Step up!

Do you want to know what made me teary eyed recently? This past weekend I watched one of our older girls showing a younger how to use the Bible. Victoria pointed out where to find the book of the Bible you are looking for. She explained that the big number is the chapter and the little is the verse and then she read the scripture to our little friend and explained what it was saying. How exciting it was to see a 10 year old pour into a child much younger than herself. Victoria could have been sitting with a friend her age or shouting that she found the verse first BUT she chose to look at the interest of another not just her own. This is huge! I was so excited and proud not just of her but of our awesome volunteers who go above and beyond to pour into these kids each week.

Not only was my heart full at this moment but I was encouraged by a 10 year old to always be willing to step up and help others in their spiritual walk. We don’t go to church just to be poured into. We go to church to pour into others. Victoria is a reminder to all of us to be willing to step up and help others grow in there walk with Jesus. Will you step up?

“…not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philipians 2:4

Baking soda and Jesus!

I use baking soda on EVERYTHING!!! It’s so effective when fighting stains. I recently had a stain on my kitchen countertop. For a moment I thought “oh well. No one will see the stain if I cover it with this….” Then I remembered the baking soda under my sink. Why leave the stain? It’s only going to haunt me because I know that it’s there! I quickly pulled out the good stuff, poured some on the stain and waited a few minutes! Five minutes later the stain was gone. It was no longer haunting me. It would not be coming back. The baking soda was just what I needed at that moment.

Jesus is just who we need! Why do we try and cover up our stains with things of the world? Jesus is just who we need to completely take the stains away. He’s not a quick fix! He’s the real deal. Stop covering up your hurt, your sin and your pain. It doesn’t have to continue to haunt you! Jesus wants to take it all away.

“Purify new from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalms 51:7 NLT

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This is my Roar!!!

This is my Roar!

32 years! That’s how long it has taken me to realize to who I belong. 32 years is how long it has taken me to be comfortable in my skin and be proud and unashamed of where God has brought me from! Guys! This is my year to let God truly transform me into all He has called me to be. I’ve been stuck in a victim mindset for a while and I didn’t realize it until this past year. Acknowledging this helped me break out of it. I’m not a victim. I’m free now. I don’t know who has been praying BUT through those prayers it has all finally clicked. Maybe you are older than me… this can be your year too. If you are younger than me don’t waste your life feeling down on you. You are so important to God. You are so loved by Him.

It’s 2020 people!!! 2020! I’m done. I’m done with all the self hate, guilt, comparison and so on. I’m ready to confidently transform into all that God has called me to be. I’m ready to wake up and choose to love myself. I’m ready to love me because Jesus loves me. I am His and in Him I’m 100% complete.

I’m tired of feeling bad for who I am!

I’m tired of wishing my body looked the way my brain tells me it should.

I’m exhausted from 2nd guessing myself as a mother, a wife, a coworker and so on!

I’m done thinking I’m not good enough to be where God has brought me!

I’m worn… truly worn from the worry. I just can’t worry anymore.

I’m tired of getting mad over really stupid things. Like, so mad my day is ruined!

Oh!! It’s gonna be hard. So hard but this is the year I say goodbye to all the broken parts of me. We live In a broken and fallen world but I don’t have to live like I’m broken. I can choose to walk in His freedom. You can too. Because we are His we are free!

It’s His! All of it!

It’s time that we break out of this mindset that we are too broken. It’s time we stop living with a victim mindset. It’s time we stop thinking that our past defines us. It’s time we stop feeling unworthy of His love. It’s time we stop telling ourselves day in and day out that we don’t deserve the forgiveness that He has given His life for. Of COURSE we don’t deserve His love and forgiveness. None of us do. BUT HE still gave it because His love for us is that big.

I’m ready to love all of me.

I’m ready to feel good in my body because it’s healthy. (Even if I do have cellulite growing on my butt)

I’m ready to be proud of the mother I have become and the wife God has called me to be.

I’m ready to know God placed me where I am with all the gifts I need to make a difference.

I’m ready to praise God for all the good and let my life be a blessing to others.

I’m ready to shout his love and this freedom I have found in Him from the rooftops.

I feel like Kevin from the movie Home Alone. I’m standing in the hallway yelling at the bad guys “Did you hear me? I said I’m not afraid anymore!”

I feel like we all need a Kevin from HOme Alone hallway moment.

I mean seriously. What makes you and I so different from anyone else who we esteem higher than ourselves? Nothing!! Absolutely nothing!

I’m no different to God!

I’m no less special to God!

I have no less value to God!

I’m loved no less by God.

I am His and in Him I can stand free from all self hate, comparison and feeling of not measuring up because I am His. You are His! You are His And in Him is where you find where you belong, your purpose and His love. His love for you is so big and it does not run out.

Is this too much? Have I gone too far? Maybe I should edit out the cellulite joke. Well actually that wasn’t a joke. Have I made some uncomfortable? I don’t know! If I have, I guess I’m sorry! Look! I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not perfect but I’m a work in progress. Jesus is continually working on my heart and transforming me into who He has called me to be NOT who the world has called me to be. Guys! I can’t say it enough. I am HIs. You are HIs. We are 100% complete when we realize that He is where we belong cellulite and all. Here we are in 2020! Are you ready? I am! This is my roar!

Is your vision 2020?

And the LORD answered me:

“Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2

The month of December in Kids Life was filled with lots of fun engaging games that helped us focus on the birth of Jesus! There is one game I’d like to highlight. A few weeks ago the kids put a plate on their head and were asked to draw a scene given to them from the story of Christmas! They could not see what they were drawing. The game is called blind drawing! In this picture they are drawing the manger where baby Jesus was born. After their drawing was finished, they brought the paper plate down and they shared it with everyone around. Obviously, there were lots of giggles during this activity.

This activity raised a question for me. How many times in life have we blindly tried to draw the plan for our own life? Just like the picture of the manger that the kids drew, when we try and draw the picture we think our life should look like it usually doesn’t come close to resembling the picture God has planned for us. Don’t allow yourself to walk through this next year blind to God’s plan for you. Give God the pencil. His story is so much better than any picture you could draw for yourself. When it comes to his plan for our life, He has the 2020 vision. Why would we allow ourselves to plan something with less than perfect vision when we have access to the best? Jesus is the best. His plan for you is the best. Don’t expect anything less than the 2020 vision that He has for you. We don’t have to. His vision for your future is the 2020 perfect vision so begin this year to walk on it! When He begins to reveal His plan for your life, write it down. Write it down so you don’t forget what He has called you to. There will be so many situations and people who try and keep you from His 2020 vision. Don’t allow anything or anyone to blur the vision God has for you this next year. It’s time we get behind that 2020 vision!

A Prayer in an ornament!

I know Christmas is over. However, this is my favorite ornament that we hang on the tree each year. It is from Ellie’s first Christmas. Inside is her cap from her birth, her hospital band and 10 pink slips of paper. On each slip of paper is a prayer we had for Ellie. At a baby shower they had us write down 10 things we wanted them to pray over Ellie. Then they prayed for those prayers listed. Over the last 3 years we have watched many of those prayers be answered. We open it each year and tell Ellie all about it. It’s a fun Christmas tradition that we have fallen in love with. Each Christmas I am reminded how powerful prayer is. I’m so thankful for all our friends and family who covered Ellie in prayer months before she made her appearance! ❤️

When Christmas is messy!

Read Luke 1-2

I loved Jessie’s Christmas Eve sermon tonight. He reminded us that the day Jesus was born was not perfect. It was messy. No one would open their doors, Mary had to ride nine months pregnant on the back of a donkey, Joseph was dirty, the animals didn’t sit perfect like you see in the nativity scene and poor Jesus wasn’t even given a sanitary place to sleep. It was messy. Social media can make us feel like our Christmas is the only

one that isn’t perfect. The reality is we all have areas in our lives that are messy and Jesus is always willing to meet us in the mess. From our family to yours, merry messy Christmas! ❤️🎅🎉🎄⛄️

“I had a heart attack in July and had a triple bypass. Ellie helped me see that I should be blessing others too. Jesus brought this Grandpa back for a reason.”

Spread that Jesus Cheer!

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

This has been a very special week. Ellie decided that she wanted to spread Jesus’ cheer to kids in our community! ( Her idea not ours)

We recently took Ellie to the store to buy a toy. I had lost a bucket of toys that I told her I would keep safe if she shared them with her friends at church and then I lost the entire bucket of toys. After buying her a new toy we were in the car and I was reminding her how blessed we are to have so much and how nice it must feel to get a new toy. She agreed that it was nice. I went on to tell her that many kids do not get new toys often and sometimes at Christmas they don’t even get toys. Before I could finish she said something I’ll never forget!

“Maybe I can be like Santa and give toys to ALL the kids so they can feel happy too!”

I was headed in that direction but she clearly felt it in her heart. I told her that Jesus would be so pleased to see her giving to other kids with such a happy heart because Jesus loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

That’s where stockings for kids began. We took Ellie shopping and she filled the cart with stockings and fun toys and activities to fill the stockings with.

She stuffed all the stockings with very little help.

When we were out and about if she were to see a kid she would give them a stocking and say Merry Christmas!

Then she would tell their parents her entire life story!

She never asked to keep a stocking for herself. She never hesitated to give the stockings away. She was so eager to give each one. In fact, after she gave the last one she asked “what about the other kids we see tomorrow?” She loves to give.

While the kids were so excited to receive a stocking I was also amazed at the encouraging reaction from each parent. One grandparent responded…

“I had a heart attack in July and had a triple bypass. Ellie helped me see that I should be blessing others too. Jesus brought me back for a reason.”

Let’s just say Ellie brought lots of smiles to kids and much joy to many parents and grandparents.

Jesus used Ellie to bless 20 kids in her community this week. It was so exciting to watch her eyes light up when a kid would walk by. I believe that each kid who received a stocking was chosen by God for a reason. We might not know the reason but we trust in a savior who has a perfect plan. Ellie might not have been able to give stockings to ALL the kids in our community but we know that she spread Jesus’ cheer to many kids this Christmas.

The truth is, Ellie is teaching me a different perspective in giving. Not every person needs to be given to because they are hurting financially. Some are hurting in other ways. Some are financially broken. Some are spiritually broken. Others are physically broken. Many are mentally and emotionally broken. We live in a broken and fallen world. We are all broken in some way at some point in life. We all need that person who is willing to spread Jesus’ cheer and fill our hearts with hope and joy. Ellie did just this. She spent the week, filling the community with a little bit of cheer. I was looking so hard for a charity or shelter of some sort that Ellie’s could give her stockings to. I realized I was missing individuals who we cross paths with on a daily basis. We still give to places like shelters and charities but this year Ellie also reminded us to have our eyes open to those who we come into contact with in our daily routines. There are broken people all around us and they all need some of that Jesus cheer that continually spills from Ellie’s heart.