19 years ago today, my heart's desire was met when I became a mother to a Beautiful Baby Girl! Theresa immediately blessed our lives with beauty, joy, and hope. Little did I know just how much she would teach me. With a tender heart, I reflect on the past 19 years remembering amazing good times, and tragic hard times. I am SO grateful for the gifts Theresa has blessed me with: creativity, courage, clarity, order, and such a big sister's heart! I am SO pleased with the woman she has become. I love this song, Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman, and can SO relate today!
Theresa, we love you and cherish you as a part of our family! Happy Birthday!!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
- Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
- Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
Recently, my friends at Proverbs 31 Ministries posted a blog with the title, When Your Mess Becomes Your Message. Micca focused on God's ability to heal us from addictions so that we can stand as a witness. It was moving, inspiring, and extremely touching. I am blessed to have avoided the struggle with drug and/or alcohol addictions; however, this title has stirred me to consider two important things:
- What am I addicted to that pulls me away from God?
- How awesome it is that my Father God has lovingly worked all things together for His good!
As you know, I strive to be transparent in sharing the lessons I have learned along the way, however, this process requires some trust. It is a vulnerable place to stand accountable before others in an attempt to glorify God, rather than validate behavior and choices. Jeff & I had the sweet opportunity to visit with some dear friends several weeks ago, and recount some of our amazing journey. As we began to share the choices we had made, and honestly the mess we had created, my heart softened again to the Savior, whom I believe made the ultimate sacrifice for me so that I could be redeemed from the very depths of the mess I had created. What an intimate example of love!
I can relate to the addict that has forgotten who they are as a child of the Most High. I can relate to the desperate woman bound by beliefs and behaviors that leave her feeling unworthy and worthless. I can relate to the rage of an unforgiving and burdened heart. I am certainly not proud of many decisions I have made over the past 20 years, however, I am very grateful for the gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness! I am even more grateful for the valuable perspective my mess has given me! Like David of old, it was through the very depths of my mess that I cried out and found a loving Heavenly Father that had never left me alone to fend for myself, but had already made provision for restoration. I found my Savior, Jesus Christ that selflessly paved the way for me. I found a depth of understanding that could not have come by any other means, and I found a love and peace that truly surpasses all understanding!
I know what it is to wake up in the middle of a mess and desperately want something more! I am grateful that my parents had instilled truths in me that quickly arose out of the mess of justification and rationalization to quickly point me to the only way out!! I am happy to share my journey in greater details, however, suffice it to say that I KNOW God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us; I KNOW that forgiveness is a process that brings life, love, and peace from either angle (needing forgiveness or offering it); I KNOW that healing and restoration comes when we are willing to let go!
I have learned many valuable lessons through my journey, and "Count it ALL Joy" to allow My Mess to Be My Message!! There is great power in sharing our journeys together as we uplift, encourage, and inspire one another onto the greatness instilled within us!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
- Proverbs 31:26
Proverbs 31 Ministries is hosting their annual "She Speaks" Conference in Concord, NC on July 30 - August 1, 2010. This inspiring conference is designed to support women in their passion to share the messages God has placed on our hearts. Accomplished leaders in the areas of She Speaks, She Writes, and She Leads will be on hand to encourage, inspire, and equip those that choose to make this a priority! I would LOVE to participate! It is SO my heart's desire to encourage and inspire women to live Life on Purpose and with Passion, trusting God in ALL things. I have entered a Scholarship Contest expecting favor as I counsel with those wise in this area of Spiritual gifting!!! I firmly believe that God desires us to Always Be Ready to share our faith, Speak with Wisdom, and follow the Spirit with Faithful Instruction on our tongue!!! I am excited to Make my Mess my Message and honor God by acknowledging His desire to bless us with Peace Among the Pieces!!!
Women of Proverbs 31 Ministries, THANK YOU for standing for excellence!! Thank you for offering such an amazing time of instruction and connection! May God continue to richly bless you as you continue to honor His Mighty Name!!
Friday, March 19, 2010
"For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches"
Spring begins a season of pruning, where the objective is to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants. According to the United States Department of Agriculture's guide, How to Prune Trees there are several reasons for pruning: safety, health, aesthetics, stimulating fruit production, and increasing value. I suggest that much like plants and trees, we too need a pruning season.
Reasons for Pruning