I don’t know how many of you know
the story of Nick Vujicic. Nick says that he is living proof that God can use
anyone. You see, Nick was born without extremities. He has no arms or legs.
Just one little foot, but he travels the world sharing God’s love with others
and encouraging and empowering people. I
have read both of Nick’s first two books and they are wonderful so when I saw
that he had a third book coming out I was eager to read it.
is a devotional and Nick draws on
materials and stories from his previous two books. The devotionals are quick
reads and are inspirational in the reading. He uses stories from his life and
stories from people around the world to inspire and empower others to live the
life God has planned for them.
I was a bit disappointed when I
realized that this was a devotional. I am not big on devotionals in general. I
have a few favorites like My Utmost for His Highest, but in general I find them a little shallow.
With that being said, I have to
say that I am enjoying reading Limitless because it is full of stories meant to inspire. He gives practical
advice along with Biblical encouragement. He points out that it is not what we
can do ourselves, but what God does through us that is important. He encourages
us that whatever we are going through God can use it to His glory. While not a
book I would recommend for in-depth study, it is a great book when you need
encouragement and inspiration.
week I visited the blog Caravan Sonnet
and saw that she and a couple of other bloggers were starting an online study
using Made to Crave by Lysa
Terkeurst. I have owned this book for a while and I have been struggling with
my weight for even longer. I have started and stopped reading this book more
than once. I am praying that by following their blogs and with your support I
can finally stick with my journey to lose the weight.
the Intro to Made to Crave, three
things really stood out to me.
1.“In my case, the number itself was
not the issue. The issue was how I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically.”—Lysa
stands out to me because I can relate to it so easily. For me the number on the
scale is not the reason I want to lose the weight. It is just an indicator. How
I have been feeling lately is the real reason why I need to lose the weight.
2.The story that she used from
Matthew 19 about the rich man.
the past year, this story has come up in several different ways and in relation
to several different areas of my life. Each area it has come up in it has been
in relation to something that I have been making an idol of and putting ahead
of my relationship with Christ.
3.“God made us capable of craving so
we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone.”
statement struck me because it was like a sudden awakening. I have noticed in
the past that when a person is addicted to something, it is because there is a
hole, a craving for something…something more, something that gives them
satisfaction and a feeling of completion…but that is a hole or a craving that
can only be satisfied with God. When I read that statement, it was like
blinders had been lifted…I had never applied that idea to my own life and I can
see how I have substituted my craving for God with things from this world. None
of which have brought me satisfaction.
am excited about this journey because I believe that the Lord is going to bring
great things through this.
the things that I have always struggled with is my self-esteem. As a child I
was usually the last one chosen for teams at school. In junior high, I was the
one who sat over at a desk alone when everyone else was sitting in groups. In
high school, I was the loner who sat alone at lunch and was everybody’s friend
yet nobody’s friend. I was the one everyone considered sweet and helpful, but
not the one who was invited to parties or who my peers wanted to hang out with
on the weekends. As an adult, I am still pretty much a loner.
shy and awkward around others I have trouble knowing what to say when I am
talking to people so I usually end up talking about myself…which isn’t a good
way to build friendships.
never felt like I was part of the group or like I fit in anywhere…even at
never felt like I was special or like I was chosen…but the good news is that those thoughts and feelings were lies and…
chosen by the One who sees beyond my awkwardness.
chosen by the One who died for my sins.
chosen by the King of kings.
chosen to be His child.
chosen to do His works.
chosen to do good things.
I may never
be chosen by other people, but I was chosen by God.
you are too! You are chosen by God to be His child and to do His works. You are chosen to do good things. You are His, and He CHOSE you.
it great to know that even when we don’t feel loved and chosen by others that
we are loved and chosen by Christ?
you are a chosen woman, a royal priestess, a holy daughter, God’s own special
possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of
darkness into His marvelous light.
Peter 2:9 (paraphrased)
glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
Ross is alone in the world and working as a governess for a wealthy family in
Ohio. When she loses her job as a governess, she is at a loss of what to do
until she remembers a letter from her deceased cousin’s business partner
informing her that she was her cousin’s heir and that she was welcome to come
anytime she could to work with him. What she didn’t count on was him dying
before she got there.
Caleb Nelson and his son. When his uncle Alvin invited him to Arizona to help
him run his store, the last thing Caleb was expecting was to be saddled with a
partner. When Melanie arrives in Arizona claiming half of the store, Caleb is
at a loss. He was already having trouble with someone threatening him. Now he
had Melanie to worry about too.
thought that this book was well written and a good book. The story got off to a
slow start though and was predictable. The first half of the book seemed to mainly be build up and
fill in to the actual story line. But about half way through the book it picked
up the pace and turned into an enjoyable story that was funny and adventurous. While
it is not a book that I would rush out to purchase, it is a good book for a
lazy afternoon read.
Every year I like to buy a new patriotic t-shirt for the 4th. This year since money is very tight I can't afford to buy one, but I can make one. I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest and found these great shirts. Most of them only take a little fabric paint.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you know that you were created for such a time?
The story of Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. When Mordecai says to Esther, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" I get a sense of excitement and destiny, but what the Lord was asking her to do wasn't easy. She was laying her life on the line, but when she said "Yes" to the Lord, He made a new way for her and her people.
Last year I had one of those moments when I knew that I was fulfilling part of my destiny and receiving a call to help those who are brokenhearted, but for the last 1 1/2 years I have been fighting the Lord on this calling. and now I want to share with you the story of how I know what my calling is.
This is the story of a young girl whose life touched mine in a great way. I am going to call her Alyssa (although that is not her real name) and this is the story of how my struggle to help her has broken me and led me to my true calling.
Alyssa was a very troubled little girl. In many ways, she had been forced to grow up before her time. She was a huge bundle of pain and grief and she was only 5 years old. A 5 year old shouldn't be a bundle of pain, grief and anger. A 5 year old should be happy and mischievous.
Her behavior was out of control, and as her teacher, I was at my wit's end. I had even reached the point where I had gone to my supervisor & said that I couldn't help this little girl. I recognized that she had been through some type of trauma in her life, but I didn't know what it was. I just know that she was hurting the other children, she was hurting herself, and she was destroying my classroom.
But I also knew that this one little girl was loving and funny and adventurous. She just needed help that I didn't think I could give her...
About a week after telling my director that I didn't feel like I could help her, things changed with Alyssa and they changed for the better and all it took was holding her and praying over her as she cried.
It was nap time at the center and because of Alyssa's behavior and the behavior of some of the other children, I had 6 adults in my classroom.
To say that nap time in my classroom was chaotic was an understatement, but this day changed that...at least for a little while.
This day Alyssa was at her worst. She wouldn't lay down, and since I was the only one who get her settled, she was running around the room while I tucked in some of the other children for nap time. After I helped get everyone else settled I went and sat down next to Alyssa's cot. She was crying and screaming and the adult who was trying to help her was not getting anywhere.
When I finally sat down with her, I gave her a choice. She could lay quietly on her cot, or she could sit quietly in my lap. She chose my lap, but after a while she decided to lay on her. Instead of getting on her cot though she tried to run through the classroom and so I blocked her and gave her the choice again. She told me, "NO!" and tried to run again, but I blocked her and then sat down with her on my lap.
She started crying and screaming. We sat like that for an hour...Eventually she stopped screaming and was just crying, and the entire time I just held her and told her she was safe and prayed for her. I was also crying with her. Not loudly. Just silent tears streaming down my face. She cried like her heart was broken, deep sobs, and I just held on to her.
The other adults in the room would come over occasionally and ask if I wanted them to switch with me, and while I admit that i would have loved for someone else to take over, I knew that at that moment switching places was the worst thing that I could do to Alyssa so I just sat there and continued to hold her.
And at that moment I knew that I was called to help children like Alyssa, and in the months that followed that calling was confirmed in many ways and at first I was happy about it, but as the months passed and I started suffering from compassion fatigue I started fighting the calling.
But now I recognize that I have been going through a stage of growth. I know that God has a plan for me. He has given me a dream, and even though He seems silent I am finding that I have to depend on Him in ways I never dreamed. I also know that I can't make this dream happen on my own and that He has to make it happen. I have discovered that this is what I was created for. It is a part of my destiny.
So I covet your prayers and pray that He opens the doors and provides me with what is needed. I know that I need more training and that takes money that I don't have, but He will provide a way.
What dream has God given you that you are fighting? Are you ready to say "Yes" and let Him make the way?
you ever had one of those “God moments” where you know beyond a shadow of a
doubt that you are called by the Lord to do something? Did you obey that
calling or did you fight with the Lord?
realized recently that for the past 1 ½ years I have been fighting with the Lord
about my calling in life. I had one of those “God moments” and knew what I
should do, but as time went by I started letting doubt and fear creep in and I
started fighting what I was called to do.
time I heard God’s voice in this matter, I would say, “But…
don’t want to go back to school.
tired of this.
can I help others when I can’t even help myself?
list of excuses could go on and on.
I would say…
I would much rather do _____.
Lord, wouldn’t this be a much better option for me?
I think it would so much more exciting to _______.
the truth of the matter is
1.I am not
qualified, but He is.
·“Abide in Me, and
I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the
vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the
branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me
you can do nothing.” –John 15:4-5
·“For with God
nothing will be impossible.” –Luke 1:37
·“I can of myself
do nothing,”—John 5:30a
2.If I love Him, I
have to be obedient to the calling that He has placed on my life.
·“If you love Me,
keep my commandmants.” –John 14:15
·“If you keep My
commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept My Father’s
commandments and abide in His love.”—John 15:10
3.Even when I am
tired, weak and worn, He will give me the strength to keep on moving forward.
·“I can do all
things through Christ who gives me strength.”—Philippians 4:13
·“Have you not
known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the
ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is
unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He
increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men
shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles; They shall run and not be weary;
They shall walk and not faint.”—Isaiah 40:28-31
4.I’m not supposed
to help myself…My healing comes from Him. There is nothing I can do to make it
·“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because
the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to
heal the brokenhearted…”—Isaiah 61:1a
5.Yes, there might
be things that look better on paper…but NOTHING
is better for my life than the plans that He has for me.
·“You did not choose
Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that
your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may
give you.”—John 15:16
·“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 a hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11
·“For we are His
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
beforehand that we should walk in them.”—Ephesians 2:10
do I keep fighting or do I surrender to the call that He has placed on my life?
O’Malley is the youngest of the O’Malleys (a group of children who adopted each
other and changed their last names to O’Malley when they turned 18). She is a
pediatric general practitioner who works with children who are critically ill.
Tom Peterson is a surgeon at the hospital where Jennifer works. They meet and
fall in love.
introduces Jennifer to Jesus too. And she falls in love with Him also. But her
faith is quickly tested in an unexpected way. Will she still cling to the One
who gave His life for her? What will happen to her relationship with Tom? And
how will she ever explain to her family all that has changed in her life?
have to admit that while I have heard of Dee Henderson, I had never read any of
her books until now. I fell in love with Jennifer and Tom to the point that I
was disappointed with the end of the story, and immediately went and downloaded
The Negotiator (which has been free
on Amazon Kindle lately). Dee Henderson is a gripping writer, and Jennifer is not your typical love story
and leaves you longing for more. I recommend adding it to your summer reading
a year and a half ago, I was having a lot of health issues. I wasn’t sleeping
at night. I wasn’t eating. I lost about 20 lbs in 6 weeks. I was working 50+
hours a week at my place of employment. I was working an additional 30+ hours a
week at home to finish what I couldn’t get done at work. When I was at work I
was busy from the moment that I walked in the door until the moment I left. The
only down time I had was when I was driving to and from work. I was stressed
out and worried.
worried about my job, and I was worried about my health. I was so stressed out
and worried that I went to the doctor afraid that I had something horrible and
was dying. All of the tests came back clear.
6 months later, I started taking a series of training workshops on working with
children who have been traumatized. In
the first session, they described the symptoms of compassion fatigue (also
called secondary post traumatic stress disorder). I had every single one of the
symptoms that they listed.
why I have compassion fatigue?
so busy trying to control everything
that I wasn’t trusting anybody, and most importantly I wasn’t trusting God.
and stress comes when we try to control everything and trying to do everything for
do you stop worrying? How do you learn to trust?
1)Pray: Ask the Lord to help you relax
and let go. Ask Him to teach you to trust. Next time something happens that you
can’t control pray. Give to Him right then. Don’t hang on to it.
action: I learned
about this in the workshops. In opposite action, you do the opposite of what
your initial reaction is. For example, if you are like me and you are a people
pleaser, when someone asks you to do something you usually say yes even if you
don’t have time or don’t want to do it. Well, next time, say “no”.
go. I know that
it is easier said than done, but you are not God. You can’t control everybody
time for you. Spend time each day doing something you love.
Exercise, Eat right. Read a book. Take care of YOU because if you don’t you won’t
be able to take care of others.
your focus to Christ.
This last one is probably the most important. If you are focused on Christ,
then you know that He can handle it and that He will give you what you need.
“Therefore I tell you, don not be
anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about
your body, what you will put on, is not life more than food, and the body more
long to be happy? Not just a temporary feeling of happiness, but a deep down
feeling of joy that never leaves?
In Secrets to a Happy Life, Bill
Giovannetti takes us on a journey through the life of Joseph to teach the
secrets that made Joseph a happy and resilient person. Mr. Giovannetti is
honest in his book about what he believes and about the fact that while he can
teach you the secrets to happiness it is up to you to take the journey.
teaches 11 secrets to happiness and practical ways to apply them to your life. Hopefully
as you read the book you will learn to see how God is working for your joy,
learn to let go of what is holding you back, and how to find your own
My copy of the book has
highlights and notes on every page. Mr. Giovanetti packs a lot of information
into less than 200 pages which I think is great. I now look at Joseph’s life in
a way that I hadn’t before and I am starting to look at my own life in a way that
I haven’t before. His writing is direct
and to the point with examples from Joseph’s life and other Biblical examples. I strongly recommend reading this book if you
are ready to begin your journey to happiness
This week I have been taking a course called the Creative Courage Workshop. The class is an online class taught by Amanda Aitken. It is a 5 day course designed to help you build a brand or learn the basics about graphic design. Through the class I learned how to choose fonts, color palettes, and put together simple designs using Pixlr and Polyvore.
I created the vision board above as part of the class.
year I was dating someone, and one day when we were at my house he said
something about disliking the clutter in my living room.
funny thing to me was when he talked about clutter he wasn’t talking about the
pile of papers sitting on my desk, he was talking about my collection of horse
figurines and the pictures on my walls.
he really got my attention when he told me that he thought I was too attached
to my decorative things and that he didn’t think that I wouldn’t be able to
he said has really stayed with me. God has been using it powerfully in my life.
It has made me start noticing things about myself that I didn’t really like. I
started noticing that I have can be materialistic and greedy, that there are
times in my life when I think I need more…more yarn, more books, more clothes,
more shoes, more bags…more, more, more.
this year has passed, God has been opening my eyes to other things such as when
I want more I give less. The more I have, the more I think I have to have, the
less I give to others.
have started looking around now, and I have begun to notice those who have less
than I do. As I notice them, I start looking for what I can do to help them.
What can I give up?
the past year, I have sold a lot of my things…I’m not perfect. I still have a
ways to go on cleaning out and paring down to the necessities, but I am getting
better. I also still have moments where
I think I need something that I really don’t, but I am learning to ask myself
why I want something. I am also learning to look at my things with new eyes…
have asking myself how I would feel if lost everything…
if a friend saw something and really liked it would I be able to offer it to
more is necessarily wrong, but as Christians, we are sojourners. This world is
not our home, and when our attachment to things becomes greater than our
attachment to God or to others, we need to check ourselves. That is what the
past year has taught me.
All Joanna Robbins wants for her birthday is…a preacher. She
has been praying that the Lord would send her a preacher to help her win her
unsaved father for Christ. She never dreamed that when she told her father that
a preacher is what she wanted for her birthday that he would go and get her
Crockett Archer was on his way to his future as a
preacher in Brenham, TX when an unexpected detour happens. He is KIDNAPPED! What
happens next is not what he is expecting, but with the Lord taking the lead he
has to follow.
I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t sleep until I finished
it. Karen Witemeyer has written a delightful romance about what can happen when
we let the Lord lead and direct us in His path, not our own. The character of Crockett is a rough and
tumble cowboy and not what you typically think of when you think of a preacher.
The character of Joanna Robbins is a shy and awkward young woman but one who
has strength of character and love for her father and her Lord that shines
through. Both are written in a way that makes you feel as if you know them.
Witemeyer writes in such a way that you feel like you are there.
When I was little, my dad would take me fishing. We had
this big pond in our backyard, and he placed some big flat rocks (sandstone, I
believe) along one edge of the pond. We would go down to the pond and fish, and
we almost always fished with worms.
We would go out to the garden and dig up a can of worms
and throw some dirt on top of them. Then we would head down to the pond. At the
pond, Dad would set down his fishing gear, next to the stool he had made and
kept down at the pond. Then he would walk with me over to one of the big rocks,
far enough away that our lines wouldn’t tangle but close enough that he could
get there quickly if something happened. Then he would help me put the bobber
on my line and a worm on my hook before he would go back to his stool.
As the years passed, he taught me to place the worm on my
hook, and how to get a fish off of the hook on my own.
He was patient and I know that for a few years he
probably spent more time helping me
untangle lines, and put worms on hooks, and getting fish off of the hooks than
he did actually fishing himself.
I also know that there were times when I was done fishing
that he would send me back up to the house and continue fishing in peace.
Fishing with my dad is one of my most treasured memories.
My dad used fishing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude. (Sometimes I
don’t think either one of those lessons have stuck well, but he did try. J) think either one of those lessons have stuck
well, but he did try. :-)shing to teach me patience and a can-do attitude.
Fishing with my dad taught me to appreciate the beauty
that God has blessed us with. Even the parts we don’t like (such as snakes)
have a reason and a purpose.
I thank God for being able to fish with my dad. Many
children don’t have fathers who can take them fishing. Many children don’t have
fathers who spend any time with them.
Fathers are an important part of children’s lives.
Fathers, make the time to spend with your children. Make
memories with your children. You are not promised tomorrow so take the time