Tuesday, December 30, 2014


With a deep breath I can say I have finished - the paperwork still needs done and I have at least one more meeting, but the work on my part is finished.

I wrestled with putting off the final meeting.  It's Christmas break, I should be able to take off.  Yet, while I stood worshiping in church, I knew I had to try and get it in.  As soon as I got home I emailed, asking for a meeting, not giving a option out (I had originally planned to do this.)  I had to get home since I do not have one of the smart contraptions.

Six hours later I got a yes reply to the meeting.  They could have said no and I would have been fine, since it's in God's hands.  God instructed me to reach out, wait patiently and then finish what I started.

This doesn't mean I'm done:
  • Gaining wisdom - I have so much to learn, but now I'm on my own schedule.  I get to choose (listening to Holy Spirit) what and when and pray for the dedication to get it done.
  • Meeting with others - I will continue to finish the cases I'm on and see what God has in store for me.

I'm excited for the next phase.  Excited to look back and praise God for what He has brought me through since March 2012.  He has poured so much into me.  It took two years and four months to finish (taking summers off.)  I would encourage everyone to become a Biblical Counselor.  It could easily be done while working as it is done less than part time.  Classes were only one evening a week, very little homework, a lot of reading (this is what summers are for), and growth in ways you  never imagined.  There are training centers that have weekend get-aways classes, but I think it would be too much information crammed into a little bit of time.  I need the slow drip method!

Below is the beautiful card and loving words from my husbands upon completion.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Not about Me

Transition is hard and I feel like I've been in it for years.  Always wondering what is next?  Should I get a paying job?  Continue to volunteer?  Redecorate the house?  Learn Spanish?  You know the list of possibilities never ending.

I'm near the end of the certification to be a biblical counselor.  It's been a fantastic journey - however I've been ready for what's next for about half that time.  It got so bad that I had to intentionally refuse to think about it - which is hard for the planner in me.  God taught me to be patient, wait on His timing.  He knows me well, that if I know what's next, I'll skip what's today and jump to tomorrow.

My thoughts settled on taking time to work on me yesterday.  Yeah, time to work walking by the Spirit, my health, my home.  A time to do all those things I put on hold while I worked on the certification process. 

Then the brakes were hit with that thought process.  I remembered a conversation in counseling that urged the gal to pray as we've discussed.  She rarely prays.  Scripture says to pray continually (1 Thes 5.)  All believers need to have a vibrant prayer life - daily connecting with God, resetting our thinking, focusing on things above - eternal things.

Yet - my own prayer life is so-so.  I go through spells where I allow the day to get in the way of my sweet time with my Papa.  How could I focus on ME while not help others?  I cannot withdraw, as my thoughts carried me, from the world to work on me.  It just doesn't work that way.  How did the apostles live?  They spent time with Jesus learning then went out and helped others.  How did Paul live?  He spent time learning from Scripture/Holy Spirit (Gal 1) while growing his ministry.  Finally, he carried out the great ministry God planned for him.

All through Scriptures, those most dedicated to God were dedicated to others.

Merry Christmas - focus on the One who is the Way!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Crazy Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I thought I had time to write, but as soon as I devoted a few hours to doing so my schedule blew up.  When I can, I will, but December looks a little crazy as of right now. 

Remember God's love,
Remember You've been here before and survived,
Remember He will give you a way out,
Remember for faith to grow you sometimes go through trials,
Remember you have a Sovereign God who already knows the ending,
Remember EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bloom Where You Are

I love the saying "Bloom right where you are planted."

I think this hardy fall mum screams the truth in this.  God has given us all we need to face any and all trials this world has.  Trust in that He has equipped you to bloom, thrive, right where you are.  It may not look like it on the outside, but faith, trust, love can grow within for the Lord.

We can live out what James wrote, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,"  If you read on, it is because we know through trials we gain godly wisdom and that is our faith in action to mature us.  We can love Christ all the more for what He endured on our behalf.

So yes we can and will bloom where we're planted for our God will do it as we pursue Him.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Schedule is Ruined!!

I set guards around calculating when I would be done with the last phase of counseling certification.  Knowing myself, I knew I would become focused on the end, not the journey and knew the disappointment, frustration and all that other stuff that would come when it didn't just happen.

Guess what?  It happened anyway.  I am down to the last part of my hours and calculated when I would possible be finished...and it wasn't the date in which I hoped for.  It wasn't the timing I wanted.  And all those emotions/distraction moved into my heart and sat there.

I prayed over it.  I asked for God's will, hoping that somehow my schedule would be His schedule.  The reasons I wanted to finish were clear - so I could move on to other things.  My attitude began to sour when a session was cancelled. 

I immediately moved to thanking God for the occasion rather than entertaining the pity party that wanted to avail itself.

Whenever the sour thoughts come, I praise God, declaring I trust Him, His timing purpose.

Then it hit me:  God is giving me the time now!  I don't have to wait until the end to do some things.  I can do them now - if I stop allowing empty activities to take away my time.

God is good to me (Psalm 13.)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Asking Forgiveness

Today I had to ask forgiveness.  I knew it was the right thing to do as I approached the gal I had offended, my heart nearly thumped out of my chest. 

My words were not gentle - the Bible clearly says to speak gently, especially when trying to restore a brother (in this case sister) to the Lord.  I hadn't organized my thoughts (meaning write them down) and they all came rushing out.  Rushed speech from me usually sounds harsh.

Seeking forgiveness is a quick way to change, at least for me.  I don't enjoy the process, the convictions, the waiting to go to the person. I am thankful for it - as it indicates God is working within me.

I used to ignore the need to ask forgiveness.  I would be extra kind to the person to "make up" for how I treated them in the past.  I might apologize - which only points to how sorry I am for knowing I was trespassing on the other, but did it anyway.  It isn't repenting, in hopes to not sin in that way again. 

Points of forgiveness:
  • Ask forgiveness - from the other person and from God.
  • Admit guilt of sin and state sin.
  • Put yourself at the mercy of the other person - a humble position.
  • Seek to restore the relationship - with others and God.

Once forgiveness is granted, don't allow guilt to hang on - there is no condemnation in Christ.  Lingering guilt dishonors God.  If the other person evokes guilt to try to manipulate you - they are in the wrong - both that their forgiveness wasn't genuine and they are attempting to make you to use works for their self serving desires. 

Seeking forgiveness doesn't mean there's no acts to do.  It doesn't mean the consequences of my sin is absolved.  Some sins have lifelong consequences that just don't go away.  But in all - God will redeem.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Totally Off Day

It turned into one of those days.  It began with the dentist, giving into a craving for fast food.  Then exhaustion kicked in between the two. 

Then the thoughts began to creep in.  You haven't wrote your report.  You haven't prepared for you next session.  You haven't read your notes.  You haven't finished the living room.  Your husband is off working and what are you doing? 

You aren't going to finish when you wanted at the rate you are going.  Reliability is when you do what you say you will and to completion.  Have you really changed?  Aren't you just the same person you've always been and never wanted to be?

I had to call these thoughts what they were - stinkin' thinkin'.  I am wasting time allowing these thoughts to claim me.  I'm missing the time to praise God and have a grateful attitude for the changes that have happened. 

Do old habit show up (like poor eating) - yes.  Do I have to allow it dominate again?  No.  Instead of condemning myself as hopeless, I can turn my thoughts to the hope I have, call out the sufficient grace that is available to me.  Take hold and refuse to let go until I receive a blessing.

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."  Philippians 4:8 (wrote by memory - take that stinkin' thinkin'!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Which Way Is Right?

I missed my turn.  I was driving to Bible Study and after a month of driving to this location I missed my turn.  I suppose I was lost in thought.  Ok, I would just turn at the next street.  Then I arrived at the street in which I normally turn, but now I would do so much back tracking, surely it would be better to continue down this street - it is bound to arrive in the same place.  Yet, I was in a subdivision from the 70/80.  You know the ones without a straight road to be found.  I was curving and turning, but I got to the other side.  Sitting at the stop sign on County Line Rd. I had a choice to go left or right.  I couldn't see any landmarks to help my decision.  My internal sense said to turn left.  So I took a deep breath and turned right.  In a quarter mile I was on the road I needed (and had to back track the same amount if I had taken the turn earlier.)

It made me think that so many times in my life I think I'm making the right decision.  My sinful nature that died when I accepted Christ still has lingering habits of sin.  That "natural" tendency is opposite of the supernatural Christ in me. 

My choices can often be self serving and for my kingdom.  Sometimes when my heart resists something - I purposely do it for I know it is the right thing to do. 

Times I've been aware of this:

Desire to not do the dishes - allowing the lazy person in me to put it off.
Desire to hang onto our money and not give the offering - trusting money rather than God's provision.
Desire to stay home - allowing self focused time trump fellowship with others.
Desire to eat that sugar laden treat, which will cause headaches, sugar surge and further cravings in addition to bloating.
Desire to take the easy way - when God has a lot to teach in the journey.

So to purposely choose what I know is right, but is against my flesh is hard.  I was reminded of 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."

May I allow God's grace to help me.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Trade is Off

Eve traded God's desire to teach her for instant knowledge. Genesis 3
Esau traded his birthright for soup. Genesis 25
Israelites wanted to trade their freedom for slavery.  Exodus 17
David traded his responsibility to lead the fight for home - leading to further sin. 2 Samuel 11
The Pharisees traded a chance to love Jesus for pride and self worship. John 11
Felix gave up salvation, although his conscience directed otherwise.  Acts 24
The Church of Ephesus trades duty for love. Revelation 2

I want to declare that the trade is off in my life.  Of course, only with God's grace can it happen.  I don't want to settle for anything less than what God desire for my life - His plan.  It isn't about making Him part of my plan, but in making me part of His plan.

It's giving up thoughts of what I'll do if.... (this is worry in case you didn't know.)

It's giving up my schedule of when things should happen or be finished.

It's giving up wanting my glory and focus on bringing God glory.

Where can I be in a year if I'm faithful everyday?  How much have I learned from faithful Scripture study?  Through a series of injuries, my body became very weak.  I've regained strength, but think what one year of really focusing on exercise would look like?  Normally I go steady for a couple months, then either life in general or more usually I injure myself and get sidelined.  But with three months behind me, I don't want to allow the busyness of November and December to get me off track with the progress I've made. 

Lord, help me not trade in Your good for imitation of life here.  Help me to look past the circumstances in my life to focus on Jesus.  Help me see the bigger picture - Your purpose.  Slow and steady will determine my faithfulness.  Amen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breath of Life

I want to write.  I desire to write.  God has granted me the ability to write (somewhat at times.)  This past year has been super crazy and many things I love have fallen off my to do list.  But now, I'm adding back in, Yea!

I wanted to breath life back into this blog (however was willing to cut it if it was God's will - see I'm learning to seek His plan above my own.)  So in prayer, what should I write about?  After a year of God pouring into me heavily, the old post weren't coming to me and when I read them they are less personal, less me, just less.  The blogs I love to read are the ones about the people, what they are up to.  I like reading successes and failures - because we're not Holy yet.

So what to write about?  God answered:

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Write about Him, Jesus.  What is He doing in my life?  What am I learning?  How am I being conformed to His image (Rom 8) - meaning where am I not!

It may take me a couple weeks to get back into writing regularly again.  I hope you stick with me or join in.  

God is Good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back To School

Being Mama is one of my main ministries.  Today I sent my wee one (not so wee anymore) off to school.

I dealt with my mixed emotions over her return.  Part of me was thinking about my schedule and all the projects around the house I could accomplish.  Guilt came on me...in a subtle way that I didn't know what it was.  I'm looking forward to my girl going away from me large portions of the day...what kind of Mama am I?

I had to put the brakes on with those thought.  I knew then it was guilt.  I have nothing to be guilty about.  One: I did all I could to put a hold on projects so I had extra time with my girl over summer.  Two: I would miss her dearly.  We have thought and prayed about home school, but do not think it is right for us at this time.  Three: If she was with me all the time, those projects would still need to be done and I would have to do them (perhaps with her help.)  So the fact that I look forward to getting things done isn't a bad thing.

I rejoice that she's in an environment that is loving.  I trust the teachers at her school.  She goes to a nice country schools where the class size is still under 25 per class.  I make an effort to get my work done while she's at school so my evenings can be free.

So today I say no thank you to any additional mama guilt.  I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be.  I lose my temper, I become short when I'm focused on other things, I ask for forgiveness and work hard to keep our relationship strong.  I will only listen to real guilt that comes from God that spurs me to seek forgiveness.  He's the standard, not what my head decides.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Reshaping it all

As in my previous post recommending this book, I began reading and wondered what Candace would have to say about health and spiritual fitness.  I got rather nervous reading some very secular statements about identity (don't worry she later clarified and redeemed those statements.)  I pressed on and praised God that I did.

"Priorities have a way of squeezing out the less pleasant activities, unless we make a point to prioritize them." p 43 

This statement caused me to pause.  Things that I find difficult to get into in a day must be less pleasant and if so, what does that say about me?  Yeah, I got to think things like that through - is internet and TV a priority or is my God and family - which one am I making the most time for?

"My point being that if we become disciplined with the small things in life, we will grow to discipline ourselves even further." p 96

I've heard this saying before - if you want to hear God's direction on the big things, be obedient in the little things.  If you want God's direction on what you are to do with something the Bible isn't 100 % clear about, why not start with following the directions on the things the Bible is 100% clear on and you'll learn how/what God wants in the other thing.  God is all about the small stuff and we need to be too.

Chapter 8 was a wonderful chapter on discipline.  Page 96 had great encouragement to press on through the pain so that self-discipline can be strengthened.  Our bodies need to be discipline until it happens naturally, then we need to keep watch so that we're not disqualified (1 Cor 9:27.)

"To get a biblical view of self-discipline, let's take a closer look at self-discipline side of the woman personified in Proverbs 31:
  • Works with eager hands (v 13)
  • Brings food from afar (v 14)
  • Gets up while it's still dark (v 15)
  • Plants a vineyard (v 16)
  • Works vigorously (v 17)
  • Is clothed with strength and dignity (v 25)
  • Speaks with wisdom (v 26)
  • Doesn't sit idle (v 27)
"Do some of those characteristics speak to you? Have you refused to work out because it would mean getting up a little earlier?  Do you grab something quick to eat because you don't want to take the time to get your food from afar?  Do you waste too much idle time on the computer or television when you could be enriching your mind?  Are you clothed with strength and dignity, or do you throw on a ball cap, slip on a ratty T-shirt, and then head out of the door praying you won't be seen?" pp 99-100

I had to include all of the above quote.  This whole section spoke to me.  I had never really thought/applied of the Proverb 31 to my discipline.  The Proverbs 31 woman is disciplined.  Yeah, I may not ever become that standard - but I won't discount it for it is God's standard that I strive for and seek His help in obtaining.  I accept where I am and focus on where I'm going - Proverbs 31.
Chapter 11 (p 134) describes conscious living and questions to ask to help determine if I'm consciously living.  Yeah, that section spoke to me as well - particularly about surfing the net and channel surf.  Although many of the things on the list are things that were in my past.  I have broke free from those bad habits of unconscious living - praise be to God.

"If you really want to be transformed by the Spirit, as I hope you are seeking to be, He wants every area of your life to be handled in a spiritual way." p 185.

This statement called me out on what I'm not doing - handling every part of my life spiritual.  I didn't consider that I was withholding areas from God.  However, when I don't go to God, when I don't pray about something, when I go on autopilot and 'I can handle it,' I am withholding areas from God.  All things handled spiritually (see Live By the Spirit.)

Candace (with Darlene) really speaks as one who has walked this journey before.  On page 208 she writes about getting to the place where you're over the number on the scale and really want, desires to overcome the bondage food has.  This is precisely where I am.  All the things listed above is God speaking truth to me on how He wants to do this.  Through Him I am free from the bondage.  By His grace I can begin to live it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Choosing Joy

What could get me down...
  • my washer stopped working.  After trying the fix that was indicated it still doesn't work.  
  • my left hip popped.  This is my good hip, but now if feels like I'm bruised severely.  After great progress in doing rehab for IT band syndrome and foot on my right side...just days before vacation.
  • after stocking up on something for D to eat - it doesn't agree with his tummy. :(
  • the days are dwindling of time I get to spend with K.  School is starting way to soon.

I could dwell on these things.  I could allow myself to be overcome with defeat.  Depression is grasping and clawing for me.

But I smile - for the suffering draws me near my Father.  I smile because Jesus said "in this world you WILL have trouble, But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33.)"  I smile for I am one of His and I will have trouble.  But I take heart and set my sights beyond my current circumstances.  I set my eyes on Jesus who encountered more suffering and did not sin.  I can too with HIS strength.  

My strength would have faded long ago.  I would have welcomed bitterness, self-pity and disgust.  Yet with Jesus as my focus, my example, I have joy.  I have peace.  I look forward to how God will use each of these as part of His plan.  Each trial is an opportunity to sing joyful praise.  I have been deemed worthy to suffer (Acts 5:41.)

Monday, July 14, 2014


I had heard the lesson many times, but it finally sunk into my soul.  I grasped the whole concept.  I am set free from my bondage.  It is the need for security.  We can seek in vain to be secure.  The bank account at just the right amount.  The debt paid off.  Holding on time to personal information.

Some are paralyzed by the desire to be secure.  Their choices are dominated by their fears.  Some can't leave their homes.  Others will only venture out at just the right time - perhaps when there's no snow/rain/clouds.  Some overprotect their children because of fear.

Some are mobilized because of fear.  They will work beyond their effective capacity in order to maintain a false sense of security.  Some will hover by loved ones, knowing they need to be the one to provide protection.

I heard this message the other way around - where do you place your securities, what idols do you have if it isn't God?  Yet to approach it from why I seek security?  What in me craves the security?

We were designed to want it.  It is part of that God hole in our hearts that we try to foolishly fill with anything other than God.  We might even have God in our hearts, but not allow Him to have this area - for we'd be out of control fully dependent on God if that were the case.  That. Is. Frightening.

But it can be frightening in a good way.

We are even good at convincing ourselves that we've allowed God into every area of our heart.  We think we're dependent on God for security.  However, what if my 'secure' life was altered?  It's only as secure as right now anyway.  What if having needed shelter meant living with a relative instead of my own home?  What if after an exhausting day I still had to go cook dinner (not take out)?  What if instead of a minor car accident my husband was in that it was a major one?  Yeah, that one would be a life changer for sure.

The point is what expectations, demands am I putting on God as a requirement to what security He provides me?  Do I expect to continue to live in my home or is shelter - shelter to me?  Do I expect my bank account to always be a certain amount or am I content that we have enough?  Do I demand to wear certain clothes or are clothes that cover good enough?  Do I demand that my family be sheltered from the cruelties of this world or am I confident that God will see me through any obstacle - keeping my mind set on eternity?

What did Jesus do?  Did He have a place to lay His head? No (Luke 9:58.)  Did He have a bank account?  No and the one keeping the money stole it (John 12:6.)  Did He always have food fit for a king?  No, but He ate well.  Did His Father shelter Him from the cruelties of the world?  No, He took on the full totality of the cruelties (Isaiah 53.)  Why?  He had His mind on eternity.  He wanted me (and you) to be there with Him.  He wanted to free me from seeking security in anything other than His Father.  Real security if found no where else.  Real security is in God. 

So let go of expectations.  Let go of worldly fears.  Release the layers of self-confidence and need to be self reliant.  Take the step to be fully dependent on God.  Oh Papa, help me to do just that!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pain Update...

Ok, I snagged this picture...no way I could take a picture of my own.  Well, my dr. appointment was only half successful by my expectations.  100 % successful by God's provision. 

I can best describe the pain from the shot is someone pinching you were you are bruised.  Fortunately I wasn't in a lot of pain prior, which means I wasn't overly sensitive.  I never seen a needle go so deep into me before (although D pointed out the epidural I received probably did, but I didn't see it.)  I caught my groan from the pain, grabbed the dr. should so I didn't fall over.  He had a hold of the needle so I wanted to make sure we stayed together until it was done.  Still too soon to determine if it will be lasting pain relief or not.  I'm have great expectation that it will help in the long run.  All the sensations it caused were pains that I felt before with my inflamed hip.

I have been diligent to slow down, to do my daily physical therapy exercises.  It has helped tremendously. I'm slowly regaining strength in my body.  I'm really amazed how much muscle I lost from the foot sprain.

I weighed in at the dr.  I'm down a few pounds.  Still not at my pre-winter weight, but happy to be moving in the right directions.  Many of my summer close are fitting better.  I've stopped (or close to it) weighing at home.  It's not about the number, but about obedience, self-control and living by the spirit.  If I'm doing these things, the number will be where it needs to be. 

So if you get a moment, say a prayer for me.  That the shot is effective and my focus remain on my Healer - He has healed my soul, in that I will be content.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Grace in Trials

Temptation is to expected.  Each day I have a plan, but part of that plan should include what to do when temptation comes my way.  Ask for grace, listen and seek the way out.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

It's so easy to think that I'm insulated and will not be tempted. How foolish.  Jesus didn't say IF, He said WILL!

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The following is an excerpt from Valley of Vision.  The prayer sums up the cry of my heart and the acknowledgement of my limitations, my propensity to sin, my weakness in battle, my desire to rely on self but need to rely on the Holy Spirit:

Father of Mercies,  
Hear me for Jesus' sake. 
I am sinful even in my closest walk with thee; it is of Thy mercy I died not long ago; 
Thy grace has given me faith in the cross by which Thou hast reconciled Thyself to me and me to Thee, 
drawing me by Thy great love, reckoning me as innocent in Christ though guilty in myself.  
Giver of all graces, 
I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me, for it is hard to practise what I believe.  
Strengthen me against temptation.  
My heart is an unexhausted fountain of sin, a river of corruption since childhood days, flowing in every pattern of behaviour, 
Thou has disarmed me the means in which I trusted and I have no strength but in thee.  
Thou alone canst hold back my evil ways, but without Thy grace to sustain me I fall.  
Satan's darts quickly inflame me, and the shield that should quench them easily drops from my hand: Empower me again his wiles and assaults.  
Keep me sensible of my weakness, and of my dependance upon Thy strength. 
Let every trail teach me more of Thy peace, more of Thy love.  
Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase Thy graces, and I cannot preserve or improve them unless He works continually in me.  
May He confirm my trust in Thy promised help, and let me walk humbly in dependence upon Thee, 
for Jesus' sake.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Book of a Friend - Candace

Ok, I have been putting together my book review of Candace Cameron Bure's book - Reshaping It All.  I'm just a few pages away from finishing it.  On this Independence Day of our country I want to encourage others to make this their independence day. 

I thought of reading this book when it came out, but didn't.  I began following Candace online a few years ago.  When her new book came out and her on DWTS, I wanted to read the new book, but thought I better read the first book first.

So what can someone who seems to have no issue with food and the spiritual aspect of it say in a full length book?  Well a lot!  Candace, with the help of Darlene Schacht (if you don't follow her at Time Warped Wife, you should!), have spoke volumes to where I am right now. 

So this isn't a review...which will come soon.  I urge you to read this book if you have any issue with food.  It. Is. A. Must.

Page 226  "Let me paint a scenario.  You've eaten a good dinner, stopped when you were satisfied, and feel pretty good about the choices you've made.  Thirty minutes later the TV goes on, and the family starts rummaging through the kitchen for a television snack.  Suddenly you get the munchies.  Your brain starts off slow and then goes into a wild frenzy of arguments giving you every reason you deserve to eat more than you should.  Telling you that you can break the rule 'just this once' even though you know that last night, and the night before that and the night before that, were the 'just once' days too."

This captures what goes on in my head (not so much anymore Praise the One Who changes.)  If it doesn't show a similar situation/argument you've had with yourself... then great, this isn't the sin you struggle with.  God has placed applicable truth for my life in this book.  It isn't candy coated, eat this, do that.  It's getting to the spiritual side where true change can and will happen.  It's a choice.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Live by the Spirit

I've dug deeper to what it means to live by the Spirit.  Conviction.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

I pray.  I seek God's help.  But there are times when I don't and need to.  I need to rely on God's grace throughout the day, yet I stubbornly try to do things on my own.  I try to make better food choices (and fail.)  I try to not get irritated at other drivers (and fail.)  I try to get what is most things important done (and fail.)

I allow compromise, my need to control and the ease of distractions to invade.  I'm not strong enough to face it on my own despite what my stubborn self says!

What would happen if I stopped and sought the Spirit's help.  He's in me.  He's here to be my Counselor (direct me in the way of the Father), to be my Comforter (this world will have troubles) and my Convicter (that twinge in the gut when I'm not focused on the right thing.)

To live by the Spirit isn't just acknowledging He's with me.  It's building the relationship to listen to Him, to respond to Him and to seek His grace out.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 5:18

I heard a little tidbit about this verse and it spoke to me, went seamlessly with the above thought (Go God!)  Ephesians is written to believers, who have the Spirit, so that don't need to be filled with the Spirit.  What they need to do is allow the Spirit to purify sin and fill them (better written to be filled by the Spirit.)  Am I allowing the Spirit to fill me?  Do I allow self-control to ooze through me with temptation is strong?  Do I allow love (and forgiveness) to fill my inner being when other drivers are clearly out. of. their. minds?  Do I quench the Spirit's voice when I focus on things that are seconds (not first priorities?)  Do I reach for grace or am I blindly hidden behind the veil that it will be there when I need it, so I don't have to ask?

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:15 (underline mine)

I have grace, that is given.  God knows my prayers and needs.  I have access to all that I need.  It is for my benefit, to remind me that He is the Provider, that I ask.  This doesn't mean He withholds until I ask, however the Bible is clear with need to ask.  Just like waiting on my daughter to become aware of a need and ask me.

When temptation is strong, do I turn to Him for grace?  Do I declare with my mouth "I love You MORE!"  I'm getting there.  God wants me there.  He wants no room to doubt that every aspect of my life is handled by Him through me.  My mind may say it's true, but now my actions need to follow through.  I need to live it.  I need to fully live by the Spirit.

God is so good.

Monday, June 30, 2014

First Things First

I've been thinking a lot about priorities.  The book I'm reading speaks on the topic - I'll write a book review soon.

First, take a look at what I focus on the most...My mind says this, this and this are a priority, but does my actions align?

If those two don't align, how do I get there?  One step at a time, right?  Currently, my garden needs weeding.  Because the pain in my body has receded, I didn't want to aggravate anything.  I decided that I'll spend 10 to 20 minutes a day over the next week to get it back in shape (I have a small 12 x 5 garden, it shouldn't take that much!)  I've started to do that with the clutter in the main part of the house - put things away and be on top of my daughter to do the same.  The most important part is follow through.  This means I need to be aware of what I'm doing and what needs done.  I need to prioritize my time.

I read this quote:
Set priorities for your goals.  A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first.  Indeed, the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first -- Author Unknown.

There was a time in my life that this was 100% true.  Now it's not so much, however there's always room for improvement - such as garden time!

I don't want to come to the end of my life completing only seconds.  I want to finish those major goals.  I ready to do what I can for my health and pain.  I made some tough decisions and I'm sticking to it.  I've allowed myself rest and pushed through to do rehap exercises.

I recognized obstacles will come.  I have an enemy that wants to see me fail, to be ineffective in ministry.  However, my eyes will stay focused on my Savior.  My God will come through.  I will endure until the end.  I will take each step needed (in God's timing!)  I won't take any step alone, the Spirit is here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Seek Him - Find Him

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

This verse has been in my head this last week.  God has put it before me on several occasions.  I want to seek Papa with all my heart.  I will seek Him.  I am seeking Him.

Stop focusing on my sin that easily entangles me.  Stop focusing on my pain.  Stop focusing on what I do/ will do.  Show me what it means to seek with all my heart!

Set in awe and reverence for the One who made me.  He is my Rock, my Strength.  I love my Papa.

Monday, June 16, 2014


I'm struggling with high levels of physical pain - which is hard to focus on much else.  What little time I do have, I have to focus on what's most important - and this blog usually doesn't make it.

I've written about my foot sprain.  My IT band.  Perhaps not the chronic pain in my shoulder and arm that has been with me since my teens.  One week ago I sat in church trying to stay composed.  I have chronic tendonitis in my ride side - that is from my ear down - my neck/shoulder/arm/abs/back/hip/it band/foot.  I only have tightness in my calf - thankfully.  To top it off, I can't take anything but tylenol because it hurts my stomach so.  Muscle relaxers don't ease the burning from muscles/tendons (although they can help with sleep, they lower my blood pressure which is barely high enough to keep my going as it is - so I can't take more than one night at a time.)

And when the pain settles in like last week (making it hard to sleep), it's hard to not allow it to be your only focus.  It's hard to keep my eyes on God.  But where else would I turn?  He answered prayer and the week lead to new discoveries and determinations. 

  • Specific exercise that may help the IT band issue, trapezius and foot.
  • Encouragement to get a cortisone shot in at least my hip - this is a big decision for me since I resisted so long - but hope that that shot will give me time pain free to strengthen this area.
  • I have to stop doing so much - working/playing through the pain.  I need rehab!
  • I am free from over working myself - I don't have to keep up and push myself to pain.  I need to take the days of rest my body needs.
  • It's important to ask for prayers.  It's important to keep bringing my pain to God - not just to remove it, but to help me learn from it.

God gave me this body and all things to be a steward of.  I'm not being a very good steward, but I'm making a plan to get there.  The weight I've gained with my foot issue has to be combated in the kitchen not in exercise.  I love God more.  My flesh may bulk, I may endure a new kind of discomfort, but in the end it is worth it.

"A steward is not supposed to manage things for his own pleasure, convenience or benefit.  Instead, he is expected to follow his master's instructions and look out for his master's interest, even if they conflict with his own personal desires or convenience (Jn 12:24-26.)" Ken Sande

Hebrews 12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart...11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lighten up

Sometimes I wonder why I get so serious.  I know the Mom in me wants to get everything done - but to what expense?  Is it worth it?

This week I had to back track two commitments I made.  Yup, I had to send one email to say I couldn't make the school function and one phone call.  God made me so uneasy about both - which I am thankful. 

It's my desire to do it all - save the world on my own.  But the world already has a Savior and I'm not it!  What disrespect I show.  How many times does God has to show me before I get it.

I can't volunteer effectively for everything.  I am serving in places meant for others.  Then all kinds of ugly comes out - I'm stressed trying to do it on my own.  I'm unkind (to put it kindly) because I'm so focused on the doing that I forget the people along the way.  I begin to expect to be served while I'm serving - you must do what I want you to do while I'm serving you.

I need to take time before saying yes.  I need prayer.  I need to focus on my Papa and His plans.  Are my motives right?  Is the reason to say yes about me or Him? 

What I really want is the joy that comes from being obedient to God.  From sitting at His feet - clinging to Him.  I can't do that if I'm in a whirlwind of doing.  I want a smile on my face.  I want to be flexible.  I want to laugh more.  Enjoy these moments I have.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding Joy in the Journey: Everyone Has a Story

Finding Joy in the Journey: Everyone Has a Story: We were driving through Park City this past weekend as we were in Utah for a National Dance Competition for my daughter. We were stopped at ...

I'm still here.  I've had some many pots on a burner that I have a slow cooker and grill going.  I hope things slow down, I'm striving to do all things with a great attitude.  I read the above blog and loved her title - everyone has a story.  How quick I can be to judge, but more and more I'm with this lady.  I don't know the back story - it could be weight or _____________.  It's my job to encourage you.  What a missed opportunity to go to judgement.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I love this time of year.  From the depth of my soul I know God does too.  The sleepy earth is transformed into a myriad of color.  The brown drab grass turns green.  Bud start peeking out of the bare ground.

God loves color.  Nature is full of it.  People are too.  Look around the world and you can't help but be in awe of the palette God used to enliven the world.  Yellow must be a color a happiness.  From the shining sun to the majesty of the bright daffodils, yellow is sure to put a smile on your face.

I love to see the trees in bloom.  My daughter and I go on nature walks looking for signs that Spring is really here.  We seek out the smallest bud on rose bushes.  We push back left over fall leaves to new growth, that winter didn't claim the plant, just allowed it to rest.  It's an exciting time - things change, each day a new surprise.

I look forward to the crocus.
I look forward to the daffodils.
I look forward to the tulips. 
I can't wait to smell the blossoming trees.

Praise God for His handiwork in Spring.  It refreshes the world and my soul.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Level Ground

I called it the boot of shame.  If you ever watched Up and remember the collar of shame, you get it.  A dog doesn't do anything particular to get the collar.  For whatever reason, I had several friends endure the boot in the past year.  I foolishly tried to amp up my exercise routine mid-December, only to have my foot tighten up.  Like if you walked up a ladder to get out of a pool and your foot tighten?

But this wasn't just a tight muscle, it was a strained ligament and fallen arch.  In the process of stretching my foot, I injured the nerve that runs to the big toe.  So after many doctor visits, x-rays, I endured the boot of shame for a month.  It is very hard to walk in.  My hips were aching more.  Uneven ground was my pitfall, gravel too hard to balance, ice and snow - no thank you.

I thought of Scripture to speaks to making the path level for Jesus: Isaiah 26:7, Isaiah 40, Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3,   
God make the ground level for his righteous: Jeremiah 31:9.

In that boot I needed a level ground.  In my walk on earth level ground is 'easier.'  It may not be the road the world chooses, but I'm walking where the Spirit leads.  Just as God sent John the Baptist to make a path to Jesus level for those who believed, He is sending messengers to make level paths in my heart to draw nearer to Him and be in His will.  John B, as I like to call him, didn't have an easy life to the world standards.  He wasn't concerned with things of this world.  He wasn't successful in reaching everyone, but the ones he did reach were never to same. 

How do I go about making my heart level so God can do the most work?  The bumps are my self-willed desires to rule in the my kingdom.  The stubborn disobedience as I cling to the world.  The arrogant belief that I know how to fix me better than God can fix me.  I choose the time, the way and the method, even the end result (insert crazy laugh here cause it can't happen!)

Proverbs 4:20-27 speak the truth on how to do this:

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Be aware of what God says, keep His word in my sight and heart for they bring health.  Guard my heart above all things.  Keep my speech pure.  Fix my eyes on Jesus.  Follow the level path God lays before me, trusting Him.  Keep taking each step to draw nearer to Him, avoiding turning to the left or right, which will take my eyes off Jesus and my feet from His path.   

I often ask where am I making the path uneven?  Where is God leading me through this maze of the world to get to Him?  Am I obeying?

Are you?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not my call

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
I felt the need to step out of a ministry position I held for over a year, yet I felt to many were relying on me.  See, the leader I helped announced she was leaving her position.  That left a part time person to handle things until a new leader was in place.  I couldn't just leave her.  Our prior leader said I was one of the reasons she knew now was the time to leave for a new ministry because of all the key people she had the could run things until a new leader was in place. 

All that to say I felt the demands to leave the service, yet I didn't.  I learned a lot in the process.  I was in the tough part of my classes to be a counselor and starting to write my exam.  I had cut things down - including this blog - so I could devote my time to what God said to devote my time to.  Yet, with this position I didn't.

But I learned grace to help the one who isn't confident in making decisions.  It's not possible to overcommunicate during the times when things need to get done and very few workers. 

Rely on God to fill the gap.  He sent teens to help do  some office work.  He stretched supplies so that we had what we needed.  He worked creativity of those involved so make what should have been a disaster into beauty.  He grew a love within my heart in place of annoyance. 

Then I sprained my foot.  I knew I couldn't do the job with a hurt foot.  With everything prepared I knew I should leave the service - yet I didn't.  I continued along doing a little.  Then it came time where they needed someone to do the work I did so I went back, foolishly thinking I was healed enough.  But I hadn't.  This time, I had to leave the position and I was quickly replaced.

Found out the one who replaced me prayed 6 months for a ministry!  He was so very happy to have the opportunity to serve in this way.  Happier about it than I think I ever was doing the work.

It made me wonder why I held on so tight to the position.  All the times I wanted to give it up before I thought I was being selfish or...the list of lies goes on.  God used my clinging to sanctify me.  Perhaps He used it to help my replacement be willing to serve - I don't know the what ifs. 

So what service might you be holding to tightly to?  Has God asked you to move on and you've refused?  What service has God called you to that you have refused to obey?  We all have gifts, gifts meant for service.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Write Now

I missed my blog, my expression.  So much has happened since I stepped away in December.  Most of which was an opportunity for me to change my attitude and viewpoint.

I had the priveledge of wearing one of these for a month.

 Just before Christmas I sprained my foot - not ankle- foot.  All was well because Christmas is a slow going season with no need to walk anywhere - oh wait - No it isn't!  I'll write more on my life in the boot of shame.
My daughter took this photo - she's loving the photo apps.
As most people in the mid-west and across the US, I spent my time this winter trying to stay warm.  An injured foot means a lot of winter chores fell to my husband.  I snuggled near the fire most days.

I'm continuing to write my exam so lots of time in front of these.

And writing endless hours on this.

All those hours have paid off since I went from taking two weeks to answer a question last fall, to writing one within a day - and less editing - always good.  My creative writing has taken off again - I hope to do something with that.  Hopefully you'll see  a change in my writing here. 

As a diversion to writing and being stuck inside I created this painting for my daughter's bathroom.  A couple evenings on the couch had it done.  I did use stickers, but I'm not so sure that was the easy way to get the letters on.

I'm placing my blog a little higher on my priorities, even if it's slow going until I complete my exam.  Daily progress is what counts.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1

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