Category Archives: Faith & Inspiration

Why I Want to Live Minimally

“Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.”–Joshua Becker

Isn’t that beautiful?

I love this.  Memories are so much more important than things.  Our family will remember fun times and special moments far more than any thing we will ever receive.

I sort of stumbled upon the idea of minimalism.  I’ve always felt called to lead a simpler life, yet the process of getting there has always seemed a distant wish rather than a current reality.

But as I began to read about minimalism and what it entails and the life it embraces, I’m all in.

This is what my soul has been seeking.

A life free of clutter, free of stuff, a life lived with purpose, freedom and focused on what is truly important.

Who wouldn’t want this for their lives?

So what exactly is minimalism?  Let me quote you Joshua Becker from BecomingMinimalist.com:

“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”

Minimalism is freedom.

A friend of mine said this to me several years ago, “Everything you bring into your home, you become a slave to.”

So profound.  It’s one of those statements that we say “YES!” to.  Yet, living this out is far more challenging.

The same holds true for living a life of minimalism.  It’s easy and exciting to read about it, to agree with and desire.  But, it’s a whole other animal to live it.

It isn’t just about having a garage sale to get rid of some things.  Living a minimalist lifestyle will first of all look different for everyone.  But for me, it’s about changing my heart and what’s on the inside while changing my external world.  Because just getting rid of stuff will not satisfy.  It’s a heart issue.  A heart transformation issue to be exact.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)

Our treasure is either in Jesus or in this world.  It cannot be both.

So for the last several months I have been on this journey, initially just to get rid of things. But as I listen to God speak to my heart, it’s more about transforming my life so my soul can breathe.

It’s not as much about removing stuff as it is about living life-to the fullest.

Why I Want To Live Minimally

1. Freedom.  I want to be free.  To be a slave is to be entirely dominated by some influence.  For me, I’m a slave to my stuff.  Freedom is defined as ‘not taken up by scheduled activities, unconstrained’.  Freedom for me is loosening my schedule.

Freedom is choosing to play a game with my children without feeling shackled to my to-do list.  And as a mom, my to-do list is never ending.  I am not foolish enough to believe that minimalism is the answer to everything.  To-do lists will always be necessary to keep track of those things that need to get done.  But “need” being the key word.  What if I lived with less, so I had less to manage, and ultimately more time?  What if I had the freedom choose?

2. Makes room for what’s most important.  Too much stuff crowds out relationships.  It crowds out time to invest in my children, my husband, friendships and family.  I am constantly trying to find balance between my to-do list and people.  I realize that life demands us moms to manage our home and wear many hats throughout our days.  But how much of this balancing act is because of the management of things in my home that don’t really matter?

3. Diminishes clutter: from my counters and my mind.  Clutter sucks the life out of me.  I spend more time moving things around than investing in those things that really matter.  I look around and see the piles of things that need to be put away.  I am consumed with finding the best way to organize it all.  And yet, when I go to get rid of things I justify why I might need it someday.  Ugh.  I read this once–“Quit organizing and just get rid of things.”  Live with less.

4. Allows me to do God’s will.  What if I had enough time and a free schedule and a less burdened mind to actually hear from God?  What if I had the freedom to reach out to a neighbor in need, to invest in friendships, to do those things that God is nudging me to do?  What if I had more time to serve at church, or the women at the shelter in my town?  What if I could spend my days being the hands and feet of Jesus instead of a slave to the things in my home?  What if I had the freedom to love God, love people and serve His kingdom?  Imagine the difference my life could make.

5. Saves time-my most valuable resource.  I need margin in my life.  Do I have room in my schedule to do what’s most important?  I constantly feel as though I never have enough time.  I blame my messy house, my chronic tardiness, and my forgetfulness ALL on my “lack of time”.  Excuses.  All of them.  Excuses for my lack of planning, and my lack of treating my time as a priceless commodity.  Dave Ramsey is the king of budgeting our money.  God is the King of managing our time.  He knows everything we need to accomplish in our days.  And so much of what consumes my time…is unnecessary.

I have always felt drawn to the pioneer and the Amish lifestyles.  My husband tells me I couldn’t possibly live either one of those lifestyles.  Maybe this is what my soul has longed for-minimalism.  Pioneer and Amish might not be a reality.  But, this is achievable.  This can be true in my life today.  Living minimally.

Seeking God:  Lord, show me what minimalism looks like for me.  Give me eyes to see the unnecessary in my life and to be free from the grips of materialism.  Give me freedom to choose what’s most important today and be Lord over my time.  Help me to truly live as Psalm 73:25 declares, “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  Amen.

Stay tuned as I continue to post about My Journey to Minimalism.

 

 

 


I am A Shield

I Am A Shield

Ephesians 6:14-18

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

Shield defined:  As a noun, it’s a protective covering.  As a verb, it means to hold back a thought or feeling about something.

God has been persistently reminding me to be quiet, to use less words.  He has given me this verse to meditate on that last few days.


Proverbs 17:27

“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.”


Paraphrased–A truly wise woman uses few words; a woman with understanding is even-tempered.

Women use a lot of words throughout their day.  I would admit that if there were a range, I would probably be at the upper end of the curve.  In kindergarten my report card said, “Alissa likes to talk”.

Ha!  How perceptive of that teacher!  I guess I’ve always felt if one word was good, then more words must be better.  It’s only been recently that I am finally listening to the Lord’s wisdom in regards to my words.

2 Things God Is Teaching Me About My Words:

1. I must choose my words carefully.  James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  Wisdom says ‘use less words’, speak slowly, be intentional.

2. I must not live in reaction to the words of others.  This is where learning self control is imperative.  Self control is such a broad, important fruit of the spirit.  It means we are concerned with managing our own heart, not interested in controlling others.  Because truthfully, that is impossible.  But it IS possible to control ourselves.  Self control gives us the ability to respond to situations as opposed to reacting to them.

I am a shield.

I am beginning to think of the shield of faith in Eph 6.  A shield is a protective covering and the shield of faith protects us against the flaming arrows of the evil one.

We may or may not realize Satan attacks us daily.  We read about it, we may even believe it, but as I read Ephesians this weekend, a new image came to mind.

Imagine walking about your day, in your home, at work, playing with your children, all the while being shot at with fiery darts.  Most of us don’t even realize the destructive potential these arrows have upon our lives.  Satan is freely shooting at us.  And we have forgotten we have the greatest protection in our faith.  It is our shield.  Our faith in Jesus Christ helps us to stand firm, to resist and protect ourselves from the Enemy’s attacks.

But we fail to use it.

Instead, we give in to his lies.

Flaming arrows or fiery darts can be anything Satan uses to hurt us: anger, discouragement, jealousy, discontentment, unforgiveness, bitternessfear or any type of reaction in our sinful nature.

In relation to our words, the Lord showed me that Satan can use the words of others as flaming arrows to hurt me and my relationships.  Especially in my closest relationships.  Satan has NO interest in building my life, my marriage or my family.  His goal is to destroy anything good, anything having to do with Jesus Christ.

He will do everything to make the truth of the gospel void in my life.

Words may leave my husband’s mouth with kindness and good intention.  But somewhere between his mouth and my ears, something happens–they are set on fire by Satan himself, so by the time they reach me they are in fact flaming arrows intended by Satan to stir up strife.  Instead, I perceive his words to be accusatory, hurtful or spiteful.

But no, Satan isn’t done yet.  He set the flaming arrow into my heart, which in turn causes me to react.  We react in many ways, our body language, eye rolling, walking away, but primarily, we react with our words.

Our words then, in turn, become flaming arrows shot in the direction from which they came.  This isn’t just in our marriages, it’s with our children, our parents, our friends and neighbors.  Thus, He has succeeded.  A war has begun and we didn’t even realize it.

Satan is in the business of destroying.  If we don’t use our words wisely, he will use them for his gain.

Ouch.

I, then, have a choice.

I am a shield.

I can put up my shield of faith to block these flaming arrows and choose not to react, not to let them hit me deep in my heart and soul.  With my shield of faith, they will bounce off of me, leaving me unscathed, uninjured.  Because once I’m hurt or injured, it’s so much easier then to hurt others.

My faith in Jesus Christ protects me.  His covering over my life keeps me pure and righteous, and holy.  Not because of anything I have done, but because of who He is.  It’s a trust and complete resting in knowing that He is our shield.  We need to do nothing but trust in Him.

I love how shield is defined as a verb:  to hold back a thought or feeling about something.  

I am a shield means to NOT react, to hold back.

So the next time you have this sudden urge to shoot a fiery dart at someone else’s words, remember…I AM A SHIELD.

Let the Enemy’s intentions to hurt you bounce off.  Be self controlled through the Spirit of God and choose not to react.

Words can be powerful.  But nothing matches the Power of Jesus Christ.

How would truly living this way, God’s way, transform your relationships?

I would love to hear from you.  Let’s encourage one another!

 

 


2 Powerful Ways To Change Your Life

2 Powerful Ways To Change Your Life

A recurring theme in my life: I talk about doing things more than I actually do them.

Currently, I do this with prayer.  It’s this ‘I need to pray more’ statement that keeps circling my thoughts but never seems to land.  I know God is nudging me to focus on this spiritual discipline.  But, I find myself distracted and challenged to invest the time.

And the more I think about needing to pray, the more I feel like I’ve actually prayed!  It’s crazy!  But, isn’t this true of so many things?  How about exercise? We tell ourselves that we need to exercise so much that we convince our subconscious we’ve already done it. This is deception at it’s finest!

 James 1:22 tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Ok, I get it. Quit talking about it. Just do it. Follow through. Be intentional. Plan. Live on purpose.

Every new year, we all begin with grandiose ambitions about what we want to accomplish, what we hope will happen throughout the year and how we wish to change.  But more often than not, we quit halfway through.

 Why is this?

Why is it that our greatest intentions become our biggest struggles or disappointments?

Here’s where I fall short.  I try to “do it” in my own power. Whatever the “it” is; praying, eating healthy, serve more, speak kindly, love better, stop yelling at my kids.

But do you want to hear some AMAZING news? God never intended us to live a life of obedience in our own strength and power!  Yay, God!  He knew we’d fail.  He knew we’d fall short-way short sometimes.  He looked upon us with compassion and love and when he said he’ll never leave us or forsake us, he meant it!  He knows I have great intentions, and a pitiful ‘follow through-er’.  So, he knows I want to pray, he also knows I can’t do it in my own strength for very long.  But at the end of me, is where His strength begins.

In Acts 1, the disciples were listening to Jesus after his resurrection.  They had to be wondering, “Ok, what now?” They asked Jesus, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”(v. 6)

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 Then he left them.

Acts 2 tells us that when Pentacost came they were all together in one place. With wind and fire…”All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

As the Spirit enabled them.

Receive power.

 All we want to do or attempt to accomplish, as in the words of Solomon, are “meaningless” without God’s power.

I certainly am not saying that making plans and striving to achieve them is meaningless. Creating goals and plans is imperative for a well-lived life.  However, much of my planning, doing, and striving are devoted to my own desires and wishes, not giving much effort into searching God’s will and plans for my life.

My verse for this year is Matt 6:33, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be given to you.”

I tend to do the planning and thinking, before I do the seeking and praying.

Do you want to stop feeling powerless to change your life and see lasting transformation?   Do you want peace and a rest from your striving?

God is showing me I am lacking in two of the most important spiritual disciplines: prayer and meditation.

 2 Powerful Ways To Change Your Life

  1. Prayer. Prayer is nothing more than communication with God.   It was meant to be an ongoing conversation.  However, much of the time, I’m the only one talking.  I tend to use way to many words.  The Bible instructs us to ‘pray without ceasing’.  I see this as a daily humble dependence on God’s grace.

 What is God telling me?  Stop talking. Use less words.  Less of everything-really.  Strip away all that is unnecessary.  Listen for the whisper of God’s voice. Away from all the distractions.  Talking to God is important, but so is being quiet.

 In Ephesians 6:18  “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

  1. Meditation.  To think intently and at length on God’s word.  I read the Bible. Probably more inconsistently than I’d like.  I know it’s important to memorize scripture.  But I’ve never put forth much effort into it.  For me, it’s always…  “somewhere in Ephesians I think it says something like this.”  Not exactly what God had in mind.

In Old Testament times they didn’t have the written word.  It was ALL memorized!  So what’s the difference today?  My mind is too full, too cluttered. So, how can I give my mind a rest?  Fill it with the words and messages of God.

Isa 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

What is God telling me?  If you want change, peace and a mental rest, meditate on my word.  Pick a verse a week to memorize and believe.  Stop reading everything else right now and read the Bible only.  Oh…I’ve been battling this one.

I love to read but I need to love to read God’s word more. I’m not telling YOU to stop reading.  And I sure hope God isn’t telling me to stop reading books.  But for now, it’s about emptying my mind of all the unnecessary clutter and filling it with His truth and peace.

 Through prayer and meditation we unleash the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for it!

Joshua 1:8 (NLT) “Study this Book of Instruction continually.  Meditate on it day and  night so you will be sure to obey everything written inn it.  Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.  This is my command-be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 

 

 

 


10 Questions To Renew Your Mind As A Mom

10 Questions To Renew Your Mind As A Mother

Motherhood is a full time job.  We all know this.  It’s 24/7.  365 days a year.  We don’t even get a “sick day”.  We are the mama.  We wear many hats, and wash, clean and organize every one of them.  We have numerous responsibilities and countless sacrifices. My job description is similar to most of yours.  The exact situations will vary, but raising children is cross generational.  I love how MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) puts it:

We are raising the world together.  

Every mother has an enormous impact on the future generation.  Our children will be tomorrow’s life-changers.  At least, that is certainly how I want to see my children–world changers.  I want my children to live so differently that the world pauses and takes notice. Envisioning our children’s future is awesome and scary at the same time.  And so very important.  

We live today what we plan for tomorrow.

But, honestly, today I was just plain selfish, and irritated and tired.  Period.  I didn’t see my sweet cherubs as life changers, I saw them as little turkeys who were just plain driving me to need a long bath (that I would take if we weren’t in stage 5 drought restrictions).  And yes, as a mom of 3 preschoolers, I have many days like this.  I have many great days as well, but too often I find myself sitting in a place of complaint and frustration and self pity.  That place that says, “This is really hard.  And I’m failing at this.  And I need to change their behaviors.  And I can’t ever get ahead of their mess.”  Yes, those days.  Please tell me you have them, too.

It’s on these days, in these moments, however, that God-if I choose to listen-can speak most dearly to my heart.  It’s days like today when His love surrounds me and redirects my focus back to Him.  In the midst of my selfishness, my discontent and my crummy attitude, he extends His grace to me.  He reminds me that being a mother is my job, my first priority.  For me, it’s a beautiful life I longed for and chose with excitement and ambition.  But somewhere along the way, I can lose my focus.  I get caught up in me instead of God.  Instead of my children, my husband, my family. I have been praying Romans 12:2,

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

This is my life verse for Living Differently.   But specifically this morning, I focused on the -renewing of your mind-part.  I will share with you how God renewed my mind on a late afternoon walk with my children.

10 Questions To Renew Your Mind As A Mother

1. Do I see my children’s ages as a season to get through or as a time to be treasured?

2. Am I dealing with my preschoolers behaviors or am I loving them?

3. Do I yell and roll my eyes in frustration or do I smile with joy?

4. Are my children an interference or a blessing?

5. Am I angry and resentful or am I grateful and content?

6. Are they in my way or my way of life?

7. Are they distracting my focus or are they my focus?

8. Are they irritating or inspiring?

9. Do I discourage their “why’s” or do I encourage their questions of life?

10. Do I look forward to them sleeping or enjoy them while they’re awake?

Yes, it’s truth to admit that our lives as mothers will continually be an ongoing struggle between these varying attitudes.  But as I spoke all of these into my phone on my walk, I felt the sharp pang of conviction.  This, my friends, is the work of the Holy Spirit.  My attitude needs renewing.  My heart needs transforming – far more than my children’s normal childish behaviors.  I am thankful for a God who reaches deep into my heart and painfully reveals who I am, but loves me enough not to leave me there.

If I want to live differently as a mom, I need to start thinking differently in my mind.

As a mom, how have YOU struggled between these differing attitudes? 


Pursuing My Passion

What is YOUR passion?

What is it that ignites your soul?  Brings you to your happy place?  Calms your senses?

We all have something that is calling to us….inviting us to accomplish, pursue, grab ahold of.  If you haven’t figured out what it is yet, that’s ok!  But God has given each of us a talent, a gift, a “bent” towards something.  That helps define and create the person He intended us to become.  Something that will bring glory and honor to Him.

My passion…is reading and writing.

Honestly, both are things I’ve always enjoyed.  I will usually have about 4-5 books going at the same time alongside my regular Bible reading.  I absolutely adore sitting with a book, some coffee, or a very occasional glass of red wine.  I would say I mostly read Christian nonfiction, but currently I’m reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

With 3 children keeping me pretty busy during the day, my time to read is at bedtime after everyone is settled in and the house is quiet.  To my fault, I can stay up way past my bedtime just absorbing information and knowledge.  Ah…

So, where did the writing come in?  Well, it’s been there all along, but it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve listened to God’s nudge to begin letting others read what is on my heart.  Since a very small girl, I’ve kept a journal.

Yes, you can imagine some of those early entries in elementary school …the dreams and aspirations of a child.  There are precious memories that go along with all those many journals stuffed away in a box in the store room.

Memories are one of our most treasured gifts.  Through my journal writing and taking photos, this has been my way of recording these cherished moments in my life.  So naturally, I have discovered blogging to be an amazing way to record my life, my memories, the moments that truly matter and to communicate to others how God is transforming my life!

When I first found Christ, 13 years ago, the Lord ignited a small spark in my heart to write a book.  Of course…someday.  Maybe when I was older, had experienced more, had more to write, and had much more wisdom.  I had no idea that small spark would continue to grow and burn deep within my soul.

And here I am.  Thirteen years later, and that spark is now a flame.  Burning.  Waiting to get out.  I believe God has created me with a voice to share His heart through my writing.    And yet, it is fear that has kept me quiet.  Kept me from pursuing this dream, this passion, this nudge from God.

Instead I have chosen to believe the lies.

“Who am I?”

“I really don’t know how to write.”

“Who would read it?”

“What makes what I say important?”

“There are way better writers out there.”

I spent almost a year pursuing this dream.  Going to conferences, reading, starting a blog, networking with other writers/bloggers.

In July 2014 I went to the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference in North Carolina.  What an amazing conference and a wealth of information and encouragement!  And yet, after coming home from there and meeting a plethora of other like-minded women and speakers and writers, rather than jumping head first into this dream, I became paralyzed with fear.  That question of “who am I?” has caused me to runaway from my dream, just like Job did from Ninevah.

Fear paralyzes. 

Fear turns you away from the direction God is calling you.

Fear isolates.

Fear kills a dream.

But God is the God of resurrection.  Of bringing back to life that which has died.  I felt like everything I was pursuing was maybe not worth it.  That maybe I had heard God wrong.  Maybe I wasn’t meant to write.

But God, in his great love, has reminded me that I am His.  He has called me to use my voice.  For His glory.  When I am weak, He is strong.  What He has began, He will bring to completion.

Well, although I still struggle with fear, especially that “of not being enough”, through Christ, I’m gaining the courage to try.  Courage to embark on a journey God began in my heart many years ago.  Courage to fulfill a dream that has been pushed aside.  Courage to believe in myself.  Courage to trust God and His plans for me and for my life.

I still play the “what if” game.  But I’m learning to play it out God’s way.

What if no one reads what I have to say?

But, what if they do?

What if I never write a book?

But, what if I do?

What if pursuing my writing/blogging has nothing to do with anyone but God and my relationship with Him and my obedience and my trusting in who He is?

What if the courage it takes for me to begin writing, to pursue my passion is imperative to teach my children to pursue their own?

What if having courage and faith in the face of fear, is exactly what God is calling me out from?  A life of freedom from fear.  Free from things, from expectations, from the world!

Freedom to live an abundant life!

Pursuing writing is not as much about the writing as it is about pursuing the deep well of passion the Lord has placed in the depths of my heart.  It’s about being obedient to the call of God on my life.  It’s about saying YES to God…going to Ninevah, even though I’m afraid.

All of this….all of life is truly about God.

Pursuing a God who loves us abundantly and whose love will cast out ALL fear.

And who loves us enough to never give up on us, never let go of us and draw us to a deeper, richer, more meaningful life.

So, this is my heart.  I have been afraid for too long.  Fearful of the ‘what if’s’.

Today, I will write.  To God.  From my heart.  Giving all glory and honor to the Creator himself for the memories he has created and will continue to create in my life.  For the passion he’s given me in my heart.

To help push through my fears, I have challenged myself to this:

START WRITING–without worry of a picture, a photo, without judgment of myself, comparison to other bloggers or worrying about who will read my blog.

Pursuing the call of Christ has never been about me.  It’s all about Him.

Here goes everything…!!!

What is YOUR passion?  What is keeping you from pursuing the call God has given to you?  What challenge do you need to give yourself to be obedient to this?  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Finding Rest for Your Weary Mommy Souls

IMG_1792

Oh, it’s good to be back!

Where have I been, you may ask?

Well, I’m not really sure, honestly.  Busy.  Unfortunately.  Too busy.

But, I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed this.  I’ve missed writing.  Just sharing my thoughts.  I’ve missed pursuing God’s calling on my life.  I’ve missed sharing what God is teaching me, what He is changing within my heart.  I’ve been too busy.  Too busy to write, but even worse, too busy to listen.

I’ve been busy being a mommy.  A wife.  Playing, cooking, teaching, leading, organizing, preparing, cleaning.  You know…mommy stuff.  Important stuff.

But, busyness is just an excuse for not seeking the One thing that should be most important.

I’ve come to this place just recently where God has been whispering to my heart:

Rest

Surrender

Have Faith

Stop Striving

Turn your focus to Me

My perspectives are changing.

I have been striving, self-focused, trying so hard to be “better”, more organized…dare I say to be the “prefect” mom.

Does she exist?  No.  Never.

But in my mind she haunts me.  The harder I try and then “fail”, she reminds me that I’m not enough, I’m not “her”, I’m not ever going to keep my house organized, I don’t laugh enough or play enough with my children, I don’t serve enough.  I fall short in her eyes.  Always.  She brings out my ugly, my comparing tendencies, my heartache and insecurities.  She reminds me of who I am not.

So, I keep striving.  Keep trying harder.  Until now, recently, I have heard it within my soul, that longing that there is more than this, that I am missing something.

God is whispering to my heart.

Do I hear Him?  Am I pausing long enough to recognize his voice.  He’s beckoning me to be still and know Him.  Love Him.  Trust Him.  Believe Him.  Rest in Him.

Just Stop Striving

Stop

My life is consumed with so many moments that don’t matter.  Yes, managing life is necessary, but should never be consuming.  No…life is about God, loving God, loving my family, loving His people-those all important relationships in my life.

The more I have struggled to find organization, peace, to “get it together”, the more my life has spun out of control.

I have been looking for peace.  When all the while, I have Peace living within me.  Whispering my name.  Waiting for me to respond, to believe.

Too consumed with myself and my lists, I’ve missed it.  And in truth I know life isn’t about me.  But, unfortunately, my life speaks differently.  It’s about God.  It’s about filling my exhausted, weary soul with His spirit, his breath of life.

I’m sitting outside right now listening to those ever present night-time noises, gazing at a magnificent, glowing, serene full moon.

Quiet

Peace

Rest

These are the words a weary soul longs to hear, to experience, to believe in.

I am so small.  God is so BIG!  So…well, everything.

I am not.

Lord, help me to see my place in your story, your kingdom, your plans.  Forgive me for making my plans and then trying to include you, rather than trusting in You to create the plan for my life.  Let me seek you.  Always.  I will find ways to go around you.  Sadly.  To busy myself…again.  Please remind me of who You are Lord…again and again.  

Busyness sucks the life out of me.

Slow Down

Say No to the Unnecessary

Say Yes to God

And to those things that fill my soul with joy and bring a smile to my face…

  • Being with my children
  • Connecting with my husband
  • Investing in my family
  • Building friendships
  • Encouraging women
  • Reading God’s word
  • Reading books that I love
  • Writing words that inspire
  • Listening to relaxing music

Pause

Rest

Seek what your soul has been desiring my dear friend.

He is there.  Waiting to embrace you and fill your weary hearts with an overflowing love. But you will have to pause long enough to hear his gentle whisper.

He is there.  Close your eyes.  Breath deeply.  Rest.  Your mind,  your body, your soul.

Don’t miss this moment.  Don’t replace it with an insignificant one.

Do you feel it?  The deep inner whisper inviting you to Rest…to slow down?

What is your soul longing for?

Don’t miss it.  Especially this season.  Especially now.  Especially today.

Have courage to REST, to breathe, to say NO, to just “be”, to simplify, to say yes to those things that are important.

Today, I am seeking REST.  Please say you will too! Let us leave a legacy that brings peace to others’ weary souls.

Lord, let us mamas make every effort to enter the REST you have called us to.  Give us wisdom and guidance, perspective and truth.  Help us this Christmas Season to be UN-busy.  To stop and smile.  To look at our children with wonderment and adoration.  Help us to model kindness and generosity to our children.  Isn’t that more important than the presents, the shopping, the cultural Christmas norms?  To build their character, OUR character?  Help us to be intentional with our lives-every minute of every day.  Let us not waste what we have been given.  May we seek YOU and to glorify you in all we say and do.  And let us NEVER forget the Son you sent for us to save us from ourselves.  To give us grace and mercy where we need it most and to give us everlasting life with YOU.  Thank you just doesn’t seem enough.  But, may our humble hearts serve you this season with a heart of joy and gratitude.  Amen.

Hebrews 4:11  “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

 Please share how you are seeking REST in your lives today!


Do You Smile When No One Is Looking?

IMG_1302

My sweet Annabella was putting up a bit of resistance tonight for bed.  After the 10th time coming out of her room, it was obvious I wasn’t going to get the kitchen cleaned up at that moment.  So, when she asked me to come rub her back, I dried my hands and escorted her back to her room.  I tucked her in and rubbed her forehead and her back.  She was asleep within minutes.  I knew she was tired.

I sat there in that moment, looking at my beautiful daughter and I just smiled.

(more…)


He Was Chosen: Gavin’s Adoption Story

IMG_1315Gavin’s birthday was July 6th.  He turned 4 years old!

God has great plans for his life!  And has been intimately involved in his life since he was conceived.

But I’m sad to say, we missed his 1st birthday.

We weren’t there for his birth.

But rest assured, this child has been prayed for immensely!  He is loved,  he is wanted.  HE was chosen.

We may not have experienced every day of Gavin’s first 14 months of life, but we are here now.  We are here today and will be here for his tomorrows!

(more…)


Choosing to Stay on the Path

This morning I took Gavin to a camp at our local Nature center.  After we dropped him off, Abba, Cruz and I strolled through the Children’s Garden there.  We were walking along and Abba started veering off.  I told her, “You have to stay on the path, honey.”  She questioned, as most 3 year olds do, “Why?” “Because there are dangers off the path”, I replied. “Why?” “Because they marked out the path before us so that we would be safe and enjoy our journey through the garden.” (more…)


Worth the Wait: Annabella’s Adoption Story

Annabella 055

Three years ago God blessed us with an amazing gift.  Our sweet, beautiful, precious daughter.

On June 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm, Annabella Jane Perez was born into this world.

But she was born in our hearts, oh so much earlier than that!  You see, we had prayed for Annabella years prior to her arrival.  We longed for a baby and after several years of agonizing procedures, devastating news, failed adoptions and much waiting, God answered our prayers.  The wait was hard.  We were ready to be parents.  I was so very ready to be a mommy.  Ready to hold MY sweet baby, ready to love the child God would give us.  The waiting was so hard.  It seemed the Lord was not listening, that maybe he hadn’t heard our prayers.  Everyone told us it would be worth the wait.

And it was.  So very much worth the wait!!

(more…)