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I Will Follow…again and again

There I sat in my car on the side of the road with loud horns blaring. Through blurry vision, my eyes tried to determine if the traffic light was red or green.

What was I thinking… a married mother of two hanging out this late at night trying to drive home after a night of clubbing?

Why was I not content with my life any longer? The nagging feeling that there was a greater purpose for my life would not go away.

Jesus was calling. And I needed fixin’

Recently, I have been reading Suzanne Eller’s book, Come with Me. And boy, my mind has been going places it hasn’t been in a long time. She challenged me to view myself as the thirteenth disciple. Me? My thoughts instantly went back to the woman sitting on the side of the road.

How could He want me?

Very few of us see ourselves the way God does. For too many years I saw myself as a girl raised in brokenness who had little to offer, even after I became a woman. God called me away from that identity. He saw me differently. He saw a woman who loved him. He saw a woman who desired to be a good mom. He saw things inside of me that I couldn’t envision.
Suzanne Eller, Come With Me

 He did want me! Yes, Indeed!

As I thought about it, I was no different than the dudes that He had already called. I, too, needed a new identity. I needed to learn to release all that I was holding on to and follow Him. I needed to remember that He could take ordinary people and do extraordinary things. I needed to walk with faith as I pushed out into deeper waters with Him.

And guess what?

My need to accept the invitation to follow Him is still a daily decision I get to make. I easily get twisted up and distracted. I forget. However, walking with my feet knee deep in the muck and mire of life, I get to claim my rightful place as a disciple of Jesus. I get position myself with Him at the table declaring I am…..

                       Established. Renewed.Whole.Victorious.Worthy

I say, “Yes!” again to leaving my broken past; my should haves, and my could haves all behind.

Many years have come and gone since I was sitting on the side of the road. Man! What a great work He has done in my life and that of my family. Sister, I have a long way to go. I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface on seeing what my God can do with a life sold out for Him.

Come With Me is igniting a renewed spark in me. Believe me, you will not be disappointed if you read this book.

Will you say, Yes?!!!

***I will be giving a copy of the book away to one random person who leaves a comment on my Facebook group page. Pop on over and join me!

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay3-D Lessons for Life

When My View is Distorted


The music is blaring as you pass the merry-go-round, but then something catches your eye. It’s your reflection, but something is not quite right. At first glance, you are short and plump and next you are tall and lean. If you’ve ever been to a carnival, you have probably seen one of those funny mirrors that make you look distorted. Looking into each mirror gives you a different shape. Some are better than others. I, personally, like the one that makes me look like I’m ten pounds lighter.

According to webster.com, distortion is a lack of proportionality in an image resulting from defects in the optical system.
I guess to put it simply…your eyes see things as they should not be.
Well, distortion doesn’t not just happen with my eyes; it happens with my thought patterns as well.

My bathroom mirror, though it is not distorted tends to act like it is. On a typical day, I bounce out of bed, and I feel like today is the day. I look in the mirror and my hair and makeup are on point. It’s going to be a good day. I say, “I got this!” Then, other days, my failures start to sneak in before my feet hit the cold floor… harsh words that were spoken, a to-do list that didn’t get done, the many balls that were dropped. All reminders of how I can’t live up to the task
At this point, it is easy to look in the mirror and see all the imperfections. The mounting confidence I had the day before has been distorted.
Tweet: When the bigness of my reality seems to become bigger than my God, I will turn back to the truth.When the bigness of my reality seems to become bigger than my God, I will turn back to the truth.
The thoughts I think about myself begin to have an impact. In my distorted view, I start believing how could He love a girl like me. I am not made whole in His image. He does not have the power to restore me. I’ve messed up too much. He does not see me and love me as I am. How could He?
But, God!
He reaches in the depth of my soul to say He loves me. He reminds me that He loves me despite my performance. Even if I dropped all the balls and not one single thing gets done on my to-do list, or I have to ask for forgiveness for the thousandth time, His love would not budge one bit.
If I linger in the love and grace that God has for me, this changes my whole perspective.
I am righteous and chosen
I am not the product of my past
I am a new creation in Christ
I am strong enough
I am gifted enough
I am loved by God
My friend, satan attempts to blind us. We begin to see things as they really aren’t. Our reality becomes a reality of distortion. Cling to the truth of God, then the true reality will be easy to recognize.

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay3-D Lessons for Life, Shine Blog Hop

A Glimmer of Hope in the Darkness

I don’t think I could have kept walking without the reassurance that there was a glimmer of hope that everything was going to be ok, eventually.

There I stood at the entrance of the dark cave with my daughter. My young son had already decided that he would have no part of it. I’ll admit, I understood his refusal. My heart was racing at the thought of entering the unknown. I looked as far as I could, but all I could see was darkness. Was there a bear? Mountain Lion? A crazy person with an ax?

I took the first unsure steps. My daughter didn’t have any hesitations what so ever.

Then, I saw it. It was a little glimmer of light at the end of the cave.

That little light changed my whole perspective-instantly. I suddenly had a sense of peace and hope…

Looking into that dark cave, reminded of a time past when I was 14 years old. I was sleeping over a friend’s house, and all was well until her drunk dad came in unexpectedly and started to beat the tar out of her right in front of me. Turning to me harshly, He told me I had to leave. Did I mention that it was 3 am. in the morning, and they lived over a bar.

The only ride I could find home was from a drunk lady. She drove me 30 miles outside of town to my house, which was located in a trail park that was over a mile down a hill from the highway.

I expected her to drop me off closer to my house. But instead, she dropped me off at the top by the highway.

As far as I could see, there was only black and darkness. As I begin to walk down the hill, I took slow baby steps trying not to trip over any rocks. I cried off and on the whole way thinking of all the possible things that could go wrong.

Then, I saw it! It was a glimmer of light coming from the trailer park laundromat.

Not wanting to cause drama at home, I decided to sleep curled up on the floor by the washing machine. I was afraid and lost that night and a light in the distance was the only thing that brought me hope.

Jesus said that He is the light of the world…

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

A glimmer of light in darkness will blaze…

“You are the light of the world…like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see”. Matt. 5:14

In both of these situations, a glimmer of light brought me hope. I found the reassurance that I could somehow make it through the obstacle I was facing.

Life can often feel like that cave or dark road: dark and full of unknowns. And taking that next step can seem impossible; however, the reassurance of hope makes those next crucial steps possible.

Darkness of the unknown can overwhelm. But the light of Jesus brings hope.

I didn’t know Jesus that night I sleep on the cold floor. But, I take great confidence in knowing He knew me.

Linked up: Live Free Thursdsay with Suzie Eller

Releasing the Tight Grip



Beginning my married life as a Marine’s wife, I had no problem with packing up my home and children and moving where the orders would take us. I was excited about the new adventure that awaited us.

Plus, it meant my house was guaranteed to be cleaned top to bottom every three years. Clutter was no problem. It was gone!
However, now that I was becoming more mature and sophisticated. I was finding more and more that I didn’t like letting go of stuff…. I am not talking about my overcrowded closet that needs purging, either. I am talking about wanting what God has for me but not wanting to let go of some of the good, even the things that aren’t so good.
 It was easy to purge the stuff I didn’t want; the stuff that made me feel safe was a different story.
From childhood, I learned to build up walls that made me feel safe. It took me awhile to realize I had been hauling those walls and many other things around for years.
The Lord was telling me it was time to do some demolition. Those walls needed to come down.
 Reasons I wanted to keep holding on:
It brought me comfort.

It is not easy to go outside the comfort zones that I had put in place

Could I really trust God?

I would be vulnerable. 

It exposed to others that I didn’t know what I was doing. Yikes!

It turns out that those very walls that were keeping me safe were actually causing me to be in a bondage of fear.

And once those walls were down, the cleaning of the inside was in full force. The true work was able to begin.
 I am continually being made into a new creation.
Ok, my sister, what are you holding on to?  It might be a funky thought pattern that doesn’t line up with God’s word. It might be replacing the negative voices in your head with the solid truth. It might be dying to self, so the radiant fullness of Christ can be made alive in your life. It might be tearing down that wall.
Lord, help us!
As I begin to release that tight grip, it causes me to grow and trust little more and more. I am continuously put in a place where I have to trust God with everything I can’t see.

I am confident that He sees the big picture.  And even though it might not be an easy road, the journey is still worth it. I’m where I am supposed to be. 

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Phil. 1:6 

 Link ups:  Live Free Thursdsay with Suzie Eller and 3-D Lessons for Life

Headed Straight to the Heart

It almost didn’t even come to a complete surprise to me when my husband muttered out the question I’ve heard and have said a thousand times before….”How do you take the things you know to be truth from the mind to the heart?”

The only thing I could think of at the moment was we get all twisted up. The voices in our head become louder than truth. Circumstances become towering mountains and block our view. We need to get to a place of stillness in our souls, where everything is unmovable and knowing is one thing but believing is life changing:

Nevertheless, I still get all twisted up. I wish I could say I got it all figured out. I start looking for answers and solutions in the wrong places. I start to believe achievement is accomplished apart from God. Or, maybe I start to believe I need to have it all figured it before He could ever love me. Maybe I began to feel like I need to pursue happiness, but happiness is only an imaginary line in the sand that moves forward the minute you think you have reached it.
 “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom. 12:1

Renewing my mind by the power of the Holy Spirit is what it’s going to take. I have to turn my thought process around and stop believing the lie and turn to the truth. And this is not based on how I am feeling. Sometimes I have to look truth straight in the face and say, “I believe it!”

 For example, I’m not feeling happy right now, but I know my joy is complete in Christ. I don’t feel like God loves me, but I know God loved me so much He sent His son to die for me. I feel like a complete failure, but I know Christ will finish the work He has started in me. I feel like I can’t do anything right, but I know through Christ I can do all things.

Did you know nothing pleases Satan more than to get you in a stuck place where you have no hope or any peace? It’s because when you are stuck you have little to no effectiveness. You become a dweller, a person who hovers over the same spot in life having no impact. I don’t want to live that way, and I don’t believe you do either. The good news is God loves you right where you are. He wants to use every part of your life for His glory. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Join me in standing upon the truth. If we fall, sisters, we will just get back up, rub the dust off, and keep on standing, believing with all of our heart.

 I am linked up at Live Free Thursdsay with Suzie Eller. Come check it out!

Confident, Who Me? (revisted)

Looking back over my life, I would never describe myself as a woman with confidence. However, as the years have gone by the Lord has taken me through various trails and victories, my confidence has increased and is increasing immensely. Along the way (and depending on the day:), I had to realize  my confidence wasn’t based off the things I do. It was solely based off my relationship with Jesus and who He is in my life.

Here is what Dictionary.com has to say about the word confident: 1. Having strong belief or full assurance; sure: confident of fulfillment. 2. Sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness. 3. Excessively bold; presumptuous. Did you catch that?

 “Having no uncertainty about one’s own ability.

Personally, I’ve had plenty of uncertainties about my own abilities, and this often led to struggles with my self-confidence; furthermore, In the midst of all those uncertainties, I would forget to turn to God for direction and strength; instead I would let the lies of this world shape who I wanted to be. Let’s take a look at what the world describes as a confident woman:

She pushes her way through life with her head erected high not letting anything, so it seems, get in her way. She appears to have it all together. Everything on her life’s list seems to be checked off. She seems fulfilled. The outer appearance is in check, especially when comparing herself to other women. She is bold and presumptuous, even at the expense of other people’s feelings. She doesn’t need to summit to anyone because she is her own person and has a mind of her own (I wanted to be this woman).

Now let’s look at the confident woman of God. She too has her head held high, but not because she thinks she’s all that, but because she knows the One true giver of all things. She is clothed in the splendor of her Lord. She doesn’t have to judge others because she knows from what she has been forgiven. She is busy going about the work that has been given her. She knows where her source of energy comes from. She can willingly summit to the authority around her because she knows God is the ultimate authority in her life. She can lay her head down each night knowing she has served well, loved well, and given all to the glory of the Lord (I want to be this woman).

Believe me when I say… It is a battle. Also, I can say with confidence, I am a work in progress, as I am sure we all are. However, let us all pursue God in a way that we too will be able to stand with our heads held high. And not because of any great accomplishments we have done, but because of who Christ is in our lives. May we have full assurance that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). As we grow in this true confidence, may others begin to see women who are radiating the reflection of God’s glory.

For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.  Prov. 3:26

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.
 Prov. 14:26
     
I am linked up at Live Free Thursday with Suzie Eller. Come check it out!

A Whole lot of Perspectives…

 Let me just jump right in this…..If I could share with you the degree of stuff that I have been set free from, you would probably be disgusted, or amazed to the point of rejoicing. Through God’s grace and the blood of Jesus , I have been set free from much. That is why I can’t walk around with my christian-measuring stick and beat others over the head with it. I can’t say who is deserving of God’s grace and who is not. I wasn’t deserving, but Jesus chose to die for me anyway. Once Jesus gets a hold of a life, He will change it.

With all that said, I do believe without a doubt that…All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I can’t change it. I can’t throw out the parts I don’t like. If I so choose, all I can do is ignore it.

Lord, help me with walk with the same love You have shown me…

I love hearing stories of just ordinary people, who have been touched by the hand of God. Here is something written by a lovely gal on my  “A Mother’s Faith” group on Facebook. This is Melissa Allen’s perspective: (Thank you for letting me share your story, Melissa)

Ok look, I don’t judge people. I never have. I make decisions about you based on how you treat me. If your nice to me I’m nice to you. If you show me love I will give it right back. I have more empathy than most. I don’t care who you marry as long as you are happy and you treat each other well. Love is a beautiful thing. Yes, I am a Christian. I haven’t always been. When I hadn’t found the Lord yet, I was still a good person but something was missing. There was a hole in me that I tried to fill with all kinds of things. But nothing ever fit until I found Jesus. It has changed my family in immeasurable ways. Things that I never thought possible have happened. So, tell me why is it that people judge me? Assume that they know what I think or how I feel based on the fact that I love Jesus. If you want to know what I think ask me.
Yes, there are some things in the bible you might not want to hear. There are some things in the bible I don’t like to hear! Because it reminds me that I’m not perfect. It’s called conviction. It’s what keeps me humble and honest with myself. Without it I would go around thinking I had it all together. That I don’t need Jesus and I would be right back where I was 5 years ago. Trust me, nobody wants that! I’m happier within myself than I have ever been. I no longer carry guilt or shame around in a back pack. But it’s not my intention or job to convict you.
So, in a time where we as a Nation are being more respectful of other people’s feelings and rights. Where everything is ok and a man that 6 months ago was being ripped to shreds in the media is now a hero and being celebrated and loved in the media because she is living her truth, am I made to feel like it’s not ok to live my truth? To celebrate the fact that I love Jesus! I can’t talk about it because it might make someone uncomfortable. I can’t share my story with you because you might feel like I’m trying to make you go to church or I’m preaching to you. Trust me, I don’t want to make anyone do anything they don’t want to. I don’t want to preach to you. If I tell you about how my life has changed and how happy I am it’s because it’s true and I want to share my experience with you. I want you to have the love and joy that I have found. Nothing more. I have no hidden agenda. I’m not looking down on you or judging you because you don’t go to church. I’m just sharing something really cool that happened to me. Yet I’m made to feel as though it’s not ok. I’m not allowed to share my love of Jesus because I might make someone feel uncomfortable. Or people will label me and assume they know what I think about certain topics just because I go to church.
So, in a time where we as a Nation are being more respectful of people’s feelings and rights shouldn’t I get the same benefits?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV)