Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Day In The Life Of An Ordinary Day

Most days look like the day before it. Sometimes there are things that need to be done out of the ordinary and then I long for my ordinary back again. make sense?

I start my day at 6 am, it used to be earlier but for some reason lately I've needed more sleep.
I wake up and head straight for the Keurig machine and make my morning coffee. I've seriously thought about giving up this little habit, but not anytime soon :)

I check in with my HelloMornings group #Risewiththeson, catchy, eh?

We are going through Abounding Hope a bible study written by Katie Orr. It bounces around between Job, Psalms, and now Genesis. Showing how certain men in the bible went through hard circumstances and found hope through their story and how God redeemed their loss and pain.

Anyways, once I check in and wish all of my lovely ladies in my group a #Hellomorning, I do Abounding Hope and if there's time before the kids get up, Esther too. Which I'm doing in-real life with a group of ladies that live close to me. It's a Beth Moore study, my first, and it's amazing. Through both of these studies God has been showing me so much!

I make my breakfast, and realize one child is still snoozing I run back up the stairs and see sleeping beauty still tucked snug in her bed with no hint of waking any time soon!

I rush her around and scold her for not getting up with her alarm, which she acknowledges, knowing that she is going to do it tomorrow morning too. Grrrr, tweens! I think there is a big yellow school bus in that girl's future. ( You know, I read somewhere that raising tweens is like going back to the toddler stage, I agree 100%)

If we aren't in the car pulling out at 7:30 am we are going to hit major neighborhood traffic, I know this, the boy knows this, even the girl knows this, but yet we wait every morning for her. I stare glaringly at her as she makes her way into the van, she knows...so therefore, she avoids eye contact.

Once my they are dropped off I come in grab my breakfast and start in on the emails and FB updates.

Sometimes when I'm through I clean up the kitchen and other times, I let the dishes soak ;) for just a little while longer.

I've been trying to get better at working out, some days I'm good, some days I'm not. But for extra motivation I decided to do an April Beachbody Fitness Challenge, oh yeaaah.

My sister and I will be joining a few others to motivate each other and workout and Eat Clean for the next month. If you are ever interested in doing this or want to know more check this link out here, Beach Body. I'm sure you've heard of Insanity and P90X, they make their home at the Beach Body network along with many others. It's also home to Shakeology, which will be my breakfast for the next month, mmmmm.

Once I've worked up a sweat, I'm almost tempted to get those dishes done, but, naaah, I usually hit the shower instead!

Then sit down to write. No distractions. Not even music, it distracts me. I'll find myself thinking and singing the songs instead of focusing on what is was I wanted to write about.

I have to focus.

Because the temptation to get back on FB or start reading others pages is really tempting. And then before I know it's lunch, and I've accomplished nothing.

In this ordinary day, sometimes it's hard to see the hand of God doing anything extraordinary. It seems kinda mundane to me.

But I think the whole point for me in my life is prioritizing. Knowing what's first and foremost and then working down from there.

I think God has been impressing that priorities need to be in order before big dreams can be realized.

Him and family come first. I could tend to be on the workaholic side if I let myself. Working and not giving myself  any boundaries because I feel what I'm doing is more important than, whatever my family needs at the moment. Or let me say not need, but want.

Focus and time management are the biggest things that I think God is teaching me. I have a little time to write and network and figure out what I'm doing and where He's leading and if I waste that time, then it's wasted and I won't get it back. And I can't get frustrated and angry at the kids because they want me and need me when they get home.

So, even though I may think sometimes these days are filled with mundane never endingness, they are really filled with little blessings that one day I will be able to look on with deep appreciation. These are the days I can't get back. The small beginnings, and I'm learning to be thankful for them.

Join Holley as today we tackle-What’s a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?

Also linking with Soli Deo Gloria

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Miracle Of The Moment

                                            Miracle Of The Moment-Steven Curtis Chapman click here
                                            if you're viewing this in email

There's only ONE who knows
What's really out there waiting
 In all the moments yet to be
 and all we need to know

Is He's out there waiting
To him the future's history
And He has given us a treasure
called right now

And this is the only moment 
we can do anything about
And if it brings you tears.
Then taste them as they fall

And let them soften your heart 
And if it brings you laughter 
Then throw your head back 

And let it go, let it go 

You Gotta let it go

 Listen to your heartbeat.
There's wonder in the here and now 
It's right there in front of you.

And I don't want you to miss 

The miracle of the moment.

We try to rush the 'right now'and want to know what's going to happen. Will we succeed or fail? Will the work and the pain be worth the risk?

You might fail-or succeed.

Regardless of what happens, enjoy the miracle of today and rest in this moment right here.

Blessings Sweet Friends, enjoy your weekend. Each moment, be in the now.

Linking with StudioJRU, Fellowship Fri, Faith Filled Fridays

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When God Speaks Through Your Dreams

This week in the Dream Series we are discussing "What is God telling me through what brings me joy?"

That the unexpected can be the most fulfilling, When we resist and question and yet pursue anyways, that God cares more about our obedience than anything else, and wants to use us to fulfill his purpose.

I'm doing an Esther Bible Study from Beth Moore and we are at the part where Esther must decide; go to the King and hope he offers her the golden scepter and doesn't order her immediate death, or sit and do nothing while watching her family perish and eventually, when it is found out that she too is a Jew, die later.

There will come a moment when we too must decide are we going to obey and fulfill the destiny God has planned for us, or turn away and say not me?

Esther tried to push away and brush off her uncle's plea's. She was young, and had gotten used to the comfortable posh life of being Queen, but eventually Mordecai got through to her and she opened her eyes to the truth, she swallowed down her fear and took a chance.

Can you imagine?

A young teenage girl, chosen amongst thousands of girls. Whom found favor among the King's eunuch's (hired help to care for the concubines)that when they met Esther, they found something intriguing about her and went out of their way to help her find favor with the King.

And then there's the King, whom favored her above everyone else and made her queen and not a concubine. Out of the thousands of girls Esther was chosen, a Jewish girl, one of God's people, chosen to sit on the throne, "for such a time as this."

Was she there because the hand of God? Had he set plans in motion to save his people from a sinful hateful man that wanted the Jews destroyed? I believe so! I mean, seriously, what are the odds?!

That's God!

And he doesn't just do things like that back then, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8

He plans and orchestrates things we will never know about this side of heaven. When we think we can't do the things God has planned for us, we are too weak, too lowly, too not enough, or ill equipped.

He can.

And doesn't expect us to do ANYTHING alone!  We have to believe in the power he gives us, see beyond ourselves and our limited skills and our problems. There are things in this world bigger than us. And he is calling us to more.

"For now the kingdom of God on this earth resides within you, but one day your eyes will spring open to the most brilliant reality sight can behold. The kingdom of God will surround you, complete with palace, mansions, streets, and horses"

"We can refuse to walk in obedience to God or cower in fear from our calling and He will undoubtedly still accomplish His agenda. As for us, however, we will pass up the fulfillment of our own entire life-purpose and we-and perhaps even "our father's family"-will miss a mighty work."

Who wants to do that? Live and die knowing that they missed a mighty big opportunity to do work bigger than themselves because they let themselves be limited in their own thinking and viewpoint.

We limit ourselves, no one else.

"None of our purposes will be fulfilled easily. All of them will require the most difficult decisions we think we can make. Decisions that we may feel will practically kill us. Then God does something miraculous and we become something we're not. That when "who knows?"becomes "I know."

"When all is 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-Esther Bible Study
We are called to more-we care called to dream and work out those plans that God has before us. Please don't let anyone or anything stop what God has called you to do.

So, now it's your turn. What does God tell you through what brings you joy?

I may have gotten off topic, and maybe this post should have been for another day, but this is what poured out when I sat to write :)

Join me and the other dreamers. You can join in too, click over and read. I know you will be encouraged and blessed to live out your dreams! And wanna know what all the God Sized Dream talk is about? Read the book, you can buy it on Amazon or DaySpring
use this link for 25% off---> Holley Gifts & Cards -25% with code Holley25

Also linking with Soli deo Gloria, Winsome Wed, #TellHisStory, Imperfect Prose

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I Need More

Today's challenge for the Dream series is: What do you really want more of in your life? Will you dare to say it out loud? 

If I had to say what I needed more of, it would have to be courage and graceMore courage to take those leaps of faith with my eyes open instead of shut like a scared little child. Courage to hope, dare, and dream in spite of maybe looking stupid, even if it's only me that thinks so,...especially when there is the possibility to fail.

And grace for those times I do fail or come up short and want to beat myself up instead of starting over, again.

I've realized lately that these thoughts and fears of failures go back further than I thought.  I've given myself the short end of the stick many times so that if I fail I won't end up looking like a big ol loser that thought she could do something but fell hard on her bum instead. 

Short goals, short fall.

And for a while being a part of the Dream Team started feeling like a curse (sorry) because it seemed like we all had similar dreams, to write. But as I read Holley's book I came to realize that "even if someone else's dream looks, sounds, or even feels like yours-it's not the same." 

Comparison was indeed nipping at my heels and I started to wonder why in the world would God give everyone the same dream?

He didn't.

As I looked closer, each of us on the team may want to write, but God has laid different plans on each of our lives. Some are writing on their journeys to adopt, some are dealing with painful pasts, some share through photography...etc. 

Though it felt the same initially, they are very different, because we each lead very different lives and have our own unique experiences.

Comparison and insecurity can be funny feelings. I think God's kingdom is big enough for us all, and being secure in that and knowing that I have a place in His plan is so reassuring. This alone gives me the confidence to keep going.

What about you? What do you need more of (or less) to help you with your dreams?

But I know insecurity
Is the worst of my own enemies
He sings his lonely song and I will dance
As he robs me blind
Right before my eyes

There’s no thief like fear, no
There’s no thief like fear, no
Oh oh oh oh oh oh

Set me free, set me free
Oh my God set me free
From these chains holding me
Oh my God set me free
"No Thief Like Fear" Jason Gray<---click link to watch video

linking with Holley and the other Dreamers, wanna join in?
And Soli Deo Gloria

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

OverComing The Lie Of Fear

“Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little, since I do them with Your power; and little things as though they were great, since I do them in Your name.” ~ Blaise Pascal

I stood up when he called my name because I knew it was an open door.

I didn't feel anything particular on my heart, nothing profound to share and no life-altering wisdom to add. I just knew that I needed to be stretched and uncomfortable and that the stage was the perfect place for this death.

My husband had asked me if there was anything I'd like to share with the brothers and sisters before he taught. I stood, the only American woman in the room, and choked out something about encouragement and prayers and a thank you.

And I didn't die.

Sometimes I put myself in uncomfortable places. On purpose.

Other times, most of the time,  I hide in down comforters of self-protection and fear, because someone might laugh or I might trip over my tongue or forget everything I was going to say.

Or, I could just fail.  And that's almost like dying, isn't it?

Fear is a lying enemy when it keeps us from being uncomfortable. Fear is a chain and it's weight is heavy, making us slow to move when the Holy Spirit might be quickening us.

Fear is a comfortable enabler when it keeps us from doing what is scary-but-good.

There are moments when a pounding heart keeps us from speaking, when common sense keeps us from acting. Moments that pass and no one even knows we were cowards, but we know.

When John says that perfect love cast out fear (1 John 4:18), he means the  fear of judgement, of death and punishment. He doesn't mean that nothing will ever be scary for us - a safe life is not for the children of God.

There are other  moments, longer ones, where fear is defeated over days and months and the years can be tallied up to show you are overcoming. You win the battle over time with a long obedience when you defeat fear day-in-and-day out.

I understand the fear of man all too well. I overcome it sometimes, a momentary bout of fearing less rather than being fearless. When I choose to do it anyway, to do something inspite of fear instead of doing it because of fear, I think I get just a little bit stronger.

But more often than not I give in to fear. I stay safe and comfortable, and I know I don't thwart God's plans but maybe He saddens a little as He, once again, chooses someone else.

That saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle", that's not in the Bible.  If I'm only doing the things that I can handle, what a tiny life I'm living. What a bummer that God doesn't have room to be awesome in my safe-and-comfortable life.

If I'm never out-on-a-limb, clinging-for-dear-life, maybe-I'm-crazy scared, I probably don't need God all that much and I'm probably not going to see His mighty hand. Probably not going to need His rescuing or His refuge, because I've got this under control.

Those are all big thoughts for a woman who rarely leaves her home and who doesn't have much to say in real-life-spoken-words.

I'm over my head everyday if I think about it, though.

I homeschool my four children and that's more than I can handle. I aim to disciple these four, knowing how I fail and how much I need discipling myself, and do I really think I can accomplish that on my own?

I introduce my introverted-and-selfish-self to new people because it's hard for me. And that might be easy to someone else, the natural and obvious thing to do. But to me it's huge and I need Him.

I say yes to things that freak me out, like prison evangelism and teaching women in another country. Like writing words that may be laughable or worthy of scorn and then hitting "publish" so the whole world can see them.

Sometimes the best remedy for fear is to say yes before you give yourself time to think about it.
And sometimes I attempt things that really are just my own ideas, my own desires apart from God. 

Sometimes fear really is your friend and might keep you from making a mistake, but failure is a good learning tool and it's o.k. to do dumb things from time to time. Really.

So what are you doing daily that requires God to show up? What are some big things you've committed to that scare you if you think too long about them?

Fear less. That's the victory.

Tresta writes in the margins of her day about faith, failure, and finding grace. She is mom to four Sharp Paynes and wife to Tim, and together they make up a happy 
home and corny jokes. When she's not teaching, cleaning, cooking, or eating, she   runs to keep her sanity. Tresta blogs at Sharppaynes.com and you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Thank you SO much Tresta for guest posting!! It was an honor to have you here! Tresta has a great blog, and I love reading her beautiful thoughts. I hope you will take a moment to leave her some comment love and connect with her through any of her links above.
If you are interested in guest posting please click here or the tab above to find out how! I would love to have you!

Linking this with the Imperfect Prose community and Intentional Thursdays, StudioJRU, Faith Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Dreamer, Yes You

Dear Dreamer,
I know sometimes the road you have chosen seems hard and pointless. There are obstacles, some you knew would come and others have been quite unexpected. The doubts and fears they never go away I'm afraid, instead they get louder; don't worry though, this means you are on the right track and a breakthrough is right around the corner, if you just hang in there.

People won't always support you like you hoped they would, they think you could be doing better things with your time then chasing silly dreams. But don't let their words stop you. Think on them if you must, for a moment, but not a minute longer. Satan could be using them to hinder you. And you can't let that happen. You must never stop moving forward, regardless the cost.

It's not selfish to dream and it's not a lack of faith to plan and take steps. God can't do anything with you if you are being still. Let your heart be still and pray for His wisdom. You don't have to strive to make it all happen on your own. God will bring people in your life to love on you and encourage you when you think you can't take another step.

He brought us together 'for such a time as this' every day perfectly planned and already written down. He sees you, He is El Roi, after all, the God that sees.  And He knows your every tendency. There is nothing that will happen now or down the road that will surprise Him. He will either allow it or He planned for it.

The world needs your ideas and words, and creative one of a kind perspective. Please don't allow the world to change who you are in an effort to conform you to it's ways. You are better than that. Following after your God given dream is the only way to be true to yourself. It's the only way to have peace with who you are.

I know you can do this, I believe in you!

So go, go after those dreams that won't leave you alone. Follow hard after them. And one day, when your time on this earth is finished, you will get the honor of being before your King and hearing Him say "Well done, my faithful servant" and you will be in awe of what the two you accomplished all because you decided to trust and have faith.

Your Dream Sister

**This week, we are writing letters to our dream sisters, encouraging them to keep chasing after those God given dreams. Won't you join in?

 Holley's new book released March 1st,

If you ever wanted a go-to guide for how to get started and discovering what it is you were made for, then this is the book for you! 

Also linking with Soli deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, Winsome Wed

photo credit: Lynne Hand via photopin cc
*there are affiliate links in this post, which mean if you click on the book above and purchase it, a very small portion gets paid to me, but no increase in cost to you!


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