Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prayer = Last Resort?

Last resort?!?! Oh how many times this has 'seemed' to be true in my lifetime. I find myself in a pit. A pit that has a bleak outcome from my clouded point of view because I am focused on my circumstances. And I will hang my head and decide..."I guess I will pray. That is all I have."

All I have!?! Does that throw up a red flag? Does that make just a little bit of anger rise up from within the 'pit' of your stomach? It should. Don't feel as though I am comdemning my friend. I am right beside you. I am feeling guilty of such a thought. I thought it oh...yesterday...this morning. *sigh*

Question: What is prayer?
Answer: Talking with God. Not just TO...but WITH! It implies a conversation. A conversation in which there are two parties that respond to each other.

Have you ever been a part of a conversation in which you are purely the listener. Not because it was your place or your will...but because you

Is that how your prayer life is? Always going on and on and on...but never waiting for the response. Never listening for the other side of the conversation you are having. Try it. Wait on God during your prayer. Seek your answers in His Word. Take those promises in the Bible and stand firm on them.

Question: What does Romans 8:28 have to say about your current situation/circumstance? (We need not be specific. Believe me...I could throw all of my current trials at you...but that would absolutely NOT change the reality of the following promise.)
Answer: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

This has been my saving grace lately. The fact that this verse says some most ALL, makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Yes sometimes I forget it. Yes some days I lose sight of it. Yes more often than I care to admit I need to be reminded. And yes I will secretly be rolling my eyes in my head when I am reminded and want to still be participating in my pity party. But the reality is that God has me. He holds me. He sees me. He hears me. He knows me intimately. And He is working. He is fighting for me.

I can see the wheels turning right now. They are going in my brain as well. "If you only knew what I was facing...you would understand why it is hard to trust this promise." Yep...sounds like the scheme of the enemy. he wants you to live in fear. he wants you to question the truth and promise from the only ONE who will never leave nor forsake us.

He sees your heartache. He sees the people who you thought loved you, fail at your unspoken expectations. Read here, one of my favorite ever written posts, more about those 'expectations' if you have a moment. It will hopefully inspire you to release your family and friends from being your all. They weren't meant to carry that responsibility...and they are not going to match up. Sorry if that is a shocker. I am not putting anyone down...just trying to help you to realize if you've been expecting the unrealistic.

NEWSFLASH!! Don't feel like for a minute that you are ineffective when you are going through trials. When you feel as though you are at minimum. You are no longer relying on your own strength, but instead on the muscles of your Daddy. He is big stuff, and He will use you when you are willing...not matter how weak you may feel. Be open to being used and be encouraged when He chooses you. He used mud. He used a donkey. And He can absolutely use you faithful one!

Question: What does your worship sound like?
Answer: This one is one that only you can answer. I am not asking you to sing for me. I am not asking you to rate your voice on a scale from tone deaf to extraordinary. I am asking you how you worship. Is it full of passion for your Savior? Is it full of emotion because it seems like all you have some days? Is it boring because you just aren't into it? Is it genuine?

My daughter (who will be 6 next week, gasp!) has been singing a lot non-stop lately. One day in particular while I was trying to concentrate I asked her to stop. Her response will send a dagger through your heart...it did mine. "I am just worshipping the Lord." Said without even a hint of sarcasm...she has not learned that trait from her mother yet. She said it innocently and matter-of-factly. Ouch..."So sorry, resume your worship session." *hangs tail between legs here*

The really amusing part of that story? That is me! I am the 'annoying' always and forever worshipper. I am always singing. Haha! How dare I try to squealch the very character that I myself taught her by my actions. Lesson learned. Moving on...

You are in charge of your worship walk. You are in charge of your prayer walk. No one else will answer for what you do or do not do. Don't worry about who is to your left or right. Just pray with your Father. Just sing to your Maker. Show Him how much you adore Him no matter what your 'pit' or projected outcome looks like. You can trust that His promise in Romans is to you, beloved. Start living like you are winning. Start speaking as though you are above and not beneath. Start loving like you are God's daughters and sons. Imitate your Father so that when people see your life they see Him!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


You know by now how I love to give you a clear mental picture of my stories. There is no turning back. The following story may may be one that you think…finally…she is human and made a mistake. (Not likely that that is the one you will choose.) OR you may think…okay, she is a freak. Stick with me to the end, or stop now. Lol!

My husband recently installed a new wood stove. Super excited for that. ‘Free heat’ he calls it. ‘Hard work’ is what I call it. Not complaining…just stating a simple, truthful fact. Anyway, a few weeks ago on a wonderfully gorgeous Sunday afternoon here in PA…we decided to go up to our woods and bring in some wood for the dreadful winter I keep hearing about. We live in the snow belt…why?! I have no words. Lol!

The kids and I were loading the truck with a stack of wood that my husband had made in the woods a few weeks ago. At one point I picked up a small log and uncovered…

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Look up. It is on the trunk of the tree. What, you can’t see it? Let me get closer for you…

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Look just below where my camera focused on the bark of the tree. It is a fuzzy brown blob.

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A MOUSE! It was a mouse! I squealed at the thought of it almost touching my shoe. Things that make you go…*imagine me shivering as though completely grossed out here* From that point on, every time I came back to pick up another chunk of firewood…I would check to see if the mouse was still there. What I failed to realize, is that he might have friends.


Picture this. Place yourself in my mental story. (Okay…by mental I didn’t mean to imply that I am mental. Aw well…think what you must. ;)

You are carrying wood.

You are a mom so you are used to trying to make the least amount of trips as possible, no matter what the sacrifice. You can only load your arms so far…then you need another pair of hands.

That is where your 7 year old son can help. So he bends over (while you hold the stack of wood in your arms) to get more. And what to your wondering eyes should appear…he uncovers FOUR MORE MICE!

Much screaming…not from him…from you, the mother. They scatter and you don’t know which way to turn as if not to be scared by another. All of a sudden one crawls across your shoe.

More screaming. Then, one brave little mouse attempts to climb your pant leg.

At this point, flailing accompanies screaming. (Keep in mind…the stack of wood you are holding…and that 7 year old that is standing close by.) When the situation settles and that 7 year old is holding his face crying…one can only assume that he got hit in the face with the wood that the mother was once carrying.

Whew…glad that didn’t happen to me. *Nervously laughs as eyes shift to the floor and I stare intently and sheepishly at nothing.*

Soooo, my son was fine. And I recovered too after such a traumatic event. Thank you for your concern. ;)


Isn’t it funny that something so small can do so much damage. Just a cute little brown mouse…upset our whole afternoon. The once quiet woods were no longer. The once cheerful, beautiful, sunny, fall afternoon was now tainted with uncertainty. The face of a 7 year old was slightly bruised as a result of uncontrolled, ridiculously unnecessary fear?

Gossip…is a little brown mouse. Seems harmless…but can upset the calmest of Christians. No matter your physical strength, mental overpowers. The enemy whispers2012 Race to Read 082 and you repeat. Once you’ve done it once, it is easier to do it again, and again. Ugh…the seemingly sweet brown face with it’s beady black eyes…are from the pits of hell.

Gossip! Just a few “innocent” words and yet…they destroy. Tear down. Frustrate. Divide. Mock. Worst of all they infuriate the Father! Oh how I hate to disappoint Him. We’ve all done it. You have that check in your spirit before you speak. You let the hurtful words spew forth anyway. What comes next is the same feeling that comes




Guilt. You know you’ve sinned…and you wish you could take it back. Why does sinful nature have to temporarily feel so good?

That is all that the enemy has. Temporary. Everything he promises WILL fade. It will be short-lived. If you are looking for eternal promises, you must keep your eyes off of things that will rot or fade away. You must consciously choose to focus on things that Reign. Want to know something…it is not difficult. If you think it is…right now…you are falling into the scheme of the enemy.

Our fear of the enemy is ridiculously unnecessary. Really! He has no power over us. He is beneath. He is weak. We serve THE King of Kings. Our God is All-Knowing. All-Powerful. Omni-Present. Alpha. Omega. And He loves to see us finally get something we’ve been struggling with. Let’s set out to defeat gossip one Christian at a time! Go!!!

Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends".”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

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EVERYTHING!! Oh how I love God’s gentle, in-my-face, reminders of how much I am loved. It was completely unnecessary…and  yet vital for my well-being. I know that makes no sense. Let’s move on.

Do you ever have days, or weeks…when everything you hear or read goes straight to your core? I am having a month like that. It feels great. I would prefer for the tears to not ALWAYS have to show themselves…but I am used to it. =/ Sunday I was listening to Chip Ingram and it was like he was talking to just me. At one point he said the following statement, “It is an awesome thing to be loved in an untimely way, not on your own terms. And it takes humility to accept it sometimes.”

The words sunk deep. There they sat. Waiting to be fully fathomed. He went on to say that ‘authentic community is rare and that is why it is so powerful.” Silence. I have no words to describe how much I want authentic community. Community that loves and encourages. Community that accepts and uplifts. Community that prays for one another even when it is not convenient. That WOULD be a powerful place to reside!!

Later Sunday night I got a random text from a dear friend. Assurance that I have not been left out in the dark and forgotten. She asked one simple and incredibly powerful thing. “How can I pray for you?” When I finally answered her she gave me these verses in response. Promises that I can read and reread. Stand on. And share.

“And the God of grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

As if that didn’t prove that I am wholly loved by my Creator…today I found a letter laying on my bed. These words are the most precious to me. These words prove that I am leading by example. My kids are watching, and they are doing what they know I love. Encouragement by way of the written word. My favorite thing to do. My favorite thing to receive. And my favorite trait, of myself, in my children.

Here is what the letter said as written by my seven year old…

“Hello Mom. This letter just came to my heart. Thank you for being kind. I love you as a mom. I love you. When I wrote in my poetry journal I put your name in there. I didn’t put Vanesa because you don’t me to say that word. Well that’s not really a word but it is a name, right? Yes or no?

I know I already know I said this, but I love you. I hope I’m being a good kid…”

From there it goes on to talk about WII games and there is even a little connect the dot game for me to enjoy. Haha!

So if there is any doubt…know that you are LOVED! I am praying for you, whoever you are. I am praying for God to show His love to you in a real way today. Simple…yet powerful. Go out and be the love of God to someone else today. There is nothing like serving Christ. It brings joy to sadness. It brings light to darkness. It brings promise to despair!