When Jesus Insists

Hello sweet sisters! It has been so very long since I last posted a blog post, I have heard the crickets! I truly have no excuse other than disobedience and a bit of laziness thrown in. I will blame the start on the holidays, broken wrist recovery, but the longevity of this break has been the disobedience. Blogging is a bit like exercise, once you stop for any length of time is is REALLY hard to get started again!


Today I have something different to share with you, I have wanted to start vlogging since I attended She Speaks and have been fearful. You know the fears of: I look fat on camera, my house is messy and not cutesy, I have ZERO idea how to create a video. But I set them aside and went for it! I almost let the I don’t know how to create a cool intro stop me, but it hit me that is only the enemy talking and I need to share what the Lord has put on my heart. So on the worst day of the week and the worst hour to post, I am posting my first vlog even if it just for a party of One.



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Fervent Fear or Fervent Prayer

It is so easy to live tied up in fear, especially in the times we live in. Social media creates fear, being plugged in to every news, radio, and magazine perpetuates this fear. It can begin to consume us, even those secure in their faith of God’s protection.

We hear of missionary’s children being killed because they won’t denounce God. Police officers being slain for doing their jobs. Politicians encouraging racial division. Even some who call themselves men of God, encourage racial division. Babies being killed before they have a chance to be born. Girls being sold into a lifetime of slavery. This world is filled with evil.

Scary right.

Terrifying even.

What are we to do? Where has God gone?

I will not be shaken


Friday there was a call for prayer at noon. I cried out to God like never before. I asked WHY? I cried out for salvation of politicians, ISIS, and those who crave evil. I prayed for mercy on this land. I prayed for protection over His people.

Flat on my face, tears pouring down and words trapped in my throat as if the enemy didn’t want them to come out. Especially when I started praying for salvation of ISIS, the President and First Lady. The enemy knows who he needs on his side. He uses social media to paralyze us with fear. On the other side of that he uses social media to distract us from the evil.

If he can keep us complacent, satan’s job is easy. We are doing it for him. When I watched War Room last weekend the part that struck me so strongly was the moment Miss Clara served lukewarm coffee. We as a church have become lukewarm.

We don’t want to offend, ruffle feathers or move focus to an agenda so we stay still and silent. Do you realize that we don’t need to sound crazy. We don’t need to rent out a stage and scream. We don’t need to fill our friends newsfeeds with fear.

We NEED to pray.

We NEED to put action to prayer.

When I say pray, I mean PRAY. Pray fervently. With tears and words pouring out so fast your mind can’t keep up so your spirit takes over. Pray as if your life depends on it; because it does. Pray for what needs changed, but pray for hearts. Hearts are the issue, hearts will change policies. People need love, the love of Jesus. When we begin to pray for salvation of our enemies, there comes change. Our situation seems so hopeless. Our world is filled with evil and people think it is at it’s worst. Maybe it is, but I think the enemy has learned to use the technology we have created to hold us in a pattern of fear. We are the hope of breaking that by praying for what we would consider our worldly enemies.

I’ll be honest, so often I’m so busy praying for me. My situation, my finances, my children, my marriage. My job, my friends, my circle of influence, my friends and family who are sick. My wants, me, me, me.

How about you? I will be so bold to say yes, you are the same. Now we may pray for our federal/state politicians at election time. We pray for an issue when we are confronted over it.

But I think human nature is to focus on our community. God created us for community so I am not saying this is a terrible thing-please hear that!


Our prayers do make a difference.

I am saying that our action of prayer is we need to move beyond our immediate circle and we need to create a movement of prayer for our earthly nation.

We need to stop being complacent, lukewarm christians. We need prayer because nothing we do can influence and change the world like our prayers sent to the Heavenly Father.

Won’t you share this with your friends. Won’t you change your prayers for the next month and move them from me focused prayers to enemy focused prayers.

Pray for:

President Obama and Michelle –

That their hearts would be softened and that they would hear the gospel of Jesus. That they would come to know salvation in a personal way. Remember the Lord allowed them to be appointed over our nation.


Pray that they would be stopped in their battles and killings. That they would see love in those they try to kill. That they would come to know the Lord for the first time. That those they hate would be protected.

Senators and Representatives –

That those who know the Lord would stand up and be bold. That they would hear the directions that God has for them. That they would have assurance in God’s ability to re-elect them so they wouldn’t be focused on trading favors in disobedience. I pray for those that know Christ would have the strength to tell others about Him. Pray for opportunities for God’s love to be shared and hearts to softly bend to Him.

Police Officers –

Pray for protection for them as they risk their lives daily to protect us. Pray for strength for their families. Pray for peace over the areas they work. Send heavenly angels to watch over them. Give them ears that only hear your truth about the importance of their lives and not the lies that are spewed.

Racial division –

Pray against those who try to fracture our country. Pray for restored community because each of your children matter. Help all of us remember that. Pray for opportunities to arise that can bring reconnection of divided hearts.

Government function –

Pray for the voices of citizens to be heard. That the government will be restored to work as it was created. That no branch has the only say. That constituents would be listened to by those who have elected them.

Lukewarm neighbors –

This maybe the greatest of these enemies. This might find us praying for our own hearts and not our neighbor. Pray that lives will be ignited for love, peace and all that Christ can do. Pray that Christians can be strengthened.


Printable Prayer List

If it is overwhelming to pray these all at once, take one and pray for it one day, then the next day move to the next group. Feel free to print the above list.

I have read recently from “experts” that there is no saving this country. It’s going to hell in a hand basket. Well, it may be, and maybe we will see the return of Christ soon. But I think there is still much good in this world and there are hearts that need saved. I believe from my toes that this country can be changed. It can be changed by our God, because He is truly that great. In order for Him to change it though we can no longer sit complacent in a church pew but fall on our faces in fervent prayer.


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Lauren of Making Life Sweet wrote Holding Fast to the Word and reminds just how important clinging to the truths that are written in the Word.

Sarah wrote When There’s Too Much Hurt and Pain in the World sharing with us some practical ways to ministry to those in our life that are hurting.


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Words With Winter Link Up

Hey all you lovely ladies! This week I wrote my post out in my notebook (yes I’m old school and would rather hand write and type later!) had it planned out, but I just don’t feel like it’s time to post it. I hope you can understand those times of being with the Lord and then knowing you just need to wait. I try to be as transparent and authentic in all things so I am just keeping it real here!


I also want to take a second and encourage you to go see War Room, I mean run right now! Grab your hubby first and go! It truly will rock your world, meaning I will be doing some rearranging in order to create my own war room.

pray without ceasing


So in place of my words I’m featuring five amazing posts for you to be inspired by!


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I encourage you to stop by Amy’s blog to read her post Fearlessly Living Afraid she writes open and honest about her fearful heart and how the Lord is transforming it.

When I found Kelsie’s post I lived a bit vicariously through her and this amazing post of Ireland In a Few Days, gorgeous images and makes me long to travel!

Rebecca’s post He Lives to Intercede for Us reminds us when we don’t have the words to cry out the spirit cry’s out in our place.

Ellen blessed me with her reminders in I Could Use a Little Help Here that we only need to ask for help from the Lord we never have to do alone.

Lori wrote on a topic near to my heart Why Are You Wrestling With Not Good Enough her words are good for the soul, be encouraged by the truth she tells!


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Decrease Self-Doubt & Increase Jesus

A year ago I was confronted in a gut checking way about my self-doubt. If you haven’t already figured out, I don’t handle gut checking confrontation well. You might have also guessed I am a sensitive soul whose definition of gut checking might not be as harsh as your definition!

Anyway, this conversation, or at least a snippet of it has played on a near constant loop in my head. I remember sitting, moments after the words were spoken, feeling crushed, tears spilling down my eyes and between hiccup sniffles asking “what can I do to fix it”? What’s wrong with me, my mind screamed. Why am I broken?

Will I ever get it together, didn’t I already deal with this when I worked through Beth Moore’s Breaking Free bible study.

I was gently recommended to seek the wisdom of a christian counselor. While I recognized the benefits of that, I didn’t take that step, but it didn’t stop me from continuing to ponder how to fix me.  Not to mention the revelation I received at She Speaks on insecurity and self-doubt being a form of pride. I don’t want that in my life!!

I have decided that no longer will I allow my struggle of insecurity to define me as an insecure woman. I will be defined instead as a woman who is becoming increasingly secure in the Lord.


4 Ways to Minimize Self doubt

Since that decision to no longer be defined as an insecure woman, the Great Counselor has begun to get through my thick skull about the true healing over self-doubt.

Ladies, guess what….There is NO 12 step plan. I know right, can you believe it? I want easy, do this and this and voila, mental confidence!


But guess what, I have found 4 things that help the journey!


1.Surrounding myself with Truth.

I have begun to fill my home with post-it notes filled with scripture and phrases to bring strength and clarity to my mind. They are on my mirror, near light switches, the family calendar, above the stove, all over!

Surround Yourself with His Word

2. Find a prayer partner.

Having a prayer partner to be honest with is crucial. Someone who you can be honest with and you can count on to pray you through the rough and the smooth roads.


3. Surround yourself with Truth-Tellers.

These are people who are going to call you out on your irrational, no one loves me I’m the worst person on the planet. Oh believe me these things have totally came out of my mouth. By surrounding yourself with those that love you enough to be honest with you, filling you back up with pure truth.


4. Memorize 1st John 3:20

“…God is greater than our feelings, and knows everything.” Uhhh did you just read that girls?? Is that not one of the most tremendous things you’ve ever read in your life!? This little verse is preceded with  Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.  Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.” Our actions/thoughts often our based on our feelings, but God is greater. Wow! 


These 4 things don’t fix me, and they won’t fix you. Only daily seeking and surrender to the Lord will “fix” us. Being stark raw honest with the Lord about our feelings and the lies, releasing them for Him to fill us with His truth and peace.



My prayer for us this week:

Father God, I pray that you would show us how much greater You are than our feelings. That You would replace our insecurities and hesitations with Your boldness. I claim Your truth for our lives, that we are made to be the light of the world that we will believe and live that out, with You beside us who could defeat us. I praise Your name for the way You never leave us or forsake us, that we only have to call out the sweet name of Jesus. I declare that the whispers of the enemy would have no power over us. I declare that I will seek Your approval of my actions and not of another man or woman. I ask for the strength that I need today to defeat my insecurities and live victoriously for You.

Humbly Prayed in Jesus Name, Amen

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Girls, I tell ya each week you make it harder to pick just a few of you to feature! This week I narrowed it down to four lovely posts!

The first post is by Johanna at Devoted to Maker, her post In a Sea of Sunflowers Will You Stand Strong makes the astounding connection to how we need to live like a sunflower! ….and while you’re there you need to read Lord’s Timing!

Rebecca of Faithful With the Little wrote Modeling Christ at Home and really could have been writing about my life. Her post about living Christ outside and inside our homes gave me pause about my home attitude!

Rebecca of Best Blogging Business really just should be on your every week reading list if you’re a blogger. This week she shared tips of what not to do as a blogger!

Mary of SonRise Insights spoke straight to my heart with her post Update on the Book I Am Not Writing. This post will help you realign your heart of comparison …and mine certainly needed it this week!


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Why I Chose to be Pro-Choice

Yep girls, the pure truth is, I am pro-choice. Yes, you did read that right. I believe with all my being you have an absolute choice of what to do with YOUR life. Your choice is to risk the protection of your heart by having sex outside of marriage. Your choice is to make smart choices to prevent pregnancy.  The reality is you need to chose wisely before another human beings life is impacted by YOUR poor judgement.


We have bought into the lie that the choice plays into our decisions after we’ve had our fun. That is the lie girls. We have listened to the lie that no man (politician fits here as well) can make our choice for us, about our health.


GIRLS, WAKE UP! We have already turned over the choice of our health when we trade our precious hearts for the idea of love, we give our innocence over for the possibility of our hearts being treated and loved with a commitment before a commitment is made.We have uncertainty in our hearts about being loved and we fall for the age old lie of, if I give the most precious thing I have he won’t ever leave, disappoint me or stop loving me, all I have to do is hand that over. When that lie crumbles at our feet and we are left with the consequences it certainly seems easy to call those consequences, women’s health. Why don’t we recognize the best women’s health prescription is to love yourself, respect yourself, and guard your heart from the world’s views of relationships.


The best women's health prescription is to love yourself, respect yourself and guard your heart from the world's view of relationships.

This is not by any intention to make men sound as if they want to take advantage of a situation, this is all about the human condition, we are created with a longing that can only be filled with the need of God. When we begin to look to another human being to fill that, we are moving our hearts into a situation of disappointment. We must look to the one who can fill us to overflowing.


We have to stop treating sex like it’s about what we want or what we might get out of it, we need to remind ourselves what sex really is. It is a commitment of real love, an agreement of “for better or worst.”


We must stop shouting our selfish lies of women’s health, “it’s my body, non-committed relationships is just how life works now”. We need to wake up and trade that in for reality. Yes, it is your body and you do have a choice of what you do with it, who you give it to. Stop exchanging your bad behavior in on someone else’s life.

 Stop exchanging your bad behavior in on someone else's life.

I write all of this with grace and love poured over it. I come to you as a women who did have sex before marriage. I can’t imagine the difference of my life if I would’ve had a baby before marriage. I come to you as a daughter born out of a broken engagement, who very easily could have been lost to the easy choice of women’s health. I have known all my life that my biological father wanted nothing to do with my life, but recently learned that my maternal grandfather wanted to have me aborted. There are few times my mom stood up to the strong force that was my Pap, but on this she did and I was born. I had a grandpa who spent the rest of his time on earth trying to make up for harboring that near action, I believe.


When this reality was revealed to me, my mind was spinning. It was during a conversation about my name I had recently with my mom. Lets just say, my outlook of the impact that our easy choices of remedy changed(not that I believed in abortion before) but now, it somehow seemed so much more personal.


The solution of abortion that is being accepted as the easiest, impacts not just one life, but life after life. My husband would not have me as a wife, my Brandon and Rachel would not be here on earth. My impact for the kingdom would not be felt. That is the reality.


Why I Chose to be Pro-Choice | Me, Coffee & Jesus

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This week features 3 great blog posts. The first is from Debbie titled The Journey Through Change it is about her journey through change and her 5 top ways to make it just a bit easier.

Karen shared in her post Setting Sun about how our wondrous God answers bold prayers and how they are His answers, not ours.

Jennifer shared her A Letter To My Boys On The First Day of School and if you have children that just headed back to school you need this post!

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5 Ways She Speaks Was Nothing I Wanted

Hello sweet friends! I sure have missed you, although it certainly has been a welcome break of refocusing. I returned from She Speaks a few weeks ago to immediately repack and head for camping! You might remember this city girl was a bit nervous, but other than loads of mosquito bites it was tons of fun! Life has officially returned to normal with the start of school and my writing time being reclaimed!

I wanted to share a few things that impacted my life while at She Speaks. I went to North Carolina with definite expectations and came home with none of them being met…isn’t that the way God works! So here is my list of 5 ways the Lord gave what I didn’t know I wanted.

20150722_222328She Speaks Swag It Begins! Ministry Stone

1. A Lesson of Insecurity = Pride 

Yep, you read that right, those words had me on my face in repentance. On the first day of pre-conference, the workshop I was most excited for was on spiritual warfare by Whitney Capps. I was initially on the wait list for this but  I’d say God knew I needed it!  I have always struggled with insecurity. My name, my body, my calling, my ability as a mom, wife, photographer, christian. I could go on and on, I’ve doubted just about everything in my life. I’ve labeled myself mediocre at best, failure at worst. I NEVER considered this a source of pride. When this light was cast over insecurity I saw myself written all over it. I used my labels to replace God’s truth, I thought and worried about what others thought of me over what God wanted me to do. Hence why 2012-2014 on this blog is virtually non-existent. I knew I should write and share but, was too afraid.

Meeting Whitney Capps

Me with Whitney Capps, if you haven’t heard this firecracker preach the word of God you are missing out!

2. Given a Rhema word. 

The first main session of the conference started, tables for 800 women to sit were set up. As we wind our way through the isles and choose a seat we see little scrolls of paper. We were told that these papers contained verses that had been prayed over, selected and laid at each place setting. That winding through the tables and sitting where we did wasn’t by accident.

I received 1st Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

A rhema word from God is a portion of scripture that speaks into your current life situation. For me I came to She Speaks with baggage of, am I on the right path. Is blogging my plan or the Lord’s? What is the next step? So for me to read stand firm, let nothing move you. Just wow! Then to read that when you work for the Lord it can’t be in vain. Talk about baggage being dealt with as I continue to mediate and process that!

3. Anointed with Christ’s Confidence

During the last workshop of the weekend there was a call to be anointed and prayed over. A room of more than a hundred women were anointed and sent out. Talk about powerful stuff. This room swelled with worship music being played on a single guitar and a single vocalist. I was the seventh shaky woman to stand in front of Wendy Blight, she placed the oil on my forehead and prayed over me. The only words from this prayer I grasped on to and refuse to let go of was to “go and be filled with Christ’s confidence.” He alone will be my confidence, when I look at that spot on my forehead or graze my finger over it I am flooded with thoughts of His confidence.


Meeting Wendy BlightHaving God breathed truth spoken to you

Me and Wendy Blight! The lovely lady taking this picture, who I had never met, asked me my name and said I was beautiful from the inside out. She gave me another rhema word from Song of Songs, You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. 4:7 She said I was beautifully filled with the Lord, never have I felt instantly loved and given words like this.

4. I was called from birth

In an earlier workshop, the speaker encouraged the group to reflect back on the moment of your calling and in moments of discouragement remember that moment in order to have strength to go on. I pondered that thought for the entire workshop, spent some time in the prayer room pondering that thought afterwards, and after being anointed continued to ponder it. I thought well, maybe if I can’t remember a moment of being called, only having this overwhelming urge to make Jesus famous (that I’ve prayed to have removed) then perhaps I’m not truly called. As woman after woman went forward to be anointed and voices joined in with the vocalist to worship our Lord, I took a moment to ask my new friend sitting beside me this pondering question.

She responded with “have you considered the possibility that you were called from birth?” She went on to share that she has been told since she was little that she was called. Her mom during pregnancy felt she had a light growing within her that would shine bright. She knew her baby before birth, had favor with the Lord so, she named her Anne-Renee . This struck a memory that has been coming to mind for months. This moment of childhood, I was 5 or 6 jumping on my bed singing. I remember bouncing and singing, likely off key, that God was good, greater than satan and Jesus would always win. At this point in my young life I had been to church only a handful of times, yet I knew truth, I was called to truth. Truth, that I now believe was put inside of me before breathing my first breath.

New Godly Friends

Anne-Renee of The Masterpiece MomFunny story, her and Amanda (the other half of The Masterpiece Mom) happened to be some of the first girls we met upon arriving Wednesday night, all they said was they were from Alaska and I already knew their blog! It can be a small world here in the blogging sphere.

5. There is intention to being named Winter.

This might sound a little weird to you, why would the Lord address your name, you maybe thinking. For me though, growing up very shy and having the name Winter drawing attention to me, I hated it. HATED it! As an adult I’ve learned to tolerate it. Because what other choice is there. It was minimal tolerance though, since nearly every time I introduce myself to someone I receive an “oh, that’s different” (with a puzzled look on their face).

While at She Speaks people already seemed to know me and remember me (there was a private Facebook group for getting to know each other) which I found shocking, all because of my name. Well, ok also partly because of my current very red hair color! In having a conversation about this with my new friend from Costa Rica, she encouraged me to search the meaning of my name and allow God to reveal Himself through my name. As she is saying this, an amazing dawning poured down over me. The day I was born was the middle of October (the 23rd in case you are wondering when to send the gift! Just Kidding!!) This ordinary day in October that I was to be born on and to be named Kelly Nicole, it snowed. Snowed and made it feel like winter, prompting my grandpa to suggest the name Winter Nicole. Frankly, I had always scoffed at that reasoning. But this idea that the God of all the universe sent snow, in order to have His message received by a non-Jesus believing man all so I could have the name Winter stopped me in my tracks.

I looked up the meaning of my name by the way….Winter Nicole means bringing renewal / victorious people. God blows me away.

Friends Speak Jesus Truth2 from Costa Rica + 3 from Indiana = Forever Friends

This lady spoke pure Jesus truth to me the entire weekend! I was beyond blessed to meet her and can’t wait to visit Costa Rica one of these days! The 5 of us made the best of friends!


Why do I write all of these terribly personal, reflective thoughts? Because through these five occurrences, the Lord revealed my true calling and passion. I was called to boldly become like Jesus. To be boldly confident in who I am in Christ. I am passionate about allowing God to work in me, making me more like Christ as well as seeing others embrace and boldly become who God has called them to be. Just in case you had any remaining thoughts that I have it all together or some such nonsense, the above should take care of that. I am nothing without the presence and grace of the Lord.  But I am confident in moving forward in who I am, who you are, and encouraging both of us to be bold, all in the name of Christ.

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