Life & Faith · Uncategorized

Detours and muddy shoes

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan. Sometimes they work out better. Sometimes they just work out and you honestly don’t know why things go the way they did.

This weekend was like that. On our way to celebrate my nephew’s 15th birthday, we were caught in a road detour when we encountered black ice halfway to WV. We watched as a car in front of us do a complete 180 degree turn and head straight for us. To say we were shaken is an understatement. Eli screamed from the back seat about not wanting to die and I prayed louder and harder than I have in awhile. Our angels held that car from hitting us but as we passed numerous other wrecks, we knew going further wasn’t an option. Brian called a friend in the area and he and his wife were kind enough to put us up until Saturday when we could get the rest of the way to WV in one piece. It was a rare moment to spend with these friends who are welcoming their first daughter in April.

Finally in WV, we enjoyed sweet family time, complete with a birthday party, watching teenage boys play video games and listening to my dad play guitar and sing.

We headed home today but stopped at my grandma’s for a quick hello. She loaded my kids with candy and hugs. She told us about walking to school in knee deep snow. It was precious grandma memories.

As soon as we got home, we threw our bags out and headed to the woods for a hike. On the hike we trudged through mud that caked every part of our shoes. It was about as good as a Sunday afternoon gets.

This weekend was not perfect but really, sometimes detours and muddy shoes are the things that fill the heart and soul.

❤️

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Goals…Intentional Bible Study and memorization

I’m 25 days into this new year and I’m still learning to be intentional. If you’re going to be intentional about something, you must have a goal and a plan to achieve that goal. Dreams and wishes are great but that’s all they are unless you do something about them.

So this year, I am continuing my journey through the Bible using a chronological plan from You Version. The plan is called “As it Happened” and is a great way to get an understanding of the order of when things happened in the Bible.

My goal is to finish this by July. I also want to memorize scripture so what will that look like?

To memorize scripture I have used BibleMinded which is a great app to add parts of scripture and quiz yourself-you can retype it or restate the verse. My goal is to memorize the first 3 chapters of the Psalms by December.

Another step to reaching a goal is figuring out your why. Why are you setting this goal? As a believer, I understand that hiding the Word in my heart is one way I can be more effective in this world. I can combat the lies around me with truth from the Word and I can stay grounded in the promises that God has made for me. Also, reading the Bible is a way that we can know God more. We will probably never understand Him fully and comprehended His ways this side of heaven, but He has given us this beautiful guide book and letter to be read and used daily.

So whatever your goal, be intentional and get after it.

Lord,

Help me to set a goal and stick to it. Give me wisdom and focus as your Holy Spirit guides me to work toward my goals daily.

Amen

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Resolutions continued…{prayer}

So it’s January 19th and hopefully your still holding strong to whatever resolutions you have set.

To continue my last post on prayer, I wanted to share one more thing that I have added to my prayer journal this year.

I love getting Christmas cards and I hate throwing them away so this year I decided to incorporate them into my prayer journal.

Here’s what I do: I simply keep the cards in my prayer journal in one of the sections in the back. I choose one card weekly to pray over so I may pray for my cousin’s family in Virginia one week and my neighbor beside me the next. I love the visual reminder of each family member. To take it one step further, send them a quick text and let them know you prayed for them this week. You may really bless someone when they need it most.

That’s it for today folks! Recycle those Christmas cards into prayer cards this year and reach out to the people that sent them to you. ❤️

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When Social Media Hurts

Here I am, scrolling through social media and I come to a picture with MY friends at the MOST fun event and here I am, NOT in the picture. All smiles, minus one.

Then I see my kids’ friends with all their other friends, all smiles, minus my kids. It sure seems like everyone is out there living their best lives, minus us.

I’m being a bit dramatic here, I know, because this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of times that we post wonderful photos of special memories. When it is the case that we are left out though, it hurts my heart. I ask silly questions like, “Why weren’t we invited?”, “Did I do something to hurt that person?”, “I guess I’m not good enough…”, “My family can’t hang with that social circle…”and the list continues.

BUT, just like God…He pulled at my heart today and spoke to me just like a loving father, with a slight reprimand. He gently reminded me that my worth, my kids’ worth, my family’s worth isn’t in the posting of the perfect picture on social media, the attending of the most amazing social event of the season or in a circle of friendships. Don’t get me wrong. These are good things but they aren’t the things that give us worth or value.

Also, God showed me that I need to be careful to celebrate my friends and family, thanking God for them so there will be no room for resentment or bitterness to take root.

So really social media can hurt but it’s not so much social media that hurts but it’s placing my worth in the wrong things that hurts the most.

Dear Lord,

May I celebrate those around me with true sincerity. Let no bitterness or jealousy take root in my heart. I know that You have good things for me and my family. Our worth is in you alone. -Amen

Practical Application for the New Year:

Sometimes we just need to lay it down, literally. What are some ways you may need to let social media take up less space in your life?

Life & Faith · Uncategorized

Intentional prayer

My word for 2019 is intentional so for the next couple of weeks I’m going to share the areas in my life where I have been personally convicted to be more intentional. These may ring true with you or you may just want to skip over the next couple of weeks.

This week I’m sharing how I am going to be more intentional with prayer. It’s an area I’ve always struggled with because my heart is there but my mind is always wandering, I don’t always carve out time and I’m often distracted with my to do list.

So this year I knew to grow this spiritual discipline, I have to be intentional. I cannot expect growth by wishing something will happen. So here are the steps I’ve taken for intentional prayer:

1. I created a prayer journal with the following tabs to focus on in prayer-Adoration, Confessions, Rest/Listening to the Lord, Scripture Prayers, Petitions

This tabbed notebook allows me to stay on track as I pray. Right now I spend 2-3 minutes on each section. Adoration and confession are pretty much what they sound like. Rest and listening is when I train my mind to listen to God’s voice and write down what comes to mind or what I feel He is leading me to at the moment. Scripture prayers are for writing biblical truths. I am currently using Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word to help me with this. Petition is for praying for family members, friends and other requests. Date the requests and answers to look back at how God works in your life.

2. I pray during my set aside quiet time. So that’s key….a time SET ASIDE. As little distraction as possible, so that may be super early, late or when everyone leaves for the day. This doesn’t take place of time in the Word but is a part of my time with Jesus.

3. Find a place. You may be in your closet, car, or kitchen but find your designated place. Be creative here. He can meet you anywhere.

4. I think we spend a lot of time prepping our prayer journals, making our spaces comfy, penciling in the time, brewing that coffee but we just need to do it. Sometimes it won’t be pretty. We may need to abandon the comfy chair and the coffee and lay face flat on the floor. Whatever works….JUST DO IT!

So leave you with a picture of my prayer journal-and the sleeve of my pink fuzzy robe. Nothing fancy and I need to grab some tabs. For now my tabs are post it’s.

Get after it-

A

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Intentional resolutions

I really don’t like New Year’s Eve because of the resolutions. It seems so presumptuous to make all these declarations over your life as if they’ll come true. That’s just it. Most of the time I want to do something, I add it to the resolution list and it just sits there.

I did that in 2018. I had goals, sure. I wanted to write more and eat better. Guess what? I wrote some and ate more. I’m pretty sure my lack of achieving goals is because they have been so loosey goosey. Honestly, I get a little sassy when it comes to goals, roll my eyes and act like, “Me, goals? Oh no, my life is great. No goals needed, thank you very much.” Yep, confession. I mean only people who have derailed lives need to sit down and outline goals for the upcoming year, right? I mean I have this, I do, really. (Insert convincing nod here and assertive wink.)

Nope, just nope. The past few months I struggled with the same things I started the year out with and why? Because I’m an idiot. Ok, not really. I’m a fairly intelligent person (most days) and I can preach until the cows come home about what I should be doing but I have been aiming at lots of things, just no where specific.

So here goes. 2019’s word for me is: (drum roll, please) INTENTIONAL.

Yep, I was praying for some super cool word like adventure, give, create. Honestly, something other than intentional. Really God? Really? And He said, “Yes, really.”

So the word intentional is defined as purposeful in word and action. I need that, yes, God, You know. I need to take aim at my goals INTENTIONALLY, with PURPOSE. So how? Well, maybe it starts with defining goals that are small and attainable and working from there. Enter SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based)

So here I am being very real on the 2nd day of 2019. I’ve set goals and even if they are not attained by 2020, I’ll at least be able to know that. And guess what? I may just aim, shoot and hit every goal I set for this year.

So Happy new year. Give yourself grace when you need to and learn that it’s not really even all about you anyways, yep, I wrote that. Reach out, share your time, your home, your life this year. You may be blessed in immeasurable ways, ways even SMART goals can’t attain.

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Seasons

I don’t remember the exact day and time I met him but I know it was there. I’m sure it was probably at a point when we were both folding T-shirt’s, hanging hats or pricing goggles. The first year we worked together, I didn’t think too much of him. He was a freshman in college and he acted like it. I was a senior in high school and was so much more mature… He was adorable but I didn’t have time for shenanigans.

So the season came and went and the next season, he came back. We were standing around at our employee orientation workday that happened every year. A T-shirt appeared from nowhere as it hurled toward my face. He had clearly matured over the year and had graduated to using primal techniques of communication….BUT I remember turning to look at that smile and well, THAT smile. He asked me out to the movies and here we are 20 years later, 2 kids, a dog, and a mortgage.

We’re about to hit the slopes for ski season with our kids. They’re excited- we all are. This time of year makes me so nostalgic though. I love the winter and the slower pace, spending time with families, the holidays, all of it.

I know this though. As much as I love this season and all of these changes, many people around me don’t. They suffer from the grief of lost loved ones, lost dreams and realities that don’t quite measure up to what they thought they’d have.

So here I am very nostalgic and reflecting. As I reflect on the goodness of the Lord to me in so many seasons, in good ones and in very hard ones. I need to remind myself that there is a friend or a sister or a brother who may be hurting today. They may be unraveling. What can I do to reach out? How can I let them know they are loved in ALL seasons?

I’m so excited to pull up at my childhood home this coming week, see my sister and celebrate with her family, eat ALL the food and make more memories. But I know others may feel like this is the hardest time, the most desolate, the loneliest.

Heavenly Father-Help me reach out to others today. To see beyond myself and to reach out to meet the needs of others around me in some way today. May I be less rushed and more present in my conversations with others. May I use this season (and ALL seasons) to glorify and honor You. Amen