Friday, July 17, 2015

Five Minute Friday - Free

Five Minute Friday – Free
     Trapped, confined, held down, no escape, no hope.  This is often how I feel.  I let the weight of my burdens and even the burdens of others back me into a corner and cause me to collapse.  That has never once helped.  It has never once provided a solution, helped another person, or made me feel at all hopeful. 
     It is also unnecessary.  I am free.  Jesus has paid the price for my freedom – here and for eternity.  He tells us that He came to give us life and give it abundantly.  I want to take Him up on His offer.  I want to feel hope, freedom, and security.  More than that, I want to just know it.  I want more than a feeling, which changes based on circumstances.  I want it to be a soul deep understanding.
     I have discovered through reading wisdom gained by others, and much personal experience that feelings are not truth.  When we experience what we call a feeling – it is valid – we are having that feeling.  But, that does not make the feeling the truth.  I can feel like I am unwanted, unloved, and unpopular.  That does not mean that I am truthfully those things.  I can feel like my words are not enough – that does not mean they aren’t.  My feelings come and go and are based not on truth – but on hormones, and thoughts, and circumstances.  I am choosing to focus on the truth and allow my feelings to catch up. 
     Only I can change how I feel and how I think.  Only I can decide to live in the freedom that I have.  I do that by focusing on what is the truth.  The truth is that I am loved by the God of the universe, by my family, and by my friends.  The truth is that I am secure in my relationships and in my career.  The truth is that God has promised that He will work all things for my good.  Which doesn’t make everything good – it makes everything part of the plan for my good.  I can also choose to focus on that which brings me joy.  The more I focus on the things I love and adore – the faster my feelings line up with truth. 

     My five minutes are now up.  I would be remiss however if I didn’t tell you this – you get to control how you feel and what you think.  You cannot control the things that happen around you.  You can control how you choose to deal with them.  Remind yourself of truth, remind yourself of what things bring you joy, and remind yourself that your God is working for your good.
     Hooking up with all the amazing writers of Five Minute Friday.  Where we all write for five minutes on the same prompt - provided by Kate Motaung at

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My First Post at Dauntless Grace

I'm so excited to have my first blog posted by Dauntless Grace Ministries.  This ministry was founded on the concept of being honest, brave, and vulnerable.  I am honored to share part of my story with this ministry.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Five Minute Friday - Favorite

     It is a question often asked, “What is your favorite verse?”  While an innocent question by nature, it is an almost impossible question to answer.  There. Are. So. Many.  And, because the Bible is living and active, the verses that touch my heart change based on what season I’m in and what I need to hear. 
     There are those verses however, that I cling to over and over again.  The ones that speak to the very core of who I am and what I need.  My favorites are the ones that I have read but then actually seen God prove Himself through.  When I find a verse in the Bible that is a promise that I desperately need for God to fulfill, I write it out, decorate it, and hang it up.  I read it as often as possible and pray that God would show me that it is true.  Sometimes, I am still surprised when He does follow through, when He proves, once again, to be faithful.  Always, does that verse then become more personal to me.  It is a reminder of God’s faithfulness, a reminder that He cares enough about me to listen and answer my prayers, a reminder that this hope I profess is real. 
     I suppose then, that I do have a few favorites, a few go to verses that bring me hope, joy, and faith.  Ephesians 3:16 is one such verse, “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources, He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.” (NLT)  There have been those moments in time where I had no strength, none, and yet I was able to persevere.  My whole being knows that in those moments it was not me that did the sustaining, or the strengthening.  It had to be God.  If you are in the midst of a struggle, a time when you feel like putting one step in front of the other is way beyond reasonable, hear me say that He will provide.  He will strengthen you and He will be faithful.  Then, this verse can sink into your heart because you have seen the evidence for yourself. 

     Do you have a verse that has become your “favorite” because you have seen God prove Himself true through it?  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pondering Friendship

     I am baffled, confused, and bewildered. Turns out, I'm not the only one. In fact, there are apparently many of us out there who don't understand and don't know what steps to take to comprehend.  Why are friendships so difficult to create and maintain? Why are some people left friendless (or at least feel that way)? Why do so many women that I speak with day in and day out feel utterly alone?
     I know the basic answers to these questions: time, work, family, etc. Those reasons are valid, but they can only be a minor part of the explanation. Women crave friendship. We crave real relationships were we can laugh, cry, share, pray, play, and talk to each other about all the little things and all the big things. We want to make connections. Yet, so many of us don't, or feel like we can't.
    Tonight a friend posted about feeling exceedingly lonely. The kind of lonely that just makes you mentally and emotionally exhausted. The kind of lonely where your mind wonders why you don't have friends. The kind of lonely where you have examined every possible reason for your lack of connection, and they all go back to that you just aren't enough to be worthy of friendship. The kind of lonely where you have been through the range of emotions, on more than one occasion, and are just spent from way it makes you feel.  And I just don't get it.  From the outside looking in, this young lady seems like the ideal candidate for a friend.  She is beautiful but humble, hilarious, intelligent, caring, thoughtful, and willingly to open her heart.  Numerous other women commented on her post and echoed her thoughts and feelings.  As I read the thread, the thought just kept coming back to - all of these women are the kind of people I want to have as friends.  Why is it that they aren't overflowing with friendships?
     Insecurity would top my list of answers for that question, if we dig a little. The knowledge that beautiful women don't know they are beautiful was almost more than I could comprehend.  How is it possible that incredibly talented people are always afraid they aren't good enough? I have ideas rolling around in my head - when I can put them into sentences that make sense - it will be a post. The most important part to me is that regardless of the reason for our insecurities, we need to get past them enough to form connections. The trade-off is too high. We are losing the benefits of true friendship.
     How do we get past it?  Not entirely sure, yet.  Start small maybe.  Make a phone call, send an e-mail, go visit someone.  Do something that puts you a step closer to building a relationship.
I would love to know your thoughts on developing friendships.  Leave your ideas in the comments.