Apr 022017
 

I love with all that I am, every fibre of my being is devoted to those that I care for, that God has placed in my life, on my heart. And yet, it seems as though, love isn’t what defines me. No, there is so much more, a slut, a teenage mom, damaged, broken, lost.

Why is it that society can look at someone and see her horrible hair, her lack of makeup, the bad outfit she is wearing, but doesn’t look at another woman and think nice things, like she has beautiful features, her skin is flawless, she is radiant. Why is it that people will openly tell me I have gained weight but take no notice when I have lost it? Or tell me my haircut looks lovely or do a backhanded “comment” where they say “you cut your hair, it looks great but I loved it long!”?

We are told all the time that we are not defined by the vessels in which we were gifted by God, and yet our image is the first thing we see, not the Christian under the surface, but the actual vanity of it all. We are all often prejudged before we even have the opportunity to announce our faith.

Perhaps this is what makes internet life so much easier. People come together because of a cause, whether it’s political, a strong belief, justice, faith, being single, being married, having children, we all can find a way to define ourselves and join a group of others who are similar to us before a photo is ever shared. Our modesty or lack of isn’t given the chance to be judged.

I’ve heard people say things about others like “I can’t believe she wore THAT to church” and my thoughts have always been “at least she WENT to church!”

I can’t be defined as a church goer. It’s not something I do, and haven’t felt comfortable with, in about 12 years. Maybe one day I will walk through those doors again, but God hasn’t placed that on my heart. Instead, it has become more important to have intimate time with Him, studying His word, analyzing myself, reflecting, writing, watching, meditating, and of course, praying.

The people can go ahead and define me however they want, confrontational, dumb, intelligent, useless; the fact is, it really doesn’t matter. I can take the insults and pass them to God and know that I am wholly His because of His Holy Name and my faith knows that Christ and Christ alone knows me entirely –inside and out, and it’s ultimately up to Him to decide what I am, and what I am not.

I want to be defined by God. No one else. And, I don’t even want people to define me by my faith, because that’s asking people to judge and the Bible is clear, God was clear, and says “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Placing someone in a position to judge me, define me, is asking them to do works that the Lord has forbidden.

Do you feel that the world unfairly defines you? How do you react to the negatives? Are you comfortable simply being YOU or do you feel like you have to mask yourself to be accepted?

Feb 022017
 

I go through the motions of the day like everyone else does while worrying about the everyday things like money and bills overdue and how I am going to find a way to pay them and then I place it all into God’s hands and do my best to continue, trusting that He has provisions for me and He will meet all my needs.

I am reminded of the Israelites wandering for forty years, given manna everyday and told never to take more than they need, or save any for later. Trust that the Lord will provide the next meal too.

A family that vlogs on YouTube who I began to follow over a year ago, because of a cleaning motivational video posted a life update today. The mom, Christy, was very upset as she sat in the car talking about her faith and her family and how their oldest son, 22 years old, passed away this week and that they have had to humble themselves before the Lord during this extremely difficult time, by having to start up a GoFundMe page just so they can pay for the funeral for their child that will be held this weekend.



And tears fall from my own eyes as I see how upset she is, how she knows to trust God but her heart is broken either way, how I have watched her shop thrift stores to care for her large family, how she has purposed to be more modest, shared her raw testimony and allows us in to her hectic homeschool life while working full time and still struggling to make ends meet.

My own anxieties and problems with money suddenly become trivial. Who cares about the credit card debt from years ago, at least I am not burying my child. My family is healthy. That could all change tonight or tomorrow or when the phone rings, but right now everyone is good and that is a blessing. That is todays manna. The sustenance that will sustain me, even if creditors are calling and threatening to ruin me, I cannot be ruined because Christ has me and he has my family and if/when something does happen, He will still stand firm and still give me exactly what I need as I need it.

Will Christy’s son be buried and have a lovely service? Yes! And, because of people who realize the need of this family who have put away a little bit here and there, Christy and her husband Jimmy SR will not have to worry about debt when they are mourning and looking for ways to be grateful and intentional.


We put so much value on “things” and “stuff” that when there is a tragedy like a young man, a child, passing away, our own lives are put into perspective and we strive to be more intentional and make the moments count. I don’t think anyone has ever lost someone and said they spent too much time with the person or have too many memories, rather people lose and then they feel guilt that they should have could have would have done more if only they knew.

In life, we rarely get to know any of these things ahead of time, but one thing is for certain, we are all on the same paths, regardless of time, and that is physical death. Our souls will rise and God will embrace. So, why don’t we live everyday like it is our last without having to be told we are dying?

My One Word for the year was “Intentional” and unfortunately it took someone passing away at a young age for my heart to shift to a place that reminds me to be more intentional with my children and family, and the ones I love.

God is absolutely amazing in allowing the negatives of our own lives, and the lives of others, to remind us of His Word and to live life to the fullest.

I ask that you pray for the Overlin family this coming week as they figure out what normal is as children of God and as parents to a son gone too soon. Placing their faith in Christ and knowing that their oldest boy is now sitting with the One Creator.

Live intentionally dear friends!

Jan 062017
 


I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.

I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.

The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.

I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.

I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD
Oct 162016
 

I stare up at the sun and realize that today is yesterday on the other side of the world, and yet there are times in the day where we can both gaze up at the same stars, moon and feel the heat from the very same sun.

Then, I realize how vast the universe is and how little I am within it.

Lunar Eclipse ©Marisa Slusarcyk

How I am barely a speck of a speck and yet God counts every single hair on my head. That blows me away! He knows every star in the sky, every soul that has walked this earth or ever will, every hair on every head, and each of mine are just as BIG to Him as my brothers and sisters created by Him who stand firmly in His Holy Name!!!


A compilation of 150 blog posts from the Five Minute Friday Community. The stories found in these pages span a diverse range of experiences, but share a common thread: A Love For the Bravely Written Word.
$12.99 USD
Oct 132016
 

I’ve been staring at the screen and the cursor blinking now trying to write and I am aware of the sound of the fish tank needing water, the rush of the filters flowing hard and lulling me to a different time and place.

Aware that the darkness outside my window seems blacker than usual -a sign that the moon and stars must be covered in clouds that can’t be seen until the sun rises.

The exhaustion that has taken over my body weighing me down, like if I were to fall into waters deep I would sink straight to the bottom like a solid rock -and there never seems to be enough air. The air is tight inside of me, not wanting to escape my lungs and refusing to fill them properly too.

Panic possesses me and heightens the sensations of… everything. My emotions running high, my heart easily wounded and hurt. My bruises coloring me in shades of purples and pinks and blacks and green.

The swelling in my back pressing against my tailbone and causing numbness to painfully run down my legs.

A God who has redeemed me and saved me from all of these things if I simply choose to have faith, and I do. I am aware of that, and when the pain gets too high I pull into Him even more than I do in the everyday mundane and for that I am grateful. The hurt in my body and the broken in my soul are what makes me cry out to the One who has already saved.

And, when it is really bad I can feel His mouth against my ear and His words caress my ear “by My stripes you are healed.” The truth, spoken directly into me by the One who IS Truth.

A compilation of 150 blog posts from the Five Minute Friday Community. The stories found in these pages span a diverse range of experiences, but share a common thread: A Love For the Bravely Written Word.
$12.99 USD
Oct 022016
 

The strawberry plants in pots on the deck didn’t have much of a yield this year and now their leaves are vibrant reds against the greens and yellows with feelers reaching across the wood of the deck and towards the table where we didn’t eat outside because some people are afraid of bugs, but where I enjoyed my morning coffee and fetch with the dogs just the same.

The air crisp and cold this week unlike last week when the fans were all on and the air conditioning tempting. The sky has been painted in hues of blue, green and grey as the atmosphere tries to decide if the rain is the story it wants to paint of if its that of the sun setting golden behind golden leaved trees.

The wind whistles and whips and tears many of those leaves off all in a matter of a few hours and yet while out for a drive I am surprised to see that some trees stand naked and stark, a grey that is reminiscent of one who is dying -that pale colorless flesh reserved just for those who are extremely ill. And the backdrop is vibrant yellow, green and the sun pokes through just long enough for the next batch of clouds to roll in filled with the water of life that will supply these trees through their roots for the months that winter will provide.

Keeping the natural spring that all the animals congregate around, regardless of the mercury, spewing naturally warmed water into a pool for them to drink from. And I am reminded that God takes care of the Raven and I can pass my worries and anxieties and fears to Him because that Raven was an animal created for us {wo}men to care for while He cares for me directly!

“Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
~Job 38:39-41~

A compilation of 150 blog posts from the Five Minute Friday Community. The stories found in these pages span a diverse range of experiences, but share a common thread: A Love For the Bravely Written Word.
$12.99 USD


Oct 012016
 

I hadn’t planned on this tiresome walk, the one that has left my legs feeling uselessly cramped and the fire inside my muscles screams for a break as I drag heavy feet along as I shuffle, seemingly without a cause.

And, the words roll across eyes tightly closed the way credits run so fast at the end of a movie and I am reminded that “even though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I feel fear no evil” because “His staff and His rod will guide me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE{Psalm 23} and my cup will be filled to overflowing and when I fall face first into that sandy valley He will heal the pains I feel and the steps will become easier and I will become lighter and the journey won’t feel so long.

Because, getting to know Him is a lifetime of work and yet no work at all because as our Creator, He already knows us and us Him and while we often hide it or deny it or ignore it, His presence is always in us, regardless of the roads we walk.

Creating a relationship with the One who saved me is beautiful, knowing that He has always been faithful to me, even when I wasn’t is a miracle. A journey I will likely walk 1000 times more and each time I take those first aching steps I will be reminded that He is the crutch that will help me to stumble along.

A compilation of 150 blog posts from the Five Minute Friday Community. The stories found in these pages span a diverse range of experiences, but share a common thread: A Love For the Bravely Written Word.
$12.99 USD
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