Monday, January 28, 2013

Open her heart...and mine. - Suzie Eller

I think the past few days, God may have been speaking directly to my heart. Ok, I know he does every day...but I'll explain in a minute why I phrased this the way I did.

The scripture today from the Proverbs 31 devotional is:

"One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart and she accepted what Paul was saying." Acts 16:14 (NLT)

I've always loved the scripture about Lydia, she always seemed like one of those women you'd see at church, older and respected but still so open to the will and heart of God, that she didn't ever feel embarrassed to be rocked by Him.

Now Suzie talks about praying for the heart if others, but also for yourself...that your heart would be changed.

She uses some amazing imagery, she talks about the soil of your heart and that of your friends. Yesterday, Pastor Dave talked about the parable of the seeds and the different soils of the heart (he also happened to reference a scripture that made quite an impact in my ladies group Ezekiel 36:26-27)

Those of you that have read all my posts probably think I'm a little bit of a hippie. You wouldn't be wrong. I live in an apartment, have a compost bin and grow my own veggies many years. I recycle as much as I can, try to live as in harmony with God's earth as I can. (I still shave though lol)

These past two days, God has put wording and reading in front of me that speaks to the planter/cultivator in me. Pastor Dave made a good point that ties so directly to this particular devotion that it makes me a little speechless (only a little). He said that when he was younger he thought the parable in Luke was talking about four different people, that you could be one or the other...but as he's studied it more and more over his years, he started to realize that this particular story could be one heart in different times. I feel like, that's part of what Suzie is saying.

We need to pray for others, intercede for them. Especially those that haven't ever known the relationship and grace of God. But we can't forget to remember to pray that our own heart REMAINS open and soft for God to use. I know that as Christians we can get a hardened heart. We already know it all. Why do we need to listen? Freedom in Christ - check! Read the entire Bible - check! Prayer time - check! (I like to call this rubbing the lamp when you have a hardened heart, you're not really're telling your genie what you want. Might make you laugh, but it totally happens) We're good Christians because we have all of that down. Now, I'm not saying that you aren't if that's your routine, I'm just saying that if we don't check our heart and pray for it to be soft soil for God, all those become just that - a routine. Going through the motions because we know that what we should do.

Tell me though, where's your love for others during all that? That's why we HAVE to not only pray for change in others, but for change in ourselves. I can't speak for you, but I know I am way too selfish and self centered to keep on loving and not judging people if I don't first pray that God would change my heart to His.

Father, thank you for speaking to my heart. For reminding me of my need to fully put my heart and will in you and what you would have for me. Thank you for placing my friends and family on my heart so that I would bring them to you, trusting them to you. Continue to change and shape my heart and keep it fertile soil for your love.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scripture for today...

There isn't a devotional today from Proverbs31, so I'm sharing the KLove encouraging word.

For you have been called to live in
freedom, my brothers and sisters.
But don't use your freedom to
satisfy your sinful nature. Instead,
use your freedom to serve one
another in love

~ Galatians 5:13, NLT

Use your freedom to serve one another in love. It's something that we hear a lot as Christians. Do we really know what it means though...and when it comes down to it, do we really pick apart scripture to give ourselves a way out of simply loving one another?

I'm told time and again from "older more mature Christians" that we have every right to judge each other. (Ok, so maybe they say "hold each other accountable, but I don't see it done with love and that to me equals judgment of the worst kind)

You see, to me, to really serve in love is such a self sacrifice and commitment to putting your feelings aside. Do I feel like doing this for someone else? Maybe not...and if that's the feeling with which I do something I probably won't do it very well and will serv e out of spite...not love.

We are free in fact that we can turn running from what God wants for our lives and do exactly the opposite. But this one little bit of scripture encourages us to do what we're meant to do. Reminds us that yes, we are free from life eternally separate from God and that we need to use our freedom, not for us, but for Him...for everything He would have us do...and that all comes down to serving on another in LOVE. (Which I happen to think is God's favorite word)

I not saying I'm good at this by any means, just thought I'd share...and promise you that I'm going to try to be better. Pray that God gives me His will and His strength, because I can't do it on my own. And that's okay.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Just for the record...

It's not easy giving yourself a shot in the leg. In fact, I can't do it on my own.

My husband is a life saver and I really don't know what I'd do without this caring and loving man.

Don't Yield Your Mind Turf - Julie Gillies

The scripture this morning kind of confused me a bit. Let me share it and then we'll talk.

"Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in
the way." Proverbs 23:19 (ESV)

Ok, so maybe I needed to read as bit more for this to make sense, but in the beginning all I could think was that I have been trying so hard hear God's voice over the past few weeks that I've gotten frustrated.

But then I read part of this devotional that made me feel...bad. Her struggle was with a negative mind set and remembering every wrong that had been done to her. So, she never really forgave. Though I do struggle with rehashing old wounds at times ( ok, a lot more than I'd like to really admit when it comes to certain people), I struggle more with the next thing that she says.

Its not just the negative thoughts and holding on to what some else has done...its the fear and worry that I let bombard my mind. The past three weeks have been frustrating and times nothing makes sense and no matter what I do, nothing changes for the better...

I should know better. I know that all this worry and fear can't do anything to help me or the situations I'm facing...and that all that fear can only come one lying manipulative place. Of course Satan wants me afraid, even though in my fear I'll turn to God, I still allow my mind to be plagued...and that give him a little foot hold. One I really can't afford to give him.

My husband, my child and my home do not need that added stress...but yet there it is as I struggle and constantly matter how much I may say I'm not thinking about it. I need to trust God in what His answer to my prayers and petitions are...because honestly...there's nothing more powerful against this fear and worry than to cut it off and give that to Him.

Head over to and sign up for their daily along with me and then let me know what you think in the comments. Lets discuss what we hear from God through these other women being open and honest with us.

Dear Father, I'm so sorry I pull away when times get rough. I'm sorry that I let that worry and fear separate me from you and give Satan that space to work that he so desperately craves in my life. Please give me your strength and comfort as I walk through these trials that you have planned and that you are with me every step of the way. Help me to reach out to the faith of the people you have pit in my life for this specific reason. Thank you for the blessing of walking these roads with people and You.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Weeks of Storms

I was listening to the radio the other day and someone was talking...and suddenly his words jumped out at me.

"Sometimes God redeems us from our struggles, but sometimes He redeems us through our struggles." 

I can't tell you who it was that was talking or what he was talking about...probably a song. I just know that this is something that struck me particularly hard this week. (Yes, my dear reader, I know it's only Wednesday...)

The last two weeks have been emotional and hard to deal with. There are so many times that I think, " I wish Mom were here." and I lay down on my bed and find myself holding the edge of the blanket she crocheted while pregnant with me. All I could think about was what she thought while she was pregnant...the things she worried about. 

B is always telling me that there's no use in worrying. God has all of this in His plan and blesses every trial we go through. While I KNOW this in my heart, it's really hard to act this. 

I was told that I have developed Gestational Diabetes. Of course, I wondered what I had done to make this happen (so, I did all the reading, I know it's just something where the hormones from pregnancy keep my body fro using the insulin I produce...DOES NOT MAKE SENSE) 

I started really watching what I eat, beating my head in about all the things that I need to eat. Stressing myself...and B keeps saying, it'll all be ok. 

Yesterday, the diabetes center decided I needed to have insulin ordered. Yep, needles and vials of insulin. Now, I do not want to be on insulin. There are so many side effects to both using the insulin and having higher blood sugar. How am I supposed to choose? And I know she never had to make this choice...yet here I am wanting nothing more than to talk it over with her. I never said it made sense. LOL 

Yesterday my doctor's office also made an appointment for a c-section...which I do not want at all. Little G is already pretty big and if I go into labor, they're fine with delivering him naturally...but if I don't go into labor by March 8th, on the 9th, they'll be doing a C-Section because he will be too big to deliver naturally. I have reservations about all this. 

So...what does all this have to do with anything? I felt I really didn't have anyone to talk to (other than B...he's already picking up my slack and working) I realized I have friends here, but no one that I feel like I can just call and say, "I need a distraction." I feel like I'm imposing on people and their time. But then...I thought back to that quote I heard. 

I'm meant to lean fully on God...through He redeems me through these struggles. I know God uses what He does in my life to bless both me and other people. It's like somehow I get in this little selfish bubble and forget that my purpose here is to praise Him and love His creation. 

I don't know how He'll use this...honestly NO clue (I guess that's part of it?) but I do know that He is refining and redeeming me through all that is going on. Breaking parts that need to be broken and giving me strength in parts that I really need to be working on. 

Though I would prefer less crying...geeze. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

7 - Jen Hatmaker ...and adventure with some amazing women!

It's been about two weeks since we started. Oh.My.Goodness.

When God wants you on your knees, He puts you there. And it can be extremely uncomfortable.

7 is quite the experiment to do, especially with the women I'm doing it with. Them women's group that usually met on Tuesday nights has changed a bit. We have a Facebook group (how techno savy of us!), and we have long distance members! Before we ended our last study together, we decided that we wanted to be more than just sitting on the couch praying and learning...we wanted to be out doing things for the "widows and orphans". No more being inactive in our faith...we needed to get out like Jesus did.

We made plans to go to the Rescue Mission and Rescue the Children. They're super busy (especially since we chose the BEST time of know around Thanksgiving and Christmas. LOL)

In comes 7 by Jen Hatmaker. This is not a book like any other study I've ever done...and I LOVE it. It's real, written in a way I totally love. She's a little crazy (um, hello, we ALL ARE) and some of the diary entries are abruptly different and seem to have little emotional space in them, but are filled with a lot of facts. (I know, that may not make sense, read the book)

This book takes 7 different areas that we, as Americans, have so much excess it's not even funny! The first? Food. For 7 months, we'll pick 7 staples in each category and not use anything else. Well, being the preggo in the group, this was looking like it might be a little harder.

In walks some crazy news. I NEED to change my eating habits even more for reasons very important to my pregnancy. Ok, God, stop pushing. Obviously, He had a plan for me even more changing that I had even thought necessary. I'm thankful that He has be right where he wants me this early in this study...even if it's been ridiculously emotional and made me feel so much life I've failed. I don't think that's His point...I think he just wants me back in His plan.

So, most of the other ladies have picked 7 items to eat...for a month. Many have chicken, spinach and whole wheat on their list of 7. Today, I will be making my final list, it will probably be more than 7, but it will be just as restrictive. I've been eating restricted for a while now, and even when we started I cut out a  lot of the things that B and I were still I'm cutting down even further.

Walk with me...with us, through this amazing journey. It's amazing what just the first chapter has done in just a week.

I may not have made this all make sense in this post...but I will be sharing as I go. Next month? Clothes. Oh my! :)

When I Stray - Lynn Cowell

I've been reading, but not sharing...and maybe that's what's been keeping me agitated and not plugged in. (No matter how few people actually read this thing, it's good to still get it out there right?)

Today's Daily Dose comes from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement For Today email. (as most of mine do :) )

The verse is, "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them." Hosea 11:4 (NIV)

Lynn Cowell goes on to talk about her continual struggles. As we all have. Though one particular thing she said sticks in my heart, her comment about how God pursues matter how many times we may turn away.

When working through the Bible in a year (ok, it was longer for us) and working through Multiply, one of the things that always caught me was how faithful God was. No matter how often the Israelites or even the Christians in the New Testament might have gone the wrong way, He was right there to correct them and to catch them when they turned back to Him.

She says, "God has a lot of experience when it comes to drawing back runaways." That is so true. How often have I not really run away in the way a small child does, but in the rebelious "I don't need you, I've got this" kind of way? 

I know that a big part of the issues and failure I've been feeling is the fact that I haven't made the space in my days that I really need to with God. I know everyone has this issue sometimes...but I feel like I've been doing it and trying to juggle all my priorities instead of being quiet and knowing that He is God. That is plan is perfect and SO much better than my own. No matter how many times I hear it, I have that stubbornness. 

I may read, but do I make the time I need to to fellowship, worship...make that sacrifice that I need to? Nope. I trying to be better about this. Maybe I just need a little more prayer. :) 

I think I may have to start posting more, at least the once a day that I need to keep myself "sharing" so I'm intentionally making the time I need to...not just reading and letting it just go in one ear and out the other. 

Abba, I'm so thankful that you pursue me. The loving way you will always lead me back to you. In all situations. When I've done what I shouldn't, or when I'm just not spending the time I need to. Thank you for that unconditional heart breaking love.

8 Weeks and Counting

So, quite a few months ago, I found out that I was carrying our first little one.

Now, he's coming so fast and I can't really even put in to words how unprepared I feel. I know that I've had to slow down (which I DO NOT LIKE) and I know I've had a lot going on. This week is 32 weeks (8 months) My doctor says that they can say that he'll make it to 36 weeks, but the will not guarantee up to 40 weeks. Ok, duh, but that is 4 weeks shorter than I've been planning for!

We are as ready as we will ever be to have him here. There are time and money concerns now. I know B is trying to figure out juggling all that. His room is not ready. How did this all come up so quickly?

Anyone else have this issue? I've been told that it drags by...but I'm really not feeling that!

On to different stuff ;)

In the next 8 weeks I will be a little quiet (not like that's a surprise or unexpected with the lack of posts lately) I do have plans to at least get up the Christmas presents that I made this past year and the plans for this coming Christmas (yes, I'm already planning that, c'mon, CONTROL freak! ;) )

Am I ready for a change? I think so. Do I know how to make that change? Nope! lol

I need a little...quiet time I think. And maybe time that the little guy isn't pushing all my organs around ;)

Coming up? The first Daily Dose in...A LONG TIME. Also, a post about 7, the book my ladies group is reading. I really wish Blogger had a better mobile app for Blackberry -_-

In a minute guys! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

First post of the New Year

I'm getting a slow start to this new year. So much going on, so much busy time.

I see people making lists of things they want to get done this year. For me, it's a little different. With Little G on his way in as little as 6 weeks (time FLIES) I feel like I can't really plan to do stuff...other than try to get his room ready.

So, I guess, my list is really more nesting than anything. I know things that I want to start doing again that I just lost track of. I'm currently trying to update my Cozi so I can have my working recipe tracker, menu and shopping list with my to do lists. We'll see.

Today may not make too much sense. I'm trying to power through a really weird headache that I've had since about 1am. Tension is more of it than anything else, but when you can only sleep on your side, there aren't many options to help you. I did give in and lay on my back for a bit, Little G let me know how much he hates that. LOL

So, here you go. My first post of the New Year. More to come, I swear...maybe after a nap. :)