Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Negativity Fast

I haven't updated in a while about my journey on this crazy fast... wow it's been a crazy couple of months.  The first month was food and wow was that life changing and altering... we are sooo blessed and how quickly we forget the amazing blessings of the simple things in life.
The second month was clothes and this was an interesting month, (sitting in my bathing suit while waiting for my 7 items to get out of the washer and dryer always makes for an interesting day.  Not a HUGE challenge more of an inconvenience.  It's amazing at how many clothes that we have and how we can actually live on sooo much less.
The 3rd month I had a hard time with and really felt the Lord leading me to deviate slightly from the 7 book and found that the Lord was directing me to fast negativity... weird I know but I went with it and prayed on what this would look like.  I found that my "plan" was not at all what I thought it was going to be at all.  HAHA isn't that how God works... I found this month to be extremely difficult and kinda lonely since it was a 100% inward journey that I needed to walk through with the Lord.  See my family is very much Chicken Little... the sky is falling and everything is the end of the world so I think growing up I wanted to change that and I became very optimistic and try to see the best in people.  BUT those little sky is falling and seeing the worst in people crept in.  The Lord drew me in the beginning to just focus on uplifting scripture and if I was negative I would have to apologize and write out things on what I loved about that thing or person to offset those negative feelings... to be honest I didn't apologize and write down things as much as I hoped for or anticipated because I would be very consumed internally on my motives and feelings of what was drawing me to have that negative emotion.  WHAT???  Talk about a serious huge wakeup call.  I am a gross person in my head and thoughts... So sad.  You shouldn't even be my friend!!  So then the Lord brought in this sweet book called Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldridge.  While reading this it took my whole life and put it in complete perspective on my emotions and why I do and feel the way I do.  I cried a lot... I know no surprise!!  One night I was in so much emotional pain I was in the fetal position crying to my wonderful husband sobbing saying it hurts so much.  It brings tears to my eyes remembering that moment.  But just like in the Psalms their is always the uplifting part that cries back to the Lord.  Lord I always said break my heart and make me whole and complete... I got what I asked for and as much as it hurt I never felt abandoned by the Lord.  He has been oh so sweet and gentle this whole process.  It has made me fall so much deeper in love with him.  So this last month has been painful but oh so sweet.  So now what??  Well I am back to being negative and it feels great!!!  Just kidding but yes I have had my moments but now I preface it with "I am going to be negative for a moment..." haha as if that makes any difference or that brings the Lords heart delight.  How did Jesus do it... when he got irritated he didn't sin or talk about the situation like a brat he spoke truth... Lord we still have so much work to do!! Well the negativity fast doesn't end this will be a new part of my life until the Lord and I deal completely with my heart issues.
Starting on October first I am on a journey to bring light wherever I go, the kids and I are getting tons of blank cards and our family is going on a big encouragement month (what a better journey to go from a spirit of darkness of negativity to leading with light first in everything we do, I see your hand in all that I am doing Lord).  October will be filled with encouragement, Random Acts of Kindness and giving away of things (who needs all this "stuff" anyways).  So please be praying for me, one of my other goals is to blog more... the Lord pours out His sweet revelation and I know he's drawing me to write more... so here we go!!!
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Regret...


re·gret  

/ri╦łgret/
Verb
Feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity).
Noun
A feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.
Synonyms
verb.  rue - deplore - repent - lament - mourn - be sorry
noun.  repentance - remorse - sorrow - grief - contrition

MISSED OPPORTUNITY... hmmm we've all had those.  What is our response to those missed opportunities? I wish I would have added a huge hamburger to my 7 food list :-/ 


I am not usually a person that lives and camps out in regret.  Usually I am a positive person but this whole 7 thing has me looking at life and everything differently... through a different filter than I normally do.  Day 2 was extremely hard for me the night before I hadn't slept well and the thought of only being 2 days in and knowing I had 28 more ahead was killing me.  All day I lived in the world of REGRET!!!  After lunch time I was doing the dishes (which never ends haha) and I had this realization that all day I had been negative and living in a place of, this is too hard... why did I go so extreme... I should have not limited myself so much... why didn't I add this food or take away this one... why why why??  As the day went on I began to think of a man that has changed our lives so much, his name is Josh.  A homeless man we met on May 1st.  I began to think about him and his addictions and where he lives and how his life must be full of regret.  I was becoming so overtaken with regret of decisions and choices that I could then relate to Josh and how he would turn to his addiction to alcohol to numb the pain of regret.  


I know my situation and Josh's situation are VERY different, in 21 more days I can go back to my normal way of eating and I will always have a full belly, never in fear of where my next meal will come from.  BUT all that led Josh to where he is today is a few bad decisions that led to regret.  In Josh's case it wasn't even HIS choices that effected his life but the choices of his parents.  His mom left when he was 4 and his dad was a drunk and ended up in jail... off to foster care Josh went and separated from his brother.  I am sure the same questions of why and if I had only... were in his face everyday as he bounced from one home to another and now to living on the streets.  

We all have choices in life, they are hard and a lot of the time we pound our fists and stomp our feet like a toddler at the things that we know are right and are difficult.  But those hard things that we choose to do lead us to a path of victory and a life free from regret.  Freedom lives when we surrender our hearts and lives to the Lord not living in the past of who we used to be but trudging forward in our new identity of who we are today in Christ.  We have to accept our choices in life and live them out with JOY and not regret (hard to do... I know).  Sometimes we make the wrong choices and it makes life a tad more difficult but do we stay in a place of regret that leads to pain or hand it over to an unseen God, trust that our Heavenly Father cares and sees our needs.  Just like Josh the Lord sees him and loves him even in his poor choices and desires to use us to care for each other and see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

I am no longer regretting my food choices... I have 21 more days and I am so grateful that after these 30 days I get to return to a fruitful life that is free from fear.  I am so grateful for the seasoning and variety in life we have... So many choices.  We truly are a blessed nation and sooo wealthy.  Thank you Lord for choosing this to be my home I am so grateful and humbled.  

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 25:31-46 if you want to be rocked... has nothing to do with regret but about feeding and clothing Jesus.  AHHH tugs at my heart soooo stinkin much.  




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Friday, May 17, 2013

Easily motivated...

Only a few things within life can drastically change my life... the Lord, my family and many times books.  It doesn't take a lot to motivate me.  I am a 110% in kind of person, I read it... I like it... I change something to become that.  This last month has been an exciting, scary, crazy, RADICAL one.  Many things stirring in my heart.  I know that many times the timing has to be just right for things to completely impact you.  Some books that I have read that have altered my life were...
Crazy Love
1000 Gifts
and NOW 7 by Jen Hatmaker

Yep that's right the title is just one simple number 7.

She journals and documents her journey on "An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess".

At first this just seemed like an interesting read and I am always up for reading someones journey to be radical for Jesus.  Something that always appeals to my (easily motivated to sell my first born child and move to some tribe in the jungle and live off the land) heart.  But Jens experiment began to really move something deeper within me and draw me to scripture on what is Gods complete heart for us and the world that we live in.  

Their is something within our natural tendency to live a simple life free from the bondage of things, schedule, and appearance.  That is why I believe that Jesus spoke so much about freedom.  That deep natural tendency drew me to do something radical... I am selling my first born off for money to move the rest of our family off to a tribe and live off the land... pray for us.  

Not really but we did consider every possible thing for our lives... selling our house, having friends move in with us, selling all our "stuff".  Through wise counsel we decided that so many things were stirring in our hearts and we knew we were called to do something but we were so unsure of what that was we decided to do the 7.  So here is what our journey will look like.

Over the next 7 months (starting on May 15th) and each month I will be "fasting" a certain area that we live in excess.  
Month 1- Food (only eating 7 foods for an entire month)
Month 2- Clothes (wearing only 7 clothes items for an entire month)
Month 3- Possessions (Giving away 7 items a day for an entire month)
Month 4- Media (ridding of all media except for email/blogging and phone, but no apps or social media)
Month 5- Waste (we will recycle, compost, try to eat completely organic and take better care of the earth)
Month 6- Spending (we will only spend money at 7 establishments Gas, grocery ect.)
Month 7- Stess (I will stop pause and pray 7 times a day with reading of scripture and a moment of reflection)

WOW... I am excited and scared all at the same time.  

So this brings me to today I am in Day 3 of the food... of course I started with the hardest one for me first.  The Lord has already revealed some cool things that I can't wait to share here.  The things that we are learning and have learned are changing the way we do ministry, the way we relate with others, the way we lead people, the way we give, the way we parent.  I don't think anything like this has ever changed us like this journey we are walking through today.  Welcome to our journey.  
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don't lose sight

Don't lose sight...
The biggest lesson this last year has been is to not lose sight.  Don't lose sight of who you are, don't lose sight of who God is, and don't lose sight of who you are becoming.

Don't lose sight of who you are...
When we lose sight of who we are that's when the enemy can come in and have full reign in our minds and start using his terms to define who we are.  It doesn't matter how close you think you are to the Lord or how many Bible scriptures you know, when you have lost yourself in your plan purpose and destiny within the body of Christ that's when we take matters into our own hands (or hand the reigns over to the enemy).  We start to find things from the world that offer us some kind of identity satisfaction.  These things aren't always bad... for me I had lost sight of my identity and looked to mommyhood to fill that need that the Lord was trying to grab my attention to fill, but I was blinded by my new found search for identity.  Having another baby for most is not an issue but when I was so desperately looking for that baby to fill that identity within me that's when the Lord needed to intervene.  He got my attention all right and after 4 months of trying to get pregnant and having my closest friends become pregnant we got offered a ministry position at our church.  Finally everything that I had once before desired was coming to life and I couldn't be happy I was mourning the loss of this new identity (or child) that I never had.  Little did I know that the Lord had me on a sweet journey that would end up in the end revealing to me the most love and true perfect identity that one could ever hope for.

Don't lose sight of who God is...
I lost sight of who God was in my life.  Before this identity crisis I thought the Lord and I walked sooo close and I knew Him intimately.  After this crisis I began to lose sight that God loved me.  I felt ignored, I felt like the ugly step child that always got the left overs.  I felt that I was only meant to serve the Lord and work for Him.  It was the real Cinderella story without the Prince charming to rescue (so I thought).  In the midst of this my mom gets diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer... what???  Really Lord.  Needless to say this did nothing for my journey of finding who God was and wanted to be in my life.  Nothings seemed absolute anymore and a person that never dealt with fear began to believe the Lord would continue to take away everything in my life until their was nothing left (friends, family, husband, kids... this was a deep fear and a very lonely journey)  The Lord and I had some very candid conversations about His ugliness towards me.  Those brutal conversations I believe allowed me to get to where I am now.

Don't lose sight of who you are becoming...
To be honest I didn't care who I was becoming.  I got so tired of people that I loved tell me it's all for His greater good and it would be over soon.  That's nice and that's what I would tell someone who was in my situation, but it was the furthest thing from my mind.  It brought NO comfort.  Looking back it was because i didn't want to see who I was becoming because the person I thought I was becoming was so tainted with the lies of hell.  I thought God was mean and just wanted me to serve Him and only Him.  He is a jealous God right?  He no longer gives things and blesses he only takes away.  My purpose in life is only to serve with no satisfaction within life, because the one thing I thought He wanted me to do is the only thing that will give me satisfaction and joy.  I was stuck and fighting full surrender because surrendering now looked like bondage to someone that was mean and cruel.  

Walking away in ALMOST complete healing I have been able to see God's sweet moments within trial.  I needed to go through those moments to KNOW that I am right where I am supposed to be within ministry.  It took 9 months of pain and torture to see Gods sweet plan.  Everything in my life has changed because of it.  Friendships have shifted, I have freedom, hope and most of all my identity back within Christs definition.  Not to say pain isn't still their... I don't know that you can experience that kind of pain for that long without times of slip ups but the Lord has become my new best friend with a new deeper trust and love.  I now praise God daily for the blessing of ministry and freedom to minister freely to these students.  God sure does know what He is doing.  So even when we lose sight of His hands within our situation know the Lords fingerprints are still all over it, we just need to be in a position to see. 
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lead me to green pastures....


In the midst of chaos God always shines His bright light of love on darkness. Last night a dear friend of mine had Gods amazing power shine greatly on a dark situation and used Psalm 23 to bring that light to lead to the green pastures...
I will not fear, you are with me (vs. 4). We need to know God so deeply and personally that NOTHING can separate us from His amazing anointing, goodness and LOVE.
In verse 4 it talks about His rod and staff bringing comfort. What I love about this verse is the rod and staff that David is referring to are shepards tools that the rod was to lead, guide, correct, rescuing the lost sheep and even beating away animals that were going to attack the sheep. Then the Staff was a tool that was meant for support. So just in those few words it says that God is our Leader, Guider, Corrector (which at times can be painful), Rescuer and our Supporter. What a sweet picture that as He does all these things His desire is to lead us to the green pastures and still waters. His desire is to bring REST to our souls.
God is so good and so faithful if you wait and listen for His leading. When we rush God we miss many lessons and miss ALL that He has for us.

Many victories... so here is my update on my journey with the Lord. This week was a few major milestones for me. I am now officially the lowest weight I have been since I gave birth to my youngest. I am at 164.2!!!! AND many small (but HUGE to me) victories this week. I can see my heart being transformed and no longer feel the overwhelming power and pull of the world to food. I am ok with waiting till I am hungry and being content with less. YES sometimes I mess up but the Lords sweet voice uses his Rod to bring correction and leads me back to the green pasture by my obedience to wait until I am hungry next. It's been such a sweet journey and it's not even close to being over but I do feel that this week I climbed some tough terrain and I feel victorious.
Moments of victory for me look like this...
** Being OK with a 3"sub from Subway
** Not even getting a meal when hungry and eating bites off my kids
** Not getting or taking bites of my kids donuts
** Today ends my 30 day fast from sweets and having no desire for them
** Going to the movies and not eating the whole bag of popcorn and not getting candy
** Eating out and having the waiter think that I didn't like the food because it looked like I hardly ate but instead I was just full.
These are all things that God gets the GLORY for because a few months ago I would have failed every moment. God is good and gracious to show up every time you seek Him but your heart has to be ready for the leading and guiding. But first you have to be willing to be honest with yourself and ready to admit you are a work in progress.

I encourage you to read 2 Peter 1: 2-11
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Determination...


Yesterday my son Blake was talking with his Dad and as they were talking about church that morning Blake lifted his shorts to show his Dad his "battle wounds" from that morning at church. Shocked at the broken blood vessels in this thighs I ask Blake what happened and he states that his class was learning about encouragement and he was chosen to hold this box that was really heavy. He said "I didn't want to let my team down, they were counting on me, so I kept holding it even though it hurt!!" This morning I was thinking on his determination and the way that he was persevering through the physical pain to not let people down. I am one proud mama and even though I hate to see my son hurt those are battle wounds that make my heart proud.
How many times do we give up in allowing the Lord to use us or mold us because it "hurts". How much should we value God and others that no matter how hard it got that we would not "put down that box". Or even follow through on what we say we will do.
Blake is one special boy and I love that kids heart to serve and do what he says he will do.
The Lord is so good and so patient in always waiting for that moment of us fully surrendering.

Here is the deal... my last post I was open and vulnerable and it scared me into thinking that I would fail so I neglected my blog and neglected my heart to stay in the game. I guess I kinda rested the box on my knee. So here is my plan... I am going to update once a week with my goals, challenges and struggles every Monday. This way I will be held accountable and not allow myself to slack off. I in no way want this to become a weight loss blog but I know that allowing God to mold this area of my life will be transforming for me and hopefully an encouragement for you to ask the Lord to reveal those places in your life that he is speaking to you about. I can say with 100% assurance that if you are not going through growing pains you cannot grow. So here is where I am at... I have lost one pound in the last few weeks. My goal is to lose 2 a week but will be happy with one.

Alright... let's not put down the box and let the Lord down.... let's do what we say we are going to do because the Lord and other people are counting on us... let's move toward what the Lord is wanting to rid in your life (trust me victory is so much sweeter than walking in the desert for a lifetime).

Hebrews 12
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Barnes and Noble, School, Youth, Journeys...

Over the last 6 months so many changes and dreams have been reborn and turned upside down in a good way. It's been a crazy road and things are not perfect... not like I ever expect them to be. But the one thing that has remained constant and true is that God is still on the throne and we have not lost his gentle gaze.
The one thing that we know to be more true than anything is that we are walking in Gods perfect will for our lives and he is more dear to our hearts now than ever. It's a sweet place to be in.


So let's catch up... first I am completely removed from the Scrapbooking world which is at times bittersweet for me but for the most part I feel more alive than ever walking is Gods perfect will for my life and putting 100% into my family and our youth ministry. Its been such a glorious ride to serve those youth. It's like every week we get to see a glimpse of Gods love pour out on us. To watch these youth pour out their lives to God and serve their friends and community all in Jesus' name is powerful. This community truly reflects what church is meant to be (of course every institution has it's flaws) but this community is contagious. Each one of these youth have special talents and gifts that are being used for His Glory... it's POWERFUL.


We have also started school again which means that I am back to homeschooling 3 days a week and the kids are in school 2 days a week. This year has been a sweet transition since our youngest Luke has started Kinder. Ummm what?? I still am in awe of my baby being so big. So that means that I get 2 days a week ALONE... yep that's what made me start blogging again (well that and the Lord pressing my spirit to start up again). So here I sit at Barnes and Noble with my Pumpkin Spice Latte writing, reading, doing devos and preparing lesson plans. It's a glorious life. But I really do miss my kiddos.


Mike and I have been constantly reminded this last year that success in life isn't about how much money you make or the car you drive or any other worldly success but it's truly shown in what you are YOKED to. Here is a verse from Galatians

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

I am going to start a new and challenging authentic journey of my hearts yokes and how I am constantly being challenged by the Lord to throw off yokes that are not mine to carry and yoke with Him. Let's just say that this new journey will be stretching and very vulnerable for me but isn't that what the Lord calls us to... jump out of the comforts and challenge yourself to immerse ourselves in new areas.
See you tomorrow as I announce my new journey!! Eeek so nervous!!
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