Monday, December 31, 2012

a look at 2012...

If you are like me, today has been a day of thinking about this past year and thinking ahead of the new year.  

2012 has been a year of many lows and some triumphs.  God has walked me through many hard times - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I can say I do not want to redo the times of heartache and sadness, but I will say that Jesus carried me through them and I hope that I am stronger from them.  

I was reading a blog post this afternoon and I found these questions to think about when reflecting 2012.  These questions will help me think about the good, fun, and joyful times of 2012.  Some of these of these questions will be so hard to answer truthfully because of some challenges this year.  Maybe I will share some of my answers in later posts...

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you. (If you’re not married, have fun guessing the answers from other friends and family, or just skip this question.)
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012—again, without asking.
8. What were the best books you read this year?
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you

Friday, December 21, 2012

Never Once has He left me alone or on my own

This past week has been hard for our world. We feel the kind of sadness that we can’t shake with Christmas shopping. My soul yearns for His Kingdom.

I have scars from this struggle.

There are wounded, dark places in my heart where I’m tempted to believe I’m alone.

But standing in my kitchen last night and listening to the radio, I felt His presence. Emmanuel, God with me, us-in joy and sorrow. The gift He gave wasn’t so much about a tangible present (although it was), it was His Presence. He reminded me (again) that He is with me.

I went to my bedroom and knelt beside my bed and I sobbed. Happy, hard tears. I wept for good news happening and bad news in our world, joy and sorrow mixed and mostly, I cried because He was right there with me in both.

And I’m learning more the true meaning of Christmas: He is God on the mountaintop and God in the valley. The heartbeat of Christmas is God with us. All the time.

Here are the words to the song:
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
-10,000 Reasons
I am overwhelmed with His abounding faithfulness, even when I don’t understand, carry unanswered questions, He is here. Never once has He left me alone or on my own.

I don’t know if you’re on the mountaintop this holy season or struggling on the battlefield, of like me and between both. But wherever you are, He is there. That is the essence of Christmas, unwrapping Jesus, God with us.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I don't think I have ever been more aware of how short life is more than this year.  
I'm reminded constantly that we never know when our last day will be.

The video is about Andrew Pray who was killed right before Thanksgiving and is a worship pastor.  They showed this video at his funeral.  It was the things he had written on social media this year.  WOW.  Watch it. 

He was an encourager.  He shared Jesus every chance he got.

I was thinking about the words we all use.  In our daily lives and in our virtual lives.

Do they uplift or do they bring others down? Are they words of light or of darkness?

I love facebook and twitter.  I love just having daily chit chat with my friends about TV shows or being moms or just current events.  I also probably tend to daily complain about some experiences. 

But life is short.  I want to use my words to point others to Christ. I want to encourage my friends.  Nothing feels better than getting a kind email or an encouraging text from a friend.  Just the other day a  precious friend Janie   texted me to encourage me after a particularly tough situation she knows I have been dealing with.  It was just the lift I needed.

Life can feel like a competition.  Just at Christmas - I feel so inferior when I see all the amazing things moms are doing.  Co-workers can make you feel like you are competing to be the best in the office.  There is competition to be thinner, more fit, better dressed.  Competition to have the smartest kids. 

What if instead of competing - we encourage? What if we lift up our friends and those around us and help them reach their goals instead of wishing it was us? What if we were genuinely happy for the blessings that others get?

My prayer for myself is that in 2013 - I use every opportunity to encourage and uplift those around me. 

I pray that I share my faith daily and unashamed.  I won't ever apologize for trying to tell you about the hope we have in Christ.

Will you be challenged to use your words to lift others up? Can you imagine how much better our world would be if we were more kind and encouraging? Let's live our life with no regrets so when we are gone - we will be remembered for the words we said.

Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's been a time full of sadness.  
We wonder why so many terrible things happen.
We wonder where is the hope? When will it be our turn? Or maybe you have already had more of your share of turns this year. 

I thought this was good by Max Lucado:

Dear Jesus,
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Your Children
We are entering the week where Jesus came to this earth to live among us.  He came to share our sorrow and pain. And though He is in heaven now - He still sits on the right hand of God INTERCEDING for us. 

He is a light and a hope for us in all of our struggles.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A song about God's Faithfulness

Today I was thinking about life and the ongoing challenges of each season in life and I thought, "I'm doing a pretty good job running from the Lord." Immediately and confidently I thought: " It doesn't matter.  God is faithful."

Can I just tell you all that I've pondered and meditated and prayed through and thought endlessly about that statement? 

GOD is faithful. 

God IS faithful. 


He is faithful. 

Whether we're running toward Him or away from Him or just sitting in our pity party, He is faithful. 

These words came to me when I needed to hear them. 

We don't need to have all our stuff together for God to show us His power and perfection and provision. He doesn't wait until we've worked through our issues. He meets us where we're at.

We know this because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

He is abounding in love and faithfulness

As the image above says, "You were faithful before, You'll be faithful again."

God has been faithful in my life before and I know that His faithfulness has no end. Not faithfulness in that He'll answer my prayers in the way that I want, but God is faithful to walk with me and cover me in His grace every day. He is faithful to receive me just as I am. He is faithful to meet me daily and He is faithful to show up because He is the Living God

Never Once
I suspect most people would reference a song such as this after a difficult season is over with. But I believe God calls us to proclaim that He is faithful in the midst of our trials and struggles. 

May we all walk our journeys with our mouths declaring God's faithfulness with every step. 

According to Matt Redman Never Once is a song he wrote about God's Faithfulness. It is a powerful, beautiful song with lyrics founded in truth. 

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful
God you are faithful

Listen to the song and Matt Redman's story here:

Saturday, December 8, 2012