Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Year in Review 2017

I honestly can't believe December is here and half way over no less. This has been a huge year with many different challenges, and ups and downs. But there is one challenge that sticks out more to me than the others.
For my year in review, I am grateful for the determination that I set on Jan. 1, 2016 and like most of Americans, I set to reach a specific weight loss goal--which I did NOT hit--BUT I did stay consistent all year long with eating right and exercise, and for that I am proud!

You see, I have been on a journey nearly all my life to loose weight....I would say, "I just want to be at a healthy weight" over and over. But it wasn't until 10 years ago that my focus changed. It went from "I just want to loose weight" to "How can I honor you, God, with all of me?"
As, my focus changed and I my view turned from being on a "diet" to "how can I honor you Lord with what I put in my mouth".....my attempts always seemed to fall short.
 As you know with weight loss and attempts at remaining healthy ebbs and flows; seems to me that you are either gaining or loosing.
Well last Dec (2016), I was SICK of my roller-coaster of gaining and loosing, and at that point I was up 30lbs. I was so down. So frustrated. The rollercoaster of up 30lbs, down 30lbs, up, down over and over as the cycle goes, HAD to stop!
I was determined.......through a friend, I found out that my work provides a dietician that I have FREE access to!! So I lowered my pride and went in on December 15, 2016 and cried and cried at how I was frustrated at myself for getting to the place I was AGAIN---UP 30lbs!
My dietician, turned dear friend, told me December was the worst time to try to come in and start a weight loss program, but I assured her that no, it was the best time. So I began, and I set a goal to loose 30lbs by Dec. 15,  2017.
Which I did not do....I am currently only down 22lbs, but I think the proof is in the picture.

While I did not reach my goal of loosing 30lbs, I gained so much more. I have a new perspective on health, and I gained a dear friend. She helped me see where I was blaming others for the choices I have made all my life. She believed in me, empowered me and gave me hope that I too could succeed in this journey I have failed at most my life.
More importantly, I have learned to rely on the Lord in a deeper way. I am no longer a slave to my mouth and what I put into it. Sure have there been slip ups? And will there continue to be at times? You bet ya....but as my dietician said, just get back up the next day, do not let it keep you down!!! 
 
I bought a necklace for myself yesterday and it says:
Still, I rise.
And in 2018, still I WILL rise, until my goal is met. The Lord is with me and ever so present. Its not even about the number on the scale (even though it doesn't read what I want it to at times), but what truly matters is the health of my mind, soul, and body. I feel empowered and with the Lord behind me, still, I rise.
 
Hope and pray this inspires you, sure inspires you in a way to reach the goals you too have set for yourself if you have weight loss goals, but more than anything, I pray it inspires you to seek and find the Lord in ALL areas of your life. I pray that when you read these words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "But He said to me, "My grace IS sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" that you would gladly boast in the magnificent power of Christ in you, too! Seek and find Him, he is waiting.
 
What a work he has done! To HIM be the glory, now and into 2018 too! xoxo
 
 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dream Big



There have been dreams and changes and life happening lately! Hence why little blog you have been neglected! I am sorry & am still here....lots to say and share....but for now I pray you are still dreaming big dreams! Till next time!  xo

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lessons

Luke 8:40-48
Our greatest need for healing is so personal and private we don’t want anyone to know.
We are as sick as our secrets.
We have a tendency to hide what needs the most healing……Because we are afraid what it will do to us socially.

Mark 5:26 if I could just touch the hem of his garment I will be made well. She was going to risk making others unclean in order to be cleaned herself. You cannot be unclean enough to mess Jesus up! SO filthy from your sin and somehow get him messed up. Jesus is clean enough for us all.
Our need for healing and wholeness is deep down in us!
Numbers 15:37-40 tassels were there to remind the men of Israel that they were holy to the Lord….it was an example of their purity before the Lord…..she reaches to that to touch!            
“Fringe/cloak” –how easy would he have been to grab on to….he made himself easy to grab…the tassel was right there, and she grabbed on to the part that proved he was clean…and instead of her making him unclean it made HER clean!

He is not hard to grab on to….he came to be touchable!  
Luke 24:38-39---touch me and see…..
Luke 7:36---he knows what kind of women we are & that is exactly who he picks out and makes himself EASY to grab on to!
You don’t have to just sit there, do you have faith enough to reach out and grab him.
Isaiah 6: he robe FILLS the temple that means there is enough garment for all of us who know they need healing!

Hebrews 10:19-23 let us draw near with our hearts sprinkled with the FULL assurance that faith brings

As long as you feel unclean you won’t experience him because you aren’t drawing near to him!
2 Peter 1:9—you do not have to cycle in and out of defeat!!
When we go back to the cycle of defeat we have forgotten what the blood at the cross did for us.

Its our faith that drove the touch that welcomed the healing!
Come full of faith that God will can and will work in your life! Grab on to his garment!!

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These were notes from a talk I heard. I just love it because Jesus made himself touchable, in the midst of a crowd of people he was still accessible and able to be touched…just a sweet moment for me right now when I kind of feel like that woman, just in a crowd (the chaos of life) all around me, loud, noise, busy…..and trying to get to Jesus by doing all I know to do (read/worship), but even in the chaos and noise, he makes a way for me to grab his tassels, and not just grab him but he NOTICES when I do…..makes me cry. He is sweet to me when I am feeling overlooked, unappreciated, and feeling low he still notices when I reach out to him…because he doesn’t change, or move…he is constantly close and he wants me to reach out and grab him. so yeah good good stuff. He is ridiculously sweet to me and I love him deeply.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Power in Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9 has been rolling around in my head for the past several weeks. For many reasons, but the main one being--I have a lot of weaknesses, and God has given me the opportunity to press into and face these weaknesses head on. Which has been fun (sarcasm).

This verse says: "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

My grace is sufficient....for you. I can encourage you all day long, but when it comes to believing that verse for ME...that is where I am not convinced His grace is sufficient. When I make mistakes is when this verse is the farthest thing from truth forme. For you, its absolute truth. Why is that? Why is it that I cannot get to a place where I actually believe that His grace IS sufficient for ME too? 

Maybe you're like me in this place too of wondering is His Grace sufficient for you too?

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You know what is interesting? 
I started that blog post back on March 15, 2017…..and the reason I didn’t finish it was well because I still have a hard time living out the truth that God’s grace is sufficient for me—even when I mess up. I know its for me when I am doing good, but surely its not for me when I mess up. 

Isn’t this just such backward thinking? 

I am not even in any kind of sin, but its just hard when I mess up to believe that I am extended this same grace that you would beextended, had you messed up. 

I went to a conference this weekend, and it talked a lot on Romans 12:1-2, and how in view of Gods mercy is how we are to move and operate, but we in our human-ness put our “self-lenses” on and we view ourselves through our filter and project that is how God views us too. When in reality he (if we are his child) views us through His son, Jesus. Pure and blameless before him. No matter what! 

Its such a hard concept to grasp in our human way of thinkingwhen we are such a rules based, and production driven society. I guess that is what makes Gods kingdom so backwards is that it is contrary to what this world says, and when we are fully operating out of this 2 Corinthians 12:9 mentality we will take delight in our weakness and even welcome them, because we will KNOW that in it, Christ’s power will be able to rest on us!

So to these moments of weakness, as hard and awkward as you make me feel, I welcome you. I want to see that His grace IS sufficient for me too, and that I want to see his power made perfect in my weakness. Will it be fun? Nope. Will I enjoy it? Not at all, but will his power rest on me when I boast all the more gladly about my weakness? Absolutely.

So here is to women that boast in their weakness; I hope to be at the front of the pack with youxo


❤️❤️
I can't believe the price you paid for me, what you did not owe, so that I could know you you chose someone like me, to declare your praise


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fearless

March 20, 2015 is a day that I will never forget. It was the day I got the call from my brother that my father had passed away. You see, he had been fighting the battle of MSA for 4 years prior to the call. We knew what was imminent. There wasn’t a cure for this disease, and we knew and trusted that if God wanted my Dad home, he would take him at the right time. But you know, no matter how much you think you are prepared for something like that, you aren’t. The call was just as heartbreaking as it would have been had my dad not had a terminal illness. 
One of the hardest parts of my Dad having MSA was, for me,was the fact that I lived in Virginia and my parents lived in Colorado at the time. Because of that I was trying to book frequent flights home to visit my Dad because we knew his time was shortMy flight was booked for the Tuesday AFTER he passed away.  Four days before my flight was scheduled, on a Friday, my Dad went home to be with the Lord.
I was devastated. “I was coming to see him, I was coming to see him,” was all that I could get out between my cries and grief as I was talking to my brother.

Losing a loved one is something I have never experience up until this point I life. I had no context for grief or sadness like this; until that day. What I didn’t expect to happen in the days and weeks to follow was, again, something I didn’t have much of a context for in my life; fear. 
C. S. Lewis says: “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
And boy was he right. Through this process of grief, fear grabbed ahold of me. I have never grieved the loss of someone close to me so I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the grieving process, and I certainly didn’t know that fear could or would be a part of it. 

For the next few months I found myself fearing death. Fearing the unknown…fearing the questions that, “Ok if I’m a follower of Christ and I KNOW there is a God, and my Dad knew Him…so that means he is WITH God…..so what is my Dad doing!?!? Like RIGHT NOW what is he doing??”  Those questions rolled around in my head over and over creating a snowball effect of anxiety at the fear of the unknown.
I know that the Bible describes heaven as this amazing place, but my human mind could not wrap my head around it. As I wrestled through those questions; God in all his loving kindness revealed, yet again to me, that He is trustworthy. If He can be trusted in this life, which I 100% do trust Him, then why can’t He be trusted in death too? There was no answer other than, “You can be Lord.”

So with that wrestling behind me, the fear of death subsided some, but manifested itself in other areas. You name it, I feared it. From being robbed, jumped,  shot to death, to being in a terrorist attack, attack on my kids, my husband, friends, fear of large gatherings of people, looking for the exits, what do if this, what to do if that….on and on went my mind as it was crippled by fear. There were days I was staying in my house avoiding going to events in fear that an attack would happen when I was there! When I say I was crippled by fear, that is exactly what I was; crippled. 

Our goal as followers of Jesus is: to follow Jesus example and strive to be just like Him
It is important to remember, and often times I think we forget, that Jesus came to earth in human form. He had all the same feelings, emotions, trials, temptations as us, yet he did not sin. Jesus is the founder and the author of our faith and this man was extraordinarily bold! He was so brave. Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends, he was wrongly accused, he was flogged, and on top of all of that he WILLINGLY walked to the cross. For me, for you, for all of humanity—so that, we could have a way to be in eternity with God; A sacrifice had to be made and he, in his perfection, was that sacrifice. 
I’m sorry, but that is a man who is braver that brave, and stronger than strong, and he more than proved that fear is optional

Can you put yourself in his shoes just for a minute…just because he was God in human form, does not mean that he didn’t feel the same things we would be feeling! Don’t think for one moment he didn’t feel the physical pain of it all too. Yet, he still willingly laid down his life as a sacrifice. Was he afraid? You bet he was, but fear was not an option for him. 

There are times when fear is going to overwhelm us so much that it cripples us, it will render us useless at times, but the key is to remember that it is optional. 

I don’t know about you, but my thoughts can go from zero to death within seconds! I will be driving along and all of a sudden I realize I am in a day dream. The day dream most times would look like this: I am standing over the casket of one of my loved ones, and I will come to and realize where my mind has wondered off to, and then I finally realized that I have played out this whole wild scenario of how this loved one passed. Sometimes I don’t like how the day dream is going so I will stop and change it around in my mind before I get out of thought.
Its crazy. My mind can get out of control. 

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

So in those moments when your mind is getting out of control, we have to say NO to ourselves and NO to our thoughts, and say YES to Jesus instead. We have to take our thoughts captive and make it obedient to Christ. 

What this means is, just like in your relationship with Jesus there are going to be times when you have to actively deny yourself and what you are feeling in order to follow Jesus well

Fear has no authority over you. You allow it the space to control you or not control you. In these moments when fear is taking over and the walls are starting to close in on you, you have a choice. You can choose to submit yourself to the fear and allow it to take over and control you. OR you can choose to respond to submit Jesus’ authority and stand on His truth

Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, and Paul all understood this verse in a deep way. They all gave their lives to the mission of spreading the gospel! They believed what God said, because they had confidence in what they hope for, and they had assurance of what they didn’t see
Were there times they were filled with fear? Oh! I guarantee it! But they didn’t love their lives so much that they shrunk from death (Rev. 12:11). They faced it head on, they stood up to it, they pressed on, and they made a choice to respond to God and his authority rather than submit themselves to their fears. 

When you no longer dread fear, you become fearless….Jesus is our example of that and he made a choice to crush fear. He made a choice to stand firm in what he knew. Same with Paul, Peter, Timothy….in the New Testament they fixed their eyes on Jesus and they advanced the gospel with confidence. 

So to you, fellow sojourner, I submit to you that, this is our chance to take a stand advanced the gospel with confidence. We are the stewards of our faith in this generationThe gospel continues on because of our generation. As we recognize fear is not an option, and we are no longer our consumed by it….we become fearless and allow the Spirit the space to moveAs we look to scripture and consider our examples that went before uswe will not grow weary or loose heart.

For me and where I currently am…has fear left totally? No it hasn’t. It is very present in the back of my mind. I have to make a conscious choice to not allow the temptation to submit to fear control meI have to make the choice to shut thoughts of fear down daily. I have to make the choice to not entertain these run away scenarios that are conjured up in my head, and I have to allow God the space to move in my heart; which makes me become fearless.   



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017—Being comfortable with the uncomfortable

Well hello there! 
If you have been following along with my blog for any amount of time you will know that, normally, I like to do a year in review blog post, but for 2016 we are just going to call it what it is, and it is over. Ha! Not that it was a bad year at all for me, it was a good year; a year full of transitions though….we moved my mom out to come live near us. She got moved in and settled into a new place. I started serving in women’s ministry at my church, and for the past few months I have been working with our Director of Women’s Bible Study on launching a new Women’s Bible Study group on Thursday nights! So we finished the year off prepping and planning for that. That will kick off on January 19th, and I am excited. Nervous, because I feel like a fish out of water not knowing what I am doing, or where we are going really, but I am being faithful with the doors God has opened up for me, and so here we GO

There are also some new things God is birthing inside of me too, and I can’t wait to share with you what they are. BUT for now,if you are the praying kind, pray for me that God would continue to give me wisdom and knowledge, and that I would be faithful to continue to follow His lead. 

God has been teaching me a lot about myself here lately. Like I explained it to my best friend, it’s left me in this place of feeling really vulnerable and exposed.  Two feelings I would rather never feel! 
Think of it in metaphor form like this…Over the past 5 years or so God has had me on the edge of different cliffs, standing, starring down below, and He has asked me to not only walk to the edge and look down, but to actually jump off! Each cliff has had different heights, some with jagged rocks below, and some with water. As He has had me standing on them looking over the edge, He showed me, these are opportunities to trust Him deeperThey are an opportunity to take the leap off the cliff, and allow Him to show me the ways in which He will catch me.

He has asked me to settle my heart in this place of being comfortable with the uncomfortableBeing comfortable with uncomfortable is not something that is fun or easy for me to do. I like a plan, I like structure, and I definitely do not like being exposed and vulnerable. BUT….these are the cliffthat God has asked me to stand on. Each cliff is the same too, in that; I have the option to jump or not to jump. Thankfully with each one, I have mustered up enough courage to jump, but He has had to teach me how to be brave. I have had to learn how to walk to edge and actually open my eyes to see the beauty around me. I didn’t always approach the edge with assurance and confidence. He also has had to teach me how to get back up on the next cliff He asks me to face. Being a girl that is terribly afraid of heights, you can see how problematic this whole situation is for me. :)

Through it all, with my eyes fixed on Him, it has been possible to face these fears. So for 2017 this is the pattern I will continue. I will continue to walk towards these cliffs that the Lord brings in my path, and prayerfully each time I will be able to jump quicker, and with more and more confidence. I’ve seen too much of my God not to trust Him now. 
I’ll be in touch!! xo


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How do you respond?


Life is crazy busy, especially around the holidays! It’s a super exciting time and you want to do it all, you want to attend all the parties, and get together with people you know and love. You have work parties to make face at, and if you’re anything like me you have a lot of people you love that are expecting you to feel cared for by you, too. But there are times where you just can’t do it all. Things and life get so busy, you are trying to do the best you can to keep all the plates spinning, but you know eventually they are going to start to fall. When the plates do start to fall….what then starts to happen? You probably can finish this sentence for me…..the people in your life start to feel uncared for or left out, and then that creates this whole other tension to deal with in the midst of your madness anyway, am I right? So how do you respond when those instances occur? 

Yesterday was a shining example of how I respond. I get defensive. I immediately say what I have been trying to do, and what the other person hasn’t done. I talk about all the ways they need to make an effort if they truly want to see me/talk to me/ be with me, then THEY need to make the initiative. I talk about all the ways I have tried to make an effort, and get rejected with a lack of response on their end…….and then it was as if I lifted out of the situation and heard myself. I heard how defensive I was, I heard how I was blaming, and I heard the selfishness in my tone. This is not how Jesus would want me to respond. 

James 1:9 says, “Know this my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." ESV 

I was not quick to hear; quite honestly I didn’t want to hear it. I wasn’t slow to speak; I started spouting off every way I thought I was justified. And I certainly wasn’t slow to anger, because I felt wrongly judged when what was being said about me wasn’t even fully true. This is not how my Jesus would want me to respond. 

As His Spirit quieted my mouth, I was able to stop the conversation and called it what is was… I am being defensive and took ownership of that. I was able to take a step back and really think about the situation, and how parts were true and how other parts weren’t true. 
So how do I respond? There is a very big people pleasing side of me, which is why I get defensive because its proving that I can NOT do it all and I don’t like that feeling. 
For me, whenever I find my self doing in this, whenever I respond like this, I am going to take a step back and look at what “true” reality is. Not all that was said to me was “true” reality. It was jaded by emotion, and it was jaded by their hurt/baggage they bring to the situation too. So as I think clearly, I can only change me. I can only be responsible for how I respond…and I am to respond by….being quick to listen. I am going to think about their heart in the situation, and think about things from their perspective. I am going to be slow to speak. Not trying to justify all that I am doing. Not to make my voice heard so I can be ‘right’ in this. I am to be slow to speak. Words not coming out, mouth shut….listening.  I don’t know about you but that is hard to do!! 

Then I am to be slow to anger. It is hard not to get angry when someone has an offense against you. Its SUPER easy to get your feathers all ruffled and become defensive. It takes a much higher level of self-control to not respond! 
But this is what I am going to put into practice, and how I am going to respond. I may mess up here and there. I may have to stop more conversations and say hey you know what I feel like I’m being defensive and proceed with an apology. But I just refuse to keep being the same person. Its time for me to start responding differently too.