Monthly Archives: October 2015

31 Days of Seeking Him – Wave

31 Days of Seeking Him

It never stops.

The endless rolling of the waves in the ocean. It builds and rolls and crests and crashes, over and over again.

I sat out on the balcony of the condo we rented in Florida in September. My internal clock didn’t seem to know it should be on vacation mode and I woke at my normal time. I forced myself to rest a short time more, but the waves were calling me.

I snuck outside and was protected by the rain storm that was rolling into the gulf. The sky was overcast and the water dark but even though the sun wasn’t shining its beautiful rays, the scene was amazing.

There is something about the sound of the waves crashing that is calming and yet joyful as well.

Waves

I felt like I was in the audience of a concert that was being played for the God that placed the seas, the God that told the ocean when to roll and when to crash upon the shore.

It was breathtaking.

I posted a short video online and said that I could listen to that sound for the rest of my life. An endless song, a rising and falling with a crescendo at the end as the wave meet the shoreline.

As I spend time seeking God it is my prayer that my hearts song would be one of endless praise.

Like the ocean that sings and never stops, I too want a life that reflects my gratefulness and worship to the one who created me. What a gift that morning was. And while I won’t be able to see that every day here in Minnesota…I want to always remember.

The waves cry out, they sing and dance and so should I.

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Temporary

31 Days of Seeking Him

As the rains pelted down and threatened to thwart our outdoor plans I was frustrated. Why does it always seem like rain comes at the most inopportune times?

Living in a farming state, and working with mostly farming families I am well aware of the value of the rain. We had a period in the summer where it rained really hard for one day a week. Just enough soaking to encourage the crops to grow but not too much that would overwhelm the plants.

We need the rain, it nourishes and replenishes.

But sometimes it comes and I find myself upset with its timing. An outdoor picnic cancelled, a day stuck indoors.

With so many things though, it is temporary.

The storms roll in, the rain comes, the lightening crashes and the thunder roars and then as quickly as it came in…it moves one.

There have been times in my life that have felt like the storms have stalled out over my life. The raging is deadening and the water threatens to drown me. But always and without fail the storm passes and calmer times return.

In the middle of a crisis I can’t seem to remember that it is temporary.

I am stuck in the thick of it and upset. My focus becomes the storm, and I can’t see past it.

In hindsight I can say that every difficult season was temporary but one thing that was constant was God.

Through all of it, the rainy and the sunshine days, God has been with me. It is easy to see Him and feel Him when things are good. In the past though, during the hard I could only see the hard.

Seeking God with every bit of my being means seeing Him even in the dark parts. Recognizing that He IS there, He IS present and working. Remembering that every other storm that has come has been temporary and I was always able to see how He had a hand in my protection.

I don’t want to be a forever “hindsight girl”. I want to be the kind of believer that knows that she knows that she knows that God IS always with me. The trials are temporary but my God? He is forever.

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Honor

31 Days of Seeking Him

While on our girls weekend away Gindi and I watched the Miss America pageant. Oh yes we did. I haven’t honestly seen it in years and we just laughed and tweeted our way through the entire show.

Watching it was painful at times, the inappropriate dress choices, the interview answers and the talent…oh the talent.

Some of the women were really good and a few struggled, it seemed as though they were trying to make something theirs that wasn’t.

But as I was thinking about it today I realized how very brave they were. Imagine the pressure of being judged, nit-picked, watched by an audience of millions, no thank you!

To stand on the stage and own a gift God had given them….it took guts.

I sing on the worship team a few Sundays a month. I have always loved singing and from the time I was in middle school wished I had the courage that some of my friends did.

One girl, Heidi, came to school every day for weeks with her hair tied up in these rollers because she was in a play outside of school and she needed her hair to be show ready after school. She looked crazy ridiculous, but I had such respect for her. She loved what she was doing and didn’t care how crazy she looked doing it.

I on the other hand stand on our stage on Sunday mornings and tremble with fear. Almost every time I get up there I feel sick to my stomach. Certain that all.the.people must be looking at me instead of the words, I am afraid what will happen if I mess up.

I so quickly forget that I am there to lead people into their own worship. And by using a gift God gave me, I am honoring Him too.

It isn’t about me.

I know I have said that before and I repeat it more for myself than you sweet friends, but apparently I am a slow learner!

I sing because He created me to worship Him best in that way. I don’t say eloquent prayers or spend enough quiet time on my knees. But when I sing, it is to Him. The words of the songs are my love letter to the Father who gave me my voice.

I seek to honor my God with the very talents He birthed in me. It is never about me, only Him. That one bears repeating so I don’t ever forget.

What unique gift has God given you that you can use to honor Him?

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Worth

31 Days of Seeking Him

Acts 20:22-24 “An now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

I love the stories of Paul. His conversion and then his undying devotion and commitment to Christ and sharing the good news. Paul was a man seeking God in every way possible.

In the book of Acts we read about his travels to different lands, the encounters he has there and the faith he has in the journey.

And yet Paul was a man that faced persecution, actual physical persecution. He was warned that hardships and prison were likely facing him on his travels and yet he boldly goes anyways…why?

Because he knows that his life is worth nothing in light of the gospel, the Christ.

His only “job” was to share the saving grace of Christ with others.

A calling that is for us here today, but how often do I pursue it as bodily as Paul did?

The reality is that I often place my worth in people, places and things. I want to appear worthy, I want to be worthy in the eyes of those around me.

I stress and I worry about what people might be thinking, I get stuck in the comparison game and struggle with jealousy. I forget that I have the great opportunity to be a vessel of Christ’s love to others and instead I strive to be a perfect wife/mother/friend. And for what?

Paul had it figured out.

Maybe it was enough times of hardship, maybe it was having seen the real life man of Jesus in person…I don’t know, but he knew that his worth was nothing in light of the good news.

I seek God every day so that I can continue to shed this need to be something I am not. To find my worth in others.

Instead in this seeking I hope to find that place that I am confident in who God created me to be and I can start to use my talents and gifts for His glory alone.

I am a work in progress, that is for sure. But knowing that this refining brings me closer to God…well that makes it all worth it.

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Offer

31 Days of Seeking Him

There are so many days that I come to this space and wonder what I have to offer. Hasn’t every thing already been said, and likely by someone more eloquent than me?!

The enemy loves nothing more than to whisper lies to us and tell us that we don’t have what it takes. How often do I listen to those lies and remain stuck?

More than I’d like to admit.

I started blogging with high hopes of one day writing a book. Isn’t that the dream of so many of us? To see our names on the cover of an actual book?!

Experts on writing and publishing say that we should write even when we aren’t inspired…just to do the action of writing, to keep practicing. But that doesn’t work for me. If I don’t feel a leading, or inspired I don’t feel like I can “fake” it.

So at times the pages of this space remain empty.

As I continue to seek God, to walk in the faith journey that He has me on, I am learning that I do have something unique to offer. My story.

We all have one. Some of the parts of my story may sound familiar, and other times maybe not so relate-able. But it is mine and by sharing the hope that I have found in my relationship with God, I am bringing an offering back to Him.

My words may never leave the confines of this place and I am becoming more at peace with that. I love sharing my heart here and offering what I do have. I don’t have it all figured out but hopefully by sharing the good and the bad, I can be a a safe place for others to do the same.

So be brave, seek God and then tell your story, be a light to someone today.

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Green

31 Days of Seeking Him

The colors are changing quickly around town these days. The green that once filled the ground this summer is fast being replaced with browns. A sure sign of the ever changing seasons.

In the winter we hold onto hope that the green will come once again. We watch for it as the snow melts, we cheer when life appears again. In what at times seems like the endless drag of winter, the signs of new growth remind us that spring is just around the corner.

I love the changing seasons. This time of year is especially beautiful when the trees start to reveal their hidden beauty. What was once green begins to turn to yellows, oranges and brilliant reds. I have always wanted to travel to the Northeast where I hear they have some pretty magnificent displays! I am continually inspired by the beauty of the earth around me.

There is something about these changing seasons that reminds me of the growth I have had in my faith life.

At times I have felt cold and stuck in a repeated winter blah. God seems far away. (Usually it is me that has withdrawn and not Him) I fear that there won’t ever be new growth and yet I hold onto the hope of newness. Newness found in seeking Him.

And as it always has, spring comes again. New growth, new life….a greening of my faith as I experience life with God in a renewed way.

While the seasons change around me I can be  sure that there is one constant in all of it, and that is God. He is the same in each season of my life. He has always been there…even when I have pushed Him away, fought Him, blamed Him. God has always been beside me.

As I continue to seek God more and more I become more secure in His presence in my life. I see Him in the changing colors, I feel His presence even in the depths of winter and I find hope in the promise of new life that comes with the greens of spring.

He is and always has been there and I walk in faith knowing that will never change!

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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Laugh

31 Days of Seeking Him

There were many years in my marriage that laughter was missing from our home. Fights and threats dominated our space instead of love and laughter. I worked really hard at staying angry because then I could be rotten as well.

Miserable right?!

When I think back on those times I wonder how it is that we survived?!

We didn’t have a relationship with God, or each other really that wasn’t contemptuous. My idea of God was terribly skewed and I thought that because He didn’t answer my prayer requests in the manner I had hoped, He must be punishing me.

It is hard to laugh and smile when anger permeates every piece of your being.

I recently read Fervent by Pricilla Schirer. It is a book that accompanies the War Room movie and it is amazing. In one of the chapters she talks about how the enemy works to keep us from a right relationship with our spouse and God.

Unforgiveness is one of the biggest weapons the enemy uses in this war.

For years I harbored unforgiveness in my heart. I didn’t want to forgive Dominic for things I “thought” were his fault. I needed to hold onto the anger. It was a vicious cycle and one that I am so glad we are free from.

It doesn’t mean that our marriage is 100% problem free. We work together full time and I over schedule us most days. We find ourselves worn and weary and irritable too. Feelings get hurt and forgiveness has to be asked for and given.

But recently we made a commitment to one another to not only forgive, but walk in that forgiveness. Don’t just say we forgive but treat the person as though we really do.

And you know what has been the result of that commitment?

Laughter.

Lots and lots of laughter.

Sometimes we are silly with our issuing of forgiveness. Sometimes it comes out a little sassy (I have a way about me at times…Dominic will tell you its true!) But we are laughing more than ever.

It feels good. We are connecting better, supporting better and encouraging more. And we are sharing laughter and are seeing the results. Our kids laugh more, we joke and probably behave inappropriately at the dinner table, but we are united and then enemy isn’t taking that away from me!

I know marriage can be hard. Life gets overwhelming, but do yourself a favor and find someone to laugh with. It really is the best medicine! Seeking God’s plan for our marriage, having hearts open to love and forgiveness has brought new life to our marriage and I am so grateful!


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Because I am a part of this fun #Write31Days community I have something extra fun to share with you for the rest of this month! DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading! I’d love to see one of my readers win this so enter today!! 🙂

31 Days of Seeking Him – Fly

31 Days of Seeking Him

In late August we moved our son to college for his freshman year. He chose an engineering school that is 7 hours away from home.

It is so so far away!!

I always knew that this day would inevitably come, but when it did I wasn’t fully prepared for the reality of it all.

I miss our after school chats before he would head out to work. I miss seeing him every day and while I would have preferred he attended a college closer to home, just so we could see him more…I can’t tell you how very proud of him I am.

He has spread his wings and is flying .

And you know what the best part is?? There are some things he is doing that I have had nothing to do with…no influence, or motivation. He is just taking initiative and making responsible choices.

He took a class in High School that was a college level computer science class. He passed the AP exam and the credits transferred but he apparently found out that he didn’t learn one of the things that they teach out at the Mines. So my boy (beaming with pride here) went to his department head and asked if there was anything he should be doing on his own to prepare/learn for the course that follows.

Don’t you love that?!

So now he is taking an extra lab course so that he will be where he needs to be come next semester.

As parents we do our best to train up our children so that when they “leave the nest” they can fly on their own. There will be difficulties along the way…but we pray for them and know that they will come away stronger just like we have.

Isn’t our relationship with God the same way? We seek Him, learn from Him and then we go out into the world and try to be a light to others…we fly knowing that he is there to support us. (Ok I almost typed “He is the wind beneath our wings”…because it seemed appropriate but I didn’t want to break into song here! 🙂

And while I miss Isaac’s physical presence in our home, watching him fly on his own is pretty exciting too.

31 Days of Seeking Him – Patience

31 Days of Seeking Him

I stopped praying for patience when I realized that God continued to provide opportunities to practice said desired skill. And the reality was that I was failing at every turn.

Apparently I have a bit of a short fuse. (ahem)

I can get irritated with the smallest things, like people in the elementary school drop off lane for example. I start to get anxious as the pick up time approaches, knowing that inevitably someone else won’t drive or park in the manner that I think that they should. (Because you know I apparently think that I know best)

But my impatience and irritation doesn’t do anyone any good. They don’t know I am angry and yet I am the one huffing and puffing around like a crazy women. Not the example that I want to set for my kids.

I want to be a woman with a calm spirit. This doesn’t come naturally to me…it is something that I have to work for, and at times it is hard work!

But there is something beautiful that happens when we slow down and give one another grace. I leave a situation feeling better about things and I am showing others that patience is a virtue.

In a society that is primarily an “I want what I want, when I want it”….it can be hard to wait patiently. I have found myself questioning God’s timing in certain situations, positive that He is moving too slow!

But I have a saying on the wall in my home that says “Sometimes God doesn’t give you what you want, because He has something so much better planned for you.” It is a constant reminder to me that I don’t always know the best plan, or the best timing.

So I work at seeking Him and trusting His timing in every area of my life. I pray that I would have a spirit of patience and grace and I would stop questioning His plan and just keep walking forward. It isn’t easy to do, trust me…but I believe that we will see rewards as we walk in faithfulness.

31 Days of Seeking Him – Storm

31 Days of Seeking Him

The clouds were building in the distance. I had heard that the south was experiencing some pretty heavy storms and flying high above the clouds revealed their depth.

I really do love flying but when someone says there is turbulence up ahead, and the large iron tube that you are flying in starts to shake…well I get just a little unnerved.

Oh I don’t want the storms to come Lord.

In my 40 years I have weathered my share of storms. Some of them came up without warning, others were brewed up out of my own doing.

And if we are being honest here, I haven’t enjoyed a moment of the time during the storm. I probably make things worse as I stomp my feet, shake my fists and ask God why He allows them to happen.

But as we often see there is a beauty that emerges after a storm. New growth, the clouds parting, a view we hadn’t noticed or appreciated before.

Inevitably the storms will come, instead of trying to run for them I need to be preparing myself to walk through them with as much grace as possible.

The only way to be prepared for an unknown such as this is to be focusing on Who is my strength. In hindsight I can always see how God was with me. Even if I felt alone, I can see now where His hand was evident.

Knowing this truth, even if just from past experience, should give me hope.

Spending time with God, seeking Him in my every day, getting to know the character of Him will prepare me to weather the next storm. Just like in the airplane, I am trusting that the pilot is guiding the aircraft through the turbulence.

I want to always be putting my full trust in the One pilot in my life that will help me face any storm to come.

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