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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A mighty bloom is coming!

Another month seems to be flying by and that means my BIRTHDAY month is right around the corner.  The sky is filled with such beauty this morning. The sun is beaming and the flowers seem to be so incredibly bright in color.   Yesterday Rain poured in my city and yet it snowed in other cities.  I am reminded of this simple saying "April showers bring May flowers.” As poetic as it is this statement offers hope.  Sunshine will shine on the trees and flowers and each will begin to bloom and grow.  The days when we wake up feeling so frustrated with life, so overwhelmed with stress, and the never ending chaos we tend to have we must realize that our sunshine is coming. The assurance of hope is resting in the truth that IT WILL come, not just waiting on it, but knowing that it’s coming. The times in our lives when we seem to be at the end of our rope and we can't seem to move forward in any area of our lives are the very times we need to RUN to our Creator!! Our independence is something we tend to hold on to with all we have. We desire to control the circumstances that beat us down because we are in desperate need of change and we think we have the solution. We turn to addictions or let ourselves fall into the trap of bitterness and resentment and before long we are left feeling hopeless.  The last storm that came through had both thunder and lightning along with massive down pours.  As the storm subsided I listened to the rumbling as it moved further away from here and then before long it was silent. His power moves me and yet at times I question His sovereignty by trying to take things into my own hands. I am learning to trust and fully embrace that He is so faithful to us, His love is unconditional, He provides a place of rest for our hearts, and He gives us strength when we can't do it any longer. I have learned that when you let the chaos of life such as unwanted stress, deep frustrations and so on to control you we lose the precious memories in those moments and the happy moments are sucked right out of the times that could have been full of Joy! As you continue through this day, don't let the stress in your life keep you from making some incredible memories with your friends, your children, your spouse, your siblings or that stranger you meet today.  God wants us to have life full of hope and joy. Today when the car breaks down, the computer crashes, you are running late, the work didn't get completed, the house is a wreck, you were in a wreck, you are sick, and you can't seem to find anything that fits and that bad hair day you’re having look for your ray of sunshine to come.  Let’s seek God in those hard times and allow Him to mold us in those precious times to look more like Him.  Close your eyes and allow Christ to wrap His arms around you this morning and as you rest in His presence release to Him your whole heart and know that it’s going to be OK. A mighty bloom is headed your way!

Get lost in Him........


Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
and He will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What does TRUSTING God even mean?

What does trusting God really look like? When you step back from your crumbling marriage, addiction, eating disorder or any other circumstance that has you to your knees what does trusting God really tangibly look like. I had to really walk through that question in my mind and after looking up what it means in the Webster dictionary and seeking out some stories of trust in His word things began to line up and my heart embraced this beautiful truth. I need Jesus. PERIOD. Even when I don't understand or can't seem to win the fight against my struggle I still need Him. Today you need Him to provide. You need Him to move. You need Him to heal. You need Him to speak and when we are left without or have unanswered questions or even silence we fall apart from the inside out.  Trust simply means -< to be confident : to have HOPE>.  I realize that in my own life I pray with urgency and promise to put my trust and hope in Him and then find myself on the phone with a friend telling her how stressed I am. Is that being confident? All throughout the bible God called people to trust Him with abandon. They had to yield every bit of self in order for Him to move in their lives.  In the story of Abraham and Isaac I see a beautiful picture of confidence and sincere hope. God told Abraham to tie up his son and sacrifice Him and did Abraham run to his friends looking for a way out or for provision? No, He simply obeyed. That boggles my mind because it really highlights the areas in my own life where I don’t trust my Creator.   When we are pushed in the corner by others or by our own decisions we turn to God for a way out and most of the time we are promising everything we can to get out of consequences or the storm we are in.  The storms we are in are often a downpour of God’s sovereignty and provision that is being poured out on us and we choose whether or not we  will trust Him.  If we trust Him fully and take Him at His word then there is no room for worry.  Just like Abraham obeyed without crumbling God also provided the sacrifice and saved his son. We usually are confident in abilities until those are put to the test. For example  we can be confident in our ability to cook an incredible meal and then when others sit down to eat it we give every excuse of how it could have been better.  We play sports, buy cute outfits and dream big dreams and with one thought of failure we dissect our abilities and our confidence is gone.   We tend to take one equation out and that is trusting the Creator. He birthed those dreams inside you, He labeled you His masterpiece and yet we allow the mirror to define us and dreams to drift beyond our reach simply because of our distrust.  Today God has called you to something.  Maybe it’s finally forgiving someone. Maybe you need to look past the scales and mirror and begin to embrace just how beautiful you are.   Maybe your bank account is so low that you are worrying about your next meal and you need to trust him with your lunch or dinner or both.  What does trusting God look like to you today?  Our willingness to surrender and trust with abandon says a lot about our heart condition. When I am struggling and I choose to keep it to myself I just continue to struggle but when I hand over the struggle to God He fights for me and I am just called to trust Him.  I like that :)  

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 31:14
But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Have you seen my keys?

Today is my moms birthday and I am so thankful or all that she has taught me about how to live out my faith by loving the least of these. She is truly a prayer warrior and will never let a need of anyone go undone if she has anything to do with it. I thought about how notorious I am for losing my keys. Wherever I go I just sit them down and then when it's time to leave I have to gather the troops to find them. I realized this morning I get it honest.  I remember growing up looking for mom’s keys almost daily!  I actually have a cute key holder my friend made me last year for my birthday so when I am home at least I know where they are. Now days its moms cell phone and I am following in those footsteps as well therefore I am blaming it on my genes (haha).  When I look back at my life and see all the seasons that led me to where I am I believe my perception of my Creator played a huge part in how I responded and handled the different seasons. One of the hardest seasons of my life was truly embracing God’s grace in my life and the way He looked at me. I looked at Him as if He was going to ZAP me for my bad behavior. I would read verses like “Be Holy for I am Holy” and realize that I was far from that and that would send me down the road away from Him. I loved Him from a distance; I just thought I could never really please Him. I mean really me holy? … My heart was as dirty and He was calling me to be like Him.  I wanted nothing more than a close intimate relationship with my Creator and every time I would hear a pastor say those words I would sit and wonder why He and I couldn’t connect on this deep intimate level. I remember being at a conference with some students about 7 or 8 years ago and as the worship song was playing all over the arena students were responding.  As I sang the lyrics with my arms lifted high I realized that I too needed to respond.  I was holding my pain, my rejection, my brokenness my sin and my fears so tightly that I could barely breathe.  The lyrics .. “take me to that place Lord, to that secret place where I can be with You and You can make me like you.. wrap me in your arms, wrap me in your arms”.  Now that sounds sweet and cuddly but the thought of being alone with my Heavenly father scared me to death because surely He would be so disappointed in me. But as I stood there singing the song tears began to stroll down my face and I could feel my heart changing with every beat. I could feel God’s presence for the first time in MY LIFE in a different way. You see God never moved.  He never lost His love for me. He never misplaced His grace. He never looked at me with disappointment. He never took away my worth. He never hid His presence from me. He never was out to ZAP me.  He never stepped away from His throne…..that day I began to taste freedom.  When I struggle now or cry out to Him for help it’s a different conversation we have because it’s my love for Him that pushes my heart to repentance or surrender not a fear anymore.   I read a few weeks ago a verse in Hebrews (4:16) and it spoke so deeply to me. "Let us then with confidencedraw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." God's throne of grace never gets lost from me. At any moment when I feel broken, numb, fearful, joyful, hurt, or questioning why I am in the season I am in I can KNOW that God’s throne is sturdy and His steadfast love is always pursuing me. I can stand before Him with confidence and that truly makes me melt all over again. Today as you read this and you think that God has left you in this season you are in know that He sees you and He is carrying you through! Rest in His arms and allow Him to make you more like Him. Get lost in Him and you will NEVER be the same!

Happy Birthday mom you are loved!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Control freak?

God speaks to me literally in the strangest places. In the shower, on the toilet and in the middle of the night. His voice isn't audible but it's clearly Him. I am learning not to ask why or how but to simply say ok. Gods way trumps the plan I have in my head.  So many women are slaves to so many things like approval addiction, food addiction and many other impulsive behaviors that leave us empty yet in desperation to control something within their lives. This whole concept goes against who God is. His sovereignty in our lives goes beyond our comprehension and because we can't see or understand the why behind His plans we spiral out of control trying to obtain ownership and power in our marriages, friendships, jobs, school, and careers. When things begin to crumble we are left empty and vulnerable and without any self control. God wants good for you, and to protect you as He gives us bits and pieces as we live for Him fully along the way. Fully surrendering requires you to fully obey and let go of all control as you walk in self control. 
A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out. (Proverbs 25:28 MSG)
Wow- visualize your house without any windows or doors. The fear at night that would set in when the street lights went off and darkness fell. Would your family be ok? Would a burglar choose your house? Would wild animals choose your windows to crawl through? That's a scary thought (however a skunk I would welcome) .   When you and I give way to addictions, gossip or other areas of disobedience simply because we have no self control we are opening up our hearts, relationships and dreams just like that verse for fears and sin to creep in. Today I am praying for you to to let go of not only control but even deeper the desire to control.  Begin to walk in His sovereignty and promises so you can live in His presence and not run from it.  Remember Eve was placed within boundaries and because of her inability to maintain self control she fell into the hands of the enemy and tries hiding from her Creator. Ladies  don't listen to the enemy! God has your life in His hand and His way is going to be full of adventures! Full of twist and turns but in the end others will see Jesus in you! Believe that! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What are you choosing to be in awe of today?

Psalm 5:7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. 

To be in awe of something means: an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime. 

As I drove back home from taking my girls to school the rain hit the windshield and the overcast skies gave way to the most beautiful flowers in my yard. It was sunny yesterday and almost 80 degrees and I didn’t notice them. It took the darkness almost for me to notice the beauty.  We often allow the darkness of our circumstances to overshadow the beautiful blooms that are taking place in our lives.  When we are struggling with something our focus consistently seems to stay on the struggle. We miss that God is growing areas of our lives and pulling out the ugly and replacing it with ALL things new.  Yesterday Richard and I went on a walk and we had to stop about every 5 steps for Scrappy to smell and mark his territory literally in everyone’s yard. It was driving us crazy that we finally just started tugging his leash a little to keep him from slowing us down. We would hand the leash back and forth and finally he figured out we were there to walk.  I feel like that’s exactly what the enemy does. As we move forward away from struggles, or areas of our lives that keep us in the dark he wants to keep us there so we can’t see what God is doing around the corner.   Today blooms are around you and some are already in bloom and others are waiting for the perfect time to show themselves. You need to press into the truth of God’s word and soak it up.  His word is the very thing that puts our dreams, our victories into motion.  We tend to cling to Jeremiah 29:11 with the hopes that our hearts desires are met when in reality our desires look nothing like the heart of God.  We have to drop our preferences, drop our “want to” and fully lean in and walk step by step in the direction of where He is taking us. Sometimes your dream has nothing to do with God and everything to do with pride. We have all been there and it’s a place of defeat because you never measure up to the expectation you and others place on yourself.  We crave validation and if your dream isn’t met you immediately run from it or manipulate it in a way you come out on top.  God wants you to walk in the now loving Him fully with all your heart, soul mind and strength and to love His people. Our gifting may not line up with where you are now but in the end God will be glorified and your obedience will reap a harvest that will blow your mind.   We become so consumed with our dreams coming true that we forget to be in love with our Creator.  He did give you a dream I don’t doubt it for a second however I know that when the dream becomes your direction you go off course and everything and everyone is affected.   We can be in awe of a dream, in awe of a circumstance, in awe of a struggle that has numbed, or you can be in awe of the Creator and His power and His sovereignty in your life.  Yesterday started out rocky. I was so locked in on what I didn’t have or what I needed to be doing and as I sat down I wrote in my journal “God you are my provider” and I believed it. Not even 20 minutes later God BLEW MY MIND! I am overwhelmed today and in awe of how BIG my God is.  There is darkness looming and yet I only see the light. We choose to walk in Joy or we choose to walk in defeat. I could list out all the things that are my struggles but where is the hope in that?  So today I want you to know that I am thankful for those who surround me. I am thankful for a husband that leads me well and gives everything he has to point our church and his family to Jesus. I have an incredible job with girls who have been rescued from sex slavery. I get to lead a lifegroup with some incredible ladies whom I adore.  I get to speak about freedom and BIG things are around the corner (more details later).   I could go on and on today and it’s because I believe that when we keep our eyes and hearts locked in on God our eyes see our circumstances completely different. Don’t let the enemy slow you down, or keep you from seeing what’s just around the corner. After the storms comes mighty blooms so be encouraged and SHINE today! (BTW This picture is the flower in my backyard that blew me away )

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

She gets it....

Today Rebekah and I had a great discussion about college and just life in general. We talked about what it looks like to fully trust Gods sovereignty. We also talked about how hard it is and the pitfalls we often fall in because of our lack of patience throughout the journey. She truly is wise beyond her years and tonight she sat a table with two boys under the age of 10 drawing pictures of animals, mermaids and wizards, and shared stories about her childhood with them. She walked out of their house with a picture the youngest had drawn for her and I realized in that moment her leadership skills and calling on her life were so visible for me and yet she had no idea.  She can relate to an 8 year old and also to a 50 year old.  Her love language is quality time for sure so she honestly can talk to anybody all day long.  She said something this evening on the way home that is sending me to bed with a smile on my face she said "mom I want a husband just like daddy because he loves you so much and pursues you." In that moment I thought wow she gets it.  Even though she has experienced heart break already she sees past the moment and knows God has someone just for her. Girls tonight as you lay your heads down on your pillows remember that God loves you beyond your greatest fear & deeper than the wounds that hurt so bad even now. He loves you beyond your insecurities and all the things you see wrong when you stand in front of a mirror. Zits will come and they will go, & boys will break your hearts but the Creator of the universe wants you to know that He loves you more than words can describe. You are worth MORE so wait patiently..