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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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!

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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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When Your Heart Is Overwhelmed

psalm 61.2

I can’t speak for you, but right now, my heart is completely overwhelmed!

Many things weigh heavy on my heart and mind, so Psalm 61:2 is a verse I am warmly embracing.

People I love…

Trying to be brave and strong on the outside, while crumbling on the inside; afraid, yet clinging to Jesus.

People I love…

Being handed their last paychecks, while bills pile up and no new job can be seen on the horizon.

People I love…

Given a diagnosis and a timeline that speaks utter hopelessness.

People I love…

Crippled from pain, without understanding why.

~

All around me, people I love are hurting.

Who am I to question the hand of God?

But it is I, even I, who sits here with tears streaming down her face, crying out to Him.

For answers

For healing

For provision

For peace

For Him to be Who He is at a time when fear grips ours hearts & threatens all that we know.

He is our ROCK!

When my heart is truly overwhelmed, with all that lies around and within me…

He is here.

Steady as can be; my Savior, my Comforter, my Peace, my Strength & my Rock. {Psalm 46:1}

At a time when the world screams “Where is God that He should allow this to happen?”

My heart is assured, that He is still God. He is Still good for his Word and His promises remain true. {Psalm 136:1}

Lifting my hands upward to Jesus and asking Him to envelope our questioning and hurting hearts today.

Thanking Him in advance for using this season to refine and prepare us for all He has in store! {1Peter 1:7}

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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:
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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!

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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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Choosing To Believe

butterfly on many flowers

My last two posts have been about my struggle to fully be where I am and to release my control and fear to Jesus, clinging to His promise to always provide.

The word God impressed on my heart as for 2014, was believe. (Read more here)  God whispered to my heart, that this would be the year to take my belief from a verbal statement, to an action; a movement, a calling.

It amazes me how God always prepares His children for what is to come, even with just a word, if only we will have ears to hear!  Eight months ago I had no idea that I would be quitting my job of seven years to pursue our business full time!

Two weeks ago when I tendered my resignation to my employer, I had full intentions of working full-time through October 31st, helping with training and transition.

However, last week was horribly stressful for me. I ended up at home with migraines 2 of the 5 work-days. The stress of resigning, while still trying to keep everyone happy was taking it’s toll on my body, and God’s direction became clearer than ever: let go & fully believe His promise to provide.

When my heart says yes, sometimes God says no.

My heart longs to please people, and to be secure, yet God is asking me to let go of both.

I’ve never fully understood God’s ways, I just know them to be the best, so I often find my self blindly following His lead, while shaking my head dumbfounded at why!?

Before tendering my resignation, I had looked over our finances and felt confident that we could afford for me to quit on October 31st. I knew, “in the future”, God would need to provide, but we were good “until then”.

Quitting earlier than I had intended, puts me in a tail spin of head shaking and questioning why God is asking me to quit now and not when it looks to be easier! I am smiling as I type this, because truth is, believing God isn’t about seeing the results today! Believing God is about seeing His direction today and trusting His promises for tomorrow!

So on Monday, I revised my resignation, told my boss that Friday (tomorrow) would be my last day working full-time and that I’d be willing to work 20 hours a week until the end of September, in order to help with the training & transition.

I had to let go. I had to choose to believe God’s promise to provide and I had to accept “no” from my boss. The initial rejection of my offer hurt at my deepest core. It made me feel worthless and unappreciated.  I struggled feeling guilty for choosing obedience to God & my overall health & happiness, over choosing my boss.

However, as a result of my obedience and acceptance of God’s no, God changed my bosses heart! He found value in my position and accepted my gracious offer to help with the training and transition, and on my terms (God’s terms!).

When God promised He would always provide, He never promised it would be easy to believe that promise, but submitting to His will and choosing to believe, always yields the best results!

I am so grateful for this current chapter of my life; the one where God is teaching me the beauty of believing! I look forward to this next chapter and all He has in store for me and my family!

Thank you for your words of encouragement, love and prayers-you’re such a blessing to my life!

How may I pray for you, friend?

love satin2

 

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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