Monday, October 31, 2016

Plugged Ears

Over the weekend I finally caved. I have been battling a cold for several weeks now and with that has come issues with my ear. I'm the type of person who will try every home remedy before I begrudgingly succumb to asking for help. There are several reasons for that- mainly because being a SAHM of 3 kiddos, that I also homeschool, doesn't allow much time for things like that. Anyone who has had to cart their entourage with them while attempting to see a doctor can relate.

Any of these scenarios are completely possible during a medical visit:

1. Children (usually of the male gender) decide that the waiting room is a great place to play WWF wrestling.
2. Children decide to ask incessant and often socially inappropriate questions about other patrons in the room...Very. Loudly.
3. Children take advantage of the fact that mom has an encyclopedia's (that's a big collection of books that increases your knowledge of things for those of you that are of the "pre-Google" age) amount of paperwork to fill out even though none of your information has changed since the last time you were there. (To be fair, the last time I went in everything is paperless now so this may be a thing of the past. SO relieved.) They know that mom is distracted, so insert any possible scenario of trouble here.
4. Children decide to open every drawer/container/push every button possible in the room. With that comes a constant mind-numbing "What's that? What does that do? What is this for?? Why??" (Imagine me banging my head against a wall....)

Any of this sound familiar? If so...I salute you, you brave souls. I've been there too. We may laugh about it now, but it is certainly not any sort of humorous when you know you have to do it again.

So now you may understand a little bit of my reluctance to go to the doctor. And that's just scratching the surface.

So this time I waited. I kept thinking, "It's not really that bad. It'll get better." But I didn't know what was brewing inside. I waited until I couldn't take another millisecond of misery. But because I waited, it was the weekend when I finally caved. And because it was the weekend, my doctor's clinic was closed. Ugh. So off to Urgent Care I went. Why you ask? Well I would've braved it through the weekend, except that I woke up that morning with my ear COMPLETELY CLOGGED. I couldn't hear a thing! Talk about an absolutely horrible sensation! So off I went (kidless BTW since the hubs was home-it was almost like a vacation...).

Turns out, it was just wax. So gross. I'm definitely not cut out for medical care. Ick.

It had built up more quickly than usual since I've not been feeling well. But fortunately, it was an easy fix. But it wasn't the most pleasant experience. Not only was it uncomfortable to have my ear irrigated, but after it was cleared I had the worst vertigo I've ever experienced. It was absolutely horrible.

But it turns out there was no infection (which is good), but there is a lot of irritation in it that can turn to infection if I don't monitor and take care of it.

So why am I sharing this with you (if you're still with me and I haven't completely grossed you out yet)?

Well as I thought about this whole thing, it occurred to me that it mirrors something in our own lives.


I don't know about you, but I don't like to be wrong about things....and I certainly don't like being "called out" on the ugly parts of my life. As a recovering people-pleaser, there is nothing more devastating to my pride than being wrong and having it pointed out. (A shot in the gut.) But that's exactly what needs to happen when there is a recurring sin condition in our lives.

Just like I'm often too stubborn to go to the doc, we are often too prideful to recognize and admit sin in our own lives. We try everything we can to cover it up or fix it on our own. But the reality is, is that we can't. If we were able to fix it ourselves, there would've been no need for Christ to come.

But, there are also times that we need our brothers/sisters in Christ to lovingly call us out on some things. We may be blinded to our sin. We may not be aware that the problem goes deeper than we can see. That's why we have each other. We are to have one another's back- constantly praying for one another and lovingly pointing each other to our Savior. Sometimes the process of sanctification (becoming like Christ) is messy and uncomfortable. In order to walk away from our sin, we have to "die to self". Friends...that's painful no matter what it is. And often times there may be a domino effect of consequences that comes from the choices we've made. Those can and usually are painful as well and they may even leave scars.

However, the final result is worth all of that. To be like Christ. To be in communion with Him. To be living a life that brings Him glory and is aligned with His will. There is nothing greater. Nothing at all. And it's worth every painful, gut-wrenching, soul-bearing strip that falls away during the process.

So if you're walking in sin- stop. Turn around and run back to Christ. The journey may be long and difficult, but I guarantee you it's way better than the path you're on. And sweet friend, you don't have to do it on your own. Lean into Jesus and ask the Church (His hands and feet) to walk it with you. He's waiting for you. He loves you more than anyone else ever has or could. So don't leave your ears plugged, don't resist the help that's there. The problem will just get deeper and worse with time and you will be that much farther away from your loving, merciful, forgiving, adoring Savior. True joy and relief is found only in Him. So don't wait :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Heaviness of the Heart

There are some days that my heart hurts so deeply that I can hardly move. Have you ever felt that way?

Today is one of those days.

I feel things deeply. When someone hurts, especially someone close to me, or I hurt someone else it often times consumes me. I am a people-pleaser by nature, so this kind of thing is like mortally wounding to someone like me. (All y'all who are not people-pleasers, you have no idea. Really. So tragic...)

I can't rest until things are resolved. They hang over me like a dark saturated storm cloud, ready to burst at the seams, with monsoon-like rains. Ugh. It really is tortuous.

Today, my heart is so heavy. Friends and family are battling different things, our world is in a state of chaos, and if I see one more election post I think I may vomit. If I allow myself to sit and ponder these things, the tears begin to well up and I feel like I'm going to hyperventilate. I just wish I could fix it all.

But I have to remember that it's not my job to fix it. And I can't. I have to force myself to remember that there's only one that can fix what is broken. And I have to remember that it may not always be in the way that I think is best. That's a lot to swallow sometimes. I know I'm not alone in that either. I mean, I've seen people completely walk away from Christ because they couldn't stomach that. That's where faith comes in.

Faith that I don't know everything, but He does.
Faith that I can't see everything, but He can.
Faith that I don't understand the why, but He does.
Faith that what I deem as "good and right" is ultimately from a broken perspective, but His isn't.

I also have to remember that it shouldn't be my aim to please "man" more than pleasing God. He is the one that I am living for. He is the one that my heart ultimately seeks to please. He also created me. He knows that I have a passion to love others, but that I'm limited in my ability to spread myself as much as I would like.

So sometimes, all I can do is pray. Pray that His will is done. Pray that, if I can't step in, someone else will. Pray that I will ultimately seek Him when I am feeling overwhelmed and ill equipped.

Things will continue to be broken, this side of eternity. I know that. But I also know what is on the other side is well worth the waiting and the sifting through the brokenness to get there. And I'm thankful that I don't have to go at it alone.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Line in the Sand

I usually don't comment or blog about any "hot topic" items. I feel that there's not a lot of point in it. Anytime you "argue" on social media you're missing a huge part of communication- the nonverbal side. Things get misinterpreted, people get heated, and things are said that normally wouldn't be said in a face-to-face conversation. Also, when anyone posts an opinion, someone is always offended and then the aforementioned argument ensues. There is no tolerance for opinions anymore. If you don't agree with someone, people can't "agree to disagree" very well at all. It's sad really. Because you know what??

We are never all going to agree on every single thing. Period.

Shocking, I know. But it's the truth. We were all created differently and we all perceive things differently. It's a hard concept for some to wrap their minds around, which is why I think these conversations are usually best left for a physical meeting....but I digress.

After wrestling with whether or not to speak up, I decided to weigh in on one particular subject though, because I feel like, out of all the "issues" out there, it may be the most important one.

No matter what side of the coin you are on here, I beg of you to please hear me out. And let me preface this by saying, these "opinions" come from the bottom of my heart, unprejudiced, and with as much love as I can muster. I realize that not all of you will agree with my line of thinking. And that's ok. I just hope that you can put all presuppositions aside for a moment and truly consider these words.

I've seen quite a bit of arguments and conversations revolving around the issue of abortion. (Please don't discount me now. Keep going b/c this isn't just about this procedure.) But you know what? I think the real issue goes way deeper than just a procedure. I mean, we are ultimately talking about the value of life. Allow me to explain.

I know some of you are already digging into your bag of arguments to refute whatever it is I have to say from this point on. Please...I beg of you to wait. Really listen and consider. Then, if you still draw the same conclusion, by all means reach away.

At the core, we really are addressing the question "What value do we place on human life?". I realize some of you may not see it that way, but allow me to explain. You see, when we say yes to abortion or any procedure that will end a life (especially a life where they cannot speak up for themselves), we are essentially saying that that particular life didn't have as much value as another. If you truly think about that, you would have to agree. When we make a choice to end a life because it was not wanted, it was the result of a tragic crime, or because there are imperfections we are saying "I determine what is 'worthy' of living or dying. And the other life in this scenario is of more value." Friends...that is a dangerously slippery slope that cannot be reversed once ridden and will undoubtedly end in disasters of epic proportions. I mean, who are any of us to determine who is worthy of life or not??? Last I checked, none of us is

Think of it this way. If you couldn't speak for yourself, would you want the value of your life determined by someone else who can't see the future, who is just as broken as you are, and who doesn't love you unconditionally and WAY more than you deserve? I think not. I know I wouldn't.

But that's exactly what we're doing when we condone any practice that takes the innocent life of a child. And when we say yes to that....where does it stop? Where do you draw the line?

It starts small. But before you know it, the snowball effect has happened and there is absolutely no standard anymore. And we will have mass chaos and disorder. Nothing will be morally wrong anymore.

You may think this to be an overreaction of sorts. But allow me to refresh your memory. This has happened before. You may remember a man named Adolf Hitler and a time in history referred to as The Holocaust?? Let me clarify. I am NOT in any way, shape, or form labeling ANYONE as Hitler. Not. At. All. I only refer to this because at the core- the issue is the same one: the value of life. He took it upon himself to determine what lives were worthy to remain and what ones were not. And it started with little things. I mean no one follows a mass genocidal leader right off the bat. That's just crazy talk. It starts with little things- things that sound "right" initially. Things that can be justified and made sense of. But then it grows and before you know it thousands of lives are being ended because they don't "measure up". (Fun fact: The Holocaust claimed 6,000,000 lives. We've had over 45,000,000 abortions in our country alone since Roe v. Wade. Let that one soak in for a second. Sobering, isn't it?)

Guys, when we start giving wiggle room on the value of life, we've opened up the gates to this and it's really hard to close them.

ALL life is valuable and there is no one here on this beloved planet that is worthy of saying otherwise. No one. You didn't create life. I didn't create life. So it's not our responsibility to determine the standard of value for life.

Those of you that are pro-choice may not see it that way, because more often than not you are looking at the whole issue through the individual lens of a case by case scenario. There's always going to be a scenario that is difficult- no matter what issue we are talking about. Rape, for example, is atrocious. I can't even imagine the horror that the victims experience there. But the life that comes out of that is not guilty of the crime. They didn't choose to be the result of that. And who says that their life is of less value than the mother's? That is NOT ours to determine. Period.

You may think that I don't care about those that carry unwanted pregnancies or that have been through trauma. But actually, I care more deeply than you realize. In fact, I would argue that those that are pro-life care even more. You see, I have yet to meet or hear of someone, who after having an abortion, has not regretted it even a little. Often times, the trauma of the abortion is just as bad, if not worse, than the rape or trauma itself. You can not have an abortion without any repercussions or consequences from that too. Just ask anyone who's had it done. So when you say that you support the woman's right to choose...have you thought of what will happen to her after the procedure- especially if she isn't warned about it? And I guarantee you even if she is, no one can fully prepare you for that kind of grief- especially someone who has never experienced it themselves. So you say that you are thinking of the mother when you argue for the right to choose. But are you? Is that really what is best for her? I don't think it is. Statistics even prove that it is not.

I'm sorry this is longer than normal, but it literally breaks my heart to see what is happening here. Life is valuable. Period. There's no other standard than that. Yes, our world is broken. No, it is not free of hardship. Yes, horrific things happen. But we have to draw a line in the stand or we will hit the point of no return. I'm afraid we may have already passed it. (Especially since we seem to value wildlife more than human life. We have no problem protecting the eggs-still 'unborn' young BTW- of an endangered species but we don't bat an eye at killing off the unborn of our own species. Am I the only one seeing the irony and horror in that???) But that is why we need to dialogue about this. We need to know and think about all of it. And we need to encourage one another to value life....all life. And then we need to help those that walk through the difficult circumstances. I think we could all agree that things would be better if we put our energy and focus on that instead.

So you have a choice. You can go ahead and place your head back in the sand and your fingers in your ears and hum to drown out the 'noise'. Or we can join forces, help those in need, and fight for the value of life. If we don't....well...I don't even want to imagine it.

"If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society." 
Joni Eareckson Tada

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Honor of Cancer Awareness...

I have the incredible privilege of guest posting over at Blogs by Christian Women today!! Because October is "cancer awareness" month, I got asked and then selected to guest post over there- specifically related to my battle with cancer. I'm honored to share a bit about what God has showed me and taught me throughout the years. I hope you will jump on over here:  and check it out! Thanks so much!

Monday, October 17, 2016

I wanted to share something exciting!

We hear a lot about what "the Church" is doing wrong these days. It seems like so much focus is on the negative. And don't get me wrong, there are definitely things that are just downright broken there (which is not surprising since it's full of broken people but...I digress). Yes, these things are good to address and it's good to remind one another when things are gettin' a lil' crazy. But it's also good to talk about the times when the Church is acting like "the Church"....and doing it well.

Why, you ask?

Well, first of all it gives the glory to Christ- that He so richly deserves. And second, it's encouraging! When we hear positive things, it spurs us to want to do the same. So buckle your seat belts and get ready to hear about what God is doing!

I have seen God move in some absolutely incredible ways over this last year. I mean, I'm speechless (and that's saying something- no comments husband ;) ) But I wanted to specifically highlight a particular group that I have the privilege of being a part of.

It all started this last spring. A friend of mine and I were preparing to speak at a women's conference that we had organized at our church facility. As I was prepping for it, I felt like God was tugging at my heart to start a women's group that would meet in my home. Now, I had put together bible studies and stuff before, but this time I felt like He was telling me to do something different. To be honest, I wasn't really sure what it would look like. I just knew that He wanted me to start something that would:
1. encourage women
2. break down the internal barriers we have built up (i.e. denominations, prejudices, etc.)
3. would be a safe place for women to be open, honest, and loved.

God gave me an idea that instead of doing a study per se, to just have a topic or some questions to have an open discussion about each time we met. The intent behind it was to really have some great discussions that would encourage one another, point each other to Christ, but also make it so that if you missed a week or two you wouldn't be "behind". I even started a FB group so that we could continue the discussions/encouragements there when we weren't meeting.

But honestly....I thought it would fail. Really.

I remember feeling so strongly that I was supposed to do this...but not really believing there would be any interest.

But God had other plans.

Friends....I am sitting here today in complete awe and have been blown away time and time again at what God is doing through this little group. Women from all kinds of backgrounds, ages, and denominations are gathering together every other week to point one another to Christ. And you know what??? He. Is. Moving....BIG TIME!!! And let me tell you, there is no more exciting place to be than right smack in the middle of God's will.

Not only has this group brought encouragement to me and the women who are part of it, but it is growing into more groups! Women are feeling free to be real and honest, without judgement, to share their struggles and hurts, knowing they will be loved and encouraged when they do. Some women just sit and take it all in while others share. It's been great to have them there and then to hear their thoughts outside of the gatherings. Guys...this is now also birthing into more intimate one-on-one discipleship relationships between generations!!

Only God could do this. And I am so humbly grateful to be a part of it.

So why do I share this?

Please don't misinterpret this for one second. I don't share this to boast in anything or to take credit for even an ounce of this. Not. At. All. Because this was NOT of all. This was God- absolutely and completely Him.

I share this for two reasons:

1. When you do something out of obedience to God, even if you think it will fail, He will show up. And it will rock your socks off!! So it's always better to obey....I mean He has a much better perspective anyways so we should just trust that. He is God afterall ;)

2. When the Church acts and loves like Christ, BIG things happen! And God is glorified!

It is still so amazing to me that something so simple is so effective. I think sometimes we get caught up in programs and events (not that they are bad at all- they're not) and we forget that simplicity works too. In fact, often times it works better.

Another's so rewarding to be honest. Yes, it can be scary to expose yourself and risk rejection and hurt. But it's worth it when you experience healing, encouragement, and love. Plus, when we're honest it not only points to Christ in a big way, but it opens the eyes and hearts of others to do the same. Is it always easy? No. But things that cost us something are often the most valuable.

So I hope this encourages you. Take a risk. Be honest with someone. Show love like Christ. Obey, even if it seems crazy. And let's be the Church and spread this Jesus-love like wildfire!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This Has to Stop...

I don't know about you, but as I peruse through social media I am bombarded with political mumbo jumbo. It's as if there's an election or something coming... ;) But in all seriousness, it's crazy out there. I'm not exactly sure if this is 100% accurate, but it seems like every 2 out of 3 posts is politically motivated. As annoying as that is, what's even more aggravating, and makes me want to smack my forehead in utter frustration and shame, is how the Church is joining the political hissy fit. It's bad enough that everyone else feels the need to be a part of this junior high level whine-fest. But it's even worse to hear and see those claiming to be Christ followers front and center in the action.

It has to yesterday.

Let me let you in on a little're not helping. In fact, you're hindering...a lot.

Let me ask you this. Has any one of your politically motivated posts convinced someone of a point, changed an opinion, or better yet pointed to Christ and the gospel??? I'm willing to bet big bucks the answer is a resounding no. So why are you doing it?

After much contemplation of this questions, I can see only one answer.


You want to be right. You want to be heard and affirmed that you are right. Bottom line- it's selfishly motivated.

How do I know this? Because of what I see.

I see "christians" excusing behavior as the "lesser of two evils" to further their own agenda. I also see them lashing out violently at those they would call a brother/sister in Christ simply because they disagree on who should run our country. I also see people threatening to end relationships over a difference of opinion. I mean....seriously?!?

People...THIS IS WHAT THE ENEMY WANTS!!! I'm sure that he is frequenting his diabolical laugh, as he dances around with glee every time someone who "claims" Christ opens their mouth in this way. He wants division. He wants dissension. He thrives when the Church takes their eyes off of their Savior and begins to tear down walls and throw ugly daggers within.

Church, please hear me....this has to stop.

The enemy knows that the best way to destroy something is from within. And we are falling like dim-witted prey right into his carefully constructed trap. So consider this your red flag.

You see, when our own agenda becomes front and center, we fall into the role of the enemy's pawn. Our goal should always be to make disciples for Jesus and to love like He did/does- not to push our own agenda and consequently alienate people from the Church. Every time we argue and tear one another down, we are fueling the fire for those who are already skeptical of this whole "Jesus thing". People see the fighting, the arguing, the name-calling (it's uncanny how adults mirror their junior high selves), and the absolute wretchedness that goes on. All it does it make them turn tail and run away faster than a kid who just poked a skunk.

So before you say/post anything, I beg of you to ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it necessary?
2. Will it point someone to Christ?
3. Will it do more harm than good?
4. Does it promote the love of Christ?

If you answer "no" to any of those yourself (and everyone else) a favor and don't say/post it. Just don't. Yes, it may be a huge struggle to keep your mouth shut. (Believe me I can relate.) But this whole thing is bigger than just you and I. Would you want to stand before God one day and try to explain why you felt the need to promote your agenda instead of reaching out to love those that He allowed His Son to be brutally murdered for? I'm thinking not. I know I don't.

So let's stop bickering and throwing virtual (or literal) punches and let's be the Church. Does that mean we all will agree on everything? Absolutely not. And actually, that can show the Gospel even more- if we agree to disagree in love. And when we disagree let's intentionally pray together- for our nation, for our leaders, and for each other. I guarantee you, that will have more positive affect than any other tactic.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Singing Hallelujah

So I heard a song on my Pandora station this morning. It's one of those songs that hits you out of nowhere like a kamikaze deer that runs into your car. 

The song was "Hallelujah" by Bethany Dillon. It's a beautiful song, but it's the chorus that really stuck out to me.

"Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
I'll choose to sing hallelujah"

Oh, God....I so desperately want that to be my heart. I want to be able to say that whatever comes...whatever is put in front of me....that I will sing hallelujah with confidence through it. But since I started this whole #honestymovement thing, I guess I should be completely truthful here...

That scares me.

Ok, so I have been down this road before...and that has been my heart cry as I've walked through some really tough stuff. But to be totally truthful, there are things that could happen that are a whole lot scarier to me then what I've already experienced. Now I'm not some hypocondriatic crazy person that dwells on all the "what ifs". But people, I have see close friends and family walk through some really tough doors and it has left me questioning myself at times with:

"Could I cling to my faith like that?"

"What would I do if that was me?"

There's are days where I don't like the answers that come floating back. The uncertainty is terrifying. And if my faith was in anything else....that would be my final answer.

But praise God it's not.

Sweet friends...I'm SO grateful that my faith is in the One True God....and that no matter what life throws at me....He won't leave me. There may be times that He allows things that feel like it's more than I can handle. But that's when I need to recognize my incredible need for Him. He will not abandon me. He won't abandon you either. After all, He paid an unmatchable price for you and I. He won't ever let go because His love for us is greater than anything else in this world.

But why don't we hear of this type of honesty more often? When did this false standard develop that says that in order for you to be a Christ follower, you have to have it all together/you're not allowed to doubt/you have to slap on a happy face and quote cheesy "christianese" and pretend that everything is fine???  You know, there are times in this journey that a mustard-seed sized faith is all we can muster. Life and circumstances can feel as if we are drowning and the pain is just too much to bear. But all we need to do is keep our eyes on our precious Savior. That's enough. He's enough. It's in those moments that we need to cry out to Him, immerse ourselves in truth, and cling to Him with all we have. And here's a newsflash for you: we can't do this on our own. We need Christ. So it's ok to admit that we don't have it all together....that our faith sometimes waivers in the storm....that sometimes the weight is too much. It's in those moments that our absolute desperate need for Christ is radiated. We just need to recognize it and lean into Him. 

We, as the Church, have the opportunity to be His hands and feet when our brothers/sisters are suffering. We need to be watchful for it. Intentional. We need to come alongside (and sometimes help carry) and run a stretch of this life journey together. 

And you know what? It's because of all that, that I can know with confidence that whatever comes...I can sing hallelujah. Sometimes my hallelujah may be shaky, messy, and weak. But that's why my heart cry is "help me to sing hallelujah". I know that no matter what comes, good or bad, I can't do it without Him. I'm so thankful for His grace and that He cares more than I could ever imagine. 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Honesty. Wait...what???


That's a word that has become subjective in our culture. I feel like it has become a thing of the past...a foreign concept, if you will. Allow me to explain.

Social media. Need I say more??? This is the epitome of dishonesty. I mean, come on, all of us have that picture-perfect photo of the family that you desperately wanted that makes you look like the all-american happy family. You know the one- where everyone's smiling lovingly at one another even though seconds before it was all, "you need to smile or else.....stop picking your nose and eating it......don't hit your sister with that.....look like you love each other!!!" Yeah...that one.

Or the before and after pictures of your completed DIY project that gets like 1,000 likes and makes you look like an expert DIYer. Except that the whole story is that you started it, screwed it up, started it again, screwed it up yet again, proceeded to throw stuff at it and yell and scream, took a deep breath and attempted it yet a third time where you had mild success. And then you used Instagram to edit the photo so it looked better than it looks in person. Yeah...that one.

Or the endless amount of photos of all the things you do each day successfully- making it look like you have it all together. When really you post those because the truth is too ugly to even admit.

That's just on social media. I haven't even addressed honesty face-to-face.

How many of us, when asked "How are you?", automatically respond with "Fine."??? Every. Single. Time. Even if we are barely holding it together.

And don't even get me started on the leadership of our country. But the most ironic thing is, is that we KNOW they are lying....they KNOW that we KNOW that they are lying....yet they still do it....and we allow it. Conundrum.

So...why? Why do we shy away from honesty? Why would we rather stick our heads in the sand of delusion than let people in on our reality?


Fear trumps everything else. We fear being judged, shunned, bullied, pointed at,

Do you know what's interesting though? Fear is nothing new. In fact, it started way back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve chose to believe the lie of the enemy and after acting on it- fear entered into the world. They feared God's response to their sin so much that they tried to hide from Him. And the cycle has continued for generations since.

But now, instead of fearing God, we fear man. We are more afraid of someone else's opinion of us, that we cower to the demands of our culture. We don't dare even comprehend letting down our guard or facade because then people will see our junk and the dance will be over.

But is that really a bad thing?

I mean, keeping up appearances is exhausting isn't it?? Live any sort of lie long enough and it will zap any energy you have left in you. But what if we could be liberated from that? What if we were.....honest??

I know, crazy right? But what if we were? What if alongside of our social media posts we included the "real story" behind the photo? What if we opened up about our struggles with those around us? What would that look like?


You see, if we stop fearing man and start living for God instead, radical things happen. Now I'm not saying that you have to air your dirty laundry with everyone you cross paths with...please don't. That would be just...awkward. But let's stop living a fake life and start sharing our struggles along with our joys. Did you know that most people have junk they are dealing with too? What if you are dealing with the same thing someone else is but you both feel like you're alone in it?? Guess what? YOU'RE NOT!! But we have to be willing to be vulnerable in order for this to work. And it has to start somewhere.

So I will break the ice and be honest first. (Which if you've read previous posts of mine, you'll know I've already got that ball rollin'...) But here it goes:

-I hate mornings. I sleep in almost every morning. I'm not pleasant when I wake up in the morning. Fact. Basically....don't ask me anything until I've ingested at least 3/4 of my coffee.
-I don't make my kids breakfast every morning. They are old enough to make their own. So they do. They don't starve. They don't feel less loved. They are actually learning to be independent...which is the point of parenting really. So, you're welcome kids.
-I love watching TV/movies. Yep...I do. In fact, there are days that I would love nothing more than to lay in bed all day and do nothing else but that. True story. Not ashamed.
-I'm not great at cleaning. I have cobwebs...I rarely wash my windows....I don't mop my floor as much as I should. Truth.
-I don't have all the answers and sometimes I get angry at God. (GASP) And you know what? That's ok. God CREATED emotions. He gets it. Besides...we ALL get angry at Him sometimes. If you say you don''re lying. And news flash...He knows it all anyways. Just because I'm angry doesn't mean it changes my faith at all. I don't always understand what He is doing and that frustrates me sometimes. But I always get over myself and He's really good at being patient when I'm throwing a tantrum.

So that's a start. I've decided that I'm not afraid of honesty anymore because the chances that it can help someone are much more worth my exposure than the risk of judgement. So I hope you will join with me in this "honesty movement". Let's be real with one another. And let's use it to openly share the Gospel. Because you know what? Showing our weaknesses actually make Christ and His grace radiate even more brightly. I pray wholeheartedly that through our brokenness, He is glorified.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Forced Irrigation

My family and I live on an organic crop farm. I didn't grow up on a farm though. In fact, I was far from being a "farm girl" (My husband would argue that I still am!). However, I've learned a lot from being submersed in farm country. Granted, I still have much to learn, but I have picked up on some things.

One of those things is the importance of hydration. I know, I know....rocket science, right? I'm aware that everyone knows this simple fact. I did too, even before I moved here. But the thought entered my mind, this morning, thinking specifically about how grateful I am that we haven't had to worry about irrigating our crops. We've almost had too much rain this year. But I do have family members, that are farmers out west, that often have to irrigate their farms. Rain doesn't always come when they need it to, so they are forced to irrigate. 

I thought about that. Forced irrigation. If you don't do it, you run the risk of losing your crops. Water is vital for the survival of whatever you are trying to produce. It's not's pertinent.

I then was reflecting on this recent season in my life, which has been difficult. And not in a way that I anticipated either. 

One of my favorite songs is by Hillsong United entitled "Oceans". There's a section in the song that says this:

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior"

That's a really bold statement if you think about it. When you sing that, you're asking God to lead you somewhere that will test your faith. I really pondered that, after hearing this song. Earlier this summer, I made that my heart's cry. Because I want to know Him in ways that I never have before. I even sensed that there may be something big and even ominous coming a couple months ago and began to brace myself for what that may bring.

But I didn't expect this.

Friends, I've battled cancer (multiple times), we've been through job loss, we lost our home, death of loved ones, etc.

But this....this is different.

What is it? Menopause.

Now you may laugh. I would've....before. But now that I'm in it, I realize why women dread this. I'm sure it would've been bad enough on it's own, but add to it the fact that it was chemically induced and you open up a whole new can of worms. I'm 33 years old (pretty's hard to remember these days) and am forcibly undergoing a massive change that affects every. single. part. of my being. We are talking physical, emotional, and even spiritual. It's my own personal hell. (Pardon my french but there's no better way to describe it.)

Allow me to give you a tiny glimpse into what I mean. Things may appear to be fine. But without warning, I can go from feeling like I can conquer the world to being bed-ridden, feeling like I'm going to die- with the snap of my fingers. And that's just the tip of it.

I didn't expect this.

This is not what I braced myself for. I thought for sure it was going to be something else. But not this.

God is definitely taking me "deeper than my feet could ever wander". The worst part has been the emotional and spiritual battle that takes place continually.

You see, I came out of a season of growth and closeness with my Savior. I experienced Him in new ways this last spring/summer...and it was absolutely amazing. I know now though, that He was prepping me for what was to come.

Now I'm in a season where there are days that I can barely crack open my Bible. It's not all the time...but it's more than I would want it to be. But this morning, a thought hit me.

Forced irrigation.

When we are in these dry seasons- where it seems like our soul is parched almost to the point of death- we need forced irrigation.

Our emotions lie to us sometimes- especially when you know that something is "broken". Mine have been lying to me a lot lately. So it's even more important to immerse myself in His presence....even if I feel like I don't want to.

Music has been an incredible blessing to me, especially in these moments. When I don't have the strength to read His words to me....I hear them in song. And even though relief may not immediately come, I continue to expose and root myself in truth. It's sort of along the lines of the "fake it 'till you make it" mentality.

I KNOW that if I force myself to hear truth it WILL nourish my depleted soul. And it does :)

So sweet friend...if you're walking a similar dry path, forcibly immerse yourself in truth! It will satisfy your soul even before you realize it :) And remember that this is only a season. It will change and you will know Him in a way you didn't before. I'm thankful for that...even if I don't feel like it right now.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" 1 Cor.12:9

Monday, October 3, 2016

A sweet find!

So I know this is not a "normal" type post for me, but I really wanted to share my fun find with you all! I was invited to try this thing called "StitchFix" recently. I have to admit, I was incredibly skeptic at first. The thought of buying clothes online was terrifying to me. I always have to try stuff on, so I thought for sure this would be a complete bomb. However, the outcome truly surprised me!

Basically, you fill out this profile and a stylist picks out 5 items, based on what they think you would like, and they send them to you. You try on what they sent, keep the things you loved, and send back the things you didn't. You are only charged for the things you kept then.

Even though I was very hesitant, I decided to give 'er a whirl anyway. Although 95% of this whole process was shockingly positive, there were a couple things that I would have to categorize in the "con" column. Allow me to explain.

-I got to design a Pinterest board of my dream closet :) (You can attach the board to your profile so they can see what you "pinned".)
-I got to schedule when I wanted my package. It was like Christmas morning when it came! So exciting!
-The stylist included things that I really would wear! I was shocked!
-The most shocking ALL FIT!! I couldn't believe it! They nailed my size on the head!
-I didn't have to drag my children shopping with me. Bonus!
-The quality of the clothes was top notch.
-Even though I chose not to keep the jeans this time, they were a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I totally get why people buy designer. I just couldn't do it this time.

-The items were a bit on the pricey side for me. Now, hear me out. I am cheap when it comes to clothes. I LOVE clothes...but love a bargain just as much ;) These items were not outrageously priced, as they were designer clothes I believe. I was actually surprised at how affordable they really were. For example, the shirt I kept was priced in the $30 range. Not bad. I'm just cheap lol.
-They sent me 2 of the same style shirt. I was a little disappointed that the variety wasn't there, but they ask for feedback and give an option for that as well! So I'm confident my next box will be different :)

Here's the shirt I kept:

I really like it and have worn it several times already! 

So all in all, yes I will do it again sometime! Hoping it's soon! If you're interested, here's a link for you to get started.

So I know this isn't my normal type of encouragement...but hey...every girl needs a little something for herself sometimes, right? And men....they do it for you too! Plus it could be a great gift for someone! I mean everyone loves mail, right?? ;) I hope your experience is as good as mine! Happy "Stitching"!