My Heart, His Words

Let the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your site, O Lord.


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I Believe In You

I am honored to be contributing over at 5 minutes for Faith today.
I’m talking about believing in our children & teaching them to believe.
I hope you’ll join me…

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A Limitless God

Lately I’ve been made very aware of my limits: my need for them & my lack of them.

I’m a natural-born pleaser, with a heart to help others anyway and anytime I can.  While that’s typically viewed as a good thing, I’ve struggled my whole life with setting limits for myself in this area.  I typically end up over-committing & hitting a wall of exhaustion, burn-out, and then feeling like a failure when either I have to “quit” something, or press through it & end up making myself ill in the process.

God’s really been dealing with me in this area for the past few years, but more so this past month. I’d like to share with you a few of the things God’s been teaching me through His Word and through a few trusted people He’s placed in my life.

  • I’m not superwoman; I need God & I need others

    • Laugh if you must, but friend, this is a big struggle of mine! Maybe it’s my pride, or maybe it’s my need to feel accomplished, but I struggle asking for help!
    • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says that two are better than one because when one falls down, the other is there to pick them up! I’m slowly learning to relinquish control & ask for help from a trusted source. Whether it’s a physical task, or just listening, we all need help sometimes. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need someone!
  • The harder I work, the more tired I am & the more mistakes I make

    • I consistently set a goal, then work towards it until it’s completed.  While this is another great quality, I don’t always do it in a balanced manner. I tend to push myself to the point of exhaustion, feeling like I have to fully complete the task before I can stop.
    • Isaiah 30:15 says that our strength comes from settling down & completely depending on God. Instead of pushing myself beyond my limit, God’s asking me to stop, lay everything aside & sit with Him in order to receive needed rest.
  • The more self-limitations I accept, the more limitless God becomes

    • I’ve said it in previous posts, when I’m weakest, He is strongest, yet I struggle to embrace it! When I hit my limits, I often cry out in frustration & yet forge ahead instead of letting go & realizing “He’s got this!”
    • 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God’s power is made perfect in weakness!! Only when I feel I have nothing left, can He fill me up again-with all of Him & none of me.  It’s in my emptiness that I find completeness in Him!

I may have limits, but God does not.

our limits his limitlessnessThe challenge is whether we will relinquish control in order to embrace the unknown; the very mystery of God. {Colossians 2:2}

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three word wednesday


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He Is More Than Enough

Have you ever been given a task, yet weren’t given all the tools required to complete the task? It leaves you feeling lost & sometimes like a failure waiting to happen, doesn’t it?

Well, I have good news for you, friend!  That dream God has placed on your heart? The dream you’re stepping out in faith to grasp? The dream your heart skips a beat for, when you talk about it?  Well, that God-given dream, has been given to you along with all the tools you need to make it happen!  Wanna know how I can be so confident of this?  Ephesians 3:20

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I realize this verse gets used a lot when we’re trying to encourage others to pray earnestly for a miracle, but that doesn’t mean it loses it’s power; it simply means we need to claim it in our own lives!

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes it’s a lot easier for me to read this verse and claim it for someone else, than it is to claim it for my own life!

However, there are some scriptures we can cling to when we’re looking at our dreams & asking God “how?”

  • God’s blessings know no limits or bounds; His gifts are perfect & without end. {James 1:17}
  • You were born for such a time as this; He gave this dream to YOU alone. {Esther 4:14}
  • Those He calls, He qualifies. {Romans 8:30}
  • He has your dream in His hands & He’ll work everything out perfectly {Jeremiah 29:11}
  • It may take time, but  your dream WILL be beautiful! {Ecclesiastes 3:11}

Rest assured, my friend, our God is able to do MORE than we could ever hope or imagine!

If He birthed your dream, He will breathe life into & anoint your dream… all in His perfect time!

Dream On!

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link up time
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God showed up to my mess…

No-Matter-What-by-Holley-GerthI really needed to hear these priceless words from my friend Holley, as I read today’s post, “When You Mess Up“.

You see, after getting a speeding ticket & being required to go to 16 hours of traffic school this weekend I’ve been frustrated & angry with myself.  I kept saying, “what a waste of time”, when my time is so limited.

Well, God showed up to my traffic class.  No, the instructor wasn’t a pastor and I certainly wasn’t surrounded by Christians, nonetheless, God showed up & met me in the thick of my mess.

It was through my traffic school “Stress” exercise that God whispered to my angry self, “rest, child, rest”.  The exercise required me to write down several things that are causing stress in my life, then list how the stress is affecting me & follow that up with how I can eliminate the stress from my life.

The stress exercise required honesty, not for anyone else but myself. As I looked at the words on my paper, it became glaringly obvious that while I’d put myself in this mess, that God in His mercy, was meeting me in my mess & wanting to set me free.  The choice is mine as to whether I will walk in my new found freedom, or if I will resort to those old ugly habits that bind me from the inside out.

Being a Type-A personality, my struggle isn’t being motivated, instead, my struggle is to REST. With an already full schedule, I struggle saying no. I struggle setting healthy boundaries with my schedule & I struggle delegating as I attempt to use my gifts to help others.

I love how Holley points out this beautiful truth:

You will mess up. More than once. And you are not the first human being to do something that’s too big for God to redeem. Whatever you do cannot undo who he is.  So don’t ask yourself, “What have you done?” Instead ask God, “What have you done?” Remember his love, faithfulness and forgiveness. Then dare to ask him this question too: “What do you still want to do?”  This isn’t the end because he’s never giving up on you.

I was so relieved when I read those words because it truly is amazing to watch God take something broken & make it beautiful!  This weekend was very humbling, but I can honestly say that I walked away with a renewed sense of peace, & feeling rested.  God used my mess to break me, mold me & make something beautiful from it.

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The challenge will come in my day to day activities:

  • Will I say yes, in an attempt to please, or will I say no and choose to REST?
  • Will I take on one more tasks, or ask for help and choose to REST?
  • Will I choose to schedule one more thing, or choose to REST?

Today, I’m making a commitment to start living this verse:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

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A mother’s sacrifice is her child’s reward

She gave up her nursing career to stay at home and raise me.

She was good at her job; everyone loved her & she loved working at the nursing home helping the elderly at a time in their lives when they needed lots of care & lots of love.

She has always been the one you find in the trenches, pouring her heart out as she’s making a meal, ironing clothes, scrubbing toilets, running errands, working the home business, or sitting across the table listening & encouraging you.

my mom (800)She could have chosen her career over staying home to raise me.  The paycheck & retirement would have been nice, the job title would have been revered & the hours would have been predictable. But instead, she chose to sacrifice all of that for me.

It’s humbling more than you know, it really, really is. 

She saw beyond the moment & knew the sacrifice she made then would be rewarded later. She was wise & oh so right.

35 years later, my foundation & faith in Christ is strong. My knowledge & understanding of the Bible is a gift I attribute to the endless hours my mom sacrificed of her time to teach me Truth from the Word, both in word & action.  I am blessed beyond measure; more than elaborate words could ever express.  I’m here today, as the woman who sits behind this keyboard, all because my mother chose sacrifice over self.

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When I read Emily Wierenga‘s post on The Better Mom, it made me think of my Mom & how beautifully she exemplified motherhood to me.  Never once have I heard her utter regret for leaving a career behind to raise me. Deeply embedded in my heart are memories with her that cameras didn’t capture, yet time cannot erase.

  • Making a Strawberry Shortcake blanket & matching curtains for my bedroom
  • Taking the time to play hide & seek, instead of sitting at her desk working
  • Endless hours spent driving me to & from my piano lessons, not to mention her encouragement along the way
  • Constant affirmation when I did something right; telling me how proud she was of even the smallest accomplishment
  • Her voice when reading my favorite Winnie the Pooh book, over & over again, yet each time with the best animated voice I’d ever heard
  • Her laughter when I said “LIBS” when reading lbs (pounds) on a piece of paper
  • Her tears when I got sassy with her & broke her heart; how it crushed her for me to show such disrespect
  • Her encouragement as she identified my gift of encouragement & writing. I truly would not be sitting here today if it had not been for her belief in me

I could go on & on, but time won’t allow. My point is this:

As a Mom or step mamma, it’s often difficult to see beyond the moment, much less into the future, but we need to do just that! We need to take a moment, sit before our Father & seek His direction for our lives & the lives of our children.

We only get one chance to raise them: one chance to change the world. 
How does God want us to do that & what sacrifice does it require?

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The rose is accompanied by the thorn.

A house is built after toiling long hours.

A child is born after intense labor & pain.

Salvation came through Jesus’ death on the cross.

Sacrificial Motherhood:
It’s never easy and it’s not always pretty,
but there will never be a greater accomplishment in life!

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Love is Your War

Today I am humbled & honored to have been given the opportunity to share my heart as a guest on my friend Holley’s page.  Will you join me there?

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If you haven’t already picked up a copy of my friend Holley’s new book, you really should! She’s a beautiful, gifted writer, with the God-given ability to speak straight to your heart. Reading her books always feels like you’re sitting across from her, looking into her face, sharing your heart & hearing from hers.   She’s such a gift & I promise this will be the best $12 you’ve spent!
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Joy is Strength

When I think of joy, I think of this verse:

joy comes in morning

The word ‘JOY’ is more than just a noun, defined in the dictionary as:

JOY (n): “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”

To me, the word ‘JOY’ is a VERB (a call to action!), defined in the dictionary as:

JOY (v):”REJOICE”

We often talk about happiness and associate it with the good times of life, forgetting that true happiness (JOY) isn’t dependent on anything.  To be full of JOY means to REJOICE in all things.

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When I read Philippians 4:4-9 I see that there is an order to which we are told to Rejoice!

  1. REJOICE (First, not last! During the trial, not solely after!)
  2. Let our gentleness be known to all men-God is at work! Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
  3. Be anxious for nothing. Pray. Seek God.
  4. The peace of God (which is more than we can understand) will guard our hearts.

Personally, I’ve never noticed the word REJOICE (JOY) as being the first thing God instructs us to do before & during hard times!  I’ve always clung to the popularly used verses where He tells us to be anxious for nothing, to pray, to ask of Him & that He will give us peace & guard our hearts.

Whenever I think of JOY this is what I see:

REGARDLESS of our circumstances, right in the midst of the valley, we are to WALK IN JOY.

Not when we gain the victory, but before we gain the victory we are told to WALK IN JOY.

It is in our weakness that God is made strong.

Nehemiah 8:10 says “The JOY of the Lord is your strength”.

When we WALK IN JOY during a trial, God will BE our strength! He doesn’t say He will GIVE us strength, He says that HIS JOY IS OUR STRENGTH! When we say, “He gives me strength” we are relying on our own strength & only tapping into His strength.  However, when we read the scripture as it is written: “The joy of the Lord IS your strength” then it puts everything in HIS hands! He becomes our strength!

walking in joy

Turns our focus from inward to upward!

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Frees us to embrace the valley we’re in!

Keeps us holding the hand of our Savior!

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy wordcomes in the morning.

Friend, whatever it is you’re facing today-whatever your joy stealer may be, remember this one thing:  Jesus is the Giver of JOY & His strength will come when we choose JOY over the lies from the Stealer of joy.

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link up time

I just love Wednesdays, because I get the privilege of linking up in two places:

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with Holley Gerth

and

three word wednesday
with Simply Beth

holley-you're going to be okayIf you haven’t already picked up a copy of my friend Holley’s new book, you really should! She’s a beautiful, gifted writer, with the God-given ability to speak straight to your heart. Reading her books feels like you’re sitting across from her, looking into her face, sharing your heart & hearing from hers.   She’s such a gift, I promise this will be the best $12 you’ve spent!