WEEKLY CHALLENGE: Grab a journal

Monday, October 2, 2017




WEEKLY CHALLENGE: Journal through your hurts. Journal your honest feelings in a way that allows you to release them to Jesus. Write what God puts on your heart.

Grab a journal and lets write together. 

As we begin to look at how change can bring about hurt and healing, lets commit to writing through those moments in order to release them to Jesus. We have all experienced hurts throughout our lives, but God wants to take ahold of them and heal them in beautiful ways. It is important to process through all things we deal with, acknowledging the hurts and be thankful for the healing. Maybe the healing has not come yet, but working through the hurt will get you closer to understanding the why and moving past the struggles. Name the hurts. Identify the struggles. Do not allow the things that God is doing in you to be jaded by what satan is trying to distract you with in your life. We can walk through the changes that hurt and see Jesus beautifully in them... what he is doing through them.

The Art of Change: Introduction

Sunday, October 1, 2017



Change.
To make or become different.
The act or instance of making or becoming different.

The Write 31 Days Challenge was something amazing I participating in last year writing about and intentional and authentic approach to doing life. Last year, joining the project was such a spur of the moment idea. This year is different. I have evaluated. Prayed. Sat with pen and paper. Coming up with one thing that God laid on my heart. 

The Art of Change. (link to see this months posts)
A journey. A process. Wandering.
Hurting and healing. 
Grace. 
Mindfulness. 
Simplicity. 
Gratitude. 

These lessons are my thoughts on where I have journeyed and wandered over the course of the last 10 months. It is the bits and pieces of change that God has brought me through, taught me in, refining me deeply. 

Change allows us to grow, develop, process and find something different in ourselves that we did not know was there. Waiting and wanting to be seen. Known. Heard. It is there so that we can share it with others, walk well alongside someone else. It is there to protect us from what we do not know and may not see we actually need. It shows us how things have the capability to be different. It directs us in ways that we may or may not comprehend because we do not see what God is doing.

Change is beautiful.
It is hard.
It heals brokenness.
It transforms.
It illuminates grace.
It pushes simplicity.
It gives gratitude.
It forces reflection.

For the next 31 days I ask that you come back. Come back and see what change gracious does in our lives. Be it painful or not. CS Lewis says, "You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." It is a journey. We walk through life making beautiful choices and decisions. While we may not always get a choice as to where we end up, we definitely get a choice as to our attitude towards that change and the outcome we allow it to have over our life.


Intentional Challenge: Encouragement

Monday, September 18, 2017



WEEK 3: Encouragement

"The action of giving someone support, confidence or hope" or "the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state or belief".

The first two weeks of this intentional challenge have been with the hope that we could "stimulate the development of an activity, state or belief" in the lives of our children. We have began to give 5 minutes each morning to reading scripture and praying before the start of each day. It has become such a precious thing for me each morning as I work to encourage my kiddos towards the habit of seeking Jesus as the day begins.

This week the challenge is to intentionally instill support, confidence and hope into the lives of those that we do life with each and everyday. For me, those are the people I call my "crew". My 5 kiddos and my Todd. For you it may be your spouse, roommate or your parents. Each person you see needs encouragement, but we also must know how to encourage them in a way that helps them see that action as encouragement.


Action in Encouragement

1.  Be a student. Know how to encourage those that  are around you. One of the greatest things that we can do for those that we do life with is to become a student of who them. Know them, learn what they love and how how they love. When we know the language of that love, we open doors not only how to love them better, but how to encouragement them so they can see that love. Know the language in which those that are around you see love and encouragement.

2. Be selfless. Give a complement. Give hugs. Celebrate accomplishments. Listen. Help out.

3. Wait and watch. Simply wait and watch for your heart to become encouraged as you build up those that are around you. Become a stronger, more hopeful version of yourself. You may even see changes in those that are around you as you encourage them in their lives.





Intentional Challenge: Adding Prayers

Monday, September 4, 2017


WEEK 2: Adding Prayers

Last week in WEEK 1: 5 MINUTES + JESUS I asked you to join me in simply spending 5 minutes with Jesus each morning, specifically pouring into your children if you have them before they head off to school, but it could just be 5 minutes with Jesus by yourself. As I spend the mornings sharing Jesus with my crew before we started our day, I continued to have that deep longing for just a little bit more of Jesus in the morning.

This week my challenge for you is Adding Prayers. After your 5 minutes of intentionally being with Jesus, pray specifically for the day. We always have our children pray before dinner and it has become such a beautiful time to hear their hearts and desires. It truly becomes clear as to what they desire in their lives and for the life of our family. So in the mornings, or when you intentionally set time aside for Jesus time, add some specific prayers. Our family has been praying diligently for a job for Todd and peace (happiness & joy) for our family as we walk through this time of transition.

Can you add just one more thing to your mornings? I promise you it will show you the heart that you have for the day that God has set before you and if you have children, it will show you their heart and thoughts for their day as well. We need to have that connection with our children and know and understand who they are and the heart that they have for the world.

Intentional Challenge: 5 minutes + Jesus

Tuesday, August 29, 2017





WEEK ONE: 5 MINUTES + JESUS

Spend 5 minutes (or any allotted amount of time) each morning with Jesus before your kids go off to school or before you rush off to work to simply read Gods word and pray.

On Sunday I blogged about our summer that was relentlessly brutal. I had mentioned that I felt as if I was failing in encouraging them, showing them Jesus and not praying blessings over their hearts, souls and minds. As I continued to wrestle with the hurt I knew I could do something significant about this part of my chaos. I could break the cycle and change.

This morning I started anew. I started a simple challenge on being intentional. Being intentional about this lacking. As my kiddos began their first day of school, we added to our morning routine. I told them all that I needed 5 minutes of their morning. That's all. 5 minutes.

Being intentional is what I want to drive me this year. I believe it has purpose. It has value. It is worth it. As I processed why we should be living intentionally, my head reminded my heart why we need to be intentional.

Purpose of Intentional Living

1. To encourage one another. Hebrews 10:24-25 | 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Encouragement. Something we forget to give to others, but always remember that we need. To encourage is to praise someone. To support someone. To boost the confidence of someone. To lift up someone. To endorse someone. What if we were able to do this for others? What if we were able to teach those around us to do this for others?

I recently read a read this post by Jen Hatmaker. What if we found the strengths of everyone around us and boosted their spirits? What if we sought to see the amazing, instead of focusing on short comings? Would it make a difference? Today, I did what Jen did. I pulled out my chalk board and am finding a place in the house to display it so that we can begin to encourage instead of tear down. Focusing on the positive.

2. To be kind and compassionate to one another. Ephesians 4:32 | Proverbs 3:3 Be kind and compassionate. Show empathy and mercy for those who you come into contact with each day. Walk alongside of those you love deeply and those you have just met. Being kind and compassionate partners so well with encouragement. It really is the tender side of encouragement. Come alongside. Walking next to them. Teaching them. Guiding them. Sitting with them. Showing that you are simply there for them without judgement.

Sitting in silence can often be uncomfortable or awkward because we tend to want to fill the silence, but sometimes we need to come along side graciously, with humility to show compassion simply with our presence. Often I encourage moms to correct their children in 25 words or less. After 25 words we have likely lost their attention. The same goes with showing kindness and compassion. The less words we use, the more action they see, the more supported and loved someone feels. Should that not be the point of kindness and compassion? Simply loving those that we come in contact with each moment of the day.

3. To build up one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Growing up I would go to work with my dad when he would check on the job sites that his company was building. I remember hoping out of his car and running off to explore while he would walk into meetings. One of the things that often struck me was the organized chaos of the framing process. Boards supporting one another. Strengthening walls to that held up floors that would eventually house families. Our job is much like the organized chaos of framing. We are called to build up one another. Support one another. We must actively participate in the lives of people. We must intentionally build up each other to show them Jesus. To show them our love for one another.

4. To serve one another. Galatians 5:13 "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." I am guilt of serving for the sake of being seen. For my own glorification. For getting a pat on the back. However, true service comes from humility. To simply want to love someone enough to serve them well. I have a friend who is so good at this. She is wonderful at coming alongside and serving others out of humility, grace and love. I deeply admire her genuine heart of service. Serving comes with practice. I think the actions are easy, but our hearts are clouded. We must check our heart and soul to find that balance of serving with grace, humility and compassion.

5. To simply be present and enjoy right now. Isaiah 43:18-19 | Proverbs 13:22 Do not miss what God is doing in your life. Despite the circumstance that you may be walking through, you do not want to miss what God is doing in your life, how he is refining you and changing you. It is beautiful. Even if this is a difficult season. It is beautiful. To see that, you need to be present, to "perceive it" (Isaiah 43:19). "A happy heart is good medicine". Being present in the moment creates happiness. Raises your energy. Creates a happy more contented attitude. Who can't use a little more of that?
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One of the recent vegan detox challenges I took part in taught me a lot, but one thing really stuck out to me.

Progress over perfection.

I believe that in this journey in living intentionally we need to focus on progress over perfection. I am sure this week I will NOT be intentional with those that are around me. That I will lose focus on being encouraging. That I will forget my call to show kindness and compassion. That I will fail to build up and support my children in their week. Serving selfishly or not serving at all. I know I will forget to remain in the "right now" and will worry about "what's next". It is inevitable. BUT I know that I can focus on progress over perfection. Can you?

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