Peace in Your Surrender

” I got this one!! You can have the next one.”

“Well let me just have this one thing, you can have the rest.”

“I don’t like that choice, so I am going with the other.”

Do any of these above statements sound familiar? Maybe you have spoken them to a family member, friend, boss, spouse. I know one person that I have spoken all three of these statements to; GOD!!!

(cue the gasping, “you said this to God!”)

Yes, I have and more then once. Let’s all be honest, whomever is reading this you have probably said the same things to God as well. It is our human nature to want to be in control, to want to make our own decisions even when its the wrong one. Yet we are so quick to blame God when those choices end poorly or when we simply just lose control of our lives and CRASH!!!!

I am a living survivor of that “Crash.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I stood up praised God and said “I can’t take it anymore!!! Here God take it all.” Then a few days would go by and I would start taking things back from God and before I knew it everything that I had “given” to God was right back in my hands, at my own doing.

How insane is that?!?!?!?! We have a God who is for us and not against us. We have a God who knows our life plan. We have a God who wants us to lay our burdens down on Him. We have a God who would NEVER give us more then we can handle. Yet here we are doubting His power, His promise and His will for our lives.

Webster’s Surrender definition is this; cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to authority. Our authority is God. He is not our enemy but we often times make Him out to be.

Webster’s definition of peace is; freedom from disturbance. This very well may be the simplest definition to a word that I know of. If you want peace in your life (let’s be real, we ALL want this) just get rid of all the disturbances. But how do we get rid of all the disturbances???

SURRENDER

When you surrender your not just giving yourself up to God but you are being obedient to God. He did not put us on this earth to be balls of stress. He put us on this earth to be salt and light, to be examples of His love, kindness, forgiveness and humility.

Surrender is not easy, it is an everyday occurrence. Every morning I wake up and my first words/thoughts are “I SURRENDER.” (Yes, even before coffee hits my system I am fully aware of my absolute need for God!)

Everyday something new comes our way, a new stress, a new challenge, a new obstacle and then to add that to everything else in our life is unbearable. But when you surrender everyday you are gifted with a new peace everyday. The peace you need to take a deep breath when you overwhelmed by your workload, the peace you need when your kids just won’t stop (mom’s you know what I am talking about!), the peace you need when you can’t pay the bills and don’t know how you are going to get through the next month, the peace you need to get through life everyday!!!!

I can tell you the surrender is worth the peace, and the peace is worth the surrender. It is a win, win for us!!!

So GO find the peace in your surrender!!!!

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”                                                                              Philippians 4:7

 

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Dear Young Girl,

I remember those long, hard teenage years. Thoughts constantly racing through my head;

“Who am I?”

“Am I good enough, pretty enough, thin enough?”

“Why can’t I be more like this girl or that girl?”

“When will I have a boyfriend?”

I remember the parties, the drinking and the hangovers. The wasted hook-ups and moments when things went further then it should have.

“Why did I do that?”

“Well at least it wasn’t sex…right?”

I remember the endless drama, the gossip and the rumors that I heard about others, but did nothing to stop. I remember the pain and the hurt of the breakups and broken hearts.

“Why didn’t he love?”

“Did he ever really love me?”

“Will any guy ever love someone as damaged as me?”

On top of everything I was a Christian, well that’s what I said, but my actions spoke much louder then my words. I believed in God and knew He was real, but I choose to live my way. I was NOT an example of God’s love and I felt shame from that, I felt like a complete and utter failure, I could not even make God proud of me.

“Why would God love me after all of this?”

“How could he forgive me?”

I remember the tears, the pain, the hidden feelings and emotions that you could never show to others. I remember the not wanting to eat to be thin, and the moments of wondering is this really worth it all?

I am here to tell you;      IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!

My teenage years have come and gone, but I remember thinking this will never be over!!! But here I am an adult who now looks back to those years and realizes it was like a blink of an eye. I can’t even begin to imagine all the new struggles and challenges you young girls face everyday. I do remember, the insecurities, the feeling of no control, endless emotions, the labels, trying to fit an image that would never be me.

It gets better, I am here today a God loving, confidant, strong woman, wife and mother. 

I found love when I didn’t think I was worth it. I found strength when all I thought I was, was weak. I found confidence even in a world that told me I can’t do anything. I found self esteem when I looked into that mirror and saw more then just my flaws, I saw the beautiful creation God made me to be.

Young girl, whoever you are, if you are feeling broken, there is a God who can put you back together piece by piece (Psalm 147:3). If you feel unloved, there is a God who loves you immeasurably (Romans 5:8). If you feel lost and alone, there is a God who is searching for you and will NEVER leave you behind (Luke 19:10 & Luke 15:4-6).

You ARE beautiful 

You ARE strong 

You ARE confidant 

You ARE brave 

You ARE a daughter of God!!!!! 

Receive Grace, Live Grace, Show Grace, REPEAT!!!

GRACE : simple elegance or refinement of movement as defined in the dictionary.

GRACE : (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

There was a time that I thought it was just an act, a thing. Grace was what you said before a meal or a just-because gift for a friend. Grace showed up in

Grace is tough!! When I think of it in the LITERAL sense, just being graceful, light on your feet just beautiful movement … I FAIL …. I am a born KLUTZ!!! The hours I spent in the emergency room because I hurt myself should be awarded a medal!!! Then I think of Grace in the spiritual/emotional sense, and if i’m going to be real and honest,

I FAIL AGAIN!!! 

Often times we all want to be shown grace whether it be by our spouse, our boss, our family, our friends and if we are really lucky our kids. But how can we possibly ask for grace if we aren’t giving back grace? As Easter Sunday approaches, I am reminded of the greatest form of grace that has ever been shown to us:

Jesus hanging on that wooden cross and dying for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US!!

Jesus in that moment showed GRACE to the very worst of humanity. Yet we struggle to show grace to our loved ones and friends most of the time.

Have you ever thought about a moment where you could have shown grace? But you didn’t want to, didn’t have time to, etc. I can think of a time, sadly I can think of more then one time, and I am sure there will be others to come. Now I am not making myself out to be a monster, because that I am not. But I am not PERFECT, I fall short of God’s grace often but even at my worst God’s grace has been at its best!

So the next time you want to be mad at your spouse, SHOW THEM GRACE and ask them whats going on, talk it out.

The next time your kids throw a fit for no good reason, take a breath and SHOW THEM GRACE, because we are our children’s Godly examples.

The next time your boss treats you not so kindly, SHOW THEM GRACE, you don’t know the struggles they are dealing with in their lives.

The next time you hear about someone’s problems, SHOW THEM GRACE, don’t judge them, love them!

Like I said GRACE IS NOT EASY. But it is so worth it. My prayer every morning is this:

I want to be a Mom full of grace 

I want to be a Wife full of grace 

I want to be a Daughter full of grace 

I want to be a Friend full of grace 

I want to be a Woman full of grace 

But most importantly I want to be a child of God full of grace. 

So as Easter approaches, be mindful of the people you encounter, and show grace even when its hard. Because the grace you show someone today, can change their tomorrow.

That is understated. Few recognize and/or understand the power and blessings that flow from Grace. Extend Grace at all times, to all people, and in every circumstance. It will change everything - and most importantly YOU!

 

Boxing in God

How many of us right now are praying for something?

Anything … It could be about a relationship, a sick family member, a new promotion coming your way, starting a family ….. The list goes on!!!!

Prayer is easy all you have to do is use your words and simply ask God, the hard part is the Faith behind it.

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God wants us to come to Him and talk to Him and build a relationship with Him, but He also requires that we have FAITH in Him. Faith that He will answer our prayers, Faith that He will never give us more then we can handle, Faith that He is in control and he orders everyone of our steps.

Faith is quite literally the basis of being a Christian, we believe and have faith that God is real and alive in us. So why is it when we pray, and ask for an answer or guidance and God responds, we lack Faith in his decision? I mean this is GOD he knows how our life is going to turn out, He knows every hair on our heads and yet we lack Faith that his decision for us is the right one.

If you are like me you wait for a sign some type of confirmation that what God is telling you is real and true. Then you get a sign (God throws you a bone) and you are all excited, then all of a sudden you start doubting and questioning;

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“Was that really a sign….?”

“Did I overthink it? ……. Was it just my mind playing tricks on me?” 

Before you know it you are asking God for another sign and then another sign and the vicious cycle continues. Until finally you miss your moment, you miss your call, you miss your step of Faith!!!

I recently listened to a message about David, and was amazed at how obedient David was to God’s call. He’d ask a question and God would simply say “YES” and David went, no questions, no signs asked for. He had Faith, no he had GREAT faith that God was in control.

David didn’t say to God:

“Give me another sign….”

“I will go if you do this…”

“Are you sure God? That’s not quite what I was asking.” 

David did not box in God. He gave God complete control over his life.

We all need to be more like David. If there is something you are praying about right now and God has given you the answer, and hey I get it sometimes that answer is not the one we wanted or not the easy answer, but obey God and have Faith that this answer is the best one.

Stop asking for signs and start asking for Faith!!! Because before you can start leading others you need to have FAITH that God can lead you. So lets be more like David today, lets lead a life that is guided by GREAT faith provided from our Father.

I am just going to leave you with this one statement:

“Your confirmation is in your obedience to God.”

Dear Son,

 

As I sit here in bed my mind begins to wander to the day you born…..

I woke up that morning knowing that this was the day I would get to meet my little boy. I was scared …. No I was petrified to undergo surgery and to become a mom. But the moment I heard your cry, heard your weight and your height my life was forever changed. They placed your cheek next to mine and you instantly stopped crying and instantly I began to cry.

just born                         just born 2

We took you home and it was bliss, well for a few hours and then we began weeks of no sleep. We were exhausted, drained, and a bit stir crazy. But every sound you made, every smile you gave us, every cuddle reminded us that you were ours and we would do anything for you.

carter sleep 2      carter sleep       carter play

Then you became more playful, rolling over, playing with toys, watching hockey with your dad. You started eating food and it was like the greatest day of your life we could not get it in there FAST enough!!! Then came the crawling and the walking and the realization I actually liked when you were immobile!!

carter eatting   carter eat carter eat 3

When you first said Mama, my heart skipped a beat. You looked up at me with your big blue eyes and reached your hands up and simply said “Mama.” In that moment it had really hit me that I am a mom, I had been for a few months but hearing you call me just made it complete reality.

me and carter   carter mom

Before I knew it we were at your FIRST birthday. It had been a whole year already. You had accomplished so much in just one short year and you changed my life forever.

first birthday

Now I sit here and ponder on what the next year will hold for you and all the years after that.

I wonder……

Will you love your first day of school?

When will we wake up one morning to find you in the middle of us?

What sports will you play?

Will you love reading stories every night like I did when I was growing up?

What will you become?

What college will you go to?

Who will you fall in love with?

Who will break your heart?

What tantrums will you have? and what arguments will we have?

Will you always hug me and kiss me the way you do now?

I have no answers to these questions because only God knows the course of your life my boy and that is why I have entrusted you to Him!! So instead of wondering, this is what I pray for you…

I pray that you never give up no matter how hard something may seem.

I pray that you will be a mighty boy, young man and man of God.

I pray that you love even when it hurts.

I pray that you have the wisdom to choose your battles wisely.

I pray you live adventurously and never hold back.

I pray that you are an excellent example of God’s love

and most of all

I pray that you choose to follow God all the days of your life.

My boy I love you more then words can even begin to describe. I will love you at your best and at your worst. I will always be there to cheer you on, to give advice and to have fun with. No matter who you become I will always be your mom and you will always be my boy.

 

Love Forever, For Always and No Matter What,

Mom

 

 

Where Are You Christmas?

Almost a week away from the biggest, costliest Holiday of the YEAR!!!!

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Right now most people are :

  1. Last minute shopping
  2. Wrapping ALL those gifts (and your thinking why did I get so much?)
  3. Preparing the menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas (cooking for an army)
  4. Attending all those Christmas Parties (and eating more then we should)
  5. Sending out those cute family Christmas cards (they weren’t so cute trying to take them!)
  6. Counting down the days till you have an extra day off from work. (YES!!!!!!)

We all know the sayings as they go,

“Jesus is the Reason for the season!!”

or

“Put Christ back in Christmas!!”

These are wonderful sayings, but they don’t mean much without the action behind.

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Most of us have accepted Christmas as the worldly holiday it has become.

  • Who can get the most gifts?
  • Who’s house is decorated the nicest?
  • How much many can I get this Christmas?
  • Iphone, Ipad ……. I EVERYTHING!!!! (I think apple is onto something!)

Christmas is no longer about family and friends and that our Savior was born on this day. Its become a money hungry holiday. But we don’t have to make it this kind of holiday, we can restore Christmas back to its real meaning.

What is the real meaning??

(I am no Theologian, Philosopher, Author, or a Licensed Pastor, so don’t take my answer as though I am one of these. I am simply a Christ loving and fearing women.)

The day Jesus was born was the day Heaven came down to restore our broken world, and we were SAVED. Yes, Jesus’ death and resurrection are what saved us, but the day He entered this world set that all in motion!

So the meaning of Christmas to me is when Jesus saved us!!!!

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I challenge you all this Christmas season to REALLY put Christ back into Christmas!!!

Let’s remind our Children why we celebrate Christmas.

Let’s be thankful for the blessings we have in our lives.

Let’s give back and volunteer our time to help others who are less fortunate then we are.

Let’s tell our family and friends how much we love them.

Let’s go back to church.

And most of all let’s thank God for coming into this world to save us!

Its a simple challenge, all it requires is a couple words and a few actions, but it will go a long way.  No matter what Continent, Country, Region, State or Town you are in my prayer is the same that you and yours have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!!!!

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The Dark Place

As a child most of us were probably scared of the dark. Hey let’s be honest even as adults we are sometimes frightened by the dark.

But what is it exactly that scares us so much about the dark?

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Its not the actual darkness that scares us, its what we believe lives there. Children believe its the boogeyman, ghosts or some other scary creature that lurks in the night and under their beds. For adults it very well could be the same or a burglar, murderer something or someone evil.

Have you noticed the pattern here? Dark = Evil.

Darkness tends to bring out our worst fears, the most irrational scenarios you can think of play out in our heads and terrify us.

Have you been to that Dark Place? I have and not so long ago.

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I have had struggles and tough times just like any other person. I’ve gone through loss, heartaches, pain and sadness at all different points of my life. But my Darkest Place was this past year.

This was my first year being a mom, now I know I can already hear the murmurs of  “you became a mom how could this possibly lead you to your darkest place?” I asked myself the same question too. But the endless nights of no sleep that led to exhaustion and a crying baby that led to frustration paved the way.

I was prepared for my delivery, but not a c-section. I was prepared to be healed up and ready to go in a week, but not for it to take 3- 4 months. And lets be honest you are never fully prepared to become a parent!!! The one thing that I never prepared for, never took into account was the area that the enemy attacked. My emotional/mental state.

Now I am going to be 100% percent real and authentic here. I love my son with my whole being but I really struggled the first couple months. I would cry constantly, out of no where. And it was not a pretty cry, it was an uncontrollable, unending cry. I wasn’t eating much, not sleeping (and not simply because I had a newborn), had some health complications due to pregnancy and the c-section, and at some point I kind of just shut down completely.  I did not want to move, get out of bed or even out of the house. I was BROKEN.

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This affected all areas of my life, my marriage, my faith and my self worth. I had a weakness in one area and the enemy attacked in a brutal way, I really thought this was it, this was my life now …. just this Dark Place.

I was worthless.

I wasn’t a good mom, my son could do better.

My husband deserved a better wife.

I should be back to my normal body weight like all these other women.

I can’t do anything right.

These were all the things, and more that would reek havoc in my head.

But one day in the midst of the dark that was invading me, I felt something I hadn’t in a while, Hope. With that hope came the light that broke the darkness. I can’t sit here and tell you it was this one profound thing that changed everything for me, because it was a bunch of little things.

It was…

The way me son smiled at me and made me realize I am a good mom!

The way my husband looked at me and I knew by his look he loved me for me!

The way God showed me grace even when I had lost my faith in Him!

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Darkness is powerful, terrifying and paralyzing. But it has a weakness and a way to be defeated, LIGHT!!!!! Nothing can defeat the light!!!!!!!

I am proud of the women, wife, mother, daughter, friend that I am, and still have yet to become. I know I will have tough times and life will not always be easy or fun. But I won’t let those Dark Places ruin me. I will always have the Light, I will always have my God to guide me through and lead me out to be a much stronger mighty women then I was before.

So if you are in that dark place, just HOLD ON!!! The light is coming!!!

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