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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Linger

Sometimes, life gets busy and things just kind of linger on my to do list?  Anyone else still have their Christmas tree up?

I'm kind of chuckling...but kind of not-ha!

Another thing on my list is figuring out my blog and having it imported to my Princess Path Facebook Page again...anyone have any ideas?

I came across this link  with some information about "Network Blogs" and now have the 'handy dandy' tab on the left-hand side of my Facebook Page...let's see if anything comes to fruition from this new tab. 

And maybe, I'll get the tree put away this week too...YIKES! 


Monday, January 30, 2012

A Splash Of Almond Milk

Just a splash of almond milk.  That’s what I began adding to my concoction of coffee this past week after listening to some great tidbits about How toTransform It on Girlfriendit Radio.  (Feel free to click on the link and download for free on iTunes)

I had to chuckle to myself after chatting it up with some girlfriends online about it.  Really, God is transforming my heart BIG time right now and He is calling me to make some changes in how I think and respond to some things in my life right now—but really my true emotions came out when I messed with and talked about my morning brew.  Change can be delightful but hard to swallow sometimes.  Do you agree?
Anyone else working through some change right now?
Are you being challenged?
Are you learning to look at your circumstances differently?
Are you learning to respond different?
Are you embracing a different attitude?
Are you being led by God to do something different?

As the seasons change, so do our minds and hearts transform as we agree with God and walk with Him as His princesses down the paths that He has for us. 
I was reminded also after listening to my pastor’s message this weekend that it is this transformation that God wants to use to bring us and others closer to Him.   My pastor titled his message, Come and See…and these words from John 1:46 are resonating in my heart today as is the story told in John 9. 

So often I get snagged in thinking that my sad circumstances or past abusive situations occurred to punish or show me just how sinful and worthless I am—I know ridiculous…right?!? 

As I even type that I know how ridiculous that is; but the reality is that even if I don’t speak it out loud, my emotions and subconscious feel this to the core because of the situations that have been present in my journey. 

Just as the disciples asked in verse 1, “…who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  I can so easily replace these words with my own situation(s)….and either feel I have sinned or point the finger at the generation before me or the other sinner beside me. 

Yet, Jesus explains, “Neither this man or his parents sinned…but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”  (John 9:3)

The work of God displayed in his life!  Does your heart long for the work of God to be displayed in your life? 

Those words ran right into my heart, covered the cracks like a medicating salve…and spoke volumes of hope!  I see that things have happened in my life too and that God desires to transform my heart all so that God might be displayed in my life.  It’s simple but complex isn’t it? 
How can I more easily share this splendor and keep it simple like the blind man who said, in John 9:25, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 
How do you keep it simple?  Can you help me keep it simple?  Is there one thing  we know?

I want to share more of the changes that have occurred in my life and heart….kind of like the change to almond milk in my coffee--but beyond that; don't you? 

I believe God has helped me create this simple list—what can you add to this list with me?
*I was once feeling unloved and unwanted…now I am loved and cherished (Deut 7:9).
*I was once searching for purpose…now I know God has a great plan and purpose for my life. (Jer 29:11)
*I was once broken and ashamed of my past feeling defeated…now I am living…although not perfectly, but as an overcomer—more than a conqueror with Christ.  (Romans 8:37)
As we remember where we’ve been, may we stay focused on where we are going with Christ.
How do you keep it simple and stay focused on this ever transforming journey?  Let's chat it up and laugh about our ways and keep going with our King...one step, one splash of almond milk at a time. 

But seriously, I am asking for your input and help...please dare to go with me and respond below.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Never Stop Dancing!


It's late...Mommy's home--thank you for your prayers--and the heels are off and the boys are in bed.  I've decided to make a collage of the night...a night I will treasure FOREVER!  First, I kind of felt like Cinderella today, taking care of a regular day of duties, changing diapers, running errands and even finishing up some work while the youngest prince napped...Mom was in sweats, hair pulled back and no make up for the majority of the day...and the rush of dinner time was in full force around 6pm when I grilled burgers for the family
 (the Princes' choice dinner for the night).
Dad brought home a gift and the boys helped put it on...                

The boys adjusting my corsage.


Prince JT-Princess Mom-Prince JD ready for the night
 I never did think about dressing the baby for the night...what was I thinking, he is our biggest dancer yet!
 Surprised at how many people there were--such a great idea!!  And way to go Dad's Club!  This picture shows just one of the circle of kids doing some dance activity with hula-hoops...my cool pre-teen was the COOLEST!


Some serious looks from the little j-man tonight...I think he was wondering what his brothers were doing with hula-hoops...
 What?  (Don't you just see the COOLNESS?)
This dancing dude
 One is particularly, not shy and not lacking in dance moves....the picture just don't do it justice. 
with his COOL bro

NEVER

STOPPED DANCING!



I don't want to stop dancing in this life...
I hope you don't stop dancing either...
But don't follow my moves...I don't know what I'm doing...just feel His heartbeat within you and follow Him...He will lead you into your own groove. 

Let's not be scared to get out there and DANCE...our own gifted dance!  I am choosing to forever remember this night, and just be...
THANKFUL!

Happy Birthday Mommy! 
Thank you for encouraging me to keep dancing.  I will push through the fears and keep dancing!

Time For A Ball

A Ball and balling are what's on my mind this FUN FRIDAY!  *Sigh*
Oh, I wonder how many of you have something heavy on your heart this FUN FRIDAY—heavy hearts make having FUN a little harder.  
I’m choosing to keep walking and make the best of this Friday—and I sense my King smiling.
I believe my King has arranged some things on the calendar for me today.  I find it a bit interesting that on this day, I am thinking about being a princess and wearing my tiara while my boys dress up in their finest prince attire to take me to the ball...yet I want to just curl up into a ball and well--just ball! 

It’s the Parent/Student Dance tonight…and I’ve dusted off my tiara, painted my nails and just written out a birthday card for my sweet mother.

Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday and her early birthday present unfortunately is coming in the form of surgery today; as she ventures on this road to rid her body of breast cancer.  Please pray for her and lift her up today.   Because of the Ball tonight, I'm reminded of our status as ‘princesses.’   And how often we forget it—maybe because we don’t wear tiaras everyday…

I’m praying for my mom and praying for all princesses in my circle—that we don’t forget Whose we are and Who we belong to—even when situations before us don’t seem so favorable. 

Renee Swope wrote about it in Chapter 2 of her new book that I’m studying, Confident Heart.  “My dad showed love by buying me things.  So, if God brought good things in my life, I felt His approval.  My dad showed disappointment through withdrawal and anger.  When life was hard and I was lonely, I wondered what I had done wrong and if God was turning His back on me.” 

Do you ever feel that way?

I know I am prone to get lost in this cycle of thinking and forget—I forget and I bet you may be tempted to forget that we are God’s masterpieces and His treasured possessions…we can’t do anything to make God loves us more and we can’t do anything to make God loves us less. 
I just read a girlfriend’s blog where she touched on this a bit too and she reminded me that we can feel forgotten too—but, as princesses of a King, “…we get to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit in our ear each day.”   (Feel free to clink on the link and read more of what my girlfriend wrote).
Sometimes I know life tries to whisper louder than God’s whisper, so when we see disappointment happen in another’s life, we must pray for them and remind them…remind ourselves!   
We are God’s masterpieces and His treasured possessions
(Eph 2:10, Deut 7:6).

Just for FUN, I’ll post pictures of my sweet princes and me later, and I might just have to go pick up a tiara for my mom to wear on her birthday tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beautiful eBook!

Last night I was at church attending a leadership meeting and was delighted that they chose to begin the meeting with worship.  The last song we sang, brought the Spirit of God close, reminding me of the magnitude of God’s love for me.  This theme that I am loved, and WHOA HOW HE LOVES US, has been resonating in my heart these past few weeks and I remembered quoting this song in my first eBook. 
Yes, you read that right…my first eBook on the study of 1 John is published! 
As if that wasn’t enough, I’m so excited to be leading a group of women through the study beginning next week! 
Check out my page on Amazon and then click on the link for my eBook “A Journey Through 1 John – See the LIGHT-Feel the LOVE- Live the LIFE!”

I first wrote this study on 1 John about  2 ½ years ago and led a group of almost 20 women through the study and was blessed by giving both my time to studying and praying with these women. 
God continues to open my eyes and open my heart to His ways and His love; encouraging me to live the abundant life free from the entanglement of abuse and sin that I was accustomed to as a child.  My life is not perfect, I am not perfect…but none of us has to be…His love is perfect. 

May we know and rely on the love that He has for us girlfriends! (1 John 4:16)
Leaving the meeting last night, I chatted with three gals that I have never met before; there are hundreds of leaders at our new church and my family is still six months new to the church.  Two of the gals were named Linda, and we made small talk about the name Linda; it’s my mother’s name (please continue to pray for her—I will blog more this week about her and her journey) and then one of the gray-haired Linda’s spoke about a time decades before when she was a na├»ve teenager a casa-nova type gentleman told her that the name Linda meant beautiful.  “It does!”  I know that; yet this Linda was sharing how put off and offended she was with this man’s context and attitude as he shared with her this truth. 
I chatted with them briefly about how sad that the world may try to bring us down and taint our ‘beautiful’—yet God has named each one of His children after his own beautiful image….

I celebrate today this day that my eBook is published not to boast of what I have done or my own ‘beautiful,’ (truthfully: at times my feelings about ‘beautiful’ have waned)—No, it is God who captivated my heart and has transformed me from the inside out…and I pray that you too will see, feel and embrace your own beautiful!!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good.  I sing and write anthems to His beautiful name!
(Psalm 135:3 The Message)
You are a beautiful princess, grab your tiara and join me on this Princess Path…and if you feel led, grab a copy of my eBook and let’s go down this journey together!
Would love to hear your thoughts about the study; you can comment on Amazon or below on my blog. 
To my King be ALL the BEAUTIFUL glory!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Soul-Deep Beauty Tip

Beauty Tubes Mascara…have you heard of it?  It’s my latest favorite thing!  I shared this mascara with my closest besties last month after my beautiful sister shared her latest beauty secret with me. 
Do you share ideas and such with your girlfriends or do you keep them to yourself?
This mascara is so different than any other mascara that I have ever used…it actually comes off in tubes…rather than smudging into the crevices around your eyes.  I never used to be able to get my mascara off completely and would have remnants of it on my pillowcase often.
As I was washing my face last night and the wet wash cloth warmed my face, I heard God whisper a cleansing message to my heart.  “You have walked this week in freedom.” 
I later saw these words in His Word as I read in Psalm 119 the following morning!

When I was washing my face, I glanced at the wash cloth and saw all the black tubes of mascara in the cloth and glanced at the mirror to see my eye lashes were clean –you’ve got to try it if you haven’t…check it out online here. 
Apparently, this beauty tip that has me jazzed this month isn’t so new—but maybe you haven’t heard yet either—so I feel compelled to share.  God did the same for my heart.  He didn’t speak anything new—but He felt compelled to share this soul-deep beauty tip…and He encouraged me, and let my heart know that He noticed and nudged me to see for myself! 
God noticed that I did not allow the hurtful, wearisome acts of my week to hold me back and because I clung to Him and the truth of whom I am in Him… I walked in freedom…holding onto my confidence! (Rather than throwing away my confidence for the day, which I have often done in the past (Heb 10:35-36).
 I’ve mentioned on my Princess Path Facebook Page, that I am partaking in Renee Swope’s “Confident Heart Online Bible Study.”  And this past week she asked us to think about and describe a woman with a confident heart; I wish I could say that I have felt confident this week.  A lot of new projects and new challenges of the heart have come upon me these past couple of weeks;  and looking back, I believe God allowed these along with a series of hurtful situations to come my way just so I could see that—yep…with Him I’m strong enough to stand…strong enough to stand in His love, not matter what life throws at me.
God showed me in the midst of my tubes mascara that by allowing His Living Water to continually wash away the junk of the world I lived confidently in Him...even during painful moments that made me feel less than secure. The key was He alone was my source of Loving Water.  I didn't rely on the comments of girlfriends or family to cheer me up this week, nor did I allow the hurtful moments to bring me down--at least not far enough down, where God could not nudge me back up. 
For a confident woman plants herself by the Water.  She does not fear or worry when heat from the world comes.  She just keeps going…knowing and relying on Love…the love God has for her.  (Jer 17:7, 1 John 4:16) 

Have you struggled with standing confident lately?  Confidence can be a fleeting feeling if we are not tapped into the One True SourceWe as fellow princesses must keep pointing each other to Him as the One True Source. 
Turn your heart towards God…Turn your eyes away from worthless things…He will preserve your life according to His Word! (Psalm 119:36-37) 

And don't forget to go check out that mascara, girlfriend, and come back to tell me what you think!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Score of Disappointment

37-20!  My boys had the yellow and green streamers ready to decorate—already planning the Super Bowl Party, but to the surprise and frustration of many—the Packers will not make it this season. 
My boy studying plays.

To my eight year old, this loss is devastating; I saw it in the tears he was trying hard to hold back.  His passion for the game of football and the Greenbay Packers has been building this season with his own opportunity to play the role of quarterback on his flag football team.


As I read the pain in my boy’s eyes from the game lost it somehow touched the tender spots of disappointments in my own heart—not from the game of football, but from the game of life.   
Has disappointment hit your heart recently?

Just this week something triggered a past hurt and I recognized that I must not allow this disappointment to throw away my confidence.  (Hebrews 10:35)
Some disappointments like losing the game or not getting the position we applied for can take the wind out of us for a moment…or a few days.  And there are some disappointments that touch the heart even deeper, possibly even entangling the threads of previous hurts. 

Right now I admit a memory of a past loss is weighing on my heart and taking up more action in my thoughts than I care to admit.  I can’t deny the pain in my heart; it breeds discouragement in the recesses of my heart, like the leftovers breed mold on the food misplaced in the recesses of the refrigerator.
Through the last week or so, I’ve had various conversations with girlfriends about disappointments that seem to be looming in both my heart and theirs…I’m thankful for their experiences and their wise words.  Maybe you need to hear these too: 

“You don’t have to win to prove your value” 
“Life is messy and dirty, shake it off; and then MOVE ON”
“Remember where you’ve come and where He’s brought you…there is HOPE.”
“A new season waits.”

There is hope.  There is a friend of all friends, who brings hope and His name is Jesus.  He too has felt disappointment and frustration.  He has had friends betray Him and life exasperated him at times too…Jesus gets your disappointment. 
I’ve been walking holding Jesus’ hand while working through my own disappointments in life.  Sometimes my fears and emotions get the best of me and my days are less than productive.  But some days are awesome and full of hope because I am listening to Him breathe life into my heart that was crushed and mistreated. 

I’m clinging to Him and the love that God has for me (1John 4:19)and through the pain He is showing me that there is a new season coming--this disappointment is not the end.  (Packers fan, a new season will be coming!) 
When a disappointment hits and when I feel that the ones God has placed in my life to care for me and shepherd my heart are not making the mark, He speaks louder with His love and encourages me to keep going—I’m not perfect either--and no on ever has to be.  (Oh, the freedom when we get this--Jesus help me get this!)

I’m partaking right now in an online study by Renee Swope.  Feel free to join me, and click here,  I met Renee online when I first felt the nudge to write and she was just beginning to write her first book.  Without her knowing it, her journey encouraged mine and kept me writing even when disappointments tried hard to keep me from writing. 
With that, I can’t wait for my first e-book to publish this month…I will let you know more about this soon.  Let’s not let disappointment breed doubt in our hearts.  Let’s cling to God’s promises and His plan for our lives.
I’m thankful for those with courage before me who set an example for me to follow and breathed fresh hope into my soul.  There are many; for today on MLK day we remember one…but the greatest of these is my friend—and I hope yours too—sweet, loving JESUS! 

When disappointment hits, remember whose you are, and who you are in Christ and have a confident heart.  (Renee Swope)
Let's keep going!  Get back on the field of life and keep pursuing God and the lives He has made us for!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Leaves Falling in January

I stood there watching the breeze beckoning the leaves to fall; capturing the rare moment in Arizona.  Our new community is full of trees and I’ve enjoyed watching the leaves change this season and now it’s January and the last bit of leaves are being swept away. 

I couldn’t help but stare into the moment and in a way felt God staring into my heart…and there it was—my fear exposed.  I recognized it as my heart crying out a prayer, “Please don’t sweep her away.”
I got a call that I was not expecting last week, and I think I am still numb from the news.  My sweet mother is now embarking on the breast cancer road.  We talked the other day about this scary road and my stomach feels like that leaf wafting from the heights of the tree and landing shocked on the cold concrete. 
So many emotions rolling through my head this week and I realize how this recent devastating news causes us to think back and even touch past devastations.  Our family has not been immune to heartache, disappointment and hardship—and I admit I cannot help but ask why? 

In the echo of my question, I hear the answer, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in your life.” (John 9:3).
My girlfriend captured this sunrise this week.
I’m anticipating the display…like artwork in the sky.  Whether morning or night—joy or despair—my God is with me. (Psalm 23) 
Just as the wind beckoned the leaves to fall…the Spirit of the Lord beckons my tears to fall and draws me to rest in His arms—pray for me Jesus…answer my mother’s prayer. 

We’re clinging to truth that combats the fear, for His perfect love drives out fear. (1John 4:18)  After talking with my mom about these fears, and one of them that this journey will mimic that of her own mothers’ who forty years ago was diagnosed in January with a life threatening illness and then left this earth five months later, missing my mother’s high school graduation. 
Many seasons have past—many leaves grown and fallen…but it’s January again and in five months my brother will graduate from high school.  Oh, to have a present wound touch a previous wound—the fear is deep and entangled and I’m so proud of my mother for tenaciously moving forward, expressing her feelings and courageously facing the fears and leaning on God.  God please allow your comfort and peace to fall on my mother and her sweet, precious heart during this time. 

With leaves scattered along the grass, I’m thankful that the landscapers are here to gather up the leaves…and my job is to gather up the truth!  I’m on a mission to gather up truth for myself and my mother to cling to during this time on the road.  These are a few scriptures I’m collecting and if you have others to share…we would treasure them and ponder them in our hearts for this present journey.  To HIM be the glory!
“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.” (Zeph 3:15)
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

ThinGs!


In the very mundane of my day, I sense my King speaking to me and these moments energize my soul.  I know I am not alone in my desires to hear from my Father, for we are all wired to hear from Him and I share not to boast and scream to the masses…look what I got—but my heart is to make Him alone famous—famous and known everywhere--in every heart…
God loves you…I pray that you hearing how He touches my heart will give you permission to see Him in your day too.
Just the onions beginning to sweat
I stood there in the kitchen preparing dinner just like any other late afternoon, this time making some extra for my mum and the extras dear to me under her roof.  Something beckoned my heart from the heat in the pot as the miriepoix simmered billowing waves of steam throughout the kitchen. 
Memories of watching the Food Network and Rachel Ray came to mind as I remember her commenting on the onions sweating and how good it was for the flavor of the meal. 
Sweating—eeeeww—it is a bit uncomfortable but yes, I know it is good for the heart.
I sensed God nudging me to see the miriepoix sweating in the pot and creating an aroma that made my mouth water, why?  I sensed questions rise up in me as I believe God was showing me how much my life is like this miriepoix—my calling—my purpose in life is like this miriepoix. 
On the brink of sweating it out, enduring each moment all the while life is heated up around me I just stood there staring at the pot.   
Things are good but I have to admit things are not easy nor are they what I would call comfortable.    Around me there are relationships that need tendinG to; hearts that need mendinG, health that needs improvinG, characters that need moldinG, habits that need breakinG, attentions that need focusinG…my life is good but there seems to be so many different things—so  much ‘inG’ that is piling up creating a HUGE  ‘inG’ mountain before me. 
As I stir up the pot I recognize the mountain of carrots, onions and celery beginning to change a bit…slowly sweating, slowly changing, slowly creating a pleasant aroma. 
“You are slowly smelling good—a fragrant offering! (Eph 5:1)”  
I’m not quite sure how to accept it—somehow I guess I just do—but I know there is purpose in sweating and having the thermostat of life turned up while God works everything out for His great purpose.  We have to count on being refined and proven genuine in this life. 
Soon the miriepoix will be added to other ingredients—and soon we will find ourselves rubbing shoulders with other great fruits of life—great ingredients put together by the master Chef!
Are you feeling life is hard right now?

Let’s remind each other, it is not the end. 

Don’t give up!  Look up and see what He is doing!

May you hear Him whisper to you too—and may you realize that the awareness of things in our life are sometimes there just so that we realize “ i need God!”     

Monday, January 2, 2012

QUIET!

My heart has yearned for some solitude and quiet moments and it's not just because the sounds of fireworks are still resonating in my head.  Quiet has been hard to find these last couple of weeks with my husband and children off for the holidays.  As much as the festivities of this time of year fill my heart with joy…it is not complete unless I consistently find solid chunks of time to be quiet with my best friend, Jesus. 
I was reminded earlier in the week of how easy it is to miss what God wants to show us when there is so much noise going on around us.  I have a new path in our new neighborhood that I like to walk and it brings me along a little lake, actually more like a large pond and one particular morning I was excited to see at least 100 ducks gathered.  As I pushed my little boy in his stroller towards the ducks, I noticed that his head was turned away, focused on something else.  He seemed fixated on this giant box covering some sort of filtration system I guess for the lake and the noise alone, I believe captivated my boy's attention.
Of course!  Noise always trumps the quiet moments, I chuckled in my mind and heard God whisper, “The same is true with you.” 
Do you get distracted with the noise in your life? 

I do—and noise isn’t always bad, but I do realize that my body craves to get away to the quiet.   I recognize that in order to live the life that God wants me to live, I have to get away to the quiet. 

It is here in quiet moments I can no longer hide from my thoughts, feelings and circumstances and it is here that I can listen and iron it all out with God. 

Having the entire family on vacation, it is so easy for me to spend 100% of my time with them.  And late nights are just a given, making it harder to get up before the family for some quiet.  
Yet, today as I did get away, I heard loud and clear from God as I saw a hummingbird fly over my head , “Take what you need, so that you may help others…this is an act of love for all of you.” 
As I sat there reading, the hummingbird flew over to a spider web and pulled off various leaves and debris which looked glued to the web.    A memory came to me of a time being with my boys about 7 years ago...oh look how little they were.   
We played around in a creek one late spring and came upon two hummingbirds tending to their nest.  I could not see this current hummingbirds nest, but I pictured him having one similar.   
God wired this hummingbird like me and you to do certain things.  By these simple acts, the hummingbird was building a nest and thus helping his young and the hummingbird by taking what he needed was inadvertently helping this spider clean up his web. 

I know, so silly to think about, but isn’t it true? 
When we take care of ourselves and receive the love from God we are much more ready to love those in our lives aren’t we? 

Life is noisy—we need to cultivate the quiet moments.

This is what I’m striving for in this new year…more quiet moments with God and my best friend Jesus.

With my focus already here and ramping up, ready for the new year; I was so excited to hear that our home church is going to be studying from the book of John…it is in this book that I’ve been soaking up more of Jesus.  In this book, I feel God gave me a theme verse for 2012: 
“Look for Him to reveal His glory and put your faith in Him.” John 2:11

Do you have a theme verse?  I’m not suggesting you have to have one, but if you do, share it with someone…it just might help them focus on Him rather than the noise.   
I believe God used this site to give me the idea of a theme verse for the year and then my pastor’s message sent me reading "the book" in the quiet. 

I’ll stop typing now and give you some space to be quiet too. 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!