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Guest Posting Today….

Guest Posting Today….

Today I am making a guest appearance over at my friend Hannah’s blog!  I look forward to seeing you there!
Special Guest: Wendy Carr

Something I’d like to do periodically on this blog is share posts featuring some of my writing friends. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Wendy Carr. 🙂

Wendy and I went to high school together, and I had the privilege of connecting with her again on Facebook a year or so ago. Wendy has just published her first book, Made Only For Heaven.

1. Welcome! Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello! My name is Wendy Carr and I am the adoring wife of my husband Chad. I am a California girl that has been transplanted to the south! My husband is the Senior Pastor of our church and we have three children who are 8,6, and 2! It is a busy but wonderful life!

2. Share 5 random or interesting facts about yourself.

1. I have zero craft skills.  🙂 Though Pinterest has been helpful in this area, crafting is something I admire, but have no skills in. 🙂

2. I have a deep love for the Christmas season! We are one of “those” families who have their tree up rather early each year! There are no Scrooges in this house! 🙂

3. I love my cup of warmed up creamer with a little bit of coffee each morning. 😉

Finish reading this post and find out about a giveaway over on my friend Hannah’s blog!  Click the link here!

What should we do with the Planned Parenthood information?

What should we do with the Planned Parenthood information?

I’m pretty sure we are all aware of what is going on in the news with Planned Parenthood. I cringe to even call it that….  from the time I learned what was going on behind those doors the entire organization has disgusted me.

To be honest though, I have not watched a single second of any of the footage released nor have I read any of the articles. I just cannot stomach it.

As a mother who has lost 5 babies, my heart has at times struggled to love women who have chosen to take the life of their baby, for whatever reason they may have.  I have struggled at times even with the Lord over this.  We believe that God is in control of life and my wounded heart has asked on more than one occasion, “God, why?  Why do you allow these women to get pregnant who are only going to take the life of their baby?  Why do you allow them to get pregnant but You close the wombs of so many devoted Christian women?”

Getting real and honest before God can look ugly sometimes, but we need it.  Maybe your struggle has been similar?

Because the struggle to love these women has been and can be overwhelmingly strong, I choose not watch the videos or read the articles.  I am aware of the headlines and that is enough for me.

So what can those of us who battle over this entire issue do with all of this information?

We can take the entire sin of abortion as a whole, to the feet of the One who has the power to end it. Simply ending the funding to this organization is not the complete answer.  Ending abortion is!  We do not need to know all of the details in order to pray.

 We can pray that God would  fill our heart with a love for the sinners involved in this organization, and realize they are lost and on their way to hell and their deeds point out even more their great need for a Savior.

Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”  Therefore we can come to the conclusion that because these people do not fear the Lord they do not have wisdom, nor do they grasp the value of human life. 

We can also learn a valuable lesson.  Look what the love of money can drive people to do.  Remember, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10

I am not saying we should minimize what this organization has done or the fact that all involved need to be held accountable for their actions.  But we can pray that God will help us remember these people are not the true enemy, Satan is, and he has a powerful control on the lives of these people.  People who need the Lord.

We ought to pray like we have never prayed before for the end of abortion, for hearts to be transformed, for truth to prevail!  When we do pray, pray believing that Christ  can and will answer!!  James 1:6-8, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

The question is, are we praying?  Are we simply sharing our disgust on facebook or are we taking it to the feet of the One who can change the hearts of those involved?  The truth is, God is listening, but are we praying?

Wendy

Three Things I would teach myself if I could go back in time

Three Things I would teach myself if I could go back in time

If I could go back in time and have a conversation with my younger self, there are a few things I would love to share with me.  Since that is just not possible, I thought I would share them with you!

Since we can’t all meet at a coffee shop together, lets meet right here.  I’ve got my coffee with me, do you have yours?

As I look back on my younger years I am flooded with memories of the awkward years…. you know those years 🙂  We allll have them and there just is no other word to descriWen32be them!  The pictures, oh the pictures!  Yikes!  Have you ever looked back at pictures of yourself and thought, “What in the world was I thinking?!”  Ya, like all the time!

If I had the opportunity to sit down with all of you, I would love to share how important it is to surround yourself with godly friends.  This past week our church held VBS and as I was teaching 1st and 2nd graders our lesson one night was on choWen41osing wise and unwise friends.  Oh how I wish at a young age these children would grasp the reality of choosing wise friends!  Who we hang out with will make a big difference in who we become.  Friends play an important role in our lives.

In college God brought some incredible friends into my life.  Looking back, I have only wonderful memories with those girls!  Their friendships were like a gift from God to me!  Proverbs 27:17 is true, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” 
I thank the Lord that He gifted me with friends who helped to strengthen my walk with God!  Meeting together for prayer and Bible studies are memories I cherish now!  I had never had friendships like that before and it was like a breath of fresh air!  To this day, all of those girls are still walking closely with the Lord and I am beyond blesseWen28d to still call each one a friend!  God gifted me with being able to live not far away from one of my close friends and because of technology I can still see other friends through Face Time!  Friends matter more than we realize, so choose wisely.

My younger years were full of some good times, but there are quite a few painful memories in my past.  I remember reading as a teen the verse in Psalm 56:8 that speaks of how the tears that fall from our eyes are collected by God.  Not one of them goes unnoticed.  The tears shed in silence, in secret, all of them are noticed by God.  I wish I knew then what I know now and that is God truly does work everything together for our good and His glory. Romans 8:28 has rung true in my life, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Also Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” 

God has the amazing ability to take the hurts of our past (and the ones we are experiencing now) and use them for good.  Oftentimes He allows us to go through these painful times to draw us closer to Himself and later on down the road He helps us to help others who are going through difficult times.  So if I could go back, I would tell myself to hang on and keep trusting.  Cling to the promises of God that though weeping may endure for the night, JOY will come in the morning! {Psalm 30:5}

As a pre-teen and young teenager God gifted me with a great Youth Pastor.  He took time to actually teach me how to study my Bible because he knew the importance of daily spending time with God.  Get in the habit of spending time alone with God from a young age!  Developing this habit early on will help you all through your life! If you are in the habit of spending time with God already, then when life really begins to take off and get busy, that habit will already be engrained in you that you will continue to keep spending time with God on a daily basis.  When life gets busy and tough is not the time to put your Bible down, oh no!  God’s Word is our lifeline for encouragement, for peace, for security!  Make it a habit to spend time with God daily.

I can’t go back in time and remind myself or really teach myself any of these things, but if I can encourage others with them, that is what I would love to do!  Be encouraged friends!  Get into God’s Word, remember He does work all things together for good, and surround yourself with godly friends.

You are loved by our WONDERFUL God!

Wendy

If you have been encouraged, please feel free to pass along this post!

There Is HOPE to raise Godly children today

There Is HOPE to raise Godly children today

I am a mother to three young children.  As a mom I hear all kinds of advice, some asked for, some not.  Everyone has an opinion of what a mother should or should not be doing.  From the start, once a baby is born a young mother is often overwhelmed with well meaning friends and family {and even strangers!} who begin to flood her with “try this”, “never do that”, “this is the brand of clothing and food choices you should make”, “these diapers leak, those are the best!”  Advice swarms in circles around we mama’s.

As our children grow the advice keeps growing as well.  Everything from potty training {and how long it should take…. or how quickly it should be done!}, when to give a pacifier vs when to take it away for good, education choices, and so much more become topics for advice.  The blogosphere has made the “noise” become that much louder.

It can become rather overwhelming and our desire to hide under the bed and never come out may become more tempting than we ever thought possible!  We just want the noise around us to stop!  We want some time to be still and just think for a moment.

When it comes to our children, we as mama’s want what is truly best for our children.  What is best for our children though?  I have read articles, have carried on conversations, have listened as mother’s of grown children have shared stories of their now grown children and different choices they have made.  Their children are now adults and they are breaking their parents hearts.  Recently I’ve heard conversations of parents saying, “I did not make the church that important as my children were growing and now they want nothing to do with God or the church.”  I have also listened as others have said, “I raised my family in church, we were there for every service, and now my kids want nothing to do with God or the church!”  I do not doubt the heartbreak of these dear parents, and it had me as a young mother on the brink of a break down!

I found myself wondering, “Wait, both of these parents had different styles of parenting….. and neither one turned out the way we long for our children to turn out!  Is there really no hope?”

I found myself crying out to God and saying, “Please, Lord, show me there is hope that these children of mine will grow up to love and live for You!”

Here are two truths God has shown me.

First, Mama, we need God I will be the first to admit, I need God’s grace in my life.  I need His help in raising these children!  We need God to not just be a part of our life, we need Him to be our life, to infiltrate it and consume it!  Raising children is wonderful and if God would allow it we would have an entire house full of them, but raising children is also a lot of work.  I need God’s help to do this right.  Spending time alone with God daily is key!  Getting up before my kids, spending time in His Word and pouring my heart out to Him is a must.  Praying constantly for our children is something we need to be doing all throughout our day!

We can eat organically, use non-chemical based cleaners, be as “oily” as the next mama, but friend, what our children truly need even more than all of that is a Mama who readily admits, “I cannot do this right without the help of God!”  I need to let the Lord fill me up first so that I can be the right kind of mama to these sweet blessings.   Our children need to see the importance of God in our lives so they will see their need of Him in theirs.  Our relationship with God needs to be genuine, lived out, not just talked about but walked out!

Second, our children need God!  Our oldest never ceases to amaze me in her perception.  Things I would think she doesn’t notice, she does and she questions.  Just this morning she asked, “Mom, why do people come to church but then stop and just give up?  They just seem to give up on God!”  Yes, she literally asked me that.  She has learned at a young age that she needs God and so does everyone else, so why would people just give up on Him?

Our children may never eat at McDonalds and may have the highest GPA, but if we have failed to point our children to God then we have failed as parents. Our children need to see their need for God!  The world, school mates, television, video games, and sometimes even friends will shout {in both word and deed} how much our children do not need God, but we need to be showing them even more how much they do need God.

We need to be teaching them the things of Christ at home, every opportunity we get, we need to faithfully be at church and actively involved in it, we need to be living like a AbeLincolnChristian ought to in our homes as well as when we are out and about.  We need to be showing our children and teaching them about the Lord and their need for Him!  Pray for and with your children.  One of the things my children always hear me pray for them is that they will always walk closely with the Lord and never ever rebel and turn from Him.  I pray this because I truly desire it and also, if/when they are ever tempted to turn from God, I want the prayer their mama prayed over and over to be ringing in their head!  Let your kids hear you talk to God and teach them to talk with Him too!  Don’t just hand them a Bible and say “read!”, teach them to read it and study it!  Have devotions as a family!  Teach them Bible stories, act them out, sing about the greatness of God as a family!

As I have read different accounts of the Israelite’s in the Old Testament, I have seen how this people group went through vicious cycles.  They would follow the Lord and then turn away from Him.  They would see blessings from the Lord but then because they turned their back on the Lord they would see judgments and persecutions, harsh kings would rule, and they would be defeated and enslaved.  They would then cry out to God and He would deliver them and they would follow Him for a season, but then the cycle just kept on going.  Why is that I wondered.  Then one day it was as if the Lord said, “The parents forgot to teach their children about God.  So their children would grow up not knowing God and wanting nothing to do with Him.  All it takes is for one generation to not teach their child about Christ.”

Let’s not follow this pattern!  Mama’s let’s realize our need for Christ and the need our children have for Christ!  Let’s live out our Christian faith, let’s reach beyond the surface and strive to reach the heart!

My children are still young and I am still trying to figure this parenting journey out, but there is hope to raise Godly children in this day and age who will love and live for Jesus.  That hope is called, JESUS!

When the LGBT movement hits home

When the LGBT movement hits home

We grew up in the same home, were raised by the same parents, surrounded by the same siblings.  We are siblings.  All five of us have now grown and moved to various states across this country, yet one of my siblings has chosen to live a gay lifestyle.

Did that just shock you?  Ya, it was a shock to me too.

I feel rather vulnerable even now, opening up on here to share this with you all.  Yet, I feel compelled to share because I’m sure there are some who can relate and need some encouragement.

Here’s the thing, though I disagree with my siblings lifestyle choice, though I will never condone what he is doing, I still love him.

I remember getting the phone call several years back when he notified us of his “coming out”.  There was a chill that raced down my spine and an ache in my heart that I had never known before.  “NO!” I thought, and my husband and I wept, bitterly wept for him.  It was a heart wrenching shock and though we spoke truth in love to him, his heart and mind were made up.

I have sat around the table and listened quietly while others spoke of these people in this kind of lifestyle in a way that was not God-honoring.  Sometimes it is easier to simply talk about them grossly instead of praying for them earnestly.  The lifestyle is sinful, no doubt about it, but let’s not forget that there are mother’s, and father’s, and siblings, and others who are deeply grieved because someone they love is involved in this lifestyle.  The words we choose to use and how we choose to say them can add sting after sting to a mother who has been earnestly praying for her child to come back to the Lord.  Those words can feel like a boulder was just tossed their way and instead of having a safe place to share the burden of having a wayward child or relative, they sit in silence, fearing the harsh judgements from others.

My heart is grieved for my brother.  I have sat with my mother as she has wept for the soul of her son.  I have seen the blame she has placed on her shoulders, a weight no mothers shoulders are strong enough to bare.  I have seen the concern in her eyes over decisions her son, my brother, has made.  His lifestyle is one we will never condone, never accept as right, but we will also never stop loving him.  We will never stop caring for him.  Never stop praying that God would intervene in his life!

Instead of simply writing mean articles and speaking hateful words when referring to someone in this lifestyle, why not take a moment to pray for them and reach out to them?  I’m not saying to excuse their lifestyle and not call sin what it is, I would never say that, but rather, remember chances are in this day and age someone you are close to has been affected by someone in this lifestyle and may be hurting deeply because of it.  When God brings someone of this lifestyle across your path, reach out!  They don’t have the plague.  If you talk to them and try to minister to them you will not “catch” what they have.  Yes, you may face rejection, but they ultimately are not rejecting you, but Christ.  As a believer, this is part of what being a believer is about!  It’s about fulfilling the great commission!  It is a lot easier to turn the other way and pretend we never saw them, but what if, what if God placed some people in your life that are of this lifestyle, because He knew He would be able to use you to point them to Him!

We all sin.

That is why Jesus came!  Luke 5:32, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

I am deeply thankful that someone shared Christ with me!  It is my turn to keep sharing Him with others.

Two truths of forgiveness

Two truths of forgiveness

We have a two year old in our house.  I can only imagine what thoughts just ran through your mind hearing those words!  Let me be straight with you though, I don’t hate the two year old year.  I really don’t. They are full of adventure, discovery, cute new words they learn, smiles, laughter, and joy!

All that being said, we all know, if you have spent any amount of time with a two year old, that year is chock full of training!  Our two year old is inquisitive, an aspiring wall artist (which thankfully we are finally making progress in that arena!  She has limited her artistic hand to paper! Praise Jesus!), she thinks she can keep up with the big kids, she is learning every day how to be more independent than she was the day before.  The two year old year is a busy but great year!

Two year old’s (and even older children) can teach us a tremendous life lesson though.

There was a scuffle between our two year old and one of our other children and after figuring out what went wrong, we worked to make it right.  The kids apologized to each other, hugged, said they loved each other, and then went on playing like it had never even happened!  Children are amazing, their hearts so tender and loving!

It got me thinking, it is amazing how quickly children are to forgive and then move on.  When did it stop being so easy to forgive?  When did our thinking shift from forgiving instantly to believing it was easier to not forgive and instead cling to that wrongdoing like it was our life support?

We have all faced hurts in our lifetime, every single one of us.  At just the mere mention of the offenders name, it can hurl memories at us that slam us once again back into the situation that initially caused the hurt.  When did it become so hard to forgive?

The longer I am a parent the more I see how Christ uses my children to teach me more about Him.  Christ, my Savior, saw everything I would ever do, and He forgave me for it before I was even born!  Talk about tremendous love and forgiveness!

I’d love to share two simple truths about forgiveness with you today.

First, refusing to forgive breeds bitterness, but forgiveness brings blessing!  If we hang on to the wrong done to us it will begin to strangle us with all of it’s might.  When we clench our fists and refuse to forgive we begin to plant deep roots of bitterness, that will eventually result in not only hurting us, but many others around us.  {Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;“}  Also, if we withhold forgiveness Scripture plainly tells us in Matthew 6:15, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Learning to forgive will bring about freedom!  Forgiveness means we can move forward instead of getting stuck in the muck of bitterness.  Forgiveness brings relief, and joy!  Though the one who wronged us may never seek forgiveness from us, it is vital that we choose in our hearts to forgive them anyway.

Second, keep on forgiving, refuse to hang on to past hurts.  In the book of Matthew Peter and Jesus have an interesting conversation.  Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  In this passage Christ was not tell Peter to go home and begin a tally system and every time he forgave someone he should tick off one tally.  “Alright, you only have 253 more times until I am through with forgiving you!”  No, that is not at all what Christ was saying.  In reality, He was telling us to forgive, and forgive, and forgive, and forgive etc… Get the idea?  Just keep at it because that is the example Christ has set for us!  He continuously forgives us without limitation.  None of us are perfect, all of us are going to make mistakes, all of us will end up hurting someone whether intentional or not.  We all need to actively pursue forgiveness when we have done something and we all need to forgive when others have wronged us.  Keep on forgiving because the alternative of bitterness and anger is no way to live!

Friends, we can learn so much from children.  With a sincere heart be quick to forgive and receive forgiveness from Christ!

Ps: if you have found this blog post helpful and encouraging, please feel free to share it with others!

Three Lessons from Lot’s Wife

Three Lessons from Lot’s Wife

This morning in my personal Bible study I was reading about the wife of Lot in Genesis 19.  I read about how the angels were telling Lot and his family to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah because God was ready to destroy it!  From what I was reading, Lot and his family literally were dragging their feet in leaving.

Lot had grown to love the cities he lived in and he planted his roots so deep there he just could not bring himself to put his hand on the door handle and walk out!  In fact, he never did!  As Genesis 19:16 says,

“And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”

The only reason they got out was because the angels forced them out.

They were told where to go and given strict instructions, “Do not look back, no matter what, do not look back.”

If you are familiar with the story then you know what happened next.  Fire and brimstone fell from heaven, consuming the two cities.  Burning to a crisp the home Lot and his family shared, along with all of their earthly belongings.

As I try and put myself in the shoes of Lot and his family I can only imagine what they must have been hearing, or even feeling.  Could they feel the heat from the raging fire?  Could they hear the screams coming form the inhabitants?  Lots wife just couldn’t take it anymore, she turned back.  She disobeyed God, and looked back and as a result was turned into a pillar of salt.

I can’t imagine the thoughts of Lot and his daughters.  They too were not allowed to look back, not even when their wife and mother became a pillar of salt.  They had to just keep moving forward, heading to where the angels sent them.  There they were, running for their lives, suddenly homeless, and without a wife and mother.

Here are a few applications I see from this true story recorded for us in Genesis.

1. When God says go, we ought to obey instantly and without hesitation!  If we have received God’s gift of salvation, then this world is truly not our home!  Our roots should not be so deeply planted that if God calls us to move on, we are unwilling to budge.  The things of this world should not have such a choke-hold on us that we have such a difficult time saying “yes” to God and “no” to everything the world offers.  Colossians 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

2. Don’t look back!  The past is just that, the past!  Remember when we were learning to drive?  Yes, that scary and wonderful feeling of hanging onto a steering wheel for the first time was an exciting experience!  What was it our driving instructor taught us though?  Where your eyes are focused is where you will steer your vehicle!  If you are constantly looking out the rear view mirror instead of keeping your eyes on the road in front of you, constantly looking to the right or left, the car will veer off the road or into another vehicle!  Our eyes have to stay focused on where we are going.  The same thing is true of our Christian walk.  We cannot rely on past victories, we cannot rely on yesterdays prayers and Bible reading, we cannot keep looking back to “the good ole’ days”.  We have to keep our eyes looking forward, keep pressing toward the mark!  Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

3.  Even though we may not understand why God is asking us to step out on faith right then remember, He sees the bigger picture!  He wants only the best for us and He is worthy of our trust.  If we have accepted His gift of salvation that means we are trusting in Him for our eternity.  If we trust Him for our eternity, how much more should we be able to trust Him for our day to day life!  Trust His plans for your life!  Is. 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

These are three simple and yet powerful truths!  Be comforted and encouraged!

A Study in Proverbs 31:20-24

A Study in Proverbs 31:20-24

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  Proversb 31:20-24

 When I read these verses I think about how the virtuous woman had her priorities right.  She was a busy lady!  Not only taking care of her own home and family, but also looking out for the needs of others.  She must have been quite disciplined in order to keep her priorities in the right place.

It seems that it is so easy for our priorities to get all out whack at times.  We get up in the morning and begin our day and before we know it dinner time is upon us and we wonder where the time has gone.  Between school, work, dance, sports, music lessons, play dates, car pools, ministry, life has a way of getting so busy.  We come home exhausted, whip something quick up for dinner and then send everyone off to bed.  Where in the day do we find time to accomplish all that the Proverbs 31 woman did?

It starts with priorities.

We will always accomplish what we truly desire to accomplish.  When I decide to sit down and work on my blog or my books, I prioritize so that I am able to get it done.  I carve out a window of time to sit and write.  If I want to get my house clean, I push other things aside so that I am able to get that stubborn sticky spot off the stove and floor!! {What is that stuff anyway?!}

Friend, if we do not prioritize to spend time daily with God, it will not happen.  All the wishful thinking in the world will not get it done. If we make up our mind to get the house clean, but do not make time in our day to get it done, we will always find ourselves saying, “I’ll get to it tomorrow”.  If we long to raise our children well but do not prioritize to be consistent in training them, we will not do well in parenting.

Keeping our priorities straight can be so tricky, many times because we involve ourselves in so many other activities that we can easily lose our focus on what is truly important.  Are you like me and think, “Okay, I agree, I want to get my priorities straight, I yearn to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, but where in the world do I begin?”  My answer is simple, it all goes back to our relationship with God.  Having a right relationship with God is key to the rest of the decisions we make in life.  The Lord has said that if any of us lacks wisdom all we have to do is ask in faith, nothing wavering and He will give it liberally!! {James 1:5}

Christ wants to see us living a successful Christian life.  He is cheering us on to live the way He intended His children to live!  Victorious through HIM and what He has done for us!  Not slaves to a busy schedule that keeps us so bogged down and distracts us from Him.  No, our life and the decisions we make should drive us closer to Him.  If there is something that is keeping us so busy it keeps us away from His Word, Prayer, and/or church, that is the first thing that needs to go. At times, I don’t think we really understand just how important a close walk with Him is because if we did, oh man, how differently our lives would be!  We wouldn’t be finding ourselves trying to squeeze time with Him in, oh no, we would desire to linger in His presence longer.

The secret to being like the Proverbs 31 woman is this, keep close to Christ, strive to be like Him!  Follow His example!  This woman is simply a Christian woman who is living the normal Christian life and allowing her Lord to shine right through!

Update on my book

Update on my book

This morning I got up with the plan to head {all the way across the grass!!} over to our church.  I had just finished gelling my curls locks and was on the hunt for my flip flops when my phone buzzed with a new message.

Curious I picked it up and read….. it was from the publishing company I had sent my book to.

The one I had been waiting a month to hear back from.

My heart flipped and then sank.  Flipped and then sank again.

It was one of those moments where I thought, “I want to look and see what it says, but then again I don’t want to look and see what it says!!”

With one click of my finger the e-mail loaded and I skimmed through the message for the part I was really wanting to read.  Had they accepted my manuscript?

I didn’t have time to sit and read the whole thing so I wanted to get to the main point.

Taking a deep breath, I read their decision.

With another click I turned my phone off, held back my emotions, and headed to the church.

When I got home I sat down and took the time to read the entire e-mail which in fact was actually very encouraging.  They see the need for this book, but it isn’t ready for publishing.  So why the tears?

Well, immersing myself back into the writing of this book is not easy.  It causes emotions to surface and feelings to come back that have once been laid to rest.   I felt both encouraged and discouraged at the same time.  Such a female thing to feel 🙂

My husband held me tightly and shared with me he had already read the email and ordered the two books the publisher recommended.  He wants to see this dream of mine come to fruition and to not give up.

I prayed and pondered what had been written in that e-mail, and that’s when I noticed I had gotten another message.  One that had been sent by my original contact at the publishing company.

She extended encouragement and an offer to help me get my book exactly where it needs to be to get published.

Friends, God cares.  He sees, He knows, He understands.  That note was just what I needed.

This story is not an easy one to write nor was it ever a part of the story I envisioned for my life.  Yet, it is the story God perfectly ordained for my life.  I have a sincere desire to let the Lord use this story to bring glory to Him and help other women see there is HOPE and HEALING found in Christ alone.

By God’s grace this book will continue to be worked on, tweaked, and made ready to publish!  In my weakness I know His strength will shine through all for His glory!

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

In the fall of 1999 I was blessed to be able to travel with my Senior high school class all the way from the west coast to the east coast.  An early morning flight landed us mid-day in the heart of our nations capitol.

It was the trip of a life time.  Seeing History come alive was truly incredible!  I remember seeing Lincoln’s Memorial at night, it was beautiful!  I’ve never been the History buff my husband is, but that trip truly made history come alive!  Lincoln Memorial

Like most of us, my ancestors came across on a boat.  They came pursuing freedom and I am a direct recipient of their bravery.  Because of them, and God’s sovereignty, I enjoy the freedoms that living in America brings.

Seeing the tomb of the unknown solider, seeing the graveyard in Arlington, tomb after tomb after tomb, seeing different monuments and places dedicated to the brave men and women who sacrificed their life so that I, and you, could enjoy the freedoms we do.  It gets me right in the heart!  Every single time.  What a sacrifice!

God has truly blessed this nation.

I may never know why God chose me and my family to live and grow up in the greatest country on earth, but I am deeply thankful.  I am forever indebted to the men and women who have sacrificed life and limb on my behalf!  Freedom is not free, it comes at a price.

My freedoms in America were not free, nor was my salvation free.  It also came at a cost, but my Savior paid that price for me, just as soldiers who go to war pay the price for my freedoms.  I am forever grateful to my Savior, who was willing to pay the price so that I could truly know what freedom is!  So that I could truly be set free no matter where I call my earthly home!

On this Memorial Day I want to join the millions of other Americans who give a hearty “THANK YOU!” to those who have served our country through their military service.  My heart is filled with gratitude for your service!  At a time when our country’s flag, the national anthem, the very essence of what our country was founded on seems to be under attack, know this.  My family and I are thankful for you and the service you have done.  We are proud to be Americans, who hold our flag high, who proudly say “one nation under God” when we say the pledge.  We are thankful for you, our men and women in uniform, as you have fought and continue to fight to protect our nation!

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day

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