American Idol

Listening to a recording of my oldest son singing this morning, I began to revisit our plan for his gift. You see, he’s really quite talented. So much in fact, that I have had many, many, people approach me and suggest that we have him audition for American Idol, or to send in a demo to The Ellen Show. As of right now, the plan is to have him finish high school, do one year of internship at our church, and then attend college. He is leading and growing under the leadership of our church’s worship leader and pastors, and he and I feel really solid about allowing God to open whatever doors He wants opened.

At the end of the day, we believe that God gave him his gift – it belongs to God to use as He sees fit.

Of course, as with any processor who values the input of others, doubts can creep in and sometimes I find it necessary to re-evaluate. Today, I spent a little time working it all out again.

I think it’s important to always be intentional with our decisions. Not always easy, but crucial to our spiritual walk, and really to our personal success in all areas of life. Oftentimes something can appear to be wisdom, or a great opportunity. In many cases, for some it is. However, we all have our own journey to travel, and it’s important to weigh our own “wisdom” with the discernment of God through the Holy Spirit.

Every life is a gift, and every moment is precious. What we do with our time and talents will determine where we go in this life. Trust God in the process – even if He never sends you to American Idol fame…

 

 

 

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Today I am fasting and praying – feel welcome to email me your prayer requests!

grow up

I wonder sometimes how long it’s going to take me to grow up. Oh, yes, I am responsible and have raised my kids for 15 years now and they’re all surviving… but there are days when I face some of the same old demons I have fought for years and I find myself so discouraged that I seem incapable of handing over these issues to God and walking away once and for all.

Walking out salvation is hard.

One of the most beautiful, and time consuming, elements of salvation (a redemptive and submissive relationship with Jesus Christ), is the process of working out our sins. A sin is anything that falls short of God’s perfect plan for us – from gossip to legalism to personal insecurities that prevent us from being the light and life that our Creator has planned for us. The trick is in remembering that it’s a process – sometimes God simply heals us and we are free, but oftentimes we walk it out, choosing faith once again every new morning.

And so while I sometimes sit down in the mire that than collect around me, making mud pies instead of reaching up, I can look up and be so grateful that my Lord is always there to help me back up. And, one day, I will grow up.

Every woman is designed to feel captivating. God created us in His image – beautiful, powerful, intelligent, creative, compassionate, strong, loving… To be seen as anything less is to be denied being loved for our very essence.

 

carry alone…

I recently had a conversation with a friend about ownership. People-pleasers and co-dependents alike can relate to the struggle with taking on another person’s offense as their own…Or choosing to blame themselves or to over-analyze their own shortcomings at the request of another. Sometimes the very thought of potentially hurting someone or ruffling feathers can send such people to a place of panic; disarming their ability to function healthfully within the context of relationships where the other is more often offended than not.

There have been several situations in my life where I have found myself apologizing for something I did or did not do, dissecting every word and intention for the sold purpose of reconciliation, with little regard to my own feelings or freedoms to simply be loved and accepted for who I am. Often there are expectations that cannot be met by myself in the current season of life that I am in, and I find myself drawn to those who are comfortable with what I can offer and are kind enough to trust my heart towards them, even when I fall short.

It’s never a healthy decision to take on feelings that don’t belong to you. While it’s true that we are all responsible to treat others with as much dignity and respect that we can, and to own our poor or misguided choices, we cannot entertain those who will be hurt or put off by actions that have nothing to do with them. Or, with those who are unable or unwilling to move past such difficulties. At that point, the burden becomes theirs and theirs alone. Forgiveness is a weight each of us must carry alone…

 

Below is a link to one of my favorite songs. Take a moment, take a listen, receive His healing…It really is a beautiful exchange. 🙂

 

11 – Beautiful Exchange

 

 

He never forgets

Most of us have heard the biblical principle that we “reap what we sow,” but it’s more often used to remind others of their sins, rather than remind us of the faithfulness of God. I can think of more times when a fellow Christian has eluded to a past mistake in reference to a season of trial or loss than times when my blessings have been an acknowledgement of the goodness of my Heavenly Father.

When I had my fourth child, I had little practical support and I felt very lonely. Friends had their own burdens and it felt as though we were on an island in the middle of a very large ocean… Ever since then, I have done all I could to bring meals and practical help to those who needed a little extra. I have found that being the solution for another person in their time of need is an antidote to my own emptiness.

The past few weeks I have been blessed and pampered beyond measure – friends who have brought my kids home from school (it’s a 20 minute drive to the high school from our house) and brought meals when I was fighting ringworm in our kitten and house, and then again when the flu hit me and knocked me down for a couple of days. The love and generosity has been staggering. I feel so blessed!

I am always amazed at God’s faithfulness – He never forgets a kind word or a sincere gesture. He asks us to be His hands and feet and teaches us we are blessed to be a blessing. There will never be lack – He will always fill us back up after we’ve poured out. In due season, God will always make sure we will reap what we’ve sown…

 

sundays…

I love Sundays. I love getting up early with a purpose, knowing that no matter how tired I am, I will be blessed to spend time with some like-minded people, getting a helpful nugget that applies to my daily life, and coming home to relax and just enjoy my little family. One of my favorite elements of church now, however, is also my children.

My three teens all volunteer – and will often jump in wherever necessary, even when not scheduled. The girls both help with kids, on the media team, and today were in the kitchen helping set out food for our volunteer team. Not only do they serve, but they do it with joyful attitudes. My oldest son, plays guitar and sings on the worship team and today got to lead. At just 13 and 15 years old, my kids already have the heart of worship and servitude. Watching that play out every week, at church, in school and at home, brings such joy to my heart…

thickening my skin…

It’s funny sometimes, knowing how and when, and what, to blog about. There are days when my thoughts would be better left unsaid, and still others when I would love to share the personal journey I am on, but refrain for fear of hurting or offending those who are teaching me my life lessons or may think it’s about them, even if it’s not. A good friend encouraged me once to simply write on whatever was on my heart, and as long as I didn’t blast the other person personally or name them, that’s what bloggers do;

Observe. Ponder. Write.

Historically,  I have offended a couple of people who felt that my posts were specifically about them, and so I’ve become hesitant. But here is the conflict with writing from a position of fear – it’s no longer authentic. The reality is that if people can relate to it, or feel an emotional response, my writing has done what it is supposed to.

No reaction is no bueno.

At the end of the day, we are all on this journey through humanity together, and as much as we often can feel isolated in our pain or struggle, most of us can relate to one or more struggles in another on a regular basis. At any given time, my own struggles, frustrations, triumphs or epiphanies could possibly also be attached to any number of people. We are all in the same boat.

So 2013 is going to be year of authenticity. And, perhaps, an opportunity to thicken my skin a little.

what you’re posting

I often wonder why people choose to present a different personification online than in person. It strikes me odd, the level of disassociation that comes with electronics – from Facebook to texting to instant messaging, many share not only things they would never dare to in person, but seem to place little value on the image they are designing for themselves.

There is no bottom-line message to this post, nor a judgement, but merely an observation I have yet to put a label on. It’s just difficult sometimes to put a finger on what motivates our popular culture these days. There seems to be little personal accountability, respect for the feelings of others, desire to protect reputation, or perceived need to truly hear where another person is coming from (in cases where a post or random statement is taken as a personal attack when there is no such intent).

Perhaps my point is simply to think. Review. Edit. Perceive and forgive. Post responsibly.