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I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

28 Mar

(in)couraged to mend :: week six

If you’ve been reading along, you already know these next chapters are awe-inspiring. And if you’re not reading along … you may want to start. Just sayin’.

This week I’m sharing my thoughts on chapters 17-19.

Teacups:

“There was a forty-five second time period every few minutes where they just got lost in the blur of joy.” Oh how I pine for moments to get lost in the blur of joy in my own life.

Life hurts right now. It’s painful. And I yearn for those seconds — just mere seconds — of joy.

In just a few days I’ll arrive at my “heaven on earth.” And time will stand still for a week. I’ll be lost in the moments of paradise. I’ll have my own forty-five seconds to get lost in the blur of joy.

And then.

I’ll board my plane back to reality. And when reality hits me, Angie’s words will ring true, “This life is never going to fill us, is never going to satisfy our need for goodness. And it doesn’t need to.

He is enough.”

I have days in this life where I want to be numb. I don’t want to feel the pain. I don’t want to feel the hurt. This life can be downright painful!

But joy? Real joy? Great joy? It’s found in the “One who works through our hurts.” Join me in clinging to that promise today?

The Reeds:

The story of Moses. I love the story of Moses. And I love the way Angie brings it to life for me again.

Moses lived a life of faith. From the time his mother faithfully put him in the river. To the parting of the Red Sea. To the commandments etched in stone. To the last breath he breathed.

Did you know God buried Moses? I never knew that part of his story. I was filled with awe when I read it, and I’m brought to literal tears as I type it. Can you imagine? The Holy of Holies ushering you out of this world and into the next?

This chapter so beautifully flowed from the previous. This chapter reminds me of God’s sovereignty. It reminds me of what I so desperately believe in … God is a God of hope. He brings hope into any hopeless situation.

Exodus 14:14 reminds me, “The LORD will fight for you; and you only have to be silent.”

None of us knows how long we have or how many trials we will face. We do not know whether we will see victory on this earth or in eternity. You can know the God who knows all of this, though. The God whose hand was on Moses’ in the basket has His hand on you. Be still and let Him fight for you. Trust not in your circumstances, but in His power to overcome. Page 102 {emphasis mine}

Sketched:

This chapter has me a bit undone! How guilty am I for “sketching” my life away? Only to be disappointed when God’s vision apparently isn’t the same as my own.

Oh the time and energy I waste when I forget God is the Master Artist … the “all-knowing, all-consuming, all-loving and mighty God” whose sketches are far more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine for myself.

Are you in a situation seemingly out of your control? How can I pray for you today?

Here’s the reading schedule …

February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque

February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise

March 7 - Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie

March 14 – Chapters 9-12 :: Denise

March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque

March 28 - Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie

April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque

April 11 – Chapters 23-25 :: Denise

April 18 - Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie

April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Concluding Thoughts

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!




Posted in (in) courage


21 Mar

(in)couraged to mend :: week five

Jacque is hosting our study on her blog today with a summary of chapters 13-16. Be sure to stop by, as I know her words will bless you!

And … if you’ve written a post and would like to link up, you can do that at Denise’s, Jacque’s, or right here! The links will show up on all three of our blogs.

Are you currently reading along? If so, I’d love to hear how this book is working in your life!

Here’s the reading schedule …

 February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque

February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise

March 7 - Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie

March 14 – Chapters 9-12 :: Denise

March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque

March 28 - Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie

April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque

April 11 – Chapters 23-25 :: Denise

April 18 - Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie

April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Concluding Thoughts

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!




Posted in (in) courage


14 Mar

(in)couraged to mend :: week four

Denise is hosting our study on her blog today with a summary of chapters 9-12. Be sure to stop by, I know her words will bless you!

And … if you’ve written a post and would like to link up, you can do that at Denise’s, Jacque’s, or right here! The links will show up on all three of our blogs.

I can’t wait to hear how this book is working in your lives!

Here’s the reading schedule …

 February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque

February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise

March 7 - Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie

March 14 – Chapters 9-12 :: Denise

March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque

March 28 - Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie

April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque

April 11 – Chapters 23-25 :: Denise

April 18 - Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie

April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Concluding Thoughts

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!




Posted in (in) courage


7 Mar

(in)couraged to mend :: week three


What a beautiful group of women we are journeying with! I’m so thankful for a community brought together by God.

I read from Luke 8 the other day. The part where Jesus was speaking to a large crowd gathered, and was told His mother and brothers wanted to see Him, but couldn’t get close because of the crowds. Verse 21 says, “Jesus replied, ‘My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.’”

Friends, I love the fact that because we are believers of God’s Word, we are bound together as family through it. What a beautiful community indeed!

This week I’m sharing my thoughts on chapters 5-8. I couldn’t wrap my head around a way to summarize the four chapters as a whole, so I’ve decided to share a little of my thoughts on each.

The Scarlet Cord:

“Essentially, she believed in God more than she feared for herself.” It’s the story of Rahab, a least likely heroine. She was imperfect, immoral, improper. A castoff and sin-filled woman with a controversial story. And proof that anyone can find redemption!

God hand-picked Rahab to play a vital part of His lineage. She most likely didn’t know at the time her faith-actions would be talked about even today, but what if fear had taken over? What if she didn’t find herself worthy to be part of His great story?

But God chose her for His story. And Rahab didn’t let her soiled life of sin prevent her from believing in the One True God and she was greatly blessed for the faith she possessed.

What if we too, let go of all fear from our sin-laden pasts. What if we decided to believe in God more than we fear for ourselves?

Our God IS the God of redemption. I believe with every fiber of my being there is nothing that cannot be redeemed in this life. Our God desires to redeem His people.

Flee and Don’t Look Back:

It’s true … I will never read this story again without thinking of the “salt shaker!” :)

Why friends do we insist on “looking back?” Piggy-backing on the previous chapter’s message … God desires to redeem our lives and situations. If we have our past on repeat, how can He bless our future?

God desires for us to move forward in our stories. Lot’s wife, this nameless woman, left a legacy of looking back. Our God desires for us to leave legacies of looking forward, giving Him glory with our stories.

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

Honeysuckles and Fireflies:

My heart was filled with joy as Angie shared these images — word-stories — of her neighbor boy. A boy who had no tangible equipment to play the game … yet “he had everything he needed for the perfect game.” And, “the ability to see the whole thing in a way I never could.”

Why do we need to have exactly the right equipment, the right temperature, the right crowd … why does everything have to be just right in order for us to “play the game.”

Angie says what God needs from us, “is the sweat rolling down {our} neck and a heart that believes He can use you.”

I once heard Beth Moore say something that’s been pivotal in my relationship with God … “Do you believe IN God? Or do you BELIEVE God?” Once I made the choice to simply believe … my life’s been forever changed.

Us, Not Me:

Comparison. Jealousy. Competition.

God has created each of us with uniquely different gifts. He’s also fully equipped us with what He’s called us to do. He needs many servants for His kingdom, not just a few “chosen” ones. We are all called. We all contribute in our own unique way.

Let’s not snuff out our specific callings with comparison, jealousy, and competition.

Instead let’s, as Angie suggests, “show everyone what true, Jesus-filled love looks like.”

######

What is the thing from your past that you fear will keep you from God?

Do you ever rewrite history?

What do you admire about someone else’s relationship with the Lord?

Whose life can you pour into today?

 

Here’s the reading schedule …

 February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque

February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise

March 7 - Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie

March 14 – Chapters 9-12 :: Denise

March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque

March 28 - Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie

April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque

April 11 – Chapters 23-25 :: Denise

April 18 - Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie

April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Concluding Thoughts

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!




Posted in (in) courage, resources


28 Feb

(in)couraged to mend :: week two

Today Denise is hosting our study on her blog with a summary of chapters 1-4. Be sure to stop by, I know her words will bless you!

And … if you’ve written a post and would like to link up, you can do that at Denise’s, Jacque’s, or right here! The links will show up on all three of our blogs.

I can’t wait to hear how this book is working in your lives!

Schedule:
February 21 – Introduction :: Jacque
February 28 – Chapters 1-4 :: Denise
March 7 – Chapters 5-8 :: Tracie
March 14– Chapters 9-12 :: Denise
March 21 – Chapters 13-16 :: Jacque
March 28 – Chapters 17-19 :: Tracie
April 4 – Chapters 20-22 :: Jacque
April 11– Chapters 23-25 :: Denise
April 18 – Chapters 26-28 :: Tracie
April 25 – Chapters 29-31 :: Tracie, Denise, and Jacque

In case you missed the news about the second session of the (in)couragers community starting, you can read all about it by clicking here. This session we’re walking through Angie Smith’s crazy, wonderful book, Mended: pieces of a life made whole and I’m loving it!




Posted in (in) courage