Thursday, December 31, 2009
As I sit down to write this letter to You, not because You need a letter to know everything that is on my heart, but rather I give it as an offering of praise and thanks. Thanks to You my Lord for all that You have gracefully and lovingly went through and endured with me this last year. I know that truthfully You didn’t endure because You are bigger than that, but from my point of view I can imagine working with this prideful stubborn girl there were moments You felt Your temper rising and You endured.
I come at the end of this year to ask a question,
How did we get here from there?
This year has been a journey. A journey that I did NOT think I could endure. Stops that lasted too long for me. Visits that I was not mature enough to make. Times that I just knew my heart would break.
How did we get here from there?
I don’t know. I don’t know how I am sitting at Your precious feet right now in this moment.
Some might call it religion. Not me.
Some might call it obedience. Not me.
No rather my heart is whispering,
Nichole its grace and love. You don’t have to know understand it, just live in it my daughter.
How did we get here from there?
Your grace has brought me into this location.
Sitting here in a relationship with You.
Now that my Lord is one place I want to stay.
So when all of me wants to know where I am going this next year,
I can honestly say, I don’t know.
As I am here with You, I hear You ask,
Are you ready for this next year?
Ready? No most likely not.
But I do want to go there.
There with You Jesus.
I love you!
Monday, December 28, 2009
What Happens When Women Say No
Together we have visited quite a few things that we need to say no to in order to keep focused on our purpose for being here.
This morning as I was reading and spending time with Jesus. He so graciously and loving me led me to a place that I just have to share with you.
I was reading John 4. Jesus visits the woman at the well. A very thirsty woman. Very much like me! He goes on to share with her about how He has some water that will take care of her thirst.
This morning I revisited some of the ways that I have tried to quench my thirst.
I have tried to fill that thirst with so many things over the years, my parents approval, shoes, buying stuff, food, chocolate, friends, relationships, achievements, accomplishments, getting atta girls. The list goes on and on.
Friends will you join me on this Monday morning; this week that leads us into a New Year.
Will you join me in finding out
What Happens When Woman Say No
To bottled water.
The bottled water of this world.
Friends I know and believe that our God cannot be contained. No rather He is an out of the ‘bottle’ if you will God. Who wants to not only quench our thirst, He wants to over fill us so that we are overflowing on to those around us.
May we know in this moment on this Monday morning the truth of His word:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Girlfriends have you thirsted this past year?
Do you need something more than what this world can give you?
Is the bottled water just not working?
Let’s go to Him. Let’s be serious about allowing him to fill us up, what better way to start a New Year!
I am praying friends, trusting and knowing He sees and is there to meet us at the well.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Have you ever reacted impulsively and later wished you would have waited?
Have you ever spread the news of a story that wasn’t yours to share?
Have you ever pouted?
Have you ever competed with the girl next to you when she wasn’t competing with you?
Have you ever been so caught up in your own life that the world around you was falling apart and you didn’t even notice?
Oh friends I wish I could come here today and say that those questions above are just that ‘questions’ I created with some creative thinking on my part. But rather they are all things I have lived out in my life.
There is a place He wants to take us. It’s somewhere we only get to, because He takes us there.
He comes and meets us right where we are at. The common ordinary everyday moment and ushers us into an extraordinary living life on purpose moment.
What Happens When Women Say No
To being common?
Girls we can’t there on our own. But the first step to getting there is saying no to being the common woman. And saying yes to God. Saying yes to Him creating us to be the uncommon woman, the extraordinary woman He has created us to be.
How would this change the world?
Oh girls just imagine with me.
What if our words were all ran through the filter He has given us?
Is it true? Necessary? Kind?
Just what if we truly trusted in Him to provide everything we need. And not trying to accomplish, accumulate and acquire everything our way and in our timeline.
What if we refrained from conversations that involved someone else’s story to share? Refrained from listening and taking part.
What if we refused to waste His kingdom building time pouting, sulking and complaining, and got to work for Him!
And what if we truly started living for Him and only being concerned about what He had for us, and not her.
Just what if we got so enthralled in what He was doing that we had the time of our lives?
You see I wanna be that kinda of woman.
Not because of who I am. Not because of what I am doing. But because of who He is.
Mary, a young Jewish virgin girl, most likely poor, all characteristics that would make her seem completely unusable by God, especially in her day, but God chose Mary for the most important acts of obedience. Everything about God choosing Mary was purposeful. Mary was not qualified. It was God who saw her heart and knew Mary was willing to be used in His story.
Until Gabriel visited Mary her everyday life was pretty ordinary, comfortable, and safe.
Because of Mary’s obedience and submission, God was able to restore a relationship with His people.
He is able to take a young Jewish virgin girl and change the world in an instant with a baby being born on a dark night in a smelly dirty stable.
You see it’s not about the who, or the where or the what, it’s all about who He is.
He is able to take this 5’4” blonde, left-handed, girl who is ordinary and make her the extraordinary He needs her to be.
I have been blessed by the book, the Uncommon Woman by Susie Larson. I highly recommend this most amazing book. Susie helps usher you into our most amazing Creators presence for a very personal and intimate look at the extraordinary place He has for you.
He is not able to do this just with Mary, or me, He is able, more than able to make it happen in your life too.
What do you have to do?
Say no to the common, grab hold of His hand and allow Him to lead you to the uncommon and extraordinary place!
Thank you friends for joining me on this series. I am more than blessed by your presence. A presence that assures me, we journey together on purpose, He meets us each where we are not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time this week knowing He is with you, on purpose!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Hello friends! How are you today? I hope from Monday’s blog we all have taken some time to slow down and truly think about what we are doing and why. I would like to ‘piggy back’ onto the blog post from Monday and ask,
Hey Girlfriend is that your spot?
Think about all the different things you are doing?
Seriously make a list if you need to.
Your job, (now for some of us its not something we can submit a resignation to…that whole mom/wife thing isn’t up for quitting, sorry Girlfriends!)
President of the PTO.
Sunday School Teacher.
Water Aerobics Teacher.
Book Club Leader.
Small Group Facilitator.
Women’s Ministries Leader.
Girl Scout Leader.
Volunteer of Everything!
Now look back over the list you just made. Make some notes right next to what you listed and answer the questions below. Please know friends I am doing this right along with you!
Why are you doing what you are doing?
How is your attitude when doing said task/job/position?
Do you enjoy it?
Now please don’t get me wrong, we all have things we need to do, or sometimes have to do because we are supposed to be “mature” girls, but I really want us to think about this. I am asking these same questions of myself,
Are you spot filling?
Are you doing it ‘because no one else is doing it, and it won’t get done if I don’t do it’?
Am I taking someone else’s spot?
Have you been guilted into filling that spot?
Are you a people pleaser?
Is it on your good girl Christian checklist?
Are you trying to earn yourself some extra credit Jesus points?
Girlfriends just what if some of the things, or maybe all of the things on our list are keeping us from something?
What Happens When Women Say No
To spot filling?
I have recently read Cure for the Common Life: Living in your Sweet Spot by Max Lucado, this is a terrific book. I highly recommend it…it will help to cure you of spot filling and direct you right to the purpose He has for you!
Do you know your strengths? Weaknesses? What do you like to do? What has always been your passion?
Are you living in your sweet spot?
The very place God created you to live.
My sweet spot doesn’t look like yours, and that’s okay. This right here girlfriends would help us all quit playing the comparison game!
Friends will you join me today in trusting that He doesn’t just have a spot for you, no rather He has a very purposeful hand picked sweet spot with your name on it.
May we grab His hand and know He will lead us to it!
It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11 (The Message)
Monday, December 14, 2009
As I sit here on this Monday morning I am overwhelmed, tired and feeling way too busy.
What to do about this?
What do I want to do about this?
I know from past experience that when I don’t do something, something will be done for me.
What does God want my day planner to look like?
Does He truly want me ‘cramming’ so much into each and every day that my priorities are no longer in sync with my purpose?
What I am doing this morning is looking at day planner, and if you want to join me here are some of the questions we can ask ourselves,
Look at your calendar-too full? No free time? What about spontaneous events, is there room for them?
Is your family-spending time together? Eating together? Supporting each other? Communication? Time to relax and play?
Look at yourself- tired? Sick? Healthy?
“We can’t do 1000 things to the glory of God” We can do a few. (Beth Moore; Esther video)
Maybe we do have too much going on!
Are we always saying yes?
No quality time spent with our families.
Always tired, stressed, and un-healthy.
Life is chaotic.
Are we truly sensing be peace in our lives?
Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. Joshua 3:9
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
…the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things. But only one thing is needed… Luke 10:41-42 (emphasis mine)
What do you think that one thing is?
Friends I am praying this morning and truly seeking that one thing. My Jesus the very one who took time in His schedule to make a relationship with me possible.
What Happens When Women Say No
To over scheduling.
May we be so bold this day to say NO to the things that are not on His agenda.
May we be willing to abandon our agendas, our schedules, our day planners and become apart of His agenda, living in His schedule, and His daily plan!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Would you agree with me that we live in a society that encourages us to earn our way?
Have you ever thought about what you are currently trying to earn?
As I sit and type this in the comfort of my little home, I have just kissed the Engineer goodbye as he is off to ‘earn’ a living.
Over my years, not that I have been around real long or anything…HA! But long enough to see people ‘earning’.
Earning grades, earning applause, earning awards and recognition, earning consequences.
The one thing that makes my heart sad is when I see us trying to earn salvation.
I have personally seen it in my own life.
Kay Arthur asks in her book Giving God Our Obedience:
“Do you realize how much God loves you? He loves you so much that His Son left heaven, came down and confined Himself to the womb of a woman. He was born a human being; God in the flesh.”
His birth story is packed full of purposeful details that led Him to live out His story in such a way that led Him to a cross, for a very purposeful moment.
I choose to believe that if salvation could be earned, we wouldn’t need Jesus.
And I just somehow can’t seem to make that ‘write’ into the story He has already written.
I have seen what it looks like for me to try and ‘earn’ my salvation.
There where times in my life where it looked more like a good Christian girls check list,
Bible time check!
Prayer, and prayer for all those on ‘my list’ check!
Prayer before each meal check!
Listen to Christian music check!
Went to church check!
Was a good wife, mom, and friend check!
Now girls don’t get me wrong, these are great things, and when done out of the right heart, they are meaningful, and beautiful. But it all goes back to how I see God. Do I truly treat Him as a ‘something’ to do? Or do I live in relationship with Him because I truly believe and know He is with me. He is with me in every minute of my day. Am I acknowledging His presence? Am I standing in awe of the reality that He has chosen to be a part of my everyday?
There are times in my life where I was focused on pleasing God, instead of living in relationship with Him.
As I sit here this morning I am reminded and encouraged to quit trying!
What Happens When Women Say No,
To trying to earn salvation?
Just maybe it looks like a most beautiful grace and loved filled relationship with their Jesus!
Monday, December 7, 2009
If we say we accept the grace He has for us…how can we limit His grace to not flow completely over us, through us, and into the deepest parts of who we are?
His grace is perfect…and when we allow it to change us…we are made perfect in Him.
To become perfect in Him there are things on our part that we need to be aware of. Decisions that will lead us to make choices. Decisions that are deeper than lipstick color, hairstyle and what ‘fit’ of jeans work best for us…decisions that will cause us to live out in that arena He created for us…the one that has His signature all over it…the one He purposefully designed for us. The one that is unique, dynamic, beautiful and amazing!
Girlfriends there is something that keeps us from that arena. His spot for us!
Do you know what it is?
It’s a lie.
One of the No’s we have to be willing to say…is No to living in bondage and slavery with the enemy. The very enemy who desires to see you suffer. The enemy who will continue to fill your head and heart with lies, lies that keep you from knowing you are created on purpose for a purpose.
Girlfriends a lie is a lie!
What mis-truths/lies have you been burdened with?
You aren’t adequate?
You are not capable?
You are not worthy?
You will never be acceptable?
You are not beautiful?
You have made too many wrongs choices and mistakes?
Can I just say that if you have not yet dealt with this whole lie thing, you will. Now I am not trying to scare you, but at some point in your journey you will come face to face with some lie or mistruth that tries to keep you from your purpose.
The enemy has a whole ‘slew’ of disgusting lies he uses to try and keep us from living in a grace and loved filled relationship with our Jesus!
The enemy will always pick a lie that tends to hit hard on an issue that seems to be a weak spot.
A lie is presented to us in such a way as to keep us from seeing our Jesus, the truth. The lie could be presented in the form of a fear, doubt, and worry. It could involve our marriage, health, family, children, and career. It could be in the form of guilt from the past.
I am praying with you today that God, the truth, will come to each of us in a very personal way and help us to see the lie. That He will shine His light on it, and that the light of His truth will remove that lie in all His grace and love.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
May we hear His voice and allow Him to give us the strength to say No to the lie the enemy is using to keep us from the truth!
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Thursday, December 3, 2009
There is a beginning to everything. A beginning to this series. A beginning to the world. A beginning to your life. A beginning to your relationship with your Creator. And just sometimes we need to go back to a ‘beginning’ to get a clear perspective on who He created us to be.
You see the Creator had purpose in creating women. We were created on purpose for a purpose. Women were created in the image of God. And when I truly let that soak into to my mind and heart. I start to understand that women are a ‘part’ of the image, not complete without men. You see we all were created in the image of God, and each one of us is unique in design and make up, so each one of us reveals one of the many awesome qualities of our Creator. When we allow ourselves to truly think on this, we will open up the ability to see ourselves and others how our God sees us. In reading in Genesis 2 we know that God made women and we learn just how He did it. However I really want us to see this verse:
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22 (emphasis mine)
Its in those first seven words that I find comfort in finding the purposeful and intentional God, the Creator who doesn’t just happen to do anything, but rather He does it with His mind set to it!
To spend time here on this is to set a true solid foundation. Please go back and read that bolded part a few times.
Then the LORD God made a woman.
It was in the design and make-up of this woman that something was different, something was unique, something set it her apart from the man that was already there. Something that God needed to reveal, something He needed to share. This uniqueness is called woman. It’s the whole package! It’s the mind, the heart, the soul, the hormones, the feelings, the emotions, the tears, the laughter, the need for friendships, the need for communication, the stronger desire for chocolate, the passion that can be felt when walking into a shoe department. Okay maybe some of those things are just unique to certain women…hehe!
Now go back and re-read the bolded part, and add your name in the blank.
Then the LORD God made ________________.
Oh Girlfriends I know if we truly start here in this foundation, we will be grounding ourselves in a most important truth.
God created us on purpose. It wasn’t by accident. You are needed. I am needed. We are needed. God is intentional about all He does.
"You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold. " (Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life)
From on hormone filled self to another, I struggle at really holding tight to that sometimes. I have asked many questions with tears streaming down my face.
Why the hormones? Why the heart that cares so deeply? Why the attachment? Why the fear? Why the doubts? Why the pride? Why the comparing?
The ‘why’s’ just happen to be covering up His beautiful design. The one He is waiting to reveal. Oh, there is such purpose in asking the questions. For when we truly seek an answer, He then reveals Himself in such a way as to take away and replace.
Our first stop in this series of What Happens When Women Say No, is to say NO to whatever it is that has kept us back from truly accepting ourselves as women. That’s what we are! Now I don’t think everyone struggles with this. I do believe there are women who are very accepting of who God created them to be. I am very thankful that He has placed some of those women in my life as beautiful Godly and spiritual role models.
However as I stop to think about this, I do truly desire to be 100% content about who I am and who He created me to be.
I am not a man. I am not made to think, behave, act, work, or live like a man!
And you girlfriend are a woman.
We were created in the image of a God who loves us and adores us to pieces.
Lets stand firm on that foundation. A foundation He created in the beginning. Our beginning.
May we allow that beginning to lead us to a more beautiful grace and loved filled intimate relationship with Him!
May we seek to know who we are, where we came from, why we were created and then living in that every moment!
Because Girlfriends that is Living Life on Purpose!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Today we are starting a new series here on the blog.
What Happens When Women Say No.
Those six words have been on mind and heart for months. It is something that God has truly been working out in me and through me. As I type this there is a large amount of ‘things’, ‘issues’, and the such that need to be answered. They need a no or a yes. Now some of these things are simple to take care of, others are much bigger issues.
Do you have a ‘stack’ of some of this stuff? Do you have things that need a yes or no?
It is my hearts desire and prayer that we will link arms together as girlfriends and take this journey together. Where are we going you might ask…well anytime we have done a series on this here blog…it’s always a journey my friends! You see I know where we will end up…standing and maybe even kneeling in awe of our most amazing Creator…its all the details, stops, light bulb moments, heart hugs, and the such that I don’t know…it’s the moments when Jesus is gonna love all over us. I don’t know when and where those will come in…oh but girls I know they will. How? Because He promised His daughters that when we seek Him…we will find Him!
I am excited to share this journey with you. As I know that when we journey on purpose, we always get blessed by our Creator!
As we enter the season to celebrate the birth of our Lord, it is with no coincidence, but rather our purposeful God who will lead us on this journey. A journey that will have each one of us examine what things we need to say no to, so in order to say yes to our Jesus. The very Jesus that God sent to us 2000 years ago in such a humble and quiet presentation.
Girls He is asking us to say no to the ‘stuff’, ‘issues’ and the such so that we can come humbly and quietly before Him and present our yes to Him!
What Happens When Women Say No:
To living in bondage.
To the lies of the enemy.
To trying to earn salvation.
To seeking perfection for ourselves and those around us.
To being comfortable.
To being common.
To over scheduling.
To spot filling.
To uncontrolled thoughts, words and actions.
To good things.
To fear, worry, doubt, bitterness.
To being consumed by stress.
Oh girls we have a lot going on!
Are we ready to see What Happens When Women Say No?
Will you join me?
Hey bring a girlfriend along!
I love you!
Monday, November 23, 2009
This is my Thanksgiving post for this year....with such a wacky title you probably are a little scared right? Well to be perfectly honest...so am I! You see I just logged into blogger and here I sit at my keyboard...no 'prepared' post...just a girl who has a whole lot to be thankful for and comes to share it with you all...in hopes that what you get to see is less of me...and more of the Jesus I am SO in love with.
As I lay in bed last night the tears falling into my pillow I was hurt, lonely, mad, angry and upset. That I haven't got it yet! I haven't be able to master this whole insanely frustrating most difficult issue...
As a girl who knows when to grab hands with pride, for me its a comfort thing, I tend to grab on tightly and sometimes so tightly I can literally feel God peeling me away from it!
I wish I could say right now that its just a 'little' issue of PRIDE in one area of my life...but nope...you see its a security blanket that I haul into all areas of my life!
And yesterday I held hands with PRIDE at church.
You see I am a momma who for some silly reason still thinks after 5 years that she can control the very words and actions that come out of her two little guys.
"Nichole your son did not have a good day in class today. He threw the little girls carrots on the floor, he pushed this little boy, and he laughed when the play doh was knocked on the floor"
Friends I carried this the entire day with me...
What are those people thinking of me?
Why in the world can I not get this whole mothering thing right?
Why did he do this? To make me look like a bad mom?
PRIDE and I were still holding hands when I got home from church!
What was my son's bad day at church made for a momma's bad day that I then allowed to effect the rest of the family.
All over my PRIDE.
You see as I type this out and share my heart...it is truly from the depths of my heart that I seek to be free from this.
Free from PRIDE.
You see I believe God could remove it all at once from me...and I know there are certain situations in which I tend to do better...
But if its one thing I just might be tuning into...is that this is a process.
A process of loosening the grip.
A process of peeling away the hand I hold with PRIDE.
A process of walking away.
A process of learning to grab His hand instead.
Dear Jesus thank You for a little boy who prayed this prayer last night, 'Jesus please forgive me for being naughty'. Lord this momma prays that same prayer, please forgive me for being naughty and choosing to hold hands with pride over You!
It was when I allowed Him to peel me away from the PRIDE that I then can see clearly. I can get the focus of myself and all my PRIDE issues...and live life how He intended...being thankful for what I do have!
I am SO Thankful for:
You my Blog Friends
I am SO VERY Thankful for my Jesus who loves me enough to keep working with 'a girl who has issues with PRIDE'.
***Have a GREAT Thanksgiving everyone! I am excited to start a new series on the blog after the holiday. What Happens When Women Say No! Come join me girlfriends!
Friday, November 20, 2009
This date night has a theme...its a Scavenger Hunt based off the movie Up which our family has not seen yet.
So I made up these little backpacks that have five different clue cards in them for each boy!
The first card is a picture of little fork, plate, knife...each boy gets to pick where he wants to go for dinner!
The second card is a picture of a balloon...they need to go pick out a balloon and get it filled up with helium!
The third card is a picture clue to take a ride Up an escalator or elevator!
The fourth card is clipart from the movie Up that shows a house being lifted Up by balloons!
The last clue card is a ticket that says "Admit one: This ticket allows Tyler/Tanner to view one movie, eat popcorn, candy, and juice!"
We all end Up meeting back home for the movie Up! Yeah!
I am so stinkin' excited to get going...woo-hoo! We are just waiting for the boys to wake from their nap and the Engineer to come home from work...then all the fun begins!!
Our family would like to wish you all a super fantastic weekend...and remind you to look Up and remember your Creator loves you!
Have a GREAT weekend!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I am thinkin' this rattle noise in the car is intensified by the hormones...and the lack of chocolate...which I will get to that in just a minute!
I am headed out in just a little while to visit with Mrs. A...its our first official parent teacher conference...now in this grieving mommas heart its something I am still not truly accepting. You see I am still NOT okay with having a kindergartner...selfish reasons really...like I missing seeing him laugh...I miss seeing him experiencing life...I miss staring at his most adorable face filled with freckles as we eat our lunch together...yeah I am NOT okay with this whole kindergartner thing...and I think the whole kindergartner thing is intensified today because of the hormones and the lack of chocolate!
You see I remember the date very clearly...Wednesday October 14th....God and I talked out this little issue I seem to have...and it all revolves around chocolate...oh and is so conveniently connected to self-control. Well we went on conversing and I lifted up a GREAT big question...'how can You prove to me this whole self-control thing?'...I know what you are thinking my friends...anyway...I truly wanted to see if it worked...but more importantly I wanted self-proof!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (emphasis mine)
Now hear my heart please, I do not think that eating chocolate is sinful. It just so happens that on that very day, October 14, He attached the two so as to take me on this little 'self-control' journey.
It has been 36 days without chocolate...and to say its been fun, easy, enjoyable, likable would be lying...and I just know that would lead me on a whole other journey...so I tell you the truth!
Its been a HARD journey!
I have encountered more temptations in the past 36 days then I even knew existed. I have had to purposefully 're-direct' myself many of times...
He is proving to me...that it is Him who fills me with the self-control to not sneak into the freezer and snitch a handful of chocolate chips!
Oh and back to the whole 'system' I started speaking about...it makes getting through that much harder my friends...cause I am a girl who so bonds her hormones with her chocolate!
So friends if you are willing and able...can you please go sneak into the chocolate reserve as your house...snitch some...and lift a prayer in honor of a girly who is needing some self-control!
I would SO do it for you!
I love you my friends!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This morning in my time with Him I read Acts 27. Paul is traveling to go appeal before Caesar in Rome...he gets caught in a storm that leads to a shipwreck...it a chapter packed full of some chaos, stress, and overwhelming moments...it all felt a little familiar. How about you...have you ever felt like life is a little too much? Too much to handle...too overwhelming? Friends can I share the verse that has stuck with me all day?
Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me. Acts 27:23 (emphasis mine)
Go back and read that verse again, please! I know that its very personal to me right now and today, but I think the gift from our God in that very verse is for all of us. Everyone of us who have doubted, wondered, worried, struggled, for all of us who have felt overwhelmed!
the God whose I am
Friends we are His!
And go there with me on this one...
and whom I serve stood beside me
We must be in a loving and grace filled relationship with Him that's what it means to serve Him...trust me on this one...when in relationship you WILL live it out in the everyday moments of your life.
But its the bolded part- stood beside me- that brings the encouragement which then fuels the strength to stand in courage!
He stands beside us!
He takes care of His own. He won't leave us, forsake us...no He won't. He sees all, knows all, and is taking care of it!
There came a point in my day today where I was educated in the Hebrew language. I learned that the words favor, portions, (or presents) and lots- all tie together.
"No matter what life-or Satan himself-hands us, the favor God has on His children causes that 'lot' to tumble out on the table in such a way that, instead of destruction, the child will discover that her portion turned into destiny one trusting step at a time. When all is said and done, she will see that the portion God assigned her was good. Right. Rich. Full of purpose." (Beth Moore from her Bible study on Esther)
Oh if this doesn't have me dancing...yippee!
Because God is who He is, He knows what He knows and it is all right, all good, all full of purpose!
So today my present to you...which was so generously given to me through the grace of my Jesus...is to pass on to you His grace, His love, and to encourage you!
Your life has purpose!
Will you accept His present to you? Will you accept His grace for you?
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. Psalm 16:5
May you know today He is with you, right there where you are. You don't need to go looking for Him, just whisper heart to Him, acknowledges His presence, and enjoy His love and grace for you!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Let me tell you...there are just some things I should keep my hands out of...and 'technical' stuff is SO one of them!
How was your weekend?
We had a busy family weekend! We did some yard work on Saturday...first we had to find the yard that was buried under serious amounts of leaves! Then Saturday night we had some pizza...and can I just say that the Greek Vegetarian Pizza I was privileged to eat could become a 'regular' item on my list. Wow-we...yummness! Seriously..even the Engineer who gets excited over pepperoni...was applauding the creation! Thin crust...light sauce...red onions, olives, red peppers, feta cheese, artichokes, spinach and roasted garlic. And to think that its been available in this city the whole time we have lived here...and I just found it....
I am truly a simple girl...shoes, de-caf Oregon Chai tea, a good book, my dog, my boys, the Engineer...and now I will officially add the Greek Vegetarian Pizza to the list!
Well I have spent quite a bit of time on the Saturday evening portion of the weekend...can you tell what has left its mark on me!
Yesterday was another truly amazing day. A day where God proved to be 100% real...real in all the details! He has surrounded us with some most amazing people. He has loved on us through them...and reminded us not to worry, to breath, and to focus on Him in all things!
I am stopping in today...to ask you my friends...which way to go?
I have a few ideas for another series here on the blog...and I want to know which way we should travel?
So because I believe that He always leads, directs, orchestrates, and answers perfectly. I am asking for you to share your prayer requests, ideas, concerns, burdens, thoughts, questions in the comments section...and please feel free to do so anonymously. I will be praying with you, and know He will make it obvious...
Which way to go?
I love you...more importantly...He thinks you are amazing!
Have a Marvelous Monday!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Hello and welcome to the blog and the life of a girl who is under construction. Can I just say I have officially got myself in a great big huge situation!!!
Oh friends please allow for some grace on this one...I have made a huge mess of this here blog...I was trying to do some updates you know...'freshin' it up a tad?!?!
Well I need your help friends...one thing I have gone and done is lost the blog list...which means I need you to leave a comment so I can add you back on!!!
Oh and anyone else have a few spare minutes to bring some sanity to me...well mainly the Engineer who has to live with me...who knows from daily life experiences that I tend to 'design' big (new header, adding some tabs, linking it to my website, updating colors) and then I can't figure out how to use the hammer to build what I have designed. Anyone feeling his pain...or mine?
That's my life...under construction...and today I am thankful for a Jesus who holds the plans and the design in His very hands!
Does anyone have any 'blogger' design expertise they would like to share...you will be MORE than appreciated...by this 'under construction girly' and her Engineer!
Love to you friends!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Yesterday asked me to look at things differently.
Yesterday voiced an opinion.
Yesterday needed me to slow down.
Yesterday wanted me to reconsider.
Yesterday longed for me to re-prioritize.
Yesterday begged me to live it out.
Yesterday paused me.
Yesterday changed me.
And because of that...
Today was different.
Thank You Jesus!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Recently I had the huge privilege of connecting with a friend who takes the most amazing pictures. I have the honor of showcasing them here today...please enjoy!
Now for some these will be just pictures. And for some Facebook is just a 'new trendy' way to spend time on the computer.
Can I ask a huge favor of you today?
Will you join me for a few minutes and See Beyond?
As I read this morning from the most amazing Book that was ever published I found myself in Hebrews 11.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1
That verse right there is where this whole See Beyond thing started!
I know you are starting to wonder 'how in the world does this all relate?'
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
Today I have been encouraged to See Beyond
To see beyond myself.
To see beyond a 'new trendy' Facebook thing.
To see beyond issues, stresses, circumstances.
To see beyond the temporary.
To see beyond this world.
I am encouraged to See Beyond what sits right in front of me and praise Him and know there is a bigger picture, there is MORE, there is purpose!
And when I choose to See Beyond
I get to see others around me.
I get to meet up with some really great friends on Facebook and enjoy their art work of taking pictures of this most amazing Hand Crafted world.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"Genesis 1:1
I get to practice living life on purpose in the midst of issues, stresses and circumstances.
"For 'she' was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" Hebrews 11:10 (emphasis mine)
I get to see Him!
Thank You Jesus for filling us with the desire to see beyond. For there is something there, something worth seeing!
May we truly not look at anything the same again, but rather, See beyond!
***Photographer: John Anderson
Friday, October 30, 2009
If we run out of something, it doesn’t work to just shout…”we are out of toothpaste”
It has to go on the list.
It can be heard in our home…”Put it on the list!”
It occurred to me in between the hours of last night and this morning that I have another special list I keep. A ”List” for God. Yep and because I want this blog post to ‘go there’, I am, out of obedience and a lesson in pride going to share that list. This list is a visual for what is currently on my heart, concerns, issues, circumstances, ‘stuff’ that I have been thinking about and talking to God about.
Nichole’s Prayer List
The Engineer and his stressful job.
Praise that the Engineer has a job.
Family sick with colds and/or flu.
Friends who are sick, or their children.
Our church in the middle of a pastor transition, health of our church.
Tyler in kindergarten, and my momma heart that is grieving.
Car troubles with both of our vehicles.
Praise for Girlfriends Unlimited, the new women’s ministry at church.
My sister, haven’t heard from her in a few months.
My mom who is in a whole lot of pain, needing relief from pain, and surgery soon.
My Father-in-laws health.
My dads job.
Bitterness, pride, jealousy, loneliness in my heart.
Many people who are without jobs, or who are having major stress at work.
Marriages, friends and family who are struggling.
Friends and family who are desperately seeking to start or expand their families with babies.
Friends who found out they are pregnant again.
Living My Life On Purpose, the ministry.
A friend in her new marriage and being a step-mom.
Praise for a healthy recovery and healing for a Cindy, who lived through breast cancer.
My hearts desire to be less and Him MORE.
A friends daughter who was recently diagnosed with a hormone imbalance.
A friend whose little boy struggles with health issues.
Friends who went from a family of 3 to 6 recently as they adopted 3 kids at one time.
A friend who was admitted to the hospital because labor started too early.
Many friends who are pastors wives.
A friends whose husband is awaiting surgery on his knee.
Praise for a friends dad who got to go home.
The moral health of our world.
Friends who are traveling.
Health of co-workers of my husband.
Moms, as our jobs are hard.
Praise for such amazing family and friends!
Yesterday when I came and asked you to pray it was a hard thing for me to do. You see I am a girl who likes to hold hands with pride so often, and unfortunately it keeps me from humbling myself and asking for help…more importantly prayer.
Thank you so much for praying. For there is power in your prayers. I know that’s such a crazy term…and for years I thought so too…there is NO power in my prayers…I am just a girl! But friends hear me out on this one. And go there with me. There is power in our prayers…you see our Jesus hears them! He hears the whispers of our hearts, He hears the cries, the shouts…and He sees the ‘lists’. He is the power! When they land on Him…and He is the power…something most amazing happens! Yep! Things start happening. Peace starts flowing, love comes down, graces blankets!
Just so you know…your prayers where answered and felt yesterday! Thank you!
He whispered to my heart yesterday over and over again….
Nichole it’s not for you to figure out ‘how’ to take care of all those things on your list, your job is to be obedient.
Woo-hoo! Yeah I don’t have to the do the ‘how’…but friends can I just say His whisper still left me a little lost…you see obedience and I have been on a journey for a VERY long time…and I still have a ways to go!
Right now in this moment as I type up this blog…my obedience is relinquishing the list, knowing that He is in complete control, He is not withholding anything from me, and that He loves and adores me, and He is working it all out!
”Ah Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17
Do you have a list?
Friends would you be so bold as to join me?
Would you turn over your list?
Would you go there?
Would you trust Him and hear what He has for you?
Would you allow Him to speak to you?
He loves you. He adores you.
He wants to be in complete control of your life.
Again thank you for joining me yesterday in prayer, please know I take this whole team thing, and prayer very seriously, and because of that I want to join you in praying, praying with you for the things that are on your list. Leave a comment, make it anonymous, or send me an email, either way know that there is power in prayer!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Thank you for praying on purpose!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Let the Games Begin!"
Would you Girlfriends and 'guys' too please lift up this in prayer! This has been in the works for a long time and I am so excited to see what God is going to do tomorrow night! There has been a most amazing team of women working on this for quite a few months now.
To have fun on purpose!
Thank you so much for your prayers!
I can't wait to come back and share pictures of the fun with you!
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I will forever need to seek balance in all things. I know crazy that a little moment of vanity in front of my mirror could lead to something a little deeper...stick around it gets interesting!
Over this past year I have had a HUGE lesson on balance. Which totally fits in nicely with living life on purpose.
My lesson on balance looks like this:
Relationship with Jesus
Relationship with the Engineer
Relationships with the boys
Relationships with family and friends
Relationship with myself
All of the above areas come with more specific lessons.
The relationship with myself is about taking care of myself. Balancing. Listening to my body. Spending time feeding my soul, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and managing/limiting stress.
So here is where this all ties together...thanks for your patience!
Monday I get this call from a Girlfriend who is 'checking' on me making sure I am NOT stressing (I will soon be revealing a big huge fun thing...come back Friday), she wants to make sure I am staying 'healthy'.
Tuesday I notice my eyes, no not for the first time, but long enough to really notice.
Many times on Tuesday I had family, friends, and the Engineer,say the words, 'relax',
'don't stress', 'make sure you are taking care of yourself'.
Last night I purge prayed...ever done that, where you just empty everything that is on your heart to your Jesus! Woo-wee...it felt amazing!
Friends I am truly seeking balance.
I know He is balance for me.
Thank you SO much for being a part of this "On the surface eye journey that led me to a deeper level of balance into my Jesus' arms"
May we know that when we seek help we will receive it!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Now if your here for some laughs...GREAT...cause I am really trying to find some humor in this one!
Have you ever said something in the past that comes back to get ya' and then you have to end up eatin' your words?
Or maybe the thought never exited via your mouth, but it still leaves you feelin' guilty?
Well I am here to confess that many of times while someone was 'sharing' how they were lookin' older whether it was because of grey hair, saggin' somethin', I was thinkin'...oh yeah and sometimes even shouting out Just age gracefully!
Yep that was my response! It happens to all of us...we get older and so we might as well accept it! Right?
Just age gracefully!
As I stood in front of my mirror this morning that little phrase above is comin' back to get me...and now I am eatin' those words!
So here is where you come in...I have these eyes!
Eyes that are looking older...yep it happens friends! And really in the big picture I am really okay with it. But it's the little picture...the moments in which I stand in front of my mirror!
So can ya help this Girlfriend out?
Any ideas, suggestions, pointers, tips, recommendations?
My eyes are gettin' older!
Which I so know means wisdom on the inside...HA!
But on the outside...they are saggin' dark circles!
***And just to warn ya...I will have another help out a Girlfriend post! See you soon!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Is there more to life than this?
I have found myself asking that question...especially on the 'ground hog' days of life. Remember that silly movie, where each day the actor woke up and it was the same day?
Well friends life can seem to appear that way for each of us. The same drive to work, same job, same household chores, the same routine, same menu each week.
This morning as I was running, in the comfort of my own home...its raining outside today and this girly doesn't too much care for running in the rain...it takes all my coordination to run on dry pavement!
I asked God for more.
And you know what He had the nerve to respond with?
No wait I was speaking of more to life, you know the exciting, life changing stuff, you know I want more of You God!
Yeah obey in all things.
So as I ran in the comfort of my own home I became a little uncomfortable, for I could hear Him whisper:
Submit all your worldly desires to me. The ones that have a financial price tag attached.
Submit your eating to me. Quit eating for comfort reasons.
Choose joy every time.
Quit being bitter, forgive the past, go on and love.
Set your mind on Me.
Trust me and Obey!
Wow now that's some stuff, can I just have one to work on for today?
But friends, I can't, you see I want MORE of Him, I want to experience ALL of what He has for me. And there are things in the way of that MORE.
"As much as my flesh wanted relief, I knew that when all was said and done, I'd sit on that side of glory having much rather fulfilled my calling than served myself all the way to meaninglessness. I had to accept that I was not called to an easy life. I was called to a purposeful life. "(Beth Moore)
Can you relate? Do you want More out of this life?
Is there something in the way of your More?
God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me— my whole life one long, obedient response. Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you. Deflect the harsh words of my critics— but what you say is always so good. See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways! Psalm 119:33-40 (The Message)
To get More we are asked to obey. What does it mean to obey?
Do what God wants and trust Him for the outcome.
"Beloved in the times of greatest struggle when you make the Godward decision over convenience, earthly comfort, or carnal pleasure, you too have come to a critical moment in the fulfillment of your destiny. A defining moment. A war is being waged over your head in the unseen realm, and a great cloud of witnesses is cheering you on. You have no idea what's at stake" (Beth Moore)
May we trust Him today, He has More for us!
Friday, October 9, 2009
In the background somewhere between my heart and my mind I know these words said via Beth Moore yesterday are asking, encouraging and rather insisting I share.
"One of the most important parts of fulfilling our destiny will be transparency" Beth Moore
Yeah proclaiming to be a girl who lives on purpose…a girl who desires to be real…the real He created me to be…knows in her mind that this needs to be backed up with some actions…so I come tonight to share my heart…and am asking Him, rather begging Him to connect the two.
Asking Him to connect my mind and heart.
So picture with me if you will my visual, one that until tonight I have only fully experienced with my Jesus.
Here I am, with a beautiful gift packaged all pretty and tied nicely with a big beautiful bow, I stand before my God with hands reached out and present it to Him. Inside this beautiful wrapped package is a dream, a girls dream. A dream that is so intimate and personal. Knowing that it will only be sacred within His hands and He is the only one who will truly be able to see it for what it truly is, because only He can see the heart that presents this dream.
The dream, to be 100% fully submitted to Him, so that I can be used by Him to bring others to His heart.
The dream, to be a Speaker, one who shares her everyday relationship with her Jesus, in hopes to bring Him all the glory and honor!
So Wednesday morning comes and in my inbox is an email inviting me to come and speak at a conference. To which instantly I am excited and elated! As I continued to read on I instantly start to ask questions, as the information presented in the invite does not fully seem true, reliable and even possible.
"Is this the enemy mocking me?"
"How could the enemy pick something I hold so precious and dear to my heart and go there?"
Was this a God divine moment or the enemy pursing a very personal attack?
Ever been there?
I also started to question if I couldn’t fully believe that God could work divinely.
Trusting and knowing in my mind that His ways are not mine.
So within seconds, and minutes I am one big mixed up, emotional mess, that desperately is looking to eat my weight in chocolate and crawl back in bed and not be momma, or wife, or anything else for that matter!
The only thing I could do in my messed up emotional mess was to ask The Engineer who ALWAYS functions under very solid and stable emotions…so unlike his wife…to help me figure out what this email was all about. I also had a girlfriend who listened, hugged, loved on me, and then went to bat for a girlfriend, she truly stood in the gap for me!
The email was not legitimate. It was a scam. Someone who is seeking out speakers and trying to mess with them.
I was hurt. I felt mocked, teased.
I felt as if my very dream was put on display, torn apart, picked through, and mocked.
Something I held so dear to my heart was now not feeling so precious and sacred.
I took myself to Him, to seek His face.
His words were comforting:
God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10
"Presently you may not be receiving rewards and acclaim, but God knows your efforts of love and ministry. Let God’s love for you and His intimate knowledge of your service for Him bolster you as you face disappointment and rejection here on earth". (Life Application Study Bible, NIV Commentary)
When God speaks He does so on purpose!
And so there is a sense inside of me today that part of the Wednesday ties into the Friday.
Again it’s all for a purpose, and on purpose!
I know from history that death comes on a Friday and resurrection is next!
I can honestly say as of today, Friday it feels as if something has died.
Maybe fear? Pride? Selfishness?
But there is something that has been let go of.
But who know’s it could just be on purpose, His purpose of bringing me closer to His heart.
For He is adjusting my direction.
What do you hold so intimately?
Jesus tonight I come seeking to hold Your hand, to be brought closer to You, in the intimate relationship You have for me! Will You continue to change me, and make it more about You? For I desire to be useful! Use me! I love You!-Amen
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
And today, adding to yesterday and hopefully tomorrow...I desire with all that is in me to seek Him, know Him and experience Him more. Selfish? Yes maybe, but from the mouth of a most amazing man who was placed in my life on purpose:
"You can never be selfish with God!" Brent Hofen, Lead Pastor for Mission Church, Bend Oregon
I have been so filled, filled to an overflowing that as I type today I can't get it all out, so I invite you to join me, in the everyday to seek, know and experience Him more.
Oh because there is purpose!
Will you join me in this journey?
The name of the journey:
Will you invite your Creator to live in the everyday moments?
The ones that take place every second, every minute of everyday.
The ones that happen when a little boy and his mommy are sitting at a table for lunch and the little boys asks:
"Mommy what does dolphin poop look like?"
For this everyday moment has changed me, yep I am not the same girl I was before lunch!
I have been enlightened, encouraged and feel rather elated as of this moment in which I type.
For a question from a little boy, one who is created in the very image of his Creator, has caused this mommas heart to stop, pause and listen.
May we know that God is in our everyday!
And more than anything, selfish like I am, I don't want to miss one second of Him!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thank you to everyone who participated in this series on Sex. All levels of participation were needed and much appreciated. Thank you for your words of encouragement, prayers, comments, emails, questions, and for those of you who shared personal revealations and successes!
I know God has done some great and amazing work through this series...and it is He who gets all the applause!
When we started back in August on this series it was a stepping out in obedience for me. And thats just what I did, grabbed my Jesus' hand, kept praying, trusting and knowing that He would use it to bring His people closer to His heart.
I feel so honored and privileged to get to see God work in the everyday!
Today as the series comes to an end I want to share some resources that have been very helpful to me.
A book titled Intimate Issues. I have participated in 2 small groups while reading this book and highly recommend it to all of my girlfriends! If you click on the link it will take you to Amazon to take a peek at the book!
Another book I think is great in dealing with all issues including Sex in marriage is Love and Respect.
When seeking out a lot of questions on Sex I have found the Focus on the Family website to be very helpful. Here you have also find out how to talk to your children about Sex. They have some great resources on purity.
May I also encourage you to read Song of Songs. A beautiful book in the Bible that Gods very hand is all over. A book that displays His beauty and design for His very people in regards to Sex.
I would love to challenge you to continue to seek His purpose for you...as I am committed to doing the same! I will continue to lift you up in prayer as I know the enemy does NOT want to see us living free in this area!
Thank you so much for joining me!
I am so looking forward to living on purpose with you!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Just Don’t Do It!
Friends I just have to ask:
Why in the world do we even play a game that only ends up in a no win situation?
For if we compare ourselves to someone else, what are we truly seeking out?
Do we need someone else to make us feel better about ourselves?
And do we truly need that feeling of insecurity and doubts when we walk away from a comparison moment, feeling less than.
One thing Jesus didn’t do…was compare Himself to anyone other than His Father.
So why do we?
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4 (The Message)
We have over the past few weeks visited the foundation our Creator has laid in regards to Sex. A most purposeful and beautiful foundation. One that when truly lived out in its design is so amazing!
A foundation that finds itself within the walls of marriage. Marriage takes work! Go back and read the verse above, "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given," Your marriage, the one between you and your spouse.
Friends some of the best advice I have been given over the years that I pull out often…
"Spend your time working on improving yourself, then you won’t have time to compare with others, critique others or judge others"
May we be encouraged to quit wasting time watching movies and comparing ourselves to a Hollywood created version of what Sex should look like!
May we instead be encouraged to reach out and grab our spouse’s hand, and invite God to reveal to us the beauty He has for us. And friends brace yourselves, everything He creates will take your breathe away!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thank You for every moment of this series on Sex. Thank You for every person that has come to experience You, come to seek You, come to be loved on by You. I praise You for freedom that is being lived out because of Your grace. A grace that doesn't stop and doesn't expire. I praise You for a grace that covers every part of our relationship with You. Thank You for 'putting everything under Your feet. In putting everything under You, You left nothing that is not subject to You. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to You.' (Hebrews 2:8) May I know in this very moment that Your will on earth is not complete, and that You have more to do. May I continue to trust, and believe that You and You alone have the power to bring it to be! May we, the ones created in Your very image truly seek a relationship with You, knowing it is the very purpose we were created. And in relationship with You we will experience the beauty of design for every area of our lives, including Sex.
We love You Lord! Amen
**Join us next as we talk about comparing our Sex lives!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I am here because as I have been journeying through this series on Sex on the blog, it has been laid upon my heart what would I say to you boys? How would I answer questions? Am I prepared? Do I have the right answers? This letter is from my heart to yours!
I am so thankful for the gift that each one of you are, handcrafted masterpieces by a God who only does amazing work. To live life with you is such a joy, for there are moments in each day that I stand completely amazed, soaking in just how great God is…that two very unique and different little guys exist on purpose and display part of His image.
In all of my momma heart I desire to be obedient to the very word and command of God:
Teach your children
right from wrong,
and when they are grown
they will still do right. Proverbs 22:6 (CEV)
Boys from the day you were born I have felt completely incapable, lost, and weak in this role as your momma. There have been moments at Jesus feet where I have sat completely exhausted in tears crying out for help. And I as I mature, which just so beautifully coincides with you getting older, God in all His loving grace reminds me…I don’t have what it takes to be your momma…and where He wants me is at His feet 100% dependent on Him. The beauty of His design!
It is my hearts desire that you fall so in love with your Creator so that when life comes you are in tune with His voice, and you know its His hand that will lead you! For to be filled with His love and grace to overflowing so that when you face any of life’s situations that you will love and respect others, and love and respect yourselves.
I pray for a beautiful foundation of communication to be laid, not by me, but by a God who knows what needs to be said and when to say it. For there is such power, grace and love in what is said and what is not said.
For my faith is in Him, and His way. For I believe He loves us to a point of complete surrender in Him. And it is my desire that this momma heart of mine takes that huge leap of faith and truly lives freely.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1Cor 13:4-8 (NIV)
May I follow a God who knows what He is doing, may I remain teachable so I can direct you both to His heart!
Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
I love you boys!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Today is such a day on the blog!
If we are NOT honoring God with our lives then plain and simple we are dishonoring Him.
This includes all areas of our lives. This includes our Sex lives. As we approach this point today I want to again be bold and say NO one gets a free pass on today’s subject…there is a spot for everyone to sit down and take this in.
Again I will state we are either honoring God with our Sex lives or we are dishonoring Him.
I know that I might lose some of the crowd here as it would appear that I am stepping on toes…friends, please know that is NOT my heart. My heart is so full of grace and love and it knows first hand what it feels like to dance in field of grace with a Creator who truly sets us free…and I just desire to share that!
Gods instructions for our Sex lives are not a list of prohibitions. Rather they are instructions for us to live free in Him, free in the design that He created us to be in.
Free to honor Him and live life fully.
And to do that we need to know what Sex is NOT:
Sex is not a weapon.
There is no honoring God by using sex in a manipulating, forceful and hurtful way!
Sex is not to used as a tool.
God is NOT honored by the money that is exchanged in regards to the purity of lives that are being sold each day.
Sex is not self serving.
God is honored when we think of others before we think of ourselves.
Sex is not about power.
Power displayed by the wrong person for the wrong reason does not honor God.
Sex is not about having control.
God is honored when there is mutual agreement and mutual involvement.
May we truly embrace what Sex is. Sex is the created union, designed, and hand crafted by a God who wants to gift His people with the pure relationship of fulfillment within the marriage covenant!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We are in the middle of a series on Sex so if this is your first visit...please go back and read through a few of the previous posts if you feel you need some foundation for this topic!
Let's get started with the questions!
**What is pure?
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15 (NLT)
Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! Job 14:4
**Where does purity come from?
**Can you find purity in our world today?
**Is purity something our society encourages?
It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Ephesians 2:1-6 (The Message) (emphasis mine)
Friends when I read this verse and get to the last few words (the ones I put in bold) my heart seriously starts to beat faster!
You see for our Creator to do just this, to pick us up and put us right next to Jesus...means one thing and one thing only...that HE has made us pure! Yep...sure thing! The way this works is that Jesus Himself is completely 100% pure...perfect...without blemish...no errors...and to be in His presence we must be made the same.
To find purity we must be seated right next to our Jesus! To see purity we must look to our Jesus. To dwell on all things pure we must be submerged in the purity of relationship with Jesus. To change an unpure past we must allow a pure God to change our hearts.
Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. Psalm 51:10 (NCV)
Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! Job 14:4
So when Job ask this question above and then answers in two simple words..."No one!" He is so right my friends...we can't bring purity to ourselves.
We must come and seek the One source of purity and allow Him to change us from the inside out!
God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. Titus 2:11-14 (The Message) (empahsis mine)
More than anything I desire to live my life on purpose, and I believe that its a life of purity. That in all the things I say, and do come from a pure heart, not one I can create, but one that I allow Him to change. One that I all ow Him to clean and make pure.
Friends Sex is very important to our God.
Pure Sex is very important to our God.
Will you join me today in seeking how this needs to affect us? Is there something in our minds, and or hearts that is keeping Sex from being pure for us?
Do you allow an impure world to corrupt something God created purely on purpose?
Do you support Sex in impure ways? Tv shows? Music? Books we read?
Do you walk each day shackled in guilt from a past moment, mistake or relationship?
Do you allow the past to hold you in restraint from truly experience the pure Sex God desires for you to experience in our marriage right now?
Do you believe a lie that Sex is not beautiful?
Are you not experiencing the pure beauty of Sex?
Do you and your spouse communicate about Sex?
Please join me today in seeking purity.
Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. Phil 4:8 (CEV)
May we know that God is setting many of His children free during this series. Free from their past, free in a relationship with Him. Free to enjoy the life He has created for them!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I am firm believer in being bold when being bold means standing up and shining the light on a great and awesome God! The main purpose of this series on Sex is to do just that!
To come into the light and see all of what God intended Sex to be. To grasp His purpose, beauty in design, we must come into His presence, we must seek His face.
Can we fully seek His face if we are still in the dark? What keeps us from seeking Him?
Is it something in our past holding us captive?
Is it something in the present that won’t let us step towards Him?
As I have prayed and prepared over this series God has oh so gently whispered that not everyone is ready for this.
Not everyone is ready.
There are people yelling on the other side of this screen…
"but you don’t know what has happened to me!"
"but you don’t know where I have been!"
"but you don’t know what I have done!"
"but you don’t know what I can’t stop doing!"
But God does!
Can I be bold today and say;
It’s NOT where you are, but where He is!
He is standing right there arms wide open to hold you and to take this all away.
Friends that’s the beauty of grace.
Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message)
May you know today that He knows you and He loves and adores you.
May you allow your Creator to heal the past, love you in the present, and secure your future in Him!
Friends please take a moment to listen to this song, listen to Your Creator whisper to your heart!
He loves you!
May you seek Him and seek the beauty of grace today!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So here we are in the middle of a series on Sex on the blog and its Wednesday night and this girl is tired. She was away all weekend with her family on the coast...had a total blast...but came home to a mountain of dirty laundry..everything got dirty and wet...that's what happens when you mix the wet coast with boys! We all seemed to get stuffed up sinuses, which are giving me a big headache...FUN after vacation treat! Oh and I spoke to a group of most amazing mommies this morning which drained me of all creative thoughts...I am 2 days behind on getting chores and groceries...you know...
So I come tonight to say...
I have a headache
And I feel blah
So the next post for the Sex series will be coming soon!
Thank you so much for loving on The Engineer and me for our Anniversary~
May you rest in Him...I am off to do it myself!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Marrying your best friend
Moving to a new state
Starting our careers
Buying our first house
Making lots of great friends
Finding a church home
Fixing up our first house
Bringing home our baby girl Miss Ellie Mae
Holding each others hands tight when life happened
Bringing home our first baby boy
Moving to a new city
Buying our second new home and waiting for it to be built
Making new friends
Finding a new church
Bringing home our second baby boy ONLY 16 months later!
Starting a church plant
Changing jobs which meant moving to a new city
Buying our third home
Finding a new church
Making new friends
Receiving a pilots license and starting Living My Life on Purpose
Raising two amazing little boys
Sending our first off to kindergarten
And here we are on Friday September 4th celebrating 10 years of marriage!
Please know deep in your heart Engineer I am madly in love with you and feel more than honored to stand beside you in this life...I have been more than blessed and look forward to sharing many more years with you!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
"God has given us a grand gift in our sexual communion, and we sell it short.
Christians rarely discuss what sex really is or why God created and encourages it. Remember the last time you heard a sermon on sexuality? Neither do I. What a shame!" (What Does God Know About Sex?: He has a lot to say about the subject. by Glenn T. Stanton)
What if His people helped bring into the light what the enemy wants to keep in the secret and in the dark?
"Google reports that its two most popular search terms are God and sex. Obviously a great many people around the globe have lots of questions about these two topics. How many of us, though, think these two words represent polar opposites, with the pure-of-heart searching one topic and the more "fleshly" looking for the other? I suggest that if we don't see these two terms as closely connected, we don't know very much about either of them. It's long been considered impolite to discuss sex in good company, which is understandable with something so intimate. But the media talk about sex all day long, spewing deception and heartache. Before we choose to stay silent, Christians must remember that sex is God's idea — and He has much to say about it." (What Does God Know About Sex?: He has a lot to say about the subject.
by Glenn T. Stanton )
Sex…whose idea was it anyway?
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:26-28
We learn from the above passage that God created one man and one woman and then encouraged them to ‘be fruitful’ and to multiply.
It is VERY clear…directly from the mouth of God…that He gave the gift of sex on purpose…the purpose of taking part in creating of life.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
God’s intended purpose with sex is to be between one man and woman, specifically inside the marriage relationship. God created sex for intimate oneness and a knowledge between a husband and wife that brings depth to the relationship.
A depth that cannot, will not and does not take place in one night stands, sex outside of marriage, pornography, or affairs.
So what in the world is going on down here?
How did we get so far off track?
"'Turn back, fickle Israel. I'm not just hanging back to punish you. I'm committed in love to you. My anger doesn't seethe nonstop. Just admit your guilt. Admit your God-defiance. Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners, pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves While turning a deaf ear to me.'" God's Decree. "Come back, wandering children!" God's Decree. "I, yes I, am your true husband. I'll pick you out one by one— This one from the city, these two from the country— and bring you to Zion. I'll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way, who rule you with intelligence and wisdom. Jeremiah 3:12 (The Message)
Inside the marriage relationship God wants us to experience sex and the pleasure, joy, passion and comfort it can and will bring. He has gifted us with an entire book in the Bible, Song of Songs, in which He shares these very important aspects of sex.
I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies. Song of Songs 6:3
Do we truly believe that sex can be good?
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31
God the Creator of all, the very One who put His hand to everything and everyone we see here on earth, is very passionate about us! He wants to interact with us. He desires to be in relationship with us! He desires to bless us beyond our imagination.
The nature of God:
"If we hope to offer a redeemed view of sexuality to a hurting world, we must begin by understanding that God is inherently loving and relational — and created us to be this way, too." (What Does God Know About Sex?: He has a lot to say about the subject. by Glenn T. Stanton)
Can we dare to believe that God loves us so much?
Can we dare to step out in faith and believe there is beauty in His design?
God we come and sit before You. We ask You to open our minds and hearts, please help us allow You speak to us. To touch our hearts in a way only You can. May we surrender to You all of our past, present and future ideas and truly grab onto Your idea. May we allow You to love us through this process, knowing that You have great things for us! We love You Lord-Amen
There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. 1 Corinthians 6:16 (The Message)