Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Anchored Confidence

I love walking intimately with the Father.  The day-in-day-out, ebb and flow of the relationship I share with my King gives my life its richest meaning and its most central priority.  It colors every single fiber of my existence.  It dictates every decision, every relationship, and every dream I have.  My relationship with the Trinity is my absolute favorite thing about the gift of this life I've been given.  There is absolutely nothing that holds more importance than this reciprocal kinship I share with my Creator.  One of my most treasured things about this life with God is discovering, exploring, and learning to lean into all that He is for me.  There are three things that I know with absolute certainty that He is for me.  My God is relentlessly kind toward me.  My God is unrelentingly joyful toward me, and my God is unfailingly generous toward me.  Throughout the entirety of my life, God has promised to prove these parts of His nature as my definition of who He is for me.  My confidence is anchored in the reality of these three aspects of His nature because He has proven them as my truth more times than I can count.  The history God and I have built have been focused on these three gorgeous parts of who He is. 

If you want to build a history with God, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, you must have an anchored confidence in who He is for you.  One of my favorite things about God is that He adores questions.  I've learned that God does not do vague.  Specific questions thrill Him because questions are how He can show you through the gift of experience, a deeper and richer dependence on Him.  Plus, life is so much better when your walking with Someone who longs to share who He is through tangible events and circumstances that pop up during the walking out of everyday life.  Having an established and anchored confidence in who God is will allow you to press in to go deeper with Him.  He loves creating your personal anchored confidence.  This is one of the most important areas of spiritual formation that He invests in us as His sons and daughters.  Anchored confidence says that God will always come through.  It teaches us to expect Him to show up in huge ways.  This confidence mentors us in trust and rest in God.  This anchored confidence is what allows us to sleep in a storm.  He really wants us to have this part of our relationship and partnership with Him settled so that we may be able to flourish in our specific, specially-designed callings -- our assigned race.  Who is God for you.  He is waiting to show you.  Just ask.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

B-R-A-V-E: Five Letters That Will Change Your Life

Brave.  A little five-letter word with huge implications.  As my friend, Christa Black Gifford, pointed out in her brilliant blog this week, this little word has become somewhat of a buzz word in the church in this season.  She also made the point that this word is seeming to become a theme in the earth and I agree with her.  Brave and I have had a sweet history the past several months.  It may only contain five letters, but, let me just say, it is a word that will keep you up at night.  I've had to wrestle with this word.  It is a word that is exhilarating, intimidating, impactful, white-knuckle scary, freeing, bold, all-in, and it is a word and a way of life that demands an anchored answer.  As I have walked in this word the last several months, I've learned that there is no gray area in bravery.  It definitely demands a level of commitment that is not concerned with what people think or say.  If you commit to bravery, there is no going back because, as I've found, it has a way of defining and changing and catapulting you forward into glorious albeit scary unknowns as well as unscouted but thrilling new territory in the physical realm and in the spiritual. 

Saying yes to bravery means depending on a big, kind, exciting, mysterious, ever-close God who is only waiting to take your hand and walk every single step of the way with you.  It means learning to take Him at His word as you speak the words, "Teach me what it means to walk into exceedingly abundantly far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams."   See what I mean about white-knuckle scary?!  That is a dangerous prayer.  To be real though, I want to speak and pray boldly knowing full well that God will deliver.  I've spent way too much of my life allowing fear to have the last word leaving me complacent and totally aligned with mediocrity.  I want to live passion.  I want to live bold.  I want to live brave.  I want to live undaunted.  I want to live kind.  I want to live as a woman who takes my identity as more than a conqueror seriously.  I want to live and lean into every part of who I am in Jesus.  I'm not interested in living rhetoric.  I want to relentlessly go after personal experience of Daddy God, King Jesus, and Holy Spirit.  Lets make a declaration with our lives to live BRAVE.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Little Hiatus...

Hello!  I feel like it has been years since I've updated this space.  My last post was in April.  Five months is a long time to go between posts.  I really don't like not blogging,  Writing is a deep passion of mine and it is something that I am created to do.  I earnestly want this space to be one of encouragement, affirmation, and a space that will leave my readers smiling and feeling deeply valued and loved.  I am glad to say my little hiatus has come to an end.  Honestly, I don't even know if I have any  readers left.  That is completely fine with me.  I write as an outlet in this space.  I pray that the words you find here are ones that leave you feeling empowered and highly esteemed because you are dear reader.  You can expect a new post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  With that said, here is a little list of what I've been up to the last five months:

*  I've been helping my mom move and transition into a new job at the Administration Building.  She is now the Executive Director of Federal Programs in the AISD.  Basically, every population that is considered at-risk is under her.

*  I've helped my brother and sister move houses. 

*  I've started filling in part-time at Highland as the sub receptionist.

*  I've taken trips with my family.

*  I've watched countless movies.

*  I've encouraged someone.

*  I've started co-leading a Sunday morning class called Experiencing Prayer at church,

*  I've recently started Beth Moore's Beloved Disciple bible study on Tuesday mornings.

*  I've gone through a really hard season of depression.  {I'm out of it now, but boy was it a doozy}

*  I've battled loneliness.  {Living by yourself is hard sometimes.  I am so hard-wired to be around people.  I enjoy some solitude but too much does bad things to me}

*  I've eaten my weight in cookies.  {I so do not like admitting that.}

*  I've watched some things on YouTube

*  I've gotten back on the Pinterest bandwagon.

*  I've consumed copious amounts of ice-cold tea,

*  I've read some great books.

*  I've written in journals.

*  I've feverishly checked Instagram.  {I am obsessed!}

*  I have made social media an idol.

*  I have seen God's hand in so many things the past five months.

*  I have never stopped believing God is always good.

*  I've hungered for His presence.

*  I've grown in gratitude for His classroom.

*  I've gotten to know His voice.

*  I've learned to rest in Him.  {I'm by no means a pro at this, but I am learning and it has been sweet.}

So there it all is in a nutshell.  Blessings to you!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

But GOD...

I've loved words my entire life.  They are my favorite medium.  They hold immeasurable power.  Today as I was lost in my thoughts, God brought me to a place where I picked out my two favorite words in the English language.  These two words are a gigantic part of my story.  These two favorite words are tiny by themselves, but when they are standing side by side, they change everything.  In fact the more deliberately I think about it, the more convinced I am that these words have been the game-changer in the testimony of my life.  Let me start at the beginning and give you some of my testimony.  This story is precious to me not only because it is my testimony, but chiefly because it is my history with my God.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Here's the Cliffs Notes version:

I was born prematurely in October 1982.  I was blue when my mom gave birth to me.  I scored a 2 on the APGAR scale.  Most babies who score a 1 or 2 do not survive.   I stopped breathing more times than my mom and dad can count.  As a result of that premature beginning, I suffered a huge stroke that has left me with some lasting, tangible effects.  The doctors gave my family a very grim prognosis.  I have mild cerebral palsy.  I have major damage to my optic nerve.  I walk with a limp.  The left side of my body is very, very sensitive due to my stroke.  Basically, my entire left side feels really, really tight at all times.  I went through school with a major learning disability that showed up mainly in math.  I spent a huge part of my childhood in occupational and physical therapy.  I do have a point to all this and it is simply this: satan did not want me in this world.  BUT GOD had another plan.  satan tried his hardest to wipe me out from the very beginning.  BUT GOD has given me a life that has been so sweet. Here's just a little sampling of what He has done.

*The enemy left me with some disabilities.  BUT GOD has given me everything I need to thrive in life and in Him.
*The enemy fed me the lie of never measuring up to my peers.  BUT GOD has shown me through the entirety of my existence that this life is not measured by the things of this world.
*The enemy tried to tell me that I was worth nothing.  BUT GOD has authored the picture I hold of myself and in His eyes, I'm worth everything.
*The enemy has tried to use the demons of torment and depression and fear to derail my intimacy and my effectiveness and my place in the Kingdom of Light.  BUT GOD has broken every one of those chains.
*The enemy has tried to use my insufficiencies, deficiencies, and inadequacies to determine my outcomes.  BUT GOD has promised and has SHOWN that I can pursue fullness and lead a richer, more potent life.  I think I'll stick with pursuing fullness all the way.
*The enemy has tried to tempt me by using circumstances to steal my joy.  BUT GOD has shown me that I occupy a higher, more prosperous place than my circumstances and NOTHING can steal my joy because it is authored, sustained, fueled, and governed by Him.
*I did not come into this world with many tools.  BUT GOD has taught me about every single tool I need to defeat the enemy and I use them.  The enemy does not scare me because my GOD is bigger, stronger, and more committed to me than anything the enemy can bring against me.  God is my everything.  With Him as my foundation and the center of my entire existence, I have everything I need. 

The devil may have thought he had the final word over my life.  BUT GOD has had this thrilling, exhilarating, plan from day one and I would not trade our journey for anything.  He gets every ounce of me.  He gets every word of praise.  I am who I am and I am where I am because of HIS victory.  My life is His.  Thank You, Daddy-God for this most treasured gift of a life. 

If you haven't already figured it out, my two favorite words in the English language are BUT GOD.  Those two tiny words truly do change everything.  Blessings to you!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Thrive In Joy...

Joy abounds in this world.  You just have to intentionally look for it.  It resides in people, in circumstances, in your neighbor, in service, and my favorite -- in an intimate relationship with Abba, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  One of my most treasured nuggets of wisdom that I live by is to look for joy intentionally and fiercely every day.  It's there.  I love to ask Holy Spirit to give me His eyes, because He is the author of joy.  In fact, joy is at the very deepest, most formative core of who God made you to be.  Joy is the very essence of Who God is and as such, we as His sons and daughters are made to thrive in joy.  Just think about that for a minute.  You and I were created to thrive in joy.  That is absolutely exhilarating to me.  It is so wonderful to rest in the promise and the inheritance of God's joy.  Every experience, every trial, every blessing, every grace given to us, every season is meant to bring us into the intentionality and the reality of God's joy.  Choosing to see the joy that is present in everything in life is so sweet and freeing.  It takes so much pressure off in life.  I love to rest in joy.  Realizing that God knows exactly where I am and where I'm headed in Him.  With that certainty, I am able to rest and reside in His joy,

If you want to thrive in life you must be intentional about seeking and abiding in joy,  It infuses every single thing with hope, with happiness, and with promise.  It is so easy in the world we live in to find gloom-and-doom circumstances and situations.  It takes intention to find the joy.  It takes intention to find God's presence.  Once you've seen the world with God's eyes, it is so easy, so life-giving, so fun, and so worth it.  So, if I have any wisdom, to share to make life better, it would be to intentionally seek, savor and thrive in the joy that is all around you.  It blesses you. It brightens the world, and it pleases God and makes Him smile.  Choose to abide in joy.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Checking In...

I am so thankful for so many things.  God is doing so much right now I can't put words to it all.  I thought I would check in and say I haven't forgotten that this space exists.  Here's a tiny snapshot of what has been going on lately.  I will go into greater detail in some upcoming posts.

* In late January Graham Cooke came to Abilene with Christa Black and the whole conference left me speechless. In a wonderful way.  If you haven't heard of Graham check him out at www.brilliantbookhouse.com and a ton of his teachings can be found and downloaded on iTunes. Trust me, you won't be the same.  Two of the reasons (among many) that I love him are that he is British and his voice is exactly how I imagine God's to sound.

* At the end of January I attended the Father Heart School (a conference that featured Duncan & Kate Smith, and Stacey and Casey Long from Catch the Fire-Raleigh.  It was centered around the Father-heart of God.  Oh my goodness it was RICH.  I sat at the feet of Love for three days and I get goosebumps even now, a month later, thinking back on all of the nuggets I tucked into my aresenal of Truth.  It was absolutely phenomenal. 

* I have been set on fire by some absolutely gorgeous women-warriors in the Kingdom whose hearts beat with the same passion as mine.  Lisa Bevere and Christine Caine are two of the most influential ones in the season that the Lord and I are walking through.

* Daddy-God has given me so many divine opportunities lately.  I have found what I was created for and it is exhilerating to be RIGHT in the CENTER of seeing Him bring a little piece of my destiny into focus.  I have been completely humbled and awed to partner with Him in this.

I worked a Walk to Emmaus the weekend after Valentine's Day.  Oh. My. God did a mighty work!  I was privileged to be a Table Leader and to give the Growth Through Study talk.  I needed the weekend as much or more than the 42 women I was blessed to serve. 

I think that brings me up-to-date.  Tomorrow, Mom and I are going to paint silk scarves in downtown Abilene.  I will let you know all about it.  Blessings on your weekend.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

My Word...

Every year, over the past three years, I've chosen a word.  I have several friends that do this each year as well.  In my life, choosing a word provides a sort of anchoring focus to the year in front of me.  I also love to see how God teaches, guides and shapes me during the year as He unfolds it along with my word.  Sometimes I have to begin to discern my word weeks before the new year and at other times Holy Spirit gives me a word within minutes of asking.  The latter is what happened for 2013.  On January 1st as I asked, the word rose up quickly in my spirit.  That tends to be my history with Holy Spirit.  As I seek, He is pretty "Johnny-on-the-spot" if you know what I mean.  During 2012 my word was "fullness."  I love doing it.  It's fun. I've found that participating in this discipline each year allows God to reveal a ton about Himself as days and months unfold. 

As I asked Him and began to seek His heart for my word for 2013, I asked what kind of things He wanted to do in and through me in the coming year.  As I began to lay down myself upon the altar of His heart, the word emerged.  My word for 2013 is "new."  I love that word.  I love the potential behind it.  I believe the word "new" reeks of freedom.  In October of 2012, I had a prophecy spoken over me by Isabel Allum at First Methodist Church in Abilene that absolutely wrecked me in the most awesome way possible.  As I received her prophecy, the Father's theme seemed to be new, and as I typed it out again to keep forever in December, the theme that kept resonating within me was newness.  I just think God is so cool and so intentional.  I love that about Him.  I enjoy how He speaks and how Holy Spirit confirms and keeps confirming no matter how long it takes us to listen. 

I'm really excited about 2013.  I'm believing and claiming that God will do great things in, through, and in spite of me. Do you choose a word for the year?  I hope you have a very blessed and favored 2013, blog friends.