Picture Perfect

Can I speak bluntly for a moment?

Women need to stop wearing masks and stop assuming that everyone else has it all together. We need to be real and transparent and share the good the bad and the ugly. (No, I don’t mean to rant or tell all.. Face it, nobody wants to hear it all) I’m saying share the real you, not just the “highlight reel” or the “photoshopped version”. And we also need to quit comparing what we assume others are to how we think of ourselves.

None of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. Just because we have a great photo that looks like we do..doesn’t mean it’s real. Or maybe it is at that moment. What about after? Is it always picture perfect?

And I’m not saying that a great photoshopped photo is bad! Trust me.. I love them. I’m just saying that if we want to reach other women for Christ, then we might need to let them see that we don’t have it all together all of the time either.

How can one relate to someone that pretends to be perfect? Nobody is perfect. Nobody has it all together. Why do women,especially, believe the lies that we tell ourselves? Why do we compare our wrong thoughts about ourselves to what we assume to be real about another woman?

What if instead of assuming, and comparing, and being prideful, that we were real?

It is a pride issue ladies.

Call it what it is.

You can’t pull a weed from the top and expect it not to grow back. You have to dig deep and pull the weed out at the root.

And I’m not saying that we should vomit negativity. I’m saying that we need to deal with ourselves. Deep digging. Get real with the root. Take off the masks. Stop assuming. Quit comparing. Walk in faith.

Walk in belief.

The belief that God is enough and that he doesn’t make junk.

The belief that not every other woman has it all together.

Yet, if they do have it more together, then what is their secret?

I’ll tell you the secret. It’s found in Philippians. The secret to contentment is belief and faith in Jesus.

Paul found the secret to being content.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)

The truth is that we are all dealing with our own insecurities. Yet, we don’t have to be in bondage to those insecurities. God doesn’t talk to us the way we talk to ourselves. Why do we?!

Faith is the secret.

Faith that Jesus is enough. That Jesus provides all that we need and at just the right time.

And honestly, we as women, need each other.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NLT)

Maybe, just maybe, if we would stop assuming and take off the masks, we would see that we are not all that different.

To me picture perfect is showing the real you.

The real you (or ME) that messes up. Fails daily. That Desperately needs Jesus every single second of every day.

Love,

Heather

New Year New Me

New Year New Me

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NLT)

It’s been quiet here on the blog. Not because my mind has been quiet.. Because it has not. My mind and soul have been overloaded lately. When that happens, I still write, I just don’t publish. Sometimes it’s quiet on here because God is allowing me some time to learn and grow and even rest.

Learn and grow … I’ve definitely been doing that.

Last year God pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study. I wasn’t quite sure as to why at the time. I still obeyed. Around that time, our oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, began expressing an interest in being in a private school or being homeschooled. She’s a wise teen with big plans and dreams for her future. We looked into both, prayed about it, and sent her back to the public high school.

Still praying. Still growing. Learning new things about myself. Learning that boundaries were biblical and good and healthy. Studied a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud / John Townsend. I did some bible studies on my own, and completed reading and studying through the entire Bible for my first time ever.

Through the last half of last year, I had shingles.. Which was very rare for someone my age. Stress can cause them to appear to anyone who has ever had chickenpox. I was definitely under some stress. My husband had a back injury that had him confined to the bed and then with a walker for several weeks. Things fell apart in different areas and other things fell together.

I got well, He was healed while on vacation. I mean healed. Instantly.
God was good and always faithful.

We also suffered a tragic loss of a family member in December of 2013. God has been faithful and good to our entire family through that as well. Our family’s faith in God is what has sustained everyone. I honestly don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with God survive the hard, tragic, and trying times in life.

Now on to 2014. After much prayer and research and more prayer, we signed our oldest up with a wonderful Homeschool group… Classical Conversations. She had her first official day of school this Thursday and we couldn’t be more pleased! Never say never… No, really.. Because that’s what I had always said.

God orchestrated every event and meeting and circumstance in a way that led me to meet with a fellow blogger, friend, and homeschooling mom. Which in turn led to us following HIS call on our life. To begin this journey with one of our children. Praying that our youngest will decide on her own to join as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. I was asked in the fall to speak at a girl’s conference at a local church. Talk about out of my comfort zone. The thought scared me to death. Me? Yes, HE said.. me. So, after much prayer and seeking wisdom from other Godly women, I agreed. Why? Because praise GODHE uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank goodness, HE also equips the called. AND… Because I don’t plan on speaking MY words. I only want to speak HIS. If one girl’s life is impacted, then I can handle a little stage fright.

I’ve learned to balance my life. Put my husband first, after God. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. That it is NECESSARY to eliminate stress. I’ve learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’ve learned that I do not have to allow negative opinions to affect me. I’ve learned that sometimes God requires me to do things that make no sense to me or anyone else at the time. I’ve learned that I do not have to make everyone happy and that I can’t. I’ve learned to be still and bridle my tongue. I’ve learned to set limits. I’ve learned to trust HIM more.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn this New Year!

It’s a New Year and each day HE is making a new me.

As a quote I found yesterday on Pinterest says: “I may not have always known what I wanted to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

I’m on my way.

I’m living for God.

I’m not backing down.

I’m not entertaining negativity.

I’m seeking HIS WILL in everything.

I’m stepping out, even further out, of my comfort zone.

I’m NOT feeling guilty for saying no to negativity or drama or for eliminating stress.

Lots of new changes this year. One homeschooled by me, one still in public school ( middle school). A 16 year old with a driver’s license… (Learning the real meaning to praying without ceasing). Speaking at an event for the first time, (In front of teen girls). Who knows what else.. I do know that whether it be good or tragic, God is good and will hold me and my family in the palm of HIS hands.

One last thing, I wrote a list of my goals for this year in my journal. Maybe you have already done the same thing, if not, maybe you should.

Just know this… Your goals are great but be willing to let God interrupt your plans. For HIS plans are much better. Even if we don’t always understand them.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Seeking HIS Will,

Heather

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YOU TALKING TO ME ?

Psalm 18:31,32 (NLT) ~ For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

 

I have to be honest. Sometimes I really do find myself talking back to The Holy Spirit. When I feel there is something way out of my league that HE is calling me to do. I really do say.. in my head.. “You talking to me?”

{As if HE would get me confused with someone else. Not possible. HE is GOD.}

The truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing every single thing that I am prompted to do. That’s where HE comes in. If HE calls then I can obey or disobey.

I can shrink back in fear, and I have been guilty of this, or I can rest in the fact that HE is who equips anyone who HE calls. If it was ME…then it wouldn’t be HE.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Me…messes up.

Me…gets scared. Really scared. Like, terrified.

Me…wants to sit back and just do my thing..quietly.

BUT.

HE…asks me (and you) to obey.

HE… says “I’ve got this and you are just my tool of choice for this task.”

HE…equips those who HE calls.

 

All of that being said, God has really been working on me lately.

It began back in about April of this year. He pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study for a time. Something that I love doing and still miss! He taught me about getting my priorities in the right order. GOD, My husband, My children, and THEN everyone else. He led me to work on me and the areas that I needed to surrender to HIM.

I obeyed. Not knowing why..just that I HAD to. I waited somewhat patiently for an answer to several questions. I waited some more. Still digging deep into HIS WORD.

Then, HE began opening doors that I never knew would really ever be opened. Doors that scare me. Doors that HE wants opened. Read that again. DOORS that HE wants opened.

There are things that God will call us to do in our lives. If we aren’t listening, we won’t hear HIM. If we aren’t seeking HIM we will miss it. If we are TOO BUSY even with the good stuff, we may miss it. If we say no then we will miss out and at the same time be disobedient. (If you’ve never read some of the history in the Old Testament, you should..you’ll see how disobedience worked out for them.)

It’s really amazing to me how even the Bible studies that I was led to do during this time of alone time are just what I needed. I am currently doing one that has to do with discerning HIS voice. Imagine that! 🙂

God has led certain people into my path who have been obedient to HIM as well. They have spoken truth and wisdom into my life. All because of obedience and answering HIS prompting.

I have lots more to share with you in the days to come, when it is the right time. I am so excited and nervous and scared…but I know that by being obedient to GOD, I am doing what is right and pleasing in HIS sight. That is what matters. 🙂 {AND, I’m reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in my mind.}

Do I think I am capable on my own to do anything that HE asks me to do? DEFINITELY NOT. That is awesome though! Because of that FACT, HE gets ALL of the glory! 

As I close, I would like to ask you some questions. Questions that are between you and GOD.

Are you intentionally seeking HIS will for you and your family, or are you intentionally not seeking it because it scares you ? (Hey, that is a valid question..)

Are you ignoring HIS voice, or are you making time to hear it ? (it takes intentionality)

Just know that if you find yourself asking, “You talking to me?” , that there is a good chance that HE is. However, to be completely sure, know that HIS voice matches HIS WORD.

 

 

Until next time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Thankful Thursday ~ October 24th 2013

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St. Simons, Georgia

It is THURSDAY again!!!! Thankful Thursday

 

Colossians 3 :15 ~ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

 

I am a little late getting this post out today…but better late than never! 🙂

Today’s post is a short and to the point post. Those are the best anyways.

 

I just wanted to share with you some of my THANKFUL moments from this week, and I hope you will share yours too!

I love to laugh. I love to make others laugh. I love to hear laughter. In my opinion, laughter truly heals. That being said, I am SO THANKFUL for the LAUGHS this week! 

I am also thankful for opportunities that God is showing to me. So excited to see where God leads me next. So awesome to see God work. So awesome that HE chooses to use the ordinary.

Last but not least, I am extremely thankful for the people who God sends to encourage me. They may never know just how much their encouragement means… Right when I feel like throwing in the towel, God sends someone with a message of encouragement. It’s that obedience that can make a huge difference in someone’s life. 🙂

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Hebrews 10:25 ~ Let us not give up meeting together, as some of you are doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

God didn’t put us here to do life alone. We need each other. For laughter, for opportunities to serve, and for encouragement.

What THREE things are YOU most thankful for this week? Like really… I want to know! 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

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Cutting Loose

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I think it is extremely important for us to remember that ANYTHING or ANYONE that we put first in our lives…becomes an idol. So, if it isn’t God that is first…then we have to re-adjust..re-order the things in our lives. With that being said….

Do you have too much on your plate? Are you loaded down with “things” that get in the way of what should really be your top priorities ? You know…Too many activities, things that take away from God and family, too much social media, too many clubs, too much volunteering. That is just to name a few.

We shouldn’t let our lives speed out of control. We should live intentionally. Keeping our priorities in order helps make this intentional living possible.

Psalm 39:6 has this to say about living lives that are too busy and filled with too many distractions: “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.”

I am working on simplifying my life. Eliminating certain things from my life…one of those things being my personal Twitter account. I LOVE Twitter..I love Social Media. It just distracts me. So..I am changing it to my “blog Twitter” and no longer a personal Twitter account. I have removed a few more social media distractions as well. I am also being more intentional about the quality in the time that we spend with our little family…Making sure that my family is first after God. Another thing that I have been doing is reading a book called The Excellent Wife. It is written by Martha Peace. I highly recommend it. This book has really made me look at my role as wife in the way that God wants me to view it. Convicted to say the least.

Is there SOMETHING or are there some things that YOU may need to cut loose of for a time?

Here are a few signs that you may have too many distractions or things out of order:

~ Stress (no brainer)

~ Irritability.. because you feel rushed all of the time.

~ Never seem to be able to finish a task.

~ Complaints from husband/wife/children that you never have time for them..or if you are with them they say you are distracted.

~ No time for bible study or quiet time.

~ No time for quality family time.

~ Exhaustion (mental and physical)

~ Feeling the “need”  to check your multiple social media sites throughout the day ..but never feeling the need to open your bible app or open your bible .

There’s got to be balance. If you give a majority of your time to volunteering, social media sites, friends, etc.. and find that your time with Jesus and your husband/wife/kids is less than the others, it’s time to refocus and get things (people) back in the correct order.

In “THE EXCELLENT WIFE”, Martha Peace writes: Wives are also to love their husbands as their closest neighbor. The Lord Jesus made it clear, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Compare how hard you work at showing love to your girl friends with how hard you work at showing your love to your husband. He is your closest neighbor. He should come first.

(This goes for husbands as well…)

So, I invite you to join me in taking a look at your life and praying about what God wants you to do so that you will glorify HIM. There is freedom in surrender. True peace and joy comes when we have our lives in the right order. The alternative is stress and feeling all out of whack. I hope you’ll join me in looking deep within and seeing what you need to change..who knows, you may not need to change a thing. Chances are, somebody that you know may need to. So, share this post if you think it could help someone.. There are also several links to other posts that I placed in this one. (Hoping that one will help even just one person.)

             Until Next Time,

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Give Thanks or Complain ~ Thankful Thursdays

 

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Ephesians 5:20 ~ And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Give THANKS for EVERYTHING? Even when the kids are fussing? When the puppy (who is 18 months old) is still tearing things up on a daily basis? When the kids talk back? Give THANKS?

Well….that’s what HE said.

Give THANKS for EVERYTHING.

Other than the FACT that it is a COMMAND….

Maybe it is because when we give thanks we are believing that HE can bring good from anything.

Maybe the reason is because thanksgiving chooses to see the good in even the worst of situations.

Maybe it’s because GIVING THANKS brings joy and hope and belief that GOD IS GOOD and HE really will take care of everything.

Our circumstances are always changing. For some…our days are up and down..because of multiple people in our household whose circumstances change too. This leaves EACH ONE OF US with the choice…to Give Thanks or to COMPLAIN. 

There is ONE THING that never ever changes for believers..well..at least one..

 

~ GOD NEVER LOVES US MORE OR LESS THAN HE DOES AT THIS VERY MOMENT ~

 

Hebrews 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

1 Chronicles 16:34 ~ Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

 

So…. TODAY… I am choosing to give thanks for:

1) My children…even on the days that I want to pull my hair out…because..They are healthy..precious..a gift from God..and I have them here with me still.. Oh how I love my girls…So, this means being thankful even on the days that parenting is tough.

2) Cloudy and rainy “spring break” days…because…they give us down time…time together in our home..time is precious..

3) Tough times…times and situations that I don’t always understand..times when I am feeling hurt and confused..because honestly..it is in those times when I cling to GOD even more and grow…

4) The way God speaks to me..in HIS time..through fellow believers…when they confirm an answer to a question that I had asked of my Father God..HE is so faithful….

See, giving THANKS to GOD doesn’t deny that what you are feeling or have experienced may be awful or that your heart may hurt… No, giving thanks is trusting HIM to lift you up and that HE can and will take care of you. Giving THANKS when you are hurting is an act of love to GOD…it is saying: “God, I trust you and I know that YOU have already won and that the enemy has NO power over me as your child.”

What are you going to thank GOD for today? Not just the easy things..

 

            Until Next Time,

 

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Thankful Thursdays ~ March 21st

 

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I decided to start posting these “Thankful Thursdays” again. See, it is easy to get out of the habit of practicing thanksgiving, and I need little reminders from time to time. Maybe you do as well.

While doing one of my morning daily devotions, One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp, I just really became convicted of my lack of daily thanksgiving. I mean, it’s easy to give thanks in the exciting and good things that occur on a day to day basis. Yet, we are commanded to give thanks for the not so good stuff too.

Believe it or not, I actually found myself thanking God today for the not so great things that I face …and it wasn’t that hard after all. When we thank HIM for the yuck, we realize that HE is greater than any circumstance that we may face. We are truly TRUSTING God to be enough. And, isn’t HE really enough?

These words in my devotion today really stuck out to me:

I’m not sure how my life stands. How my inner and outer walls stand, how I make a home. Unless we make it a habit to give thanks, we habitually give our family grief. Unless we consistently speak praise, we consistently speak poison. Unless we are intentional about giving God glory throughout the day, our days unintentionally give way to grumbling. ~ Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts Devotional..Devo 40)

 

It takes being intentional in order to bring God glory. Gratitude must be continuous. Our words are either pleasant or like poison. POISON. Convicted.

Matthew 12:35-37 really hit home this morning..and really made me want to be more intentional about my giving of thanks to God. Read it and really think on it…This is JESUS talking..

 

Matthew 12:35-37 (NLT) ~ “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

 

May our words be words of grace…and thanksgiving..bringing glory to God. May we always give thanks in everything..even the yuck. May we think before we speak..and not use words carelessly.

 

 I am thankful for the sweet friends that God has blessed me with..who send me random messages and let me know that they love me and are praying for me. I am thankful for the gift of prayer and that I can pray for others and talk to God anytime and anywhere. I am thankful for healthy children.

What are some things that you are thankful for today?

 

 Colossians 4:2 ~ Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

 

 

              Until Next Time,

 

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