i don’t want to be fearless

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. it creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins. // Charles Stanley

I know when I am about to do something that really is a stretch for me. My heart beats wildly in my chest, my hands sweat, and I often pace around with my hands gripped tightly together. For the longest time I felt that being fearful was a sign of weakness. Now I’m not so sure anymore…

The word fear is defined as “the unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger; a feeling of being afraid”. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) I know this unpleasant emotion all too well. Fear has paralyzed me at times. Preventing me from stepping out into situations that are a bit unknown. It often lurks behind me, whispering the unthinkable into the vulnerable corners of my heart. Fear has caused me to doubt decisions, backtrack on promises, and isolate me from community. When I’ve given fear complete control over my life, it has prevented me from experiencing joy, happiness, and peace.

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.        // Charles Stanley

Why do I still wrestle with fear? If I am a new creation in Christ, why do I still let it have control of my life? I have tried to will myself into not being afraid. Beating myself up when I feel like my faith should be stronger than it is. I didn’t realize the control that this weakness has over me in my life until recently. I asked my husband to be honest with me about the areas I need to grown in. Without hesitating, he said fear. He lovingly explained to me how he has watched my anxiety and worry erode my once joyful, free-spirited personality into a self-doubting shell of a woman.

I remember a time when I was asked to paint a mural on the wall of our youth room. I said yes, but I was so afraid I would mess it up, or that no one would like it. I backed out, leaving the leaders bewildered and making me look like I didn’t keep my word. I had to go back to them, repair my relationship with them and confess that fear kept me from serving. I also remember many moments where I dreaded going to different social events with my husband where I did not know a living soul. I am HORRIBLE at small talk and an introvert to a fault. I stutter, my palms sweat, and I feel awkward and self-conscious. In fear, I know I project a version of myself that isn’t approachable or easy to be around. (But, if you get me in a room of people I love…I’m completely at ease.)

I love my husband deeply, and I know how very difficult it was for him to share this truth to me. Taking it to heart, I asked the Lord to confirm what my husband said. Gently, the Holy Spirit illuminated moments where I responded to situations and relationships with fear. Moments where I acted more like Chicken Little, afraid that the sky was falling, instead of clinging to the hope that the Lord would protect and give me strength. I think there lies the problem. I often feel like I have to do it all on my own strength. Mustering up enough courage to face the unknown, or to bolster up my own heroism when I feel like life is out of control. I need to show others, and in some ways God, that I am strong enough. I want to look like I’ve got it all together. To admit fear, is to concede that I am weak. To say that I am afraid, I could risk looking like I am not walking closely with the Lord. But in doing so, I end up looking foolish, falling hard, or having digestive issues. (Hello, Tums.)

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. // Isaiah 41:13

But can fear ever be healthy? Yes, it can! Fear can also mean “a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful.” To be in awe of our Heavenly Father. To fear him, in all his power and splendor, to be on your knees worshiping the majesty of his love and mercy, to provide for all our needs. The Bible says: Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”

When moments of uncertainty arise, when I feel inadequate in my own strength, I need to veer away from my inability and turn to the Lord’s capability. Moving from fear to trust. I don’t have to be fearless, all the Lord requires is for me to be faithful. To believe that he’s got this. Instead of being fearless, I need to stop in my fear, drop to my knees, and wait for the Lord to show up. Just like when the disciples were rocking around in the boat out in the middle of the lake. The storm swirling around them, the small little fishing boat bobbing up and down with each gust of wind. They were out of their minds with fear. Jesus, asleep and unfazed by the storm, woke up because the disciples were petrified with fear. With authority, Jesus said, “Peace, be still.” The storm ceased, the waves stilled, the boat floated gently on the water.

Storms are going to huff and puff at me, situations are going to rise up and tower over me, and the limitations of my strength will be tested. Fear usually takes control and takes me off course. But just like the disciples experienced out in that crazy storm, I need to call out for help. Using that moment to bring me to scripture, to meditate on his promises, not responding or react in fear but to use my fear to bring me to a place where I throw myself at the feet of Jesus. Letting him calm my heart and allow my fear to decrease with those calming words, “Peace, be still.” Transferring my fear of the external situation to awe-struck fear of my Heavenly Father who has my life in his hands and will not leave me stranded and alone in my circumstances. I am right where I need to be, completely dependent, soft-hearted for teaching, humble in my place, but knowing that I am fiercely loved and protected.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” // Hebrews 13:5-6

{forever reign- hillsong }

never give up

Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.  So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.  // 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 16-18 MSG

 

Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

// 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 16-18 MSG

{touch the sky- bethel music}

he is risen!

He is Risen!! Happy Easter from www.shinyreflection.com

 

In the Cross is salvation; in the Cross is life; in the Cross is protection against our enemies; in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind; in the Cross is joy of spirit; in the Cross is excellence of virtue; in the Cross is perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross. // Thomas à Kempis, The Inner Life

 He is risen indeed!

Hallelujah!

at the cross

IMG_1169To be a follower of Christ I have to be identified with all who Jesus is. His glory, and magnificence but also his humility and suffering. His death on the cross is where my story begins. That shouldn’t be taken lightly. Am I willing to identify myself as a follower of Christ in the midst of suffering or turn away like Peter did when he was confronted with his identity as a disciple of Christ?

Remembering the cross today- honoring the sacrifice made on my behalf- makes me pause to feel its weight. Not the weight of a burden, but the weight of its significance. Christ, in all of his perfection, glory, and authority was stripped down to the lowliest of lows to bear the burden of all my guilt and shame. He was laughed at, beaten, falsely accused for me. He didn’t defend himself, he didn’t make excuses or shift the blame…he bore it beautifully. His eyes were filled with love as he experienced the anguish of his suffering. When he breathed his last- the finality of his declaration to the world… “It is finished.” opened the gates of heaven. Giving me, an orphan, the beloved forever-home with His Heavenly Father for the rest of eternity.

His love for me…I am blown away. My words seem so small…so finite.

Thank you Jesus.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

it is finished

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. john 19:30   It is finished…those three words grip my heart. Right there, at that very moment, Jesus uttered his last breath declaring to the world that he saved all of humanity. Those three words. the course of my life has been changed forever by those words. I can claim freedom from my sins. I am ushered into the forever-family of my Savior. Those pain-filled words have given me life, purpose, meaning, clarity, healing, and hope. The finality, the confidence, the declaration…It makes me love me all the more. All his glory, kingship, authority could have allowed him to skip this humble, humiliating death, but he chose love. Love for his Father in heaven, love for those who followed him up that dusty hill to the cross, and love for future generations to come.   Oh how I love those three simply, lovely words. “It is finished.” I am enough, his forgiveness covers all my sins, and I am made new.   Thank you sweet Jesus!

John 19:30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

It is finished…those three words grip my heart. Right there, at that very moment, Jesus uttered his last breath declaring to the world that he saved all of humanity. Those three words. The course of my life has been changed forever by those words. I can claim freedom from my sins. I am ushered into the forever-family of my Savior. Those pain-filled words have given me life, purpose, meaning, clarity, healing, and hope. The finality, the confidence, the declaration…It makes me love him all the more. All his glory, kingship, authority could have allowed him to skip this humble, humiliating death, but he chose love. Love for his Father in heaven, love for those who followed him up that dusty hill to the cross, and love for future generations to come.

Oh how I love those three simple, lovely words.

“It is finished.”

I am enough, his forgiveness covers all my sins, and I am made new.

Thank you sweet Jesus!

{for the cross- bethel music}

we have sailed too close to the shore

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas Where storms will show Your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars. We ask You to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.

-Sir Francis Drake

i’m okay with being weak

God pushes past the ones who gain the most attention based on the standards of the world. He finds the woman hiding in her fear and insecurity and pulls her out as his chosen one to be used for his kingdom.

 

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him. God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…but we preach Christ crucified…God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.’ // 1 Corinthians 1:20-28

I love how Paul says ‘For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.’ (vs. 25) If there was a line up of people on a stage before the entire world, who would be picked by God to be used for His glorious plans to further His kingdom? The polished, well spoken, ‘looks like they have it all together’ people? No. God chooses those who are cast aside or seen as unimportant. People who often are in the background, over looked. God pushes past the ones who gain the most attention based on the standards of the world. He finds the woman hiding in her fear and insecurity and pulls her out as his chosen one to be used for his kingdom.

For it is in her brokenness and weakness where his glory is revealed. In the shame of her choices where his redemption and love shines. It is in her complete dependence on him alone where his strength and grace are perfectly demonstrated. God lovingly uses the weak, the broken, the flawed, the fearful. There is beauty in that. There is peace in that knowledge.

It’s not about me and what I can do, but Christ’s redemptive work in my life when he died on the cross for my sins.

you give life

I am learning that I need to spend time with the Lord daily, not because I have to but because I need to. I need it like water, like the air I breathe. I can work and labor to change myself into the women I feel looks best before the Lord. I can go to church, I can serve and volunteer, but if I do it all on my own strength…it doesn’t give God glory and it doesn’t draw me closer to him. I need to look at the Bible and my time reading it as a way for me to understand the heart-beat of God. If I only spend time with the Lord to place that elusive check in the box of completion, I miss the exhilaration and expectancy of God’s voice speaking directly to my heart. Oh how much more of the Lord we would know about if we came before him with hands wide open to receive!

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit run down (See my last post Wave After Wave). I’ve been moving a mile a minute from activity to activity, keeping up with the rapid pull of all that I have to do. I’m longing for rest and peace. Usually when I start to feel like I am gasping for breath- that dry feeling deep in my soul- I realize that my time in the Word has been lacking. Oh, I have been spending time in my Bible…but it has become more of another thing to check off of my mental “to-do” list. Another thing that I HAVE to do.

I am a bit slow when it comes to learning new things. I often have to run into the same wall, banging my head over and over again before I realize that I need to change course. When that “Aha!” moment comes…it knocks me off my feet. Today was one of those moments.

In prayer this morning, before I even made a pot of coffee, I poured out my heart before the Lord asking for help to face today. With a deep sigh and an ‘Amen’ I stumbled out of my bed and head first into another schedule-packed day. In the rush of getting all four kids ready for school I was struck by how ragged my patience seemed to be. How quick I was to jump to correct and react rather than come along side and encourage. As I drove away from dropping them off at school, I was humbled by the gentle conviction of the Lord. I have been coasting on fumes. That dry, parched feeling of my heart was due to my lack of approaching the Lord, expectant and ready to be filled.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active.

God’s word is alive with his presence. They aren’t merely words on a page- they give life, they renew, and restore. When I open up his word, I should anticipate breathing in the goodness of God. Taking in the life-giving words of truth that can change and perfect my heart. I need his word. It’s the breath in my lungs. I can’t exist without him.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I am learning that I need to spend time with the Lord daily, not because I have to but because I need to. I need it like water, like the air I breathe. I can work and labor to change myself into the women I feel looks best before the Lord. I can go to church, I can serve and volunteer, but if I do it all on my own strength…it doesn’t give God glory and it doesn’t draw me closer to him. I need to look at the Bible and my time reading it as a way for me to understand the heart-beat of God. If I only spend time with the Lord to place that elusive check in the box of completion, I miss the exhilaration and expectancy of God’s voice speaking directly to my heart. Oh how much more of the Lord we would know about if we came before him with hands wide open to receive!

We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies, energy, power, and strength.

-Charles Stanley

I can’t keep coasting on fumes each day. I need to slow myself down, put aside the “to-do” list and simply immerse myself in the Word. Turning on worship music that focuses on scripture, pulling out my journal and Bible while my toddler watches a movie, or finding a podcast sermon.  I need to sit at the feet of my Father God and have Him restore my soul and realign my heart to his.

 

{great are you Lord – colby howland}

 

coming this spring

Spring 2015 Thryve MagazineI’m so honored to share a bit of what the Lord has been working on in my heart in the Spring Issue of Thryve Magazine. Keep a look out this March for my article titled: repurposed. This sweet magazine has the most tender heart for encouraging women to live their lives as a beautiful offering for the Lord. I cannot urge you enough to stop by their site- you will be blessed and refreshed.

wave after wave…we are not alone

That is the picture I am clinging to right now. A new wave-set is forming in the horizon. I'm feeling tired and unable to push myself up to catch a breath. I know I'm not alone; I don't have to be afraid. My heavenly Father is beside me, lifting me up so I will not be consumed. I'm still scared. I'm still weary, but he is teaching me to be a bit more adventurous in the midst of it because nothing will happen to me that isn't outside of his will or purpose for my life. I'm clinging to him. I'm learning more about trust. I am slowly understanding that he will never leave me or forsake me.

 Psalm 57

{For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.}

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly purse me; God sends his love and faithfulness. I am in the mist of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts- men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. They spread a net for my feet- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path- but they have fallen into it themselves. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.


I’m struck by David’s grateful, praise-filled heart in the midst of intense persecution. In the midst of difficulty and fear, David trusted the Lord. He held firm to the promise that God would protect and save him. David unswervingly focused his heart on praising the Lord while his enemies pursued him.

I wish I was more like David.

My life, recently, feels like I am standing in the ocean, right in the place where the waves break. Wave after wave repeatedly hitting my body, feeling like I am about to be toppled over with the next crash. I’m weary, fearful, and I am struggling.

Have you had moments like this?

I can’t tell you that I found some new insight into how God works in the midst of trials. That wouldn’t be truthful. I won’t wrap this up in a “thankful moment of joy” and say that it is so amazing to be in the midst of this trial. I wouldn’t be real.

But I can tell you this with absolute certainty…I know I’m not alone.

I can’t help but remember when I was younger. My family used to camp up at a beach near Santa Barbara. My aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins were there with us. We would spend hours out in the ocean. Wave after wave, jumping over the swells as they passed us by. My favorite thing to do was to wade out a bit further in the deeper water past the shore break. The only time I was brave enough to wander out there was when my grandfather would go with me. I could barely touch the sand with my toes when the waves would come. Seeing the wave crest before me, struggling to lift my body up- I would call for my papa. My grandfather would then lift me up so that the wave wouldn’t crash over my head- often making him go completely underwater as I was in his arms. I felt brave. The bigger the wave, the more exhilarating it was because I knew that my grandfather would not let me go…

That is the picture I am clinging to right now. A new wave-set is forming in the horizon. I’m feeling tired and unable to push myself up to catch a breath. I know I’m not alone; I don’t have to be afraid. My heavenly Father is beside me, lifting me up so I will not be consumed. I’m still scared. I’m still weary, but he is teaching me to be a bit more adventurous in the midst of it because nothing will happen to me that isn’t outside of his will or purpose for my life.

I’m clinging to him.

I’m learning more about trust. I am slowly understanding that he will never leave me or forsake me.

Wave after wave…we are not alone.

{we will not be shaken – bethel music}

bound together in love

Ephesians 4:1-6  "Therefore I, as a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body, and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.”

 

Ephesians 4:1-6

“Therefore I, as a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body, and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.”

Oh how this passage convicts and empowers me as a wife. Patience with my husband is such a struggle at times because I am so head strong with my convictions. He is such a deep processor, needing time to soak in and work through his decisions. Such wisdom is found in his handling of tough choices that come up daily in regards to our family.

I need to make every effort to step back and watch how God works through him. Letting him shine, letting his gifts be used in magnificent ways. With humility and gentleness I long to be the wife he needs me to be so that he can then rise up to the the man God created him to be.

I am thankful for this calling in my life.

What a privilege to be bound together in love with this sweet man God brought in my life.

the sweet scent of a life in Christ

Out of the abundance of what we are graciously given, we can't keep this to ourselves. We are commissioned to be a daily testimony of God's goodness and love. This is a terrific responsibility. I love how Paul asks if there is anyone competent to take it on. He understands his limitations. None of us has the ability on our own to be the most effective minister of truth. We can tidy ourselves up, use eloquent words, dress up our lives with "good deeds", but if this is done without the power of the cross at work in our lives...it is worthless.  It is ONLY in the grace moments of our lives where people will see God's love. It is only in being honest and real with our story- the struggles, the weaknesses, and the victory and recovery from our sins.

2 Corinthians 2:15-17 MSG

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap.

We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

It is because of Jesus that we have freedom and victory from our sinfulness. God leads us by the hand, like a proud papa, showing the world his love while releasing a life-filled fragrance of hope. Taking us, with dirty rags, and filthy sin-stained hearts, washing us clean with the redemptive blood of his beloved Son.

No longer do we walk with our heads held down in shame; we are renewed and restored. We are able to daily dwell in the presence of our Father as he lovingly looks us in the face.

Out of the abundance of what we are graciously given, we can’t keep this to ourselves. We are commissioned to be a daily testimony of God’s goodness and love. This is a terrific responsibility. I love how Paul asks if there is anyone competent to take it on. He understands his limitations. None of us has the ability on our own to be the most effective minister of truth. We can tidy ourselves up, use eloquent words, dress up our lives with “good deeds”, but if this is done without the power of the cross at work in our lives…it is worthless.

It is ONLY in the grace moments of our lives where people will see God’s love. It is only in being honest and real with our story- the struggles, the weaknesses, and the victory and recovery from our sins.

All that we are is only because we were saved.

We were rescued.

That is the sweetness of grace. That is what people will be drawn to. And unfortunately, it is also what will repel others from us. Pushing us aside, and wanting nothing to do with us.

In our hearts we give off the fragrance of life in Christ.

How do you smell?

beauty in weakness

 He doesn't leave us floundering in our struggles. He takes those weaknesses, if we are willing to submit, and uses them to show us and the world his grace-filled love. Others around us could have seen this friendship dissolve in bitterness and hurt, but God's power took hold of the situation and used it for his glory. This is redemptive living in all its beauty.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

But now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

This hit close to home for me this week. I had a sweet friend come to me and tell me that I had hurt her. I was so afraid that I messed up yet another friendship, adding it to the list of failed relationships in my past. Instead of shying away from confrontation, the Lord strongly nudged me to meet with her. In fear and trembling, I humbly listened as she shared her heart. Oh, how hard and uncomfortable it was, but beauty is found in the sweet bond we share in Christ. In the end, there was reconciliation and forgiveness. In the tears, there was hope. There was a deeper bond forged after that talk.

When I drove home afterwards, I cried. Weeping with the complete sense that God was working. I am weak in the area of friendship, and in this very moment the Lord lovingly showed me how he was refining me. I’m still weak, but he took that moment in my life and turned it into a way for me to see his power at work in my heart. In repentance, I was able to look at how I struggle with conflict in friendship. I was able to see God’s power slowly changing me.

 He doesn’t leave us floundering in our struggles. He takes those weaknesses, if we are willing to submit, and uses them to show us and the world his grace-filled love. Others around us could have seen this friendship dissolve in bitterness and hurt, but God’s power took hold of the situation and used it for his glory. This is redemptive living in all its beauty.

The light we shine is hope. Loudly proclaiming that God can be trusted. The hard moments we go through ultimately have a greater purpose. Hope that there is healing in broken relationships. Hope that there is forgiveness after sin. Confidence that ‘He who began a good work in us will carry it out into completion.’

There truly is beauty in weakness.

If you have a free moment, hit ‘play’ on this amazing song by Hillsong

Broken Vessels

you are enough

You are enough! God loves you so much!!

 

I just want to remind you that you are enough…right this very moment. Your feeble hands, your struggling heart, and the painful scars of your past. When you feel like each day is the same as the next- home with the kids and you feel weary. You are enough.

You may feel alone, lonely, and unlovable. Rejection and heartache are weighing heavily upon you….

Hear it again- you are enough.

You may wonder how God can love you. You may wrestle with fears of the future. You are enough. In the moments you may have responded with anger- you are enough. The deep, dark secret shames you carry…you are enough. Stop wondering, stop questioning God’s love…just say it over and over.

You are enough.

Say it a loud in the mirror, whisper it into the silence of your heart. There is absolutely nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of God- NOTHING. You are enough. Yes, you are!

When you stumbled through your day- tripping on temptations and embracing the lies.

You are enough in Christ.

I believe that the Word of God is living and active- meaning that when we read the Bible it enters into our heart and it changes us. God’s word is his love letter to us.

I created  a free printable list of scriptures for you that will remind you of how much He loves you. Print this out; write them out on 3 X 5 cards- tape them around your house, in your car…where ever you know you will read them over and over. Let this list be an encouragement of hope and truth over your life daily. God loves you with a lavish love!

Click HERE to download your copy of My Identity in Christ.

Here’s a great song from Bethel Music- I Belong to You:

Pass this along to anyone who may need to hear that they are ENOUGH in Christ.

by God’s power we live

You cover with me with grace!
In my reading this morning I was delving deep into Corinthians. I am challenged by Paul’s boldness and his clarity of purpose. His authenticity draws me.

I am encouraged and admire how he embraces his limitations, his struggle with sin, and how he doesn’t shy away from being completely upfront with sharing his weaknesses.

He knows that it is the tangible working of God in his life, in the mess of his humanness, that will draw people to the redemptive love of Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:3-4

He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we live with him to serve you.

never lose heart

Life is full of difficulties and struggles. Twists and turns of trials that leave us weary and off course. We were never promised an easy road to travel upon, but graciously given a covenant-vow that we would never have to walk alone.Never lose heart!

 

Life is full of difficulties and struggles. Twists and turns of trials that leave us weary and off course. We were never promised an easy road to travel upon, but graciously given a covenant-vow that we would never have to walk alone.

Never lose heart!

Isaiah 43:2

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

more of you & less of me

 

I can’t help but love the app on my phone called Vrsly. They have a daily photo overlay that you can use to create beautiful, inspiring images.  Today’s overlay seems to tie into my quiet time perfectly.

I spent some time reading in 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 this morning.  It says:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

 The death of Jesus on the cross freed us from our sinful selves. We daily have to surrender our lives, the sinfulness of our humanness at the feet of our loving Savior. In exchange we receive newness of life, freedom from sins power, and grace-filled forgiveness. That is the power of the cross. Alive, wide-eyed awareness of His love, changing, molding, and refining us.

More of You and less of me….

check out: make a difference mondays

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Hello Friends,

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Sybil Brun over at the blog She Lives Free.  Sybil has such an amazing heart. I love her site. It is full of amazing information, heartfelt posts about her faith, and interviews from women who have a deep love for the Lord.

Please check out her site, and if you have a free moment you can get to know me a bit more in my interview.

 

i want to hear from YOU

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{my verse for 2015}

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

For me, this year is full of uncertainties: a family member who is battling cancer, my husband’s job facing new changes, and a few more unspoken challenges down the road.

In other news, I’m turning 40 this year! I have promised myself that I will not call myself old…for “feeling old” is a state of mind. My son will start driving this year and will also begin high school in the fall.

Life has so many twists and turns. I am so thankful that in the midst of life’s quick pace and uncertainties that our God is constant and true. He is our rock, keeping us firmly planted and secure.

 That is why Zephaniah speaks so deeply to my soul. God is in my midst- I am never alone and I can always call on him in prayer. He is mighty to save- God holds all things in his hands. I can rest in the promise that he will deliver me from all of life’s struggles. He rejoices over me with gladness- he loves me. The Lord is proud to call me his child. There is nothing that can separate me from his love. He will quiet me with his love- this is HUGE for me. My anxiety and worry will only be calmed by the truth found in the Bible. I need to refresh my mind daily focusing on his love for me and how he sees me. The God of the universe loves to sing over me.  Loudly singing, rejoicing in his love for me!

I would love to know what you are focusing on for this new 2015 year. Are there verses you are clinging to this year? Are there areas in your life you feel the Lord stirring in your heart to release to Him? Will there be exciting, wonderful events that you are looking forward to this year?  How can I specifically pray for YOU? I’d love to know.

Here is a great song the usher in the new year. Looking forward to all that God has in store for us this year!

{brandon heath (feat. sons & daughters) – no turning back}

why i kissed new year’s resolutions good-bye

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There is something about a new year that I love. The crisp, clear, wide-open spaces of days to come. Just like opening up a new book that has never been read, or a gifted journal that has yet to be filled with dreams, this is how I approach the first few days before New Year’s. I believe the Lord loves new beginnings as well. Through out the Bible, one cannot help but marvel in the beauty of His words describing creation, newness of life, or even what was once dead returning to vitality. Even our dear Savior, Jesus Christ, told a tree-climber about how one must become “born-again”. (John 3:1-16) His message to humanity was unlike anything ever heard before. Some of my most treasured scriptures are those which lovingly describe the restoration, the repurposing of our weakness to be transformed into the image of Christ….

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