31 Days of Praise

31 Days of Praise…Day 2

Hi there!  I’m glad you’re back.  For the month of March, I am praising God for the numerous blessings in my life.  Yesterday, I shared with you how thankful I am for the baby steps God gives us to prepare us for our wildest dreams to come true one day.

Today, I’d love to share my cheering section and how fantastic they are!  I’ve always been a people person and I would much rather visit with someone and share ideas with them over food or coffee versus on the phone through text or email.  But, when you are a single Mama of three kids 7 and under, your opportunities for deep and spiritual conversation are limited.  When you do finally have a chance to talk to a mama-friend, we usually end up talking about diapers or the latest sickness going around school.  Also, we moved about 45 minutes from church, so that rules out Wednesday night classes and the Sunday night Single Moms group that I really need!  But, I desperately needed fellowship with other strong, Christian women.  Man, did God blow my mind when He answered my prayers!

I received an email about a year ago that was about taming that out of control to-do list.  I think I laughed out loud at my computer when I read this because I’m not a to-do list maker…mostly I just procrastinate on everything, every single day.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check this book out, so I signed up to do this study online, since that was the only way I was ever going to make it studying the Bible work in the midst of my crazy life.  Before the study even started, this group of women who’ve been studying together for a long time reached out to me as the new one in the group and made me feel completely at home.  As Faith Warriors, we have prayed over numerous situations, studied the Word, held each other accountable, lifted our sisters up when they couldn’t do it themselves, and we love to have fun and be silly.  It’s so ironic to me that when I needed friends so badly, that God would give me friends that were looking for the same thing, just all over the country.

I can without a doubt say that without the love and encouragement of my friends, family, church family, and brothers and sisters in faith, both far and wide, I would not be comfortable with standing up and screaming that I want to be a writer.  This dream would never have left my head if I didn’t know that I could trust God’s workers with the tender parts of my heart.  Today, I praise a good Father who knows what we need and fills that need in only a way He can.

Today, I am asking you to think about someone (or several someones) who need your encouragement.  Maybe you haven’t heard from them in a while because you both got caught up in life.  It might be a single mom or dad who has to play both roles and is feeling weak, insecure and like a failure.  Perhaps, it’s someone who is battling chronic illness or their caretaker.  It doesn’t take that long to call them or text them and say, “I miss you.  I love you.  I’m praying for you right now, at this very moment.”  If you can’t think of someone, pray and ask for God to put someone’s name on your heart that needs to feel His love today.

31 Days of Praise

31 Days of Praise…Day 1

I’m kind of ashamed of how long it has taken me to start this challenge, but as my fellow procrastinators would say…better late than never.

Each day during the month of March, I’m going to share with you something that I am thankful for.  I’d love it if you would also share what you are thankful for.

The first thing that I am so excited to share with you is about baby steps.  Doesn’t that sound strange?  You would think so from a worldly perspective, but I’m so thankful for a Father who doesn’t throw this huge dream of being a writer on me all at once, when I’m not nearly as ready as I need to be.  There are so many things I need to work on before I will be at a place that my life can take that much more added stress.  Even though it’s not God’s timing right now for me to reach that pie-in-the-sky goal, He is faithful, even in the little things.  He will never leave me and He would not put this desire in my heart if He didn’t want me to share my gift with others.  His amazing grace is the BEST story ever told!  I am so glad that He allows me to add a little bit of my story to His.  My heart is overflowing tonight (even though I feel like I’ve been to the moon and back today), because I am confident that God will provide me opportunities to share His love every day.  I just have to open my heart and ask Him to give me His eyes so that I can see who is hurting and needs Jesus.

Do you know what your God-ordained gift is?  Not just something that the world complements you on, but that thing way down deep in your heart that is begging to get out.  You might have already realized what God wants you to do to further His kingdom, but if you haven’t, please pray and ask God for the wisdom to know the difference between your pride and His will.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5  (NIV)

The most terrifying of all responsibilities that we have as Christians is obedience.  Sometimes, I don’t want to put my words out there for all the world to criticize.  But, that’s what my Father asks me to do and He has already gone ahead on the path and He’s calling my name to follow.  Oh, how much of a fool I would be if I didn’t follow Him.  So, I take baby steps at first, to get my balance.  Eventually, I’ll be able to run the race marked out for me.  Either way, God is always with me and is please as long as I’m seeking His face.

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My One Word 2016…FOCUS

My not-so-best strength is procrastination.  I’m great at coming up with an unlimited number of reasons that I can’t start that project right now or do the dishes or clean the bathroom or put the laundry away.  My house is out of control because of this and it makes me crazy.  So, I’m working on getting things organized a little at a time and cleaning out things we don’t need as I go.  I operate in response mode much of the time because I’m so stressed, I don’t have time to think ahead.

I’m confident that God doesn’t want me living life that way, so I bought a planner and I’ve been praying about my word for 2016 and it seems focus is a fantastic way to describe what I need to do.  But, I’m being urged by the Holy Spirit to flesh it out more than that.

Fun family time is something we lack due to being constantly busy and doing something that needs to be addressed right now.  Planning ahead means including these things in the schedule for the day.

Organization in my home and at work.  I’m a mess when things are all over the place or I can’t find something.  I feel more productive and better about myself when I know where things are and there isn’t a bunch of clutter all over the place.

Challenge myself to do things that are outside of my comfort zone.  Whether it’s sharing the good news, talking to a stranger, finding some where I can volunteer or just writing for 5 minutes every single day.  At the end of 2016, I do NOT want to be in the same place as I am right now.

Using the gifts He gave me and sharing the gospel with the world is my purpose in life.  Not to sit here and barely make ends meet or wonder if I’m messing up my kids, but to put the stress away when we come in the door.

Scripture is the best place to read about our Father and learn what He wants from us and for us. I need a closer relationship with Him in order to survive and thrive in this fallen world.  That means reading the Bible all the way through and reading it every day and adding for guidance on how to apply it.

In the next few weeks and months, I hope to have lots of progress to share.  Will you join me?  Will you share your word for the year

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Five Minute Friday…Celebrate

Celebrate.

Today, I celebrate the fact that I am making forward steps in my goal of being a writer.  Not just someone who captions photos well or says nice things on someone’s facebook page, but a real writer.

I’m not sure where this adventure will end, but I know it’s going to start with Jesus.  It has been a conversation that He and I have been having for a long time.  Longer than I’d like to admit…but He’s pushing.  I’m part of an online Bible Study and the women are fabulous and encouraging and insanely helpful.  Especially when your biggest accomplishment in life is how well you procrastinate (ha!).

I know that God gave me a gift and it would not be honoring Him if I didn’t share it with others.  If I can bring people to know Jesus because of it, then that will be AMAZING!  The Holy Spirit has been bringing the “go and make disciples” verses to my attention so many times in the last couple of years.  Maybe this is my “How”.

Now, I just need an idea on what to write.  My story isn’t done yet.