July 29, 2013

God-sized Dreams (An Announcement)

Holley Gerth - Dreamed Up in His Heart-Wall Art



It started as a blog post. God laid words on my heart, and I laid them onto paper. Really I typed them, but that doesn't sound as romantic. But as I wrote, I realized that there was so much more to say than any one blog post could accommodate.

I prayed over this post and how I could be more concise with what I was trying to say. I prayed which singular direction I should go in when there were so many angles that needed to be covered. The answer I got was not what I expected. Answers to prayer rarely are. 

So here I sit, scared and excited all at the same time about this new adventure that God has asked me to take. It is a journey of self growth and healing. A journey that only He can take me on. And I want to share it with you!

Learn about my newest God-sized dream and how it might just bless you HERE. And if you think of it, would you pray for me and this project? 


July 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken

It's Friday! So here we are, hundreds of us, bravely writing for five minutes flat on the same prompt given by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. "No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real."


This is Five Minute Friday, where writing gets real.

This weeks prompt is: BROKEN

GO!




I read the tweet. "Please pray". 

Tears filled my eyes and my back slid down the cupboard as my body crumpled itself on the kitchen floor. I've seen this tweet, this status, this email or text. I've gotten this phone call too many times.

I guess it's one of the hazards of working with a non-profit that exists to bring the HOPE of Christ to the broken families that have suffered the death of a baby. A non-profit that I watched turn from ten brave women who blogged their way through grief into a group of hundreds. 

Hundreds of mothers with broken hearts as their arms ache with the weight of their emptiness. Hundreds of mothers who stare at empty cribs and cry out wondering why this has happened to them! 

Why did it happen to me?

Almost three years later, I may not know exactly why, but I have a much clearer picture than I did at first. That clarity has been a gift from God and every day I fight my flesh and I let God use me and my own brokenness to help bring His love and hope to others who have to walk this same road.

It is heavy on my heart and some days I am not sure that I can do it anymore. I can't read one more story or see one more post from a grieving mom crying out in pain. I can not hear of one more baby dying in his mothers womb or in his crib. 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus! 

This broken world and these broken bodies bring too much pain. And my heart! My heart is broken and I know that Yours is even more! My only HOPE is in You and Your promises! Promises to trade beauty for ashes and to wipe all of our tears away! Promises of Everlasting Life! Promises of a Paradise where all of these precious souls wait for us! The Promise of Your Glorious return! Do not delay! 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

STOP!


This week, we linked up over on Lisa Jo's Facebook.  You can read other brave posts there.

Five Minute Friday

July 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Belong

It's Friday! So here we are, hundreds of us, bravely writing for five minutes flat on the same prompt given by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. "No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real."

This is Five Minute Friday, where writing gets real.

And this week, the amazing Ann Voscamp joined us! What a treat! 

This weeks prompt is BELONG

GO!

For most of my life, I was lonely. I had friends, sure. But a part me always felt like I was on the outside. 

At some points, there wasn't even a place to be on the outside of. I was truly alone. Maybe not physically, but emotionally, mentally...

And then I prayed. And I prayed and I prayed and I prayed that God would send me people. My people. That I would BELONG somewhere. That I would find a place in this world where I felt at home. 

He answered those prayers.

He answered them in a husband who loves me unconditionally and beyond all I ever imagined. He answered me in 3 beautiful children. He answered me with friends who accept me for who I am. 

He gave me a voice to love others who feel alone. He gave me a space to Glorify Him. And through all of this, He gave me a group of unbelievable women in this community of the Five Minute Friday that blesses me daily. Women who encourage me and spur me on. Women who challenge me and stretch me. 

He answered my prayers beyond my wildest expectations. Just like He always does. Because no matter what happens in this world, I know, that it is truly in Him that I BELONG. 

STOP!



Five Minute Friday

July 17, 2013

My Prayer For Mamas



Maybe the hardest part of motherhood is feeling unappreciated. No one thanks you for laundry or lunch or dusting or staying up all night when there's nightmares or norovirus. You don't get a raise for putting in extra hours and living on call. 

Not on this earth. 

But if everyday you choose to believe that you're often unnoticed acts and the pouring of your soul into those little people is really not for you, or even them;  but instead believe that they are a form of worship, reflecting the way Jesus poured himself out for us, then it's easier to focus on the unseen. The Eternal. The reward that awaits you in Heaven. 

I pray that women will stop feeling burdened by the difficulty of motherhood and start to view every act as a way to bring glory to the Father through the way we love our children.

Dear Lord, on the hard days when it feels like no one notices all that we mamas do, and it seems we are sucked dry because it's always give and never take. On those days especially, pour into us and fill our cups to overflowing. Fill in the gaps where we are not enough, because you are more than! Jesus, help us mamas to see that this life is nothing but endless opportunities to worship you, even in the most mundane moments. Change our hearts so that everything we do, from the biggest to the smallest, from missions to making dinner, is to Your Glory. Keep our eyes on You. Amen. 

July 16, 2013

Full of Grace





I see you, mama, worn and weary. I see you bone tired and soul wrung out. I see you bleary eyed, trying to hold back tears of exhaustion.

When you're up to your eyelids and the tide threatens to pull you under and you feel invisible to the world, I see you.

I see a mama who loves 'til it hurts. I see a mama who gives every inch of herself and then more. I see 5am wake up cries and countless chicken salad sandwiches. I see mountains of laundry and sinks full of dishes and hundreds maybe thousands of boo boos kissed. I see love poured out over bowls of cereal and curled up on couches reading stories.

I see the dry bones and the tired eyes and I know that you've given all and then. You might have run short on coffee and patience. That last cry for "Mooooooom!" might have broken your spirit and now you fear that you may have broken theirs.

But mama, when I see you ashamed and discouraged, I also see you covered in Grace.

Because motherhood is hard and we are are weak. It's a marathon but every morning we have to start over and the course keeps changing and sometimes we just can't navigate. Weak and tired and at the end of your rope, the only rest that will rebuild your soul is Grace poured out for you so that you could pour grace over them. So that you could tell them of Grace and Forgiveness and then live it out with them everyday.

I see you, mama. The look in your eyes when you're flashed a toothless smile or delivered a handmade card. And it's in those moments that the impossible task of living how many more years tired and worn are captured by a love that knows no end.

I see you, mama, and so do your babes. And you are full of grace.

July 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Present

It's Friday! So here we are, hundreds of us, bravely writing for five minutes flat on the same prompt given by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. "No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real."

This is Five Minute Friday, where writing gets real.

This weeks prompt is PRESENT

GO!


So much of my day I spend busy around the house. Busy with laundry and dishes and diapers and iPhones and messes and meals. And I snap when I hear the word "Mommy" interrupt my routines and I realize that I'm so busy trying to get life done that I'm really busy letting life pass me by.

Life is what's happening while I'm busy.

She longs for me to answer her "Mommy" cries with "Yes, baby?" 

She longs for me to stop everything and give her all of me. To be present in these days that we have together. 

I long for the same. 

Jesus, help me to be less consumed with the things of this world. Less of the to-do lists and less "in a minutes". More of loving like you. More of what is right in front of me.

More of the present.

STOP!



Five Minute Friday

July 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

It's Friday! So here we are, hundreds of us, bravely writing for five minutes flat on the same prompt given by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker. "No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real."

This is Five Minute Friday, where writing gets real.

This weeks prompt is BEAUTIFUL

GO!

Her long hair, red and wavy. A few perfect little tendrils are dispersed within. Everyone always says that she is beautiful. And she is. 




She makes my heart stop with her blue eyes. Sometimes it truly takes my breath away.

But I don't like it when people tell her she is beautiful. That her hair is gorgeous and that she is such a pretty little girl. 

I want her to know that she is so much more than beautiful. She is so much more than ivory skin and ruby lips. 

I want her to know that she is a daughter of the King. She is a Heavenly Princess. She is smart and talented and loved. For who she is, not what she looks like. 

She is a beautiful soul. A beautiful mind.

She is beautiful. To HIM.

STOP!


Five Minute Friday

July 3, 2013

Destroy Me

My heart is heavy and something is stirring deep within my soul. Tears fell onto the onion skin pages of Scripture this morning as I prayed and interceded and cried out to the Living God.

A woman carrying twins knowing one has already gone to Jesus. Praying and believing that the other will make it to term. The celebration of a life colliding with the laying at rest of another. 

The girl who said "Yes!" one million times over. Who let Jesus wreck her and change her and lead her. Who dared to not just read about Jesus and believe in Jesus. She dared to be like Jesus. 

A prayer for revival. A calling out for the Spirit to rain fire down upon this earth and save the souls of many. 

The headlines. The news feeds. The wars across borders and within them. Wars fought that wound soldiers and families in far off lands and in the house next door. 

"Come quickly, Lord Jesus!" I cry as my heart bleeds and I too am wrecked by a world that needs Jesus. By my need for Jesus. 

So I fall to my knees and I beg for His Presence. For His Blood. For His Spirit to pour down. I cry out for the fire to refine me. To reshape me. Less of me. More of Him.

More like Him. 

I pray that today and every day forward I will dare to live like Him. That today and every day forward others will look at me and see Jesus leading me. Guiding me. Driving me. That others will know I am His by the way that I love. Oh, Lord! Help me to love like Jesus. 

I may never see the red dirt of Uganda, but I am a missionary in my own backyard. Our nation needs Jesus more than ever. In my home and my city and my country I can shine the Light and salt the earth beneath my feet right where I am. 

Brave and unapologetic, I cling to the cross and I shout His praises, and I pray for Jesus to destroy me. Destroy what this America has told me to dream and begin dreaming of living like Him.   {Tweet this}

And it starts in my heart. In my home. In the way that I love my children and my husband. It starts with my friends and my neighbors. It starts with my suburban street, in my city.

It starts where I am. Where you are. 

Will you dare to pray with me? Do you feel Him stirring in you?

God is moving. Will you move with Him?   {Tweet this}
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