Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Behind The Scenes - It's Only Hair

Linking up with Crystal Stine and the girls for Behind The Scenes.....

PAHLEEEEEEASE Mom!   I have told her time and time again that no she may not color her beautiful hair...her response was to ask can't she please bleach her brothers hair.....I shake my head and think yes, in the midst of trials and finding a new way to breathe, this is the beauty, the treasure....laughter, togetherness and just normal everyday teenager sillies.  These two amazing souls wrapped up in flesh and blood have been my reasons to get out of bed, to eat, to put one foot in front of the other, to just keep going when otherwise I am not sure that I could have summoned the energy. 
And I see them growing and becoming stronger and loving more fiercely than I believe any of us could have had we not had this trial to face, this bend in the road.....The beautiful love and appreciation that we have found for each other in our weakness has made us all softer, more able to see the pain in others and give comfort we might not have otherwise been able to because sometimes if you haven't been given something, how then, can you give it in turn?
So as I walked into the bathroom and saw the precious opposing looks that I have seen on their faces since they were old enough to keep up with each other, I smile......some things never change.  Some things are constant....especially a Father's love. Thankful.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Perfect 10 - Number 3

Number 3 God’s Name should be, NEVER spoken in jest,
This one is pretty simple. Do not use the Lord's Name in vain. Period. There is power in the Name above all names. He is God. Our Saviour. Jesus. When we use it in a way that defies the reverence of Who He is I believe we grieve the Holy Spirit.....something we are commanded not to do. It's about honoring the most precious Name we can call on. 

You've Got A Friend

Proverbs 18:24

Good News Translation (GNT)
24 Some friendships do[a] not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.

I'm humbled to say that in my life I have this.  It makes me blessed.  I have those in my life that have seen me at my worst and bend down to pick me up for the umpteenth time and say... let's get you cleaned up...they have loved me through the ugliest things a person can imagine, we have been bound by what has destroyed others, they have seen me make a fool of myself, make bad decisions, make worse decisions to try and fix my bad decisions, laugh with me, cry with me, be quiet with me, open the door at 11 pm at night to sit on the steps and wipe my tears, been a safe place, fed me, let me take a nap when I couldn't handle one more thing, let God speak through chicken nuggets and tater tots, texted me if only to say I love you and we will begin again tomorrow......They are family to me.  They know ALL my junk and still choose to love me.  Because love is a choice.  People will always let you down, even if they don't mean to or don't even know they have done it.  And I am learning that sometimes the grace I tend to withhold from someone else is the very grace that was extended to me at some point in time, by God, by others.  So it makes me grateful today to know that in my life, God has blessed me with the ones who say wow, you totally bombed...wanna go get coffee?  Not to discount the actions or the consequences, but to simply state that regardless of the actions or the consequences, I'm here.  I'm not leaving you.  We will walk this together.  Thankful.


Job 19:25

Good News Translation (GNT)
25 But I know there is someone in heaven
who will come at last to my defense.

It's a miserable to feel defenseless.  To feel like your hands are tied, and as if you have no voice,no say, no way of defending yourself.  The last few weeks have brought me to this place.  I have had to remind myself over and over again that it is He who is in charge of me, my reputation and my defense.  Because when I attempt to do these things in my own strength, I am sure to get it wrong.....

The quiet that used to terrify me is a bit uncomfortable, but not like it used to be.  I have been fighting Him bringing me back here.  Unsure of its purpose and all I could do was remember what and why He brought me here the last time....I didn't think I could stand up under that again.  So here I sit, and I have learned to wait just a little more graciously I suppose, maybe not, but the alternative is really not an option.  And there are times when He needs to get my attention.  There is one verse that will make me stop, make me cry, make me know that He is right here..It's the very first verse He gave to me so very long ago.  1999.  It was as I took my very first step into this journey that is His calling on my life...He's calling me into that again I know.  And it scares the ever lovin' crap out of me.  So today, as He whispered it to me yet again, I'll share it with you.  Sometimes He has to take us back to the beginning, back to where we started, to remind us of how far we have come.  Trust Him today.  Nothing else.  And when you can't see a hands length in front of you and you don't know which way to go, then just worship Him.  He sees you.  He hears you.  Thankful.

Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Scripture

Psalm 55:22

Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).
This was my verse this morning.  The word that keeps leaping out at me is consistent.  The consistently righteous.
  1. (of a person, behavior, or process) Unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time.
  2. Compatible or in agreement with something: "injuries consistent with falling".
And when I looked up the definition, I can relate to line two all too well.  Sometimes I get injuries that are consistent with my continuing something that I know He has strictly said....Walk away....and I don't.  I think....I hear You, but I just keeping on walking headlong off this cliff....
So what is the answer? Get back up.  Be consistent.  Because consistent is a process.  If it wasn't, we would not be here.  If He was done with us, then I believe our time would be up.  I am consistently learning that He has me, that He will only allow so much before He steps in.  That I'm that kid who seems to take the hard road.....but I'm learning, when I hear Him, STOP.  Turn around.  Sooner than later.  Seek Him.  Cast your burden. Be consistent.  Even when you fall, consistently get back up.  It's never too late, or too far, or to great a mountain or hurdle.  He's got this.  He's got you.  Get back up.  Thankful.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Perfect 10 - Number 2

Number 2’s the idol rule, those graven images aren’t nice

Idols...maybe when you think of this, you picture a statue, made of gold or perhaps something else.  It is something we look up to, hold in high esteem, bow down to...worship.  Fact is this can be things or people, just about anything.  It takes up our time, resources, thoughts, dreams.....it's the thing that holds center place in our life.  I've made idols out of people, approval of others, things, clothes, money....at times in my life all of these things have taken center stage.  And they were never enough.  They weren't meant to be.  I put them in the place that God is meant to hold in my life.  And they failed me, every time.  That isn't their purpose.  I still struggle with "if I only had..." then my life would be perfect.  But in reality, my life is just what He designed it to be....a work in progress, with Him in control and me worrying about obedience....He can handle the rest. Thankful.

Friday, July 26, 2013

5 Minute Friday - Broken

Joining Lisa Jo and the girls for 5 Minute Friday....no edits, no re-writes and love those that came before you....


I breathed a heavy sigh when I saw today's topic.  He truly does meet us in our time of needs.  I have not been in this place in quite some time.  Broken describes it completely.  I think even my girl noticed that something is just not quite right.  I fell asleep on the couch, stumbled to my bed at some point and she, my sweetest girl, put away dinner, did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.  I thought I would awake to yet another mountain of mess for me to clean, but she made sure that wasn't the case.  It's that noticeable in me right now.  I know this is a place that He has brought me to....to strip away all pretense and any thought that this is me or that I have anything all together, that I can do it in my own strength.  I cannot.  I am not.  And I laid in bed last night thinking this is it....I have nothing left to give.  He spoke to me 3 times with the same verse yesterday and then into this morning.  He will pour into me my strength and my abilities.  None of this is me.  And so I know this broken place is preceding something.  That scares me.  I feel like I can't take one more thing.  Not one.  Because I naturally assume that it's more breaking and I Just.Can't.Do.It.  So I am asking Him to take this, all of it.  And I'm going to sit and wait quietly, patiently, because it is truly all I have left at this point.  And I'm clinging to a statement that I heard from Christine Caine....the breaking always precedes the miracle.  Thankful.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Perfect 10 - Number 1

Exodus 20: 2-3 NKJ
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

God is pretty clear in His messages to us.  His very first command....none before Him.  I find it interesting too that He precedes everything He is about to say with a reminder that it is HE...not them, not Moses and certainly not Pharaoh, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of bondage and on to greater things.  Sometimes it's those "greater things" that scare us so badly that we aren't sure we want to go there...Sometimes we need the reminder that He is bringing us out of the things that have held us so long, that we cried for deliverance from....He did what we asked.  But when we stare that in the face, it can sometimes look overwhelming.

But listen to His words...I AM.  Not I was, or used to be, or have been in the past but I AM...right now, in whatever you and I are facing He is our God.  Our Deliver.  And we shall set no other gods before Him.  Because we all have haven't we? I certainly have.  The god of money, the god of possessions, the god of relationships, you fill in the blank.  I have put my security and hope in all those things..and they failed me, every single time.  It is when we put our basic, moment by moment desperate need in the only One who can save us, hold us and meet us where we are time after time, that we put God in His proper place.  He is first, above all else.  He will never be okay with second place. Thankful.

Deary Weary Mom, Change Perspective

Linking Up Today with Hope for the Weary Mom.....

Dear Weary Mom,
Maybe your week has been long like mine.  Juggling a sick one at home, work, school for this mama and all the responsibilities that come along with running a home.  Maybe you have help, but maybe you are doing it mostly on your own right now like I am..
The days blur into one another and you wonder, Lord when will this ever change? Sometimes it's about a shift in perspective.  Our perspective.  I did something I haven't done in quite a while this past weekend.  I went to a movie with my sisters and six of the little kids.....and it was 3D.  That meant I had to wear special glasses to see what was right before me, because if I took them off, things were blurry and didn't look appealing at all.
Those glasses reminded me of keeping my eyes on Him and using His word, His truths as my "glasses" as I go about my day.  When I see things the way He means me to, through His filter, then they take on a whole new dimension,  just like that movie did.  It's easy to get bogged down in the cooking and cleaning and laundry and responsibilities that come with the day to day routine of being a mama.  But when we look at it through Him, the tasks are greater than themselves.  Every step we take, every need we meet, is a chance to show His love to the ones He gave us to love.  To burn into their memory how much significance they bear in our lives. 
So today, shift perspective a little mama :) You have been given an amazing job...holding, loving, feeding, yes even diaper changing....His most precious gifts.  Thankful.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Perfect 10

I should tell you, in case you are wondering, that I am speaking from a place of been there done that, so please never think that I have any room to cast judgments.  You see I’m THAT girl.  The rebellious one, the one who goes head long off a cliff for the wrong thing, but shrinks back in fear when I might possibly do it the right way.  I have broken every single commandment.  So there is no room in this girls words to ever look at another and think “well I never”….cause, well, I have.  What I do want to share with you is God’s grace in my own life, His forgiveness, His mercy.  And now you are probably wondering what kind of hardened criminal is this girl?!?!  Sometimes when we view God’s directives, we have a mindset of what they are in big bold letters……but really God writes to us about a lot in the fine print.  Let me explain, and I hope you will forgive me or at the very least, be mildly amused, at my choice of words for remembering the commandments. I’ve spent all of my big girl years being a mom and hanging out with preschoolers for my day job :) Come join me tomorrow when I start to share my story, one Commandment at a time.

The 10 Commandments – An Elementary Breakdown
Number 1, we’ve just begun God should be first in your life,
Number 2’s  the idol rule, those graven images aren’t nice,
Number 3 God’s Name should be, NEVER spoken in jest,
Number 4 the Sabbaths’ for our worship and for rest.
Number 5 we all should strive to honor father and mother,
Number 6  don’t get your kicks from killing one another.
Number 7  life is Heaven when your true to your mate,
Number 8  don’t steal and break this rule for goodness sake!
Number 9 don’t be the kind who goes around telling lies,
Number 10 don’t covet when you see your neighbor’s house or wife.
It’s the list that God insists you make a part of your life, and that’s the end  ;)


Good comes to all who are gracious and share freely; they conduct their affairs with
sound judgment.       
I want to believe this verse.  I do.  I want to believe that the good outweighs the bad.  I want to be able to have the faith that knows God will deliver on His promises.  Because mostly, I have no problem believing that God will exact His punishment and judgement for the things I have done wrong, but can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that He promises a good reward for walking in obedience.  It's my perfectionist performance personality that gets in my way.  When I make a misstep, I have no problem assuming God will not spare the rod. I have an equally hard time seeing that He doesn't withhold any good thing from those who love Him and obey Him. 
So, as I was reading over what I had written yesterday, my words caught my attention....no thank you, the cost of that is too high for me.... I am adopting that statement today when the wrong thoughts pierce my mind and grip me so tightly I feel like I can't breath.  No thank you.  The cost of those thoughts, that way of thinking, that mindset is more than I can afford.  And I have paid such a high price already for traveling paths that offer less than His best.  No thank you.  Thankful.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Weight Of Our Prayers

I have been reading a book lately....why now? I can't exactly say.  But He brought it across my path in this time and this season.  As I have been reading, one particular section struck me.  It spoke of transformational change.  It is a change that destroys.  Because the old has to be destroyed, made to die, before God can replace it with new.  And so when I was reading and the author spoke of Lamentations 3:16, I decided to read that verse more indepth...and then I did something I'm not quite sure I had any idea what the ramifications would be...I said,  Lord, I want a Lamentations 3:16 change.  So I'm praying for You to work that in my life.....yeah...bottom.fell.out. people.  But I knew what it was, and I know what He's asking and I want that change.  I need that change.  I just can't go back to the way things were before.  So my only option is forward.  And this breaking.... and it has been  ground leveling..... has exposed weaknesses that I had not looked at in a while, that I had somehow managed to avoid quite well.  But He doesn't want that.  He wants us to look at it and be able to say, no thank you, I know the cost of that is way too high and it's not who I am.  Sometimes we have to be crushed by the weight of things to know the healing that He wants to bring.  And so it has left me raw and broken and brusied....but also more humbled, more dependant and more accepting that I need Him.  Everyday.  No exceptions.  Because what I am learning most of all is that seperation from Him, even for a day, is something that isn't acceptible for me anymore.  It's not enough.  I'm not enough, until He is the one who is leading.  Thankful.

Behind The Scenes - This Is Only A Mountain

This was me in February of this year.  My very first long race.  I had done others, 5k's, but this...this was different.  I had planned to do it the year before.  And then my world stopped and came crashing in.  And so here I stood, making good on a dream that seemed like an impossibility.  9.1 miles.  I had run further on my own, but this was different.  And as much as I feared failing, I looked forward the how that finish line would feel even more.  No matter what it took to get there, no matter how long.  I would finish.  It was a bridge run.  The first one, the 3 mile bridge was a gradual incline.  I can do this....and I made it, but the last couple miles brought what I thought would take me out.  That last bridge was steep and sharp and I thought oh my word......no way....but as I ran and found myself at the base of it, that mountain began to look a little different.  My perspective was changing.  Hard? You bet, but it didn't seem so imposing and before long I was over it and moving downhill fast towards the finish line.  Even after that bridge there was still a mile to go...the last mile is always the hardest...I had heard this at an EWomen's conference and it has stuck in my brain ever since.  You are almost there and then you cramp, you get so exhausted, sometimes you stumble.  But you have to get back up.  You have to.  And as I came into the finish, I felt a surge of excitement and energy that I have never felt before.  I did this.  I faced it.  I finished....and that finish was just a new beginning.  I'm back at that steep bridge yet again.  I can't see over it.  I have no idea what lies ahead, except the finish line of this leg of my journey.  And I'm tired.  And here lately I have gotten some bumps and bruises, but I can do this.  He made me for this, for long distance, for slow and steady, to get to the prize He set before me. Thankful.

Monday, July 22, 2013


John 6:37

The Voice (VOICE)
37 All that My Father gives to Me comes to Me. I will receive everyone; I will not send away anyone who comes to Me.
It's easy to get caught up in the chaos.  Before you know it your standing in a place that you never intended to be.  Hurt, confused, wondering how in the world you got here from where you were going.  It's easy to think that God surely is just throwing in the towel this time, but my verse today is a reminder to me.  Get back up.  This road is long and hard and the pitfalls make it seem like perhaps this journey is too much, like stopping is the best option to avoid any future perils.  But I can't.  So if today you are weary, and worn and feel like there is just no hope left inside, take my hand and we will make it to the rest stop, the foot of His cross the place to everything we need to keep going.  Thankful.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I keep looking at the picture of open hands....open.  This is a humbled posture, there are no defenses to open hands.  This allows things to be given and things to be received.  It shows a meekness, but also strength as it receives.  Open hands are trust.  Complete and pure.  Expecting nothing but ready for everything that might come.  They hide nothing, whatever bruises and scars are visible to all and it also opens itself up to be wounded...two Hands took that posture so long ago...just for me, just for you.  My verse today soaked to my very core. This is me, this Lord, thank You for putting words to my hearts cry. Thankful.

Psalm 51:7-15 The Message
7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.

Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Minute Friday - Belong

Linking up with Lisa Jo and all the girls for 5 Minute Friday...No edits, no rewrites and love the ones that came before you...

Topic: BELONG....Go..

I realized yesterday Who I belong to.  As I struggled under the weight of my choices yet again, it became clear.  He isn't going anywhere.  He loves me.  Just me.  My good, bad and ugly.  He put me here in this place 18 years ago, it's the ground I belong on.  The soil where my life has been lived.  He has placed me in a family where regardless of my choices, I still belong.  I am loved.  He has also placed me in the middle of a family that is God given, a family of friends, that even on my worst days, they still love me, let me be me and send a note to say, I love you.  Period.  To belong has been the greatest desire of my heart.  To be able to love unconditionally we must believe without question that the place we belong is just that, the place to always be.  I will always be His, always belong in His family, always belong in His heart.  And if I have that, then I can extended that same grace to another.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dear Weary Mom......

Linking Up today with Hope For The Weary Mom.....


Dear Weary Mom,
What do you see in the moments of quiet, when things stop spinning for just a little while?  As I looked out the window today, I saw the same two little heads sitting shoulder to shoulder, the way they have their entire lives.  The days of stay at home mom have been replaced with mom working at family business and taking those two with me. 
The days of a newborn in my lap, a 15 month old hanging on my shoulders and me sitting in front of the laundry basket attempting to fold the same towel for two hours, all of us crying, have passed.  But we are a team still, us three, and they don't hang on me or need me any less, it just changes shape.  My tears aren't any less, they are just for different reasons.  My weariness isn't really any less either.  I still have days I wonder is THIS it, Lord?  This is my life?  It isn't.  It's a part of it, but it doesn't define me.  I'm still a work in progress.  Not perfect, fall on my face, sleep deprived, ice cream for dinner, non towel folding mom.
What I am finding though is that they see me.  And as long as I'm just being me and not pretending I have it all together, then they learn they don't always have to have it all together either.  If I get back up and keep trying, then they know they can do it as well.  As long as I remember Who loves me just because....then I can love that way too.  I can show His love to them and His glory is then revealed.  And that is a precious thing. 
So if today you don't get even one thing done on your list of things that must be done, remember, He loves you.  He sees you.  He thinks you are beautiful and marvels at His creation.  It's the same way we look at those little faces we carried and love each day.  We see what was, but we also see all the amazing things that will be in them.  He sees that in you and me.  Thankful.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Pieces

Psalm 119:114

The Voice (VOICE)
114 You are my hiding place and my shield of protection;
I hope in Your word.

Hiding.  The thing that comes to mind is to get lost in...Hiding in You Lord, You are my shield....and when I do this, I can find my hope Your Word.  To get lost in Him is to be found.  The deeper we press in the less lost we actually become.  The last few days He has been pressing me further into His Word....past the "surface" as it is, for me....past the verses I have already hidden in my heart.....this "new thing" that is springing up, it's pulling me deeper into who He is...who I am in Him.  And I realized something so beautiful...

I lay literally crying on the floor so many night last week, the breaking almost an unbearable weight.  What is this?!?!?! WHY am I here Lord? I do not understand.  I'm seeking You, I can't bring to mind anything unconfessed that would warrant such breaking.....

In my mind, breaking has been a negative.  Something that comes after a time when I have walked away, built up walls....but wait...anytime He wants us to know Him more deeply, it will require a breaking, in our spirit, to our flesh, why? There are times that a breaking must occur for things to be reset and there are also times when in the breaking, things are multiplied.....

This breaking was to bring me to a deeper healing, to reset old thoughts and assumptions and at the same time, I needed to be broken to share the pieces of what I have learned on this journey.  You cannot share what you hold onto tightly.  Let me have these pieces....He said to me.  Let go...

Speak the words that others need to hear....that you need to hear...both will bring healing.  But you have to be breakable, moldable to let the words He is speaking through you change you as they come.  And so I can hide in Him and in my vulnerable state He will shield me and give me hope as I read His word and know that He never fails.  Thankful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Behind The Scenes - Things I Leaned From A Tractor Tire

Linking up with Crystal Stine today for Behind The Scenes....

You have got to be kidding me.... was my first thought when I saw that tire.  I attend an outdoor boot camp.  Over time, our challenges have gotten progressively harder.  But this day...yeah, looking at that 280 pound tire and doing the math...how was my 120 pounds of 5"1' gonna flip that thing over?  No way....

I stared at it...I think I kicked it too...it didn't budge.  My trainer said, "you can do this"...I said "you are dehydrated and imagining things".....but none the less, I was surrounded by a great field of witnesses :) They cheered me on...mostly because I think they were fearful that if I didn't do it then they might have to.....

I looked ridiculous.  I can't begin to tell you the position you have to get in to be able to even get a grip on that thing.  It's pretty humbling.....pretty low.  And then you lift....with all you have and all you are and you keep going...even when you stall, even when it falls on top of you (another story completely)....get back up.  And you fight it because you are going to do this...no matter what or how long it takes....just keep fighting....and then you feel it moving, you feel a strength you did not even know you had....and you stand it up, that big ol' taller than you monster...the last push, it's nothing....and then it falls.

I was dirty, bruised and had tread tracks on the front of me.  But I did it.  I didn't quit.  I made it.  With all the strength in me, with all my peeps cheering me on....yes I did.  This picture was a reminder for me today.  I am up under this thing and it is really heavy...but I won't quit and pretty soon, that breakthrough is coming. Thankful.

Just Keep Singing

Romans 8:37

The Voice (VOICE)
37 But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.

I've come back around again to this place.  Brokenness.  When we are faced yet again with what we don't understand we can choose to submit to His will, His hand, or steel against it.  Both bring pain, but only one allows us to heal and come out of the other side.  There is beauty in the breaking...it changes our heart.  To allow ourselves to come to that point and feel what we need to in order for Him to do His work in us, that is a soft and fleshy heart....one that steps out, even if it's in fear and says here I am Lord.  The other choice leaves us with a cold and stony heart, one that chooses to build up a wall to protect that what we might feel too fragile to bear the weight of all this yet again, but that wall also keeps us from the healing we so desperately need.

So I have chosen to let Him do this willingly, no fighting this time, and this was my verse this morning.  There is victory, even in this...because when we are His, we are more than conquers.  As I pray for direction, His message is ever clear....praise...in ALL things.  Let me just share with you I know the weight of that statement.  I know the tears that flow and the heavy sigh that comes when you read those words...AGAIN.  I too have said "Lord, this 'ALL' things.....I do not see them working, let alone for any good".  But hold on....just hold on.  That's what bubbles up in my heart.  My victory is set.  I need to praise Him for that.  Thankful.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Soul Still Sings

Psalm 73:25-26

The Voice (VOICE)
25 For all my wanting, I don’t have anyone but You in heaven.
There is nothing on earth that I desire other than You.
26 I admit how broken I am in body and spirit,
but God is my strength, and He will be mine forever.

It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day of things.  It's easy to look around at the circumstance and think there is no hope and things will never change.  This is a battle.  As I read my verse this morning it sank down deep into my soul.  I must praise Him because if nothing else, I have Him.  And in my brokenness, He's here.  Whether or not I see it, feel it or see any signs of it, I must praise Him for who He is when I can't find the strength for anything else.  When it seems darkest and I can't find my way, I can still praise Him.  When I feel bound by everything that entangles me, even still, I will praise Him.  It's a choice. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Scripture

Philippians 3:10

The Voice (VOICE)
10 I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death,

I'll be honest, this was not exactly what I wanted to see this morning as my scripture.  Nope.  "Seriously Lord?...MORE suffering, uuuuggghhhhh......" So as I sat there praying, talking it out with Him, I said "just whatever You say Lord, whatever You want, change me....cause I can't do it any other way.."

And He smiled  :)  He did.  I felt it on my insides. That's what it means Baby Girl, you just died to yourself a little more.....and you do that every time you hand it all over to me....


Today may be hard for you.  I know I have had my share of difficult lately.  But He promises, we will share in His glory when we share in His suffering.  Just hang on.....

Friday, July 12, 2013

5 Minute Friday - Present

Linking up with Lisa Jo and the girls for 5 Minute Friday.  5 Minutes, no edits or re-writes and love the ones that came before you.  Topic: Present....


My mind drifts back to what was a lot.  There are things in the past that I miss so desperately.  And then I look ahead into the future, what might possibly come my way.  Both things forsake what is actual, what is in fact, my life.  The present.  When I look so far ahead or turn around to reach for what I know, what was a certainty, I get lost.  Right here, right now, has purpose.  The present, our gift.  Because the present is kind of like a gift.  Sometimes You.LOVE.It.  It is the best present ever!! And then there are the other times where it isn't exactly what you wished for, but the more you look at it and let it sink in, you realize perhaps it's more useful than you first realized and you grow to love it in a different way.  Living in the present is a gift.  Don't forget to unwrap it....


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hope For The Weary Mom - Waiting To Exhale

Time to link up with other mamas and daughters at Hope For The Weary Mom.....

Dear Weary Mom,

What.A.Week....I'm sure you can understand exactly where I'm coming from.  Work, school, house, yard, dog, kids....yeah.  Sometimes sinking into bed is just a reminder that your gonna have to get right back up and do it all over again in just a few shorts hours...for what? What in the world is the purpose of all this other than feeling quite like a gerbil on a wheel...they see us, you and me, sweet mama.  It matters.  We do make a difference.  For a lifetime.  And so I'm going to kiss my not so little ones good night, remind them I love them and finish up with a prayer.  Some days that's the best I've got.  Most days, it's all I can muster.  But He's here with us.  Every step, every day....keep going :)

Out Of The Blue - Pockets of Thankful

It's been a tough week. I haven't seen the likes of this kind of pruning in quite a while. And just when you think it's good, God has other plans. Ouch. I feel a little battered today. Walking outside to fill the water tables up for our weekly outside water day at preschool, I looked down. I saw two beautiful, strong legs that amaze me. These have carried me through so much and done things I never imagined they could...I could....and I found a pocket of thankful in that moment. Thank You Lord for two strong healthy legs. I can walk. I can run. I can move with ease, without much thought. I am so blessed. We take the little for granted sometimes when things seem to loom. But in the big picture I have what I need. And today I am choosing thankful.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Behind The Scenes - Big O' Bowls

Linking up with Crystal Stine for Behind The Scenes today.....
This picture makes me laugh.  We were at lunch and taking pictures of our massive bowls of cheese and guacamole.  No real food.  Just our favorite.  Because there is NOTHING cheese can't fix :)  She said "I can't get your head AND the cheese in the picture!!!"  So, I decided to be flexible....and she said "That picture...that's the real you, the one I know...." I forget sometimes, who that girls is.  The days press in, responsibilities linger, I let things get to me....
And in the moments when I let go, even for just a little while, I remember.....I know the days of gentle and peaceable will return.  Things won't always be like this.  The purpose He has for it will prevail and the sun will shine again.  So for now, this is my reminder on days when I might rather pull the covers over my head.  She's in there :) So please pass the chips.....


Monday, July 8, 2013

The Weight of Less

Proverbs 15:16

The Voice (VOICE)
16 It is better to live with less and honor the Eternal
than to have riches and carry the burdens that come with them.
My verse this morning is a reminder....of where I have come from, where I am, where I am going.  There are times when I have had everything I wanted, yet keeping it all cost me dearly.  I have spent to avoid feeling things, accepted less than God's best in order to not be alone, overstretched what I knew was affordable, only to feel stressed, used, worse than what I had began with. 
And so in this state of uncomfortable, this place of not having exactly what I desire, I can look around and see what I do have and truly, it may be perceived as "less" in ways the world looks at it, but from an eternal perspective, it's definitely more.  When you live within what God gives you, the stress and burdens are light.  When obedience is the main goal, then all else will fall into place.
That is not an easy task when you are struggling.  Believing.  Hoping.  Waiting patiently.....sigh....yet I know, His ways are best.  Thankful.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Beauty In The After

Romans 8:18
18 Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.

I was watching a show on television yesterday.  Something I have not really done much of in the past year and a half....but as my life settles, as He moves me back into the routines and the day to day things, they come more and more without grief and without hurt.  There was a time only a few months ago that I couldn't turn the TV on.  It caused me pain.  Anything that reminded me of what was....well, it was just too much to think about.  But as the healing comes, so do those parts of me that still make me who I was, mixed in with who I am today. 

I watched a program I had seen a while ago, before life changed so drastically.  And my perceptions of it seem to have changed too.  I watched the situation unfold, and the struggle, and I thought to myself, wow, how blessed they are even in this trial.  It wasn't that what they were facing was something small or ordinary.  It wasn't.  It was heart wrenching and painful.  But the manner in which they were able to go through it, well, they are really blessed...and I found myself thinking, how fortunate they are....then I heard God whisper... so are you Baby Girl....

He's so right.  How fortunate I am.  As much as this season in my life leveled all that I knew, so much beauty has come from it.  And quite honestly, as hard as this journey has been, how fortunate I am.  I have never known a time where there wasn't a roof over my head, when I wondered how I would feed my children or truly had to worry about how I would paid the bills....not really.  He surrounded me with the support I needed to do all that He would ask of me.  When I stop and look, it seems to me, that the harder the task He sets before us, the more amazing the grace that preceeds it.....when we follow Him, when we will let Him lead, when we will just let go and let Him have His way. 

I'll say it again, even if it's still tender in so many places, I am truly fortunate.  He never gave up on me.  He didn't quit pursuing me.  He sought only to have my heart.  And He was not going to stop until He had it, but you see, He would never just take it.  He never does.  He waited until I would hand it over to Him, willingly, without hesitation. Thankful.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Weary Mom - She's a Big Girl Now

Linking up with the girls at Dear Weary Mom, cause you know we either are one or we know one at some point in time :)
Dear Weary Mom,

Oh some days....we might wish that these teens could be toddlers again for a little while, so we could take a breath, take control....heck, take a nap.  But here we are, running along side these "almost ready to fly" younguns and long for the time when juice or milk? was the question of the day...but then right in the middle of my sighing, I stop to look around at the beauty of this time and this season.  We can miss it you know.  Those cute little conversations we had with those big beautiful eyes staring back at us....they are still there.  They just come in different forms.  I was reminded of that with my sweet girl yesterday.  We aren't always in the same place now days, she and I.  But she's still my girl and I'm still her mom.  So take these small breaths of laughter sweet momma and carry on.  Your not alone :) We are right here beside you, extending a hand to keep you steady on this journey, thankful someone else is extending their to us as we all climb this path we are navigating.

5 Minute Friday - Beautiful

Time to join Lisa Jo and the girls for 5 Minute Friday....5 minutes, no edits or re-writes and love the ones that came before you.

Topic: BEAUTIFUL....Go

This verse comes to mind...about everything He makes, He makes it beautiful for it's time.  In His own time, for a specific purpose, to fulfill His plan.  Beauty may not come packaged the way we think that it should.  Beauty comes most times after something harsh.  Beautiful new green grass after a woods fire, a blue sky after the rains, healing after brokenness.  Beauty comes to us in new friends, looking at old things in a different way and in forgiveness.  All things.....beautiful.  Not some, not when they are perfect or follow all the rules...but all things have a time to be beautiful.  Hurt, pain, bewilderment...all give way to forgiveness, peace and an understanding that we live in a fallen world, but we don't have to love like we do.  And that is truly beautiful.

  Ecclesiastes 3:11
11 and I know God has made everything beautiful for its time.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Instruction Manuals

Isaiah 48:17

The Voice (VOICE)
17 The Eternal One, who rescued you, the Holy One of Israel declares,
Eternal One: I am the Eternal One your God. I have given you My instruction
for living well and right, leading you in how you should be and do.

I stared at my phone early this morning.  One eye opened, the other one was too offended by the light to cooperate.  Go to sleep praying, wake up praying.....what is this place Lord? Seriously.....and His words to me were very simple.  The verse above.  Keep going.  One foot in front of the other.  Breathe.  I'm quite proficient at this actually.....

So I processed this verse as I sat in bed, had coffee....I looked it up in my Bible....my oldest friend.  And as much as that verse speaks to where I am and what He has been talking to me about...oh...the next two verses...they just settled in.

18 If only you had listened to My instruction,
then you would have been flooded with peace;
Your righteousness would have risen and crested like waves on the sea.
19 Your people would have multiplied to become like the grains of sand,
and your children would be like grains of wheat.
And they would be forever in My mind and My presence.
Living wrong has consequences.  But I am so desperately thankful that so does living right.  I didn't get to where I was overnight, so in finding my way back, it probably should be no surprise, the journey is not quick and painless.  When we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him.  When we seek to do His will above all else, He honors that.  It may not always be the easy way.  In fact, I promise you, it sure won't be.  But it is the best choice. Thankful.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Behind The Scenes - Where He Leads

This picture was a month before it all fell apart.  On the outside it all looked so perfect....yet on the inside everything was about to unravel.  And so He is taking me back there it seems as of late.  And I don't want to do it most days, but I must.  To look it in the face, to see it for what it was.  To forgive, myself and those who need it as much as I do. To be able to love in the brokenness and feel certain that handing it all over to Him is the only way.  Even when it seems like I'm walking away....I'm really walking towards.  When I see this picture now, I see us..all of us, walking out of the shadows and into the beautiful Light of what He has in store for us all.  However it looks, whatever we might face in those unknown paths ahead of us.  Only His light can swallow up the darkness.  Thankful.

Monday, July 1, 2013

When Your Feeling Half Way There

Deuteronomy 33:12
12 About Benjamin he said,
Moses: The Eternal’s beloved rests safely next to Him,
protected all through the day,
resting between His shoulders.

It's July.  I made it.  Not sure what I made it to exactly....but I just have that feeling ya' know? I was reading Deuteronomy this morning.  Moses was blessing the people before he died.  Benjamin and his blessing was very different from the rest.  Reading about him back in Genesis, he was the baby, he was favored, he always seemed to get an extra portion.  So when I'm reading about the blessing that Moses gave the others, then to Benjamin, his was short and simple, but it struck me.  He was protected all through the day.  He rested safely beside God.  Between His Shoulders.  What I envision in resting between someones shoulders in being pretty much as close as you can be to them...and they are bearing your entire weight, the whole burden, and you are carried. 

I want to rest between God's shoulders.  I want Him to bear up under me, to carry me, to have the full weight of all that I am.  And that brings rest and something else....if He is carrying me, then He is taking me wherever He wants me to be.  He is in the lead, I'm along for the ride.  It's all You Lord.  I don't want a step without You, so carry me, between Your shoulders, to wherever it is You want me to be. Thankful.