Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Race We Were Never Meant For

"Jesus has a race marked out for you. He will run along side you until the last of your light of your life fades. You can never outrun Jesus and His love will never run out. It might take the whole rest of your life before you know the truth in all its magnificent fullness. The good Lord might well have to remind you right up until that last moment when you step over the finish line because the world will continue to make a grab for you. You will face headwinds and steep inclines. You might feel like a nobody, the last one on the track, long forgotten. But YOU WILL FINISH. Jesus will be there waiting."  ~Jennifer Dukes Lee {Love Idol}


I don't write here much like I used to. That used to bother me so bad- thinking I would miss out or be forgotten about. 4 years of blogging, writing, and pouring into this page I have grown up- and evolved into my skin as a woman. So, the choice to give it up for a season or however long- was perfectly okay. I used to and still do have such a pull to the world. It's taken me upside down and inside out to discover that the only voice and the only approval I needed is the Lord's. Ever since I jumped in with a full heart- no matter how hard and how strenuous- I threw myself into a mission to give up the world. I was buried in and up to my knees in what people thought of me and how I could be better.

I read every book on women and their faith and thought it was helping me. When all along, some books were actually hurting my walk with Christ. God quickly smacked me right in the soul saying- you cannot idolize or seek anyone but ME. Oh the humiliation I felt for doing that. It's exactly what I needed. I thought their books were necessary to be the woman of the Lord I was supposed to be. One pre-ordered book came to my mailbox and after a couple chapters- I refunded it. Things that used to pull me in don't anymore. Other people's journey's aren't mine and I can't ride their coat tails or live up to where they are at. These days I am very careful about what I am reading, seeing, and believing. That is why I completely recommend Love Idol. One of the best books I've ever read. Jennifer Lee is an encourager.

She has taught me that the only APPROVAL is Christ's. It's the only validation that matters. Seriously. I needed the saving grace and the freedom of giving up some of the things I've carried around for a decade. Things that I can see when I look in the mirror are still visible scars. So I gave up writing, and people pleasing and letting the devil steal, kill and destroy.  I speak life on the dark days. I pray on my knees. I bought a journal and I write there. I leave scriptures to remind myself who Jesus thinks I am. The single handed most scariest thing I have done is let people define me. It twisted my soul into knots that I couldn't seem to unravel. 

So Pre-approved is a movement that I exampling infront of my girls. That imperfections are beautiful and that perfect is illusion. That serving and running towards the feet of Jesus is the only answer.  

There is no more pretending or running the race I was never meant to run. I can't tell you how many hours and days I've worried that I wasn't going to measure up. There is freedom in just being small. There is no approval in fame or popularity. It's really- a race we were never meant to run. We are just sent here to encourage and support and guide towards our maker.

I can physically feel a power in my heart from throwing up my hands to the world. I am overcoming but not because of what I am doing. But because of what He is doing. What I was missing out on? Was my own life. Was my own contentment. Was my own faith. Was my own voice.

 “He must become greater,
I must become less.”
~ John 3:30

Friday, March 21, 2014

Joy {Five Minute Friday}

There is a delight in me that dawned on me last night. I don't have to keep seeking approval.

Do you ever feel like sometimes, before you know it- you are chasing after idols and running their race. Hoping they will throw you a bone.

Yeah, that's me. Right smack in the middle of desperately seeking their okay and desperately seeking the face of Jesus. Part of me hangs on so hard to wait around to be liked. I can't stand that scary dark part of my heart.

Here is something that doesn't work- working hard towards their okay and not God's. I had to give up and give in to letting go. I did it last night. I took a good, HARD look at who I was hoping would notice me and I broke those chains. I did a very BRAVE thing for myself. I took out the hard part for myself and shook it out of my system. 

There is joy in really stepping out and not caring who sees. And forgetting who thinks your invisible. We need to do that for ourselves. We can wrap ourselves up and so tightly we can't break free from other people's thoughts of us. Scary, so very scary to be trapped in that.

We have to give up the scary thought that we won't measure up if they don't see our gifts. If they don't see our light. If they don't see our hard work.

There is someone who always sees and someone who thinks you are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is someone who carried the cross and died on it because you are worth it. Before you look down on yourself and think those people are higher up. Before you wait for them to notice- break those chains and break free.

Your worth, your merit, your beauty doesn't get defined by man. They can't see into your soul like He can. There is joy. Joy comes in the morning.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Crowd {Five Minute Friday}

{If you do not stand firm in your faith,  you will not stand at all.  Isaiah 7:9}

I've never fit in or been apart of it because my heart fought hard to be different.
Set apart.
To stand tall, and learn that sometimes I will stand alone when it felt everyone else was following.

It takes a whole lot of guts to stand for what you believe in. It takes everything when you feel like you could fail, you could lose, or you could go home- with nothing.

There is something to this. It means God set us apart and God made us all unique. All of our beautiful flaws and imperfections make way for the bar to be raised. We are His children, and to Him we are loved.

We don't have to follow the world. We don't have to blend and become invisible in a crowd. We don't have to shout to be heard.

All we have to do is close our eyes and believe  Speak scripture over our life and other's lives, and serve Him. Because He hears us without words and when we are broken and alone. We can't be lost or concealed when we stand for Christ.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Speak Life

These days you can find me mostly doing one of three things – mothering, cleaning, and desperately seeking Jesus.
Let me back up. My husband has went from working and coming home every night to taking on a new job and being gone away from us weeks at a time. My whole life and world revolved around him — his support, his encouragement, his help, his presence, his words, his prayers, his love. He fixes everything and makes it better- with his family and his house.
So when the day came for him to go for a short time, I thought I would crumble. Actually, I knew I would. I just didn’t know how to go on being the only parent and ALONE. I have a 5 and 2 year old. Enough said.
The past weeks without him have been just as I described. I mother. I clean. And I am in my Bible more than ever. One sweet lady whose husband is a seasoned out-of-town worker told me that I would rely more on Jesus than ever- and she was exactly right. I’ve been running to the Book, Sunday school class and church, and prayer. I’ve breathed, slept and ate scripture because I am not enough and I can’t do it alone. I know now what I needed even with my husband here — more Jesus.
One of the best women in the world teaches my Sunday school class. I’ve learned so much from her, and this past 2 weeks she has been talking with us about speaking life. I never realized how detrimental my thoughts and my words were over my life and my blessings until I heard her speak on it and direct me to the scriptures about it. The tongue is powerful and we can use it two ways. It can stop us from moving on or it can direct us where we go.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Giving In and Giving Up {Into More}

 The very places and times you feel God can use you least are actually where He can shine through you the most~ Holley Gerth

It's hard to get sat down in front of a computer now days, and think.

I love my space here, and love even better these beautiful souls I have met here. Really, I thank God for friendship and what I found it looks like- at the last bit of my twenties. I forgot how in a dark world, there is a small corner of light and there are angels on Earth.

My friend Tara and I have struggled with the thought of putting writing on the back burner. We both have admitted it and then felt relieved. We both read this from Sarah Mae and felt HUGE conviction to be ever present and intentional about our little babes. Being intentional isn't an instant fix or a fast medicine that heals promptly. It's a lifestyle and a conscious descion that you literally have to check yourself at. My friend and I, oh the healing her words and her prayers have done in my life and she inspires me to live well.

I got on my knees and prayed this afternoon while my little napped. I just got down and went to the feet of Jesus over life. It's hard. Really hard, and tough, and some days I don't know if I measure up or what it is I am measuring. But I do know that through it all, I am standing. Standing with my last bit of strength because I know there is a God who rescues.

I prayed for my convictions, and my direction, and I feel like God is pulling me away and into something more. More than internet space. More than writing. More than me.

I'm a tough girl to crack and if I don't like it, I just won't do it. God is the only one who has melted me down and refined me to LISTEN to Him. I looked at myself in the rear view today and I didn't see a girl who measured up or a girl who fails daily. I just saw a girl who is desperate, DESPERATELY running after Jesus. I see a girl who is growing into skin that's her own and not of the worlds. For a long time- I honestly cared too much and too hard for the opinions. It's taken an act of GOD to find what He thinks of me and you know what God thinks of us? We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there is no swaying that opinion of Him. He is the one where the truth can be found. Not in the mouth of others. It says plainly in black and white in the only book that matters- who we are. So if you are wondering after a hard day- go to it and read it over and over- because that is what I am doing.

I'm ready to see where God can lead me next. What I have put off because I thought I wasn't enough, I am ready to go on that new venture.

I love my corner of the world here, but I am leaving it for a while. Because it will always be here, but life is sacred, short and there are hidden years that I don't want to miss out on. I love my friends here. Oh boy, do I ever. But you know where to find me. I instagram over here, and sometimes I may drop a line or two. We need to speak life, and live it- and that's what I am seeking.

Because there is such a time as this.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Peek Inside My Life...

{Just a little insight to what life looks like here}

Favorite picture of the week: Hands down, this.

What I am reading right now: I'm a kindle girl. Hardcore. I just love instantly getting books and not having to wait for the mail or hope the bookstore has one. So, this year I made a small list of must reads for 2014, and while I have much to read, I am embarking on a journey with not just reading but implementing Restless by Jennie Allen- I'm only in chapter one but its seriously changing life before my eyes- more about that in this post, and You're Going to be Okay, by Holley Gerth- because I need that encouragement like I need a cup of coffee, daily.

What I am working on: My first Bible study. I love the idea of bible studies but never have time or they gone on without me and I can't catch up. But this one I LOVE from Jennie Allen and her If Gathering, which is called IF:Equip and comes every morning, early, to my email and I can do it before my kids get up. Easy, and so amazing. I realize how important it is to be filled up in the word so I can run the rest of the day. With 2 small girls, I need that.

What I am thankful for: The many lessons that have come into my life the past couple weeks. As my husband is away for work, I am believing I can do all things in which Christ strengthens me. It's been a tough go, manuvering my way through raising 2 kids by myself for right now, and learning make JESUS the first priority and making sure I take care of myself. Life looks mighty different around here. We are sacrificing as a family right now, and in time I know we will see the blessing out of the sacrifice.

Something BIG happening this week: My first Valentines without my husband! But that is ok and I am going to take my girls to the movies!

What I am dreaming of: Ready for Spring!

What I am focusing on: I say it a lot, but its truly a journey. Being intentional. Cutting out the not needed so the much needed can enter. I'm saying NO a lot more and YES to things I thought I never could. It's made me a different but better person. I am on the tail end of learning NOT to people please, and that is leaving more room for things in my life I let go by the wayside. 

Till next time, friends!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Kind of Help a Desperate Mom Needs

It's early morning, and I just sent my little off to school on the bus.

These days, I'm desperately clinging to Jesus. With my husband out of town, and raising babes by myself for now, I am really really seeking my cup to be filled, on those good days and on those weary days. In this past week, I've learned more about how strong I am and how much I can handle. It's more than I thought! Only with Him though. His grace on those messy days, it's left me speechless.

I want to share with you something I'm learning. On those days where it's just too hard, we mom's need HELP. My husband always gets on to me because I'm so bad at asking for help. I believe I can take on everything. So my number one has been to ASK for help. Yesterday I asked my dad to take my oldest out for lunch so I could get laundry done. I asked my sister to watch my baby so I could quickly run to the store. And you know what? They were more than happy to help. Asking for a little help took a WEIGHT off my chest and I was able to breathe a little better. Amen for good help.

Two, is it's okay to have a messy house, and to let people see it! Oh friends, I absolutely hyperventilate at the thought of someone coming in here and seeing my house a mess! But this week I've learned another valuable gold piece of wisdom. I had surgery last week, my husband left for 3 weeks, and I felt like I was drowning. And people came to my door, and some helped and some didn't. The people that helped me, or even offered I concluded are people to have in my life, and the people that looked around at me at knew I was in desperate need and didn't even offer anything, well, I learned the hard way.

It takes a REAL person of the Lord to come into someone's mess and HELP right in the middle of it, Amen? It's a hard lesson to learn who is real and who is superficial. It's sad to say, but it's true. And I'm a outspoken girl, so I'm just going to say it.

We mom's need help sometimes. If we don't say it, take a look around. It doesn't take rocket science to see that she would appreciate it so much if even one small errand was ran or dinner was brought by. If just at the least, a prayer over a mom or a word of encouragement. 

What I've learned this week will stay with me, so I can reach out to other's too, in their mess, and I will HELP.

Let's not be blind when we know how it feels. Let's not turn the other cheek when a desperate mom needs rescuing.

Bring her coffee. Bring her family a dinner. Bring her love and encouragement. Because we all have a few minutes in a week where we can stop by and enter someone's mess and help them clean it. Amen? Reach into her heart and bring love.

I am outspoken on this subject because I am so passionate about in real life friendship and Christianity. We may say we are OKAY, but just bring the dinner anyways, you will never know the gratitude of that mom when just one small thing is taken care of in her crazy week.

And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased~Hebrews 13:16