Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/31/10 - I'm a wimp!

Yes, I'll admit I am a wimp when it comes to the stomach flu!

Thursday I woke up feeling blah, but I thought it was because I had a short night of sleep. Well, that blah got worse and worse. So for three days I was down with the stomach flu...no fun!

Having the flu brings out my wimpy side indeed. I just wanted to cry, I wanted to crawl in bed and not come out! I wanted to be pampered! But I had no choice, I had to be mom! I had to make meals, do laundry, and just push through my own sickness (of course my house needed a lot of attention today and more tomorrow).

Again, motherhood is not for the faint of heart or the selfish of heart.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: if you want to be preparing to be a wife and a mom, practice being selfless!!!! Then practice some more! And then practice some more!

Purging as much selfishness from your attitude before marriage will make your marriage and motherhood way more satisfying! The more selfish you are, the more you'll be miserable! (and make those you live with miserable!)

I'm back to myself today thankful for my health!

Friday, October 29, 2010

10/29/10 - Trees/Wind/Life Lesson

I love when God shows up in the strangest of situations!

On Tuesday afternoon we experienced a lot of wind, up to 60 mph wind.

About 11:30 I was on the phone with my mom when all my power went out. I walked into my kitchen, looked out my back window, and discovered a large branch in our backyard cracked off the tree and pulled some wires loose.

Let me tell you something about my backyard. Last fall we took down three huge, over grown, sap producing pine trees. They were tall and towered over the one tree we left. We knew that taking down those three trees, left this one tree a bit exposed, so it didn't surprise us when a large branch cracked off.

This lonely tree lost it's protection from the wind. It lost it's support and was unable to stand alone against the harsh winds.

It's like us, we need strong friends to help us was through life. We need godly influences in our life, as protection. We need each other. We need accountability. We need protection. Yes we, like our trees, need each other in life's wind storms.

When we are not created to stand alone, this is why God gave us each other.

Are you like my lonely tree? Do you have no godly influences and friends in your life? If so, you may find standing up for God's principles a bit more difficult when the winds of our culture blow at very fast speeds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10/28/10 - Two Sides

Do you really believe there's two sides to every story? Have you ever believed one side of a story and then later found out the other side? Maybe once you heard the other side, you realized that having all the facts painted a better picture of what was really going on.

Growing up my parents always taught me to let God defend me, let Him "battle" for me in one-sided storied. It's not very easy waiting for God to defend me, but He always does. In some areas it's taken 15 plus years to be defended....but it's worth the wait. I don't sell my character or reputation to prove I am right. I keep a clear conscience and trust God to take care of the rest.

I guess this is the reason I have a passion to always hear both sides of the story. How about you? When someone shares something with you are you quick to side with them alone without getting all the facts?

Do your homework, gather all the facts, and avoid being critical or judgmental of someone until you know the entire story!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/27/10 - Emotional Imtimacy in Marriage

Again today I was reminded of the importance of fostering emotional intimacy in your marriage.

Before I got married, I thought that: once married, I'd not lose that emotional closeness with my mate. But I realized, very quickly, that remaining emotional intimate with each other was going to take two things: intentionality and a commitment to our friendship.

Fostering a relationship and friendship with anyone takes time, but with your mate it's a bit easy to become complacent. So you start taking little turns away from each other.

Then 15 years later you look at your mate and it's like looking at a stranger. One may ask, "How did we get here?"

In most cases it wasn't a giant step away from your mate, but millions of little times you slowly turned your heart away. This can happen without even realizing it.

John and I have tried to put some things in place to remain emotionally intimate.

1) We have regular date nights. Now often times this happens in our home, after the boys go to bed. We'll set aside a night, shut down the computer, turn off the phones, and have a date right here at home. Of course, we do get to go out, but at home dates nights are easier in this season of life.

2) We communicate with each other, yes we talk. And we don't just talk about work or the kids, we talk about life, what we're thinking, how we're growing, what we're processing through, and everything in between. We don't let anger foster or grow, we nip it when it happens.

3) When we have our date nights we have a rule: we are not allowed to talk about the kids. The first time we ever left our oldest for a date we said, "Let's not talk about Miles at all." We didn't realize at the time how important that would be, but over the years I look forward to non-kid talk with my hubby.

4) We both feel that a happy, satisfied marriage will take two people completely selfless! Oh so true! When John's looking out for me and I'm looking out for him....it's a wonderful thing.

5) We prayer often for God to protect our marriage. We pray for a hedge of protection around us and we ask God to revel any area we're not safe guarding our marriage. This really is the most important thing we can do!

How about you married ladies...what do you do to foster emotional closeness in your marriage?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10/26/10 - Question

I received this comment in my blog post about being "Luke Warm":

"I feel like the "church" is full of ungodly people and are the leaven that God speaks of in 1Corinthians 5:6 and 5:9. It corrupts the whole conception of faith that misleads whole churches. I believe we are living in "strange" times but God is always working and never sleeps. He is shaking our "church" group and sifting out who is not His at the moment. It has been a strong "revival" and the experience has been painful but is building faith in those who are truly His!! I wonder what you believe about the people who claim to be God's people? Do you think that there are few on this narrow road and not the masses that claim they "believe" in Christ? I would like to hear your honest views on this. I can appreciate the topic of emotional purity since I have seen so much destruction due to the lack of it."

I am thankful for what God is doing in your local church and how my heart cries for this movement of His Spirit in the entire body of Christ, but we do see many christians that are complacent. We see in Isaiah 32:9-15 a call to "rise up complacent ones".

To be honest with you, I've spent too much of my adult life frustrated and annoyed at complacent Christians. People who honor God with their mouths, but not their lives. Who attend church on Sunday, but are just as ungodly as the culture around them.

Lately God is impressing on my heart a need to stop judging, stop being critical or annoyed, shut my mouth, and to just live out loud. Make sure the "roof is off with God, walls down with people" (Nancy DeMoss). To not fear what others think when God calls me to radical obedience and trust that those who are thirsty, will seek to purge sin and disobedience from their life.

And most importantly I feel a deep passion to pray earnestly for God's Spirit of revival to breath across His Body!

When a watch world seeing the joy that comes from a fully surrendered life to our Holy God, they will see the power of the cross and my prayer is that God will use whatever means He chooses to encourage others to seek to say, "Yes, Lord" to every area, thought, and action!

Revive our Hearts had a radio program about this issue on Oct. 6th, here's a LINK

Thanks again for your comment!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10/24/10 - Impulsive

God's been impressing upon my heart the importance of patience. Not just with my kids, but being patient vs. being impulsive.

There are times I get an idea or a thought, often noble and some sort of God honoring pursuit, and I run with it, creating dust in my path. Leaving no time for prayer and contemplation.

But the Lord is showing me to be a bit more prayerful and less impulsive. Wait and pray, seek Him before I make quick decisions, and make sure I am indeed doing what He's called me to do.

Learning self-control, learning to walk in line with the Spirit...yup, it's all apart of the process!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10/23/10 - Obedience

Last week in bible study the topic was "obedience".

Here were some of my thoughts:

  • Obedience equals death to self, living for Christ and you have an absents of selfish tendencies
  • Obedience is letting God's "flashlight" flash into every area of our life, our thoughts, our motives, and our actions.
  • With obedience we have a purer view of God. Disobedience clouds our spiritual filter.
  • Obedience shows a heart that understand it's position under God's authority.

I have a lot to chew on and process myself.

How about you? What does obedience mean to you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

10/22/10 - Pre Conference

I had the privilege of attending the pre-conference of True Woman Fort Worth. This was a 4 hour session for women's ministry leaders, pastor's wives, bible study leaders, and for women who mentor other women.

The night before I left, about 6:30 pm, our door bell rang. It was a girlfriend from church, in tears over a situation that was tearing her up inside. We sat and talk for about an hour and work through some possible next steps in her situation.

As I sat in the pre-conference, I felt a little out of place. I am not a women's ministry leader or pastor's wife. I am currently leading a bible study, but it's been years since my last one. So I was feeling, "I don't belong?"

Then one of the speakers said, "Do women come to you for counseling? Then this session is for you." It was almost as if she was answering my question!

These bullets points are straight from my notes. These were some of what jumped out at me. Again this was for ministry leaders, but as we all grow towards becoming godly older women, we should desire these things in our own lives! Not only in our life, but in our relationships with other women.
  • The world's message is not fuzzy, we must not be fuzzy in our message of biblical womanhood.
  • The end goal of women's ministries is to: grow women like Christ and help women biblically navigate through life issues. It should be: word driven, Christ centered, Gospel drenched, spirit empowered, personally modeled, love motivated, servant hearted, prayer saturated, faith based and joy exuding.
  • Whatever is contagious in our life will be caught.
  • Share with other women out of your "hall of shame". Being authentic and transparency takes risks.
  • Most women were not mothered themselves.
  • Have prayer partners
  • Keep growing in our faith
  • Get relevant - never change the message, but methods
  • Don't waste your time on things not Word driven.
  • Do the most critical things first.
  • How do I live my life as a biblical woman?
  • Have a solid doctrinal foundation.
  • Actively teach biblical principles of womanhood.
  • Ask myself: am I being a life giver or a life taker in all situations.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10/21/10 - Take aways

Not only was I impacted to be a woman of the word and have God-priorities, I also have had some other "take aways".

After going to True Woman 2008, I felt this passion to share this message with everyone I knew. I had a passion to host a True Woman event in my community. I wanted others to catch the vision of biblical womanhood. I wanted to share and grow this movement.

But, as I sat through the amazing sessions at True Woman 2010 in Fort Worth, I realized I had wasted much of the last two years try to do something God wasn't opening doors to do.

At every turn I ran into a brick wall. I got frustrated, annoyed with others around me, and felt a bit lonely.

I missed out on something...I missed out on spending 2 years in becoming a True Woman myself.

Oh sure I study God's word and I go to church. I honor and submit to my authority and my hearts desire is to grow into a godly old lady! But I spent way too much emotional and spiritual energy looking at people around me and not allowing God to change my heart. (It was a little humbling...which was good...just ouch, ya know!)

So, I will share the messages and my notes from TW '10, but God has given me some homework assignments. My energy is going to be in digging deeper, sharing as the doors get opened, and not expecting that I can really do anything for God!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10/20/10 - Luke Warm

The other day I wrote this as a Facebook status:

"We are living in times where we can not straddle the fence of faith. We must choose our side, we must stand our ground, we must decide what we believe and live it out. We have no choice! We must live out loud and if we choose the side of faith, grace and truth, we must not fear what others think. We don't have time to play games with our Christianity!"

I was taken to the verse in Revelation 3:15-16: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

After a conversation with a friend I was thinking of this verse. In college I had a short time of rebellion to the Lord. Thankfully it was a short season, but it was this verse that the Lord used to pull me back to His side.

I was straddling the fence. I was in church on Sunday, with a heart that was just going through the motion. I was living for my own wants and for the approval of man.

One night the Lord promoted me with this verse. The word "spit" literaly means: vomit. How I didn't want God to vomit me out of His mouth. That night I choose, I choose to live my faith out loud and to not fear.

We are living in strange times (of course much of mankind has felt that at one point or another), but I strongly believe, with all my heart, that believers needs to show a watching world the life changing joy of knowing God. Joy in trials, joy in pain, joy in whatever comes your way.

One way of getting that joy is to immerse yourself in God's word, study it, know it, memorize it. We're in a battle and you must choose what side you're on: God's side or the worlds side. Otherwise you will be vomited out of God's mouth!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10/19/10 - True Woman 2008

If you never have read my blog from the True Woman 2008 conference, I'd love for you to take time and read the 7 parts of my experience at True Woman 2008.

Now, if you want, you can watch each of the speakers yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

10/18/10 - Word and Priorities

This past weekend there were two words that I felt kept coming up over and over: word and priorities.

My heart was challenged over and over to dig deeper into God's word.

As a mom I often share with single women that when I was single I had hours to feast on God's word and now I do a lot of nibbling. Yes, as a mom I am busy, but that's not an excuse to not grow in my knowledge and study of the bible. I just have to have right priorities!

So word and priorities were two themes for the weekend.

I have time to study God's word, however my priorities are not always in line with God's priorities, so I make excuses! (I love God's gentle hand of correction!)

Holly Elliff, mother of 8 and a pastor's wife said, "Often women do what we're not called to do, so we're too tired to what we are called to do."

I am called to know God's word, to actively grown in knowing God's word more, to let His word change my mindset and life. I am also called to pass this on to my sons. It's a high calling and this weekend was yet another amazing reminder of what God has for me in this season of my life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10/17/10 - Post True Woman

After a wonderful weekend with other like minded women at True Woman, I'm home and today has been a bit of a reflective, quiet day.

Two of my sons complained of either a tummy ache or a sore throat. So I stayed home from church and just cuddled my boys.

I'm thinking of a few new things for the blog and would love to get some feed back.

Mary Kassian has written a new book: Girls Gone Wise There's 20 points of a "girl gone wise" to the "girl gone wild."

Also True Woman will be posting videos of all their main sessions.

So I am thinking...out loud here...of using "Girls Gone Wise" as a bible study for us to go through. Each week, I'll post my thoughts, Mary's video from her blog, and other insights about that week's chapter. I would hope that you'd buy a copy of Mary's book to read along and share what God is teaching you. What do you think?

I am also planning on sharing each of the session I attended. There was some great info and in 2008 I shared my notes. I think I'll wait till all the videos are up on the True Woman website.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10/13/10 - True Woman Ft. Worth

Tomorrow I am leaving for Ft. Worth! Can't believe how God worked it out for me to go, but I am thankful!

True Woman is an amazing conference and if the staff at True Woman blogs, tweets, and posts on their Facebook wall, as much as the did at TW Indy, you can follow my journey this weekend!

Here's all the links:
True Woman Facebook Movement
True Woman Blog
True Woman Twitter

I may also be twittering, just depending. I don't want my updates to get in the way of what God has for me!

Please be in prayer for this conference! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10/06/10 - Early in the morning

Lately two of my boys have been getting me up about 5 am. At first I was annoyed and had the worst attitude towards them...how dare they get me up so early!

But as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months of being up this early, I've discovered that, although two of them are up, my house is quiet, my heart is quiet, and starting my day with two boys running around, the bible in my lap, and a cup of coffee is my hand...is a great way to start my day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

10/01/10 - Holiness

Do you feel like your holiness effects anyone?

Maybe you think your secret sin isn't really causing anyone else problems, so you'll just keep it there, locked away?

How can the body of Christ not be effected by personal hidden sin? We're all the body of Christ and this is why humility, grace, revival, and honesty must be apart of our walk with fellow believers.

You know when you have a small hangnail on your toe and it effects how you walk because of the small pain. Well a day or two of walking "funny" your legs hurt, your back aches, and you feel out of sorts.

Yes, your little sin may be "small", but it does effect the entire Body! May we be open, honest, and transparent so our hidden sins don't effect the Church!