Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Utmost of Unattainable

I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.” Isaiah 60:22b

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  Romans 11:29

Writing helps me.  It smooths emotions out and organizes thoughts that have become hyper children.  The problem with this is when God puts me in awe of Himself…in my current state of mind, my vocabulary comes up short when trying to write about this.  There is a reason the phrase ‘stand in awe’ is such.  You do not sing, or expound in verbal rapture.  You do not dance.  You do not take a photograph or paint a picture.  You simply just stand.  Sometimes I think that the only reason we are standing is that somehow our brain is shooting off so many connections that our bodies are at such a state that we do not fall to the ground, and are still able to be upright, taking it all in.  Although, then the next stage for me is processing…I usually sit for that one, which then the writing, singing, dancing, and what not come into the fold. 

My mind is a simple place in the grand scheme of life.  My thoughts are always running in fields of never ending dreams an imagination, and yet Creator God surprised me…still, He surprises me.  I love that about Him.  A random phone call, or verses that just so happen to collide the same week.  I stand in awe of His timing and plan.  I love that He is God.  I love that He has called me to be His child…in awe of His workmanship.  Just when I am tempted to think that I can out dream God…impossible to the utmost of unattainable. 

He calls us to a life of faith in Christ that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He does.  Amen.  So be it.  I start to question my faith when my trust in the Truth of Who He Is wavers.  You see, if I really let it sink in that God is Creator God, His Love is Pure Love, He is Sovereign, Holy Holy Holy, Perfectly Good, Christ Jesus is Savior and Lord, and the Gospel is Real…then my dreaming can take flight to new heights in the knowledge of God through Christ.  My hopes in life due to what my calling is, what gifts I have been given…if I live everyday knowing, trusting, understanding that Christ is LORD…I will not ever doubt in my dreams and passions.  I will trust that He will provide a way to explore my adventures deeper than my imagination…having me go to places I could not invent.  He calls me to trust and obey. 

I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.” Isaiah 60:22b

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  Romans 11:29

So be it my Lord Christ Jesus. 

Praise the LORD O my soul.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hurt but not Hopeless

Hard things have already taken place.  Hard things that are right, better, and completely responsible…they were done and they hurt.  My debt journey has begun and I am just feeling the ‘Braxton Hicks’ of this full time line.  You can hide from your debt, and only feel the weight of it when you reach the end of your chains, but actually dealing with it and staring it in the face and telling it to leave awakens it…and the fury is real.  One day I will look back and say, ‘the hardest part was starting’.  One day I will look back and see how God truly blessed us for being obedient, for not being foolish with what He gives, but glorifying God with what He originally gives.  Debt is like eating chocolate lava cake six times a day for your whole life, and getting out of debt is like looking in the mirror for the first time. 

But right now I am an emotional mess.  Right now the right things are hard to do, but we do them.  We must be free.

The marvelous thing about what has happened is that it has actually happened.  There is a reality.  No turning back.  The marvelous thing about what has happened is that I am still able to find joy.  I am still able to find thanksgiving.  Yes, it is hard…but it is not hopeless.  Another day seems to bring new meaning, new passion, new threats, and new excitement. 

When those times of hardness come, I fall on my knees and give the hardness away.  His plan is best, His plan is right, His plan is good, and His plan is perfect.  One day I will look back and rejoice in the hardness knowing that He rescues us from our pit of destruction and sets us on His beautiful solid ground. 

I dry my eyes and say another prayer, moving into trusting His path.  His love never fails.  I take hold of who He is.  I breathe Jesus in deep and long. 

I am already learning so much.  I am learning how amazing my husband is.  I knew he was amazing, but really…my husband is getting ‘more’ amazing with each new task.  I am learning what being content is rooted in, learning what satisfaction really is, and learning that they are all connected and stem from Christ.  All answers are truly found in Him.  We are growing in our faith, and our lives are reflecting that awesome change.  Praise be to God, who changes us to be more like Christ.  Praise God for He never leaves us, and is constantly pursuing us. 

Layer by layer we are striping off the filthy clothes of sin and putting on Christ finish work on the cross…imputed righteousness never looked so good.

I love that Christ loves us in our emotional mess.  I need Him to love me in those moments, so that I may love the way He loves me. 

That is Beauty.  That is Healing.

Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Change is Here

It’s here.  The wind rises, the leaves begin to lighten, and my heart warms as the air turns cool.  What is it about autumn that gets everyone so giddy?  There must be some deeper meaning that has been lost in my culture.  Some unexplained reason from Creator to created, that spikes during this time of change.  Maybe one day I will find the reason behind the joy.

This weekend I have a short retreat with some women at my church.  The atmosphere will be perfect for a country living magazine cover.  I am very selfish with my weekends, but I’m really excited about this time.  Our evening and afternoon tomorrow is focused on prayer.  I.cannot.wait. 

Heart Pounds has been living on in my life, but not posted.  My brother is working on my logo for my photography.  My computer died, so I have no way of downloading pictures to post.  For many years, I posted writings without photographs, but something was missing.  I do not think it is because words are lesser without visual aid, but it is more because word + photos are Heart Pounds for me. 

On another note, Charming Charlie’s is finally open in my town.  The store is absolutely beautiful.  I bought a pair of earrings on clearance for $5.  I have told myself that I will not get anything else unless it’s on a gift card.  haa haa! 

I am passionate about finances.  You’d think that I’d be in a different situation because of this.  That is why my life is about to change.  I’m ecstatic about it.  I’ve ran the numbers ten or more times.  2 years.  That’s it.  Just 2 years.  From January 2016 – January 2018…then freedom, and possibly babies.  It is not a coincidence that our women’s retreat is on prayer this year…God is setting up knowledge and understanding for a strong follow through.  Pride, Selfishness, and a Lack of Contentment will be challenged every day.  It will be the same instruction that I have received about disciplining children…you have to follow through with the rules you set, you cannot say one thing and not do it…you have to stick with your plan and not succumb in weakness or laziness.  You will get what you put in.  I.cannot.wait. 

I will need to live in a way that is blameless.  If I say ‘no’ to going out to eat because I’m paying off debt, I cannot get a pair of earrings for $5 and a pair of boots for $11 because it was a great deal.  Blameless financial living.  I think that will determine the emotions.  Anger will not rise because they see blameless spending.  I am praying for that.    

Change is here.  I see it, and I can feel it.  I.cannot.wait. 

Praise the Lord O my soul.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Responsibility & Faith

A quick word search lets me know that ‘responsibility’ occurs 1 time in the bible in the English Standard Version.  The word ‘faith’ occurs over 400 times. 

My mother and I have an ongoing joke about the word responsibility.  We actually refer to it as the “R word”.  This all started when I told my mother that I was sick and tired of hearing that word, and I never wanted to hear it again.  Please add high school attitude to get the complete dialog reference.  Obviously, she had to use it in her speech to me often, because I was the opposite of the “R word”.  So as I got older, her loving, kind, patient, caring heart would calmly use “R word” in its place.  My mother is so grand. 

Let me take some time to be open and honest.  I have a lot of debt.  It makes my heart hurt.  Student loans seems to be my Dementors most days.  Joy sucking.  Now, if I knew what I was getting into I would have made some changes in my past…true.  Truth be told, even after I knew what I was in…I continued to make horrible choices, and live a life of ignorance and false hope.  I still remember a conversation with my brother about student loans, he called to tell me that he found out that once you die, you school loans die with you.  To which we both finally felt hope that there is an end, but it is such a sick hope. 

A change in my life has to be made, and I am terrified to make it.  They say that is when you know that you are addicted to something, you are absolutely frozen with fear when you think of your life without it.  That is when I knew I was addicted to sugar, and I lived through my detox.  Although, that was a short period of time, this will be a bit longer, and much more intense.  People will think I am crazy, they will get mad, they will not see reason behind my choices.  I like to please, I like to repair situations, and if that arises I will have no control other than to love without change.  Which to them will not look like love at all, but selfishness. 

One good thing that comes from this, is that I have a deeper love for these verses…

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”  Colossians 2:13-14

To God be the Glory, Great things He has done.

I had a greater debt that could only be paid by the Son of God.  And Jesus paid it in FULL.  There is none left, and not only did Jesus pay my debt, He brought me into His family with riches that surpass the world around me.  Beth Moore wrote an identity declaration which sums up what Christ has done for those who put their faith in Him. “I am a woman of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ loved, pursued, and chosen, equipped with words of life, clothed in strength and dignity, commissioned here and now, gifted  by the Spirit, forgiven and unbound.  Blessed is she who believes.”

With all of this, I step forward with my left foot of responsibility and right foot of faith.  Although they seem so opposite, they move me on my pathway toward something much greater than I.

So be it, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My New 30

It is always amazing to see God working in our lives.  It always stuns me.  Always takes me by surprise.  God always catches me when I least expect it.  I love that about Him.  I love that Jesus is constantly pursuing my wandering heart, because I gave it to Him and He loves me with a love that knows no bounds, that is Everlasting…what greater romance is there than that Truth.  The Steadfast Love of Jesus.

Another coffee morning Tuesday and I find myself again thanking Him for small things, and big things.  My friend and I list out 30 things we are thankful to God for.  Since He is the Supreme Designer of all ‘things’ and all ‘moments’.  Becoming “God-Aware” is part of giving thanksgiving.  It is a beautiful act that somehow my Christian culture has looked over, or maybe even watered down.  It is terribly simplistic.  

“Thank You God for _________.”  This thanksgiving has changed my life.  Thank you Ann Voskamp for discovering how thanksgiving rocked your anxious life and writing about the depth, freedom, and easy way of giving thanks to God, and finding Jesus in every moment.

My new 30….

74) Ree Drummonds humor
75) Pioneer woman tv cooking shows
76) cast iron skillets
77) real butter
78) whole milk
79) wood countertops
80) learning
81) teaching
82) fantastic clearance sales
83) feeling God in a moment
84) Le Pen
85) wooden cutting boards
86) home grown vegetables
87) cinnamon in not-so-good coffee
88) living free in the USA
89) Americana clean design
90) auctions
91) my baby nephew falling asleep in my arms
92) good hair days
93) black tee shirts
94) brown boots with buckles
95) excitement of a new season
96) taking our dogs for a walk with my husband
97) trusting God with the unknown
98) frozen pizzas for easy dinner
99) wearing my husband’s baseball hats
100) laughing with my sister-in-law
101) crunchy fallen leaves
102) decorating our house for autumn
103) fires in the fire pit
104) s’mores

This week is a week I’ve been waiting for.  It is a vacation day and a holiday weekend.  It is traveling with my family, seeing family-friends, eating a huge breakfast in a comfortable kitchen, watching my nephews play on the stairs, shopping with my family, and just living out blessing after blessing.  O God, I give all of these moments to you, for You created them for me…that I may see Your Love in each of them.  Jesus, thank you for the hard days, the difficult moments that bring me closer to Your Heart, Your Love, Your Peace, Yourself…these moments are just as grand because You are in them.

May your day be filled with personal thanksgivings, whether they seem insignificant or monumental.  Jesus is in them. 

Praise be His Name.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wardrobe Wednesday

This is a Wednesday kind of outfit.  It’s the middle day of the week, and I almost always hit the snooze at least 4 times…which means that is 36 minutes less to make coffee, breakfast, chose an outfit, make-up, hair, feed the puppies, let the puppies outside, pray, journal, read scripture, take pictures…and the list goes on.  I am a morning person, so that does help a little bit…just not on Wednesdays.  Most of my Wardrobe Wednesdays are written a week or so in advance, and then scheduled accordingly.  Not so much today.  Today is a Wednesday, in the true meaning, and all the matters, that come to reality on a Wednesday. 

This outfit is good for Wednesdays.  It is very comfortable and looks clean with the white and dark contrast.  Also, it is really comfortable.  With those things in mind, this skirt and top are absolutely comfortable.  This outfit is a Wednesday kind of outfit.  

The skirt is a jersey/tee shirt material.  It is a charcoal gray with a simple tribal like design.  The top of the skirt folds down like a pair of yoga pants…praise Jesus.  I purchased this skirt on clearance at Target, for about $10.   Since I am a petite height, I wear the skirt pretty high on my waist to avoid it dragging the ground when I walk.  This also creates a tiny waist line, with the top of the skirt drawing into the smallest part of my waist.  

The top tee shirt has a sheer top level, with a cotton stretch bottom.  This length of this shirt is rather short, you could call it a longer crop.  The crop works with the skirt so that I am not creating any material lines, aka seeing the hem line of the shirt through the skirt…like underwear lines.  Since the top is white, and parts of it are sheer I always wear a tank top underneath.  I like this specific tank because it has very dulled-fine lines of tan stripes, which mimics a hint of the brown in the skirt. It also gives a little more depth to the top without being too busy.  You can barely see the stripes, but just enough to make an impact.  It makes me smile.  The white top is from Old Navy, I have no recollection of the price or when I purchased it.  The tank top is from Banana Republic petite (2005).  I have actually cut the bottom of it to a crop, it has seen better days.  I do not wear the tank by itself, so it can hide its stains and jagged crop just fine. 

This necklace is a recent purchase.  It came with a pair of gold round earrings on clearance for $11 at Scheels.  I am surprised that I like the necklace as much as I do.  With the sharp triangular shapes it has a rather edgy feel, but the shine of the gold brings the edgy look to a more simple and classic design.  This necklace wears well with tee shirts and dresses, very versatile.  I am really thankful for it, it has been my go-to piece since I bought it.

The sandals are from our local Farm and Home Supply store.  I love this store!  They were $9.  Sure, they are not going to last very long, and they are obviously knockoff Birkenstock Arizona style sandals.  The caramel color brown is one of my favorites, and they are easy to slip on…perfect for a Wednesday.  They make any outfit look less ‘dressy’, and sometimes I am wanting that exact style.  Like today for example, because it is Wednesday.

Also, I hear that it is National Dog Day.  Dear Kingy, I love your cute big face and slobbery jaws.  Dear Sorepants, your cuddliness and grandpa attitude makes me so happy that you are my dog.  If you want to see a picture of my husband and I's puppers, click the About link at the top of this page.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Glorious Amen

Late, yet again to the coffee shop this morning.  Thoughts of guilt and lack of responsibility start throwing themselves around my mind while I try to catch every green light.  Then…I stop, I breathe, I open my eyes and let myself take in the morning.  It is cool, much cooler than yesterday morning.  A chill in the air prompted my attire to sweater and plaid.  The air still has that certain aroma that only autumn brings to the table.  The sun looks a little more golden in its rays, casting a warm tone on all that I see.  Thank you Lord God for… and I start naming the beauty, I call out the blessings.

My friend and I discuss our assigned chapter, remembering what struck us and consider ways we can apply what we have come to learn.  That is the hard question that is the harsh reality of knowledge…the second step of living out what was revealed.  I want to write down all the words that captivated my attention, I want to share every detail of what has started to change me, to type out every word I underlined. 

Listening to a classical playlist which helps me put my thoughts in order.  Eight chapters have lead us through simple ideas.  Grace.  Thanksgiving.  Joy.  This chapter spoke on trusting God, actively believing God, then thanking Him.  This chapter was beautiful, full of detailed pictures of what I have struggled with and then topped with such a bright light of Hope that I just sat there stunned. 

The counting of all blessings is ultimately summed up in One.  All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him.  For in Him all things were created, are sustained, having their being.  Thus Christ is all there is to give thanks for; Christ is all there is to remember.  To know how we can count on God, we count graces, but ultimately there is really only One.  And the radical wonder of it stuns me happy, hushes me still; it’s all Christ.  Every moment, every event, every happening.  Its’s all in Christ and in Christ we are always safe and “how will he not also…? “ (pg. 155 – how will he not also - One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp) 

Exactly Ann, exactly! 

The truth of giving thanks to God for blessings, even in the hard times is monumentally simplistic.  In times of anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, anxiety, happiness, relaxation, peace, and in times of carelessness…calling out to God, knowing Him through Christ’s Grace, in each and every moment…saying Yes to Him, and feeling the flood of joy that surrounds Him.  Trusting Him when feelings lie. 

He is God, and that is such a High and Glorious AMEN.   

Thank you God, for my life in You…for that is the root of all thanksgivings. 

John 14:1 (ESV)

I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 6:29 (AMP)

29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].

Mark 16:16 (AMP)

16 He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [[a]from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned.

Romans 8:32 (ESV)

32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)

20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

1 John 4:18 (ESV)

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Psalm 136:3-7 (ESV)

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;