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You Meet Me Here

12 Apr
Today I am joining Lisa-Jo and friends for Five Minute Friday.
This is where we come together writing for 5 minutes without editing or overthinking.
I love this community.

Check out what everyone’s is sharing on the word HERE here.

Five Minute Friday

Oh how I love this place.
This time of the evening when everyone is tucked into bed and the house is quiet.
And You meet me here.
After all that goes on in the day, I come to You with everything.
Some days the only thing I can do is sit and absorb the silence.
Other days I come with prayers and can’t stop the flow of words.
Prayers that I lift up to You.
Knowing that You hear each one even when I can’t put them into words.
I know that I come to this place in the morning, 
but I long for these moments in the evening as well.
I just can’t end the day any other way.
I come to You.
Sometimes so full of joy and sometimes broken.
But I know that You want me here no matter how I come.
It’s overwhelming to think that You desire this time with me even more than I do.
This place is ours. Yours and mine.
Before I lay my head down, You speak to my heart.
You tell me You love me.
And there is peace.
Goodnight, Abba.

It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening.
Psalm 92:2

How can I pray for you today, friend?

Blessings,

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What I’m Reading – Tales of the Defended Ones

10 Apr
My Thoughts

Tales of the Defended Ones is the second book in Beth Guckenberger’s Storyweaver series. I loved the first book in the series – Tales of the Not Forgotten and couldn’t wait to read this one. Beth has written this collection of stories for children 8 years old and up with each story pointing to God and how we can see Him in the stories, even the hard ones to read. The children’s stories shared are heartbreaking, yet filled with hope.

I love that Beth includes pictures, facts about the places where the children live, and insight into the culture where their stories begin. She also shares something to remember at the end of each story and a space to write down thoughts as well as snippets from her own journal.

Beth shares these stories of children to let others know that our stories are all interwoven and God is our Storyweaver. She invites us to hear how God is working in people’s lives and to get involved. Not only are both books in the Storyweaver series great reading for individuals, but are fantastic to read together as a family.

You can purchase this book here:


Enter Today - 4/3 - 4/21!
Tales of  the Defended Ones Beth Guckenberger iPad Giveaway


About the Book

Ben and Joseph lose their mothers, but find a family looking just for them. Antonio is rescued from what seems like a hopeless situation. Caitlyn dares to trust that truth will set her free. Jorani is delivered from slavery into the arms of grace.

Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to foreign places and extreme struggles. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver – our Defender God shielding and defending the defenseless in the amazing ways only he can. These are the tales of the ones left wounded and weak-ones made whole and strong.

About the Author

Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Guckenberger travels and speaks regularly at women’s and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. In addition to her children’s releases in the Storyweaver series, Guckenberger has written two mission-minded books. She has also partnered with Standard Publishing on the mission content in its 2013 VBS program. The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico.
Find out more about Beth at http://www.bethguckenberger.com/.  


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Dear Fear…You Are A Liar

9 Apr
Well hello there fear.
You’ve invaded my space again and I’ve let you.
You tell me things like…
You can’t do this.
This isn’t for you.
You aren’t enough.
And so much more.
I know you are a liar, but in those weak moments I let you speak to my heart.
Listening to the lies and absorbing them.
Letting them take me to a place not meant for me.
I even hide behind you.
Using you as an excuse to stay in the comfortable.
My heart knows truth and longs for more.
More than you can offer or excuse.

Here’s just some of His truth.

I can do this.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

 There are plans for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. 
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, 
to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Dreams do come true.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37:4  

I don’t have to know. I just have to trust.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

I am not in this alone.
So be strong and courageous! 
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. 
For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. 
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 

I am treasured.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
Isaiah 43:4

For so long I have listened to you. God is growing me in this with each step of faith that I am taking. The truth is that God speaks louder than your lies.
It is about my choice in who to hear. His truth is what I will take into my heart and His promises I will stand on. Oh I know that there may be moments that I falter in this, but He has a truth for that too – grace. I won’t get stuck in that stumble anymore. So know that I am declaring today that I am no longer letting you rule my life.

His (the biggest and best truth of all),
Me

What would you say to fear in a letter?
God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?

Holley had written a love letter to dreamers. Her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream is full of words of encouragement and will speak to your heart.

Blessings,

What I’m Reading – Bread & Wine

6 Apr
My Thoughts

Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table. Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, and listen to one another’s stories around the table.

Bread & Wine is an invitation to join Shauna at the table. To this place where people come to eat, but holds so much more than just a meal. Delightfully written, she combines wonderful storytelling with some of her favorite recipes.

I can’t imagine life without a table between us.

I so loved reading about the group of women she gathers around the table with – The Cooking Club. What began as a group coming together over a meal became a community of families doing life together.

I want my kids to taste and smell and experience the biggest possible world, because every bite of it, every taste and texture and flavor, is delicious.

I also loved reading about her adventures in traveling with her father which she is now experiencing with her own children. How she challenges them to learn and love differences along the way. How she encourages them to grab hold of life in every way possible.

Bread & Wine is a beautiful book that encouraged me to be a little braver in cooking and fed my soul with stories of the sacred space around the table.
I loved it and I know you will too.


You can purchase this book here:

About the Book

Bread & Wine is a collection of stories about life around the table–about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It’s about Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Mango Chicken Curry and Blueberry Crisp. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It’s about recipes, entertaining ideas, and meals to share with friends and family, made by hand and with love.

About the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. 
You can find out more about Shauna and read her blog at www.shaunaniequist.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Mommas are my tribe…my people.

2 Apr
When Holley asked us to share the “why” behind our God-sized dream, I thought I would share about my experience gathering mommas and loving on them. 
Then I realized it really all comes down to one thing.

Mommas touch something deep inside my heart.
I know them. I see them. I am them.
Mommas are my tribe…my people.
Stay at home or work outside the home.
Single or married.
Tinies or teens.
Expecting or empty nesters.
Potty training or teaching to drive.
Mommas in all stages of the journey.
They are my people.

I long to reach out to each one in every and any way possible to say,
“Me too. You are not alone.”

Sometimes that means gathering around a table leading a Bible study.
Sometimes that means sitting across the table over coffee.
Sometimes that means reaching through the screen and touching a heart.
All of it comes down to this dream of gathering mommas. 
The mommas who hide behind the busy and get lost in the laundry. 
The mommas who feel alone and long for community.
To grab hold of a hand and say,
“Me too.”
That’s my why.
God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?

Holley had written a love letter to dreamers. Her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream is full of words of encouragement and will speak to your heart.

Blessings,

10 Ways To Show Respect To Our Husbands

21 Mar
In our Bible study these past few weeks, we have been talking about marriage. Enhancing our marriages strengthens our partnership in parenting which directly impacts our children. Our marriages also help form our children’s picture of marriage and the roles they will play when they get married later.

Throughout scripture God describes our responsibilities as wives
and what living these out will teach our children. 

One of these is found in Ephesians 5:33,

Each man must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband. (NLT)

God commands us to respect our husbands as He knows how it speaks
to their hearts. As we wives crave love, our husbands crave respect.

What does that look like?
How do we show our husbands respect?

Judy Rossi breaks it down into 10 A’s 
using the Amplified translation of Ephesians 5:33.

…let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (AFFECTION) that she notices him (ATTENTION), regards him (ATTITUDE), honors him (AFFIRMATION), prefers him (ALLEGIANCE), venerates and esteems him (ACCEPTANCE); and that she defers to him (ADAPTION), praises him (APPRECIATION), and loves (ADORATIONand admires him exceedingly (APPROVAL).

10 Ways To Show Respect To Our Husbands

Reverence is an attitude of deep respect and esteem mingled with – AFFECTION.
Titus 2:3-4

Notice is the act of noting, observing, or remarking – ATTENTION.
Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Regard is to look upon or think of in a particular way – ATTITUDE.
Philippians 2:3-4
Ephesians 4:31-32

Honor is to hold in honor or high respect; to show respect to; treat with honor – AFFIRMATION.
Proverbs 31:10-12, 23-31

Prefer is to set above something else in estimation; to hold in greater favor or esteem – ALLEGIANCE.
Genesis 2:24
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Mark 10:9

Esteem is to regard as having a certain value – ACCEPTANCE.
Romans 15:7

Defer means to yield to another’s opinion; to submit or give way courteously or from respect – ADAPTION.
Ephesians 5:22-24
Colossians 3:18
1 Peter 3:1-6

Praise is to commend or applaud; to extol in words or song – APPRECIATION.
James 3:9-10

Love is to have strong or passionate affection for, as for one of the opposite sex – ADORATION.
Proverbs 5:15-19

Admire is to regard with wonder mingled with satisfaction and approval; to take pleasure in the excellence or beauty of; to look on or contemplate with pleasure – APPROVAL.
Genesis 2:7-8, 15, 18, 21-23

As we make the choice to respect our husbands, our perception of them as our leaders, protectors, and providers evolves. This in turn transforms how we view them as fathers and how our children see them as well.

Our husbands need to know that we are their greatest admirers and biggest fans.

How do you show respect to your husband?

The Gift To Be Unwrapped

19 Mar

Joy is not the “everything is sunshine and roses” kind of happy,
 but the deep satisfaction that comes from knowing 
you’re doing what you’re called to do.
– Holley Gerth

Walking in a God-sized dream isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it is hard, challenging, and scary. In this dream journey God is stretching me more than ever before. There have been moments where I have doubted. There have even been a few moments when I wanted to give up. Thinking that there is no way that I can do this. But the reality is that I am already doing it. 

You see, the dream is all around me. And no matter how hard it gets or how discouraged I might be, He has placed me right smack dab in the middle of my dream. And it is only by Him that I can see it. It is only through Him that I can do it. 

And there is that moment in the midst of it that I actually feel joy. 
The unexpected realization that I am exactly where I am called to be.

Called to be His. All His.
Called to be wife, momma, daughter, friend.
Called to gather mommas and speak words of encouragement into their lives. 
Called to gather sweet little girls and share Jesus with them.
Called to love with abandon all of these in every way possible.

That’s the gift to be unwrapped. 
That’s the gift given and received and given away again.
And I give thanks for it all. 
Over and over.


God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?

Holley had written a love letter to dreamers. Her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream is full of words of encouragement and will speak to your heart.

Blessings,