There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just one of those days.....

Its been one of those weeks for our family where it just seems like we are mentally and physically worn down. It seems like any and every little silly thing that could have gone wrong throughout the week has. Nothing major or catastrophic but just little annoyances all week long that have been non stop. Maybe I give Satan too much credit but for me it always seems like when God is moving and He is doing big things Satan will try to use every little piddly thing he can to break us down mentally, physically and spiritually. It doesnt have to be a life crisis but anytime a roadblock is thrown in your way to interfere with your momentum and what God is doing it can be difficult.

One of the more difficult days for me this past week was Wednesday. It was raining like crazy (again), I was having some computer issues, I stepped in dog you know what in my favorite pair of tennis shoes, spilled a little glass of milk all over my dresser in between the drawers, I just felt blah and was having one of those days where I just felt like I couldnt catch a break. Do you know what I'm talking about? A day where you try to push forward and be optimistic and positive throughout the day but then the next thing you know you have dropped your favorite glass plate, dinner was nasty, another bill comes rolling in the mail, your late to an important appointment, communication between you and your spouse is just off, your kids aren't listening, the dog is even riding that last never you feel like you have in your entire body and seperately you can deal with it but all together you just feel like you want to hide in a corner and scream? That was my Wednesday as well as Scotts and Macies, so it was triple blah for our house that day.

I have shared this story on fb and with a few of my friends but Wednesday after I stepped in the dog stuff and got drenched by rain walking to get Macie from school her and I were talking about how her day was and the events of her day at school. Throughout the conversation I learned that one of the little boys in her class that she often talks about and seems to really like was upset with her. I started asking her why he was mad at her and the details were scarce and really she wasnt real sure of why. The more we talked the more information I got from the story and by putting the pieces together I learned that she was showing him something, or making a motion for something and happened to use her middle finger and he interpreted it as her flipping him off. The boy told the teacher on Macie and she didnt get in trouble but she was just so confused about the whole situation. We don't use gestures like that in our house or use curse words so I explained to Macie what using that gesture can mean and how it can be used for bad things. During my explanation a wave of disbelief and sadness rolled over Macies little face and she started sobbing uncontrolably. It broke my heart because I realized in that moment that a piece of her innocense was lost. She was clueless that it ever meant anything bad and the guilt she felt because of what it meant and the thought that her friend interpreted as her making such a negative nasty gesture towards him really broke her heart. The situation turned out ok but it just really bothered me.

It was a moment as a parent that I realized how harsh this world can be sometimes and how much it can completely take the wind out of our sails. This is a new journey for Macie and for Scott and I and life can be tough, there are going to be times where the world will throw things our way to try and break our spirits and tear us down. It was a reminder to me that even as adults at how difficult life can be for us and and how there are things even still for us that can really take us by suprise.  Satan will try and use 20 little disasters thrughout a day to work on our hearts and bring us down. Wednesday was difficult for us but that evening having Scott and I at praise band practice together with Macie sitting there hanging out with us after picking her up from Caravan (kids Weds night church) I just felt a sense of relief and peace because regardless of how yucky that day was God was still who He says He is, He was still powerful and mighty and loving and compassionate and singing and worshiping during practice I thought "ha ha Satan you still havent won, YOU WILL NOT BREAK OUR SPIRITS and YOU WILL NOT GET IN THE WAY OF WHAT GOD IS DOING!!!!!!" Thank You Jesus that even when we have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, God has still won and His mercies are new each day!

Just remember when your having one of "those days" that God is still good and everything may be going wrong that could possibly go wrong but thats what Satan wants, he wants to use those little disasters to pick and pick and pick at you until your focus is shifted from the goodness of Christ. Call upon the name of Jesus in those moments and hand the battle physically and emotionally over to Him. Allow Him to fight the fight and to have the victory against the enemy. Declare to the world that "I may stumble but I will not be broken, you have not one ounce of my strength, my joy, and part of my life Satan and I cast you out in the name of Jesus and declare that my God will still have the ultimate victory.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Instant gratification......

I have been thinking this past week about the many uncertainties in my life as well as so many others around me and how as humans we really hate this concept. We have quickly become a society of instant gratification. We walk up to a vending machine hungry for a tasty snack and expect to put our money in and have our treat fall quickly to the bottom of the machine into our grasp within seconds. But what if when we go to the vending machine, we put our money in the slot and then that metal corcsrew looking things turns only slightly causing our candy bar to get stuck? We all know exactly what happens but only some are willing to admit this i'm sure but we instantly become upset and start banging and shaking the machine because we are so bent out of shape that we can't have what we want now. I mean sure we put something into that machine and so we expect results right now!!!!!!!!!!

Think of all the things that we now have which gives us what we want when we want it. E-mail is the first thing that comes to mind, its so much faster than what we now call snail mail. We can get on the internet send an e-mail and within a matter of minutes receive a reply. Texting is also a new contributor to our instant gratification society. Instead of taking the time to call or e-mail we text. Some people like it because they can even text while driving so that not a minute is wasted out of their days, they can text and do other things all at once and get the information they need from another person right now. We also have drive thrus, we not only have food drive thrus we now have pharmacy drive thrus, car washes and who knows what else is to come. I often find myself laughing at the commercial where the woman pulls up to the drive through and has her eyes screened...i wouldn’t seriously doubt it if we didn’t have drive through optometrist someday the rate our world is going. Back to food drive thrus, i think its amazing you can call your order into a restaurant and they will bring it out to your car so that you can have a full course meal for your entire family within minutes. We now have microwave rice-a roni which only takes 15 minutes to make on the stove but yet they have cut it down to taking 3 minutes in the microwave, which by the way we have tried and I think its disgusting. But our marekting agencies around the world are continuing to make millions and millions of dollars off of our lack of patience.

We are a society that doesn’t have time to stop and be still....therefore when we are faced with a crisis we find ourselves completely overwhelmed that we can't have the answers right now!!! I have found myself in situations in the past where I cried out to the Lord for answers to my problems but under one stipulation I wanted them now!!! God doesn’t always tell us what we want when we want to hear it, and I am glad for this, because I think in a lot of situations if God gave us the answer right then we actually wouldn’t be prepared for it anyways. If He tried to show us the way we should go or the reason for something we would think it was just plain crazy and wouldnt be in a place to understand why. Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." This verse makes me think God is saying, would you just chill out and be patient i got this under control....not you but I. Just like the rice a roni- sure we can have the answers much faster but in the end its really not what we were expecting and if we would have just waited a little longer instead of taking the quick fix than it would have been just right and much better. Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men suceed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." Dont worry about what is going on around us or what others are doing or the way their prayers are being answered, but instead focus on what God is going to do in your life as you wait patiently before Him placing your lives in His hands. During times of uncertainties in our lives we are required to be still and wait on the Lord...this is so hard for me and I am sure so many others because i have become accustomed to the instant gratification idea. But during those times where we must wait on the Lord we experience some of the most awesome blessings just because we have a few minutes to be still.

We have experienced this in the past in many ways but one in particular that i remember is when Scott was trying to find a teaching job. He had a few interviews and we started to become so frustrated because we didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting a job right now like we wanted....but in the end He ended up getting a job that was his top choice and if he would have gotten one of the other ones in the beginning yes we would have had our prayers answered quicker but it wouldn’t have been what was best for us.

Something I think about often is that I find myself feeling the most relaxed and rested at the dr’s. office. I know this sounds silly but when you are waiting for the dr. there is nothing else to do but just sit there and be still.....sure you have other things to do when you leave but until you get out of that office you can do nothing else but to sit and wait patiently. So I guess this is just an encouragement to take more opportunities to be still for a few minutes and to try and be less dependent on instant gratification...because like I have already said although its quick its not always best!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You want me to do what???

This video by Beth Moore is one of the most touching and beautiful stories I have ever seen. I have seen this video and her tell this very same story on different shows and occasions and everytime I watch it I still get "God bumps" and become speechless. Watch this video and see what I mean.

In this video Beth talks of a man she meets waiting for a flight at an airport. This man is an elderly, wheelchair ridden, fraile man. He has the longest most matted hair hanging down in his face and is a sight that grab the attention of everyone around. As Beth sees this man sitting there she feels a deep calling of the Holy Spirit on her in that moment to approach this man. Because Beth is so sensitive to the Spirits leading in her life when she feels the Spirit moving her in a certain direction she is obedient. This situation caught Beth off guard and made her nervous, it put Beth out of her comfort zone and although she though the Lord wanted her to witness to this man she learned that the Spirit was calling her to brush this mans matted, long, unkempt hair. She didnt know at the time that this man had been in the hospital and hadn't had any help getting his hair cut or brushed so that when he got home to his wife of many many years he would feel good and presentable for his bride, his love. Beth was obedient and this lead to her sharing Jesus with a flight attendant who witnessed this true act of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. There are many times in life where I have felt the Spirit leading me to serve or be the hands and feet that Jesus would want me to be but instead I turned the other way. God doesnt always call us to witness to others by just preaching the Bible but just simple acts that are done with love and tenderness is a way that can truely reach into the heart of someone that needs to see Jesus in the everyday little moments in life.

Matthew 25:35 to 36 (NIV) ~ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Beth Moore could have walked away from the elderly man when she felt the Spirit saying she needed to brush his hair. He would have never known but instead she followed the Spirits leading and with gentleness and love brushed his hair and in that moment it was exactly what this man needed. We come to find through the video that this man already knew Jesus but that day He needed to know the love of Jesus in a simple human act. How much better would our world be if we followed the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives each day and acted with love, gentleness, tenderness and compassion to those that need a helping hand? I just encourage you that if you feel the Spirit leading you to reach out to someone, regardless of whether its witnessing to them about the Bible or just providing a basic need go for it. The Lord will provide whatever you need in that moment if He is calling you to be used. He will provide the resources, wisdom and words to offer that person in that moment. It may seem scarey but I guarantee you will be blessed in huge ways for your obedience. The simplest things in life to us can mean the most to someone so desperate to feel loved and nurtured in that moment.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"I'm tired, pick me up daddy"

We had an amazing weekend as a family in the Cameron household. It was jam packed but filled with memory after memory I will treasure forever. Saturday we had Macie's last soccer game, then went to find pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, after lunch we decided to try and fly kites which was a blast but not too successful. The wind was crazy and by the time we were finished we all felt like we had the snot beat out of us. At this point it was only 1:00 and we were all exhausted. Walking home from the field we tried to fly our kite in Macie put on those puppy dog eyes and hinted Scotts way that she was tired and wanted him to carry her on his shoulders the rest of the way.

Seeing this it melted my heart and was a reminder to me about how often life wears us down. We feel like we go through the motions everyday of busyness and chaos and although we have joyous things we also experience hardships and sometimes it just gets exhausting. I remember a specific time in my life and it was a year and a half ago. I had just had my second emergency surgery in 8 months and was at a pretty low point in my life. I am sharing this because the Lord has delivered me from this period in my life and I really feel like someone will understand exactly what I mean today. I was miserable to wake up each day in the same circumstance. I kept thinking it was all a dream, that when I woke up in the morning I wouldn't be in physical pain anymore, I wouldn't have a giant wound and iv tubes connected to me. I would be able to go throughout my day like a normal 27 year old, I would be able to cook, clean, play with my daughter but I couldn't. For months I lived in this place of really feeling miserable, I never lost hope and always told myself that although I didn't want to feel like that any longer I had to for my daughters sake and that nothing lasts forever.

I know this sounds so basic but literally I remember waking up in the morning and the realization hitting me that nothing had changed and just sobbing because I didn't know how I would face another day like that. Scott can testify to this and was an amazing support for me during those difficult times. I remember coming to a point though where I just cried out to God and said "ok I give up, I can't do this anymore I need you to pick me up and carry me through this time." It was the same desperate plea that Macie gave her daddy this weekend when her little legs were so tired from the journey she had been facing that day, she just needed him to intervene, pick her up and carry her the rest of the way. For me it was about just getting by each day for awhile as best as I could. It was about trusting that God would sustain me in each moment, whatever that meant. Maybe it meant a good nights sleep, a painless visit from the nurse, a bath to feel refreshed, literally I lived off the little moments to carry me through to a time where the load was a little easier.

I admire the support so many people have given us but I felt like I needed to share this story today because I'm not superwoman, I try to be optimistic and strong through the difficulties life throws our way but I have had many moments of weakness myself. I am the person I am today and I face the situations in front of us today with optimism because I know where we have been before, I know what I have gone through physically and emotionally and although it could always be better I remember many dark times where things were much worse and I will praise my Jesus for that. I will praise my Jesus because seasons in life are only temporary and God will always provide what we need to sustain us in that moment. Lamentations 3:22-23"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Whatever you are facing right now just know you don't have to do it on your own. You may feel wiped out, exhausted, not sure how you will get up in the morning and live the pain you are facing in your life another day. I don't know what your going through but I know that nothing can last forever. If you can get up each day and place your life in the hands of Jesus and trust Him to pick you up and carry you for awhile, allow Him to give you a break from walking the journey on your own feet alone, allow Him to be your strength. Like a father does for His child God wants to do for us His children, in our times of weakness and desperation He longs for us to turn to Him and say "please pick me up and carry me daddy I can't walk anymore I'm so tired."

It doesn't mean your days will instantly change but it will mean that you don't have to do it anymore on your own strength alone. It may mean just doing whatever you can to make it through the day and searching for whatever little moments you can each day to offer little flickers of hope in the darkness. I promise you if you hang on joy will come, seasons don't last forever and are only temporary. Thank You Jesus for where you have brought me and what You have brought me through, You have turned my mourning into dancing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Embracing the person God has designed you to be....

There is something to be said about being comfortable in your own skin. This is so hard especially as women i think. Its not so much as being content with what we look like on the outside, our hair, our height, our weight, or the clothes that we wear but instead its about being ok with who we are. Its about  being ok with the person that God designed us to be. Every flaw, imperfection, passion, strength, all those pieces come together for a reason and finding a reason and purpose behind all that is what makes every person unique.

This is something I am really learning right now I feel. I never felt like I focused so much on self esteem kind of characteristics and being ok or not ok with them but I know there were often quirks in my personality that I wasnt ok with. There were things that I would find mysef doing that seemed unique and instead of embracing that I saw it as an imperfection. I know parents who love to help out at their childrens schools, they are involved with the PTA and sign up for every possible thing they can to help out with childrens ministries at church or sports and for me I don't really care for those things. I know this sounds terrible so let me explain. I looooove my daughter and feel like I am the best mom I can and know how to be and would do anything for my daughter. For her 6th Birthday this year I made cupcakes and decorated them with sprinkles and all and took them in to share with her whole class and would do anything I could to support and nurture her and be apart of her life but I don't feel like being inovled with Childrens things more than that is my passion or my strength. I enjoy music and like to sing but its not a huge passion of mine to be apart of the choir or to go Christmas caroling. Some people love selling things, having small businesses, being Avon or Scentsy consultants which I think takes a huge talent and special gift but its just not me.

I have learned that instead of seeing myself as not good at those things I change my focus to what I am good at and what I'm passionate about and thank God for giving me the gifts for those areas. I love writing and sharing Jesus through my life stories which is why I started this blog, I love being an encourager and giving little gifts to people I love. I love nurturing women and mentoring younger college age girls and sharing my life and experiences with them and helping them and praying for them. I like to make people laugh, I like cooking for my husband and family. I like being able to have a neat and cozy house for my family and try really hard making everyone who comes to our house feel welcome and comfortable. It took me a long time to truely be ok with who God has designed me to be. I still have my days where I wish I could sing like "Kari Jobe" or bake an amazing birthday cake unlinke my terrible baking skills. I have days I wish I enjoyed going to the zoo and looking at the animals or watching musicals but thats just not me and I am becoming ok with that.

I am becoming ok that although there are many things that just arent me or I may not be good at or be passionate about there are so many other things I am good at and am passionate about. Its about becoming ok with the things that God has created you for and nurturing that strength, its about truely embracing your uniqueness and knowing that although you may be different and you may not be able to do the things your friend can do its what makes you who you are. Psalm 139: 13-15 "Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something."

I am learning that I have so many amazing friends and family that are all so different from me, I could name person after person and tell you how unique and talented they are but yet so different and so beautiful. I am thankful today that God chose to make me the person I am, with different quirks, strengths, passions and gifts. Whoever God has designed you to be I just encourage you this week to grab ahold of all those intricate details and be joyful in your own skin, embrace the beauty of who you are :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Reminder....

I read this section from the book "Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free" and to me it was such an amazing reminder when we feel so out of whack and life seems crazy how constant and loving our God is.

In the midst of the roller-coaster ride our emotions sometimes take us on, we have to constantly bring our minds and thoughts back to the Truth. The Truth is, God is good, whether I feel like He is good or not. The Truth is, God loves me, whether I feel loved or not. The Truth is through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on my behalf, I am forgiven, whether I feel forgiven or not. The truth is, God will never leave me or forsake me; he is with me all the time, even when I feel alone or forsaken.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thank You Jesus....

My praise today....

Thank You Jesus for the sunshine, thank You Jesus for the leaves that crunch below my feet. Thank You Jesus for seasons in life and the fact that those seasons are just temporary and always changing and bringing about new life, new discoveries, new beauty and wonder. Thank You Jesus for seasons in my life that have caused me to grow and change more into the wife, mother and woman You want me to be. Thank You Jesus that although the seasons can bring harshness and pain, Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness always enough for my soul. Today I am reminded of how blessed I am each day, so I just want to say, thank You Jesus......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Junk drawer........

I wonder how many people truely feel like there life is organized and systematic? I wonder how many people really feel as if there is a method to the madness? Lately we have been so crazy busy I can hardly think straight. I feel like life is complete chaos but somehow in the midst there is peace. I have tried to become organized and have gotten sooo much better at this but I still have spots here and there that seem messy. A humorous battle between Scott and I has unfolded over time about how messy my minivan is. Toys, socks, sports equipment, food, receipts, earrings, wrappers, papers, you name it my van probably has it. My defense to has always been that the van is utilized alot more, especially with Macie and is put through alot more life experiences which gather clutter. My purse is like this also, I am sure if I was a contestant on the game show "Lets Make a Deal" where they pull random things out of their bag I would walk away a big winner. Can any of you relate? Do you have a junk drawer or room in your house where all the extra misfit stuff goes?

Somewhere along the way the "stuff" accumulated and didn't make it through the transition period. My earrings in the van are sitting there because at one point I failed to get them back in their designated spot so they are now sitting somwhere random.Junk drawers don't just happen overnight, its a process of getting lost in the transition. Macie even has a junk drawer with toys and random kids stuff. It seems like regardless how hard I try sometimes when I'm doing a major cleaning spree in my house I always find some random thing I have no clue what to do with and so in the junk drawer it goes. This made me think about how often we get lost in the transition periods or seasons in life and things get messy. Whether it be jobs, marriage, busyness, parenting, service, volunteering, health crisis, loss of a loved one, financial downfall or whatever we all go through seasons in life.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11 "TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What profit remains for the worker from his toil? I have seen the painful labor and exertion and miserable business which God has given to the sons of men with which to exercise and busy themselves.He has made everything beautiful in its time."

The difficult thing during the transition of seasons is do you adapt to the change, do you organize the stuff in the midst of the transition or do you just shove it in a junk drawer? I think alot of times we do this with our emotions. We dont know exactly how to deal with them, understand them, or appreciate them but instead we find ourselves disassociated from them and trying to seperate them from one season to another. Its as if we can't decide what category or what spot emotions or things in life belong so we just shove it away somewhere anywhere, past hurts, past mistakes, past failures. We try to mend our hurts or clean out the mess in our lives but there are some things that are confusing, they don't make sense, there is no rhyme or reason and because we can't organize them or put them in a spot we find ourselves throwing them in a random drawer in our hearts, closing the drawer, out of sight out of mind. Regardless of how messy or disorganized that drawer is we know what we have put in there, it has the most random pieces of life but when we choose we can open it up and find whatever we need. Sure its chaotic but its personal and we understand it so thats all that matters. Even though we think this system works in life it would be much easier if we really cleaned out those drawers and organized everything they contain.

Are you moving from one season to another in life and feel like so much stuff is just sitting in the midst of the chaos? I just encourage you that instead of putting it away in the junk drawer to really take time to organize, understand and grab ahold of it all. Appreciate the place that you have been and where God is taking you and along the way don't forget to be reminded of the beauty through the struggles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here I am Jesus use me....

My thought process lately has been so scattered and all over the place. I got to sit down with a new friend this morning and it was amazing because we seem to be so much alike in our thought process and the way we hear God. I have talked in the past about how much I try and gain insight in everyday life and everyday things so I can be sure the things around me or distractions put in my path wont cause me to miss the Whisper of Christ. I have notes and journals with words and thoughts from God all over the place, this is a way for me to stay disciplined and remind myself even in the chaos that I need to spend time reflecting on the whispers He has given me each day.

This past week or so I feel like the Lord has been doing some major cleaning and building in my heart. He is riding my life of things that have filled up space but not allowed me to put Him in its place. He has given me a passion for the way I think, the way I hear the Whispers He gives me and a drive to use that to glorify Him and grow in my walk daily. Maybe this all seems crazy and all over the place I apologize, I literally am sitting this morning praying and opening my heart to the realness and rawness of where I am at. This past summer a group of women did a Study together "Sheet Music" uncovering sexual intimacy in a marriage. I found every excuse not to do the study and believe that Satan is good at that. I decided to read the book and without being too honest and too personal it was a very healing, redemptive light in an area so many are afraid to talk about. I am sharing this with everyone because I believe in the power of prayer.

There is a group of women beginning this study on Thursday and I will never post who they are or what we discuss in the study but I am asking for prayer for the women of this study as well as myself as we uncover what God has for us. I believe in the power behind the healing words of this book and believe this has been spirit led and God breathed and although its a tough subject I am claiming, healing, redemption, grace, tenderness and a refreshed love story in each marriage that comes in contact with this book. I am claiming it as victory now and believing that regardless of how broken, how messy, or how content we feel in our marriages that God is going to intervene on our behalfs and touch each woman and man. Please pray with me and lift up our group, our time together, our marriages, me and my story, protect our hearts and guard us from anything that doesnt bring honor and glory to you Jesus, we surrender this to You, HERE I AM JESUS, USE ME.....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Clean Up time"........

One of the most simple joys in life for me is what I call "hair therapy." Its my every 6-8 week appointment for a hair cut and sometimes color. Its not something my husband can appreciate because first of all he is a guy, and second of all he is going bald, sorry dear :) With short hair its something I have to keep up with but its not necessarily just about keeping up with my hair but about that time away for me to relax and have a break. I have an appointment scheduled this weekend and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

One thing though that always cracks me up is how much preparation we spend as women to go and get our hair done. I know before most of my appointments I try to wash and style my hair which is funny because then I go to the salon and they wash and style my hair. There is just something to be said about walking into the salon looking a mess, its like we are afraid for the person who does our hair to see our hair messy when the reason we are there is so that they can make it look better and maintain it to begin with lol. Maybe I am the only one that does all this work before an appointment but I know there are other instances we could talk about too. I know women who actually clean their houses for before the maid comes to clean their house. Now I can't afford a maid but if I could I would probably do the same thing :)

We are a society that is so worried about appearances and having it all together that we literally "clean ourselves up" before we go to get cleaned up. We try to minimize how bad it seems or how messy we seem because we are afraid. Should I really be worried if my hair stylist thinks my hair is a mess, isnt that why I'm sitting in her chair with foil in my hair looking like a crazy woman in the first place because I obviously need some help? We can say the same thing with a realtionship with Christ. We do we have such a desperate need to try and clean ourselves up before sitting at the feet of Jesus? We are all a mess and we all need the grace and forgivness of Christ, transformation is about realizing we are messy, broken and in need of a change. Its realizing we are in need of serious help and only the blood of Jesus can be that makeover we need in life. Its one of the biggest things I struggle with and a barrier I think is hard to overcome with people around us that don't know Jesus and that is the misconception, that in order to be allowed to have a relationship with Jesus we have to first be cleaned up. If I would have waited to be cleaned up and waited for my life to not be such a wreck before giving my heart to Jesus and trying a relationship with Him I think I would still be waiting. I on my own could never clean up the mess I had allowed myself to get in, I could never have cleaned up the hurts I had experienced or face the struggles in life each day we all face without Jesus first coming into my life just as I was, broken, empty and a mess and filling me up with His love and grace.

Romans 3:22-24 (AMP) "Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [a]which God bestows and receives. [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus." Basically we read in scripture that not one person deserves the grace and love of Jesus more than another. You may have known Jesus for 50 years or 2 months, you may have heard about Him in Sunday school or seek Him for hours a day, but one thing I know for sure is that the love of Jesus doesnt discriminate and none of us are beyond the need of a Savior in our lives.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being nourished from within....

I'm not a bug person I have to admit. 8 legs, 10 legs, legs, 1000 legs, 2 wings I am not a fan. I dont get totally freaked out by spiders, crickets or bees but I dont love them either. I have to tell you though that I have found an appreciation on some level for bugs having a 6 year old and a Science teacher for a husband. My friend Kayleigh was telling me a story last week about a team of ants she battled against in her college apartment which if you know Kayleigh it was extremely animated and funny, you would have thought she took on a grizzly bear.

Anyhow its always been fascinating to me characteristics of ants. They are so tiny and vulnerable. It doesnt take much to destory their little bodies, whether it be a kids shoe, animal or whatever they are pretty weak. Have you ever seen though how large ant clusters can become. They are seriously amazing and its one of those situations where when I see one I can't help but stare and try to figure out how many thousands of little ants are there together. There can be the tiniest piece of food on the ground but its amazing how many ants it will attract. They will fight and squeeze their way in, they are desperate to have a piece of that nourishment.

I wonder how similar humans are to these clusters of ants? We are desperate to belong, to gather together and be apart of something and to be fed. I heard a statistic last week that said 60% of people that listen to Christian Radio don't go to church. That number just seems crazy to me! I really belive that this statistic is because we are desperate to be filled, we are desperate to be loved and have hope and through Christian Radio thats the goal. It makes us feel good to listen to uplifting songs that build our spirits up and encourage us. There is a sense of love and belonging so we can listen and be fed a little but probably not as much as if we were to go to a church or be apart of a christian group. The reality is we all need to be nourished and in my life I have found that true nourishment comes from Jesus. I have tried, relationships, jobs, busyness and many more things but although those things took up space in my life and made me feel apart of something, it was still a desperate attempt at being fed. Its like those ants squeezing together for that tiny piece of food, it satisfies temporarily but it doesnt last, it doesnt truely nourish and supply fulfillment.There's a Kari Jobe song that says the most beautiful words: "I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand, lay back against you and breathe, feel Your heartbeat. This love is so deep, its more than I can bear, I melt in Your peace its overwhelming."

Are you feeling like there is so much stuff that you try and shove in the space of your life for fulfillment? Whatever you are going through and whever your at in your life just know that Jesus can be there in the midst of it. He can supply your heart and life with whatever you need and can fill in the space. He can be your nourishment and strength, He can provide that love and belonging that is lasting and fulfilling.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Uh-oh, watch out!...

Its no secret that I love pop. I love Pepsi, Mt. Dew and even Dr. Pepper at times and have really found comfort and joy in pulling through any fast food joint lately to order a large fountain pop. My daughter Macie likes grape pop and although we don't let her have it often it seems like anytime we do its always a disaster. I can't tell you how many times, I have lost count, that we have given in and allowed her to get a grape pop from the store and she ends up dropping the bottled pop on the ground somewhere in between the store and home. Well anybody that has ever dropped a bottle of pop on the ground knows that you might as well forget trying to open it for a while because if you do so much pressure has built up within that little container that by removing the cap it will send a fierce explosion out of that small bottle.

I remember one time specifically where Macie dropped her bottle of Grape Pop in the store parking lot and after we chased it down we let it sit for a few minutes on our way home. After we got home and got groceries put away I thought enough time had lapsed that I could go ahead and remove the cap, I mean surely the contents had settled and it would be ok? Wrong! I ended up with grape pop on the ceiling, my clothes, the furniture, all over my glasses and even in my nostrils somehow, it was just insane. Literally it was like an explosion, it was unstopable, I couldnt get the cap back on fast enough, it was so hard to try and get it under control and stop the damage that was already taking place.

So often I feel as Christians we are put in a Grape Pop bottle so to speak. We begin a relationship with Jesus and there is so much anticipation and excitment. So much starts to happen within us that truely we could explode. But we develop a sense of fear within us and are so afraid to cause a "rukus" we step back for a bit and let things settle. Instead of making a mess though and instead of causing disruption around us we keep the lid on tight and never allow that passion and love within us be released. I know over the past few years the Lord has truely done some things in my life that I am amazed at. I was a terrible mess and needed not only fixed and cleaned up a little I needed completely restored and rid of so many deep hurts,
imperfections, sins and problems in my own heart, my marriage, my friendships and most importantly my walk with God. It took a moment of being at the bottom of the pit for me to realize I had a choice to make, I could continue on like that flat tasteless bottle of pop or I could allow God to restore my life, shake things up a little and cause an explosion in my life and heart. Its been the hardest 2 years of my life probably but the most amazing ride. The Lord has truely broken me and transformed my life in more ways than I can possibly even understand to the fullest I'm sure.

Although it was super uncomfortable at times I have been so incredibly blessed, my life has truely been transformed. All that I thought was important and showed value in my life was removed and the Lord has revealed new purpose and direction for me beyond anything I could ever imagine. Sometimes I sit back and am just blown away at the things the Lord shows me each day, the plans that He's revealing for my life, seriously is this all for real?? I had a chance to do a ministry opportunity with some friends last week and as we were sitting there working on some things I had a moment where I wanted to pinch myself and see if I was dreaming or if really this is my life. I'm human and I'm still trying to figure things out, I'm still imperfect, I'm still a sinner and I'm still learning but I'm at the point know where its not a daily struggle to follow Christ its a deep desire and a hunger to know Him more each day so badly that my insides hurt. Its a desire and passion so strong that I literally feel like is hard to contain sometimes and I don't care what I disrupt, I dont care what kind of mess I make because the Lord has shaken my life up, every part of it and I will stop at nothing for the world to understand and be covered in His love like I have been.

I'm at a place where I lean fully on His direction and leading in my life even if it causes a mess around me and makes me and others uncomfortable at times because He is my strength and what drives me and I place my trust and life in His hands. I know there will be critics, I know there will be times Satan will try and interfere, I know there will be moments where my human capabilities run out but my God is faithful and "If our God is for us then who could ever stop us." I just encourage you that wherever or whatever the Lord is calling for your life let it cause you to explode and do it with such passion and hunger your life is driven by that desire, your days are driven by the strongest most deep love affair with Christ that it overflows onto everything else in your life and moves every aspect of the way you live.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hanging up the superhero cape.....

I have a feeling many people will be able to relate to today's post. Its a common issue facing homes today and that is the disappearance of the word "no" in our vocabularies. I have had major struggles with this lately and my husband does also which is why we constantly feel bombarded and overwhelmed as a society. Obviously there could be worse problems in the world but I wonder how many people run around everyday like a chicken with their heads cut off from activity to activity or task to task just because we can't say "no" when someone asks us to do the 50th thing on our list for this week. I think we struggle so much with this because we genuienly want to do as much as we can to be helpful and there is a huge sense of guilt when we do say no. So instead of feeling guilty by saying no we add another duty to our list regardless of how overwhelmed we feel.

I have had major issues with this lately because I can see God doing some amazing things and truely feel like He is opening doors in my life so the passion and excitment is amazing but then I have a difficult time saying "no" and being able to decipher when enough is enough and although my heart is in the right place I still have to remember I'm not superwoman and I can't do it all. For me I have had a few situations and health stuff the last few weeks thats really made me say "ok, you gotta slow down." I got so caught up in doing, doing, doing, that it took a "stop and chill" moment and not feeling well for me to realize I have to slow down. This is hard and for me I often forget that I still do have health stuff going on and I can't just pretend that everything is fine, I can't push aside not feeling well at times because i'm too busy. I have caught myself saying this a few times this week and saying that I really didnt have time to not feel well, I have too much going on. Its pretty eye opening to think about.. Really, I dont have time to stop and be sick?  I guess I didnt realize it was a choice and a matter of saying "ok body sorry I am busy come back later."

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman right now thats called "Do Everything." Its a really great song and a reminder to me that God isnt calling us to literally "do everything," but to do what we can and as much as He has called us to do with everything in us. Its not the amount of things we choose to do each day but the attitude of our hearts and minds behind our actions.

"Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace as you do
Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing that you do"

I had a conversation with a friend this week and he was telling me that there is a difference between doing alot of "stuff" or focusing on a few things and doing them wholeheartedly and well, yes I was listening LOL :) I think this is what so many of us forget, we forget that although we try to be superhuman we can't do it all. Instead of running ourselves ragged and trying to do 50 things instead we need to pray and seek the Lord and the few things that He really wants from us and instead put our time and energy into those few things and do it well.This has been a difficult but important lesson for me this week, one I am still trying to figure out and will probably always struggle with. I just encourage you that whatever you have going on in your life right now try and decide which ones are really important and practice the word "no" on the rest. Allow the Lord to bless the few areas in your life that He really wants you to put time and energy into and the rest needs to be let go for now. Take off the superhero cape and stop trying to do it all :)