Saturday, December 28, 2013

Faith at the Forefront of Friendships.

They couldn't get to Jesus through the crowd so they dug through the clay roof above his head. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My Son, your sins are forgiven."
Mark 2:4-5


The couldn't get to Jesus. They all knew that their only hope relied on him. For themselves and for their paralyzed friend. They fought the crowd. The obstacles placed before them. Making it seemingly impossible to get to Jesus. Their faith and passion was stronger. They found a way. A seemingly impossible way. They dug through clay! Hardened Clay! To lay their friend, the sick man, at the feet of Jesus. Because of their faith He was forgiven. He was free.

Their are so many amazing things that hit me about this passage, that I am not sure where to even start. At the beginning is as good as any I suppose.

How many of us have ever felt like that paralyzed man or his friends? Knowing Jesus is our only hope but not sure how to get there? We are stuck. With what seems like no hope to hope. Until, we have a friend (or 5) come along and carry us when we are too broken to walk. Who recognize the journey is impossible but are willing to take it anyway. The beginning of the journey will be rocky as you learn how to let them carry you or how to carry them. (Which may seem impossible itself if you've been dropped a few times) Yet, they are going to fight "the crowd," whatever obstacles come your way, with you. When that path doesn't work they help you find the next. When that doesn't work you will dig through clay. You will hurt and bleed and give everything you have just to see a glimpse of hope, of Jesus together.

 When we lower our friends down at the feet of Jesus, we are lifting them in prayer. Sometimes we are the ones praying and sometimes we need the prayer. Often times it is both.

Faith at the Forefront of Friendships.

Friendships have been a tough road in my journey.  I have been dropped a few too many times. (at times it seems like maybe it was on my head as I seem to have forgotten at times, how to be carried and/or do the carrying.) Because well, making new friends as an adult is...risky business for those of us who love first and ask questions later. (I recently read a blog post on Rants From Mommyland that placed it perfectly. )

Spoiler: Its worth it. So worth it. 100% worth it especially when Jesus is involved.

God has placed friendships in our lives for numerous reasons. Some we will never know. And while I whole heartedly believe in all types of friendships, I believe those based on Faith in Jesus are a force to be reckoned with. I think the common goal of becoming closer to Him and closer in our friendships is empowering. It allows for the faith in the friendship to be stronger then it could ever be alone. Faith in God makes for stronger individuals and stronger relationships.

I want the faith those people who fought to get to Jesus had. Never letting anything stand in my way of God! I want the faith that the paralyzed man had. Knowing sometimes He uses others to help us get to Him. In Jesus first and always I want that faith. and for friendships he graciously gives me. I want to look at the clay roof and laugh at its insignificance compared to our Lord. I want to know that when I can't get to Jesus on my own, he will use my friends to guide me so that In Him, I may be free.

There are times we will suck at being a friend. There are times we will suck at having them. There are times we will suck at life in general. There are times we will get hurt.

We will learn. How to love each other more like Jesus would. How to carry. How to be carried. We will learn. 

It is worth it.

The LOVE we experience by lifting each other up is worth it to the moon and beyond.

Zoom Zoom.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's amazing how after almost 4 years, I can be going along living as normal as life may get, and see something that takes me back to that day. Once the tears start, it is hard to turn them off.  Most times, as now, I am alone. Hurting. Longing to know just one other person is thinking about him too. Hurts are too easily forgotten when they are not your own. Tonight, I was reminded that I am not alone, and neither is my son. I took great comfort in these few words. Thank you Jesus. Thank you to whomever took the time to make this.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Spirit and the Lack There of...

Joy comes from some of the most unexpected places.

Christmas is coming, or so I hear. You see, I have had a bit of trouble getting into the spirit this year.

For the first time.

In. My. Life.

It was brought to my attention early in the season that Christmas had become one of my "high places." Why would that be bad you ask?

Well, for starters any high place that comes between you and God is a sizeable issue but beyond that...  this "Christmas" that was my high place, was nowhere near what God had intended. I had blindly lost sight of the reason for the season.

Sure, I knew we were celebrating Jesus' birthday. (Regardless of whether he was actually born in December or not)  I thanked God for his priceless Son for a few seconds a day and don't get me wrong, I genuinely meant it. But I was literally spending hours planning the gifts I was going to get my girls for Christmas. Focusing on the best possible present I could give them...or so I thought.

I missed the point.

Big time.

This year we are on and sticking to a pretty tight budget and life has happened here and there and I have slowly watched that Christmas present buying budget shrink into a mere existence and as that budget shrank so did any hope of seeing my Christmas spirit. I started noticing something was wrong. Seriously wrong, when I cringed inside each time my daughter would light up with excitement about Christmas morning. I was dreading it. Terrified of her disappointment. Terrified of ruining Christmas for her.

Then, as usual, it hit me ... (I am beginning to realize that by "it" I mean God. ;)

If I can ruin my child's Christmas spirit by not buying them enough things, toys, and gadgets that won't last more than a year at best I am doing it wrong. I HAVE been doing it wrong. I have been celebrating Christmas in the worldly way and inviting God to join us. I should be celebrating Christmas in God's way and asking the world to join us. Period.

The only answer I have as to how is.... love. Show them love. Let them see you show others love. Spend the time the worldly way of Christmas takes away from them with all the running and shopping ....with them. Reading. Laughing. Talking. Focused attention solely on them and teaching them to show love to others. Something tells me God will do the rest.

I should be teaching my girls the gifts that come from a simple smile, a kind word, and loving heart. Gifts that last much longer than a year. I should be teaching them that the best present comes from being in God's presence and knowing that He is Love.

I have no delusions that this will be easy. They are young and squirrelled by the new and shiny. There very well may be disappointments along the way. Does this mean I will never buy them a present? No. It just means my goal has dramatically changed. I am not terrified of disappointing my children. I am excited by the opportunities to show them beauty in the world and create lasting memories. I even feel a little twinge of Christmas Spirit coming on as I think about the endless possibilities that this allows.  And if, when the time comes, my girls leave home valuing His presence over presents I'll know that I have given them the best present I could possibly give them. The gift of knowing God's gift to us.

Merry Christmas.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Thank You

Thank you.

Two words that seem so small when you stand in awe of our God.

Two words that will never shine a light on all He is or all He has done.

Two words that pale in comparison to the gratitude I feel for God and all He blessed me with in my life.

I often spend time contemplating where exactly to begin. How do you say thank you to the one who gave it all. Who paid it all.  There are so many little things and big things. So many...everythings.

Every time I try to wrap my head around everything He has done for me alone overwhelms me with tears of joy. Then to think I am one raindrop in a sea of people who He loves unconditionally is overwhelming. It is beyond overwhelming it is drop-to-your-knees-and-worship-and-praise-with-nothing-but-reverence-and-love worthy.

To be truthful, I am having a hard time getting through this post because the tears just won't stop rolling. Which, I assure you is typically not the case.

A year ago, I surrendered to His will for my life in a way I had never known before. He led me out of the cage of myself and into a world I had been living in and never seen. He opened my heart which opened my eyes to the gifts I had all around me.

When I made the decision to follow the Lord wherever he would lead me, it was terrifying. He has thrown me way outside my comfort zone time and time again. Yet,I have come to look forward to being uncomfortable for him because it means He is molding me. I had no idea what I had been missing.

This year my thankful list is never ending but one of the bolder points I am and will be forever grateful for is the fellowship and friendships the Lord has placed before me. My heart swells with love for my sisters in Christ. Knowing I am loved just the same.

As I reflect on my growing points this year they were always accompanied by one or more of my sister's in Christ. Whether it be the Easter egg hunt, the women's retreat, or that time I pushed in front of that horrifying microphone that scares me more then ...oh say getting eaten by sharks, there was one constant…the amazing support of the beautiful women around me

I have been blessed with these amazing Godly women in my life. Women who led me, taught me, loved me, and put me in my place when I needed it. Women who cried with me and hugged me. Who laughed with me, and at me.( I am weird, I know. I've learned to embrace it.)

There are many bible verse about being thankful and praising God for his endless blessings and love. However, this is what spoke to my heart. As to me, it defines the women in my life and is his specific instruction as to how we, as mere rain drops, can give thanks to the one who gave it all.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:15-17 ESV

We thank him, by dwelling in his word. We thank him by lifting each other up. We thank him by giving each other counsel. We thank him by sharing our wisdom. We thank him by worshiping with grateful hearts. We thank him by doing everything in love. We thank him by living a life in gratitude.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baffeled and Embarassed

I love words.

No seriously.

I am not well spoken or even overly educated for that matter but I love words. They can pack a lot of punch, have more power then intended or they can quickly lose meaning as we lose site of what we are hearing.

Words penetrate our souls. Deepen our understandings. Expand our imagination to places impossible.

Why is it then have they lost there value when it is seemingly most important? In todays world negativity abounds. I am bombarded with negative words by the hundreds upon logging into Facebook. Words like; "Hate","Don't trust ", "Kill", "Some people really need too..", "Stupid."

My question is why? Why do we feel the need to label, citizen, judge, and hate others before we are compelled to love, trust, encourage, and embrace one another? Do not get me wrong, I have been just as guilty of these words hitting my posts at times too.

It is my opinion that we don't think of the impact we are having when we are spilling our frustrations and reflecting our hurts. Not only to those reading it but to ourselves. By making the choice to put those words out there we are storing them in our hearts until they become all we see in the world.

We focus in on the negative and lose sight of the goodness and light of the world.

You see, I started down this path tonight when I was reading and soaking in the words of this great book. In it was words that HIT me. Words that came from God. "He was pierced for our transgressions..."

Well, being the squirrel that I am ...I thought of the song and immediately had to YouTube it.

Pretty intense. I cried. I bawled. I blubbered. Then I had this embarrassing epiphany. Even I had failed to literalize the words I knew to be true. I have read the bible as a story. Reminding myself later that it actually happened. I was not letting words sink in.

Words God intended for us to absorb with every ounce of our ability. To read and experience the pain, torture, and turmoil that Jesus has to go through for us. We don't picture the gruesome images that were portrayed in that video and I am sure were far worse then our imagination will allow. We don't let the impact of every ounce of sacrifice Jesus made FOR US hit our hearts as it was intended to do. At least not regularly.

How would we live differently if we watched this video every morning and started our day praising God for the gift only he would have been able to give?
He was pierced for our transgressions.
By His wounds we are healed.

It is horrifying that people could be that cruel to someone so perfectly good. We could totally and probably justifiably (I happen to be queen of justifying things) go down that road, but then we would be missing the point.

Jesus loves us enough to endure every lashing and piercing He received. Each one would have been enough for most people to give up. He believed we were worth every stabbing ounce of pain. He loved us in a beautifully, uncontainable way.

Leaving His words to guide us. Leaving His words to comfort us. Leaving His words to teach us.

God knew the power words can hold if we let them. We just have to choose to instill the right words into our hearts.

Mark Batterson said it perfectly:
“‘Let there be light.’ 4 little words that began to defeat darkness at 186000 miles per second. A minute later there were 11 million miles away with all of creation in its wake. Sound waves that God spoke began to create not just our little planet or our nearest star not just our tiny little galaxy but billions of galaxies. Those 4 words spoke at the very beginning of creation are still creating galaxies at the outer edge. That’s the power of God’s voice. That’s the power of words. That’s a picture of the words and the power of words that God has entrusted to each one of us.”

What will you do with the power the Lord has given you?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm aware

Today is infant and pregnancy loss awareness day.

But for those of us who have lost a child, everyday is our loss awareness day.

We are reminded daily of the child we live without. Sometimes suddenly without warning and others on our own behalf.

We are reminded of our children when we see yours who are the same age they would be.
We are reminded of our children when we look at our own and know there is one missing.
We are reminded of our children when we see a pregnant Mama.
We are reminded of our children when hear certain words.
We are reminded of our children when we hear certain songs.
We are reminded of our children when we see a special picture.
We are reminded of our children when we go to certain places.
We are reminded of our children when we see our family picture, minus one.

We are all reminded of our children constantly and have to make the choice weather or not we want to let our selves submerge in the memories of our loss and longing or weather or not we quickly move on into our reality. Both options come with the feeling of hurt and faint emptiness.

Our reminders are daily. Our reminders are painful. Our reminders are necessary.

You see, while with each reminder we quickly experience our loss all over again, we also have the opportunity to focus on the positive. That is the life of our child and while they may not be alive in this world they are more alive then our heads can contain in heaven. We can relish in the fact that our children will never know what it is to suffer or hurt. They will never feel pain or loss. They will never know rejection or anger. 

They know Jesus in a way we aren't able to in this world. They dance and play and love. They get to personally witness God and all his Glory. They live a life our imaginations can't touch.

As a mother, all I have ever wanted was for my children to come to know and love the Lord. To find the peace only He can offer. My son got a "go directly to Heaven card." He has the privilege of skipping the hard stuff and only ever knowing unconditional love. And while my soul desperately longs to hold him and see his beautifully created being, this Mama takes comfort in knowing that until I can my Donavin is rockin' it in heaven with Jesus.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Moved to Tears

I took a step back tonight.
I took a look at where this all started.
I am moved to tears by God's perfect plan for my life.

I lost my son. I gained more of His.

The blessings that have unfolded since that painful day are more then I knew to imagine for my lifetime.

I have been focusing solely on the journey at hand. Trekking the paths laid out for me with diligence and determination. Noting the blessings of beauty and hardship that surrounded me in that moment.

Tonight I took a look behind me at the picturesque landscape the Lord knew he was creating. The path I have been on is nothing short of beautiful.

Even more enthralling to me is what's to come. I can feel it stirring in me. I know it is good and I know God will be Glorified!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tithing and How Much Can Change


Tough Subject.

A place of guilt for most, myself included at one point.

Strong opinions are plentiful on this matter. I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly nervous about writing this out for fear of offending someone.

It took a leap but now I look back and wonder how in the world I ever thought where we were would be better then where we are now.

   You see, I was like many others I know. I started out giving what cash I could pull out of my wallet in time for the offering baskets to go by. Later giving myself a "well deserved" pat on the back for being so generous. (Paying no mind that I chose the $10 over the $20 that still remained safe in my wallet or that I spent more on coffee in a week then I gave in a month.)

  From then I learned it was about consistency. So I inconsistently tried to consistently tithe random amounts of money to God. Deceiving myself into thinking I was doing pretty good but hiding from the guilt of knowing that I should be giving more money. After all, God wanted more of my money right?

Lets just put that thought away...

Time moved on (Crazy how that happens!) We slllooooooowwwwwwlllllllllllyyyyyyy moved into regular giving. (I'm talking years people) Not always regular amounts but regular giving.

Then about a year ago, I entered a stage of growth in my faith like none I had ever experienced and along that journey my tithing practices were on my heart. I can honestly say that at that point I don't think I had ever tithed a full 10% of any income. I felt the Lord prompting me....challenging me in this area.

Scripture is very clear when we open ourselves to the Lord. I spent a long time justifying WHY I just couldn't give 10% or WHY it was OK that I didn't. "I help out at church." "I'll give when we start making more money." "We just moved into a more expensive place, once I get a handle on things then I will start tithing 10%"

I realized through that period of growth that most of my set backs, my issues with people, places, things, or even God and His word were my doing. They were my excuses. They were my justifications. They were my insecurities. They were my trust issues. Most of my hurdles were perfect placed by no one other than me.

So how was tithing any different?

There were a million reasons not to. There was only one reason to do it.

Trust in God.

After praying and discussing we started tithing a full 10%. I couldn't tell you the exact day or even the month. There was no profound moment or epiphany. Just a tugging on my heart and one of the most difficult decisions to make.

It has been a journey.

There was no instant lottery win but we had food on the table and a roof over our head for a long time when the math didn't add up. We came to a point of extreme financial hardship. Our bills were just more then our income. We came to a point where we were at a loss of what to do. My husband was waiting to hear back from an interview but nothing was certain and we needed immediate help.
We prayed. Hard. Not for more money but for guidance and for God's will to be done. We were prepared for whatever he decided for us, even if it included losing our house. We were at peace.

However, Through prayer and some very generous people God provided our short term needs.

During this difficult time, not knowing if we would need to move next month, our decision to continue to tithe a full 10% was challenged causing us to really evaluate our motives for our tithe.

We sought counsel, who graciously told us to go to scripture and to God. There was no quick answer.

So we prayed, we read scripture, and we asked ourselves why it is we tithe.

The answer surprised us.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the money.

It was our commitment to trust God, not just with money, but everything! It was a tangible way to say THANK YOU LORD for ALL you provide! It was an on going reminder of who is to be first in our lives! It was putting into perspective that money is worthless and God is our treasure!

 It was a weekly leap outside of our worldly comfort zone, into our spiritual growth.

The decision to continue to tithe a full 10% was possibly more impactful then the first.

I could go on to tell you that we have been blessed with new jobs and pay increases, which is true but holds little value compared to the ultimate blessing we have received through tithing. A deeper, stronger relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now the only question we have is how much more to give. Lord, what would you have us do?

And Because I couldn't help myself, I stumbled across this gem a couple weeks ago:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back from....who knows where.

   I am often in awe of the amazing people I have in my church family. I often wonder if others get to experience the joy of fellowship and love in their churches as we do at Woodhaven Community Church. There are SO many people I look up to and love whole heartedly. I know God has placed us all together for HIS glory and strongly believe we have only seen the tip of  His amazing power. We are destined to bring Him glory in awesome ways, I can feel it.
   I can not believe I held myself back for so long from experience a love so unique, words don't speak of it. I had to breakthrough the barriers of myself to see the amazing scratch that. Amazing PEOPLE he laid before me. I had to let go and release all of the weight I was dragging down upon myself and give it to God, who was standing there waiting for me to be ready to trust Him enough to handle it.

The Road Travelled.

   I opened my eyes new to this world with wonder and curiosity and started down this journey called life. I walked along the rocky road unknowingly searching for something to make me whole. I looked in all the wrong places. I would look at that glittering bag sitting on the side of the road, calling my name, certain it was what I had been looking for I would run to it faster then my thoughts could follow. Only to pick it up and realize the weight of it was more then I had bargained for but it was mine. I was going to carry that bag. Straight on until the next one. Until, I found the next gorgeous, shimmering bag screaming to belong to me. I picked it up without so much as a thought for the one I was already carrying. I had to have that bag. And I did. I carried it.
    Oblivious to the burden that was beginning. I kept searching and picking up these bags until I had more then I could even remember. Some lost in the mix of the rest of them. I knew they were heavy but I didn't realize the weight of them. So I continued on my path, trying to control every step I took and juggle all these gorgeous bags that were beginning to look pretty unsightly.
   Until one day, I took a step that was different then my own and realized there was someone beside me. A gentle loving soul. Peaking my curiosity, I looked from the corner of my eye on occasion to ensure he was still there. He made me nervous and at peace at the same time.
    I continued down the rocky road, a little more aware of the steps I was taking with every foot. Finding new bags but growing more weary of their contents I began to be more selective on the bags I would add to my collection. Feeling the discomfort but unaware of where it was coming from.
    I continued. The man was still there. With each step I took I let my thoughts run wild at who he could be? What could he want? Why is he following me? Until, one day he said to me. "I could carry those if you'll let me." He wanted my bags! Uh ugh! No way Mister. I got these all on my own. I am a big girl I can handle it. He smiled a gentle smile and we continued.
   As those rocks hit my feet, I became more aware of the weight of what was carrying. It was my bags. They were heavy but they were mine. I couldn't let them go. Could I? Ok maybe just this little pink one...its not too big. If I give up this one the weight will let up a bit and this guy will feel better that I am actually trusting him. " Here ya can have this tiny little purse." I guess I don't need that one anymore.
  Boy, was I proud of myself. I let the guy have that little one. I am making him feel good. Yay me.
    Relief was fleeting. It wasn't long before the weight became unbearable. O.K. have to give up a couple more or I won't make it much further. With a meek smile, I offered him a couple more. He again took them with a smile. Without a word, we continued.  Weird, It was almost as if the world around me was getting clearer.
    As the journey continued and I continued to survey the weight of my bags, I chose to pick up less of them. Falling weak to a few.
   As the steps grew heavy, and I released a few more, I began to recognize this man as my comfort. Still further on I began to recognize him as my friend and even further still I realized he was my father. I stood still upon that realization. I stood still for a long while.
    Until the day came, when I decided to trust him with all of those bags, I once thought so beautiful. I thought I would be nothing but he had been with me long enough so why not. I trusted him.
    So as we stood still, I handed him my bags one by one.
 I released the last one and a light shone through my life like nothing I had ever seen! I was free from a prison I hadn't noticed I was in! I looked to the man beside me with clarity and love. Jesus! My Jesus! I ran to his arms into an embrace so unlike those of the bags I held for so long! My Savior! My Redeemer!
   Tears streamed down my face as the realization of everything I had done had entered my mind, the bags I had collected, the sin I had accrued. Then sobs overwhelmed me when I realized they were gone. He had taken those awful things from me with a smile on His face and they were gone. He paid the price for my sin. He carried all that weight of mine and took it with Him to the cross. So I could stand here and be forgiven. So I could stand here and be loved. So I could stand here and Praise Him always. My search was over and what I had been searching for had always been my side. I am complete with Jesus.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Control Freak Trust Issues

 Hi, My name is Kristina and I am a control freak.

I have been losing my mind for about 2 weeks now. You see, in my last couple of posts I mentioned all these trials that I seem to be going through. I have talked about God carrying the weight and allowing them to be blessings. I believe this to be true. Completely true.

However, I was still not in complete trust with the Lord. I knew he was carrying me through this and working hard on my character. I knew that I would be more like who he intended at the end of this.

I knew he was carrying me through this battle but I still thought I held the sword.

You see God lifted the weight of all these trials and I looked up in the air and saw them all just sitting there. So I worried. A little and then a lot. The more I worried, the more I seemed to have to worry about. Those trials way up there in the air were going to drop, I just knew it. Because you little problems are far to big for God. (Yes, I see know in hindsight how ridiculous this sounds)

Another trial was added to the mix. The control freak in me is having a not so minor melt down. "Come on God, just ONE definitive answer to ANY of these problems would be awesome right now" Every trial was just sitting up in the air...mocking me I swear.

My worrying multiplied. My little buckets of "whoa is me" and "what ifs" started taking over my path to God. I started to get lost in them and when I looked down at my reflection in them, the person I saw was not me.


wait for it...


Or more appropriately, church happened.

Or even more appropriately, Proverbs 3:5-6 happened.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I've been trusting the Lord completely right?!

(Insert wrong answer buzzer here) 

No!!!!  And if it wasn't obvious enough, my little worry buckets have made my path so beyond crooked I couldn't walk straight if I tried.  And it is a well known fact that worry buckets and crooked paths are an obvious absence of trust in God. DUH!!

My worry is the complete opposite of trust. 

Ouch. (Sorry Dad ) 

Our minds can not fathom what God has in store for us. My mind literally can not wrap around the plans he has for me. It is not my job to try. We are not called to figure out or even understand what He is going to put in place for us next. 

When I take on that impossible job it leads to worry and stress and in turn my worry and stress take away from my trust in God and drag me away from my very purpose for living. We are called to trust Him completely (NO little worry buckets) and accept that we will never know whats to come until HE allows it to arrive. That is when He works the hardest in our lives.(You know...pushing out the stubborn parts of the clay he is molding)

The more we worry, the more we have to worry about but when we submit to Him completely and TRUST Him WHOLE heartedly he clears the path for us to be everything He intended. 

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, 

Thank you for your amazing grace and mercy Lord. Please forgive me for my offensive lack of trust. Please help me to let go of my longing to control what only you can and know that you are in control always. Lord, I ask that you clear my heart of any worry I may have so the path to you is cleared. Let your will, not mine, be done. 

In Jesus Name, 

Trust. Believe. Pray. Achieve. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'm not who I was...

Today I had the privileged of listening to an awesome sermon from the pastor at my church. The subject? Trusting God.

However, there was one moment in the sermon that frankly, got a little awkward. It was out of the norm and a little weird. It was also kind of intense. Our pastor asked us to turn to each other and tell the person next to you one thing God has done for you lately.

Lately? Huh? Well, I am in what I would call a "storm" of trials at the moment and to be honest I couldn't think of anything profound or "awe inspiring" to say.

My answer? He has provided a roof over my head. (Yes, I seem to be in the habit of embarrassing my self with spoken word lately) While it is completely true that God has indeed provided a roof over my head in somewhat difficult circumstances it seemed strange to me that I could not come up with anything bigger than that. God is way bigger than a roof over my head even this fool knows that ;)

As I contemplated this all day I looked back on all God has done for me throughout my lifetime. (and by "All" I mean everything my insignificant little human brain could come up with)

It hit me.

God has allowed these trials in my life as a blessing.  My "storm" is my gift. It is what God has done FOR me.

Every time I look back to a gift from God there is a trial that led me to it or helped me accept it.

My husband for example, was that boyfriend that just infuriated me while keeping me smiling but I couldn't let go of for some reason. Then He found God.  He led me to the Lord.

My marriage is strong because of God and a very hard trial we went through early in our marriage that forced us to learn to communicate and appreciate each other.

Losing some of my best friends for various reasons has taught me what I should avoid and what I should value in a friend and has prepared me for my amazing, kindhearted, loyal, straight forward, hilarious, and loving best friend I have today.

The loss of my son has taught me more then I could ever begin to list but I think a couple of the biggest was how much LOVE and support my family really has and it has given me a compassion and understanding for people going through the loss of a loved one.

The lack of church I had growing up has given me a passion for teaching in our church and an unexplainable joy of teaching my own children. 

This list goes on and on. And on.

And on.

Through every trial God has blessed me with he has helped me learn, love, grow, and be more then I ever thought possible for myself.

He has done more for me then I will ever know. Not only will I trust Him through my trials, I will praise Him through the storm because through them His love shines through the brightest.

So thank you God and Pastor Brad for awkward moments that get you thinking and realizing 1,000 more reasons (as if you needed 1 more) to trust God in all He does.

Monday, July 8, 2013

We all just need a big fluffy comforter.....

You know that feeling of perfection you get when you lay down and curl up under a big fluffy comforter? It is soft, warm, crisp, and clean. There is just no place in the world you would rather be!

God is my comforter.

He is perfection.

(Yes, I know....another analogy. It seems to be my thing, just go with it)

We all go through trials. Sometimes they pile on you and feel like you are being crushed. It is one thing after another and many times one thing on top of another, and another....and another. You are pushed farther then you think you can handle. (Luckily, God knows better)

This has been my week. There has been a lot...and I mean a lot. And for a few of my friends, it has been a ton. I found my self today grumpy, stressed, and being a big complainer which are generally not adjectives I would use to describe myself. (Most of the time)

So the last couple nights, I have opened my bible to SOAP (Bible Study & Journal) and had to laugh at how plainly God laid it out for me.

Night one:
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me..
2 Corinthians 12:9

Night  two: 
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4

He might as well have added a big TADAAA! At the end.

I knew that through all this God is working in me. I just didn't know why. Well....


Here he was ready and willing to be my comforter. I just had to stop being a "big complainer" long enough to notice it is no where near....all about me and my troubles. It is always about Him and bringing glory to His name.
God is my soft, warm, crisp, clean comforter. Only he is the best one you can get....He is like SUPER comforter (Top of the line if I do cheese so myself) The one that lifts the weight right off you and holds it for you.

But more then that the reason I need comforting is because I need to learn how to show others God's comfort as well. He has to teach me to be what He knows someone else will need one day. He has to mold me and break me to be who He wants me to be. So that I can bring Glory to His name EVERYDAY... Not just when things are peachy.

 God has a plan for long as we stay wrapped in the perfect comfort He is offering.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fill Me Up

We are talking about Stephen (Acts Chapter 7) today folks. Why you might ask?? Because I can't shake him. I  have tried but I SOAP'd on Act 7:60 today and ever since them I can't get the dude off my mind. Therefore, I can only assume I am supposed to put him on yours.

So, there he was getting stoned to death ...

STONED to death! Is it just me or does this paint the most awful picture in your head?! The guy is getting beating to death with rocks because of his love of the Lord.

I have had to ask myself what I would be thinking or more accurately, praying if I were in his shoes.

"Lord, please make this stop!"

"Lord, please make me numb!"

"Lord, please make this quick!"

I would be begging for relief for sure. I mean if you were surrounded with people beating you with rocks wouldn't you?

But not Stephen. No dear Stephen prayed for his persecutors. He prayed for the guys holding the rocks. He prayed for those inflicting his gruesome pain. Talk about "others oriented." No, I think this goes far beyond that.

 The bible says he was FILLED with the Holy Spirit. Completely. Filled.

Which in hindsight seems obvious. I mean is there truly a person out there with a heart for others like that? That through their pain and torment can pray for their tormenters. I mean sure we can pray for our enemies but the question is can we pray for them while they are attacking us?

I don't know about you my friends but my prayer is that I can be FILLED with the Spirit as Stephen was. That my heart can be so filled with love for others that my own troubles are minimized and irrelevant. That my hurts are not because I am being attacked but because my attackers don't know the love of the Lord or that its worth is far more then everything in this world combined. More then our minds are able to comprehend. I pray that I am so filled with the Spirit that God's love shines through to those not even aware of what they are missing.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bubbles: Bursting and Building

 *Disclaimer- Tired and borderline delirious. I assume no responsibility if this makes absolutely no sense.

Why do we shove ourselves inside a bubble?
Why do we construct these huge concrete walls that no one can break through.

I am convinced it is so God can burst them.

That's right folks, God is that kid that likes to pop your bubble and knock down that tower of blocks you just built.

Why you might ask? BECAUSE HE CAN!

He does it to show you that he is an all powerful, all knowing, AMAZING GOD! The difference between those preschool kids and God is...well a lot of things, but the one in particular I am referring to is that he does it out of LOVE.


You see, we place ourselves inside our comfort bubbles and hide behind these walls so no one can hurt us. So we can't humiliate ourselves by being vulnerable. So no one will judge us. Because "No one can possibly understand what we are going through." But it gets lonely in our bubble and God knows it. We know it. So while no one can hurt us no one can fully love us either because we don't come out of our bubble or peak around the corner of our wall long enough to let them see who we really are. In a lot of ways we don't really know who we really are. God does.

God knows every tiny little thing there is to know about us.

 And. He. Loves. Us. Anyway.

Say what?!?

Yes, he KNOWS us AND stills LOVES us. Crazy right?


And as if that wasn't enough, he knows that there are so many others watching, waiting, and willing to love us too. All those other bubbles who "can't possibly know what we are going through" have really experienced a lot of the same or similar problems. AND they are waiting to shower us with love so we can grow. (Did I just lay out the cheese or what?!?) Cheese or not, I speak the truth. God wants us to grow in our relationships with Him and Each other. We grow better together.

So He pops our bubble or knocks down our wall. He calls us to do crazy things. Uncomfortable things. So we can learn to do AMAZING things in our walk with Him.

And for the sake of my safety, I thought it best to explain that God pops your bubbles so He can build you into the bubble He wants you to be. So you can connect with other bubbles and be stronger say in an amazingly awesome and UNDERSTANDING Women's ministry. Because SOAP and the Living Water make bubbles and bubbles are awesome. I love bubbles. (Don't hurt me ;)

The moral of the story folks is that you are an amazing, beautiful, child of God. He knows it and he is longing for you to believe it. When you fully believe it and live your life accordingly there is NO limit to what he will do in your life. You are made new. Your eyes will be opened to all of the beautiful bubbles around you.

awww bubbles!

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
 Colossians 2:7

Monday, May 13, 2013

Titles Are For People Who Have a Clue as to What They Are Going To Write About

Do you ever have that feeling...that you are just dying to tell someone something? Anybody really. It doesn't matter who. You just have all this excitement and emotion just DYING to escape you. You contemplate telling your kids but realize that they will just look at you like you are crazy...even though you fully realize you might just be. You may...or may not, glance out the window wishing someone would catch your know so you can run and tell a stranger.

Then it just happens to dawn on you that you have absolutely no idea what it is you want to say. You are so excited to spill and share....what?!?

Thats me. The crazy lady about to run out on some un-expecting victim walking by just to release this crazy exciting feeling and tell them all about...what exactly.

I have absolutely no clue.

All I know is it's because of this pushy BFF of mine. Seriously, you know the one...brutally honest. Can't hide from them even when you try to pull the wool over your own eyes.

No dear friends. You can't even stick your fingers in your ears and "lalalalalalala" this voice out.

Jesus is just not taking no for an answer. He's that friend that is going to tell you things about yourself you don't want to know with a BIG "WHOMP THERE IT IS."
He is going to fill you with that crazy love of His and make you NEED to look like a fool.

I can picture it now...some un-expecting soul walking to the grocery store to get a gallon of milk when some lunatic comes running out of their house..."Excuse me, Excuse me...can I talk to you?"
"Ugh sure, but I am on my way to the store."
"That's OK it will just take a second"
"'s the thing...I am not sure what I am supposed to tell you, but Jesus told me to come talk to you."
Crazy right?!

But What if...

That person was going to get hit by a car and God wanted you to intervene. 


They were going to the store to buy some cat food so when they went home to kill themselves the cat would have something to eat until some found it. (yes, I know I said MILK but bare with me)


They just needed to talk to someone.


God wanted to show them that people do crazy things in the name of His love.


God just has a really good sense of humor.

You just don't know.

See, that is how he fixes you. Making you go out of the norms of this world because He is not of this world and neither are you.

You have to look crazy for Jesus so you can stay humble.
You have to look crazy for Jesus to be His witness.
You have to look crazy for Jesus to grow in Jesus. 

I was recently introduced to this amazing video through this even more amazing speaker Lori Dixon. If you don't know should. Anyway, she showed this video at the beginning of a conference and it changed the way I view crazy. Watch it. Now.

That's right people. Regardless of what the world or country music star Miranda Lambert tells you, you don't want to "Hide your crazy." Jesus uses crazy to show His love and if you are listening and obeying his prompts to do crazy on His terms,  humble growth is unavoidable and you can stand tall before THE Judge.

My prayer for you today is that you listen to the Holy Spirits callings and do something crazy for Jesus.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sometimes I forget...

I have a son.

He died.

Sometimes I forget.

Life is busy. Sometimes that is sweet. Sometimes not ,but life is busy non the less. I enjoy my business most days because for the most part I do it for purposes I love. I get caught up in the day to day. The to-do lists of it all.

I think of him daily in passing. I have momentos everywhere that represent my sweet boy. Including a necklace I only take off 10 minutes a day (if I am lucky) to shower but he is so ingrained in everything I do that I sometimes forget to look past the "memento" and remember that I had a son. He died. He is no longer here and will not return to this world. (No matter how many times Addy asks)

Then it happens. You are going through the motions hiding the Easter basket stuff in an empty chest when you realize it is not empty but has one of his boxes in it. You set it aside and put the stuff away.


It is such a beautiful box. It was made by a beautiful person. It is labeled "Letters to Heaven." You know what is in it. You know what will happen if you open it. Everything will stop and you will remember. You had a son. He died. You are missing a huge part of you. But the box is beautiful. It was made to be opened and it hasn't been opened in a long, long time.

I opened the box. I remembered and I was reminded that I wasn't the only one who was touched by my precious baby boy. You see this particular box was out at his first birthday celebration. In it is letters to Donavin. Not just my Donavin, but their Donavin. It reminded me of all the lives he has touched and all the beautiful people I have in my life who helped God lift me up when I couldn't carry myself. People I hadn't expected. People with beautiful words for my son that have touched my life in a most inspiring way.

Sometimes, I forget. Sometimes, they do too. It is because he is an everyday part of our lives that we forget that it took much pain to get here. In the moments after his death, I feared these days. I never thought they would come. Now I know that it is not something to be feared but something to remember. It took a lot to get to this point.

Today is Good Friday.

I can't help but think of the connection. Today is the day we remember Jesus's death and how he willingly died so that we could be forgiven. He is not just my Jesus, he is everyone's. Were those around him, who loved him dearly at the time of His death feeling the same as I? Did they mourn with deep reverence? Did they too have the little mementos so ingrained in everyday life that they too soon forgot to take the time to remember?

Today. Do we too have mementos of Jesus that are so ingrained in our everyday lives that we forget to stop and take the time to remember the sacrifice that made this life possible? Do we forget to mourn the one who gave His life for ours, the one that first loved us so that we may know and show love? Do we get so caught up in the to-do lists of it all that we forget to give him the second glance he so reverently deserves? Do we only stop to stare, remember, and contemplate on the day of his death or day of his rising?

No, He was made to be remembered. He was made by a beautiful God. He is everything beautiful in this world. I love the life He has given me and I don't want to forget the pain He endured to bring me here. I need to make everything stop so that I can take the time to remember.

I have a Savior.

He died.

Sometimes I forget. 

Lucky for me, He died to forgive.

Lucky for me, He lives to teach me to remember.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Interrupting the "Wisdom" for a Parental Break Down

This is what I saw when I woke up this morning and checked the calendar.

This is what caused an explosive leak in both my the same time.

This is why I am reluctant to let tomorrow come...

My baby is turning 6.
 Its a big deal!
 No, really it is.

If I didn't like birthdays so much I might just take the calendar down and pretend its not happening.

I have TRIED to convince her that she is turning 5 again but teaching her how to count has come back to bite me.

We have moved on to TWO hands people!

This is a big deal for more then my mild obsession to convince my children to stay little forever. This is terrifying. So long as we could count her age on one hand we were safe. The teenage years were far away but they are coming and I am terrified. How am I supposed to raise a God loving, self respecting, others oriented, kindhearted, smart, young woman in a world with so many worldly things working against me? How in the world do I find balance with letting her participate in things like social media and still help her to enjoy the present physical world? How do I teach her that Jesus is all she will need? How do I tell her that just because "all her friends are doing it" does not mean it is allowed? How do I teach her there are RESPECTFUL ways to disagree with an adult but regardless of the disagreement she is still the child? How? I am at a loss. Have I mentioned I am terrified?

Yes, I am fully aware that she is "only" turning 6 but it seems that these days that means I only have 6 years left until she is full on Pre-Teen.These 6 years have flown by MUCH faster then anticipated so that certainly doesn't leave much hope for the next 6. Is it just me or are the teenage years every Mom's worst nightmare? How will I survive?! How did this even happen?!





On a good note. I have managed to keep her alive and well for 6 years! Yay me!...oh and the hubby, I guess he helped too ;) And in my EXTREMELY biased opinion she is sweet, smart, considerate, loving, God loving little girl. She lights up my world and shows me every day just how beautiful God's blessings can be. I am lucky to call her my daughter and I know that with God in her life she will be just fine.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Be Salty Salt

Be Salty Salt.

It's my new motto.

Now, if you are like me your mind jumps back to the once famous musical talent's of Salt N' Pepa. Which makes me smile. And laugh. And then cringe. In exactly that order. And as desperate as my fingers are to type explanations of all of the above...I am afraid that would completely derail this post and likely have opposite affects of the desired intention.

No folks, this post (as misleading as the the title may be to most of you..or maybe just me) is not in fact, about the infamous Salt N' Pepa* but about doing the work God has called us to do. (Did I really just use Salt N' Pepa and God in the same sentence!? Lord, help me.) 

Ok....must not get derailed.
(Fair warning...this may be a lost cause. I seem to be having a difficult time getting to the point. ;)

So here it is. God calls us to be the salt of the earth. But what does that mean? I know what it means to me and I will get to that later but I was curious to see what Google had to say about it. I came up with many wonderful adjectives; dependable, good, kind, helpful, caring, considerate. In general it seems to be known as a person having a positive impact on others.

So God wants us to have a positive impact on others, be good, kind, dependable, caring, considerate, and helpful? Yes. I believe he wants us to be all those things. But is it enough?

That was a question I asked myself tonight as I was doing my SOAP on Luke 14:34- 35. 
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Is it enough to be nice and blend in? I mean salt is salt right? No. I believe this passage is saying it is not and actually if you have a Life Application study bible you will see the notes say the same. It is not enough to blend in. 

Don't get me wrong. The sad truth is in this day and age I believe that just being the "salt of the earth" will set you apart from others. The truth is a lot of people do not want to take the time to be nice, considerate, and courteous.  Not all, but a lot. 

My revelation through my SOAP tonight was that if we embrace what God has given us...we will be "salty salt." If we use the gifts he has graciously blessed us with to the best of our ability and pair it with being the "salt of the earth" (or an exemplary example of a nice person) we will be "salty salt." We will do more then blend in with a crowd. We will require that second glance and if we are on the right track we will cause enough commotion to have people question the why and the how of what we do. And I believe, if our hearts are in the right place and our focus is on our heavenly Father, we will have an opportunity to give the glory to God. That folks, is what being "the salt of the earth" means to me.  

Just to be clear, I do not believe God wants us to be in the spotlight. I believe He wants us to challenge others to put HIM in the spotlight. In fact, looking back now that is exactly what brought ME to CHRIST in the first place. My (now) husband was a better version of himself then I had previously known. All sorts of changes had taken place for the better. He was being "Salty Salt." (I really should start calling him that for my own entertainment purposes) When he had caused enough commotion for me to start asking the why's and how's ...he gave me one simply complicated answer. Jesus. Then he asked ME to go to CHURCH! And you know what, I was just curious enough to say yes.

Here is the ironic part. All I have ever wanted to do is blend in. Be accepted, liked, maybe even loved but blend in.  I never wanted to stand out in a crowd. Speaking in public terrifies me. I trip and stumble over my words and give the redness of a tomato a run for its money. (This has been proven more times then I care to count) It is because it challenges me that I know that it is important. God doesn't give us easy. He gives us character. He builds that character by challenging what we settle to believe of ourselves. 

My friends, I do not believe that God wants us to ride the waves. I believe he wants us to create them. 

He wants us to be the superb seasoning in a bland world. 

He wants us to be SALTY SALT. :) 

*Please note that I intentionally did not post any links or pictures related to Salt N Pepa out of sheer embarrassment that they are even mentioned in this post. Just trying to keep it real folks...Just trying to keep it real ;)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Childlike Faith...

Here I am again. I wonder what is in store. Ok, I at least have an idea this time.

It can mean different things to different people.

I learned last night what it meant to me. To have "Childlike Faith" (as Jesus put it) is to be brave, bold, and completely and lovingly trusting. Not the first thing you think of when you think of Children I am sure. In fact, for a long time I associated it with being innocent, fragile, and blissfully ignorant. I am in awe of just how wrong I was. (Me, wrong? Shocker right?!? ;) 

You see last night I got to witness childlike faith in action. I got the privileged of seeing a typically quiet little boy step up and volunteer to pray in front of 15 or so of his peers. He was praying for another child who had gotten hurt earlier in the evening. The prayer itself was beautiful and I was amazed at his genuine love, concern, and compassion for his fellow classmate. Yet, as I reflected even more I realize I was more amazed at his braveness, boldness, and his complete loving trust in the Lord. I was amazed at this child's childlike faith.

I don't know about you but I consider stepping up to speak in front of anyone brave. This boy was brave enough to do it in front of 15 of his peers without a blink of an eye. If he had any fear of being judged you didn't see it. As an adult, I fear judgement. As I child I know I was quiet the judge myself. For this little one to overcome that and not only speak but pray, where you tend to be more vulnerable,  was an exemplary picture of bravery.

He was bold as well. He knew why he was praying, to whom he was praying, and for what he was praying and he was not afraid to ask for it. He prayed for the little boy who was hurt, the doctors, and the right medicine. He knew what he wanted for the other little boy and he didn't hesitate to ask. I think sometimes we get too caught up with thinking we have no right to ask God for anything with all he has given us already...even when the prayer is for someone else. I know at times when I consider what I am praying for I wonder why God would bother with those things when there are so many others who need more. Who's needs are greater. We lose sight of the fact that we have an ALL powerful God who is capable of far more then our mind can begin to comprehend. A God who's love for us is greater then we will ever know. This boy showed not only that he knew those things but that he believed them wholeheartedly.

All of the above points to one powerful conclusion. That little boy loved and trusted God completely. I don't even know how to elaborate on that. He cast every fear he had aside out of love for God and love for the other child. He knew God had the power to provide what was needed and trusted Him to do so. He trusted that God would protect him if he should encounter judgement. He trusted the Holy Spirit to give him the right words. He knew the Father was with him, loved him, would listen to him, and love and help those he prayed for. No questions. He knew.

That my dear friends, is childlike faith as Jesus put it.

Unquestionable trust.
Genuine love of others.
Bravery to overcome scary situations.
Boldness to talk to God as if he is...God.
Love for God.
Unconditional TRUST.

Simple but powerful. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Growth Without God is an Illusion

Here are a couple of my 1st visual aides I made w/quotes I loved from Pinterest.

I have been thinking about them a lot lately. Truth is, I don't do long term goal's well. Truth is, I generally don't think of goals as anything other then my weekly to-do list. (You know, the ones that I HOPE will get done, intend to get done, but don't actually have any desire to do.) It is not because I have anything against long term goals but more that I generally write them down on some random piece of paper that gets lost in the endless pile of papers (that happens to be #1 on my weekly "goal" list for the last 8 weeks and counting) and they are never to be seen again. Writing my goals down doesn't really bring me any closer to achieving them. I never understood how simply writing it down inspired so many.

While journaling today it hit me. My foundation was all wrong. (Luke 7:48)  I was trying to swim without water. Growth without God is an illusion. I can not truly be able to grow if I am writing randomness on a piece of paper without including God first. I've never prayerfully considered my goals. I can't even definitively tell you what I want my life to look like 10 years from now. (Which I am just realizing will be teenage years for my girls.....not cool. Lord, help me.)

I think it is time I set my goals on the right foundation.

Here is how I intend to do so. (Because I know you are DYING to know all about me right?) I am going to think hard about who I want to be in the different aspects of my life and what is important to me. (Spiritually, Wife, Mother, Family, Health, Me, etc.) Then I am going to PRAY, and PRAY, and PRAY some more and consider who GOD wants me to be in these areas and adjust my goals accordingly.

Yes, I will write them down. I will most likely post them here instead of letting them get lost in the abyss of to-be-sorted-ness. I like pictures. So I will probably create some sort of visual aide as well. ( I have heard these referred to as dream or vision boards and I am sure there are a million websites devoted to the why and the how's of them but frankly I am not interested in any of it. I simply like pretty reminders)

Here is the important part. I will START and END everyday with INTENTIONAL prayer. I talk to God all day but very rarely do I carve out time JUST for prayer. I will ask him to help me achieve my goals and steer me away from anything that might take away from them and I will ask for his help in acknowledging what those things might be. I will keep him at the FOREFRONT of EVERYTHING I do.

I desire true growth and I know that is only possible with God as my foundation.

Growth with out God is an illusion but with him I can not fail.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Great It Is...

I used to worry about offending someone by talking about God. Now, I worry more about not speaking his name.
Our God is amazing beyond words.
To KNOW him is to know love beyond measure.
To KNOW him is to know purpose and hope.
To KNOW him is to know yourself.

 Only he has the ability to show you your true self, your true nature, your true passion, your true motives, your true being.

To KNOW him requires time. Not just church on Sundays, but everyday.  I have never felt I was on a clear path until I spent time actively listening to the Lord, everyday. The more time I spend, the more natural it feels, the more our relationship grows, the more he makes me grow.

I follow instructions well. He gives instructions well. Its a match made in....well, you get the idea.

I stand in awe of the clear messages he gives when you actually listen. The lesson's keep on coming. I am soaking it up! I am still uber excited about it.... and Him. I can not believe I have been attending church for 7 years and I am just now experiencing him like this. I can clearly see why I wasn't feeling the intensity of his love as I am now. I couldn't have. I wasn't listening.

Don't get me wrong. We talked. He carried. He loved. He always loved. I loved.

But like any one sided relationship....their was no passion. I let myself be intimidated, lazy, offended, judgmental, hypocritical.  (Okay, That was slightly harder to write then anticipated)

I was waiting on God to do all the work. Most of the time, without even realizing it. Until, I was challenged to go to him daily. Pray, read, think. Everyday. Then discuss what I learned and be held accountable. I was hesitant because I didn't know if I would follow through but I prayed and made the commitment to God and to myself. It was the best decision I have EVER made. I found God and he showed me who I really am.

I mess up all the time. I don't SOAP EVERYday. I intend to but sometimes for one reason or another it doesn't happen but I do spend time talking to him daily.   (We are pretty much BFF's we talk the time! ;)

Nothing compares to living FOR HIM. There are so many things I have tried to do on my own and it just wasn't working because it was about ME....not HIM.

I could go on and on...apparently. (Being that this was one of those "what should I write about tonight?" posts)

So if you haven't yet, make God your first priority in life. I DARE YOU! You will forever stand in awe at just what he has to say when you listen. I know I am and will forevermore.

Ps. and PLEASE ask questions. I love excuses to talk about Jesus!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lessons Being Learned

   For the last few months my relationship with God been growing intensely.  I have changed. My perspective has changed. As challenging as it is, I am loving it. It has allowed me to break out of the shell I had created and follow God's will for me on a more intent and active basis.

   Over this time I have noticed patterns of lessons that God has wanted me to work on. The first was to spend time with him daily. Not because I felt like had to but because I wanted to. The second was trusting him completely. (Which I outlined a little more in my recent Bump In The Road  post.)

  Well, recently SOAPing (aka journaling) and my quiet time have revealed to me the importance of insuring that my heart is in the right place at all times. I had been thinking about that all day actually, only to go to a meeting at church last night and it be the primary topic of conversation for our Children's ministry volunteers.

   The question I have been asking myself is "Is God at the forefront of EVERYthing I do?" And while the I would love to say yes, if I am being honest with myself (and you) it is no. I tend to get caught up in other peoples approval. Weather it be my husband, family, or friends I try to do things to make them happy. When I need to be seeking God's approval and doing things for HIS glory and not my own.
I love to serve people and that is not a bad thing. I just need to make sure I am doing it for God FIRST and foremost.

   Which brings the question "what is serving exactly?" Is it just when I teach or help out at church or do something extra special and nice? No, I have come to embrace that it is everything I do. I can serve God by taking care of myself as well as taking care of my family, etc. I can serve him by doing things that may be way outside of my comfort bubble. As long as everything I am doing is for His glory and not my own.

   It is easy to lose track of the reason behind what we do. I think that while I was serving with a loving heart and good intent I wasn't making God my reason why all of the time. Which is not easy for me to admit at all. (Is admitting we are not perfect ever easy?)

   So with that being said, I am on a mission to make him the center of my everything. When I make dinner for my family it is not for my glory or my husbands (sorry honey) it is for God's. When I parent my children it is for God's glory not so I can be a "good mom." When I do or say anything I will do it for the glory of God. I am not perfect. It will not be a perfect mission. I will have bumps in the road but I will actively try to bring him Glory and continue to grow in him.

Ps. As if all other "signs" weren't clear enough this is the song I heard on the radio this morning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


   Well, another year has passed. It has been 3 years since I said goodbye to my little man. A rough and powerful 3 years. As usual I silently wished the world would stop and take notice on his birthday. Stop everything and remember him. Don't they know how special he is? Looking back, this is not a new feeling. I remember leaving the house for the first time after he went home to the Lord and being hit with the harsh reality that the world does in fact keep turning. People were still going on with their everyday lives as I was breaking over and over again as each minute past. There is a irrational part of me that finds that extremely unfair. It was the salt in wound.
   While a part of me still silently wishes everyone would stop and remember I know that the world is still turning and a lot of people have moved on. I never will and I am okay with that. Because while there are many people who probably forgot or didn't know what to say, their are still a big group of people that go out of their way to show me that they remember him and love him. I received texts starting at 12am and they didn't stop until 11pm. I also received flowers, calls, Facebook messages, etc. People showed their love in amazing ways.  I will forever be grateful for those that take the time to do the little things, especially the prayers, that help heal the hurt.

One of the many text messages I received that meant the world to me!

   We had a good day. I tend to start the mourning process the night before as I remember being in labor, being pregnant with him, holding him, what he looked like etc. I realized that I wanted people to remember like I do. To be able to see his life as I did. So I made the tribute video. I stayed up way to late because once it was in my mind that I was going to do it, I was not stopping until it was complete. It was frustrating because each time I saved or uploaded it took at least 45 minutes (and if you know me you know that their is always a million drafts.) I was exhausted so I hit upload and went to bed at some point in the am time frame.
   I woke up and decided my bed was a pretty good place for me and stayed until the hubby came to check on me. I finally got up and went straight to work on the video (that unconveniently didn't work while I was sleeping) After hours of editing and uploading I lost my final draft due to a computer glitch.I had to get this done! It had to be up on his birthday! I didn't have any more thing to spare as I had to run a few errands so I hit upload one last time and hoped for the best. The result was my second to final draft. It successfully uploaded so I figured it was meant to be and tried to let the imperfections go (still trying to talk myself out of revising it to add the pictures that were left out and fix obvious timing issues) . If you missed it before here it is. behind me. We ran our errands and came home. We were joined for dinner by my in-laws and my seester and her husband. It was nice to just be. We were sitting there chatting as my in-laws and oldest daughter were watching the video. (Not thinking of course about the repercussions of the emotional 5 year old.) She of course did what would be expected and we (my husband and myself) went to console her. And in her room we wept. Together. As a family who has lost one of its own. Together in each others arms we cried for our baby boy. The loss of our only son and only brother. It was beautiful.
   After we dried our tears we remembered how grateful we were that he was a part of our family. How he was worth celebrating. How grateful we were that he was at home with the Lord, in the place we all long to be. So we went and put his monster trucks (requested by big sister) on his cake, lit his "3" candle and sung "happy birthday" to our baby boy. It was a perfect way to end his day.

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