Fun Friday

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So many things to share with you, but I will keep that until next week. Right now, my focus is on my oldest, Taylor. It is hard to believe that little bundle of joy came into my life almost 18 years ago and is graduating from the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities this weekend. I graduated in the third class from the Academy. Taylor has the distinction of being the first legacy student (child of an alumni). I couldn’t be prouder. She is such an amazing, young woman. I know that God has big plans in store for her life. She will be double majoring at Cedarville University in the fall in Chemistry and Biology. Watch out research world!

In honor of my daughter and all the other graduates, I would like to leave you with this video.

 

 In the comment section, I would love to hear how you are living life big.

Praying Upside Down – Book Review

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I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. I also know that most of us do not tap into the power that is available to us. For that reason, I am drawn to books about prayer. I have read several different books on the subject, but none quite like Praying Upside Down by Kelly O’Dell Stanley.

The title intrigued me, so what I had the opportunity to review it for The Blog Spot Network, I couldn’t wait to dive in. You maybe asking yourself what praying upside down means. Well, I have great news, it has nothing to do with standing on your head or swinging from the monkey bars. No, it’s simply being bold enough to ask God to let you truly see. Your perspective will never be the same.

Kelly walks the reader through her own story of how this idea changed not only her life, but also her relationship with God. I love how she takes it a step farther by placing Prayer Palette at the end of each chapter. This offers practical ways to implement each idea. By applying these simple, practical ideas you will begin to see life from a different perspective and see God working in and through your life in a mighty way.

There is not a person that cannot gain insight from this book. It will literally transform the time you spend with God. Accept the challenge, order the book and begin implementing this into your prayer life. You will never be the same.

Storm Warning: Where Will You Run?

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Here is what I am commanding you to do.  Be strong and brave.  Do not be afraid.  Do not lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go. Joshua 1:9 NIRV

When I was a child I was absolutely afraid of thunderstorms.  I remember many nights waking with a start, trying to convince myself it would be all right.  The only thing I needed to do was shut my eyes and go back to sleep, but to no avail.

As soon as my eyes were closed, the lightning would flash and the thunder rolled and my heart would be in my throat.  I would quickly pad down the hall to my parents’ room, knowing I would be safe there…

This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts and something you are thankful for in the comment section.

If you read my devotion on Encouragement Café or Crosswalk and are here for the first time, Welcome. Feel free to look at the “About Me” page to learn more about me and then share something about yourself in the comment section. I would love to get to know my readers better.

Fun Friday – Tribute to Moms

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Turning the calendar to May this morning, I thought it was only fitting to focus on mothers. As I have been pouring over revisions for my fiction manuscript the past several weeks, I realize how truly blessed I am. Let me try to explain what I mean. You see throughout this novel I am integrating memories and stories from my childhood and the precious women of God that I have grown up with: my great-grandma, Thompie, my sweet grandmas, Lucy and Mary, and my dear mom, Kay. These women helped to form and mold me into the woman I am today. I know that I am blessed to have grown up around such incredible women of God. Each one impressed different aspects into my life and taught me countless things, but above all their faith and love for God shone brightly. Continue reading

Are you living in or out of the packet?

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In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a story with you about the little seed.

There once was a little seed that was comfortable and content to live within the confines of the seed packet. It was safe, warm and others surrounded him. The little seed couldn’t imagine anything better. This has to be the perfect way to live, the little seed thought to himself.

All was well until the fateful day when the gardener came into the shed and took that seed out of the packet. The seed didn’t know what was going on or why the gardener would choose to take him out of the familiar and place him into the unknown. Things went from bad to worse for the little seed. You see, the gardener didn’t just take the seed out of the packet; he placed that seed down in a hole and covered it up with soil.

The little seed cried out. He was now cold, alone and scared. Why would the gardener be so cruel? What good could possibly come from this situation?

The seed stayed in this hole for quite some time. Occasionally, the hole would become wet, which made the seed shiver, but the sun seemed to continue to warm the soil even if the seed couldn’t see it. Over time the little seed started to change, it began to sprout and push its way through the ground to reach for the warmth of the sun.

The little seed was no more; it was now a beautiful plant standing strong in the master’s garden. The winds of life would blow, but its roots where firmly planted. With continual care from the gardener, that plant produced fruit for all to see.

If the seed would have stayed within the safety of the seed packet and not placed into the cold, dark hole it never would have brought forth such fruit.

The very same thing is true in our lives as well. We may be completely content and comfortable where we are, however, God has other plans for us. If we are going to produce fruit for Him we have to go through some dark times and struggles. But those will only serve to make our roots in Him stronger.

So the next time God is nudging you in a different direction, don’t fear the change. Think of the little seed and embrace it. You never know what all God has in store for you until you are willing to be used.

When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

While I was growing up I had formed in my head what my life was going to look like. I had everything planned out to create the ultimate picture.

I would graduate from college and get married. We would enjoy our time as newlyweds before having two children. The four of us would live in a quaint house with the white picket fence. Ah, I could sit back and just enjoy my family. It was picture perfect.

However, in my picture I did not account for reality. In my life this included; divorce, a miscarriage and cancer. That is only one side of the coin on the other I was also blessed with an amazing husband who loves the Lord, five incredible children and a writing career.

A certainty of life is that no one can plan out or predict how it will play out. There will be twists and turns as well as peaks and valleys. The only way to successfully navigate through life is by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you every step of the way. It may mean going through some struggles, but God knows what is best. He is the only one who sees the big picture. The experiences you go through can not only strengthen you, but also enable you to reach out to others. God will not waste one thing. He uses everything ultimately for good. We simply need to surrender to His leading. Don’t let your plans hold you back from God’s best for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the truth found in Your Word. May I allow You to guide me down the correct path. Help me to cling to You even when the struggles in life come. I know that You have a perfect plan for me. May I completely surrender to You. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

So, what about you? Did you ever have a plan that failed? If so, could you see God’s hand in what happened next? What sort of “new beginnings” have you experienced in your life? Let’s talk about that today.

Spring Cleaning

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With Easter in the rearview mirror and warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to begin the dreaded — Spring Cleaning. I remember as I was growing up helping my grandmother thoroughly clean everything, including wiping down the walls. It was a time to open the windows and breathe in the smell of spring. Although it requires a great deal of work, it is necessary and rewarding. Continue reading