An Award? For MEE??

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As most of my readers know, I am quite involved with a christian crisis pregnancy center, New Beginnings Mercy House. Well, most of y’all should know…and if you don’t, then I must be doing something wrong.

So, anyway. I was nominated by Brenda for a Ruby award from our local Soroptimist International, and I won!

1014024_10152305449408536_1588547192_n

Sharing a small part of my testimony.

 

{So, here I am telling just a quick bit of my story and how I became who I am today. It was sort of surreal, that the keynote speaker Theresa Flores from S.O.A.P spoke at the beginning of the evening about her survival as a trafficked 15 year old girl. She spoke about her life and perceived wisdom at the age of 15, and I then stood up and shared a completely different perspective about my life and perceived wisdom at the age of 15 yrs old.}

So, I actually didn’t mention it to anyone when I first found out. Actually I didn’t announce it until the night before. I’m proud, I’m honored, I’m excited…but I’m super humble……I struggle with not wanting to be boastful. No matter how much I tell myself I’m tooting Gods horn, not my own (because I really do believe that) I still struggle with this.

But on to the exciting stuff.

With this Award, Mercy House also received a $1000 grant from the Soroptimist group! This is AWESOME!!!

A volunteer of ours has been in nursing school and also applied for a scholarship for school, and was also awarded. So, needless to say, it was a HUGE evening for us!!

Pam, Stacey, Brenda, Rikki

Pam, Stacey, Brenda, Rikki

So, yeah…it was Awesome! and in my attempt to TOOT HIS HORN, I thought I would share here!

If Your group, ministry, church, or organization would like to hear more about Mercy House, and the lives we change or to hear more of my story, please contact me here for speaking arrangements

 

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Church is sorta like Highschool

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This has been something I have really struggled with for some time now. I have been very reluctant to express my feelings & thoughts about it, because I worried so badly about how non-believers would take it.

But you know what? It’s the truth, and what kind of witness am I to God’s grace if I can’t share the truth.

Those that are that internally bitter will pick apart whatever is posted (even is its rays of sunshine) you get it!

I have many “friends”….. facebook says I have 659. I remember when I was so excited to reach a hundred ;) Like…”do I really know a hundred people?”

 

Lets talk about friendship vs. acquaintances

friend·ship~noun

  1. the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.

synonyms: relationship, close relationship, attachment, mutual attachment, bond, tie, link

vs

ac·quaint·ance~noun

1. a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend.

synonyms: contact, associate, ally, connection, colleague

 

So, you see…. real life friends….I have few. I mean, like relational friends. The ones you can hang out with on a Friday night, or call when you’re having a bad day, when you’ve totally failed at parenting, or even show up at their door after 4 months and still feel at home…those kind of friends. and not one of them, do I attend church with. Not One. My absolute bestest friend in the entire world isn’t even a christian, and yet she has taught me so much about love, forgiveness, grace and second chances than anyone I know. She is always there for me, and loves me regardless of my craziness.

I belong to a congregation of about 600-800 people and I am that kind of friend with none of them. Oh sure, we are “friendly”…we say Hi, we comment on eachothers fb statuses, we even support their small business, we probably even call ourselves friends…..but we never hang out, not individually, not as couples, not even as groups, we never have an evening of laughs, or nurture each others soul outside the four walls of The Church! I’ve tried getting closer, attending Sunday school classes, or small groups, and other church gatherings. But still no developed friendships. and it  hurts. It hurts so deeply that it has even hindered my relationship with Jesus. So I whined, I pouted, I moped, I felt sorry for myself…..and then I grew up, and got over it. Because that’s not really why I’m there!

Some might ask…..Why attend that church then, when there are so many others?… Because I feel that’s where God wants me. and I believe 110% in my pastor and his chosen staff. He isn’t just like a pastor, he’s sort of like a father figure. And along the many churches I have attended, I have never had that kind of pastor. Some are gifted preachers, some are gifted evangelists, some are gifted as administrators….but he is different, he is genuinely gifted in all those areas, and more. :)

People are cliquey, and caught up in themselves, and their busy with life, and careers, and really just don’t prioritize the importance of true friendship. Even church administration is that way! One person comes in, a friend follows…one goes out, and so does the other.

But isn’t it like that every where we go? Have you ever put in that “good word” or “gotten” your friend the job? Of course you have! We all have!! It used to be how the auto factory industry ran. Isn’t High school or the workplace the same way with certain “circles” of people. Sometimes you’re in the circle, sometimes you’re not. It’s human nature I suppose. And guess what?

Christians are Human. Church people are Human.

If church was full of perfect, sinless people, then we wouldn’t even need church!

That’s the beauty of God, and Gods grace. We can Be human, because it’s really not about Us.

So…get. over. it!

The truth is we all need church, we need that fellowship (even if it is just within those four walls) we all need solid biblical teaching, but most importantly we all need grace. Grace that only comes from Him. Grace that is extended to all who will receive it.

Now go forth and find a friend ;)

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I’m back…..{maybe}

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I’m not even sure I know where to begin. I haven’t posted in so very long….nearly a year.
We went through a very rough season. like very.
It has been somewhat humiliating, somewhat humbling, but mostly life changing.
if I carried on and on about our “season”, we would probably be here all week, or month….so maybe I’ll save that for another day. Maybe not. 
You see, that was part of my problem with this blog.  I would often get great big visions, and make great big promises….of scheduled posts, promising myself (and you) so many posts a week, etc) and I failed! Every. Single. Time!
I want SO badly for it to be successful, I want SO badly to write, I want SO badly to do the will of God (and if you’ve been here before, you know I believe His will is for me to write)
I was always so worried about the blogging “rules”
how long a blog post should be?always include an image.
Link backs.
SEO.
posting consistantly.
and on and on and on.
So no more worries about all that. no more promises of consistent posts, no more worries about how long it is or should be. If I have just one quote to share with you….darn it, I’m going to post it!
I want to write about time management, I want to write about insecurities, I want to write about how my oven is messy, I want to write about the sweet newborn baby I got to photograph the other day, I want to write about friendships….true, authentic, life fulfilling friendships, I want to write about how parenting teens has been one of the most difficult things to do in life, I want to write POSITIVE things about my husband, I want to write about how God is faithful, and all He does in my life. You get it……I don’t have a “platform” and I. Don’t. Care. 
 
but the responsibility is still mine.
To seek Him for guidance.
To pray about the next step.
To ask Him for wisdom regarding content.
 
To blog…because I know that I know He calls me to!
and finally…..To be a good steward with my time…. to be a good steward with my time!
 
Yes, I am a busy person. I work a full time job, (because bills have to be paid) I am pursuing my own business of being a photographer  (because I believe He has blessed this adventure) I am a mother, and of “challenging” boys at that. I am a wife, and I am an individual. But I waste so much time! SO. MUCH!!! 
I began feeling convicted of that a few months ago, shared with some wonderful cyber real life sisters in Christ, and everyone encouraged me that it was just lies from the enemy. 
The condemnation I felt is certainly lies he placed upon my heart…..but the reality of it is. I DO waste time. Alot of it! and I would begin to feel regretful about what I didn’t accomplish today, or last week, or all month.

 Regret is Hidden Condemnation

recently during church, our pastor was talking about that feeling of awe we sometimes get when we read Gods word, or that revelation we see. those “Ah Ha” moments of the Holy Spirit working through us, or guiding us when we are in Gods word….and I began to pout (yes, grown women pout) and whining quietly to God 
“why don’t I ever get those moments?” and just then……God spoke to me..(through my pastor)
“If you’re not reading your Bible, you’re not giving the Holy Spirit much to work with”
He was absolutely right. So many wasted hours on facebook, or pinterest, or clipping coupons, or sleeping (when I should be awake), so many. I KNOW better, I KNOW what kind of foundation it lays for your day when you begin in His word, yet I RARELY take even the 20 minutes in the morning to do so. 
 
It’s February, so lets talk about our word of the year…at first I used to refuse to choose one (because I am designed to go against the grain, yet I’m not always confident enough to do so) Then the last couple years I chose one….well, because “maybe” it was kinda neat. This year…I believe that God impressed it upon me.

Intentional

I desire to be more intentional this year. Intentional in seeking Him, Intentional in all that I do (except waste time….I shouldn’t be intentional doing that)
 
So, I’ll wrap up this for now. (because blog “rules” say 800 words is to long, and while I love breaking rules, it also causes me little anxieties) :p
So….Thank you (again) to those who stick with me, to those who continue to encourage, and continue to love me. 
Just going to take it One. Day. At. A. Time.
 
winter rose
 

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you can’t live HERE…..

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I blog…most of you that visit here know this. Sometimes I do a better job at it than others…..but regardless. Writing is an outlet for me. So, recently I have been hit with some bad news and I need to share it. I don’t normally share my blog posts, or other ramblings on my personal facebook page. I figure if they wanna read my ramblings, they can come like my writing page. Fair? Fair!
But……I am going to write this blog post with the very intention of sharing it there….well, because I posted a sappy depressing couple of statuses and people are concerned. And frankly I don’t have enough tears left to call them all up and explain it over. and over. and over again.
 
Where to start?
Some time ago my husband and I made a mutual decision regarding our housing situation. 
Work 2-3 jobs EACH to keep up with the rising mortgage payment that we could not afford, or work “normal” and enjoy our children and attempt to be decent parents raising decent children and willingly give up our Home.
We decided..together that we would attempt to gain a modification through our loan….if that didn’t work, we would trust in God and move on. Through this lengthy process I was able to take the last year off from work (a much needed year off)
The modification was never approved and so the foreclosure process went on…..and on…and on.
Until eventually we had a date to be out. Out of our home, that we willingly gave up. 
 
For the past four to six months, I have been looking for work as well as we have been looking for housing.
If you know me well, or regularly read my ramblings, then you know that going back to work was not an easy decision. I honestly don’t believe nursing is where God wants me. (but for the record; the job I have now IS nice)
I applied for many. many jobs….jobs that I felt really good about, that I thought I would be a perfect fit for. And I never got any of those jobs…. and although I have this job now, and am really beginning to like it the previous rejections still left wounds in my soul.
 
I have a deeply troubled teen. Again, I won’t go into detail..if you know me well, or read here you have an idea. and things have been especially challenging with him lately.
 
So….with the clock ticking for our mandated departure from the home we willingly gave up (yes, I purposely keep reminding myself of that) we found a house. After many searches, many finds, and many let downs…..we found a house!! A rental. But that’s ok…..better to rent than to rush into another situation that wouldn’t work for us!!!
For three weeks we have been prepping for this house. We have even been helping with the work at the new place, as it’s an old farm house and they were in the process of renovating.
It was hard…but we tried to be excited! I tried to embrace the character of the home…..Our Temporary Home. 
temporary home 1
 I snapped some pictures, even began to announce that it was “official”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I looked for little treasures within that Old Farm House….Character that would help us to enjoy our time there in our temporary home…
temporary home
Nearly three weeks went by, we worked on the home, we communicated with the owners son in person, and the owner over the phone a few times (as he was out of town) and everything seemed to be going well. I’ve even replayed voice mails over and over and over again…..
and then upon returning home, he decided that the house was being “rushed” and that he didn’t think our personalities would be a good fit.
and there it was…..”you. can’t. live. here!” (he didn’t use those exact words, but it’s exactly how I felt)
I’m not sure how you don’t take this personal. I felt rejected yet again. And a bit without hope as the timeline for us to be out of the current house doesn’t get to restart. I mean honestly….what a rotten thing to do to someone when they’re on a timeline. 
But today…..twenty four hours or more after the initial shock, I feel a little better. I feel more confident that possibly God was protecting us! Who knows what kind of “landlord” he may have been.
I know I’m good people. We have our issues just like every family…..but I guarantee you…when we find our rental, the owners won’t regret our “personalities”
And so…..with all that life throws our way, and has been really throwing our way lately…this was just the breaking point for me. I’m human, and yes I’m breakable.
I know I serve a Great. Big. God. and I know He has a plan in place that we don’t see….but honestly at this point, I’m tired…
tired of trusting, tired of seeking, tired of trying to figure out what His “plan” is….so that I can follow it. and I’m tired of being tired!
And then I feel guilty….guilty because I know people have it so much worse. Maybe they lost a loved one, or has a loved one (or even themselves)  suffering, maybe they have no shelter at all, maybe they haven’t eaten a warm meal today…..or even this week. Or even worse yet…maybe they don’t have Jesus. Maybe they can’t eventually wade through the mess of life to find a peace that surpasses all understanding in a God that loves them.
 
So there it is…..Yes I serve a great big God, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deal with great big emotions. I appreciate all the people that have been there for me. Encouraging, praying, looking for houses, helping in whatever way they can.
 
Thank you.
 

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Rest {Five Minute Friday}

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Wanna-be-writers welcome. Always. Because we all are. <–Click to Tweet this

This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

How to Join:

Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here.

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Rest…

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28
 
I’m sure that is likely the scripture that came to 70% of the 200+ ladies that link up on Five minute Friday.  But really…we only got FIVE minutes to think something up and type it out….
But….it is what it is. And the truth is:
I need Rest! 
I am tired, and I am weary.
And this home, just doesn’t feel like home anymore.
26 days we have left here. This choice we made to give back what we could not afford, and refused to sacrifice our family and work 3 jobs each to gain.
This house….it’s JUST a house. I feel as though I tell sweet husband this every single hour of every single day. Because well….he’s taking this much harder than I.
Truly, I want to be where ever God wants us. Whether here, or there!
But we’re tired…..we have twenty six days, and yet still no where to go.
No rest for the pack.
No rest for the purge.
No rest for the cleaning.
No rest for the search…..the search for a place we will call home next, even temporarily.
 
I’m tired…..
I need Rest.
 

Stop!  

Your turn….Head on over to Lisa Jo and link up!!!

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