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Friday, December 23, 2011

FUN FRIDAY- Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!....do something FUN like put on a pair of FUN Christmas socks today! 

Thank you Mom for both the gift of you, and the gift of these socks...you make me smile.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preparing to UNWRAP HIS PRESENCE

Another last minute gift that I decided to box up and place under the tree!  I know what you’re thinking—not another thing to add—really?   
It’s simple—cost me nothing...

On my morning walk I was mulling over what I had read in God’s Word and in this blog post that I read earlier.  While walking I was reminded of God's whisper to me earlier in the week and I’m planning on posting next week about God’s whisper—be looking next week here and be looking for Him to speak to you during these next few days...He loves us so much!
With my heart desiring to keep the focus on Him this season, I've also read about things to do with my kids to help keep God the focus and I’ll admit some ideas are just not for me—some are just a little TOO MUCH as I strive for balance in desiring to instill the meaning of this season.   I don’t want my children to be pious, gimme brats—but I don’t want them to miss the point of RECEIVING God’s love either.

I'm not great at this but I'm always trying to do better--as a family we are behind on our advent devotions because of busyness, but I'm not throwing in the towel yet!

With God’s help, I want to love on my kiddos this season, everyday actually—praying and talking about Jesus and asking God to fill their precious hearts and protect them from being jaded or legalistic about love but to truly become vessels of His love and I just feel the best way is for them to be loved first!  How I love them will shape their ideas of God's love.
I love this idea and that’s why I'm sharing it…it’s a simple empty box—with 3 note cards with scriptures on them for us to open, read and pray over on Christmas Eve when the boys also open their brand new jammies J  A tradition every year so they have new jammies to wear for Christmas morning. 

We will unwrap the presence of God the night before we unwrap the rest of the presents! 
We will thank Him for guiding us this past year and literally breathing life into us and ask Him to continually fill our hearts with His love. 
So how are you going to unwrap His presence this season? 

There is still plenty of time and I love to hear your ideas!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

The HUSTLE AND BUSTLE!  Can you feel it? 

The countdown has begun in our house—not a day has been missed counting the days until Christmas but I have to confess my December 1st gusto of focusing on love has been distracted. 

What do we do when curve balls are thrown and jumble up the plans of the day...month?  —we persevere right?!?

As the days draw near I am thankful for an extra pair of hands around my home helping me wrap and prepare for Christmas morning.  And I am reminded first and foremost to love and focus my time on those nearest to me.
So many things that we can choose to focus on and so many things we can think about it.  I’ve read about the 12 Days of Christmas and even encouraged you to give and celebrate Love and I’m not going to stop now! 

I came across some interested information online about the 12 Days of Christmas and one of them being this video.   I’ve encouraged those around me to give simple gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas and my boys and I participated in a very simple way.  We prepared a box of 12 candy canes and gave them out to those around us.  I showered some close friends and family with some little gifts to make their day a little brighter and now I feel nudged to celebrate and shower one person for 12 Days straight.
As I’ve thought about who to give out candy canes or who to shower with gifts and other random acts of kindness, I’ve thought about how overwhelming it is to receive love.  And the weird emotions even of extending love.  I couldn't decide whether to gift just one person with 12 gifts or pick 12 people to gift--when thinking of one person and gifting them with 12 gifts...my first thought honestly was (now don't judge), "They are going to think I am NUTS!" 

Aren’t we prone to question and doubt the motives behind love?   Isn't is a little scary extending love--with questions looming in our minds like, "Will they receive this?"  Discouraging thoughts enter my mind all of the time before I feel compelled to love--"They will think I'm stupid," "They are going to think I want something," "They will think I am nuts!" 
Oh, this makes me sad and I realize I want to make a difference—gift by gift—little act by little act and fight through the discouraging thoughts that come with it. 
I realize though, that upon receiving Love myself, the first acts of love that I follow through with must be within my home. 

Thus, the decision to shower my hubby of 15 years with 12 gifts!  12 Gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas! (Maybe he is the safest too--he won't think I'm NUTS! :) 
Beginning Christmas day and 11 days after that I will plan to give him little gifts.
Are you in this with me?   Is there someone that you can shower with 12 little gifts?  

Let’s allow the Love to extend into the New Year!  
Comment below and let me know that you are in—share any of your great ideas and encourage us!  Maybe we can remind each other that we are not NUTS!  And maybe...just maybe our acts of love will ellicit such expressions as this one...out of the mouth and on the face of my babe!

Everyone who shares will be entered into the drawing, which began December 1st.  Name drawn will win their own special gift...”A Starbucks Gift Card.” 

Drawing held January 1, 2012!   
Can’t wait to hear from you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Show Me Jesus

It’s Meet Jesus Monday and I can’t help but think about Jesus’ birthday coming up this week.
There were just plain folk like you and me during Jesus’ day, who were beckoned and prepared to visit Jesus for the first time as a newborn baby in a stable.  Luke 2 describes the shepherds living out in the fields nearby watching their flocks when an angel of the Lord appeared to them and told them what to expect and the shepherds set off to Bethlehem to meet Jesus. 
Something in me thinks we are given lots of angel visits like these Shepherds to prepare for meeting Jesus; but we are often just too busy to hear or see them and thus fail to take them in.

—more on this another time.

Luke 2:17 struck my heart and I realize that this truth has become a blazing spark in my efforts to love.  Is love effortless?  Do you feel urges to love and give come from out of nowhere at times?  Or is just the idea of loving and giving exhausting to you?  I myself have experienced it all.  Sometimes I even admit loving to receive love—Jesus calls us to love something different and you will recognize the difference but most importantly, others will recognize the difference. 
Will you join me this week? 

Can we meet Jesus this week and will you say to Him, “Please show me how to love better.” 

You can also go here and download free at iTunes the latest show from Girlfriendit Radio titled “Men of Honor,” which aired last week.  It’s not just for men…but us women can learn to walk like Jesus too.
 As I type these thoughts it’s as if the sun is shining brighter and brighter in my living room-oh, how the stars must have been doing the same that Christmas night when Jesus was born! 

When the shepherds had seen Jesus, verse 17 says, “They spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.” 
Isn’t that what we do…when we meet Jesus and receive His love—we can’t help but share what we’ve received with others?!?! 

I read this blog this week too and it might stir your heart like it did mine.  May we encourage each other to run to Him this week—this season! 
May we increase our understanding, our knowledge of who Jesus is—receive His gifts of love and mercy. 

Then…then, we may just begin to understand and know Jesus a little better. 
I am always looking for great blogs/books and teachers to follow, please feel free to share your favorites that point you to understanding Jesus better...Share your comments below!

Friday, December 16, 2011

FUN FRIDAY- HAPPY BIRTHDAY

This morning I woke up and could not wait see my birthday boy break through this!

 A girlfriend pointed me here for the idea. 

We are celebrating him today and just got home from bringing his class donuts and later his favorite lunch "Taco Bell" at school!

As I think about making the day special and fun today for my son, I am also thinking about the balance of sharing what I do for FUN!  I do not desire to boast or brag--or say, "Look what I am doing..."  But truly my heart is to encourage FUN!

I am very aware, that my heart is able to go down the envy road just like anyone else's and I definitely don't want to breed such emptiness--I do believe there is something healthy in us sharing and encouraging FUN! 

As a child, I have to say--the FUN department was lacking a bit in my home--and no fault to those around me; I just realize now that God's love is inside of me and there is a happy heart churning inside of me to enjoy life and have FUN! 

My other son, who is NOT celebrating his birthday today reminded me this morning maybe just a little speck of why God has wired us for this?  Why have FUN...why make the effort?

My son woke up and was at a crossroad...literally in the hallway this morning and seeing the streamers decorated for his brother, he could have chosen to frown and think or say, "I want that!"
(I know we've all been there.)

The first thing out of his mouth after screaming, 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!' to his brother was..."I love our family...we have FUN!" 

"I had fun with Mom."
"YAY! Dad's home!"
He not only said it this morning, but wrote it on  Dad's 'welcome home' banner we made last night for Dad as we welcomed him home from a week long business trip.




OH, it feels good to have everyone home...I'm ready to have some FUN with my family this weekend.  Life is full of both up and down moments and I'm going to squeeze out every drop of FUN AND LOVE in my days!

What do you do to celebrate with your family?  Hope my sharing just spurs you on to keep it up and squeeze out the FUN in your day! 




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Word Wednesday: STRIVE


We were made to strive for something....






What are you reaching for?



Let's keep going and keep encouraging each other. (Heb 10:25)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Meeting on Love

Praise the LORD!  It really didn't take long for my hubby to fix up my hard drive and I'm back up and writing!  (I was expecting it to take longer..but God surprised me in a number of ways!)

 Today's post is a little taste of my meetings with Him last week...grab your favorite cup of the season and take a short walk with me.  I pray your heart will be smiling at the end :)

I read somewhere, either in one of the three books I am reading, or a blog, or a Facebook post, that stress is a choice!  I had to chew on that for awhile and realized that yes indeed it is a choice!  There are all kinds of things that the enemy tries to use to rob us of peace and he loves to see us stressed out and running after different things distracted from the Prince of Peace. 

It is hard not to be busy this time of year, isn't it?  We have two birthdays in our house on top of Jesus' this month and it is hard not to get lost in my to do list and how I "want" things to turn out.  Even with the best of intentions of making this season wonderful and meaningful and full of love--I can so easily miss the boat and my vessel of love can sink in an instant.  God's timing of reminding me of this is impeccable...He spoke to my heart and as I type I am knee deep in stuff getting ready for my boys' birthday celebrations, finishing school projects, decorating, wrapping, cleaning...the list goes on.

So what do we do?  We must ask Him to help us and...

MEET WITH JESUS!

I woke up this morning and these words rang in my head and the verse Jer 31:33 which I read that night came back to my mind.  It says that God writes on our hearts...His truths--His love!  We must spend time allowing Him to do this and REMEMBERING Jesus throughout the day!  Yes, the quiet times, the Bible studying, the memorizing of scripture all benefit us, but I've found that I need to open my heart and look for Him throughout the day in my everyday surroundings to see and hear God speaking to me...it's like getting texts, emails and phone calls from Him throughout the day. 

Even with the hustle and bustle of the season and days with to do lists much to long, I noticed there are still plenty of opportunities to hear Him speak to us.   Have you attended any Christmas programs yet?  This one here is one of my bestie's daughter performing "Seasons of Love."  While watching this live, I felt God speak to me again the meaning of this season, "We must first receive His love--receive Love--receive Him for He is Love and then, only then can we truly love."
Go here to see video I posted on Facebook.
My own boy had his first band concert last week and as I watched him dressed in his finest playing proudly "Hot Cross Buns" and a number of other beginning songs his smile on stage melted my heart and I heard God whisper,"As beginner's you have the opportunity to shine for Me--you may be playing little notes and you may mess up these littlest notes, but your efforts do not go unnoticed...I see and use EVERYTHING!"
Joshua playing trumpet in his first band performance.

As I watched my youngest boy crawl over to the sofa and pull down every bit of laundry that I just folded and my heart partly frustrated because my work would have to be re-done but some how all I could do was smile and take a picture of him in the mound of laundry, I heard God whisper, "When you have gotten your hands in and messed things up in the past, this is how my heart feels about you." 
Jacob helping with laundry.
As I watch him take off finding every obstacle he can in the house to crawl through just for fun, I hear God whisper, "You have learned so much and grown closer to me through each obstacle you have had to climb over with me."
Jacob overcoming obstacles.
With my boy's determination to hold and love on my friend's little guy while I took care of him for the day, I heard Him whisper, "You were wired for love just as JD can't help but love this little guy he just met, you can't help but love those I bring into your path." 
JD with our new friend Cruz.
So who has God put in your path to love?  Sometimes I know it can be overwhelming to think about loving all of those dear to us...especially if we do it from our own strength and if we think we have to do something BIG or be perfect at it. As I prepare my heart, I hear God whisper, "Be willing...I will show you...we will keep it simple."

I realized this week that I felt the most loved through whispers I was still enough to hear.  My family this week is getting ready to celebrate two of the most precious gifts in our lives but we are also going to focus on loving those around us.  I will post more about this later...

What are some simple ways that you are choosing to let your love overflow this week?  Please share with us--not in a way to boast of course, but there is something healthy and contagious when we give each other ideas and permission to simply listen and love! 

I'm encouraging girlfriends here to post their ideas and pictures.  Join us as we encourage each other to meet with Jesus and love this week. Sunlight pours from His face (Matt 17:2)...let's seek His face this season; for someone is bound to see Him radiating from you and thus meet Him too!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday Meeting

Well, this is not what I had intended to post...but with some minor hard drive issues on my laptop I'm needing to go with plan B this week and actually as I sense the nudge to focus on Jesus during this season and I see others around me taking a vacation.  I'm going to take this Cyber Blog Sabbath (Sure is fun to write and make up words) and hault from posting here until 2012. 

The New Year is coming soon!

Please continue to join me on Facebook (I can easily post there with my pad but my writings I have stored will just have to wait for the new year!)

Also, don't forget to check out my FB Page "Princess Path."  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Princess-Path/131673090271327. Where I will be sharing some joys through this season and hope to see other princesses encouraging others to love during this Christmas season.

Looking forward to writing and chatting with you in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

This week I had some super girlfriends over to kick off some FUN this season.  We gathered around my living room with coffee mugs and sweets and ushered in this season of Love—this season that Love came down!

I’m encouraging all my girlfriends to spread some extra LOVE this season…and spread some cheer for 12 Days!  Check out the detail of the 12 Days of Christmas at the GirlfrienditFacebook Page.  Then share an idea with us at the Princess Path Facebook Page and be entered in a drawing for a Starbucks Giftcard! 

Have fun loving on those around you—and if you need some ideas…just keep checking in and see what other girlfriends are doing.  And most importantly, remember Him…remember God’s love!  Know and rely on the love that He has for you—BELIEVE in the love that He has for you and then share it--you never know who just might need it!

Have FUN and if you haven’t listened yet, download the podcast of yesterday’s Girlfriendit Radio Show…be inspired by hearing about other girlfriends who are believing in Love and applying it in their lives! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet Jesus Monday! (Belief & Perfection)

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?  Jesus asked.  (Matthew 9:28)
Graphics created by Shazi Creation
Isn’t it awesome to have Jesus’s words written down?

 I have to be honest, there are so many times that I have struggled to believe.   I am thankful that others in the Bible have cried out to God asking them to help them with their unbelief.  I've struggled multiple times...to believe that someone loved me—really loved me.  To believe that I could trust someone…truly trust someone.  To believe that God not only loves me but is able to ‘do this!?!”  (Whatever 'this' is at that moment.)
Growing up with a father that abused caused me to question and quite honestly  caused me to be confused about love.  One of the hardest things for me to grasp still is how much my Heavenly Father loves me and wants the best for me. 

Why, I wonder have I had to suffer pain and loss and abuse?   When the tears pile up—I sense a smile and simple whisper, “It’s not ALL of the story…you’re not in heaven yet—this place is never going to be perfect.”
I realize how much my heart longs for perfection and the balance of still continuing to dream about perfection because that is what it will be like in heaven, but keeping my mind at bay knowing perfection will never arise here on earth. 
I sense Jesus tugging on my heart—do you want perfection or do you want me?   

Do I believe that He is the answer to my every need—my every desire for perfection? 
Let’s not let anything or anyone stop us from reaching Him.  Let’s help each other remember Him and believe!
This season is upon us—we’ve just finished mounds of turkey and stuffing and will probably continue to snack for days on the left-over’s. 

As I look around my home and my neighbor’s home and the beautiful things of the season to motivate or entice me—my heart is nudged to remember the reason that we even celebrate this wonderful time of year.
Will you help me remember that it’s not about perfection…but about believing!

Say it with me, “I BELIEVE He is able to do this!”

Friday, November 25, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

Picture found here.
I love that you are checking in girlfriend.
But what are you doing online today--other than shopping? 
Get shopping girlfriend...come back later and share your great deals...

hee hee :)  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WORD Wednesday..."tHaNkFuL"

"Since we are receiving the Kingdom that cannot be shaken...be thankful..." Hebrews 12:28

"Devote yourself to prayer, be watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

"Be thankful." Col 3:15

thankful
Soak in the thankfulness around you and express it!

What are you thankful for?  Who are you thankful for?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet with Jesus Monday!

Good Morning--Happy Monday and Happy Thanksgiving week!

I'm hitting the pause button this week! Reflecting and meditating on these words in Matthew 26:26

"Jesus...gave thanks..."

Will you join me in your own heart this week?

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 18, 2011

FUN FRIDAY!

It’s FUN FRIDAY and I am simply ready to halt the fingertips on the keyboard and just go have some FUN!   

I was listening to yesterday’s Girlfriendit Radio Show titled “How to Make a Sudden Impact,” and something that guest, Allen McCray said struck me about FUN.  He said that in his earlier years, surrounded by legalistic viewpoints, he believed that if you were having FUN you must be doing something bad, evil or sinful.   In order to be a good person or a good Christian, you must always be serious and Bible thumperish.

I have to say that this is what I grew up believing.  Rather than dissect why I believed that—can we just say it’s wrong!  I believe Jesus had FUN and our God has a FUN personality and we girlfriends are wired in His image of FUN!  (I like to remind myself about Jesus and we know He turned water into wine—at least He wasn’t a party pooper.   He celebrated the Passover with His disciples.  He walked on water AND invited his friend to walk with Him….now doesn’t that sound like FUN!?!)

Do you struggle making time for FUN in your day, your week, your month, your year?

My husband having FUN cheering on
his team this week!
For those of you FUN seekers…you princesses with personalities raring to go for every party and turning every gathering into a party please be courageous and share some of you FUN stories.  What do you do for FUN?  Please share at least one FUN thing that you have planned this weekend. 

You never know what FUN may transpire. 


Then, for FUN go listen to yesterday’s Girlfriendit Show and hear Sheryl Cooper share the fun ministry that her and her husband, Alice Cooper have created call Solid Rock Ministries.  Be inspired to read Acts and recognize the Holy Spirit running through your veins to make a sudden impact in our world.  Then also hear more about how Allen McCray turned his own need into ministry.  Be ready girlfriends, embrace the reflection of God in you and understand your God-given personality—then use it for His glory--you can count on it being FUN!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WORD WEDNESDAY *Forgive*

Has the word forgive been popping up for anyone else?  Such a process and probably the best description of forgiveness that I have ever read or heard explained to me was from the book Mending the Soul, by Steven Tracey--Chapter 10. 

I woke up this morning with the lyrics from Chris August's song titled, 7X70 playing over in my head reminding me of both the wrong that I have endured and the wrong that I have also given in this life.  Have you heard them?

7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around

I lost count of the ways you let me down
But no matter how many times you weren’t around
I’m all right now

God picked up my heart and helped me through
And shined a light on the one thing left to do
And that’s forgive you
I forgive you

7 times 70 times
If that’s the cost I’ll pay the price
7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way

7 times 70 times
There’s healing in this house tonight
Also, remember a couple of weeks back when we read that Jesus calls us 'friend?' 

I'm smiling as I write and see the words in Luke 5 where some men carried a paralytic man on a mat through the roof to get to Jesus for healing.  Jesus said in verse 20 after seeing their faith, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." 

Then again Jesus talks about a friend, a woman who has been forgiven in Luke 7:47...the shimmer of hope, the legacy that I want to leave..."her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much."  A princess for sure.

Isn't it true, aren't the most loving people we know also the most forgiving people? 

What about you...I'm curious if any other words have been whispered to you these past couple of days? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

MONDAY MEETING with Jesus and forgiveness

It’s Meet with Jesus Monday let's get right down to business.
John 8:1-11 tells us that a woman stood there amidst the circle of people and the darkness in her heart was revealed.  I don’t know if I could bear to have my dark messes known to the masses.  I am ashamed at how many times I try to cover it up and as I think about Jesus and how he handled this woman—this adulterer—my heart feels lighter.

Scripture says she was caught in the very act.  I do have a hard time thinking of myself as this woman…seeing myself as a victim seems a little more comfortable.  Yet, recently while studying the book of Hosea and re-reading the words in John 8, I see freedom again in admiting my wrongs and also the wrongs of another.  Are you burdened with the realization of your own wrong?
Receive Jesus’ forgiveness and turn away from your wrong
As I lean into my friend Jesus I find peace in the middle of my circle, aware of my ugly tendencies and free from oppression.  I can picture myself being this woman standing there with Jesus and encircled by scowling men and I picture Jesus' kind, loving, accepting eyes. 
He knows my tendencies and He knows how to handle the judgment that naturally comes from others when they are hurt and bothered by my ugliness. 
Are there consequences for our ugly acts?                                        …I believe so
Will we be tempted to feel down because our ugly acts?                …I think I can count on that
Can our ugliness be forgotten, pardoned, exonerated?                   …It already has!

Hear Jesus whisper this truth…see Him pointing out that NO ONE is left encircling or condemning you—
Sometimes we cause our own circle of accusations and condemnation in our head and even imagine others pointing their fingers and scowling—all inside our own heads.  If you are condemning yourself inside your own head right now—stop it!  Just stop it!  Nothing is changed and it is not made right by you torturing yourself.  Receive this free gift.
  
Hear what Jesus says, receive the love and forgiveness: ”Then neither do I condemn you…go now and leave your life of sin.” 
A princess knows that she makes mistakes and when she does make mistakes in her life she admits them and moves on—don’t let your tiara get caught in the snags of condemnation—and don't be fooled--a good princess is a repentant sinner, not a perfect anything.
See and accept Jesus and know that no one is pointing their finger at you, no one is condemning you--leave your sin behind and walk in His forgiveness.  You are forgiven.

Friday, November 11, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

Happy Veteran's Day...11-11-11
Another Friday...another chance to have some FUN! 

Actually in the process of  FUN and don't have much time to write--will post a little later this weekend.

Go here to download podcast of yesterday's Girlfriendit Radio Show...and most importantly celebrate and have some FUN!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Word Wednesday

This has been a physical mountain before me this week with our washer out for a few days.  Thought this was kind of funny and I would much rather focus on this mountain of laundry than some of the other mountains in my life.  I definitely don't want to be a downer--but I know I am not alone in the sea of mountains from time to time.  Any of these mountains sound familiar?

*Mount Baby Sniffles
*Mount Diagnosis
*Mount Finances
*Mount Discouragement
*Mount Fear
*Mount Location
*Mount Frustration
*Mount Hurt
*Mount Desire
*Mount Struggling
*Mount Don't Know Enough
*Mount Know Too Much
*Mount Stress
*Mount Don't Know What To Do
*Mount Lost

What's the mountain before you look and feel like these days?

How do you remind  yourself that you are not alone?

How do you keep from being paralyzed at the base of the mountain?

Let's keep going-keep seeking the One who gives us strength to climb and the one with power to move the mountain!

Listen to a man named Paul's advice...He knew and loved Jesus too.

"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me.  Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.  I ahve learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Phil 4:10-13

Knowing that in this life we face mountains of many kinds, how can we pray and encourage each other to flex our muscles at the base of our mountains? Princess style of course!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet with Jesus Monday and MORE!

I'm so excited girlfriends!  Have you ever just been so overwhelmed by a friend's love and encouragement?  I hope today's posts speaks to you about the truth that our friends really can bring life and encouragement to our lives...especially our friend Jesus!  No doubt, have I been inspired by the love and encouragement found while spending time with my sweet friend Jesus, and today's blog post speaks to these times with Him!   

I am both honored and humbled (yes these two feelings happened at the same time) to have this Monday's post published online at (In)courage. Don't you just love those friends who encourage you to keep going?!? Go here and check out my post!  Stay a while and check out their wonderful encouraging website. 

Then no matter what mountains you are facing this Monday...soak up the truth in these verses today: 

"I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:14 NAS"
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Phil 4:13 NKJV


Please share your own encouragement or if you need prayer for the current mountains that you are facing in your life--comment about that too--I will lift you up and chat with Him about it too girlfriend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

So today is FRIDAY…well, not just FRIDAY, but...FUN FRIDAY!!!

I have to admit that this particular Friday, well doesn’t seem so FUN!  I’ve got a sick little one at home.  I have to admit that on days like today, I am tempted to pull the covers over my head and hide-away. Do you ever waste the day away?
 I am reminded today that not every day—not every Friday can be a picnic.  Yet, we do have choices even deep in the muck of the worst of days, don't we? 

Refusing to stay couped up in the house with a runny-nosed, feverish toddler I decided to go for a walk yesterday and I invited one of my neighbors.  I am just getting to know her and I have to tell you she is FABULOUS!  I am thankful for the short walk we had and it did not take long for me to recognize the FUN attitude she has about life...and let me tell you she is facing some HUGE things in her life right now--heart-breaking stuff that honestly, rattled me to the core when she shared her heart...but she is still choosing to have FUN! 

Do you know anyone like that? 

I also remember volunteering my time at a food mission a few years back and I remember being so blessed chatting with the people.  I remember my heart and soul being impacted the most by the ones in line waiting for their food box who were smiling and encouraging those around them.  Faced with a hard day and they were still having FUN! 

We all desire to have FUN, but do we all choose FUN?
I see it every week, my young boys want to have some FUN to look forward to each week--even the biggest kid in our house makes sure there is some FUN in the week.  Doesn't God have FUN planned for us too...YOU BET HE DOES!!  So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it...we work hard and we do the hard stuff--but we make sure to have FUN!
So, I hope you get my point and if today you are feeling a bit like it is no FUN FRIDAY at all...maybe you are tempted to sift through Facebook envying the FUN that everyone else seems to have this Friday--don't (I've done it and it's--well...NO FUN!).  Maybe choose to do for yourself what someone else shares on Facebook...but the sulking and envious part--SQUASH that! Get out and have your own FUN.  
Still not sure what to do?  One great idea to get you thinking and out of a funk and into some FUN is download this week's Girlfriendit Radio show titled, "How Do You Fight Apathy?
And you can read more about the great nuggets of information I got from the show here
Have FUN girlfriends!  And see you back here Monday...I've got some great news to share then!!!
*Oh, yes--we can have FUN on Monday too*





Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Word Wednesday

Did you read my post Monday?  If you did, have you been thinking about Jesus being your friend?

Word for Wednesday just has to be FRIEND!
I keep hearing the word friend and each time I am reminding myself that Jesus is my friend!  I hope you are doing the same girlfriend!

It’s weird getting to know a friend we can’t physically see or touch though isn’t it?  I was reminded of how God uses our other relationships in this world to shine His love and even though we don’t physically see God’s face, or see his ‘thumbs up,’ He allows me to see it from others.  This morning after having some time to sit and be quiet with God I was talking to Him about wanting to see Him and wanting Him to be real in my life…just wanting that nudge or “Atta girl—you know when you just need to hear ‘keep going!’” 
I then went in to wake up my boy and to encourage him out of bed; I told him what was for breakfast. His enthusiasm was quiet—this is what I got.
It was enough to make me smile…and I just know Jesus is giving me that same quiet enthusiasm.
How have you been intentional about seeing Him as a real live friend?

Just throwing out some ideas:
*He is the friend calling you to do lunch next week.
*He is the friend taking the initiative to gently wake you up in the morning wanting to talk to you.
*He is the friend texting you asking how your day is going?
*He is the friend emailing you asking how He can help you out today?
*He is the friend nudging you to do the right thing.
*He is the friend who gently tells you that you goofed up and you should say, “You are sorry.”
*He is the friend high-fiving you and encouraging you to keep going.
*He is the friend who speaks highly of you in a group of others.

All of this just compels me to embrace my friend Jesus and isn’t it funny how having a good friend moves us to be a better friend ourselves.  Even though we are not perfect, we can be good friends—I know I am far from being a perfect friend.
Sometimes I’ve gotten the thumbs down from my friends…and I’m continuing to learn and grow through those interactions and relationships.  In this season when I feel I have less to give I am just seeking Him and giving it my best. I’m thankful for the girlfriends in my life that have continually pointed me to my friend Jesus and who model the way.. 

Are you the kind of friend you want to have?  I know in my life there have definitely been seasons where I got what I gave—and boy does our friend Jesus compel us to give what we get from Him!
I read over some of these truths since hearing the word friend…hope they encourage you and inspire you to embrace your friend Jesus and be the best friend you can be too!

“Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! ”  (Proverbs 3:3 NLT)
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 NIV)
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interest of others.” (Phil 2:4)
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others” (Hebrews 13:16 NIV)
Friend, do you have anything to share?  What has a good friend taught you recently?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Meet Jesus Monday

Aaaaah Monday...

A fresh new day, a fresh new week…I like Mondays for this reason—yet some Mondays just get rolling out of control don't they?  I struggled to find the refreshment in last Monday as I spent the day prior sick and did not have time to prepare for the week.  Kids' lunches were not made and with my hubby just arriving back from a week long trip, his laundry and ironing sat calling my name. 
Yet even in the chaos, I heard Jesus whisper friend and I sensed His love and aid that day and the chaotic day passed.  I didn’t notice His presence painted everywhere in my day just like the colors of Fall are hidden in this desert; but I still found Him.  I still found my faithful friend named Jesus. 

He made me smile this morning with this lone red leaf on the ground—most around my walking path are green or scorched brown from the sun and heat.  Just like Him sprinkling my chaotic day with his love and friendship, the trees are sprinkled with glimpses of the changing season even in the desert.
I was drawn to John 15 throughout my reading about Jesus these past few days and when I read the word friends I seemed to also hear from my memory my son practicing his trumpet.  It was as if Jesus was saying with such grandeur,
"Introducing, my friend [I heard my name and I encourage you to insert your name here.]”

Do you know that Jesus calls you friend?  I encourage you to read John 15:13-17.
He layed down His life...He calls us friends...He chose us.

Can you soak in that He is calling your friend? 

As  women  we crave friendship don’t we?  I have been ever more aware of this as I have recently moved and am now out numbered with baby# 3.  I wish I had more time in my day and could rearrange another's day to match mine--just to sit with my dear friends. 
I rememberd a new neighbor I met who did not yet know my name and called me friend…rembering it now makes me smile. 
And as I remember this, I hear Jesus whisper, STOP, see me calling you friend!
I challenge you as I sensed God challenging me to just sit and be still hearing Jesus call you friend.
Note that it’s not about us being a good friend or not….he still calls us friends even when we have bad days.  That person who just annoys you…that co-worker, that family member, that weird person down the street—Jesus calls them friends too.  Notice who Jesus called friend:
To the man who betrayed him, Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”  (Matthew 26:50)

To the man needing healing, Jesus said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 5:20)
Last week in the text we read about His friend Lazarus who had died but Jesus brought back to life. (John 11:11)

Let us not doubt that Jesus wants to be our friend…for He has called us friends and He wants us to live our lives as a loved friend. 
What does it mean to you knowing that Jesus calls us friends?  

How will a friend who knows she is loved--react today?
How will a friend who knows that Jesus loves her--respond today?
How will a friend who knows she is loved--love today?

Friday, October 28, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

It's FUN FRIDAY again!  woOT  WOOT! 

Can't help but have this thumbs up is on my mind again!
Lots to celebrate in my heart this Friday as I listened to Girlfriendit Radio yesterday and was motivated to make a list of the things I am passionate about.  Read more here and click on the link to listen for yourself. 
The Girlfriendit radio show and movement is close to my heart because they remind me of the kind of woman God has created me to be, the kind of girlfriends that I want surrounding me in this life, and also the kind of girlfriend that I want to be.  One thing I am passionate about is encouraging others, and I do think that this passion was born out of the void I had as a young child who often lacked that encouraging word from those closest to me--especially my father.  I am now on a journey of continuned healing with my Heavenly Father and seeking to understand more everyday just how much Jesus loves me and I'm passionate about all of my girlfriends embracing this love too!  Look for more encouraging stuff coming from me--inspired by the love that I have found from knowing Jesus--it's gonna be FUN and no real tiaras are involved...but it's definitely all about walking down that princess path in this life! 

Don't forget to listen to this week's show...it will cheer you on in your pursuit of God's plan and purpose for your life.

I am trusting and just taking one baby step at a time right now...very similar to the tiny steps my 10 month old is taking--small but HUGE at the same time. 

I'm celebrating today because it's FUN FRIDAY, because I worked hard all week, because I'm choosing to embrace the joy in today.  My boys reminded me this week that it is all in the choosing.

Last night I enjoyed watching my nephew sing with his entire third grade class and the theme was embracing the show biz--or the FUN of life!  The chorus of kids singing or screaming at some points, jump started my thinking and reminded me that God is often reminding us to be present enough in our day and choose to have FUN!

My oldest son, chose to have FUN and actually ran in the FUN RUN at school this week. 









And then my middle son chose to have FUN and be a crazy cheesehead fan for his favorite football team. 


And then my youngest...well if you knew him, you would just know that he is all about FUN! This is his new wave...he extends his arm straight up in the air...looks like he is raising his hand to be excused from his seat so he can have some more FUN!


So what are you choosing to do for FUN today?  Please share some of your FUN ideas...your great ideas might spur another to have a great FUN idea-AND I would like to post some applicable FUN ideas for us to implement in our days each week.  What do you and your family/friend do for FUN?
And isn't it just so awesome that FUN FRIDAY precedes the weekend...have a great one girlfriends! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Word Wednesday!

I've often felt like God has given me either a word or short phrase to focus on during a day or short season in my life.  Some days are so full and busy that I think He knows this is what will keep me focused on Him.  I will read some verses in the morning and a phrase might jump out at me and then get repeated by a girlfriend later that day, or it may be sung that day through a song I hear. 

Today it is the word...MAKE!

I've read: "...make straight paths for him." 
I've heard, "You make beautiful things."
I know God is going to make all things work out for His greater purposes...

No other great real thoughts--just gonna leave you with that and allow you to MAKE something of your own with it.

I will however leave you with this cool recipe to MAKE your own laundry soap.  Click here it is so easy and kind to your grocery budget.  A girlfriend shared it with me, so I just thought it might MAKE your day.

Please let me know if you have any other words to share this Wednesday--or recipes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Meeting

It's not just any Mondy meeting, it is "Meet with Jesus Monday!"

Back in the days when I was working full time out of the home; Monday meetings were always a time to get on the same page with everyone involved in the projects for the week--touch base before the week's appointments and tasks.

Well, I've decided to focus my week--my Mondays from here on out with Jesus.  I have chosen to begin my days with Him, for it is His love that inspires and compels me to love.  I've decided it best to touch base with Him and blog about Him to start off the week.  I hope and pray that you will join me.  I love to have girlfriends around to share in the FUN and we can learn together!
We learn about Jesus by reading about Him in His Word.  Please don't just take my word for it, but read it for yourself.    I would love to read to you, but my hands are full with reading to my 10 month old--yes, I am already reading to him about how much Jesus loves him with a little devotional and this is also one of his favorites...."Animal Sounds."

He loves to hear me say the animal sounds and tickle his belly when the bee goes buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Okay--back to our Monday Meeting:
I recently read John 11 and underlined the words "Jesus wept." Oh, how I long to see my Jesus weep or at least get teary-eyed over some of my heartaches in this life.  Don't you just love it when a girlfriend feels your pain and she can't help but cry when you cry and hurt when you hurt.
 
The truth is--Jesus gets us and our pain, even better than any BFF!

So I read John 11:1-37 and like I said, verse 35 jumped off of the page,"Jesus wept."  Then the two verses following it spoke to my heart, for just as I can tell that my girlfriends love me when they cannot hold back their tears, the Jews saw and spoke out  loud, "See how he loved..." 

Then there were those who chose to focus on what Jesus did not do...and pointed out that He could have stopped this painful act of death and kept His friends from experiencing this pain.

Many times I know I have sat confused asking God why He did not stop the pain from suffocating my heart.  I did not feel love in those situations...I did not see that Jesus was weeping with me.

So often I want to ask God why?  Why did you allow this?
You could have stopped this--why did you allow this pain to hit my heart? 

Oh, I wish I could say I said more often, I see and feel Jesus weeping with me--He is sad that this is what is before me right now.  I meditated on these scriptures a while and I believe God showed me something back at the beginning of Chapter 11 in verse 4...

"This sickness--this trial--this struggle--this pain will not end in death--no  it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 

I hope you can read this and take it as if Jesus is speaking to you too...
"[insert your name], this sickness--this trial--this struggle--this pain will not end in death--no it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

All I can muster in my heart is a great big THANK YOU JESUS! 
I will not die--you sweet girlfriend will not die because of this--
because of the love Jesus has shown us--we will live!!
No matter what comes before us, may we choose to see Him weeping and see that He loves us!

Just as I type this I am at the park typing with my little guy and we are watching the ducks in the pond.  These are the first real ducks that my boy has seen.  Like I said, I have introduced them to him through the book, "Animal Sounds," which I read to him just about every day..."What do the ducks say?  Quack, quack, quack, quack!"  As he giggled seeing the ducks I sense God telling me in my soul that it is that easy...read about me in my Word and then look for me in your days.  He will bring life to our days--and not just on Mondays!

Join me girlfriends--let's dare to see Jesus at least get teary-eyed over our heartaches and say without a doubt, "Jesus loves us!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

It's Fun Friday again--but this time I missed the FUN girls from Girlfriendit Radio LIVE yesterday, so I am waiting for the podcast to be posted so I can listen to it.  Otherwise, I would be telling you all about it. 

You can read a bit more from one of the guests here and check the radio page here to listen to the podcast with me on this FUN FRIDAY!

And while you're at it, just in case they are having some technical difficulties...this is a great place to listen to some other great stuff Beth Moore...she is one of my favorite Bible teachers--and her study on Eat, Pray, Love is the BOMB--she is such a hoot!!

And then sticking with this FUN FRIDAY theme (I'm cracking myself up)...

Are you looking for something fun to do with your kids this FUN FRIDAY

Go BOO someone...check out this website here.  My boys and I had a blast making some treats and then had even more FUN being tricky with delivering them...it was FUN and a great time to talk about loving and not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing (Matthew 6). We love often because we want something in return--but when we walk and love as God's princess we love for FUN....just like BOOing this Fall season--because He first loved us...right?!  FUN!

Picture found here
Speaking of love and FUN...come back for some great things on Monday!  Until then...go throw some confetti or something...
IT'S FUN FRIDAY!!!