Welcome to my blog! Odd title you say? Yes, maybe, but I bet you would agree with me that life is chaotic! I'm mindful though, in the midst of the chaos, of Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father!" I thank God that my life gets to be chaotic...I know that through the chaos He is transforming me to be more like Him!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Sunglasses

I know this might sound strange, but I love my sunglsses. They go with me everywhere, just in case I need them. I don't just use them when the sun is out either, I need them always. On my face, on my head, or just nearby...I love to have them close by. I'm the girl driving down the road in the rain on a cloudy day wearing my sunglasses. Yes, I am aware that the sun is not out, but it does not matter.

Where I currently stand in my journey of life, I feel like I am having to keep my FAITH glasses on constantly. I feel like the girl driving through life in the rain on a cloudy day wearing my sunglasses, except I am wearing my FAITH glasses. People give me looks. They don't understand. I don't really understand completely why I keep these glasses on, other than I'm convinced that I have heard from God. I look through the glasses because when I have them on, the things God has called me to do make a little more sense. When I don't have the glasses on, I completely don't understand the things God is calling me to. It's easy to want to take the glasses off too, especially when people tell me there's no way these dreams I am chasing will ever happen. I hear all the reasons why these things will never happen. I get the weird looks, the looks of disappointment. I hear the voices in my head telling me that nothing I'm chasing after makes sense, and I already knew that. There are days when I want to throw the glasses in the garbage and just do what everyone wants me to do. I think of how much easier it would be to follow God if He would just tell me to do things that made sense; things that I knew I could do on my own.

But in the middle of all these thoughts, these people, these voices is another voice. This voice calls to me and somehow quiets all the other voices in the moment it's speaking. The voice tells me to put the FAITH glasses back on and look through them. When I do, my heart flutters and I can't help but smile. Through these glasses I can see these dreams become reality. Through the glasses I can see great things. Through the glasses I can see great provision. With the glasses on I feel great peace. With the glasses on I feel an immense amount of joy. Then the voice whispers to me, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." I'm then reminded that it is my goal in life to please God, and if wearing these glasses is pleasing to Him then give me a hundred pairs in a hundred different colors! Despite what people think, despite what people say, and despite the voices in my head. If you're walking through life and see a girl wearing her glasses in the rain on a cloudy day, just let her be. Know she isn't trying to be crazy, she is just trying to be pleasing to the One who has called her, and consider putting your glasses on too. Imagine what God could do through a hundred people wearing their FAITH glasses, after all, it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Dance

Have you ever thought about what popular dance song would best describe your life? Would it be “The Cha-Cha Slide” by DJ Casper or perhaps “Stayin Alive” by the BeeGees? Or maybe it would be “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Duke Ellington or “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men? Or maybe your life is more like the Theme Song from Mission: Impossible.” If you’re like me, you could probably have a different dance song everyday of the week. One day I could be dancing to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and the next day “I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. The day after that it might be “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and then the next day “Oops, I Did It Again” by Britney Spears. I’m nosy and like to be in charge of everything so on those days my dance song would be “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith or “Taking Care of Business” by B.T.O. Some days I wake up dancing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross, but by the end of the same day I will be dancing to “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. And of course there are many, many days when my dance song would be “Livin On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi or “Turbo Hustle” by DJ Maestro.

Life is our dance. And the truth is, this dance has so many ups and downs, twists and turns! Sometimes we are dancing to a slow waltz before the music abruptly changes and we’re dancing to “Boot Scootin Boogie.” One minute we could be dancing to “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart and then the next day “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. We never know what a day will bring. We never know what obstacle or challenge is right around the corner waiting for us. We can wake up one morning feeling like the happiest person alive and have everything going our way, and suddenly something can happen in that same day to turn everything around.

More than likely at some point in your dance the music you were dancing to drastically changed its pace in one single moment in time, without warning. That’s how life is. Tragedy. Death. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Fires. We don’t get to control this dance called life, but we all have to live in it. We all have to experience changes in music, tempo, rhythm, and rhyme. Maybe you have been through seasons of your life where you felt like the music was going so fast you couldn't keep up! Or maybe you have been through seasons where the music seemed to slow down when you wanted it to speed up.

The reality is we will all face good days and bad days. We will all experience things in life that we have no control over. In John 16:33 Jesus said, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."©(NASB) For those who are walking with Christ, the Bible says that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28 ©NASB)

We see examples of this all throughout Scripture. We read the account of the Israelites, God's chosen people, as they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Some of you may be thinking, "That's me! I've been wandering around in the wilderness and I'm wondering when something is going to go my way! I'm ready to enter the Promised Land!" In Deuteronomy, as the Israelites are finally getting ready to conquer the land of Canaan after many years of waiting, God makes a covenant with them. In this covenant, God reminds them of how He has provided for them even while they were in the wilderness. "I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot." (Deuteronomy 29:5 ©NASB) Although the Israelites had to live through circumstances they didn’t plan, God was still leading them and taking care of them. The same thing can be said about you and me.

The music in your life may have drastically changed without warning. You may feel like it's been a long time since you were dancing to "O Happy Day" or "Walking on Sunshine," but in the midst of your situation, God is still good. He has provided for your needs. If you are still alive, it's because He has kept you alive and He has a purpose for your life-to dance this dance called life with Him, on His shoes, letting Him lead you in the midst of the ever-changing music.

*This post was submitted to Ann Voskamp's blog as an entry to win a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference. The She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Daddy. God has given me a message to share with women who are living their lives dancing with their Daddy as He leads them and women who have long left dancing on their Daddy's shoes in pursuit of something else. If you or someone you know is interested in learning how to connect the hearts of women with the heart of God through this conference, you can find out more info here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Pearl

I recently received a beautiful pearl ring as a gift from my husband. This ring was something I had wanted for a long time and we spent a long time searching for the "perfect" one. I'm talking about, I was on a relentless search for this perfect pearl. Anywhere my husband and I went on a trip, we searched the jewelry stores but always came up empty. It was one of those times where I had in my mind exactly what I wanted, and I didn't really want to settle for just any ol' pearl ring. After months of searching stores and websites, we finally found it! We walked up to a jewelry counter, looked in the glass case to find the exact ring I had had in my mind! Not only was it the exact ring I was looking for, but they only had one and it was exactly my size - a 6 1/2! I instantly knew this ring was meant for me, I mean, what are the odds it was exactly what I had been searching for for so long and in my exact ring size?! It was a perfect fit! I was ecstatic! I had some other things I had picked out to buy at this particular store, but as soon as I knew I had found my ring, I put the other merchandise back so I would make sure I could purchase this ring! That's how excited I was that I had found this beautiful ring.

After a couple of days of wearing the ring, I noticed that because I was not used to wearing a ring on that finger everyday, it was starting to annoy me. I was tempted to take it off multiple times to keep from being annoyed, but everytime I thought about how it was rubbing on my finger, I looked at the ring and was reminded of it's perfect beauty to me! The thought of not wearing this ring that I had searched so long for was out of the question. When I looked at how beautiful it was, I knew without a doubt that it was going to stay on my finger and my finger would just have to get used to it.

As I was having these thoughts in my head, the Lord spoke to me. He reminded me of His words in Matthew 13:45-46

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."

I was reminded that I have found the pearl of great value, one of far greater value than the pearl on my hand - the kingdom of heaven. It's worth any price, any discomfort, any inconvenience. It's worth me giving everything. When I look at it's beauty, it overwhelms me to the point that it doesn't matter what it takes, I'm holding on to it! It's the treasure that my heart searched for for so long, and I take great delight in my treasure!

God Almighty will be your treasure,
more wealth than you can imagine.
You'll take delight in God, the Mighty One,
and look to him joyfully, boldly.
Job 22:25-26

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

She Speaks 2011

I need to take a few minutes and tell you about a conference that is taking place in North Carolina this July. It's called She Speaks and it's specifically designed to equip women to effectively communicate God's Word. Whether your passion is speaking, writing, or leading women's ministry, this conference has something for you! You can find out more about the She Speaks conference here: She Speaks 2011

I had hoped to attend the conference last year, as I wrote in an earlier post, but we just couldn't afford it financially. This year, I am hoping to try again to be able to attend. Over the last year, God has opened doors for me to share my writing through a monthly column in a local Christian magazine and by writing a book and sending it to a local publisher. God is absolutely the giver of dreams and the One who turns dreams into reality! I would love to be able to attend She Speaks this year to gain wisdom about how to continue this writing process and how to effectively market my writing.

Look for opportunities to win a scholarship to attend the She Speaks conference here!