Monday, June 3, 2013

Are We There Yet?

When you were a little kid did you ever go on a vacation with your parents that included a 8+ hour road trip to visit relatives or friends? With only 30 minutes into the drive, did the phrase "Are we there yet?" fall from your lips, followed by a big sigh?

I can remember take a trip with my family to Aunt Lee's house when I was five years old. At the time, we lived in Louisiana and Aunt Lee lived in Arizona. The road trip took 3+ days but to me, it felt like we were riding in the car for a month!

Doesn't time seem to drag on when you're anxious to get somewhere or get something completed? Today, I'm having an "Are we there yet?" moment. It's not because of a family road trip but instead I'm waiting to launch my new website.

I was hoping the big day would be last week but some unexpected techno glitches came up that has delayed things a little.  So much is happening behind the scenes and I'm thrilled with the way everything is turning out. I'm just not being very patient...

Are we there yet?

What about you? Are you anxiously waiting for something special to happen in your life? Maybe a big vacation you've been planning for months. Or, a special project  you've been working on? Are you expecting a baby? Engaged with a wedding day just around the corner?

Are you tempted to ask, "Are we there yet?"

Question: What is that one special thing you're waiting for and what is helping you to be patient while you wait? 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shooting In My Neighborhood

We've had some excitement in our quiet little neighborhood this week. On Monday we were told that Coke Zero would be shooting a commercial at our neighbor's house.

Early yesterday morning the trucks started arriving. Lights, scaffolding, cameras, and even a few police cars began to emerge. By noontime, there was about 100+ people all hustling and bustling around.The activity lasted until 8:00 pm. Then, it started all over again at 6:00 this morning.

Gosh, I had no idea it took so much coordination, camera crew, and green cash to pull off a 30 second commercial. The budget for this project must be pretty hefty.

And, you may be asking...who is the celebrity?

Well, have you heard of Danica Patrick? She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. Or, at least that's what Wikipedia says. Danica became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 in qualifying for the Daytona 500's.

Pretty awesome, huh? And, to think she walked right in front of my very own little yard.Check out the celebrity photos I took while peeking out from my bedroom blinds.
Filming crew setting up for the day
Danica leaving the set. Hint: She's has the GoDaddy green & black racing suit on. :)
Danica getting into her cozy motor coach for some prepping and primping.

She sure is a tiny little thing. Now, here's a woman who is living out her passions and experiencing life in courage ways to fulfill her destiny. I love that!

Now for my other exciting news. I'm launching my website next week!! 
For the last few months I've been working with three amazing women to get my site ready. They are helping me create a beautiful online space where you and I can connect. I've created each page with you in mind so I really hope you like it. 
To celebrate the launch I'm planning some great giveaways. I'll update you with more details next week. 

Until then, have a fantabulous Memorial Weekend and try not to get a bad sunburn, okay? Oh, and eat plenty of hotdogs (turkey-filled of course) and some apple pie a la mode. Yummy!

Question: What are you doing for Memorial Weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

She Speaks With What?

I could see my son up ahead as he walked along with friends, heading towards the designated pick up line at school. I had been patiently waiting for what felt like over an hour. Actually, it was only 10 minutes, but I was in a hurry as usual and the minutes seemed to be dragging on and on and on.

I was still several cars away and prayed that he would somehow look my way but he was too busy socializing with friends. As I waiting and watched, I noticed that Carson was starting to act in a not-so-nice manner towards one of his friends. I could tell from the smile on his face that he thought it was just a playful gesture but his friend didn't seem to be very amused by it and neither was I.

I wanted to hop out of the car and call out his name but the enthusiastic sounds of the students were so loud that I knew Carson wouldn't hear me.  Instead, I sat in the car witnessing the unpleasant gesturing continue, as my emotions rose higher and my blood began to boil.

By the time Carson got in the car I was reeling with anger and I let him have it. Without the skip of a beat, I lit into him with my berating questions. Why did you....?  What on earth were you....? Don't you know....?

With each condemning question, my son slipped further and further into his seat. The weight of my words pressed heavy against his heart and it was showing through in his posture and appearance. He didn't say a word.

The atmosphere in the car grew silent and tense. I was feeling completely justified in my scolding until this verse brushed over my thoughts.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue...Her children rise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:26,28a

In the midst of that silent yet sobering moment, I realized that I had blown it BIG TIME.

Did I open my mouth with wisdom?  No

Did I teach kindness with my tongue? No

Was my son going to rise up and call me blessed? Probably not

I knew God was reminding me of that verse as a way of softly pricking my heart because I had chosen poorly in the way I corrected my son.  

My words were harsh but God Words were gentle.

I shouted loudly but God whispered softly.

I was teaching condemnation but God was mentoring wisdom.

My next choice was obvious. I quickly apologized to Carson and told him I was wrong in the way I handled the situation. I told him I was sorry and asked for his forgiveness. We talked through what had really happened and discussed what could have been better choices. 

Restoration took place and we both learned valuable lessons that day. 

As I climbed into bed that night, I thanked God for allowing me the privilege of being a mother. I asked Him to put a guard on my mouth so that I would be slow to speak and quicker to listen. I asked Him to help me become a mom who opens her mouth with words of wisdom and teaches with kindness, not condemnation. 

What about you? Are you a mom or a mentor to someone? Have you found yourself in a situation where your words have not been kind, wise, or loving? What is your hardest challenge when it comes to taming your tongue? 

If someone was describing you today, how would they finish this following sentence?

She Speaks with ___________________ .

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something Special this Mothers Day

I spent almost an hour yesterday looking through Mothers Day cards at my local Target store. There were so many to choose from.

Cards that were scented.

Cards that played music.

Cards that were printed on fancy linen paper.

But, the more cards I looked through the more frustrated I felt.  Each one had pretty sayings, but they didn't quite "say" what I wanted to express from my heart. 

Quietly, I whispered to myself, I wish I could sent mom a card today. But, since she now lives in heaven with dad and is most likely celebrating Mothers Day "celestial style", that won't be possible.

So, I've decided to send my sister and each of my sister-in-laws a card. I hope it brings a smile to their faces this coming Sunday. I'm also sending a card to my mother-in-law who is one of the most amazing women I know!

What about you? Are you sending someone special a card for Mothers Day this year? If you're a mom, I hope your family showers you with love, hugs, and maybe a little something special to remember. Gifts are nice but often times for me, it words of appreciation and an I love you that makes the daily motherly sacrifices worthwhile. You know... laundry, cooking, picking up clothes off the floor. That kind of stuff.  

Whether you're a mom or not, I'd like to give you a little gift. It's a prayer that I've written with you in mind. I hope it brings joy to your heart, peace to your soul, and a smile to your face. If it does, I hope you'll pass it along to someone else that is special to you this Mothers Day. 

As you read through this prayer, insert your name inside the blanks to make it personal and special for you.

 Heavenly Father,
I pray that you would bless ___________ in all of her ways. I ask that your peace will constantly be present in ____________ heart and that Your glory would radiate from her face. May ___________ be filled to overflowing with the fruit of your Spirit. May _____________ always run to You first and cast her cares upon You when she's struggling and needs help. Remind _________each day how much You love her.  Help ___________ to rest in knowing that You promises are true and may she walk in the light of your Word that guides the path ahead of her. Show __________ in special ways that you see her and will always take care of her, until you call her home to be with you. Give _______________ the assurance of knowing that You will never leave or forsake her. May ____________ declare that with You ALL things are possible and that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength. May the joy of the Lord be _____________ strength so that she can rest securely in You. May __________ beauty come from within, the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious in Your sight. I pray that __________ will know the hope to the calling you have placed on her life and give her the confidence to say, The Lord is my God and in Him I will put my trust.

In Jesus name, Amen    

 Happy Mothers Day...a little early :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

He Was Taken Too Soon

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Too beautiful to attend a funeral but that is where I found myself with my teenage son, Carson. As we walked through the cemetery, there was a cool breeze that blew, yet not a sound to be heard. Even the birds were quiet.

Moments of silence.

Moments of respect.

As Carson took his place, next to his football teammates, my eyes were fixed on the casket while tears streamed down my face. A knot in my stomach grew to the point that I could barely breathe.

How does a thriving thirteen year old boy die in his sleep? 

Lord, why did you have to take Bennett from his family? He was so young and had such potential? 

As the American flag was taken off of Bennett's coffin and handed to his mother, she cradled it as her body gave way into uncontrollable sobs. Sobs that only a mother can birth. Sobs that will continue for months to come.

Last night, after saying prayers with Carson, I lingered by his bedside for a few extra minutes.

Carson, can I give you a hug?

Why, Mom?

Because I love you and because I can. Bennett's mom can't hug him tonight but I can hug you.

Carson smiled and gave me a one of those "thirteen year old hugs" that only a mom of a teenager can appreciate. As he pulled the covers over his shoulders and closed his eyes, my heart whispered...

Lord, life is so precious and fleeting. Never let me take a single moment for granted. 
Question: Have you hugged your child or someone you love today? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Dirty Dozen

One of my least favorite things to do is go grocery shopping.

I seem to always overspend, only to get home and realize I completely forgot something that our family needs right away like bread, milk, or even toilet paper.

Personally, I find the big box stores overwhelming. They have just too many choices and it takes forever to get through the entire store.  "Rice on Isle 198!"

I typically end up at two different neighborhood grocery stores on the same day. One store has great meat, fish, and chicken selections. The other has boxed food (cereal, cookies, pasta, brownie mix) at a much cheaper price.

As a busy mom, I don't take the time to really educate myself in the culinary arts but I do want to purchase and prepare food that tastes good and is healthy for my family.

Lately, I've been seeing words like lactose free, gluten free, range free, hormone injected, and genetically modified. The scary part is that I'm finding these words on food labels in my local grocery stores. And, they're listed right next to words I can understand like sugar, flour, and salt.   

Last week, I was sharing this new found information with my friend, Joanie. She's a mom that knows all about the important things to feed her family. In fact, I'm pretty sure Joanie's name is on the Moms Nutritional Hall of Fame list. She only buys organic fruits and veggies, free range chickens and said something about sharing a cow with a neighbor.

We were only three minutes into the conversation and Joanie could tell by the look on my face, that I was slowly slipping into an overloaded information coma. That's when she asked, "Have you heard of The Dirty Dozen?"

The Dirty Dozen...isn't that an old movie? 

Joanie laughed and suggested that I start simply by reading The Dirty Dozen, which is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide residue. This list is put out annually by the Environmental Working Group which estimates that individuals can reduce their exposure by 80% if they switch to organic when simply buying these 12 foods. 

This seemed so doable to me so I printed out the list and now take it with me to the grocery store. I thought you might like a copy of it too.

The Dirty Dozen 

If you want to know more, check out this article by Dan Shapely at

Here's a video for those of you who would rather watch instead of read. VIDEO

Question: Do you think buying organic food is a healthy choice or just hype? Where do you like to shop for organic food? Do you have any healthy food tips you'd like to share on my blog today?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Good Bye Fear (Giveaway)

UPDATE: The winner for this week's giveaway is Cheryl. Please email your shipping address to That way I can send you a copy of "Untroubled Heart" this week. Congratulations! Leah


When I was in my early teens, I lived a pretty sheltered life. I had the mentality that nothing bad would ever happen to me. Then, one day I found myself right in the middle of a really bad situation. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time resulted in a pistol being put to my head. A robbery that was sudden and unexpected, yet terrifying for this naive teenage girl. 

"Don't move or I'll shoot!" The words of my abductor rattled me to my very core.  As I stood there shaking uncontrollably, I could feel the pistol resting against my temple. The hard steel surface of the gun's tip pressed forcefully into my head. As my heart pounded rapidly a repeated thought kept running through my mind, "I'm going to die - my life is over."

Fortunately, that day was not my last and by the grace of God, I'm alive today to share my story. Although I had no physical wounds from that horrible experience, the emotional and mental scars were carved deep into my heart, penetrating to the center of my shaken soul. It bubbled up to the surface in the form of extreme fear that haunted me for a very, very long time.

Replaying the horrible scenario in my mind would keep me up many nights and when I was awake, I would be afraid to go anywhere alone. Or, be left alone.

What if I ran into this person again? What if he recognized me? What if he had followed me home that horrible day and knows where I live? What if he came looking for me?

I didn't feel safe...anywhere.

I was afraid....most of the time.

I worried.... and the "what ifs" haunted me.

Looking back, I realize fear ruled my life and dictated my decisions. My biggest regret is not having God's Word hidden in my heart. If I would have taken the time to memorize Scripture during that season of distress, my fearful thoughts could have been replaced with God's promises of protection.

When the "what-if" worries came, I could have traded those thoughts in for God's truth. For it is the truth of  Jesus that sets us free.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 
Jesus answered, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life...John 14:6

On those nights when I was lying awake in bed, I could have been reminded of this promise:
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. Proverbs 3:24 (HCSB) 

When I worried about my intruder coming back for me, I should have remembered this promise:
Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them (him). For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB)

When I was alone and scared, I would have focused on this verse to calm my heart:

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 (HCSB)

Have you experienced something tragic in your past that has left you fearful? Maybe a situation in your present circumstances is haunting you with "what-if" lies and worries? Do you lay awake at night gripped with fear and anxiety? 

If so, I understand and I have the answer that can get you past your fears and propel you into unshakable faith! Do you want freedom from your fears? I do.

Real and sustainable freedom is only found in Jesus and His powerful Word.

If you don't have God's Word hidden in your heart, you can start fresh today by memorizing a couple Scriptures verses. Feel free to use the ones I've posted above. Speak them out loud and let them mend your heart and soul. Fear comes from the enemy and he can't stand to hear the Words of Jesus. So, speak them loud and clear - it will send him running every single time.

Question: What is your greatest fear? Are you still struggling with it or have you overcome it? 

Goodbye Fear Giveaway
To help you along your journey, I'm giving away a copy of Micca Campbell's book, "An Untroubled Heart - Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears".

To be eligible for the drawing here's what you need to do:

1. Share your comments to the Focus Questions above on my blog.
2. Share today's post with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. (see buttons below)

**Please include your name with your comment. I'll need it in case you're the winner. 

I'm heading to the Living Proof Conference this weekend but will post the winner on Monday. So, be sure to stop by on Monday or check here:

Leah's Facebook Page
Leah's Twitter Page 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Keys To A Crazy Marriage

Today, Keith and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. Gosh, I just can't believe we've been married for 27 years! The time has flown by and yet it seems like we have always been together. It's hard to imagine life without Keith and the slightest thought of it brings a knot to my throat and tears to my eyes. 

Just like so many other couples, our marriage has been filled with lots of ups and downs. It's been CRAZY at times and downright hair-pulling on occasions. Emotional and thrill seeking all mixed together. 

Happy moments and sad times

Wonderful conversations and tense arguments

Laughter and tears

Joy and heartache

Words and silence

Passion and anger

Marriage is wonderful and hard, all at the same time. I guess you could say it's wonderfully hard.

It takes a lot of work but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices. Marriage can be a crazy wild ride filled with adventure and excitement. The journey together can be fulfilling or empty. It's all based on what a husband and wife are willing to pour into the marriage mix to make it work.

As I reflect back on our 27 years  together, some very important key elements rise to the surface of my heart. These elements are what I'd call the KEYS to a Crazy Marriage. Crazy in love, that is.

1. Patience - May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

2. Sacrificial Giving - Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38

3. Perseverance - You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

4. Communication - Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. Ephesians 4:29

5. Servant's heart - Serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13b

6. Commitment Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.  Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?  And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12a

7. Laughter - .A cheerful disposition is good for your health Proverbs 17:22

8. Unity A man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one...Therefore, don’t let anyone separate what God has joined together. Matthew 19:5b-6

9. Love - 1 Corinthians 13 (the whole chapter is on love)

10. Christ Centered - May they be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. John 17:21   

All of these keys are important, but if I had to pick just one to represent the greatest of them all, I would have to pick #10 - A marriage that is Christ Centered.

Without Christ, our marriage would have failed before our first anniversary. He is the glue that has held us together for the last 27 years. Without Christ, none of these keys to a crazy-in-love marriage would have been lasting or sustainable. With Him, everything is possible! 


It's Your Turn:
Which one of these keys are most evident in your marriage? Which ones are missing? How can you begin taking steps to build a crazy-in-love marriage that lasts a lifetime?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Sunday Celebration

Celebrating Our Risen Savior

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”                                                       Matthew 28:1-10 (NLT) 

My prayer for you today is that you would know the hope of His glory and experience the joy of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. This hope and joy is not just reserved for Easter Sunday. We can experience it and celebrate our salvation every single day. 

Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and He is alive in you! 

Are you celebrating today? What is your celebration story?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Unburdened Heart: Suzie Eller, Author Interview & Giveaway

 UPDATE: Thank you for leaving such great comments! I've decided to give away 2 gift packs instead of one. Each winner will receive a copy of  Suzie Eller's new book, Unburdened Heart and a Starbucks gift card:  

Winners:  smom777
                     Evet Meierer 

Email me ( your mailing address so I can send the gift packs to you.  Congratulations!! 

I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend and ministry mentor, Suzie Eller. She just released her book entitled,  The Unburdened Heart:  Finding Freedom in ForgivenessIf you are struggling with unforgiveness, or know someone who is, this book is a must have. 

Maybe someone has hurt you deeply and you can't find the strength to forgive them. Or, you thought you had forgiven them years ago, but seeing that person or even hearing their name mentioned, reopens hidden wounds in your heart. Maybe there is someone in your life who you love deeply but they won't forgive you.

Do you want freedom? Freedom comes through forgiveness and Suzie will show you how to begin the steps of healing through her book, The Unburdened Heart. Through her tenderness and transparency, Suzie shares with us her insights about forgiveness below.

I'm giving away a FREE copy of Suzie's book, along with a Starbucks gift card. So, after the interview below, be sure to leave a comment sharing why you'd like to win. If you tell a friend about the drawing, post something on Facebook or Twitter, mention it in your comment and your name will go into the drawing twice. 

Take it from here Suzie....

Suzie, why is forgiveness so difficult?
It’s difficult because it involves people and it involves the way we feel. If we could just live in isolation, then maybe we’d never run into a difficult person, or open our hearts to love someone and they disappoint, or maybe we’d never feel bad. Which is why many do isolate or retaliate when they are hurt; it makes sense.
But it also traps you, and keeps you stuck, and maybe no one sees that, but it plays out somewhere, whether in your relationships or inside where no one can see.

Why are you offering a free online study?
One of the things that I pray that The Unburdened Heart–and our online study–does is to help shift our perspective from “what was, to what can be”.
We know up front that we are going to face head-on some difficult challenges, or that we may crawl over a hurdle that has stood in the way for years, but one of the most powerful meanings of the word forgive is “to leave one place to go to another”.
To leave bitterness for joy.
To leave anger for peace.
To leave being stuck to discovering what God has for you today, rather than what you carried yesterday.

What does forgiveness mean? Is it letting someone off the hook for what he/she did?
The foundational meaning is to “cease to feel resentment.” In a sense, we are able to get out of the debt collection business, which is freeing.
But there’s so much more to this word.
When I started my own personal journey to discover the diverse and powerful meanings of this word, I did so because it seemed like people would say something like, “just forgive”, which only made a hundred more questions come up, like “does it mean they get off the hook?” or “they’ve changed but I can’t forget what they did”.
The deeper I got into this study, the more I realized that forgiveness is important to God, because people are important to God.
In the book, using the power of story and scripture, I share several different multi-layered meanings of this word found in scripture, and all of them lead us to freedom. It might not necessarily fix another person, or make them say they are sorry, or even provide justice that should have taken place, but the door is unlocked and you and I are free and no longer chained to an event, a person, or a time.

Why should we forgive, especially when we’ve been hurt badly and/or the offender isn’t sorry for what he/she did?
First, it’s important that we acknowledge that it’s hard to forgive when there’s no remorse, and you long for someone to say they are sorry. I don’t know how many women I’ve talked to that I’ve wrapped my arms around and said, “I wish that hadn’t happened to you. I’m so sorry that it did.”
But there are a lot of walking wounded whose offender may not be sorry, may not be remorseful (maybe they see it a different way, or through their own filter of pain, or maybe they don’t care), and yet this beautiful woman is still tied to that person or that period of time.
When I looked at my beautiful newborn child, I wanted her to have a healthy mom who wasn’t tied to the past, or filled with bitterness. I wanted to put a line in front of me and say, “it stops here.” I wanted my sweet girl to grow up in stability. But if there were cords that still tied me to the past, I was going to struggle to give her that.
It wasn’t easy. I didn’t know what or how to do it way back then. I just knew that for some reason every time I prayed that God would help me give my child something greater, the word forgive seemed to be the most important first step to take.
So, regardless of another person’s willingness or unwillingness, we offer up what we have to God and that might just look like this: God, I have no clue where you are taking me, or what you want me to do, but I’m willing to take this journey. So I offer up my heart to you today, regardless of whether anyone else has signed up for this journey or not.
To me, surrendering to the process is the most incredible act of faith.

What about when we think we have forgiven, but negative thoughts and emotions still keep coming up. Why is this, and will your book help us with this?
When I was in the beginning stages of forgiving, I would let thoughts just pour over my heart.
I thought about what I would say next. I would think about setting a person straight. I would put myself in a good light, and the other person in a negative light. Pretty soon I was in stuck in those thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t a healthy place, because it didn’t do anything to work through the conflict. It didn’t do anything but feed my anger or bitterness.
One day I felt God asking me to leave that unhealthy place.
I promised God that when I went to that unhealthy place where nothing was ever resolved and it kept me stuck, that I’d recognize it as such.
When that took place, it was a good time to look at why I felt the way I did, and if there was anything in my power that I could do. And if not, then how could I invite God into that moment and that feeling, where He could take up residence and fill in the raw places in my heart.


Suzie, thank you for sharing with us today. I am already hearing from other women how your book has given them the faith to forgive and receive freedom!

Friends, if you want to know more about Suzie, please visit her blog and check out her on-line study by clicking here.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Suzie’s new book and a Starbucks gift card! I'll be announcing the winner on Monday so be sure to stop by then to see if your name is listed as the winner.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Don't Miss Out

Hi Friends!

It's been over two weeks since my last post so I wanted to hop online and let you know that I didn't get swallowed up by some nasty bug-eyed green martian from outer space. 

Our family survived our move into the new house without any major breakage or emotional melt-downs. Oh, except for that teeny-weeny meltdown on day 7 which almost scarred my kids for life. Hey, I was tired, decaffeinated, and aching all over. 

Moving certainly isn't for wimps. I've got bruises on top of bruises from hauling boxes up and down the stairs. I'm so glad it's over and life can get back to normal - whatever "normal" is. 

I wanted to let you know that my good friend and amazing author, Suzie Eller just realized her new book called, "The Unburdened Heart" and I am giving a way a FREE copy tomorrow. 

In her book, Suzie shares about the freedom and wholeness we can receive through forgiveness. Don't miss out your opportunity to enter the drawing. I'm also including a Starbucks gift card which is an added plus for you obsessed coffee drinkers (wink).  

Stop by tomorrow for a sneak peak at my interview with Suzie Eller and to register for the drawing of   "The Unburdened Heart". 

 You will be so glad you did.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Aches and Pains of Moving

When was the last time you moved? Was it ten years ago? Maybe last year? Last month?  I recently read an article that said moving is one of the most stressful events in a person's life.

Our family has gotten use to the stress-filled routine of moving. In fact, we could open up our own moving company with all the experience we've acquired.  How much experience? Well, seven moves in seven years can definitely provide a LOT of practice with the ins and outs of moving.

Today marks another day of that stress-filled process. We closed on our house this morning. I wish I could say I am super excited but I'm not (just keeping in real). Moving out of our dream home feels like someone is slowly peeling away a layer of skin from my heart, leaving behind an open wound. A  wound that only God can heal in time and I believe with all my heart that He will.

A lovely family purchased our house and I'm so thankful for that. The mom told me this morning that she could sense love in our home from the very first time she viewed it with her realtor. That made me smile. Smiling on what feels like a very sad day is a good thing, right?

The way that I've come to look at moving is not from the perspective that I'm giving up or losing something, but instead I'm getting ready for something new and exciting. Sort of like saying good-bye to the beautiful snow that comes during winter time (we call snow "diamond dust") in order to say hello to the new blooms that spring offers.

I saw a sign in the gas station last week that really encouraged me. It said "Always expect that something wonderful is about to happen." That little saying brought such joy to my heart. It completely changed my mindset that day. It also reminded me of a scripture verse in Psalms that talks about experiencing something new and wonderful.

Forget the past, it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Isaiah 43:18-19

I'm choosing to reflect on that little quote and this scripture verse today. I don't know who wrote the quote from the gas station but I'm certain of Who wrote the scripture verse.He is the one who creates all things new!

Today I'm keeping my focus on wonderful things made new in my life. With every box I pack, haul, and unpack over the next 3 weeks, I will say to myself, God has something wonderful in store for our family. It may not look like I thought it would but I'm choosing to trust Him in spite of my current circumstances.

I'm making a conscience decision to keep my mind parked on positive thoughts instead of getting down in the dumps. Just because something is hard doesn't mean we can't experience joy in the midst of it. I'm choosing joy instead of despair, hope instead of discouragement.

Maybe you are the process of moving too. Or, involved in another situation that has you feeling a little stressed or down in the mouth today. Situations like...

Looking for a new job.
Recovering from an illness.
Struggling with your teen daughter.
Going through a divorce

Whatever your circumstances are and no matter how grim things seem,  I want to encourage you to keep persevering and try to stay positive. I know it can be really hard at times but remember, God is on your side and He won't let you fall. He loves you with an unfailing love and delights in your ways.

Let's keep our minds parked on God's Word so that we can be reminded of His promises. Let's make a decision to choose joy and hope for our future. God has great things are in store us, dear friends. Let's not miss out on today's blessings because we're too busy regretting yesterday or stressing about tomorrow.

Is God doing something wonderful in your life right now? If so, will you share your story?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Completely Undone

I was completely undone with Carson this weekend.

He's our youngest son that has a determined flair for independence. This is not something that has recently developed in his tween years. Oh no, I can remember him having an independent spirit when he was just a toddler.

He was one of those little tikes that needed a child leash, even though we didn't dare use one.  Note: if you're a parent who uses a child leash, please don't get offended and send me hate mail. We are both entitled to our child rearing preferences.

Although, there was that trip to Disney World that almost sent us all home in tears.  Carson wouldn't stay in the stroller and refused to hold mommy or daddy's hand while walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It was not pretty.

Years have passed and much has changed except for Carson's determined drive for independence.  

Yesterday, Carson asked me to take him to the mall for new clothes, even though his closet is full of things he can wear. Okay, I admit, many of them are hand-me-downs from his big brother, Brody.

I gladly agreed and thought it would be great mom/son time. Besides, I love shopping, even if it is just window shopping, because of my teeny-tiny clothing budget.

The blissful feeling of this is going to be so much fun!  lasted only a few minutes. Then, the battle began. Carson wanted to wear his gym shorts to the mall. Let's's mid-February and there is snow on the ground. Uhh, NO.

After 10 minutes of debating, I gave in. I figured if he wants to freeze his tushy off and be the only one at the mall with shorts on, I won't be the one stopping him.

Yes, I could have insisted and refused to take him, unless he put on something warmer, but some things aren't worth "battling on the hill" for.  In the big scheme of things I was willing to let this one slide.

The mall was crowded so we had to park and walk a ways to the entrance.  I enjoyed the brisk walk but Carson was miserable and...froze his tushy off. The wind was just a blowin' through those thin nylon shorts.  I tried not to laugh but part of me was thinking, I told you so...

Ahh, sometimes letting our kids experience the natural consequences of their poor choices become great opportunities for life lessons.

It reminds me of my relationship with God. Sometimes I listen and obey  - other times I debate, make excuses, and toss around my determined flair for independence.

For some reason, I think I know what's best. I make poor choices and in return, life dishes out the natural consequences that often times leaves me shaking my head and saying why on earth did I do that - I knew better!

Instead of doing what I know is right or what God is prompting me to do, I choose not to listen and let my stubborn heart take front and center. It reminds me of this verse in Jeremiah 7:24 where God is referring to His children's stubbornness and desire for independence from Him.

But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. Jeremiah 7:24  

I don't want to be a child of God that goes backwards instead of forwards in my relationship with Him. I want to learn from my mistakes and make wise choices, instead of digging in my heels and insisting things my way.

That kind of determined flair for independence will create the perfect environment for not-so-good life lessons. If I pray for wisdom and direction, but then don't follow through with what I know is God's will, I'm only deceiving myself and strain my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I want to be a woman who prays for wisdom and takes steps forward by applying God's Word to my life. Trusting in God's faithfulness and laying down my plans for His will can keep me moving forward on the right path He has created just for me. Without Him, my life would be filled with poor choices.

And, the last thing I want is to find myself in a situation where I'm freezing my tushy off in nylon shorts! 

What about you? Are you following Him today and fighting for your independence?