Twists and Turns

I am now blogging at my new site mecoffeeandjesus.com, so I hope you will join me there! Below is this weeks post but to finish click the link at the bottom and be sure to follow me at the new address! I didn’t want anyone to miss the move. 

This post is dedicated to to a really special group of kids. A group of kids that I am honored to have been apart of most of your lives since 5th grade. A group of kids that have blessed me more than I likely have them. I have watched you grow into such amazing young men and woman and am so blessed to have been your Sunday school teacher and later, your youth leader. You have blessed me by being so very patient with me as the Lord has grown my teaching and speaking skills. I have been blessed and challenged to dig into God’s word, to be a planner and organizer of events, to love each of you more than you know. You have impacted the Kingdom so much already in your young lives, and I know that you will accomplish great things in the future.

As you head into the future, don’t be discouraged if life twists and turns. It will likely take you in directions you didn’t plan. I certainly didn’t plan to stand where I am now when I was your age. Each year I watch kids tell their plans and see the eagerness that only the young can have. I always want to tell them don’t lose that, even through the twists, don’t lose the eagerness and hope in the future. For even if it looks different than the plan, there is greatness.

When I was a graduating senior my plan was to get married that summer, attend a commuter college and major in elementary education. Prior to that I wanted to be a doctor so that I could grow up and heal my grandpa, well he passed away, and I took chemistry so the new plan was born….. To finish this weeks post just click!

Secret Wonders

I have been having a very busy May, lots of fun things happening! My children are finishing the end of school with all the activities that seems to bring, the school carnival, a school wide field trip to a baseball game. Rachel also had a wonderful end of the year dance recital this past weekend!

Ballerina

I have a few exciting things happening here on the blog and in my speaking ministry. I currently am working with an amazing designer on a new blog layout with a custom domain name, let’s just say I’m pretty excited to reveal that! I also had the opportunity to speak to a lovely group of women this past weekend, on how the Lord makes us a captivating beauty that rises above the unnoticed. I hope to be able to share some clips of that soon!

I also had my post Faith Bigger Than Fear featured on Women With Intention, a great blog I link up at on Wednesday’s. I will also begin to host my own link up, Words With Winter, so once my new blog is up and running be sure to follow me and be the first to join the party! I also want to take a quick second to say thanks so much to all you readers. I am honored that you would stop by and I pray that you find encouragement at this little corner of mine. So on to today’s blog post:

I’ve always had a secret question, a secret wonder. Why do we need to pray about something more than once? After all aren’t we supposed to have faith in God’s power? So to repeat a prayer over and over I worried showed a lack of trust in God’s abilities.

Jesus says in Matthew 17:20  “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” 
Now I do pray for things over and over like loved ones battling hardships, my son waiting on testing for a diagnosis and an explanation of his hair loss, those I know facing challenges and changes in their lives. I do this because the word also says:

“Pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing

I don’t want my wonders to get in the way of prayers being answered, so I pray. I pray every time they enter my mind, I pray until I have peace over the situation. Yet I do still wonder.

Every week on Wednesdays I drive half an hour to the next town over for coffee with my girls. A few weeks ago, as I’m in the car praying and worrying over my son as only a mom can do, that question popped into my mind. I started thinking about that secret question and how I’ve always wondered if I was supposed to pray the same prayer over and over, and if so, why did I need to pray more than once.

While driving down highway 15 God gave me an answer, it wasn’t audible but it was a mental picture. It was as if I was standing facing a thin, almost see through, wall that pressing blackness was approaching. Then I saw other believers and we were sending prayers and each of those prayers seemed to fly against the darkness and beat it back. The thought came we don’t know of the unseen spiritual battle, I can’t see it, but it is hard and it’s a battle to the death. So with each prayer I send out, and other believers send out, they keep the blackness of spiritual darkness away.

Once I arrived at the coffee shop my mind was still a little wowed! I immediately tell my girls about this and Amy reminds me of a story I’d heard before. It was of a woman stepping up to the king to present her request and instead of going home she gets in line again. She makes her way to the front to present the same request, at her arrival the king remembers her vaguely. She continues to do this all day and by the end of the day the king remembers her and knows her request before she speaks it. He realizes that she is persistent and grants her request.

I don’t present either of these pictures to lead you to believe that God is a willy nilly granter of “wishes” nor do I think every prayer is a spiritual warfare defense.

I do present you with the idea that God longs for a continual conversation with you. He wants you to share your worries, fears and even questions. He hears each one. God knows the worries of our hearts and when we turn them into prayers over worries we will be filled with a peace that passes all understanding. worries into prayers

So sweet friends, pray without ceasing, no matter how big or small the Lord is only waiting to remove that worry from your shoulders. Pray until you are filled with peace, peace that comes when we no longer pick back up our worry, but we leave it at the King of Kings throne.

You can find me on these awesome blogs! 

Desert Places

Have you ever been stuck in, or maybe you’re there now, a dry lonely desert patch of life? A patch that seems like no one hears you, no one sees you, even God seems distance, quiet or having abandoned you. This patch could look like loneliness, a marriage that lacks communication and intimacy. A womb that has yet to carry a baby or children that seem out of control. A job that you dread going to everyday. A desperation to find a mate for the rest of your years. A schedule that runs you so ragged you can’t spare a moment to think of your desert place.

God is with us through those desert times, maybe he seems silent because we have forgotten to seek him. Maybe he seems silent because we have spent all our time talking about our desert with everyone else that we haven’t given it to him. What if he has lead you to the desert because you are in a season of growing, stretching, and drawing closer to him.

Instead of complaining we need to seek him, to look for the purpose, the beauty of the desert. Some of the most beautiful flowers bloom in the desert, but how many get to see them because the desert is viewed as harsh, ugly and desolate so people are unwilling to go there. Gods desert

Our desert could be that we are unable to find our purpose, the plan He has for us, or we are hesitating to take the next step. The beauty in our desert is trust, trusting the Lord, and taking the next step realizing we won’t have the entire path shown to us but we are willing to step anyways.

My tendency is to run through these patches of desert as quickly as I can, they are painful! (Can I get an amen!) What if instead of trying to run through the desert we slowed down, sunk to our knees, cried out to the Lord. Wailed our truest thoughts. Because I promise you girls, God can handle the gut honest truth of what we are thinking. He really already knows it we just need to confess it. We need to tell Him and give to Him what is happening in our life because He will meet us there. I think of Job, when he tore his clothes, shaved his head, yet he worshiped. That was the beauty of Job, his desert was loss; his family, his possessions, his servants, through all of that he worshiped. Can we find the strength to worship in our desert?

You can find me on these awesome blogs! 

Faith Bigger Than Fear

I’ve long been drawn to the story of the bleeding woman mentioned in Mark 5. She represents so many of today’s women including myself. When I’ve longed for healing from a sickness that I’ve battled over the last five years (another story for another day) I,like her,only have my faith in the healing powers of Jesus.

I then wonder what this bleeding looks like in today’s woman?

Are you bleeding financially?

Are you bleeding from an overbooked schedule?

Are you bleeding from past failures?

Are you bleeding from health issues?

Are you bleeding in your marriage?

Are you bleeding from infertility?

Are you bleeding from children who are making bad choices out of your control?

Are you bleeding from your own laziness/undisciplined choices?

This woman fought years,12 years according to scripture, for healing. She could almost be our entire list from above.

She struggled financially because she spent all her money on doctors.

She couldn’t have intimacy in her marriage if she was even married.

She couldn’t be hugged or kissed by her children if she had any.

She couldn’t have friendships because she couldn’t go out in public.

See in her culture she was labeled unclean, she couldn’t touch others, prepare anyone else’s food, be seen in public. She was a total outcast.

Yet she hadn’t run out of faith, she still had the reserves to reach out to Jesus. I know I can start to feel my faith waiver long before the end of a 12 year journey. That is a long time to pray, cry out, to beg the Lord for an answer and hear silence.

Until one day – one glorious day – the prompting to reach out. To take the shaky step of faith for healing. Verse 28 tells us “she thought to herself, If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”

Then can you imagine her thoughts? “Oh my, really, I’m healed? Uh oh, he noticed. I’m unclean. Will I be punished?”

But she was only met with love.

I believe Jesus knew her heart. Along with those watching. That the healing couldn’t go unrecognized, this healing needed to be public because her shame had been quite public. So He stopped, turned to the crowd and said, “Who touched my robe?”

The disciples responded with, “in this crowd, who knows, lets go.” They were in a hurry to get to the house of the local synagogue leader, his daughter was dying. But Jesus wasn’t in a hurry he knew the importance of this moment.He kept searching for the one who had touched Him.

She then came, trembling and fell to her knees at His feet to confess what she had done. He responded with “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” What a miracle, complete and instant healing. See Jesus isn’t just in the business of healing bodies but our spirits as well. He wanted to make sure that the crowd and this woman saw the healing. She had been isolated for 12 years unclean, untouchable. It’s hard for me to grasp the heartache that amount of loneliness would bring.daughter faith

I think the greatest thing is the teaching that came from the healing. While He was ministering to this woman, the child He was on His way to heal, died. The crowds are probably beginning to mumble “this distraction cost a good man’s daughter’s life. Look what this unclean, unworthy woman caused.” One response was “there is no use troubling the teacher now.” Such hopelessness.

Oh how sweet is the knowledge that our Jesus is bigger than 12 years of bleeding and of death, we only need faith. This child awoke from sleeping as Jesus called it, restored and healthy. Hope restored.

Are we allowing ourselves to be defined by what we bleed, our problems, our past, our brokenness? Will we have the faith to cry out to the Lord for healing, restoration, and hope, with faith like this woman? Our healing may not be instant, it may not be public. But it will come. It may not be your version of healing. But it will come.

faith bigger  than fear

Jesus will bring the healing you need and seek when you continue to have faith in Him. So press on dear sisters, the Lord is always close.

Love and Blessings

Winter

For a list of blogs you can find me at click here.

A Letter to my Younger Mamma Self

Dear Younger Mamma Self,

You are so needed, needed by your husband, your children. Those times when you feel unimportant or that you aren’t enough are such lies. You are vital to them even when you are feeling like a failure, you are the farthest thing from a failure in their eyes. Love yourself. That teaches your daughter how to love her body and herself as she has been made. That teaches your son what value inner beauty and self worth in a women looks like. Slow down, enjoy each day because they never come again. Tomorrow they will be a little bigger and a little more independent. Let those dishes sit, the dust gather, if the choice is that or reading a story with them chose the story. Teach them how to play while working hard, its a skill that is vital. Love your husband, teach them what a marriage looks like, dress up for the date night, let them see you kiss each other hello-or just because. Take pictures of your adventures and of the everyday.enough

Focus less on your career, when they are bigger there will be more time for your dreams again. That starter business will take more time than you would ever dream it would. Laugh everyday, you do a good job of this so continue to laugh, show them that a water fight in the house is ok, their jaws will drop open in shock, I promise, I’ve seen it!

I write these things not because you didn’t do them well, but because some days you didn’t feel like they were enough. The world tells us our success is measured in the money we make, the house we live in, and the car we drive. This mamma no longer has newborns, toddlers, preschoolers; this mamma is on the verge of the teenage years, well into the school kid stage. I promise you at that stage you don’t see the value of money and career success the same as before. You see the real value of just holding your baby smelling that sweet baby smell, reading a story, being home in time for bed, playing in the dirt, or kicking a ball together.

I can’t go back, I wouldn’t if I could because you really are on your way to becoming a great woman. A woman who loves deeply and laughs without hesitation. So press on dear mamma your doing it right, don’t give up or lose heart. Don’t listen to the lies that are being told to you, I still know this is oh so hard because I still struggle with hearing the lies. Now I defeat them with truth. Find the truth and pour that over your heart everyday.

truth

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56: 3-4

I love you dear younger mamma, you are a brave soul on a great journey. Hardships will come, love will see you through, be brave and have courage.

Much love,

Your Older Mamma Self-who still has much growing left to do.

PS: Mamma if you still doubt the importance you have in your child’s life take a quick peek at this:

This shows us we are so important to our children that they know us blindfolded. They have you memorized, they know you by your smell, the feel of your hands, the shape of your face and the texture of clothing you would have on. Your presence in their lives is so needed and precious. Don’t spend one more second thinking you aren’t enough!

Look for me Linked Up at:

w2wministries.orgsomuchathome.blogspot.comholleygerth.comjenniferdukeslee.com,

spiritualsundays.comcountingmyblessings.comdonnareidland.comblessedbutstressed.comlauraboggess.com,

www.thebeautyinhisgrip.comamamasstory.comwww.lifeoffaithblog.comwww.proverbialhomemaker.com,

timewarpwife.comcornerstoneconfessions.compurposefulfaith.comtsuzanneeller.comrachelwojo.com,

simplifiedlife.netwomenwithintention.comkayleneyoder.com

Grace Comes

I blogged yesterday about my admiration for Peter’s heart. I also love how Jesus showed his love for Peter, how Jesus knew even before it happened, that the disciples would desert Him that Peter was going to deny even knowing Him. Peter is outraged by Jesus’s prediction, he says in Matthew 14:33 “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will NEVER desert you.” Can’t you just see his red face, hear his indignant tone, I sure can. Because I can hear it from my mouth. How many times have I said I will always follow You, I will always listen for Your voice, I will always run hard after You. Yet I get distracted, lazy, and filled of myself.

Jesus’s response to Peters’ outrage is “I tell you the truth, Peter – this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Peter says “even if I have to DIE with you, I will never deny you!” Yep, he is so outraged he is declaring his death over denial. 

We know what happens don’t we, sure enough Peter denies Jesus. All… Three… Times. I picture as soon as the third denial slips past his lips the horror of what he has done swallows him and he drops to his knees in his guilt and tears. Don’t we do this in life, we vow to follow, to chase after Jesus, even die for Him? I certainly have done this, I have chosen to live selfishly instead of dying to myself.

Then the sweet, sweet voice of grace comes. After the beatings, after the cross, after the death, came the grace.  grace

John 21:15-18 recounts for us the grace that Peter experienced. At the beginning of the chapter Peter and a few of the other disciples headed out to fish, I picture they are craving the peace and comfort of the sea. That is the place where they know all is right in their world. While they are in their boat, catching nothing, they see a man on the shore, just the outline of a man wanting to know if they are catching anything? Their response is a shout of “NO,”  a frustrated no I would guess, this is the place they know, they are doing what they have always done best and nothing seems to be happening. Until this man on the shore tells them to cast their nets on the other side. I know I would be thinking, “I know what I’m doing and I don’t need the help of a backseat fisherman.” I’m sure they are feeling a bit frustrated and are willing to take a chance on that, maybe this outline of a man on the shore can be of help to them. What do you know, it works! They throw those nets over the other side and can’t even pull them back into the boat they are so full.

John was the first to recognize that the blurry figure on the beach was Jesus. He quickly told Peter, who again I see tripping over himself in the hurry to get out of the boat and to they shore. He had much to say to the Lord. After breakfast Peter and Jesus found a moment alone. Jesus dives into the conversation with “Do you love me more than these, Peter?” “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” said Peter. Then feed my lambs,” Jesus repeats the question “Do you love me, Peter?” “Yes, Lord you know I love you” came Peter’s response. “Then take care of my sheep,” one last time Jesus says “Do you love me, Peter?” At this point Peter is getting his feelings hurt, Jesus asking THREE times if Peter loved Him? Of course I love you, you know everything about me runs through his head I have think. He responds with “You know that I love you.” Jesus again says “Then feed my sheep.”

The grace of Jesus to ask three times of Peter’s love, to cancel out each denial that tumbled from Peter’s lips. I find it amazing, perfectly offered over a man that had a heart to run after the Lord and in his hurry found himself tripping over his feet. Aren’t we offered that same grace, that same chance of grace to be poured over our mistakes? Absolutely! I praise Jesus for that because I certainly find myself tripping over my own feet at times. Not always in my hurry to do what the Lord has called me to do I will ashamedly admit. I have found myself being tripped up over my laziness, walking the path that is easier than the one I’ve been called to. I have found myself in the recent past on a path that wasn’t a bad path, only one that I wouldn’t leave. A path that God had called me to step off of and head a different direction but instead I dragged my feet for months. It was easy, it was comfortable, and familiar. This path that God has placed me on is hard, only because it requires faith, patience, and walking out onto the water. 

Jesus's grace over mistakes

I don’t know where you find yourself today, a path of comfort or laziness, a spot that is hard to see Jesus from or maybe you are running full out at Him. Regardless of where you are the grace of Jesus is right there, let it wash over you, listen as Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” and responds with, “Because I love you more then you can imagine.” Be ready to respond to His love, because life is going to overflow. Not overflow in perfection without trials but it will overflow with peace, joy and grace.

You can find me linked up at:

w2wministries.org,

somuchathome.blogspot.com,

holleygerth.com,

jenniferdukeslee.com,

spiritualsundays.com,

countingmyblessings.com,

donnareidland.com

Getting off the Boat

If I was asked to choose a biblical character that I related most to, it would have to be Peter. His passion and full on sprint towards Jesus connects and relates to my heart unlike any other.  I love that he wasn’t afraid to get back up after failure. He had some really public ones that all generations get to know about and learn from. I’m so beyond thankful that my failures aren’t remembered and talked about for generations! With all his failures I have to believe it only caused him to fall more and more in love with Jesus. To vow to chase after Him harder, love deeper, learn more of Him, because I know that is certainly what it does for me.

When I read of Peter in Matthew 14:22-33, this is when the disciples had left at Jesus’s instruction so he could go into the hills to pray alone, they find themselves in a bit of trouble out on the water. These are experienced sea men, not the casual Sunday boater, so this is some really serious crashing waves and wind.  At three o’clock in the morning which I find significant, this isn’t just night but the dead of night, the loneliest stretch of night, and the waves are crashing all round. Does this ever sound like your life? It sure does mine, the darkest of dark when everything is happening at once, crashing in on me. But behold sisters, who is on the horizon of edge of the boat, Jesus. Oh Jesus, He arrives at the perfect moment but the disciples are afraid, they think he is a ghost.  Hmmm, again much like life, we call out, we want His response to our crisis, but when he shows up it and isn’t how WE planned, we are alarmed with how his rescue looks.

So Jesus responds in verse 27 with “Don’t be afraid, take courage. I am here.” Well Peter responds with a response I think would be like me “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Yep, like me I want proof, I want to know that He has really arrived, I can’t just trust one sense, in this case for Peter it’s his sight-I mean Jesus is STANDING in front of him….ON the water.

Don't be afraid

Jesus, in his loving and grace filled, ways went along with Peter’s need for an extra step of proof. He said to Peter “Yes, come.” So Peter dove over the side of the boat, in my mind I picture no hesitation, just gathering up his robes in one hand and feet almost tripping over the other in his hurry to get onto the water. He takes a few steps probably the thought of “I’m doing it, I’m WALKING on water towards Jesus!” races through his mind. Then the edge of a wave catches his attention out of the corner of his eye, he then full on looks to his left and sees these huge waves feels the strong winds on his face and panic flutters in his chest. His eyes remain on the waves, he forgets to focus back on Jesus. Just like that his toes are under water, that panic grows its filling him now, more of him is falling under the water. Full panic has set in yet, his eyes haven’t landed back on Jesus yet. He calls out “SAVE ME, LORD”  From our vantage point it seems obvious we are mentally saying; “Peter look at Jesus, TRUST Jesus, and you wouldn’t find yourself sinking.”

Jesus replies while reaching out to grab him “You have so little faith, why did you doubt me?” Oh I think how many times has Jesus said this about me. “Winter, why do you doubt me. Winter, why do you have such little faith when distractions happen?”

I love that Jesus doesn’t criticize him for getting out of boat, for taking those initial steps on the water, or even wanting to have that proof, that it was really Jesus there on the water. He does draw Peter’s attention in the form of correcting him of the fact that he knew Jesus was right there, that Jesus has already shown that he is capable, heck just that day Jesus had fed 5,000 people on 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish all of which came after Him healing the sick. Yet Peter removed his eyes from Jesus, he showed little faith. He allowed his fear to be bigger than his faith. Faith comes at a great cost, it comes at the expense of being willing to get out of the boat. To try again and again, to chase after Jesus in ways that others will believe you to be crazy.

faith

Faith is tested in the storms of our lives. If you’re in the place that the waves seem as if they will drown you sweet sisters, let me tell you, Jesus is in the midst of the waves and wind. He isn’t on the shore or up above looking down. He is IN it with you, His hand is already extended out, ready to grab you. If you are on the edge of the boat, on the precipice of stepping out in faith will you be like Peter scrambling to follow Jesus out onto the water? No matter which position you are in you’ll notice that Peter had the wind and waves, on the boat or on the water. We are not promised a life or faith walk without waves or wind only that Jesus will be found in the midst of our storm. He promises to rescue us, to wipe our tears, listen to our fears and to stand over us in protection.

You can find me linked up at:

http://www.w2wministries.org,

http://holleygerth.com,

http://somuchathome.blogspot.com,

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/

God Sized Dream Follower

Have you ever had those moments in your life that are so God ordained there is no denying it as a God ordained moment. Maybe you don’t even recognize the full extent of His power and purpose over the moment for months or years after the moment happened.

I had a God ordained moment when I met a boy at age 16; a boy that God had planned to be my husband, a boy that saved me from the certainty of a lifestyle that I was headed for. A lifestyle that would have lead me down the path of college parties, drinking, premarital sex, and the host of negative outcomes that all of that brings-each one taking me further from the Truth and Love of Jesus. Everyday I recognize the blessing that Jesse is in my life, how through him God forever changed my path.

My other God ordained moment would be Him bringing my photography dream to life. I remember walking the isles of Best Buy praying “Lord, do I buy this camera, is it possible? Oh, is it possible that my dream could be on the brink of happening?” I bought the camera that day, I worked to create a successful business that I poured my heart and soul into. A business that I longed for. A business that taught me how to work hard, taught me the importance of prioritizing my work and to-do list and showed me what I risk losing when you don’t have the balance of family first, a business that taught me marketing, and other business skills. I also longed for my own studio, a space to display my artwork that I had created with the talents that God had provided. I longed for a place to welcome families, to cuddle newborns and create images of them that would last a lifetime. God blessed me with every aspect of this dream-even the end of it.

The time had come to say good bye to this dream, I was ready, yet sad it was over. I have celebrated the time it has created for me to pursue my family and for me to transition into another dream. A dream that has been alive longer then even owning my own business. The dream of ministry, to serve and help others grow in their relationships with Christ.

This  brings me to another God moment that began to happen before the business closed. A women’s ministry and youth ministry opportunity. These were both moments that seem to have been for such a short time that it would create the question: “What purpose where they for?” Especially since in the secret places of my heart, I view these as such failures on my part. I’ve begun to think about the time spent in these ministries and see that these dreams were short, yet the growing opportunities for me have been huge. They were opportunities of learning to work close with a team of people for the same goal, how to connect to people so they could learn to go deeper with Him, how to create excitement and passion for the Lord. Opportunities to practice having thicker skin, I’m still working of that lesson. You know the one, that not everything is personal and confrontation isn’t always bad. Please tell me someone else is struggling through that lesson!

These dreams that have come to an end have caused me to reflect on the purpose of our dreams and the work, prayer, tears and sweat that go into making them grow. Dreams that you have birthed, out of nothing into a living breathing something. I recently began to say to the Lord “WHY, why did I work so hard only to walk away?” He laid the answer on my spirit so powerfully that it took my breath away.

That He provided each of these dreams and allowed them to be lived out so HE could reveal to me that HE was in the business of dreams, in the business of making dreams happen. Taking God sized dreams and allowing us to be apart of them. 

See all of these questions come because I have a God sized dream that I’ve had since the summer of 2005. This dream began while at a women’s conference, at a time of my life that I was living selfishly and not focused on the Lord. But as that weekend happened and I watched the speaker, something within my very being whispered “I want that.” A dream that hasn’t diminished, only grown more with each passing year and with each step I take running after God. I have come under attack, viewing especially these God ordained ministry opportunities as failures, as examples of why would you want to pursue this dream because that will only fail too. Whispers that have tried to cover my dream, whispers from the enemy saying “you aren’t worthy, you have nothing to say, no one wants to hear from you.”

Well guess what, the enemy is right, I’m not worthy; but My God is. I have nothing to say; but My God does. No one wants to hear me; but they will want to hear from The Creator. 

God has blessed with me two friends that I’ve come to realize are rare gifts, and that the three of us together are exceptionally rare and will be powerful for the Lord. They too have similar dreams as mine. See, this dream is to be a christian women’s conference planner, public speaker and writer all for the glory of God. Wow, that was tougher to type then I thought it would be. There is something impactful about putting this down where all the world can now hold me accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if you are reading this thinking that is pretty crazy! But that’s the thing about God dreams, He takes something the world says is crazy, heck even I said it was crazy. I’m the girl that was so shy that I hardly talked to my classmates in school, that hated public speaking, that didn’t go to the state music contest my senior year because too many people would be watching me. God’s response of this crazy dream is, through Me all things are possible, you were created for a purpose, I am with you through all things, I’ve transformed you into a new creation.

So the three of us together are dream followers not just dreamers. We have been given a vision, a God sized dream that we can’t contain anymore. A dream that might make us look crazy, but a dream that if we hold it within us any longer we may burst. A dream that we take one step at a time because the Lord has appointed us as moms and wives first. A dream that will be covered in prayer so won’t you join us in praying for it? A dream that will be directed by the dream provider and not ourselves.Black Chalkboard Texture

I write this today to not only keep myself accountable because I’ve allowed myself over the years to become distracted from my true dream, thank goodness the Lord brings learning and growth through our rabbit trails. But I write this to other God sized dreamers, the future missionary, the future mom who adopts teenage boys, the future business owner, the future christian music artist, the future author. Listen to the whisper because there are lots of dreamers but few who are dream followers. Be brave, be courageous, be bold, because the Lord is in the business of God sized dreams and he is waiting for us to join Him.

What’s your God Sized Dream?

Look for me linked up at: www.simplifiedlife.net, www.w2wministries.org

Does Anybody See You

Today I was honored to guest blog over at www.amyschlichter.com. Here is just a bit of my thoughts, to read the rest join Amy and don’t forget to leave her some blog love!
I was in the car driving home the other night when a song came on the radio, an old song I’ve heard hundreds of times but something about it this time struck me. It was Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns this song about a girl seeking and craving salvation struck me in a different way. It made me think how I am like this girl, yes I know Jesus and I’m not seeking new salvation, but yet I still feel like her especially with these lyrics… two years further into the journey yet three more steps behind, standing under the shadow of the steeple does anybody see her, does anybody hear her-insert me here.

I watch myself and other women become lost in the shadows of doing it all, being it all. We create this monster of have it together, keep it together, everyone is watching and I can’t slip, I can’t let my real life struggles show. I know recently there has been lots of talk about realness and being authentic and I love that; yet do we do it? Do I? Or am I the girl hiding in the shadows trying to keep all my ugly covered?

Even when I’m not intending to keep it hidden and covered, I do. Several years ago I was shown how I do it in a loving way. This woman who spoke these words, I’m sure had no idea how they would stick with me. She said, “until I got to really talk with you and know you, I thought you had it all together, had it all figured out and were just shy of perfect.”

I laughed, I mean really laughed, my first thought was wow I had no idea I had the wool pulled over her eyes! Yet I paused and thought, well until I got real with this group of ladies why would they think differently? Facebook and my smiles, while crying on the inside, did wonders to give that distorted view of my life.  I don’t often willingly share my heart, maybe pieces, but not with more then one or two.

How often do you say fine when someone asks how are you?…..To finish today’s blog post be sure to visit Amy at www.amyschlichter.com

The Year of Family–Life Motto–Life Hashtag

This week contained some intentional #yearoffamily moments, I decided that each of the kids would pick a meal and cook it with my help. Rachel said immediately her meal would be spaghetti! That girl LOVES her spaghetti! Brandon took a little longer to decide but finally decided on cavatini. Since they picked two Italian meals we spaced them out a few days, Rachel went first on Monday.

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Mondays are a bit crazy at our house due to ballet at 5:30 and us not getting back home until around 6:45, so we had to work quick(and is the reason for the ballet attire!) Rachel filled the pan of water by herself and I taught her how to turn on the stove top and oven. She put in the noodles, sauce and arranged the bread on the pan she loved every minute of this experience and was overjoyed to serve her family the yumminess she made!

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Brandon was a little more hands on with cooking his meal since he is a bit more familiar with the kitchen. We did discuss proper noodle doneness, this boy is going to make some lucky girl a great husband one day in the very very far future!  I only helped with straining the noodles and removing from the oven -yes I probably am a bit of a worrier but I was concerned about burns! His dish turned out amazing!

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Here is to a continued year of family! We will definitely repeat this cooking experience and I look forward to building it up to taking them shopping for the items they need for their meals and maybe even some budgeting of grocery shopping as well!        IMG_2663

I love that he even served his sister without being asked!