The Path

Hot Mess

 

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It started like a normal day, for 20 peaceful minutes anyway.  I heard my husband rummaging through the refrigerator saying something about nothing to pack for lunch. He’s not looking in the right place, I thought. I just bought groceries yester…. ughhh, and my heart sank. Suddenly, I realized what I had done. I bought the groceries. I brought them home in the van. Then I completely forgot to unload them. I grabbed my phone and checked the outside temps through the night as tears began to well up in my eyes. Way too warm for parishable food! All of it, the meat, cheese, milk was now going out with the garbage. “I’m such a mess!”, I said aloud. Then the record of mess started to play through my head, “the laundry is piled up, no one can even find matching socks to wear, we’re going to be late for school…AGAIN, my husband will be starving all day, did I remember to pay that bill? I’m failing at everything!!! In addition, knowing I had to re-purchase the groceries reminded me of the biggest mess this month. A small oversite on my husband’s business acccount shorted us $1,400 this month. Ouch!, right?!

I needed my War Room and I needed it now! My War Room is nothing more than 2 oversized throw pillows on the floor of my closet but it’s where I do battle. It’s where I give up the lies the enemy tries to tell me and let God fight for me. It’s where I sit in silence so HIS truth can flood my soul! I practically ran, closed the door quietly and thanked God the kids were still alseep. There in my safe place as the tears flowed, He reminded me I’m never a mess to Him.  In fact, He sees me radiant, dazzling, confident and fully capable and equipped for every good work He intends for me to do. I resolved there were two options for the day. One was to let the mess overwhelm me, turn on a sad movie and do nothing but wallow in self-pity. Or two, share my mess.

Why share? Because the enemy doesn’t like it when we share our mess. He doesn’t like it when we encourage and build each other up. He wants us to stay silently trapped in the steady diet of lies he feeds us daily. When we share, we open ourselves up for healing, breakthrough and truth. We open a door for God, through his people, to pour words of hope, love and light into our spirit. By simply realizing we’re not alone in the stuggles life brings, we find strength to carry on! So I choose to share. Here.

If you want to share your mess, I’m here. I will listen, I will love, I will not judge.  You and I, my friend, are made for so much more! Let that truth clean your mess today.

Hebrews 3:21, Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 34:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, John 8:44

Delight and Desires

IMG_20171012_082412_600.jpgThere was a time in my walk where I thought of this scripture like quid pro quo. If I do these things then, God, the genie in a bottle he is, will do these things. 🙅 Thankfully we mature in faith, just like we grow and develop physically. The truth is, when we walk in faith God actually places His desires within our hearts. The desires we have in our hearts are the deep longings He gives us. Why? So we will desire to do His will and carry out our calling.
I believe this is something we greatly over-think in our world today. Media has put endless possibilities at our finger tips and we are constantly bombarded with every other person’s highlight reel. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the possibilities God could call us to. Our hearts may be tugged and touched by countless people, places and situations so it’s easy to assume we need to “do it all”. And while many of these are good and worthwhile projects, the deepest places of our hearts are stirred when we operate in those desires He gives us. How do you know what that is? I once heard it’s what stirs the most passion within you and makes you pound your fist on the table!
Frederick Buechner says, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Providence isn’t a desire Dan and I came up with on our own. God began placing those desires in our hearts long before we could even put a name to it and long before we even began expressing it to one another. It came from hundreds of moments of silence. Silence; The one thing, we lack in a world of demand and instant gratification. Your calling isn’t in a Google search. It’s not going to pop-up on your Facebook feed. You might find confirmation there. But the desires God wants to place in your heart come only from sweet quiet moments in His presense. You have to find who you are in Him alone, apart from all the influences of the world around you. When all other voices are silenced, what is left? Delight in Him. The deepest desires of your heart are found and met only in Him. ❤
#pathtoProvidence

Enough

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My husband took the kids hiking so I could get some work done but I’m taking a moment here because I know this is where the most important work occurs! I’ve been praying and meditating on some things because personal growth is vital to success! And when I need to clear some headspace, I come here. I realized today that at the root of the stress and anxiety I feel in my life, is the lie that I am not enough. That leads to striving, overextending, and ultimately exhaustion! I tell my team all the time there are four D’s to watch out for: distraction, deception, discouragement and defeat. If the enemy can distract you, in my case often with busyness, then he can start to deceive you, discourage you and attempt to defeat you in a certain area.
Today, I make my affirmation that I AM ENOUGH! When things aren’t going the way I want them to, I am enough! When my kids seem out of control, I am enough! When my spouse is upset, I am enough! When I’m not reaching my goals as fast as I want to, I am enough! When the enemy tries to tell me otherwise, I am STILL enough!
And you are to, my friends. You are more than enough! Rest in that today and know that whatever challenge you face or purpose you are called to, you are enough.
We are enough!
#enough #lifeunfiltered #pathtoProvidence

Disappointment or Divine Appointment

wordswag_1502281560055I was supposed to be getting on an airplane this morning, headed to The Global Leadership Summit in Chicago for an incredible weekend of motivation, insight, leadership training and worship. But God…

Instead I stayed in bed so that when my fevered little boy woke up, I’d still be there for him and his little sister who has the Chicken Pox. Yes, two sick kids with two different illnesses and yet, this still wasn’t an easy decision. It was one of those moments where you wonder if it’s the enemy trying to keep you from a blessing or God trying to keep you put.

But here’s what I know. It all has to pass through my Father’s hands. The enemy doesn’t hold a candle to the greatness of my God and every event that occurs in my life has to pass through the same hands that created me. That is why we can say, as Joseph said to his brothers, “what you meant for evil against me, God meant it for good”. Yet, there is a pivitol moment in every life experience where we choose our reaction. Disappointment or Divine Appointment? This is where the enemy actually has the greatest chance to pull us off course. If we fall into the trap of giving him too much credit for the negative circumstances in our life, we can easily fall prey to the trap of staying stuck in those circumstance. Distraction leads to deception which leads to disappointment and discouragement which ultimately leads to defeat.

So how do we keep from getting caught up in the web of D’s? We must learn to catch it early! The very moment those lies begin to enter and the thoughts swirling around in our head are no longer lifting us up, it’s time to put the breaks on and bring it all to the cross. Only the Holy Spirit can replace all the untruths with truth. He alone can calm the storm, right the wrong, and bring the good out of whatever mess we find ourselves in. The hardest part is, we won’t always see the rainbow in this life. When life brings us harder times than two sick kiddos, the good will often go unnoticed. It doesn’t mean God’s not there. His ways are unfathomable to us so this crazy trust in what we can’t see and can’t understand, this faith thing, can get really hard sometimes!

I won’t pretend to understand the hard you’re facing, friends. I won’t let cliche statements like, “every cloud has a silver lining” negate the harsh reality of the struggle you face today. But I will encourage you to find the truth that you aren’t meant to stay in that pit. Whatever it is. God meant your life for good. He intends to love, heal, reclaim, restore, and redeem every raw hard place in your life.

Today, I’ll take my appointment here #atthecross and lift up my sisters who are headed to that conference. My heart still yearns to be with them but I refuse to let disappointment defeat me. I’ll trust instead in this Divine Appointment.

Genesis 50:20 Psalm 139:16 2 Corinthians 10:5

One yes

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The best thing about this business isn’t the money, or the freedom it’s brought us or even the friendships. Even better than the amazing products, is the person I’m becoming on this journey. Four years ago, I was praying my way out of a pit of post partum anxiety. I had no idea God was about to use a “crazy wrap thing” to mold me into the person designed for His calling, but He is. While He is the same yesterday, today and forever, I am constantly being changed into His image. Because of this company, we have vision! We know God is equiping us for Providence, a ministry that He will build somehow through us to serve our veterans. And while He does, he’s given us a golden ticket to fund it. I don’t know what dreams are still lying dormant within you, I don’t know what “more” could be out there waiting for you, I don’t know the qualities that could be ready to grow but I know this… NOTHING will ever change until YOU make a change!!!
One YES changed everything for us.
#lifeunfiltered #pathtoprovidence

Behind the Fog

wordswag_1497436623147.pngIt is too foggy this morning to see the cross. In fact, if you didn’t know it was there, you’d never even know to look for it. It is completely hidden under a dense cloud of fog.  When I woke up, headed to the bathroom and looked out the window, I have to admit I was a little disappointed to not be greeted by the cross standing boldly in my view like every other morning. Immediately, 1 Corinthians 13:12 came to mind; For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  I love the way The Message interprets this verse; We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

Ever feel like you can’t see the road ahead in this life? Like you’re squinting in a fog? Uncertainty can stop us dead in our tracks. It can paralyze us and keep us from taking the next step forward. I’ve often wished for a road map of life; that God would, upon birth, bestow the answers to every question you’ll encounter. Take this job. Marry this person. Buy this car. Move to this town. Clear, concise, and no questions about it; a complete handbook on every twist and turn we’ll encounter. And while the safe side of me, the one that wants to curl up in the closet and hide in the fetal position when life gets tough, thinks that would be fantastic, the adventurer in me calls it cheating.  Afterall, what would there be to gain, to learn or to consider accomplishments if everything in life had already been decided? The older I get the more I realize, asking for that road map, is really asking to remove faith. To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see, Hebrews 11:1.

I am certain that cross is still on the hill. I can’t see it, but I know it is there and I have faith that soon the fog will lift and I will see clearly again. I’ve seen the cross before so I can easily trust in it’s reappearance. My heart’s desire is that I will learn to trust in the appearance of things I’ve not yet seen.  I’ve not yet glimpsed loved ones coming to Christ, but I trust it will happen. I’ve not yet seen our veteran’s ministry being built but I trust God will indeed build His Providence.  My prayer is that my faith in these unseen matters will be as strong as it is in knowing the cross is still there behind the fog. For “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 

Maybe the next time we face some uncertainty we’ll remember that even if we can’t see it, the cross is still there.

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The Timeline

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This is our first spring in our new house.  Because we moved in the winter months, we weren’t sure what the landscape would look like in bloom. It was exciting to see those first white blossoms of the weeping cherry and the pink buds pop on the magnolia. Then there was this tree. As white turned to green and every tree in the yard reached full bloom, this tree remained nothing but bare branches. The brown was a stark contrast against the bright green that had become the backdrop of our yard.  “Looks like we’ll need to cut that one down”, I told my husband. “I can drop it”, he said, likely excited by the chance to put a chainsaw to good use.  We assumed it was dead, since all the other trees where now full of vibrant green leaves and this one remained barren. But then, just a few days after that conversation we noticed buds all through the top of the tree. What was brown and bare, now seemed to have life bursting forth. Within a week, green leaves were popping out and a few days later the entire tree was in full green glory!  It scarcely resembled that old “dead” tree we planned to cut down.  In fact, it’s one of the best shade trees in the yard.

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I can’t help but think of our dreams in relation to this tree. So many times, we set a goal and begin to go after it. We water it, we tend to it but if it remains barren too long, if the fruit is not produced in the time we expected, we give up on that dream. We cut it down. It’s so easy to look around at other dreams being fulfilled. We look at others achieving their goals and think our time has expired.  They are in full bloom while our stuggled attempts to reach our goal stand out like the stark brown contrast of a bare tree in a forest of green. It is so easy to get caught up in the timeline rather than the ultimate destination.  We let the dream die if it doesn’t bloom in the time we expect. What if we waited just a few more days? Would we start to see buds break forth? What if some of the dreams you’ve cut down were just a week away from fulfillment? Or what if it took years? Would it still be worth it? If your dream is big enough, it will be worth the wait. Whether it takes months, years or a lifetime to see it come to fruition, it will be worth it.

Let the timeline go, my friends. Let comparison fall to the wayside.  This is your time. It may take longer than expected or it may surprise you. Just as you are about to cut it down, it may suddenly decide to bloom.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

 

At the Cross

There are moments I doubt. I question everything. Where I am, what I’m doing…
We left the Army and a Department of Defense job for a crazy wrap thing??? We packed up our lives, our son and brand new baby to move where we believed God was calling us. We told the world about a dream to build a ministry retreat center and help military families!
Are we crazy???!! wordswag_1493739510920.png
What if we were wrong. What if we ARE crazy? What if it never happens? What if it all falls apart??
Yes, oh yes there are moments I doubt. I wrestle. I question. But then. Then there are moments like this one. When the sun bursts over our house and I look out to the cross and I remember. I remember WHOSE I am! I remember why we’re here and I remember the God who can do all things, any thing through me, in spite of me and with or without me.
The truth is, He doesn’t even need us but He’s called us.
He knows.
He knows when and how and every tiny detail in between.
So I rest once again and keep my eyes on the cross.
Afterall, my God moves the mountains He moved us to.
#atthecross #pathtoprovidence #lifeunfiltered

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Drop the labels from the past. Even from yesterday.  You are not worried, behind, overwhelmed, scared, late, hurried, angry, upset, weak, tired, incapable or any other lie you once believed. Rest in the fact that you are just His.

Father, peel and scrape away at old ideas and mindsets that keep me stuck. The ones that hold me back from your plans.  For you know the plans you have for me and they are good. They are for prosperity and growth. Then fill me fresh and clean like a basket of flowers. Let New Life grow with new ways and new thoughts. Jesus, keep me from settling into less than abundant life!

Jeremiah 29:11

Starting Point

20170308_114958I have officially been back in a workout routine for 2 weeks now and already feeling better but for months I made excuses for not going! Sick kid, too busy, too tired, baby is fussy, don’t know anyone. These are just a few. Then it took some time to dig really deep and figure out exactly why I wasn’t wanting to go. I used to love working out! And in fact I almost became addicted to that time each day. After the kids and running the business from home it became much more difficult to work that time into my daily routine. But time alone wasn’t the only factor keeping me from digging out my sports bra, throwing on my tennis shoes and getting back out there.
So what was it? If I got really honest, I knew the issue was me. There’s a shift that takes place sometimes in motherhood where you forget about yourself. Self care is tossed out the window and your kids begin to define you. The bottom line was, I didn’t think I was good enough.
What???
The gym is where you go to GET in shape so why did I feel like I needed to “be better” before I went?? That’s like trying to “get right” or be sinless before going to church. It makes no sense! This is my year of freedom which means heaping tons of Grace on myself!
It’s time to start where I am and dive in. I’m in a core conditioning class with people 30-40 years older than me. I’m the only one NOT getting a senior discount but you know what, it’s ok. We have to start somewhere!!

It’s the same with any goal. Weightloss, fitness, financial freedom. It has to start where you are right now.
Own it. Then grow it. I know you can do it!