Sunday, November 27, 2011

Passing on an Award.

The other day I got a message from a friend saying that she would love to pass on an award that is given to blogs that have less than 200 followers to (in my words) encourage each other to keep on writing!!!


My friends name is Laura Barnes.  A woman who has an incredibly big heart. She is a kindergarten teacher, and the love for her students and passion for children is written all over her shining face. :) If you couldn't all ready tell  by her full home of four lovely boys. Laura's blog is simple and encouraging and worth checking out for a good giggle at the adorable things her students say, the great craft ideas and inspiring moments. 


http://www.kindergartenstoryteller.blogspot.com/


This award is called the Liebster Blog award.
One of the conditions of my receiving this award is that I present it to other bloggers of my choosing.

Two that came to mind instantly, have inspired me through their blog and are also friends dear to my heart. 



The first one is Taigan Bombay.  I have known her for almost 6years, although most of that time it has been through a long distance friendship. The one thing that I absolutely LOVE about Taigan is that her love for  God is raw, real and tangible. She doesn't pretend to be someone she is not and never has. Through that God has used her to encourage me time and time again. Including in starting a blog myself in the first place. For that and many more reasons, I honour her for her openness to write about her own incredible journey to grow in maturity and depth with God. Be encouraged with her blog. 



The second person or blog that I would LOVE to mention is a woman with incredible depth. She writes with amazing conviction of her heritage and discovering more and more who she is and who God says she is. I have known Fanis since high school and the one thing that she has shown is her consistent love for God. A beautiful woman. Enjoy her journey.



Taking a trip back through the trail of this "award" I came across this verse that another amazing blog had posted as encouragement to fellow bloggers. (http://martasponderings.wordpress.com/) Also worth checking out.  

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen”.                          1 Peter 4:9-11


Enjoy reading!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

God is here guiding us.

I look at my world lately... and I am humbled. How did we get here?

Sept.21st. we moved into our new home. We painted it with all the colours that thrill me and bring a feeling of homey comfort. We spent time filling it with pillows that were from dear friends, curtains that contain incredible memories, words that speak blessing over the home and pictures of the years of my girls and the man I love. Most corners are adorned with pretty things that make me smile and remind me of those who are living life with us. I am amazed. We have family that have been with us through thick and thin. Relationships that encourage and challenge and that have hearts to see us continue to be launched forward. We have a church that feeds our spirit and encourages us with the example and the direction on how to live a Godly prospering life.

Today, I was cleaning my bathroom, and I had a revelation. I suddenly became aware of how incredible God is... I know... crazy in the bathroom... washing my floors. Let me back up...

Our first few years of marriage... were at many moments full of bliss... I was married to the man of my dreams and we were filling our lives full of little bundles of pink. But we were struggling. We were going through years of lack. The desperation I felt in my life to be connected to God was as distant as the next few dollars that we needed to buy a loaf of bread. We were making poor decisions, filing our lives with crappy movies, music that burdened the soul. We were forgetting where to find peace. I had settled into the agreement that life will always have hardship and we will always struggle. Then God settled a verse into my hand as out of desperation I poured my heart over His word.

 James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We were definitely being tested and royally failing at that time. We were relying on our own understanding and will. We found ourselves at a crossroads. We had almost hit the bottom. I had a husband that worked hours and hours away from home days on end, we were dis-unified, I was very pregnant and we had a one year old looking at us to lead her and teach her and we only had pennies and dimes collected that we had found under the cushions of the couch to buy a carton of eggs, bread and milk for the week. We were living in a home that had such an angle on the floor that many things disappeared into the corner including our crawling baby, and it didn't matter how hard and long I cleaned, the film of grit, dirt and rust could never be removed and hidden. We were trying and trying and trying. We were not at peace.

We were broken.

Our family needed God.

We made a decision.

Lord let us learn the best lessons, put us through what we need to go through to get the best results and the most growth. So that we may grow and mature. For not just our sake but for the sake of our children and for those who are in our lives.

We were desperate to change to see God move in our lives.

Within months of us giving our hearts and our wills back to God. We saw him move drastically in our lives. We saw favor in Adam's work. We learned to become better stewards of our money. Of our time. We removed an incredible amount of crap from our lives and what we were letting into our minds and spirits. We put the worship music back on. We allowed those in our lives to challenge our thinking.

... although it only took months to see changes... we have been through years of removing and breaking free of the crud. I know we are only starting to grasp all that God has for us. I still at times have a hard time believing it is all real. Material things like a house, curtains, pillows, the list goes on is just that... things. But as I look around I see Gods incredible faithfulness.... our laying down our pride. Embracing the trials.

Life will continue to throw it's curve balls. But something I am gaining incredible revelation on is... that God wants to bless us in the areas where we can make a difference in others lives. If it is within your home. Believe for it... if it's in that perfect job. He desires to give it to you with lavishing loving arms. If it is with many little foot steps running around your feet giggling...

howmuch more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 
Matthew 7:11

Be encouraged today. Be encouraged to live a life humbled and open to God to show you where you can learn and grown. Be encourage to pray against the agreement that life will always be filled with lack. Be encouraged to pray for the path that brings favor and revelation to your calling.

Be encouraged God loves you!!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sBuajPzBTw&feature=mr_meh&list=AV4oVf-d_DwKAodWpSSUnfJbHd7QOfgmCx&lf=list_related&playnext=0

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Learning to listen to God's voice in my life.

That still small voice. That dream. That timely word from someone close to you. That intuitive feeling.

I love that God continues to take us and grow us step by step as we are open to His voice guiding us through life's lessons, trials and just living.

The last close past has been full of lots of opportunities to hear His voice and heed to His leading. One that is standing out loud and clear takes me back a few months ago to a trip up to visit family for the weekend. It was an incredible time. We got to connect and laugh and talk and meet new little additions. I love my family!!! On the Sunday we had planned on going for a hike for our now 5 year olds birthday. We decided to head up to the cliff that looks over the town. To the "Eagles Nest". What a COOL idea!!! And she LOVES being outside. So we headed out loaded up with water ready to go. As we were scaling the cliff with the truck, I was struck with a memory of a vivid dream I had a few weeks before that woke me up startled. I was so upset that I needed to process it out with Adam in the morning. It was horrible, one of those dreams that you wish you never had. It was a dream of one of our girls falling off of a cliff!!!! It caught me off guard and sent cold shivers up my spine as we got higher to the top of the cliff. So I instantly said to the girls we need to pray and set some rules! Adam and I led the girls in a prayer. They each had a chance to pray safety and protection and fun over the family. We all got out of the truck, and each kiddie chose an adult to hold a hand and we started on the hike to find the Eagles Nest. My family when I was little went on this same trek many many times with my Aunt and Uncle. We had looked over the city on that edge many times. On this day we could not find the Eagles Nest. My uncle wandered around looking for it... No where to be found!!! Weird.

 Finally we got to a portion of the top, and we made our highest point on a rock that had a Huge cross standing tall. You know to be honest... it didn't hit how incredible that was until after we ended our hour long hike through the forest looking at adorable little tiny  frogs, red mushrooms and enjoyed precious moments watching our girls make their way exploring and enjoying the fresh air. As I look back on the pictures of our family together at the top of the mountain, I am still brought to tears in awe that God protected our girls.

My prayer as I take that lesson and let it settle into my spirit is that I continue to quiet myself and hear His voice, you never know what you are setting up in protecting your family. God wants us to live in wholeness in joy and in happiness. God wants us to be happy without tragedy!!! What a challenge to choose to lift up every aspect of our lives to Him to lead us.




What has God shown you? What is your protection story? How have you heard His voice in your life?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seasons of Bitter Sweet Moments.

This has been a season of many things.

Full of incredible moment. Time with the girls in non-stop wonder. Looking at their faces reminding me over and over how faithful God is and how blessed I feel to be given the overwhelming privilege to be their mom.

It's been full of lonely moments, a busy season out of our stomping ground, brings us further away from many that we love doing life with, but it has also shown us how God fills us with comfort with His love.

It's had times of tears hashing through doing relationships well and getting on the same page of those we love.

It's been full of anticipation for our new home, and making plans on how we will be able to welcome people into our lives by the use of our home. Plans of how to create a home full of not just the feeling of the Spirit of the Lord but also to develop a home that is evident of God's presence.

It's brought a longing to hold my husbands hand, not just because "that's what happy couples do" but because I genuinely heartfelt love being close to him.

It's brought a remembrance and thankfulness for where we have come from and where we know God will bring us.

It's brought a more defined passion for doing marriage incredibly well and family life well!!!!!

 It's within the bitter sweet moments that I have been able to allow God to stir my spirit and fan the passions of my heart.

What is this season bringing you?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why do I have the driving need to be right?!

Why do I have the driving need to be right?!

Wow the lesson of A lifetime!!! No literally, I think I will be learning this for a lifetime.

Having the need to always be right.
Our internal drive to not just be heard, but for our words to be accepted as "law" and then for the other person or party to bow to the whim of whatever it is. Okay that might be a little harsh..

I feel like this concept is at the forefront of my mind fairly consistently lately, if not just when trying to figure out my motives but also when trying to stand firm in my opinions AND if I am "right" with fighting for the acknowledgement.

As God convicts me and brings me into situations where I get the opportunity to learn,
I want to be known as someone who is:
  1. Open and honest, but willing to be challenged on my motives and opinions. (Babe thank you for being with me through all my learning, and for being open with me, I love life with you, even the hard stuff!!)
  2. Doesn't become bitter from past hurts that will effect present day relationships. (I choose to continue to bring feelings to God for growth in my healing of past relationships. God thank you for always being there to hear my heart and feelings without judgement)
  3. As a mom that never allows my kids thoughts and opinions to be squashed by me. (It's okay that they do things differently than I do even if it isn't as efficient, or, :) it's okay that they think they might want to become a mermaid one day, the childish ways will grow out of them and then I will miss it. *sigh tear* hopefully not too fast)
  4. That doesn't dissolve relationships by trying to prove that I have the edge on the way life should be lived out. (Hard lesson to learn, but I am thankful that God gives me the grace to go through it to hopefully learn how to be a better friend.)

Here's what I want to have as a take away point for my life. The only truth that is absolute is God's. That my  relationships with my husband, children, family and friends are more important to me than me being "right."

I thank God that I don't have to wear that burden!!!

... boy you pray to God for humility... :) we all know how that goes. ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Parenting our children to serve others.



One of my biggest fears as a parent is raising my girls in a way that causes them to be selfish minded. In a way that takes away all of their freedom causing them to fight for their #1, themselves. I want to have children that look outwards to others. Who regard others before themselves. Who freely serve just because they see a need not because they feel obligated or because they want to get something out of it for themselves.

I feel like God is taking me on a journey of how to keep my kids hearts open to me. I am on a journey of figuring out how to parent in such a way that shows my girls that they are incredibly important to me, even more important to me than "myself." Teaching them by example. Like Paul says in his letters follow me as I follow Christ. I want my children to be led by right motives, and to serve others with all of their heart, like mom does.
Yikes, high calling.

To regard someone above yourself. To sacrifice yourself for the sake of another. Is that not biblical? Now I know this is probably funny to some... since...well as a mom don't we all do well EXACTLY that? What I am on a learning curve right now about is ... HOW do I teach my children to embrace loving others while I continue my journey to lead by example? What are the starting points?

Here are a few things that I have been thinking about.

1. Getting into a consistent routine of making sure my kids know that they are FAR more important than any "thing" that we have around us. Example. One of the kids breaks something. The first thing that comes out of my mouth HAS to be. "Is the "thing" more important than you, Kassia? NO!! Kassia you are FAR more valuable to me than anything!!!" (There may be consequences... but that should always be presented as a learning experience not a moment where their value is on the line.)

2. My children's joy should never never be stifled!!!! Even when they are being loud or rambunctious. They need to ALWAYS know that their joy is FIRST important... (As a side note I don't mean happiness, their "happiness" can be fleeting, I am referring to the innocent sparkle that you see in their eyes when they are genuinely having fun.) then I give direction on how they can serve others while they are being silly and playing. "Hey babe, I love that you are having fun and playing, that is sooo cool. Would you be able to do that in a quieter voice so that the adults can talk and have fun too?" This is very difficult to me because my first response tends to come up as a selfish motivation of my comfort first your joy second.  

3. Teaching my kids that in all circumstances loving others is top priority. When feelings are hurt. When they have a toy that is rightfully theirs. The other is always more important than the thing, or selfish ambition. .... and then after that acknowledgement... then we will deal with the circumstance and make things right.



What a journey... as much as this is a parenting tool... it's such a lesson to me to make sure my priorities are right. Am I loving others to the same extent that Jesus loves me. Am I putting others above myself on a consistent basis?




What are you thoughts?
For those moms who have been before me what are somethings you have done to teach your children these things on a daily basis?

Friday, May 13, 2011

"I knew I had too much to live for." by Rachel Jantzi

I am overwhelmed, to be able to share this post with you all!

Rachel, like I said before, I am beyond words to express how thankful I am that you took the time to put the entry together. The way you shared your heart, not only encourages us to embrace life and the moments we are given but it is also an incredible reminder that no one will go through life without trials. We will all go through, difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstances... but man o man having prayer surrounding you, family by your side and choosing not to throw a pity party is vital to getting through it in a such a beautiful and inspirational way!!

 
"I knew I had too much to live for."
by Rachel Jantzi


I'm pretty sure Nicole asked me to write this a month ago and I've been delaying and trying to think of something spiritual or profound to say. All I can say is, I love my family.


I was diagnosed with stage 3 ‘locally advanced inflammatory breast cancer’. Its a very rare, aggressive cancer that most often affects older, African American women. I remember the day we met the oncologist. My mom, mother in law, Dan, Alysia (designated note taker), and I all sat in a room listening. Everyone left while the doctor examined me and when they came back to the room all of their eyes were red. I remember shaking my head and moving my chair to face the door saying ‘if you guys are crying I'm not going to look at you!’ it seemed like they all thought I was going to die. I knew from the beginning that wasn’t going to happen. I knew I had too much to live for. Jack was only 6 months old and wasn’t about to start changing diapers on his own. And Dan only knows how to make one thing in the kitchen: spaghetti . I love them so much and decided I'm not ready to say good bye to anyone for a long time. I haven’t seen any of Europe yet, I don’t know how to surf and I haven’t mastered a souffle yet. There's just too much I want to do in life!!


(Dan and Jack about a month after being diagnosed)

Jack is absolutely the best, cutest, most amazing baby and he was AWESOME motivation. I love teaching him things and watching him learn and grow. I know that I am the best mom for him and gosh darn it I am going to be the best!! I remember at one chemo treatment I was thinking about being a crazy ‘soccer mom’ - I'M SO EXCITED!!! You better believe I will be at all of his hockey/soccer/baseball/whatever games cheering, wearing the team colours and probably bring baked treats for the team after the game!!

I didn’t really start thinking about actually having cancer until one day when I was in the waiting room at radiation. I thought, holy balls, six months ago I had cancer, real life cancer and now I'm fine (almost, new boobs coming early 2012). For me, not focusing on actually ‘having cancer’ was huge. I tried to live as normal of a life as I could during treatment. And I'm so thankful that everyone tried to keep it normal too.


The biggest thing I learned in all of this was to enjoy life. This is lame, but life is short!! I don’t want let days pass by while I do nothing. we made a list of things (I’m into making lists) that we want to do. Some are exciting like visiting New York and Chicago and some are lame like walking with Jack at night. My favourite one is the European cruise we are planning for September!!!! It is going to be EPIC!! That's the name of the ship. Epic. I would never use that word in real life.

Don’t get me wrong, chemo was very hard and having a bilateral mastectomy was not easy either. Having the most amazing family EVER made it bearable. Dan was so great through everything. He really loves me. Even with no hair, no boobs and going through menopause. He was awesome. Thanks Dan, I couldn’t have done it without you.

(Dan and I getting ready for the ‘chemo is over party’)

p.s. thank you so much to anyone and everyone who participated in the fun Friday gifts, called, sent a card, flowers, email and facebook messages. I cant even handle how many people encouraged us throughout all of this. Thank you

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mommy Testimony (My first "blog")

Happy Mothers Day ALL!!!! WOW what an incredible day to celebrate women and mothers!!
I thought it would be a really neat time to re-post a note that I made two years ago about my journey into motherhood. It's amazing to look back to where we have come from and reflect on what all has happened since. I hope you enjoy my first ever "blog."




My mommy testimony!!
by Nicole Brodrecht on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 9:52pm



This is just a note to encourage all you young moms out there!!!



Life as a young mom??? Well it is one fantastic journey. I am so blessed to have been given four beautiful girls to invest my life into. I thank God for always being with me everystep of the way.

Leanna Harmony
 My story begins 6 years ago as a newly married girl on April 12 2003. 19 wonderfully overwhelmed with all brand new experiences and responsibilities, 3mths into our marraige came quicky. Adam walked into the washroom of our little apartment where the "test" was, he looked at it and smiled at me...WE WERE PREGNANT!!!! O my goodness!!! We were not expecting that since we were on the so called birthcontrol pill. The .1% was a surprise. But excited beyond belief we prayed for grace, pulled up our socks and got ready for our thrust into adulthood. Leanna Harmony was born on May 4th 2004.


Cadence Victoria
 Time sped by a year and two weeks later we had our second baby girl Cadence Victoria May 16th 2005. God was so faithful. Times were tough. Adam was working his butt off but we were still not quite "making it" It was amazing though how God was always there. We had a church that brought over a box FULL of food, families who brought over groceries, an anonomous person sent $40 to us each month to help with diapers, our parents give us much support, I never needed to worry. God took care of all our needs. I was also blessed with a womens study group that kept me going and truly helped me understand who I was and who God said I was. I learnt through journaling that God believed in me as he spoke to me out of my heart onto paper. I realized how valuable I was, beautiful I was and how much he loved me. Which at the time I didn't know. Having the mindset of a 19yr old's figure, the body of a new mommy came as an absolute shock. I was also being valued by moms who had been there encouraging me. My favorite passages that I stood on at the time was the one where God tells me that He will not give me any more than I can handle and James 1:2 (consider it pure joy through trials of many kinds...)


Rayne Symphony
 With our third move 16mths later Rayne Symphony was born September 4th 2006. A new job came for Adam in the perfect timing and we found our home church. Stability started flowing over our house as we learnt so many lessons and decided to commit to embrace the trials. Our prayer grew from one of God give us grace to Lord give us the lessons that will produce the best out come. Boy o boy what a crazy prayer. The piles of laundry continued to grow, dished became more overwhelming and there was always a child on my hip but I pressed on taking every moment I could to pull out my journal, my bible and to slide into a hot bubble bath. I started learning of the importance of creating a peaceful, pleasant home full of things that encouraged every sense to enjoy.

 
Kassia Lyric
Yet changes were again in the cards. 16mths from the birth of our third, we had moved into a home of our very own and our last little bundle of pink came. Kassia Lyric was born January 23rd 2008. I had my hands full. Now the kids out numbered me but with my hands tightly grasped onto Gods and my husbands. I have stayed sane. And not just sane but Invigoratedly, tiredly fulfilled.


As my girls grow and my mothering matures, the tears, the laughter, the excitement and the anticipation continue to grow. At times I feel like a child ready to stomp my feet and storm into my room.. and sometimes I do, but with God by my side to turn to, everything is handlable. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I actually believe it now.

I don't know what the future holds or where we will go from here but what I do know is that God is faithful every step of the way. Every circumstance, every moment He wants to take care of me and refresh me and give me a continuous peace.


Be blessed friends!!

Thanks for reading my story.

Love,

Nicole




Since that point on October 19th 2010 after one misscariage and quite a long pregnancy, Shaylee Carmen became part of the Brodrecht Clan. What a blessing. Even though this concludes one season of life. Man am I ever excited to move into the next!!! Thanks for coming along on the journey friends.


Our Future to unfold (Shaylee Carmen)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Motherhood is Unique and God designed. by Diana Wilhelm

I can't think of a better way to head into Mothers Day weekend, then by featuring my own mom.

Behind a great mother is a line of incredible women who set an amazing example. We can always learn something from those who are in our lives.

Thank you mom for setting a beautiful example of motherhood. I am blessed to call you my mom!!




Motherhood is Unique and God designed.

by Diana Wilhelm

Mothers day is around the corner and I was inspired to write about Mothers who have moved and impacted me personally, some unconventional but all motivated by love. I would like to believe that these people were a few who have helped shape me into who I am today.





My Mother, My Mentor



The memories of my mother are happy ones. She always loved and protected her little ones. She always provided the best for her children. She could sew or knit anything, and worked very hard to keep us all looking amazing. She encouraged my Dad to take his little girls out on Daddy dates. She made sure we had holidays at the seaside. She showed me how to be a great mother and wife. I will always be thankful for her influence in my life. She was also an adventurer and an explorer. She and my dad made the decision to move to Canada from England. Alone with four children she boarded an airplane for a new adventure. Meeting my Dad who traveled ahead three months earlier. This was the best decision they ever made.

My mother taught me that family comes first. I never heard the word divorce ever as a child. I always new my mother and Dad were totally devoted and loved one another. What great teachers. ♥







Betty and Bea my Unconventional Mothers



After I was married I moved a distance from my own mom to start a new family. This is where I met my unconventional Mothers, two sisters who were in their senior years. Bob and I were completely accepted into the lives of our wonderful friends. They were such a support to our little family. They had no children of their own but touched the lives of so many. I could not count how many lives they influenced. Their age never stood in the way of being, camp Grannies for girls camp for many years. They were a shoulder for many a homesick girl to cry on. They volunteered for the weekly breakfast club for a nearby school. They spent hours making something beautiful out of gently loved used dolls. They made new clothes for them and they were given to charities. They opened their home to many people some who were not so fortunate. Also had a ministry for teen girls making porcelain dolls. I spent many hours enjoying their company.



These two Mothers taught me how to give without ever getting anything in return. They taught me charity and unconditional love. ♥


The Girls Camp that Betty and Bea have been involved in for YEARS!!


Grandmother Lois my prayer warrior.



Lois Perrin was born in the early Twentieth century 1912 to be exact. This tiny premature baby was holding on to life with all of her might. Her twin didn't make it. She was placed in a box and put in an oven just to keep her warm. This feisty little one was determined to live. God had purpose for her life.



When I got married I was missing my Grandparents. My Grandad had just passed away and I was feeling an empty hole in my heart. The very first day I met this Classy lady she completely and totally took me in as her Granddaughter. I had the honor to spend a month living at her home while she healed from a fall sadly breaking both of her arms. This happened while she was catching a bus to the grocery store. Nothing could stop this lady, she had spunk that I admired. There are many things that I could say about my Grandma Lois but one of the greatest influences on my life was the fact that she prayed. She was a true prayer warrior. She spent many many hours praying for her family, her friends, her country. We always had a peace that no matter what was going on in our life, we were covered everyday with her beautiful prayers. Sadly for us but with the rejoicing of the angels, my Grandmother Lois passed into the arms of her savior, singing Glory songs with all her heart.



My Grandmother Lois taught me how important prayer is. What would this world be without the prayers of Gods people ♥

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Look at the Birds" by Sarah Brown

I can't think of a better way to head into a new season than from hearing such timely wisdom from a passionate young woman. Sarah thank you for taking the time. Beautiful words!


"Look at the Birds"

by Sarah Brown


As a kid, I hardly could have suspected how tight things were financially for my family. My four energetic brothers were bottomless pits at the dinner table and I have to admit I stayed pretty neck-and-neck with how much they could put away. Thanks to thrift stores and hand-me-downs we had enough clothes to keep the laundry full of sweaty socks and muddy jeans. The mud was mostly from playing in a beautiful big yard behind a house that, if not for a God-loving older couple that were radically generous, my parents would have had no hope of moving into.



But my parents were always giving. My mom gave me and my brothers amazing home-made presents on birthdays. My Dad tithed on how much money they spent instead of how much money he earned, because they sometimes had no idea where the much-needed money came from. I suspect Mom followed Jesus’ example and multiplied loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter, though I didn’t ever find 12 baskets left over.



I’m twenty-one now, and my family is in a different place, financially. But my mom and dad are in the same place of generosity. Really, no matter how much money you make, giving generously is always expensive. It always costs us. But, somehow, the price looks smaller as our love for people and trust in God gets larger.



I’m saving for college next year, and certainly don’t feel like I have a lot to give away at this stage in my life. Maybe you don’t either. I’m challenged to give anyways. God offers us both the wisdom to spend wisely and the confidence to give extravagantly! Let’s not worry about not having enough for ourselves or our loved ones or the bills. We do have a responsibility to those things! However, they aren’t an excuse to not be generous. We are far too valuable to God to ever need to worry.



Matthew 6:25-26 “...I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”



So throw away your worrying and get creative! It’s sometimes surprising how doable (and fun!) it is to be more generous. Some ideas that come to mind for me are:

- thoughtful (not necessarily expensive!) gifts

- encouraging cards/emails/FB messages

- a timely phone call or conversation

- give someone a ride--you’re going that direction anyways!

- offer to take someone’s kids for an afternoon or evening for free

- a surprise coffee or chocolate

- a four-second hug

- a memorable photograph



So, passionate woman (or guest reader of the male gender!), how about you? If you’re old enough to read, you’re certainly old enough to have picked up a thing or two about giving. What comes to mind for you? What’s a special gesture of generosity you’ve discovered?



Next time you see a bird fly by, look at it and remember that you have full permission from God to worry as little as it does.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Discovery, Awareness and Laughter. - Susan Dunk

There is wonderful insight in a woman's story of where she has come from and what she has learned. Thank you Susan for meeting women where they are at... You continue to omit the facade of fake opinions and cliche lines and encourage others towards a real attitude of continued maturity and growth.



Discovery, Awareness and Laughter
by Susan Dunk

I got married super young- a month before my 21st birthday. We had our first child, Rebecca Joy, at age 22. When Paul and I decided to have children, we couldn’t wait to be parents. We thought we would be God’s gift to parenting - that we would parent the “right” way and that we knew everything we could possibly know about being great parents. We were after all – 22.




“A man cannot begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.”~Epitecus

I had read one book on the subject and was prepared for anything. Rebecca was born January 25th 1998 and it began. We had no choice, we were in it for real, and there was no handing her back at the end of the day or choosing another line of work. We were stuck. It was then that we realized we had better change our position of “all knowing” to “all about the learning”. We learned by watching great parenting styles and by watching some “OMG-styles”. We learned from reading and we learned mostly from our children, because children don’t come with an instruction manual-it’s “learn as you go!”



It wasn’t “wrong” that I got married at 21 and started a family the next year, it was just stupid…ok unwise. It is rare to find a 21 year old who knows who they are, and I certainly had no idea. Looking back I can see that I was desperately trying to find my identity in my “doing”. From my career at the time or my role as a wife and mother, I dove into the things I did with intense rigor because it was the source of who I was. On the outside I looked fantastic: juggling mom, wife, work; doing, doing, doing. The problem was, at the end of the day my goal to be a great wife, mom, working woman was more about me than those I was meant to love. Not to mention that I constantly compared myself to other women because I was driven to BE the best mom/wife because my worth was so attached to it. When you aren’t the first in your circle to have your child toilet trained-what the heck is wrong with you?!?



Fast forward to today. Paul and I celebrate 15 years next month and we have 3 incredible kids: Rebecca 13, Isaiah 9 and Nijel 4. How did I get from there to here? A lot of fights, a lot of tears, a lot of apologies, a lot of laughter, a lot of fun, and a lot of love. I’ve listed a few things that I’ve learned along the way:



Discovery. Discover who God made you to be. This is not what you “do” for your life but who you are. There is a reason you were born, a reason you look the way you do and your makeup is what it is; from your personality to your preference, discover it and live it. When you live out who you are, you give permission to your children to be who they are.



Awareness. Be aware of what’s going on inside of you and listen for what’s going on for those you love. Certain seasons of our life will require more emphasis than others, and we will see this when we are aware. When you become aware of mistakes you make as a parent, be courageous and repent to your kids. It is by far the single greatest action I have taken with my husband and my kids.



Laughter. Every day laugh. Laugh at yourself. Don’t take things so personally, or yourself so seriously.





To check out more of Susan you can take a look at her and her husbands blog at http://paulandsusan.ca/





Saturday, April 23, 2011

When Everything Is Stripped Away by Paula Castrucci

Thank you Paula! Beatiful!


When Everything Is Stripped Away
by Paula Castrucci


...it's been said that the amount of blows it takes you to blow out your birthday candles equals the amount of boyfriends you have. i should know; i was reminded of this a few weeks ago when i celebrated one. 31 candles are a lot to blow out, i'll have you know, but juggling four boyfriends is much harder.



okay, okay. i don't really have four boyfriends. in fact, i don't even have ... one.


that's right. do the math. 31, and single. alone. by myself. table for one. riding solo. i'm riding solo, i'm riding solo. [this musical interlude has been brought to you by jason derulo].


each year it seems as though more and more people jump on the "we need to find paula a husband" bandwagon. it's not uncommon for me to get an email stating that the sender is 'praying that God sends me a man soon', nor is it uncommon for someone to come up to me and boldly say such things to my face. now, let it be known that i LOOOOOOOVE men [a lot actually - especially when they look like derek morgan from criminal minds or the mcdreamy/steamy combo from greys], but i can't help but wonder something - what do people see when they look at me? someone who is ... missing something?


because that's not what i see. i see a young woman who has traveled the world. i see a 31 year old who lives a life of purpose. i see someone who is about to see yet another dream come true. i see beauty. confidence. humour. compassion. life. and the list goes on.


who do you see when you look in the mirror? do you simply see a role you play? a wife to ____? mom to _____? nurse? teacher etc? is your identity attached to who you know or what you are? or does it go much deeper than that?


you see, as a woman, the world would tell us that by the time we reach a certain age that we should have a husband, a kid or two [or more if we're crazy - just kidding nic], an ability to cook, bake, sew, whatever; and a green thumb to boot. i, on the other hand, am husband-less and kid-less. i can't hem a pair of pants for the life of me, and you will never - i repeat never - see me spending time in a garden. and you know something? i'm okay with that.


now don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to be a wife, or a mom, or to fill any [or every] single one of the roles mentioned in this blog for that matter, but take it from me, ladies - IT'S EQUALLY OKAY if you don't!


here's the thing - and i want you to catch this: our identity shouldn't be found in who we know or what we do.


because truth be told, when everything is stripped away, it's not going to matter whose wife you are, how many kids you have, what you do for a living, or how well you can sing, cook a meal, or whatever else you take pride in. all that's going to matter is who you belong to and who are you are a result: a loved and cherished daughter of the king!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Every day is a treasure.

So if you were to do your day over again what would you do differently?

Tonight I got talked into watching a movie that has bothered me for years. "Ground Hog Day" The concept absolutely drove me nuts... life never progressing. AWFUL... what I realized today is that I never actually finished the movie. I had always turned it off before the main character realized the lesson in the challenge. With one day you can first see the beauty in the world around you, then cherish it for the better.

As I was sitting watching the movie with Adam, he posed a question. If you were to do the day over again what would you do different? What a great question! Instinctively I answered without a breath. I would spend more time with my girls. It fascinated me how fast that those words come out of my mouth. In a season that seems to be a consistent need to accomplish the "list" of priorities. I miss my girls. I see them everyday. I spend "time" with them. But in reality, I am only scratching the surface of actually connecting with them on a heart to heart level.

I am reminded with a simple movie, to take the time to cherish every day and every ordinary simple moment, never wasting a second!

Leanna (our first now almost 7)
So I pose the question to you.

If you were to do your day over what would you do differently?





Here's a short video that beautifully expresses this thought. (Thank you for posting this to set my heart in the right place today Jules.)

Enjoy.




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I learned from my kids. by Ruth Shelley

I am so thrilled to let you meet a dear friend of mine ladies. Ruth Shelley has had a wonderful impact on my life as a young 20year old learning what it is to be a mom. Her heart for her children continues to this day to touch my heart. From living in the same city for a year to from a distance watching the growth of a woman learning to see her children grow up, move out and get married. I see a godly woman who is  learning through the good the bad the joys and the trials. Enjoy this post from her heart.



These last few months I have been contemplating many things about motherhood. I have been missing the many stages of child rearing and growing up with the kids. I think I have been trying to let go because our youngest of 7 has just turned 18 and so now we are no longer the parents of 7 children, but of 7 adults. I have very mixed emotions about all of these changes. I am thrilled that our children have all grown up into wonderful adults. Five of them have married wonderful spouses and we have four beautiful grand daughters. We are anticipating the birth of grand child number five in another month. All of these things are great, but I miss the" being a mom" part of my life. It is different now. They don't need me the same and I am not there primary teacher anymore. Then a thought occurred to me, I was not the only teacher in our midst. Each and every one of my kids taught me a life skill or a life lesson while we were all growing up together. I would like to share with you now the things I learned from my kids and hope that you find encouragement in it. Even in the darkest moments of motherhood, God is using those very experiences to make you into who HE wants you to be!!!




What I learned from my kids:

 

Joshua our number one child

~ Being my first he taught me about beginnings. Firsts!! I also learned my vulnerabilities as a person. I had a little life, a person depending on me for the first time ever. What if all my ideas didn't work? What if I failed? I believed at this time in my "motherhood" that I had all the answers. My children would love and serve the Lord. They would love everybody and adore me. I have learned humility from Joshua. I didn't have all the answers. He has shown me that he had and still has a mind of his own and makes his own decisions whether they be good or bad. I have learned acceptance from that. As for adoring me......I don't think he should. He loves me for sure, but adoration is for his wife and especially for his Lord. I have learned to step down off that "he can only learn from me pedestal" and have chosen to allow God to teach Joshua. One of the biggest things I learned with Joshua is that only God can save ....I can't!!!



Jacob our number two child

~What I learned from Jacob. First of all that there is no such thing as second best. All kids are the best!!! I learned to trust Jesus with Jacob's life. Which later in his life taught me the power of a blessing and the power of a name. I feared for Jacob's life when he was a baby. Two of my friends lost their babies to crib death. So I feared so much that I may loose him that I pushed him away. I loved him, but I didn't give my whole heart to him. Later I realized I robbed him of a blessing. When he was a teenager I wrote him a letter and blessed him and apologized for pulling away from him when he was a baby. There was power in that blessing...in his life and in mine. It was through that experience that I learned God always gives us another chance....always!!!! When I realized the power of the blessing I also realized the power of his name....Jacob which God changed to Israel....His chosen. Jacob is chosen of God.



Priscilla our number three child

~Priscilla has taught me the power of prayer. I had two sons and wanted a daughter, a little girl. So I prayed for a little girl. For the first time I recall, God spoke to my heart and told me he had answered my prayer. I found out I was pregnant and knew right away, it was a girl. Many times during the difficult years of Priscilla's life I would remember that God had given her to us. She was an answer to prayer!! Many of the most amazing lessons I have learned in my Christian walk are because of Priscilla's life. Many answered prayers...many shining spots of gold. She has shown me there is more power in prayer, peace in prayer and comfort in prayer than in any other thing in my life. What a gift to have been given from God.



Amos our number four child

~Amos has taught me about sensitivity and compassion. When Amos was little he was so sensitive to others needs. He was so concerned about people's souls. He would see an accident on the TV news and wonder if they knew the Lord. I didn't have that sensitivity. Amos taught me about it. He was sensitive to wrongdoing and always wanted to make things right. This was sometimes a burden to his heart, but it taught this mother much. The times we apologized to teachers and principals for things he thought about doing...he didn't do them...he thought about doing them!!! These opportunities allowed us times to share our faith. Amos has always been sensitive to God's calling, he has fought it, but that too has shown me the spirit of man pitting against the spirit of God. He has taught me to follow God's leading and prompting or I won't be happy!!



Seth our number five child

~Seth brought us the gift of laughter. He has taught me that I need to laugh. There were so many times in our life when things were so difficult for Steve and I and Seth would come into our room late at night. He would start talking to us, but would end up doing a stand up comedy routine that would have us in stitches. The more we laughed the more he performed. Those were times of relief and respite for Steve and I. Seth brought laughter into our home in many ways....he still does!! God said laughter is like medicine for our soul...He is so right. To cry from laughing so hard is such a gift. Now when I am stressed I want to laugh or watch something funny. Steve and I try to laugh together. Seth our funny gifted son gave us that wonderful gift. Through it we have had great times and find peace. He has taught us much.



Isaac our number six child

~Isaac has taught me about being faithful and consistent. Out of all the kids, Isaac is the most like his dad. His personality is steady and faithful. He is not overly emotional or outgoing, but you can depend on him. He has taught me to stand firm, to be consistent and to follow and believe what I know is in my heart.. If I see a need...meet it, even if it is just picking up something and putting it away for somebody. Isaac always sees the need and faithfully follows through. He has a depth of stability that astounds me, even though he has insecurities and fears. I admire his faithfulness and he has taught me to be unwavering. I have seen his devotion on sport teams, in the family and mostly towards the Lord. His heart is tender with depth. I can still learn from him.



Leah our number seven child

~Leah has taught me that I can be strong in who I am. That I shouldn't worry or care about what others think of me. I am so amazed at the security and confidence that Leah has. She has taught me to be more like her!!! I have been ashamed of my pride and vanity when I am with Leah. She is so very comfortable in her skin and with who she is...both physically and spiritually!! She believes what she believes and speaks up. She has taught me courage. I have learned that I am who I am and who God made me to be and I have accepted that. I have learned to like and try new things because of Leah. She has a courage that I am still trying to develop. She has a boldness that comes from the Lord.






I hope this inspires you all as moms to look at your children and see their uniqueness. To ponder over their personalities and to see how they impact your life. Even the tough moments teach us something about ourselves. Always be teachable and allow the Lord to mold you into the woman that He longs you to be. Those beautiful gifts, your children, that He has entrusted to you can also become the most amazing teacher you will have in your life!!! God Bless!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Working out the kinks.

Sorry everyone for the difficulty of posting comments I am looking into how I can get it up and running more efficiently. How frustrating to take the time to write and not have it posted!!! Been there... it's terribly annoying grrr.

Thanks for working with me!!

Keep on following though, lots to come in the future!!! Really looking forward to take us all on a journey of learning, revelation and encouragement!!

Lots of love
Nicole

Beauty Pressure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I

Check out the link and please join in the discussion....

Whether you are a girl, woman, mother, grandmother... we ALL get hit with this message. We are constantly being bombarded with the pressure that we all need to look perfect, in style, weight even attitude!! In a society that promotes all things are acceptable it builds a VERY specific image that I believe all of us fight against or try to achieve at some point of our lives.

The illusion of a sexual body image is what I believe is at the core. I am one of the first to admit.. I spent years of my teens playing with the line of trying (in the christian circles) to create an  acceptably sexy. I wanted to be thought of as beautiful, but even more than that I wanted to have the "boys" attention and the envy of the "girls". As much as I hated it when it came my way it definitely appeased a hole in my self-esteem. Especially when having a childhood that struggled with acceptance. So why was I looking for acceptance from... people...???!!!!

I believe I absolutely still struggle with this from time to time. Although the fact that I am married and I have a husband that adores me inside and out tames the comparison beast a bit. I still fight the image of somehow even though I have 5 children that I should still have the sexy figure that I did when I was married at 19. I fight the thoughts that even though my husband compliments me... the reality of the difference in my body is evident and I have a hard time hearing it. I am still fighting the acceptance of other people.

I have read a book called Grace Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel and almost right in the beginning it touches on certain life ingrained needs. 1. A secure love, 2. a significant purpose and 3. a strong hope. When we are not be fulfilled by God given principles and understanding we look else where to be fulfilled.

When my oldest was 4 years old she asked Adam when she was getting ready for bed if she could talk to him. She in a matter of  fact, "filling dad in with the days news" proceeded to tell Dad that she didn't think she was beautiful. She said that she doesn't think her face is very lovely and that she would rather have the face and hair of a friend of hers.  Now this is without the massive onslaught of media!!! With his heart aching for his little girl Adam brought Leanna on a journey of trusting what God says is true and that God has place dad in her life to reveal truth too. He let her know that she has an irreplaceable role in this world and that what God develops inside her far outweighs the beauty on the outside. She went to sleep that night knowing that she was irreplaceable and loved by her family and God. Now knowing how a girl thinks, God encouraged me to take a moment and talk about outer beauty also. So the next day I made sure to take a moment with Leanna and I placed her infront of a mirror. What is on the inside is 100% the first priority but I wanted to encourage her to look beyond the negative thoughts of herself and to SEE and pay attention to aspects of herself that God created and that she really likes. Take the attention away from the negatives and really notice special features. She told me that she loves her eyes and that she likes that her lips are pink. Touched my heart.



We all need to take a moment to cherish who God has made us, shining on the inside and then to take a moment and grasp the beauty that each and everyone of us has on the outside also, natural and God given.


Now looking at my girls I not only just want to teach them self worth, and what true beauty is, but I HAVE to teach them!!!! Bringing my self to a place of continued self acceptance and peace in God's love for me is just the beginning.





Here's where I would like the discussion to begin...

1/ What are things that you might be fighting with yourself? What are you doing to overcome it?
2/ What are you doing now to teach your girls what true beauty is?
3/ What have you done and seen the positive and negative of such parenting?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Passionate Women.

"Show me your friends, and I will show you your future."

I am sure many of you have heard that saying before. It touches on the fact that who you surround yourself with will impact where you are going in life.

Those who you are in close contact with has the ability to change your life for the better and for the worst. God has created women in such a way that we innately need others in our lives in order to live a well rounded happy existence. Whether we like to admit it or not. Those who we include in our close circles will be part of the catalyst to where we are going in the future. That's why it's so important to include women who are in different stages and seasons of life. Include women who have a track record of living life to it's fullest and being led by their undying passion for God.

With that in mind, I have asked some women who I absolutely admire different aspect of their life to put together entries on areas where I believe we can gain some beautiful revelation and support for where we are at. In the next few months we will hear from a mother who has 7 grown children and hear what her children have taught her through the years. We will hear from a young adult who is pursuing God with all of her heart for the next stage of life and we will hear from an incredible woman who has come through an amazing trial and hear how she stayed positive and healthy throughout her sickness.

I am so excited to where this blog leads and I pray that through the thoughts, advice and wisdom of other women over the next few months, we will continue to gain revelation to live our womanhood to the fullest!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I AM A WOMAN!

Hello FRIENDS!!!!

I have decided to take this blog to a broader topic. Something that God has been bringing revelation to is who I am as a woman. I would love to bring you on a continued discovery of who I am and what it means to be a woman and what that looks like in all aspects of life. As a WIFE. As a MOTHER. As a DAUGHTER and as a FRIEND. Now looking at my girls it makes my passion for women to live out their God given role with tenacity a real life opportunity for me to live it out. I have 5 incredible ladies who are looking up to me to find out how they should behave act and be. What a responsibility! I love it. Scary! But LOVE IT!!!

WOOHOOO!!!!

Some topics I would love to hit on are...

Not letting the past dictate your present and future.

Image and how to parent our girls with beautiful inner and outward beauty.

What would you like to read about?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Embracing Marriage


 
 
As we come close to another summer there are many weddings on the horizon. I LOVE weddings!!! There is something about two people looking into eachothers eyes with the glimmer of tears confessing their vows to one another that brings goosebumps all over. It's so beautiful. What an incredible day. The day that you get married. Adam and I will have been married for 8 years as of April 12th. We are still babes to many of you who are years ahead of us. But one thing forsure is I am so thankful for the journey that we have been on together already. When I got married at the age of 19. I knew that it wasn't going to be a walk in the park but I also didn't know what real life actually looked like. I didn't realize that there would be significant bumps in the road. That there would be times of heart wrenching moments through out our life together. Although I was purposeful to embrace what I thought was reality. I also embraced the fantasy that Adam would be perfect and that I would be a perfect wife for him. Hahaha! Life is an incredible journey and so is marriage. What I am learning now in year 8 is that the passion that I felt for Adam in the begining in a strange and dynamic way is still the same passion I feel for him now. Even though I now know that he's not perfect and that I have messed up so many moments. God has given us so many revelations on what marriage is and how to do it the best way possible through many avenues. Through others in our lives, through the bible and through worked out issues between us. Here are a couple of things that have brought us to this point where we can say honestly, that we are more in love now than we were 8 years ago.


 #1 Unity Completely connected to eachother no matter what the situation or circumstances might come into play. How do you create unity? With the realization that whatever is going on, being connect is ultimately your #1 priority. Lay down pride and create your precursers. I love you, I want the best for you and I want the best for our marriage. Never say or purpose to bring the other partner down but do everything in your power to lift the other half up, whether it is in a challenge a confrontation or an encouragement. The goal is to create unity, not to make yourself feel better at the expense of the other. Stay as far away from selfishness as possible. Selfishness kills relationships.


#2 Cherish Going beyond just loving someone. Showing your spouse that you truly embrace who they are as a person and what they bring to your life. How do you cherish your spouse? You take the time to think about them. Put yourself in their shoes. Even when you don't feel like it do something special. Laugh with your spouse. Cry with your spouse. Tell them often why you love them and what you like about them in detail. Touch everyday. Kiss everyday, even the days you don't feel like it. Find joy in all the little moments with eachother.


 #3 Passion The way you show your husband or wife that you love them. How do you show passion? Passion is multi-faceted. Keep your physical relationship a priority. Love on eachother often. Be extravagant with your praise and with your challenge. The passion that you show with your spouse when you are happy with them should be the same passion you show when you see something that will effect your relationship negatively. If its a big deal let it be a BIG DEAL! Don't let things fester under the surface. Always deal with issues. (Of course while being in unity and cherishing eachother)


#4 Strength Being the support to your spouse when they are weak. Don't allow yourself to become selfishly motivated when your husband or wife is going through a rough patch. Embrace the saying when you are weak I am strong. Know that we all have times of sadness, depression and fatigue. Stay strong and support by staying in unity (humility), cherishing (supporting and loving) and showing passion (in encouragment and loving challenge). Also acknowlege when you are weak and thank your spouse for being there when you needed them.


#5 Relationships Staying connected to others. A good marriage is never accomplished alone. You are only as strong as those that you are connected too. Surround yourself with those who have the same values and beliefs as you. Have others in your life that you look up to and respect. Be purposeful in asking questions and being open about where you are at even if you are going through hard times. Have those who have a younger relationship in your life. You always have tips you can give ;) and it brings reminders of where you have come from and the memories that you have built together.


#6 Goals Make goals together. Whether its individual goals and desires or family goals. Do it together so you are able to support eachother to see the goals accomplished. Rejoice in every accomplishment. It's a big deal. Show in your actions how important your relationship is by staying aware of eachothers passions and desires.


Finally and most importantly,


 #7 God Belief and trust in God. Knowing that he has all the revelation and support that you need to keep your relationship strong. As you live life together aimed at a higher purpose than yourself you are able to stay away from selfishness and create a beautiful love story. Refinement is always to come. I love embracing what I can to become a better wife to my husband. I am excited to learn more lessons and to gain a greater revelation on what it takes to keep our marriage strong. I encourage all you who are married to keep your marriage strong and a priority. And all you who are looking to get married. Learn lots, practise lots, continue to grow and never listen to the negative opinions on marriage. You can have passionate relationship to last a life time!!! For all you who have been married for longer. I would love to hear you thoughts and advice to add to my 8 years!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friendship.

You know it might just be that time of year... been a long winter and spring just hasn't quite sprung yet. Or possibly a bit of mommy blues from being tired, five sick kids, one of which is still loving mommy time at 4am. Or the fact that my family is knee deep in changes. Whatever it is ... I been feeling a bit... well to be honest. Lonely. And there is lots of reasons why and yet none that really give an excuse to be .... here it is again... "lonely." Maybe it's just me but I hate admitting that I might be a little bit but still tangably noticably... lonely.

I seem to recall a few years back feeling the same thing. I was lacking in the connections that most people need in order to live a fulfilled life. Friendship. With Facebook taking over the phone, I have recently been confronted with the fact that as much as I LOVE being able to connect over the Internet. It's just a tool. That's all, a tool. (I apologize for all you who have already been down this road and gained this specific revelation...bare with me) Although I understand the logistics of FB and the place that is should be with in the connection between people. I still find myself, not taking the time to pick up the phone or booking the time to get together. The convenience seems conclude the decision.

We live in worldview that tends to lift up the power of the excuse. "But you are so busy." "You have your hands full." "You don't have any time." "Priority is career." "You are an independent women." "You can do life on your own." "You don't really need girlfriends." The list could go on and on. But for me at least the reality of needing people in my life stands as clear as day. God has created women in such a way that we are innately made to need the connection with other women. The encouragement of other women in my life has stood the test of time. To have my mother, my mother in-law, women who have been where I am going, those who are living life with me and those who are coming up behind me growing into the beautiful new stages of womanhood. I have no excuse!!!

Now all those that know me... know I love to chat. I love being with people and being able to discuss things, listen, and then chat some more while striving to get to know someone better. The connection time with other women, moms, friends... I think stirs a passion for our generation of women. Which brings me to state the fact that not all ladies will have the same desire for the extent of connection time that I do. But I believe we all need to acknowledge that we need others in our lives and we have to take time to invest in relationships. Without relationships we by default become selfishly minded. It's funny how life can pull you in a direction of solitude if you aren't purposeful.

Being Purposeful! Purposing to plan. Plan months in advance if you need to. And call. Call if only to say Hi. And not just for yourself but for the friendly voice on the other side. You never know. You might just be connecting with someone else who has been feeling the same way, and by you calling you brightened their day. And when it comes down to it... isn't that what it's all about. Not me and my loneliness. But being able to bless another woman by choosing to let them know that their relationship means the world to you.

Be blessed today my friends. Thanks for sticking with me through my journey.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Changes, challenges and trusting in God.

I've never been a big fan of change. Possibly it has something to do with my undying passion to build myself to be an individual of stability and a sense of "home"; paired with an instinct to grasp after the moments that are created within a season of life. Whether that is within a home, an age of my kids or an experience that created an ingrained memory in my mind. CHANGE. It's hard. So when that is paired with the need to trust in God when stepping out and believing that he will put all the pieces together... my head seems as if it might just take a moment to stop registering reality.


Our first home is on the market, and we are waiting "patiently" for it to be sold. So the wait before the change. It's amazing how in the midst of your boat being rocked that there is always a little voice that seems to nag at you trying to shake the foundation that you have been so purposeful to allow God to build. A nagging voice that tells you that you can't trust in the steps that God has lead you in. That you don't have what it takes to make the next move towards the goals and passions you have in life.

God's ways never cease to fascinate me. He never leads you in the path of destruction or shame. So why is it that when I let my guard down that is seems like I start to doubt the heart of my father. So like always, as we head down a path of change and uncertainty, I pull out my bible and try to refocus. I was lead to a verse that encouraged me so much.

Psalm 25
(v.1-3)
To you O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous with out excuse.

(v.10-14) All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity,though it is great. When then is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.

God tells us that he will not put us to shame when we are trusting in him, that he is loving and faithful and that he will bless us with prosperity and our children will inherit what we have built in Gods name.

What a promise.
In light of that I am reminded of another couple verses.

Hebrews 10:35-26 So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Putting your faith and trust in God is not a tall order but it does take practise. Don't worry we all get lots of opportunity to practise it. I am in the midst of another one of those lessons.

So I hold on to those verses knowing that God has our back. That his desire is to see us live abundant, joyful, fulfilled lives, however it looks for each of us.

I choose even though I don't "feel it" to trust in God, to see what has begun finished for his glory not ours.