Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Can Happen When You Say Yes

The last two years have been a whirlwind. Two moves both far away from family and friends and everything familiar.

And in this craziness I picked up writing.

I had felt a nudge towards it a year or so earlier, but just wasn't brave enough to ever hit publish. Then I thought maybe God was leading me to this as a way to make money, though I wasn't sure how. But instead of that I see it as a ministry and a place to tell stories (I have affiliates on the side now to donate to Compassion, not for me)

 He's using this to open me up and make me brave.

Writing became an outlet and gave me something to look forward to each day. Living on farm in Iowa was nice, but being in seclusion wasn't so good for this girl. It was hard.

I was often times surprised at how the words would flow and the things that would come to mind to write about.

It would get easy to waste days sitting in front of the screen, time would pass so quickly and before I knew it the kids were home from school.

Writing was healing and meditative. I always liked to journal in my private time, so it was kinda the same just not with the privacy.

And then I started linking up with other blogs and meeting new people and a whole new world opened up!

I've met people I never would have met otherwise; some that have infuriated me with their words and others that have encouraged me and my faith like nothing else.

I'm the girl with so many questions but not enough courage to ask them out loud for fear that I will be labeled  in some way. But with blogging, I've met others asking the same questions out loud, and the world doesn't feel so scary anymore.

My faith, my courage, all have grown as a result of writing. I'm not the same person I was two years ago. I'm more sure of what I believe and why. And my questions are a result of a deepening faith that  I know now  it's ok to ask.

Even from the church.

 It's ok to question God about things that don't settle right with you, because he's always willing to give an abundance of wisdom to those that ask. And I ask a lot :)

The voices of guilt and condemnation have gotten quieter because they know now they don't hold as much power as they used too.

I never could have imagined that I would ever consider myself any type of writer; fear of rejection would have held me back before. But now I know that that is part of the process. This is life. My hope is tied into who God says I am, not in what others say I'm not.

This space here, helped me get through a lonely time. I'm not sure how well I would have come out of Iowa without having this space to turn to. It kept me distracted and from going crazy.

While God answered many prayers and led me on a new path to self discovery, He knew I was going to need something to keep my idle hands busy. Thank you Lord, for knowing what I would need when I didn't.

If you are looking, searching, it's ok we all are. Find something to make you brave. That's forces you out of your comfort zone and into God's arms of daily portion. It doesn't have to be writing, whatever you are passionate about, whatever you would do if you had a money and time and no chance of failure (in a perfect world). That things that gets you excited and you would do everyday if you could. Take a step towards it today!

Are you holding back from something that God is calling you to out of fear or uncertainty? I hope you will find your brave and do it anyways, even if you fail, at least you can say you tried!

Let's claim the power of "Yes" this year and vow to live Fearlessly!

Linking with Faith Jam, Faith Filled Fr, Studio Jru, Fellowship Fri

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What The Past Can Teach Us About Our Future

One thing that has helped me before when I got stuck and didn't know how to move forward is to have faith that God works everything out in HIS time not mine.

And to remember that God started a good thing in me will complete it and won't say "uh, never mind."
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6
Sometimes it's hard to believe we were made for anything but surviving. Life becomes a series of events that are out of our control and we do what we can to get through each day.

I remember two years ago my husband made a job move to Iowa and I stayed behind with the kids to try and either sell or rent out the house; and to let them finish out the school year. Boy, did I underestimate how tough that was going to be or what the future had in store for us.

We had been worrying and praying over what we were going to do about our house if it didn't sell. We really didn't want to rent it out since we were going to be so far away from it, and didn't want the hassle of people living in it  that could possibly not take care of it.

One morning I awoke with the numbers 828 on my mind I could see them clearly in my dream, and I remembered reading a devo about how someone had gone jogging and a certain number kept coming into her head. So as soon as she got home she looked up the numbers in Psalms, the book of the Bible she happened to be in at the time. And the words, they spoke right to her about depending on God's strength which was something she had needed to finish her jog.

I'm not sure what led me to Romans to look up Chapter 8 verse 28
Romans 8:28 "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."
But when I did, I had the most overwhelming sense of peace and assurance. I knew that somehow, someway, everything was going to work out.

Little did I know that God was going to use a tornado to do that! On April 27, 2011 a tornado ripped through my side of town, picking up and turning right before it got to and could destroy my neighborhood.

Everything outside of my neighbor was gone.. (this is the same time those tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa, AL)

I had never in my life seen so much destruction.

God used that tornado though to rent out our home to a couple whose home had been destroyed the next street over. Out of destruction he brought deliverance, at least for us. This was our way of moving and being reunited together as a family in Iowa.

So, you see, I know that God sees me and you. He does answer prayers-not in the way we think it will happen or in the time we want.

But He always answers.

So, when fears try to creep in about doing/being enough. Or what in the world am I made for? I know God is seeing and hearing me. And in His time He will show me what He's been up to behind the scenes.

And all I have to do is keep showing up.

Now, it's your turn. What has the past taught you about your future?

Linking with my dream sisters and  Soli deo Gloria, Women Living Well

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life's Better When It's Shared

Life is better when it's shared with others. 

I used to avoid community because I didn't really understand the importance of it.

When you've been hurt in the past by best friends, you tend to move cautiously forward with future friendships.

Authentic community is hard to find, even for the most extroverted of persons (which I'm not). Finding someone that you can trust your secrets with even when it all falls apart seems near impossible this side of heaven.

Last year I discovered a group called (in)courage. And they spoke right to my heart of hearts on why I/we need community and someone in our lives to be real with. I was starting to feel like being alone was way more worth it than putting my heart and life out there for others to judge as they chose.

I had relegated myself to a party of one. I would be my own keeper and if I really needed someone to talk to I would talk to Trey, or my sister...OK mostly my sister.

But (in)courage gave me hope. Because the stories I read were the same as mine. They wanted authentic community but were having a hard time finding it. They had been hurt, but kept looking for it anyway. "Did other women really want the same thing as me, and struggle with it just as much?"

"Are we all really afraid of being found out and rejected, so we wear masks to cover up and reject others first before they can do the same of us?" 

"Is it possible to have grown up friendships without feeling like I'm back in high school?!"


God designed us for community, not to go on our journey's alone. Sure it can feel safer, but it's not better. Just as God said " it is not wise for man to be alone I will make a partner for him."

Women need community and were made for community.God knows being alone leads to failure, like a gazelle moving in a pack to keep from being eaten by the cheetah, so we need to surround ourselves with a pack to keep moving ahead, lest doubt and fear eat us up.
"A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity"{Prov 17:17}
And, now that I know that I was made for community, I have to let others in regardless if they let me down or not, and regardless if I let them down.  I'm  learning to let go and trust God in this area.

 I have to.

Because in order for life to work, in order for dreams and goals to work I have to trust and let others in.

I seek friends~sisters

"But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." {Prov 18:24} 

whom will hold me accountable when I get lazy or want to give up because things are getting too hard or taking too long. I can rest easy that I'm being prayed for and encouraged, and they can can too, because I will be praying and encouraging them as well. Kinda like life-cheerleaders.

One of mine is  Olivia, she is my online prayer partner and a budding photographer, and fellow dreamer. I am blessed to have met her and lucky that I have her praying for me as I am doing for her. Check out her site, she is also teaching an online photography class you might be interested in!

Will you take the brave first step of friendship today with me? It's scary and we might get hurt, but it will be SO worth it!

Call someone to have lunch or coffee with. Call or text an old friend you haven't spoken with in a while; send a card.

Someone right now may be wishing for somebody to connect with and you could make the step to a start of a beautiful friendship.

Another blessing is the Hello Mornings Challenge , registration is still open until Wed Jan 23rd. Need more people praying over you in your life? This is a great way to get that and help you get up in the mornings!

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"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret."{Prov 11:13}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dream a Dream-Then Go For It!


God's plants dreams and desires inside of all of us.

It's up to us to water those seeds He plants.

Somewhere along the way we decide they can't or won't happen.

We're afraid of what people will say or think. Afraid to fail.

I want to encourage you today whatever it is that God has placed inside of you-GO FOR IT!

Don't let Your dream die.

Take a minute today and let yourself 'go-there'. Close your eyes and think about what would your dream look like if you could make it a reality

What steps would you have to take to make it happen?

If we lived in a perfect world and there was NO chance of failure and money wasn't a problem, what it would look like?  What form would it take?

Now open your eyes look up to God and know and believe that ALL things are possible with God.

You can do All things with God that gives you strength. {Phi 4-13}

You were born for such a time as this.  {Esther 4:14}

God is planning to use all of your junk from the past to make a bright future

God can work ALL things out for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose {Romans 8:28}

For those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  {Is 40:31}

What dreams have you put on the back burner? We all have our reasons for shelving them away, but God is waiting to bless you through those dreams!

Dare to believe it is possible!
What are you waiting for?

God, I want to dream again
Take me where I've never been
I want to go there
This time I'm not scared
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable
No one can touch me
Nothing can stop me

Can I introduce you to FireFlight-an awesomely amazing Christian Rock Group?

linking with: Tracy-Winsome Wed, Fellowship Fridays, StudioJRU, Faith Filled Fridays

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looking For A New Book?


Are you a fan of Christian Fiction? Then I have a book for you!! And if you aren't a fan of Christian Fiction I still have a book for you! This book is great and I was lucky enough to be able to review it for the author Shannon O'Donnell, it's called Love's Memory.

"It is only when you lose yourself that you find out who you are." Valerie Mahoney, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, falls deeply in love with basketball star Manny Scott. Against his parents' wishes, the two wed and baby Wren soon follows. Years later adversity strikes and Manny begins questioning his youth decisions, including his love for his wife. Heartbroken, Valerie flees one night but a disastrous accident leaves her with amnesia. Distraught, Manny begins the desperate quest to find a wife who doesn't recognize him and return her home. Experience this soul-stirring story of God's redemptive power in LOVE'S MEMORY, Book One in the Scott's of Mountain Ridge Series. Watch for Shannon O'Donnell's newest novel WOODVIEW; and WREN'S SONG, Book Two in the Scott's of Mountain Ridge Series.

If you buy the book TODAY, she has 30 FREE gifts that she is offering. There is free ad space, e books, clip art, crafts, gift certificates...and I have my own free gift I'm offering on there too!! So check it out right here

If you follow this link it will take you to her link on Amazon to buy it for yourself. 

It's a book that once you start you have to finish, nothing else matters, it's that good. Once I sat down to read, I was immediately drawn into the characters. I was angry, then crying, then laughing the next. It takes you through all of these emotions and leaves you satisfied at the end.

And I'm just not saying all of these things( I get nothing out of you buying this book, but the satisfaction of knowing that I helped recommend a good read to you). This is a fantastic story of what God can do in impossible circumstances. A story of God changing hearts and answering prayers. A story of hope and redemption.

Plus did I mention 30 FREE gifts?! Read and be blessed friends!

You can visit the author's site here

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The Next Step Towards Your Dream

I took a fearless step yesterday, I signed up to host an (in)RL conference (registration started yesterday). I wanted to do this last year, to take that step towards brave community but a) didn't know anyone, because we had just moved to Iowa b) lived on a farm with Internet that was barely above dial up; I knew streaming anything from my computer for others to watch was out of the question.

It would have taken all day to watch the broadcast, plus we would have reached our max for usage and it would have shut down our Internet for at least a month :-)

I swore to myself last year that when we moved this year I would sign up to host. Boy, I had all kinds of feelings when I filled out that registration, I was excited and kinda nervous. What if nobody comes?

I'm starting to realize that these feelings are always going to be there when I decide to step out, I guess this is what living fearless feels like, it's becoming my new normal.

So if you live in the Denton/Dallas area Ima hosting and would love to meet you!

If you don't live close by check out the link here to register and sign up for a group near you!

This was my small step, cause ya know. It takes a whole bunch of small steps that equal up to big things in the end when we want to reach our goals. Baby steps people, I'm all about baby steps.

I'm also signed up to be an Accountability Captain for Hello Mornings. I knew that for me just signing up to be in a group wouldn't cut it, I would too easily slip through the cracks, on purpose. And it's not that I'm a morning person, but I do have more energy in the mornings once I'm up and out of bed, and I  like to get as much accomplished before lunch as possible. It's just how I'm wired. (Registration starts Jan 16th-23rd)

If I sleep in the the rest of the day I feel like I'm one step behind all day long. I used to be really good about getting up early and people would think I was crazy especially since I didn't work outside the home, but it was my rythmn and it worked for also helped get my mind right before the kids got up so that I wouldn't bite their heads off before they had breakfast :-)

And trust me once you commit to getting up the devil will start messing with you. It's almost like he was in there whispering in their ears, "get uuup" "your mom is awake, it's time to play and eat and watch some toons" I would get so frustrated!

And would want to give up, but if I stayed with it, they eventually would stop and my routine could continue kid free. I hope you will consider joining my group for the Winter Challenge (it's free!). If you sign up tomorrow there will be FREE prizes!! i love free!

I'm doing a Twitter group(central time zone), I'm not sure what all being a captain entails, will you please show me some grace till I get it all figured it out? Knowing that I'm to get up and tweet you and encourage you will surely get my hiny up and moving! So let's do this together!!

I pray you will be brave and take that next step towards your dream/goal today too, no step is too small.

So thankful for the many opportunities to serve and the encouragement to take small steps towards my dream.
And so thankful for you, for taking time to come here and read, I've prayed for you, you know.

Linking up with Holley and the other dreamers, join us? and Soli deo Gloria

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Monster Inside

I do what I don't want, there is the constant battle inside between good and evil. I hide it away and try to kill it each day, but still, sometimes it comes out to play

I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good, because it is the sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, is my sinful nature.
 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law;
My self, it always leaves me feeling angry and full of regrets for what was said or done. How do you kill something that just won't die?

You do it over and over again.

Let the quiet voice of truth get louder.

The flesh and spirit constantly battle it out.
but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. Romans 7:15-23
We each have a monster inside us. And it's a continuous dying, each day. You accepted Christ, now prepare to die each day.

But don't worry this death will bring peace.

I used to feel like because I had accepted Christ but wasn't what I thought I should be at the moment I was failing Christ. No one told me that it's a process, a journey. I mistakenly thought that at the moment of acceptance I was going to be new in every way; the way I thought, acted, talked, felt and when that wasn't the case I doubted I was saved, and then I just got tired of feeling like I was constantly not living up to Christ's standards, so I stopped trying.

I wish someone would have said you are not automatically going to be a new person and think differently, talk differently, act differently, that you have to go through each day making a conscious decision to trust and follow. And all the ugliness that comes after giving your life to Christ- is the uprooting process; the cleaning house.

It's only been in the last few years that I've had the Oh I Got It Now moment.

The ones that act like they have arrived, only do so because they are afraid for others to see where they fall short. But in being vulnerable we allow others room to breath and feel like God's table has room enough for us all.

The monster must die daily, and he lives inside us all. It's a journey, I get that now. The day I finally arrive will be when I open my eyes in heaven.

"Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:25

This is a music video from one of my(and my family's) FAVORITE Christian Rock groups, Skillet singing "Monster" (my son loves the part at the end where he says "I feel like a monster" in the monster voice, cracks me up every time I hear my boy singing it ) If you are viewing this in your email click here to see video

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Is Your God-Sized Dream?

Isaiah 35:2 " Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel's pastures and the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God"

My dream...ok here goes, ~takes a deep breath~ grow this space into a ministry ~sigh~

My to grow this blog into a full blown ministry.

Bigger and larger than I can imagine it to be. Not to make me famous or big, on the contrary I'm probably inviting trouble, but to make God known

I envision this being a space full of people that are learning to walk in the freedom and grace of God. To love and accept and encourage those around us regardless of what stage of life we are in or how we do things. To give grace and accept it.

To open this space to women that come here to tell their own stories free from judgement.

The lost and lonely that are looking for the hope that's tucked inside of me. To share our beauty from ashes, hope redeemed stories.

A place where you're allowed to be vulnerable and take off your "I'm fine mask,"  because sometimes, you know, life just down right stinks.

To offer my own humble life as an example of what faith can do, when you dare to dream, live fearlessly, and take the path that looks so much like the wrong one.

I've learned much over the years of how I want my life to look like, and I've realized that

once you've been changed by Christ, you can't not live for Him, you have to live differently.
That's where the name of the blog came from and how I hope I'm living each day and how I want to encourage those around me to live.

What is your God Sized Dream?

Have you ever thought about it? Or do you not like to dream, because you don't think dreams come true?

I've been challenged by Holley to dream, not just dream little-but dream big. Dream so big in fact that my dream could only come from God. This type of dreaming is scary. Because what will people think? Do I dare speak it out loud? Will it stand up in the face of scrutiny and negativity and the Martha's of the world, aka realists, or dream killers?

God-He plants dreams inside of all of us. That thing that gets you excited, makes your heart beat fast when you think about it, that, that's your dream~your passion. And you know what else? It doesn't have to humongous it can be small. It's your dream and all you need to do is take the next step towards it, doesn't have to be a big step, just one step towards overcoming your fears and procrastination.

This may be a slow process and there may be times I want to throw in the towel, but I hope I persevere and run the race marked out for me.
Because the attacks are already coming, not from outside sources but on the inside.

Dream God-sized DreamsIt's pointless. Why are you even bothering, no one cares. You don't have anything to say that anyone will want to read. Dreams, are you kidding?! you?!  Be afraid, cause you will fail and then you'll look stupid for declaring this to the world. Your not cut out for this, you don't have it all together, so how can you encourage others?

Oh my, how they are coming. My stomach is in knots and I want nothing more than to delete,delete,delete.

 It would be so easy, and life would go on.

But would it?

No one else may care, but deep inside I will. I'll know that I had the chance to live a life fully and completely that was busting at the seems with joy, and out of fear I shelved the whole thing.

So, it's with knots in my stomach and sweaty palms that I write this, boy am I scared, like hide under the covers and maybe pretend I didn't really just write this, scared.

But I'll hit publish anyways, cause that's what I gotta do. Keep on keepin on.

Ignore the fear is to defeat the fear. Because the One that lives in ME/YOU is bigger than every doubt and fear that could possible crop up in our heads.

Will join the rest of the dreamers~  God Sized Dream Team led by Holley Gerth? We're dreaming big and small and some of us are still figuring out what our dreams look like.

Got any God Sized Dreams you want to tell us about? Comment here and then click over to Holley's site, on Tuesdays she is hosting a link up for you to share your own God-Sized dreams and give you steps to take towards your goal.

 I'm praying for you sweet friend, together we can make this the year we fearlessly chased after our dreams.

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Linking with:: Holley, and Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, January 4, 2013


Five Minute Friday

The year of 2013 is full of new opportunities. Will I be fearless and seize them is the only question I need ask myself.

God lays them before me like a spread at Thanksgiving and I can choose to play it close to the vest and be safe or I can choose to accept the gifts that he is offering.

This year is the year of  "yes" I choose to say yes to every opportunity and let God shut the door on the ones that are not good for me. I choose to be fearless and trust.

Things that I would normally shy away from out of insecurity and fear I will boldly move ahead with. And not be concerned with not being chosen or hearing the word "no"

2013 means carrying on the work that has begun, it is not finished, it is only just starting!


Wanna join Lisa Jo and the rest at Five Minute Friday? She gives the prompt and you write for 5 minutes flat. No thinking and no editing. Just whatever comes to your head when you see the prompt.

Click here to see what I'm talking about

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What's the Word?

I have done something this past year that I rarely do..I stuck with something!!

Usually after a few months of the same thing I grow bored and decide somethings not for me, but this year I started writing, not really sure why or how, and this whole blogging thing has been a learning curve of what to do and what not to do, but still staying me and finding my "voice". (I'm pretty sure I would be a branding specialists nightmare!)

I've been overwhelmed and down right so blessed by it that any time I thought of quitting encouragement came at just the right time to stop me from hitting delete.

And I've grown and met so many amazing people, writers, real writers..not ones that just pretend like me.

I even have a word this year "Fearless" because I'm always afraid of making the wrong move and messing everything up, so I end up not doing anything. Fear has ruled over me for so long, but not anymore. Fearless is my word, so that anytime I start to doubt myself and abilities I can look over at that pretty little button that Melanie from Only a Breath made (click over to her site, she may have time to make one for you too) ..for free! and be reminded to keep swimming.

Also ~smiles really big~ I was chosen along with 98 other women to be a part of Holley Gerth's Dream Team! Excited doesn't even begin to describe it!!

I'm excited for so many reasons because Holly is an amazing encourager that has a new book coming out TODAY, The "Do What You Can" Plan: 21 Days To Making Any Area Of Your Life Better, it's a book you will want to read if you have big goals for the new year but end up not sure where to even begin, so you don't.

She breaks it down into easy to follow steps, so that you will be encouraged to not just start your goal but make progress. Did you know it takes only 21 days to start a new habit??

I feel like this group is God's way of saying this is what I've made you for, for such a time as this. And Holley and her team are going to help you figure out which path to take. The vision for the future that I've been praying for just may be answered through working with this group. 

And there are some fantastic ladies in the group and one thing I've already realized in the short time that it's been formed is that God has us writing for different reasons- I know, duh. There are many different areas that God has placed on our hearts to write about, so yes while there are many writers out there and the blogging world is large and expansive, we each have a different call on our lives. And all working together for His glory, not in competition with one another.

Oh, and I've decided to open up Guest Posting. If you have something you would like to share, contact me and let me know. I would love the chance to promote you and your story on here. Click on the tab above to learn more, then send me an email!

This has been a great first year of blogging, and as I grow and learn, I hope to share and continue to make new friends through this outlet. It's my hope that this year in blogging this community that I've created here will continue to grow and change as God directs me. I truly want this to be a place of encouragement, where others feel free to come and read, and comment because they relate and realize that they don't have to be perfect to be used by God.

It's only by grace that I'm where I'm at this point in my life,well, that and stubbornness :) and a refusal to give up. I fall short daily and I hope that in me being vulnerable you will be encouraged to do so as well. Because I think that is how real community  is created and held together.

The following are some favorite posts::

My letter to my nephew on FB acceptance:: I wish I would have told him

Hearts cry to God:: When You Hit a Wall and Want to Run

Pinterested? :: Pinterest Goodies

Life's trials will not bring you down:: You Will Be an Oak

and my personal favorites:: If We are the Body & Dream a Dream & Can We Agree to Disagree?

Happy New Year Ya'll!!

Have any New Year's goals you want to share? You can also connect with me on Twitter and FB.

linking my one word post with Melanie at Only a Breath and OneWord365  click over and read what others chose for their One Word or add yours.

Also linking with Faith Jam

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