Friday, January 18, 2013

Cherished {#FMF}

It's Friday again - how does that happen? 

And that can mean only one thing - Five Minute Friday, where a group of women come together to write just for the sake of writing.  It's five minutes - who doesn't have five minutes, right?  

Cherished

I saw the word this morning and immediately thought a specific conversation many moons ago.

I was pregnant, probably about 6 months or so.  

One day, I was having a conversation with a lovely yet very lively (older than me) lady at church.  

All of the sudden she put her hand on my swollen belly and with tears in her eyes, she said these words 

I'll never ever forget... 

"Don't take any of it (parenting) for granted.  
Cherish every minute.  Don't even blink, because if you do, 
you'll open your eyes and she will be 18 and off to college."

I was stunned her words.  After all, I hadn't even labored or borne this babe, and here she was talking about college.  Well, she must have been right.  

I blinked.  

That babe is going to be a junior in high school next fall.  

She'll be taking four college credit courses...her junior year.

I blinked.  

But honestly, I've cherished it all...every minute, every milestone, every season.  
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Intentional 150

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Holding My Peace...

Have you ever gotten out of bed in the dark of the morning only to look back at it wondering, wanting to climb right back in and pull the covers over and call it a day?  Right then and there, before the day even began?  

That was me this morning.  

Getting up was extra tough.  I'm tired, physically, mentally and emotionally.  There are situations facing us right now (I'll spare you the details) that we simply have no control over.  Yet we have to walk through them.  We have to persevere.  We have to press.  

And it's hard.  It's hard sometimes to remember that He is the Alpha & Omega, the beginning and the end, and that He already knows the end. (Is. 46:10)

It's hard to remember that He knows the plans He has for us, and that they are for good and not evil. (Jer. 29:11)

It's hard, but not impossible to remember these things.  They are the reality.  The situations are facts.

How I long to cling to the reality...to Him.  
But sometimes it's just plain hard.

I've been reading Exodus 14 for several days now.  

It's so full of wisdom, and encouragement and that's where He has me right now.  

Because I need it.  The wisdom and the encouragement.

The chapter is all about The Crossing of the Red Sea.  These people were in the midst of some circumstances, and their faith had to go to a whole new level.  

There was no hiding under the covers - the Word says they went out with boldness (v.8), even as they were being pursued by the the Egyptians.  That doesn't mean they didn't want to go back...(v11-12).  

They did some serious complaining, but in the end, they went forward

 Going backward was not an option (v15).

That's how I feel.  

We HAVE to go forward, but backwards is so much easier, more comfortable and familiar.  

BUT GOD in all of His wisdom, knew we'd have days seasons like this so He made a couple of promises here...

v. 13 - "Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid.  Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.""

v. 14 - "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

Don't be afraid.  

Stand still.  

Hold your peace.
 
All wonderful promises from an AWESOME God!  

Sometimes, and maybe it's just me, but sometimes they are a little difficult to walk out in the midst of life.  Am I alone here?

When life appears to be crumbling or at least wavering a bit.  

Don't be afraid.

When we want to fix all of this stuff that is going wrong.  Surely I can come up with an answer.  

Stand Still.

If I think enough.  If I pray more.  If I talk about it a little more surely we'll find an answer we didn't think of before.  

Hold your peace.

That's the one that really gets me.  Hold your peace.  Our peace (in Him) is the key.  Our peace (in Him) is the key to our joy.  And our joy (in Him) is the key to our strength.  

So today, I'm challenged.  

Challenged to hold onto my peace.  

Challenged to not allow the circumstances of the day to rob me of my peace, my joy or my strength.  

That's my challenge.  And it is a challenge, because circumstances look big. 

BUT GOD.
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Linking up with New Life Steward - WIP Wed
and also with Amanda - Desire to Inspire

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Dare? {#PrayerDare}

Hey Friends!
I'm so excited!  I am working with a a group of women to launch #PrayerDare under the leadership of Amanda over at A Royal Daughter!  It is a project that holds so much promise in the way of changing our lives as we pray on a daily basis, the lives of those we are praying for on a daily basis, and also the community we are accountable to, on a daily basis! Amanda has written a beautiful introduction she has asked each of us to post, so I'll let her do the rest of the 'splainin....

Hi y'all. My name is Amanda and I blog at A Royal Daughter. I'm really not here to talk about me, so if you want to know more, head on over to my little space on the internet and say hi!

I've been working with a handful of amazing, godly, praying women, and together we are excited to announce the launch of a brand new, year-long community initiative: #PrayerDare


What is #PrayerDare?

#PrayerDare is: an online community initiative with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and holding women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer. Each month, the #PrayerDare community will dedicate the entire month to praying for a specific topic. #PrayerDare will launch on February 1, and we'll be spending the "month of love" praying for our husbands*.

*For those of you who are not married, PLEASE don't feel excluded. In fact, we want to extend a special invitation for you to join us one of two ways:

1. Join us by spending 28 days praying for a man in your life who holds special importance, but is married to someone else. We're talking about guys like your dad, brother, pastor, or maybe even your best friend's husband. The point is, they need to be prayed for, and there's nothing that says it can't be you praying for them. 

2. If you do not feel called to singleness, why don't you consider joining us by spending 28 days praying for your future husband? We know that God's not bound by time or circumstances, and spending a month praying for your future husband is probably one of the best things you can be doing for your future relationship.

All the Single Ladies....

...please join us!



The first goal of #PrayerDare is to equip women to practice the daily discipline of prayer. On February 1 we will be providing free downloadable prayer cards on aroyaldaughter.com. The prayer cards are intended to serve two purposes:

1. A daily reminder - After downloading the prayer cards (they will be available in black & white and in color), print them, cut them out, and place them somewhere in your home where they will serve as a daily reminder to spend some intentional, quality time in prayer. Maybe you can put them on your refrigerator, or bathroom mirror. Or you can put them in your Bible or quiet time journal. Just don't put them in file 13. They're no help in file 13. 

2. A daily guide - The Lord told us that His Word will not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11). Each prayer card will offer a concise and specific prayer that is based on the Word of God. The prayers that we've written are meant to guide you as you begin (or continue!) to practice the daily discipline of prayer. We'd recommend writing your own prayers, or prayer requests, on the back of each card. They will serve as a sort of testimony to your prayer life, and will allow you to go back and see how God has answered your prayers.





Our second goal is to encourage women to practice the daily discipline of prayer. We'll be building our community of praying women primarily on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #PrayerDare. Following the #PrayerDare hashtag is an easy way to connect online without having to get involved in another website or follow another blog. We know you're busy, so are we! But we're not too busy to spend a few minutes each day praying, and then connecting online and encouraging others to join us.



Our third goal is to hold women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer. This is the doozie, right? We think that having someone (or a few hundred someones) holding us accountable is exactly what a lot of us need. So how are we going to do that?

Using the hashtag #PrayerDare, we want you to check in with the community every day. You can tweet, "Hey #PrayerDare sisters! I'm just checking in - have a great day!" or you can be more specific: "I love teaching my kiddos how to pray for their daddy. #PrayerDare" <--- It doesn't matter how you check in, just that you do. And here's where it gets real good, friends. Our idea is that if you miss a day or two or three, someone is going to notice. And it's their responsibility to reach out to you and make sure you're okay.

Did you see that? In order for #PrayerDare to work, each and everyone of us has to take responsibility. We have to be responsible for ourselves: that we check in each day. But we also have to be responsible for others. We need to be actively encouraging other women to pray, and reaching out to them if they slack off. And we need to do it with loads and loads and loads of grace. 

FAQ:
I'm not on Twitter or Instagram, how can I connect?
We've created a Facebook page for #Prayer Dare. However, please keep in mind that the primary location of the community will be happening on Twitter and Instagram. So if find yourself on the Facebook page, you might find yourself in a leadership role right away! Feel free to take the reigns and get that community growing!

How do I follow a hashtag?
You can't actually follow a hashtag, so we'd recommend a two-fold system to stay in touch with each other:

1. Search for the hashtag #PrayerDare.
2. Create a list on Twitter for #PrayerDare. As you see new people in the community, add them to your #PrayerDare list. 

How will I find people in the community?
Well, you can start tweeting and using the #PrayerDare hashtag! Get the word out there, we don't mind! And on February 1 we'll be hosting a link-up so all those who want to be a part of the #PrayerDare community can link up their Twitter or Instagram accounts. That will be a quick and easy way to make connections!

I'm not really active online, how can I participate?
While the original idea of #PrayerDare was to be an online-community, we DO NOT want to exclude those of you who aren't very active in the virtual world. You are more than welcome to print off the prayer cards. In fact, print as many as you want as often as you want. You can even use them to start your own #PrayerDare community in your local church, MOPS group, gym...you get the idea. The point is: if you do not want to be a part of the online community, make it happen in your own personal sphere of influence.  

Can we share prayer requests?
Yes! In fact, if you're comfortable sharing prayer requests, please do. You'll have at your fingertips a whole community of women who will be able to pray for you at a moment's notice. You might want to take advantage of that!

How can I get the word out?
We're glad you asked! Start tweeting using our official hashtag, and it would be super helpful to point your followers to this post. Feel free to share in any way your heart desires. If you plan to join us, you can also put our badge on your website or blog. 

A Royal Daughter
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.aroyaldaughter.com/prayerdare/" title="A Royal Daughter"><img src="http://i1227.photobucket.com/albums/ee423/RoyalDaughterDesigns/200X200Button-5.png" alt="A Royal Daughter" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
If you have any questions that haven't already been answered, please contact us!

We can't wait to see you on February 1!

So what do you think?  Wanna join us?  We'd love to have you!
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Intentional 150

Friday, January 11, 2013

Diving In... {#FMF}


One of my favorite times of the week is when a flash-mod of women get together with Lisa Jo and write.  Just for the sake of writing.  It doesn't take long, and it fills me up.  really, it does.


This week the 5 Minute Friday prompt is DIVE.


I'm not a diver.  Truth is, I'm not much of a swimmer either.  
I don't really care much for the water.  
I like the beach - sitting there watching the waves, listening to them, 
and enjoying the warm sun.

As I type those words, I realize that is pretty much my life too.  
I'm not one to jump right in and get involved.  
I wait.  I watch.  I look & listen.  
Sometimes I enjoy this process and sometimes not.  
But seldom do I just dive right in.  

I like the sideline.  I like the view from here.   

But I like to be involved as well.  It's a weird dichotomy.  
I think maybe that is why God gave me the word INTENTIONAL for this year.   
I need to be intentional about not sitting on the sideline all the time, but maybe 
taking a few risks...getting involved...diving in...
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Intentional 150

Coffee Date {1/11/13}

Happy Friday!
I just love Fridays!  It's really the one day of the week I get to sit and write.  Just. Write.  And for weeks now I've wanted to join up with Alyssa and have a Coffee Date.  So won't you join me?
If we were having coffee today...
...I'd probably be having water with lemon.  As much as I might like something like the picture to the left, iIt would be the No-Coffee - Coffee Date for me.  It's ok though.  We are doing a corporate fast at church and I chose all things "refined" which includes sugar.  I just can't bring myself to drink coffee without sugar and creamer...preferable flavored creamer!  I can enjoy the fellowship with out the actual coffee.
...I'd probably struggle not to throw my long list of crazy right out there on the table, because friends, my life is pretty crazy right now.  Doctors appointments galore, teenage angst, husband traveling, the list goes on.  But through it all I've learned a lot about GRACE.  That's my for for the week...Grace.  Maybe it should have been my word for 2013.
...I'd really have to brag on my 13yo son.  He is really a trooper.  He hurt his knee in gym class the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Walked on it, in pain for over 4 weeks.  Diagnosed with a fracture in the growth plate in the knee two days after Christmas.  Wearing an imobilizing brace for 6 weeks and walking on crutches.  Still in a great deal of pain, and he has a better attitude sometimes than I do.  
...I'd have to ask what your word for the year was, and how it was going, 10 days in.  Mine is INTENTIONALITY, and well, it's a struggle already.  I really have to figure this schedule/blogging/life thing out, because it's getting on my Type-A nerves.  
Think maybe God is getting at a few things during this fast?
...I'd also ask what your plans were for the weekend.  Me?  Tomorrow is Girls Day Out with my fave girl!  She has some money and wants to shop, lunch, and see a movie.  And lucky me - she wants me to come tag along with her and her good friend.  Should be a super-fun day!
I guess that's it!  
Have a fabulous weekend friends!

I'm also linking up with Fellowship Friday @ Christian Mommy Blogger.
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Intentional 150

Sunday, January 6, 2013

As White As Snow...

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

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Intentional 150

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My 2013 Reading List

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It's 2013 and I'm planning on reading more this year and I'm being Intentional about it by composing a list of books I already have in my possession either in print or on my Kindle.  I recognize that as the months go by, I will probably add to it...

As I was making the list, I decided to break it up into a couple of categories, just to see what I'll be focusing on.  I think I need to find a few more fun books dontcha think?


Education {the action or process of educating or of being educated}
     Family:
Spiritual Mentoring of Teens by Focus on the Family
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman
     Blog / Time Management:
Carolyn 101 by Carolyn Kepcher
21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine
31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo by Bryan Allain
Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
Reach by Laura Krokos & Angie Pratt
Quitter by Jon Acuff
Margin by Richard Swenson
The “Do What You Can” Plan by Holley Gerth

Edification {to improve especially in moral and religious knowledge}
     Small Group Teaching:
The Cry God Hears by Barbara Yoder
     For ME:
Grace For The Good Girl by Emily Freeman
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Wrecked by Jeff Goins
Kingdom Journeys by Seth Barnes
Desperate by Sally Clarkson & Sarah Mae {due out in Jan.}
     Prayer / Spiritual:
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson
Crushing the Spirits of Greed & Poverty by Dr. Sandie Freed
The Jezebel Yoke by Dr. Sandie Freed

Entertainment {amusement or diversion provided especially by performers}
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury

So, what are you reading this year?  I'm always looking for ideas... {hint hint}

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Intentional 150

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Missed Opportunity. {FMF #1}

It's baaaack! Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama.  Woohoo!  This is just what I needed for my quiet Friday morning...to write.  just write.  because that's what we do.  for five minutes.

Here goes...

Opportunity.

I knew when I woke up this morning that I had missed it.  

I had missed an opportunity with God.

You see, last night when I went to bed, I asked Him to use even my sleep time for Him, in whatever way.  And when I woke this morning I know He'd talked to me, shared some things with me, and I didn't get up.  I didn't record it.  I missed that precious opportunity.

But God.  My favorite thought...But God...it holds so much promise!

He is so tremendously faithful and so full of grace.  I know we will have many more conversations - maybe even at night and now I'm ready.  I have a new little notebook next to my bed along with a pen. 

I'm ready for that next opportunity, because I know that His mercies are new every morning.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.  Lam. 3:22-23

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Intentional 150

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - A Year of Intentional Living {#oneword}

Intentional

I'm really not one for making New Year's Resolutions.  They just don't stick for me.  
BUT I do enjoy the idea of labeling a year with a word - #oneword.  So starting around Thanksgiving time, as I was doing some dreaming and planning some changes on this here blog of mine, I kept coming back to one word...
Intentional
I've spent a great deal of time pondering this word, intentional and what it means to me.  

Things like doing things on purpose and well-thought out.  Things like seeking the Lord and His good pleasure.  


"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: 
for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. 4:11 KJV


Something funny happened just now... I looked back at January 2012 to see what I was thinking back then...and wouldn't you know, it was the word - Intentional.

Would you say the Lord is trying to say something to me?  Maybe trying to get at something in my heart and mind?  Here is that post.

Since I am determined that this year be Intentional, I asked my new bloggy friend Melanie over at www.OnlyABreath.com if she would put together a button for my #oneword for 2013.  Isn't it pretty?  It's on my sidebar to remind of the goal!  Thanks Melanie!!

Now that I have my assignment - being Intentional,  I've been pondering how that plays out in everyday life.  

God - I had to really pray and determine which way I should go with this one.  There are so many good Bible studies out there right now that this was difficult.  At this point I am going to do the Hello Mornings Challenge again, starting later in January.  Until that time I'll work of She Reads Truth.  The main issue here being - getting up early every. single. day.

Me - Early morning routine that allows more time for Bible study, prayer and writing.  But I also need to focus on my physical well-being - diet & exercise.  I'm also compiling a Book List for 2013.  

Family - I need to spend more quality time with My Man.  We NEED some planned and unplanned date nights.  And I need to be more present with him & the kids.  I need to make myself more available to them - not partially, with my phone in one hand...

Blog & Writing- Now that my blog has been spruced up, thank you Amanda!, I really want to invest in it.  There are a number of ideas and posts floating around in my head that I just need to get out.  Also, I've known for quite some time that the Lord has instructed me to write, so I need to be obedient  to that as well. 

Community - I recently joined the Influence Network!  It's so exciting to be part of a network of women whose "common thread is the Good News, who are motivated  by the Gospel and called to leverage our gifts to be a blessing to others."  I'm so excited for the launch of the Network and the opportunities I know it holds!

There is also the Allume Network of bloggers that I really feel drawn to.  I have a real desire to connect more, via blogs, twitter, etc.

None of this is going to happen unless I am INTENTIONAL...purposeful and disciplined.

How about you? Do you have #oneword for 2013?  

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