Do We Really? (Wives of Faith)

DoWeReally

In all of my years of growing up and all things leadership-like, I have experienced the gamut of team-building activities.

From indoor obstacle courses made out of office equipment, to building the “world’s tallest tower” from random craft supplies within a give time frame, to creating commercial jingles, I have learned and enjoyed most.

Key word: Most.

I have never been a huge fan of the outdoor challenge courses, especially in my younger years. I was clumsy (still am) and heights are not my favorite. Fortunately, my optimistic, go-get-em attitude would pull me through each experience.

Except for the trust fall. I. Despised. The. Trust. Fall.  [Read more…]

When God Stretches Us #EverydayJesus

Stretches Us

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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Painful confession: (Don’t worry. I won’t judge you if this makes you judge me for a split second. I still love you.)

I don’t like preschoolers. 

Do I think they are cute? Yes. And  I grateful God created them? Absolutely. Do they add joy to this world? Sure.

Are they my primary area of ministry? No. No, no, no, no, no.

This was recently reaffirmed– the hard way.

After some prayer (and admitted procrastination) I volunteered to help with Vacation Bible School. Although tiny humans are not my fave area of ministry work, I figured that I could handle a week of either doing skits or registration or even being a crew leader to some elementary kiddos.

Stretches UsI completely forgot about the preschoolers. 

So you can probably guess what happened next: I got voluntold to lead/wrangle/herd 10 preschoolers for 20 total hours during the 5-day Vacation Bible School adventure.

And friends, it stretched me more than I have been stretched in ministry in months.

I tried to remain at peace, to find the joy, but it was so much work. And chaos. I don’t do well with chaos.

And licking. So much licking.

I tried to cope by putting clever things on Facebook each day like:

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Never in my life have I been afraid to close my eyes to pray until I became a preschool crew leader at VBS.  #TinyNinjasEverywhere!

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Yea, though I walk through the valley of VBS, I shall fear no preschooler… 

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Dear VBS preschoolers: What’s with the licking!?
#KnockItOff #TimeOutsForEverybody!

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Need your help deciding on today’s most ridiculous Preschool VBS moment. (cast your vote below…) 

A) that we actually had to utter the phrase “NO! Your tongue in YOUR mouth only! 

B) During final worship, we almost had to bust the back of a pew because someone got their arm STUCK in the hymnal slot. (and screamed like a banshee in the meantime) 

Voting starts… NOW! 

(Sidenote: Yes, these two scenarios were from the same kid.)  #AlmostFriday

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Just when I hoped our preschool VBS experience would end without a sex ed discussion… 

My cohort: “Let’s not kiss our teachers, boys and girls. Save your kisses for mom and dad.” 

Preschooler: “We can’t! If mom and dad kiss, they have babies!” 

Me, whispering: “Quick, let’s change the subject! This will go south in a hurry!” 

My cohort: “So what kind of pizza do you like, boys and girls?” 

#CloseOne #AllTheMoreReasonNOTtoKissTheTeacher

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That is how I deal with stress. Humor. And it sort of worked.

But every single day, I had to pray for God to equip me for the self-control, patience and peace to execute my duties– and not get fired for yelling at someone else’s kid.

It stretched me so much. And since that time, it has made me GREATLY appreciate the fact that VBS is only one week a year. It is a perfect perspective giver in my everyday– because now, no matter what happens, at least I wasn’t chasing 10 sugar-hyped little people.

(Side note: For all of you out there who has the gift of ministering to our little youth– please know that there is a very special place in heaven for you. Jesus told me last week while I was muttering under my breath on restroom duty.)

Anywho, there is a purpose in this humorous/challenging experience. God stretches us with purpose, be it to open doors, close them or simply to bring us back to Him in our everyday. So that is today’s question: Where has God been stretching you lately? Chime in and leave a comment. 

Just remember, dear reader– that the next time God stretches you, as long as you don’t have a preschoolers tongue on your arm, you are ahead of the game. #PassTheDisinfectant

Stretched for Jesus,

Initials Signature Blog

“We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.” ~1 John 3:22 MSG

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Courageous Faith: Grace

As I sit here and type this post, I have a little one-dollar metal sign propped on the left hand side of my roll top desk.

It says, “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.”

I have been in possession of this sign for probably close to a decade. I acquired it before I was hardcore following Jesus in the days when I lived and breathed on achieving. It was all about me and what I was doing.

It is probably no secret that I was borderline perfectionistic.

But as I started walking closer with Christ over six years ago (for real this time) He began to reveal the major flaw in my quest for perfection.

Perfection leaves no room for grace.  [Read more…]

Not a Show Stopper

not a show stopper

I am a recovering Chicken Little.

No, I don’t have issues with feather tendencies or a waning poultry aversion. But up until the last few months, I have been living quite a Chicken Little life.

Everything in my world was very dramatic. Not like “OMG-No-You-Didn’t” dramatic, but “Oh-plans-have-changed-the-sky-is-falling-we-are-all-gonna-die!” Something like that. [Read more…]

Lowercase Lies & Capital T Truth #EverydayJesus

Capital T

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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It is very interesting to think about the etiquette that has developed around all things technology in the last decade and a half or so.

Don’t have serious conversations via text message (because the lack of tone will likely equal unintended drama.)

Use complete sentences, even if U no it is EZer 2 write sumthin 4 sum1 like this lol.

If your Mama or preacher wouldn’t approve, don’t post it.

And please, use the proper capitalization– or lack thereof.

Let’s expand on the last one just a little bit. [Read more…]

Courageous Faith: Strength

I always know that moment is coming, but yet it still surprises me when it shows up.

Sweat is running down my nose. I glance at the clock and wonder how much longer. My heart pounds. My muscles quiver.

It is the point of “almost done” in a super intense work out.

On my good days, I ask myself just how far I can go.

On my not-so-good days, I am glad that I went.  [Read more…]

The Backwards PCS (Part 2) Army Wife Network

Last month, I shared the first half of what I deem as a rather epic list of “backwards” PCSing tips. (And yes, I am biased.) My Facebook friends contributed to the humorous list, and now I would like to share the second portion of the how-not-to-PCS strategies. (To get caught up and read the first post in this series, click here.)

Got your chocolate in hand and ready to laugh? Let’s dive into to the rest of our Backwards PCS adventures. [Read more…]

The Last Word #EverydayJesus

Welcome to another week of our Everyday Jesus link-up. Be sure to link-up below this post, comment on your neighbor’s blog and share with your friends… Because Jesus is everywhere, every day! 

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So yeah. It’s no secret that I am stubborn.

And one area of stubbornness God has been working on me in the last few years is this area of having “The Last Word.”

Fortunately, I don’t have the last word– and neither does the enemy. Check out the following video blog for a little something something to encourage your heart today.

Reading via email? Click here to view the video.

So friends… How does this “Last Word” concept strike you? How can we make it more of a truth in our lives as we walk with Jesus? Join the conversation and leave a comment. 

Remember, no matter how hard we are fighting or how defeated we feel, the enemy doesn’t have that last word.

Jesus does.

Finalized by Christ,

Initials Signature Blog

 

” ‘The word of my master, the king, will be the last word in this, for my master is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil.’” ~1 Samuel 14:17 MSG

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Courageous Faith: Hope

Not going to lie… Sometimes the events of this world make my hope begin to falter.

It is just too much. Things are falling apart at the seams and I am like “Seriously? Enough already. Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

But hey. We are still waiting.

It is ridiculous how the enemy of soul will do everything in his power to poke a hole in our hope. Our courage to keep on believing slowly leaks away like a deflated balloon a week after the birthday party.

“Why try? It’s not like things are changing…” 

“See, your efforts mean nothing… it is just too hard.” 

“Go on. You have worked hard enough. Live out your frustrations.” 

You know how to fix this. Do it.” 

Lies. Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies!

But do you notice something about these lies? They aren’t blatant in-our-face lies like an arrow popping a balloon. They are an almost invisible pin-prick. Barely noticeable, but oh-so-capably of draining our courageous faith.

Sometimes, the only remaining element to our courageous faith is that deep well within our soul where hope is found.

That place that Jesus Christ gently whispers, “Just hold on to me.” 

Scripture speaks to hope in numerous places:

“But in spite of this, there is still hope…” ~Ezra 10:2

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” ~Job 11:18

“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame…” ~Psalm 25:3

Courageous faith

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” ~Psalm 25:21

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” ~Psalm 33:20

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~Psalm 43:5

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hopewill not be cut off.” ~Proverbs 23:18

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. ” ~Isaiah 40:31

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11

Friends, I could go on and one and one. So much of God’s word about HOPE. Courageous hope.

That hope that still flickers even when the rest of the world is pitch black.

On a scale of 1-10, where does your big picture hope fall? Please, I ask you to share below in the comments (and feel free to leave a prayer request as well if you need to!)

Think of the devastation the disciples felt after Christ’s death. They thought their beloved friend, teacher and leader was gone forever.

Hope was snuffed out.

Until that stone rolled away.

Today, we live in the moment after the stone and wait His return on the White Horse.

So no matter how deflated we might feel, regardless to the lies whispered in our end, that cross on the hill far away gives us hope.

Hope to keep going. Hope to try again. Hope to breath in and out again. Hope to run after Jesus with our courageous faith.

Hoping in Him,

Initials Signature Blog

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him…” ~Lamentations 3:25

Linking up today with my friend Kristin over at Three-word Wednesday and having a little Coffee for your Heart with Holley.  Oh! And be sure to join our #EverydayJesus link-up community right here at 7 Days Time every Thursday!

Fat Free-Dom (Wives of Faith)

Fat Freedom

Since becoming an adult, I do everything I can to avoid the F-word.

Wait, wait– not THAT F-word. (This is a Christian blog, for crying out loud! Avoiding THAT word is surely implied.)

This F-word:

FAT.

For some reason, back when He was drawing up plans for heaven and earth, God saw fit to make me struggle with physical fitness. For as long as I can remember, I turned to food when I am stressed. Or happy. Or lonely. Or… you get the picture.

Food and I were BFFs. 2-gether, 4-ever. Until…  [Read more…]