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Category: Encouragement

His Grace IS Sufficient

His Grace IS Sufficient

This has been quite the year. I have never struggled with anxiety, until this year. We were hit from all sides within just a 6 week period and I really thought I would have a mental/emotional breakdown. We have had years of severe trial before, but never quite like this one. Here we are nearing the end of this year and I can honestly say, God has been faithful! He has faithfully been by our side even when out of desperation and deep hurt I cried, “God! Where are you?!” Yes, you read that right! Even me, a Pastors wife, I don’t have it all together and I question God at times just like you.

When I look back on this year I think of one word, Grace. God’s grace has proved to be sufficient time and again. He has been patient with me in my hurt. He has loved me when I believed the lies the enemy spoke about just how unloved I am. He brought back my joy when the enemy came in and stole my joy in time of deep sorrow. He has been our healer and He is redeeming our hurts. He has proven that if I will trust Him more my anxiety will become less and He is the true peace giver. The more anxious I am simply reveals the lack of trust I have in God. When my eyes are on Him, my heart is at peace.

This year God has asked us to step out in faith, put into action again and again the faith and trust in God we claim. He has asked big things of us, but He has also proven yet again that He is the lover of our souls and He is worthy of us taking those big steps of faith and living out our faith in Him!

Just last night my husband and I were talking about trials and why it seems the Lord allows some to be overwhelmed with trials and yet others seem to barely be touched by the fire. We may never know the reasons why God works so vastly different in the lives of His children, but one thing I do know. I am so thankful He is at work in our lives! He has brought us out of the mire and set our feet on the Rock! Trials give opportunity to have more of ourself stripped away so that Christ’s reflection can be more clearly seen.

If you are finding yourself in a year much like ours has been, take heart! Be encouraged! I know from firsthand experience, God IS faithful 💕 He will see you through 💕

I Can’t Help But Pray

I Can’t Help But Pray

I imagine every one of us knows someone who is hurting deeply. Someone who carries so much pain in their heart you can feel it in your own. Often we think and say, “I wish I could do more than pray!” because prayer just doesn’t seem enough. Yet many times, prayer is all we can do!

Jesus Himself felt pain so deep, so wide. He knows the pain of suffering, loneliness, physical pain, and pain so deep it literally broke His heart. He knows the pain of loss, and betrayal. He knows the pain of a loved one gone wayward, and the temptations that come when He was physically weak.

He knows, friend, He knows.

Image may contain: textPrayer is more powerful than we can imagine. Prayer helps our burdens feel lighter because we have cast them onto shoulders big enough to carry them. Prayer can help, it can change circumstances, prayer for others is a deep expression of love for them because we bring the one we love (and even those we are struggling to love) to the One Who heals. To the only One who can change hearts.

Our desperate whispers to Him in the night reach His ears and touch His heart. Prayer draws us closer to Him and though our circumstances or the circumstances of those we love may not change for awhile, God begins to change us. The storm may swirl, but peace enraptures our soul because we have come close to the true Peace-Giver.

Let us never diminish the power of prayer!

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

Have you ever had an identity crisis? A time in your life when you forgot who, or even maybe Whose you were?

There is a Max Lucado book out entitled “You Are Special” and it has been a favorite of mine for years.  It’s about this group of people called the Wemmicks. The Wemmicks are people who take immense pleasure in placing either dots or stars on their fellow Wemmicks. Stars are good dots are bad. No one wants the dots!

There is one Wemmick named Punchinello who is forever the recipient of dots. The other Wemmicks place dots on him with joy and with every dot, Punchinello feels the rejection and senses he is not nor will he ever be, good enough.

Ever felt that way?

Me too.

The dots we receive from others often come with labels of “not good enough”, “just do better”, “you have run out of chances”, “you are not what I expected”, or even “not worth my time”. Sound familiar to you?

My very first dot was from someone I loved, trusted, looked up to. He was my Daddy. I didn’t understand at the time all the struggles he was dealing with himself. All I knew was that I just could never be good enough, no matter how hard I tried. I always made messes, never got the all A+’s, I disobeyed, and just never was worthy of the love I so longed for from him. That dot turned into two dots, and three, four, and on they went. Soon I just began accepting dots from anyone who was handing them out to me because I felt I deserved them.

In true enemy fashion, the devil himself has made sure that there is always at least one person in my life to place dots on me.  People who would never be satisfied with how God made me, me! The enemy has made sure that those people would use similar words as my Daddy did so that the enemy could try his best to keep me in a perpetual state of hurt. Each person would press on the wound created years and years ago and would bring back in a flash hurts that had already been laid to rest in Jesus.

Punchinello and I could have been besties with how many dots we both shared!

But the best part is, the story does not end with the dots!

Punchinello paid some visits to his makers house and learned his maker had a completely different definition of who he was! The makers opinion was the only one that mattered and Punchinello was able to finally find freedom in that and once he did, his dots began to fall off!

Like Punchinello, I have been to the feet of my Maker.  In Him I find out that all of the accusations, the labels, the dots happily placed on me are not how He views me. If you are God’s child, it is the same for you!

Listen to this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book, “The Broken Way”:

“People will always have opinions about you. But you live for God because He’s the only one who has intimate knowledge of you. Nothing anyone says can malign you, assign you, or confine you. Your Maker’s the only one who can define you.”

Going to our Maker {instead of people} for our self worth and defining brings FREEDOM! Jesus speaks life, the enemy and those used by him speak death. Jesus speaks truth, the enemy speaks lies laced in accusations.  Once we begin to find our worth and value is tied up in Jesus alone, all of those “dots” and even the “stars” will lose their power and control over us. We will begin to recognize the voice of truth over the voice of the enemy.

Listen to this quote Jennifer Rothschild shares in her book “Me Myself, and Lies”:

“You can’t remove those hurtful thoughts, words, and memories, but by the power of God, you can drain them of their potential control over you.” 

Friend, let’s make it our prayer today that we begin and keep on looking to Jesus to be the One Who defines us. Our Maker has said in Psalm 139:14 that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made! His words are full of truth seasoned with grace and our Maker’s opinion is the only one that truly matters.

Be encouraged!




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Sharing Jesus With Our Children

Sharing Jesus With Our Children

In my devotions this week I have been working my way through the book of Judges. Earlier this past week I read chapter 2 and as I read the Lord caused two verses to stand out to me. Isn’t it amazing that as we read God’s Word it really is alive and the Holy Spirit seems to highlight just what He wants us to glean that day!
On this particular day it was verses 10 & 11, “And there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:
The children of Israel had seen God do amazing things in their lives! Miracles, provision, protection, fulfillment of promises, on and on the list could go for them, just as it could for us. Yet, when we come to this passage we learn that they raised their children up and as they grew, their parents neglected to teach their children about God. When those children became adults there was an entire generation who, as God’s Word says, did not know the Lord or all that He had done for Israel. 
It would be really easy to stop right here and finger point at the Israelite’s. How could they? After all they had seen the Lord do in their lives, how could they just simply forget about God and forget to teach their children of Him?  The thing is, where we could point one finger at them, there really would be four fingers pointing right back at us.
We have seen God work in our lives, there are times in all of our lives where we could look back and see how God provided, protected, worked literal miracles in our lives. Have we been faithful to tell our children about them? Do we tell our children of God’s goodness towards us? 
I long for my children to want a relationship with God for themselves. To place in them a deep desire in their soul to spend time with God daily. I long for them to always be faithful to God and never rebel. I pray about these things on a daily basis for them, but they will not just happen on their own.
What am I doing as a mom to point my children to the Lord? What opportunities am I creating for them to speak of the Lord and to tell of His goodness towards us? I have had hard times just like everyone else, but intertwined with the hard and seemingly bad, I can honestly look back and see how God was at work protecting, guiding, providing. Am I sharing those things with my children or am I choosing to withhold God from them? 
What? Withhold God from our children?  None of us would readily admit that this is what we do, but when we don’t speak of the Lord to our children, that is just what we are doing. When we are unfaithful to open God’s Word with them, we are withholding God from them. When we are unfaithful to God’s House to hear teaching and preaching from God’s Word, that is exactly what we are doing. When they only hear us speak of the bad things in life instead of pointing out the good things God is doing, we are withholding God from them.
Raising godly children to grow and be godly adults will not just happen. We are smack dab in the middle of child rearing and we deeply desire to do it right! There is a lot of prayer that goes into it, there is a lot of counsel that we seek from older wiser parents who have done it right, there must be teaching and training in our home, not just at church. God must be real in our life in order to share Him with our kids.
These two verses have challenged me to step up my game! I don’t want this testimony of the Israelite’s to be mine for my children! I am praying that the Lord will help me to create more opportunities to speak of Him, create more moments to stop and pray with them and for them. We need to seek God first and let Him fill our cup so we can pour into theirs. Oh how we pray for our children to grow in God as they grow up. I have been convicted, challenged, encouraged and I hope you have as well! Keep at it Mama! This is an investment worth making! 
Praising On The Mountain and In The Valley

Praising On The Mountain and In The Valley

 “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3

With Thanksgiving being only about a week behind us, the giving of thanks has probably been often on our hearts. Many sat around a table with ones we hold dear and gave a word or two of thanksgiving for what God has done in their lives. It was definitely an appropriate time to give thanks and how grateful I am for a day set aside simply to give thanks!

I’m curious though, what would happen if we stopped to give thanks every single day, no matter what was going on in our lives?

About two years ago I read a book called 1000 Gifts by author Ann Voskamp. A must read for your nightstand friends! It will help shape and change your perspective! This idea of giving thanks in all things, every day has been a challenge I wanted to accept.

In the ebb and flow of life though, I had forgotten to continually give thanks. I became down heartened and gratefulness was not consistently on my mind. Trials loomed and the way seemed a bit dark. Be thankful? Now? In all things?winter-nature-season-trees-65911

I love this verse in Psalms 68!  It helps to put things back into perspective for me.

Psalm 68:19 says, “ Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”

Yes, every single day my Jesus daily loads me up with blessings. So much so that my cup really does overflow, but I need to be looking for those blessings! Not expecting the worst, but expecting God’s best daily! 

So with the Lord’s help I picked back up my challenge of looking purposefully for God’s hand at work in my daily life.  When my perspective changed, when I expected to see goodness from God I began to find it!

Nothing really incredible happened, my outlook changed and that has made all the difference. Praise began to flow freely from my lips as I saw God at work, yes, even in the every day life of a stay at home mom!

Since committing to this challenge things have come up, hiccups along the journey to try and get my spirits down. That is where the enemy wants God’s children to be, eyes cast down, no smile forming on the lips, no praise to speak of. God’s Word tells us that He lives in the praise of His people! God loves it when we praise Him!  Let’s not allow that enemy to win! No matter if we find ourselves in dark and gloomy circumstances or we are on a mountain top high, praise should flow through us consistently. blog

The Lord has allowed me to cross paths with beautiful souls whose joy just cannot be hidden! They are people I want to always be with because their joy is contagious and I want to be just like that! Always seeking to lift up my Jesus and others every day!

I have been challenged to look for ways to praise Him every single day, won’t you join me in that challenge? The Thanksgiving holiday has ended for the year 2016, but the giving of thanks never has to end!

Many Blessings,


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What If We Gave Everything

What If We Gave Everything

Have you ever known someone to be a complete fanatic over something they were passionate about? If you are on any social media accounts you can find people who are crazy for whatever product they are selling! Anything from fingernails to exercise, their lives are consumed with what they are passionate about.  Their actions may seem odd, their life style drastically changed, but they are committed to their cause and they will not give in or give up.

The other day I was busy with my typical daily routine and as is pretty common in our home, music was playing.  A song came on that I found myself thinking and meditating on for the rest of the day.

You know, all of us have things we are passionate about. We have desires and many things that keep us busy and occupy our time, finances, and life. Passion is amazing and a gift that God has given to us, when we are passionate about the right things.

For a moment I want us to ask ourselves the question, what would our lives look like if we really got passionate about Christ? To the average Christian or church goer we may actually seem fanatical!

The majority of our day we spend so much of our time building our earthly kingdoms, collecting possessions and things that will not even last, and yet so little time building God’s kingdom. Investing in what actually will matter for eternity.

I have to ask myself, what is it that holds us back from giving everything to God?

So often we have distractions that pull us here and there. Keeping us away from personal time with God, scheduling church in when we have time, instead scheduling everything else around church. Giving of our finances only when we feel like it.

What keeps us from coming to a place where we actually do live by faith and not by sight?

Because Christianity has changed so much through the years, we would probably seem pretty radical if we did. We would seem odd, and maybe a bit on the crazy side if we really gave every aspect of our lives to God. Though we may not all admit it, we seem to fear so much more of what others will think about us and how we so desire to fit in that we just are not ready to be that *radical* of a Christian.

As the song in my home continued to play, the Holy Spirit tugged on my heart. How would my life change if I lived completely by faith? If I crossed that line myself?

I am reminded of Matthew 16:26 that states, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?lily

Christ gave us Himself, He gave up everything for us, yet we find it way to radical to do the same for Him.

I think the majority of us fear we will be giving up our dreams, that we will have nothing if we live totally surrendered. Yet, we must remember that God is the giver of our dreams! We must realize that when we give everything to Jesus we gain everything that He is!

Conviction has swept across my heart. I want to give Him my all, and keep on daily making that choice to give my everything to Him!

Together, let’s ask the Lord to help us cross over that line! To give Him everything and find in Him all we need!

Praying “Thy Will be done….” When I Really Want mine!

Praying “Thy Will be done….” When I Really Want mine!

Have you ever stopped to think about the prayer Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane when He asked the Lord to let the cup pass from Him, but ended His prayer with, “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.” {Luke 22:42}

Here Jesus was about to go to the cross, to die an awful death, and experience true loneliness and agony. He laid His desire before His Father, but Jesus was willing to accept the will of God the Father.

There are desires I have in my life that I really really want. I honestly want to whole-heartedly pray, “Thy will be done”….. but at the same time I really want what I want!

Praying, “Not my will, but Thine be done” is challenging sometimes!  It is tough for me at least, because I think I have some pretty amazing plans for my life!

When my husband and I got married one of the dreams we had was having at least half a dozen children. Eleven years of marriage and nine pregnancies later, we have three living children with us {which we are extremely thankful for!} and six in the arms of Jesus. To be honest, I have struggled with praying, “Not my will…. but yours…” in this area of my life.

At the risk of sounding childish, quite honestly the easier prayer to pray is, “Why her and not me?”

In April of this year we lost our sixth baby at the beginning of my second trimester. This loss brought me face to face once again with the reality that God will often allow us to go through crushing times. Not to simply leave us broken, but to let the breaking of us be the making of us.  We are each left to answer the question, do I really want His will?

Wanting His will means I will let go of every single one of my dreams and lay them down at His feet.  Not letting go begrudgingly.  Not going through a white knuckling tug of war over His will and mine, but simply taking my dreams and my will for my life and laying them before Him. Praying, “Not my will, but Your’s…” and really meaning those words.

I cannot pray that prayer while holding onto my will with one hand and extending my other to Him. No, it is prayed honestly when I surrender my will to Him.

Even when it hurts, even when it is hard to let go of what I want, even though I may not see His will and how it will all unfold, I can trust Him. His plans are far better than my own and His will come from a love so deep for me.

Sometimes we lack submitting our will to Him because we do not understand the depth of love He has for us. It will be hard to pray that prayer, until we realize that His thoughts and plans are so much better than our own and that He is completely trustworthy and loves us beyond measure!

Our plans may seem good, but God doesn’t want us to settle for just good. His plans for our lives are AMAZING!

Dear friend, what things are you finding yourself having a hard time laying at the feet of Jesus? What is it that keeps you from honestly praying, “Not my will, but Thine”field-summer-sun-meadow-large?

Today, let’s take that step of faith. Let’s ask the Lord to help us believe that His love for us is as deep as it is wide, vast beyond measure!  Together, let’s ask for His help to honestly be able to pray, “Your will, not mine.”


Many Blessings,




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The Artist At Work In Us

The Artist At Work In Us

We have an aspiring artist in our family.  I have found artistic work all around my house in various places. The world is her canvas, or so she thinks!

One day I left our living room for a few minutes and when I returned I found a gigantic smiley face on our tiled floor.  I’m talking huge. It was quite obvious that the artist had struck again and she found out {once again} that Mama was not thrilled with her choice of canvas.

I recognized the artwork and I knew exactly who had created it because I recognized her artistic flair. You see, I know the artist personally and have seen her work before, but I do not always appreciate her masterpieces because of her choice of canvas.

You know, we are all a masterpiece under constant construction. Just as my little one takes great care in the pictures she draws, Jesus takes great care in the way He works in our lives also.

Scripture actually refers to Christ as our potter and we are His clay.

Isaiah 64:8, “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”potter

As we go throughout our life there are times when our Creator makes tweaks and changes in us.  He works with loving hands as He molds and fashions us, removing what does not reflect Him.  He is creating a masterpiece, but just as I do not always appreciate all of the art work my little one does because of her choice of canvas, I do not always appreciate how {and where} God is at work in my life.  Instead of recognizing He is trying to create a masterpiece in me, I can be blinded by what seems an inconvenience, the hurt, and often by the way He chooses to make those changes in me.

Instead of always seeing Him as a loving God at work, I can choose to feel rejection.  Instead of letting Him teach me, I can choose to not be His cooperative pupil.  Part of my heart can begin to harden as I kick against the pricks of change.

This is not how a child of God should be, and I know this in my head, but getting that into my heart is sometimes very difficult.

Some places God chooses to work in our lives can be painful. He often chisels away at areas  we may be sensitive in, He may reveal idols in our lives and work to remove them, He will even ask us to step outside of our comfort zone, for His sake.  His goal is not to ruin our lives, but rather to transform them!

Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

God is creating a Masterpiece in each one of us. The trials, the changes, the woman1transformations, all of them are part of His hand at work. All of these are evidence of His love for us. He works patiently, carefully, with loving hands, not to leave us hurting and broken He loves us far to much to leave us that way. Rather, He is making us into who He created us to be, a beautiful masterpiece transformed from the inside out!

Many Blessings,


Ps: If this post has encouraged you, please feel free to share it with others!

Rejection Does Not Define Us

Rejection Does Not Define Us

Rejection. What swirls through your mind when you hear that word? Do memories flood through you and put you right back to the very moments when you experienced it?  Wounds so deep and numerous tears, some still fairly close to the surface.

All of us have a need to belong, to feel loved, to know we are accepted. So when rejection strikes, it hurts far more than we know how to express.  We begin to doubt who we are, we doubt our worth, we allow the words and actions of others to control our thoughts about the value of our life.

For three years the words written by someone were what I let define me.

It was actually in a letter written to my husband and along with hurtful words written to him, they threw my name into the letter as well with phrases like, “Your wife just is not what we were expecting….” and “she is to quiet….not fit to be a Pastor’s wife.”

The rejection washed over me and all of my perceived notions came true in that instant. I could sense the rejection for awhile, but when I read the words in the letter everything was confirmed.

“No good…. you hold your husband back….how can God use you?  You are way to shy….how can you think you can be the wife of a Pastor?…..” all of these thoughts and more haunted me off and on for three agonizing years.

I allowed the words spilled out on that paper to define me, to devalue my worth, and to fill me with fear.  In order to protect my heart from that kind of hurt again, I built up walls that would be inpenetrable.

Can anyone relate?

Rejection is something all of us experience at one time or another. It is absolutely impossible to please everyone and make everyone like us!  All people pleasers who find this to be tragic news say “Aye!”  Yes, this recovering people pleaser right here is saying it with you!

Let me share a simple truth with you that the Lord is {still} teaching me: Our worth is not defined or based upon by the opinion of someone else.  We are valuable because God has made us that way! 

Listen to what Isaiah 43:4a says, “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee

Friend, we are LOVED with a constant unfailing, consistent, unchanging love by our great God!

He has made each of us with a unique personality for a specific reason, some loud, some quiet, all incredibly valuable!  You-are-Loved

What should we do when the sting of rejection comes?

I love this quote from Lysa TerKeurst’s new book Uninvited.  She says, “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.”

All of the love we will ever need can be found in the One true lover of our souls, Jesus Christ!  He longs to fill the need of ours to be loved and accepted.

Live in the knowledge of knowing you are always loved, no matter the rejection you have faced from others.  Oftentimes the rejections people hand out comes from a place of insecurity in their own heart. We all need love, we all need grace, we can all give these to others, and we can all find them in Jesus.

I really encourage you to look up Lysa Terkeurst’s new book, Uninvited.  It is so full of wisdom and encouragement!

Be Encouraged,



Ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you please feel free to pass it along to others.

I asked for change and God changed Me!

I asked for change and God changed Me!

For quite sometime now my husband and I have been praying for God to do a work in our church.  We have asked Him to change our church in order for us as a body of believers to reflect more of Him. We have been on the front lines of battle fighting for different hearts and souls, asking the Lord to draw those who have strayed back to Him.  As we have prayed, do you know what has happened?

We have asked God to do a work in our church and He really began to change me.

Now this sounds wonderful, right? We read God’s Word, we pray, we attend church faithfully, we live for Him, and we ask the Lord to help us draw closer to Him. These are all things healthy Christians should be doing.

You know what though? It hurt. I didn’t like it. God has been at work in my own heart, chipping away at what is in my life that does not reflect Him and I did not enjoy how He was working on my heart.

Isn’t that just like how we humans are?  We ask for something….then when it begins to happen we find something to complain about.

“Lord, draw me closer to You!” we plead.  God begins to work and we say, “No, not like that!! This hurts way to much!”

This summer I have been slowly making my way through the book of Psalms and not long ago I read these different passages,

Psalm 145:17, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” and 145:19, “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” 

As I read these verses my flesh reacted in a way I did not expect. The journey God and I have been on does not feel like He is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works.  I have desires that have not been fulfilled, even though I am fearing Him! I wondered if He really was hearing my cry!

Instead of feeling like the beloved child of God that I am, I felt more like a rejected child kicked to the curb, and that my friends is exactly where the enemy wants us. He wants us to feel distanced from God because if the enemy can take an inch from us he will have plenty of room to take a mile!

Can I share a little nugget of truth with you?  God knows what we need to go through in order for our hearts to reflect more of Him.  He knows just the amount of pressure we need to be under, the exact circumstances to go through, the right amount of brokenness we must endure in order to sincerely reflect Him.

I found myself at a crossroads, I could either wallow in self pity or I could willingly let God work with a tender transformable heart. {Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:”}  The choice really was mine.

Am I really willing to be who God wants me to be?  Am I truly willing to give up what only matters here on earth so that I can gain what really matters?

My husband and I continue to ask God to bring change to our church.  We ask Him to shake up His people so that they will awaken from their slumber.  We seek revival and ask Him to help us be the light in the community in which we live. His answers may look different to me than anticipated, but He is answering our prayers.

We have asked God to change our church, and I have found He is changing me.


Many Blessings,



Ps: If this post has been an encouragement to you, please feel free to pass it on to others!