A robust faith...

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A robust faith...

ro·bust

rōˈbəst,ˈrōˌbəst/

adjective

  1. 1

    strong and healthy; vigorous.

    synonyms: strong, vigorous, sturdy, tough, powerful, solid, muscular, sinewy, rugged, hardy, 

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10 days away in the mountains of Colorado.  It was filled with amazing moments "playing"... in the snow, in my bible, in the town we are about to move to, and with people we love.  And during that time this question came up... "What does a ROBUST FAITH look like?"

Let me backtrack first and be real transparent for a minute.   I don't ever want you to think my blog is about a life that is photo ready, or picture perfect, or only full of blissful moments and none of life's struggles.  For some reason I need to say this right here... because I think that's the problem with the age we are living in.  Social media and this kind of outlet can make people believe, "Oh, this girl talks about the Lord all the time.. she must really have it all down..." or "wow, that girls Instagram is so beautiful... she must have it all together!"  Honestly, I know that's what I sometimes find myself thinking about y'all "hipster queen... bible illustrating...coffee drinking Instagramers!  lol

So if you're new to my blog or you've been here a while... I'm just an "almost 50"  year old, a wife and mother of 3 young women that loves the Lord, tries to listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, and since I don't think it's just for me... I blog.  And that can sometimes make my posts really long (like this one) and sometimes I honestly don't even remember writing them.  I even have to go back through my own posts and read them again because it's the Lord teaching me! So I DO NOT have it all together. Oh, and I have horrible writing skills.  Just keeping it real again.  I didn't fail English... but I do know if my English teacher read my blog she'd be coming after me.

But getting back to that mountain trip... while I was up in the mountains having a hard time breathing at 11,000 feet, I was thinking about some things and wanted to share them with you.  Now again, I'm pretty much speaking to myself here because I certainly am learning as I go.  But I do think that what we learn from the Lord isn't just meant to stay with us, but we are supposed to share it.  Our testimony.  We are called to give our testimony and I don't think that's just "the day we were saved testimony" but what God is doing in the day-to-day of our lives and how He is showing up and showing off His great and perfect will.

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Not only was the trip to Colorado a trip to get away and ski and have fun... it was a trip to figure out what the Lord wants us to do with the land we bought and start having those conversations with "a" home builder. So before we headed up to Breckenridge we met with the people who helped us find the land.  Now if you know anything about my hubby, then you know he's very methodical in his thinking and the general rule of thumb for him when we need something done is to get three quotes.  So we went into this meeting with this home builder not sure if they were "the ones" yet.  But in that 2 1/2 hour meeting it became evident that this WAS the company we needed to work with and I never once heard my husband say we should get a quote from anyone else.

During that long conversation with the three men sitting across from our family we learned so much.  We learned that the Lord goes before you when you are doing His will.  We learned that He brings the right people into your lives when He is directing everything.  We learned that God is calling people to this area of Colorado to bring about CHANGE and that stirring that Rebecca and I felt in August... that was REAL.  We were completely AWE STRUCK at what took place in that meeting and felt such a confirmation AGAIN that we are doing what the Lord is calling us to do.  The fact that God is orchestrating these stirrings and meetings and He is bringing the right people into our lives to accomplish His purposes... major goosebumps.  We ended that meeting in prayer and left with such JOY in knowing we are where we are supposed to be, and that wasn't the end of the story.

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That following Wednesday we needed to get back down to Denver to pick up Victoria and Dany from the airport so we decided to get in another meeting with the home builders and meet ON our land.  It was a beautiful day and we loved meeting some of our new "neighbors" a.k.a the elk and dear all around us.  We talked PLANS for the home and "Gathering Place" and were excited that the builders really "get" our land and have come up with a plan to incorporate the topography with how we would like the home and barn to be a grouping together. Another successful meeting and another great day ended in prayer with about 6 of their employees all bowed in prayer over our land.  Where do you find that kind of thing happening these days?

Then we decided to meet one last time on Saturday with the home builders to go see a home they are in the middle of building, to talk about size and spacing and get a feel for what they do.  This is where things got REAL and where we could see the enemy at work trying to make things difficult.  Because as I've mentioned before, when you are stepping into God's will... the enemy doesn't like that.  He will try to foil it, mess with it and generally cause chaos.  But what he doesn't get to do... is thwart God's plans.   Job 42:2 is one to memorize: "I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted."

AND...Lord can turn anything into GOOD.

So Saturday was a very strange day and here's what happened...

We had just finished up with the meeting at the homesite and headed over to the builders own home for lunch and a little bit more work on some plans he wanted to show us. I have to be honest here and tell you that we were a little "sticker shocked" at the cost of the home he showed us (because we don't want to be anywhere near that price point :) and while we were still having a conversation about plans and ideas, the girls and Dany went outside to ride their ATV with their oldest daughter.  All was fine and no-one was hurt... but when it was time to go we couldn't find the keys!  

It was around 1:30pm and we looked for those keys until almost 7pm!  In that timeframe of about 5 hours we had a Civil War Ball that Isabella had to get ready for, we had freezing cold weather to contend with as we drove that ATV around their land multiple times searching for those keys, we had one very upset daughter crying because she couldn't remember what she did with the keys... and overall it was pretty horrible!

BUT... 

God can redeem those moments and turn them into GOD ORDAINED APPOINTMENTS!

In those hours of searching and being at someone else's home, (while they ALL had to leave mind you) that family showed us such love and grace and patience.  They modeled Christ.  They let Lance borrow their truck to get Isabella to the hotel to shower and get ready.  They drove us multiple places to get her back and forth and get the things she needed. (her hoop skirt was stuck in our locked rental car) They brought back FOOD for us because they knew we would be hungry again.  And in those last moments of that evening together as we sat around their table... we had the most AMAZING conversation that I know with all my heart the Lord wanted us to have.

We already had such a peace about working with this company.  By the way, their company is Adamo Homes and if you ever move to Colorado and need a home built... USE THEM.  We've had so many confirmations that the Lord has given us ALL along this journey, but our God is such a loving God and wanted us to see more of His will in this!

So that conversation was beautifully ordained.  Dean was sharing with us their own story of how they came back to Colorado.  He's built homes all over the U.S. and felt the Lord calling them back to build homes for individual families.  To connect with families, to build their homes but also to impact their lives.  Then get this... He brings up THE CIRCLE MAKER by Mark Batterson!

What?

Yes, that's only my FAVORITE author and you know that already because I pretty much plug his books every blog post!  hahaha

But he then shares the story of how that book has affected their lives.  As you can imagine I'm already getting the "goosebumps" and sharing with them how much WE love that book and have done the 40 day Prayer Challenge connected with that book.  How WE feel that prayer challenge really is part of the big picture of WHY we are moving! 

And then Dean shares with us that the book prompted them to pray circles around some things in their lives... 

and then he shares that.... THEY PRAYED A CIRCLE AROUND OUR LAND!!

Yes, I'm bawling by this point and even Lance got "wet in the eyes" a little.

My whole family is in AWE of this.  Dany & Victoria, who we have been praying would feel lead to move to Colorado as well, felt amazed by this too! They are really seeing the Holy Spirit moving THEIR hearts as well. Can you believe this?  I am truly amazed at the hand of God in the every day.  That He cares enough to intertwine lives and stories and give us these "God Winks"  that just blow our minds!  There are no coincidences (like Squire Rushnell talks about in his book) and even Rebecca felt better about loosing the keys b/c it was so evident that this conversation was supposed to happen! 

The other part of the story is what we see doing together.  Dean mentioned that it was either his father or his wife's father that said a long time ago, "If the Lord is calling you somewhere for His purposes, He is usually calling the WHOLE family."  That spoke volumes to my grown kids.  There is a REASON the Lord has us on this journey and it's not just so we can have a pretty house and barn.  It's for reasons greater than us and that includes our kids, and we are SO blessed by that.

So getting back to that ROBUST FAITH...

Remember that definition I posted at the top of this long post:

ROBUST:

strong and healthy; vigorous.

synonyms: strong, vigorous, sturdy, tough, powerful, solid, muscular, sinewy, rugged, hardy...

How do we embody this STRONG faith?  

Faith that endures, that doesn't move... that doesn't shrink back at the pitfalls, side turns, road blocks the enemy likes to put in our way.  In my devotional "Live, Love, Lead" from YouVersion it talks about this and I think it's worth sharing:

"The key to your glorious future is in your faith. It is one thing to say you believe, and quite another to act on what you believe as though it is already true.

What do you do when you are praying for something and things appear unchanged or even deteriorating? That’s when you discover whether you have developed faith that refuses to quit or let go of the promises of God’s Word. To survive life’s harshest blows your faith must be robust, and resilient. The word robust means “strong and healthy; hardy and vigorous.”

Hebrews 11 begins by defining its focus: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony”(v1-2). These elders of the faith included Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Samuel, David and many others. Their “good testimony” is the legacy of faith they left, the story of how they trusted God in the midst of overwhelming ordeals and obstacles. They were not a superior species but normal men and women with fears and faults. Clearly, it wasn’t their strength that caused the victories. It was actually despite their weaknesses that God enabled them to do amazing feats: conquer kingdoms, overcome lions, quench fires, dodge swords, and win battles when overwhelmingly outnumbered (Heb. 11:33–34). That is definitely courageous faith!

The Bible frequently talks about a “fight” of faith. Romans 8:37 calls us “more than conquerors”, and if so then we know that we will face mountains and battles that we must conquer. How can we be overcomers if there is nothing to overcome? If life had no hurdles or challenges, faith would have no purpose. It is easy to have faith when everything is going well, but courageous and robust faith is forged only through testing.

There will be times when you will need to have courageous and robust faith. No doubt, you will have opportunities to exercise the courage to share your faith, to do the right thing, to live well, lead well and love well in the face of challenges, and hold firm to God’s promises.

Prayer: Lord, I won’t be dismayed when challenges come. The Word of God says that my faith will be refined by the fire and Your strength is made perfect in my weakness."

That's GOOD, right?!

I was inspired to Bible Journal this and found it quite interesting that it's on the same page the Lord revealed to me very early on about the "Gathering Place" he has planned for us in Colorado.  He lead me to Hebrews 10: 22-25 where it talks about not neglecting to "gather" people together.

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And I know that it's part of our journey that we WILL need a robust faith for this.  I've said it before on here but it's true... this whole stirring to move to Colorado is SO MUCH BIGGER than us.  It will take more than us, it will take more people than us, and it will take supernatural intervention to complete it.  We don't know that we have the funds for all of this and it may take time or "phases" to complete it... but overall it will be for the LORD to direct and make possible... AND He will get ALL the glory for it!  

Now in that process it may look a little messy, it will NOT be perfect, we will have frustration and hardships ... and we WILL be stretched.  I'm not crazy about my "word for the year" and it's not something that I want to dwell on, but it's a word that I feel the Lord spoke to me and in that, He gave me this verse below: 

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2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

So there it is...  

No one wants to be STRETCHED... to feel week or to have hardships, persecution, etc.  But it's where GOD SHOWS UP and shows us His power.  It's where we get that ROBUST faith.  Like the devotional said above: "Romans 8:37 calls us “more than conquerors”, and if so then we know that we will face mountains and battles that we must conquer. How can we be overcomers if there is nothing to overcome? If life had no hurdles or challenges, faith would have no purpose. It is easy to have faith when everything is going well, but courageous and robust faith is forged only through testing."

So I choose to TRUST.

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...and be ROOTED in Him.

It says in Jeremiah 17:7-8:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

I looked out at one of the most beautiful views at my Uncle's house in Breckenridge and quickly sketched these trees in my Bible.  Don't you love how the light is shining right on the word ROOTED!

Don't we want to have DEEP roots in the Word of God?  A faith that refuses to quit?!  I want to persevere when things get tough... I know we ALL do.  I also know it's not easy, but God does give us His recipe for success.

Dig Deep... be rooted in Him.  Whatever that looks like for you... do it.  For me it's about starting my day in devotional time, talking to Him throughout the day, praying on my knees, bible journaling.  As much as I can, if I have these things in my day, I AM rooted in Him.

Trust... It's where it's at folks.  Like my favorite verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) we can't know the end from the beginning but we can TRUST the ONE who does!  We don't always understand, and that's hard.  It may look like a mess in the middle and certainly not Instagram worthy... but if we LOVE God and TRUST God... He will work it out for GOOD.

Persevere... because it's worth it.  It's worth working hard, praying hard and living THAT kind of life.  

The Lord God has SO much more for you than you can imagine!  Not riches, not a big fat pay check... but MORE LIFE.  More to do.  More to show His crazy love and faithfulness... in YOUR life and through YOUR life.

So let Him show you.

I am in awe of the story He is writing in our lives.  We didn't have any idea 5 months ago that this was even a story He was planning to write.  But we opened ourselves us to HIS stirring, opened ourselves up to being used for His purposes... and that's when He said "Alright people... are your ready for this... because I have things for you to do!"

And it is SO evident He has gone before us, WAY before us, and prepared the way with many little blessings along the path.  One of those blessings is this family below.  The Olivers are a beautifully open family that has such a gift of loving on people.  We have been blessed by that gift over and over and I know others have as well.  They prepared a beautiful meal for us this night in Jeanne's Living Studio and we enjoyed another great night with them... and they finally got to meet Dany!

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We are so grateful for the people the Lord is putting in our path on this journey.  So many people.  We are so encouraged by that and in awe of the way He is building a community through that.

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We sure would love any prayers you want to pray for this land and what the Lord wants with it.  We don't know exactly what God is calling us to do, other than to "Gather people" at the table.  (So I guess my cooking skills will be enlarged, lol) But we know we want YOU to be there, to come and gather and be a part of what God is doing, and we can't WAIT until we have a place for that to happen!

Hugs to all,

Laura

Sorry for another long post... I wish I could condense what I feel the Lord has put on my heart, but sometimes it just flows out and this is what happens.  I've had two cups of coffee for this one so I won't blame you if you've stayed through the end and need that second cup to keep you going! 

If you want to follow along on this new journey for us, I started a new IG account:  acoloradogathering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love, Tuesday...

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Love, Tuesday...

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Well, we are back from our time in Colorado and WOW... was that a time of total confirmation that we are supposed to be moving there!!

I want to share the whole story, but I need time to write it all out and share the amazing things that happened while we were there.

So for today I just wanted to come on here and say THANK YOU for coming to my blog.  As a blogger you sometimes feel all alone, writing to a screen.  So I am amazed when I hear someone share that they read my blog or remember something I said or email me that they saw one of my Bible Journaling pages on Pinterest and were happy to find out it was me.  That blows my mind and is what motivates me to pray over these blog posts and ask the Holy Spirit to speak through me and use me for His purposes.  So thank you for letting me be a little part of your life.

 2018 is going to be a year of God STRETCHING us... (my word for the year... oh fun, right!?! ;) 

I've already felt stretched in just the last 15 days of 2018, and today even more as I was interviewed via video conference for a lady's blog that will be LIVE on Valentines Day next month! I'll share more details and links to that as it gets closer, but that's crazy stuff I definitely have been nervous about doing, and wouldn't you know I already have another one coming up soon!  I knew that God had been preparing me for these kinds of things in my devotional time last year, but I'm already realizing He's telling me "it's time" now.  Time to share my testimony, time to share what He is doing and time to give Him all the glory!  

So I hope you will stick around during this "stretching" time as it may look a little messy...

Rebecca and I have had some talks about what that looks like for our retreats, for this website and for us just getting out there and doing what the Lord is calling us to do.  So we will be changing some things on this website, changing the business name, adding some fun custom things in an online SHOP and hopefully sharing our new adventure with you as we all move to Colorado!  It will be a REAL life journey, (the good and the not so good) it will be laden with many spelling errors (unless I get her to write the blog posts...lol) and it will be LIFE.

Love you all and check back in a couple days for a "come sit away with a cup of coffee" post. :)

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Here's to a New Year...

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Looking back with thanks... and looking forward with hope.

That was the message at church on Sunday and is so exactly my feelings as we close out the past year. Looking back on 2017, I am truly thankful. Thankful for every feeling felt, every joy experienced and every hardship endured.  I am thankful for the Lord stirring my heart to lean in and listen to Him more and the world less. I am thankful for each person He brought into my life this year and the friendships He has deepened.  I am thankful for each person the Lord has prompted to come to our retreats that we get to love on and share such a beautiful experience with. So very thankful for it all.

I look forward to 2018 with hope because I know that true HOPE is in Jesus and He will never fail us. I look forward to 2018 as a year that is going to stretch me(and my family) in new ways that will not be easy.  But I know the Lord is directing it all and will be there every step,  and in every day. This past year we heard friends telling us they prayed such BIG prayers that they knew only God could do them... and we thank God for those bold examples of faith that lead us to do the same.  

The pastor ended his sermon today with this:
“You won’t be who God wants you to be without being stretched.”  

I think that may be my #onlittleword for 2018.  

So as we end 2017, my prayer is we all grow to love God completely, to love people authentically, and we learn to lean in closer to hear His loving voice calling us to Him.

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Love you ALL!

Here’s to 2018!! ❤️

Psalm 126:3 “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.”

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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Before the next two days get filled up with lots of food, family and fellowship, I wanted to say Merry Christmas and let you know how very thankful I am for all of you!!  I know you have many choices on where you can spend your time on the Internet, and the fact that you choose to come here and read my blog, or sign up for a retreat or simply say Hi and connect here... that means SO much to me!  So THANK YOU!

I hope you feel the presence of Christ in your life and know how much He wants to be a part of each and every day, not just at Christmas.  I found this beautiful poem that speaks to this and I wanted to share it here:

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Here are a few pictures of us and our extended family from Italy at the beach.  We love when we get the time to be together and with so many changes next year... I will treasure every moment we have together as a family right now.

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We don't get photos taken very often with the whole family and I'm so glad we did here at the beach since we won't be living by the beach much longer.

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Here we are with Dany's parents and his brother and sister-in-law and their new baby June!

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Love this man...

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No, Rebecca did not have a baby... hahaha  This is baby June and she LOVES Rebecca!

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Littlest isn't so little anymore... and she wants to cut her hair off!

Well, I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings as we start a New Year!  We will be taking some time off to spend with our family, to plan for our move to Colorado and to get ready for a new vision for our website and faith based retreats!

Hugs to all,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday... Dreams of a Fresh Start

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Love, Tuesday... Dreams of a Fresh Start

As we lead up to Christmas NEXT Monday, my mind has started focusing on a "fresh start" as we head towards the New Year.  This brings all kinds of thoughts and feelings and resolutions... so I want to talk about all of that today.  I think it's GOOD to think about the New Year coming and what that means: 

What things have we done this year that maybe we'd like to do differently in 2018?  

What goals would we like to accomplish in 2018?

What fears & anxieties do we have that we'd like to let go of in 2018?

These are all questions to embrace as you start a New Year, and there are many more I'm sure...

BUT... I would like you to think of a new way to focus on all of these questions/resolutions as you enter a new chapter/year in your life.

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This December I have been reading one chapter in Matthew each day and it's been eye opening.  I talked about what I learned in Matthew 8 last time on the blog and it's all about having BIG FAITH.  How do we stop having "little faith" and step into the BIG FAITH that our Lord wants us to experience??

And how do we carry this through to have a New Beginning.. a Fresh Start... 

FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!  

Not just New Year's Resolutions for 2018 that we stop two days later... .  No-one really keeps their New Year's Resolutions anyways.  There may be a few that do... but do you... I know never did.  I gave up on that years ago and here's why... because they aren't "backed"  by the power of the Holy Spirit.  They don't have staying power because they don't come from a place of prayer and worship and FAITH.

So let's talk about New Beginnings... and Dreams for the future... from God!

Isaiah 43:18-19 says: "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing."

The ONLY place "All Things Are Possible" is with God.  

Read that again...

If you want to CHANGE.  If you want to START FRESH.  If you want to DREAM new DREAMS... Go to the source of all that is POSSIBLE!

God is the God of giving people a fresh start.  

"Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3

Revelations 21:5 "And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

We are sending out our Christmas cards and packages today... I know a bit late... but the note we wrote on the back of our card just reminded me of the new chapter we are about to begin in our lives. It's exciting and a fresh start for sure!  But there is this part of me that is trying to take it all in and see what the Lord is doing here, because it's all been such a HUGE whirlwind of change.

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At the beginning of this year Lance and I decided to do a Prayer Challenge from the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  That guy... he really got things worked up in our home this past year! hahaha  But I really believe in the power of prayer and seeking after the Lord because that's where the Genesis of all of this started!  I truly believe that if we hadn't done that 40 day challenge we would not be where we are today.  And as I am reading Whisper by Mark Batterson right now it has challenged me even deeper.  To hear the voice of God is what we ALL want!  To see His hand in our lives is crazy inspiring, right?!  The stories of God moving through ALL generations... YES EVEN TODAY... is so incredible that I can't stop believing that He is doing GREAT things RIGHT NOW!  Such great things all around the World... and in our own homes and lives.

The chapter I read yesterday in Whisper was on one of the "love languages" that the Lord speaks to us:  

DREAMS.

"There is no dialect that God speaks more fluently or frequently in Scripture.  Whether it's dreams by night or dreams by day, God is the Dream Giver."  Mark Batterson.

If you ask me what are some of the most vivid dreams I've had in my life, I will not be able to tell you.  I don't remember dreams.  I almost feel like I don't HAVE dreams.  Oh I day dream like CRAZY... too much actually... but night dreams I don't remember.  But lately... I've been having dreams and waking up remembering them!  

And last night was one of those nights.  But I need to give you some back story...

In the book Whisper in the chapter about dreams, Mark talks about a friend, Kurtis Parks, who told him about his long-standing habit of asking God to speak to him through his dreams.  It's a great story and just another powerful testimony how the God of the Universe CARES about us, is AWARE of our fears, and desires, and hopes and dreams... and wants to speak to us.  I LOVE THAT.  

So last night in my prayers before bed... I asked the Lord to speak to me in a dream. 

And He did!

I don't know why I'm so surprised? I went to bed not really thinking about it, not even excited about it... just went to sleep and woke up... REMEMBERING MY DREAM!  

Now if and when I do have dreams and wake up, they are forgotten in about 2.5 seconds.  Today I woke up, remembered my dream and realized that the Lord God Almighty spoke to me last night and it is BLOWING MY MIND!  It was about my dreams for this business/ministry that Rebecca and I are a part of and what that is supposed to look like.  I've had so many doubts and concerns about what we are supposed to do going forward and how this little dream of mine is supposed to be a ministry that touches lives all over the world, and God just blew that fear out of the WATER!  

I will share more about that dream later and what it all means... but guess what Chapter in Matthew I read this morning... Chapter 14!  The chapter where Jesus walks on WATER.  Where Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water and when he gets scared and starts sinking...  But Jesus says to him:

"Take heart, it is I.  Do not be afraid."

WOW.  That was just another confirmation. So I am going to go forward in BIG FAITH and I wrote my dream down in my journal and need to have a good long meeting with my business partner/daughter... which will involve lots of coffee... and we will see where the Lord is directing us! And then we will share the next chapter with all of you!

But before I go today, I want to leave you with the last paragraph in chapter 8 of Whisper:

"The goal of going after a God-given dream isn't just accomplishing it.  In fact, accomplishing the dream is of secondary importance.  The primary goal is who you become in the process.  Big dreams make big people because we have to trust a big God.  Nothing keeps up on our knees like God-sized dreams.  They force us to live in raw dependence upon God.  Without Him, the dream cannot be realized.  God-sized drams force us to lean in a little closer, and that's when God has us right where He wants us."

That is so TRUE people.  He has GOD-sized dreams for EACH. ONE. OF. US.  I've said it before and I will keep saying it.  I know that in my own life the dream He has given us to move to Colorado WILL BE bigger than us.  It will take MORE than we have.  It will ONLY be possible with GOD.  That's scary and exciting...  and it's how He shows the world what a GREAT GOD He is.

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I challenge you to pray a prayer today to ask the Lord to show you His DREAMS for your life!  Don't bother with New Year's resolutions or self help books.  Go to the SOURCE.  

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God wants to do a NEW THING in your life... will you let Him?

Have a BLESSED Tuesday!

Hugs,

Laura

 

 

 

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BIG or little...

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BIG or little...

I don't know about you, but this is a question I wonder about.  

BIG or little FAITH...

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Do we have BIG FAITH??

This December I'm reading a chapter a day in Matthew.  There's 28 chapters so why not take one chapter a day and study the life of Jesus.  Well, I'm telling you that each day there is something that jumps out at me and speaks volumes!  That's what happened a few days ago in Chapter 8.  This is where Jesus calms the storm... 

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Oh man... verse 26!  "He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"

That kicked me in the gut.  WHY ARE YOU SO AFRAID!?!  and then I realized why...

I don't have BIG FAITH, I have little faith!  Oh I would like to have BIG faith... sometimes I think I do...

But if I'm honest with myself, this is an area that I am learning that I have so much to grow in.  Anyone else feel the same way?  I bring things to the Lord in prayer, I worship and praise Him, I know He is a BIG GOD that can do anything and I absolutely know that I have faith in His unfailing LOVE for us!  I have no doubt about how much He loves us and wants to care for us.  But the part where we need to let go of the worry... the "why are you so afraid" part.  That I need help with and I think a lot of us do.

"Cast all your cares on me"  1 Peter 5:7

"Hide in the shadow of my wings"  Psalm 91:4

"Rest in my peace" Matthew 11:28

"I will restore your soul" Psalm 23:3

I love and believe every one of these scriptures! (paraphrased above)

So why is it that when we worry and DO bring our cares to the Lord in prayer, we tend to get up from our prayers and not even 5 minutes later we find ourselves going back to thinking/worrying about them!  Does anyone else do this?  It's SO stupid, but I find myself praying and crying out to God and feeling HIS PEACE... and then minutes later I find myself thinking/worrying about it STILL!  I actually catch myself doing this and it's so frustrating.  

Part of it I think is the enemy wanting to keep us from that BIG FAITH.  He knows our weaknesses and preys on those areas.  

Part of it is also not truly having complete faith and trust in the Lord to work things out... (and here's where I think the key is):  the way WE want things to work out.  

That's kind of a lightbulb moment for me right here.  

I think in my own life I have to admit that it could be my lack of trust in GOD's WILL.  Part of our worry is (or at least I guess mine is...) we want things to work out a CERTAIN way.  So we worry when it doesn't look like it's going to... and it's more about our selfish desires then saying:

THY. WILL. BE. DONE.

 

Not MY will, but YOUR will LORD.

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The definition of faith according to Webster's Dictionary is:

FAITH = complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Well then it looks like I lack COMPLETE TRUST.  That's a hard pill to swallow, but I'm just trying to be honest here.

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So how do we combat that or work on that, and INCREASE our FAITH??

How do we have BIG faith?  Faith that moves mountains... Faith that stands STRONG in the storms of life?

Now remember Jesus said even faith as small as a MUSTARD seed can move mountains...

"Truly I tell you," Jesus replied, "if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen." Matthew 21:21

So even LITTLE faith can do BIG things! I don't want you to go away from here all sad and depressed that you have little faith.  Hey... YOU HAVE FAITH!!  That's a good thing, because little mustard seed faith can MOVE MOUNTAINS!  For me it's more about wanting to get in line with God's Will and STOP. THE. WORRY.  How do I trust completely and KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that He will work things out and it will be GOOD.  No matter what, no matter how far removed from my own will it is, it will be GOOD and HIS BEST for the situation.

I want to tell you a story of someone I know who has BIG faith.  Her name is Jolene DeHeer and she is someone I thank GOD for.  She is a woman who LOVES the Lord and has spent her life making sure everyone who she is put in front of KNOWS that God loves them ABUNDANTLY.  She is a gifted speaker, an author and has a heart for middle school kids like no-one I've ever seen.  My daughters have been blessed to get to know this lady through the SERVE project at my brother's church in Michigan.  Jolene has quite the life story and and if you ever get a chance to hear it, it's powerful because this woman has BIG FAITH! But she didn't always have that.  She loves to tell stories of people who have shown BIG FAITH and there's one story in particular that I want to share with you... because I think hearing these stories also increases OUR faith.

She told a story years back to a junior high group my oldest daughter was in.  I'll never forget this story and I've shared it so many times over the years and I know it's impacted others as well. This is paraphrased but here's the story:

Her friend was on a road trip and stopped at a gas station.  She then proceeded to drive onto her destination but felt the Lord telling her to turn around and go back.  But she didn't.  The feeling started getting stronger, yet she was getting farther away from that gas station!  Finally, after TWO HOURS of driving she figured she better listen and obey and so she turned around.  After driving TWO HOURS back in the wrong direction she got to the gas station and asked the Lord "Ok, now what??  What am I supposed to do"... She felt the Lord tell her to go inside and do a HAND STAND in front of the chips or pop aisle (I don't remember which one it was) and she thought that WAS CRAZY!  I don't think she was young and fit so I think she probably sat in the car and argued with the Lord a bit before she got out and went inside.  But she did... and she did the hand stand.  There was no-one inside except the worker and when he saw her do this HE. LOST. IT.  He asked her why she did a handstand and she said the Lord told her to!  He told her that he was going to KILL himself that night and the one thing he said was "God, if you are REAL then send someone to do a handstand in front of the chips!"

Now THAT is a story of BIG FAITH.  

That woman could have kept on driving and gone about her life never knowing what God was wanting to do through her.  He may have been putting that on other peoples hearts as well that day, but she was the only one who LISTENED and finally said "OK... I'm going to turn around because I TRUST that you Lord have a reason and You will show me."

Do we have BIG faith like that?  Faith that is so in tune with the Lord and HIS WILL that we trust Him and are willing to look TOTALLY FOOLISH... for HIS purposes!  But look at the outcome.  Those kinds of stories are amazing testimonies to share what God wants to do through us!

I want to have that kind of BIG, BOLD FAITH.  Don't you?

Here's where I took some time yesterday to come up with kind of a "to do" list to increase our FAITH.  I'm not a theologian and I'm sure there are many great pastors that have preached on this subject, but I've narrowed it down to a few important things I think would help us all have that BIG faith...

#1. Give God Your Time

I know time is precious.  But without time spent in the Word and in prayer, what will be the focus of our lives?  Probably not the right things... and trusting Him and having faith in His plan will probably not increase.  When our minds are set on Him,  when the focus of our day is on Him, He can re-focus us to HIS WILL... which is ALWAYS better than our own!  Why do we not see this more clearly??  Taking the time to focus our hearts and minds on Him daily will put life into the right perspective.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and has greater PLANS than we can ever dream up!   

"He's GOT THIS"  

I've heard Him speak this to me in my own prayer time!  The CREATOR of the Universe wants to speak to us.  To quiet our worry, to show us His love and to work His will out in our lives!  When you're giving God your time and taking the time to LISTEN... He will answer.  But we have to take the time.  (I guess I need a post it note on my forehead to remind myself of this.)  The book "Whisper" by Mark Batterson is helping me see this and I am thankful for that. 

 Giving God MORE time = Less time to worry!

#2. Give God Your Money

This is the area where God says to TEST HIM.  He increases our FAITH in this area.  It's like God's dare... He's saying "Test me in this!  We have all kinds of reasons why we may not see this as an important aspect of faith... but it is.  We may be scared to test this one out because it's "up front" faith.  We can't test this one out without putting ourselves out on the line first.  And it involves money.  I know how hard that is to part with, especially when you don't have a lot.  I could tell you stories of times when Lance and I had only $20 a week to spend.  When we had debt up to our eyeballs.  When we had bills to pay and not enough money in the bank.  But I will 100% tell you that the Lord ALWAYS provided.  In amazing ways and in ways that showed me that I needed to stop worrying and TRUST that He would always provide.  

I married an entrepreneur who wanted to start a new business when we were 10 months pregnant with Victoria and we knew that I was going to stay home after we had her.  It took me a lot of years to let go on my worry in this area!  As I type this I realize this is an area that He's going to stretch me again.  We know He is calling us to Colorado and has given us something to do in this next stage of our lives that WILL be bigger than us.  It's not going to be easy and it's one of the areas where that worry creeps in.  I pray that I will remember (and TRUST and HAVE FAITH...) that He's always provided for us, that where He guides, He provides and ultimately it's about His will and His great purposes in our lives.

So give God your money.  Test Him on this one and see how He increases your faith.

"Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need." Malachi 3:10

#3. Give God Your Future

I talked about this last Friday in my "What brings you JOY" post.  I truly believe that God has GREAT plans for each and every one of us! That He wants to use the gifts and talents He has given us to show His power and love to this world. So we should be asking Him... What do you want me to do?  We all have dreams... but are we giving those dreams TO GOD?  Are we asking Him how we can please Him with the gifts and abilities He has given us?  He has a much better future for us than we can dream up on our own.  So why-oh-why do we worry about it so much!  Believe me as I'm typing this I realize I'm in need of all of this advice I'm dishing out!  We are ALL a work in progress and that's totally O.K!  Earlier this year I sat in my backyard and said to God "USE ME" and those are SCARY WORDS.  (I'm actually just remembering this right now) But looking back on that day, when I was in tears saying those words, I KNOW that since that day He HAS been working on me and changing me. 

Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

We are all a work in progress.  But as we work on giving Him our time, money and future He is increasing our faith.

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I want to leave you with a prayer that I hope you will pray and know that the Lord will hear it and bless it:

Lord Jesus, please increase my faith.  Help me to depend on You and trust You more.  Help me to give you my time, money and future.  Help me to read Your Word and listen to Your still small voice.  Show me your will for my life and help me to obey You.  Thank you for making the winds and waves stand still.  Help me to have BIG, BOLD FAITH. I pray for your peace that passes all understanding to come upon me and calm my worried heart.  Thank you for your love and help me to rest in You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

I hope this post speaks to your heart and encourages you to go for the BIG, BOLD kind of FAITH.  Know that God loves you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE and is encouraging you to step out in faith because "He's got this."

That should give us all PEACE from the worry!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

Let's all trust our lives in His very capable hands. 

Hugs,

Laura

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Love, Tuesday...  Creative Friends.

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Love, Tuesday... Creative Friends.

This weeks Love, Tuesday will be the last "Creative Friends" post until after the New Year.  (How is it possible that we are SO close to being in 2018?!) But I wanted to add one more... because it's my DAUGHTER Victoria!

This girl has become a blogger herself and has a new blog that I think is just beautiful.

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She got married almost exactly a year ago to the love of her life, Dany Ferrara.  It's been a blessing to watch these two grow in their love as a married couple.  They both work at the Bible College and love helping and serving in ministry.  Victoria has always been in love with all things beauty and fashion.  That is where HER creative outlet is.  It's so beautiful to watch how she sees faces as a canvas and has a passion to help girls and women feel good about themselves.  She does makeup and hair for weddings and photo shoots and she is so GOOD.  

Victoria has combined all her loves into a lifestyle blog.  She blogs about her faith, beauty, fashion and travel.  She loves to travel and of course being married to an Italian I think she may LIVE in Italy at some point in her life.  I guess all those trips as a kid gave her the bug to travel!

This month on her blog she is doing a 25 days of "Blogmas" with all kinds of ideas for Christmas.  She's got great tips if you don't know what to get the loved ones in your life.  And I love that she blogged about our Christmas traditions, that definitely made me melt...  

I'm so proud of her and would love it if you checked out her website at victoriaferrara.blog

She also has an IG account and you can follow her here.

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She's had an eye for photography for many years and has some fun ideas coming up in the next year! 

It's so refreshing to see someone be so open and honest about things that may be hard to talk about.  That fact that it's my daughter and she shares her stories and her faith in such a beautiful way blesses this momma's heart so much. 

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So go check out her blog and IG and say HI!

Have a GREAT Tuesday,

Laura

 

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Art Journal Video...

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Art Journal Video...

I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday!  Here's some photos and a little video as some of you have asked me to do.  Beware... I'm NOT experienced in this age of technology so it's a VERY amateur video. ;)

Art Documented Art Journal:

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This time of year I'm usually teaching a "December Daily" class or making one for myself.  I love the concept that was created by Ali Edwards years ago and I have many December Daily albums filled with great Christmas memories.  I love recording our memories and am thankful I took the time to write down our "history" for our kids and grandkids to look at years from now.  The time I have to do this is so limited now that I haven't really had the chance to keep up with it and then I feel bad that I have half finished albums...

So what I HAVE fallen in love with over the last couple years is the Traveler's Notebook idea.  That has become where I record my thoughts, document our trips and journal my devotional time.  Here's one that I made before Rebecca and I went to Paris this past Spring:

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Inside the Traveler's Notebook are these blank booklets that you write in and when you're done with one you can add another or take that one out and add another.  I love the idea of this because then I'm just storing these small notebooks instead of making a new album each time. This one I collaged a bunch on vintage and mixed-media papers so I could write, draw, paint and add photos.  I'll try to post pictures of some of the finished pages next week.

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I've also become passionate about Bible Journaling!  So I do spend time painting in my bible and I found this little travel bible (by Zondervan but it's out of print) that I take with me on trips as well.  I love that it's blank on one side and I can paint or journal very easily when I'm on a trip with just this Traveler's Notebook and my Bible.

But getting back to the Art Document Journal...

This art journal is 6x12 and maybe a little bigger than what I normally take on the go, but it will be my art journal for the while and I LOVE that it's just a hodgepodge of random things I want to create art on.  When I go on trips I'll pack this, my bible, my Traveler's Notebook and some art supplies all in a tote bag and I'm good to go!

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Here's a look into the random pages inside.

And here's a little video on how I made it.  Please realize I DO. NOT. DO. VIDEOS.... I really don't.  I hate my recorded voice and I'm such an amateur it's ridiculous...

But so many people asked me about this journal, so here goes:

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs,

Laura

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What brings you joy...

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What brings you joy...

Have you ever thought that the things that bring YOU joy, are actually the things that the Lord has given you the DESIRE for?

Right now I am enjoying classical music while I write this blog post.  Tonight I'm alone in the house filled with the scent of Christmas and twinkling lights and all is quiet.  I LOVE my family, but this right now brings me JOY... and it's what I needed at this moment.  The Lord knows our hearts and believe it or not, He wants to bring us joy.

I want you to go back in time and think about the things that brought you JOY as you were growing up.  Well, maybe you still are young... but for me at almost 50 it's hard to think back and really remember what I LOVED waaaaaay back in those "olden days" you know... the 1970's. (hahaha) But I do remember one.

I'm not talking about what games you played or the kids you hung out with.  What were you GOOD at?  What INTERESTED you?  I want to ask you another question.  Do those things that you loved to do as you were growing up still bring you joy? Or did they get lost in "REAL" life.  

I'm going to argue in this blog post that those things that brought you JOY were God-given desires, put there by God for a REASON.

Remember when we were kids and we had DREAMS.  All sorts of dreams, right?  When the astronaut came to school, we dreamed about going to space.  When we watched the olympics we dreamed about being a famous tennis player that would travel the world.  Some were definitely fantasy, but some were actually dreams we REALLY wanted.  I wanted to SING.  I wanted to be a Christian artist like Amy Grant! I sang every chance I could get and it brought me total joy.  Did I pursue it... NO.  You want to know why?  (I'm revealing secrets here... but the truth is two-fold.)  There was a girl at my church that was an AMAZING singer and I didn't think I was that good.  So, when a vocal group came to church to hold try outs, I chickened out.  That girl was trying out so why bother... is what I told myself.  Oh if I could have talked to my younger self and told her to pursue those God given desires and just GO FOR IT!  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my life and I'm so blessed to be right where I am in life.  But it makes me wonder how many other people are passionate about something and yet don't think they can go after it because they... well fill in the blank... I'm sure there's so many reasons why people don't go after their DREAMS.

But how do we get past the fear and doubt to hear the Lord speak LIFE into our dreams? 

I think it's in LISTENING.  This last year or two as my faith has deepened and as I have spent more time in His Word, I have learned to "be still" and listen.

I've being learning to LISTEN to God's voice. 

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Proverbs 12:15 says: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man LISTENS to advice.

We all know it's wise to listen to advice.  We talk to friends, family, etc... when we need help.  We seek council and talk and talk and talk to everyone who will listen to us go on about our situation.  But are we seeking council and LISTENING to the One who loves us the most and is THE most important one to hear from?

The number one way to hear God's voice is through His Word.  He speaks to us through His Word and that should always be our starting point.

"If you want to hear the heart of God, silence is KEY.  If you want the Spirit of God to fill you, be still."  Mark Batterson, in his new book "Whisper" talks about the power of the WHISPER of God.  

How AWESOME is that... that God wants to speak to US!  That He speaks to us through divine appointments and in His divine (a.k.a. perfect) timing.  That God is preparing us... God is ordering our footsteps... God is working ALL THINGS together for good for those who love Him.  Think about that for a minute. How exciting is that to ponder?  I know in my own life how REAL this is.  It still blows my mind that He ordered our steps to go on a crazy road trip from California to Michigan... so that He could stir our hearts in COLORADO!  

But that's REAL and that's pretty incredible that the God who CREATED the heavens and the earth wants to speak to us.

THINK about that...

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Colossians 3:2 says: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Yes, the Lord knows we have things to do... every day we have "earthly things" to think about.  But what He's talking about here is getting us to a place in our lives where we THINK FIRST about what the Lord wants to say to us... what the voice of God wants to tell us.  Because God wants to speak to YOU.  And He has ways in which He does that.

In "Whisper" Mark Batterson talks about the 7 "love languages" that God speaks to us through.  (Here's where I plug another Mark Batterson book... yes, next time I promise to read a book by someone else...)  But his new book is so relevant to my life right now and I would bet it would be for you too.  

Today I want to focus on just one of those "love languages" that Mark says God speaks to us through.

This love language is called:  

DESIRES

Yes, you heard that right... 

"Take Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the DESIRES of your heart." Psalm 37:4

And according to C.S. Lewis he thinks "Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak."

Now don't get me wrong... there are the wrong kinds of desires and I think we all know what those are.  I'm talking about the God given desires that HE put in us.  

God DELIGHTS.

Did you know the first emotion in the book of Genesis is God stepping back from His Creation and taking DELIGHT in it?  In His handiwork!  He delights in what He does so why would He want anything less for us?  Don't you think He would want us to take JOY in what we do for our lives as well?

There's a story in Chapter 6 of "Whisper" that just got to me and I want to share it with you.

I'm paraphrasing but here goes...

In the 1930's this mom takes her daughter to the doctor because she's worried her daughter has a problem b/c she will never sit still.  Now days that would be considered ADHD, but back then the doctor took a look at her daughter and then made the most remarkable discovery.  He put the daughter in a room with a radio,  and sure enough... the girl couldn't sit still.  She got up and danced around the room and wouldn't sit down.  He told that mom this:  "Your daughter isn't sick. She doesn't have a problem.  She's a dancer.  Take her to dance school."  That girl became one of the most celebrated ballerina's in all of England!

God PUT that desire in that little girl FOR A REASON.  Not for someone to squelch it, not for a school to subdue it, not for this world to say "she's not normal" and certainly not for someone to tell her to sacrifice her desires for a mundane existence.

I want you to think about that little girl for a moment.  

What is it in your life that you take PLEASURE in? What desires did the Lord put in your heart?  They are there for a reason and I think we can say they are HOLY desires because in them God wants to show you how GREAT His love is and what He can do THROUGH them!  He wants us to DELIGHT in HIM.  To take PLEASURE in the things that He has given us a DESIRE for!

So if it's music, then make music.  If it's building things... then build them!  If it's helping people, then serve.  If it's painting and being creative, then BE AN ARTIST.  "What's the point in trying to be who you aren't.  If you succeed, you is who you ain't, and you ain't who you is.  You're actually less like the person God designed you and destined you to be." Mark Batterson  

Oh all these words would have made my grandmother squirm!  

DELIGHT

DESIRE

PLEASURE

I don't want to throw my "Oma" under the bus... but I'm afraid they got it wrong a couple generations ago.  I think the church felt that if we got PLEASURE out of something that is was sinful.  And desires... well that was just too much, you couldn't even talk about that!  But what a terrible way to live.  (No wonder all those black and white photos of our ancestors show no smiles whatsoever ;)-

Like Mark says... "God Himself would fail that test.  He HAD JOY... He took DELIGHT in what He CREATED... and that gave Him PLEASURE."

Pleasure isn't a bad thing... it's a gift from God!  Remember that verse from above...

Psalm 37:4 "Take Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the DESIRES of your heart."

God delights in what He does, and He wants nothing less for us.  He wants us to delight in His CREATION.  He wants us to delight in one another.  And above all, He wants us to delight ourselves in Him!

So for those of you just starting out in the real world and trying to decide "What do I do with my life?"

Here's the thing... 

Life is too short to not love what you do!

In the book "Whisper" Mark says "the key is finding the place where your gifts and desires overlap."  I LOVE that!

God has given each of us gifts and abilities and desires....

What are they? I don't know what they are for you, but take some time to WRITE THEM DOWN.  Pray over them.  

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One of my all time favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths."

Here's what I'm going to boldly tell you to do:

#1. Seek God first.  He created you and He loves you.  Trust that He will take care of things... even when you don't understand it all yet.  He's going before you and will work things out.

#2. Delight yourself in the Lord... and have HOLY desire.  

Romans 12:6-8 talks about our different gifts and Paul tells us to use our God given gifts in the pursuit of God-ordained desires. 

#3. Talk to Him.  Pray.  

Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" in Luke 18:41.  He wants to know what we want, so tell Him.

#4. LISTEN.  Then write down what He is speaking to you. It's God's love letter to you.

Then go pray the bravest prayer you've ever prayed and go out there and be the person God is calling you to be! 

 

DARE to be that person.

 

It will bring YOU joy... and It will bring the one who LOVES you the most...GREAT JOY,  because He put those desires there in the first place.

 

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I shared this quote a while ago and it came up on my feed on FB this morning, so I thought it was worth repeating here.

 

Hugs to all,

Laura

 

P.S.  I finally figured out how to splice together two videos!!  (I know, it's not that hard but hey...) So tomorrow I will post my process video on the Art Journal I made last week.

 

 

 

 

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Be like a bee...

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Be like a bee...

No, this isn't about Muhammad Ali's famous quote "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

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We're studying the book of Ephesians in church right now and we are in the "Whole Armor of God" section of Ephesians 6.  Go read it if you haven't... SO good.

I won't get into all of that right now because I've touched on it before a while back, and I think I'll be circling around on that topic again soon.  What I wanted to share with you today was more on one part of it...  The Sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:17b says: "And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

I think bee's get a bad rap.  Yes, they can sting you and whenever we are around them the girls go crazy.  I got stung by one a few summers ago on the prettiest bridge in all of Paris and it hurt!  Thankfully a women on the bike ride with me had some Benadryl and all was fine.  But bees are so much more than bugs that sting.  Think of life without bees?  It's not a good one.  The food we eat, the sweet honey we enjoy...  Have you seen the Bee Movie? :)

Ok, I'll stop talking about bees for a moment, but here's the connection...

Back to the Sword of the Spirit.  That's God's Word, the Bible.  Some of us have used that sword in the wrong way.  More like a dagger to the heart??  Or a precision cut?  Yes, I think we could all probably admit that we have said something to someone in our lives that was taken out of context from the Bible and did not come from the Holy Spirit speaking through us. That's not the right way to use the sword of the Spirit, right?  In that sense we don't want to sting like a bee...

What we NEED to make sure is that we are sharing the scripture in the right way.  That we are depending on the Holy Spirit to fill us up and use us.  That we store up the Word of God in our hearts and minds so we can share the SWEETNESS of it with others.

Are you seeing the analogy here?

Be like a bee...

It goes from flower to flower EMPTY, soaks up all that it needs and leaves FULL, a then spreads the SWEETNESS around to benefit us all.

It's OK to come to the Word of God feeling completely empty... we may have nothing to offer in that moment.  But then sit right there and soak in His Words.  Soak in as much as you need... stay there and Be still...until you are filled with the Holy Spirit and see the GREAT LOVE our Lord has for you.  Then don't just sit there. Go spread that sweetness of JOY and LOVE to benefit not just you... but the world world!

Got your homework assignment for the week?

See how great that analogy is?

I thought you'd like it...

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Hugs my friends,

Laura

P.S.  I'm going to go try to make a VIDEO!  YIKES... I'm so not good at this.  But I've had so many people ask me to do a process video on the Art Documented journal I posted yesterday... so I will try.  Can't guarantee it will ever be made public... but I will give it a shot. ;)

 

 

 

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