A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Give Thanks in a Thankless Changing World

This year has been a whirl wind of change and lately I've been known to just sit and stare and wonder.......
How do you give thanks in a thankless changing world? How do you show gratitude when hearts turn and people seem to be growing cold? How do you give thanks when people are leaving behind everything they've ever known?

It's simple and yet often gets over looked and buried by other things........

It gets buried by hurt and anger. And thoughts of us knowing how to fix things, because at times we really know the answers.........don't we?

It get's pushed aside by control and is blinded by the need to have power over situations that we have no power over.

And yet we struggle, tug and pull at the very things we were never meant to fight........on our own.

Giving thanks is accepting the people, places, and things we can not change and loving the fact that God has the power to change it all. Giving thanks is giving it all up......control, anger, hurt, fear and exchanging it for love.

Because really, LOVE is the answer to all the hurt and confusion in this world......It has the power to be patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.

How do we give thanks in a thankless changing world?

We allow God to do the changing and the moving. We allow God to fight the battles. WE give God control......And all of this while we learn to love unconditionally, because isn't that how He loves us? And isn't that the best way to give thanks?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sometimes We Have to Wade Through Pain to Get Joy.

It amazes me how time can fly but, when your living life in moments of pain, hurt and frustration, oh how the time nearly halts to a stop. No matter how much you think you are prepared, suddenly you find you were never really prepared at all.

Sometimes we have to wade through the pain to get the JOY. Sometimes there are lessons that need to be learned even when we feel like we are drowning. It's all of the time that He wants us to surrender and give in. To give into this life and give up our hearts......Completely.

They say some things are worth waiting for.........And while I believe that to be true most of the time, Sometimes it's in the wait that we find the meaning and it's in the wait that we find how to let go of the pain.....
So we can move on to the JOY.......Funny thing is, our joy never went anywhere, it's what helps us move through the pain.....He helps us through the pain if we just remember to surrender.

 It's in the waiting that we prepare for what comes next, because life goes on living and this world keeps spinning. It's in the memories that we heal. It's the raw hurt that helps us to help others with that same raw hurt.

She waited a whole year to let go...A whole year to say goodbye.....A whole year to move through the pain.
She never lost her joy but, in the waiting she found He was always there. I told her, "you may never know the reason why.......But you will always remember the pain. It's what you will use to turn into good when someone else is wading through their own kind of pain."

In the waiting she was given another blessing.....

Love you,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Surrender Your Brush

In the midst of my days I feel the winds of change blowing in.....This life, it never stays the same. And yet I have to ask if we lived day after day as routinely as possible do we still call it living or is it that we just exist?

To just exist seems so mundane. To stay the same and never accept change is not true living. All around me I feel the cool wind blow in and I can sense that some things are just not that easy.....Not so simple. That old saying "It's easier said than done." So rings true for so many willing to take that leap of faith into change. And so many times we are so eager to hold on to the mundane for fear of letting go and losing control. We feel it's safer there. Stay inside the lines. Keep our boundaries because honestly, that's all we've ever known.... all we've ever done. And we fear change, because change pulls at heart strings, makes us feel uneasy.....Suddenly blows us out of control.....Makes us feel vulnerable.
Can I tell you again how you should never blink for longer than a sweet moment because this sweet baby girl will be 18 before you know it and my life will change........
That's what happened with my little man...I swear it was only for a moment....I turned away just for one sweet moment and when I looked back he changed into a young man of 18. 6'1", sweet and gentle, yet strong and a passionate follower of Christ. I'd like to say that I had a hand in raising him, but in all reality I was growing up right along with him. Changing with every breeze that blew in.
If there is one thing that we should know.....One simple truth that would lead us into transition it's this......Sweet, Simple, Surrender. To surrender all that you have, all that you know, all that keeps you from changing....Just let it go and give Him control. Surrender your fears, doubts and failures. Surrender your control. I was teaching my girls in Sunday School Class this morning and I wanted them to know that the only way to live a Free life is to Surrender their life.

The illustration that was being taught was like that of an artist and how they surrender to the canvas....No intimidation just total abandonment giving the control over to the brush and letting go of the rules and the laws, the perimeters that keep them from painting life. Verses the paint by numbers crowd...You know the ones that feel the need to have everything under control. The ones that have to paint with in the lines because to them it's safer with in the lines, with in the perimeters set. No room for error or creativity. No room to put a splash of color here or there. They have it all planned out for them. But you know life isn't really lived that way....

We try to stay in control but staying in control only makes us feel more and more out of control especially when things don't go the way we had hoped.
  Can I tell you that He's got this. He Loves to plan. He loves to be the Artist in your life. He's got it all figured out.....All we have to do is just SURRENDER and TRUST. Trust that He knows what He's doing. Trust that when we surrender, I mean completely surrender, our life will be this beautiful tapestry of colors......Changing from one brush stroke to the next.....And when we look back we can see how He has painted in every heart changing moment with brilliant colors and daring brush strokes. He paints wildly and dangerously...He paints the way life should be lived with bold passion not by dull, boring numbers.

In this life...In this God fearing life we are called to SURRENDER so that He can live passionately with in us. So that lives can be rich with brilliant colors. So that life can be lived for the glory of the one who created us. Change is never easy...I get that....I'm living that right now, but change is needed and it's necessary to grow.

Do you really want to live like the paint by number crowd or would you rather live the life of a true artist?

I say SURRENDER your brush.........

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:24-26

Monday, November 4, 2013

Watch The Grace Flow

I've often asked the question "If I could have it all together would I still be happy?" Every corner swept, every sock matched and every dust bunny shooed....Would I be better off than I am now?
If every runny nose was always caught before the drip, every supper always on time and the tea always made.....Would my life be perfect?
If I never raised my voice, always had a clean sink and never forgot my shopping list would there ever be any reason for GRACE?

If the baby had a bath every night, the kids all tucked in and prayers said and not forgotten.....Would there be need for a Savior?

Some days I come all ugly and soaked in sin. On most days I'm lucky to have my teeth brushed. And so many times there seems to be seasons where I can never get caught up and I find myself painfully wishing the next season would bring change. Oh but in my heart of hearts the last thing I want is change......

I've learned to accept the fact that having the perfect life is not where the happiness lies. It's not what makes my life rich. I've also learned how to let things go. I've learned not to be so hard on myself when things don't get done and my life doesn't look picture perfect. What I've learned is that there is a place and time for everything......And this time is for those blessings down the hall.

We need to accept the fact that there will be seasons where things are not going to be the way we would like them, but they are the way it is supposed to be for such a time as this. And as strange as it may sound we need to embrace the dirty faces, runny noses and the pitter patter of dirty feet running across our freshly mopped floors because I know with out a doubt there will come a day that we will long for the busy, crazy, hurried days.......The smudged windows and the living floor of toys scattered about that makes a bold statement,  life is lived here. That bold statement that also says, Love is unconditional here......That GRACE runs wild here and the need for a Savior speaks loud volumes here.

It's not to say that we shouldn't strive to become better, there is always room for improvement.....It's to say that there is always grace for those seasons in life that seem to last too long, (but never ever long enough)...

Motherhood is crazy confusing like that......Makes you want to leave and run back home the moment you get a mile down the road......Makes you love all wild and unconditional.......Makes your heart hurt deep in the most intimate places.....Makes you love like you never knew you could. Makes your life Happy, fulfilled and rich with blessings. And those blessings were meant specifically for you. God picked, God kissed, sent from above to bring Him glory......

If He is the ultimate GRACE GIVER the one who gives it freely, shouldn't we then learn how to give it too?

Mama I know this life can make your head spin. I know you have days that never seem to want to end, I have them too......But Mama give yourself some grace. Jump into His lap, let Him know you need Him so and then sit back and watch the GRACE flow.........

In this season of my life right now the theme seems to be "Letting go". I wanted to show you what I allowed myself to do when I let a few things go the other day........I enjoyed spending time like this....Don't seem to get to do it often cuz I always seem to have something else to do.......But the other day I let that something else go for a while......Sometimes we are so busy being a Mama that we forget who we are deep in our soul. (You are His child) We forget what simple things make us smile because we are so busy trying to keep others happy, quiet and content......Mama don't forget to let the grace flow. Enjoy just a little something for yourself once in a while. Be creative...Make a bold statement......Most of all know your not alone!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

He Shows Up when You Let Go

In the midst of the quiet I hear love breaking barriers.....He always shows up when you let go. When you let go of the idols and the images of this world.....

And this world? It just keeps spinning....keeps turning faster than I ever care to go....And there are so many days I'm begging to get off, so many times I've wanted to stop this world and just find a little corner all my own. A little place where it's just me.......Just me listening to "I AM"

This is my little corner. My little place to call my own. I miss coming here, because oddly enough there have been so many moments where it's been just Him and I here. And you all get to see a glimpse into my little world where the God of Love convicts, shapes and molds my soul.

I'm still learning....He's still sharing. He tells me I have a long way to go, oh but beloved He also says I've come so far from where He first found me.

Ya know He never ceases to amaze me the way He grabs hold of hearts and pierces the soul. I've been in His word and He tells me this...... That I should not speak of anything which Christ has not accomplished in me...through me, in word and in deed so that I may not lead others in disobedience.......

I can not come here and write of things that I have not worked out with Christ. And Beloved when I'm here it's usually because of conviction.....It's usually because He's been working in me. Of course I write about other things like my children and homeschooling, recipes and preserving what is good, but I want you to know that I will not share anything that would hinder or alter your walk with Christ....I will not share anything that I have not experienced myself. And I will not pretend that I have it all together for the sake of numbers or accolades.

When you come here you will find Honesty and Real life, cuz you all know that I'm all about being real!

With that said I will be once again joining the blog and FB world , but I have set a limit to the time I spend on here. I am only allowing myself to get on at night when things are quiet and all of my priorities have been taken care of. No more stopping and checking through out the day and if I find that I am getting carried away I will deactivate once again.......

I know I wasn't gone very long, but I was reminded by someone very close to me, but still lives so far away, that God puts us in places and spaces to cross paths with those who may need to hear, see and know that they are not alone in this thing called life.....That there is someone out there they can actually relate to. Someone to show them GRACE and what it's like to be picked up and dusted off by the one and only GRACE GIVER. And Beloved I can show you GRACE and how it drips from my life. I can show you a Mama that isn't perfect But, she knows the perfect one......And He made all her mistakes and failures from her past just disappear.....I can show you that He is always working on this girl's heart. I'm not saying that I have arrived. what I am saying is I'm on this journey And the God/Man? He's my guide.....I would love for you to join me and maybe together we can make this little part of the world, this little place that we are in Shine BRIGHT. And to those who have continued to ask about me and tell me how much they have missed me......I am humbled. I really never expected the response that I got. You have BLESSED my socks off!

I know your probably wondering why I just didn't set a time limit before.....Because I believe He wanted me to let it go completely...I needed to let go of it completely because that's what He wants. He wants us to let go of the strong holds, the very things that keep us from Him. The things that consume our minds, take over our lives and confuse our priorities....I have a love/hate relationship with technology. To be truly honest I believe we were much better off with out it. Before it...We all went outside. We knew our neighbors. We wrote letters instead of them pesky e-mails. I would much rather get a letter the old fashioned way. I would much rather send one that way.

You see temptations come in all shapes and sizes.....Distractions are no different. I have come to the conclusion that SIMPLE really is better. And OH did I get a lot accomplished when I pushed out those distractions......It even gave me blog material because I have actually been living life the way He intends for me to live it. *Smile*

Beloved it really does work when you put GOD first.....Honest! I've been experiencing just that for the last 10 days........Putting Him first I mean.

So what ever has a hold on you.....What ever your holding onto won't you try letting it go.....I promise He will show up if you do.......  In all reality I truly believe He is always there, don't you? We just need to let go of all that keeps us distracted.