Tag Archives: joy

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

My dream is for us all to dream big and go after our dreams with everything we have.

Regardless of how exciting dream chasing is, life will always be full of boring moments. We all have basic maintenance things we have to do each day. We have to clean our homes, feed our dogs, and fill our cars with gas over and over again.

Personally I find it tedious to wash my face and brush my teeth every single night. I choose to be faithful in these little things because I know that they are important in both the short and long term.

tooth and toothbrush

These maintenance moments are some of the basic building blocks of life.

Sometimes God leaves us in a place of boring repetition because He has us in a holding pattern. Regardless of how boring our lives may seem, people around us are watching.

There will suddenly come a moment when all of your steadiness will pay off. Your consistent choosing to have a joyful attitude in the midst of plain normal life will open up the door for a “wow” moment.

You never can tell when your faithfulness will open the door for you to make a forever impact in someone’s life.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

Slow and steady wins the race!

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 Practical Help for Raising Creative Kids #firefliesaglow

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I Want to Be a Tree Part 1

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How blessed is the man who does not walk

in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 1:1

Years ago, when my kids were very young, I got into a habit of starting my day by watching a popular morning show on t.v. At the time, I had four small kids. Getting out of the house was a major production. Watching this show made it possible for me to experience some of the outside world without all the hassle of actually going anywhere. I enjoyed the news updates and the playful way that the hosts related with each other. They also featured advice on a variety of topics. Some of the advice was helpful; some of it was mixed with ungodliness.

One day the Lord reminded me of Psalm 1:1.

 

  • How blessed is the man (or woman in my case) who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, This reminded me that God’s word has all of the perfect advice that I need to live my life with the maximum amount of blessings.
  • Nor stand in the path of sinners, I will be more blessed if I do not spend the majority of my time hanging out with sinners. I need to spend time with unsaved people so I can be a light to them, not to absorb their mindsets.
  • Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! Though it can be entertaining to listen to stories and jokes about other people, joining in making fun of others is not the path to the blessed life.

I still watch morning shows occasionally, but overall I have learned that moderation is best. There are some things that go on in the world that are simply better for us not to know about. There are blessings galore for the person who does not look to the world for wisdom.

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You’ve Got Mail

There are two questions I can be sure my husband will ask me every day:

#1 Has anyone checked the mail yet?

#2 Is there any chocolate in the house?

I generally have a confused feeling when he asks me these questions, because neither thought is naturally on my radar.

#1 Sorting through mail feels like a chore to me, so I tend to put off checking the mail.

#2 Chocolate is not very high on my list of favorites. Carbs are my weakness.

Today I want to focus on question #1.

Why does Christopher have such an interest in the mail…..

I decided to ask him about it. His reasons were:

  • maybe we will get an unexpected card
  • maybe we will get an unexpected gift
  • maybe a package that we forgot we ordered will arrive

All of his reasons had to do with the hope of getting a fun surprise!

This reminded me of one of the ways that Christopher and I are opposites.

I like to plan and check things off my list. I tend to live in task mode.  I really don’t care for surprises, even good ones.

Christopher likes a plan too, but a good surprise puts a big smile on his face!

Overall I think that his tendency to expect something good to come to us is a much more joyful way to live than my tendency to view all mail as work.

Can you picture how excited he would be if someone sent him a surprise gift of chocolate:

IN THE MAIL!

Maybe there is someone in your life that you could send an old school surprise to this week. Even a scrap of paper with a few encouraging words written on it would make sorting the mail a little more fun.

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

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Your Natural Default

Did you know that you can live in perfect peace?  Did you know that fear and worry are tools of the enemy to keep you from your destiny?  I am so tired of the enemy tricking us into thinking that fear and worry are some kind of normal emotions.
It seems to be socially acceptable to worry about our kids or family members.   That’s nuts.  Fear and worry are evil spirits that we can choose to stand against or to agree with.  It is a battle.  We need to see it for what it is and fight.  Let’s not agree with the enemy and let him have place to rule in our hearts.
Ok, where to begin:  we have to be aware of our self talk….the voices in our head.  Every single thought you have is not your own.  The devil whispers lies constantly and we have to practice recognizing them and not agreeing with them.
It is great to have a healthy friend or spiritual parent to tell your thoughts to.  They should be able to help you decide where the thought is coming from.  When we agree with God’s thoughts towards us, we grow in peace and joy.  When we agree with the enemy, we open the door for him to come in and destroy our peace.
Holy Spirit is our Friend and Helper.  We need Him so much.  As we take time to value Him and soak in His presence, He fills us up.
The enemy will do everything he can to keep you from living in peace. Quieting the heart does not come natural to everyone.  Living in peace is a skill that you can practice.
As children of God it is our nature to love.  It is not our nature to live in fear.
Practice until peace and joy are your natural default.
 Please comment one fear that you are choosing to let go of today!
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Do You Matter?

Do you ever feel insignificant? The world is a big place and it can be easy to blend in.

I want to remind you today that YOU MATTER!

  • The way you walk into a room matters.
  • Your presence matters.
  • Your smile matters.
  • The words that come out of your mouth matter.

You can literally shift the atmosphere around you wherever you go!

  • People need you.
  • They need what you have to offer.
  • They need the wisdom you have gained from your many life experiences.

Put your peace and joy on so you can show up powerfully.

Don’t be afraid to show up in other people’s lives.  Don’t sit down and shut up.

 


 

 Click here to listen to the song for today!

I have given you a purpose for living my child,

I have called you by name,

I have chosen you to do something special for Me.

No one else can do it just like you can,

For the gifts I have given to you,

they are unique, my child.

So don’t go your own way,

And don’t serve your own plans,

For I,  your God, will cause a new day to dawn,

Just rise up and walk

And listen to my voice.

(Peter Warren)

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Cuba Update

I had a wonderful time on my trip to Cuba. This was my second visit to the island, and it was everything I expected it to be and more.

The first time I went I felt such joy the moment I stepped off the plane and into the immigrations area of the airport. It is like there is something in the atmosphere in Cuba that my spirit connects with.

As I spent time walking along the ocean and riding a bus throughout the island my spirit came alive more and more. The only way I can explain it is to say that the airways feel different there.

Each time I have gone to Cuba I have returned with fresh clarity and vision for my life and my family. It is amazing what getting away to a different location can do for your focus.

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One of the very best parts of my most recent trip was that I was able to take a few people with me. I absolutely loved seeing my team members come alive as God stirred up old and new things in their hearts.

One of the greatest joys of my life is to see people prosper in their souls. I love to see them living life to the fullest. Life is too short to sit back and wait for something interesting to happen.

We have to happen to life!

If you have ever considered going on a mission’s trip, please do it!

Here are some links for ministries that you can join up with in your adventure:

Leanne Goff Ministries

Heartland Breakthrough to the Nations

Randy Clark Global Awakening

 

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“Just Pray I Don’t Die”

It was the first day back to school after Christmas break. The kids were dragging.

As I dropped my son off at his school I said, “Elijah, remember that the kingdom of God is in your hands. You have power in your hands.”

I know my son, and I could tell that he internalized what I said and was in agreement.

Then, as he got out of the car he said, “Just pray I don’t die.”

What the heck?! Why is that phrase even a part of his vocabulary.

Now, he was not worried about school shootings. He was simply referring to the drudgery of math class!

“God help me to just make it through this boring class one more time.”

Two mindsets were crashing against each other in his head: the possibilities of going on a supernatural adventure and the process of living the everyday mundane.

This battle in the mind happens to us all. The struggle is real. The question is which line of thought are we going to choose to run with?

Many times over the years I have had to remind myself of who I really am in the midst of the mundane.

Running errands is not one of my favorite things to do by far. I much prefer to be at home. I have developed a habit while driving around town of praying and reminding myself that I am not a mere human. Even my presence in a public place, my smile, or a kind word holds power to shift the atmosphere wherever I go.

Here is a song I sometimes listen to in the car as I am headed out:  Supernatural by Mark Snider

When we give our lives to Christ and Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us we are not just normal humans anymore. The trick is to get your mind wrapped around that concept. Let’s believe and grow in this together!

 

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God’s Weak Spot

A new year brings transition. Transition can be awkward and even scary, but you have a good Father who has picked you as his favorite.

I recently watched a couple of documentaries about Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. She was a powerful leader for 46 years. She was bold, and she knew her own mind.

Though she never married there was one man in her life who was her favorite. She had a serious weak spot for him. She gave him her ear, positions of influence, and great financial provision even when people around her thought she was being foolish and too extravagant.

When her favorite died too early, she poured her favor onto his son in his place.

As I got to know a bit about this powerful ruler I was so struck by what it means to be a favorite. Favor opens doors to you that would never open otherwise.

God’s heart is turned by you and towards you. You are His weak spot.

You can move forward into this next season of your unfolding destiny with faith and confidence because your Daddy God is crazy about you.

As we transition into a new year let’s go in with peace!

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The Ultimate Surprise

Those who know me well, know that I do not really care for surprises. I like to make a plan and work the plan. I like to be prepared.

Apparently God doesn’t really concern Himself with how I feel about surprises.

He is the Ultimate Surprise. We never know when He is going to show up in the last way we would expect Him to.

God can move anytime He wants and in any way He wants. He is not limited by our prophetic words or our imaginations about what the future will look like.

In John chapter 21 we read about how the disciples were fishing all night but caught nothing. Jesus came along and told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. That was when they received a great surprise: so many fish they could not haul the net in.

Jesus’ fishing strategy was not anything they would have ever normally thought to do.  He always has a plan that is completely out of our box.

It can be easy to get discouraged when we don’t see things happening the way we imagined that they would.

That is when we can stop and ask Him what His idea is.

God is the Ultimate Surprise and Ultimate Strategist all wrapped up in one!

 

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It Was the Very Wishy Washy Time of Night…

Many nights at bedtime my mind kicks into high gear with ideas and strategies for how to best do all the things I want to do in life. I feel so inspired that I almost want to skip the whole night and get started right away on the next day.

Other nights I start to feel bombarded with doubts. I think we all have a certain time of day that doubts try to creep in.

If I ever feel doubtful it is generally at night before bed. Things that seem like a wonderful challenge during the day tend to be much more scary at bedtime when I’m worn out. I am always the the most vulnerable and discouraged at night when I’m tired.

It is so helpful to know this about myself. I am able to notice when I’m feeling unsure of myself which gives me a chance to choose to set my worries aside and reconsider my life with renewed perspective the next morning.

I have also learned that when I’m feeling doubts creeping in I should never make any important decisions. I would never accomplish anything important in life if I didn’t put off decision making until I have a peaceful perspective.

Things generally are much clearer after a good night’s sleep.

Each day has fresh grace from heaven and sometimes the grace for the day runs out just before it is time for me to close my eyes and recharge.

Here’s one of my favorite songs for refocusing and de-stressing:

Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps. 30:5

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