Friday, March 29, 2013

Freedom Friday: Jesus



I have been praying.

I have been a Christian for many many years.

And yet I don't believe I have yet encountered a clear revelation of how powerful Jesus dying on the cross actually is.

I "get it."

I understand why it happened.

But I have yet to gain a revelation. You know, a deep and heartfelt thankfulness and awe.

I embrace my salvation. I live in the freedom joyfully.

But I know there is a new depth that God is pressing me towards.

God's plan all along was Jesus.

Everything led to Jesus.

I am nothing... I would be merely a striving mess if it were not for Jesus sacrificing His life.

So why do I still strive... why do I not just rest.



Today Good Friday, I pray for a new found passion.




The payment for sin... is death.

He died for me.

He is my redeemer.

By His wounds I am healed.

The old has passed the new has come.

I am a new creation.


Hmmmm... may my focus lead me to Jesus' FINISHED work on the cross.


May my freedom alone be found in Jesus Christ son of the God most high!!!

I just read a beautiful quote by Christine Caine online

"There was something joyful on the other side of the cross that allowed Him to endure the shame & brutality of the cross - "us" #unfathomable"
 
WOW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6CGmROkncM




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w39N3vHn1mQ



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Throw Back Thursday: The Healing



I believe God can put a message on your heart in such a timely moment. So I write this knowing God lead me to put these words down. I pray for those who this message reaches, may my tender heart speak to yours. I understand your loss. I am with you in spirit and in prayer. And I pray that a beautiful healing will come from knowing that God is always faithful.

God is always faithful. Adam said something to me fairly recently that has been rolling around in my head over and over and over again. "Truth is truth!" If God says He is faithful. HE IS FAITHFUL. Through the good times and the bad times. Through the moments when we rejoice to the moments when we weep. He is always present. God wants the best for our lives. He wants to heal us. Truth is truth! So then truth will supersede circumstances! What a difficult thing to try to process at times.

A dear friend of mine sent this verse to me three years ago last December when we were told that we had lost our little babe.


Zephaniah 3:17

The Message (MSG)

God Is Present Among You

16-17 Jerusalem will be told:
“Don’t be afraid.
Dear Zion,
don’t despair.
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.



She wrote this verse in response to reading a note that I had made on Face book to announce our loss.


******

The healing.

by Nicole Brodrecht (Notes) on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:23pm
 
I know every woman heals in different ways when going through the loss of a baby. My desire is to express my heart through words in a way that soothes my spirit.

I am so desperate to believe that there is a purpose to the loss of our little one. So my heart cries to be used to be heard and to be healed.

Miracle was not born. But I know she had a purpose. It was a miracle that she was conceived and although her little body was unable to live with us I have the inner peace to know that she will be with God. I know that our time here is only temporary. That there is something more than this life. And in the eternity of living life with God I know I will see her. I will get to hold her. I will get to love her. My heart desperately aches to be able to touch her now, but I know I will. I choose to believe that her life was not in vain. I choose to listen to Gods words to me to see His love and comfort over me to bring me continuous peace as I grieve and as Adam grieves. I choose to stop and listen. To press in to the purpose that He has for me, for my wonderful husband and for my children that are with me here.

I never thought that I would have to feel this type of pain. To have to understand the feelings of losing a child. In this I have a new overwhelming respect for all those who have gone through the loss of their baby. You women...your strength has been my strength, your story is now my story. I cry and I hold your hand blessed that we have been given the opportunity to walk through this together. To feel each others pain. If only for that. I am thankful. I know our children have a purpose each and everyone of them whether here with us or not and I choose to use this experience to prove that God's love is so strong that it pours over us in the midst of every tear and ache.

Life is not perfect it's full of hurt. It's full of confusing overwhelming pain. But God has told us over and over that He is here. The God who created us is still the God that holds us. He didn't create pain, He doesn't give us tragedy, or death or sickness. His plan was for us to live in beautiful perfect harmony with Him with out death. But we are here on an earth that isn't perfect, that has sin, sickness and death. Even though hurt does exist, He is still our promise and gives us the strength to get through every darkened moment. If I choose, His living water will pour over me, soothing my pain.

So I choose.

My broken heart will heal.
**********
During the miscarriage I can genuinely say that God was close to me. He spoke to my heart and he helped me through the ache of my soul. He brought me to a beautiful website that took away my fear and talked about using the experience as a way of grieving the lost through birthing the baby. I then chose a new perspective on every cramp and pain that I felt for those two days. I was birthing my baby. I was giving myself to experience. I was willing to have conceived this little one then through tears willing to give her back up to God. He spoke love and value over my life. He showed me how my little one was loved so much that he knew when to bring her home. He knew that her life was intended to be with Him and not in pain here on earth. That brought me a peace. Those moments were special, precious and dear. Feeling the presence of the Lord covering my broken body and spirit. The Holy Spirit hovered over me soothing me with worship and singing. I played a song over and over again.
(http://grooveshark.com/s/Hold+My+Heart+Acoustic/2IKZYs?src=5)

I cried and I prayed and I bled. And I healed.
 
He did bring me through. He was faithful. Even in the hardest moment I have experienced.
 
 
Now I look at my two year old, an absolute joy to our lives and I am thankful for Gods plan. Even though I don't understand it... He is faithful. I can't imagine not having gone through that experience now. The depth of relationship that I gained was a gift that I got from our little Miracle. I know now that through His strength I can get through anything.
 
 
 
 
~ Lord I pray for those who have experience or who may encounter the loss of a baby. May we not live in fear but lean on Your strength and understanding. Every conception is a miracle and we thank you for having given us the opportunity to fill the heavens with our little ones. I pray that our hearts will heal and you will see us through each darkened moment that we may encounter. May you sing praises over us calming our spirit!~
 
 






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Worship Wednesday: Beautiful Exchange by Hillsongs LIVE


 
 
 

Beautiful Exchange
Hillsong LIVE
 
You were near, Though I was distant
Disillusioned I was lost and insecure

Still mercy fought, For my attention
You were waiting at the door, Then I let You in

Trading Your life, For my offenses
For my redemption, You carried all the blame

Breaking the curse, Of our condition
Perfection took our place

When only love
Could make a way
You gave Your life
In a beautiful exchange

My burden erase, my life forgiven
There is nothing, that could take this love away

My only desire, and sole ambition
Is to love You just the same

When only love
Could make a way
You gave Your life
In a beautiful exchange

When only love
Could break these chains
You gave Your life
In a beautiful exchange

Holy are You God
Holy is Your name
With everything I've got
My heart will sing how I love You
x12
 
 
~As we come closer to Easter and all that it means. I pray we will continue to gain a greater and greater understanding of all that God did when He sent His one an only Son for us!! Lord you made the only way! You gave your life!!! Lord I pray that my one and dearest goal in life will grow into being a lover of you!!! With everything I have... my heart will sing how I love you!!!!~

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Toddler Tuesday:Freedom



Interestingly enough when thinking about toddlers the last thing that usually comes to mind is teaching them freedom. But the more I learn about parenting the more that it becomes forefront in my mind.

Last week when talking to the group of teen girls I was reminded again how important it is!!!

So why IS freedom so important?

"In the beginning, God created mankind to be free. There were no constraints in the Garden. Adam and Eve were running around naked. (see Gen. 2:25) - no bras, no underwear, no bathing suits, nothing. This is God's intended version of your life: absolute freedom.  But what made the garden free? It wasn't that they were naked. No, the Garden was free because of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. "What?" you ask. "That's the bad tree! How could that lead them to freedom?" Well, if they hadn't had the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in that Garden, they would have been trapped in a paradise prison. Without the option of making a poor choice in that environment, they would not have been free." (Danny Silk Loving our kids on purpose)


Now lets look back a bit on what we talked about last week thinking about our role as parents imitating the heart of God. Corinthians 3:17 declares, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." He cares about freedom so much!!!!

"This story (the garden of Eden) shows us the importance of freedom to our loving Father. Without the freedom to reject Him, we are powerless to choose Him. Obedience is a choice."(Danny Silk)

SO, fast forwarding a bit.. SIN then came into the world and then also did the need for external punishment... In order to be close to God we needed to be completely free from sin. Basically in my opinion impossible. So then what did God do.... freedom was such a huge deal to God... such a BIG deal He sacrificed His Son!!! What drastic measures... shouldn't freedom be just as important to us when talking about how to parent our kids?

Now if we look at how God designed the kingdom of heaven... we find out that it is not a place of External government. Jesus didn't come down to rule over us hammering out demands and scaring us into the way it's supposed to be... So when we train our kids to obey using external threats in a fear manner... we cause them to build an unhealthy view of what God designed our lives to be functioning in!

We need to learn to parent in a way that deals with the inside out. Which means some of us may need to do some pretty serious introspective working out of our own faith!!!

To sum it up... or at least start to....
We need to choose to give our children the opportunity to make poor decisions. We need to not be so "surprised" when they sin. We need to teach them the consequences of poor choices with out shame, blame or guilt. They will to our bewilderment one day be an adult in that free world making their own decisions for themselves. So our job is to prepare them for that freedom. I love this quote!!! "They(our children) are absolute geniuses, and if you just give them some power to practice with, if you treat them like they have a brain that works, they will make you marvel."


Hmmmmm I think that's lots to process... It certainly has been for me and continues to be!!! Parenting will be a life long journey!!! What a ride!!!

Thanks for being a part of my story friends!!!

~Lord thank you for giving us freedom. Because without freedom we would not have the opportunity to love you. God give us a new revelation on what it means to parent in an internal way, teaching our kids to do things because it's right, not because we have created rules and punishment to scare them into the right decision. Bless each and every one of us as we continue to walk out becoming a more purposeful parent!!~






Monday, March 25, 2013

Meditation Monday: Message recap from Wednesday



Last Wednesday I had the privilege of talking to a group of about 13 wonderful young women!!
It was amazing to sit down and hear where they are at what they are going through!! I was so pleasantly encouraged with the depth we got to by the end of the night!!

I thought I would spend today re-capping some of the points we discussed!!


1. God has never and will never be disappointed in you.
   - Disappointment is an unfulfilled expectation. Meaning you expected one thing and something else happened, therefore you’re disappointed with the actual result.
In order for God to be disappointed, then He would of had to of been surprised by your actions… and not have expected them!
But that can’t be true, because God is all knowing. He knew every action you would take, and every sinful act you would commit the moment he died for them ALL on that cross over 2,000 years ago…
So when you sin today, you can in no way disappoint God!(http://greatchristianlife.com/god-is-not-disappointed-when-you-do-wrong)


2. God is always with you!!!
   - My one year old came up to me one day her clothing covered in water. "O my" I told her and said that we needed to put a new dress on her. So she giggled and ran into her bedroom and hid behind the curtain. She sat there waiting. So I got real close with a big smile on my face and waited. She finally pulled the curtain away and smiled at me and I responded with a laugh and said "I found you."

It dawned on me!!!

God is never far. He is always right beside us never leaving. It's us that covers ourselves from God. Whether it be change, fear, pain, anger, shame. We veil ourselves from seeing and hearing God. It's when we will pull the curtain away from our face that can we see the smiling face of God and hear him say, "I found you!!" ( http://motheroffivelittleladies.blogspot.ca/2012/06/god-is-never-far-from-us.html)

   - God is with you even in the most appalling moments when you think you are all alone. God is with you. He is rubbing your back and telling you... it's okay. I am here. I will be with you through every thing, through every moment. I know you are hurting... I know you think this is the only way... but I am here... just trust in Me.

   -We need to remember that we don't have to ask God to come into our presence... God is always with us. When we pray... lets thank God for being with us and to help us to be open enough to feel Him, instead of asking Him to be near!

3. Nothing you do will surprise God!!!
    - God is ever present and all knowing! Jesus already paid the price for our sins... all sins...even the ones that you are going to do!!!

    - "The father's attitude toward us in our sin is, "It's all right. But I need you to trust me, and I need you to hear me. We're going to be Ok. We're going to make it through this. I can win with any hand that's dealt to me. You're on my side and I'm on your side. We'll pick up that which the devil meant for evil and turn it around, and because of that I want you to come to Me in the midst of your failure. I'm not mad. I got really mad one time and I poured out all my wrath and punishment for sin on the Lamb that I supplied, because He's the only One that could handle it! " (Danny Silk)

4. God's plan right from the beginning was the gift of freedom.
    - With out the freedom to choose, we wouldn't have the ability to love.

    - Heaven is not trying to control your life. God doesn't want to control you. Remember, in the presence of the Lord there is freedom, not control (2 Cor. 3:17) We have been given a Spirit of power, love, and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7) (Danny Silk)

    - Your parents are given the authority to help guide, correct and help you to grow into an incredible person. But you have the freedom to choose whether you will submit to that or not. To take their advice or throw it away. But ultimately you have the freedom to do so.

5. With that freedom is the responsibility to know that life is not just about you!!!

    - So when you sin, your sins will have a reaction, one that will most likely hurt you or the people around you. God knows this and wants to protect you, that’s why He wants to keep you away from sin. This is the meaning of the verse, “you will reap what you sow…
So the idea then that you disappoint God when you sin is simply a LIE that the enemy wants you to believe to keep you focused on yourself, your behavior and your “sins” so that you can’t focus on Christ in you and your father God above. !(http://greatchristianlife.com/god-is-not-disappointed-when-you-do-wrong)

    - The greatest thing that you can do in your life as a teen and young adult is to practice selflessness. It will set you up for sucess in all areas of your life!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Freedom Friday:Let Go and let God! by Laura Verbeek


Today for Freedom Friday I am going to welcome Laura Verbeek, a 14 year old with such beautiful depth!! Enjoy!!!



Let Go and let God!
By Laura Verbeek
 

These past few months have been crazy, like I mean crazy! I have had a lot of obstacles in my way, and have been challenged like never before. Through a new friendship, I started to realize how insecure I was. I think all of us have struggled with this at some point. I realized I had a major case of Atelphobia, the fear of not being good enough. These waters were mostly new to me, because I had always been the confident, not afraid of what other people thought kind of person. Suddenly I was wrapped with different insecurities. I found myself looking for so many ways to be accepted. People knew I loved compliments, so they would try to cheer me up by complimenting me, sometimes it made me smile! But I brushed it off, because I didn’t believe those words for myself. Have you ever heard of the saying…you are your own worst bully? Yes, that was the case for me! I would constantly put myself down, by thinking negative thoughts about myself. I found, that sometimes in class, they would ask a question and I said the answer in my head, but never out loud because I was too afraid to get it wrong. My insecurity started out with a few small things, and started to grow. Tremendously. I then realized that my insecurities were affecting my relationships as well. I would put myself down so much. What friend wants to hear all the bad things their friends do and are? Especially if they believe they are a great awesome person! I noticed some of the friendships I valued with all my heart were going down the drain. The people I valued so much, started backing off. Who wants to be around a Debbie Downer? It was just recently that I started self-reflecting on my insecurity. I realized, this whole time I had been relying on my own strength to get me through the obstacles I needed to overcome. And everything in my life, just kept getting worse and worse. At one point, I had a little tug at my heart. In my mind I saw a picture, of God watching me from up above…there I was struggling to breathe and stay up afloat, so he said I’m here for you I want to help you!” And I just put up my hand and said “No God, I can do this see?” I realized that I had put up a wall, I wanted to do everything myself! And I think that when I finally decided to let go and let God and allow that to happen, I became a lot more successful than I could have done if I had planned it all myself.

 



~ Lord, help us to let go. Help us to let God fill our needs. For we know you will never leave a void. Thank you for your presence of love and wisdom is ever nurturing to our souls. Thank you for working through every circumstance. As we choose to let go and trust God, everything is transformed—yes, everything—into a blessing. I know you will continuously makes dark places light, rough places smooth, crooked places straight, and empty places full—full of loving-kindness and abundance of joy.Thank you for always being there for me.~

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Throw Back Thursday: Where is spring??!!!



    Who else remembers being a child and getting dressed up in their new Spring dress for Easter?? I totally remember getting so excited to dress up in that little sleeveless dress, with the cute straw hat wrapped in ribbon for Sunday Morning service.


     
     
    Honestly... right now it's hard to believe that time will ever come. It is soooo bloomin' cold... but I am still praying away the winter clothing... in our house it's dress coat, play coat, dress boots, play boots, plus church shoes x7 packed in our hallway closet not including all the hats, mitts, scarves and snow pants. I was reading a verse that I had on my fridge... and I had to use it here... LOL so totally out of context... BUT... I'll use it to my advantage anyways in this weak moment...




    Habakkuk 2:2-3

    2-3 And then God answered: “Write this.
    Write what you see.
    Write it out in big block letters
    so that it can be read on the run.
    This vision-message is a witness
    pointing to what’s coming.
    It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
    And it doesn’t lie.
    If it seems slow in coming, wait.
    It’s on its way. It will come right on time.
     
     
     
     
    Tehehehe!!! So I am going to write it out for all to see...
     
     SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER!!!!!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Worship Wednesday: Your Love is Extravagant






    Your Love is Extravagant
    Darrell Evans

    Your love is extravagant
    Your friendship intimate
    I find I'm moving
    To the rhythms of Your grace
    Your fragrance is intoxicating
    In our secret place
    Your love is extravagant

    Spread wide in the arms of Christ
    Is the love that covers sin
    No greater love have I ever known
    You considered me a friend
    Capture my heart again
    Capture my heart again

    Deeper than the deepest ocean
    Your love is
    Higher than the highest mountain
    Reaches higher than the Heavens
    Still it finds its way to me
    Finds its way to me

    Your love is extravagant
    Your love is extravagant
    Your love is extravagant


    ~ God I thank you that your love is extravagant!!! I thank your for overwhelming us and covering all of our weaknesses!!!~

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Toddler Tuesday: Biblical back ground into discipline



    Hello all again!!!
     
    We have been talking about how our role as a parent is to TEACH and PROTECT.

    Today I was going to talk about the beginnings of how "Protect" plays out in our house. I find that protection links very closely with the discipline side of parenting. The reasoning is because we want our kids to know what are good and bad choices. Then how to navigate a healthy life in the future without putting themselves in dangerous situations.

    To even start to explain Protection, I think I am going to need to back up a little and head into biblical reasons why God has entrusted us with children to raise instead of them coming out of the womb self sufficient... although at times... I do think that would be pretty cool... But then I look back on all those precious moments with the new born babies and I just can't help feeling such an awe at the way God has set up humanity.

    We as parents are entrusted to represent God to our children until the day that they are old enough to translate that authority over to be led by God. Here's the "ouch" part for those of us who are dealing with issues right now... "Our behaviour flows from our beliefs, from the way we interpret the world around us." (pg39) Therefore to protect our kids we need to teach them in a healthy way what freedom, respect, love and self-control is. So that their behaviour is coming out of a healthy core belief instead of a dysfunctional core belief.

    I hope this is easy to follow... I'm going to breathe and try to laser point it...
    Hmmm why don't I pull out a part of the the book "Loving our Kids on Purpose." pg43

       "Unfortunately, many of us, whether believers or not, continue to raise our children according to an Old Testament paradigm. It is still common or "natural" to believe that mistakes or sin must be punished. The parenting model that flows from this paradigm presents a "punisher" role for the parent and creates an "outside-in" approach to learning about life for the child.
       In the New Covenant, God relates to the believer in a new way, through writing His "law on our hearts and minds" When the law is written on our hearts and minds and when God Himself dwells in us, we no longer need to be controlled from the outside, because we have the capability and responsibility to control ourselves - to tell ourselves what to do and to make ourselves do it."

       "But on the cross, Jesus dealt with the condition that required God to relate to us from the outside. As a result, punishment, wrath, and intimidation have all disappeared from His attitude toward us. God is a safe place. Because sin has been dealt with in the New Covenant, we no longer need to be punished or controlled but need to learn to manage our freedom responsibly, which changes the goal of government as well as the goal of parenting. When Love and freedom replace punishment and fear as the motivating forces in the relationship between parent and child, the quality of life improves dramatically for all involved. They feel safe with each other, and the anxiety that created distance in the relationships is chased away by the sense of love, honor and value for one another."

    When I first read this... it was such a HUGE change of mindset for me... my goal was totally to have the kids punished for bad behaviour...

    So how have we begun to change the way we discipline to protect our kids....

    We have two checks that we will ask the kids that keep us in line and also confirms good core beliefs in them.

    #1: Do I look angry?
    - We should never be looking at our kids with anger in our eyes or deal with problems in anger. If we address issues with love and tenderness in eyes, rarely will our kids have their backs up and see us as the problem/bad guy but the solution and a help in times of need.

    #2: Am I disappointed in you?
    - God is never disappointed in us. He created us in his image. He calls us good!!! He love us unconditionally no matter what we do... performance will never equate more or less love!! There for our kids need to know that even in moments where they fail. They are NEVER a disappointment to us!!!

    Both of these helps us to be sure we are not disciplining out of shame, blame or guilt!

    Well... I think this is a good place to stop...

    Funny enough the biggest reason is because I just ended up in a conflict with a couple of the girls, and I totally dealt with the problem out of frustration.... like who puts toothpaste and after piercing lotion with water in a cup then pours it all over the bathroom counter!!! EHHWWWW!!! shesh... so... good example here... we are all such imperfect parents... trying our best!!!

    The point is... lets learn and grow from each experience!!!




    ~ Lord thank you for entrusting us with these precious little babes!!! You have created such a unique way for each of us to grow and learn in the safety of a home. I thank you Lord for making a way for us to live in a relationship with you with out punishment, wrath, and intimidation. God I thank you that you are a SAFE PLACE for us to rest in. God let us not take for granted our role as these children's parents! May we see our purpose closely linked to how they will interpret Your heart for them. In all that I thank you that you cover our failures and give us ways to grow and become more purposeful parents. ~



    Blessings to you wonderful moms!!!





    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Meditation Monday: The Holy Spirit


    Well that was a pretty difficult weekend.

    Can we all just be real for a moment and say... when things are what they are!! Well I had a crappy weekend. :) (smiley face... for my sake ... more than yours...)

    So meditation Monday... man. It seems as though I have lost my focus in the midst of a fog. Now, I am trying to find my way out of it.... slowly...

    I got challenged last night by... of course my hubby... and you know sometimes it just really ticks me off when he is right... but then I come down off of my high horse and get some good sleep. Then in the morning with a coffee in hand... I have the ability to chew on what he said a bit more.

    Here's the picture... I was sick over the weekend. Which just so happened to land on a weekend that Adam had been gone away super busy. When he got home late on Sunday night I was totally not in the mood to talk. Adam started asking a few questions that didn't get a great response (sorry babe) then he paused and turned to me and asked how I have been keeping my mind. MAN! That really bothered me... I felt like saying... "Well it's pretty hard to have a good attitude when your head is in the toilet all day!!!"

    Well thank the Lord I didn't say that... because I would now be picking my words off of the ground and apologizing for such a crumby response. Instead, I just headed to bed. (I totally admit, that may not have been the best response either... but it was the best I had at the moment.)

    Now I am sitting here thinking about what he had to say... and it's so much easier not in the moment to have a good attitude and listen to the correction. Also helps to be feeling a bit better!!!


    What I was going to say today makes me giggle now thinking about it... because, if I had been putting into practise what God had been speaking to my heart... this all may not have been the mini drama it was.

    I was going to talk about the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. LOL LOL.

    Let me paint you another picture. About a week or so ago Adam told me about a conversation he had with a friend of ours about the Holy Spirit. They talked about how the Holy Spirit is depicted in the bible as a dove.  Adam then started to talk about the nature of the dove and how it gets spooked easily, and flys off at the slightest of movements. We chatted for a bit about that and what it means for our lives and the importance of treading lightly. We then started talking about the responsibility of a lifestyle that welcomes the presence of the Holy Spirit to be with us. Adam relayed a story about a dad who was teaching his kids how to physically walk in such a manner that gently allows that Dove to sit on their shoulders, so that they can bring the presence of the Holy Spirit with them into a restaurant. How would those kids walk... how would they hold their posture? They would stand up straight... right... with gentle step by step movements. I can totally see those kids walking now...

    What a beautiful thought.
    So How do I bring that into moments that are less then ideal? How do I walk with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Even through moments of sickness and when my guard is down...

    I guess that is where I am at... and what I am thinking on... O O... meditating on (wink wink)
    I am going to be really praying about that. I am going to welcome the Holy Spirit to be with me during today. May I speak and go about my day sensitive to allow His presence to impact all my thoughts and actions. May my words come out tender and with love. May my movements in the physical and spiritual realm be gentle and not harsh towards those around me.

    I was reading in Luke 3 today... this:

    “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
    ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
    5 Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
    The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
    6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

    If we are walking with the Spirit of the Lord with us... God will prepare the way... he will make all the paths straight, he will fill every valley in and pull the mountains low... he will make all those seemingly crooked roads straight and smooth!! That is the promise that I have from allowing Jesus Christ to be a part of my life...

    then a bit later in the chapter you read:

    21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    When we are living in such a way that God is pleased... He allows the Holy Spirit to descend on us from heaven...

    That is what I want my life to look like...

    A straight and narrow path that is lead by the Holy Spirit.. until I hear the Lord say... You are my daughter whom I love, with you I am well pleased!!!

    ~ Lord help us to live in such a way that we are sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit. May we not allow circumstances around us take our focus away and create in us a negative attitude! May we ask to the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us through every moment!!~


    Have an incredible week dear friends!!!
    Lots of love
    Nicole

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Freedom Friday: For Health


    Lately I have been just feeling so overwhelmed with life. In a good way. We all are here on earth for only a time. So I just look over my life and I am just thankful.

    Adam's grandparents just yesterday celebrated their 60th Anniversary. We stood in their front entrance as we wished them a Happy Anniversary and Grandpa said something that was so profound. He started reading the speech he had prepared to honour his wife and his family. The first thing he said was that when he looks back on his life and then look upon his family the first word that comes to his mind is Fortunate. Our extended family has not gone through life unscathed, but we have been fortunate. No tragedy has fallen upon our families. Fortunate. Wow.

    What a beautiful way to express a life.

    That is how I feel. I look upon my husband. I look upon my kids... and I think wow. I am fortunate. I think on the trials we have gone through. I take account of how healthy my five girls are... I look at my husband and see such a strong man, in spirit and in body. I think of my life and I am fortunate that I have not encountered tragedy.

    I have been thinking about the word blessed. Although I feel blessed. I am so aware of how not encountering certain things in my life doesn't equal a blessed life. I feel fortunate. I feel the grace of God. We all have been given such specific paths in life. With that path, God gives us the grace to go through it. God's unfailing love washes over us in every circumstance. Every good moment and every difficult one too. One life is not more blessed then the next. If you are following the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life staying sensitive to hear Him. We can all say. I am fortunate! God has given me the grace.

    The last few weeks I have felt under the weather. But as I sit back and rest I just think on the grace of God. I thank God for my health. I thank God for the journey He has us on. Well... I am graced to know... with God all things are possible!! He has His hand on us through every moment... when we are weak and when we are strong.

    So today... I am thankful for my life and the life of each of my kids and my husband. And I give to God the health of my family. I lay our physical health into God's hands and praise Him for helping us through every circumstance we go through as a family. May He grace us for what is on the horizon. May we be prepared spirit, mind and body to be led by Him!!! Knowing He is always there...

    I exchange Fear for Joy!!!

    ~Lord help us to always rely on you. May we not take for granted our health and the circumstances that we live in. May we not take for granted the health of our children, and our spouses. May the small moments of weakness in our lives only lead us to you!!! May they point to You who is our source!!~

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Throw Back Thursday: Life is a Journey


    This week I have been rocked again in how God works when it comes to life...

    Life is a journey... not a season...

    I need to stop "copping out" and calling things a season. I have to instead embrace the Journey that God sends me on. I have been feeling like when I put such a clear and distinct line in the sand of boxing things into a season... I miss out on enjoying every step that comes my way.
    I need to let go of writing my own future and let God write it instead!

    A good example of that would be our first baby!

    Adam and I had been married for 3mths when I found out we were pregnant... what a shock into reality!!! We were on the pill with our plan to wait for a year then discuss when to "start" having a family. Instead we were thrown off with the "new" plan... Sort of funny when I look back... we should never be surprised.. with life... instead I should be connected to God and the Holy Spirit growing and listening to Him preparing me for every part of the journey.

    If I am in line learning and growing on this journey, every step should be an opportunity to embrace and put back into the hands of God.

    Another example of that in a positive way was when I ended up in the hospital 3 years ago. Weird I know thinking that it was a good thing. But I believe with all of my heart that it was meant to take us out... that moment in time was intended to cause chaos in my spirit... but instead I had a peace knowing that God was in control.  Isn't that interesting??



    With this in mind, I will choose to embrace the journey. I will embrace the best route and the best plan laid out by God. So much better then my plan!!

    ~Lord gives us the strength to hear your voice in each part of the journey, preparing us and leading us towards our future. Help us to embrace each moment enjoying it as it comes. Help us to plan wisely but loosely knowing that You are the writer of our story!!~

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Worship Wednesday: You are Faithful by Hillsong

     
     
     
     
    You are Faithful
    Hillsong
     
    Lord of all the earth
    How You care for me
    You have made me
    You will save and carry me always

    You are faithful
    You are faithful
    You are faithful
    Your joy is my strength

    Lord you are my God
    I rely on You
    I put my hope in things not seen
    Your promises all true

    Always you're with me
    Your hand will lift me
    My trust is in your hands
     
     
    ~ I thank you Lord that you are faithful in everything! I thank you that your hands will lift me and through Your Joy I have strength! You have shown yourself Faithful in my life!!~

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Toddler Tuesday: The bottom line in "Teaching"


    I think... this maybe one of my favorite days to write... :) tehehehee... sooo excited!!!!

    O man... I could write about so many things... my head is literally going in all directions.. but I think I need to keep to the core for a bit and really make clear some foundational parenting truths in our family.

    MANY of you know I have a favorite parenting book... I have raved about it well pretty much FOREVER!!!

    It has put into words soooo many things that I knew in my heart but didn't know how to communicate!

    Loving our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. I believe it is a must have in every parent collection!!! So many of the things I talk about can be wrapped up in this one book!!! So be sure to take a look and order!!!
    http://www.amazon.ca/Loving-Kids-Purpose-Danny-Silk/dp/0768427398/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363102970&sr=8-1

    *****************

    Last week we talked about starting points.

    Our starting point with Parenting is to TEACH and PROTECT

    Today I am going to talk about the Teaching side.

    What is our bottom line in teaching our kids? What do we want to accomplish?

    I believe our bottom line as a parent is to teach my kids to love God, love others and to love themselves!

    I find most of the time I hear that the #1 goal for a parent is to raise our children to obey. And the obvious method to do that is to teach them to do what we say. (which we will discuss when we talk about "protecting")

    But what did Jesus tell the Pharisees was the most important commandment? His response was, "Love God, love your neighbor and love yourself." (Luke 10:27)

    "Jesus promoted relationship above the rules. Love and relationship are the bottom line of the Kingdom, and they must be ours if we wish to establish a Kingdom culture in our homes." (p35 of Loving our Kids on Purpose)


    This was a total mind shift for me!!!


    ~Lord help us to set up an example of how you want us to live and then to be able to parent our children with the same values. You have taught us that our first and far most goal is to love God, love others and then to love ourselves... Give us a new found revelation on what that means for each of our families in our own unique way.~



    Diving Deeper

    1. What does this concept stir in you?
    2. What is your goal in teaching your kids?





    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Meditation Monday: It's not a competition it's a calling!! Steven Furtick


    Last night I heard a sermon from Steven Furtick that followed right along with what God has been challenging me on the topic of a calling! It was sooooooo good!!! So I thought I would share it today!!

    March 6 2013 Seeds session 1: Steven Furtick

    It is not a competition it is a calling.

    Judges 6:11-16 (The story of Gideon)
    and
    Colossians 2:9-10 (We are made complete in Christ)

    God is a God who speaks - A God who calls.
    - God wants to bring clarity to our callings so we do not miss anything.
    - A big reason why we can miss our calling is from a lack of understanding.

    We need to change the saying "I would if I could but I can't so I won't." in our lives to "I can't so I wont but with God I will."

    1. Your calling is active not passive.

    Gideon was doing what he was supposed to do but in a depressed place out of fear of someone taking something from him.

    Don't just wait in a state of depression for the "calling" to "arrive." V.14 says "have not I sent you?" God has already called us!!!
    Because God has given us a divine destiny means that we cannot become passive about His purpose!!
    (Matthew 25 - the story of the talents)

    In Genesis Adam's first job was to name all the creatures!! Your calling becomes what you "call it" - start calling it a blessing... I am called to be an incredible mother, an amazing wife, a faithful friend, a mentor to those in need!!

    In Romans 4:17 - God calls things that are not as though they are...
    STOP CALLING YOUR LIFE as a time of TRANSITION... and stay and plant until God says something else!!!

    Stop calling it a "SEASON" and start calling it a "JOURNEY"

    2. Your calling is plural not singular

    We need to be asking the question: What is God's will and how can I play a part?
    - "the thing I am a part of is more important than the part I play"
    - it is a group effort in all callings!!!

    Just be obedient to the Holy Spirit out of a sense of calling
    - This is bigger than me and I have nothing to prove because I am already approved by God!
    - God calls us according to what He has put in us NOT what we will be

    3. Your calling is present not future

    - I am sending you, go in the strength you have v.14
    - Serve the purpose of God where you are

    "You will not stand before Me to give account of how this man leads this church but how faithful you are in this place."

    "Do not envy another's blessings with out understanding their burdens."

    "Gideon forget the weakness you feel and go in the strength I give"
    - Do not put your joy on "layaway" until someday.

    Psalm 84:5 "Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage."
    - From strength to strength

    What can I do today to enable me to do tomorrow what I could not do today??

    Calling is not about where but what and how!!

    - So much focus on your weakness you forgot the God who gives strength
    - Stop comparing our behind the scenes with others highlight reels
    - I am the Lord's servant - may Your will be within me! (Mary mother of Jesus)

    4. Your calling is a person not a place

    - Even though God can call us to a place.
    - We are to live worthy of the calling that we have received no matter where we are!

    What is the calling?
    Be completely humble and gentle, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the body of peace

    Not a competition but a calling!
    Jesus is our calling! A high calling!!


    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Freedom Friday: My Future



    Hi everyone to the first Freedom Friday!!!

    The day when I "let go and let God" take over something in my life!!

    Well I think this stems off of the post I did on Monday...

    Today... I am going to let go of my future... :)

    (Now to clarify... that doesn't mean letting go of being a good steward of what I have in my hands or what God clearly makes my responsibility to accomplish, but it means to stop worrying and forcing plans!!)


    So far whenever I have strived to put plans together instead of resting in the presence of God to lead me... it has never been quite right. But whenever I allow God to clarify the plans in His timing it has been MUCH MUCH better than mine!!!

    Freedom Friday for my Future... LOL... cheesy I know!!!

    I had a great quote from Cecile Turner just recently... "Remember - God is the King of the great exchanges - He exchanges worry for joy, fear for peace - etc."

    Today... I exchange my Future worries for Peace and Trust in God. That already feels good!!
    So my prayer is then....


    ******
    Thank you God that you have me in the palm of your hands and that you have such greater plans for me than I could put together myself. I choose to let go of manufacturing a future and choose to trust and have peace in You to orchestrate the perfect path for me to journey. Thank you for my future and I pass it back into your hands!!!
    *******



    ~Lord, we pray that you will take all of our future's and create it into something beautiful. Encourage us to be a good steward of what we have a responsibility for and then help us to leave what is not ours to worry back into your hands.~


    Jeremiah 29:11
    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.

    God knows the plans He has for us!!! He declares that they are plans to prosper, to give hope and to give a future!! Wootwoot!! No need to worry!!!


    Have a fantastic Weekend!!!
    See you all on Meditation Monday!!!



    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Throw Back Thursday: "Relying on God"




    Funny, I am still finding myself pressing in to understand how to trust God more. Inherently there is a deep core believe in all humanity that God is holding out on us. Stems from the example of the Garden of Eden. We were created in the image of God, and yet, we decided God was still holding out on us. There for we needed to take things in our own hands... hmmmm didn't go well for them. So why do I choose to do the same at times still now??

    I am learning how much I need to rely on God. Through that I will find favor in my life!

    ****************************
     
    
    So it's Throw Back Thursday.... let's see.... what is an example that I have learned from the past on the topic of relying on God??

    Well I guess one would be my first dating relationship.

    He was a good man. 4 years older than me. Which means at the young age of 14... that was a pretty drastic age difference. He was in his first year of college and I was in grade 10. That didn't stop a blooming relationship.

    BUT, It wasn't right. We dated for almost three years. Pushing through what I knew wasn't the right fit. We had lots of fun times, but LOTS of not so fun times. There were phone calls that would last over 1/2hr with out any words. I had no idea how to communicate and He was just as stubborn as I was at times too. We also struggled with personality differences. I loved being out and social, and he was more of a laid back personality who enjoyed staying home. Which meant that we didn't have a whole lot in common. Slowly it became focused on the feelings and emotions, then on a God blessed relationship.

    I remember one night as I tried to forced myself to believe that he was the one I was meant to marry I prayed, "God, you will make all things out to be good in this relationship if we were to get married? Right?" Crazy enough but this was one of the first questions I had asked of God about the relationship.

    Clearly God spoke to my heart. "A marriage should not be based on a prayer asking Me to make it into good."

    So then heartbroken to loose the relationship, we broke up.

    It was really really hard. I really cared about him. BUT, I knew that what I was not in God's will.




    After that, I prayed "Lord do not bring another man into my life until the man who I am meant to marry!!!"

    A short time later....... I met this new young red headed boy on the other side of the church doors, holding it closed on me giggling!!! What a guy!!!


    This was a God relationship. Although the beginning was difficult, I had NEVER ever prayed so much in my life or relied so much on God to lead me through the trials. I knew with out a shadow of doubt that it was God and that this man was the right one. I had a peace about the relationship from the beginning!!!

    Now looking back on the years Adam and I have had together. Am I ever thankful that I chose to lay my will down and to trust that God had the right man for me! I cannot deny the blessing and favor that I feel within our marriage. It's not perfect, but I know, God chose him for me. All I needed to do was rely on God to be the one to show me!!!

    This April we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage!!! Soooo thankful that God brought Adam into my life!!!

    Thank you God for teaching me, consistently how to rely on you more!!! As I continue to go through life and what it brings I will choose to learn more and more to trust in You!!!

    ~God I pray that You will teach us through the circumstances that life brings to trust and rely on You. May our eyes stay focused on You and how much You care for us!! Help us to deny the lie that you are holding out on us!!! Help us to see Your will to prosper and bless every aspect of our lives!!!~

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Worship Wednesday: Oceans by Hillsong United

     
     
    Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
    Hillsong United
     
    VERSE 1:
    You call me out upon the waters
    The great unknown where feet may fail
    And there I find You in the mystery
    In oceans deep my faith will stand

    CHORUS:
    I will call upon Your Name
    And keep my eyes above the waves
    When oceans rise
    My soul will rest in Your embrace
    For I am Yours and You are mine

    VERSE 2:
    Your grace abounds in deepest waters
    Your sovereign hand will be my guide
    Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
    You've never failed and You won't start now

    LAST CHORUS:
    So I will call upon Your Name
    And Keep my eyes above the waves
    When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace
    For I am Yours and You are mine

    BRIDGE:
    Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Saviour
     
    ****************


    Lord lead me where my trust is without borders!!! Allow me to believe in miracles and create in me a faith that is strong!! I am yours, and my faith trusts in you!!! I will keep my focus on You!!! Develop in me a faith that is beyond the circumstances that surround me!!

    Have an incredible day Passionate Women!!! Blessings!!

    ~Lord create a depth in all of us that causes our feet to never wander!! May our eyes stay above the waves~

    Love Nicole

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Toddler Tuesday : "Starting Point!!"

     


    HI EVERYONE!!!

    Okay, well I am so pumped about the first week of Toddler Tuesday!

    To start I have to pre-curser the obvious. As a parent I have limited experience!! I am only heading into 9 years of this journey and have only encountered the parenting of my 5 girls. But what I do have is a heart to learn and grow as a parent. With that in mind I am so excited to be talking about how to become an awesome more purposeful parent!
     
    NOT PERFECT!! PURPOSEFUL!!
    (is there a way to underline twice...*giggle)

    We are all on our own journey with our little bundles of joy (or lack there-of sometimes *wink wink*). But God has called each of us to parent OUR children in the way that He directs US to parent them!!! He has entrusted us with each individual personality and spirit! I believe with all of my heart that if you have the ears to hear and eyes to see, the incredible mother that is deeply rooted within you by God will come out naturally and supernaturally as you grow as a parent!!! It's my goal not to give a "rule book" or a "have to" way of doing things, but to merely give an opportunity to use my experience to enhance yours or give you something new to process!
     
    ~May the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts each week as we learn to hear Gods voice in the area of being an amazing mother!!~
     
     
     
    Starting Point!
     
    Our starting point didn't come from the start but has matured as the years have gone by and the more children we had. A few years ago we really felt impressed upon us to make clear the vision of what we are doing as parents. Adam being the fantastic communicator he is put into two words what our heart desire is to accomplish. We now constantly repeat this line and have our kids repeat it back to us. It's simple and all encompassing.
     
    Our job as a parent is to: TEACH and PROTECT!
     
    Like I said simple but so important to be able to push deep within our spirit to function out of. As a parent if I am choosing in all circumstances to either teach or protect (and at times both) most things will come out clearer when trying to work through something with the kids. It creates a way for them to repeat to us what our job is as their parent, which then solidifies in their minds our authority in their lives.
     
    To teach and protect there are lots of ways that we can do so in a positive and ... dare I say it... a negative way... which as the weeks go by we can discuss but for now, this is our starting point.
     
     
    *********
     
    Diving Deeper:
     
    1. What would be your personal goal as a parent?
    2. Create a personal parenting statement out of that goal that simply states your heart.

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Meditation Monday: "Straight and Narrow Path"





    *********************
     
    I have often been frustrated that God has not yet put the clear and perfect picture of our future in front of us... it feels as though we have been following after Him learning and growing but not yet knowing what our goal/destiny...  is. Recently I have been circling that thought again.

    The last couple months I have been journaling a lot. My mom bought me this beautiful journal for Christmas and it totally inspired me to be writing down what God has been speaking to me again. So for Meditation Monday I figured it would be a cool opportunity to fill you in with the gentle nudging from God on this area of my life.

    ....this is my journey right now....



    Jan. 13th "If our expectation is in God we will never be disappointed." Pastor Steve.



    Jan. 14th "God I pray that I will walk in your presence habitually, that you will send Your angel with me, and that you will prosper me" (from Gen.24:40)



    Jan. 16th "I feel as though I have been waiting on God. But I don't know what for... maybe I need to find more quiet space to hear from Him."



    "While I wait on God, it is important for me to take my position to stay faithful. Then like Joseph, God will raise me up in His timing. Be faithful as you wait on God.  Do your work well, and people will see that God's hand is upon you for good." Joyce Meyers



    Jan. 21st. "I pray that I don't get in the way of all that you want to be done. Show me clearly what is you and what is merely my humanity. May I represent you well, humbly and quietly with wisdom behind Your Holy Spirit led words."



    Jan. 30th. " Lord we are in your hands. We look to you to lead our family and future. God we need your hand and guidance. Help us to let go and lay down all areas of our life."



    Feb. 19th "Lord, I am not sure what the bigger picture you want out of me... God birth a vision of a bigger dream for me that fulfills the calling for my life that you desire for me."



    "Hmmm, God has created me with many "abilities". I have many options that I could have and could still pursue. But God has kept me on this path... a path that is straight and narrow, one that leads straight back to Him, my heart and my longing pulls to things that are not of this Earth but are greater. For eternal purposes and focus. For lives to be changed and brought back to the heart of the Lord. For love to be poured over to those around me. For acceptance and pure kindness to be seen."



    Feb. 20th I dreamt of a straight and narrow path.




    God has a path for each of us... one that has been specifically paved for our lives and for what God has already placed in us to express and be a part of. Our focus should not be on the end game but the journey to get there.



    The other night Adam came home with a bag... and in the bag was a treat... as the kids headed up to the table for dinner, Adam went upstairs to get changed and I followed to find out how his day went..... moments later I came back down to Leanna holding the bag. She had looked into the bag and saw that Dad had brought home dessert for the family. Immediately I said to Leanna. "Lela, that was meant to be a special surprise after you were done your dinner. You looked too early and now it won't be as exciting. Now all you will be thinking about while you eat your dinner is the dessert."

    Then it hit me...

    ... here I have been praying and striving to find out what the treat is at the end of my path... and God spoke to me in that moment. It's okay not to know what that final "dessert" is... all I need to know is that God has something special that he is aiming my life towards. My job is to enjoy what I have in front of me right now. If I focus on Him then before I know it... God will have placed that "treat" in front of me... How exciting is that!!!!!!!!




    So friends, that is where I am at... Looking forward to the weeks to come as I press into all that God is putting on my heart!!

    Lots of love
    Nicole




    Friday, March 1, 2013

    The Vision!

     



     
     
    Adam and I decided long ago that we were going to live a life on purpose!

    Our life verse since before we were married has been:

    James 1:2-4 
    2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.


    Because of this verse our hearts desire has become:

    "Lord give us the path that creates the best outcome. If that is the easiest path we welcome it. But if it is the tough road we are willing to go through it in order to see Your will fufilled in our lives."
     
     
    Habakkuk 2:2-3
    2-3 And then God answered: “Write this.
    Write what you see.
    Write it out in big block letters
    so that it can be read on the run.
    This vision-message is a witness
    pointing to what’s coming.
    It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
    And it doesn’t lie.
    If it seems slow in coming, wait.
    It’s on its way. It will come right on time.
     
     

    God is doing something in my heart and through my life as I choose to live purposefully. I desire to write it down so that it's clear and can be seen... so here is my mission for the next 6 months.

    Each day I will share on a specific topic. I am so excited to  press in and hear from God. I am also super pumped to be purposeful to grow in these areas of my life along with all of you!!! May we learn and grow together through these focus days!! I look forward to hearing from you about what God stirs in your hearts as the weeks go by.
     
    *******************
    Meditation Monday: Verse, sermon or dream that I have been meditating on.
    Toddler Tuesday: Parenting... yup lots to talk about there!!
    Worship Wednesday: A worship song or album that I have enjoyed this week.
    Throw back Thursday: A lesson God has taught me from the past.
    Freedom Friday: A struggle that I will let go and let God take over for the upcoming week.
    **********************

     
     
    Well that is the plan!!! WOO HOO!!!!
    Blessings to you!!!
    Nicole