Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Journey Thus Far...

This past year if you've read here at all you will know that I've gone on and on a lot about being Fearless

And God in His godly fashion gave me many opportunities to try this new word out. 

  • I started guest posting (yikes) and started accepting guest posts.
  • Went back and forth about whether or not to add ads to the site, there are some, but will probably be none here shortly. 
  • I joined a Mastermind group
  • Joined a critique group
  • Made an mp3 for a book launch (which I hope to make available here soon)
  • Have some book ideas (which I said I would never do, but you know, never say never)

I don't feel as stuck as I did when I started out 2013. I knew I wanted to write more consistently, which I kinda sorta did. I knew I wanted to accept guest posts and do some guest posting (which was scareee) but I did it anyways. And God opened up opportunities to write, to be around godly encouraging women, to be in groups that helped my writing and gave me ideas and tips to be a better "blogger."

It's through one of these groups (a Mastermind group) that I met and became friends with the ladies that now make up the God-Sized Dreams website. 

Also, God laid the importance of community on my heart. As much as I would love to do things alone and be the lone ranger, I can't. That's not how God made me...us.

In order for our dreams to work we have to let others in. And I think that has been the biggest thing I've learned. 

I need others and maybe, they need me too.

I'm already thinking and praying about what my word for 2014 will be, do you know yours?

I'll post all about it when I've officially chosen it. 

I hope for 2014 that I continue to forge ahead fearlessly. God has already laid some things on my heart and I'm already looking for the exit. Watching how Christine, the brain behind the new website, fought through her fears and kept moving forward has been such an inspiration to me. Getting to see behind the scenes and how much prayer and faith is really involved in making your dreams comes true was a great learning experience for me. 

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.  
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)  
This is the founding verse of the website and it really says it all. It's not by my might or strength that I will accomplish anything, but through his.

Regardless of what lies ahead "I know who goes before me I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side!"(Chris Tomlin-Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) )

Now, who's up for  a link up?? Come and share what God has been doing in your life this past year or just read, whatever, it's up to you! Either way you are welcome and we'd love to have you!! If you don't have a blog, post in the comments, I'll see you there!

Monday, December 30, 2013

And One Dream Is Realized

Blossom Bunkhouse

I'm so happy to finally be able to tell y'all what I've been working on behind the scenes for the last several months with several of my God-Sized dreamer sisters.

A new website!!

We came together in a way that only God himself could do. So randomly yet not at all. This is one of those things that happens and then you look back and go "Oh, Wow! God did this and I get to be a part of it."

A dream for a site where dreamers could come and write and read and share what God was putting on their own hearts, was planted in a fellow sister's heart and she bravely asked, "Who was in?"

Of course I was!

The website God Sized Dreams, is a spin off from Holley Gerth's book You're Made For a God Sized Dream. It's a place to come and tell your stories or be inspired by others and know that you are not alone on the journey of realizing your God-sized dreams.

We're all on the journey and this website, that I'm so humbly blessed to be a part of, has already encouraged me so much, and I know it will do the same for you!

And tomorrow, there's a link up!

Come link up your posts on what God has done this past year in your own journey. Is where you are now where you thought you'd be? Maybe...maybe not, but that's ok. Come tell your story and read where others are at on their journey.

There's room for everyone, so tell a friend!

It's a beautiful place, I hope you will plan to stay awhile, click around and read a few stories. I know somewhere tucked beneath the pages you will find a story that will make you stop and think, "this is where I'm at, she knows what I'm talking about and how I'm feeling." 

God Sized Dreams is a site for dreamers by dreamers. Our prayer is that you will come and let your dreams take wind and set sail all for His Glory.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Even If (blank) Happens I'm Still Going To Worship

Be careful what you wish for, especially when it comes to God!

Want patience? He'll give you plenty of opportunities to flex that patience muscle.

Want to trust Him and depend on Him no matter what life brings? Want a faith that can't be quenched by life's battles? You will think you have become a modern day Job.

God's funny and quirky in ways that aren't always amusing to us. His ways are definitely not ours!

So, a couple of years ago when my husband and I found ourselves in a pickle. It was a testing of faith that I had never gone through before.

I knew it was a make or break it faith moment.

We were living in Iowa (beautiful state with beautiful people) and still owned our home in sweet home Alabama. We were renting it out when a tornado came busting through the area and did a good bit of damage. That's not what we were even stressed about. Thankfully we had an amazing realtor and insurance.

We were stressed over a balloon payment coming due (yep one of those=nightmare)at the end of the summer. Renters were moving out and we had NO luck not even any nibbles on trying to sell it.

We were looking at possible foreclosure or at the very least short selling the sucker.  This house was causing so many problems financially and within our marriage all I wanted was to be done with it. We were fighting all the time about what to do, and where were we going to get the money etc.

We had worked so hard to be debt free, to stay on top of our bills and have good credit and live within our means.

And due to circumstances beyond our control that was all about to change.

Would we have to declare bankruptcy? Would we really have to join the thousands of other home owners that were forced to foreclose? Where was God in all this? Why wasn't He opening doors and preventing all of this from happening?

I was tired and quite frankly beaten down. We had done all we could do with what we had. Now it was up to God to step in...or not.

Through all my praying and fretting I had an epiphany of sorts. So what if the house was foreclosed on? If that's the worst thing that ever happens to us then, fine, so be it. We had our health. Our children were alive and doing well. We had each other and our extended families.

Take the house!

I am done thinking about it, fighting about it, crying and worrying over it. DONE.

I had gotten to a point that even if everything gets stripped away, even if we are forced to walk this painful road.

I was still going going to worship and believe.

Even if..

we lose our home,

our credit is ruined,

we go into debt.

Even if the worst case scenario really happens and I am pressed in on every side and feel like the walls are caving in I am not crushed. And I will not shrink back like someone that has no faith
 (2Cor 4:8).

People will either grow closer to God or further away when hard times come. Personally, I can't imagine getting through a trial being away from God. I've had my moments of sulking and being angry and refusing to talk to Him for a while, but quickly realized life doesn't work very well without Him and I always came back.

This world can take our homes our possessions, even our lives but that's all it can take. It doesn't feel good when crappy things happen, in fact it downright sucks.

Finding all the little things we have to be thankful for makes all the difference. Along with real belief in your faith.

As it turns out I feel like our act of surrender and saying, Ok God, if this is your plan I know you will see us through it. I don't like, at all. But if this is the road we are to walk we will walk it.

Was the key to unlocking the door for God to move.


That's what it took. Total and complete surrender.

We were able to refinance at the last moment, and we were able to sell the house. It sold for much lower than we needed, but it sold. While we're still dealing with the fall out of the loss, we are nothing but thankful.

The holiday seasons can be stressful, money is tight, or we've lost loved ones. I pray that whatever you are going through, you will be able to lay it all down and say as we did, I trust you, I believe, and even if this horrible rotten thing happens, I will still worship and believe.

"The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."(John 10:10)

The devil only wants to mess with us and do everything he can to steal our peace, I pray this Christmas season he doesn't get away with it.  Jesus came to take away our fears and worries. Let His peace surround your heart and mind in your season of waiting.

One of our favorite songs to listen to in the wait is this song by John Waller "While I'm Waiting"you may remember it from the movie FireProof :)

Linking with Soli Deo Gloria, #TellHisStory, #ImperfectProse

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Draw a Circle

They gave us each a piece of chalk. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it. But the bible study leader explained she got the idea of the chalk from the book The Circle Maker.

The idea is to draw a circle around the things in your life you want to pray about.

I sat there thinking about how my kids would react if I took a piece of chalk to them, or even my husband. Yep, they'd think I'd lost it for sure!

What I decided was to make a big circle on my front porch around the welcome mat to the door. My pink chalk didn't really show up against the red brick of the porch floor, but I knew it was there.

My prayer is for peace, love, and joy. To not only be in me and my family, but for it to overflow to everyone that crosses that welcome mat threshold.

God had been impressing this upon my heart that it could be possible, all these things, but they had to start with me first.

Let there be peace and let it start with me.

Let there be love and let it start with me.

Let there be joy and let it start with me.

It all starts with me...

The holiday's are a perfect time for me to live these truths. As most of us know there are and always will be those in our lives that stretch the boundaries of our peace and patience.

But what if instead of reacting to them the way we want we stop and say "God let there be love in this relationship, and let it start with ME. Show me how to love this person right now in this moment."

I felt the holy spirit whisper, It starts with you several times over Thanksgiving. Whenever I felt frustrated or impatient and didn't want to show grace, It starts with you, would blow over my heart. It stopped me cold a few times ( believe me, it frustrated the dickens out of me too).

But when I forced myself to listen and obey...

Four simple words would change my heart and perspective, and I could feel the shift.

I became more deliberate and breathed deep to react slow.

As the holiday season draws nearer let us strive to be different in this world of need more- want more.

Let us draw a circle around our hearts, homes, friends, and neighbors. Let us be Jesus with skin on to them. And as we fill their cup may He fill ours.

It's tempting to be frazzled and not very dazzled by the lights, music, and endless activities. But in our hearts there can be peace if we choose. The deliberate choice to slow down and know that we don't have to race in order to get ready for Christmas, because it's already come to us, thousands of years ago as a baby born in a manger.

He had no audience, no arrival music or twinkling trees.He came humbly and simply.

He grew up and lived out Love. He's the best example of love, really.

So, Please God, Let It Start With Me. Because, really, change, it always starts with you and me.

Linking with Imperfect Prose, #TellHisStory, ThreeWordWed


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