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Friday, October 25, 2013

cheating on my pumpkin spice latte...

This morning as I sipped on my peppermint mocha coffee I felt as if I was cheating on my pumpkin spice latte.  Last night at lifegroup I talked about seasonal treasures in our lives and how many treasures are meant for only a season.  For instance candy canes are only meant for the Christmas season, and candy corns are meant for fall. You can buy both peppermint and candy corns year round but there is something about eating them in the season they belong in.  We adjust our lives to whatever season we are in whether it is through clothing to the activities we choose to do.   For example fall means football, bonfires, colder weather and pumpkin everything and we adjust our lives by pulling out our football gear, buying boots, carving pumpkins and we buy out the pumpkin spice creamer section at Target because it is only here for this season.  What about when friendships end?  What about when you lose your job? What about that dream that you were so passionate about suddenly doesn’t seem so attainable? Are those seasonal things? YES! God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything.  It is ok to be angry even mad at times but there is also the time you let things go, move forward and allow God to work in you and the circumstance that brought you to that place of your anger. He will use every emotion, every response, every thought to bring you into a more intimate relationship with Him.  I love this verse in Colossians 3 (the msg) “you’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.” 
Just like when summer comes you don’t see people in full coats, gloves and boots nor do you see people walking around in the winter with bikinis on. We adapt to the climate and dress accordingly.  We love to get new clothes for each season because it makes us feel a since of newness as we enter that season.  We attach old memories, past mistakes and pain to the different seasons of our lives and we then allow those seasons to keep us in our old “clothing” so to speak. This verse says throw it in the fire which means you can’t get it back out and put it back on.  If you have been redeemed guess what your old self is NO more. We can choose to allow our thoughts and actions take us back into those dark places or we can choose to walk in the light and truth of God’s word.  Its time to replace the triggers you have through smell, hearing, touch etc that remind you of who you use to be or pain that has come your way.  It is so easy to smell something, hear a sound, or see something and it takes you back you to a past sin and you immediately feel dirty, guilty and then shame sets in. Instead of focusing on the details of that day or season in your life allow that to be a NEW reminder of your redemption.  Look at the verse again “stripped off and put in the fire” what a beautiful picture of being made new. Fire is mighty because it can destroy in an instant. When I was in high school my house caught on fire and we lost so many things such as pictures, clothing to my childhood toys. I still have a doll that has fire damage on it and when I see her I am taken back to my childhood instantly. I am able to touch and see something that what was salvaged in what seemed so devastating at the time in my life.  Even though I can still see those marks on the dolls face it no longer takes me back to that day when we began to sift through all the damage instead it takes me to that place of my tea parties in my room with just her and me. I can almost smell smoke of that fire just sitting here. I can also remember the coldness of the hospital room where my dad laid dead on a stretcher.  I can go back so easily to my teenage years of desperately wanting to fit in and be wanted. We all have memories and images that seems to be forever burned in our brains but God wants you know your worth and to know that FREEDOM exist. I want you to think about this image in your head.. You are standing before God with all those horrible thoughts, memories, images, regrets etc. and one by one layer after layer you allow Him to take those things that have kept you from experiencing a deep intimate relationship with Him. Let that sink in… It requires a level of vulnerability and surrender in a way that makes you feel naked.  I love the second half of that verse  “every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator with His label on it.“  You see you are no longer defined by those triggers or by the sin itself you are defined by the Creator.  Today as you go through this beautiful fall day look intently at the leaves and see gorgeous colors of fall, feel the wind as it blows at the perfect speed to remind us that winter is around the corner. Experience the pumpkin creamers and apple ciders that are perfect to the taste.  Fall may remind you of death or it could mean a past sin that you were entangled in, or it could be a season of renewal.   I don’t know what fall or this season of life you are in reminds you of but I do know whatever the season God has given us senses to see, touch and feel His presence no matter what.  Maybe it is time to replace some triggers…

Psalm 34:8 (the Msg) Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dream a little Dream by Sharie King

I am starting something new on my blog this week.  I am only going to be blogging once a week and from time to time I will have guest bloggers. I love connecting with other women who cheer me on and also dream BIG themselves.  When I began praying for who I would first ask I knew I had to start with Sharie.  We met over 4 years ago outside of a coffee shop. When I first would meet up with her I would listen to her pour truth into me and now our coffee dates are often 3 hours full of truth, laughter, dreaming and maybe even tears.  I love this lady and I am so thankful she is in my life. She is an incredible speaker and has a heart for girls and women of all ages. She is definitely a world changer and I am so honored to call her my friend.  You can check out more of Sharie's blog post at

Dream a Little Dream

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopincc
Have you ever found yourself waking up thinking, “Don’t forget this dream.”  Sometimes I still forget them, but on a good day I remember so my husband and I can have a good laugh.
I’ve shared many of my dreams (the kind I have when I’m asleep) with my husband, but the other day I realized I hadn’t shared some of my childhood dreams.  I wanted to fly, to swim with dolphins, and even to be Princess Leah in Return of the Jedi.
The other day I was reading Genesis 1:26, “Let’s make man in our likeness- so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky.”
This was the first time I read this verse and wondered, “How did Adam and Eve rule over fish of the sea and birds of the air if they didn’t have some sort of super-ability to fly or swim.”  They didn’t have submarines, boats, hang-gliders, or airplanes, so practically how did they any kind of interaction with these creatures? But, what if Adam and Eve, in their perfection, had some abilities which mankind lost in the fall?
I’ve always been that girl who has an affinity to super-hero shows.  I’ve wished I could have special powers and abilities so I could make a difference in the world.  I thought, “If we had super-powers, imagine what could we do?”
The sad truth is God’s power lives in each one of us, but we forget it’s there.  Scripture says, God is able to “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”? (Ephesians 3:20-21). When we received salvation, Jesus invested in us by sending the Holy Spirit.  We have access to God on a daily basis, but we forget he is there just like we forget the dreams we try to remember when we are waking up.
Beth Moore once wrote, “Satan doesn’t have to get us blatantly thinking satanic thoughts to have victory over us.  All he needs to do is get us looking at life from man’s perspective rather than God’s.” I am convinced we each have had dreams of what God could do through us, but we don’t follow them because they seem impossible.  We let Satan convince us that the dreams God gives us are unattainable or too great for us.
But, what if we all pretended we were little children again and let ourselves believe in the impossible? I told you that one of my dreams as a little girls was to fly.  I believe that one day when I meet Jesus he will look at me and say, “Well done good and faithful Sharie, now would you like to fly, or perhaps you’d like to ride a dolphin across the sea with me.”   And I would respond, “Would I?  Yes, LORD.”
If you put your fears aside, what kind of hopes would spill out of that heart of yours? I bet God’s waiting for you to access his power that’s at work within you.  Imagine what God can do through you today.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

just move the cord around...

Have you ever been so convinced something was going to happen that you prepared fully for it and then everything went wrong?  For instance when you prepare for the birth of your child there are baby showers, painting of the nursery, and gathering lots of diapers.  Then on a regular day you get up thinking that the day had come for you to deliver your precious boy or girl and suddenly you begin having pains and before you know it you are in the ER and the end result is death. All the prayers, preparation and excitement ended in such tragedy and there was nothing you could do.  When I was a freshman in college I surrendered my life to the Lord and really began dealing with my past and also my relationship with my dad. We began talking more and he would randomly send me cards in the mail with a little money it and it would make my day. I remember being only a week from graduating and my dad had called and we talked for a few hours on the phone. We talked about life, about love because Richard and I were married and expecting our first child.  He was making a cradle for her.  He had decided to come up a day earlier for my graduation and stay with Richard and I and I was so excited. I told him I forgave him for the pain he had caused over the years. I told him that he was going to be a wonderful grandfather and I told him I loved him and we hung up.  Two days later he was killed.  I could not believe it I mean I had planned for him to come up and stay with me, I told him I had forgiven him and the end result was death?  There are times in our lives where tragedy hits and we are left breathless, speechless and completely numb.  When we have that crushing blow that leaves us paralyzed in fear we tend to question God to why something like this could ever happen.  I remember the night we had receiving friends for my dad and so many people came to see us and to say how sorry they were. I laid in my bed with Richards arms around me and he was silent and I sobbed like a baby. It hurt so badly both emotionally and physically. I was screaming out to God with my tears because I could not wrap my heart or mind around why.  I needed my dad to know me and be with me on this side of the cross. Loving him, showing grace to him and allowing him to see me the way Jesus had redeemed me.  I chased so many guys and other things growing up desperate for their affection and completion because my father had not given me what I needed and I wanted him to know that my completion was no longer in what he hadn't done for me but what Christ had done in me.  This morning as I was ironing Richards’s clothes I kept getting frustrated because the cord kept hitting the fabric that was coming up on the end of the ironing board. I almost just let Richard wear wrinkled clothes haha.   I then moved the cord to the other side and the fabric was no longer touching the cord and I could iron much easier. That’s the way I believe we often live our lives.  You see before college I walked in anger, frustration and rejection because I had a hole in my life and I needed it filled and the fabric aka pain and shame that led me into such a dark place and that was what defined me and it kept me from living life with joy and freedom. When I gave my life to Jesus it was like moving that cord around the table aka the cross and seeing life in a whole new way. I saw my dad differently and I began to embrace Jesus’ love and that led me out of the shame from my past. I was able to love people differently and it was all because I no longer saw the junk I just saw the cross.  The word breakthrough defined by Webster is this; an offensive thrust that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line in warfare. The enemy intends for the circumstances like I described to break us down but God intends for a breakthrough to happen.  I believe God is saying I am going to thrust through your pain and carry you. Just like Richard that night holding me without a word reminds me so much of the arms of God holding me. Sometimes God’s silence is so powerful because we lean in that much more with the intention of hearing and feeling His presence in our lives. God wants you to hold on just a little longer because relief is coming and I AM is bringing it. I don’t know what you are in need of today but I do know that no addiction, relationship, position or dream will ever fill that place of a need in time of desperation.  Lean in deep and pull back slowly because when you do the imprints of God’s heart will mark your words, your life, decisions and circumstances.  There is a new season coming and change is about to BREAKTHROUGH don’t you dare give up.  You can prepare for life all day long but in the end God is sovereign and His ways are perfect.  Death is real, pain is real, addictions and fear are real but God takes anything that the enemy meant for evil and makes it good.  I will never know why my dad had to die but I know that my God is peace. I know that God is what sustained me. I know that God is my redeemer and I can talk about who I was and how God led me into freedom.  I can encourage girls to walk in forgiveness towards their fathers showing honor and allowing God to do the rest.  I have no control on anything in my life other than my surrender and obedience to my Creator.  It is time to share your story with the world.

Psalm 107:1-3 (the msg) Oh, thank God He’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set FREE by God TELL THE WORLD! Tell how He freed you from oppression..

Monday, October 7, 2013

to pause and collide or yield and bloom?

Thundering is so powerful. It reminds me of God’s power every time I hear it. When I was younger I thought it was God bowling or moving furniture around and it would also scare me to death at night. I would lay in my bed even into college and early into my marriage and I would get saved over and over again.  I realize now I put the power in thunder and the damage it could have caused rather in the One who created it. My whole life I have leaned on people to lift me up, validate, direct and give me wisdom to push through circumstances in my life. I misread the power of God and therefore I watched others live out ginormous dreams and see God in His entire splendor.  It wasn't until about 7 or 8 years ago that I began to truly see God for who He was and not who my Sunday school teachers told me He was.  I experienced Him.  This morning it was storming really loud. The rain was so thick you could feel the power behind each drop.  Both of my girls left their raincoats in the car and so we had to run quickly to the car to keep them from getting soaked.  The traffic was so thick that both school lines were so backed up.  On the way home I decided to take a detour through a neighborhood to make it home a little faster. I came to a yield sign and instead of slowing down looking back to wait for any cars coming around the curve I chose to just to pause. Without even glancing I began pressing down on the gas and wouldn't you know it around the curve came a car flying and I was forced to pull over into the wet grass to keep him from plowing into me. I yelled “stupid idiot” and immediately could feel the Holy Spirit say ‘really an idiot hmm who was suppose to yield back there?” ouch!  Webster defines the word yield as this; to surrender to relinquish control, to give oneself up to an inclination, temptation or habit.  It was so clear to me in that moment that God is always calling me to yield my desires to His. He calls me to love, to speak words of life and to walk in obedience always yielding to His word and yet I often just "pause" because I need a desire fulfilled now.  When I was driving this morning I saw that sign and yet I chose to pause rather than yield because I “needed” to get home and that almost cost me a collision simply because I chose to ignore the sign.  God has clearly laid out truths in His word for me to follow and to yield to.  In Esther she chose not to yield to her fear, insecurities and weaknesses in order to step into the presence of the king with the hope of saving her people. In reality she chose not to pause but to surrender and because of that her people were saved. She chose to step up yield and step out.

 Esther 4:16 “Go gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king THOUGH IT IS AGAINST

After I read this and I realized that the call was not only for her to walk in complete surrender it was a call to the people she desperately wanted to save to also press in deeper and walk in obedience. She asked them not to eat anything and to fast.  They were yielding to the daily needs of eating in order to hear God in a time of desperation.  Just like Esther our choices trickle into the lives of those who depend and need us to lead well.  What about those who lead us and ask us to pray and fast out of desperation? ouch for me again!  We tend to get so caught up in chasing after what we think are the BIG things God is calling us to do that we choose not to yield to the daily small things He is laying out for us to do.  He says love Him and love His people. Two things believers hang their hats on right?  But then we sit in a restaurant starving and when the waitress gets the order wrong we choose not to leave a tip because there is a point to prove.  Husbands what about your wives? She needs to feel loved and pursued by you and your response is money or what she isn’t doing. What about people who wronged you, talked about you or hurt you in some way. Instead of yielding to God’s grace and forgiveness you have allowed bitterness, resentment and pay back to take root in you.  That picture of surrender and yielding to God’s truths suddenly look a lot like my choice to just pause this morning which almost caused a collision.  We make decisions daily based on what we want and need rather than how we can walk in complete surrender to the Creator and when we find ourselves in a place of pain that was caused by our disobedience we throw our fist up at God.  Today God has called you to see Him clearly. He is radiant! He is powerful! He is full of love and He is for you!  Maybe today you are standing in the midst of drought and you haven’t heard from God in so long and you desperately need to hear His voice.  Lean in and just be still.  As I drove back home I looked at the leaves and because it was overcast the orange and yellow on the leaves were stunning and that much brighter. Maybe you are in a season of overcast and God wants to use you to shine that much brighter.  His power is made known in your weakness.  Don’t yield to the desires of your flesh today because they will always lead you down the road of disobedience where a collision is awaiting.  Walk in God’s truth constantly yielding your dreams and desires to His plan, His ways and timing for all areas of your life because I believe that sometimes our biggest blooms come from the biggest droughts in our lives. You think that dream or passion is wilting away but God is pruning and readying it for the perfect timing. Don’t you dare give up on that dream, your marriage, your calling or healing because a bloom is coming!  Look for those “Esther” moments today and step up, yield and step out because God is always faithful even those moments when we choose to  pause.