Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dear Olivia

'Spring Flowers' photo (c) 2011, Curtis Fry - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Dear Olivia,

I know it's hard. You're not sure if this is really the path God is calling you to. Why does it have to be so hard? And plans so fuzzy?

Well, sweet Olivia, God knows the plans He has for you and if you don't give up you will get to see those plans come to fruition. Won't that be exciting? To see how all of your hard work, sweat and tears has paid off.

I know how it is to second guess yourself and think you are walking clearly in the steps God has called you to, just to feel like everything is falling apart. And think maybe you were wrong after all.

These trials, my friend are going to make the victory that much sweeter. With every victory know I am cheering right along side you. With every set back I am praying you forward.

Those plans that God created for you before you were born, He's working it out now, I hope you see. Keep being faithful and putting one step in front of the other.

Don't stop moving and waiting on the Lord. He will throw open big doors and take down big obstacles when the time is right.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" Anais Nin

Sincerely-Your Dreaming Friend,

*This week we are writing letters to a fellow dream friend, and since Olivia has been my prayer partner this entire time, I thought it suiting to write to her. She is a budding photographer whom takes beautiful pictures, and has an even more beautiful heart.

Linking with Holley and Soli Deo Gloria

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday With Sandi-Rocked!

How many of you have heard a lady named Sandy Krakowski? If you saw her you wouldn't forget her face..or her hair :)

 She is founder of A Real Change (ARC) marketing guru and blowing big businesses minds by bringing God into the workplace and focusing on relationships as key to building and maintaining a successful business.

Recently she came to Dallas! Honestly I had NEVER heard of her before a couple of months ago. I came across her on Facebook, through an acquantaince, whom had "liked"her page and was sharing Sandy's status updates.

Right away I "liked" her. She has a way of speaking right to you and relating. I guess that's why she's so good at what she does.
Dontcha just love that hot pink in front? :) I told my husband I wanted to put some blue or purple in mine...by his reaction I don't think he would like that very much :)

Woman has spunk and charisma. And she knows her stuff. 

When I found out she was coming to Dallas, I begged and pleaded  asked my husband if we could go. He thought I was cuckoo, but later surprised me with tickets! :) 

Don't you just love her hair? I know, I already asked that question.

Not only is she good at making other businesses successful she has one heck of a story. Gang raped in her twenties by a group of "friends," with whom she met while competing in body building, did steroids that have led to multiple health problems. Later became a single parent before marrying her now husband. Homeschooled all three of her boys and ran a successful home products business out of her house. 

She found what she was good at, marketing these home products to sell, and with God's daily help figured out how to be successful at it. And is now a generous millionaire that works with her boys and husband.

Maybe the secret to her success is just being herself and not caring what others think? Hmmm, she may be onto something.

We sang, worshiped, and some danced. We saved nothing for later.

She is an example of God's redeeming grace and mercy in our lives if we give Him our mess. She now has a message from it. And she is touching countless lives all over the world.

Her message that day was powerful. Shush your fears and trust God with your dreams. We are powerful people in Christ and we should live like it!! Get out of the cage that holds us back and oppresses us and live in freedom.

Now, you're probably wondering why I wanted to go and listen to a marketing expert speak? I don't know. :)  I knew that it wouldn't be just on marketing ( I don't have anything to sell right now anyways), but I knew there would be some kind of message for me. Some sort of motivation for me to take home and apply to my own life.

And there was. It went along perfectly with the God Sized Dreams I've been pursuing and living fearlessly this year. There actually wasn't much if any business talk. God laid a message on her heart and she went for it! Bravefully (caution, I'm making up new words now)

I'm so glad I went!
And since Trey ended up not being able to come, my friend Christy did. She had NO idea what she was getting into, but she was good sport :) Thanks Christy!

"The one with the most hope has the most influence" Sandi Krakowski

What about you? Who influences you to live your best life?

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Do You Do, When You Need To Breathe?

'Flower' photo (c) 2010, Flower's.Lover - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Last week I took a mini break from the God Sized Dream Team. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be too much, you know what I mean?

I didn't have any words, so to keep from putting something out there just to have something, I stayed quiet. Little did I know how I spent my week was actually preparing me for this week's linkup :)

Funny how things work out sometimes.

When I start to feel overwhelmed with social media and kinda cranky, I know it's time for me to step back. It happens quite frequently, I'm afraid.

So, what do I do instead. I listen to music. Lots of it. My favorite station at the moment on Pandora is Will Reagan, it's a  fabulous selection of contemporary christian music. And it usually plays all of my favorites. And if I was feeling a little feisty then Miranda Lambert it was :)

I also listen to podcasts.  Matt Chandler-The Village Church, John Fuller-Prairie Lakes Church, and Steven Furtick-Elevation Church, and of course Michael Hyatt-love him!

After spending a week in saturation of music and sermons, I felt so much better and was ready to face a new week. Sometimes I just need that time to reboot and refocus.

I also focused on week three of the Beachbody challenge I'm currently in. Focusing on eating the right foods and exercising each day is essential to keep my energy levels and those feel good hormones on the rise. Sometimes exercise is all I need to give me that lift I need, but those times when it's not enough, the above helps me from getting in too deep of a rut.

When your filling your mind full of truth and goodness, you aren't giving the old lies and ways of thinking a chance to get their foot in the door.

I also did this:  :)

                    I couldn't get a picture of them from the front, so the back will do :)
Charlie Pride and Nolan Ryan

Went to a baseball game!

Spending quality time with my family makes me happier than any of the things above. So, on Sunday it just so happened to work out we were able to get tickets to our first Rangers game. Saw Charlie Pride and Nolan Ryan and got to see Chris Kyle's widow and family recognized during the game...brought tears to my eyes.

That was some fun memory bank moments with our kids, and they remind me why I sit at this computer and write and talk to all of you. I want to play a part in making this world a little better. Encourage others to live free and full of love and grace.

ahhh, now I'm ready, cause sometimes your dreams need to take a back burner and you need time to play and not think about the next step.

What about you? What do you do to relax and unwind to get those juices flowing again? Join the conversation at Holley's today!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mean Girls & Their Mamas

'Mean Girls' photo (c) 2009, Leslie Sanchez - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I'm not even sure where to begin this post, but it's something that's been on my heart for a while.

Mean Girls

Where do girls in school learn it's OK to snub, and be mean? Where do they get the notion that it's OK to diminish another for their own social good?

I hate to say it momma's but I'm afraid it may be us.

We may not overtly do it in the manner of school kids but it's more discreet. And it's still there.

Our kids pick up their cues from us, I'm not saying all of them, but the big ones..those are us.

Do they see us staying within our circle and never reaching out?

Do they see us snub the new girl within our own groups, by not being friendly or hospitable?

Do we give freely to those in need or grumble and complain about holding on to what's ours?

Do they see us smile and carry on conversation with someone just to turn around and start sneering about them once their back is turned?

Are our own identities wrapped up in who we know, who our friends are, what we wear, what we drive?

I think it may be time to do a heart check and be very careful about our words and attitudes around our young ones. We know gossiping is wrong, but we still do it anyways. Are we really shocked when we hear our girls come home ripping apart someone else because of something they did or said?

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking -Romans 12:2 ( The Message)
No one has it all together and we have no right to place judgments on another's life.

As a mom, and especially as a Christian we should be the first to offer grace, love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Because we know the cost that Christ paid for our own love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

"...Replacing judgement with grace can turn the world into a kinder, gentler place to live. It will turn churches into safe places for relationships to be nurtured  It will make moms groups enjoyable places to find friendships." (Jill Savage, No More Perfect Moms)

We haven't been changed by Christ to go back to our old ways. We are to be salt and light to a dark world. And that means embracing the new us, and letting go of old habits and ways that led us to the cross in the first place.

And please momma's,watch your tongue.

Our words have the power to build someone up or tear them down. And aren't most us already fighting the battle of the mind as it is?

The more talk, the less truth. The wise measure their words.Proverbs 10:19

It breaks my heart to hear about young children committing suicide over bullying. Bullying stems from insecurity. Affirm your kids. Tell them they are loved. Model the behavior you want to see in them.

When you mess up, apologize and make them do the same, hold them accountable.  Our words hurt. Hurtful words never leave us.

It starts with you.

Insecure mama's can raise some big `ol  insecure kids. We're not in high school anymore mom. The ways of social acceptance may have worked back then. But now, and especially if you're a christian, those ways don't work. And you shouldn't want them to.

When we give others the silent treatment because they've hurt us or that has been miscommunication, guess whose watching? And is going to treat her friends the same way?

When we complain about so and so behind their back to other friends or worse complain about their kids in front of yours. Guess whose going to do the same thing? Little Janie.

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
You have the right to choose to be different. It's not easy, but think how relationships could be changed if we were the one to extend the hand of grace first? If we said "No more" to gossip and the relationships that pull us down.

Let's grow into who God made us to be.

Be comfortable in your own skin... confident.

Insecurity comes from not knowing whose you are.

It's not enough to have "good" kids we need godly kids. Kids that can stand on their own. That can make decisions without mom or dad. That know right from wrong and are strong enough in those convictions to stand by when everyone else is living to fit in, and bringing them down.

Together we can raise our kids to do big things for the kingdom of God and live for Him and not this world. Things need to change and it starts at home. With you and me.

Linking with:: The Better Mom, Soli Deo Gloria, Imperfect Prose, #TellHisStory, Winsome Wed, Thought Provoking Thurs,Life in BloomFaith Filled Fri, Fellowship Fri, Studio JRU

**Renee Swope has an amazing book called The Confident Heart, this book has helped thousands learn to accept the unique person God created them to be. God doesn't expect perfection, He knows how much we mess up each day, He just wants us to keep getting back up and turning to Him when we do.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shush That Barking Chihuahua!

'Ace barking' photo (c) 1997, Michael Sabal - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
"Fear is a bully who doesn't fight fair. But like most bullies, it doesn't stand it's ground when you decide to turn and face it. And you can, my friend, you can." (GSD pg88)
Dear Fear,
You can be the itch on my back I just can't scratch. The zit fest right before a date night or my baby got back butt that won't fit in those darn skinny jeans. You're down right annoying and always in the way.

Holley equates fear to a barking chihuahua. They think they're all big and bad and run at you like they are the king of the house and they are going to take you down for stepping into their domain. Only they don't realize their size, and the fact that you could squash them with one foot if you were so inclined.

I think they would be evolution's theory of what a rat could grow into given the right condition.:)

I digress, Holley says, "Fear camps out right next to whatever it is your most called to do. That means the closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds. You must be headed in the right direction. Keep going-fear is a Chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman." (pg88)

Ain't that the truth? Sometimes you bark so loud I can't hear anything else.Shush!

You try to intimidate me with your loud voice hoping I'll back down and be put back into my place.

I'll give some credit, though, you are loud and daunting, but like the chihuahua you bark loud because YOU are the one scared. Scared of what might happen to the hold you have if I turned and stared you in the eye. Scared that I will realize my full potential and do all the things you know I'm capable of but haven't because of you.

Well, I'm sorry, but, I won't back down anymore, your loud barking isn't making me fearful it's making me brave. Your yap is just plain annoying and  I won't stand for it one more day.

I'm breaking up with you for good. I'm turning around and looking you dead in the eye and saying Shut Up and get out!

It's time to hit the road and don't come back. No need to send a postcard or call to check in, I'll be fine, better than fine-I'll be soaring high for the first time in a long time.

So, Adios-and don't let the door hit your backside on the way out!

God-Sized Button

Linking with my Dream Sisters as we write a letter to Fear this week, join me?

And of course Jen at the Soli deo Gloria party, #TellHisStory

Looking to buy Holley's book, look no further you can buy it on Amazon or here --> Holley Gerth - You're Made for a God-Sized Dream! your welcome :)

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why Your Dreams Really Are Worth Fighting For

Picture taken by my son :)
Why are our dreams worth pursuing? Why are they worth the effort and time and frustrations? Because, we are the only one with our personal experiences, our own point of view. It's our side of the story.

We don't have to tell it.

We could decide not to.

We can choose to believe that other's opinions are more important than the story God wants us to live out and tell.

If there's one thing I've realized this Easter season and through watching The Bible, it's that fear of man is a trap and always leads to death.

Fear of God, will lead to freedom.

It's always a choice. 

I don't always choose wisely. More times than I like to admit I stay quiet out of fear of rejection, fear of another person's opinion. 

When I decided to give someone that much power over me, I don't know.

But I do know, that small steps, small day to day choices, lead to big things in the end. I'm a big results right now kinda girl (probably why diets fail me) And this whole concept of taking it one change, one day at a time is an intentional, decisive decision for me.

"Just when feel like you're done, just when you think you can't go on, that's when the door opens and unexpectedly you are there." God Sized Dream, pg81

There have been many times I've wondered, "what am I doing? and why?" "What is the point of writing and blogging? Where is it leading? Is it going anywhere?"

And then I think, " OK  I'm done, I can't see it, so I'm done."And that's the moment that someone will leave a comment or send me a message about how much something I wrote meant to them. And that's a God moment for me.

Those are the times that I know God heard my heart and answered. I may not understand or see where this is going, but He does.

And for some reason He wants to use me for His purposes...and that is so humbling, my friends. 

Oh, to be able to see myself the way He sees me, if only for a moment. I think I would never be the same again.

What I want may not come into being or may look completely different than I have envisioned. 

It's a daily laying down of who I am, and letting God work in and through me. And being OK with the outcome whatever it may be. 

My dreams are worth it, and so are your's

Let's fight for more in this life and not settle for mediocrity any longer.

Whose with me?

Why is your dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens? -This is the topic of discussion over at Holley's this week. You are more than welcome to join in on the conversation!
Still haven't gotten your copy of Holley's book?click here--->Amazon

Also joining Soli Deo Gloria, #TellHisStory

What to do when defeat comes visiting-Duane Scott, a worthy read

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

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