Essential Oils: Deserving of a second chance

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My journey with oils began 3 years ago when trusted friends of mine started using them on a regular basis. Trying to avoid the hype, I was skeptical at best. At some point I eventually dipped my toes in the water. I purchased a YoungLiving starter kit and got to work researching, using, and testing the oils. However, once my kit ran dry it was a full two years before I purchased another oil.

At first glance, I found oils pleasing in their aroma. I enjoyed the scents of Lavender and even used it during my labor with Judah. Once Judah was born, I tried using oils multiple times to deter sickness and build immunity naturally. However, I was missing an important component of oils. My perspective on oils was all wrong and because of my faulty views I grew increasingly more and more disappointed with the results. Enter the two year hiatus from oil use.

So what went wrong? And why did I decide to give oils a second chance? 

During the two “dry” years, I found myself saying multiple times, “I wish I had an oil for this!” Illness, fevers, and mystery sicknesses caused me to feel desperation and reevaluate my beliefs on oils. Before, I didn’t believe oils crossed the blood-brain barrier so I didn’t understand their acute effectiveness. I also didn’t understand that the more often and frequently you use oils the more effective they become. I viewed oils as “a one drop wonder” and expected them to work magically the first time I used them. Because I used them infrequently and didn’t understand the nature of oils, I rarely saw results. It took me close to 6 months to utilize all of my starter kit (that’s 11 5ml oil bottles).

Eventually, my desperation led me to try again. I reached out to my trusted friend who had continued using oils successfully for 3 years. She had many testimonies of effectiveness to share and began educating me more about oils. I approached oils with more of an open mind and started turning to experts on the subjects to inform me of their properties, uses, and benefits. I reordered a second starter kit and within 6 weeks I had almost depleted my stock. I was blown away at the difference the oils were making. I started mini-challenges for myself including detoxing from caffeine, going ALL natural in beauty products, and slowly detoxifying my home from chemically-laden toxins. I now use oils daily and often. I no longer see them as a one drop wonder to take out of the medicine cabinet when there’s a need. I use them for preventative health measures, to boost wellness, to balance my mind, body, and soul and when there is a need, I double up on the oil usage and I’m amazed each time at how quickly the oils work.

This is a journey I am excited to share. Why? Simply put, they work. Oils are an incredible alternative for health in the world of healthy living. Join me in my journey,  essential oil skeptics and enthusiasts welcome! I’ll be posting weekly about my personal EO challenges as well as webinars to educate and inform on EO’s.

When it comes to Essential Oils, they are truly worth a first, second, and third chance.

I am now a Young Living independent distributor. If you are interested in oils, I would love to help you on your journey to wellness!

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You can also view my testimony about using EOs here: My story with Essential Oils

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Your personal lens

Your personal lens

Each of us sees life through our own personal lens. Our lenses can be shaped, colored, and fine tuned by many things. Personal experience. Our upbringing. Our political beliefs. Our religious beliefs. How much education we received. Where we live. How much money is in the bank. The friends we have. The list can go on and on..

Have you ever paused to consider the lens in which you view the world through – your personal lens? The first time anyone asked me to ponder such a question was 5 years ago. I was sitting on a hard, plastic chair in Soshanguve, South Africa. Up until that point I knew that we each viewed life differently, but the teaching that day sharpened my perspective on my own personal lens and caused me to think about other people’s lenses as well.

A lot has changed in the last 5 years. My lens has been colored differently by marriage, graduation, job loss, loved ones passing, new jobs, moves, and a deepening in my life with Christ. I see now how each event, experience, and truth effects my lens. All too often I see how it effects others as well.

Most recently I have been witnessing the experience of pain and the effect that has on the lens of others. Pain is such a real experience and it has real implications for how we view the world. The world can become sinister, unwelcoming, and cruel through the lens of pain. We can view the world as cold and eventually we view others the same as well. Even good intentions, through pain, can feel devastating and unwelcome.

There is a part of me that longs for total vulnerability on this subject and to just say it as I mean it. I fear that I have also contributed to a “perfect” view of life through social media, face book posts, and pinterest boards. I choose to keep a pretty, clean lens on social media; to only share the positive.

But isn’t life so much more than that? My lens is colored by much more. At times, my lens becomes smudged, cloudy, and grimy with the grunge of everyday life. Feelings of fear, anger, and shame are all to real to me. Life is by no means perfect. In fact, most times I feel exhausted just balancing all that lies before me. Keeping it all together is a full time job in itself! My lens is cracked, not perfect, and definitely in need of adjusting.

But that’s the beauty of it too. Life is not perfect. We go through constant change. We are always learning. Loving. Crying. Forgiving. Laughing. Dreaming. Losing. Failing. And trying all over again.

As I said before, our lens can be colored by many things. I believe one of the largest contributions to my lens is my faith. Without the lens of faith I believe I would continuously see the world through the lens of the “victim.” The pain of this world would cause me to feel that all hope was lost; too much to bear. But faith beckons me to believe in an everlasting hope that cannot be seen now. My lens has no frame of reference for what faith requires of me. I must believe without seeing that Jesus is the eternal hope.

That changes my lens entirely.

So, what lens do you see your world through? What will sharpen your view? What changes need to be made? Do some smudges need to come off? Just a little something to think about..

Growing Pains

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Do you remember having growing pains when you were a child? I do. My growing pains were so painful that I would wake up at night, crying and shouting for my mom and dad, while trying to understand what was happening to my body. I can still remember one of those nights; one of my legs was hurting so bad that I jerked from pain and kicked my older sister in the face (at the time we shared a bed and we slept feet to head..). Needless to say, my poor sister got a bloody nose and was convinced I did it on purpose. My growing pains just hurt so bad I could not help the reaction of kicking..

Fast forward 20 years and I still believe that we have growing pains. Sadly my legs have stopped growing but my internal self still jerks in pain from time to time as I continue to develop in character and self (wisdom, truth, love, etc). I believe that we will continue developing internally as long as we live and our development is a process that takes time and patience.

At times I find myself distracted by all the potential areas of growth as portrayed by social media and the world around me (see funny meme above). In the world today there is ALWAYS something that one could work on. This is especially true for women living in Orange County as the standards feel very high.I find myself ready to cast off the standards. This process of growth is already occurring in me (as long as I surrender to it) there is no need to force anything here. I want to trust God with what He is doing in my heart as He shapes me and stop worrying about the rest. I also want to keep perspective and not forget that God is with me in the process and doing something mighty (more on that here).

As I grow I find my prayer life changing and developing as well. Several days ago I found myself in a dried up prayer. Have your prayers every felt dry? It was as if I was standing in the middle of the desert searching desperately for water but drinking sand instead. MY PRAYER WAS DRY. Moments later, I felt reminded of the truth that we take one step toward God, and we can trust Him for the rest. So I reminded God of this truth, “Okay God!” I shouted, “Here I am, you do the rest!” within seconds my dried up prayer turned into a gentle rain storm. I felt God. I saw a glimpse of God as I closed my eyes. I felt the worry and the fears melting away. He is taking me to new levels.

And I cried. Because growing pains hurt. It is possible that internal growing pains are more painful than the rest. There are countless areas of growth for me as a woman to focus on (body image, finances, marriage, parenting, house keeping, careers, creativity, beauty, so forth) but I am learning that the biggest area of growth for me is quiet, humble surrender to the King who knows me (and my areas of growth) better than I know myself.

So, with all that to say, here’s to a new year with opportunities for new growth!

(And yes, I am toasting to the new year because after all, this is my first blog of the year! Missed the last one, catch up here!). 

Nudity, shootings, and love.

Halloween. For most it is an evening of dress up. A time to be heroic, scary, or royal. A time to take children out and gather the sugary loot. A time to be silly, different, anyone but ourselves. There is a lighter side to Halloween; it’s fun.

But where there is light, darkness creeps around the edges. For others, Halloween is taken to another level. It’s about idolizing the body, having a fill of pleasure, and being seduced by the mystery of the mask. It’s about drugs, sex, and pixie dust. It’s a night to be anyone but yourself.

In the past, I have viewed Halloween as a nuisance, something to be tolerated but preferably ignored. There have been years when I dressed up; experiences I can count on one hand. I have also taken kids trick or treating, which was enjoyable. But overall, I have been too aware of the underbelly of this holiday to truly enjoy the lighter side of things…

That was until tonight. Tonight, everything changed.

Did you know that on October 31st, 1571, Martin Luther nailed the letter of reformation to his church’s door? That simple act would cause a major uprising and eventual split of the church. This split would birth the Protestant religion which would inevitably lead to centuries of revivals and exponential growth in Christianity.

Tonight we met with an amazing group of passionate Christians who are believing for a new revival and wave of God’s love for Southern California. The meeting place was Hollywood. We worshipped in a small building called The Oasis and then broke into small groups to go out onto the streets and share one simple message to people on the blvd: God loves you.

We weren’t there to judge, we weren’t there to criticize, we weren’t passing out pamphlets or telling people to repent; we were simply asking the Father to show us where He was and who He wanted to love on and allowing Him to do the rest.

The streets were packed with thousands of dressed up, hyped up, and probably drugged up people. But not just people, His children. I had a few opportunities to share God’s love. One woman I met was named Nicole and she had an issue with alcohol and other addictions. The word God gave me for Nicole was that her new name was Forgiven; when she thought of herself, she was to think, “Nicole is forgiven.” We had a chance to pray with her and share with her how valuable she was. Other’s on the team saw people receive healing in their body; pain they felt completely healed and disappeared.

It’s easy on a night like this to see the darkness. We were surrounded by drugs, prostitutes, pimps, nudity, and an overwhelming sense of animosity, hatred, and fear. It’s more difficult to see the light. To see what God wants to do and where He is moving required us to be listening and following. We had to set ourselves aside and ask Jesus what His plan was.

Tonight, I watched as God honored and loved others through us. I was amazed that I wasn’t afraid or intimidated by what surrounded us; instead I was fired up to share God’s love in a simple, yet deep way.

While we were on the streets, a shooting occurred just a block away. People began running and eventually the riot police showed up. This would have been a perfect time to feel fear, but instead I felt overwhelmed with God’s protection and love over me.

There is so much more to say about tonight. I feel as if I learned eternal lessons about God that will, and are, transforming my heart and mind. I have done street ministry before, and honestly I had been so focused on thoughts like, “what will God give me? How can I be used tonight? What will I give to others?” that I I wasn’t really free to love…

how incredibly selfish and focused on me..

Ministry is about loving the Father, knowing the Father, and sharing the deep simplicity of His love with others. It’s not about me, my gifts, or what I bring to the table. It’s all about him..

And to tonight I got to see the Father love and honor half naked, under the influence, dressed up people who love to celebrate Halloween. I love that about His heart; it’s the true picture of love founded on grace, rooted in forgiveness. God is love.

Imagine that.

I must love…

Hello wordpress, it’s been awhile. I find myself sluggishly typing at 3:55am, well aware that sleep evades me. Tonight has been a long one. I cannot sleep because my mind, simply put, will not shut down. I had an encounter with someone last night that got my blood pumping, my adrenaline rushing, and my mind spinning wildly.

Who you ask? And why such a reaction? A hurting person, filled with anger, who decided to take some of it out on me. I am not mad at this person, in fact, I have already forgiven them. However, it has caused me to analyze and re-analyze the situation, my response, his reaction, and the point of why I do what I do.

I am a Resident Director. I live where I work. I work where I live. I get late night calls and work until early mornings. Not always, but some nights I find myself up later than I would prefer; but alas, there is a reason.

I find myself wrestling with the deeper implications of what this role means. Clearly, God has chosen me for such a time as this. Here I am, ready and willing to serve, but to what end? And for whom do I serve?

For the hurting ones. For the angry ones. For the ones who go out on a Saturday night dressed in nothing more than lingerie and high heels to find their worth and value at the bottom of the drinking glass. For the ones who feel ignored, lost, and alone. For the ones whose parents never said the words, “I love you.” For the ones who have no respect for others. For the ones growing and learning and becoming who God created them to be. For the ones who are like the girl I once was. For each person who is here.

The chances of me meeting every person on campus is not likely. In fact, I probably won’t know every student at Concordia. This truth doesn’t change my motivation to serve. In my wrestling this morning God reminded me of a simple, yet profound truth. Each person here was worth the death and sacrifice of Jesus. Each person here is worth serving and is worth fighting for. If Christ didn’t fight for me, I too would be lost.

There are people I could name that lost sleep over me. People who fought for me in prayer. People who were worried and pleaded with God for my protection. People who cared for me and loved me when I didn’t, or couldn’t love them back. People who I let my own anger spill over on. People who I hurt who had to forgive me. I am really no different than the people I am here to serve.

But today, I know my worth. I know that Christ did something for me that no one ever could. His sacrifice covered my deepest, darkest, dirtiest sins. His life lost so I could gain. I know this truth today. I walk in it. Jesus guides me, calls me, loves me, and strengthens me to do what the Father pleases.

And it pleases Him to fight for others. To love others. To value the life of others. To treat others with dignity, respect, grace, and love. To speak truth when lies abound. To bring light into the darkest places. To be poured out unto sleepless nights.

 

To live, as Christ lived, a servant of the most high God.

Alas, it is 4:19am and I am rambling away. I am thankful for this sleepless night. Thankful for the reminder of the simple, yet deep truth: I must love and value others because I am loved and valued by my creator.

 

 

 

The Disruptive Goodness of God

The year was 2006. I was in a relationship that my friends and family lovingly supported, but wanted better for me. I was struggling with my own desires and making bad decisions left and right. I was headed toward nursing, but was choosing self-destructive things along the way. That’s when I met Dave Bishop. Dave is the founder of a scholarship program for women called Pathways To Independence. In meeting Dave, I told him my life story, my dreams, my goals, and my failures. Dave offered me a full ride scholarship to the college of my choice in Orange County. Months later I found myself living in my very first apartment in Huntington Beach, away from my support system, and on a totally new path. My life had been disrupted in the best way possible.

Over time, my desires began to change. I started going to church on my own and found a church I wanted to serve at. For 2 years I spent 12+ hours at church on Sundays giving everything thing I could. That wasn’t all that changed, I found myself switching from Nursing to Social Work and going to my first 4-year University, Cal State Long Beach. I also moved from a solo-apartment to a house with 5-6 girls who were passionate about living for Christ.

In 2010 I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. The self-destructive things that I desired were replaced with a vibrant and passionate desire to please God, and God alone. I also found myself in one of the most life-giving and healthiest relationships I had ever been in. From 2007-2010 I worked in a privately owned Doctor’s office and only a month before graduation I was laid off. Another disruption that proved itself essential and life changing.

At this point in my life I had gained more confidence and more direction than I had before. I knew I wanted to serve and help people and I had a desire to love others the way Christ loved me. Within several months of being laid off I was offered a position at the Orange County Rescue Mission as a Case Manager. This would give me the opportunity to speak into the lives of others in a new and exciting way.

After 3 months in my new position another disruption came onto my path. The house I worked in was being closed down and the program was being changed. This meant that the staff of 6 was losing their jobs if OCRM couldn’t find another placement for us. I was confused and angry. Why had God brought me here only to take me away 3 months later? This disruption made no sense at all.

OCRM did find another position for me and transferred me to the Village of Hope, where I became the Admissions Manager. My confusion grew as this job seemed more challenging and far different than anything I would have chosen for myself. In my confusion, I decided to trust God completely with what He was doing. After all, I should have been unemployed again but God placed me in a situation that I had no control over and it became evident that He was completely in control.

I worked diligently in this position for a year and a half. During this time I was engaged and married to the man of my dreams, and best friend. Life was perfect. Me and my Husband were ministering to others in areas we loved and with people we loved. However, work did present some challenges, I continued to trust God and follow His lead on a daily basis.

On June 1st, 2012, another disruption to life came our way. I was let go from my position at OCRM along with several staff members. The day I walked away from the OCRM campus I lifted my hands in worship and praised God for all that He had done there, and for an opportunity to serve and love the people I met. I also praised HIm for His faithfulness because past experience taught me that He was doing something major in my life.

I was unemployed for 41 days. In those days I experienced waves of confusion, joy, peace, trust, fear, and rest. It was a mixed bag. But I remembered the importance of looking back on my life and recalling the situations that were tough, and the miracles God did as a result. I meditated on God’s perfect love for me and took a lot of peace in knowing that when I ask my Father for bread, He doesn’t give me stones.

On day 41 of unemployment I was offered an amazing position at Concordia University. With jubilee me and my husband accepted and have now been living on campus for nearly two months.

Shortly before receiving this new job offer, Matt Davenport preached a message at our church on the Disruptive Goodness of God. This message resonated deeply with my heart. My will and plans have been disrupted many times by God. Years ago I would fear when unexpected changes came my way, but today I know from experience that I can trust my God, even when changes are scary, confusing, and make no sense. I can look at the last 6 years of my life and see exactly what God was doing and it has been very good. Had I not experienced the disruptions to my plans, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The fact is, God is always good. At times, we experience difficulty, heartache, and brokeness in our journey. This doesn’t change God’s goodness. God can use our bottomless pit and our hopeless situation for good. If we can learn to trust God in the unknown, shadowy places of life, we will be amazed and in awe when He illuminates the good work that was taking place at that time. We can’t always see what God is doing but if we look back on our lives and reflect on what God has done, we can see the road marks of goodness along the way, as disruptive as they may be.

The Bride (Part 2).

So after holding many people in suspense (or maybe just myself) it is time to fully process what becoming a Bride meant to me. If you missed my earlier post, feel free to brush up on what I am talking about here.

During our engagement process, we were very excited about the wedding and daily consumed by the details of planning and preparing for such a mega-event. Although planning was time consuming, we made an intentional effort to not only focus on the details, but to focus on the process of preparing to be Husband and Wife. For me, this meant becoming Simeon’s Bride and over 7 months of engagement this process proved itself worthy, essential, and wonderful. From the moment Simeon placed my beautiful engagement ring on my finger I knew we were entering into something beyond ourselves, something that would require sacrifice, patience, unconditional love, and intentionality.

Over those few months we sought out mentoring relationships with other couples, learning opportunities from books like Love & Respect and Sacred Marriage, and marital counseling from our Pastor. We even attended a Six-week class on all things marriage at a church in another city. We were FULLY committed to learning as much as possible and preparing ourselves for marriage. We learned how to resolve conflict, the importance of respect in a relationship, the role of communication, and the ever needed presence of community to have a successful and joyous relationship. We will forever be grateful for the people that poured into us during that time.

However, the deepest impact in my heart came from another source. It wasn’t the classes, or the books, or the many conversations that truly prepared me to become a Bride, it was the supernatural experience of God’s design for the Bride that completely changed and overwhelmed (in a good way) my heart and Spirit.

Okay, you might be thinking, ” whoa, this girl is getting all cooky on us talking about supernatural things…” but hear me out. This was a once in a lifetime experience that becoming Simeon’s Bride allowed me to fully and deeply resonate with God’s design for each of us. So really, the process wasn’t supernatural at all, it was actually the natural revelation of what God intended from the beginning when he created us; that we would enter into a loving relationship with Him as His Bride.

Let me illuminate what I mean. One day, while driving from who knows where to who knows where, I was excitedly and anxiously counting down to the days to marriage. I could not WAIT to marry my Best Friend and experience all the great things about marriage that we would share. While I was voicing my anticipation to God, I felt this incredible love pour over me and I heard Him say, “You have been waiting so long to become Simeon’s Bride, now imagine how long I have been waiting for my Bride!” This revelation instantly took my breath away. I was AWED by God’s simple, yet complex statement about me, and all of us.

There are many scriptures that talk about us being the Bride and Jesus being the Bridegroom. There are also parables that Jesus taught that compare Heaven to a banquet table and a massive celebration. One of my favorite worship songs, by Phil Wickham, has the lyrics, “We’ll hear the wedding bells ring,  your Bride will enter in and we will sing, ‘You’re beautiful.'” I could go through the Bible and list many scriptures that illustrate my point, but to save time I would prefer to tell you what happened to me on my Wedding day that confirms for me God’s plan to claim us as His Holy, spotless, beautiful Bride.

After all of the preparing, planning, and excitement, October 1st finally arrived. I was finally getting to marry the man I had fallen in love with several years before. I could not be happier. We began the day with a getting ready party at a beautiful home on the Mission Viejo Lake. After that, the Bridal party drove to meet the Groomsmen in Modjeska Canyon as My Groom eagerly awaited my arrival. We then took lots of pictures and had a great time enjoying the last few hours before entering into marriage.

After our Modjeska Canyon photo shoot we were whisked away by our photographers to meet Simeon’s family at a park near the church to continue photos.

After the park photo shoot, it was time to head to the church where we would quickly take pictures with my Grandmother and Simeon’s Grandmother before the ceremony started. During this photo shoot, we used our “get-a-way” car as the backdrop. We had a beautiful 1960’s something Cadillac Seville to drive us after the wedding. As we were busy snapping away photos, I bent down to get closer to my grandmother and the back and side of my dress brushed against the front tire of the car.

Moments later I realized what had happened: My dress had tire grease spots all up the back and side from touching the car. I had my first (and only) stressful moment of the day. Seeing what happened, my Photographer quickly grabbed me and rushed me upstairs enlisting my Brides Maids to clean up the spots.

I was quite the sight. I was standing in front of a full length mirror with my best friends surrounding me. People were shouting out instructions and trying to figure out how in the world to get grease off a wedding gown. As I imagined the horror of walking down the isle with grease spots on my train, I took a good, long hard look at myself in the mirror and realized that the frown on my face was far worse than the grease on my dress. That’s when I remembered that I was not only Simeon’s Bride, but I was the Bride of the King. I raised my hands in worship and decided to have a change of heart. Out loud I prayed, “Lord, I know you care about this day and I know you care about my dress. If you wanted, you could heal these spots and take them away right now. You cover me in garments of salvation and garments of praise. I worship you and thank you for this day!” I then started to laugh and the whole atmosphere changed in the room.

Moments later, a dear friend of mine rushed upstairs with a scripture on her heart. I was sitting in front of the fan hoping to dry the wet spots from where we attempted to blot out the spots, but they still remained. My friend told me that she was waiting downstairs with other guests and she felt the Lord speak to her and told her to come and share something with me. She began by saying that she saw a vision of me walking into the ceremony and that I was beautiful. She saw Jesus stop me just before I walked in and he placed a gold necklace with a ruby or diamond heart around my neck. She said the heart was shinning brilliantly and she felt the Lord say that He was bringing healing to me on this day. Then, she read something from her Bible that blew me away, she read, “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a Bride adorns herself with jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10). That was it, the tears started flowing and I was overwhelmed with God’s love and goodness and His attention to every detail. I could tell you countless stories about Isaiah 61 and how God had used it multiple times to speak to me at pivotal moments in my life. This was just further confirmation of what my heart was beginning to understand: Eternally, I am His Bride and He loves me deeply, wholly, and has healed every blemish and spot from my life. There is no shame or condemnation in my relationship with Jesus.

I cannot explain to you the deep joy and excitement that I felt the rest of the day. Our wedding was perfect in every way imaginable. I have never felt more happy, free, or loved than on the day of my wedding and I believe that is a small snapshot of what eternity with our King will be like.

The spots on my dress never went away and are still on my dress even now, but the Lord made good on His promise. He covered me in garments of salvation and righteousness that day. Not one person noticed the grease spots, even when I tried pointing them out. In fact, not one of them showed up in the photos (I even asked my photographer is she photoshopped the spots out and she said she had no need to, she never saw them). But the gifts didn’t stop there. The following day we had a fun dinner with Simeon’s family. At dinner, my Mother-In-Law said she had a special gift for me. I opened a tiny box to find a gold necklace with a diamond shaped heart adorned on it. I was ecstatic and told her the story of what happened the previous day. In all the excitement of the wedding I didn’t get the chance to share my experience with the spots, the worship, and Isaiah 61, but God had not forgot. Long before my mother-in-law got on a plane to come to California, God spoke to her about that necklace and told her to bring it for me, it belonged to her mother. I was speechless.

I tried to condense the story, but there is just too much goodness in there not to share. In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul exhorts husbands and wives on how to love and respect one another in the same way that Christ loves and respects the church. Specifically, verse 25-27 says this, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

This is exactly what Christ did for me and the truth resounded loudly on my wedding day. Through Christ’s sacrifice He has washed us and made us holy and blameless. We are being prepared as His Bride and He is cleansing us so that we can be radiant for Him. This is an eternal truth. There has been many, many weddings throughout time, mine included. But the biggest wedding is still on it’s way…

There will come a day that the Bridegroom will come. He is coming for His radiant bride, his cleansed and Holy church. Thankfully, through Christ’s sacrifice we can be cleansed. It is not by our works, rather our acceptance of the one who made us. I cannot wait for this day…I eagerly and excitedly anticipate the day we all become His bride..

P&P Jars!

P&P Jars!

Tonight was one of the first nights in a long time that me and Sim didn’t have any plans. So, our plan was to spend quality time together where we talked and caught up with each other on a deeper, more intentional level. Our favorite question to ask each other is, “how is your heart?” this typically brings things to the surface that we would not normally talk about. As we mused this question tonight, an idea was birthed from our conversation. That idea was P&P Jars! We have created Pray and praise jars to request and remember what the Lord has done. Tonight, we created a new family tradition where once a month we will sit down, add prayer requests, and put praises in the jars. Our goal is to do this monthly until New Year’s where we can “ring in the new year” by reading all of the entries and praising God for what He has done!

Join us!
P&P Jars are really easy to make. I simply cut up some scrap paper and added our praises and prayers from this month (and we used this time to reflect on the lat 6 months). I then folded them and put them in the jar. The Green labeled jar is for prayers and the verse inside says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil 4:6). The purple labeled jar is for praises and the inside message is, “He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.” (Ps 111:4).

So, let our prayers turn to praises Lord!

Excited to see these P&P jars be filled!

P&P Jars!

Tonight was one of the first nights in a long time that me and Sim didn’t have any plans. So, our plan was to spend quality time together where we talked and caught up with each other on a deeper, more intentional level. Our favorite question to ask each other is, “how is your heart?” this typically brings things to the surface that we would not normally talk about. As we mused this question tonight, an idea was birthed from our conversation. That idea was P&P Jars! We have created Prayer and praise jars to request and remember what the Lord has done. Tonight, we created a new family tradition where once a month we will sit down, add prayer requests, and put praises in the jars. Our goal is to do this monthly until New Year’s where we can “ring in the new year” by reading all of the entries and praising God for what He has done!

Join us!
P&P Jars are really easy to make. I simply cut up some scrap paper and added our praises and prayers from this month (and we used this time to reflect on the lat 6 months). I then folded them and put them in the jar. The Green labeled jar is for prayers and the verse inside says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil 4:6). The purple labeled jar is for praises and the inside message is, “He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.” (Ps 111:4).

So, let our prayers turn to praises Lord!

Excited to see these P&P jars be filled!

That’s not my portion.

Isaiah 58:14

“Then you will find your joy in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land

and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

Psalm 119:57

“You are my portion, O Lord;

I have promised to obey your words”

Psalm 73:26

“My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever.”

Do you ever feel exhausted? Tapped out? Done?

Maybe you have felt angered, frustrated, or confused?

How about sad, anxious, fearful, or lonely?

I would imagine that I could create an exhaustive list of “feeling” adjectives and at some point we could identify with each other, but my gut tells me that you can identify with me even though my list is small and precise.

I feel a mixture of the above feelings on a daily basis. The season I am in presents daily opportunities to partner with these feelings. Daily I have to make a choice to feel these things, or to choose something else to partner with. This afternoon I was sitting with a dear friend exposing yet another painful thought, a burdened emotion, and a troubled truth. My friend reminded me of a simple, yet freeing perspective, “that’s not my portion.”

Anger. Anxiety. Sadness. Fear. That’s not my portion.

My portion is the Lord. My portion is His freedom. My portion is His love. My portion is His peace. My portion is His JOY.

Yes, I am engaged in a daily battle. A battle that is painful, hard, and frustrating. A battle with no end in sight. BUT I get to choose what I partner with. Do I partner with anger? No, today I partner with my God-given inheritance, His joy. His forgiveness. His portion.

Thank you for the reminder, dear friend, that the Lord is my portion. And I am hungry for MORE!

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The Bride (Part 1)

The Bride (Part 1)

This is the moment that most little girls dream about, becoming the Bride. In our youth, we play games of ‘weddings’ and we imagine a beautiful dress, a beautiful veil, and a handsome prince waiting for us. For me, becoming a Bride was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had. There is more to this story, so stay tuned! This is a sneak peak……

The Bride (Part 1)

This is the moment that most little girls dream about, becoming the Bride. In our youth, we play games of ‘weddings’ and we imagine a beautiful dress, a beautiful veil, and a handsome prince waiting for us. For me, becoming a Bride was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had. There is more to this story, so stay tuned! This is a sneak peak……