Fab Friday Faves

Fab Friday Faves

So. I just got back from an amazing Mission Trip to Honduras. Check out the website if you want to see where we went. I’ll be blogging all about our trip later. 

I wanted to share a few things that I love and that I find beneficial to me or my family. 

We did a lot of walking while there and one of my favorite comfy and cute shoes are these Birkenstock lookalikes from Target. My daughters and I all have a pair of the rose gold & the black ones too. So. Comfy. So. Stylish. (A teacher friend was wearing them last year and I spotted them immediately.. because.. hello.. SHOES. ) So you can really thank her. You’re welcome. 

While in Honduras, my essential oils were a necessity. We used the tea tree, lavender, peppermint, AND clove to prevent lice. It worked! And we used lavender and peppermint for bug bites. Deep Relief was a lifesaver after the 6 mile hike. I even ended up leaving it with the girls there. 

My new favorite healthy go to meal is avocado cut in chunks on sesame Ezekiel bread that’s been toasted. I drizzle olive oil on top and McCormick’s original all purpose salt-free seasoning and coarse sea salt and eat it up! 

With school/work starting back for me on Monday, I ordered a few things for my desk. Because it’s my home away from home from 7:15 am until around 3:30 or 4:00pm Monday – Friday. Look at this CUTE glasses holder I got! Amazon prime. Yes. I’m an Amazon Prime fan. Check it out!
  Cute right?! 

When we got back from our Honduras trip I ordered Chatbooks so I could keep the memories close by. Such a GREAT idea. Fast, cheap, and easy. And this way I won’t accidentally delete memories from my computer.. or if I do I’ll still have them printed!

One last thing that’s a new fave. Well. Two. My Mophie charging case 

 and my pop socket that’s attached to the back. This mophie gives me charge all day long. The pop socket makes it easy to carry my phone or prop it up to watch my favorite series on Amazon Prime video. (That’s a plus 😉 )

One of my favorite podcasts is Steven Furtick at Elevation Church. You can find it here

That’s all for this week. There’s more I could share but I’ll save it for another time.

 
Happy Friday! 

Heather Dawkins 🙂 

Without JESUS

I’ve found that with grief comes moodiness. Some days I’m more irritable than others. Some parts of the day I’m “ok” and at other moments I’m not.

Not many people see those sides of my grief. Or if they do, I don’t even realize it.

Truth is, I don’t know when the low moments will occur. Anything can trigger them. They may last 5 minutes. They may last 5 hours.

I’m learning that it’s part of the process. Riding the waves of grief. Learning to swim in it. Getting better at holding my head above the waters so that I don’t drown in it.

If I drown in it then I’m not shining Jesus like I should.

As the saying goes: “My lifeguard walks on water.”

I’m so thankful for this TRUTH.

Without JESUS I’d surely drown in grief.

I don’t share these truths for pity. I share them so you’ll know that you are not alone. Everyone will experience their own losses.

We are all appointed once to die. Eternal life is a gift promised to all who believe and call upon The Lord to be saved.

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NIV)

That’s where my hope rests.
That’s where my source of peace is found.
JESUS.

Without JESUS I’d have no hope.
Without JESUS I’d have no peace.

Grief is real. You never “get over” the loss of those you were closest to. You just don’t. Nor should you. They are a part of you. You just learn to swim in the ocean of grief. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes the water is choppy. You just learn to navigate through and soon it becomes your new normal.

With JESUS it is possible to smile through the tears and shine through the rain.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8, 9 NIV)

Believe me. It’s true. But only WITH JESUS.

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

Striving to SHINE,

Heather

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BE Little Again

 

Puddle Jumping
Puddle Jumping

 

   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

It’s been raining..raining…and raining some more in our “neck of the woods”. 🙂 Puddles everywhere. As we were getting ready to leave one of the buildings at the women’s retreat that I was at this weekend, the bottom fell out. Yuck. No umbrella….

That’s when one of my dear friends reminded me of something. She said we could play in the rain..have fun..enjoy it. Me, being the spontaneous person that I tend to be…said, “OKAY”! So, four of us took our shoes off..rolled up our pants..and commenced to playing in the rain. We ran straight to the biggest puddle that we could find. We got WET..and it was so much fun!

 

We are back home now, and it is STILL raining. So, this morning, I chose to have a good attitude about the wet weather. I threw on my rain boots and embraced the rainy weather. I don’t always do this. Some days I complain about it. I’ll let you in on a little secret….Enjoying the rain is so much better than complaining about it. 🙂

I enjoyed splashing in the puddles outside. (If you don’t have a pair of rain boots, you should really consider getting some. They don’t have to be expensive..just rubber boots…so you can play in the water. )

It’s all a choice. Perspective. How you look at things…

Every single day..In every single circumstance, we have a choice to make. Find the good or dwell on the not so good.

Back to puddle jumping…

On the way home from school and appointments, I shocked my girls. See, a few minutes earlier it was the typical not so joyful car ride home..that some of us parents are blessed with at times. All day I kept thinking about how fun it was to “play” in the rain this weekend. So, I just blurted out: “I want us to put on our rain boots and jump in puddles when we get home!” 

My youngest just smiled really big and giggled and said: “OKAY!” Not so sure that my oldest was quite as excited at first..(she may have thought that her Momma had finally lost it)….BUT, she did it. 🙂 We all had the best time. Just being. Just puddle jumping. Water splashing. Fun.

Our youngest having fun!
Our youngest having fun!

Because…….sometimes, we forget to just be.

   We forget to play.

   We forget that the simple things are the best things.

   That memories made are precious.

   That just jumping and splashing in the rain can make you feel pure joy. 

   Perspective.

   Changes everything.

Making Memories...
Making Memories…

 

I’m quoting my dear friend now: “Sometimes it’s nice to forget all our cares and be little again” 

   (Thank you, Amanda..for reminding me of this truth.)

So, I am challenging you to “be little again” every now and then. AND…if you’ve been looking at something in a negative light, to try to find the “good” in it. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t so bad after all.

 

 

         Until Next Time, 

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REMEMBER

 

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You never know where you may find a heart….

 

 

Well, tomorrow is Vday. AKA Valentines.. Sweethearts…day of expressing love and feelings.. Could be to a special someone or it could be to your family.. friends…etc..

Some people dread the day. Some love it! Some have no expectations and some have too high expectations.

What is Vday to you? Do you dread it or love it? Why?

I sometimes have really high expectations. Truth. I think it’s because such a big deal is made about a day that should be celebrated ALL YEAR LONG. Not just ONE day a year.

Love. It’s sweet. It’s even painful at times. It’s an action word. Not just a feeling.

Oh how we sometimes forget ( those of us who have been Valentines a long time)… that it’s an ACTION word. Ladies…we can’t blame our men completely for this. Men, you can’t blame us ladies completely either.

See, a couple.. Is 2. Two people. Two who have to do their part.

Ouch.

That feeling you had when you first met.. Remember it?

That excitement you felt when you saw your sweetheart… Remember that?

Remember how you felt when you didn’t get to see the one you loved?

What are you doing different now?

Think about it.

We get in a rut. We let “life” steal and “still” the romance. We let “life” take priority. That’s the problem. We choose to put that “sweetheart” on the back burner.

When we do that..the pot cools off.. The fire starts to slowly die.

Won’t work. It takes work. Intentionality.

It’s time to stop complaining… Stop whining..and do our own part.

So tomorrow.. On this day that’s been commercialized… Remember the days of old. And… Do your part.

Love is so sweet. New love appears to be even sweeter. BUT…Isn’t “old” love even sweeter?

Nothing sweeter than seeing a couple…with wrinkled faces and graying hair…holding hands and smiling. Because… They worked at this thing called LOVE. They stuck it out. They lived and learned and loved.

So.. I’m challenging us all.. To remember and to do our part…

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 

Now..read that passage again and again and again. There’s a bit of work involved… BUT, it’s so worth it. Anything worth having is worth working for..and fighting for.

 

I am so thankful for each one of you.. Happy Valentines Day to you all!

 

             Until Next Time,

 

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Slow Dancing With Jesus

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Wow! Today I got to experience something awesome! A little taste of what worshipping God in Heaven will be like. After spending an entire day at Catalyst Atlanta 2011, I am just so overwhelmed and blessed. To be in the presence of other believers..leaders, pastors…people with a desire to know God more, was just an honor. The theme of this year’s event is “Be Present“.

I got a taste of what John was talking about in 1 John 1:3,4. He was talking about fellowship with other believers..and also about how his joy would be complete when he could share his love for Jesus with everyone. There is just something AWESOME about worshipping my Savior God with thousands of other people. Diversity..lots of young adults…middle aged and some seniors..all there with something in common. Love and desire for Jesus. Pure and unashamed worship!

The music, the speakers, and the fellowship was so extremely uplifting! I was able to listen to and take notes from Francis Chan, Dave Ramsey, and Andy Stanley to name a few. There were so many more. As I sat and took it all in, I just prayed for God to help me to remember what He wanted me to remember so that I can share it with you all! You want to know something cool? These pastors, authors, speakers that shared today, are just ordinary people that have answered God’s call and have chosen to be obedient. I want to be obedient like them! Not for my glory..but because I love Him so much.

Psalm 128:1 (NIV)~ Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience with Him.

I laughed today. I sang to my Jesus today. I stood with “arms high and heart abandoned” today . I danced with the Holy Spirit ( that’s how I described it to my husband) today. Eyes closed and heart wide open at times..felt like a slow dance with my sweet Savior! I was present today.

Yes, you heard me right, slow dancing with Jesus!!!!!!! That’s the only way to describe how I felt just BEING with God. A lovely slow dance.. In love with and fully present with my Jesus.

I know this is not one of my “normal” posts. I simply wanted to share with you..my friends..a little piece of how I felt today. I can promise you all this: God is not finished with me yet…and I have lots of stuff to share with you about what I am soaking in from Catalyst!
I feel like I need to take what I have learned today and file it and soak on it..let it marinate, if you will.

Tomorrow is another full day of praising God and learning from and listening to some more of His obedient servants. Man, I am so glad that the ones I heard today were obedient to God’s call on their lives! There is so much I could share..but I am not going to tonight. I am soaking on it and letting it rest in my soul. I am being still. I am choosing to be present with God first.

I cannot WAIT to share more with you all..after the last day..tomorrow. I would like to leave you all with a challenge though..and honestly it’s a challenge for me too! Since the theme is “Be Present” & if you weren’t able to physically be there to hear about the theme, I want to challenge you to “Be Present” in whatever you are doing. In a conversation,in your time with Jesus, time with kids, time with friends or family, time with your spouse, reading a book or whatever…Be Present. You will be amazed at how things will change when you are actually present in mind and not just body.

Be blessed! I can’t wait to share what God is teaching and showing me at Catalyst 2011!!

Until Next Time,

Heather Dawkins

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What Are We Holding On To?

What am I holding on to that I need to release my grip on? As I mentioned in an earlier post (Holding Back), we are doing a Bible study on a book called Surrender by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We are also studying Hebrews 11 at our church. I don’t believe that it is a coincidence that we are studying the Faith chapter of the Bible and this Surrender book at the same time. Something else that I find interesting is the fact that several of the devotions that I subscribe to have been on these same topics.

So, I ask myself and you too, what are we holding on to too closely…what do we need to surrender to God?

It can be multiple things. Some examples include: Time, Money, Our Wants, Our Comfort, Our Relationships, even Our food choices,  and the list goes on and on and on.

Why in the world do we resist God’s control over our choices? Why do we think our way of doing things could possibly be better than Gods way? We are not God…He is in control anyways. Sure, we can fight the truth..and we can even try to ignore it.

Surrender is a minute by minute, day by day choice.

I have been guilty of trying to hold on to every single one of the areas that I mentioned above. So what do we do about it and how do we begin to change for the better?

The only way to truly change is to be conscious of every single decision that is made. To seek God first when making decisions about everything. To make sure that He is receiving all of the glory !

This means that we have to be patient and learn to wait too. God’s ways are not our ways..His timing is definitely not ours. Most of us want things NOW! I sure am thankful that God is patient.

2 Peter 3:8,9 ~ But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

As I am learning to surrender, guess what I found out? Just like the scripture says, the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding. Also, the more I surrender to Him, the easier it becomes.

There is freedom in releasing your grip on the things of this world. There is freedom in truly trusting God.

I have changed my thought process..to where I now ask God in the mornings when I rise, “What do you want me to do for You today to bring You glory God?”

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) ~ “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

This sometimes means that I have to surrender some of my time so that I can help someone who needs me. Sometimes it means doing things I don’t really want to do. Sometimes this surrender means that I sacrifice what I want for the sake of someone else.

Sound dreadful ?

Think back to a time that you did something nice for someone “just because”. They were not expecting it..and think of how it made you feel after. Felt pretty good didn’t it? You surrendered something of yours for the sake of someone else.

It is far from dreadful…it is so rewarding to give to God and give for God! He supplies everything we need in order to do so!

Christ Jesus surrendered and He suffered willingly for your sake and mine.

What do we need to surrender for Him? To Him? What are we holding on to?

Romans 8:17 ~ Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

In Nancy DeMoss’ book Surrender, she says it is an issue of Trust or Tyranny. She stated this fact, “If we do not trust God’s promises and, therefore, do not step out in faith and surrender, we will ultimately find ourselves in bondage to the very things we refuse to surrender.”

   Blessings My Friends!