Label

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!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puzzle Pieces

Last week I enjoyed some extra quiet moments with my boys and we stayed up some late nights putting together a puzzle.  So many things were shared as we sat quiet staring at the various pieces of the puzzle, first focusing on the border.  The outer things are the easiest to recognize and place aren't they?
It took time--hours to decipher the rest of the puzzle.  More quiet moments and lots of studying of the pieces.
When the time was done--when it was finished we realized that there was something missing.  How frustrating, how disappointing to recognize the piece to the puzzle was missing and after looking around the table and under the table, the missing piece was no where to be found.


Oh, the void--the emptiness!

Makes me think of the times I was like this puzzle piece, lost and hidden--the times when someone did not recognize where I fit in--but more importantly the times when I did not see the place God had for me.  Every time that I have felt sad and left out God had a different place for me and I just needed to keep going and see just where God had wanted to place me.  I'm still constantly trying to figure this out and just trusting Him and taking steps with each moment of my day. 

Do you ever feel left out? 
Do you know where you fit in? 
Could you be the exact piece for this void in this picture? 
And maybe you see someone else that would fit right here, do you have the courage to speak up and point them there? 

How do we figure it out?.

Our hearts are hopelessly dark and deceitful, like a puzzle that no one can figure out. (Jer 17:9). 

May our hearts be like this puzzle piece--once missing and hidden pushed unnoticed under the closet door only to be found when looking intently by the hands of one putting the puzzle together. 
Oh, there is One who is putting this puzzle of our lives together isn't there. 

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. (Jer 17:7&8).

Are you looking to Him to place you in the puzzle of your life?  How has God been putting the pieces of your life puzzle together? 


Monday, October 17, 2011

AWESOMENESS

"I am AWESOME!" My boy emphatically stated after I asked him how it felt after he scored 20 points and won his flag football game.  He is eight and hearing him state this made me both smile and cringe. 

The truth is...I want him to be confident and know he is awesome.  Sometimes I need a bit more of this myself not having a healthy relationship with my Daddy growing up and missing the dynamics of a solid healthy understanding of God-fidence.  Yet, we are really not all that awesome are we?  I know my life is messy and I am so imperfect even though my attempts at perfection are endless. 

I enjoyed hearing my pastor speak yesterday and descibe that we are like sheep (Psalm 100 and 23)--we can be so skittish, fearful, stupid, fragile--scrambling in life to experience some sort of significance. 

One week we are walking high and mighty because the favor we are finding in others and the bank account is full--and the next we can't get out of bed because the weight of the world is crashing down on us and our pocketbook. 

We've seen it and read about it...one day the king is praised in the streets and the next he is being kicked out of his palace.  One day our loved one is there for us and filling our love tanks to the brim and the next day they have absolutely nothing to give and leave us empty and dry.  There are days to celebrate the positive pregnancy test and other days to mourn the loss.

There are good days and bad days...days we love to talk about and other days we would rather forget...days full of things to build our dreams on and others that tempt to bring the dreams crumbling to the ground. 

What are we to do? 

Whether we are having a good day or a bad day we need to remember where our 'awesomeness' comes from...for we are made in His image and whatever we do, we should do it all for the glory of God.  (1Cor 10:31)

When we see someone do something great, or we ourselves are enabled to do something great--may we speak of the greatness giving the glory to Him..."WOW, God sure showed up there enabling you to ROCK IT!"  And then even in the bad days, speak it to yourself if you have to, "I am His and even though ________, I will not fear, for You, God are with me and You will protect me and comfort me."  (Psalm 23)

Often times it is the reminder of who we belong to that brings AWESOMENESS to our hearts!

My prayer is that those near and dear to me see this awesomeness from Him on both my good and bad days.  Today is a good day and I am also prepared for the next bad day...thank you Lord!
video

Friday, October 14, 2011

FUN FRIDAY

It's FRIDAY!  WOOHOO! Come have some fun with me today girlfriends!  Go here and download the latest Girlfriendit Radio podcast titled "Unstoppable,"and listen with me!

Are you unstoppable! Are you willing to go for it girlfriend? We know there is a God who is unstoppable.  Do you BELIEVE that with Him you are unstoppable? 

Will you be courageous and dare to look at your life's circumstances and ask both "Why me?" and "Why not me?"  The stories that are shared are both eye-opening and inspirational--prepare for your heart to be rallied!

Amira Birger tells her story about coming out of a life of sex trafficking and hear how God is using her story to bring hope and healing to other girls through her work with Mending The Soul Ministries. Amira challenges us all to take a look at our own brokenness and do our own healing for it is there that the power to love and heal happens. Patty and Lisa celebrate Amira's upcoming anniversary with her--join us and celebrate too! Amira is a new dear friend of mine--and you will love her heart!

You also won't want to miss Judy Robles as she shares her journey with mothering her son Anthony Robles. Anthony was born with only one leg and Judy shares how God has used this great challenge in both her and her son's life--who won the 2010-11 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class.  Check out the winning match here.

You will not be able to walk away from listening to this Girlfriendit show without seeing a glimpse of the love that God has for you!  For, when we see that others like us BELIEVE in themselves, even amidst difficulties, we can't help but BELIEVE in ourselves too!

Join us girlfriends, download the podcast and then chat with God, ask Him what it is that He wants you to keep going with and let's not forget to take those moments to celebrate our victories and have FUN being UNSTOPPABLE! 

As girlfriends we can share our journeys and the challenges we face and pray for one another in our various pursuits with God to be UNSTOPPABLE. 

My current pursuit is to keep writing...and I would love for you to post and share a bit of your own journey with me here.  May we continually point each other to God and His perfect plan for each one of us...for with God all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fun Lovin'

"It's just fun!" My boy explained to me after I asked him why he bolts out the door at approximately the same time everyday to say goodbye to Dad.  He waits until Dad shuts the front door and has just enough time to open up the car door before he tackles him with a hug and says, "Have a great day Dad--I love you!" 

Such a simple act of love that has become to be so meaningful because he is intentional about sticking out.  Makes me think about how I love. 
Are my acts of love standing out?  
Are my acts of love meaningful
Are my acts of love intentional?   

Loving is contagious...what are some fun ways that you are choosing to love?

Picture can be found online here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Real Life

It's Fall and It's Break Time...

Perfect time for some things to be changing a little around here...

With things changing and another blog in the works (look for joining me on the 'Princess Path' coming in just a few short months), I've decided to focus a little different around this here journey and you will hear a bit more of my specific life as a mother, daughter, sister, friend.  The structure side of me wants to have a specific days to write with specific themes; but I sense the word FREEDOM coming from the bottom of my toes and we will just see what transpires as I just surrender to write again.e 

Please feel free to come along with me and let's see what we discover in our lives together.

To jump start this adventure I just want to share a bit from our real life yesterday.

We visited the zoo yesteday and there is something about being surrounded by nature and animals...it makes you just feel basic and real.


I read this sign pointing to the truth that we gravitate towards 'real life.'



What do you gravitate towards in your life?  What is real around you?

We watched as an ocelot ate his supper.  The zoo keeper put out fruit, ground meat and inside a paper bag was a dead--but real life rat.  We were surprised to see that the ocelot sniffed the ground meat first, but went to the paper bag and slowly began to open it to eat the dead--but real life rat.  My sis even commented on the fact that it didn't eat what was easy...but what was most real. 


Do we challenge ourselves to go for what is real rather than what is easy? 

I know I often desire what is easy...but God brings what is real. 
Something that is real right now in my life is DISAPPOINTMENT :( 

Yes, God has stirred in my heart to write and I have a book--even edited by a former professional editor.  Something I believe that God has given me that is real and by my sharing, I believe and pray that it has the power to change, inspire and encourage another.  Yet, this project--this dream is at a standstill because it costs to have a publisher look at it.  I even had a publisher contact me three times last week, (twice by phone and once by email), they are so willing and want to read it--but it costs--costs more than I can afford right now.
There I said it--there I shared it--and there it is freedom and peace in speaking the truth in my heart.

What about you?  What is real in your life right now? Will you share it with me?  Will you allow me to see what is real in your life right now too?  If you are reading this on Facebook, please feel free to comment or email or even visit my blog directly at www.jgirlsjourney.blogspot.com and comment there. 

In the midst of this disappointment I am encouraged and I read Kay Arthur's tweet this morning What if the things you call disappointments are really His appointments - events He is using to make you more...

Are there any disappointments that you need to see as appointments today?  

I will leave you with my favorite pic from our family's outing...my favorite of my sweet little boy that God both surprised us with and graced us with almost a year ago. 


In watching my boy get so excited to be in his Daddy's arms, something inside of me beckons me to see that my Heavenly Daddy is holding me too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Three Times Is A "Charm"

It’s rare that another man catches my eye, but I couldn’t resist checking out a cute grandpa-ish man walking in the store. He seemed gentle but grumpy…reminding me of my own grandfather. I felt the familiar nudge to approach him and speak to him.



I’ve felt this nudge before, and I have come to recognize that it is from my heavenly Father who wants to share the love that He has given me. I wish I could say I obeyed in this instance and that I said ‘yes’ to God and allowed Him to use me; but it pains me and I am ashamed to admit that I failed to let God move by loving this man for God in that moment. [Insert very sad, broken heart and facial expression]


I heard God’s whisper clearly, but I immediately questioned it.


Did you really want me to approach him and ask him, ‘Where are you going?”



Fear instantly set in and my mind was flooded with thoughts as I walked through the store.
Will he be offended?...


Will he think I am insulting him?...


Will he reject me and think I am just whack-o?



I walked away with my heart ashamed, void and empty...I had missed it! Why? I knew the answer and the scripture came to my mind immediately, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)




I immediately asked for forgiveness and asked God to heal me and fill me with His perfect love and help me to love others by allowing Him to love through me. I cried out to Him and asked Him to give me another chance, saying something like




“Please quiet my fears and give me the confidence to approach those next time with the love that you give me.”


I immediately sensed His presence and His peace and the words “Three times is a charm,” resonated inside my head. (I saw the grandpa in the store a total of 2 times before I left the store and failed both times).




I am deciding now that the next time I feel this nudge…I will act and obey and express love.




When I am afraid of being rejected and find myself paralyzed…



1. I will remind myself, “I am God’s servant, I am chosen and he has not rejected me, and I will not fear for He is with me.” (Isaiah 41:9-10)
2. I will be willing to share the love that He has given me. “Lord, please grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12)
3. I will love for Him with the love that He has given me. “Since God has so loved me and freed me, I will love for Him.” (1 John 4:11)


It’s been 5 days since I saw that old man and I have not ceased to see his face in my mind and each time I have prayed for him. I sense God nudging me with each prayer to keep going and that He will provide another opportunity for me to love. Rather than get down on myself for missing the mark this time, I am looking ahead at what He has for me.


For, “I know I still make mistakes, but You have new mercies for me every day.” (Your Love Never Fails Lyrics by Jesus Culture).


I am looking forward to sharing soon the opportunity He provides for me to share His love. Will you join me girlfriends and let us not focus on the past but press on toward the goal of loving in truth for the One who first loved us!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WOWSA!

It is so clear to me that God has brought my family to a spacious new place and I love our new community…all except for the scorpions!
I don’t understand why God would make such creatures!
I am struggling with being fearful of their sting and paranoid that my busy 9 month old crawler will run into one of these creepy creatures. I have never been so aware and careful of where I place my feet in my own house and never did I know how cool my French twist pedicure looked under a black light.

WOWSA!

Why O Why Scorpions Abide

I don’t understand--just as I don’t understand why there are other creatures and circumstances that sting in this life. Um—I think I am a pretty normal human being that does not run after the pain found in various stinging situations. I know by experience thus far (and you probably do too), what my young boy found out by placing a scorpion’s stinger into the body of a pill bug,—get pricked in life and you are liable to start convulsing and then become paralyzed.

Why O Why God?

Why must we endure such fear of being stung or worse yet, the sting itself?

Rather than become bitter and risk being tangled in feelings of doubt when the pain comes; I have learned…

1. I have to lean into God and find strength in His truth found in His Word.
2. I have to stand in His love and remind myself that I am not defined by this sting.
3. I have to trust that God will work everything—even the painful stings for my good.


I find it very interesting that when God described the Promised Land to Moses in Number 34 we see in verse 4 that the southern boundary was Scorpion Pass. And again in Numbers 15 since Moses did not enter the promise land, God explained to Joshua in verse 3 that the southern boundary was Scorpion Pass. In this world we will have things...creatures that sting us. (John 16:33)

I guess it’s true that every rose has its thorn. Beauty from ashes…life from death…O the paradoxes of life! As tempting as it is to remain paralyzed after the stings of this world…something…some One nudges me to see a bigger picture. Sometimes I find myself wanting to put on a nice pair of heels to rise above the situation and see the broader picture.

May we strap on our heels together girlfriends!

Or maybe stay in our tennies and cry out together through the pain and declare the praises of Him who has brought us out of darkness and into His glorious light.

It doesn't matter what pair of shoes we are wearing and no matter what the sting...we just need Him who has overcome!

Girlfriends let encourage each other to seek Him with each sting that we face in this life.
”Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
Who is afraid of you now?” (1 Cor 15:55 NIV and the Message)

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Mess!

Ha! Does this look familiar?


Or am I the only one faced with such a mess!


My life is full of clutter right now, both on my counter and in my mind. Yes—my life is messy! I can hardly think a clear straight thought and this morning my heart yearns to sit and be still and write…yet how will this come to fruition?



What do you do when your heart is full of longing?



I am asking the LORD to bring the time and doing my part to walk in step with the beat of this longing...



Off I go to clean up the mess and walk with Him. I will be strengthened in the LORD and in His name I will walk today. (Zech 10:12)