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, December 31, 2013

Responsibility Chart.....

“You did it, awesome, job well done” are phrases that decorate the colorful circles next to the tasks completed for that day. A little piece of motivation for Macie and a way for Mommy and Daddy to stay organized is the reason behind the “Responsibility Chart” that now hangs in the kitchen.

Over the past few months Scott and I have talked on numerous occasions about setting into place a system for chores and allowance for Macie but we just never could come up with the right one. My sister got a “Responsibility Chart” for Christmas for her family and when I saw hers it sparked within me the motivation to try the same setup for our family. A little wooden chart I picked up at a nearby store has a plethora of chores and categories that fit magnetically on the chart and each day when those responsibilities are fulfilled you place a wooden token next to the task. Macie was super excited and could hardly wait to start it so we hung it proudly in the kitchen, picked out the responsibilities she would need to fulfill, and we were ready to go. Last night though as I was passing out wooden tokens for a great job done next to Monday’s list of tasks I felt a little guilty and convicted. I thought about this long list of responsibilities we are asking Macie to fulfill and honestly they are pretty simple and the chart is meant to remind her and help reward her efforts but what occurred to me is that there are areas in my own life even as an adult that I need to be reminded of daily.

As adults we don’t have “responsibility charts” hanging to remind us each day but isn’t that what accountability is meant to do? Part of accountability is that you don’t want to disappoint the other person; part of Macie’s chore chart is that she wants to complete each task everyday so we will be proud and she knows if she doesn’t get all of them completed we will be disappointed and she will be held accountable for that. In an effort to work on areas of my life and to help be a witness for Macie I decided I would add a category on the chart for myself and each day I would let Macie reward me with a token based on whether I complete my task for that day. The task I chose for myself is reading my Bible. 

Honestly I hate to admit it but there were more days than I would like to think where I didn’t read my Bible this past year and I didn’t give God the time He deserves each day. Life gets crazy and it’s easy to find ourselves running from activity to activity and getting caught up in everything else and God often gets pushed aside and our time with Him can be put on the back burner. I would like to say as the new year starts that I am going to complete my task every single day and will have a rainbow of colored wooden tokens next to my name for that task but I have to say that if it’s based on past habits there will be days I won’t complete it and those days will be devastating and I will be held accountable for that. I went back and forth on whether or not this would be a good idea considering my accountability partner is my 8 year old J But I came to the conclusion that I would go to great lengths in this life rather than disappoint my husband and my daughter and I want to teach Macie that I’m not perfect, I’m human and I have faults and imperfections. I want her to know that as an adult, as a mommy, as a wife and as a woman of Christ I have the “responsibility” to spend time in my Bible and to put forth effort each day working on my relationship with God. I want to show her that I need to be reminded and held accountable and that when I don’t do what I’m supposed to and I don’t read my Bible that it’s disappointing and has consequences. 

As 2014 approaches are there areas in your life that you need to be held accountable? Do you feel like you have a list of expectations for others around you but yet you find yourself falling short and not meeting those same expectations? I am a visual person and I love being organized so maybe the motivating factor of seeing the wooden chart hanging in the kitchen will be enough to help push me to be consistent in my tasks, regardless I am thankful for a God that knows my faults, that knows I have fallen short in the past and that I will fall short in the future but He still loves me anyway. 

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace” Acts 20:24

Friday, December 13, 2013

Running the Race.....

As I sit anxiously awaiting the news I was called to my Aunts house for I had played out a million scenarios at this point. You would laugh hysterically at my final conclusion; just know it includes a will and her giving me her kids which wasn’t the case lol. Moments later with a few family members and a friend looking on I was handed a box and told to open it. Once again the nerves began to creep inside but when I opened it I was amazed and overjoyed. As I opened the box I found a logo for the first “Kickin Crohn’s 5k” in honor me and my family to be held May 31, 2014. The words left me in that moment and once again I was reminded of how incredibly blessed we are.
Someone tonight expressed to me what an inspiration she felt I was because of my journey and my initial reaction to her was that “it’s amazing what you will do when you have to do it.” There are some days I think my circumstances are no big deal and others where I feel like the end of the journey seems out of sight but regardless I remind myself the reason I fight. 

I fight because I have a precious daughter who 8 years ago God decided to bless my life with and from the moment I first heard her heart beating I made a vow to always love, protect and fight for her. Some days it may mean fighting for her over a mean kid at school, others it may be on the sidelines of a sporting event but right now it’s to fight this difficult disease physically and to show her that regardless of how big the giant looks in front of you that you NEVER give up because we serve and love a God who is bigger than our circumstances and who conquered the grave of sin and death and is real and present in our lives every day and with Him ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

I fight because I have a husband who is patient and loving and has been handed a difficult journey with me and yet he does it and not because he has to but because that’s what a man of God with integrity and commitment does to show unconditional love to his wife.

I fight because there are so many friends and family who have cheered on the sidelines for me and helped lift me to my feet when I wanted to give up on the race. 

I fight because there are so many who fight the same devastating disease every single day and need a cure just like I do.

Most importantly I fight because this is the race I have been called to run and we haven’t crossed the finish line yet and God hasn’t finished His work in and through me………but is just beginning.

Hebrews 12:2 “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blanket of Grace....

It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s messy and inconvenient but then again it’s a matter of perspective. Yep I’m talking about snow. I have friends that get giddy at the slightest dusting of snow and others whom are filled with dread as winter draws near each year like I have been for so long. It’s something that has taken me many years to figure out how much our perspective can alter things, but I am thankful for this new found appreciation, especially because winter is just beginning and the snow has only began to fall. I must admit whenever I hear the weatherman talking about snow potentially falling in our area I too get giddy inside. I now find joy and excitement in snow days home with my loves curled up in fuzzy blankets and watching Christmas movies. I find joy and excitement in hot cocoa and peppermint mocha's which always taste even more hot and delicious with a cold blanket of fresh snow peeking through my windows. But it hit me recently the joy and excitement I find because the snow reminds me of God’s grace and love.

"Come now, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool” Isaiah 1:18.

It was there in the midst of my brokenness, imperfections, and sin I found myself a prisoner to my circumstances. In that moment I allowed my heart to welcome Jesus inside and instantly it was if a fresh blanket of refreshing snow fell over my life and cleansed me from the depths of my being so that every sin was forgiven, every ounce of dirt was removed, and a hope was replaced within my heart for a future filled with promise and joy. There is something so sweet and beautiful about God’s grace that regardless of how messy our lives are or how long the list of our transgressions there is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s unconditional love. I am so thankful today for the snow and it’s pureness, I am thankful for the reminder that even in the moments I feel inadequate and the enemy tries to remind me of my failures that God can send a fresh blanket of snow on my heart to cover it with His grace and love and refresh my soul and remind me of the future He has planned for me with hope and promises filled for good.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

RWOE 2014

Once again I feel like someone has given me a swift kick in the britches and reminded me how small I see our God. The ways in which I have seen Him move over the past 10 years are beyond amazement but yet I still get caught up in my small human thinking at times and place Him in a box. Last year as I was approaching my 30th Birthday January 17th I wanted to celebrate in a way that allowed others to get involved and spread joy, so I started RWOE (Random Words of Encouragement) Day. It was a challenge to me and others to write out their favorite quotes, scripture, song lyrics or whatever was encouraging to them and place them randomly around their community that day for people to stumble upon and shed some hope and joy on their day.

Each day we are all facing a battle. It may be seen or unseen and so often we could honestly just use a break, a little pick me up and a reminder to keep pushing forward. There have been many health battles over the past 4 years in my life and honestly times where I couldn’t even see how I would take one more step but then I would receive a card from a friend, read scripture that captured my heart or listen to a song that felt like was written just for me and the words in each instance captivated me and helped shine some hope in times I needed them the most. I realized that sometimes we could all use a little encouragement. There is power in words and life is hard enough and if we can do something simple to help each other get through difficult circumstances then it would make things easier. Maybe it’s a flat tire on the way to work, financial stress, a devastating diagnosis, failed relationship or who knows but I know we could all use a little break in the day to day stressors of life and a little hope.

As 2013 is wrapping up quickly and January is approaching I felt God whispering to my heart to not just leave RWOE Day in 2013 but to allow God to move once again and do RWOE 2014. Last year was an awesome day and we had many people participate, adults and children so I started to think of a goal which was my first mistake. I picked a goal that was obtainable through human abilities and what I have learned is that God asks us to pick goals that are unobtainable in our humanness so that He can show His power. After just a few days it was evident we were going to surpass my “small” goal to get 100 people to sign up and participate. I started praying and then once again posted a goal getting a little braver but still putting God in a box. After many emails and posts I started to realize that God wanted me to get out of the way and let Him move, He wanted to do something greater than I even imagined and through prayer and the encouragement of others our goal is now 1000 people to participate in RWOE 2014 with our goal to reach every state possible!!!!!
God is moving and the excitement is growing and as I sit back I shake my head at once again how little I saw our God. I am certain lives will be touched and hearts encouraged through RWOE 2014 but I know God has already taught me something big. He has taught me that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed God can move mountains. 

Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Are you ready friends to watch God move mountains of hope in 2014?!!!!!!

Light Bulb Moment......

Sitting in church yesterday the magic light bulb popped on. You know the kind I’m talking about that sits dangling over a person’s head on t.v. and you can see it lit up? I almost wanted to look up to see if it was visible to others around me it was so clear. A moment where I realized a huge mistake I have been making and the urgency to change. 

Worship had just finished and our Pastor had taken the pulpit for his message and as he was preaching (without trying to embarrass her to much) I looked over at his wife and noticed this huge smile on her face, you could tell she was proud of him. I thought back to the moments right before because one of the guys that help lead worship is my husband and as I’m standing there every Sunday morning and I see him up there playing guitar worshiping Christ through the gift God has given him my heart overflow’s with joy and I am reminded of how proud I am of him. The same goes for when he talks to me about some scientific this or that in which I am totally clueless and I just look at him amazed at how intelligent he is and once again I am proud of him. I am proud of him when I see him providing financially for our family, I am proud of him as a father who cherishes his daughter and treats her like a princess and I am proud of him mostly as a husband who loves me in my very unlovable moments and with no conditions and this is the one I fail to tell him how proud I am the most I think. 

See the light bulb moment was guilt that although I have pride overflowing in my heart for my husband I never allow it to flow out through my words and tell him. I may feel proud in my heart for all the great things he does but I fail to tell him and affirm him. Our daughter Macie is 8 and we think she is amazing. She is beautiful, talented and intelligent and both her daddy and I tell her often how proud we are of her but we sometimes forget as adults we need to know that people are proud of us to, especially our spouses, our safe place. My prayer this week is to lift my husband up more in words and not tear him down. To really share the proudness in my heart for the things that his does with words. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.