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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When Your Dream Looks Different Than You Imagined

It’s funny how we imagine our dreams to look one way, yet they turn out looking totally different, isn’t it?

I imagined that working from home would give me a set schedule with set hours. Having a set schedule would enable me to pack my hubby’s lunch, and make his morning coffee, see him off to work and then do my morning devotions. I envisioned doing my morning exercise routine, having breakfast and getting myself ready for the day. After that, I’d be ready to work; stopping for lunch and taking breaks to play fetch with our two beautiful dogs, while doing laundry, keeping the house clean and prepping for dinner!

That’s not at all how my day looks! The dream of being an at-home business owner, while playing super-wife, super-woman and super-step mama, is not super-REAL! Instead, it’s super-HARD!

That schedule I thought I would have? Turns out it’s not as easy to maintain now that I don’t have an employer’s time clock to punch! Instead, my new schedule requires that I am accountable to myself. My new schedule requires that I set my own boundaries so I’m not answering business emails during meal time, quite time, or family time. Not giving in to the constant pull of social media, trying to dictate my every move in order to make a sale, has proven to be a big challenge to my boundary setting and my personal journey to rest.

If I’m honest with myself I have to admit, the dream I had in my head looks totally different than I envisioned. Is that bad? No. However, it’s certainly more difficult than I thought it would be.  All the people I worked with for the past seven years? I miss them; they became family to me and I miss that connection.  That time clock I punched? While I didn’t like having to punch in daily, now that I don’t have to, I miss the familiarity and consistency of knowing my hours and expectations.  That set paycheck? I miss that too; it’s no longer the responsibility of my employer, rather it’s become my personal responsibility!

Bottom line? I’ve been feeling as if the entire weight of responsibility is on my shoulders and it’s been killing me! I’ve cried a lot, stopped writing, or reaching out to my friends, all in an effort to not to be a burden to anyone, but the truth is, I’m sad and feel like I’m walking this journey alone.  While I know I’m right where God wants me, it still makes me feel like the new kid in town. This dream turned out to be very different than I imagined and this change is difficult and painful.

The amazing and beautiful thing about this journey is that, in my honesty before God, He always meets me in a powerful way.

The other morning while I was doing my devotions, as I shared my fears, worries and sadness, the Holy Spirit whispered these words to my heart:

“You don’t have to try so hard.
My provision is a promise I gave you;
It’s not something you can attain.
I will always provide~trust me”

Isaiah 43:19 has become one of my favorite verses, as I choose to cling to His promises.

psalm 43.19

I share all this with you in an effort to provide you with some encouragement. Regardless of where we are in our dream, if God calls us there, He will not only qualify us, but provide for us, and He will BE everything we need. He is doing a new thing & making a way where there seems to be no way.

Thank you for your love, support and encouragement along my journey; it is comforting to know I have you in my corner, praying for me and cheering me on; I hope to provide the same for you!

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I enjoy linking up with these (2) fabulous communities:
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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:
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Heart of Gratitude

psalm 118 1

Over the weekend, I spent some time shopping at my favorite Resale Shop My Sister’s Closet. While paying, the cashier asked about my weekend and if I had Labor Day off. I responded, “Yes I do, and I am so grateful.” Her response surprised me, when she had an expression of surprise as she said, “Wow! That’s not a term you hear much these days!” I smiled and replied, “Well, I have much to be grateful for; I am truly blessed”.

The cashiers surprise at my verbalization of gratitude really sunk deep into my heart as I began to think more about my own life expressions of gratitude.

If I’m honest, in the past two and a half years, I’ve become so consumed with starting and growing our business, that my life hasn’t always reflected one of gratitude, so today, I’d like to pause and give thanks to God for His tremendous blessings in my life during the past two years.

1) My heart is full because God has blessed me with a husband who loves me to the fullest. {Ecclesiastes 4:9-12} Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

2) Two years and four months ago my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I am so grateful for the time we have shared and will continue to share together until Jesus takes him home. {2 Samuel 24:14} “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

3) Within the past two and a half years, God has expanded our business.  I couldn’t be more grateful to be fulfilling a dream of mine to be self-employed and serving along side my husband in our business. {Luke 6:38} “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

4) Oh the joy that has come from seeing another goal achieved together, as God provided the means and blessed us with a beautiful house we call home. {Joshua 24:14} “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

5) Late last year God provided the opportunity for my husband to have a vasectomy reversal, so we can expand our family.  I look forward to having a child of our own together one day… all in God’s time. {Psalm 37:4} Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

My life is truly blessed and my heart is truly grateful!

* * *

In an effort to embrace a life of more purposeful, less distracted living, I am starting a new blogging series based on Rachel Macy Stafford’s book Hands Free Mama and am inviting you on my journey.  You may purchase the book here, or simply follow along as I blog through her Godly words of wisdom. After reading Bonnie Gray’s book Finding Spiritual Whitespace, my heart is longing for a lifestyle of balance and rest; Hands Free Mama is yet another tool God placed in my life for such a time as this.  Won’t you join me?

See you next week!

love satin2

I enjoy linking up with these (3) fabulous communities:
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You’re in Better Hands

taking my life back

In last week’s post “Be All There” I shared about my full-time job and my lack of peace in leaving yet, in order to work full-time on our business.

In 2012, when my husband and I first started Pelfreybilt Off-Road, God spoke this promise to me:

“I will always provide” 

He didn’t say He would provide sometimes, or maybe, or if I prayed hard enough, He said always. And He has always made good on that promise, even when it looked like bills would not be paid.  Always, God provided.

As you know, I typically post on Wednesday or Thursday, but this week that didn’t happen because I’ve been wrestling with God over this promise, and my fear of letting go and fully trusting Him.

I’ve been saying in one breath that I trust God and that He’s never failed me, yet in the next breath saying I’m afraid of letting go of a full time job that comes with the (false) security blanket of a steady income!

The reason I haven’t had peace about leaving my job, is because I’ve been waiting for peace to come after the black and white of our finances proved to me that God will provide. Instead of putting my complete trust in the One who promised to provide, instead of choosing to find my security in the only One who is secure, I’ve been clinging to something fleeting & temporary.

I have been clinging to my job for stability, instead of clinging to the Ultimate Stabilizer, the very one who stabilized the raging storms with three small words: “Peace, Be Still” (Mark 4:39)

False security and fear stems from unbelief in Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider.  (Genesis 22:14)

In my prayer time, God asked me “How can I fully bless you, when you won’t let go long enough to embrace what I’m giving you?”  He showed me, my lack of faith in His provision, has caused me to cling so tightly to my false security, that I couldn’t see the life and joy I was squeezing right out of my hands!

Lifeless

Joyless

Empty

Miserable

These have been the words of my heart as of late, as I desperately cling to false security.

I just started reading Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford, and in her intro she says these words:

“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.”

After wrestling with God, I actually sat down and looked over our finances and for the first time, began to see, that we truly could afford for me not to work anywhere but in our business.  God also opened my eyes to see the LIFE and JOY I will be regaining by taking this leap of faith!

I’m tired of missing out, so I’m letting go, friend! I gave my verbal resignation to my employer on Friday and will be leaving October 31, 2014.  (I’m helping with the hiring, training & transition process)

The peace and JOY that now floods my heart and mind is inexpressible!  I’m getting my life back, the one God has so richly blessed me with; I’m taking it back and releasing my fears to the One who holds my tomorrows and who promises to provide today!

I am truly in the best hands and so are you, sweet friend, so are you!

love satin2


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So I Wait

a no today often means a yes is on the way

Anyone who knows me, knows the biggest dream of my heart is to be a mother, so I keep reminding myself that God is using this time of waiting to move mountains before He releases His little angel into our care.  As much as I cling to that hope, and God’s promise to grant the desires of my heart, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I wake up each morning with a sadness for what is to come, yet has not arrived.

These days I am clinging to Psalm 27:13:
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.”

So I Wait.

I am daily reminded of God’s goodness & faithfulness.

I talk to a sweet friend who experienced infertility for many years before having 4 children of her own. Another dear friend of mine thought having a baby was part of God’s plan, yet instead she was called to be a word mama and years later became the proud mama to an adopted 20 year old young lady! A new friend struggled with infertility and adoption, and is on this journey of waiting right along side me.

The point? I am not alone and neither are you!

Many of us are waiting together, so I want to whisper to your heart: the journey of waiting doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

Did you catch that?

Just because God doesn’t give us our “yes” right now, doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong, or that we’re failing some test we think He’s giving us.  Life is simply not designed to be viewed with the natural eye.  Jesus says in Matthew 11:15He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

My understanding of this scripture is not that it means to “listen up”, rather it means to “tune in” to His heart for us; to hear His voice for us, to follow His call on us, and to have His ears in all circumstances of our lives. To be ONE with The One Who’s heart beats for us and Who longs to give us all good things. (Matthew 7:11 NLT)

A “no” today, often means a “yes” is on the way.

I look back on my life and how God answered my prayers with firm “no’s”.  At the time I couldn’t understand why He said “no”, but now I see more clearly and can truly embrace with confidence that His timing is perfect, even when it’s not mine and even though I may not understand.

So I Wait.

 “But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

Friend, whatever you are waiting for, trust the One who planted the desire in your heart, and hold fast to the hope that in His perfect time He will grant the desires of your heart.  In the meantime, keep walking this journey and keep being YOU!

love satin2

* * * * *

I enjoy linking up with these (4) fabulous communities:
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When Dreams Change

isaiah 43 19

I remember the moment as if it were yesterday.  Standing at the altar of our church, along with others, seeking God, with my hands lifted and heart open to His voice.  As clear as day, it was prophesied over me, that God would use my hands for His glory.

I am honored to have been invited to contribute on the God Sized Dreams Community.  Would you join me there to read the rest?

love satin

I enjoy linking up with these communities:

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(in)courage: Where Hearts Build Community

banner-incouragers

As many of you know, I am the proud Step Mama to an amazing six year old little boy.

What you may not know, is the difficulties I face as a Step Mama. The challenges, the frustration and the pain associated with this role are ones I don’t often discuss, because when taken out of context, or misunderstood, my words can seem as if I’m miserable, unhappy or as if I don’t want to be where I am and that simply is not the case.

For the past six years, I have quietly searched for a Christian Step Mama’s support group.  A place where I can share my heart, receive encouragement, be understood & validated.  After searching with no avail, when (in)courage invited me to become a small group leader this Spring, the Holy Spirit reminded me of my own search & prompted me to apply to lead a Step Mama’s group.

I was surprised and excited when I received an email thanking me for my interest in leading a group & giving me the contact information for my new co-leader, Diane.  I immediately emailed her!  We each shared our story and wept as we read each others words.  Oh the joy that comes from being validated, understood, and knowing I am not alone!

This opportunity reminds me of the Biblical story of Goliath, a mighty giant, who everyone feared. Then there was David, a mere shepherd boy.  He was small & didn’t appear to have what was necessary to fight the taunting giant.  However, God chose David to slay Goliath!  King Saul tried to prepare David, by giving him his own armor for protection.

“I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
1 Samuel 17:39

David, with  Godly wisdom knew his only chance of beating Goliath was to fight the way he knew best.

“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.
But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied


the Lord does not save with sword and spear;
for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:45-47

David exemplified what happens when we prepare ourselves with the Armor of God, rather than relying on our own strength, or the strength of men.

I am humbled & excited for the opportunity God has provided, for me to co-lead a group of Step Mama’s through this difficult, God-ordained season of life.  I may not feel qualified to be a Step Mama or leader, but I serve a God who has armed me with His Strength & Wisdom.  He’s given me a heart that longs to create a safe haven for Step Mama’s.  A place where we can go when we are hurting & looking to be heard, understood, encouraged & receive prayer.  A place to be reminded that just as God has called us to this roll, He will equip us with all we need for the journey! We truly are here, “For Such a Time As This.” Esther 4:14

If you, or someone you know, is looking for Godly support, feel free to sign up or pass the information along by clicking here: Step Mama’s.  If you’re not a Step Mama, but are looking to find a small group, with over 70 different groups to choose from, the (in)courage community is the place for you!! Registration opens today, Monday 5/19/2014 & closes Thursday 5/22/2014.

love satin