Monday, October 14, 2013

Trying Something new!

A few years back I had the privilege to attend a "She Speaks" conference in North Carolina through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I loved every minute of it! Renee Swope from that ministry has written a book titled," A Confident Heart ".
What is the study about  you ask? I will borrow a quote from   "Often the biggest obstacle to living out our faith is our own doubt--about our worth, our abilities, our relationship with God, and situations in our lives. A Confident Heart gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Author Renee Swope shows us how to identify, overcome, and learn from our self-doubts so that we can live confidently in God's assurance, truth, and grace. A Confident Heart is an authentic, insight-filled and encouraging message for any woman who wants to exchange defeating thought patterns with biblical truth that will transform the way she thinks, feels, and lives. " 
  I am a newbie at the Prov.31 online Bible study - it started today! Join me!

Till next time,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thoughts on Surrender

From a couple of months ago....

When I  think of  life directly around me, the part that you can see or feel along with me is calm and what I call "normal".If I dare to be vulnerable and let you see a bit of what is going on inside you may see something a bit differently.
If you could see my heart and read my mind you would see the struggle that I am having .Well, not sure I can actually call it a "struggle" but more like a debate with myself of sorts.
The debate around one word.
It's a word that is a verb.
It's an action.
but yet,
at the same time it's a state of rest.

 I have thought about this word more in the last week than I did (I believe) all my life.
Not that I have not had to surrender anything.I just was never at the point that I am now with that word.

I wonder....
What does that mean to me?
What does that mean for me?
Does it look the same in every one's life?
To be honest, I realize that I often think that when I surrender I am going to be asked to do what I don't want to. I will be miserably stuck.Yes, that is a negative thought -maybe even warped and wrong but hey I said I was going to be vulnerable! Don't give up on me -keep reading ....

Let's start somewhere
First , what is the dictionary meaning of the word? Here it is, thanks to (

sur·ren·der  (s-rndr)
v. sur·ren·deredsur·ren·der·ingsur·ren·ders
1. To relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion.
2. To give up in favor of another.
3. To give up or give back (something that has been granted): 
4. To give up or abandon: 
5. To give over or resign (oneself) to something, as to an emotion: 

 I look at each definition and relate it to my relationship to God .
I pick it apart.
Process it.
Think think think.

God does not DEMAND me to relinquish control.He is so incredibly patient and loving with me . I imagine him waiting for me to simply see that it's the better choice,showing me,teaching me  but yet not FORCING me. He allows me to choose.
Than, I see the word "compulsion" in definition one - "An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation" . 

If I am truly immersed and  overcome with who God is.When I see evidence of Christ at work .My reaction should be as one of  compulsion to fall on my face and say  "Anything and all for you. Where do you want me?" I imagine myself like the the disciples dropping their nets and following. What do I need to drop?

Than reality hits and I begin to 2nd guess and think about life and all the normality's that go with it. Life happens. 

The disciples dropped their nets in an instant to follow Jesus. Later, I read in John 21 how they were out fishing again . Although  "life" changed as they knew they it, they were still fishermen. I believe their focus changed. 

In John 21 After a big catch and a breakfast of fish Jesus asked Peter , "Do you love me more than these?"  I wonder what Jesus meant by "these" ? Fish? Maybe. Do I love __________ more than Jesus? (fill in the blank)

How does surrender look in my day to day? Like the disciples, I need to change my focus. Whatever it is that I do it's not about me or for me. All For Jesus....

Be blessed today!

Friday, April 26, 2013

In Stillness

Be still.
I sit here on a bench overlooking a beautiful cove .A spot I discovered here in Sarasota a few weeks ago.
I love this place! I often have twenty minutes to a half an hour before a weekly morning appointment on this day so I stop here.
Nature is alive here. Birds are chirping, pelicans are coming for their breakfast, seagulls squawking for their claim to their portion. Minnows tiny as they are, break the surface of the water nibbling for their breakfast.Bigger fish are showing off, jumping above the water.
                                              In all that activity.... 
                           This spot somehow relaxes and calms me.

Flash back to earlier in the morning---
  I was praying while getting ready for my day. I was asking for an answer from God about something.It was in a sort of desperate kind of way. In that desperation I heard; " BE STILL". I stopped. I listened.Than, I heard the answer.
A bit later I got into my truck to head out for the day and the message on the song on the radio was 
"BE STILL". Again.
I got to the park , found my bench than I immediately began my busyness of settling in,finding what I wanted on my Samsung Tablet (after all I only had 20 or so minutes before I had to be at my appointment). Again I heard " be still- enjoy my beauty".

When I stop and look around I realize this is a taste of the beauty of my God. He created this for me to enjoy.
It's HIM
 It is HIS touch.
For me. 
I can see God here.
If I'm still long enough I may even hear him.
I will not stop talking to God throughout the busyness of the day; short snippets of praise, requests for an answer,thoughts to discuss with him.
I do know
when I STOP
and am still- not only in motion but also in my words 
before my God .

I benefit so greatly.

Be encouraged!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Anniversary to us!

Twenty Years.
20 Years.
10 +10 = twenty. No matter how I write it,say it or think about it- it's hard to believe I have been Chip's wife for that long!
 I cannot say it's always been smooth.The rough areas in the "road" have strengthened us. Has it been all joy walking this road together? No.We have not have not always seen eye to eye.What we have found is that {if you allow it} "iron sharpens iron".I would be lying if I would say that our marriage has been  pleasant at all times.
What I can say ?   Our LOVE runs deep.Learning and growing together is a joy.We have the same goal, it's not about us-it's about God and us working together to make this thing called life and life together work.

How have we survived? First and foremost


  verb, com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.
verb (used with object)
to give in trust or charge; consign.
to consign for preservation
to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one's intention, feeling, etc.)
to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend: 

Commitment to God first than to each other. Work through the tough spots,never give up.

 Yes I said that "S" word.I said it along with the "R" word and "L" word because in a marriage relationship those 3 verbs are a MUST to make it work- running both ways.We both respect.We both love.We both submit.

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."  Ephesians 5:21

I can say that communication has been a HUGE saving face of our relationship. I credit that to a MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND we attended about 5 years into our marriage.Things we learned over that 2 & 1/2 day weekend {seriously} changed both of us and changed our marriage.
It was not an easy weekend. It was not one of those weekends that you sit in a crowd of 2000 people.It was us and maybe 5 other couples.A very small group! It was not about us getting to know the other couples.It was not about meeting some GREAT well known speakers.It was personal. It was about YOU and YOUR spouse learning to know each other and how to dialogue about it. At that it did!
I thank God for that opportunity!

Last week I was on a walk by myself.I was talking to God.I began thanking him for this man in my life.This man that I feel I don't deserve.This guy who loves me,who doesn't think my dreams are too crazy,who lets me talk about girl stuff and he doesn't roll his eyes.He genuinely loves me for exactly who I am at this time.Encourages me in my strengths and helps me recognize my weaknesses without judgment.Does this man ever raise his voice,get frustrated at me? I have to answer this with "yes" -BUT only when I have gotten so ridiculous that that seriously is the ONLY way to get through my thick head!
  I was so overwhelmed in this thought process and right their on the sidewalk I had a moment.A moment when tears were streaming down my face and I am pretty sure God was smiling saying,"I knew before you were born girl-I knew exactly who and what  you would need in a man,trust me,it was going to have to be somebody very patient !"

 I pray I am the same for him.
Which brings me to that ----PRAYER
There is a card I keep in my Bible,it is a list of scripture turned into prayers for my husband.On the flip side of the card are prayers for me to pray  as his wife.I cannot expect that God has blessed me with this man who puts his 100% into our marriage but be a  slacker on my part. I have to contribute my 100%.

Chip+Me+God = "Cord not easily broken" Eccl 4:12

In the twenty years together we have

  • bought 3 homes (sold 2)
  • had a miscarriage
  • have 3 beautiful children
  • walked through the death of my sister
  • walked through the death of his brother
  • traveled the 1800 miles between Florida and Pa. 20+ times
  • moved from Pa. to Florida
  • started 2 businesses
All in all we have by the grace of God survived!

Now before you think I am trying to paint this picture of us having it all together go back and read the first part  again. :)

It has not been a perfect 20 years but would I give up any portion of it? Not at all!

I publicly say "Happy Anniversary to my man!"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Resolutions - Better Late than Never...

It's Tuesday.
One week exactly from the first day of the year 2013.
I get up at 5 am after getting 8 hours of rest & begin journaling ,spilling my heart and it's feelings (because I know now exactly how to put them in words) all over the pages.I pray without my thoughts straying. I remain totally focused while sipping a healthy green tea instead of caffeine laden coffee.I drink 8 glasses of distilled water a day,run 4 miles without huffing and puffing.As the day goes on I check  items off my to-do list (that was made the evening before). My lunch plate holds a healthy salad with exactly 1 oz. of lean meat( if hummus isn't available). I quit the habit of procrastination .I don't snap at my children anymore and always,always greet my husband at the door with a hug and a kiss plus a smile and a cold glass of water.

You know  -that is so far from the truth!

This morning as I was driving home from dropping my youngest off at school I actually thought about this whole thing a bit.
I love New years.
I love the idea of new beginnings.
Somehow this year I feel as though I missed it.
I feel at loose ends.
I wish I could take my thoughts & my ideas that swirl around in my head ,sort them out and neatly put them on a pile. When I need them I could go to that pile and make use of the "organized thought".
I don't think it works that way.At least not in my brain.I have a mind that seriously can be thinking about a dozen things at once.So,while I haven't decided about the one thought yet I'm off to the next!
So, this year with all the areas I've been trying to sort out in my mind I haven't settled on any one thing to work on .You know put it on my "resolutions" list.
I feel a bit "Charlie Brownish" .
My sentiments exactly!

Things I do have on a "know for sure" pile and can back to;
God is still the same God he was in 2012.
I still have the same faith I had in 2012.
I love my family.
I love people.
I am loved.
(Although I have to remind my self and allow it to be released in me) I still have peace in the midst of all my thinking and unorganized thoughts.

Actually,I am learning to write down some of these thoughts because I know that I will forget them and try desperately to remember exactly what it was that I was processing.

Whoo boy-am I normal?
I read this back to myself and I wonder if maybe I should just put this in a VERY private journal because it sounds like a rather strange person!

So here I am one week late with my RESOLUTION list;

1.Spend QUALITY time with God not only merely reading the Bible but having dialogue with God.
(Shutting up long enough so he has a chance to speak! )I have been working on this for a while so this is a continuation of that.
2.Being a "Go Giver" in my work and my daily walk. -Wondering what that is? Ask me I would love to tell you! (It's one of those 1 million thoughts in my head that I have been sorting!)
3.Be a Grace Giver
4.Drink more water (seriously some days just drinking A glass of water is doing better than I was!)
5.Being more organized with my days
6. Exercise 
So, there you have it.Go ahead ask me sometime how I am doing! I would love it if you would.
If I look like I am deep in thought you may want to step away- although I do think I am normal!

Till next time,