Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get Wise

"I don't know what to do!" That phrase has left my lips more often. I hate not knowing what to do--because that used to be when I would do the wrong thing. For so long I floated through life, doing whatever I pleased and not giving much thought to long term. I don't live like that any more. One could say I'm growing up, getting older or maybe one could say I'm getting wiser.

Proverbs 1:3  tells us that in regards to reading Proverbs and seeking the wisdom found in it is "Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair."  Yes, I think it's safe to say I'm getting older and growing up AND getting wiser.

Rarely do I make decisions without consulting someone who is further ahead in life than me, rarely do I act without first weighing how it will affect my future and rarely do I speak without weighing my words. Rarely.

I'm human and with that comes a certain level of screw-up. But what separates me from who I am today verses who I was ten years ago is I'm not doing life on my own any more and I'm not allowing myself to say/do whatever I feel like, whatever comes to mind. No longer do I float on the boat of reckless. I might still have brief moments of visiting that boat, but I don't live in it any more.

Wisdom teaches us to live disciplined--which to a certain extent means you don't get to do everything you WANT. Wisdom also leads to successful lives. I'll take success over pleasure any day. The trick is to understand what I deem as success, what others deem as success is sometimes (ok, often) different than what God defines success to be. So I guess one could say true wisdom is not in how much you know, how much you can quote, or even how long you've done something...true wisdom comes when you stop living for yourself.

"I don't know what to do" leads to wisdom when we turn to God and allow Him to show us what to do. Then, regardless of what that looks like or how it makes us feel, we do it. 

My prayer for you...gain wisdom (read proverbs).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why Study?

"Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to turn from sin. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent." Jeremiah 5:3

The word repent has been crossing my path a lot lately and for me that's an indicator God is trying to get something across to me. So, I've begun to study the word repent. Yes, study. Not just look up the definition, not just ask my pastor what he thinks, not just read one verse with the word repent in it...but STUDY.

I don't believe we should EVER accept something as truth just because one person says it is. That way of living is dangerous for obvious reasons. But as Christians it's even more dangerous simply because opinions can blind truth. If you hold someone in high regard then your opinion of them may blind you so much you start agreeing with all they say, even if they are saying false statements. We must all do our own homework, researching those who have gone before us, researching for ourselves what God is saying to us through the bible, researching for ourselves each idea laid on our heart.

Studying takes time and patience. Often God speaks to us in fragments, to draw us closer to Him..to force us to go beyond the easy and really seek the Truth.

How are you doing at studying? Do you brush it off with "I don't like to read" or "I just don't have time for that" or "I don't understand it when I read it" or maybe you put in your few minutes each day so you can say "Yep, check that off the list"...here's my challenge to you (and me):

Step back and look at what area of life are you struggling with right now? If you had to sum up in one word something you think you need to work on what would it be? Is there a theme that keeps coming up in your life?  Now, after giving it some thought set you mind to study that area, that word, that theme. And then do it! If you have time for facebook and your favorite tv show and naps then you certainly have time to study because this type of studying will only make you a better person and I have a feeling we ALL want to be better people!

As for what I've discovered so far about repent, it means a WHOLE lot more than just saying "I'm sorry I suck so much." If you don't know what to study I highly recommend the word repent...maybe we can compare notes and together find Truth.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Every action

Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way."

Every action, every decision we make has a consequence--it's either good or bad. We will either be impacting those around us in positive ways or we will be hurting those around us. But every single action, every single decision has a consequence.

When our actions are negative we must be disciplined for it and as it says in Hebrews, discipline is painful. I remember when I was 14 I wanted to date a guy that was 19, only the rule in the house was "he can't be more than two years older than you." Because I choose to ignore this rule and I insisted I knew better and dated him anyway my mom was left with no choice but to discipline me. I dug my heels in and kept doing what I wanted because I believed I knew better and I believed my mom was just being mean and didn't want me to be happy. As time went on my mom had to increase her discipline with me and let me just tell you it was PAINFUL...for us both.

We refer to God as our Heavenly Father and because that's what He is that means there are times he will give out a rule (like my mom did) and if we choose to disobey (because we think we know best or don't like the rule) we leave Him no choice but to discipline us. Notice it says discipline NOT punish. There's a major difference. Punishment is meant to simply make the person stop doing what they are doing. Discipline is meant to improve the person, take special note to the end of Hebrews 12:11 "...there will be a quiet harvest of RIGHT LIVING for those who are TRAINED in this way."  Discipline is meant to train, not hurt. Even though it does hurt, that's not the end goal.

What's going on in your life right now that has you saying "Wow that hurts, what's going on?"  I encourage you to step back and take an honest look at your actions lately, your words, your thoughts. Look at what connections there are between you and the consequences you are feeling. Then, turn to God and ask Him to show you what the better way of living is, the right way...so you can reap the harvest!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Did you count the cost?

"Being a Christian is the best decision I have ever made and the hardest thing I have ever done." I've said that phrase OFTEN. Because it is. It just is. Oh, I've heard people say it's not suppose to be hard, that I must not have the true Jesus. I've also been told that if I really had the Holy Spirit inside me I wouldn't lose my temper or say bad words or have the desire to do things that are deemed unholy. To that I say...have you read Luke 14:27-28?

"And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it."

When I first became a Christian, meaning more than just believing in God and more than just going to church on Sundays, I didn't take the time to count the cost. I didn't step back and thoughtfully take up my cross nor did I ponder how my life would be changed. I just sorta dove in head first and hoped for the best. That was five years ago. 

I know beyond any doubt that I am more in love with God than I am with any person on this earth. I choose God daily over anyone or anything. I am used by God, loved by God and sought after by God. Of this I am confident. However my relationship with God is not one void of bumps, pot holes, and angry words. My Christian walk is hard to say the least. Why? Because daily I fight against myself, my desires, my wants, my "but it feels good", I fight against control, greed, jealousy, and the simple I WANT IT. My Christian walk is hard simply because I'm still Carla. 

Receiving forgiveness is just the first step. That's how you get in to heaven but it's the "in the meantime" that we cannot forget. Our day to day lives matter just as much, dare I say even more...for it's the day to day life that Jesus is referring to when he tells us to take up our cross and to count the cost. Assess your day to day life my friend, can people see Jesus in you? Are you hitting the target more than not? And...are you letting your "off" days overshadow by self talk of failure and "you must not really have Jesus in your heart"?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yahweh Shalom

"I just want some peace!"  How many times have we yelled that or at the very least thought that? Peace seems to be the universal unobtainable goal and yet we cry out for it through tears of exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed. How each person defines peace appears to be the only separation found in the cry.

We want peace from crying toddlers, peace from abusive spouses, peace from work deadlines, peace from crazy drivers, peace from bill collectors, peace peace peace JUST GIVE ME PEACE!

Yahweh Shalom. God IS peace.

This week I haven't felt much peace. Truth be told I haven't felt much peace in a while....at least not the peace I wanted. When I was crying out to God GIVE ME PEACE I meant the way I wanted it, through the circumstances I wanted, in the time I wanted. I was basically being the crying toddler to my heavenly Father.

If trials in life have taught me anything it's this--get on your knees and listen. And I did just that, multiple times this week, multiple times during this season of my crying out for peace.

Yahweh Shalom. GOD is peace.

Circumstances remain the same, people remain the same, and in the moment the light at the end of the tunnel can seem so so far away. We don't "feel" peace. While I was on my knees, listening with a desperate ear for God to ease my fears I kept hearing "I give you peace."  So, I got my bible out and looked up that phrase and found myself in the book of Judges and came upon this verse in chapter 6, "It's all right, the Lord replied. Do not be afraid. You will not die. And Gideon built an alter to the Lord there and named it "The LORD is peace." which in Hebrew is Yahweh Shalom.

God is PEACE.

Not a whole lot has happened externally to bring "peace" into my life. In fact, the cat puked on my laptop the other day and caught it on fire. Seriously. As a writer that's the worst vision to ever lay eyes upon. Peace was not something I felt. But God...but God has been faithful in reminding me that my peace lays in Him, my trust is in Him, and in Him I need not fear.


So, if you're feeling overwhelmed with life, beaten down by yet another day's to do list, and tired of being tired I encourage you to get on your knees and just listen because God ALWAYS responds if with nothing more than "I give you peace." which, for the record, is all that's needed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My friends

Part of my healing has been in the making of female friends. Growing up I had few, manly because girls are mean and usually untrustworthy. I learned to be guarded early on in life. Then as I entered adulthood I seemed to be going in one direction and the crowd was going in another. For a long period of time I had one good friend. One. Seriously.

I've heard the phrase "if you have one good friend count yourself fortunate" and though I understand the meaning I'm also saddened by this thought. Because I'm now on the other side and have many good friends. I feel more fortunate today than I have ever felt. Maybe fortunate isn't the right word...I feel more loved than I have ever felt. And today is a good example of why.

I have just announced on Facebook (because that's when it's official) that I have a boyfriend. My mom called, kinda freaking, because "you NEVER change your status!" I don't. Because no one has ever made it to this point. I know what I'm looking for and I refuse to settle for anything less, well I might settle for a brief moment but then the moment passes and I end the date. But this one. This one is different.

But I changed my status for another reason...

Because I have a lot of people in my life whom I consider to be close friends and trust their opinion and seek their advice. More importantly, I want them to share in my happiness of this moment. The cool part of having friends is not only are they there to chat with they are also there to be a mirror, help you maneuver this life AND share in those moments you've waited years for.

The observation my man made to me "you have a lot of friends that really love you"...yes I do. So, if you have just one good friend, consider yourself fortunate for there are some who never have that ONE, but shoot for many because the amount of love poured out is beyond fortunate, it's Blessed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Memories Rock

When I was a little girl we lived with my grandparents for a short time. I don't remember a lot from that season of life, but I have flashes of moments that surface every now and then. Just now, as I was thinking about what to write my blog about today, this memory swept across my minds eye:

It's early in the morning and I'm sitting on my grandpa's lap. I can smell him, he smells clean and his face is freshly shaven. He is holding me tight as we snuggle in his big brown chair and then, he leans in to whisper in my ear, "you are loved Carla, you are loved."

I've not had this particular memory before. But right now, in this very moment, I can hear my grandpa's voice as clearly as if he were here--though he's been gone since I was 13.

It's so easy to get caught up in the trials of life. It's so easy to shift perspective and forget...we are loved. When I feel hurt, I feel fear, I feel disappointment I don't always feel love.

Today, friend, pause and readjust your perspective. Stop looking at the trials you are facing, stop thinking about the "what ifs" and stop trying to figure out how to fix it...simply stop. And remember. You. Are. Loved. you ARE loved. you are LOVED. YOU ARE LOVED.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We're Drowning!

"If you're not currently in a storm, get prepared because one is coming" words spoken years ago by my pastor. I remember the sermon well, there was a boat on the stage and he was talking about the passage in Matthew 8:23-27. The verse begins with "Then Jesus got into the boat..." and goes on to tell of a storm that came while Jesus and the disciples were on the boat; the disciples were freaking out and Jesus, well, Jesus was sleeping. But that day, my pastor pointed to the beginning words "then Jesus got into the boat". I'll never forget Bill stepping into the boat on stage as he said "never forget Jesus got in the boat first".

We will endure storms off and on throughout our whole life. It's a fact, not a option. No one is void of ups and downs. No one. But Christians MUST remember Jesus got in the boat first! But how do we remember that in the midst of life unraveling?


I endure intense storms at times. The kind that make me respond much like the disciples did that night on the boat, "Lord save me, I'm going to drown!" I see my circumstances and wonder how things are ever going to change, I have said to friends "I'm just not sure I can take any more." And yet...Jesus responds to me just like He responded to the disciples, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!"

Time and time again I draw upon the promises found in the bible. Those promises are what I cling to while enduring the pain of the storm. Those promises are also what guides me in how I'm to respond to my circumstances. We as humans want to throw our hands up and say "I quit" but we as Christians need to throw our hands around the only guiding compass we have, the Bible.

Stop with the excuses of "I don't understand it", "I don't have time to read it", "It doesn't relate to my life today". OR, continue to think like that but then stop expecting God to answer your prayers, guide your steps, bless your life. If you're wandering through the storm trying to find your way out, instead of reading books on the subject, seeking advice from friends, crying in bed because you're going to drown maybe you should try turning to the One who can calm the storm...Matthew 8:26 "...Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves and suddenly all was calm."

In no way do I do this "well". But I do it. You should too. Unless you like the panic of drowning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plan B?

There is no plan B. There is no person that can come along and fulfill what we miss, what we don’t do, what we screw up. There is no plan set in place for God to use in case we fail. Because God is sovereign and in that description we find God needs no plan B.

To imply there is a plan B, there is a plan in place for when we screw up, take the wrong path or refuse to obey is to imply God needs to work around us. That’s not the case at all. God doesn’t say “darn, he chose that path, I’ll have to work out my kingdom in a different way now” but rather God knew before time began he would choose that path and God had already set plans in motion to use that path to further advance His kingdom through that path, that choice in the moment.

So, it is not God that needs plan B. It’s not even really us that needs plan B. Sure God lays before us options, one of which is clearly the one He desires most saying “this one is what’s best for you” but in our free will we can say “no, I choose that one over there instead”. God simply says ok and off we go. Later, when we have enough experience on that chosen path to be able to look backward can we see how the other path would have been easier, more beneficial, equip us better then we see that God’s choice would have been much better.  That doesn’t mean, however, that God is now saying “well, great, now I must create a plan B since you didn’t follow the path I laid before you”. God says I knew this would be the path you would choose, I simply showed you the other one so that you can gain insight into why following my desires over yours is a better idea. The hope is that next time options are laid before us we will turn to God and say I choose the one You want, not the one I want.  Again, not because God’s work is dependent upon our choices, it is arrogant to think such things.

There is great temptation to look back over our life and ponder the times we turned left when we should have turned right. There is greater temptation to wonder what our life would be like if only we’d listened to His voice instead of the voice of momentary satisfaction. God is not about temptation. God is about redemption and restoration. You are breathing because God wants to love you AND work through you to love others. You cannot screw up God’s plans, no matter how far off the path you’ve been. You cannot force God to create a plan B. God is in control, regardless of how out of control life appears. God is in control regardless of how surrendered to Him you are. 

God’s plan, the only plan, is in place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My first "fast"

It was a challenge given to me by a very good friend. I'm sure she didn't see it as a challenge, I'm sure she just saw it as a simple suggestion. But when I read the words "you should fast about this" I felt everything come to a grinding hault. Fast?!

I don't fast. Ever.

Two reasons. One, I like food too much and two (and most importantly I might add) I'm hypoglycemic so I always assumed I couldn't fast. Going without food leads to one thing for me--passing out. So, anytime fasting came up I always took a pass and said "I'll just pray".

But I had come to the end of my rope, I had no idea what more to do and I was filled with confusion and anger. I had thrown my hands up shouting "I'm doing it my way!" That's when my friend stepped in, hearing the bitterness in my words, and suggested I seek God's guidance via fasting. Almost without thinking I said "ok" and immediately felt better. I wasn't sure how to go about this fasting, but I knew I had done all I could and "doing it my way" wasn't a true option because frankly my way is rarely a good way.

So, yesterday I fasted all day. I journaled, I read scripture, I prayed, I listened to music. I sought God through the stomach growls, shaky hands, and headaches.

A lot of unearthing was done yesterday. Things I needed to ask forgiveness from God on, things I needed to realize were or or weren't good, things that are hindering me and hindering God from working through me. All of this is good. But I still didn't have an "answer" nor did I have peace inside.

So, today I kept searching. I kept seeking. And I remained confident God would answer. And He did. No, I didn't HEAR Him, relax I haven't started hearing voices. He answered through various conversations, through my reading and journaling and praying. Two days of non-stop seeking lead to me telling my friend "peace has arrived".

I don't have a "do this" kind of answer and I don't have peace because anything has changed. I do have a shift in my perspective, a promise of the sovereignty of God and a confidence that the answer will be revealed when the time is right. I have peace in my spirit, not my situation. What to do in the meantime? Continue seeking with the intensity the last 24 hours has created. Because when you seek God, God always responds.

I learned that fasting is actually an amazing gift we have as Christians. I didn't pass out, though I did get pretty darn hungry. I am really looking forward to the next time I fast! Apparently I love God MORE than food!!! Yay!

Thanks to my friend, Abby, for encouraging me to stretch beyond what I've "always done".

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Everyone but me

A friend of mine wants to get pregnant so badly. She has been trying for nearly a year now. The other day she called crying "does God hate me because apparently He does, everyone else is getting pregnant!?" I tried to explain to her that it doesn't work like that, a+b does not = c.

I overheard a guy at the grocery store, he was on the phone. "I have been looking for work for months. It seems everyone else is getting a job, I'm getting more debt." I smiled as I passed him, wanting to stop and say something encouraging, but I didn't because I know all the phrases I would say don't make the fear go away and don't bring a job knocking on your door. Bill collectors don't care that "God loves me".

I just sent an email to a dear friend telling her that I am sad to hear of an impending marriage proposal because it's not me that's getting married.

I think we all have something we are longing for. It doesn't matter if the longing is for living, like a job, or loving like a child or spouse. The longing is still an overwhelming ache in our soul that cries out "WHAT ABOUT ME!"

We live in a time that says you deserve X. I hear that phrase often, "I deserve it!" That thinking is straight up self-centered and opposite of being a Christian. Our existence is not to have more, do more, be more. Our existence is to shine the light on God more...to love God and love others through the love He gives us. The rest is icing on the cake, it's not the cake.

Whatever you have that is aching in you, whatever you are wishing you had I encourage you to stop saying "what about me", stop having the victim thinking and start being thankful for what you DO have. God has already blessed you with so much, but you're missing it because you're focused on what you don't have.

The whole time we are shouting "WHAT ABOUT ME!" God is in turn whispering "what about Me".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's all in the tone

It's not what you say it's how you say it. I think it would behoove us ALL to listen to how we sound when we are talking to others. Our tone can be demeaning, degrading, hurtful, hateful. What we are saying is lost because how we are saying it speaks louder.

We teach others how to treat us. We teach this in large part by the way we treat them. If we are rude, if we talk about others, if we sigh or yell or speak harshly--we are teaching people how we want to be treated. Mirrors, that's what we are to one another. A mirror. What you put out in the world is what is reflected back to you.

Pause today and just take notice in how you speak, in what you speak, in how you sound when you speak. What image are you reflecting? Pause and notice how people are talking to you. What are they reflecting? Instead of feeling like you need to find new people to be around, or find a new job, or find a new whatever maybe what you should do is just adjust what YOU are reflecting.

Matthew 13:36 "And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How donations work

VM has been around for 2 years now. Two whole years! I'm impressed by God's faithfulness, He told me He would provide and He has. He also told me I'd live on donations to the ministry. I have. So many have been generous in giving to VM, in listening to the prompting from God and then following through on that prompting, even when it seemed ridiculous.

But I know some have not donated because clarity hasn't come as to what exactly you're donating too. So, let me attempt to explain VM, even if you don't donate, you'll know what it is and why God created it.

There is a darkness that looms inside of us, we each have it until we call it to the light. That darkness is our secrets. We all have secrets. We all have things in our past that we fear others will find out. We all, at some point, have secrets we don't even acknowledge before God out of fear of what He'll say or do.

My focus has become helping us begin to say out loud what those secrets are, shed light on the darkness inside us, and reach fully out to God. If we talk about it, we aren't victim to it. If we ask God to help us, we will experience healing.

God has gifted me with communication skills that come out in the form or public speaking, one-on-one talking, writing and teaching. I would also say I have the gift of making others cry, but I don't think that's a real "gift". We get real very fast. That is solely the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, what you're donating to is allowing this ministry to be my full time job. And because it's my full time job I'm flexible in when I can meet clients for life coaching, I have time to work on my talks and next writing project (a book on dating as a Christian Mom). Working for VM full time also means I can be free in the evenings to be mom, and as a single mom multiple jobs just doesn't cut it. There is one other aspect to your donations and that is the money allows me to not HAVE to charge clients for life coaching. There's a lot of people that don't get help simply because they don't have enough money to pay the bills AND buy food, let alone pay for someone like me. I was one of those people and it was the donations of others to pay for me that got me help...I would even say saved my life.

Please prayerfully consider donating monthly to VM. This link will take you to my paypal account. Any and all amounts count, so whether it's $5 or $500 God will multiple it to become what's needed in order to make VM successful so we are no longer living under the weight of our secrets.

For tax information--I have filed the paperwork to receive a 501(c)3 which, once approved, will give me the tax information necessary for your donations to be tax deductible. Any donations made until this comes will still be able to be applied--all donations are tax deductible.

If you have any further questions I'm here to chat!

Thanks for allowing God to use you so others can be helped!! See how God works?! We're all in it together.


Monday, May 21, 2012

have some fun

I have been asked plenty over the years what I like to do for fun--the answers have been wide ranged, including saying nothing. For a girl who loves to have fun, fun is something that doesn't always come easily to me. Not the good kind of fun anyway.

So, I've challenged myself over the past few months to pay attention to the fun side of life. What do I like to do? What can I do? What would be fun? And here's what I've come up with:

Having a day off. A WHOLE day off. A day that I do whatever I want to do and nothing that I don't want to do. I have not done this in the past, not on a consistent basis, because it seemed so selfish to me and we parents know there's no room for selfish when you're raising future adults...especially if your a single parent.

Well, here's the deal, when I take that day off (which is on Monday's by the way) I am more productive in my work, calmer as a parent, and better able to handle the curve balls life continuously hurls at me. The lie that "I can't afford to take a day off" is exactly that--a lie. You don't think you can because you never do therefore you have no idea if you can or cannot.

Some things I DO on my day off...watch Matlock (because it's not trashy, requires no thinking on my part, and we have limited tv channels), play on Pinterest (I'm actually glad I caved, there's really cool stuff on there), read a book (fiction), sit outside (doing nothing, just sit out there and soak in the fresh air).

Some things I DON'T do on my day off....anything that I feel is a must throughout the week, like laundry or cooking or cleaning or mowing the yard. I do them ONLY if I want to, otherwise the kids know it's fend for yourself all day long.

I don't feel guilty about my day off because as I said, I'm better the rest of the week. I don't let others try to make me feel guilty (the famous "it must be nice to have a day off") after all you choose to not take time off. And I don't stop being a Christ follower on my day off.

The lesson learned: God was on to something when He made the Sabbath a commandment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five Years

I remember reading a blog that marked a one year anniversary for a woman I did not know, but we shared a common experience. The blog for her was a victory. For me it was overwhelming.

"One year! I can't do a whole year of this! I'm not going to survive a whole year!" those were words I gasped into the phone through tears as I tried to explain to my sister I didn't see this blog as anything good for me.

Today my blog post is five years. This day is my five year anniversary of an experience that forever changed my life, changed me. Satan hurled himself at me and I must admit, he nearly won.

But he didn't win.

So, in honor of my five year anniversary I'm going to share with you 5 lessons I've learned...as my way to remind Satan (and myself) that not only did he not win, I'm actually BETTER than I've ever been!

1. Even when you can't feel God, God is there.
2. Some wounds linger way too long. 
3. Only when you stop fighting can you be saved.
4. Counseling sucks. For a long time. And then doesn't.
5. Being a survivor of rape is not my identity, it's just a part of my story.

It's been a long five years, filled with tears, questions, and yes filled with fear. But it's also been a wonderful five years filled with accomplishments, laughter, and amazement. So, on this five year anniversary I am on the radio talking to LOTS of people about the victories that have come from that one event, victories that will last into eternity which is totally awesome when you consider Satan just had the one night and God has ALL nights to come. I am happy, I am healthy and I am OK.

Here's to five more years, may they just get better and bigger and bolder.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Taking naps

What do you do when you're stressed? What's the first thing you turn to when life gets that "out of control" feeling? Anything short of turning to God isn't good for us. Whatever it is that you turn to, that's the thing you must over come. For me...sleeping. I LOVE to take naps. Why? Because I stop thinking. I'm snuggled in my bed, the heaviness of the blankets on top of me, the coolness of the pillow under my head...I love sleeping.

This week I've been doing a lot of self reflection. That can be good. It is good. But it's also grounds for needing to escape sleep. Right now, in this very moment, I want to take a nap. The battle within myself is this:
Just an hour, what will that hurt? you can't nap right now, you have work to do.
But I'm so sleepy and I would feel much better if I just took a nap. stop being lazy.
FINE! the truth is I'm tired of thinking about all of this and I'm tired of reading and I'm tired of putting in effort. Please just let me shut down!

Whatever we are focusing on is what screams the loudest. When you spend your whole day saying "I'm not going to eat that cake that's in the kitchen" what are you doing? Focusing on the cake in the kitchen. And then what happens? You cave, eat the cake then spend the rest of the evening feeling guilty and telling yourself tomorrow you'll do way better.

Some will say "You just have to fight it. Have stronger will power". Sheer will power. I hate that phrase. It's deceiving and sets you up to feel like a failure. When you go on "sheer will power" you will eventually get tired and then you'll go completely overboard on whatever it is you're willing against. Because we're not designed to do anything on "sheer will power"! If we were we wouldn't need Jesus. I certainly need Jesus...on my own, well I take lots of naps.

Right now, in this very moment stop trying to do it on your own or working up enough will power. Right now admit your weakness (that thing you turn to) and then...go do something else, like, um, listen to Christian music, or go for a walk, or write a poem, or call a friend or--gasp--pray and tell God how much you need Him.

I'm refusing to take a nap today. Not because I'm strong. But because I want to be strong in Jesus more than I want to be brain dead in my bed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

we're THAT kind of family

Several weeks ago Erica brought home a plant. Ok, it was dirt but she swore there was a seed in there and it would turn into a plant. She dumped the dirt into a plastic cup and splashed it a few times with water. Over the next several days she would pour a few drops of water into the dirt. One day I found her in the bathroom, cup in one hand, and an obvious seed with sprouts in the other.

Me: What are you doing?!
Erica: Looking at my plant.
Me: Sis, you can't dig it up like that, you'll kill it.
Erica: Too late.

About a week ago I noticed a sprout coming up from the dirt. We had an obvious plant on our hands! She did it! She was growing a plant! I was so excited! As soon as she came home from school I met her at the door with the cup in hand:

Me: Look sis! Your plant is growing!
Erica: That's not my plant.
Me: Um, yes. Yes it is. See, it's right here.
Erica: No, my plant died.
Me: Then what is this?
Erica: That's a tree.

Apparently after Erica realized her plant was not going to survive her digging and reburial she decided to get a seed from outside to see if she could grow it.

Me: A tree huh. Why are we growing a tree?
Erica: Cause we're that kind of family Mom.

*I should inform you that this week I'll be spending time outside digging up trees that are growing in unwanted places, like along the fence. But by golly we're growing one in the plastic cup!  Irony at its best.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I will control

Sometimes I go to bed at night explaining to God that I KNOW He can make me skinny, that I can wake up in the morning and be skinny and it'd be a miracle and I would run around telling everyone about my "skinny miracle" just like people did when Jesus healed them. I go to bed smiling at the thought of waking up to my miracle. Then, I wake up and weigh myself and I've gained a pound.

Someone once told me they lay in bed with their arms stretched out saying "I am rich". This person felt that by doing that exercise you're "telling the universe you're open to money". This person is still far from rich.

Throughout our day we are reminded that we are not in control. Of anything. Which can bring a feeling of hopelessness. If we're not in control of anything then what's the point? Why even try?


I wake up having gained a pound because I ate cookie dough and pizza the day before. Yes, God could make me skinny. He most certainly could override my pizza and cookie dough episode. He could. And sometimes He works like that, giving us awesome miracles. But most of the time He says "I'll give you the strength to workout so you can lose the weight and the endurance to hang in there when you would rather sit down with a tub of cookie dough". We choose our behavior, our actions, our words...we choose. We try desperately to control our time and our kids and our email and our spouse and the lives of those around us. We all say "I'm a control freak", as if that makes it ok. We also admit our controlling things doesn't work out very well. Then we throw our hands up and storm off.


I control what I eat and how much. I control whether or not I exercise or sit on the couch. I control how I spend my money. I control what I say, how I respond, whether or not I will give in to the mood looming over me. God graciously gave us free will...that can be the end of us or the beginning and each day we choose what that control will look like.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just do it

I've struggled to write lately. At least, to write out loud for all to see. The book has been released, the website created and the word has been spread. Eyes that I do not know will be looking...and that makes me want to throw up. Every time I hear someone say "I bought your book" I start to shake. Having a ministry called Vulnerability might be hard to say and spell but it's certainly accurate with how I feel. VULNERABLE.

Writing is a great release for me. It's also most often how I hear from God. I write straight from my heart, good or bad I guess depending on how you view it. But always 100 percent heart. Knowing that more and more people are now reading my writing I want to stop, question everything I start to write and then shut the computer down and go eat some cookie dough. But, God has been encouraging me by allowing my path to cross with other writers who are in the same boat as me...raw honest and vulnerable writers.

Publishing a book, creating a website...steps I had to take. What are steps you need to take but aren't? Are you praying for God to show up big time in some area of life? Would you like to receive His blessings? Our refusing to obey a nudge we feel from Him holds back the full beauty of His shining in our lives. It's not that we don't experience God if we don't do X, it's that we don't FULLY experience God if we refuse to do whatever our next step is. Easier said than done. I know. But, I did it.

I took the step, I'm in the middle of it now, and I'm still alive. No one has egged my house, no one has posted on Facebook that I'm a horrible person, the town of Auburn has not called to ask me to move to a new town. I'm still the same me...just with a few more eyes watching. Take the step. Do the X. And then watch God do His thing!! It's kinda awesome, trust me.

 Hey look at that...I just wrote another blog post. Out loud. For you to read. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are we helping

I remember watching tv as a kid and seeing the Mom and Dad sleep in separate beds, twin beds to be exact. I also remember the first time I heard a cuss word on the radio and the DJ laughed and said "wonder if that will get me fired", it didn't. I remember when HBO was what you watched if you wanted to see anything "bad". I remember... This morning I was on Facebook and I saw someone posted a picture of what they plan to buy at Victoria Secret. My heart sank and then I became angry because that means my children will see this picture too. We, as a society, have truly lost our filter. We no longer stop and think about what we are doing and how we are influencing those around us. Is my behavior helping those I know? In a positive way? Our children are growing up surrounded by...sex. That's pretty much it. Commercials on tv are sexual. Movies are sexual. 8pm tv shows that are on normal channels, not HBO, are sexual. Jokes we tell, stories we hear, news, it's all sexual. And now, we have adults on Facebook displaying what underwear they are going to buy...for me to see, my children to see, their own children to see! Because my two oldest are now teens I'm acutely aware of the struggles the teens of today are going through. Friends, we are not helping them by the actions we are committing. Just because you CAN use the technology today doesn't mean you SHOULD. So, the next time you feel you need to tell the Facebook world about your problems, your desires, or the joke you found to be so funny stop and think about who all is reading, watching, and learning from you. Are you helping to create a better future generation? I'm sad to think what my kids will remember.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To the huggers

Sometimes it's hard for me to write because I want to write with a particular person in mind. My way of being passive-aggressive and venting I suppose. But tonight I'm going to just come right out with it...this is dedicated to every person that has ever felt the need to hug me.

It's been almost five years. Five whole years since my life changed literally in a moment. Five years since I said for the first time in my life, "Please don't hug me today." Five years since I have been inside a man's home that I do not fully know.

I am a person who's love language is touch. I crave it almost as much as I crave hearing I love you from my kids. When someone hugs me I feel as if breath has been given back to me. I feel full again. I remember how empty I became from lack of touch.

I also remember the line of people waiting to hug me after I spoke at my church, sharing my secret. One after another reached their arms out and embraced me, the good hug that lingers. And each time I felt God saying to me "and I hug you again and I hug you again..."

Many times I talk about why I love being a Christian, but tonight I can't help but remember that line and all the hugs that have followed over the years. If you've hugged me know that God was working through you in that moment to heal me just a little more, "and I hug you again"...thanks for hugging me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Surrender All

I love music. All kinds of music. Yesterday I was listening to Christian music while in the car and I started really listening, not singing, but listening to the words in each song. The string of songs I heard were all about our hearts cry, our desperate longing to know God is on our side, and our desire to surrender our life to Him.

I surrender all to you. Words that are in several Christian songs. Words we sing at my church. Words I speak, I want to mean. Words that prick my heart at the deepest part. I surrender ALL to you.

But do I surrender my relationships? What about my eating habits? And then there's the fact that sometimes I'd rather be lazy and do nothing instead of listen to the nudging inside me to call someone I know needs to talk...do I surrender those moments? Do I surrender my wants, my dreams, my comfort?

Often when I'm singing in church I'll suddenly pause and think "Do I mean these words?" It's easy to get caught up in the moment, to sing because you "like" the song...but do we mean what we're saying? Do we really surrender all or do we just WANT to surrender all?

My confession to you today, more often than not I just want to. More often than not I mean it in the moment and then, I leave, and the moment passes and I go back to living a life not surrendered to God. My outside doesn't always match my inside. And I know I'm not alone. I know, from listening to the songs, we all struggle with this.

I'm praying for us to move beyond singing, move beyond a heart of longing and start to actually do. I'm praying for us to actually surrender all to God. I'm praying for us to see the true beauty that comes when we are in a place of living not for ourselves, but for the One who can actually give us freedom from ourselves!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

But Why?

But WHY? Anyone who has ever been around children knows this is a phrase that gets old rather quickly. "But WHY is the sky blue?" "But WHY do I have to eat all my food?" "But WHY can't I stay up as late as my sister?" On and on and on. At first, we are under the illusion that these are great moments of teaching, we feel a sense of duty to explain. And then. The irritation sets in as we realize WHY never stops and we, frankly, don't fully know the answer to most of the questions. We begin to change our answer from a long dissertation to a simple "because I said so".

My relationship with God is much like that of a small child at times. Not in the "child like faith" that we want to have, but rather I'm the annoying "but why" kid. "But why do I have to take a step that seems impossible?" "But why don't you show up BEFORE the eleventh hour?" "But why am I still not married?" "But why did you make people so difficult to love?" "But WHY!!!". God IS Patience, if you need proof of that stop and reflect on how many times you bemoan BUT WHY to Him. He never walks away, He never grows weary, He never stops and says "Please go find something do".

A child asks why because they are simply trying to learn. I ask why because I'm a control freak driven by fear. There is a very big difference.

Today this is my hearts desire...that I may learn to silence the WHY inside me and find peace in knowing that the One with all the answers says "Because I love you. Because it's not about you. Because I Am." My friends, God calls us to do the outrageous, to step out of our comfort zone, to give until it hurts. The only answer we need given to us is "because I said so".

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why read it?

This morning I received an email from a good friend, it was the scripture she'd read in her morning time with God. This is the second day in a row I've received an email from her with scripture but this morning I sat crying as I read the words. Words from the Old Testament. Words that I have read at least a hundred times. Words that, in my fragile moments, I have often wondered "but does this apply to me".

It took me a long time to become comfortable with the bible. A LONG time. I didn't know where to begin, but more importantly I was afraid of what would happen. I kept hearing statements like "the bible is filled with answers", "God speaks through His word", "You have to read the bible to grow as a Christian". But what if? What if all that was true for everyone but me? Or what if I read it and didn't understand any of it? Or what if I read something that confirmed my thinking...I'm not good enough to be His daughter?

The first "book" I read in the bible was Job. I have no clue why I picked that one, I would never tell someone today to start there, but I did. And I do know why, because that's the way God works. I read that book, then bought a book someone wrote about that book and read it. And I haven't stopped reading the bible. Job is a GREAT book to study.

I love reading and coming across something new, looking at the words and thinking "I had no idea that was in here!" I love reading and feeling a sense of understanding as I dig deep, mull over the words, let them soak in. I love the clarity I get from simply reading the Bible.


I still have moments of wondering "really? me?" when reading things like Isaiah 41.

8 “But you, O Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Can I claim this as God inserting my name where it says you? As my friend read this scripture, my name was laid on her heart for her to share this with me. My friends, please see that for what it is. God. In that moment God wanted me to know that YES! I can insert my name, yes I can say when this was written He was thinking of me right now in this very moment. Yes yes yes!

Pick your bible up, dust it off, and start reading. There isn't a bad place to start because it's all important. Ok, maybe you should start with the New Testament, but where you start isn't nearly as important as starting. Just start. The bible is God's love letters to us. The bible is God's direction for us. The bible is filled with wisdom, peace, joy, and clarity. And, the bible is just one more way for God to say "you, yes you, I will help you". If it works for me, trust me it'll work for you!!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Counting the Cost of Lent

For the first time ever I am participating in Lent. So are my children. As a family we are giving up tv and I am giving up coffee. Tomorrow will be one week. ONE WHOLE WEEK WITH NO COFFEE OR TV PEOPLE! We seriously did not count the cost before we made the commitment.

Saturday mornings Erica and I like to watch Jack Hannah. She shuffled out, still sleepy, and froze. Turning to me she said "lent includes Saturdays huh".

The last week has been filled with one stressful thing after another being hurled at me. Monday nights is my night to do nothing but veg in front of the tv, and I needed it this particular Monday night. Mondays are rough anyway, but to start with no coffee then end with no tv...my insides were freaking out.

I still have a headache. I'm still grumpy. The kids are wondering what to do with their time. We're all a little on edge. We didn't count the cost.

And then. Lent. What does it even mean? Why is it SUCH a big deal? And what if I cheat? Just this once.

There are many things I love about following God, but there are also things I don't love. (I'm just being honest here, don't get upset) One thing I don't love is the conviction that washes over me. Never had that when I followed me. The other thing, accountability. I prayed a long time ago for one person to enter my life to help me be accountable and now I have more than I care to admit and they just keep coming. My life is filled with accountability. When I followed me I did what I wanted and it was nobody else's business. So, why am I participating in lent? Especially now that I know the testing I'm enduring and we're just a week into this thing.

I have never, ever, come across another heart that loves me as unconditionally as the heart of God. I have never been more secure, more provided for, more sure of who I am than now that I follow God and not me. I climbed into bed last night, reminding God how much I like to watch tv in bed, and then reminding myself of the sacrifice God made for ME, little ole me. No tv and no coffee pales in comparison.

Lent is a reminder to us of the sacrifice Jesus made for you and me and that neighbor that drives you bonkers. Lent is far from worthy of holding up against that cross, but we do it as our way of saying "I see you on that cross, I see you risen from that tomb, and I follow you above me, above my comfort, above my own life I follow you".

I'm going to break the rules (cause it's what I do best) and I'm going to say that if you haven't been partaking in Lent, start now...I don't really think God cares about the date as much as he cares about the motive. Join other Christians, stand in unison knowing we're all in this together, fight against your selfishness, and sacrifice for the God who made you. As that psalm says "taste and see that the Lord is good". It's amazing how much more I'm "tasting" now that I am participating in Lent.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Teen Mom (Part 2)

Years ago someone asked me to describe parenting in one word. Exhausting. When our kids are little we're spending our days chasing after them, keeping them safe (often from themselves), teaching them, guiding them, playing with them. Many nights I fell into bed wondering if I would have enough energy to get up in the morning. I was exhausted.

My exhaustion was more than physical though. I felt I needed to prove to the world that I was going to be a good mom even though I'd gotten pregnant at 18. I also carried a secret, well I thought it was a secret...turns out it was pretty obvious to everyone around me. My secret? I had no idea who I was or where I was going. I was trying desperately to just survive. I was mentally exhausted.

I've been a mom for over 16 years. Between 2000 and 2005 we moved 9 times, I had 6 jobs and...well, more than one man was in our life. Please hear me clearly, when you become a teen mom you feel the effects of it well past your teen years. I may no longer be trying to prove I'm a good mom (I am) and I know who I am now but getting here was a very bumpy ride.

Today I would still use the same word to describe parenting. If you do it right...if you're 100% involved, totally committed you will be exhausted. But today that exhaustion is the good kind, the natural kind. I'm not proving anything, I'm simply being their Mom. Any parent can arrive at this point, teen mom or not, it's just a lot harder when you start at 18.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teen Mom (Part 1)

I met him when I was a junior in high school. Our first date was prom. He was a senior. I remember when I found out he ran every night after school through his addition I just had to take up the same; I didn't see it as stalking, more just like melting as he'd pass by me. He was SO good looking. I felt like the most important woman in the world when he asked me to prom.

One year later I became pregnant. Our relationship wasn't the greatest but we didn't care, we loved each other and I was determined to not let my child grow up like I did, in a divorced home. We married when our son was 13 months old. Two months later we became pregnant again. We didn't care care that we were broke or that we fought all the time or even the fact that our son was still so young, we had a family and that's what mattered.

Today I am 35 years old. I have three kids. My first marriage ended after four years; I married again and had my third child but that marriage ended after only two years. I have done the very thing I swore I would never do, I have put my children through the childhood I experienced of going back and forth between homes because our home broke in half...twice.

I didn't become a Christian until the age of 27 and frankly until then I didn't understand what all the hype was about on not having sex before marriage. I also didn't fully understand the ramifications of divorce or why God says you shouldn't. Up to that point, honestly even after I started going to church, I lived for me. If I wanted it I took it. If it felt good I did it. I always justified it somehow, but the motive was always the same...it pleased ME.

For the past 16 years we have struggled financially, emotionally. I was trying to find who I was while having to be for someone else. When others were off to college creating memories I was changing dirty diapers and trying to cook something edible. Sure I was creating memories but most of them revolved around tears. I simply was not ready to be a mother or a wife...I was just desperate for someone to love me.

I know some that have become teen moms and are doing very well. Life is a little more difficult for them, but overall they have a good handle on things. But I know more teen moms that have walked the same path as me. So, I've decided to write a few pieces about my life as a teen mom, a divorced mom, a 35 year old mom, a Christian mom solely because I'm hoping those that aren't yet moms will take my story to heart and those that already are will know they are not alone and regardless of their circumstance (happy or miserable) they have a friend that gets it.

See you back here tomorrow for Part 2.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Throwing Stones

Last year was a year of clarity for me. Clarity rolled over me like waves; at times I couldn't catch my breath. Clarity is a good thing though; I do not regret asking for it nor do I believe I'm done receiving it.

I prayed a lot about what to make this year. At first I said I wanted it to be a year of financial prosperity. I quickly shifted to abundance thinking that sounded more acceptable. God showed me neither were ok simply because of my motive. I wanted that out of selfish motive, out of lack of trust in Him, out of frustration.

"Fine", I said one night driving home, "have it your way; what would you like this year to be?" The image that crossed my mind was throwing stones followed by thinking about David killing the giant with a sling and five stones. I wondered if David was shaking on the inside even though he was confident on the out. I wondered if he was sweating as he hurled those stones; did he worry he would miss. I also wondered how freeing it felt for David to stand next to a giant and know that his God would prevail..."I want that kind of faith Lord"...those words left my mouth without me even realizing it. In that moment was my true heart. In that moment was God's true voice.

So, it's a year of throwing stones. I've come to realize it means two things really...I will be going up against my own giants in awesome ways of triumph but I will also be throwing away stones that are inside me that keep me from having that large faith, the faith it takes to pick up five rocks and march in and look a giant in the eye and say ..."to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17.

Nothing in that moment was about David. And I want nothing in my moments of facing giants to be about me. David believed God would show up. I want to believe God will show up. David did his part. I want to do my part.

Let the stone throwing begin....

Lack of Sleep

Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives!Seek his presence continually!

My sleep seems to run in cycles. I have moments of relief, sleeping all night and waking feeling well rested. I have other moments of sleeping just a few short hours each night, waking to feel as if I'd never gone to bed. Sometimes I fall asleep at 9pm, other times I am up until 2am. Sleep rarely seems to be consistent and I scarcely feel full of energy.

I have always blamed it on stress. When I'm most stressed is when I sleep the less. Seems logical to me. The past month I've slept very little; the past week I've slept even less. I'm stressed. A doctor once told me when I talked with him about my sleep issue "just lessen your stress". I couldn't help but laugh. Friends tell me "take this medicine, it helps". I can't help but feel that's not natural.

This morning, in my research for a different topic I came across Psalm 105:4. What I realized is that I'm seeking His strength because I'm exhausted and need an extra does of umph; but I don't believe that's what this verse means.

To seek Him continually doesn't mean look around and keep looking like a game of hide and seek; to seek the Lord continually means in everything I do God leads, in every word I say God speaks through me, in every decision I make God is the center. Seek means to keep Him at the center of my being. When I feel depleted it's not because God has left me, it's because I have taken over and said "that's ok, I got this". I fool myself into thinking I can do it. And then, I wake up one day and realize I'm running on fumes and those are about gone.

So, are you in the "lack of sleep" boat with me? If so, let me ask you a few questions that have been laid on my heart for my own situation....

How often are you seeking God? Is it continually? Are you giving all of your life to God or just parts? Are you praying half-hearted? Are you confessing your sins at night before shutting your eyes/talking with God at the end of your day to reflect on the day? Are you thanking God for what you do have? Do you seek God just to be in His presence or because you need something? When you pray do you have moments of silent so you can just listen or are you always talking? Do you read your bible to learn or to say you read it?

Reflect on these questions, be honest with yourself and God, then seek to make the necessary corrections so that together we can get out of that "lack of sleep" boat and be fully energized with His strength to do all that we know in our heart He longs for us to do!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brave and Courageous

I am to the point of having nothing left inside me...I recall not to long ago praying that I be empty of myself so I can be full of Christ...this isn't really what I had in mind. But, here I am, empty with nothing left to give, nothing left to do, nothing except wait on God. Psalm 27:14 "Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD." Brave and courageous. Two words people have used to describe me; two words I don't really feel I am. I also don't really do well at waiting patiently.

I am left with two choices, I either believe God's word or I don't. All of life decisions in my opinion come down to these two options, is or is not. Once again I'm standing in the road staring at the fork, the point where I must choose which path to take; I either follow the path of faith and wait on the Lord or I follow the path of me and hope I can somehow fix this mess we're in. If I draw upon past experience, which honestly is the only thing we have to draw upon, then I know the "me" path never works out well. I also know the "God" path tends to work out better than I expected and in ways I didn't foresee.

So where does brave and courageous come into play? Does it require bravery to choose to walk in faith? Does it require courage to sit and wait on the Lord? I have had countless moments the past few years of shouting that I will not give up, I will endure, I will choose to trust God to prevail. Sometimes those shouts are with a full heart of belief and other times it's truly only a muster-seed of faith that I cling too with all that I am. Is the later of bravery and courage?

Choose this day whom you shall serve....for me this day can sometimes lead to this hour. And in this hour this is my choice.....I choose to admit I am walking only on the faith that is within me, I am choosing to trust in a God I cannot touch, a faith a I cannot see, and a Lord I cannot have hold me and tell me it's all going to be ok. I am choosing to wait on Him, but I am not waiting by doing nothing for I do not believe that is of bravery and courage. I am putting together my "army", preparing for battle, and falling to my knees with the full weight of hearing "Fear not for I am with you".

Waiting on the Lord does not mean wait for him to show up...Fear not for I am WITH you...I walk with courage and I stand with bravery because my God is with me. I'm simply waiting on Him to shed light on my next step on this path of faith.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So Unworthy

I was talking with a friend the other day about why it's hard for me to take compliments from others, especially when it's with regards to my relationship with God..."you have amazing faith", "I wish God used me like He uses you", "I wish I had your confidence"...if they only knew.

If you only knew how many times a day I say to God "really? me?"
If you only knew how many times I tell God I don't want to do "it" any more.
If you only knew how many times I remind him of the junk I've done in my past, the past includes an hour ago.
If you only knew how many times I yell at my kids, ignore a phone call, sleep time away.
If you only knew how many nights I cry myself to sleep because of unanswered prayers.
If you only knew...

Here's the thing friends, you might not know all the thoughts I have, the feelings I struggle with but God certainly does. The way I see it I have two choices, I can either wallow in the "I'm not worthy" thinking or I can say "I'm not worthy but I accept Your love".

Mark 2:17 Jesus said "I did not come for the righteous but for the sinners" and my friends WE are the sinners.

I've yet to meet a person that feels DESERVING of God's love. I've yet to meet a person that will stand on a stage and tell you they don't struggle with the if only's. Actually, what I find, when people are honest is a common theme of feeling so unworthy.

I am Carla. A woman who got pregnant twice out of marriage, has two divorces under my belt, yells when I should listen, worries when I should pray, breaks the speed limit, drinks beer and wine, eats more than I should, is flat broke, AND I am a woman who chases God with relentless devotion, isn't afraid to say when I feel God has spoken to me, stands up for what I believe in, and refuses to back down to Satan. I am Carla...a beautiful messed up woman that God says is completely worthy.

And so are you.

"...choose this day whom you will serve" my friends, will you continue to serve the "I'm not worthy" swirling inside you or will you stand up and serve the God that says you are absolutely worthy?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When Jesus Returns

I have been know to shout out loud "Feel free to come back any time now!"....there are times when I feel enough is enough, it's time for Jesus to return. There are also times I'd like for Him to return simply because I'm tired of doing this life, I'm ready to be in heaven.

This morning in my surfing on Facebook I came across a comment by a teen "I don't pray"...I just sat there, starring at those three words. I use to be that kid, that person. I didn't pray. I didn't give God or Jesus much thought at all. Now I can't function without Him.

If you are a Christian, if you have told God you are sorry for the sins you've committed and asked for Jesus to lead your life, then I'm sure you've had moments like I have, telling God "any time now would be nice"....God has loudly whispered to me today....I know, but I want "him/her" too....

Today, instead of focusing on ourselves and our needs let's shift our focus to those that "don't pray"....as one who has been there I can tell you there is always a reason WHY someone is against praying. Yes I'd like for Jesus to return today, but not if it means leaving someone behind simply because they weren't ready....I'm so thankful God loves me AND loves "I don't pray".