Archives for May 2015

Twists and Turns

Welcome to the new blog!!! There are a few finishing touches that are coming but I’m so very thrilled with its beautifulness! Be sure to check out Little Web Writing Hood (she is pretty awesome!) I hope to begin offering Words with Winter next week as a link up party so be sure to follow me to be the first to know!

This post is dedicated to to a really special group of kids. A group of kids that I am honored to have been apart of most of your lives since 5th grade. A group of kids that have blessed me more than I likely have them. I have watched you grow into such amazing young men and woman and am so blessed to have been your Sunday school teacher and later, your youth leader. You have blessed me by being so very patient with me as the Lord has grown my teaching and speaking skills. I have been blessed and challenged to dig into God’s word, to be a planner and organizer of events, to love each of you more than you know. You have impacted the Kingdom so much already in your young lives, and I know that you will accomplish great things in the future.

As you head into the future, don’t be discouraged if life twists and turns. It will likely take you in directions you didn’t plan. I certainly didn’t plan to stand where I am now when I was your age. Each year I watch kids tell their plans and see the eagerness that only the young can have. I always want to tell them don’t lose that, even through the twists, don’t lose the eagerness and hope in the future. For even if it looks different than the plan, there is greatness.

When I was a graduating senior my plan was to get married that summer, attend a commuter college and major in elementary education. Prior to that I wanted to be a doctor so that I could grow up and heal my grandpa, well he passed away, and I took chemistry so the new plan was born.

I did get married that summer, but I did not begin college. I can admit now I was just too afraid. Afraid of meeting new people, of failing, of not being able to afford it, of not being able to keep up with working and studying.

I began working at a local optometrist office, being trained on the job as a technician, vision therapist, and scribe. Nearing 14 years later I am still in this field part time.

Even though this was fun and challenging, I admit that it didn’t fill all the dreams.  So I dreamed of photography. It was creative, it allowed me to meet new people (I had gotten over my fear of new people),and it allowed me to be the boss. It also was highly competitive, not financially consistent, and became all about supporting my family and no longer about being creative.

If you have visited me before, most of you will know that during the time of photography dreaming, God really got a hold of my life again. I had given my life to Christ at age 14. I loved to serve, by age 16, I was already organizing youth events, and encouraging people to grow deeper in their faith, even at that young age. Unfortunately I attended a church that, at least at that time, didn’t believe in women leading and quickly put the lid on my leading any youth events. That caused me to grow distant and unsteady in my faith. I questioned my purpose in His Kingdom, if I felt passionate why wouldn’t the Lord want me to do these things I questioned. Thankfully by 2005 the Lord lead us to another church home, one that I found a place in youth ministry at.

Through that time in youth ministry God grew me. He showed me how to love a group of kids like my own. He showed me how to teach, how to dream, how to serve, and showed me my very passion-encouraging others to grow deeper in their faith. He also showed me difficult lessons, how to love when it’s difficult to love and when to let go because He is calling you someplace new.

I find it amazing that the Lord took my dreams from early childhood and early twenties to create who I am today. I wanted to be a doctor, I now hope to bring healing through His words. I wanted to be a teacher, I am able to teach His word. I wanted to be creative, I now create with words and photography.

I tell you all of this graduates, so that you know life gives twists and turns. That good, purposeful turns happen. That God is with you each step, He will guide and direct you even if you don’t see a way.

James 1:5 tells us, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

wisdom

 

 

Did you get that guys, He wants to supply you all the wisdom you need! He won’t think your crazy, He won’t ignore you, He will supply it.

You are created as the Lord’s masterpiece, He has plans for your life. It can be easy to forget this, I say that from experience too. It took me a long time to see my worth and purpose. You, my lovely seniors, helped me to find it.

So to Alec, Bre, Corynn, Keaton, Madison, Mike, and Nick you all are so very loved by me. I definitely find myself feeling sappy as I write this! I am only and have always only been a text a way. So as you move into a new phase in life remember these things:

You are created for a purpose and through the grace of the Lord you will accomplish what He has for you to do.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

You are loved by the very creator of the universe, He cares for the sparrow so He definitely wants to bring good to you.

“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

He doesn’t promise the easy life but He does promise to always be with you.

“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20

You are the masterpiece of the Lord, that truth can only be found in Him.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Don’t live as the world does but as He calls you to live.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

In the footsteps of Alec I must end on an analogy. Life is like a twisted gravel road. Don’t speed, you just might wreck or miss beautiful scenery. Don’t get lost in the dust cloud that those in front of you leave, and don’t be surprised at the twists in the road, just lean into Him. Most of all, stay hopeful of the view that can be found around the next corner.

 

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Secret Wonders

I have been having a very busy May, lots of fun things happening! My children are finishing the end of school with all the activities that seems to bring, the school carnival, a school wide field trip to a baseball game. Rachel also had a wonderful end of the year dance recital this past weekend!

Ballerina

I have a few exciting things happening here on the blog and in my speaking ministry. I currently am working with an amazing designer on a new blog layout with a custom domain name, let’s just say I’m pretty excited to reveal that! I also had the opportunity to speak to a lovely group of women this past weekend, on how the Lord makes us a captivating beauty that rises above the unnoticed. I hope to be able to share some clips of that soon!

I also had my post Faith Bigger Than Fear featured on Women With Intention, a great blog I link up at on Wednesday’s. I will also begin to host my own link up, Words With Winter, so once my new blog is up and running be sure to follow me and be the first to join the party! I also want to take a quick second to say thanks so much to all you readers. I am honored that you would stop by and I pray that you find encouragement at this little corner of mine. So on to today’s blog post:

I’ve always had a secret question, a secret wonder. Why do we need to pray about something more than once? After all aren’t we supposed to have faith in God’s power? So to repeat a prayer over and over I worried showed a lack of trust in God’s abilities.

Jesus says in Matthew 17:20  “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” 
Now I do pray for things over and over like loved ones battling hardships, my son waiting on testing for a diagnosis and an explanation of his hair loss, those I know facing challenges and changes in their lives. I do this because the word also says:

“Pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing

I don’t want my wonders to get in the way of prayers being answered, so I pray. I pray every time they enter my mind, I pray until I have peace over the situation. Yet I do still wonder.

Every week on Wednesdays I drive half an hour to the next town over for coffee with my girls. A few weeks ago, as I’m in the car praying and worrying over my son as only a mom can do, that question popped into my mind. I started thinking about that secret question and how I’ve always wondered if I was supposed to pray the same prayer over and over, and if so, why did I need to pray more than once.

While driving down highway 15 God gave me an answer, it wasn’t audible but it was a mental picture. It was as if I was standing facing a thin, almost see through, wall that pressing blackness was approaching. Then I saw other believers and we were sending prayers and each of those prayers seemed to fly against the darkness and beat it back. The thought came we don’t know of the unseen spiritual battle, I can’t see it, but it is hard and it’s a battle to the death. So with each prayer I send out, and other believers send out, they keep the blackness of spiritual darkness away.

Once I arrived at the coffee shop my mind was still a little wowed! I immediately tell my girls about this and Amy reminds me of a story I’d heard before. It was of a woman stepping up to the king to present her request and instead of going home she gets in line again. She makes her way to the front to present the same request, at her arrival the king remembers her vaguely. She continues to do this all day and by the end of the day the king remembers her and knows her request before she speaks it. He realizes that she is persistent and grants her request.

I don’t present either of these pictures to lead you to believe that God is a willy nilly granter of “wishes” nor do I think every prayer is a spiritual warfare defense.

I do present you with the idea that God longs for a continual conversation with you. He wants you to share your worries, fears and even questions. He hears each one. God knows the worries of our hearts and when we turn them into prayers over worries we will be filled with a peace that passes all understanding. worries into prayers

So sweet friends, pray without ceasing, no matter how big or small the Lord is only waiting to remove that worry from your shoulders. Pray until you are filled with peace, peace that comes when we no longer pick back up our worry, but we leave it at the King of Kings throne.

You can find me on these awesome blogs! 

Desert Places

Have you ever been stuck in, or maybe you’re there now, a dry lonely desert patch of life? A patch that seems like no one hears you, no one sees you, even God seems distance, quiet or having abandoned you. This patch could look like loneliness, a marriage that lacks communication and intimacy. A womb that has yet to carry a baby or children that seem out of control. A job that you dread going to everyday. A desperation to find a mate for the rest of your years. A schedule that runs you so ragged you can’t spare a moment to think of your desert place.

God is with us through those desert times, maybe he seems silent because we have forgotten to seek him. Maybe he seems silent because we have spent all our time talking about our desert with everyone else that we haven’t given it to him. What if he has lead you to the desert because you are in a season of growing, stretching, and drawing closer to him.

Instead of complaining we need to seek him, to look for the purpose, the beauty of the desert. Some of the most beautiful flowers bloom in the desert, but how many get to see them because the desert is viewed as harsh, ugly and desolate so people are unwilling to go there. Gods desert

Our desert could be that we are unable to find our purpose, the plan He has for us, or we are hesitating to take the next step. The beauty in our desert is trust, trusting the Lord, and taking the next step realizing we won’t have the entire path shown to us but we are willing to step anyways.

My tendency is to run through these patches of desert as quickly as I can, they are painful! (Can I get an amen!) What if instead of trying to run through the desert we slowed down, sunk to our knees, cried out to the Lord. Wailed our truest thoughts. Because I promise you girls, God can handle the gut honest truth of what we are thinking. He really already knows it we just need to confess it. We need to tell Him and give to Him what is happening in our life because He will meet us there. I think of Job, when he tore his clothes, shaved his head, yet he worshiped. That was the beauty of Job, his desert was loss; his family, his possessions, his servants, through all of that he worshiped. Can we find the strength to worship in our desert?

You can find me on these awesome blogs!