Saturday, March 26, 2011

I believe

This morning I'm sitting at my kitchen table and through the window I see snow falling. 
On March 26th, 6 days after the calendar announced Spring Begins.
We just ended our spring break and it looks like winter break instead. 
Green grass laced with white snowflakes is such a strange sight. 
Right now we are dealing with some heavy stuff with our 16 year old son Aaron. 
Things that make his Mamma's heart break and ache.
When I look at his choices and how we raised him I find no common ground. 
Right now our son is like snow in the spring. 
It shouldn't be. 
It doesn't belong.
Doesn't make sense. 

This morning I have my Bible opened to 1 Samuel about Hannah and Samuel. 
The son she wanted, prayed for and vowed to give to God for his whole life. 
I loved this particular verse in chapter 3
19: The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of His words fall to the ground.

 let none of His words fall to the ground                     
Today the only thing that will fall to the ground is the snow. 
The words my God has spoken over my son will not fall to the ground. 
Instead, they will fall into my restless heart and through them I will find peace as I pray them over my Prodigal. 

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Romans 10:13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

I pray he does this: 
             Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you (Aaron) will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 

So God can have His way with Him...
             Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, (Aaron)," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Because of Aaron's choice to invite Jesus into his life and a few years later choose to get baptized, I believe that he will return to the Lord and what a day that will be! 
Philippians 1:6a being confident of this that He who began a good work in you, (Aaron Preston Chealey) will bring it on to completion.

What are you currently facing that goes against what God has for you? 
Whatever your "snow in the spring day" is, choose to focus on Jesus Christ! 

Keeping our eyes on the One who can make a snowy spring day beautiful. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Get off the roof top

Friday night my sister Michelle and I were getting the girls some healthy dinner at McDonald's. 
While in the drive-thru line we heard quacking and looked up and saw 2 ducks sitting on the top of the 
Radio Shack building.

I once heard Beth Moore tell a story of while walking her dogs they came upon some ducks playing in a mud puddle. She pointed out how just over the hill was a beautiful pond. 
Her point was that sometimes we insist on playing in mud puddles when God is trying to get us into the pond. 

God has bigger and better things than we can even begin to imagine. 
We need to stop constricting Him and let Him have His way with our lives. 
It's time to let Him wash the mud off of us and get us into the pond and do the unimaginable!

3 miles from the roof of Radio Shack is Holmes Lake. 
Looks like some of Dumb & Dumber's friends chose the good life. 

Isaiah 55:8 (NLT)
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD.
"And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I don't want more of God anymore

One thing I've said on my blog, in my heart and out loud a lot is that "I want more of God"
Today I take that back. 

This past weekend Gene and I attended Family Life's Weekend to Remember conference. We've helped with it for the last 6 years and attended a total of 7 years and we strongly believe what they teach at these conferences has been the very tool God has used to save our marriage. But this year I learned something different that had everything to do with me being the bride of Christ instead of the bride of Gene.

It was Saturday afternoon and we were at the end of session 5: What Every Marriage Needs: God's Power for Oneness. The last page of the session there was this sentence that wouldn't leave me. 

As we grow, we don't get more of God...
He gets more of us.

No longer will I ask God to surrender to me, instead I will ask Him to help me surrender all to Him.
I can't get enough of His Word and the more He gets in me, the more I am usable to Him. 
Have Your way Sweet Jesus, have Your way in this woman with a past only You could forgive and find a way to use for Your glory. I love You more now than I did even an hour ago.

The new yearning in my heart. 

As I grow, I don't get more of God...
He gets more of me. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

She Speaks contest be or not to be?

I'm hoping to attend the She Speaks Christian conference this summer for women interested in speaking, writing and/or women's ministry. 
This is my entry for a chance to win 1 of 2 scholarships being offered.
More information regarding the conference is at the end of this post. 

My husband Gene has always been the main provider of our family of five; often working 13 hour days between both of his jobs. Three years ago life as we knew it changed for what we thought would be a short season. Over time we would see that God had something else in mind for us.

April 3, 2008 Gene had back surgery and after 3 nights in a hospital an hour away from our family he was discharged. On April 9th, I left Gene in bed to recover and rest while I took our teenage daughter to a hospital and witnessed the birth of our first granddaughter. As summer came to a close, I realized my husband wouldn't be returning to work anytime soon, so I kept my day job and got an overnight job to help pay for medical bills and diapers. April 2009 my husband had a second back surgery and in June our daughter had her second little girl. 

Two surgeries, two grand babies and two jobs. 
This was not the happily ever after I had dreamed of living out.

In the fall of 2007 I stumbled upon a blog written by Rachel Olsen of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I had never heard of either and was captivated by not only her writing, but the ministry itself. P31 offers free, encouraging devotions sent daily by e-mail, an affordable monthly magazine that focuses on God and blogs written by some down to earth, godly women. The ministry also offers an annual conference called She Speaks to equip writers, speakers and women with a passion for ministry. The summer of 2008 I attended my first She Speaks in Concord, North Carolina registered for the writer's sessions. 

I remember sitting in my first session and the speaker told us how we needed a platform such as a book, a ministry or writing for magazines. It was as if  Ms. Insecurity suddenly took a seat beside me and began to whisper doubt into my ear. As tears began to fill my eyes I realized I lacked a platform and I began to question the why of my presence at a writers conference. Who was I to waste the time of the publisher's I was to meet with the next day, one of them being the man speaking about platforms. And then he said it. 
"If you have a blog, that can be your platform". 

I sat straight up, blinked my tears back in and elbowed Ms. Insecurity hard enough to knock her off her chair. Instant validation. 
I belonged at She Speaks and the only time being wasted was when I listened to the enemy whisper sweet nothings in my ear. I was right where God wanted me to be and He had already given me a platform; I just didn't know it until that moment.

Before I ever stepped foot in North Carolina, God had given me the idea of doing Bible studies and I was excited about hosting one in my home. Since God knew surgery and a grand baby would bloom in the spring, He closed a door I thought He had opened and it left me confused and frustrated. After reading "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst, the idea of leading a Bible study re-surfaced, but it was clear I was to do it on my blog instead of in my home.

My first online blog study was a few months before She Speaks. A group of women I had only met through the internet joined me and we read and then blogged our thoughts on one chapter a week. I named the online study "Yes to God Tuesday's". After attending She Speaks, I led women through four more online studies. 

I began to see the difference between my vision and what God wanted me to be doing. While I wanted to lead a small Bible study in my home, He took me around the world through my blog. I met weekly with women from all over the United States and even three women from different areas of Australia. He also introduced me to a woman in Malaysia named Sheena who wrote me to tell me how she was inspired to start her own "Yes to God" group after participating in my 3rd study.  

One thing that stuck to my heart when I heard it at She Speaks was when Lysa said how after attending a conference and she was leaving, "feeling excited only to be hit with a shocking dose of reality back home."
She then encouraged us to "not resent the task of your everyday life because it is preparing you for ministry."

I don't resent the last 3 years. 
I embrace them.
Grandma of two beauties before I even turned 40.
Total of 4 surgeries and being diagnosed with other health issues keeps my hard working husband unable to work.
I'm still working both jobs to make ends meet. 
Not the life neither one of us had planned, but we can honestly say that we wouldn't trade where we are with Jesus for anything and of course those babies have been the biggest blessings.
The last 3 years have changed us for our good. 
I have to continue to share Jesus with others, but I believe it's time to be shared outside the walls of my blog. 
My blog is comfortable for me and I truly believe God is ready to change the platform again. 

Currently I am not doing blog studies. 
Instead, God gave me the green light to lead a group of women through the book, "Made to Crave".
I get to meet with a small group of women every Monday night. 
His group. 
His platform. 
One amazing God.
And I want more of Him.

I hope to win a scholarship to She Speaks so that I can continue to live out the plans God has for me and I believe this Christ-centered conference will give me the tools necessary to keep moving forward. To write and speak about Jesus Christ, my One and Only.

If writing, speaking and/or women's ministry is a fire burning within the walls of your heart, don't let it blow out. Instead, let God flame the fire that He Himself lit. 
Check into going to She Speaks in July. 
I have no idea what your story is or what He wants you to share with others through the spoken or written word or both, but what I do know is that He is worth speaking and writing about. 

Click HERE to be directed to Lysa TerKeurst's blog to read her post about the contest and how to enter no later than Friday March 11th.
Recipients of the scholarships will be announced on Monday, March 13th on Lysa's blog. 

To visit the Proverbs 31 Ministry website click HERE and get signed up for the free daily devotionals.
Thank You Jesus for where You've brought me from, through and where you're taking me.
I choose to say YES even before I know what You have planned
To read more about She Speaks click HERE for all the information about this year's conference.