Saturday, October 28, 2017

Disappointment Vs God's Appointment

Your Disappointment Could Be God's Appointment For Your Life

Read 1 Samuel 31 - 2 Samuel 1

Life is full of disappointment.  If you're like me, it doesn't take long into a newfound relationship to see disappointment in another persons life:  A job lost.  A relationship ended.  A child dead.  A dream destroyed.  A heart broken.  A soul wandering.  A debt overwhelming.  A spouse unfaithful.  A church torn.  I think I could go on for days and days!  I have talked to hundreds of women who experience disappointment, yet feel alone in their situation.

I experienced disappointment early into my marriage.  We were only three year in,  whenever infertility reared it's grueling head.  I had expectations of being a mother.  I grew up dreaming, desiring and never giving a second thought, as to whether or not I would have children.  In fact, I don't know of a single, little girl who aspires to be infertile someday... it's just not in us!  As little girls, we grow up playing with dolls, feeding our babies, rocking them to sleep and tucking them into their cradles at night. 

You want to hear something pretty sad?  I still have my cradle that my father made, for my pretend babies and the one he built for the babies that Jeremiah and I thought we'd have someday.

Disappointment is a tough thing because it forces me to deal with life (life as it is - not as I would have it).  By the way,  if your not familiar with Celebrate Recovery, that line is part of the Serenity Prayer.  It says, "...taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it..."  One of the best ways to deal with the disappointments in my life, is to admit that they exist.  To stop throwing a tantrum over my desires and start trusting God with the life He has for me.  To begin to believe that my disappointment, may very well be God's appointment for me.

David was disappointed.  He was tired of running from Saul.  He took his mighty men into the land of the Philistines, in an attempt to create a new life.  He lived with the Philistines for 1 year and 4 months when the Philistines decided to war against Israel.  David wanted to fight against Israel.  He wanted to follow his new friends into battle - but God protected David.  God used a Philistine commander to appoint David to go back home.  David was disappointed!  God was protecting David because God knew what was best for David.  God knew that if David went to war against Israel, that he would be a participant in his best friend, Jonathan's death.  What seemed a huge disappointment to David ended up being God's providential appointment for David's life.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Strength and Victory

God's Way Leads to Strength & Victory

Read 1 Samuel 29-30

I have struggled with how transparent I want to be on this little website.  I've gone back and forth (in my mind) and I've finally settled on this:  I'm going all in... 

I'm going to share the day to day issues of my life and, more importantly, how God has strengthened, disciplined, equipped and called me to share my stories.  These stories don't always have pretty endings - but they are real and vulnerable and true.  So, here I go! 

Let's discuss how God's way leads to strength and victory. 

Jeremiah and I have been married for 13 years.  We have always felt "better than average" whenever it comes to finances and money.  We were newlyweds whenever we paid cash for Jeremiah's truck, paid off his student loans and built an emergency fund of $1000.00 (per the instruction of Dave Ramsey).  We've never carried credit card debt and we've been pretty happy with this little situation for the past 13 years.  Now, I've been blogging long enough to understand that everyone has differing opinions. You could be reading this blog and think:

1. That's really good - I'm up to my eyeballs in debt
2. That's pretty weak - I've been debt free for 100 years and have a zillion dollars in the bank

I truly feel like we fall somewhere in the middle and it's really easy to get comfortable here.  Do you see why I've been so complacent?  It's really easy to stay average, but what if God wants me to be better than average?  What if God wants to use the events in my life to challenge, motivate and equip someone else to change?  What if God wants me to change?

I walked away from an Interior Design career that, quite frankly, didn't provide a very good income.  Now, don't get me wrong - I was working very hard, burning my candle at both ends, and turning down clients at a rate of 5+ per week.  I truly didn't have the time or energy to help all the people that needed me.  So, you might ask, what was the problem? 

The problem was me!  The problem - was that I was too nice!  The problem - was that I loved what I did so much that I did it for free!  The problem - was that I let people take advantage of me!  The problem - was people pleasing!

I'm so grateful that God helped me "get honest with myself" in 2016; to be brave enough to walk away from a career that had depleted me.  He gave me a new work - a humble, less visible & less glamorized work; but a work that produces a stable and larger income.  I'm really proud of the changes that God has produced in my life and heart.  I know that He is going to continue guiding me and moving me.  Who knows, I might even open my design practice again someday (I'll have to read EntreLeadership long and hard before I do this!)  Ha!

But for now we know that "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender" Psalm 22:7.  On September 3, 2017 - Jeremiah and I made our first step to financial freedom;  we paid our first "debt snowball" payment towards our car... now, 26 days later, our car is paid in full! 

I can't wait to share with you more and more of how God's Way Leads To Strength and Victory.  I'm praying for you... Step out... Let God change you... Go against the flow.... Let God lead... He will give you the strength... He will give you the victory...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Don't Be Foolish

Attempting to Solve Problems Without God's Help is Foolish

I was wearing an adult size 18 whenever I was in the 8th grade.  I would tell myself every summer that, "This is going to be the summer that I change."  I would start with high hopes and even higher expectations of what would transpire in the next 3 months, while I was away from my peers.  I would dream about:  how I would look, what I would do, and what they would say. I would wonder if the guys would finally notice me.  I would tell myself that if I fixed my problem (my weight) then my life would finally have value and worth.  The only problem with this plan... it wasn't God's best for me.  

I tried and tried to solve this problem without God's help.  It sent me down a path of perpetual dieting that left me tired, defeated and heavier than when I started.  I was jumping from one solution to the next in hopes of fixing my problem, without God's help.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was mad at God.  I felt like He had done a really poor job of creating my body and I could care less to have His help in fixing it.  I thought I could do a better job of changing my body then God had done creating it.

Looking back, I see how foolish these attempts have been to try to control my life.  By the grace of my great God, He is bringing healing, hope and solution to this problem of mine.  I'm trusting Him to change me.  I'm trusting Him to restore the years I spent chasing after this world's customs.  I am trusting that He will use my story to help someone else who is bound by similar chains.  

Check out how David and Saul foolishly attempted to solve their own problems.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

It's Time For An Intervention

Jesus Christ Will Intervene On Your Behalf

Read 1 Samuel 25-26

I will be celebrating my 2 year anniversary of Celebrate Recovery on October 4th.  When I originally went to Celebrate Recovery, to deal with food issues, I never dreamed I would be "sugary treat free" 2 years later.  To those of you reading this (without food issues) it might seem a little strange to give up sugary treats; but for someone addicted to sugar... it has made all the difference in my life.

I wrestled with God for months over this.  I remember it like yesterday because, during my Bible studies, I would weep at the thought of never having a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup again.  I had tried to give up sugar on numerous occasions and couldn't last a day without it.  So, whenever I felt the Holy Spirit stirring my heart to surrender - I fought Him and I fought Him hard!  I was mad.  "Why do I have to do this and everyone else I know can still eat these things?"  "Why this?"  "Why not give up carrots, God?  I can do that!"

This is what trusting God looks like.  God wanted me to trust Him with the day to day things in my life.  Whenever I surrendered my sugar to God - He took it and He intervened on my behalf.  He took my yoke of slavery and He shattered it into a million pieces.  He made it possible for me to trust Him.  He made it possible for me to be sugar-free two years later.  Believe me... I wouldn't last a second without His intervention.

In 1 Samuel, we see David's soul bound to the Lord.  We see God intervene on David's behalf.  We see David trust God.  Guess what!  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your soul is bound to the Lord.  He loves you deeply.  He knows what is best for you.  He wants to intervene on your behalf...  All I can say is - Let Him!  You will be so glad that you did.  

Monday, September 25, 2017

To Be Heard and Respected

Humility Places You In A Position To Be Heard and Respected

The older I get, the more I realize I don't know.  I can think back and remember vivid conversations that I had with individuals that - to this day - blow my mind.  Topics, themes, and subjects that I new very little about; but was adamant, that I knew everything about!  I was very opinionated whenever I was in college.  I still have that little character quality that creeps up sometimes, but I exercise my opinion with greater caution, the older I become. 

In 1 Samuel 24-25, we see David, Saul and Abigail bow in humility before one another.  Humility is a difficult things, because humility forces us to lay our opinions and rights on the ground.  It's very difficult to bow before another person whenever we're holding onto our own agenda.  Now, I'm not suggesting that we all go around without an opinion or a voice.  But what I am suggesting is this:  that we rely on the word of God to guide our conversations, that we spend more time listening and less time talking, that we quickly pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us our next words, and that we seek God's truth more than our own opinion.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

God Will Protect You

God Will Protect You From The Hand of Your Enemy

Read 1 Samuel 22 & 23

Life isn't always a cake-walk.  Just because you are a follower of Jesus Christ, doesn't mean that things will always be easy.  In fact, life can be downright difficult, painful, exhausting and terrifying.  David was in the middle of a situation that was far from easy.  David had been a loyal companion to Saul and Saul wanted nothing more for David, than for him to be dead.

Saul was so angry with David that he killed Ahimelech (and 85 other priest's) because of Ahimelech's loyalty to David.  Saul would stop at nothing in hopes of finding and killing David.  He used scare tactics and his position as king to gain access to the where-about of David.  He was mean and he wasn't going to be happy until he had David's head on a plate.

We all deal with things in our life that try to destroy us.  For so long, I have struggled with food issues and body image issues that have threatened to destroy me.  I have found myself, like David, running from one place to the next, in hopes of finding a place of security.  But, like David's example, there is only safety in Jesus Christ.  When David was the target of a mad man's rage, David sought counsel from God.  David prayed through his situation and relied upon God to direct his next steps.  Even whenever he was scared of what the future held, he cried out to God and David took the next step of obedience.

I find great courage in David's example and look forward to the day to day victories that God brings into my life, as I continually abide in Him. I hope you can find this same kind of peace in the midst of your terrifying situation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An Everlasting Covenant

Jesus Christ Wants To Make An Everlasting Covenant With You
Read 1 Samuel 20:4-22:2

It's honestly been hard for me to relate to David as I read 1 Samuel 20:4-22:2.  David is running fast and hard.  He's trying to escape Saul's spear.  He ends up creeping and crawling through the caves of Adullam, to save his own life.  He makes a covenant with his best friend, Jonathan.  Then, Jonathan revolts against his own father in order to help protect David.  It's a dramatic story full of sacrifice, brotherhood, ingenuity, suspense and love.

Do you understand why it's so hard for me to relate?  I haven't been hiding in the crevasses of the Ozark Mountains and I sure haven't been chased by a madman in recent days.  The more I observe this passage, the more I see that I am very much like David.  In fact, every single human being on the face of the earth is like him. 

The Bible says that Satan wants to destroy all people.  1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  Satan wanted to devour David.  Satan wants to devour me.  Satan wants to devour you.

This can seem like bad news, unless you read the entire story.  Take some time to Read 1 Samuel and you'll see that what Satan used to try to harm David, God allowed it for David's good.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Anyone Who Hates a Brother Is a Murderer

Jealousy and Hatred Lead To Destruction

Read 1 Samuel 18:1 - 20:3

I can be clicking along, minding my own business and then suddenly I am hit with jealousy.  Maybe a friend calls and gives me good news...  Maybe someone that I admire, recently lost 10 lbs...  Maybe someone I don't know, but follow on Instagram, completed a marathon, signed a book deal, built a beautiful home or announced their pregnancy.  By the grace of God, I don't often find myself in these situations; but whenever I do, it steals my joy and leaves me empty.

This emptiness, if left unchecked, can quickly turn to hatred.  Hatred toward another believer.  Hatred toward someone that I don't even know.  And even hatred towards myself.

In 1 Samuel 18 - 20:3 Saul became jealous of David.  He wanted the attention and recognition that the people were giving David.  Saul's jealousy quickly turned to hatred and before he even knew it, he was attempting to murder David!  Saul was so "eaten up" with jealousy, that he threw rational thought out the window.

The times I am the most jealous are often the times that I am seeking my own agenda. These are also the times that I have spent very little time in God's word.  It is during these seasons of my life that I am left most vulnerable, feeling least loved, and knowing that I am vastly empty.

I want to deal with the jealousy that is already in my heart and be ready to fight it, the next time it rears it's ugly head!  Now, I highly doubt I will be throwing spears at people anytime soon; but God's word says in 1 John 3:15a "Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murder..."  I don't want to end up like Saul.  I don't want jealousy to slowly grow into hatred and spring forth into murder.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Goliath Is A Big Dude

God Has Equipped You For Your Appointed Work
Read 1 Samuel 16 & 17

What am I doing next?  This question has been at the forefront of my mind the past several months.  It was less than a year ago that I closed my interior design practice, took a job as a preschool teacher, passed four Praxis' exams (to become an art teacher), and now I am officially unemployed!  A lot has happened in a year.  It's strange.  It's uncomfortable.  It's scary.  It's okay.

Deciding to close my interior design practice took well over two years to implement.  What seemed so sudden, was really a work in progress.  God was preparing my heart for this change.  A change that He knew would be very difficult for me.  A change that He knew would benefit me.

Walking into the role of preschool teacher was definitely God ordained.  I never dreamt of being a preschool teacher, yet I received the job offer in a matter of hours and began working the following week.  What people didn't see at the time, was that God had preparing me for this role.  He had been teaching me and instructing me for 8 years as a Bible Study Fellowship children's leader.  I am forever grateful for the wisdom and instruction that I learned at BSF.

As far as art teaching goes... I'm not quite sure this is going to pan out.  Obviously, I don't know the future, but my heart is shifting as I see job after job get filled with teachers, other than myself.

I'm beginning to ask myself, "What's next?"

The truth is, I don't really know what's next.  I go back to thoughts that I had at the beginning of this post... It's strange.  It's uncomfortable.  It's scary.  It's okay.

I find great joy and excitement as I read the word of 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Samuel 17.  I see a servant (named David) sleeping in a field, watching over sheep, killing lions, and wrestling bears.  He's the youngest in his family.  He doesn't even cross his father's mind, whenever Samuel shows up to anoint the next king!  David is a simple shepherd.  I don't imagine that David is sleeping under the stars, dreaming about becoming the next king of Israel.  He's just doing the work that God has placed before him and he does it well.  David, who doesn't even know it at the time, is being equipped by God.  He is being equipped by God to do a work that only he can do.  David is about to slay Goliath.

This is where I am... I am just taking this life (one day at a time) and I can't wait to see where my glorious King of Kings places me next!!!  I can't wait to see the Goliath that God is going to slay in my life.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Obedience Vs Sacrifice

To Obey Is Better Than To Sacrifice
Read 1 Samuel 15

In 1 Samuel 15 Saul was not genuinely repentant for his disobedience.  He wanted to sacrifice (openly) yet disobey God (inwardly).  He wanted the blessing of obedience without obeying.  Samuel quickly reminded Saul, in verse 22 that "... to obey is better than to sacrifice..."

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to please everyone around me.  I would make myself sick over whether or not someone liked me or thought I was kind.  I didn't know it at the time, but I carried this behavior into my relationship with Jesus Christ.

God would prompt my heart to pray for an individual - I would take it a step further and quote them scripture while offering "my opinion" on their situation.

God would ask me to adhere to our family budget - I would feel guilty if I didn't give to someone in need.  So, instead of being honest and telling that person that I was not in a position to give them money, I would place our family in a financial bind.

I volunteered for events, too numerous to remember, and justified my disobedience as important work for the kingdom of God.

God simply wanted my obedience; I felt I had to offer him more.  God wanted me to spend time with Him and I didn't think that was good enough, glorious enough or visible enough.  After all, no one would ever know about my time (alone) with Jesus.

I am learn to surrender to this new found relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is different, yet familiar.   I like this new place of obedience.  I'm safe here.  I'm at peace here.  I'm growing here and I'm learning that obedience is much better than sacrifice.

Chuck Swindoll wrote, "The very best proof of your love is obedience... nothing more, nothing less, nothing else."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

True Character Exposed

Your True Character Will Always Be Exposed
Read 1 Samuel 13 & 14

Self-Notoriety and Self- Promotion are two of the most esteemed "virtues" in the 21st Century.  Gone are the days when your day-to-day errands, meals, tasks, and workouts go unnoticed.  It seems that everything from Washing Your Face (at the beginning of the day) to the 5 Things To Do Before Bed (at the end of the day) are documented, blogged about and Instagram worthy.

Don't get me wrong, I like reading about the fabulous dinner that my friend prepared.  I like seeing the way fashion bloggers pair nude mules with a buffalo check top.  The way a women (who has lost 30 lbs) continues to resist the desire to eat (whenever she's not truly hungry) to gain victory over food issues.  I love all of this!  It encourages me, motivates me and makes me want to be a better person.

Often times, however, whenever I see these things - it makes me want to start telling the world all that I have accomplished...  All that I have done...  All that I desire to do...  There is nothing like social media to truly show me: how much of a people-pleaser I truly am.  It also shows me several areas of my life where I need to surrender and stop worrying so much about what I have accomplished.  I am learning that my accomplishments don't have to be displayed for all the world to see.  I am learning that my accomplishments are less and less important as I surrender my life to Christ.  I am learning that my accomplishments are truly not mine; they are Christs, who lives in me!  I completely relate to Paul in Galatians 2:20 whenever he says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

In 1 Samuel 13 and 1 Samuel 14 Saul's true character starts to be exposed.  Saul had a hard time with self-notoriety and self-promotion.  He had such a hard time with it, that he began taking credit for things that he didn't even accomplish.  Saul had such a hard time with it, that he was willing to destroy anyone who got in the way of the attention that he felt he deserved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

He Never Changes

I hate to jump right into the deep end (especially without knowing if you have your floaties fastened) but when you’re talking about God there is no other place to jump in.  The truths that you will discover today are deep.  They cut through the chit chat of the day to day and immediately require that you begin treading water.  Waters that many believers don’t want to tread; but that are foundational to the Christian life.  If we, as believers, don’t know and half-way understand whom it is that we serve, then what are we doing?  Why are we doing it? And most importantly, have we ever been truly transformed by this Eternal God whose name we bear?

A. W. Tozer describes God this way, “He is ETERNAL, which means that He antedates time and is wholly independent of it. Time began in Him and will end in Him. To it He pays no tribute and from it He suffers no change.  He is IMMUTABLE, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. To change He would need to go from better to worse or from worse to better. He cannot do either, for being perfect He cannot become more perfect, and if He were to become less perfect He would be less than God.  He is OMNISCIENT, which means that He knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future.   He IS, and none of the limiting and qualifying terms used of creatures can apply to Him.”[1]

I would like to take some time for you to get into God’s word on your own.  I would love for you to turn to your concordance (the alphabetical list of words that is generally located at the back of your Bible).  The concordance is a wonderful resource for you to locate different passages of scripture (that pertain to a subject matter) that you would like to study, read or learn more about. 

Today, look up the word(s) ETERNAL and/or EVERLASTING.  What do you find?  Jot down the reference for each scripture that speaks about the Eternality of God. Give yourself plenty of room to write down each scripture that you find: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

God is eternal.  Eternal means that He has always been (before the beginning of time).  Eternal means that He currently is (right here in the present).  Eternal means that He will always be (for all future events).   

Revelation 22:13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 1:6 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come - The Almighty."

Think about it… God existed before creation.  God has always existed.  God exists now and will exist for all eternity.  BAM!!!  I think my brain just popped!  Let's read that again... God existed before creation.  God has always existed.  God exists now and will exist for all eternity.

God not only exists for all eternity but He remains unchanged throughout all time.  Mariam-Webster defines immutable as, “not capable of or susceptible to change.”[2]  God is not capable of change, not because He is powerless to change.  God is not capable of change, because He is perfect.  It is His perfection that qualifies Him to be God. If he were to change (and become less than perfect) he would cease being God.  So, by His very nature, He is immutable and stable in all His ways.  He is never changing. 

Malachi 3:6a says, “For I, the LORD, do not change.”
What does Malachi say about the Lord? ____________________________________________

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Who is the same yesterday, today and forever? ______________________________________

Not only is God eternal and immutable; but He is omniscient.  Omniscient is just a fancy word that means: God knows everything.  God knows everything from the beginning to the end of time and He knows it without the restraint of timeI love how A.W. Tozer put it in his book, The Pursuit of God, “He [God] knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future.   He Is, and none of the limiting and qualifying terms used of creatures can apply to Him.”[3]

This is such a beautiful realization.  The realization that the limiting and qualifying terms that apply to my simple existence cannot be applied to God.  He is so much more than a mere man.  He is eternal.  He is immutable.  He is omniscient.  He is God!

Daniel 7:14 says, “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

[1] Tozer, A.W.  The Pursuit of God. 
[2] Immutable. (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Retrieved from
[3] Tozer, A. W.  The Pursuit of God.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Place to Find Salvation

Your Relationship With the King of kings Is The Only Place to Find Salvation

Read 1 Samuel 11 & 12

I know that everyone has a unique battle to fight.  My battle has been with food, dieting, weight loss, body image, etc.  This battle has been a part of my life so long, that it's taking an extra measure of grace to process.  I'm grateful that God is patient with me and that He gently moves me along this path of restoration and freedom.

The battle is real and it's passages like this, found in 1 Samuel 11 & 12, that are gentle reminders of where (or more specifically, whom)  my salvation comes.  I've talked briefly about this in the past, but I'm afraid it's still a battle I fight day in and day out.

For far to long, I have unknowingly been clinging to dieting and weight loss as a means to salvation.  I am not talking about my ultimate salvation.  God took care of that whenever I was 7 years old.  I am talking about salvation from the defeat and fear that I associate with my body and food.  I have given this topic far too much control of my mind, my life, my emotions and my energy.  I have believed that if I lose "X" amount of weight then I would be saved from this horrible body.  I have believed that if I wear size "X" clothing then I would be saved from the horrible thoughts that I have about myself.  I have believed that if I was successful with "X" diet then I would be saved from peoples opinions of me or perceptions of who I am.

This is absolutely ridiculous!  I have been placing my hope in my next accomplished weight loss.  But then what?  What happens after that?  Where will my satisfaction be?  In myself?  In my diet?  In my size?  In other peoples perception of me?

Samuel is old and gray.  Samuel placed his salvation in the One True God.  Samuel's life could withstand public scrutiny because he walked with God.  He trusted God.  He surrendered to God.  His salvation was in God!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

False Humility Exposed

Having The Looks and Playing the Part is Always Short-Lived
Read 1 Samuel 9 & 10

I have a deep desire.  A desire that I speak very little about.  It's a God-sized desire to teach women how to study God's word (on their own).  I would love to be able to use the tools and resources that I have been given, to influence those around me.  I don't speak often of this because, quite frankly, it scares me.  

I am scared that if I am given this opportunity I might not be smart enough to do it accurately...  I am scared that others may oppose what I teach...  I am scared to be vulnerable and transparent about what God is doing in my heart and life... And deep, deep down, I am scared that I will find great joy in this and that I might become arrogant along the way.

God is stretching me.  Every time I post a photo to Instagram; I cringe.  Is this too much to put out there?  Who is looking at this?  What will people think if they truly see my heart?  Can God use this?  Will God use this?  The truth of the matter is this:  He is allowing me to be used by Him (right here on my little piece of cyberspace).  He is stretching me & drawing me out of hiding.  He is using the events of my life to show my humanity and utter dependence upon Him.  

I don't want to be like Saul in 1 Samuel 9 & 10.  I don't want to just "look good" on the outside.  I want to "look good" deep down into my bones.  I don't want to just play the part.  I want to live it, day in and day out.  I want to be used by God.  I don't want the fear of false humility to stand in the way of how God wants to use my life.   I want to have true humility.  I want my witness for Jesus to Christ to last beyond my time on this earth.  I don't want it to be short lived.   

Monday, April 17, 2017


Determined-Dependence Upon God Brings Victory
Read 1 Samuel 6, 7, 8

I have been seeing a nutritional counselor for two months.  Her name is Deborah Pitts and it is an amazing story of how God allowed our two worlds to collide.  I am grateful.

I visited with her on Thursday and was able to process some false belief systems that I have been clenching.  Beliefs that I am embarrassed to admit, but that are key to correcting.  The most insightful belief that came out of our visit was this, "I know what is best regarding my food decisions.  I don't think that God wants to help me lose weight.  I will never be able to lose weight.  I think Jesus Christ wants to make me fat forever...  Essentially, I don't trust Him."

Ugh!  Yes, I just said that... I just admitted this to myself and to whomever reads this website... I just admitted a lie that I have been wearily gripping.  A lie that has consumed my life since I was twelve years old.  The truth of the matter is this:  This belief is ridiculous.  Jesus Christ wants the very best for me.  I am His beloved daughter, whom He died for.  He wants me to live in complete freedom.   He wants me to have victory over defeat.

In 1 Samuel 6 - 8 the Israelite's were wishy-washy in their dependence upon God.  One year they were rejecting Him, twenty years later they would return and a few days after that, they would rejected Him yet again.  The Israelite's wanted an earthly king.  They wanted something "tangible" to trust.

I trust God with my food and then, a few weeks later, start devising a better plan.  I stay focused in prayer, pour out my heart before Him, depend on Him for strength and then I start restricting foods - out of fear.   I am like the Israelite's.  I am wishy-washy in my dependence upon God and I am sick of it.  There is no diet or food plan that will give me the victory that I am searching for.  My trust must be in Jesus Christ.  Deborah taught me something very valuable on Thursday, "I am not called to accomplish - I am called to Surrender."  

This world has nothing good to offer me.  It is time to stop letting my emotions and/or false beliefs dictate my dependence upon Christ.  It is time to take this life (as it is, not as I would have it) and live in determined-dependence on God for my victory.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

True To His Word

God Is Always True to His Word.
Read 1 Samuel 3, 4, 5

I make plans and then break them.  I commit and then back-out.  I volunteer and then un-volunteer.  Part of these psychotic episodes are simply because I haven't mastered the art of saying, "No."  The other part is the fact that I am trying to stop people-pleasing and start God pleasing.  I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.

Unlike myself, God is always true to His word.  In 1 Samuel 3, the Lord appointed Samuel to be a prophet.  He called to Samuel four times.  Whenever Samuel finally listened to what the Lord had to say, the Lord gave Samuel important information.  He told Samuel that He was about to do something in Israel that would make the ears of everyone who heard about it tingle.  God told Samuel that He was about to carry out everything He had spoken concerning Eli's family.  God was about to bring judgement on them.  

As you read chapter 4 and chapter 5 you begin to see the prophecy come to life.  As brutal and messy as it was - God was true to His word.  Men died, the Ark of the Covenant was stolen and idols fell - God was true to His word.  Men got tumors all over their bodies - God was true to His word.  It was a big mess and God was true to His word.  

Don't think I'm crazy, but I find great comfort in reading a passage of scripture like this.  I want a God that is true to His word.  I need a God that is true to His word.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Faithful Versus Faithless

God Raises Up The Faithful and Brings Low the Faithless
Read 1 Samuel 2

I am going to attend a funeral at 11 am today.  The funeral of a women (younger than myself) that is a wife, a mother of 4 children, a daughter and a friend.  She is not a woman that I have had the privilege of personally knowing, but she means a great deal to several people that I love.  God is using her life and legacy to impact many people, like myself, even after she is gone...

You know, life is temporary.  It is never more real than when we face death head-on.   I can't help but ponder my life, at a time like this:

What type of legacy will I leave?  
Will I have been faithful to Jesus Christ?
Will I have pointed people to Him?

Then, I begin to think about the lives of people that I love; the lives of people that frustrate me; the lives of family and friends:

What will happen when they are gone?
Are they faithful to Jesus Christ or faithless?
Will they spend eternity with My Savior?

1 Samuel 2:6 says that God gives life and God takes it away.  He gives us life at the moment of conception but He also grants new life whenever we admit that we need Him.  Whenever we admit that we can't handle this crazy world on our own... He offers life.  Whenever we admit that we are not good enough... He offers life.  Whenever we call on the name of Jesus... He offers life.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pour Out Your Soul Before Him

The Lord Wants You To Pour Out Your Soul Before Him.
Read 1 Samuel 1

For the past 11 years, my husband and I have been trying to have a child.  We never thought that we would struggle with infertility.  Infertility really isn't something that crosses your mind; until you're left standing exposed in a fertility clinic.  A clinic where doctors are still uncertain of why this is happening.

God has been faithful with each passing year.  He has given me strength to press on and accept this beautiful life.  I have been able to love deeply and pour into the lives of those around me.  I've been able to accept the Sovereign hand of God (Psalm 135:6) that lovingly protects me and shelter's me under His wing (Psalm 91:1-4).  I praise God for allowing me to be in this place.  This place of peace and contentment.

Over the past few months God has been birthing in my heart a deep desire to pray.  He has used different events, sermons and books in my life to ignite a passion and conviction to pray.  I even wrote about my weekly prayer phone call (here).  I have been documenting where I see the hand of God moving, working and answering prayer.  It is increasing my faith and quite frankly exposing areas of my life where I give little attention to prayer.

You would probably never believe it; but infertility is one of those areas.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I know that others have prayed more fervently for me than I have prayed for myself.  For whatever reason, this area of infertility has been easier to suppress than to pray about.  It's easier for me to say that God is Sovereign, than to earnestly ask Him to give me the desire of my heart.  It's easier to say that it must be God's will for my life, than to ask Him to perform a miracle.  It's been easier for me to "move on" than to get on my knees and pray, as Hannah did, speaking out of her anxiety and vexation.

God's word says that the Lord closed Hannah's womb.  It also says that Hannah poured out her soul before the Lord.  Then, in due time, the Lord granted Hannah's desire.  It's hard for me to even type these words, but I am asking God to perform a miracle. I am asking God to hear my heart and give us a child (from my womb).  I know that He can.  I just don't know if He will.  Whatever He chooses I trust Him.  But I want to have faith, like Hannah.  I want to pour out my soul before the Lord.  I want to ask Him.  I feel compelled to ask Him.

Monday, March 6, 2017

God Judges Pride

God Judges Pride Because He Is King of kings.
Read Obadiah 1-21

I never knew how truly prideful I was until I walked into Celebrate Recovery for the very first time.  I placed my keys, Bible and purse on the floor, in front of me, as I stared wide-eyed at the circle of women around me.

I'm ashamed to say it, but these are the first thoughts that went through my mind:
"What are you doing here?  
You don't belong here?  
You're a good christian.  
You've been in Bible Study for over 25 years. 
You've been in BSF leadership for 8 years.  
You are not like these people.  
You need to leave.  
You can't learn anything from these women..."

In just a few, short minutes the circle began to speak.  One woman after another made her statement: "Hi, I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with______."  The circle was moving quickly and my hands began to sweat.  What am I going to say?  What am I supposed to do?  I felt as if the room was spinning as they were getting closer and closer to my chair.

Before I knew it, I had my mouth open and tears were running down my cheeks.  "Hi.  I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with food issues." I was broken.  The pride that I wore through the doors of that building was cracked wide open and I was exposed!  I was exposed and left standing in the middle of my sin.

I'm not quite sure what happened the rest of that evening.  All I know is that the Holy Spirit told me, "You WILL learn from these woman.  You are just like these woman."  Even though I had known the Lord since I was seven years old; I had to be stripped of my pride.  My pride needed to be exposed so Jesus could further cleanse my life.

Obadiah is book of prophesy.  It explains the love God had for Jacob and the hate God had for Esau (Edom).

Friday, February 24, 2017

From Bond-Servant to Beloved Brother

Jesus' Account Transforms Believers from Bond-Servant to Beloved Brother.
Read Philemon 1-25

Redemption is a beautiful word.  The idea that someone would compensate for my defect is mind-blowing.  I often spend the majority of my day trying to cover up my defects.  I don't want anyone to see the piles of laundry left undone, the tumbleweeds of dog hair that are blowing on my wood floors, the stretch marks on the back of my arms, or the ________.  You see, the list could go on and on.

The truth of the matter is: I had a much greater defect than I even realized.  A defect that I was born with.  A defect that cannot be seen on the outside; an internal defect.  The defect was called sin and that sin kept me from Jesus.

Whenever Jesus laid down His life on the cross, He placed my sin defect on His account.  It is Jesus Christ who compensated for my defect. The moment I believed in Jesus I was transformed from bond-servant to beloved brother.

In Philemon we read about a man named Onesimus.  He was a bond-servant; a run-a-way.  He fled from Philemon's house and ended up in Rome.  He heard Paul preach (while in chains) about freedom in Christ Jesus.  Paul led Onesimus to Jesus and Onesimus ended up returning to Philemon's house as a beloved brother!  The redemptive story is beautiful.  It reminds me of my own story and prompts me to pray for your story.  If you've never moved from bond-servant to beloved brother:  please, please, contact me.  I would love to tell you how Jesus will compensate for your defect.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Woman Who Fears The Lord Will Be Praised

Webster’s defines fear as: to have a reverential awe of God.  To show honor or respect.

Nothing fosters respect like getting to know a person… I mean really, really know them.  I’ve spent the last few months praying once a week with my two closest friends.  One is my sister, Angie and the other our lifelong friend, Becky.  

We don’t have fancy coffee meetings, we don’t even pray face to face.  We spend this precious time on a 3-way call that gets straight to the point:
  • What are you most stressed about?
  • What attribute of Jesus do you need most in your life?
  • What do you want – that would take a miracle of God to happen?
  • How are you struggling?  What specific goal do you have, this week, to help with this struggle?

These are the opening lines to our phone call that quickly moves into prayer and then an “I’ll catch ya’ later.”

Just as I know these two women intimately, God longs for me to know Him in this way.  This is not a trait that comes naturally to me – it is a work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  It is the way that God designed intimacy from the beginning of time.  It is through the reading and studying of God’s word that I begin to know the Lord.  His word transforms my life and makes me capable of honoring and respecting Him. 

Read John 15:5-8, 11

5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relationship is intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.
Ladies - As you get to know Jesus, He will cut out the things in your life that aren’t working.  He will prune the branches that bear fruit so you can explode with more fruit.  He will live with you in intimacy and produce in you, an abundant harvest of maturity.
The pruning will hurt and it might not make sense to your peers.  It might take a bond of prayer with a few friends to help you make it out alive.  But He does all of this so that you will have His joy – a joy wholly mature.
I was bound by Sugar + He gave me Freedom.
I didn’t think anyone could ever love me + He showed me the most excessive love through Jeremiah.
I thought I wasn’t good enough + He showed me that my faith is just enough.
I didn’t think that I mattered + He showed me that I was worth dying for.

I thought I needed to prove my love + He showed me that it is by His love.

I thought I had to make everyone else happy + He showed me that I make Him happy.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord – She shall be praised.”

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beauty Is Vain

Webster’s defines vain as: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements.

I was 12 years old whenever I started my first diet.  Ugh!  The word diet. It wasn’t until 2015 that God prompted me to make a list of all the diets I have ever been on. I simply started jotting down one diet after another and before I knew it, I had a list greater than 50.  This list was shocking! WHAT?  50+ diets?  I am only 38 years old!  How can this even be possible?  

God was showing me how messed up I really was.  He used this exercise to show my vanity; but He truly showed me so much more.  God showed me that I had an improper placement of hope.  I was placing my hope in my next diet.  I was jumping from diet to diet in hopes of becoming accepted by this world.  But what I truly needed was to be “set free” from the sin that gripped my heart.
I was also in junior high whenever I began to run to sugar as a response to my emotions.  Whenever the boys would tease me, I would go home after school and get a dessert.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was nurturing my addiction to sugar. 

I craved it.  When I wasn’t eating it, I was dreaming about it.  Maybe I would choose a big serving of ice cream with hot fudge after Sunday’s lunch…  Who knows what I would choose, but whatever it was, was never enough. 

If I had a stressful meeting with a client, I would get a fix.  If I had a great day with a friend, I would treat myself to a fix.  If I was bored, I would get a fix.  If I thought about the pain associated with infertility and miscarriage, I would get a fix. If I… as you can see – the list could go on and on. 

I was addicted to treats but even deeper than that, I ran to them for comfort.  The Reese cup would console me J and make me feel as if life is okay.  It numbed my pain. 

  • I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening at school, my “friends” might get in trouble. 
  • I couldn’t say no to all the demands, because people need me. 
  • I couldn’t let people see the deep sorrow that gripped my heart through infertility.  It might make them question God’s goodness. 
  • I would keep this all a secret and comfort myself with these little indulgences.  These little treats.  They were harmless and legal and good. 
The solution was not a diet.  The solution could only be found in Jesus.  I spent the first 2 months of Celebrate Recovery confronting my sugar addiction and wrestling with God.  I knew He wanted me to surrender my sugar to Him, but I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I had tried to give up sugar years ago, and failed!  I had tried countless diets and failed!  I grieved the thought of never having a Reese’s cup again.  I wrestled with God for two months and then finally…  On Sunday, October 4, 2015 I surrendered my sugar and my dieting to my almighty God.  I was finished.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  I was tired.  I was done.  I gave my sugary treats to God and I can honestly say, “God took the craving away from me.”  I haven’t had a treat since that day, and I do not want one.  I know what it is to be set free and I never want to be bound by these treats again. 

God’s true word says, in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

What attribute of Jesus will help “set you free” from your yoke of slavery?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Charm Is Deceitful

Webster’s dictionary defines charm as: a trait that fascinates, allures or delights.  A physical grace.  A compelling attractiveness. 

I attended a small, private Christian school in Rogers.  The boys in my 8th grade class were brutal.  Whenever I wasn’t getting pushed into bushes or publicly humiliated, I would spend my days being told how ugly, worthless and fat I was.  I was teased for not having a boyfriend and told that I never would.  After all, no one in their right mind would ever want me…  It is these same boys that would call me in secret – and thank me for being so nice.  Thank me for believing in them.  Thank me for being a loyal friend. 

I ended up spending 8th – 12th grade, day in and day out, hearing and believing their lies.  I never told an adult.  I chose to turn the other cheek.   I chose to be charming.  I became the girl that everyone could count on.  The one that would be with them through everything.  After all, I wanted to point them to Jesus.   

This charm began to grow into a burden.  I volunteered for everything available.  I became the “yes” girl.  If someone had a problem - I listened.  If someone needed help with an activity – I was there.  If there was a Bible Study that needed to be taught - I taught it.  If the church needed volunteers in the nursery – I volunteered.  

I was burning my candle at both ends in hopes of feeling worthy to live on this glorious earth. 

In college, this constant state of “going and doing” landed me in the emergency room where doctors thought I had Spinal Meningitis, only to reveal that I was exhausted.  I was tired; but I continued and perfected this behavior with each passing year.  I brought this charming skill into my Interior Designer practice.  

I was overwhelmed... This was not God’s best for me.  Satan had deceived me.  This was not an honest assessment of who Christ had created me to be.  I had believed a lie.  A lie that my life didn’t matter unless I was serving [everyone] and being involved [in everything] around me.  

In the Summer of 2016 I decided to walk away from the interior design industry that had formed my identity and been my source of livelihood.  This was one of the most difficult things I had ever done.  I felt as if I had failed my clients.  After all, I had a hard time telling one person “No” and now I just told 150 people, “I will no longer be here for you!” 

I began to ask myself, "Am I crazy?  What am I doing? What is wrong with me?  No one if their right mind would ever do this!" 

If I were to sit down and answer these questions from the world's point of view, I would have to say, 'Yes!  Absolutely I Am Crazy!"  But, if I search the secret corners of my heart and listen to that still, small voice that speaks to me through God's word, then I don't feel crazy at all.  I don't feel scared at all.  I am learning to find my value and my worth in my creator.  

Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

What skill have you perfected in hopes of being loved and accepted by this world? 

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