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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A Year of Believing

One year ago, today, I created this writing space and ventured into the unknown, sharing my heart and God’s Word.

A lot has happened in the past year and I would like to recap on a few key moments.

  • I started the year by setting three New Years Resolutions and am still working through the first one, been off and on with the second one, and with God’s provision, successfully achieved the third one! While it’s not 100% success, it’s still growth and for that I am excited!
  • I acknowledged the word God laid on my heart for 2014 as BELIEVE, as well as the phrase for my family as This is Only the Beginning.
  • I named two of my dreams: 1) Having a baby and 2) Writing, and continue to trust God’s timing for both while embracing the unnamed, yet now active dream of business ownership/self-employment.
  • God opened the door for me to co-lead an (in)courage small group for Step Mama’s. My obedience yielded personal growth, friendships, encouragement and support on my journey as a Step Mama.
  • I read through Bonnie Gray’s book Finding Spiritual Whitespace and started my personal Journey to Rest which has proven to be an area God is perfecting in my life!
  • Through my blog, God taught me many different lessons this year, but here are a few of my favorites:
    • The place where I am most vulnerable, the place where I am the purest, is a place where the tears flow freely and my heart-message can be heard. When Tears Fall
    • “Trust me. Trust my timing. I’m never early, I’m never late. My ways aren’t your ways; they are better. Trust me.” {God} What’s Next?
    • To LOVE is to be at War with the enemy Guest post for Holley Gerth
    • The journey of waiting doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. So I Wait
    • “I will always provide” {God} You’re in Better Hands
    • “How do I do it all? I miss out on life-that’s how I do it all. I miss out on what truly matters; and what I miss, I can’t get back.” Hands Free Mama
    • Believing God isn’t about seeing the results today! Believing God is about seeing His direction today and trusting His promises for tomorrow! Choosing to Believe

2014 was a year of actively living my belief in God’s provision, and day after day God remains faithful to his promise!

I stand in awe of His goodness, provision, strength and protection over me and my family.

As I face 2015, I can’t help but wonder what God has in store.  Whether it be rain or shine, sickness or health, prosperity or loss, “My God shall supply all my needs according to His Riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

With only two days until the start of a new year, I am still unclear as to what my word of the year will be, or what phrase God has for my family. However, Philippians 1:6 is a verse I am clinging to as I step into the new year!philippians 1 vs6Thank you for an amazing year! I pray God’s richest blessings be yours in 2015!

love satin 2015


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Making Room for Christ in Christmas

matthew 25.40

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, yet with the increasing commercialism, I find it difficult to see Christ in Christmas at all…

…Unless I make room for Him.

Long ago, no one made room for Jesus in the inn, and instead He was born in a lowly manger among the “least of these”.

Somehow we often get fixated on making Christmas perfect with the tree, decorations, and baking cookies yet, that isn’t what Christmas is all about.  While those things are festive and fun, the real truth behind Christmas is about making room for Christ every single day.

  • Praying for, supporting and encouraging our spouse.
  • Teaching our child(ren) the true meaning of Christmas and how to walk with Jesus.
  • Spending time with our parents, helping them and enjoying their company.
  • Writing an email, sending a text, or mailing a card to a friend in need.
  • Showing love and compassion to a perfect stranger.

When our focus becomes less about the commercialized Christmas season and more about Christ, we are able to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

By making room for Christ:
We open our eyes to a world in need of a Savior,
and willingly become His hands & feet extended in love.

By making room for Christ: 
It becomes less about tradition, and more about inclusion,
as we insure that those around us feel loved every day of the year.

By making room for Christ:
We open our arms wide, laying aside our differences,
and see each other as children of God, making us the family of God.

As we enjoy the Christmas festivities and time with family and friends, may we focus on making room for Christ, turning this season into a joyous time of LOVE.  After all, it was LOVE that was born in that manger long ago and it is LOVE that lives within us!

Let LOVE live among us!

I would really enjoy hearing how you plan to make room for Christ this Christmas Season!  Won’t you share?


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What I Would Have Missed: #HandsFreeMama Series

handsfreemama

Picking up Hands Free Mama this week and reading Chapter 3 “Choose What Matters~Deliberateness”, was like striking a gold mine, except the reward for me, was far more precious than gold!

“Now that you are able to weigh the high costs of distraction
against the priceless benefits of connection,
the choice is yours”
{Rachel Macy Stafford}

After some hurtful altercations several years ago with my stepson Jackson’s mother, I chose to take several steps back and not to watch him without my husband, Tyler, present.

This past weekend Tyler was going out of town, so I was left with two options: either stick to my original “rule” of not watching Jackson without Tyler present, or lay that rule aside and watch him. Tyler left the decision up to me, so I prayed  about it and decided it was time to leave the past behind, and proceed with watching Jackson for the weekend.

The weekend started off great, then, as they sometimes do, things took a turn and Jackson ended up needing some correction for stealing toys from his neighbor friend. I took a moment to step away from the situation long enough to engage in a brief text with my mom asking for prayer.

I stepped into Jackson’s room, sat down with him, calmly and sincerely addressed the issue and prayed with him.

Then I looked into his face and asked him if he wanted Jesus to live inside his heart so He could help him to listen, obey, be good, and not steal.

With tears streaming down his little face, my precious stepson said, “yes”.

I had the honor of encouraging Jackson to pray, in his own six-year-old-words, and ask Jesus to live inside his heart, and help him to be good.

Talk about being more precious that gold!!

Choosing what matters most…

Sometimes our pride says no, but God says yes.

Sometimes our obedient “yes” turns into a gift for all of eternity.

What I would have missed, had I held onto my pride and said no.

What I would have missed, had I not said yes.

I am utterly humbled at the thought of being a vessel God can use.

He chose me; of all the people in Jackson’s life, He chose me…

As my friend Holley Gerth says,
“The enemy tries to trick us into believing we’re not enough

because he knows if we discover the truth we’ll be unstoppable.”

Today, I am thanking God for imparting His truth to my heart and for reminding me,
“You are not enough…in me you are so much more. {Holley Gerth}

Today, I am thanking God for His ability to honor my obedience and make something beautiful from something ugly.

Today, I look back at these past six years with Jackson and see only a glimpse of what God has in store for him, and our beautiful family.

The choice is mine…

Oh the utter joy that awaits those who love God!

satin signature

This post is dedicated to my precious Mother and Best Friend.
Today is her birthday and in honor of the beautiful life she lives for Jesus,
I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate, than to print in black and white,
proof of her faithful prayers for my stepson and our family.
My Mom has been in the trenches with us, as we’ve walked these difficult years.
She’s witnessed the pain, the anguish, and the tears,
and offered countless hours of encouragement, hugs and prayers.
While I realize this is only the beginning of Jackson’s spiritual journey,
I accredit my mother for her tenacity in praying & assuring me that my work is not in vain:
to never give up on what GOD can do in an impossible situation!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
You are one amazing woman and I am honored to be your daughter!
I Love You!
XOXO


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Shine On, Friend!

sunshine begins

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” {Job 8:21}

Life is full of disappointments, stress and pain, but we have a promise that amidst our deepest valleys, there is One who will fill our mouth with laughter and give us JOY from deep within!

I know many of you are experiencing some extremely challenging times. You’ve lost jobs, lost loved ones, or received bad news about someone you love.  A spouse walked out, you’ve been diagnosed with a disease that has no cure, or you’ve even lost a piece of yourself amidst your pain.  Think of Job. He had everything. God had blessed him abundantly… then he lost it all.

What was Job’s response to his loss?

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” {Job 13:15}

Did Job deny his anguish and pretend his journey was “peachy keen”? Absolutely not! He bore his soul to God, crying out for mercy, and with anguish, he begged for deliverance from his affliction.

Us, my friend, are called to do the same thing; to pour our hearts out to our Loving Father, who knows our hearts and longs to comfort us when we are hurting.

Amidst Job’s affliction he found these words:

“Look, I go forward, but He is not there,
And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him;
When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.
But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
My foot has held fast to His steps;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.”
{Job 23:8-12}

Friend, when we hit our knees and pour our hearts out to God, He hears us! Often we do not see His hand at work, no matter what we do. Sometimes He doesn’t heal us, sometimes He doesn’t give us what we’re asking for and sometimes He allows more pain than we ever thought we could endure…

But He is always, always there.

He is REFINING us.

He is MOLDING us.

He is HOLDING us.

And when He is done, we will Shine like the Son, for His righteousness will shine through us like never before & we will behold his glory, in everything we do and say.

He IS our Redeemer.

He IS our Provider.

He IS our Everything.

May you cling to His promises, without seeing them come to fruition.

May you allow His JOY to deeply root within your heart, so His joy radiates within your smile.

Shine on, my friend, the Son is within you, Shine on!

love satin2

I enjoy linking up with these (3) fabulous communities:
coffee for your heart-Button-250x250whitespace-badge3 word wednesday


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Most Perfect Curve

curves of a smile

While reading Ann Voskamp’s post it made me think of my husbands words most recently when I asked him how he really feels about me quitting my full-time job to pursue our business full-time.

“I feel good about it! I finally get my wife back!” Those words spoke two things to me:

  • My happiness is reflected in the smile upon my face
  • My husbands happiness is directly affected by own happiness

On my Journey to Rest I shared of my struggle to relinquish control, to ask for help and ultimately to trust God to be my provider in all things. Now, as my husband and I have made this life changing decision, I am pursuing a life of more purposeful, less distracted living.

Reading Hands Free Mama is really opening my eyes to just how much the happiness of my husband, stepson, our family and friends are all directly affected by my own happiness or the lack their of! As I mentioned before, I am truly blessed, and my heart has never lost sight of that. However, my life choices haven’t lent to reflecting the fruit of my gratitude because I haven’t allowed myself enough time for rest, nor have I been living a balanced life.

“In one simple, beautiful gesture, my daughter cemented
my newfound pursuit to live Hands Free.

I realized with clarity that thisthis pausing,
when the whole world keeps on going-is living.
{Rachel Macy Stafford}

Friends, it is our choice! We can choose to keep saying yes to the people and things that don’t matter, while saying no to those we love the most, or we can embrace a Hands Free, life that yields abundant joy, treasured memories and tremendous peace and health!

1 Corinthians 16:14 says “Let all you do be done in love,”

How can we fully love, if we are not fully present?

For some of us, technology is our weakness; email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. While for others of us, it’s our jobs or work.  I know for me, it’s been both! I’ve spent the past two and a half years, busting my bottom at a full-time job while trying to build a business with my husband that will sustain our family.  I don’t consider it a bad thing by any means, but I have had to make sacrifices on this journey.  I’ve sacrificed personal time, fitness and health. I’ve sacrificed family time and time with my husband.

While sacrifice is necessary to achieve any goal we set, there has to be balance and that is something I’ve struggled with over the years.

“I need to be reminded that I could complain less,
cherish more, let go of the have-tos,
and say yes more often.
I need to be reminded that although
sunsets and goodbyes happen every day,
each one should be treated as if it’s the last.
I need to be reminded that real living happens
when I peel away the distractions and
hold my perfectly imperfect life
tenderly in my hands.
And someday, I’ll be grateful I didn’t miss my life.”
{Rachel Macy Stafford}

So how about those curves?

Are you smiling?

Is your life so busy, you find yourself frustrated, in tears or on the brink of a break-down at any given moment? That’s been me for the past year and if that’s you today, I can’t encourage you enough to embrace this truth:

The only person who can protect my time is me!

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

 I hope you’ll join me on my #handsfree journey! I’d love to hear about yours as well!

love satin2

I enjoy linking up with these (3) fabulous communities:
coffee for your heart-Button-250x250whitespace-badge3 word wednesday


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A Priceless Treasure

priceless treasure

Amidst the lies from Hollywood, television, magazines and social media, we often lose site of this one truth:

We are Priceless Treasures, Ransomed by the blood of Jesus.

We get caught up trying to please others, in one way or the other, and forget that Jesus is the only One Who was pleased with us enough to pay the ultimate ransom to set us free from the lies that bind us.

Over the years I have heard a recurring theme from woman around the world.  We’re all struggling to embrace Truth about these earthen vessels we’ve been given!

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.”

We are Priceless Treasures!

Perfection isn’t what makes a treasure priceless, it’s creator does! The care put into crafting something; the passion and love contained in each stroke, bend, or melt. The time and sacrifice of the creator makes the unique one-of-a-kind treasure priceless.

Jesus, as our Creator, is the Beholder of beautiful, and when He says, “It is good” He means it.

When we reject His truth about us, we make a mockery of Him.  By embracing the lies, we are telling Him that what He did for us on the Cross, the ransom He paid for us, wasn’t enough; that He should have done more! {that’s a painful realization!}

* * * *

We may have been lied to from the time we were children; told we were lazy, wouldn’t amount to anything, or that we were ugly.

We may have been wounded in ways no one, or few people know.

We may still be embracing the lies spoken over us, but we have a choice, right here and now.

We can either continue embracing the lies of the enemy, or we can surrender those lies to the Savior & embrace His truth!

We are Priceless Treasures

Jesus didn’t pay the ultimate ransom for trash, He paid it for treasure: for you and for me. He paid it because He saw a vessel He could use for his glory. A vessel, cracked with the frailty of humanity, yet when fully yielded to Him is Priceless & Pleasing in His sight. Through our cracks and imperfections, the Creator shines His light in the most beautiful ways. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

Whatever lies you have held on to about who you are, what you are, or how you look, now is your time to surrender them to the Savior & embrace His truth:

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

YOU ARE CHERISHED

YOU ARE LOVED

YOU ARE A PRICELESS TREASURE

love satin2

Note: The graphic I created, as well as the theme of this blog post was inspired by the words shared with me by my sweet friend Ashley

* * * * *

I enjoy linking up with these fabulous communities:
coffee for your heart-Button-250x2503 word wednesdaywhitespace-badge


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A Mother’s Day Tribute

I would like to give a second tribute to my beautiful Mom & Best Friend this Mother’s Day.  You may read my first tribute here.

As a girl, I remember hearing the deep admiration in my mother’s voice as she shared childhood memories of her grandmother.

My great-grandmother was extraordinary!  She was monetarily poor, but she was rich! She had Jesus & a love so deep nothing else mattered.

Having lost her husband to an unexpected death, betrayed & shunned by his family, then left to raise her small children alone, she still showed her faith in God!

 

The most beautiful thing about this story, is that my great-grandmother was instrumental in raising the beautiful woman I am honored to call my mother.

The sole survivor of a twin pregnancy, my mother started her life alone, yet strong.

Losing her father to death at a young age thrust her into a childhood of heartbreak.

Loved by a mother who was unable to take care of her, she was graciously raised by her maternal grandmother.

From her grandmother she learned of God, through the life-example set before her:

  • The deep love.
  • The sacrifices made.
  • The working hands, eager to help.
  • The kind eyes & listening ears.
  • The heart of gold.
  • The hymns sung, while comforting arms enveloped her little body as she sat on her grandmother’s lap.
  • Jesus. He was a living part of her grandmother’s life & thus became the same for her.

 

My mom learned from her grandmother how to make the best of every situation & how to turn to Jesus for everything.

She didn’t have an acclaimed “glamorous” career; she gave it up to raise me.  Yet in my eyes, she had the best job in the world & did it with absolute excellence.

She took on the role of motherhood so naturally!  For someone who wasn’t raised by her mother, it’s a true testimony of what God can do with a yielded heart.  When I think of motherhood, I first think of my mom & what an incredible mother she’s always been!

This Mother’s Day, I want to honor the woman she has allowed God to make her into: A true woman of God.

When I read Proverbs 31, my mom is the one woman in my life who I can say, truly lives this passage, through the strength of the Holy Spirit.

I am so immensely proud to call her my Mom.

 

mothers day 2014

I remember as a girl being asked to name my hero.

While all my friends picked celebrities, I chose my mom; I still do.

The greatest compliment I’ve ever received is when I was told

“You’re just like your Mom.”

She’s my best friend, my Confidant & my Hero.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

You mean the world to me.

I am who I am today, because you chose to let God work in your life

& make you into an incredible woman & mother.

I love you!

love satin