Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Morning Glint

I think we are all a little sad that yesterday was our last weekend At the Movies, it has been a lot of fun!

It was especially fun this weekend as we had all of our little ones three and up together in "big church". I absolutely love watching our Awaken Kids engage in worship so freely without hesitation and watching their reactions to the sermon points. The most beautiful part of the day though was at the end of the message when there was a call for those who would like to invite Jesus in to their heart and hands went up all over the building... kids seem so much more aware of their limitations and need of a Greater Power. Needing Jesus just makes sense!

This week we FACED OUR FEARS

We all have fears... when my husband asked the audience to yell out their fears from their seats, they ranged from spiders and snakes to the fear of failure, the unknown, heights and everything in between.

I have to say my favorite part of the sermon was this:

We can be Brave, when we trust God!

God did not intend for us to walk alone! Don't we all feel stronger when we have a friend's hand to hold, and God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother!

Wait for the Lord's help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord's help. Psalm 27:14

Children are really great at this! When they face a fear (which in our house for our three-year-old Lacie generally involves a black ant crawling on our bathroom sink that literally debilitates her until someone can come to her rescue), they want and know they need help! Lacie will stand there and wait for as long as it takes for someone to come HELP! At the picnic following our service yesterday, Lacie somehow convinced one of her friend's moms to carry her from bounce house to bounce house so she didn't have to walk on the grass where the ants might be. Children are at times so much more aware that they need help in order to conquer. Often times when us adults are facing our own trials and fears, we may not so readily go to the source of our Bravery first.

God is not necessarily going to take away all of the things from our life that make us feel intimidated and afraid, just as it is impossible for me to take away every little ant from the planet. But when we choose to trust God in the midst of our fears, we will find that we can feel BRAVE and strong instead of crippled... and filled with peace instead of anxiety!

God promises this peace in John 14:27... I encourage you to go check it out!

If you missed Awaken this past weekend, I encourage you to go online and listen to the podcast... a great way to start your week!

Have a great Monday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Morning Glint

Waking Up from the Secret Life

Yesterday we continued our At the Movies series, and I have to say that this message was one of my all-time favorites. My husband encouraged us to Wake Up From the Secret Life.

Proverbs 6:9-11, "How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest - Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man."

I have often read this scripture and thought of the financial poverty that happens when we are lazy, but Brian encouraged us that when we live as a daydream believer we slink in to an emotional poverty which leads us to an impoverished mindset. We constantly look inward, living in a comparison game, and find ourselves wishing for a different life but never living one.

We Are Meant to Live for So Much More!

Are You Living the Dream, or are you Living In One?

Our daydream life should not look better than our reality! As my husband said, "Your Facebook feed should be the envy of all of your friends." Not because you have all of the money but because your life is full of adventure, taking risks, believing God for big things and seeing those beliefs turn in to reality.

I love watching Walter Mitty's face in this scene shown yesterday from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty... a defining moment for him without a doubt. In this moment, the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of change! Walter Mitty's face shows the many different scenarios playing out in his mind of what could happen if he jumps out of the helicopter, but also reeling at the same time is the pain of realizing what happens if he doesn't. We all have our list of different excuses that play out in our mind every day, but I loved when my husband said, "God's mandate blows our excuses out of the water." God is the Helicopter Pilot in your life and He is saying, Go Now! Go! Go! Go!

So what does God want us to go do? He outlines it very clearly in Matthew 28:19-20, GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES! He wants to use us to expose the lie of the secret life in others. Who do you know that is living in a daydream... living the same hum-drum 9 to 5, walking through life "asleep" with no joy, purpose or hope? The people all around us are looking for someone who will come where they are and show them a different way... not with judgement or confusing words but with our lifestyle that just looks different.

What three people can you reach out to this week? How can you expose the lie of the secret life?

This message requires a response! If you missed Awaken this past weekend, I encourage you to go online and listen to the podcast... a great way to start your week!

Have a great Monday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Morning Glint

Instructions on how to...

Fit In
Make Everyone Like You
And Always Be Happy

This past weekend was a very fun and challenging message At the Movies entitled Life Hacks. We all have times that we wish there was either a big Staples EASY button or an Instruction Manual like what was alluded to on the new LEGO MOVIE for life. So when challenges come our way throughout the day we can just press that button or read the manual and know exactly how to move forward. You can find life hacks galore in any grocery store check out line magazine... But God actually did leave us with an instruction manual, 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is God-breathed and helps guide us in life!

My husband used the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 to show how the Bible is the number one source for Life Hacks and a much more effective use of our time. Here are some of the points that really stuck out to me.

Don't Worry Be Happy... how often do we spend time worrying and fretting over situations when God promised in Matthew 5:33, "Seek First His Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you."

Be Content with Who You Are... Don't Call Bad what God has deemed good. I have definitely been guilty of this one too many times, wishing I had a different skill set or personality (we are so hard on ourselves aren't we?) The compare game is a ruthless one... God MADE US ON PURPOSE JUST THE WAY WE ARE!

Pray on Purpose... Prayer will either change the situation or it will change us. Matthew 6:7 really struck home, "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words." Brian challenged us to talk to God like a friend, have real conversations with Him... He hears us and is already working on our behalf!

What was your favorite Life Hack?

The message was so powerful! If you missed Awaken this past weekend, I encourage you to go online and listen to the podcast... a great way to start your week!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

An army... of strength!

Selina was three years old and I was having one of my normal... I have to make sure my daughter is well-rounded moments... worrying that she will lack where I lack or that she will miss out on something because my expertise does not lie in particular areas. Basically, this whole day that was about to unfold was fueled by insecurity and I can guarantee there were better uses for my time. Do you ever have days like that? I mean earlier that day on the Today show they had a three year old who could play the violin with ease and it seemed that all my friends had Doogie Howser for children... I needed to pick something that my kid would excel in right? And what about all of the things that I had no expertise in at all?

You are talking about the girl who called her soon to be husband the night before we were supposed to marry crying, stating that I didn't think he should marry me... Why? Because I didn't really know how to or love to cook. (I am pretty sure Brian just laughed at me... especially considering during our entire friendship and engagement, he had done most of the cooking. I guess he felt that I had value in other areas besides cooking.) But at that moment, that seemed like a deal breaker to me.

Have you ever let your insecurities become a deal breaker?

It was below freezing outside, I was pregnant and Wyatt was barely walking; and I decided for some reason unknown to any logical man that today was the day to step outside of my comfort zone. So we bundle up, get in the car and make the drive to our nearest Michaels. If you have ever been there, you know that their carts are small and their aisles anything but kid friendly. I plop Wyatt in to the cart and grab Selina by the hand telling her that we are going to pick out a special craft for her to put together... a promise that would not be fulfilled that day. I walk down the aisles, stop at least three workers to ask them questions that I am sure pointed me out as the rookie of the store... but it seemed that every idea or craft part required another component, the paint was too toxic, the project too hard for tiny three year old fingers... slowly my blood pressure begin to rise and my insecurities rose to all new heights... so we left, Selina crying because she had attached herself to something that was for ten year olds...

I went home, put the kids down for a nap... and cried! (I am sure the pregnancy hormones were not aiding me at this point!) How could my daughter or my son or the next one succeed in life if I was going to have a break down in a Michael's store?

I knew on that day that I needed to pray... looking back on my journal, I see how God has knocked it out of the ball park in those requests...

Do you ever let your insecurities become a deal breaker for you? We look around us and feel like we don't measure up, so our children won't measure up or maybe we compare our children to those around us and so begin to feel that our children don't measure up. Try to take up a new hobby that we have no interest in to start, push ourselves to journal because that is how Suzie finds her closest times with God, volunteer to do something because it seems like the right thing to do and then everyone in your household feels the weight of that unhappiness in your decision week in and week out, devote hours of time to a project that someone else could probably do in fifteen minutes because we don't want to feel inferior, and the list could go on all day. We put so much pressure on ourselves... I feel there are times that God is just shaking His head and saying, they just don't get it!

God made us to be us! Social media and the comparison game around us can be the enemy, but do you know where the greatest battle is fought... our own mind!!!!!! God knew exactly what He was doing when He put you in your work environment, in your classroom, when He made you the parent of your children...

My little Selina is now six (and a half in 3 days she has been counting off to me)... and can I tell you, she leads me. In the past week, Selina has taught me how to do a single, triple, fishtail something on her rainbow loom, sowed her own dress on her doll, read an entire American girl series, cooked breakfast three times in one week, and practices her beam routine at least 15 times a day. Even today she took over an hour to make a fan that spins out of card stock to go over her bed as decoration... none of these projects were my idea.

I don't have to be all things to all people and I don't even have to be all things to my children. God is asking us to use the tools that He has given us and to be good stewards of them.

What makes me the best possible mom for Selina is not that I am super skilled at all of the things that she finds passion in. Honestly, most of the things that Selina chooses to do in her spare time, I would pull my hair out if you told me I had to sit and do for three straight hours. (I may have had close to an emotional breakdown when I could not follow a ten year old girl doing Rainbow Loom on YouTube.) The parts of me that make me the best possible mom for her is that I am a cheerleader so my children know I am always behind them no matter what, a believer that you can truly do anything you set to do because that is what Philippians 4:13 says so my children think they can conquer the world and why not, I am resourceful, I like to defy the odds, I am organized which makes Selina's life more sane because she struggles there, I am patient, I love people and so Selina has picked up that passion for people and makes them bracelets or cards, I like to ask questions which makes Selina's choice of passion feel valuable and most importantly I am willing to let her be different than me! I have a lot of other amazing qualities but this blog is not about that... laugh out loud! But honestly, we are so hard on ourselves, how dramatically would our outlook change if we could start naming the things about ourselves that makes us special and unique. So now Selina drags me through the Hobby Lobby aisles and begs me to let her cook the eggs and sets her alarm to make sure she is on time for gymnastics.

These things are true in our relationship with our kids, in our relationships with our friends and even in our relationship with God. God has made you with a certain frame. Should we be willing to venture outside of our expertise at times to help someone in need or share a passion with a child, YES! But we should never discount our component/our contribution that makes our world and the people around us more well-rounded. If I were an island, you would not find me to be very well-rounded at all. But when you take the community of people that I do life with day in and day out, there you will find a beautiful masterpiece!

And so God answered my prayers in that journal that day... and I continue to pray them... Lord, help me to find security in You alone. You are my rock, my cornerstone. When I feel weak in certain areas of my life, surround me with people that consider that a strength. Help me to be that strength to others. Guide my life... I know that when I follow you daily, you will lead me. Lead me so that I may lead others well!

I have an army of support around me because I have realized I can not do this alone... do you have an army? Maybe you need to let down some walls in your life, lay down some of your insecurities, and pray for your army (for your community)... and when they come, let them be that strength for you. His promise is that His strength is made perfect in our weakness... I am so glad that He can be my strength and He can use me to be that strength to others!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bigger Mountains Calls for Going Deeper

Feeling like the songs on the radio just weren't cutting the mood tonight on the way home from work, I found myself pouring my heart out to God about all of the different worries, concerns, frustrations, feelings of inadequacy, and the list goes on... and I said these words to God, I feel so ill-equipped for all of the mountains that we seem to be facing and that so many of my dearest friends and family are facing; I need more Grace God, more patience, more "my cup overfloweth" kind of feelings. Selina is memorizing Psalm 23 right now for school, so that Scripture is constantly following our family around lately.

...And in this beautiful, still-small voice I felt the Lord speak to me... now is not the time for surface faith, now is the time to go deeper, to learn more of me, to walk with me more intimately. I looked back on my spiritual habits as of late and although I can't remember missing a day of logging my Bible app, I was having a harder time recalling the last time I had logged serious book time with the Word of God. Honestly, my daily devotional habits have felt lately like more of a spiritual pep talk and less of the meat that I need for my day to day.

So I open up the book of Zechariah (mainly because I was intrigued by my daily devotional thought that was in the book of Zechariah earlier today)... and this is what the first verse says, "In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying,".

That was not the profound beginning I was hoping for... certainly it did not feel like the beginning of the climb up Mount Problem which leads you to "my cup overfloweth" status. And then I read the little footnotes in my study Bible. If you do not have a study Bible, I highly encourage you to make this the top of your gift-wish list for Christmas... it will open up your reading of Scripture in ways you never knew was possible. And here is what the footnotes said...

... Like Haggai, a previous prophet, Zechariah (a prophet of his day) encouraged the people to continue rebuilding the temple, whose reconstruction had been halted for nearly 10 years. Zechariah combated the people's spiritual apathy, despair over pressures from their enemies, and discouragement about the smaller scale of the the new temple foundation. Neglect of our spiritual priorities can be just as devastating today to fulfilling God's purpose...

Wow! Neglect of our spiritual priorities can be just as devastating today to fulfilling God's purpose... One verse in a chapter you would not normally flip to and God confirmed everything that I just felt him speaking as I drove in silence on the way home from work.

In order to have all that I was praying for, in order for me to truly walk out God's purpose for my life... I have to shift my priorities... Bigger Mountains watch out, because I am about to go Deeper!