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!!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My Facebook rant. Ok so I am gonna do it, i'm gonna go to the topic everyone has an opinion about but  we often dance around the issue. I realize the entire world doesn't use Facebook but it has become a huge part of how we interact. Yes this is unfortunate and many would agree its taken away face to face contact and placed a barrier between relationships. We all agree people will often post about their lives on Facebook before even telling people closest to them first. I have done this and I am sure most people would raise their hands that they have been guilty of it. What bothers me is how much people take to heart Facebook. If someone posts a status and you question if they are talking about you without directly saying it then you need to evaluate whether you fit into the blank? If people post stuff that is negative and brings you down, uses language you dont agree with or puts down people in a way you don't like then delete them or don't get on Facebook. So many people blame stuff on Facebook and honestly Facebook can fuel negativity but its not the root of it. I have fallen into times where I allowed peoples statuses or posts to drag me down mentally and I had to realize just because they posted something negative I didnt have to allow myself to be effected by it.

I try to post status updates or things that are uplifting and if people don't like my post they are welcome to delete me. If people don't agree with what I stand for they are welcome to disagree just as I am to them. Your Facebook page is just that, YOURS. Nobody is forced to read or be friends with anyone and just the same you can choose if you continually feed into the negativity and drama or not. Like anything in life there can be a negative reason or positive one and we all have to make the choice which one to choose. I also don't like when people are judgemental and say "did you see someones picture on fb and they were doing this or that." Or also when people are astounded when they see things on fb that they don't agree with and they think the person shouldnt post stuff so publicly. Seriously? regardless of whether the person posts pictures or not they are still doing whatever people don't agree with and regardless of whether its hidden or public there is an unlerlying issue. Its not anyones right to tell me what I need to do or not do.

I guess to sum it up Facebook isnt the root of all evil. Anger isn't the root of all evil, money, fear, its the way you react. If you worship Facebook and use it to control you or to do negative harmful things than yes its an issue but Facebook like any other thing in itself doesnt have to be evil. Next your Facebook page is yours and you can choose who to be apart of it and whos you are apart of as well. You can choose to allow negative status updates bring you down or positive ones to lift you up. You can post and be real on Facebook or you can be fake but regardless of what you put out there God knows who you really are and you know what you really represent. Just by leaving pictures off Facebook of things you don't want others to see it doesnt make the issue not real or go away. I heard a quote that said this "Appearance is what you show people about yourself but character is the person you really are." Something to think about, lighten up, take it for what its worth and remember we all survived before it was around and in years ahead we will do the same.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Journey ahead....

Normally I share whats on my heart and the things that God is showing but I figured because friends have asked I would give a little update on the health front. This Thursday and the following Tuesday we have appointments at Cleveland with the Colo-rectal and Transplant/Intestinal Rehab Surgeons. We are waiting to get some direction with surgery and a possible long term fix. The discussion now is a possible intestinal transplant which would result in major healing and restoration!!! The process though like any other transplant is long and a continual battle forever to not reject the new organ. The surgery is very detailed and involved and could be a long, few months hospital stay.

As with any surgery or health issue its not exciting or welcomed but I really feel the Lord is giving us a peace about whats ahead and has been preparing us for this for a long time. Its the same as if your training to run a marathon, you don't go from running 1 mile to over 26 in a week, its a long process of training and preparing physically and mentally for the journey. I was diagnosed with Crohns at age 9 and have had numerous major surgeries and treatments so physically we have gone through the training and each battle has gotten harder and taken more strength and perseverance. We don't know the details or what 2 months or 1 year from now will look like but trust that regardless He will be there. I don't doubt the physical ability a marathon must take but even more so I think its a mental game. Its a matter of going outside of what you feel is within your human capability and focusing on the goal ahead, its about mentally, emotionally, spiritually surrendering to the prize and knowing if you push yourself you can make it through.

We are trusting God now for the race ahead in our lives and believe that to Him none of this is a surprise. He has been preparing our hearts, bodies and emotions for this race and will give us the strength to continue on each step of the road ahead. We thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers, encouragement and love and can't imagine doing this battle without all of you. With Jesus we are ready: Bring it on!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The power of a dusty garment....

Its not our attributes that make us worthy, its our failures. Its not our strengths that make us qualified, its our weaknesses. Its not our past that dictates who we are its our future and the plans that God has for us. We are who God says we are, our lives are what He says they are. The very depths of our lives thats covered in chaos and mess is where God finds residence. For all are in need of Gods continual grace and mercy. There isnt a day, hour, minute or second that goes by that we are not in the heat of the battle. Without Him we are nothing but with Him our story unfolds in the most beautiful way.

We often read the Bible with this perception that God only chose people who had it all together and were faultless. The surprising truth though is that couldn't be more wrong. "Spirituality is not a formula: it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spiritutality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flaweed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God's being present in the mess of our unfixidness," Mike Yaconelli. Jesus hung out with adulterers, thieves, murderers, prostitutes, people that were utter messes and basket cases. What I mean is this:

Lady A, is in her 50s, grew up in an abusive home physically, emotionally, and sexually. She struggled with countless abusive relationships and 1 failed marriage.

Lady B, in her 20s, grew up with an absent father feeling unloved and struggling with weight issues and a terrible eating disorder.

Lady C, in her 30s, had 1 failed marriage, struggled with her weight, had an abortion and suffered with major depression.

Lady D, in her 20s suffered a sexual assault, an eating disorder, depression and past suicidal thoughts. 

Man A, in his 40s, struggled with alcohol and drugs, had 1 failed marriage and felt empty. 

Man B, in his 60s, grew up in a difficult home life, his daughter had a baby at 15, his son struggles with persecution and hate because he is homosexual. 

Man C, in his 20s, attempted suicide, felt unloved, depressed, used self mutilation as a way to self destruct. 

All of these examples are real people, their stories are an amazing example of Gods redemption, healing and freedom. Their stories don't stop there but unfold to some of the most beautiful transformations I have ever heard. In the list includes a well known womens evangelist, one of the most amazing men preachers of our time, a couple pastors, worship leader, moms/dads, church members and servants. Pretty amazing huh??!! God will stop at nothing to reach down in the midst of your mess to bring you to Him. "Faith is born when mans ability fails. Faith starts at the point of human limitation, when our options have run out and all you can do is turn to Him, faith erupts" T.D. Jakes. When you find yourself broken, empty, hurting and out of resources is where faith steps in. If we can use human capability to obtain something then that isnt faith. The stories I shared  sound to me to be stories of people at rock bottom, desperate, empty, broken, hurting. It would have been hard for human capability to completely fix what they were going through. But because of the blood of Jesus and because He has promised to set us free from our infirmity and pain the moment we call upon His name the chains will fall off and our lives restored and forever changed. 

One of the most amazing stories in the Bible to me is in Mark 5:25-34. We read of a woman who had a bleeding disorder. This bleeding disorder last for 12 years. The story tells us she had been under the care of many doctors and instead of her condition improving it continually grew worse. The woman knew Jesus was going to be passing through town that day and she thought to herself "if I can just touch His clothes I will be healed." She had come to a place of pure desperation, her infirmity had taken every ounce of her strength and resources and she had no sign of hope or a way to be free from this disease. When all options ran out she decided she would go against all odds and and  try for one last option. It wasn't heard of for a woman to be heard or given attention during this time in the Bible let alone to present herself before Jesus. As she fought against the crowd and made her way through the hatred and resistance she pushed with every ounce of strength she had left in her sick, drained body. She decided to take a radical approach in order to get the miracle she desperately needed to save her life. She didnt make an appointment with Jesus, she didnt shake His hand or even get to have a conversation with Him. She never got to give Him her health history or let Him examine her but all it took was for her to push through the crowd and sweep her fingers across the dusty hem of His garment and she was healed. The chains of her infirmity instantly fell off and she was restored. Regardless of the pain and damage her body had suffered for 12 years in that moment a miracle was done and Jesus power freed her and rid her body and spirit immediately of the scars from the past. 

This story gives me "God bumps" everytime I read it. I imagine the pure exhaustion physically and mentally she must have felt. The hopelessness, fear, and desperation she felt. She was literally in need of a miracle, in need of a hero to meet her in her time of despair and save her. She was at rock bottom and had nothing left in her to fight. All other options had failed, her resources run out and this was it. Does this story sound familiar?? Whether it be relationships, a painful past, an addiction, financial ruin, or whatever do you feel like you have been on this journey for so long that your at rock bottom. You have tried so many different fixes, resources, ways to fill the void and nothing has worked. It doesn't matter how long you have struggled or the size of your struggle like the stories I shared with you God can meet you in the midst of your pain and set you free instantly from your infirmity. God can release the chains that have been shackled to you over and over and are weighing you down. He can free you from ever having to be a prisoner to the pain again. The journey will be difficult, the woman with the issue of bleeding fought against name calling, persecution because she was a woman and considered unclean, threats for her safety but she decided it was worth a shot because she had nothing else left to loose. Her options had run out and she was exhausted, it took a radical choice to decide she wasn't going to give up, there had to be a way.

Whatever you are facing I know God wants to heal you from your infirmity. Seek Him and just sweep your broken, hurting and scarred finger across the dusty hem of His garment and you will be set free.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Love vs Trust.....

Being let down in life is one of the most difficult emotions to experience. When you look up to someone so much that you place the safety of your heart or life in their hands its a very vulnerable place to be. I read a quote this week that said this,“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George Macdonald. Love is often treated more as an emotion than an action. We treat love as something that can be turned on and off like a light switch. If someone lets us down or disappoints us its easy to let that love waiver. We are a society of conditions. We base how we love on emotions and circumstances and display this with our actions each day. Although the word love can be tossed around easily because its been ingrained in so many of us as conditional, trust isnt as easy. 

Trust isnt one sided, but something someone has to earn. You can love someone without them loving you back but trust is a process of placing those vulnerable pieces of your life in the hands of another. In my marriage trust is one of the most important things we have. I love my husband more than words can express, but even more so than that I trust him. I trust the most delicate parts of my story, my heart, my emotions and my life with him. I feel safe and secure and would never question his intent for the very best to protect my life and our daughters life. 

Growing up I remember hearing a phrase many times and I'm sure most of you can relate. I remember my mom saying that "trust was gained and that she would continue to trust me unless I gave her a reason not to and then it was something that was very hard to earn back." My mom raised my sisters and I as a single mother and my dad has been absent from our lives for the past 20 years. She made many sacrifices and I admire her strength and all she did for us. Not having my father around was something that was difficult for me at different times in my life because every girl wants a father in her life but what I learned was that I just didnt want this father figure to be apart of my life and love me but it was more about trust. Fathers are meant to love, guide, teach and most of all protect. They are supposed to be your night in shining armor and always be the prince in a girls life regardless of if she is 15 or 35. I missed out on a father being at my softball games, teaching me to drive, standing in the doorway with a shotgun when I started dating lol, walking me down the aisle on my wedding day, and becoming a grandpa when my most precious miracle Macie was born. Its not something that I struggle with anymore because I have learned that although I don't understand alot of things and choices he made he is still human and imperfect. 

There was a story that broke out January 14th just a week and a half ago that captured attention around the world. The "Costa Concordia" 114,500-ton ship and one of the worlds most modern and well equipped cruise liners had crashed on the shore of Italy. It appears to be based on human error and the captains navigation too close to the shore of Giglio that a massive chunk was taken from the ships base causing a series of disastrous consequences. Lives were lost and heartache instilled on a ship of panicked, fearful passengers. I can't imagine what emotions they experienced that day expecting to go on the cruise of a lifetime and instead find themselves fighting for their lives. You always know that their are risks but we have become accustomed to trusting people of higher authority and positions that you just never think anything differently and always believe they will be there to have things under control. With the cruise liner "Costa Concordia" we quickly learned of this disappointing truth. When so many people were fighting for their lives and looking up to their captain to lead them, guide them, and protect them he let them down. Its hard to justify the reasons behind his actions, as in the story I shared of my life and my father. I can't understand things but what I have realized is that humans will always let us down. 

As I lift up my eyes to my heavenly father Jesus it would be easy for me to be guarded and to compare Him to my earthly father, to see His love as conditional and not trusting but God is anything but that. Like the passengers on the cruise liner we have all had people whom we have entrusted our lives and hearts with and been let down and disappointed. I trust my husband and love him so much but even he is human and will let me down. My daughter has let me down, my family, and friends have all let me down at some point and I know I have let them down also but God has never failed me. Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Regardless of my mistakes, my failures, the path I take in life, the pain I have experienced, the goals I haven't met He will always be there for me and love me unconditionally. Although it may be scary, although you may have been let down before in life if you keep your guard up in fear, you might miss out on the opportunity to place your vulnerable pieces before the Lord and be embraced in His arms of safety, peace and unconditional love.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Women of Boldness....

Sometimes the very thing that is beautiful and amazing can cause nervousness and doubt. The beauty I'm learning comes from God and the doubt and nervousness from Satan. When God is moving and lives are being changed Satan will try everything he can to inch his way in and fill our minds with lies and deception. During our last womens study its amazing the kind of junk Satan tried to throw in our way and if we were to focus on those things it would be easy to be frustrated and have doubt but if we push aside the junk and see beyond his lies we find the most beautiful pieces revealed. I wont post the personal details but stories that were shared and the way our hearts were joined in unity as women and daughters of the King is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The laughter we had, the prayers we shared, the fears we revealed and the joys we praised together were life changing.

I'm praying this year that as we move forward with the next womens study that Satan would be defeated and God glorified. We are choosing to take a stand and hand over every intricate piece of our beings to the maker who created them all and saying " Jesus we surrender, take control of my heart, mind, body and life and pour your love in me that I may overflow with joy and light as the woman you designed me to be and the leader you designed me to be to help guide my family, children, friends, workplace, church, school, and community." Create in me a pure heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me. Transform my life and place a boldness to represent You through the woman You created me to be. Have Your hand-print in each attitude, thought, action and emotion.

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you God my rock and my redeemer."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The beauty of today.....

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own," Matthew 6:34. Such a profound thought and one of the most difficult verses in the Bible for me I think. I'm not sure if its just a girl thing or a human thing but I know that my mom is a worry wart so maybe I picked up that gene from her :) Life can be so crazy and chaotic that I think we all struggle at times for something to grab a hold of and gain traction. There are many circumstances in life we can't control and so we feel like by worrying or stressing over every detail or what could have, should have, maybe will or might happen then we can be in control some. It gives us this sense of power and peace even when we feel stressed and overwhelmed we find a calmness in the control we have over worrying.

Over the past few weeks we had a huge battle with unknown health stuff. I know my friends will attest to this by saying there were many moments I didn't do so well with "having faith and trusting in the unknown" and was a major basket case and worry wart. Even now I still struggle with the battle we are possibly facing ahead with surgery and some other things and when I sit and think about it all I get so overwhelmed I can hardly breath. I feel like there is no way I can ever do it all and as if its a losing battle. In those moments its easy to loose sight and forget that if God has brought you to something He will surely never leave you but instead help guide you through whatever is ahead. He has promised us that, " 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!!!!"

At church on Sunday during the sermon I noticed that although there was a projector screen directly in front of me to see the notes from Pastors sermon I was following the images on the screen across the room instead. Why? because for me to see the one closest to me I had to turn my eyes just slightly and it didn't seem as comfortable and a little awkward. But it was easier for me to look at what was farther away only because of comfort. How often do we look at all the things ahead in our lives and focus on them so much just because we feel like we can control it and we can set the terms of what the future holds? Although it may be scary we find comfort in what we can control. Instead of  turning our eyes from the future and focusing on the now, in fear it maybe be a little uncomfortable, we continue to look whats ahead. I find myself often worrying or dreaming about things to come that I miss out on what is going on now.

Its hit me lately that while I'm looking ahead there is still life happening right in front of me and if I don't wake up and pay attention to the moments now that are going on I will miss them, and with life there is no rewind button. The things of today will never happen again. We spend our life wishing for whats to come but forget what is. Maybe what you are facing right now isn't great and maybe you would like to dream of a time ahead instead that may be less painful, there may be better times to come but you still loose time. I am learning right now that regardless of what today may encompass they are still memories. I am learning that the hours I have today will be gone tomorrow and I can never get them back. I am learning the simplest everyday moments in life are memories we will have forever. The past 6 months has been a crazy time of new things for our family. Macie started school, dance, cheer-leading and caravan. There have been countless firsts that we have experienced and all moments that will last a lifetime. In 40 years I will look back at these times now and remember all the firsts. Its a reminder to me of why looking at each day and the blessings that they hold is so important.

One of my goals for this coming year is to really embrace each  moment and focus on the "here and now" and not what could come. I don't want to miss life dreaming for the future. The future may come and if that never happens I have missed the time that I had. It may be cliche' but we truly do need to live each day like its our last. Make a bucket list of things you would like to do in this lifetime and get busy doing them. You are the only person capable of writing the pages of the story your life tells. Time is ticking and each moment is an opportunity to do something amazing!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Womens Study....

Ok ladies the Lord is showing me how much our thoughts and minds can play a role in our battle each day. We can direct our thoughts in a way thats uplifiting and pleasing to the Lord or Satan can use them as a foothold in our lives. The title of our next book study "Lies women believe and the truth that sets them free" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I am so excited to get started on this book together!!

The book is 7.99 and I can order those so if you would like to be apart of this study we will be meeting on Thursday evenings at 6:00 starting February 9th and the study will last 8 weeks. Childcare will be provided if we have a significant need for it.  We will have a 1:00 session on Thursdays as well now but childcare will not be available during the day. There is a companion guide that goes with this book that I am not saying you have to get but it is good. Its more expensive and I would be willing to make up a sheet for everyone each week off my guide to help cut cost. If you want to check it out though here it is

I need a count of women by Monday January 23rd and if you need me to order you a book, or if you would like the set. Thanks!!!

"I will praise"

One of my all time favorite words in the English Dictionary is the word oxymoron. I really don't love grammar and am terrible at it too :) Oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. So for example "living dead" or "original copy." Its basically two words put together but have complete opposite meanings. I was thinking about how "heaven and hell" are exact opposites. One the Bible tells us is eternal torture and pain and the other pure glory and joy. There is a reason I think they are so different and on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, there is no mixing things up or kind of choosing one or the other but either you take path a or path b. Even in our lives everyday we struggle with which path to take, path A or path B. The biggest battle I struggle with is in my thinking. God intends for my thoughts to be pure, holy and focused on Him. He intends my thoughts to be positive and uplifting. However, Satan wants my thoughts to be controlled by negativity, lies, destruction, pain and fear. I heard a Pastor once say you can't be complaining and praising at the same time. Do you think there is truth to that? I do because if I'm giving my energy and focus to the negative in the situation I am not allowing Gods goodness to show. If I am praising and finding the good in something then Satan has to flee and has no authority.

Over the past few weeks I have really had a difficult time with my thoughts. I have allowed myself to get into the "stinkin thinkin" mode a time or two which has caused nothing but panic and destruction of my attitude and thoughts. 2 Peter 2:19 "A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him."Satan loves for us to get into that mindset because He will then use those vulnerable moments to twist our thoughts and emotions around throwing us into a pit of confusion. If you are in a pit of confusion you are not trusting in Gods plans. The very first story we read in the Bible is about Adam and Eve and how because of Satans lies he was able to twist Eves thoughts and cause deception. "Satan deceived Eve through a clever combination of outright lies, half-truths, and falsehoods disguised as truth. He began by planting seeds of doubt in her mind about what God had actually said. Next he led her to be careless with the words of God and to suggest that God had said something that, in fact, He had not said. God had said, "Do no eat the fruit of the tree." However, Eve quoted God as saying, You must not touch it. Satan deceived Eve by causing her to question the goodness, love and motives of God. "Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?" he asked. The implication was; "Has God put restrictions on your freedom? Sounds like He doesn't want you to be happy." Sounds crazy huh but how true is it???

What situation can you bring to mind where it started as a simple thought until Satan had deceived you with lie after lie and the next thing you knew it had snowballed to this huge elaborate event that placed you into bondage? "Satan deceived Eve by causing her to make her decision based on what she could see and on what her emotions and her reason told her to be right, even when it was contrary to what God had already told the couple. What I am learning though is that instead of allowing my thoughts to throw me into that pit I can take them captive as soon as they enter my mind and turn them around and put them through Gods filter instead. This helps me distinguish between what is real, what is true and what is holy. It helps find the positive even in the negative and allows us to redirect the negative in a way that is praising instead of complaining. For instance I could get into the negative mode of complaining because of all the health stuff I have to deal with. I could look at the box's and box's of supplies scattered throughout my house, the I.V. bags taking up my fridge space and think to myself "man this isn't fair this is not how life should be, blah blah blah" however instead I need to take that thought captive immediately when it tries to sneak its way into my mind and decide I am not going to allow Satan to have one ounce of my joy, I am not going to allow him to deceive my heart, my emotions or my mind.  so instead I will rejoice in saying "thank you Jesus that these medical supplies allow me to be home with my family."

This whole concept was derived off of my post yesterday. I posted about things that make me smile, things that could make me frustrated and upset, instead I will see the beauty in them. My house is a mess yes but the messes symbolize the living and journey taking place within our family. The electric bill came yesterday yuck, but thank you Jesus because we have heat on this cold, snowy winter day. I just encourage you to evaluate your thoughts daily and stand guard because Satan  will try anything to decieve, kill and destory. If he is causing doubt, fear, anger, turmoil and uneasiness in your heart then he is taking away your focus from praising God and seeing the joy in each situation. "Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death." God however promises joy, blessings, safety, comfort and peace. 1 Corinthians 2:9 "No eye has seen no ear has heard, no mind can imagine the plans that God has for those who love Him."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beautiful messes.......

Today I will smile because......

The smell of a cotton candy flavored ring pop reminds me of the energetic, beautiful, intelligent 6 year old daughter we have been blessed with.

Today I will smile because my house is a mess but a mess shows that something has lived and experienced things....

Today I will smile because I love the sound I hear when our wedding rings clang together while holding hands, its a reminder that I have a best friend and teamate to help me fight the battles of today and tomorrow forever.....

 Today I will smile at the mounds of medical supplies overflowing throughout my house and the i.v. pole in the middle of my bedroom, its a battle but also victory!....

Today I will smile because the rain drops in January reminds me of the power of Jesus and how He can wash anything clean!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Keep Running..."

"Just keep running." I can hear being whispered softly in my ear. When everything in me wants to stop, when my body is screaming in agony and exhaustion, when I know the finish line is somewhere up ahead but I can't quite see the yellow tape yet, I hear it again, "just keep running." In that moment I push forward with every ounce of strength I possibly have left and focus on whats ahead. The road already traveled was difficult and because of the faithfulness of that faint whisper I find fuel in not looking back and not giving up but pressing on towards the prize.

I have never been much of a runner. In junior high school I ran cross country but it wasn't because I was fast. There was something about the endurance and perseverance it took to run that drew me in. I remembered I tried a 5k once which is only 3 miles. About 3/4 the way through the race when my body was done and I was sure I coudlnt do it anymore I wanted to give up more than anything but I thought about perseverance. I finished the race, I didnt finish first or even second but I finished. I finished and did the best I could and that was an amazing accomplishment. I may have looked a "hot mess" but when I crossed that finish line I had persevered and that prize was the best. Sometimes life can feel alot like that 5k race. You run and run and after awhile you feel exhausted. Your body and mind is crying out in agony to throw in the towel but then you hear that whisper "keep running." You may not have one ounce of strength left, I have been there. You may feel sick to your stomach you are so tired but again "keep running." When everything in you wants to give up, when Satan tells you, you can't keep going, when life hands you every reason to stop God gives you just enough to "keep running." You may get to the finish line a mess, you may get to the finish line in pain but you will get to the finish line. Phillipians 3:13-14 "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  If you’re going to whip the devil in every circumstance of life, you must have the attitude that you refuse to quit and that the devil will not defeat you or take anything that legally belongs to you again! Remember, in Christ, if you’ll stay faithful to God’s Word, you are assured of the victory in every circumstance.

I will be honest over the past few weeks I have been at the painful point of exhaustion. I feel like I have been running for so long and the finish line just seems to get farther and farther away. There were moments where Satan tried to tell me I couldn't do it and the circumstances of life wanted me to believe I had every reason to throw in the towel but then in my moments of weakness He whispered in my ear "Amber my precious daughter I love you, just keep running." I am declaring today that regardless of what circumstances may come in my life, even when I'm at the point of pain and exhaustion I will NOT give up Satan. I have come too far and trained to hard too give up. In those moments where you can't see the finish line, in those moments where you can't take one more step remember the many that you have already taken and the journey you have completed. Remember the prize ahead and allow Him to give you the strength you need to "keep running." 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prayer Warrior.....

Today was a crazy busy day. Sundays are often our busiest days of the week but its a good busyness. Tonight was the first Sunday we started meeting together again with our community group from church since Christmas. Community groups are designed as a group of people that can come together weekly and learn from Gods word, and spend time lifting each other up in prayer and in encouragement.

Community groups were something I struggled with initially a few years ago but soon realized it was my lack of commitment and devotion that was placing a barrier. Once I decided to make the commitment and put effort into not just going to group each week but actually being apart of the group I have been blown away by the blessings the Lord has revealed. Friendships are growing, hearts are transforming, lives are being changed and faith nourished. The most amazing thing about our group that I have come to love is that we are all such ordinary people with the biggest hearts for Jesus and to serve others. We admit our flaws and brokenness before each other and strive to grow and be more like Him as individuals and a group. We really stretch and push each other at times by discussions and topics and we continually work together to unveil Gods truth and the commands He has for our lives and our families.

Tonight at group our leader asked us all a question, "what do you want to do this year in your spiritual life?" Not the normal New Years resolution like loose weight, exercise, eat healthy, use a budget, eat out less, or one of the other common goals but this one was an imtimate, deep challenge. A challenge that will be difficult but sure to show blessings, a challenge that may take more than a habit but a deep hunger within yourself to become something more for Christ. Although it took me off guard as I am sure others it did also it was something I had already had on my mind. I hadn't made a comitment towards a specific area spiritually but this was the very challenge I needed. The great thing about sharing our goals and something I am learning with blogging is that when you put things out there for others to see it helps you keep yourself accountable because you know others are paying attention also.

My goal for this year is in my prayer life. The Lord has convicted me lately over the past 2 months or so that my prayer life could be so much stronger. I spend alot of time praying for friends and family but the 2 people who mean the most to me in this entire world my husband and my daughter are often last on the list. I came to the realization this weekend that every single night my precious 6 year old Macie prays for Scott and I. She prays for him at school or praise band and consistently every single night she prays for my health and has for the past 2 years. Sometimes I chuckle at her prayers, she may pray for the dog, a game at school, another kindergarten with the flu or even her "allergies" but maybe she could teach us all a lesson. She never misses a night, she never forgets but is my biggest prayer warrior. I felt like a failure because if my 6 year old daughter can trust and believe God with such audacious faith and lift up the smallest things each day I can surely surrender them also.

Jesus as the year unfolds, as life steers us in whatever direction I commit to you now not only the big stuff but also the smallest things that seem insignificant. I vow to not only speak the desires of my heart but to pray with audacity and hope that you can and will have victory in whatever is placed at your feet. Thank You Jesus for even in the moments where we can't place the right words together in a sentence to bring before your Holy name that you can translate the mumbling of our hearts and intervene on our behalf.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I think sometimes one of the hardest seasons in life can be no season at all but instead the in between stage. The stage where you really aren't sure one way or the other and so you just wait. Maybe because I'm not a very patient person or just because I'm human but I really struggle with the waiting game. You know that gap between possibilities and absolutes that we can get stuck in, the place where our mind and heart have freedom to wander and and try on many different endings. Its like a movie that you can choose alternate endings. You find one you like a little better than the other so in your mind the director should have chosen that as the final product but he decided something else would fit better.

Although its difficult I am learning that the waiting game can be one of the absolute best places to be in, its a place where you dont' really have a definite answer and so you still have the option to pick which one you think is ideal. Its a place where you can allow Satan to have control and throw negativity your way to consume you or you can choose to be hopeful and choose the happier ending even if in all reality it may turn out to be something different. Its a place of fear, hope, uncertanity but still a place where you can still wonder and pray for the better solution. Its a place where miracles are still possible and total surrender to God is your lifeline. When your waiting at the doctors office or in line for a rollar coaster that period of anticipation can be overwhelming but ultimatly there comes a point of no return, a point where the doctor calls you back or you are strapped on that metal coaster seat and you realize it is what is is. You realize if you chicken out they are not going to stop that rollar coaster halfway lurching up the gigantic hill or regardless of how scared you are the results the doctor has on the page in front of him will not change. There is a point of no return a point of facing the journey ahead and realizing this is it.

The few times I have been on an airplace I remember experiencing this slight moment of panic when the giant door is locked tightly shut and all seat belts are fastened, its the moment where you know  you are stuck, you aren't going anywhere you are on the plane until you reach the end destination. Regardless of how scared you may get you are in flight and thats it, no turning back. I think we can all face times in life where we feel like there is a point of no return. A point where you can never get back the feelings you felt before an event happened, a diagnosis came, a baby was born, the loss of a loved one. Its ultimatly a moment that literally changes everything, you can choose to allow that moment of reckoning to make you a better person and cling more to Christ or you can allow Satan to throw you into bondage when things don't happen the way you would have chosen. It may sound so cliche' but "it is what it is." The way you react ins't going to change anything, the circumstances will not be altered by how you feel but how you feel can alter the way you look at things and the way that you face those things. Whatever that moment is for you in life maybe even in 2012, bask in the unknown and be reminded that in those moments of uncertainty you can choose to allow God to have the victory in the ending or Satan. Even if an alternate ending is chosen that does not have to beat the person you are and the power of Jesus.

"I'm waiting I'm waiting on You Lord and I am hopeful, I'm waiting on you Lord though it is painful, patiently I will wait.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Brace for impact......

Ready or not here we come 2012. I can't believe another year has passed us by. Although I strongly believe because of the blood of Jesus we can choose to start over any day I always do look forward to the beginning of the new year. A few years back there was a movie made called "Brace for Impact." Every January 1st the phrase "brace for impact" plays through my mind. Its like I am saying "um ok Satan bring it on " and in another aspect I am super excited to see how God is going to blow us away in another year.

The movie talks about the miracle we all witnessed on the Hudson River of flight 1549 where 150 passengers were spared on January 15, 2009. I dont know anyone that hasnt read this story and felt complete shock and admiration at what miraculous events took place on such a blistering cold day almost 3 years ago. The lives that were changed that day is far beyond anything i'm sure we could ever comprehend. Imagine the emotions and sequence of events that took place in each of those peoples lives that day. Regardless of how detailed CNN, NBC and Fox News gets we will never really be able to fully understand the magnitude at which that single even impacted those 150 lives.

One of the survivors of the crash said he remembers so clearly the pilot saying overheard in such a calm and gentle voice in the terrifying moments leading up to the crash "brace for impact." After I heard this I couldnt help but keep playing it over and over in my head. Brace for impact, brace for impact, brace for!!!!! I started thinking about how the Lord has been revealing some things to me lately and how much in our lives i think God wants us to apply that principle to 2012. I have talked to a few friends about it being a new year and there seems to be such excitment in the hearts of so many. There's this sense of relief to be able to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me lately about something in particular and I can't even explain the excitment I feel in my heart because I really believe that He not only has given me this desire deep in my heart but He has given me the peace to really believe that whatever He has shown me I can claim that as victory, its already done by His power. I feel like the Lord is telling us to be prepared and "brace ourselves for impact" He is going to do some amazing things.

Websters definition of the word brace is : to get ready (as for an attack). The definition for the word impact is: to have a direct effect on or strike forcefully. So by saying "brace for impact" we are saying "get ready to be forcefully struck by something that will have a direct effcect on our lives." I know there are people around us everyday that need a miracle. Maybe its healing of an illness, a job to ease the financial strains of life, restoration of a broken marriage, freedom from past hurts or failures, whatever it is we all need a miracle somehow and somewhere. We often seek the Lord for answers and ask for Him to "just fix whatever needs fixed" we say we believe He has the power to do anything and nothing is to big or too small for our God but then do we really believe it??? We hide inside that steel plane of faith until things start crashing down around us like flight 1549 and then we start to waiver. Like that gentle voice of captian Sullenberger the pilot for flight 1549 God is saying to us "regardless of what lies ahead, regardless of how bumpy the road looks, regardless of how hopeless the situation seems...."brace for impact, because I am the maker of heaven and earth and there is nothing I can't do for my precious children i love so much." If I close my eyes its as if i can see myself sitting in this giant plane with turmoil and uncertainty around me but then I hear overhead from the cockpit God calling out "brace for impact" and then the most amazing thing happens...prayers are answered in ways that we couldnt even imagine...the sick are healed, mourning is turned to dancing, miracles are being witnessed all around us and God is just smiling because He knew all along what He was doing. As we were clinging tight to the passenger next to us hyperventilating in the overhead drop down oxygen masks above us God was getting ready to land us safely right into a blessing like never before.

1 Corinthians 2 :9 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can imagine what God has instore for those who love Him." The blessings he has planned for us on earth and in eternity in heaven are more than we could ever even desire for ourselves. What is it that your heart desires for 2012??? Do you need a miracle from God that you know deep in your heart He is fully capable of doing? If so believe it with every ounce of your being and claim it as victory over your life!!!! Be excited and hold on tight because the ride ahead may be insane but God is going to move in 2012 in ways that we can't even imagine...."brace for impact."