We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Happy New Year!

As I turn the page on 2015, I am most grateful for the small moments …{which as it tuns out aren’t so small}  sipping coffee with friends, being awestruck by each beautiful sunrise and sunset, a walk on the beach, a beautiful fall sky, picking up leaves with my grandson and being mesmerized by bubbles floating in the air! It’s easy { I think } to take small moments for granted but as they form the ordinary days of our lives they actually are sacredly extraordinary!

 

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As I look forward to the year ahead, I hear God’s Spirit gently whispering….savor those moments when they come…savor them and {express} your gratitude for them!

For out of a grateful heart comes great JOY!

You may have heard the phrase “Choose Joy” and certainly choosing to face disappointment and challenge with a joyful attitude it is a good posture to take. True JOY however is a byproduct..the fruit of…A grateful heart{ expressed} ! It isn’t something we need to strive for and make happen, and while we can choose JOY in trying circumstances…it is temporary if it is not born of a truly grateful heart!

We can cultivate a grateful heart in several ways…

  1. By being present in every moment
  2. By looking for the good
  3. By recognizing God’s hand
  4. By keeping record of what we are grateful for
  5. By refusing to allow negative thoughts to live very long!

At different times I have kept a gratitude journal…recording at least 3 things at the end of the day that I am grateful for. In 2016 it’s one of the things I will purpose to do daily! It’s just one the things that I will purpose to do as I look ahead..how about you??

Are you purposing to do anything this year? Please leave a comment!

Ann Voskamp has a great resource {over at her website} for prayerfully considering and documenting it Purpose statement

 

Here’s to a year of purpose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Treasure: An Undivided Heart

Painted in Waterlogue

Praying Scripture Series: An Undivided Heart

I am not MIA..just took a couple of weeks off! The first week, I spent a wonderful and much needed week in Hawaii with my husband of 29 years! There is nothing like slowing down and enjoying the beauty of His creation together…and after 29 years I am more in love with my amazing man than ever! I am undeniably blessed and I don’t ever want to take that for granted!

marriage

The second week, I was extremely busy planning for a fundraising Luau for Rady Children’s Hospital North County Auxillary! Today I am completely exhausted!!

{In a good way}

This weeks Tuesday’s Treasure will be the last for the summer as we are gearing up to begin our Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study at North Coast /San Marcos-Escondido.

Please join us beginning Thursday September 11…we will be studying

Jennifer Kennedy Deans “Live a Praying Life”

You can sign up at the churches Growth Group counter!

next tuesday

The scripture for this week just jumped off the page to me!

Psalm 86:11

In this crazy world with so many things pulling at us and vying for our attention and allegiance I really want to focus on Him & His faithfulness and live with an undivided heart! How do I do that? By listening and learning …reading and knowing His word…meditating on His word so that I am singly focused…so that when those “opportunities” come along {as good as they may be}…I will be focused on the road He would have me take and I would not allow my heart to be given away to things that would take it away from dependence on Him! As we’ve learned by praying scripture…..this is only possible because of who He is..not who we are or even who we aren’t! I pray this scripture often and for many because it is the cry of my heart! Today I prayed it for the first time for my tiny 10 week old grandson Jack! Oh that He would grow to know Jesus,to desire to walk with Him, to learn from Him, to fear him….with and undivided heart! It’s funny…when my kids were younger..several of their teachers would ask what are my goals for my kids??…… That they would…….

Make Much of Jesus!

…….I would say……not really what they were looking for but definitely the deepest desire of my heart!

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!

If you learned something new or were inspired in your walk with Him please leave a comment!

Tuesday’s Treasure: Summer Fruit

 Painted in Waterlogue

Praying Scripture Series:Week 7

God is in the business of transforming our character….every circumstance…every relationship…every thought…every breath…are all opportunities for us to internalize the principles in His word and shine a beacon of light in this world for His glory!

The world is full of philosophies that seek to help us get in touch with ourselves…improve ourselves….understand ourselves…harness our own power…get ahead…most of the focus being “me”.

This week’s scripture gives us great insight into the person that He desires for us to be….it is not a legalistic set of rules…it is His will for those of us that are filled with His Spirit and walk according to the truths of His word. In my experience it is the fruit of time spent in stillness…a spirit open to listening and waiting and a heart that has a deep desire to not only know Him in a deep abiding way but to be like Him…to be a reflection of His glory!

tuesdays treasure

Oh how I wish that Colossians 3:12 was always a description of me..of my children..those around me…but the truth is…there are times {for all of us} when we just don’t measure up to who He wants us to be…but that doesn’t keep me from making this my prayer… the key lies in the fact that I must allow Him to cultivate these qualities in me..they don’t come from trying harder ..being more determined….more resolved….they happen when we commit our ways to Him…abide in Him… allow Him access to our hearts…and give Him permission to be the Lord of our lives!

It happens when we allow Him to help us unpack the baggage we carry around and reveal to us the places in our heart that need cleaning up! Apart from Him we cannot be the people we were created to be!

I am praying, along with you, for myself and my family….that we would all be in a place where God can transform us into the people He wants us to be…to be people that reflect  tenderhearted mercy, kindness, gentleness, & patience and ultimately reflect His glory!

 

Tuesday’s Treasure: The darkness is real

 

Painted in Waterlogue

 Week Six:Praying Scripture Series

{Yes…I skipped week 5!}

Whether we are aware of it or not..the enemy is actively and vigorously in pursuit of our hearts. As a young Christian I didn’t understand this….I wanted to see everything thru new eyes ….. I wore rose colored glasses and lacked the wisdom to recognize his skilled and artful schemes. Once I realized that he didn’t show his face as the ugly, pitchfork bearing image I had in mind …I began to see where he was showing up.

He shows up differently for each  one of us…..he shows up in our weaknesses..he knows just what they are are…he works very carefully to distract us from the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. You may wonder sometimes why he doesn’t seem to be bothering some and yet you feel pursued by him on a daily basis. I don’t remember where I read this but it was eye opening for me……“the enemy may leave someone alone because they are doing a fine job of being their own God and don’t have a need for HIM”

He pursues {us} because of our love for the One who saved us…because he thinks he can cause us to stop trusting the grace and mercy and faithfulness of our Savior. Scripture tells us that {He} is faithful…He establishes us and will guard us from the evil one….

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and guard you from the evil one. 

There is so much comfort in knowing this truth! And praying this promise for those we love is powerful!

Good parents protect their children. We don’t have to be forced or coerced to do it because it just comes naturally . It is something that God has placed in our hearts that is part and parcel of the packaging of being a good mother or father {friend,sibling,daughter,aunt,grandma}

In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus tells us that God’s heart to give to His children far exceeds that of an earthly father. If God so delights to give good gifts to His kids, HOW MUCH GREATER is His heart to protect His children as well?

No doubt trouble will come because we live in a fallen world. But in the midst of the trouble, our God and Father promises to guard us from the evil one. The psalmist calls Him an ever present help in our time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

My prayer today is that we would all be reassured that our heavenly Dad is indeed faithful and He is true to His promises. Even when disappointments come and when we are tempted to doubt His promise to protect us, may God give us the grace to declare that He truly is our Protector and our fortress, in whom we can trust.

Psalm 27:1
Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? 

Is He your Protector…fortress…strength of your life???

Blessings to you as you continue to pray His words over those you love!

 

Good Ole Summertime!

I must confess…I think I live in a perpetual summer mindset…surrounded by the pacific ocean….where endless shades of orange and pink meet in the afternoon sky to declare the days end and each day is a new masterpiece! I am content in the place that He has planted me and I look forward to seeing what each new dawn holds. Even {or should i say especially} in the challenges I am acutely aware that He holds me in the palm of His hand..and so I know that whatever the day brings… it is part of His plan! I don’t have a desire to escape from or to anything and my deepest desire is to lean into His love and grace! 

colors

Now…insert that crazy,chaos sound..you know….. the one in the score of the movie that comes just before something goes wrong and everything changes!!!

I recently found myself there….from  0 to…..well somewhere between doubt and insecurity…stuck in my own head…where there is little room for my thoughts and His thoughts…and mine take over! You’ve probably never been there!!

When this happens…I know that I need to head straight to my knees but somehow I allow my thoughts to hold my mind captive to {albeit true} but  {unhealthy} thoughts!

I know that the antidote is found in God’s word..that I must …according to

………..2 Corinthians 10:5 
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

This can sometimes be a huge struggle for me…..when certain situations present themselves {You know what those are for you} ….the tape in my head that has been playing for years takes me straight to …..you aren’t good enough….you will never be good enough…..it doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it or how hard you try…The enemy knows that once he’s in my head…he has distracted me from the truth and from relying on the One that I {usually} draw strength and courage and from. In my case……. I have found that I have to do my best to limit  my exposure to what triggers these unhealthy thoughts! I can’t eliminate them completely…and as much as I would like to …I think God has used this in my life to keep me close to Him and always remind me that my worth is found in Him...that I {and we} are precious to Him…and His love for us is the most precious thing we can experience!

What do you do with those thoughts…the ones that hijack your mind and break your heart?

Once i’ve taken my thoughts captive to make them obedient to Christ….I also surround myself with amazing ,life-giving people…..and I am mindful of returning life-giving words of love and grace and encouragement!…I hope you are as blessed as I to have those types of people in your life!

 

Tuesday’s Treasure: What does your heart desire?

 

Painted in Waterlogue

Week Four: Praying Scripture Series

This world is full of enticing things……material things, ideas, philosophies, relationships, ambitions….not necessarily bad{ in and of themselves} but they can be distractions from the One that matters most…they take our time and attention away from our Abba Father! We take a few {unnoticed }steps at a time..and before we know it …we are far….far away from the arms of protection and care of our Lord!

Psalm 7:25-26 is a powerful prayer…..

Lord, I pray that this earth has nothing___________desires besides you.  ___________flesh and his/her heart may fail but you are his/her strength and their portion forever. Amen

When He is our strength and our portion and we desire Him first and foremost it changes the way we see the world……… A heavenly perspective gives us a heart after His…..we are less likely to desire the things of the world and be so distracted by them.Oh how I desire this for myself and those I love. I desire it for you as well…..because it is His will….

Are you currently distracted? Do you need to find your way back to the One that loves and cares for you? We can become so busy….{with good things} that we miss what He has for us!

Take advantage of the slower pace of summer and reevaluate your priorities…..make sure He is first!

summer1 

Meditate on Psalm 7:25-26 ……soak it in and hide it in your heart! Atune your heart to His and allow Him to transform your mind and your heart!

Enjoy the 4th of July with your friends and families……and appreciate the freedom we have to worship our Savior!

 

july 4

 

Tuesday’s Treasure: His hand of protection

Painted in Waterlogue                                                   Week Three:{Praying scripture series}

There have been many times in my life that I can see {in hindsight} that God’s protective hand was upon me……my husband……& my children! The trouble is…in the midst of a situation….an unexplained cancellation of plans…a flat tire…an unplanned route…. and in fact many situations that I still don’t understand….frustration rears it’s ugly head and we can’t seem to understand why things aren’t working out.

Sometimes it’s because the hand of God is keeping us from harm….keeping us from things that aren’t beneficial for us. I can clearly see as I look back on my life that God’s hand has protected me {and my family} from so many things. Whether it be our physical or emotional safety…I have learned that when things don’t seem to be working out the way I would have hoped..that it’s important to step back and ask Him…is there something you are protecting me from? Sometimes He will show us other times He will not…but He will give wisdom…if we ask!

He cares about our safety and the safety of those we love…….Deuteronomy 33:12 is a verse that I have prayed many times over the years and I know that He hears and is faithful to act according to His will on our behalf.

safety

This snowy picture may seem out of place on this summer morning…..but it comes from a wonderful organization…Moms in Prayer……I spent many years while my kids were in school…praying with Moms in Prayers groups…learning about the power of prayer and the value of a community of praying moms!

Have a wonderful week …bathe it prayer…wait on Him….and enjoy His wonderful peace!

Tuesday’s Treasure : Do Not be Afraid

Painted in Waterlogue

{Week Two…Praying Scripture Series}

As our days unfold and we are subject to the conditions of this world there are so many circumstances that can leave us feeling discouraged or even fearful.

We may not even realize it but our fears are very easily passed along to those around us! The way we respond to our circumstances can have a profound impact on those we love…particularly on our children!

My mom, {who was not a believer} was always quick to let me know that something was unsafe….her concern and love for me was crippled by the anxiety  that she had that something “bad” might happen to me….she voiced this often and as a young adult I had anxiety about many things…..things that were out of my control…..and my anxiety kept me from doing or trying normal things. I made a conscience decision as I worked through my own fear…that I would not pass that along to my own children.

As I turned to God’s word, He washed away my old thinking and replaced it with the truth of His word!

He tells us so many times in scripture “Do not be afraid”...His desire for us is that we not live in fear and not be discouraged!

Deuteronomy 31:6 has become a scripture that I cling too …I pray it for myself and especially for my children…Does this mean I am rid of fear..no!…fear is a natural human emotion and sometimes warranted! It’s what I do with it that matters. Fear drives me to my knees…to the place of complete dependence on the One who can do something about it!

When my daughter first started driving…I hugged her as she left and told her I loved her…when I shut the door, I fell to my knees! As He promises…He replaces our anxiety with His peace and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! His peace is an amazing gift but even beyond that I have experienced Him guarding my heart and my mind from the nagging thoughts and fears after I have turned my anxiety over to Him!

Lord, I pray that_____ would be strong and courageous! that she would not be afraid or discouraged…that she would know that you will never leave her or forsake her. AMEN

Deut.31:6

What  a wonderful gift to pass down to our families…a healthy way to handle our emotional responses….with complete dependence on Him!

If you struggle with fear or anxiety I challenge you to search the scriptures for passages that speak to this…meditate on them..hide them in your heart! And please share them here!{leave a comment} you never know who may be reading and what they need to hear!

God Bless you this week as you continue to lift up those you love!

Tuesday’s Treasure…….

hellosummer

God’s word is a treasure, a light unto our path, it is living and breathing..sharper than a double edged sword and able to pierce the division between spirit and soul. It is good for all teaching and rebuking!

When we pray using the words of scripture, we can be sure that we are praying in accordance with God’s will.

Tuesday’s Treasure will be a weekly occurrence this summer…it was an idea that God placed on my heart to give the women from our {North Coast Women’s Bible Study} some encouragement and guidance in recording their prayers for others and God’s faithfulness in their lives. We have learned the value of teaching younger generations about God as we have studied the life of Gideon and what happens when entire generations forget who God is and what He has done! If this is new to you, I hope you’ll join us each week and discover the treasure of searching the scriptures and using them to pray for those you love. My North Coast girls all have new journals with crisp new pages and you may want to grab a new journal as well.

It’s very simple….. I will give a scripture/ an example of how to use that in prayer……Record that scripture in your journal inserting the name of the person that you are praying that scripture for……taking the time to sit with the Lord…to meditate on that scripture and what it means….and perhaps praying it several times..silently or aloud!

Amazing things happen when we attune our hearts with God’s heart! Our prayers are no longer to do lists, our expectations change, our desires change…Prayer doesn’t change God….it changes us!

Are you ready to be transformed through prayer?

Week 1:

{ This is one of my absolute favorite prayers to pray for myself and everyone I know…Just imagine if this were true of you and those you love!}

Colossians 1:9

….I ask you Lord to give ______ a complete understanding of what you want to do in her life, and I ask that you make her wise in spiritual wisdom. Then the way that ______ lives will always honor and please you and she will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while she will learn know you better and better. Amen

{ feel free to record your own thoughts about the scripture as well if you like}

If you are anything like me…..I can’t just pray this for one person…it is so powerful that I tend to pray thru everyone I love with these sweet words, knowing that He hears and that He wants to give us those things that are aligned with His will!

I keep a prayer a journal for each of my kids and my husband…..years down the road they will have a collection of my prayers for them as well as record of God’s faithfulness in their lives!

Who are you praying for today?

I hope as we travel this road together that you will also leave a comment from time to time about how it is impacting your life…because I know it will!

Blessings to you all!

bucket_and_toys_on_beach_204660

following my calling or feeding my ego #thegreyareas

I have been struggling for quite sometime..with an uneasiness….not a black and white issue but somewhere smack-dab in the middle of the grey.

My life is filled with my wonderful family, amazing friendships and a lot of activity….activity that is meaningful and centers around things that I am passionate about and enjoy! But the uneasiness persists!

Is there something i need to let go of?. ..I ask myself…and I haven’t a clear answer for that!

Until today……as I was perusing my usual blogs and devotionals…I came across an article that hit me right between the eyes!

One of my fav blogs is Emily Freeman’s…..she writes today about an article by Dr. Shelley Provost….How to tell if you are following your calling or just feeding your ego

Dr. Provost says this in regards to that statement:

“Your ego fears not having or doing something. The lifeblood of the ego is fear. Its primary function is to preserve your identity, but it fears your unworthiness. As a result, ego pushes you harder in order to achieve more . . .

A calling expresses itself quietly, through the expression of subtle clues throughout your life. It is unconcerned with you attaining or accomplishing anything. Its primary function is to be a conduit for expressing your true self to the world. What you do with that expression is less important.”

{Ah ha moment for me}…without going into the details..there is something in my life that I believe in..I mean really believe in but the first sentence describes it’s effect on me…it pushes me to “achieve” more and has a strong influence on my “worthiness”……as I dig into it more and more I get more of an uneasy feeling!

On the other hand, when I am hard at work preparing for a weekly group that I facilitate…I am not concerned about attaining anything nor am I concerned with my own worthiness …my preparation takes me closer to my Savior and there is no evidence of uneasiness!

It is not as simplistic as it sounds and my life is packed with a lot of other things…{these two just came to mind this morning as this principle is taking root in my heart}…what I discovered is that I am following my calling…..and feeding my ego…after all we are human ….and we all have that tendency !

My deepest desire! To let go of those things that solely feed my ego and find great rest following my calling……His calling on my life!……To ditch that uneasy feeling and experience fully the fruit of following Him!

just a little wisdom for wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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