taking a leap of faith, knowing He is there to catch you

Guard your heart out there. All are love-worthy. Not all are trustworthy. Authenticity with all. Transparency with most. IntimacFriend, we are called to not only guard our heart, but to simultaneously love those about us.

The relief to me when I read the quote above? HUGE!

You see, I was…

  • The girl a best friend described as the homeliest girl she’d ever me.
  • The girl the guys turned to to be tutored in English, genetics or French.
  • The girl who was taken advantage of.
  • The girl who worried more about what others thought of her than what she knew about herself.

But I was also the girl who God hardwired to be faithful. The girl who loves to learn, read, sing, laugh and write.

I hid myself behind my wall of hurts as a girl and teen, not trusting that those around me were safe with my stuff.

Looking back, I can see how remaining behind the walls was a very lonely place to be, but how it also kept me bound there.

Then His love broke through.

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With God, all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26

And God has set out to prove this verse to be true in my life ever since I first encountered Him!

I have a family I am closer to than I could ever imagine as I stepped down the aisle on my wedding day.

I now have a safe circle of friends whom I can entrust with my heart, who God immensely blessed me with as He brought them into my life. They not only encourage me but kick my butt when I need it, as they remind me we are designed for community.

I have a church family who are there to support not only me but my family, who remind me I was primarily designed for relationship with You.

I am also blessed with wise bosses and coworkers who help me use my gifts to the best of my ability, and remind me the importance of team work and excellence.

I am learning how to live out being genuine and authentic with everyone, transparent with those holding me accountable, and intimate with my closest loved ones, as I fully trust in Him every step of the way. 

Not only am I to show everyone His love, I am to also love myself as He does, and let Him love up on me as I trust Him to be my solid foundation.

The girl I was before I met God?  She is learning to leave the worst behind and embrace the best He is replacing them with – His Spirit within me.

Instead of living behind that wall of isolation?  I now (more than ever before) am enjoying the wide open space within He is freeing me to enjoy along side Him!

With Him, this expanse of freedom has been made possible!

#hopefortheharddays

 

 

 

 

 

 

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why rebuild your foundation upon the Word

When your world turns upside down in a good way, it can be a bit daunting to step back into familiar roles.  Even though you know God is with you.

I draw quite a bit of comfort from the Word, but today I felt prompted to read a familiar chapter and saw it with a fresh set of eyes: John 1 MSG

That’s when I saw it. As if it was the first time, in verse 14.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

WOW! God can relate to how I am feeling, because not only did He put on flesh and bone, and move into our neighborhood (earth), He brought His Kingdom down with Him in how He shone among us.

As awesome as that verse is, I realized that knowing that fact was not enough.  Knowing God is close by and glorious is only part of what I need to see, touch, taste and experience as I am learning to become a new me.

John 1-14 MSG

As I went back and reread John 1, I was then thrilled to discover the following verses 9-13:

The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life He brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through Him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to His own people, but they didn’t want Him. But whoever did want Him, who believed He was who He claimed and would do what He said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selvesThese are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.

God Himself makes me become new!

My part is to come to Him and offer up my fears, failures, false beliefs and flaws .

He then takes them and fantastically forgives and sets us free in exchange.

But God goes even one step further than that.

He makes us family.

His blood not only frees us from sin, it reveals who we are meant to be!

His children, now able to show their Father’s image!!

Feeling a little unsure of your steps following a major leap forward into your freedom?

Keep pressing in to His Word.

Allow Holy Spirit to draw you to the Word He has for you to discover each day, as you invite Him to do so!

Word of God speak. Would you pour down like rain, washing my eyes to see Your majesty. To be still and know that you’re in this place? Please let me stay and rest in your holiness. Word of God speak…

#hopefortheharddays

 

 

 

 

 

 

when the weight of your brokenness weighs heavy upon you

A week ago, I got a tidbit of revelation in the middle of a Cleansing Stream class I am taking. I wrote it down, and planned on bringing it up for prayer at the retreat next month.

Little did I know at the time that tidbit would become the gateway for the enemy attacks last week.

It became apparent to me this might bigger than it seemed, so I asked God for more revelation. In His grace, He downloaded it into my spirit at church Sunday morning and prompted me to deal with it before I left.

Because He knew that the person who needed to lead me out of this situation was there that day.

Unsure whether this was indeed His direction, I brought the situation to someone I trusted would wisely guide me. They agreed they felt it was the right next step.

So I did.

And that moment from almost 25 years ago which the enemy has used to whammy me has now been transformed into a moment of great victory! The formerly faulty foundation is now firmly on the Rock, and the bitter root & pain uprooted and replaced with His love, mercy and grace.

What was it, you may be wondering?

It really doesn’t matter, because any thing that we agree with which is not from Him can cause us harm. And each of us can arrive on our knees before Him from a million different situations, each needing His touch.

If you too are feeling broken and heavy burdened by the weight of knowing you did something, unknowingly or not, you shouldn’t have?

  • Run to His feet.
  • Tell Him what’s wrong.
  • Invite Him to speak.
  • Trust He has your best in mind.
  • Follow His lead.
  • Welcome His loving touch.
  • Receive His healing.
  • Get up and walk out your victory!

THERE IS NOTHING YOU CANNOT BRING TO HIM, at ANY TIME!

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 ESV

The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17 NLT

If we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—He won’t let us down; He’ll be true to Himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9b MSG

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

#hopefortheharddays

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When the cries need to start pouring out

Just today, I heard about two more people being diagnosed with major cancers, a friend still recovering from a major concussion, a former customer’s best friend losing her mom, a coworker who may have a serious illness, and another musical influencer passing away.

All before lunch.

And each of these people have loved ones who are hurting about these situations.

I love how God often reassures us in His Word that He is there for us.

But not just there.

God cares to get involved.

He wants to hear the details from us, even though He already knows them.

Because He knows we need someone we can not only run to who can take the brunt of our pain, handle our snotty sobs, and hear our wordless cries.

He knows we need to know someone cares. Someone is listening. Someone who is in our corner 24/7, every day, all day and night.

So on the days like today where all the news I am hearing grieves me?

I pull up a chair. I bow down before Him. I find quiet place where He can meet with me.

For God invites me, and you, to come and pour it all out – honestly & openly – before Him.

And each and every time I do? I find rest for my soul.

Not because He immediately fixed the situation.

But because the Maker of Heaven & Earth, the Lover of my soul, the King over all, my Creator?

He’s present.

  • With me.
  • With the hurting ones.
  • With the lonely, broken and grieving ones.

Every. Single. One.

As each night watch begins, get up and cry out in prayer. Pour your heart out face-to-face with the Master. Lamentations 2:19a MSG

#hopefortheharddays

find rest…

We are all looking for that soft place to land upon when we fall.

We tend to keep ourselves busy to distract ourselves from the fact something isn’t right.

We all need rest.

And some of us need to stop running so we can find it again.

Saying yes to some priorities means saying no to some things we may love, but aren’t important in the big picture of life.

Rest- both physical and spiritual- is near the top of my list.

We are called, actually reminded in the Word, that to rest.

Psalm 62:5 tells us we can find our rest in Him.

Time spent in His Presence brings an inner rest and peace in the quiet place where we meet together….and that connectiveness helps keep me calm when the storms of life hit.

Because we all know storms come and go, as do the sunny days.

My soul needs to be supercharged with rest to help keep me seeking Him despite what is ahead, just around the bend.

Relationship problems?
Work problems?
Health concerns?
Financial stresses?
Relocations?
Death of a loved one?
Unprovoked aggression?

All of these can be seen throughout the Bible….and none more clearly than in the life of Jesus.

Jesus took Himself away from the crowds, even his best friends & family, and sought God in the quiet place.

To seek His face,
to be reminded of His love,
to remember who He really was,
to find rest despite the hard road ahead.

Unsure of things going on in your life?

Press in to the One who is ever present and never changing.

Press in to Him for the rest you need, which only He can deliver.

Respond to His invitation to come and be with Him.  For the rest you are looking for is found on His Presence.

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when its time to let the rest of it go in order to find the rest you need

I have been burning the candle on both ends for the past two weeks. Unexpected deadlines, tech glitches and fighting off a nasty virus left me doing only what I had to and nothing more.

What I realized yesterday? I missed writing. Big time.  And I tried to do it on my phone while I was on the go, but actually taking the time to dig into my physical bible and type on my computer is so much more satisfying for me, besides helping me keep in touch with you.

God started speaking to me about rest in my quieter moments, and my initial response was to respond, “I am sleeping as much as I can, God!”

I completely missed the fresh lesson He was trying to teach me in the moments when I need it most. Because I wasn’t giving Him my full attention to hear what He was really saying to me.

What I really missed? Even more than writing? Daily unrushed one on one time with my Abba!

I am soooo grateful that God offers His children second chances!

He reminded me again that the invitation to rest in His Presence is always available. My availability is actually the issue.

So Saturday when this lesson hit home, I began writing down, screen saving & emailing me any verse I came across with the word “rest” in it.

But the part I need to do?

mark 6-31 MSG

  1. Come to Him.
  2. By myself – so implied a quiet place with just Him & me.
  3. Take a break.
  4. Be refreshed with His rest.

So the rest of this week, I am going to break down this verse and share what I feel He is saying to me.

But the first thing I actually noticed?

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples right after they spend hours feeding the 5000+ crowd with the loaves and fishes!  They were likely exhausted from all the passing of baskets, keeping an eye on the crowd while Jesus spoke, and collecting the leftovers. They needed time to process what they had heard, seen and experienced. And Jesus was trying to teach them one of the secrets of His strength with these words.

Jesus Himself often went off on His own to spend time with His Father! How much more do I need to do the same when I am trying to serve Him?!

If you too need to learn the restful rhythms again at His feet, join me on this journey as I learn to let go of all I need to in order to embrace the rest I know He has waiting for me!

#hopefortheharddays #racingtoRest

 

battling the blues with Truth

Each year when autumn arrives, and the sun shows less of itself, I begin to battle the blues. Not a serious fight, yet one where I need to intentionally fight to hold onto my Hope.

Coz some days seem to be back to back to back Mondays.

But what I have been discovering?

God seems to shine all the brighter as I seek Him in the dimness of these kind of seasons.

His Word reveals His glory.

Worshiping Him heightens how I sense His Presence.

Walking with Him brings an awareness of His moving in, through and around my life which I don’t think I could have learned had I not experienced it.

This morning, a lovely neighbor encouraged me to keep writing.

For His Words through His kids are meant to bless, encourage and reveal Him to those who haven’t yet made it Home, who need an anchoring Hope, a Hand to draw them close to His loving Heart.

Even when life seems a bit darker than usual.

For my God? He will never fail to be found by those who passionately pursue Him!

If you too battle the blues, struggle with self-worth or loneliness… know that you are not alone.

There is no need to hide how you are feeling. You are allowed to feel your emotions. Just remember not all emotions are based on truth, and are not all worth acting upon.
There are people around you waiting to support you.
There is no shame in needing a helping hand, counseling or medication during a harder season. Wise people know their limits, and allow others to assist when its needed.
There will never ever be another you, for you are one of a kind, made on purpose for a purpose by your Creator.
There is a God who is waiting to meet you right where you are at. Always.
There is a Light waiting to guide you through the darkness as you walk with Him.

#hopefortheharddays #worldmentalhealthday

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moving with Holy Spirit

I must confess, I love to plan.    Which in and of itself, is a great one of the gifts with which He has equipped me.

However, I used to use it out of fear to try and control what was happening around me, to cover up what was going on inside of me.

After a few loving and wise mentors pointed this out, I got some Christian counseling, where God lead me into freedom in the areas where fear had been mega controlling me.

I needed to learn a new way to follow Him.

In His loving way, He brought me into His Word, spoke to me through times of worship & quiet in His Presence, and began to guide me as I looked to Him to lead me.

It has not always been easy, for there are times when I lose focus and follow red herrings the enemy uses to distract me, or become lazy with complacency on the great days.

I have been reminded when I looked at the life of Jesus that no matter what was going on in His life, Jesus followed His Father’s lead.

Because maintaining relationship was His plan. And only after daily time with His Father did Jesus step into action.

No matter where the journey takes you on the worst of day, God is with you.

  • He loves you with a perfect Father’s heart – wanting only the best for you.
  • He loves you with His saving grace despite your wrongs, yet made the way for you to come back Home.
  • He loves you with His guiding Counsel, offering wisdom for every step ahead.
  • He loves you so much, He goes with you. He covers you with His Presence. He sends His angels to watch over us. He speaks wisdom to us.

May we learn to follow where He is leading, as Holy Spirit moves us to do so.  As we sense Him on the move, may we every increasingly let Him take us where He desires.

Spirit, move in me. I am ready for You.

walking with Him

wonder Words part 5

 

Ever have those days where God seems farther away?

If so, I can relate.

I realize that too many days spending so much time on everything else the exclusion of spending quality time with Him, I end up feeling distant from God.

But that’s because I put space between us, not Him.

Which makes me want to cry over my stupidity when I come to my senses.

Today’s verse? Blew me away at how perfectly it matched my current need:

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They’re His people, He’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” Revelations 21:3-4 MSG

What I take away from this Word?

  1. Truth THUNDERS from His Throne!  I don’t about you, but thunder always catches my attention when I hear it.
  2. When His Word mentions LOOK twice, I better take a closer look at what the next words are to follow.
  3. GOD had moved in with us. We are now His HOME!  And if that is not enough, He claims us as HIS! #wonder
  4. God WILL wipe every tear from our eyes.
  5. God has DEFEATED death – so tears, crying & pain WILL end!
  6. The fact these verses are in REVELATION reminds me how important it is for me to continually seek Him, and be listening for and to His voice.

I have been so thankful that I heard His direction on what verses to take a closer look at this week. He has truly revealed Himself to me in a greater and deeper way, which is leaving me filled with joy and wonder at the end of this crazy week, instead of feeling exhausted and drained!

How marvelous and wonder-filled Your Word and Presence are, God! What a blessing You are to Your children – present with us through everything, blessing and loving us, caring and guiding us, always!

#hopefortheharddays

celebrate

 

wonder Words part 4

(This post was intended for going live last night. But as we all know, sometimes life happens 🙂 Thanks for extending me some grace.

There are days when all I want to do is climb back into bed and remain warm, safe & secure.

Yesterday was one of them.

After a restless few hours of sleep, I headed into work, and realized quite quickly that anything that could pop up to slow me down at work was well on its way to trying to derail my day.

I pressed through, knowing God was with me, and managed to get 90% of my tasks done before the power outage hit.

When almost all your work is done on a computer, that became an issue, especially when the generator failed to kick in.

I am grateful for God’s intervention at that moment, for He reminded me He was with me through the verse I was to ponder for the day:

Like a shepherd, He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His arms, hugging them as He carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture. Isaiah 40:11 MSG

Not only did He reassure me He was my shepherd, this verse goes on to share four key characteristics of our God:

  1. He CARES for the ones He calls His own – for we are His flock!
  2. He GATHERS us in His arms, signifying His might & strength. We are safe in His embrace.
  3. He HUGS us as He CARRIES us through the rough times. I am reminded about a paper I wrote years ago on shepherds, where I learned that the shepherd would carry those lambs, which needed to be taught to heed and obey his voice, by temporarily not allowing them to walk.
  4. He LEADS those pregnant to good places as part of how He care for them.  Without regular and healthy amounts of food, the next generation of lambs will not be born as strong.

Nothing I go through escapes my Shepherd’s vision, nor His attention and care.

What a timely verse for my crazy day.  For my day continued with dealing with a meltdown (not mine), being crammed as a sardine on the bus home, a quick change then a three hour volunteer shift outside in the unexpected windy evening.  It also included getting to know a new coworker better, hearing an motivational speaker, and an  unexpected early night’s sleep!

But God knew I would need a Shepherd to help me through that, and every day!

I was able to handle things, because I know He was handling all the details of what mattered the most – His care for ME!

I am learning the more I let go to allow Him to flow through me, the more I am capable of doing with His focus, strength and heart. How about you?

#hopefortheharddays