but those that I do have are very tender. My favorite memory is the chocolate milk she would make for me whenever I came over.

My next real loss would come hard and deep. I was in 5th grade and my grandpa died suddenly of a heart attack. Just 3 weeks later, my uncle would die in a plane crash. That was a tough year for our family.

That would begin my journey of losing a great many special people in my life. I lost a couple of dear family friends to cancer. and a friend in high school was hit by a car and killed. Then the summer after I graduated from high school, a boy I had grown up with died in a drunk-driving accident. I took that very hard as well.

As a young adult I lost two cousins to suicide.

I lost other special people in my life as well.

I’ve seen what can happen in life. Maybe that’s why I’m so cautious and careful – never feeling too risky about things.  Or maybe, just maybe that’s why I seem to feel such deep empathy when others are in pain. I can even feel pain for someone I’ve only heard or read about in the news! I think it’s because once you’ve been there… well… you just get it.

I am so thankful that my children haven’t really had to experience many deaths in their young lives yet. They are lucky. By the time I was their age I’d already lost so many cherished ones.

Loss is a part of life. Not a fun part – but a part just the same. In time, you DO heal and you do start to smile and laugh again. Yet you are shaped and formed by what has happened to you. It is up to you to decide if you will be colder, harder, and less willing to love and be loved … or if you will tell others how much you care about them more often and try to make the most of your every moment. It’s up to you to decide how you will spend your time and to what you will devote your life to.

We are here for a reason. It may seem a simple cliché but it’s so very true.  We have just one life to give and live. And no matter how yours was shaped or formed – whether you endured great hardship, or loss as I did; you can make the most of your today and your now. You can use what happened to you to encourage and embrace others who are hurting. You can use the pain in your past and instead change it to courage and strength instead of loss and hurt.


We are all formed and shaped by something in our lives. I happen to think that it’s the losses in my own life that have added the beauty, dimension, and tenderness in my soul that wouldn’t have otherwise been there. I’d like to think that through great loss is great gain if you will only look for it. It’s in there to be found – that lesson and that jewel that only God can show you.  May you find it and use it well.

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