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!

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

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.

IMG_2653

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!

IMG_2656IMG_2657

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!

IMG_2658IMG_2659IMG_2660

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!

Feed the Belly Not Just the Soul

So I talked in my last post on recognizing God’s call to minister to my family and part of that is to fill their bellies with yumminess! So today I bring you a new recipe in my house that has gotten rave reviews by ALL!

Mix together olive oil, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and paprika-if you desire add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce but this family doesn’t handle the heat well!

You will need to peel and dice your potatoes, place the diced potatoes in your olive oil mixture being sure to coat all the potatoes.

IMG_2632

olive oil

Place potatoes in a 9×13 pan-you will have some olive oil mixture left you need this! Don’t scrape it into the pan with your potatoes.

IMG_2635

You’ll notice my cracked dish-my prized Crate and Barrel dish that was my best purchase one year while shopping on the annual girls weekend in Chicago. This crack happened at the hands of my children and I choose to embrace the chip rather then crying that momma never gets to have anything nice. Which I’m ashamed to admit is what flew through my head at the first sight of that chip.

Put the potatoes in the oven at 500 degrees (I know right-I had to check and to be sure it could do that!)IMG_2625

Next cube chicken and place in the leftover mixture. chicken

Your potatoes will bake for about 30 minutes and you will need to stir them at the half way mark. IMG_2642

After 30 minutes of baking, stir the potatoes and add chicken on top of them evenly. Cover with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Bake for another 20 minutes. I turned my oven down after 10 minutes so my bread didn’t burn once I put it in. cheesy

Serve hot but watch those tongues so they don’t end up burned!

I like to serve with bread because who doesn’t want their meat and potatoes with a side of bread! IMG_2648

IMG_2650

I think the best part of this meal is the easy clean up only your mixing bowl, cutting board and casserole dish doesn’t get much easier then that!    Enjoy this tasty easy meal and spend that extra time you saved by painting nails or playing a game with the kiddos!

Love and Blessings

~W


Ingredients:

1 tbsp Black Pepper

1 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Paprika

1/2 C Olive Oil

7-8 Potatoes

2 lbs Chicken Breast

2 C Shredded Cheese

1 bag of Bacon Bits

Directions:

Mix black pepper, garlic powder, salt, paprika and olive oil. Cube potatoes and coat with oil mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake 30 minutes at 500 degrees stirring half way through. Cube chicken and add to remaining oil mixture. After potatoes bake for 30 minutes add chicken, cover with shredded cheese and bacon bits, bake 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

Add

Holy Grounds

Everyone needs a sense of purpose, a sense of direction in their life, well mine seems to be misplaced, or so it seems. Today I realized I seem to be going through life without a solid defined direction. I was thinking why do I seem to be feeling as if there is no intentional route I’m taking? I was thinking how after I closed the photography business, I did that in order to have more time for my family and for the youth ministry,I felt a sense of loss, sense of no longer being defined as a photographer. Then when last month I put down the youth ministry I had this sense of loss again, a sense of no longer being defined as a youth leader, a sense of not being needed by anyone. So I have been floating without a sense of purpose.

Then today while in the shower and I’m pondering these great reflections, let me add here that my shower is holy ground I have been spoken to and felt more alive with the spirit of the Lord around me there than even in church. So I’m in the holy grounds of my shower pondering this sense of empty, drifting when I’m reminded of this event I was at 2-3 years ago I was seeking the Lords confirmation of his intention to place me in ministry. Yet I felt his call was to just love my family well, my response was well I’m already doing that I want to serve you bigger Lord. So I continued pretending that His plan was to use me in a bigger way, then the fall of 2013 came and I decided that in order for Him to use me in a big way I better make some room so I closed the business. I did focus more on my family at this time and dived into the youth ministry of my church, after all my sense of purpose comes from my doing. I have to do, do, do, I’m definitely a Martha.  So this Martha did what was in front of her, serving and growing this ministry that was in front of her. Loving my family still, seeking the Lord for the ministry’s direction but fully focused on what to “do” for this ministry. Then 4 months ago God started to remove my grasp on this ministry, this ministry that defined me, that fulfilled this part of me. He caused such a strong stirring in me I could no longer be apart of this church. He grabbed my shoulders and turned me away, I didn’t understand how this was the plan, He was going to us ME. How could this happen and continue without me?

Today in the holy grounds of my shower I’ve began to understand, He had to strip me bare in order to be a Mary to show me that I don’t have to do, only be. I need to BE a godly wife, I need to BE a godly mom and most importantly I need to BE a godly Winter that sits at the feet of Jesus. My friend over coffee last week said would you have left your church and ministry if this huge stirring hadn’t happened? I said no way, that this church was my family, my best friends, we didn’t just attend we were involved all the way, Jesse plays guitar every service, we served the youth together, our kids have grown up there. Never would we have left, she said then maybe that’s why this drastic change took place because God had to get your attention and move you out.  For a week that has swirled in my brain, of ok that makes sense, but why, why would He need to take me out of this ministry, why wouldn’t he want to use me bigger?

Today it was answered, I was reminded of that event when I was shown the direction I needed to move and I didn’t like the answer. I wanted to do, I just didn’t understand the concept of Mary. The idea of sitting at Jesus’s feet, the idea of being Jesus here on earth to my family only. I have always been a big or go home kind of person so to me I want to live out Jesus bigger, serve Jesus bigger, yet today after nearly two and half years of being allowed to move in that direction the Lord said enough and I finally heard him. I heard just BE, don’t do, don’t look for a to-do list, don’t overlook the gift in front of you, just be with me [Jesus], just be with your family.

This seems so difficult and challenging to me, but through Jesus I can be Mary. Today I seek to only be. I will be with Jesus and I will be with my family. Even when it doesn’t seem like it could be enough, I will remind myself of the heartache of not following what the Lord asks of me. Yes good came out of those two and half years, because God always brings goodness, but what could have come out of obeying and being satisfied by the Mary mentality. Are you Martha or Mary-is God calling you to be more like Mary too?

images

Legacy of Love and Respect

So a few weeks ago I started watching Parenthood on Netflix, it was around the time my Facebook friends were crying over the series finale I thought if this many people are loving it and are so sad over the ending it must be a good show…well it is! I will not embarrass myself by saying how far I am into the series in only a few short weeks, but lets just say I’m moving right along! A few many episodes back I’m watching Crosby and Jasmine have a mega fight and end their engagement all over how to load the dishwasher. Of course it’s not all about how the dishwasher is being loaded but circles back to her lack of respect for Crosby. For being controlling and expecting him to change and be a different man. (Yes I realize this isn’t real life but bare with me!) It made me think about so many early relationships and marriages I watch from the outside looking in and see the lack of respect that women give to their man. I do NOT have a perfect marriage but one thing I know and live out the best I can is to respect Jesse. God’s word doesn’t tell me to love him, it says to respect him and he is to love me. This is a circle that feeds itself. Men long to be respected and women need to be loved.

This brings me to a relationship that I have so much respect for, a real life relationship that I have had the privilege to witness it lived out and learn from. A relationship that was paused on this earth at least, two weeks ago. It is my grandma and grandpa’s relationship nearly 63 years in the making. My Grandpa said goodbye on this earth and hello to Jesus. This marriage was formed in the war era and blossomed after only a short time of knowing each other. They experienced 5 children, a military career, losing a child, and so much more. But my main memory that I will carry with me and try to live to that example is of the love and respect. He lived out love to his partner, children and grandchildren everyday, even when it wasn’t deserved.

I handle death differently then those that know me might expect for me to, I’m one who processes most things out loud and tends to over share everything. But death is different, I become very reflective and turn with in myself to process. These past couple of weeks I’ve thought so much of the example of marriage, how a man loves a woman-and how Grandma turned that love into respect back to him. I’ve thought on what makes my own marriage work and on my relationship with my children.

After 15 years of marriage I know the importance of these things, most days and live them out, most days. The death of Grandpa and the getting to be apart of the legacy of love has made me re-evaluate the intentionality of my approach to my own relationships.


So the above was written a week ago as we were ready to walk out the door for a marriage retreat. Seriously I started writing while Jesse was in the shower, I was dressed, make up on and ready to hit the road! I didn’t know what to expect at this retreat that is hosted by a local church. We’ve had several friends attend in the past and tell us how great it is and that we should go. This year thanks to the generosity of my in-laws we were able to attend.

What was ironic was the weekend in part could be summed up in my above post. Love your wife, respect your husband. It expounded on what not to do and what to do, of course. I loved to hear that we are on the right path that we are doing this thing called marriage well and as it was intended.

Towards the end of the weekend we were asked to put done our “complaints” of our marriage/partner in order of 10-100 (by 10’s) so the 10 would be something minor and a 100 would be a huge thing. After 5 minutes we looked at each other with mostly a blank page, each of us had a 70 listed but it wasn’t about the other it was something that we wanted to work on together. I said teaching our children about the word more intentionally and he said doing our budget together again. Neither of these things have we fought about or do we intend to fight over them it’s areas to improve together with love and respect.

So ladies respect your husband,  the bible is sound-it works, respect him at all times but by golly respect in public and to your friends. Never talk down about him to his face or behind his back because the words you speak is the attitude that you live out. Build him up even when you don’t think he deserves because he is called to love you even when you don’t deserve to be loved. Men love your wives don’t expect intimacy without loving her emotionally women want to see you invested in them do that little thing you know makes her feel loved, a long hug, reading a book to the kids, letting her shower in peace the intimacy will be soon to follow.

Love and Respect that is the foundation of a marriage, let it be your legacy to your children and grandchildren like it was for me.

The Honor of Gods Call

When I think of my call by God I remember lots of agony, of is this his call, what should it look like, do I hear him or me, am I making the right choice of moving from my spot I’m stuck in? I think at least I have tended to over analyze His call  (I would guess I’m not alone!) God calls each of us uniquely at different times in our lives, not just once but over and over. He calls us to move forward, to stay and grow with only Him, to move on and let go.

God has been calling His people to do things we may not want to do, things we think are too hard for us to accomplish or begin. That is the test of our faith it brings endurance and strength to our relationship with the Lord.

He called Esther a Jewish orphan to a time as this to become a queen, convince a king to change his mind, and save a race of people.

He called David to defeat a giant with only a stone, to become a king when he was the youngest, the runt of the litter even.

He called Saul to become Paul a missionary, a complete 180 from how he started his life.

He called the disciples to leave careers and family to follow Jesus.

He called Jesus to the cross,

He [Jesus] took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will done, not mine.” {Matthew 37-42}

This shows us Jesus begging for another option, another path to take, other than the road to the cross. Yet he knew that the Lord’s will was the plan.

He calls us to follow him with all of our being, to chase after his plans for our lives, to seek him daily not just in the big or hard stuff.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”

This is a passage of scripture that is oh so familiar, it was written by Jeremiah from the Lord to those that had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon-this is a message of encouragement that if we seek him wholeheartedly we will find him and he will reveal those plans.

My greatest desire is to be obedient in my journey with the Lord. There is a situation in my life currently that is beyond difficult. A situation that by me moving on and releasing it to Him alone to fix and repair will paint me to be the problem in some peoples eyes. I have to trust God’s plan and purpose for me, the situation and all those that it affects. One of my greatest struggles is to remember that it isn’t others views of me but the Lord’s view of me that defines who I am. He has been with me through every step of this journey, from the tug to serve to the responsibility of impacting others journeys with Him, to the secrets and changes, the tears of anguish of the next step, to the final release of moving on.

God’s will will be accomplished we can choose to be a help or a hindrance. My choice is to move aside and make it not about what I want but what is best and what will allow room for Him to move. My faith is built upon His rock, my trust anchored in Him so, I know in the depths of my being that His call in this situation to let go and move on will bring a peace and healing. Now that I have obeyed instead of trying to stay and do what I want, to serve as I define.

Love and Blessings

W

Is Your Jesus Hat Crooked Too?

Today my Jesus hat is a little crooked, heck make that the last couple of days weeks! What in the world is a Jesus hat you ask? The Jesus hat is when you are so focused on the Lord, and when its on perfect and straight you are praying for your entire Facebook friends list, sending encouraging text messages, soaking in the presence of the Lord…this hat IS an AWESOME hat to have and to wear that isn’t what this is about.

I’m talking about the crooked hat moments of life when you can’t even bring yourself to pray for your family let alone everyone you know, when you can’t look at a piece of scripture without something inside of you clenching, when you receive those encouraging text messages and you inwardly groan. When your so darn tired of running that you just aren’t sure you can put another foot in front of the other, when satan has attacked at every angle and your hands are in the air surrendered.

Well girls I’m so thankful we are loved by a God who is bigger than all that! A God who has not only run the race but won the race for us! Paul tells us in Philippians that:

“I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

We aren’t running a sprint that is accomplished with a burst of energy but we are running the marathon of life. We need more endurance than the greatest Olympian to ever run! When we run this race we can’t keep looking back, when we do we burn energy that we don’t have to waste. Nor do we have extra energy to look to the left and right we only can look ahead, ahead to the prize that we are called to. When we slow down to look to the left and right we are comparing our journey to those beside us. They have beautiful journeys but when we stop to look we begin to let ourselves wonder why? Why do they have such an amazing house, why do they get to have children, why do they get to have a body that works and is healthy…..why, why, why…..

The Lord has blessed us with our journey, our families, our friends, our neighborhoods for a purpose, and when we let our Jesus hat stay crooked for too long we lose sight our race and our true purpose. Our purpose is to live transparent, authentic Jesus filled lives.

So today I ask Jesus to straighten our hats, to lift up our chins, and heal our battle wounds. Father my heart is weary and I know that others are too so I ask that you give us the strength to continue -the endurance to place another foot down. Father you have called us to live lives that are glorifying to You so let us be purposeful intentional woman of the Lord. Father I ask that you cultivate relationships that honor you, that encourage each other, and transparent so that we can hold each other up when the other is weary.