Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Randomness (Vol. 17)



Scripture speaking to my heart

"Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." ~ Luke 6:38 (MSG)

What am I reading?

I'm reading The Good Life by Chuck Colson and there is sure to be another book giveaway on the horizon.

"We have to lose our lives to save them. Losing our lives means getting ourselves out of the way." (pg. 26)

Quotes from the week

"The hardest part about writing is penning the first sentence. From there on, it's a wild and dangerous fight to the end." ~ Duane Scott

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ CS Lewis (Shared by Karin of Sunrise with a six pack)

Two favorite blog reads (notice a theme?)

"In Him, we have all the approval we ever wanted. And then some!" Jennifer Dukes Lee ~ If You are Hungry for Love (A Lenten Journey to Change Your Life) // I'm so ready to join Jennifer on this journey. First thing to go was my scale because my approval is not found there. I've already been pre-approved by God.

"God needs you to be free from the lies you believe about yourself that you are not beautiful. He needs you to believe that He created you to look exactly the way He designed you for His glory." Own Your Beauty ~ Whole Magazine

My favorite, favorite blog read

"The goal of our life isn't always to rush ahead to someplace different. Sometimes we simply need to learn to settle in where we already are." Emily Freeman ~ A Word to Writers: On Changing Your Mind

And I really needed this... "If you are a writer, on a blog or otherwise, and if you have the freedom to make these kinds of choices, please forthelove don’t continue something just because you said you would."

If I promise to write about something and either never finish the series or never write about it, thank you for your grace.

Thank you for sticking close, friends

"To be a friend means a lot of things, but at the least it has to mean we will not leave. We will stick close." Winn Collier ~ Circle Close

Sharing because I just adore her

"Life is so fragile and dark days can get us down. But when you put life back into perspective and remember to look up, you'll see the light." Rebekah Hughes ~ When You're Hard Pressed, but Not Crushed

And I have to share one more

"Lasting change comes when our hearts are focused more on the Healer who does the good work in us and less on the problems in ourselves we pray that God will heal." Jennifer Camp ~ So I've Got Issues

Soon to be hanging in my home...

It's so lovely. ~~happy dance~~

Purchased from Duane Scott
50% of proceeds go to Help One Now.
Video of the week

This child simply makes me smile. Moms...don't miss this and share with other moms you know.


Favorite new song

"Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And rushing river, draw us nearer
Holy fountain consume us with You
Captivate us Lord Jesus, with You"
~ Captivate Us, by Watermark



I'm finding JOY in a deployment #JoyDare #1000gifts

#130 ~ A free day all to myself.

#131 ~ A new oven, and a sister-in-law who goes shopping with me to pick out my new oven.

#132 ~ Receiving needed hugs from church friends.

#133 ~ A few great finds at the local Family Christian store.

#134 ~ His mercies that are new every morning. (This may be a repeat but that's okay.)

#135 ~ Seeing the adorable movie Frozen with my son and his girlfriend. My son and Olaf are much alike.

#136 ~ An evening of Bible study in the dark.

#137 ~ Booking flights to go see my oldest son! It's an added bonus that he lives in San Diego.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Three Word Wednesday: God Created Us



God created us.

"Long before He laid down earth's foundation, God had us in mind, and had settled on us as the focus of His love..."  ~ Ephesians 1:4 (MSG)

He custom designed us.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." ~ Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

He sent His son to die for us.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." ~ John 3:16-17 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit lives in us.

"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory." ~ Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)

****

I know I've promised to tell my story but right now those words are not coming. It leads me to believe maybe I went ahead of God's plans and that is why writing has been so hard. Maybe He wants me to be free from my past before I share those chapters with you. To find freedom I must believe in His truth.

"...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ~ John 8:32 (ESV)

If I believe God created me, sent His son to die for me and the Holy Spirit lives within me, why do I still question my worth?

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" ~ Mark 9:24

I desperately miss who God created me to be when I believe the lies of the enemy. So instead of focusing on the pain from my past, what if all He is asking of me is to embrace and celebrate this truth:

My life has value.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." ~ Romans 8:1

He has a purpose for my life.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 1:6

Would you walk with me as I ask Him to help me overcome my unbelief? Maybe you are struggling with unbelief too.

I'm no longer sure of a God-sized dream to write a book or stand and tell my story. I simply want to appreciate the gift God has given me to share my heart with you here. Instead of seeking something bigger, I need to believe this right now is enough. I need to believe in Jesus I am enough.

****

God had only wonderful thoughts in mind when He created us and still does. Let's embrace and celebrate that truth!

"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation."
~ Psalm 100

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Randomness (Vol. 16)



Scripture speaking to my heart

"Let your adornment be what's inside--the real you, the lasting beauty of a gracious and quiet spirit, in which God delights." ~ 1 Peter 3:4

JOY-filled quote

"The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the *here and now*, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world." ~ Ann Voskamp

Three Word Wednesday Featured Writer

This week's featured writer is Holly Barrett. I'm pretty sure I met Holly through the Five Minute Friday link-up. Holly encourages me with every post she writes. She is also a fabulous sharer. I love how every Wednesday she is encouraging others to join in for Three Word Wednesday. She does the same for many others too.

I'm only asking her a few questions but she was featured at My Freshly Brewed Life as Barbie's Inspired Blogger of the month in January so you can get to know here better here.

Reclaimingaredeemedlife 

Me: What do you like most about Three Word Wednesday?

Holly: I love that it forces me to think in smaller bites. I have a lot of words and trying to boil even a title down to three words is hard for me! But TWW helps me really focus on the main point of my post.

Me: If there was only one message you could share with your readers, what would it be?

Holly: My life's message is about God's redemption. Not only the redemption He has worked in my life, which has been a lot! But about the redeemed life that He wants us to live. Jesus promised us an abundant life and so often we get too bogged down in the cares of the world. He wants us to walk in the redemption He has blessed us with.

Featured Link-up

Since Holly is our featured Three Word Wednesday writer I thought I'd also feature her weekly link-up.

TestimonyTuesdayLinkUp

Me: Tell us about your link-up, Testimony Tuesday.

Holly: One day while reading Luke 8, I was so struck by a man that Jesus healed who went home and told the whole town how much Jesus had done for him. Jesus continues to do so much for us today. So I thought it would be fun and encouraging to link-up our posts about what God is working in our lives every week. It helps me...and hopefully those who write and read...to be more aware of how God is working. And it gives Him all the glory!

A few favorite blog reads on my one word #Joy

From the amazingly beautiful Ann Voskamp ~ "The joy of the Lord is your strength and the person of Christ is your unassailable joy – and the battle for joy is nothing less than fighting the good fight of faith."

Satan was busy trying to steal my joy this week but then God sent a much needed reminder from Holley Gerth to my inbox: "Don’t let the enemy steal from God what is rightfully his—and that is you enjoying your life, embracing what he’s given, savoring each moment so that you "taste and see that the Lord is good.""

I was recently introduced to Duane Scott through Outside the City Gate and love his writing. His words were a blessing as I struggled with how to find beauty when life didn't seem beautiful.

A few other favorite blog reads

Messy. Brave. Love. You just have to read Our Sacred Scared by Glennon Melton. "When we love messy people well we start to love our messy selves more. And all that love makes us BRAVE. And eventually, Love beats fear. Love Wins." Love always wins!

I loved this week's #TellHisStory post from Jennifer Dukes Lee. God will give you enough strength for each day.

Looking for some more great links? Outside the City Gate gives you many to check out in their {post} Valentine's Link-Up, Sharing the Love.

My favorite, favorite blog read

Remember my friend Lauren who gave me the Sweet B mug? You don't want to miss Dear Day Ahead of Me, {I Am His}.

Video of the week

Glennon Melton captures my attention again with her video Life is Brutiful.

Favorite new song


Thank you for sharing with me, Elizabeth.

Fabulous encouragers

Shelly and Joan have continued to "do life" with me this past week. They are AMAZING! I've mentioned them the past two Friday's but this week I asked them, "Would you be willing to pick one post you'd most like to share with others and send to me?" Below are the two they picked. I really hope you will stop in for a visit and leave some comment love.

from Shelly ~ Traversing the Rockies and from Joan ~ Stop, Look and Listen

Notice how both are titled with three words? To my Three Word Wednesday friends, do you find three words everywhere now? Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts (which is sitting in front of me as I write)... three words!

I'm finding JOY in a deployment #JoyDare #1000 gifts

#119 ~ Dinner with my small group family.

#120 ~ A much needed hour long massage.

#121 ~ The massage therapist who gives me a hug because she sees how much it is needed.

#122 ~ A big bowl of fresh fruit. It was SUPER yummy.

#123 ~ Freshly made meatballs and spaghetti.

#124 ~ Friends who encourage and friends who show up.

#125 ~ A park full of ice-skaters. It was a moment when I allowed myself to remember there is beauty to be found in these winter months.

#126 ~ A new battery for my husband's car compliments of Team Fox Valley Glass.

#127 ~ A room full church leaders who pray for me and my husband.

#128 ~ The act of letting go and choosing to rest in Him.

#129 ~ My co-leader of the (in)Courage military wives page. She is all kinds of wonderful.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Three Word Wednesday: Come to Me



"Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (Voice)

I want to give you more but this is all I have.

I feel weary and need rest.

I need Him.

Please know I'm so grateful for you and always look forward to reading the words you share. 



 Now it's your turn to share three words.

  1. Choose three words.
  2. Share a post, photo, scripture — anything that highlights the three words you have chosen. (link up your post URL, not your blog homepage).
  3. Family-friendly posts only. Anything else will be removed.
  4. Grab the Three Word Wednesday button on my home page to use in your post or include a link back to my blog.
  5. Find someone (or a few) to encourage with a comment.
  6. We can also connect on Twitter with the #ThreeWordWednesday hashtag.
  7. Don't have a blog? Share your three words in the comments or on my blog Facebook page.
  8. Help spread the word and get others involved.
  9. If you are linking up for the first time please include the word "NEW" in your link title.


Sharing with Sharita for her Everyday Jesus link-up.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Randomness (Vol. 15)



Scripture speaking to my heart

"Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story." ~ Psalm 107: 2
**Shared by my friend Becky**

"What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!" ~ Mathew 10:27
**Shared by my friend Katie**

Notice a theme? I love the encouragement for us to tell our stories, which are all part of His story!

JOY-filled quote

Joy isn't a function of what happens, but of what I think. Joy is a function of how I thank. ~ Ann Voskamp

Storyline, by Donald Miller

"The life-theme of every major character in Scripture, every leader who follows God is the same: They are participating with God to save many lives."

Three Word Wednesday Featured Writer

Remind me not to make promises I'm unable to keep. I do plan to feature another Three Word Wednesday writer soon. I'm asking for grace as life has been a little overwhelming the past few weeks.

I do encourage you to read one, two, three or more of the posts linked up for Three Word Wednesday. You can find this week's post here. It's too hard for me to suggest only one. I always enjoy every single one. Have I mentioned how much I love this community? Come join us if you have not already. All you need to do is let three words be the focus of your post.

A few of my favorite blog reads

It's Valentine's Day so we will start with a lovely post by Emily Simmons of The Ministry Wife: What Love Really Is {a Valentine's Day post}. Thank you for sharing on your Facebook page, Kristin.

Seriously, don't miss what heaven will be like by Duane Scott written for Outside the City Gate this week. Leave a comment and share his post to be entered to win a copy of the book Streams in the Desert by L.B Cowman. You can link up a post too!

You all know my friend Karin of Sunrise With A Six Pack, right? If you've been following me for a while now you should know her. She's one of my faves and she blesses me again with her post When We Can’t See Through The Fog.

Karin introduced me to Jana of Jana's Three Dresses and I'm so grateful to now call her my friend too. Jana so kindly shared Duane Scott and Outside the City Gate with her readers this week but you should also be sure to read her post Grief Amnesia. I hear she has a giveaway coming up soon too!

God works in amazing ways! I love how he led me over to Kendal Privette's place to read the caloric thorn. I know my thorn will eventually be "a tiny, itty-bitty splinter that I have mostly forgotten."

Amy Sullivan is another writer I adore. She is talking about how waiting undoes her and I can totally relate.

Video of the week

I joined an (in)Courage group for Professional Women and one of the leaders shared a video I may need to watch for inspiration every morning before leaving for work: Work as Worship by RightNow Ministries. Good stuff!

Thankfulness

It was super wonderful to come home and discover I had received a package in the mail from Kristin of The Riches of His Love containing Holley Gerth's new book, You're Going to Be Okay. ~~happy dance~~ Would you help me show Kristin some love by taking a moment to go visit her and leave some comment love?

Fabulous encouragers

My friends Shelly and Joan are truly AWESOME. I mentioned them last week in my Friday Randomness (Vol. 14) post but they needed to be mentioned again. If you do not know these lovely ladies you really should go over and meet them. They will surely bless you.

Favorite moment

A SKYPE date with four writing friends! I really do love how God connects us in this beautiful blogging world.

I'm finding JOY in a deployment #JoyDare #1000 gifts

#90 ~ Dinner at the airport with a #milspouse friend to begin our weekend getaway for a military conference (Yellow Ribbon).

#91 ~ Praise God everyone made the flight; it was close.

#92 ~ A beautiful view of the city of Minneapolis from my hotel room... sparkling lights.

#93 ~ People who care enough to have an event for military families in different phases of a deployment.

#94 ~ The speakers who sat with us during the conference. I loved and appreciated their genuine hearts.

#95 ~ The many valuable resources available to our service members and their families.

#96 ~ Two wonderful days spent with my #milspouse friends.

#97 ~ Open hearts and the willingness to be vulnerable.

#98 ~ An evening together at Mall of America.

#99 ~ Friends who join along in the adventures of your "flat" husband.

#100 ~ Bubba Gump Shrimp employees who are willing to sing Happy Birthday to your "flat" husband. LOL

#101 ~ Returning back to our hotel safely because getting a taxi proved to be an adventure.

#102 ~ Chapel Service -- "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” ~ Matthew 18:20

#103 ~ A refreshing message during the Chapel service.

#104 ~ Friends who want to help...we only need to let them know how.

#105 ~ A much needed nap on the plane ride home.

#106 ~ The gentlemen who sat next to me on the plane. We had a brief but enjoyable conversation.

#107 ~ Responding "yes" when asked if I was a writer.''

#108 ~ A new small group campaign at my church.

#109 ~ A text from my daughter-in-law to let me know my son has returned home from his time at sea.

#110 ~ The beautiful smiles on both my DIL and my sons face in the picture they sent me of them together again.

#111 ~ A text from a #milspouse friend to say she loves me and enjoys spending time with me.

#112 ~ Finding JOY in my job. I'm really trying to!

#113 ~ A private message from a friend that came with perfect timing.

#114 ~ God creating my husband. It was his birthday this week.

#115 ~ A church friend who comes to my rescue when one of our cars will not start.

#116 ~ My son calling because he doesn't feel well and wants my opinion.

#117 ~ Everything my younger son does for me. He ROCKS!

#118 ~ A friend who calls simply to say hello.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Three Word Wednesday: My Story Matters



Last week I shared how God planted a dream in my heart to tell my story and how the dream went beyond telling my story here. For me the dream is bigger than my dream to write a book.

I dream of standing before a group of women and telling them how a marriage can overcome lies, adultery, alcoholism, separations, depression, bulimia, emotional abuse and so much more.

When the dream first began God had only just begun moving into my heart. My marriage had overcome many obstacles but I believed it was by our own strength. If I would have told my story when I first had the dream my story would have been more about me and less about God.

My story has changed.

I’m trying to decide what details from those earlier chapters of my story are worthy of sharing. I type the word worthiness and begin to question the worthiness of telling my story period. Why does my story matter?

“You didn't make yourself in your mother’s womb, God did, and to say you aren't important is to say his creation lacks substance.” ~ Donald Miller, Storyline (pg. 24)

I keep waiting for my story to be tied up with a pretty bow. To stand and tell you about my days spent in a mental hospital because of an eating disorder, I must first have complete freedom from the disorder. I want to tell you my identity is completely wrapped up in God and all those insecurities that led to years of depression and an eating disorder no longer exist. My story needs to be perfect to be worthy of telling.

But we will never reach perfection in this lifetime. If we did, why would we need a savior?

"There will be no perfecting of ourselves this side of God's return so we might as well stop kicking ourselves around about our faults." (pg. 19)

So what makes my story worthy?

When I look back at the highlights of my story many of those highlights include heartache. I can now look back and see how God was always with me. He was silently moving into my heart.

I’m unable to tell you I've found complete freedom from my eating disorder. And, yes, I still have days when I place my identity in things other than Christ. But God (those two words are always followed by good news) is still with me and I know He has great plans for me.

“God created you and He created you with the power to bring light into darkness and order into chaos. You are necessary. And the sooner you believe that, the sooner you’ll bond with God in living a great story.” (pg. 23-24)

The story I want to tell you reflects all He’s done for me. It has many hallelujahs. God saved me. He saved my marriage and He saved my family.

If you asked my why I write I'd tell you every part of me wants others to know the God I now know. Can I be honest though? This writing is HARD. I'm struggling, like really struggling, to express my whole heart to you. Before God my world was filled with darkness. I was without hope.

But God (oh how I love those two words) pulled me out of that darkness. He gave me hope.

There is so much I'm leaving out. I don't know where to begin. Can you feel my heart though? I believe my story can save lives. Saying that to you has nothing to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with Him. I know without a doubt that everything I went through was Him preparing me to help Him bring light into darkness.

Satan intended to harm me, "but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~ Genesis 50:20

I don't know when my dream to actually stand before a group of women will become a reality. In the meantime, my prayer is somehow my heart is reflected in the words I write and they lead you to pursue God with all your heart. Make Him the theme of your story.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Randomness (Vol. 14)



Scripture speaking to my heart

"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." ~ Exodus 9:16

Storyline by Donald Miller

"Christ's death on the cross was the ultimate act of love, the largest bouquet of flowers in history, the sentiment of a million love songs played out in real live." ~ Donald Miller

Three Word Wednesday Featured Writer

I promise to return next week with a featured writer. New to link up this week are #14, #16, #22, #23 and #25. Would you stop by and say hello to them? Click here.

A few of my favorite blog reads

Jennifer Dukes Lee encourages us to #TellHisStory even if it's scary and Nikki talks about finding the Hallelujahs in our stories. Both posts are filled with goodness.

If you have not already, you must read Deidra's post Damn Vices. Truly...don't miss it.

It has been a while since I've been to Bonnie Grey's place but grateful God for some reason prompted me to pay her a visit this week. The {Beloved} is Real: Do You Have a Beautiful Secret Place?

What do you need to be encouraged? The lovely Diane Bailey tells us exactly what we need.

I visited Kitty for the very first time and will surely be back to her place again. Be Still And Know.

Favorite Internet find

A video you must watch ~ Joy of New Life in Christ

Favorite picture

Because of the video above I had to share the picture taken right after we were baptized this past summer. It will forever be a favorite.

Did you miss our story of transformation? Read here.

"You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy." ~ 1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

Favorite share by another on my Facebook timeline

My daughter-in-law posted a video on my timeline and wow...totally unexpected.

Favorite videos shared by friends on Facebook

I've fallen in love with Glennon Melton. I hope you take a moment to watch her video: Put Down The Stones. Thank you for sharing Alecia.

I'm late to discover the beauty of Humans of New York. How about you? Have you heard of Brandon Stanton? His work is beautiful. I'm sorry but I do not recall who shared.

A delightful photo shared by Wives of Faith

Every day is one day closer!


Favorite moment

I had a delightful and refreshing Facebook chat mid-week with my writing friends Joan and Shelly. They are two amazing encouragers. I was so blessed by our time together and I learned a few new things too.

Favorite new song

The Civil Wars - From This Valley


Thank you, Tammy, for sharing.

Connect with me

Because I really do love connecting with you beyond the lovely comments you leave, I'd love for you to come join me over at me blog Facebook page. Of all the social media outlets, Facebook remains my favorite. So if you are on Facebook come by and say hello to me and let's chat.

I'm finding JOY in a deployment #JoyDare #1000gifts

#72 ~ A lovely dinner out with a milspouse friend. I'm so grateful for how we are able to share honestly with each other.

#73 ~ Waking to a fresh blanket of snow.

#74 ~ A lovely walk in the snow with my camera in hand.

#75 ~ Making snow angels.

#76 ~ Sharing a cup of coffee with high school friends. I love that we are still so close.

#77 ~ An evening with two of my sister-in-laws that was filled with laughter.

#78 ~ Decorating the box we would use for my husband's next care package with lots of fun messages.

#79 ~ My niece who makes the inside of the box all pretty.

#80 ~ Packing the box with lots of goodies.

#81 ~ Skyping with my hubby... the SIL's were so happy to see his face.

#82 ~ Relaxing with one of my SIL's on her comfy until we were ready to call it a night.

#83 ~ An early morning drive home; it was so peaceful at that early hour.

#84 ~ Pizza and movie night with my son and his girlfriend.

#85 ~ A text from my oldest son saying, "Aloha, Mother." It had been over a week since I had heard from him.

#86 ~ Hearing my oldest son's voice again.

#87 ~ A delightful Facebook chat with two blogging friends who refreshed my heart.

#88 ~ Dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants with my son and his girlfriend...I'm so grateful for the time I get to spend with them.

#89 ~ Ladies night at church.

Happy Friday, friends.










Sharing with Barbie for The Weekend Brew, Elizabeth for Whatever is Lovely and Shelly for Recommendation Saturday.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Word Wednesday: Telling My Story



I'm joining my friend Kristin Taylor in a 10-week study of Donald Miller's book Storyline: Finding Your Subplot In God's Story I've only read the first few pages of the book but he won me over by the third paragraph with, "We believe your story was a blank page given to you by God and to write a great story on that page is a noble pursuit and a gift to the world."

Coincidentally, my most recent post for Circles of Faith encourages others to tell their story because when we do God is glorified. God reveals His love story for us through our stories.

In the introduction of Storyline Donald Miller writes, "...but what mattered, more than anything, was that I had been used by God for some small purpose." He suggests that we play a role in God's story. We have a subplot in His story — His epic story. The truth of the matter is our story isn't about us; it's about Him.

What part does God want us to play in His story? Okay, I have not read past the introduction so I won't get too far ahead of myself here.

My mind has been bouncing back and forth between what my subplot in God's story may be and my God-sized dreams. I see a connection between the two. Sometimes I think I have way too much time on my hands for thinking. I do my best to keep looking up so my thinking doesn't head south on me.

Over the weekend the BraveGirl Community shared a video by Tedx of Glennon Doyle Melton sharing her Lessons from the Mental Hospital.


In the seventeen minutes of the video Glennon, with great vulnerability I might add, tells her story. There were times in those seventeen minutes when I felt like she was telling my story. Bulimic. Mental Hospital. Capes. Pretend. Numb. Lie. These words all hit close to home — they are familiar.

Shortly after watching the video I came across a status update by the BraveGirl Community saying, "We want your brave story." Glennon's powerful testimony has me encouraged to tell my own story. I want to "make the unknown known."

As I consider telling my story my thoughts return to my God-sized dreams. I'm one who would have previously told you I don't have a God-sized dream. But lately God has had a thing or two to say about that. I recently shared a dream to write an e-book. The book would follow my hopes of joining The Nester this October in writing for 31 days on finding JOY in a deployment.

Another dream is to encourage military wives. I'm currently living out this dream for the next eight weeks by co-leading an (in)courage group for military wives.

Prior to these dreams, God placed a dream on my heart to tell my story. That dream led me to begin blogging. I've told bits and pieces of my story over the years. Some parts are easier to tell, some are harder and others I'm unable to tell. The dream goes beyond telling my story here. Maybe I will never be brave enough to tell my story like Glennon did. But God planted a dream way down deep in my heart to stand before others and pour out my heart. "I want to feel my feelings and share."

Why?

I'm reminded of something Deidra Riggs said at the Compel Conference: "We are here to reflect God glory here on earth."

How do we reflect God's glory? We share our stories.

I know my story, my subplot in God's story, is continually unfolding. However, I believe God wants me to tell the beginning chapters of my story. Those chapters reveal what only God has the power to do.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, February 3, 2014

How God Reveals His Love for Us Through Our Stories {Circles of Faith}



I wanted to start from the beginning...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.~ Genesis 1:1-2

My focal point was going to be on the three words God says over and over again in the first chapter of Genesis: "…it is good."

He looked at all He created and said it was good. ~ Genesis 1:31

Starting from the beginning sounded like a good plan because I’m currently reading from the Book of Genesis and those three words jumped off the pages as I read. If we believe everything He said as truth, and he says those three words several times, I’m thinking those words are rather important.

To read more join me over at Circles of Faith today.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

For your Sunday



"For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

Zephaniah 3:17