Finding Hope in the Mundane

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace. “

Helen Howarth Lemmel

light

I love this hymn. It’s probably my favorite one. It addresses the questions and uncertainties of this life with an answer of hope.

The Answer is Hope.

This Wednesday, this mid-week slump of a day, has me all caught up in the mundane. I need some renewed hope. How about you? So, here’s my rendition of this timeless hymn. I pray it brings you newness of spirit, soul, and body.


I slightly see you Jesus. But I choose to turn, to redirect the position of my body so that I am facing in a different direction, to change my course if it is not in line with Your perfect will.

I really see you Jesus. I desire to look, to use my sight or vision in seeking, searching, examining, watching, to gaze upon Your beauty more than I stare at my ugly circumstances. 

I only see you Jesus. The darkness of this temporary place can’t overwhelm my soul. It has to fade away, disappear, vanish without a trace of existence in your presence.

I live to see you Jesus. Your love shines on every part of my life causing me to run wild and free because of your beaming favor that welcomes me into fields of grace.


Whatever you’re facing today, just look to the Jesus. the source of all HOPE, the answer to every problem. He will meet you where you are. And always guide you home.

Walk For Freedom

Write Tribe

Hi friends. I have the privilege of guest posting over at one of my favorite places: Write Tribe. On the last Saturday of every month, Write Tribe posts an inspiring story with a link up for others to engage in a project bigger than themselves. This month, I got to write the inspirational post and I chose to talk about The A21 Campaign’s Walk for Freedom.

img_3839

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

This organization, The A21 Campaign, is fighting for the rights of men, women, and children all around the world who aren’t able to fight for themselves. I believe in the life-changing work that this group of amazing people is doing with all of my heart. This is why I wrote about their fight against injustice. To play a part, even if only a little one, in doing something to end this horrific oppression.

Please hop over to the Write Tribe blog and read the post. Awareness is the foundation to freedom. If we don’t know about it, how are we ever going to help? Thank you for spreading the word! Let’s be an army of world-changers!

walk-for-freedom-7

Judge Suggests Rape Victim Should Have “Just Kept Her Knees Together”

rape-is-never-the-womans-fault

Enough is enough. I’m done reading about sexist judges and intoxicated men that can’t keep their body parts to themselves. This is what ran across my news-feed today:

judge1.png

I gasped in disgust at the comments of pure evil shoveled on top of this rape victim. So, I wrote about it. And I hope that this enrages you to write about it too. Or speak. Even better- PRAY. So, please check out my words over at Her View From Home when you get a chance and let me know what you think about this sad and very unjust story.

Pregnant at 35: The Good, the Bad,& the Wet Pants (mine- not the kids)

pregnantat35

So, I guess this is my official social media announcement: We are expecting baby number 5! Are we excited? Yes! Are we a bit overwhelmed at the thought of another baby in our already bustling household? Yes. But we are blessed and that is that.🙂 In honor of our news, I wrote a piece for Her View From Home about how my body is reacting to baby this time around- at 35. Here’s a snippet:

“When we first found out that I am pregnant, some crazy emotions crept in. The big one that took over my thoughts and caused me some anxiety was my age. I am 35 years old. I know, I know…I’m not old. BUT I’m not young either. My first three children were born in my twenties and when number four came along I was 32. Let me tell you something- the whole experience was different. Like, more aches and pains, more weird hormones, more emotional breakdowns, more binge-eating. Seriously, getting pregnant over 30 is not for the faint of heart.”

If you want a little mid-week chuckle then continue reading about my journey so far HERE.  I promise, you won’t get bored. Thanks! Happy Wednesday!

hvfh-logo15

The 5 People You NEED in Your Life

untitled-design-3

I don’t know about you but as I’ve gotten older (rounding 40 in a few), I have come to realize that my life is much better with certain people in it. Of course, we can all relate to the opposite of this fact as well : Life is much better without certain people in it, too.🙂

Here’s a list of the five types of people you need in your life right now. This very minute.

1. The Encourager 

This radiant girl is joyful and thoughtful. She doesn’t give in to negativity when the storms of life come her way. She doesn’t let you give in to negativity either. She blesses your life because of the thought she puts into what she says. She lives a life of purpose that is intentionally focused on lifting others up. It’s not fake happiness that she exhibits but rather true joy because of her glass half-full mentality.

2. The REAL DEAL

This gal knows how tough life can be. She’s been through the fire and the rain. She doesn’t sugar coat shi* but lets you know exactly what she thinks. She knows the value of authenticity and vulnerability causing her to be open about her struggles. This is not to bring you down but to help you from making her mistakes. She brings out the raw side of you and it makes you feel free. Her influence on you always prompts you to be your best self.

3. The Warrior 

I love this woman. She is strength and grace personified in a beauty so inspiring that the right words to describe her are hard to find. She fights her battles with wisdom and defends others that are losing theirs. No challenge is too great for her to war against because no matter what she has HOPE. Her passion for justice fuels your inner truth seeker. You can’t be around her and not want to take up a cause or help the hurting.

4. The Mentor  

This is usually someone who’s a bit older than you are and has seen more than you have. She is a walking testimony of God’s faithfulness and speaks of it often. She is also well-read and loves to share her knowledge with others in hopes of helping them navigate life well. She has a desire to nurture, teach and walk beside those that need a boost or just some accountability. Her choices represent strong leadership skills and you know you can go to her for advice on pretty much anything.

5. The Dreamer

This lovely lady has her head in the clouds for all the right reasons. She not only dreams BIG but she writes them down and puts her hand to the plow. Her determination to go all in causes you to  take a good hard look at your own dreaming ability. She does the things that most see as impossible and regards setbacks as set ups to greater opportunities. There’s no being around the dreamer without being motivated to set some serious goals. She believes in miracles and because of her, you do too.


So, I say, do an assessment of the women in your inner circle. Are they all benefiting your life in some way? Even more important to ask of yourself: Are you benefiting their life? How can you display qualities of the Encourager, the Real Deal, the Warrior, the Mentor and the Dreamer to those in your world? Who represents these descriptions to you? Sometimes, if you’re lucky like me, you can find one amazing sister that actually displays all of these attributes well. When you do, never let her go.❤

#MondayMusings
I’m linking up with #mondaymusings from EverydayGyann.

My Addiction to Fear

mywanderingheartsong-wordpress-com

I’m learning that I can’t be the mom who saves my kids. From a lot of things. 

I have operated out of fear, in the name of protection, for too long. And it has taken from me. My sanity, my ability to trust, my peace.

More importantly, my fear has taken from my kids. Their love of new things, their desire for adventure, their confidence in their decisions. Yeah, I did that. (Or rather, I allowed my fear to do that!)

I couldn’t see it before because I was happily living in a padded room of my own making. Quite like the rooms you see on t.v. in the haunted mental institutions. This was my brain on fear. I was safe but isolated, left to deal with my tormenting thoughts all on my own.

What sobered me up was my gut-wrenching decision to put my kids in public school this year after only homeschooling them for the past 6 years. Just making the choice to do it felt like death hovering over me as I shook from fear withdrawals.

I felt sick at the thought of letting them go when all I (and they) had ever known was our home, our rules, our ways. But then, after the waves of nausea started to decrease, I felt something new and, honestly, it scared me.

Freedom.

Not in the sense that freedom is only delegated to the school-going families. No, freedom in the sense that I could actually walk away from something that was no longer working for our family. It was keeping me bound in despair as I wrestled every day with watching my kids cling more and more to me and less to their own amazing personalities.

You know when you just get to that point when enough is enough? You are afraid of the new thing staring you in the face but you know that the old thing has just been done way too long? That’s where I was when my husband came to me and introduced the idea of putting them in school. I had a choice to make, albeit painful.

I decided that I was not going to be a fear-addict any longer.

So, we did it. And it’s been great! It’s also been hard some days. But better all around. They are standing on their own two feet and learning to take responsibility for their choices without me there to prompt them. They are embarking on new friendships and engaging in activities that they would have not had the chance to do otherwise. Most importantly, my fear of them not needing me anymore was proven totally unfathomable. They get to take care of themselves when not at home but the evenings are my time with them. Time for snuggles and homework help and bedtime prayers.

They say fear is an illusion. I say fear is also a drug. It incapacitates you and leaves you wanting more and more of it until it’s all you can think about. Thank God I have a husband who listens to God’s voice and calls me higher when I’m living beneath the level of freedom God has for me.

Thank God, the taste of freedom is way more satisfying then the taste of fear.

Ladies, You Are All Awesome

God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.St. Augustine

How often do we get caught up in comparing ourselves with someone else? We discount our own gifting’s or abilities because someone else has the same gifting’s and abilities…and, in our opinion, they do it better. But, here’s the thing I’m learning:

Our opinion about our awesomeness has nothing to do with how awesome we really are.

Sure, we need to have confidence in ourselves. But, this confidence, if based solely upon what we can do within our own strength, will only get us so far. We will eventually feel depleted and worn out from trying to convince ourselves and everyone else just how talented we are. Sounds pretty exhausting to me.

The question that God has been gently asking me lately puts things in a new perspective. He says, “Do you believe that I would uniquely make you just to watch you fight for your place in the world?”  

He made each of us uniquely yet we compete and strive for center stage because we are so worried that someone else is going to out-do us. We strive to perform perfectly so that someone else doesn’t have a chance to one-up us. Or we try to outshine the rest because we only feel accepted if we get the public acclaim and applause.

The problem with this situation lies in the answer to God’s provocative question. Many of us, not being confident in who God made us to be, would say, “Yes, God, I believe you want me to work for my position.”

That’s what I said when He first prompted me for an answer. Was God stunned at my response? Definitely not. He already knew the fragile condition of my heart. I, on the other hand, was shocked by my admission.

I assure you, He wanted me to be aware of my self-dependency so He could point me back to the truth of His all-sufficiency.

However, we don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone. God made us unique which means we are matchless. We are distinct in our calling, our makeup, our strengths, and yes, even our weaknesses.

St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.” So, why are we constantly trying to prove to everyone just how lovable we are? Our value can’t be overestimated. Our worth can’t be bottled and sold to the highest bidder. God already paid for us with His unrelenting love and yet we try to convince ourselves and everyone else of our importance.

I think its high time we ladies got a glimpse of just how amazingly loved we are. We shouldn’t be downgrading our own value because of someone else’s value. We are all equally valuable but are all uniquely made. God doesn’t love us all the same because He made us all different. He does, however, love us all completely.

When we really understand this truth, we start walking in a new level of freedom in our relationships with God and others. We don’t have to try to be better than her (who pops in your mind?) because she was created for something that you could never do. (And vice-versa.)

We GET to embrace our uniqueness with confidence because we know that He never, ever compares us to each other. He affectionately looks at each of us individually and sees a beautiful woman made in His image. (Genesis 1:27)  There’s no upstaging that!

To All My Single Ladies!

Five Confidence Boosting Affirmations for Single Gals

Do you know how important you are? Have you given yourself credit for being amazing lately? If you need a reminder of how downright gorgeous you are, then these five personal declarations will help you out.

  1. “I am not confined to the labels that someone else has assigned to me.”

You can be who you want to be. Just because you have pink hair doesn’t mean you fit the punk rock mold that your co-worker is desperately trying to attach to you. Sure, you can pull off that funky hairdo but, by all means, belt out some Coldplay if that’s what sets your heart free. There’s no shame in your alternative rock game. (And “Yellow” is seriously timeless.)

  1.  “I have plenty to offer in relationships and at my workplace.”

You don’t need to second-guess your quirky ability to memorize random trivia facts or recite the U.S. Presidents in alphabetical order. The right person will not only appreciate those quirks but will also love those little characteristics that set you apart from the rest. Those who don’t appreciate them are just insecure about their lack of memorization skills!

  1. “My beauty comes from my inherent value and not from my relationship status.”

Nobody else can convince you of the beauty inside of you. You have to see it for yourself. Do you think that Monet painted his masterpieces without first seeing the allure of the finished work in his mind? See yourself as a masterpiece. Of course you’re a work in progress. We all are. Just make sure your inner grace is equally as important as your outer style. You don’t want to be with a guy who only compliments you on your hotness anyways, right? There’s SO much more to you.

  1. “I am not what I do.”

Does your job run your life? Well, in case you didn’t know this already, you are worth more than your income. Your paycheck does not equal your awesomeness. You are a whole person and that job of yours is just one part of what makes you brilliant. Remember that song you belted out last Friday night at Karaoke? The crowd cheered at your Adele-esque pipes! Just because you’re not getting paid for your talent doesn’t mean you don’t have any. Keep putting yourself out there!

  1. “I don’t want to be anyone else but me.”

Sure, your roommate may have the perfect body and hair but deep down she is miserable in her 9 to 5. Maybe you aren’t as fit as she is but comparing yourself to her is only going to leave you green with envy. Plus, she’s stressed to the max about paying the bills next month because she’s about to quit her job. You just focus on being the best you (and of course offering your roomie some moral support!) All that jealousy is bad for your health and it doesn’t change the number on the scale either!

So, grab your lipstick, ladies! It’s time to face the day with confidence. Go ahead and smile back at your beautiful face in the mirror. You owe it to yourself to boldly take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way today. Your new mantra: Hello world, bring it on!

The Secret to Early Morning Exercise

Too many of us are snoozing through life when an opportunity to rise up and actively pursue something bigger than ourselves passes us by.Hi friends! I am honored to have a piece up on Her View From Home today called “The Secret to Early Morning Exercise.” I used a personal story to write about the importance of committing to a healthy routine for better productivity in life. I would love for you to click on this link and read what I had to say. Now, I’m no expert on this exercise thing but I have managed to maintain a pretty consistent exercise regime for a few years now. It might look different every few months but it’s always the same in that I stick with some kind of exercise. Mayo Clinic has this to say on the matter:

“Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.”  

I challenge you to get started on a morning exercise routine today! Need some more motivation? Click HERE!❤ Thanks!

Walls

3369182894_4622b7fcbb

Brick by brick, I stack them on top of one another.

One at a time, carefully putting them close together.

More layers, going up oh so high,

I won’t stop until the wall reaches the sky!

Wait! One block of red clay doesn’t want to stay.

It tips to one side, it wants to go its own way.

“But why?” I ask the rebellious one.

“Don’t you want to build a wall up to the sun?”

“Won’t you have a story to tell

If you listen to me and follow my orders well?”

“If you choose to join the wanderers below,

You will miss the fame of being on top, ya know?”

But the little brick looked at me with zeal in his eyes,

“I’m not here to work until the day I die.”

“I have a dream of being known for something more.

No wall to heaven can bring me what I’m looking for.”

And with that he jumped down from his place in the wall,

Giving another young brick the chance to stand tall.

But the rebel one just laughed as he went on his way,

For he knew that life is not about working for glory and fame.

It is about building walls that stand for more than height,

Walls that surround those you love with all of your might.

A wall that is far less concerned with being seen

And more focused on taking care of his responsibilities.

A wall that doesn’t look at missing pieces with regret

But smiles in remembrance of too many memories to forget.

For no flashy renown can bring him lasting joy or peace

Only by living for the moment can one leave a timeless legacy.

 

Write Tribe

 

photo credit: Brick trick via photopin (license)