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The Chair

I fell in love with this chair from the moment I saw it in the furniture store that was going out of business.   It had my favorite new color in it and it was definitely different.  I patiently waited, because I wanted the best price.   I anxiously checked back from time to time, hoping it wasn’t gone.  And near the end of the sale, it was five dollars less than I had offered them!

It screamed my name even though from a design standpoint it didn’t match my sofa and love seat, which is floral and much more traditional.   Yet somehow, I knew I had to have it and didn’t care that it wasn’t perfect, and my husband thought I was a bit crazy.

As we  say good-bye to 2015 and look toward the new year, I can’t help but think about life.  Sometimes we have dreams that don’t match the reality of what happens during a year.

There are times in our lives, when no matter how hard we try, we just aren’t perfect.  In fact, we can be a hot mess! And life can be a hot mess too.

In our A-F society and culture, we often grade ourselves by comparing ourselves to others.   We listen much more closely to what others might think or the appearance we are putting out there.   If we are not careful, we can forget who we are and what we love.   We can stop being heart centered people and get caught up in our image driven, competitive culture in our drive for the “perfect life” and ultimate pinnacle of success and being the top of the heap.

Truth be told, I have always been driven toward perfection and it has paralyzed me sometimes.  Looking back as a child, my parents unintentionally created an atmosphere of affirmation and recognition totally based on performance.   And somehow, I never felt “good” enough.

I love winning!   Who doesn’t?   But maybe my idea about what winning is has been a little skewed.

I like being in control!  I am not a detail person in the sense of boring, minutia, but I like to control the outcome of what I am doing.   But sometimes, just maybe the outcome is none of my business and no reflection on who I am.

I learned something from this chair.   It’s ok to do something just because you love it, whether it makes sense or not.   It’s ok to be a little mismatched, to be different, to let what you love shine through.  It’s ok to not live by someone else’s expectation of who you are and what you should be….(in fact, most of those expectations are a figment of our imagination….not many people really are that engaged).   It’s ok to live in the moment without a worry about tomorrow.  Sometimes, it’s ok to live on impulse!  To do something just because you love it or want to.  It’s ok to make mistakes and make messes, just like it’s ok as a child to play in the dirt or be wildly imaginative and creative.   It’s ok to not be a cookie cutter image of someone you admire or disagree with them.

And it’s important to give yourself a resting place.   A place that you love and feel secure, peaceful, joyful, present, and 100% YOU.

My dear friend and mentor recently said to me, “I determined early on that I was going to set a routine in my life, where I first did what brought me peace and joy and love and all the things that were important to my well-being, even if it meant I had to live in an apartment the rest of my life.”   Guess what?  She isn’t living in an apartment.   She is one of the most successful women I know.   Why?

Because she get’s the lesson of the chair.   Life is full of beauty.   We are created uniquely and perfectly designed to live in our own skin.   We can’t help and truly love others if we haven’t taken care of ourselves first.

So my 2016 word is “Effortless.”   It doesn’t mean I don’t have to try or work, or that some magic wand will appear and make all my dreams come true.   It does mean this is a year when I understand the value of being me…..100% authentically me…..messes and all.  Where I understand that sitting in a beautiful chair and resting, reading, planning, writing, or anything else is ok and valuable.   That renewing my strength is important and that relinquishing control of the outcome brings me power to move forward.

This chair is both my resting place and my launching pad into more than I ever asked or thought!   2016 is going to be an awesome year.   What’s your word for 2016?

 

the chair

 

 

 

 

 

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Using my Moms blog which I have sorely neglected to post something that I’ve been thinking on for over two years.  Seems the perfect time to release it because everyone is talking about Duck Dynasty.  I’m not here to make a judgment about (that’s between Phil, God, and yourself to decide) that but it certainly has brought to the front of my mind this topic.  There is much I have to say on our subject, but this is a good place to start.  

Let me give you some background.  I have a history with Network marketing.  It has been a love hate relationship.  The industry is brilliant and has the potential to really change lives on many levels.  It is also has it’s share of missteps and problems when ego and economics take over and principles, and people aren’t made priorities.  Those problems are not always intentional and what I am about to say in no way is meant to imply that our missteps as a church are either.  

I almost said no to the last opportunity we had to start a business, because I saw so much of those problems and they didn’t match my values, but thankfully someone reached out without pressure to just share the info and let me decide. I began a journey of exploration to find out all I could about the product and opportunity.  Our lives have changed dramatically because of my friend’s willingness to let me go through the process and answer my questions, until I was ready to make my own decision.   I’m forever grateful.  

There are many things the Church could learn from a network or as I like to call it a relationship marketer.  This is just one.  We have a message, a gift that can impact the generations and the world, for sure.  But, how we present that message has a lot to do with how it is perceived and accepted.  

First of all, we need to clearly understand the message.  “For God So Loved the World……that He gave His only begotten son.”  LOVE is the key word.  We didn’t find Jesus or His disciples running around screaming at people or even commenting to those who were not followers about all that was wrong with them.  The only people you saw Jesus do that with were those who considered themselves the religious leaders of the day who were using that to benefit themselves and were unethical, legalistic, and cared more about their rules then they did the people they should be serving.  

What we did find, is a relationship, one on one, person to person, heart to heart.  A conversation about the people, where they found themselves, insight into how they were feeling or where they were stuck, (think women at the well, Mary Magdelene, Zaccheus) and an invitation to have a relationship, experience forgiveness, be healed, find a place to belong.  It was about their place of need and what was important to them!

One of the things people get irritated about with a network marketer is when they won’t shut up about it or they trick, pressure, or try to convince someone that everyone in the world needs to join them in business and that their product is the best on the earth.  Even if they get a yes, what they find is that those people don’t stick with it usually.  

On the other hand, what does work is  building a relationship (even if it is in a few minutes): Finding out about them and where they are at, asking if they are open to information that could make a difference, continuing conversation or sharing a resource for them to read, view, or listen too–all without trying to convince them,  but letting them take the journey of exploring the gift of what you have to offer.  

Our job is simple as Christians but we complicate it.  Love people, have conversations, and share our story and information with permission, answer questions, and then LET THEM DECIDE without any judgment of condemnation.  We are here to represent the Kingdom of Heaven and the work of God in our own lives and let them SEE Our GOOD Works and glorify Our Father who is in heaven.  

This can be done whether we strongly believe something is right or wrong or not! It seems like we all have to have an opinion on everything these days and more than that, we have to let the whole world know what it is.

We tell everyone the church and Christianity is being persecuted.  In many parts of the world it really is.  But sadly, that message isn’t being heard because here in America we aren’t being wise and often make fools of ourselves.  Sometimes the persecution here is because of that.  And just maybe some of the judgment we have is because we are inviting it.  Our job is not to be the Holy Spirit who will work in the hearts and minds of men.  If we are persecuted, let it be because we are truly hated because of our love for Christ and our desire to worship with freedom,  not because we are firmly planted in the middle of political and media frenzy and issues of the day.  We can influence those with our vote, and intelligent discussion of real issues and real people.  

Truth is society is faced with difficult and sometimes very personal issues and the only place we can really make a mark is by our LOVE.  Understanding where a person is on their journey to discovering God and His Love through Jesus is critical to getting the message out.  

If you use the term Bride of Christ to describe the church, think about this.  Fear, Condemnation, Guilt, etc. is never what woos someone into desiring an intimate, life time relationship.  Caring, Consideration, Character, Honor and Respect, Giving, etc. are much more likely to have the impact a pursuer desires.  

It’s time to grow up Church. Respect others where they are.   It’s time to Live It and Love!  It’s time to use the brain God gave us.  We need to share our before and after stories, and how it is helping us now to face the problems we all face. We need to LIVE the difference!  Going to heaven is important but what people want to know about most of the time is what about now?  

It’s time to market relationship—helping those who are open and ready to find a place where they can believe, belong, and become.  

Will you join me?

 

Well it has been awhile.  Sorry I have been away so long but it is been because of something important I’ve needed to focus on.  Some big changes are coming as soon as I can revamp this site.  We are going to re-launch Moms and expand our topics and our influence. We will have a team and blogs on faith, family, finances, health, your future, and making a difference in the world.  All of them, of course lead back to who we are because of our faith!     I hope as we grow you will continue to share with other moms our site and be an active participant in our mission and vision as we grow together.

In the meantime, will you allow me to share my heart and what I’ve been doing these last two years?

Thanks…funny to ask a question when no one can really answer, but I knew you would.  LOL!

I was totally surprised by God’s leading to start a business outside of my coaching business but it totally has been a blessing.  For those of you who know our story about how my husband lost his job, and the majority of retirement and suffered injustice, you’ll be happy to know that through our business God has restored all the money we lost.  Praise God!

He has also increased our sphere of influence!  We are now leaders in our marketing and business development with a biotech company, working with a revolutionary, scientific breakthrough in health, wellness and athletics.

What I am most excited about this week is about a wonderful charity called Kerry’s Castle.  My friends Dr. Rob and Patty Ward have a beautiful dream.  You can read about it on http://www.motionmatters.org under Kerry’s Castle.

Please go read about how my friends are starting this place for disabled young adults and how they hope to expand from here.

One of the blessings of our business is we get to give back and I realized recently that is one of the reasons I do and love what I do.  This week we are working with our entire team to generate income through A Case for The Castle, where Erv and I will give our portion to Kerry’s Castle.

If you have interest in information about our company and what we are doing, please contact or call me.  I’d love to share some info with you.

And if not, that’s ok.  If you like Kerry’s Castle, maybe you’ll want to give them a donation.

I’ll sign off for now.  You all know I love to make a difference for people.  When you know your purpose, everything you do is part of it as this business has been and is for us.  Funny, that we have a saying,

There is nothing better than making a living, while making a difference!

Hope that is true of you, regardless of what you do.  See ya soon.

In Good Hands

There is a lot going on in the world today, not to mention our individual lives.  Everyday we hear stories of tension around the world, the killing of people, brutality and injustice.   Locally we see more drugs, crime, perversion.

As we enter the political arena discussions become more and more heated and sometimes reason is nowhere to be found.

Economically, things are tough for so many.  Illness abounds.

And even within the religious community, there is division on a host of theological and doctrinal issues.

It seems to me that things are shaking more than ever before.  It would be easy to lose hope and get discouraged.  It’s hard to resist the fear that comes with all the negative around us.

Luke 1:33 is such an encouraging word.  “And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.”

Nothing can separate us from God’s love and nothing can stop His authority, power, and dominion.  All we have to do is put ourselves and all we care about in His hands.  We can trust Him with it all.  His kingdom is in place and we can be sure He knows the end from the beginning.  We can be sure that no matter what happens, He is ultimately in control.

Our God Reigns and His reign is forever!   We are in Good Hands with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Our future is secure in the plam of His hands.

AMEN!

Planting Your Heart

It’s not popular today to speak in terms of  “good and evil”.  Having grown up in a religious setting that tended to breed condemnation rather than confidence in the work of Christ in our hearts, I can understand it.

Nevertheless, we can’t ignore either word.  There is obviously both good and evil in the world.  Everywhere we look there is are hard things.  Poverty, sexual slavery, broken families, crime, bigotry, injustice, wars, and so on.   On the other hand, we see good in those work to make a difference or rise above their own negative circumstances or a raw hand that was dealt them.

What determines whether someone is good or evil?  Luke 6:43-45 makes it clear that it is the kind of fruit one bears.  It makes it clear the fruit we see comes from the condition of one’s heart.

Christ’s sacrificed life made it possible to live in goodness.  Salvation is for body, soul, and spirit.  Reunited or back in agreement with God, it is now up to us to plant and tend to the vineyard of our hearts, that we might produce GOOD FRUIT.

Andy Andrews, in his book The Traveler’s Gift, talks about one of the seven principles of success–I have a decided heart.  If we choose to follow Christ, then we must also decide to become like Him.

Luke 6:40 says “everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” A decided heart is one that refuses to let things unlike Christ remain in their heart.

One can’t have bitterness and say they are following Christ.  Nor can we dwell in unforgiveness, a vengeful spirit, self-centeredness, pride, apathy, rebellion, greed, etc.    Those attitudes will choke out the good fruit and fill our hearts with unhealthy habits and desires.

We also can’t live in the land of unbelief, a place that denies what God says about us or the priniciples and promises of God.   It is impossible to please God without faith!  Not just faith in his redemption, but walking it out by being who He has called us to be and producing good fruit.

Luke 6:45 says”For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  Faith is a matter of confession and profession.  What you say matched by what you do  indicates the faith you have.    It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord”.   We must have faith that is rooted deep in our hearts vineyard.

That kind of faith, fills our heart with the qualities of God.  Love, forgiveness, peace, long-suffering, goodness, meekness, temperance.  It is other focused.  It is about blessing, not cursing.  It is about us rising up to our position in Christ’s kingdom and living from a decided heart!

It is work because faith without works is dead.  It’s not about performance for the sake of performance but it is about truly accepting the work of Christ and letting Him transform our hearts into a vineyard…the planting of the Lord.  It takes self-examination under the light of the Holy Spirit.  It takes a decision followed by committment, that we will continue to add the character of God to our lives, letting go of the things that hold us back or produce rotten fruit.

I am challenged today to inspect my fruit and pull out by God’s grace the things that produce bad fruit.  I am determined to put into my heart the seed that will create a bountiful harvest.

How about you?  What do you need to pull out or put into your heart to produce greater fruit?

The Secret

I’m dating myself, but there was an old tv show I used to watch with my dad called, “I’ve Got A Secret.” There was a panel of celebrities who tried to determine a contestant’s “secret”– something unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous about that person.

Many of us have or do have secrets too.   We keep them hidden and they keep us from walking fully in our destiny and living an authentic life.  Those secrets cause a root to grow deep in our hearts.  That root, another S word.  SHAME!

Shame is something that comes on us through the words or curses of someone else, the unjust actions of another, or as a result of our own guilt about a failure or sin in our life.  

Just think about it…..I know I heard these words from my mom…..”Shame on You.”  I know I felt it when I my sincere heart was judged or misrepresented, when I experienced a violation as a child, and even in the “religious” old way of thinking in the church.   

It’s a feeling you can’t escape that you are unworthy, unloveable, that there is something horribly wrong with you.  

It causes us anxiety, insecurity, bitterness, unforgiveness, and can even be the root of our rebellion.  

It’s a dirty little secret  that we seem to keep hidden for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years. And as we hold on to it because of our pride, it can lead us into depression, depression, and literally drive us crazy!  

So what do we do with it?  Joel 2  gives a great picture of God’s heart towards someone who is walking in shame, hiding behind the secrets and dark places in their lives.  

Verse 12….”Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments.   

What’s He saying?   I think he is saying come to me with your heart in hand.  Grieve over those places.  Cry before me.  Take it seriously.   Don’t let even eating get in the way.   Open up your heart. Let Me in.  Change your mind.   Say enough is enough!

Why would we do that?   Because God is gracious and merciful and has great kindness.   We don’t have to be afraid that someone will punish us or think less of us if we let out the secret before God.  Just the opposite.   We can anticipate God walking toward the sea of forgetfulness with our secret in hand, leaving a blessing behind Him as verse 13 says.  

For years religious ideology mixed with childhood trauma, caused me shame.  I was so afraid that even God would reject me.  But Praise God, I know now that His purpose is not retribution but restoration!  Verse 25 says if we repent (CHANGE OUR MIND), He will restore the years the locust has eaten…the crawling, swarming, consuming, chewing locust.   

I got sick and tired enough of the enemy of Shame devouring me, chewing me up and spitting me out that I decided to SAY NO MORE.  I decided to accept that God loved me just as I was and had much more for me.  I decided I would accept Him at His word and believe His love was everlasting and His plans for me were grace, mercy, and a bright future!   

The promise of God that goes along with saying no more to shame, presenting our hearts to Him, grieving through the loss and moving on is “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied.  And praise the name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you.  AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME!  I AM IN THE MIDST OF YOU AND AM THE LORD YOUR GOD!”   (vs. 26 and 27)

God always replaces that which we give up to Him and this is no different.  He replaces Shame with SPIRT!  His Spirit (vs. 28-32)  And when His Spirit is poured out on us we are immersed in a New Secret.   It is the wine of dreams, visions, discernment, deliverance, and POWER.  We are no longer held back by the past, and are empowered to walk in the present with an eye to the future.  We are a Your Kingdom Come people, seeing with fresh eyes that are focused on things as they are in His kingdom instead of this world.  

No More Shame!  No More Guilt!   Full of hope, faith, and love.  Free to Be and Free to Become a man or a woman of destiny.  

I’m hoping as I share God’s word for me this morning it will encourage you in your 2012 journey.

As I continued to pray about some scripture for the year, I read Jereimiah 1:6-12 I got excited.  Here’s what I found for my life.

1.  2012 is  a year for  no excuses.  (Verse 6,7)  We can do whatever God asks of us.  He is in charge!

2.  2012 is a year for no fear.  (verse 8) .  Whatever we come face to face with God is with us and will deliver us.   He has promised!

3.  2012 is a year of speaking His words.  (verse 9)  God Himself has spoken and all we have to do is open our mouths (and hearts) to let Him fill us with what He is sending His word to do.

4.  2012 is a year of appointment!   Verse 10 tells how.  Oversight of the nations and kingdoms.    You may not think you have that oversight but you do.  You have kingdoms and nations within your own life’s circle.  Your family, community, yourself, your church, your finances, etc.   It’s time to rise up and take note and exercise the authority you’ve been given.

Verse 10 g0es on to say….. we have been appointed to Root Out and Pull Down.  2012 is a year to dig deep and get rid of the roots that are entangling us and keeping us from our destinies.  It is a time to pull down the obstacles that are standing in our path.

2012 is a time to Destroy and Overthrow.  It’s time to recognize the enemy and go on the attack to remove his lies from our life.  We are in charge not him.  What we choose to believe is up to us.  What we choose to follow is up to us.  We do not have to succumb to his influence….emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually.   God is greater!   If  we want more of what God has for us then we must stand and declare NO MORE to the enemy!

2012 is a year to build and plant.  Having cleared out the old places,  we can start on level ground.  It’s a time to welcome the dreams and begin to put them into place.  God will establish the work of our hands.

Sounds like a full appointment to me!

5.  2012 is a the year of the almond tree branch.  (verse 11,12)  When asked what he saw, Jeremiah answered, “the branch or shoot of an almond tree.”  This branch was the emblem of alertness and activity, blossoming in late winter.    The Lord commended him for what He said, promising that, “I AM alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.”

For many of us, 2011 was difficult.  We’ve needed hope.  We’ve needed faith.  We’ve needed love.  And we’ve needed answers!  We’ve done all we could to hang on to God’s promises.

As we enter 2012, unsure about what the year holds, we have this assurance.  God is Alert (well aware of our lives and His plans).  God is Active (involved in every little itty-bitty detail).  God is Watching  (over every word He has spoken to see that it is performed). 

Regardless of what the year brings, 2012 is a year of Overcoming! How do I know?  Because He has appointed us to oversight of everything that is holding us back.   We have been granted authority based on His own words and have His promise to perform it!   Therefore…..

If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Be strong and courageous in the Lord!  Watch the walls fall down!   AMEN!  (So Be It!)