Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My God Sized Dream(s)

GOD Sized Dreams
Dream God-sized Dreams
I am reading "Do What You Can" Plan 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better (an EBook) by Holly Gerth.  This book is about understanding your God Sized Dreams and taking one step at a time to work towards those dreams.

Today's post is to share my God Sized Dream(s).  My dream is to work full time with the non profit I founded (What Is Beautiful) so that with God I can encourage and minister to women that are held captive by their past, seek their identity in destructive areas, and desire restoration for their lives. Part of my God Sized Dream is to finish my book, create a small group, lead a book study, and whatever doors God opens the doors to.

This all seems so big to me and I can get overwhelmed, causing me stop dead in my tracks...not doing anything at all.  I begin to think of my age...46...I think I am too old and by the time things fall in to place it will be too late.  I begin to think I waited to long.  I begin to think that no one will care what I have to say.  I begin to get discouraged and then I don't do anything at all.  My book stays in the the file folder.  The edits stay on the paper. 

God doesn't see things the way I do.  I see limits.  God sees His plan.  I think it's too late.  God says it is never too late.  I see walls in front of me.  God sees open doors.  I see the impossible.  With God all things are possible. 

Holly Gerth says "do the next thing".  

Take action.

Do something small.

Then do that again and again and thing at a time. 

"God-sized dreams aren't really about size at all they are about embracing and pursuing the desires God has placed within your heart that perfectly fit who you are."  Holly Gerth  

So as 2013 begins, I lay my God sized dream out there...

Launch What Is Beautiful to reach the lost through encouragement and sharing my story of restoration.  Part of that dream is to finish the book I have started.  My dream is to do work in this ministry full time.

So there it God sized dream.

Step one.  Finish edits on chapter 2.  
Step two.  Share chapters one and two with 2 people for editing.
Step three.  Share my God sized dream and ask for prayer and mentoring.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Live Free

Happy New Year!

My word(s) for this year:  SACRIFICE, trust, give, serve, love.
My hope for the year:  Live in Freedom.  Live Free.  Live the restored life God has given me.  Live it out.

I fell asleep before midnight last night. I was tired...not just physically tired, but also emotionally and mentally and spiritually.  I woke up this morning...the grass in my back yard is covered in white frost.  The limbs of the trees so still...the tips frozen.  I sensed the quietness of the Lord and just wanted to melt in to it and stay there.  I knew soon my kids would wake up and the noise of the day would start.  I wondered if all of the things swirling around in my head and heart would disappear and my life would resume as normal...or would I begin to live a life of love. I have to honestly say that I felt disappointed with some of my I handled things...the choices I made...the words I used...the plans I didn't follow through with...the way I have run my family....But I also know that God is a God who restores and redeems.  He offers hope to those who are willing to receive it.  He offers joy to those who are willing to embrace it.  He offers love to everyone...we must allow it.

I fell in to some old ways of thinking and behaving in 2012.  And I began to believe the lies and the familiar thoughts and behaviors...I began to see them as the only way...and then God -he spoke to my heart last week. .He said "Do not go back to Egypt when you have walked the road to Israel."   And I opened my bible and the pages fell to the book of Isaiah.  I read Isaiah 30 "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: 'Only in returning to me and resting in my will you be saved" (v15) "So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.  For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help." (v18)

And then I read this verse..."What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting in their horses, chariots and charioteers." (Isaiah 31:1)  Sometimes it is hard to put words to the revelation that God gives...but all month I spent bashing myself, reliving the past, eating food to comfort myself, stuffing my fast, then fasting, then doing it again, thinking of my life and feeling I wasted it....speaking hateful words over myself and choosing to live there.  I trusted in the ways of the world...wanting people to approve me...wanting food to comfort me..wanting others to define me,  And then God says "Do not go back to Egypt when you have walked the road to Israel."  God brought me out of Egypt.  I journeyed to freedom.  I walked a hard road to restoration and I sometimes choose to turn around and go back to the old.  But God reminds me that He brought me to Israel for a purpose.  When I go back to "Egypt for help" I go back to a life a sorrow.  That is what "awaits" me there.  That is what I found.  Sorrow.  Pain.  Disappointment. Instead of going back there to live...I get to share how I moved out of there...Out of Egypt.  I do not live there anymore.  When I start to turn around and go back I remember "Your own ears will hear him.  Right behind you a voice will say, This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 20:21)
And what awaits me in the promised land?

Hope.  Life.  Love.  Comfort from the Father.  Peace. 

I have often talked about the people who walked for 40 years...seeing miracles, getting daily manna, praising God and then falling right back in to their old ways...wanting to go back to Egypt because that is what seemed "easier" for them.  I often thought how I would never have done that.  But here I am. And this is why God wrote those words for us to we would see that Israel is the promised land and Egypt is a place of slavery.  He showed us how even though they saw the miracles with their own eyes that they still tried to go back.  He showed us how He was faithful and provided through the journey and that moving forward to the promised land is what God has planned for all of us.  God didn't place his words for us to read for nothing...He gave us them so that we could live FREE.

This year I will LIVE I sacrifice, trust, give, serve, and love.
Will you LIVE FREE with me?
How can I pray for you today?

Blessings as alwaysF,

Friday, November 30, 2012

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

In the midst of trials and life and mountains to climb and in times when things seem to be easy and abundant and even when hearts ache and confusion swirls around my heart sometimes travels to a destination that does not bring peace where do we turn?  My mind becomes full of what ifs, fears, procrastination, regret, and disappointment.  My eyes focus on me.  They focus on my problems, my lack, my  I become the focus of my life.  Then days waste away and my heart becomes weakened.  This is not God's desire for anyone. 

And then God reminds me of where to look.  How can we focus on God's plan for us when our eyes are deterred? 

I have sat many days and evenings sinking in the mire of the heaviness of life.  I can't pay the bills.  I want to give my kids more.  I don't want Christmas to come because there is not enough money for presents.  The can'ts and won'ts and not enough blanket the future...cover the light and bring fear and condemnation...a feeling of hopelessness.  But those are not our God's ways those are the enemy's ways.  They take our eyes off of Jesus and hope and peace and on to what brings despair and depression. 

I am convinced that God's message to all of us right now is to Keep Our Eyes on Jesus.  I had a dream a month or so ago.  At the beginning of my dream all I could see was my face and the face of Mother Teresa.  Our faces were very close, looking directly into each others eyes.  She lifted her hand to my eye and said to me "keep your eyes on Jesus".  I woke up fully aware of this moment as if it had just if her hand had just touched my face.  And in these trials and times of uncertainity, I am brought back to this dream and this word from God. Keep your eyes on Jesus.  God knows my future...our future...He knows we need the reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus.   That in the midst of it all we forget where our eyes should be...and they turn to ourselves and all hope seems lost.  But the minute our eyes are on Him, we see a glimmer of light...we notice a friend who needs encouragement...we see a person with a need and can fill it...we take a step forward...and our path is lit.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."  Hebrews 12: 1-2

I pray that as you go through your day you will be reminded to keep your eyes on Jesus and see what your eyes notice.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I love this song.
Big Daddy Weave
The first time I heard this song on the radio my heart connected to it immediately.  If your past or anything that has happened in your life keeps you in chains...know that you are redeemed.  You are redeemed.  Really...get on your knees and listen to the Lord.  Spill out your heart and I know God will speak in to your ear and tell you that you are redeemed.
Listen to this song.
According to, the word redeem is defined as:
 to free from captivity by payment of ransom
Jesus freed us from captivity when he died on the cross.  "For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.  And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.  For God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days."  1 Peter 1: 18-20
You are redeemed.  Set free.
(I was trying to get the video from You Tube posted on here but I could not get it to post. Go to You Tube and listen to the official video  It is on my draft but won't post to my blog.  Uggh I am so untechnical!)
Blessings my friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Let Go so that we can Receive

In the post I talked about letting go of some of my possessions in order to earn some money to pay my bills.  God often asks us to let go in order for us to be open to Him, to be free of material stuff in order to be free to serve Him. 

This month the Lord has asked me to give so that I can receive more from Him...not material things...but His love, His plan, His purpose...more of Him.  When our hands are grasped around things, then they are often closed to Him.

Something that the Lord asked me to give up was a group of Willow Tree angels that I loved.  I talked about them in the post above.  When I looked at them, they represented hope, healing, courage, and wisdom.  But God reminded me as He asked me to give them up, that He represented those elements.  He was the only source of traits.  He is my healer.  He is the source of my courage.  He is the place I go to for wisdom. 

I remember the day after I sold my things.  I didn't miss any of them, except my angels.  It took me a few days to really understand what God was teaching me.  I cried.  I was sad.  I missed them.

I told my sister Leah about having to sell some of my material things...and that I was sad, but knew that it was just "stuff".  I worked hard to understand that.  She replied to me that her mother-in-law once told her "If God provided it once, he can do it again."

So I thanked God for all I had and decided to trust.  As the week went on I realized that the things I let go of did not define me.  Every time I saw the empty spaces of what I let go of I was reminded of how big our God is.  I was reminded that I will trust Him and He promises to always be with me.  I was reminded that as I let go, I made room for what I was suppose to be focus on...Jesus. 

One night about a month ago I had a very short dream.  As soon as I opened my eyes I knew that God had a message for me.  I dreamt that I was standing in front of Mother Teresa.  It was just her face and mine.  She looked me right in the eye, raised her hand to my eyes and said "keep your eyes on Jesus".  That was the end of my dream.  Every day the Lord reminds me of this dream.  And as I let go, He reminded me again..."Keep your eyes on Jesus".  And my eyes readjust and I trust Him.

And God provided.

This week in the mail I received some boxes and in them were these precious items:

My sweet and generous friend sent me new angels.  God provided once and He did it again.
I let go. 
And was open to God.  I kept my eyes on Jesus.
He cares about the details of our lives.
He wants us to trust Him with everything, knowing that He hears all of what we want, need, hope for.  He gives us what He knows we need and throws in a treat now and then.

Thank you Becky.  You are a true angel.
Your gift meant so much to me. 
I still am in awe of how much God cares about each of us.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Search for the Key.

Just a quick note:  this post is long, but I hope that you will take the time to read it!

So often we search for the answer to the things we face in our life...depression, our past, sin, grief, fear, shame, acceptance, love, our identity.  I did this.  I searched.  I went from one thing to another just to have someone tell me or show me that I was "acceptable".  Soon I carried around a load of sin, a pile of a past, situations and events that choked the life out of me.

As I went through restoration and healing, the Lord gave me this story...I remember the morning I wrote it.  I went for an early morning walk.  I was telling myself how awful my body looked...even through I knew in my heart that my body didn't define me...I was bashing my life..."what if I hadn't gone to that party, made that choice, dated that person, married that person, betrayed that person...what if".  I came home and sat on my bed, grabbed my journal, and this is what I wrote:

The weight of the past dragged behind her.  It was like dragging around a suitcase that was stuffed so full it could barely shut.  It was heavy. It was bulky.  It was impossible to pick up so it up so it had to be drug behind he.r  It was connected to her by chains that resembled handcuffs.  There was no key to be found.  It was attached to her with no hope of being released.  Some days she walked through the day, but forgetting what was even in the suitcase.  It was just so heavy.  Some days the heaviness was evident from the moment her eyes opened in the morning, while still lying in bed, too tired from the weight to swing her legs to the carpeted floor.

When would she find the key to unlock and release this suitcase from her body?  When would the heaviness leave her so she could move with ease and grace?  When would she get through her day with the ability to focus on others instead of the weight of the stuff dragging along with her?  She was so tired. Her body hurt.  Her heart was deflated.  Her strength was gone.  Her vision was blurred.  Her hearing was impaired.  The path in front of her seemed over grown with weeds.

The talk of moving forward seemed impossible.  The talk of making it through the day seemed like too much work.

Where was the key that would unlock the heavy burdens?  Where was it hiding?  She had looked everywhere.  Her friends didn't have it.  Her family didn't have it.  Her kids didn't have it.  The world that promised they had it really didn't. The person she trusted with her heart said he had it, but he never really did.  Who was holding on to the key?  Why couldn't she find it and just unlock the chains?

One day the Word of God was given to her.  It was full of promises.  The words were amazing.  The stories were fascinating.  The emotion was overwhelming.  She read that book over and over.  She heard others speak about it.  She picked up book after book that expanded on it.  She sought counsel to help her understand it.  But that suitcase was still there, dragging behind her. 

Some days it felt lighter as though a piece of its contents were taken out.

She asked over and over to the people she trusted..."When will this be over?  When will I be free?  When can I stop dragging around this heaviness?  I am so tired.  I want it to be over."

The more she read the Word of God that had been given to her, it began to seep in to her hear.  Many days sh read it and was so happy for the other people that it was meant for.  She knew they were loved and blessed.  She knew they had hope, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.  She prayed for them.  She began to speak truth to them.

Years were going by.   Days were piling on top of one another.  The weight of the "suitcase" was beginning to steal her life.  Not just her physical life, but her emotional and spiritual life.  She realized she was adding to it little by little as each day went by.  As soon as one thing was gone, she grasped on to just a piece of its fabric because it was all she knew.  She couldn't let the whole thing go or she would feel naked and alone and she would not know who she was anymore.

She wondered why she would want to hold on to the things that hurt her so much...the things that made her sick, that made her cry and sad and feel paralyzed.

As the Word was planted in her heart she wondered, what if each time she took something out of the suitcase she could just give it to Jesus.  What if she not only have it to him, but she told him she trusted him to throw it over his shoulder and never to give it back?  What if she really believed that he would take it?   What if she really believed that when she held on to it so tightly that she was being selfish and self absorbed.  What if she really grasped the idea that Jesus walked to a cross knowing he was going to die a painful death, just to save her.  What if she realized that as he was walking to that cross, he was NOT thinking about what she wore yesterday or what her physical appearance was, but he was picturing what her heart looked like?

What if she knew He was praying that she would realize that he loved her so much, that he was going to die for her?  He longed for her to realize that He was the way...the truth...the life.  He longed for her to know that He was the only truth.. He never wanted her to have all of those burdens or all of that weight that she drug behind her.  He was grieving with each step he took up to that cross knowing she was going to go so long with out realizing this.  He thought about her with each step he took.  And even though he grieved over he length of time she would chain that heavy suitcase to her, He rejoiced in the day she would hear the Word and realize that it was written for her, that the moment his flesh died, she was set free.  He rejoiced int eh day she realized that the lies spoken to her were lies and that He was "truth".  He rejoiced in the day when all she knew she had to do was love hima nd know he loved her back.

One day she stopped looking down and started looking forward.  One day she knew that she couldn't drag around that weight anymore.  One day she knew that when Jesus was walking to that cross it was her he was thinking about too.  It wasn't just her friend or the person sitting next to her.  And when she bean to realize that and really understand it, she looked at Jesus from a different view and there she saw it.  His hand was extended.  It always had been but she hadn't seen it.  All she could see was the suitcase.  She wasn't looking forward, she was looking behind her.  It was there all along.  Jesus knew she would see it one day.  He held out his hand the whole time, until she was able to get him in to focus.

And it wasn't even a key he was holding in his hand.  But what she saw as a scar...a wound that had healed.  She had searched her whole life for a key.  A certain size or shape or perfect fit to unlock the chains.  Nothing ever fit.  She was searching for the wrong thing.  Jesus had it all along.  His scars.  His love.  His forgiveness.  His patience.  Him.  It was Him.  It was the walk to the cross.  It was the sacrifice He made.  It was the death of his flesh and the resurrection from the grave. 

His scars were the key. His scars are the key.

Her hand extended and touched the scar...she said she could see it.  There was no excuse anymore to not see the scars, the love, the sacrifice.  She had been reading about it, talking about it, sharing it with others, but she never really grasped the concept of the scars for herself.  As soon as she understood that there was no ther choice than to believe it for herself, she felt the chains begin to break.  At first she wanted to run back and grab on to that suitcase for dear life.  Everything she based her existence on for more than 40 years was in that suitcase and without it what would she clothed herself in?

But Jesus said look at my scars.  He said I love you and thought of you with each step to that cross.  He said if you will take my hand and touch my scars you will now be "clothed in strength".  You will now be free of the chains and I will tell you which way to go when you "stand at the crossroads".  That suitcase is no longer needed.  That weight is no longer there.  Let it go and take my scarred hand and know I did it for you.

"For the Lord will go ahead of you.  Yes the God of Israel will protect you from behind (Isaiah 52:12)  He is ahead of you...he is behind you...protecting you...guiding you...loving are forgiven.

The key is the SCARS...the key is the love...the key is His forgiveness.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This is God's story of restoration.

This post is the story that was posted on on Nov. 7th.  I added one section toward the middle.  I just wanted to post it on my blog as well.  It is a story of God's redemption, restoration, and healing available to all.  May God's love be felt like a blanket wrapped around you covering you in warmth and protection.

I remember the day I heard about the Lord.  I remember what I was wearing, a red sweater and black pants. I remember where I was standing.   It was March 11, 2001.  I was 34.   I began to read my bible like crazy.  I learned scriptures, went to bible studies and retreats.  I plugged in to the church and fellowshipped with other believers.  I began to teach in children’s ministry.  I taught the children all about the bible, told them how much God loved them, and made sure they knew how precious they were to God. 

But all of the scriptures, all of the promises, all of the love…I  believed they were meant for those children, my friends, my neighbors, but not for me---the one with secrets locked inside…the one who was ugly and dirty and bad.

I spent my life hiding.  I spent my life searching for the “thing” that would save me…accept me.  Even when I came to know the Lord, I still searched, because surely all of those beautiful words that I read in the leather bound book could not be meant for me.  Not the one whose family I grew up in was broken and where fears and secrets were present.  Not the one who was 15 and went to a party and was raped—the one who never told anyone and slapped on labels such as ugly, dirty, and guilty.  Not the one who sought love through intimate relationships. Not the one who had a baby without being married.  Not the one who had an abortion---and then another.  Not the one who wore shame, guilt, fear, and disgust all over her body.  Not the one who dated who ever asked her out.   Not the one who was date-raped—who never told anyone.  Not the one who would not eat for days on end just to create an outward appearance that looked in control even though her insides were falling apart.  Not the one who took laxatives to get rid of all of the ugly inside of her and stuffed her face but purged it all out just to feel empty.  Not the one who married someone because maybe that would make her life different, but ended up in divorce.  Not the one who found God but still made an immoral decision that cost her relationships, trust and respect.  Not the one who decided to punish herself and wanted to die, who ate nothing or almost nothing for days until she weighed so little she had to go away and leave her kids.  Not the one who could only see the words ugly and hate and guilty and unforgiveable and disgusting written across her face when she looked in the mirror.  Not the one who had to be in the hospital---the psych ward part of the hospital-- for 12 days and hated herself.  None of those words could be meant for her…

But God sent me people who continually spoke truth in to me.   One was a Christian counselor.  I came to her office with secrets shoved in to the dark parts of my heart.  One day my story---it all came out in this desperate need to be free.  My story, the words, poured out so fast that they stumbled and tripped over one another.  For years the memories, the sin, the hurt, the pain that captured the essence of how I saw myself pushed and fought against the prison wall of my heart.  But I was able to open up and let it all pour out and the darkness was exposed to light.  This person who heard all of my words…all of this darkness, she loved me anyway. She accepted me anyway just as Christ does.   
 (The following is an addition to the story posted earlier.  It shares the entire assignment my counselor gave me).
My counselor gave me an assignment, one that would change my thinking forever..  The homework was to go home and draw pictures of how each event in my life make me feel.  Simple.  Draw.  I am not an artist but I loved to draw simple pictures to symbolize things.
            I had no idea what I would draw.  I took  a stack of white paper and a pencil.  I sat in front of my gas fire place with a magazine on my lap for support.  I thought for a minute about all of the things I revealed to this woman.  I began to draw—fast and without much thought.  It wasn’t until I was done that I even noticed what ended up on the paper.  There was one page for each event that the enemy used to steal bits and pieces of my life.
            I piled them up and put them in a folder.  When I met with my counselor she asked me if I did the homework.  I began to pull the picture out of the envelope.  I think I really looked at them for the first time at that moment.  I noticed what actually made its way to the paper.
            They were images of me without a mouth, limbs in the wrong place, a square head, absent of eyes or ears.  The outline of the images I drew were smudged and faded.  These images, they represented who I saw myself as. 
            I had a distorted view of who I was.
She also asked me to draw a picture of myself as God saw me, not how I saw myself, but how the bible said God saw me.  There was no way around it.  He saw me clean.  He saw me beautiful.  He saw me forgiven.  He saw me free.  Little by little I began to believe those words in that leather bound book were meant for me too…that Christ died on the cross for me too.  I began to believe that Christ stripped off all those labels and made me clean.  I began to see myself not through the distorted view of my past, but through the clear image of Christ.  I began to walk in the truth, memorize scripture and believe them for me.    

Our past can choke us.
Our past can hold us in chains.
But I am living proof that there is freedom in Christ.

Now I know I am forgiven.  I am of value.  I am His Child made new through my faith.  I am free.

John 12:46 “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”