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Live What You Believe

This month at Southview I am teaching (and learning) about courage. Our bottom line yesterday was, “I can be brave even when things seem impossible” We talked about Moses leading the Isrealites out of Egypt and being trapped between the Red Sea and Pharoah’s army behind them. For all it was worth they were at a dead end….couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back. But, in what seemed like an impossible situation, God showed his love and power to them by parting the red sea and giving them safe passage to the other side.

Yesterday morning Jeremy called me to say there was a shooting at the Navy Yard downtown. My heart sank 50,000 leagues under the sea as my mind raced back to the events of 9/11 where my Father worked at the Pentagon at the time. He is a survivor, but his office was a direct hit and he lost his entire department. My father now works on the Navy Yard. As I hung up to call my Mom I wanted to cry, but I kept remembering what I had been teaching my 5th and 6th graders all month along with our memory verse, “When I’m afraid I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 The phone call confirmed my Dad was able to get to safety, but the shooting was in fact in his building. Long story, but he was able to make it to my house. I ran to give him a hug and as tears began to fall I thanked Jesus for protecting my Dad and for giving him a way out…for giving him safe passage.

My Dad heard the first shots fired and immediately got his men and woman to begin evacuating the building. As they were heading down the stairwell and in the opposite direction my father said he heard more shots fired. I can only imagine he was remembering the basic truth we are teaching this month, “I can trust God no matter what.” Because, when we trust God he gives us the strength to be courageous and do the right thing, even when we’re afraid. My Dad has always taught me to look to Jesus in any situation, but being a living testimony to the truth he has taught me from childhood is powerful.  Not only does my Dad truly believe, but he lives his life as an example of that belief!

Thank you Jesus for protecting my Daddy today. Help me to remember to be brave even when things seem impossible. Not just with the big things like today, but with all the little things every day. I love you Jesus and I trust you!!

Permanent Marker

Have you ever felt compelled to do something, but maybe there was doubt, hesitation, a touch of fear, or all of the above?  Well, I am feeling that way right now. I want to change the path of where I am going spiritually. I want to be closer to my heavenly Father. I want every thought and every action to go through HIM first…before I act, not after the fact!  In writing a friend this morning I realized a powerful truth. I’m writing these quiet time blogs for me….

…when I write about what I’m learning, it feels “real”.  Seeing it typed out makes it final, like I’m holding myself to it – being my own accountability.  I want this change in me to be made in permanent marker…. I want to imprint Jesus in my life. I want it BOLD!  I want Jesus written all over me in permanent marker!!!

Will you join me in praying?  Will you ask Jesus to be BOLD in my life, to reveal Himself to me and make His mark in me?

What are you writing in permanent marker on yourself?

 

 

 

Cleansing Rain

Have you ever been out running or walking and it started to rain?  You’re almost home, but you hurry because you want to beat it.   A little faster, then a little more, but the drops are getting bigger and bigger….you look up to see water droplets glistening against a dark sky.  You’re out of breath, but you keep pushing…more and more, faster and faster….your muscles are burning and you can feel the warm rain pouring down harder….but the faster you go the harder it hits you, the more you feel it!  It’s starting to soak through…dripping down your face and off your clothes….but you can’t stop, you’re so close!!!  In your mind you repeat the phrase, “just keep going”.  All of a sudden you realize you didn’t make it and you’re a dripping wet, hot mess!

Life is like that for me sometimes….I’m trying so hard to beat the storm and shelter myself from the rain, but the faster I go the harder it hits me and the more it stings. Like running, my hurrying doesnt shield me from the effects of life….it just heightened my awareness to every detail around me.  But, just like the rain in the story, I can’t get away from life….I have to go through it.  The Lord spoke to me today, taught me something new.  Yes, I hate to get wet…I dont like being caught off guard… and yes, I’m a wet, hot mess, but through the journey of my life storm, Jesus has cleansed me.  He washed away all the sweat and dirt and left me overflowing and dripping with HIM.

If I had my way, I’d never be caught in the storms of life….but Jesus revealed to me that if I avoided the storm I’d never experience His cleansing rain.

What life storm are you caught in????  Are you breathless sweating it out to reach shelter?  Let Jesus shower you with His cleansing power as you run home….right into His arms.

Psalm 51:7, 12

7 “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean: wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. “

Australia

Here is some recent news on my awesome brother! (SCOTT) For those who havent heard, Scott, Jessica and my nephew Brendon and niece Brooklyn moved to Japan. While I miss them dearly, I am holding on to the hope of our family going to visit before they return! (Phillipians4:13)

  • CAIRNS, Australia (Aug. 16, 2013)
    Sailors assigned to dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) visit with patients in the orthopedic ward of Base Hospital in Cairns, Australia during a community service event conducted by the crew of dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Germantown is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently conducting routine joint-force operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew B. Church/RELEASED)

clearly he's telling a story cause everyone else is cracking up laughing!!  I LOVE IT!

Clearly he’s telling a story cause everyone else is cracking up laughing!! I LOVE IT!

 

  • CAIRNS, Australia (Aug. 16, 2013) Quartermaster 1st Class Scott Coulson visits Germaine, 4, in the pediatric ward of Base Hospital in Cairns, Australia during a community service event conducted by the crew of dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Germantown is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently conducting routine joint-force operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew B. Church/RELEASED)

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New Nail Polish

I found an awesome new combination for my nails on pinterst and fell in love! So… I tried it and am very happy! It’s a nude color with glitter on top. What do you think????

nude color with glitter on top

nude color with glitter on top

 

Playground Playdate

We have a wonderful new family that moved in across the street! They have two precious little girls, Leena and Taryn. Today I took all five to the playground to have some fun 🙂 Check out our adventure!!!

Left to right from top: Leena, Victoria and Zoё Bottom: Taren and Annelise

Left to right from top: Leena, Victoria and Zoë
Bottom: Taryn and Annelise

Chillin' in the shaded tube

Chillin’ in the shaded tube

Annelise being sweet!

Annelise being sweet!

Look at all the monkeys!!!

Look at all the monkeys!!!

Victoria and Mommy taking a break to get some water :)

Victoria and Mommy taking a break to get some water 🙂

Heart Surgery

I read a powerful post….take two minutes to read it, then come back to hear what Jesus taught me through it!

http://builtonhisrock.blogspot.com/2013/08/roots.html

I’m loving this post! It’s hard to accept the truth sometimes…but without the truth being revealed how can we fix the problem…ultimately the “symptoms” will continue and get worse until all you have is a big mess of what? Something that “looks” clean on the outside, but on the inside is oozing with hidden dirt, algae and harmful chemicals. Hiding the truth only hurts us…just like the fish in this story.

Let’s look even deeper now. How many of us have reacted ugly to a problem or situation and our first response was , “oh it’s just a onetime thing” …. “I was provoked” … “that was a rare circumstance” ….”I’m not usually like that” ??? We’ve all said or thought that at some point, I know I have! Here’s what I’ve learned.

~Matthew 15:10-11

10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear, “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

Jesus is teaching me that what I put in my heart is what will come OUT of my heart.  For me, it’s what I watch or hear that influences the most. I mean, at first I didn’t realize it….but when things got tough…what came out of my mouth? Want to take a wild guess? YEP! What I hear is what I say… I realize that when I hear or see a reaction, my mind stores the information away. Then, when I least expect it, pressure is applied and that thought, memory, learned response is put to action. Whoa! …Wait a minute…. Did I really just do that? My first response is to feel justified….but why? …Because, for the first time I see the ugly poison that is lurking underneath . My heart has been tainted by what I’ve allowed free passage. But I don’t want ugliness to come out of me when pressure is applied…I want Jesus to come out! Anxiety grips me as I realize how easy it was for Satan to plant his lies….and how easy it was for me to hear, store and recall them!

ACTION: Lord! I don’t want this ugliness inside of me….I want it out! I need it out so I can start fresh. My mother once told me you have to undergo surgery to fix what is wrong….if it’s in your heart then you need heart surgery. It’s time to take ACTION and allow the great physician to perform open heart surgery on me. I want Jesus to remove all the poison, lies and deceit that I’ve allowed to take root. It’s time to get rid of what’s clearly tainting my tank.

Do you take time to be still?  I don’t know about you but if I’m not careful I am buzzing around doing so much I forget to just be still…..

Have you ever been concentrating on something so hard you don’t hear your child or spouse speaking to you?  Until they say your name several times to get your attention you can’t hear a word.  I’m learning that sometimes God is having to say my name multiple times before I even hear Him. It’s made me stop to think.  God is telling me something to help me, guide my steps, or make the process easier.  Am I listening? OR, am I too busy getting it done?

For me God speaks and teaches lessons in the midst of the little things, not just the big. He’s sometimes telling me there is another way to do it, or sometimes He’s just telling me to let Him do it. But….I’m too busy bustling about crossing off my “To Do” list to hear His voice. He’s repeating it over and over and I’m not listening. The realization occurred to me that it’s not selfish or wrong to be still, rest, or take a break. It’s in the down moment that I’m resting when I hear Him calling my name, when I hear Him speaking.

ACTION:  I am challenged to work on slowing down….this doesnt mean I don’t get my chores done or become lazy, it means I take the time to sit and intentionally listen for God’s still small voice.  I will ask Him what He’s showing me that day, and LOOK for Him around me.  I want to learn to hear my Savior the FIRST time He calls my name, no matter what I’m doing.  It takes practice, it takes action.

Are you hearing God talk to you?  Have you taken time to sit and be still….slow your mind and think on Christ?  I am praying that as I work on this that you too will be challenged to listen for Him calling your name during the day.  What do you hear?

“I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people.”    Psalm 85:8a

The girls enjoyed a fun and different lunch this week.  It was easy to make and a huge hit!

IMG_6914

Zoë

Zoë

Annelise

Annelise

Victoria

Victoria

Everlasting light

Today I learned how God is a God of miracles….I saw Him work through me and show me just how much He loves me in the process…

You know that one exact moment when it hits you that what you’re seeing is not with your own eyes, but with your Heavenly Fathers? Well! Today I used His perfect sunlight for a task outside and found things I would NEVER have seen with my own eyes….but because I was looking with HIS light it suddenly became known. And it didn’t stop there…once I acknowledged HIS presence in the moment He suddenly began showing me other things. Like for instance…it’s August, the hottest time of the year and yet it was a cool 83 degrees, no humidity… AND!!!! there was a refreshing lite breeze to top it off.  As I worked and my fingers began to tire and my back began to go numb I made a decision to block out satan’s distractions.  In that moment I realized I could hear a woodpecker, birds chirping, and I even saw a beautiful blue and yellow bird which I’ve never seen in these parts.

What task are you challenged to accomplish today?  Have you examined the possibility that you yourself are trying to do it?  Give your challenge to Jesus!!  Allow HIM to work through you….use HIS perfect light to show you what your human eyes would otherwise miss.  And in the process, experience a touch of God’s love by allowing HIM to tackle whatever task is hanging over your shoulder.

Isaiah 60:19-20a

19 “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down.  For the Lord will be your everlasting light. “

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