“Be who you already are. Be Free– because you already are free. Your enemy is dead–so silence the lies in your head. No enemy can imprison you–because your Savior empowers you. Nothing can hold you in bondage–because you are held by him. Not one thing can hold you back– because his arms are holding you.
The greatest lie of the pit is that you have to prove yourself.
The greatest truth of Christ’s reality is that you are free– so live free. Be who you already are.
You are always free from something–to become free for something.
This is what the realest love does–it frees you from slavery and frees you for serving. From slavery to the dark to serving in the kingdom of light! From slavery to meaningless pain–to serving for the most meaningful purpose.” Ann Voskamp (foreward in You Are Free)
These last few months, God has taken me on a journey. A journey of walking in freedom. A journey of discovering my calling. A journey of exploring my weaknesses and strengths. A journey of healing from years of shame. A journey of leaning hard into His strength.
I’ve not written many personal blog posts recently. It’s not because I haven’t had the time or wanted to write. Honestly, I just haven’t known how to put my thoughts into words or turn my words into sentences for everyone to read. Since moving to CO, I feel I’ve been processing so many emotions, thoughts, feelings, and circumstances of my last eight years. Now that I am away from the place that held so much brokenness (SC) for me, I have fresh eyes and an open heart to release, receive and rest. It’s been a hard few months. It’s also been a good few months.
Now that we are somewhat settled from the transition to CO, God has purposefully given me a new season of slow . . . of calm . . . of waiting. Until Jason and I go through church planter assessment in March 2019, we have been graciously given a season of recover, rest and renewal. The present ministry expectations are few, undemanding and refreshing. Our eight years in SC were without a doubt the most challenging years for our personal lives, marriage and ministry. So what a blessing this season has been as we gear up for a very demanding season of church planting in the months and years ahead!
However, I’m in this strange and weird season of expectantly waiting for what’s next. I’m living in the “in-between, but not yet” season of church planting. Jason and I know we were led to CO to partner with Storyline Fellowship. We know God has called us to ministry. We know God has clearly given us a burden and desire to church plant. But so much of our future is still unclear.
“Where will we plant? Will we rent or buy a house? Where will our kids go to school? How will God provide financially? Who will God lead to partner with us? What is the timeline for our church plant? Will people even come to our church? Can we do this?”
So many questions exist in the wait. So many doubts creep in during the wait. So many emotions overwhelm in the wait. So many feelings constantly change in the wait. So many frustrations are exposed in the wait. So many buried hurts and longings are revealed in the wait. So many deep heart issues are coming to light in the wait. Continue reading Whispers, Waiting, & Worship
Fun for the week:
Music for the week:
Podcasts for the week:
Happy Wednesday, friends!
* I will be taking a rest from Wednesday Whispers through the month of December.
Heather MacFayden (Don’t Mom Alone) interviews pastor Tommy Nelson on her podcast. He shares some very insightful information about his own struggle with anxiety and depression . . . and offers help to those who may be struggling or have spouses who need encouragement.
Each morning on the way to school, my younger kids and I review some sort of Scripture verse, theology concept, or character development. It’s a great way to invest Jesus into their hearts in the short morning commute. I’m looking forward to using these cards in the near future!
I’m not sure about you, but we have TONS of lego pieces around our house! My kids are presently working on this Lego Christmas project to build. I plan to keep them busy with these other Lego holiday projects as well!
“I wanted to say this: Church, you must do better. Don’t make your pastor’s life harder than it has to be . . . Come alongside them and work with them so they know they’re not alone. Many of them have left all family and support to live in your community. You’re their family now. Don’t fight them at every turn . . . pray for them daily.” Glenna Marshall
For the past six years, we have read one of the books from this Advent series with our children in the month of December. It’s become one of our family traditions! In our experience, the readings do take a little time (at least 10 minutes or more) and are best received by children ages 5+. Our children thoroughly enjoy these stories! Jotham’s Journey is the first book in the series.
Happy Wednesday, friends!
IBCD: Medical Issues and Biblical Counseling podcast series
In light of my story, I have great interest in mental illness, ADHD, OCD, and counseling people with a pyschological diagnosis. I found these podcasts very enlightening, interesting, and helpful.
I am a huge fan of the products from Tiny Theologians! Amy, the founder, lives in my hometown of Kinston, NC! Woohoo! I can’t wait to use these cards for Advent with my children.
“I want to feel confident when I launch my kids into the real world that they are going to be just fine because I stepped back and let them navigate failure and real life stuff on their own. So please don’t judge me if my kids scramble around, shoving pre-packaged items into that brown paper lunch bag, before racing to catch the bus. It’s all on purpose my friends.”
A friend of mine, a foster and adopt mom, posted this article several months ago on Facebook. May our hearts always be open to these children and may our churches lovingly welcome and increasingly support these families.
I am always on the hunt for new resources that build the faith of my children! This book about Christian heroes of the faith is currently on my Amazon wishlist! A trusted blogger friend, September McCarthy, recommended and previewed this book on her Instagram story this week.
This girl, Kristen Welch, loves Jesus and is a world changer! I recently read her newest blog post and am choosing to participate in the #1000mercies movement. Her obedience to Jesus consistently challenges my faith! In 2010, Kristen and her family founded a non-profit called Mercy House in Kenya. The organization funds maternity homes in Kenya, created to aid pregnant girls living in extreme poverty. God is doing an amazing work through Mercy House. The Gospel is changing the lives of so many young girls and their families in Kenya!
“Mercy House Global exists to rescue girls and empower families so that we can redeem future generations in Jesus’ name. We work with women around the world through partnerships and sustainable fair trade product development. Every purchase in this fair trade marketplace provides dignified work while also helping to sustain our maternity homes in Kenya.” These products are absolutely beautiful and lasting! I encourage you to support this work and do some Christmas shopping here! I’m liking this Move Mountain collection, kid’s World Changer t-shirt, and the Kids Christmas Stocking Stuffer Bundle. If you enjoy reading, you’ll certainly be challenged and encouraged with Kristen’s book on Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World.
Happy Wednesday, Friends!
Calming Angry Kids: Tricia Goyer podcast
As a mom of ten children (several adopted), Tricia offers great practical wisdom and advice on this topic of parenting children with chronic anger. I gained several beneficial insights from this podcast. I always learn something helpful and find encouragement from the podcasts of Don’t Mom Alone with Heather MacFadyen.
Sara Hagerty– books, blog, instagram, adorations
Sara is one of my top favorite authors and speakers. I was first introduced to Sara several years ago at a blogging conference. Her sincere love and humble adoration for Jesus was evident to all! Her books (Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and Unseen) have been very influential in my own life and are ones that I find myself returning to over and over again. She recently wrote an article for Desiring God titled “How to Survive a Spiritual Winter” . . . it’s a worthy and encouraging read for all.
I adore and admire Ruth Chou Simons . . . she loves Jesus and lives the Gospel. A few years ago at a blogging conference, I was privileged to share a few personal moments at breakfast with Ruth. I’ll never forget our short conversation on pointing our boys to the Gospel in everyday parenting opportunities. She is a wise, kind, and gracious lady. Our home is filled with Ruth’s beautiful artwork, her book Gracelaced shares a space on my end table, her instagram is a favorite of mine, and her newest Christmas collection is absolutely gorgeous! I’m hoping to add these ornaments to my Christmas collection this year!
For the last 12 weeks, I have been working through the Psalms using this devotional and Bible reading app. It’s been a great study for me personally. I purchased the workbook separately to dig in further to God’s Word and record notes from the weekend teaching. I appreciate the heart of Proverbs 31 ministries.
This week, my kids and I have been discussing the life of Martin Luther and his wonderful contribution to Christian history. With Reformation Day being today (October 31), I thought you may enjoy this short video for kids. My kids found it very interesting and helpful!
Happy Wednesday, friends!
I’ll never forget the first time I read a book by Paul David Tripp and then attended a parenting seminar with Paul . . . his words left me with a burning desire to know more of God and to give my children a huge view of our awesome God! I have such admiration for this man of God who lives and teaches the Gospel. Parents, you are missing out if you’ve never met this guy!
“As we are the ones teaching our children about God, we especially need to ensure that as we teach them obedience it does not get confused with legalism. I have too many friends that grew up in households that were so focused only on behavior modification that they grew up thinking God only wanted good works from them.
. . . As we teach obedience we can’t avoid talking about the actual acts we expect of our children, nor should we, but there are certain things we can do as parents to teach obedience without it leading to legalism or the belief that they can earn salvation and acceptance from God by being “good” or performing. Here are seven ways we can do just that.” Christina Patterson
Be Held (Lullabies for the Beloved) Christy Nockels
This music album is a favorite in our house! I’ve often given this CD as a baby gift. These lullabies remind me to rest in Christ . . . to be held by His unending love and grace. Elysabeth often requests to hear “River of Grace.” It’s her favorite!
Last school year, I found myself sitting in a professional Christian counseling office. One of my children was struggling with anxiety about school. The constant headaches, lack of appetite for breakfast, intermittent nightmares, tears, and the struggle to sleep had taken a toll on both of us. One of the tools that she suggested was this workbook designed for children. God greatly used this book to give my child language for her struggles and tools to help her overcome much of the anxiety!
Carrot Casserole . . . a family favorite!
My kids ALWAYS request this dish for holidays . . . and often throughout other times of the year. It’s delish!
2 lb. fresh carrots (peeled and washed)
½ c. onion, chopped
1 c. grated cheese
½ t. salt
2/3 c. mayo
1 T. sugar
1 stick butter
1 tube Ritz crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and wash the carrots. Cut the carrots into small circles. Finely dice/chop the onion. Boil the carrots and onions together until soft then drain. (You don’t want the carrots to be too mushy.) Mix the cheese, salt, mayo, and sugar into a bowl. Add the carrots and onions into the sauce. Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Crush crackers and spread over casserole. Melt butter and pour over the crackers. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Enjoy!!
Happy Wednesday, friends!
Out of the Ordinary with Lisa-Jo Baker and Christie Purifoy
Ya’ll. . .You guys (that’s what they say here in CO), the first two episodes of this podcast have wrecked me! I have listened to each episode at least three times this past weekend! Listening to this podcast was like sitting with trusted friends around the kitchen table. Lisa-Jo and Christie are a delight to listen to! Episode two specifically addresses one of my current struggles –being satisfied in this season of my life. . . it’s so easy to long for what’s ahead (the desire) that I fail to see what God has already done in the past and is currently offering to me in this season. I was so challenged with these two episodes and feel you will be too!
What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul Tripp
“God has given us no sweeter, more beautiful gift than the gift of Himself. He is the gift that changes everything. His presence is what every sufferer needs, whether they know it or not. It is never more important than in times of suffering to hold onto and remember the theology of the Word of God. When you are suffering, it is vital that you preach regularly to yourself the truths that Scripture declares. It is vital that your thinking, feeling, interpreting, and craving heart is given the wisdom, guidance, and comfort that only the theology of the Word of God can give.”
Paul Tripp continues to be one of my favorite authors and speakers. His words flow with such grace and consistently point to the Gospel and God’s heart for His people. I can’t wait to read his newest book Suffering which releases September 30, 2018.
Singing In the Victory by Austin Stone Worship
I often find myself singing or humming this song as I go throughout my day. As a believer, I’m so thankful for the victory that Christ provides for the battles I face each day! I am able to sing in the victory of the cross. To rest in the shadow of His redeeming love. To stand on the promise of new life. Because I am His forever, and Jesus. . .He is mine!
My mom used to make this recipe often in the fall season. It was a family favorite! Each time I make this delicious dessert (or breakfast in my house), my heart misses her sweet presence and her yummy cooking. She was an awesome cook! Mom would leave the walnuts out of the recipe and just use pecans. And she always had Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream to serve on the side!
Happy Wednesday, friends!
This Is Not the Life I Expected, Life is So Hard-Part One & Two
My heart was so encouraged with these two podcast episodes by Sally Clarkson. Sally has been a mentor to me for several years through her books, conferences, podcasts, and blog articles. She is a wise woman who loves Jesus Christ and is passionate in offering Gospel hope to other women. Listen to podcasts-Part One and Part Two.
How to Ruin Your Life in Your 20’s
Jason and I discussed this article with our oldest two children who are now both teenagers. Jonathan Pokluda gives “seven ways you can ruin your life while still in your twenties — based on the opposite of Solomon’s counsel — along with a resolution for what to do instead.” Awesome article! Read this post.
Is He Worthy?
I repeatedly listen to this beautiful song by Andrew Peterson. This song gives amazing hope and reminds my heart of Gospel truth. Listen to this song.
ABC’s of Theology
Each morning on the way to school, my youngest three and I review these awesome little cards of theology. I absolutely love the time we spend discussing theological concepts that even little minds can begin to understand. Check out these products!
Happy Wednesday, friends!