Monday, August 31, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

"I can't do it!"

Those were the words I spoke to my husband as we were nearing the finish line of our 5k on Saturday. I wanted to do it under 30 minutes. There was a man in front of us and Greg said if I push past him I could do it. I told Greg I couldn't do it and he needs to just go ahead of me. He wouldn't. He ran the whole time with me encouraging me the whole way. He is a runner. I am not. He could have had a much better time. I felt like I was holding him back. The thing is he wanted to be there for me. He didn't want to go ahead.

I thought a lot about that when we got home. That's how it is with God. He wants to walk right beside us and encourage us but so often our pride gets in the way and we push Him away.

Today let's choose to yield to God's plans. It might be tough, especially at the end, but He will be right beside us the whole time. We often allow our pride to get in the way and try to do it on our own. We don't need to. The race we run we don't need to run alone.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24

We are all running the race. Let's choose to run it with God right beside us. Then we get the prize. We get the things He promises us.

No, I didn't win on Saturday(not even close). I didn't even make it under 30 minutes - maybe next time. I finished it in 30 minutes and 30 seconds but I didn't give up and I had my encouragement right beside me the whole time!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random thoughts....

Just have some random things I want to share with you all and since I don't have a creative bone in my body right now maybe I will just give you a list.....Top ten things on my mind today.....

1. Greg comes home today. While he was gone Carla and I moved my schoolroom upstairs and painted the walls and trim. After that we got the bright idea to stain the wood floor. We pulled up the carpet a few years back and found beautiful wood floor underneath but never did anything to it. We didn't sand it first and I hope that I don't regret that. As I was slapping down the stain just wanting to get it done I wondered how many times I have done that same sort of thing with God. He has things for me that are wonderful but I am sure I have missed things in my desire to rush through and not do the hard work required of me.

2. It is raining now and I can't get to the windows to close them and am praying it doesn't ruin the floor :)

3. Running a 5k tomorrow with my hubby.

4. Dinner tonight at Red Lobster for my mother-in-laws b-day. I can't wait to eat those warm cheesy garlic rolls.

5. Have my grandson sleeping peacefully beside me on the couch as I type this. He was fussy and Alicia needed a little break to get some things done. They are going away this weekend and she needed to pack. I jumped at the chance to have him and am so glad she called me.

6. Starting school in my new schoolroom on Monday!

7. Catey sewed a pillow and entered it at the fair and got 2nd place. Way to go Catey. Last year Cayla's cake got 3rd place and a bunch of her art got ribbons. This year she only entered on picture and it didn't place :(

8. Have a stack of books and papers sitting beside me and I have a lot of work to do on my upcoming talks. Came across this verse this week and felt like it really spoke to me. If you think of me please be praying for my speaking ministry.

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel ~ Ephesians 6:19

Verse 20 goes on to say "Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should".

9. Greg starts coaching Cayla's softball team on Monday. I am not looking forward to the fall softball schedule but I do love seeing my man and my daughter on that field.

10. And finally.....I just want you to know I appreciate each of you who reads this blog. If I can ever pray for you in any way please let me know!

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just have to share!

Don't have long to post because I am in the middle of major rearranging at my house so I am ready to start school on Monday. I shared with you that my niece had a baby last week and I wanted to share a pic of my 91 year old grandma holding Nathan and Olivia who were born a month apart. She is great great grandma and she is awesome. I love how her face just lights up.

Greg is out of town and I hope to get a lot done(I know you are never supposed to share that info but I am not worried I have a 90 lb dog that would eat anyone who came near the house and an 18 year old son who is very protective!). Just yesterday my son sent me a text out of the blue that said "I love you pud". Long story but "pud" was a nickname that only my grandfather called me. I was very very close to him. He lived with us all my life so he was like a father. When he died I was so sad and then one day my son started calling me that. It is very dear to me.

Tonight is my last Bible study in Lancaster. Please be praying for these ladies. They have had some really tough circumstances and I am going to miss them dearly!
Well I need to get back to work! Have a blessed day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

Good Monday Morning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know we did. It was full of friends and activity and I am tired today. We played games with some friends from our old small group on Friday night and went to a wedding shower for the daughter of another couple from that same small group on Saturday. Sunday I taught for the last time for a little while. I am looking forward to a bit of a break. We discussed friendship because I am speaking on that in a few weeks. Sunday afternoon was busy cleaning up and doing some laundry and then off to Masonic Homes for my hubby to run a 10k. The cool thing about it this year was that a few of his friends ran it also so there were a bunch of us there cheering them on. I think I will do a 5k this Saturday. Not positive yet but I am planning on it.

So on to our choice today....I know I mentioned that I am reading the book "Crazy Love". Well I read something the other day that really caught my attention. It talked about the disciples being called Christians first at Antioch in Acts 11:26. It went on to say that they didn't name themselves but were called that by people watching their life. It then asked the question, "could someone look at your life or my life and name me a Christian?" Wow! Very humbling. Later in the book it said something about us having a choice: we can adjust how we live daily or stay the same.

So today and each day let's adjust how we live so that we aren't staying the same and so someone else could look on our life and know we are Christians. I think that will have a lot to do with how we love and how we serve others. You know the old song "they will know we are Christians by our love". Let's choose to make sure others know who we are by how we act.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are you still there???

My husband said if I don't soon post I will lose all my readers. I guess he is threatening to stop reading:) I hope you are all still here. I have a lot going on.

My niece had a beautiful baby girl last Wednesday and I was able to be in the delivery room. I don't think I would ever get tired of witnessing that miracle. Maybe I should throw in the speaking towel and become a labor and delivery nurse!

I have been spending a good bit of time with my daughter and her baby and I am glad to be able to do that. I don't see my other daughter much and that is partly my fault and I am struggling through all those emotions.

I need to be starting school soon. I think the official date will be August 31st but who knows. My neighbor always says she will start when the spirit moves her. I don't know if I will ever be moved this year so I think I just better pick a date and start. As much as I hate to say goodbye to summer it might be best to get back into a routine here anyway.

Since coming home from She Speaks I have been doing a lot of evaluating of my life trying to stick clearly to the boundaries of what God is calling me to do. Part of this process is actually putting the boundaries in place and learning to say no so I don't burn out. I read the following quote and it really got me thinking:

Experience does not make you better only evaluated experience makes you better.

Thought that was great so I have been spending time evaluating things I have done iin order to hopefully be a better wife, mother, and follower of Christ. I have been reading my evaluations forms from my speaking experience at She Speaks and just looking for ways to improve at home and in ministry. This isn't always easy. I inevitably end up finding yucky stuff in myself that I would would like to pretend doesn't exist rather than deal with it. So I have been ealing with some stuff lately!

This week I finish up two Bible studies. Monday is my last day with Cayla, her friends, and their moms. We are finishing up "Lies Young Women Believe" and making a Truth poster and then Wednesday is my last day with my ladies in Lancaster. i am working on some closing things to share with them. There is so much I want them to know. I want them to know their worth and the hope that is in Jesus. I want them to know that they will be faced with some hard choices but if they choose the right thing it will pay off. My wonderful husband made them gift bags from all our K-mart double coupons stash while I was at the hospotal last Wednesday. I can't wait to gove it to them.

On another not I have read several of the books on my list lately and I started "Crazy Love". I am going to try and join the discussion on Bring The Rain. If you have the book, please check this out I think it will be fun.

Well, I need to go I am supposed to be making revisions on something and e-mailing it out today. My hubby took my little guys so I could work and here I sit blogging:) Hope you haven't given up on me and your still reading! Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

I have so many plans. Each day, each week, each month, etc..... I wake up each day with "to do" lists always trying to accomplish more than can possibly done in the amount of time I have. The problem with this is I always end up feeling overwhelmed and defeated before I even get to check the first item off my list.

I came across the verse above and though I have heard it before I realized that I never really believed what it says. I always try to control things. I always want to "order my own steps". When I am in control plans inevitably fail. I decided to use this verse as verse no. 16 in my years long memory challenge. Not only do I want to memorize it I want to believe it and give God control of my "to do" list. That is when I will succeed and no matter what I have to do I will have a peace that will surpass all understanding.

So today's choice is quite simple yet will probably be a challenge for some of us. Today let's remember that the Lord's purpose will prevail in spite of us and our lists. Let's choose to find out His purpose for our day and give control to the One who is in control.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Think This NOT That.....

I was in a book store one day and saw the book Eat This Not That: The Best (and Worst) Foods in America. I thought it was very interesting. In fact I was tempted to buy it because I am always looking for easy ways to stay healthy/lose weight(is that a joke or what????) Anyway, I started thinking about my thought life and I think the same idea could apply. Think This Not That: The Best (and Worst) Thoughts a Woman Can Think.

I can't talk about it enough. As a woman thinks, so is she.....we can not act differently than we think. It is so powerful. I am having a "bad" week. I am not sure why. No particular reason. I have some relationship issues with one of my daughters and that has been weighing on me. I have something I am supposed to be working on. Something I am writing. I can't give details but I was supposed to make revisions this past weekend and e-mail it this week. I still haven't. I miss all my bloggy friends but for some reason struggled posting.

I am not sure if it is because summer is coming to an end and I don't feel ready to start school or if I am coming off my high from She Speaks. I just know that my thoughts have been in the dumps this week and because of that I can not act differently than what I am thinking. I know I just need to keep telling myself to: Think This (God's truth) Not That (Satan's lies).

So as I sit here typing this I am thinking about powerful truths in God's Word knowing that it will get me through this bump in the road. Today when you are tempted to think anything but truth refuse it! Don't let the thought settle in your mind for even a second.

Today take some time to meditate on the truth you are secure. Do not buy into the lie that you are insecure or alone.

Those who fear the Lord are secure. Proverbs 14:26 NLT

I am heading to the beach tomorrow until Sunday with some of my best girlfriends. I am speaking in September on friendship. I am hoping to get a lot of research done this weekend:) The topic includes learning to be transparent so we have authentic friendships based on truth and establishing and maintaining Godly friendships when we are sooo busy. I will also have something on helping a friend through a crisis situation. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. It would be a tremendous help. You can post it here as a comment for all to see so we can learn from one another or you can e-mail me personally.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Sorry I am so late in posting.....I had a sleepover guest last night and I am a bit tired. My 2 1/2 week old grandson spent the night. It's amazing how much you forget. Ugh! It is exhausting. Anyway, for Make a Choice Monday I have been thinking a lot about the words of John the Baptist when he said in John 3:30, "He must become greater and I must become less".

I have been seeing that verse lately in a lot of different places. Wonder if He is trying to tell me something:) So today let's choose to become less so that He becomes greater. Whatever that needs to look like in our life. Whether it means we do a lot of little mundane stuff that we think unimportant but in God's economy is huge if we are being obedient. Whatever we need to do to make His name great not make a great name for ourselves.

Hope your evening is blessed! I know I will be sleeping good tonight....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fashion Friday

I know it's been a while since I posted a Fashion Friday. I am not going to be posting every Friday because honestly I run out of fashion blog worthy stuff. So, you can still expect it every once in a while when I find something but you won't be seeing it every week.

This week I did want to tell you about a lady I met at She Speaks. Her name is Shari Braendel. She knows fashion. She met with ladies and helped them know what to wear and what NOT to wear. I bought her book and I am excited to read it and share what I learn with Cayla. You need to check out her blog. She is amazing.

I just wanted to leave you with a picture of my awesome evaluation group from last weekend. Such beautiful ladies all with a desire to communicate to other's what God has done in their lives. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A good book is like....

I have been reading a lot lately. I truly believe that we should always be engaging our minds and learning. I have no desire to go back to school but I love learning. The problem is sometimes I neglect "The Book". I need to be a student of His word first and foremost. That is what I am working on right now. I have been thinking a lot about my self-discipline. As much as I don't even like to say the words I know that being disciplined in all areas of my life actually makes things much easier in the long run. So when I have spent time in His book this is what I have been reading lately....

Communicating For A Change by Andy Stanley and I Am Not But I Know I Am by Louie Giglio. These two books are like the bag of M&M's I just can't stay away from until I finish every last bite. I got them both this weekend and can't put them down. I will have them both finished by this weekend. I have carried them in the car with me and as I am going about my housework stopping every once in a while just to read a bit.

No Other Gods by Kelly Minter, The Reason We Speak by Marybeth Whalen, and Homeschool Supermom Not by Susan Kemmerer are all beside my bed and I am savoring them like a good piece of dark chocolate or a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. I read a little and let the words sink in and then in a few days I read some more.

Now what do I have just waiting to be cracked open???? You know the ones that sit on my shelf and I will crack open someday and I will either devour it or savor it or possibly even just barely get it down because I hate to start something and not finish it and I know that if I press on I learn something beneficial......My read someday soon list looks something like this:


Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth
Eye of the God by Ariel Allison
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
The Most Important Little Boy in the World by Dean Briggs


Beauty Secrets by Dr. Deborah Newmand and Rachel Newman
Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
Purse Driven Life by Anita Renfroe
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa Terkeurst
The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio
For the Write Reason by Marybeth Whalen
If Clothes Could Talk by Shari Braendel

So what about you???? What have you been reading or doing lately that stretches your mind?? I would love to hear about it. We are off to the mountains to see my parents today. I will share more tomorrow. Have a blessed day

Monday, August 3, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

Good morning all you wonderful people out there in the blogosphere. It's Monday again and I am pumped after an awesome weekend. The choice I am coming to you with today came out of a statement I heard this weekend. It was, "choose loyalty over logic". Choose Jesus Christ over what seems logical. Wow! Just let that soak in.

You see logically a girl like me should be curled up in a corner somewhere bawling my eyes out and barely functioning. A girl like me should be hiding away in guilt and shame from my past. A girl like me should not be getting up this morning with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. I should be defeated but I am victorious. I should be broken but I have been made whole. It's not logical - the things that have happened in my life. The things that happen in your life may not seem logical. They may be really hard to understand. You might be questioning and suffering for the moment but we have to believe that nothing happens that does not pass through the hands of God before it gets to us. Even the impossible things that don't seem possible can happen. He may be calling you into a ministry and to you it just doesn't seem logical. He may be calling you to give something up and it just doesn't seem logical. He might be asking you to step out of your comfort zone and act on something and you have hesitated because it didn't seem logical.

Well today we are going to choose to trust Him and be loyal over any of our doubts. We will trust Romans 8:28 that says:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

We have been called according to His purpose - not ours and not the worlds and not what seems logical.

Have a blessed Monday!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Frequent Flyer I Am Not

Sitting in the Detroit airport trying to process everything and feeling very tired. I obviously don't fly much. Since when do you have to pay to check just one piece of luggage??? Or what happened to the nice, smiling, grandma-like lady standing at the other side of the counter to check you in???? I don't want to check myself in. I don't know how to check myself in. I am just lucky I am not on a flight to Zimbabwe right now. And when did security become so invasive???? I am just glad I didn't have to get naked. They wanted my shoes and they wanted my jewelry and they wanted to know why my license is expired. I don't know why they didn't understand that I had to wait to get my picture taken until after I got my hair dyed and I couldn't go get my hair done until this week before She Speaks. Unbelievable isn't it???? And what about the anticipation that builds as you walk down the very narrow isle to your very narrow seat just wondering who you would be seated next to only to find out that it is someone who does not have the gift of gab and your lucky if you get a grunt....

Well, enough complaining I am just happy to be on my way home and I am trying to process everything that is swirling around my brain. A very scary and confusing place, by the way. I met so many fabulous women I can not get over it. They were all so beautiful and they radiated the love of Christ. It was one of the biggest blessings in the whole world to be with people the whole weekend that "get" me. That have the same call on their life to somehow communicate Jesus Christ. Even at the airport in Charlotte as I waited for my plane I had some fabulous conversations that I will never forget.

I do sense God calling me to give up some things after this weekend. That's the thing about getting quiet and listening. After you hear you need to act and that can often be uncomfortable. I can't wait to share more with you about this when it all starts coming together. All I know is that God is good and He is faithful even when I am faithless.

Have a blessed night. See you tomorrow for Make a Choice Monday!

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane.......

Don't know when I'll be back again......but I pray it's next year. I have had one of the most life changing weekends ever but all good things must end and I really miss my family. Please pray for me as I travel and also pray that when I get home I do not lose sight of my passion and my call. That is very easy to do back in the real world. That is why I am memorizing as verse #15 in my year long challenge, this verse:

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me.
Psalm 57:2 NIV

All we need to do is cry out to the Lord and He will fulfill His purpose in us, through us, and in spite of us. It doesn't matter if I speak to 10 or 10,000 I need to remember I am speaking to the audience of One. He has a purpose for my life. For your life. Let's walk that thing out together. May your day be blessed as you shine in His glory today.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

So much to say, So little time....

I can't hardly begin to put into words what is happening here this weekend. I have been blown away. Today was another amazing day. Just as soon as something happened that I was dying to share with you all something else would happen. I didn't know if I wanted to tell you about how well I slept or the fabulous breakfast I had.

Then I wanted to share with you all the new people I am meeting. I am here alone and it has forced to me to reach out and connect.

Or maybe I should share how awesome worship has been with Cheri Keaggy or the profound lessons I learned in all my sessions today.

But then maybe it would be better to share with you the enormous way God showed up today. I don't even know if I can put it into words that you will understand. I had to do a presentation today and be evaluated. I had 5 minutes to do a teaching talk and at 5 minutes you had to stop. I don't know how to say anything in 5 minutes. I love to talk and I love words! Anyway, I have a life message about taking our thoughts CAPTIVE. You can read more about it here. Originally I was going to share from this. It is my heart. It has changed my life. I didn't think it could be taught in 5 minutes so I picked another topic and I struggled and I struggled and I struggled some more. I had to present at 5:00. I came back to my room at 4:00 to put the finishing touches on the message and rehearse. Instead I picked up a book that I had purchased(why when I am supposed to be working???). Inside the book I found a piece of paper with this written on it:

My name is here:
Yah or Yaj
"I AM"
The One who is the self-existent One. God never changes. His promises never fail. When we are faithless, He is faithful. God promises His continuing presence.
Exodus 3:14 & 15:2, Psalm 46:1 & 68:4, Isaiah 26:4

I was blown away. I tried to incorporate it into my talk. I practice and I practiced and nothing felt right. When it was 4:55 and I was almost to tears I threw up my hands and said I can't do this. I told God whatever He wanted He would have to show me. I left for my evaluation. Even as I sat there I did not know what I was going to talk about. My turn came. I stood up with only my Bible and the book with the note in it. I left my other notes behind. I started speaking and in 5 minutes I presented my talk on taking thoughts CAPTIVE. I hadn't practiced it. I didn't need to. It has been a life message that God has worked through with me over and over again. It couldn't have gone better. Why?? Because I am such a gifted speaker, you ask???? NOT!!! Because it is the message that God wanted me to share. He is the I AM when I am not. I didn't need to perfect anything I just needed to be obedient. The thing I didn't think I had time to say God made work because it is what He wanted me to say. I later found out that the note must of gotten left in the book by accident. By the person leaving it, not by God of course. He knew ahead of time what I needed to see. There is a prayer room and all of our names were put on different names of God and that was prayed for us leading up to the conference. I went in after I spoke and found my name on "Jehovah-Jireh" - The Lord will provide. And provide He did. He ordained it for me to get that note so I would let go of what I thought would work and let the I AM do His work. Afterwards He showed me that He did indeed provide. I don't get my evaluations until tomorrow when we leave and I am not supposed to read them until I get home. Do you think the airplane would be close enough????

Maybe you want to hear about Jennifer Rothschild's life changing message about ministry grounding us, refining us, and not defining us. She is blind. She was e-mailed all of our names. Her computer read all the names to her and she prayed for each of us and as she prayed she asked, "who is she God?". Can you believe she prayed for me by name?

After that I would love to share with you the tears that ran down my face when we sang "It Is Well With My Soul" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness". I was struck by the fact that I was there. Who would have ever guessed that the girl who was so shy and self-conscious that she did not eat a bite of lunch all through high school and who fell into a pit of sin so deep she almost drown would be sitting in a place like this alone eating, sleeping, learning, fellowshipping and most amazingly speaking. Who knew??

And lastly do I tell of meeting Jennifer Rothschild face to face. She is truly as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I thanked her from all of us ladies that did her study "Me, Myself, and Lies" this summer.

Wow! What a day. Thank you for your prayers, your words of encouragement, and your support. Have a blessed night!