Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter

I watched you today, trying to fit in with those older girls.  I want you to know that you don't have to grow up so fast.  Time is flying by, sweet girl, and there is honestly no need to rush it.  Those girls were mean to you- they laughed at you and made faces but you didn't seem to notice.  You just wanted them to include you.  All the while, this mama's heart was breaking.  Breaking for all the times people you love don't love you back.  Breaking for the day that you realize that you just might not fit into that little space where you want so badly to be.  Breaking for the day your heart breaks. 

Please don't ever be afraid to try new things.  This is a big world and your God created it just for you. He created the animals just for you to love.  He created the green grass to be your cushion when you don't quite land your front aerial.  He created the moon for you to sleep under and the stars for you to count.  It's all for you because He loves you so very much.

Take care of those precious feet.  You have no idea how much they bless your mama.  When I watch you dance, the Holy Spirit pours down on me and I know Jesus is on that stage, dancing with you.  I can see it in your eyes.  You know He is there.  He has given you a gift.  Always remember that it is from Him and thank Him for it every time you twirl, every time you flip, and every time you raise your hands to the sky.

You aren't always going to win.  I love your nine year old naiveté.  I love that you love to compete just because it gets you on a stage.  I love that I have to drag you off stage when it's time to go home. Promise me that when you realize you didn't "win" you won't be upset.  Promise me you will still be happy just to have a chance to place your precious feet on a stage.

Please don't ever take yourself too seriously.  Stay the fun-loving, sweet child that you are.  Don't ever hesitate to laugh at yourself.  

And remember, your mama loves you.  And I am always here.  No matter what.  I'm always on your side.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Goals

I have recently worked through both Creating Your Life Plan & Powersheets and decided it was time to start setting & achieving some goals!  I am quite the planner (if I must say so myself), but I'm not so great on the follow-thru.  Goals have been something that I've always had a hard time reaching, and I have uncovered the reason.  Goals are an ultimate achievement- each goal that you set for yourself must be achieved in steps.  I have never focused on the steps it takes to get to where I want to be.  

Working thru these two programs has helped me learn how to break it down and make smaller goals to ultimately reach one large goal.  I'm linking up with Tiny Twig and sharing my goals here with you in order to hold myself accountable.

What are your goals for May?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Each year I choose a word to lead me through the year.  I have been doing this for several years and it has really helped me to focus and achieve my goals.  The first year I chose the word "create".  My daughter had begun kindergarten and I found myself looking for things to do to fill my time.  When I found myself sitting and doing nothing, I prayed with focus on my word and the Lord provided me with projects to fill my time.

The second year I chose the word "rhythm".  I had a newborn baby and I was trying to juggle taking care of three children and running a household.  I found it easier to do when I settled into a rhythm.  I worked hard to plan my days so they had very few surprises.  I planned when and what we would eat.  Bedtimes were [usually] regular and our days were spent cuddling a new baby, reading books and playing outside.  There were still plenty of unpredictable days and when those days happened, I prayed for rhythm and the Lord would guide me.

Last year, I chose the word "intention".  My goal was to become an intentional mother.  A mother that focused on what she wanted to provide for her family.  A mother that lived every moment of her life as though it were her last.  It was a difficult road and I can honestly say that I disappointed myself more than I wanted to, but I did learn a few lessons along the way.  I learned that every moment  spent with my family is a moment that can be treasured- if I am all there.  If my phone is on silent, my laptop is closed and I am looking into the eyes of my husband and children when I talk to them and with them, then my moments will be full of intention.

This year I prayed to God to give me a word that would lead my steps through a life-changing year.  I prayed "Anything, Lord".  I want to do anything.  Go anywhere.  I want to be of total service to you.

He gave me the word "open".  Open the door.  Open my heart, my mind, my hand to the blessing.  Open my eyes and ears to see and hear where I may be needed.  My life is completely open to you, Lord and I am ready to do whatever you need me to do.

Do you choose a word to guide you through each year?  What is your word this year?

Friday, March 21, 2014

She Shares Truth: Jonah 1 & 2

"But Jonah ran away from the Lord..." Jonah 1:3

Several years ago I had a vision.  Not a vision as in the heavens opened up and I saw what was to come, but a dream that came to me as I sat and prayerfully meditated on my future.  I saw an old white house, restored and brimming with life.  There were 5 bedrooms and each was occupied by a woman and her child[ren].  These woman were from different places- some had left abusive husbands, some were homeless- all were searching for another life.  A life with meaning, an existence with purpose.  

In this old white house, these women and their children found God.  They grew to know love and what it means to be a mother.  They learned how to stand on their own two feet.  They gained strength and found their smile.  They learned how to be self-sufficient, how to manage money, how to cook, clean, sew and garden.  Most importantly, they found joy in being a mother.

I knew this was my purpose.  I knew I had to find that old house and make a home for those women.  

But, like Jonah, I ran away.  Who was I kidding?  I know absolutely nothing about shelters and rescues and battered women.  I have zero business sense.  I didn't even finish college!

Fast forward to 2013.  I'm having a conversation with my pastor when it all comes out.  That vision I had years before.  He leans back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest and listens intently.  He almost seems surprised.  We talk about it for awhile and my heart is about to burst!  I love talking about it- I know every little detail and I can feel my eyes light up.  I lean in and start to use my hands to express my excitement over the plan.  I spend the next couple of days dreaming about it.

And once again, I run away.  I push this vision down- deep in the deepest file of my mind.  Hidden away where it can be forgotten.  I don't have time for it, Lord.  (I don't have time for you, Lord.  I don't have time for your work, Lord.  Not now.  I am so busy with my family and my church.  Maybe another day.)

I run away.

Fast forward to March 2014.  It's all coming back again.  I am reading Jennie Allen's Restless and I am discovering my threads.  Hospitality, Caring, Teaching, Encouraging- these are my spiritual gifts.  I am weaving the threads together when I realize I am outlining my vision.  The vision I had years before.  Once again, I feel the excitement brimming up.  But where do I go from here?

To be continued....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Psalm 38 #SheSharesTruth

Psalm 38
(Words in parentheses are my own)

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
(I've sinned again, Lord.  This time it's really bad.
Please don't let this be the time when it all comes 
crashing down on me.)
For your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down upon me.
(I can feel your disappointment in me, Lord.
I feel the incredible sting of guilt and 
I know you are teaching me to listen, Father.)
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
(Oh Lord, I feel sick.  My sin has overtaken me
and my body is crumbling.   I know you are 
trying to wake me up.  Why am I so blind?
I cannot stand myself.)
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
(God, I can't even get out of bed today.
I cannot bear the weight of my sin.)
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
(Lord, I know I am disgusting.  I know everyone knows
what I have done, so I hang my head low and hope
no one notices me.  I never smile, Lord, because 
smiling is too painful.  I am far too sinful to 
deserve to feel happy.  
My heart is broken, God.)
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me
because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
(I am so alone, Lord.  My hearts longs for a caring friend,
but my neighbors avoid me for fear of what the community
will say about them if they reach out to me.
I cannot even entertain the thought of leaving the house,
Lord.  I know I look battered and beaten down by life.
My sins have made me an outcast and I daresay
I deserve it.  I know you see me and I hate what you see.)
Those who seek my life set their traps;
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they plot deception.
(I hear their murmurings, their whispers.
I sense their stares and I know they
want to watch me destroy myself.)
I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear,
like a mute, who cannot open his mouth;
I have become like a man who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
(I am too ashamed to seek out your voice, Lord.
I cannot speak the words you have given me.
I spend my days ignoring their whispers
and I don't respond to their accusations.)
I will wait for you, O Lord;
you will answer, O Lord my God.
For I said, "Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips."
(I know you will help me through this, Abba.
I know you will hear my cry if I will just 
open my mouth!  Father, my fear is that 
if I remain in this sin, this guilt, 
then it will be easier for me to continue 
sinning than to take the initiative to 
turn my life around.
God, if it's all going to crash down on me, 
please don't let my neighbors and friends
abuse me with their words.
Lift me up, Lord.)
For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
Many are those who are my vigorous enemies;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
(I can feel it coming, Lord.  I know this is it.
I am opening my mouth, Father!  I confess- 
Here me, Abba! I am ready for change!
Everyone has turned against me-
you are all I have.)
Those who repay my good with evil
slander me when I pursue what is good.
(I am trying to turn my life around, God,
but they are still pecking at me. 
My neighbors still spread lies about me
and talk behind my back.)
O Lord, do not forsake me;
be not far from me, O my God.
Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my Savior.
(I am so alone, Lord!  Please come quickly!
Help me face this world, Lord.  Please do not 
leave me to face these people alone.
I am opening my mouth to ask for help,
please open my hands to accept it.)

Father, my prayer today is that you would be with those
who are suffering through heartbreak.  Lord, we are all
sinners.  Help us to remember that when we look upon
those whose sin is public.  Help us to offer support during
others' dark times instead of abusing them with our stares
and whispers.  Use us to lift them up, to raise their faces
to the heavens and seek you, God.  For none of us are 
without sin, none of us have led perfect lives.  When our
neighbors are down, help us to offer our hand to help
them back up.  Let us not join in the murmurings of the
community, Father.  Give us strength to rise above the norm
and offer our love and support even when it isn't what everyone
else is doing.  Help us to go against the flow.  Help us to love, Abba.
In your name we pray,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Psalm 130 with #She Reads Truth

Psalm 130
(My own words are in parenthesis)

"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;"
(Oh Lord, I'm in deep.  
I'm not sure I will be able to crawl out this time)
"O Lord, hear my voice.  
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy."
(Lord, can you hear me?  Oh please listen for my voice!)
"If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared."
(Thank goodness you don't write down every sin I commit!
If you did, it would be better for me to just lay down and give up.
You forgive, Lord, and I will forever honor you- thank you God!)
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning."
(I will wait for you, Lord!!!  I know you will answer my 
cry and when you do, you will see that my hope is 
completely in you!  Without you, I am an empty
meaningless sinner.  I will wait for you forever 
and I will anticipate your coming!!!)
"O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel 
from all their sins."
(Friends, listen to me!!!  Give the Lord EVERYTHING 
you have- He will NEVER fail you!!!  He will rescue 
you from your muddy pit and wash you white as 
snow.  He will save us all and forgive us of 
every sin we have ever committed!
Hear our prayer, Lord!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Approach and Make the Most of the Lenten Season

In years past, I have jumped on the bandwagon of giving up something for Lent.  I listen to my friends discussing life without soft drinks and bread and know that in a week in we will be sitting around drinking diet soda with our pizza.  Why do we attempt to make sacrifices?  Are we really seeing and understanding the true meaning of Lent?  Can giving up chocolate lead to a closer relationship with Christ?

The idea behind the Lenten practice of self-denial is to use the time normally spent on what you are giving up in prayer and communion with the Lord.  So, if you eat a lot of chocolate, then you could devote the time spent eating chocolate to time reading your Bible and the money spent purchasing chocolate you could give to charity.  

In order to make the most of the next 40 days, choose to release something from your life that stands in the way of your relationship with Christ.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose to use your devices ONLY to spread the word of God.  Use your computer for Bible study, tweet inspirational bible verses, Instagram inspiring photos of God's creation (we are using the hashtag #withtheseasons) and BE DONE.  Put it down!  No selfies, no shopping, no Pinterest.  Spend the extra time with your family- creating art and reading books.  Visit family and friends.  Go outside.  Connect ONLY for ministry!
  2. Fast one meal.  Spend that time praying for the hungry.  I would never encourage my children to give up a meal- they are such picky eaters they need all the nourishment they can get!  However, consider explaining to them what you are doing and why you are doing it, then busy yourself reading to them from the Bible while they are eating their meal.  It's a win-win!  You are distracted from hunger and remain centered in why you are choosing to fast.
  3. Read 7 by Jen Hatmaker.  Choose to follow her example.
  4. Give up shopping.  I know you have to buy groceries- that's not what I'm talking about!  When you see something you really want, make a note of how much it cost.  Then use the money you could've spent on new shoes to sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion.  You won't be sorry, I promise!
  5. Choose to eat in instead of eating out.  Prepare meals with your family and enjoy time spent around your kitchen table in your home.  Home should be a haven- a place where your family feels safe and loved.  I don't know what your schedule is like, but commit yourself to serving at least one meal to your family every day.  Join hands around the table and offer prayer to the One that loves you enough to fill your belly with sustaining food that gives you strength and energy.  Use your strength and energy to minister to your family.
  6. Turn off the television.  Come on!!!  In today's advanced times you can easily set your DVR to record your favorite shows.  Chances are you won't even want to watch them at the end of the 40 days!
There are so many options to help you grow in your relationship with Christ- this is just a drop in the bucket.  Pray about it and choose change.  Please consider leaving a message in the comments about what you are giving up for Lent and why you chose that particular thing!  I cannot wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When You Need a Place to Stand

All that I want to do is write.  I dream about writing; I read other writer's works and delve into their lives to find out how and when they began writing.  It's an itch I can't seem to scratch.

But I have nothing to write about.

I go through the day thinking, "I should've taken a picture of that- I could've blogged about it!"  But I never reach for my camera because I don't want to blog only about my life.  My life is nothing exciting.  I'm just a mom.  With three kids.  We homeschool.  I love to knit, sew and cook.  I love to read.  I'm over-involved in church.  I have a difficult time saying no.  I tend to bite off more than I can chew.  

I'm probably just like most of you.

So I can't find a platform.  And the people that teach you how to blog and how to write say you must have a platform.  

What does that mean???   I have to choose one thing to write about?  How do I do that when I am in a million different places in my life?

A platform is something you stand on, something that raises you above a crowd.  If I want to be heard then I must find a surface I can climb on that is higher than the tallest person in the crowd.  

I have to climb high...  and I have to believe.

What do you do when you want to be heard, to be seen?  You climb on the roof and you lower what you want to be seen.... right in front of the One who sees.  

Luke 5:18-20 (The Message)  "Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.”

You reach out for the One that provides.

Mark 5:25-29 (The Message)  "A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with."

You seek out the Answer and walk away BELIEVING.

John 4:46-54 (The Message)  "Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: 'Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.'  49 But the court official wouldn’t be put off. 'Come down! It’s life or death for my son.'  50-51 Jesus simply replied, 'Go home. Your son lives.'
The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, 'Your son lives!'  52-53 He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, 'The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.' The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, 'Your son lives.'  53-54 That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee."

So if I have to choose a platform, a surface to stand on, then I know where I will plant my feet.

Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV)  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."

Thank you, Edward Mote.  Thank you for giving me a song to sing.

"On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand."