Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Process

When I was 22, God started pulling me toward Him like never before. A pretty worldly kid, by the grace of God, started work at a wonderful ministry. It was here that I was challenged by God more than ever. It was here that God started to show me what I really was.

I decided at this time to fully surrender myself to God. Although my hearts intent was pure I realized this growing more into the image of God was truly a long process. There was much grace given in this period. Then I prayed that prayer, Lord do whatever it takes for me to be what you want me to be. At this surrender, boy did God really start working hard on me.

Psalm 42:1 (that we founded our Refresh My Soul Ministry on) states, "As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul thirsts for you, Oh God." This is what God started showing me. My soul started to thirst for God. At times I would be quenched by His living water, at other times I would feel like a dry and cracked ground. Desperately needing a downpour of Him.

It was after I had my first child that God started to really show me my true self without Him. Boy did I mourn over this. Without Him, I was vile and filthy. No pure thing was even in my heart. It is so important to see ourselves this way. God moved HUGE in this time. I call this my sack cloth and ashes period.

When He knew I had all I could He transitioned me into the love period. It was during this time that God showed me how much He really loved me despite myself. He was the one working on me. He was the one who purified me through His son. I was just to continue to surrender. He truly lavished His love on me during this time. It was such a sweet time of fellowship.

Today, as I am about to turn 32, I am in a quiet/reflective period. I am not sure what it is all about except for even deeper reflection. I have a new found interest in the classics. I am enjoying the company of George Mueller, Oswald Chambers, and E.M. Bounds. I just thirst for that pursuit of God. As I read of their lives I see a process they had to come through as well. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is a continual moment. A continue work in progress until our last breath. At this moment, God is peeling away layers in this time of quiet and refection. I have grown to enjoy it. I have also learned that as soon as I seem to finally enjoy the period God has me in, He moves me in another one.

I just pray for each one of you today. I so enjoy reflecting on your blogs and words. They inspire me as I lift you up in prayer. I desire to continue to see God moving in each of our lives, growing us up together in Him. Making us all look more like Him as we decrease so He can increase. We are all somewhere in this process so it gives us all something in common. May we continue to spur one another on in Him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Well, we had a huge blast over Thanksgiving and the weekend before. Tony and I ended up at a Weekend to Remember Marriage Retreat. We had a great time together. And good news, we do still love each other! Even more now than ever. :)

My children stayed with their grand-parents and loved it. They had a great time together and did more things in 48 hours than I have ever attempted!

My brother came in with my niece too the day before Thanksgiving and it was so much fun. The whole family was together. That is always nice and rare.

The day after Thanksgiving my bro and I went at the crack of dawn to the after Thanksgiving day shopping and had so much fun. We could not stop laughing. We almost got killed twice-drivers are much more crazy where we were. I got a new camera so I am hoping to post more pics that I take.

We are home and getting back into the swing of things. So I will be blogging really soon. I have more to post but this is all for now. Kids running around and hungry. So, as I leave you I will give you a link to check out a few of our family pics. Liz Power and family are an awesome team of photographers so if you are in the Chattanooga area please check her out! Check out the other pics too while on there. They are such great works of art.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things that I am thankful for! Please remember those things during this holiday. It does have Christian origins. Look it up, it is worth your time.

Just posting to let you all know I will be off this week. I am devoting all my time to family. I get to see many of them this week so I will not be blogging.

Lifting a prayer for you friends! Enjoy this holiday.
Much love,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Live Well-Wednesday


Things are falling into balance pretty well this week.

I am on a three times a week one hour work out plan with my friend, Shannon. She is such a blessing to me. I would not get up to do it if it was not for her. Plus, she is paying for the gym membership so without her I could not even get in. We have a wonderful personal trainer who adopted me alongside my friend. It is a great blessing. I have not seen any real weight loss yet but my clothes seem to be fitting better. The most important thing is I am becoming more healthy and feel more energized.

Eating has been in balance too.

Bible reading and prayer has been pretty balanced too.

The house is coming along in order, I may actually buy some Christmas presents for my children now! Huge steps of improvement have been made.

One other thing is required for balance. I am completely surrendering my writing/speaking to the Lord. He has been pulling me out for right now. I am in a season of quiet. I am really enjoying this time. I am giving this all to Him. He will move when it is time. As for now I am enjoying every moment of the journey. Where He leads I will follow. As for now, it is a period of silence.

I am on my way to improvement and balance but there is an enemy who is seriously attacking my efforts. It seems that I continue to get sick while I am making this commitment. I push through the work outs any way and seem to feel better because of it but just pushing through has been hard. Perseverance is definitely the key right now. Please lift a prayer that things will work together for balance.

Too see how others are doing and to read a really uplifting post go to Darlene's blog.

Marriage, Duel or Dance

There is a local church in our area where I saw this title to the sermon listed. Marriage, Dual or Dance. I think that is such a great title. Marriage can be a dual or a dance. We talked about submission on Marriage Monday this last week. The fact is wives are on the same team as their husbands, though at times marriage can seem like a dual. Those times in my life it has been that way have been times when I did not let my man lead. I am sure glad things are looking more like a dance now.

My husband and I are going to one of those weekend to remember marriage conferences here soon. It will be 48 hours alone with my man. My kids will be watched and loved by their grandparents. All things are in place, yet I am somewhat scared. Not of leaving my children because they will be in good hands. My fear is coming from being alone with my husband. It has been over six years since we have had more than two hours alone together. Now, I am looking at a full weekend. We are so different now then when we were married. I am scared of that. Scared of what he thinks of me now. What if I am just too different now? All those kinds of worries and thoughts swim around my mind. I know they are all thoughts that need to be taken captive. Thoughts that need to be made obedient to Christ. I know this will just be a great step in our marriage.

When I shared my fears with my man he said that we have God in common and that is all that matters. He knows it will be a great time. His confidence sustains me. It will be worth it.

A Great Quote

"Man is looking for better methods. God is looking for better men. Man is God's method"
~E.M. Bounds, The Power of Prayer

The Counterfeit


It has been sixteen days of my forty day journey without a cafe mocha. It was a challenge at first. But it is getting easier. So today I went to Starbucks and decided to get a peppermint Hot Chocolate. The lady who served me said, "Are you not a coffee drinker?" "Because we have a very delicious Peppermint Cafe Mocha with right espresso mix. It is delicious." I just thought, oh yes I know, all too well.

The Peppermint hot chocolate was good but it was not the same thing. It is a counterfeit of the best thing. I think that is very true of how satan tries to entice us with things. For every good thing that God has provided, satan will come up with a counterfeit. Be aware and keep your eyes opened to his schemes.

Through Christ we have the victory and He came to give us life most abundantly. He gave us the best thing not the counterfeit. If you are living with counterfeit then turn around and go after the real thing. God wants nothing less for us but it is a choice to go after it. The abundant life is ours for the taking but it is only ours when we chose to walk in the Spirit and not gratify the desires of our flesh. It is a choice. A choice only each one of us individually can make.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Do Not Forget


"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
~Joshua 24:14-15

What will you choose? Whom will you serve? You cannot serve God and the world. You have to make a whole hearted choice. Have you done that yet? Joshua did. I am saying the same thing as Joshua. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. But overall we will be a household who serves the Lord above all things.

This Sunday is set aside for a special day of prayer for the persecuted church. Would you please remember them? We have it so easy here. I pass by four churches on the way to my own on a Sunday. It is only a ten mile stretch. If I get tired of this one there are plenty to chose from. But the people who God has called to serve in those places where Christian's are persecuted for their beliefs sometimes have to meet secretly. There are many dangers that lie around them. Please do not forget them. God is doing great things through them for a lost world. The least we can do is join together in prayer for them.

When you get a chance go check out the persecution blog. It will move you. So many people are making huge sacrifices for what we have for in the states for free. I admire them greatly. They are the true heroes of the faith. Lord, please never let us forget them. They inspire me to be faithful and keep moving forward. I hope their stories will do the same for you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Live Well-Wednesday

I am just loving these posts by Darlene. Go over and check out here words of encouragement on Living Well. This is filled with meat. God for the soul! It has been a great encouragement to me.

I am doing great. God has given us these bodies to be stewards of and He is teaching me balance. Seriously, the first day I worked out I got into my car and thought I want to keep doing this. It took all that I had in me to return home and not go back into the gym again right at that moment.

I am learning I have a tendency toward an addictive personality. I have to intentionally limit myself from excess. No matter what it is. Food, Books, Mocha's, shopping, weight, whatever it is I have a tendency to go for the excess. It used to be because I was a perfectionist. But God stripped that one away. I am learning to beat my body into submission to Christ like Paul tells us to do in running this race of life.

Everything that seems good is not always good if it is in excess. So in living well, my purpose is to find balance in mind, body, and spirit. I want to live and walk completely submitted to the Holy Spirit. I want to walk in the Spirit on all occasions so I do not fulfill the desires of my flesh. When I submit I do not fall into the sin of excess.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Thanks again Mary for hosting this. Tiny talk can be so funny. There are so many funny things I hear and forget but this is what our theme has been lately with dear sweet four year old.

H: Mom, there are a bunch of humans over there! (Statement while we were out and about.)

H: Mom, will there be many humans there? (Asked when talking about taking sister to art class.)

H: I have 4 humans. (Counting her toy dolls).

I am not sure where she got this from--we are not trekkies or anything. It is interesting anyway and kind of funny.

My oldest says:
Mom, why do we have to go to the doctor and get shots everytime its our birthday?

I thought this was funny because those were my exact thoughts. What a great birthday present!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Marriage Monday-Submission is a Choice Not a Dirty Word


I just love Marriage Monday! Chrysalis is now hosting this once a month. Go to her blog to check out more and to see what others are saying.

I have to do what? Those were my exact thoughts the first time I read Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying Wife." I remember it well. An older woman who took interest in us younger married women got us together for Bible study revolving around this book. This idea of submission was foreign to me. What about being the strong independent female? I did not need any man, let alone one that I would have to submit to. What was this nonsense?

The first chapter was incredible. It focused on my heart. Not changing my man but changing me. Are you kidding? Have you met my husband? I am the only proper one to train him, aren't I?

As you can see I got off on a hard start. But I stuck in there with this group (perhaps it was the peer pressure). Little by little God started to change my heart. It began to soften. It became pliable. God did start to change me. Little by little, bit by bit the hardness of heart and pride of self sufficiency chipped away.

Submission is like a dance. If you have ever seen a partner dance then you know there can only be one leader. If they both try to lead they step all over each other and they do not flow. Marriage is much like that. Ephesians 5 tells us to respect our husbands. We need to respect them enough to allow them to lead us in this dance of life. It is their God-given responsibility. They are the ones who are accountable to God for how they lead. Our job is to respect them. We too will be accountable to God for how we respected them. Our men need our support. They are in the hard, cold world every day all day long. They need to know when they come home that they can come to a safe place where they are loved and respected no matter what.

I used to play Holy Spirit to my husband. I thought it was my job to make sure he was doing all things right. Then one day someone told me that I was not my husband's Holy Spirit. I needed to release him to God. It is God's job to do the changing--not mine. I will never forget those words. When I actually followed through in this way, God did amazing things. My husband did start to change. I have to tell you as soon as I got out of the way, God moved in mighty ways.

I am happy to say it is a joy to submit to my man. It was not always that way though but now I know how to trust God. My man is a gift to me. A God-given gift. God only gives good gifts. So I trust God enough to trust the man he gave me. My sweet man always asks my opinion which is part of the dance. He also makes mistakes and wrong choices. But God uses those to grow us and move us and keep us paired perfectly in this dance of life. Somethings may need more training than others but I love every moment of it-the good and the bad. And what a parallel this is to our dance with God. I love the great mystery of it all.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Thoughts

Thanks for praying everyone. I have made it to the gym two times now and tomorrow will be my third time. I am going for three times a week. I have been making us (our family) some wiser food choices. I have been enjoying it all the way. Now I will not lie though, it has been hard and boy have I wanted to treat myself to a mocha for my hard work! :) But I have not because of the 40 day commitment I made to not do that. It is quite a fast of sorts and the fact that it presents itself to be a harder struggle than I thought just goes to show that I probably had some addictiveness or perhaps even co-dependency on those drinks.

My biggest struggle is now being consistent in the word. That is never really much of an issue for me because I love it so much but this trying to find balance has thrown me off some. Please continue to pray for balance. That is what I am going for. I am also making some progress on the home as well. So we are on a good start.

Also, the publisher I was suppose to hear from by October 31st or sooner, I heard nothing as of yet. This has to be the most discouraging part of the publishing process. I just would love to hear a yes or a no. That is all. I am okay either way. Just the not hearing and the LONG process is killing me. I give that to God though. I am only doing this because He has called me to. Through it I found I really enjoy it. However, I get confused about the next steps. I know confusion is not from Him so I will just move forward with whatever next step He gives in His time.

If you would like to read some great encouraging words for the soul today check out Kathy's blog.She always posts the best stuff. Well, I am lifting a prayer for you all my blog friends. I am off to get some time into the word before the day officially takes off. Enjoy your weekend.
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