Okay, God, time to get so honest, to confess the inner parts of my heart….

Talking with a dear friend the other day, she confessed to me a “whopper” of a sin (in man’s eyes- sin is sin to God!). She jokingly asked if I still was her friend, did I just think she was an idiot, could I believe the depth of her sin, did I feel sick to be with her, along those lines. And, I told her, that if I shared the ugliness of the deep secrets of my heart, she would be just as shocked. Well, she countered with, “yea, like what?”

I shared with her that I do sin, and sin terribly! I’ve “lost” it and yelled horribly at my kids. I have called Andrew “stupid.” I have terrible jealousy in my heart. I told my husband “I hate you” IN FRONT of the kids! (Boy, is it embarrassing to share all of that….) Well, my friend told me she was glad I shared that. She didn’t think I struggled with sin.

The human heart, no matter who we are, struggles with sin. (Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”) Thank God that He has given me a new heart! (Ezekiel 36:25-26). Man, I needed a complete heart transplant!!!!!! I told her I needed Jesus everyday! I needed to lean on Him, trust Him everyday! Thank God for the Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk in the Spirit NOT in the flesh! Thank God that I am more than a conqueror, more than an overcomer! Sin does not rule over me! I have the power of the Holy Spirit living within me, inside of ME! (Romans 6-8)

But, it struck me that I need to continue to be honest with people God has put in my life. Authenticity………. I want to be an authentic friend who shares her struggles. I don’t want to put on airs. I never want to feel like I can’t share my struggles because I don’t want people to think less of me…..God, forgive me for worrying about others’ opinions. Am I trying to please God or man? So, I can keep trials secret because of my own flesh- not wanting to be embarrassed. But, the enemy also deceives me into keeping them secret because when they are hidden in the dark, they are not exposed to God’s light. He wants us to suffer alone, never helping one another in times of trial. But, God’s Word tells us in James 5:16, “Confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Well, here is confession time for me…………

I am struggling with trusting God right now. (I thought about being vague and not really giving details, but, I am going to let it all out!) God has called me to be a women’s speaker. He has placed such a passion and desire to go to women’s events, speaking Truth and sharing my love for Him with other women. When I go, He gives me such an overflowing love for the women. I am able to pray with them, minister to them, worship with them, and just plain exalt the Lord together with them! I know it is Him who has placed such an intense desire to serve Him in this way. Every time I go, I “have it out with Him,” vowing NEVER to speak again because I am nervous about speaking, how could He have called ME because I am not “qualified”…… I have said more than once, “I am never doing this again! How did I get myself in this???” And, then, He shows up, fills me to overflowing with His Spirit and I am able to witness His mighty hand perform great miracles in these women’s lives. I am so blessed by the experience He has so generously allowed me to be part of. And, after each speaking event, I am again filled with great desire to speak again!

Well, here I am. I have such a desire, but waiting for the Lord to call me out again. I don’t have any events planned. I continue to pray. I get frustrated because God hasn’t answered my prayer (in the way I want!!!!!!). I keep telling myself and quoting scripture about waiting on the Lord, trusting in Him, that His plan is perfect, His timing is perfect…. All the things my MIND knows, but trying to get my heart to believe. Am I going to really believe all the things I tell everyone else???????????? And, if waiting/trusting means waiting more than one day, will I wait patiently? You see, I encourage others on this all the time! But, when waiting comes to ME, will I truly believe that my God hears, He loves me, He’s working it out for my good, He has a good plan, and His timing is perfect (God, is Your watch broken?)? Will I trust in Him that “Father knows best?” Or, do I get disappointed and frustrated…. God, why did you place this desire in my heart if You are not going to bring it to fruition????

So, I am in the midst of it…….. Lord, I remind You that I am dust! Please be patient with me, God! Thank You for Your graciousness, goodness, loving kindness……… “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love endures forever- do not abandon the works of Your hands.” –Psalm 138:8

I love You, God! I love You……..

Oh, and please pray for me!
Blessings to you all!!

Gone camping.....

Gone camping.....

I'll be on vacation for the next few days...CAMPING with the family at Yogi Bear's! I will schedule a few posts that are my favorites. I won't be able to comment back to you for a few days, but please leave them because what you have to say is very important to me!

Blessings, blessings, blessings!

And, if you would like to read a camping post about CONTENTMENT, click here.

When you pray...

When you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you.

-Matthew 6:6 TLB

Would you please take a few minutes TODAY, get alone with the Lord and pour out your heart before Him? I love that He already knows my secrets, but He wants me to share them with Him.

Have you ever shared secrets with a best friend.....and gotten hurt when you did?

Don't worry. God won't tell your secrets. He won't stop being your friend when He "finds out." He won't scorn you and condemn you. He will forgive you. He will help you. He will refresh you. He will take away your shame.

Spend some one-on-one time with your Father, sharing the secrets of your heart.

He will reward you. He promises that in verse 6.

God is a God who ANSWERS prayer.

Father God, thank You for loving me. Thank You that You listen to me. Thank You that You take away my shame. I am so thankful that I can share my secrets with You. Bless You, Jesus. It is in Your Name I pray.

Armed and Dangerous!

Did you know you are in a BATTLE? Did you know that you have a real enemy who wants to kill, steal, and destroy the things in your life?

Your family. Your marriage. Your relationships. Your finances. Your health.

He loves to steal your testimony by tempting you back into patterns of sin that get a hold of you. He enjoys destroying your witness of the power of Christ by capturing you in a gripping fear that is anything but victorious. And, he is always there to kill your joy, bringing instead worry, doubt and anger.

Are you afraid?

Praise God, we don't need to be!

Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus already faced him and crushed him. Jesus, who is in you, is greater than him. Satan trembles at the NAME of Jesus. You have the power through Christ to stand against the enemy. Do NOT be afraid of him!

Are you armed and dangerous?

The Bible tells us to put on the full armor of God and STAND firm and alert. (Ephesians 6:10-17) Notice that it doesn't tell us to FIGHT, but to stand. God will FIGHT the battle for us. But, we need to equip ourselves with Jesus.

First, put on the Belt of Truth.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..." So, buckle Jesus firmly around you. Picture Powerhouse Gym with bodybuilders squatting twice their body weight. What do they put on first before lifting any weight? A thick leather belt that supports, stabilizes, and protects their bodies while they lift. Jesus does exactly that for us- supports, stabilizes, and protects us as we lift the weights of the world.

My son just started playing football. You better believe I want him to wear that helmet to protect his precious brain! We are to put on the Helmet of Salvation, or the Jesus Helmet, to protect our minds against impure thoughts, worry, and negative, self-defeating thoughts. We take every thought that plops into our minds "captive." If it is a lie, we replace it with the Truth.

Next, put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Righteousness only comes through Christ, so we put Jesus on as our shield. What does a breastplate cover? Our hearts! Jesus protects our hearts when we allow Him to cover us.

Walk with the Shoes of Peace on your feet. Everywhere you go, allow Jesus, the Prince of Peace guide your steps. When you surrender to Him with every step, He will fill you with the peace that passes all understanding!

Next, lift up your Shield of Faith. Think "Gladiator" here! These warriors carried shields that were huge and covered their whole bodies. When the attack came, they would fall to the ground, allowing their whole body to be covered with the shield. It is your faith, believing in who God is and what He can do, that EXTINGUISHES the arrows of the enemy! It is your faith that PUTS OUT every scheme Satan uses against you.

Finally, lift up your Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Again, Jesus is the "Word," so lift up Jesus as your weapon! Both the Living Word and the written Word will cut through every lie of the enemy. Read your Bible. Wield your sword. Call out to Jesus.
Notice there isn't armor covering your backside, so don't run from the enemy. Instead, stand firm, face him, covered in the protection of Jesus. When you are feeling defeated, take your place as a victorious child of God and call on the Name of Jesus. The battle has already been won and the victory is yours!
Father God, thank You that I am more than a conqueror in Christ! Thank You that You are "for" me. Thank You that You have equipped me with everything I need to stand against the enemy. Help me to remember that the battle has already been won and that I am already victorious in Christ Jesus! Help me to put on the armor daily. In Christ's mighty name we pray. Amen.
This post was first published 8/08

Cafe Chat...talking about my Daddy!

If you have never heard of "the chat" before, it is a great time to ponder some questions about our AWESOME God, then "chat" about them. This meme used to be at the Internet Cafe on Saturdays, but recently moved to Thursday. I love this meme! If you want to read past chats that I participated in, simply search "cafe chat" to find other posts with that tag. Then, head over to the Cafe to read more posts of chatty women! Kim Uden from "Knowing Him" asks the great questions.

Today she has us ponder John 20:17 (NIV)

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

Kim asked us to focus on the last part of the verse where Jesus now calls God OUR Father, OUR God. I had never pondered/focused on this part of the verse. She asks:

So today, I ask you what does it mean that you are able to call God your Father? Really think about this one, and then just let your words flow from your heart...

For me, this is awesome and amazing. I never experienced true love from an earthly father, so I have always latched on to the fact that GOD is my Father. It filled an empty place for me.

I know a sweet sister who really struggles with the name "Father" for God because she struggled with her own father. For her, "father" didn't equate to love.

Earthly fathers are HUMAN. They will make mistakes. There will be times, no matter how wonderful they are, that they will let us down.

But, God is NOT like an earthly father. God will never let us down. God never lies. God is always good. God never leaves us. God takes care of us. God has in store for us a glorious inheritance to come. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn't change. He is slow to anger and rich in mercy. He is compassionate. He is long-suffering. His love never fails.

He IS love.

Even as a little girl, I loved the fact that God is my Father.

He is my "Abba", my daddy that I never had here on earth.

I imagine myself climbing in His lap as He strokes my hair.

He is someone I can cry out to when I am lost....when I am angry.....when I am scared.

He is my strong tower. My protection. My Rock.

Because of what Jesus did, I now have a RELATIONSHIP with God.

The Pharisees had a RELIGION full of rules, self-righteousness.....

They missed the fact that God, the Creator of the Universe, wants a personal, intimate, LIVING, BREATHING RELATIONSHIP with each and every one of His children.

I want to BREATHE in more and more of God. I want more of Him and LESS of me. I want to walk in His presence continuously. I want to be filled with Him MORE and MORE.

God has done everything that is needed. Through Jesus' death and RESURRECTION we have been fully restored into a right relationship with God.

Father God, thank You for being my Father. Thank You for being my God. I love You. I want You. I ask that You invade my every fiber and being. I want to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Help me today to be a Light shining for You. Help me to share You with a world who is hurting for a Father. In the sweet, precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Don't forget to head over to the Cafe for more great Cafe Chat!

You aren't too serious, are you???

Are you having enough FUN?
You aren't taking yourself too seriously, are you????
Please join me AT THE WELL today and we'll have a chuckle together!

Giggling at Word-Filled Wednesday

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

Remember that children's bible song that goes, "I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart; down in my heart; down in my stay"? As Christians, we have so much to be JOYFUL for, but sometimes lose sight of it in the day to day. Or, there are times when we are so burdened by our troubles that we feel it is impossible to be joyful.

Let us never forget the hope of our calling! Let us never forget our glorious inheritance! Let us never forget that Jesus came to give us "life to the full"- not just in Heaven, but also here on earth. "The joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH"! No matter what is happening in our lives, no matter what the circumstances, we have an AWESOME God who loves us beyond anything we can even imagine.

I am over At the Well today writing about this topic in parenting! Please take a minute to visit me there as well.

And, don't forget to head over to Amydeanne's place today to find more awesome WFW!

You may also enjoy reading these:

Christians Aren't Fun!

"Happy" is NOT a dirty word!

In Other Words

Loni, from Writing Canvas has given us a "heavy" quote and assignment to ponder today. Honestly, I hesitated joining in.... I knew this would be one to go really "deep" and take some time to write.

Here is the quote:

“There was a time when [you fill in] defined my life and left me physically void, cocooned in a prison of fear. It stole my every hope and dream. But God’s love and His Word set my heart free. I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, rather everything was given to me. My life, which felt so out of control, was in reality in complete control – God’s control.”

~ Wendy BlightHidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story

Although I could fill this in with different things- living in an abusive home, being molested- the first thing that came to mind was "how I looked". For so many years, my weight defined me and who I was. I am sure it stemmed from childhood. It was then I turned to food for comfort and whenever I was upset, overwhelmed, scared, sad....I would eat. Food was my "safe" place, my escape. I would never eat in the open, but in secret. I became an overweight child and was teased.

Because of my weight, I felt like a I wasn't good enough. The worse I felt, the more I ate. By the time I hit junior high, I didn't want to be "the fat girl" so I stopped eating. I lost weight and my appearance and being thin became the most important thing to me. It was where I found my self-worth. As long as I looked good, then I was "OK."

I struggled with this for many years until God began setting me free several years ago. He first dealt with the food issues. I had made food my "idol" since childhood. I had to first recognize that, repent, and begin turning to God when I was upset. Eating would never make me feel better- not really. I may get a very temporary "good" feeling, but I would instantly feel guilty and then ashamed. Felt like a failure.

Once God had set me free from the stronghold of emotional eating, He began to work on my self-image. I stopped seeing myself through the world's eyes and began to see myself in Christ. I began learning that it wasn't "self-image", but Christ-image.

It was definitely GOD'S WORD that set me free. I began to recognize the enemy's lies:

You are ugly.

You are not good enough.

Food will make you feel better.

I learned that I had to NAME the lie, come into agreement with God by repenting and turning away from sin and turning TOWARDS faith. I had to REPLACE the lie with Truth.

I am beautiful in Christ.

"The King is enthralled by your beauty."

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart."

I am "precious and worthy in His sight."

Food is not going to make me feel better- only my relationship with the Lord will fill those empty places.

His love set me free from the pain and shame.....

And, like Wendy, I, too learned that my "out of control" life is in God's control.

If you also struggle with food issues or your appearance, you may be interested reading my testimony (click on testimony at the top of the page) or these posts:

Am I Beautiful?


And, please visit Loni at Writing Canvas. She is giving away Wendy's book as well.

Serving at the Well

Today, as we gather At the Well, we come with servant hearts. Amy has asked us to ponder a few questions.

Questions to ponder:

In the past, how has God lead you to serve someone in a way that was not quite how you would have expected?
What can you do today to serve someone else without spending a dime?
How have you benefited or been blessed by God after serving someone else?

If you haven't yet, please head over to the well to hear Amy's great God story of how He led her to serve someone. She begins her story by PRAYER. I think that is THE single most important thing about serving.

We need to be in prayer, asking God to see people and situations from His eyes. I love the Brandon Heath song, "Give Me Your Eyes". Sometimes we can become so busy in life that we don't even SEE the opportunities He has placed right before our eyes. The neighbor who needs a friend, the coworker going through a difficult time, the Target clerk who looks so sad, a friend going through a divorce, our aging parents..... Am I too busy going to softball, T-ball, swim practice, bible study, dance, soccer......that I miss the hurting people right in front of me? Some people have been called to the mission fields in third world countries, but ALL of us have a mission field right in front of us! We don't have to travel anywhere to help those God has placed in our path.

When we are still before God, He will whisper to our hearts the people to reach out to. MY PROBLEM is finding the time! He gives me a great idea and I put it on the back burner until so much time passes that I either forget or don't do it. An example... a neighbor who just moved in last summer had a baby recently. One morning, praying and walking, God placed on my heart to reach out to her- invite her to church, bring a small baby gift to her. Well, I have had the gift and card on my dining room table for two weeks now! I still need to write out the card and walk down to her house. For me, I have to make sure that I don't schedule SERVING Him in little ways right out of my schedule!

But, when I am in an attitude of constant prayer, and sensitive to His Holy Spirit, He will bring opportunities in the midst of the busy-ness. For example, I can help the coach pick up the equipment after practice, help out at the swim meet, and walk down a gift to a neighbor DURING my fitness/prayer walk. Spending some time to be still and quiet before God will help me to have His eyes to see the needs He sees.

One way God has led me to bless a friend has been to pass along my girls' clothes to her. I was going through some clothing and contemplating having a garage sale when God whispered, "Give them to Jaynie." I thought I could sell the clothing, make some money and then buy the girls some new clothes. Well, instead, I gave the clothes to my friend and she continues to tell me how much she appreciates it. She is a single mom and can't afford to buy her girls clothing. God has multiplied MY blessing by leading friends and relatives to bring ME clothes for my girls.

The one thing that I need to be careful about is remembering that I want to FIRST serve my family. I am the type of person (hmmm....Martha?) who would answer every email to help, make dinners for people every night of the week, and find myself volunteering for every need that comes my way.

God convicted me of this when I read the book, "A Woman After God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George. She told a story of a mom making a gourmet meal for a someone else while throwing together hot dogs for her own family. OUCH! That "story" sounded a bit too familiar! It was then that I realized that God has called me to FIRST serve my family, showing them love and attention. My kids had gotten in the habit to ask before eating desserts and cookies, "Are these for us or someone else?" OUCH, OUCH!! I don't want them to see a God who "takes away from them" to give to someone else. Don't get me wrong. They understand that we sacrifice and give and love others and help the needy. They understand that we are blessed so much. But, I need to be careful that in loving and serving others, I don't neglect my FIRST ministry- my husband and my children.

Again, that is why PRAYER is so important. God will lead us and direct us and help us find the balance.

I would love to hear YOUR story of serving and your thoughts about serving Him. Please join us at the well today. I would love to read your comments as well!

Lord, I need You

Oh, Lord, how I need You. How how I want to be purified in You, by You. Lord, I want to pour out all of me and be filled with You. Lord, create in me a new heart.

Less of me. More of You. Less of me. More of You.

NONE of me. ALL of You.

Lord, I give myself anew to You today.

Lord, I give my day, my time, my all to You.

I love You, Lord

Word-Filled Wednesday with the Newsboys and Barlow Girl!

Barlow Girl

The Newsboys

Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name;
make known among the nations what HE has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell of all His wonderful acts.
Psalm 105:1-2

These pictures were from an AMAZING concert last Sat. night- Healing the Heartland! Barlow Girl, the Newsboys, and other speakers blessed our community in song and laughter. We came together praising Him- not FOR the flood, but all the amazing things He did through it. As the words of the song, "Praise Him IN the storm...."

No matter what is happening, we praise Him, glorifying His Holy name!

He is good. He is good.

My favorite song of the night?

"They Don't Serve Breakfast in Hell."

Please head over to Extravagant Grace for more WFW!

Gathering At the Well

Lord, as I come to the Well today, I ask that You fill me with Your Living Water. You tell the woman at the well that whoever drinks the water You give will never thirst again. Lord, like this woman, I say, "Sir, give me this water!" (John 4) Lord, I thirst for You. I want Your streams of water to flow through me. I want more and more of You. Father, as I ponder the topic this morning, I ask that You give me Your wisdom. Open the eyes of my understanding, Lord. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

As I shuffle my way to the well this morning, I come with a heavy heart. The laundry isn't finished. I am late paying the bills this month. I STILL haven't finished cleaning my closet. There is mail, paper, and junk cluttering my HOT SPOT on the kitchen counter. I haven't been flying with the Fly Lady for months now.

As I come, feeling like a failure AGAIN, my head is hung low. Of course, because this area of my life is out of balance right now, and because I have not been seeking the Living Water to fill me, I turned to FOOD to comfort me. (Why do I do that???? Does FOOD give me strength? Does FOOD pay the bills? Does FOOD fold laundry????) So, I have the added guilt of eating out of head hunger trying to fill the longing of my soul.

SO, I could almost giggle when I see the topic for today- being an efficient homeworker! I almost chose to skip it because this area is so OUT OF WHACK right now!

Be an Efficient HomeWORKER

The discussion questions are:
1. What are some Bible verses that inspire you to keep blooming where you have been planted? What verses help you to carry on joyfully in your calling of being a homeWORKER?
2. What are some of your goals that you have in your own homeworking plan? These plans might be daily, short-range or long-range plans, schedules or goals.
3. How can you better utilize the tools that God has given you, in order to better manage your home for God’s Glory?

Some of my struggles are procrastination, putting too much on my "to do" list and beating myself up when it all isn't accomplished, and not taking time for relaxation and then becoming bitter when my husband and children are "playing." I tend to have a "poor me" pity party (Martha anyone????).

I WANT TO JOYFULLY take care of my home and family! And, I know the JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH. So, it is time to get my focus off of ME and on to HIM! I need to reflect on the verses "Do everything without I can SHINE" (Philippians 2:14) and "Whatever you do whether in word or deed (this means laundry!), do IT ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).

I need to cultivate an attitude of GRATITUDE, being thankful for all the Lord has done for me and given to me. I need to STOP looking at what I haven't done, and celebrate all that I have done and then rely on His strength for all that is still needed.

Some things (like the budget), I need to (as the Nike commercial says), "Just do it." Do the next thing. Finish it. I started today to list out all of the things that I need/want to accomplish and I will begin checking them off. I am going to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit as to what I need to to do first (and that may be reading a book to my son, pushing my baby on the swing, or talking politics with my teenager!). I have to remember that I am NOT Superwoman! I do have 5 kids and this is a SEASON of life. I want to be obedient to what God is telling me to accomplish and take good care of my family, but I have to give myself the grace to be HUMAN and not expect robot-like perfection.

The most important thing I must do everyday is humble myself before the Lord, meeting with Him, listening to Him, surrendering to Him- giving Him my day.

"Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my time, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever." (Betty Scott, Missionary)

I love how our first question began "bloom where you are planted." This resonated with me because my "ministry" activities- speaking, blogging, writing- are so much more FUN and EXCITING than cleaning toilets, scrubbing the floor, and putting away clothes. I would much rather be on the computer than cleaning. The chores of keeping my home can be mundane to me. I have a friend who LOVES to clean and it therapeutic to her. Not with me. Give me a journal or a computer and I am flying. But, God has so often reminded me that my FIRST and FOREMOST ministry is my family. And, I do WANT a beautiful home with candles burning, fresh cut flowers, and music playing. I want peace and calm to rule- not chaos. So, God gave me this verse a long time ago:

Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord has assigned to him and to which He has called him. 1Corinthians 7:17.

God has called me to be a wife and mother and it is a tremendous honor, blessing, and joy. Oh, how fortunate I am!

If you are like me, you will head over to the Well for very PRACTICAL tips, organizational plans, and schedules. I need help in this area and look forward to some great ideas!

As I make my way over, there is a new lightness in my step and smile on my face! Praise God!

Walking out the Christian Life....

What do I do when my husband IRRITATES me??? What about when someone offended me.....10 years ago? How am I supposed to walk out this Christian life? (even when I don't FEEL like it???)

Visit me at Laced with Grace today to read more.....

I adore You

Glory to You, Gracious Lord! To Your Glory! Hallelujah! I adore You. I give You all adoration and praise. Lord, You are magnificent........beautiful.........I adore You.

All adoration and praise and worship belong to You! To Your Glory! I give You my all, all my adoration. I worship You!

Glorious Lord... You are wrapped in splendor and majesty! The heavens declare Your praise! Holy is our God Almighty....Holy is His Name alone........

Holy, holy, holy......awesome God! Praise You. I lay my life before You. Praise You! Burnt offerings You do not is our hearts that You desire...our worship.

It is You we adore. Breathe down on us, Precious God. Shine Your beautiful Light on us. We worship You. Only you. All our adoration to our Lord.

A Woman Inspired Conference

Boo! Hoo!

I was listening to the awesome women's ministry conference from A Woman Inspired when my computer SHUT DOWN! Thankfully, (THANK YOU JESUS!) I had already introduced and prayed for the speaker, Leah Adams. BUT....I didn't get to hear her.

YEA....the conference downloads will be available after June 15. Click here for more info.!

Well, I DID get my closet cleaned out, had a great day with the kids, and worked on laundry.

But, computer is back tomorrow, I will be BACK (God willing!). Hope you can join be INSPIRED!

Don't Worry!

"Don't Worry 'bout a thing...Cause every little thing will be all right..."
-Bob Marley from the song, "Three Little Birds"

I love this song from Bob Marley and as I walked this morning, it kept rolling around in my mind. How easy it is for me to get caught in the trap of worry. There is so much to do- the house to be cleaned, laundry, go to the post office, get ready for Aaron's birthday party with all of his little friends, get the monthly bills done.....

Andrew has strep throat. It is easy for me to get caught in worry about the health of the family. Will we all come down with it? Do I have time to go to the doctor?

And, it is all of these "little things"! Thankfully, I am not walking through a great, difficult trial right now. It is just all of the little, mundane, nit-picky little things that are nagging at me....

Yes, I can get caught in worry....

But Jesus said, "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry
about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

God takes care of the birds. If He loves and cares for these simple creatures, won't He provide everything I need today? Won't He provide the time I need to take care of my family, my home? Won't He help me to prioritize my time? My worrying WON'T add any minutes to my busy day, but God can supernaturally help me accomplish all that HE CALLS ME TO DO (notice I said what HE CALLS ME TO DO)! After all, didn't He stop the sun for Joshua so that the battle would be won?

Jesus continued, "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown in the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear?' For unbelievers run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough of worry of its own."

I don't need to worry about all of these "little things." When I first seek His Kingdom, when I get down on my knees, surrendering my time and my day and my details- the "little things," He is working it all out. If He takes such good care of the birds and the flowers, how much more will He take care of ME- His treasured possession, the apple of His eye, made in His image??????

The enemy would like for us to take our eyes off of the King, caught in a trap of worry, feeling depressed, fatigued, worn out, stressed out- but God says, "Let me take care of it!" Or, as Bob Marley says, "Don't worry about a thing...cause every LITTLE thing is gonna be all right..."

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its

-Corrie Ten Boom

Father God, thank you that you care for me. Thank you that I am precious to you. Thank you that you will give me everything I need! Today, I will "be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to you." Thank you God for your loving kindness and care. I present my laundry, my chores, Andrew's strep throat, my family's health, Aaron's birthday party to you (all of YOUR "little" burdens). Thank you that you are taking care of it all. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

It's coming.......

God has been Healing the Heartland! Last year (June 13) we experienced a major flood that changed many people's lives forever.
We are celebrating God's GOODNESS and the incredible healing He has been performing during this year in a super cool festival, Healing the Heartland.
All of the activities are FREE!
The Newsboys and Barlow Girl (can you believe it????) will be performing Sat. night, June 13th. Please consider visiting Cedar Rapids for this awesome event!
Click on the picture above for details and
Click here for more on the flood.

I am attending Ministry:online

I have been attending the online conference, Ministry:online. It has been AWESOME so far....

I will be posting some of my favorite blog posts this week while I am enjoying the INCREDIBLE insight and teaching.

Word-filled Wednesday

You may have noticed this image on my sidebar. It is a picture from last year's flood in Cedar Rapids. June 13th marks the one year anniversary, but it seems like a LIFETIME ago....

Our city is remembering this date by celebrating what God has done. (Please scroll down to read more about the FANTASTIC celebration!) There were so many times you could witness the hand of God through this difficult trial. And, while our human nature tends to ask "why", we rest in the knowledge that our God is GOOD and that we become stronger through our adversaries. Without resistance, we would never grow. The most important thing to remember is that God is with us. He never leaves us. And, He is here walking us through it.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

Please join in this week's WFW! Click here to see more participants!.

Here are more pictures of the flood. Click here and here and here to read more about the flooding. And, please scroll down to read about the celebration!

Gathering at the Well

Please, please, please check out the AWESOME post by Gina from Chats with an Old Lady
At the Well today. She talks about what we should wear to the grocery store..... And, yet another reason why I try NOT to watch Oprah..... The world's "wisdom" is SO different than God's! Today she focuses on what we should wear as Christian women.

"...Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control..." 2 Timothy 2:9,10

Today, let's look at these questions:
What am I allowing myself to be influenced by?
Who do I allow to dictate to me what I should be wearing?
How am I representing the God I claim to love and live for?
Do I know the details of how God wants us to live as well as I know the details of what is in fashion?
Am I seeking to become conformed to the image of Christ...or the image that our ever changing society throws in front of our faces?

I am not one who frets over expensive shoes, the latest fashion, or matching accessories. I have a great purse (I think it is name brand of some kind- I get a lot of compliments on it) that my sister gave me as a gift. She buys me a new purse each year to keep me "in style." In fact, I am on the other extreme- no make-up, work-out clothes, and sometimes not even checking my hair.... I find myself embarrassed if I see someone I know. (AND that is silly! What difference does it make if I "know" the people I see? Do I look presentable or not?????).

It has not always been this way. I used to be very aware and tied to how I looked. I spent thousands of dollars on my wardrobe. I spent lots of time on hair and make-up. So....... I am thankful that I am not tied to that extreme anymore.

But, I am again reminded that, as Christ's ambassador, I do need to spend SOME time looking nice. If I want to witness to the world, they can't look at me and think "yuck!" I need to at least shower!!!!! I have found that I need a BALANCE. And, after going to Baltimore last month with Brian (without kids!), I found that I FELT better when I was dressed in a matching outfit and was "put together." After coming back, I made a new goal of spending more time taking care of myself and how I look.

But, the ONE thing I always wear to the grocery store (and everywhere) else is my cross.

So, when I read today's Gathering Questions, I immediately thought of what, as a Christian, I need to wear daily.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Before I worry about any clothing I put on, I need to first clothe myself with the Lord Jesus Christ. When I am at the store and the clerk makes a mistake, how do I react? With grace? Do I smile reassuringly at the mom with the temper-tamper throwing child? When someone cuts me off and "steals" the parking space I was going to take, do I smile and wave and thank God for an opportunity to bless someone else? Am I patient with my own temper-tamper throwing child as all of Target watches to see how the cross wearing woman reacts?

When I put my ruby cross around my neck, do I put the Cross of Jesus over my heart, mind, behavior, and attitudes?

Please take a few minutes to join us At the Well....check out Gina's post and the other participants' posts. Also, you may enjoy reading these posts: