Weathering Ground.

When you weather storms with other people it often times becomes an environment where you develop a deeper intimacy in one capacity or another. There’s friends that have known my husband and I since way back when we were really struggling in our marriage and finding out who we were. There’s friends that were with us […]

The Process in Moving Along…

Between the three cups of coffee at Panera yesterday evening and great conversations on life over the past three years I could hardly get to sleep last night.

Grateful.

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Just so full of gratefulness with all that God has done in us and through us these past three years and the people in our lives that have invested and risked so much. They didn’t owe us a single thing and yet gave of themselves past such a point that now on this end of it I just can’t imagine my life without what’s happened.

So here I am doing videos now and writing and sharing my life with you. Last year was the launch of this website and blog along with the Facebook page. This year it’s been putting myself out there even farther and making encouraging videos and throwing them up on YouTube and Facebook for all to see.

Guys, I can’t edit and don’t know anything about cameras and lighting and all that jazz. However, I seem to have an abundance of amazing friends that do, and one determined hubby that went for broke and bought me all sorts of goodies and then has been on me every week to see where I’m at.

This January rolled around and I was determined to do this and learn. I tell everyone to “Be Brave!” and go for that thing that God’s put on your heart! So I should follow suit. And you get the privilege of seeing my progress and growth as this thing goes on. I’ve had tears and fits already trying to get this equipment to work (no operator errors of course) and along came February when every one in my fam had a week of sickness and here comes March already. fullsizeoutput_e.jpeg

My friend JD reminded me to just keep making the content. Just keep doing it. You’ll get better as you go along. I know that. All the growth books say that. All the great leaders say that. It’s just hard.

Pastor Jim taught today on pushing through your walls. You never know what you’re truly capable of until you push through and at the end of myself I find my Heavenly Father’s infinite power and grace every time. I want it to be by his power and strength anyhow… not my own.

So it’s coming along. Slowly, but surely, it’s coming. It’ll be fun to look back in another three years I bet. I just can’t even imagine. I would’ve never believed you had you told me this was all coming. So normal and great all twined together. Motherhood. Marriage. Challenges. Grief. Friendships. Business. New Adventures. Missions. Community.

I love how God does exceedingly more than we could ever imagine.

So let’s get going. We can’t outrun God.

But let’s chase after his beautiful glory.

So Grateful for His Faithfulness.

Today in church, worship wasn’t what I thought it would be. I was wonderfully surprised by the flood of emotions and tears when we began to declare his faithfulness. In these moments where I can’t sing, I just pray. I contend for others in the room, or family or friends or whoever God lays on my heart. I intercede. How do I fully describe all of these things? How do I fully put into words all that he has done for me? All that he is?

I take very seriously, the fact that God tells us to pray and to pray big things! To pray that heaven would come to earth. That his will would be done here just as it is in heaven. I don’t take it lightly, the words that I pray. I’ve learned over the years to step into the authority that God has granted us and his promises towards prayer and faith. And so I prayed…

God breath new life right now! Those that are down and broken, breath new life into their bones, into their hearts and souls. Rise up and stand upon the mercy and promises of God! Oh you that are broken and heavy laden, rise up! Holy Spirit blow through the caverns of our souls. Give us a new heart, give us a new song! I pray that the gates of their hearts would be opened, that they would bravely step through the door, that rivers of living water would pour out, that they would receive your mercy, healing and salvation. 15590212_590410284477113_7951750864563443575_n

I pray in such boldness and find myself coming back to this state of almost of mental wildness. Shouldn’t I be so used to all of this by now? Shouldn’t I be used to not knowing the next steps and just being cool with winging it? Shouldn’t I be so used to God doing miraculous things and his faithfulness that I’m no longer anxious or nervous about tomorrow?

Again and again it goes back to; I can’t do this without Him. I can’t do anything without his word or without his Spirit. None of this will be in my own strength. None of this is even just on me. He’s leading us places and I’m taking the hand of my Father as he guides me. If I have to do this over and over, as I step into these new things, then so be it. It might sound repetitive to you all, but maybe someone out there will find hope and solace in knowing they’re not alone in these daily reminders. The daily choice to rise up and stand upon his truth and promises.

I will rest in your promises
My confidence is your faithfulness
I will rest in your promises
My confidence is your faithfulness
Faithful you are
Faithful forever you will be
Faithful yes you are
All your promises are yes and Amen
There’s a great many things coming. Oh child, arm yourself in his word and his Spirit. Find your guard and shelter in Him. Find your fire and strength in all that he is. Know him more. Know Him and fall in love with him deeper and wider and truer. All of these other things will sort themselves out, but first start with Him.
God, I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do. You’ve turned my mourning into dancing and my darkness into light and strength. You are my hope and my joy. You are my pursuer and my redeemer. You’ve brought life back into my bones and breathed a new life in this heart. I ask that whoever is reading this now, would call on you for help and find every good thing from your heart waiting for them. Yes and amen.

2017 is Tricky so Far.

I still turn around and surprise myself all the time. Time and again I realize that I have this assumption that I’m going to get to a point where I’ve got this ‘life’ thing all figured out. It’s both comical, annoying and not really surprising.

I figure things out, God shows me something new, I learn something about myself and so then I’m like; “Okay, I got this!,” only to turn around and realize I lost it again. Life just gets so tricky. Each new year or season comes with its new level or different type of responsibilities, challenges, and situations. And I didn’t really lose it, it’s just a lot of moving targets. We have a lot on our plates and a lot of areas of our life that we’re growing in (hopefully).

That’s why I know his word says in Matthew, Chapter 6;

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

We lose the focus. We forget that it’s about our relationship with our Heavenly Father instead of just running around trying to accomplish all these tasks. Yes, we have some incredibly awesome things to get done. We have been commissioned to do a great many, amazing things! But if doesn’t start with the Father’s Heart, then it’s all for nothing. If we start from the wrong place we’ll get proud, greedy, jealous, all sorts of ugly things will start growing in the garden of our hearts. If we allow ourselves the proximity of being in his heart, then when things don’t settle right or we begin to have the wrong focus we’ll discern it.

So I have some big things I want to accomplish this year. 2017 is supposed to be a year of release! Get launched out into those big beautiful dreams and soar! Except not really. Kind of. He put it on my heart in December that he’s established us here in this new home, freed us of our debts and burdens, to settle us here and be founded. In order to build a truly authentic and impactful business, ministry or whatever it may be, there has to be a strong foundation. 14650477_910032716763_8228108285412353503_n

So what is my foundation? What’s your foundation on?

Jesus. Seek first his kingdom. 

My aunt sent me a book this past fall before all this titled More. It’s about finding your calling and purpose. I’m all excited! Yes! I’m going to finally get this all figured out. I don’t have any more financial excuses anymore. I can run after this thing! Only to read the first half of the book and it’s all about starting with Jesus. Your relationship with Jesus. Honestly, I started getting a little annoyed after the third chapter of this. I’m like, I know, I know, I know. But the Lord was asking me, but do you really?

I’m like my kids. I start giving them directions to do something and they run off before they even hear everything I had to say! Here I am running off excitedly to do these great things and then I get annoyed and surprised that they’re not working. Like, what am I doing wrong? I know how to do this.

It was never about going at it alone. That’s what we try to do. Tell God, I got this. In truth, this was all about you getting to know your incredible Heavenly Father, and in doing so finding yourself. The entire journey is simply the arena that we get to experience all of the vast and infinite measures of his character of who he is. Where we get to grow and become who we were destined to be. It’s a beautiful, hard race.

Lord. Father, keep reminding me of what this is all about. Let me always seek your heart in all that I do. That your name and glory would be known. I can’t save the world. I can’t heal their hearts. But you can. Keep molding me and directing my steps. 

Be Willing; Adulting.

If you and I were to hang out for coffee we could find common ground in about 2 minutes. That would be all it would take to find one of many things we could relate with each other on and this is true because no matter who you are there’s two basic things we all do;

  1. We look back and would change things in our past if we could.
  2. We look forward and hope and dream that things in our future will turn out a certain way (or maybe hope that somethings won’t repeat or happen again)

We might wish we had better opportunities growing up, that someone took the time to invest in us, or that we hadn’t made some poor decisions that made a mess of things. Maybe you’ve been through hell because of the decisions someone else made and you’re dealing with repercussions or trauma from it. Then there’s also the stuff we hope comes our way; the better job, getting ahead or being able to go on that sweet adventure some day. Maybe you’re still waiting on that special someone to start the next chapter of your life with. It can be fun to dream and get excited for what’s coming but it can also get discouraging when you don’t see your efforts pan out yet or feel like you’re losing time.  growthovertime.jpg

After that I’ve found that folks kinda hang out in one of two camps; either they are striving to grow and work towards those future goals and dreams, or they’re fearful, complacent, or ignorant of any of that stupid growing nonsense and are just fine hanging out where they are. This could be out of immaturity and selfishness, it could be out of fear or trauma, or it could be someone who’s just been beat up so much in life that they’ve just laid down and stopped trying to get back up again.

What does the Bible say about God’s promises and plans for us? Well, that link is a starting point. God has some incredible things to say about you and your future. Trust him and lay all of your plans before him. He’s going to do amazing things in your heart and your life. Babe, all you need to do is to be willing. God can do amazing things through a person that’s willing. If you’ve read any account in the Bible of someone used by God you’ll realize pretty quickly they were far from perfect (except Jesus, of course!) I think most of us, if we’re honest, can look at our life and see ourselves doing adult things and having adult responsibilities, but most of us don’t feel all grown up yet. We still feel like we’re getting there, but not quite there yet.

It is a journey and you don’t have to have it all figured out yet. Just be open to what God’s going to bring your way and the great wisdom you’ll find in seeking his heart. He loves you dearly and calls you his child. Be willing to grow. Be willing to face your fears, knowing God is bigger than anything you’ve faced or ever will face. He will never leave you. Adulting really comes down to being willing to grow and taking responsibility for what you have control of. It can and does get overwhelming, but if you let it, it’ll all work together to be a part of your testimony. Then you get to be that amazing person that invests in that young punk, stubborn kid, that just needed someone to care and see past the shenanigans…

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Collective Worship, 2015

The 6 letter “B” word…

It’s so funny. In my short few years of coaching and teaching people personal finance it’s amazing the patterns and issues you start noticing (quickly) over and over. I can give you the numbers, show you the statistics, tell you the countless stories I’ve witnessed already, and share with you my own testimony… but I still get the responses and excuses as if I don’t know anything.

Our life is just really crazy right now… we’ll get to it when things slow down.
He’s starting a new job so we want to wait until that happens because it’s going to change. 
I don’t make much, so it doesn’t really make sense to do a budget. 

I get it. Trust me, I totally get it. Look back at my testimony or come grab me and lets have coffee for a few hours. It’s frustrating, hard, discouraging and devastating to go through controlyourmoney.pngsome of the things life throws at you or that you bring on yourself. But at some point you have to realize that you can’t throw out excuses for your lack of discipline or self-control. God blatantly has biblical principles and rules for handling money and if you don’t follow them you can’t get yourself off the hook by saying, “Oh, well, I don’t make much,” or “I’m not good at keeping a budget.” It’s not funny, it’s not cute… it’s simply disobedience.

The more we write it off as not that important the more we allow money to control us. You have to fight for this and get this stuff in order so that we can move on and focus on our callings. Think of all the stress you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have to worry about your bills or debt payments. Think of all of the amazing things you could do if you could spend that money on your dreams, on helping others, on working towards your future? I think of the many times I’ve finally started getting back to exercising and sleeping better only to realize how much better I felt! Gees, how could I forget how good it felt to keep it up? And man, how crummy it really feels to be so tired and sluggish all of the time. It’s the same with finances. You do the work ahead and it smooths so many of the issues out.

This life is too short to fool around dear-heart. Let’s move up in maturity, wisdom, and grace. God will lead you in all these things, we just need to be willing. shhh-carousel.jpgSo that 6 letter word that’s so awful? Budget. It’s not so scary, and it’s not too silly for anyone. Everyone needs to be intentional about what they do with their money.

Father God, I pray you would stir hearts towards the best you have for them. You have so many incredible dreams waiting for us and I pray that you would grow the faith, trust, steadfastness and all of the fruits of the Spirit in us. According to your will and word I pray a strong foundation to be built in our minds and hearts. Spirit lead us and speak to us. Let us steward all that’s been given to us to be a tool for the kingdom and a blessing to us that flows out to others. Let us be a light that reflects your glory to the world. Amen!

This is my Life.

When you think of adulting unfortunately you often think of all of the responsibilities that weigh you down from being able to do the things we’d rather be doing. I have to get up and go to work in the morning. I have to get that paper done by Tuesday. I have to do my laundry. I have to pay rent. We really look forward to ‘Friday’ and those times we get to let lose and enjoy those days off or going on that vacation.

What if your life was all about everything you just loved doing? What if adulting was more about getting to where you get to do things just because you can now, not because you have to anymore? Like yeah, I’m going to go visit my cousin for a week and help her with her new baby just because I can. Or, yeah I’m going to go host that financial workshop out of state next year just because I can. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Well, it’s all true. All legit things that I get to do now just because I can. bestisyettocome.jpg

And you know what, there’s still legitimate adulting that needs to happen in that other sense. The laundry still has to get done, the house still needs to get cleaned, and the bills yes, still need to get paid. Sometimes you take the job you don’t like, so that you can get the job you really want. Sometimes you have to sow and invest so that you can do the other cool things. It’s so different now and it feels way better. The responsibility is definitely more on me now to have self discipline and be a woman of my word because I’m self-employed. If I say I’m going to do something, I better do it. If I’m going to be a mom and a wife, well I better live my vows and honor these guys. I may not have a boss expecting me to show up at 8am and get that task list done by 5, but I definitely have people that count on me every day both personally and professionally.

This is my life. I’m going to be doing a lot more things just because I can. Just because it would be an incredible investment. Just because that person just needs a little bit of someone’s time to encourage them. Just because it’s who I am.

And that feels like true adulting.