Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hurry & Scurry

This morning was wake up in panic mode. Had a good long girl talk till 1am with my dear friend, well worth it! But then overslept and it's go time in the morning. Which automatically puts this heaviness in my chest. Rushing, hurrying and scurrying.

Big boys are all out of the house at a somewhat decent time, not too late. I set to make a plan. I realize a plan will help me to set goals, priorities, and hopefully lift this heaviness! And this isn't pretty plan-making in a cute notebook. It's hiding in my closet because baby is happy (unless he sees me) and make a plan on my phone. 

Then I get him to nap and take a way overdue shower. And again heaviness sets in of thinking there's no way I can get it all done and please all the people. 

I scurry to fix myself a bowl of cereal something fast to keep going. Then feel this nudge of, "hey-- wanna have breakfast together!?" So I remind myself what I always say #slowisgoodforthesoul. I make myself a nice breakfast to sit down with my coffee and the Truth-teller and this is what I read. 

"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind."  (Proverbs 21:5 MSG)

Hello God! Thank you for your voice in my life in the big and small. I love walking with You! 


The chapter ends with this beauty— 

"Do your best, prepare for the worst— then trust GOD to bring victory." (Proverbs 21:31 MSG)

Good day friends! You've got this! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gratitude Game


Having a rough day? Stuck in the middle of a total mess? Feeling like a total failure?

That's where I find myself sometimes. I don't think I'm alone. Today's scenario was what felt like the longest two and a half hours with my two oldest. Nap time at 12:30pm and still finding myself disciplining to stay in bed at 2:30pm. While trying to stay sane, calm, not lose my temper and take care of the baby. After multiple visits to their bedroom I was feeling so defeated. God, am I doing this right? Are you with me? 

This day is not going as planned. Today was supposed to be fun with mom day and we had an appointment this morning and now spent two hours fighting. 

When I found my first moment of reprieve, I grab my phone and go to default mode of scrolling through my feed. I automatically see a mom who made a felt Christmas tree for their toddler... "Oh now she's got it figured out. Surely she doesn't have moments like this." And I automatically caught myself. 

Do. Not. Go. There. 

The world of comparison. Don't do it. So here's a trick I play on myself and my invitations to pity-parties or all out defeat-fests. I go to Instagram... (You thought I was going to say the Bible huh?) And I play the gratitude game. I look through my own feed and cannot help but be so grateful for this beautiful life I'm blessed to live. 



So note to self-- when you're feeling down... It can be a slippery slope if you don't catch yourself. So turn up the truth in your life of all you have to be grateful for. Your beautiful mess. 

So in between some of the discipline I got to return to this smiling face who was laughing with joy to see me! 


Then the cherry on top was one of my dear friends stopped by and hand delivered this cup of joy! 



The peace lasted long enough for a short convo and then my arms were full again... But now with a perspective shift and the victory of the gratitude game!!! 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Some Good News

With Monday quickly approaching and as we prepare a special evening for the girls in Juvenile Hall, I came across the article published in Capital Culture about our last time with the girls. I realized I never shared it and thought-- why not share some good news. So often we get bombarded with the bad news and we carry the heaviness of it with us throughout the day.  Be encouraged to know God is on the move in our midst and we welcome prayers for our time with these girls on Monday night.



There is something special happening across our city where believers are working together to love and serve our community. There is a gathering of women-- young and old-- under the umbrella of "Leading and Loving It". Where local area women in leadership and ministry are gathering to connect and encourage one another and then serve together.

An opportunity arose to bring hope and light into a place deemed as hopeless and dark. The Youth Detention Facility (aka Juvenile Hall) is right around the corner from Capital on Kiefer Blvd. Chaplain Dan Thompson has served there for many years, loving and bringing the message of Jesus to those young people in need. He had the idea to host an event for the young women to feel loved and special. Jackie Guzman, founder of The Glass Slipper, quickly joined forces to make this special day happen. Glass Slipper is a non-profit that provides life-changing programs for girls in foster care and group homes. Then I got thrown in the mix, with the idea of reaching out to other women in leadership throughout our city and voila the planning began. I've heard it said in reference to the church, "we are beautiful when gathered and unstoppable when scattered." I think this opportunity was a perfect combination of both beauty and power. Simultaneously gathered and scattered amongst these young girls-- and what happened was nothing short of miraculous.

At the mention of the event these girls were so excited, they took the time beforehand to come together and make special banners welcoming and thanking these older women. As the girls began to enter the gymnasium-- which had been transformed into a beautiful gathering place-- many of the "walls" began to fall down. They sat and shared tea and desserts with Sacramento area female Christian leaders. The program began and everything was prepared especially for them. A song ewas shared that was written for the girls declaring who they are, dancers danced a prayer dance they wrote filled with hope, powerful testimonies shared through cardboard testimonies and turned into the message of Hope Floats. Pastor Karen Hagan shared a message of hope with the girls with the message of Jeremiah 29:11 weaved through it all. "'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.'" Then came the fun fashion show! Models of all ages and sizes walked the center aisle with beautiful clothes the girls could later purchase with certificates they were given from the Glass Slipper boutique.

There were many smiles, tears, laughs, prayers, hands held, hands raised and hope shared. God moved powerfully in the hearts of all the women involved-- young and old, incarcerated and free-- True freedom was encountered by all.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#NoFilter

Life is a beautiful mess, but of course normally we only post the beautiful (after multiple photos taken and edits) and we leave out the mess. I think we all know the danger of this and what it could be creating in our cultures and in our hearts. A constant comparison to someone's highlight reels and not realizing they also have behind-the-scenes and bad days. So today my own #turnuptruth...

Life has #nofilter to make it look pretty, but we choose what filter to apply to our perspective.
Truth or lies. Gratitude or greed. Humility or haughty. The list goes on.

This morning was a total scramble, which isn't rare in our household with three littles and all. We had to rush to drop of my grandparents to the airport at 7am, get one to the dentist by 8am, the other to school by 9am and feed and care for baby. (As well as make lunches, pack bags, etc.) So let's just say I brushed my son's teeth, but not my own today. One of those kind of days. A woman dropping off her son at preschool saw me and said, "you look so cute!" My auto-response (I had no coffee yet) was something like, "Oh really? I was just thinking I can't believe I'm out in public like this." It's not like she knew those floral leggings were yesterday's apparel and pajamas, I hadn't washed my face, brushed my teeth and I threw on my husband's hat to try to hide my dirty hair. What she saw was "cute" what I saw was a "mess" and it reminded me that the mess is beautiful. I love observing other people's messy lives-- they inspire me! So embrace your mess today.

Currently sitting in my inbox from fellow sisters are messages asking: things like how do I juggle three little boys and ministry life? or how do I study the Bible? How do I have time to shower? lol... no but really. All of this was juggling around in my mind (and sorry I haven't responded yet) because as I was thinking on these I was feeling like a total train wreck. My hubby and I had some "heated fellowship" by the fire last night (it wasn't hot because of the fire). We disagreed. We shared ways we'd hurt each other. We tried to reconcile and figure out how to be better for each other. But I woke up with this weight of... hmmm... really just not wanting to do it all.

"But God" (yes it's one of those) He always has me. I woke up and saw the gorgeous sunrise. Did my yucky feelings go away right away? No. I've been processing them and praying about them all day (while running errands and doing laundry and attending a luncheon). I asked for help. Something that is personally so hard for me. I asked a woman I've never talked to for prayer. I ended up then receiving multiple words of wisdom and encouragement from people. I left with a better sense of my identity, my calling, an assurance that I do hear from God, I left full of hope.

So this is my "no filter" day. I will remove the sense that "everything is perfect" and say I'm not perfect, but I'm in love with someone who is.

Here's #truthfortoday for you and me, it always seem to speak to where I am at. I hope it encourages you as well.


I'm ready to make a clean break with everything that distracts me and to focus on my "within". What does that look like to you? 

 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You Had Better Be...

So there's this Blogger app which is just simply amazing. I can sit in my car with a sleeping baby and write. Yes! #thankyoutechnology



Now-- my whole mantra of "turn up truth" is something I remind myself of daily. It can be done even in the chaos of life. Waiting in line, waiting in the car (like me), and then of course we should make intentional time... But we have no excuse. 

So while I wait... I opened to this #truthfortoday!


Whoa! What awesome reminders and challenges in this word! 

1. He has me where He wants me! 
2. He showers grace and kindness on me. (Thank you! I can feel that shower today!!) 
3. It's all HIM! (I have zero bragging rights!) 
4. I GET TO join Jesus in His work. (not  have to) 
5. Work I'd BETTER BE DOING! (Here's where I'd like to sit a minute...) 

I have the amazing privilege to join Jesus in His work, He's gotten it prepared in advance for me. Specifically the way He's created me, my gift mix! Now-- there is a lot stirring about slowing down and taking Sabbath and finding breathing room in our hectic lives. And I need to hear and respond to every word of it. BUT... When I find myself getting into a funk. A "woe is me" or "I don't care" or any kind of funk-- I'm normally not engaged in the work He's prepared for ME! Yea I might be "working"-- but it's to people please or to keep up with the Joneses. But when I'm truly engaged in the season of life and what He asks me to do with Him-- there's no room for funk! 

So ask yourself today if you're engaged in working WITH Jesus (not for) in the area He's calling you! I believe it will make you come alive. I was in a funk this week and trying to evaluate why and asking God why? I immediately felt the funk lift when I was preparing to gather people (unite the body) for a cause (teen girls in Juvy). Which is most definitely part of my calling in this season of life. 

So what work "had you better be doing"? It's good work & it will make you come alive!

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman




This is Me

It's 1:00a.m. It's a new day and a new and refreshed me. I think real is refreshing. And I'm ready to be real.

I think obedience is the place to live and I'm ready to live there.

I think caring less about what people think and more about what my Creator/Father/Friend thinks, is what it's about.

You know when you KNOW something, just deep inside. Well I just realized that almost all of my KNOWING moments had a lightly penciled in ????? after it. Like these lies that had crept into my thoughts and began to filter every moment, every truth, every KNOWING with a ????

"Do you really know that?" "Do you really believe that?" "Do you really hear from God?"

Wow... and I'm ready! To erase the ????? and to add a !!!!!!!!!!

Yes! I do know! I do believe! I do hear! 

I know I am supposed to write. He's made it clear it so many ways. Specifically in an undeniable way-- having a total and complete stranger, come to me in a dark crowded room and He gave her the words to speak directly to my heart to where I was at and that I needed to write. And that it was meant to be shared.

There is a part of me that feels like vomiting every time in the past that I've felt the need to write and then share something I've written. What could be more gut-wrenching? To write down something and share it and feel like every word could be scrutinized over, picked apart? I'm a perfectionist as well-- who would like to write something and then proof it a hundred times before anyone else's eyes would see it. I do not have time for that. Repeat (to self). I do not have time for that. By the miracle chance that I get the time to sit and write. That's it. one and done baby. And that's what's going to happen.

It's an obedience walk. It's going to be real... which means it's going to be messy. If you prefer to not join the mess-- then please refrain from reading.

These are my 1am ramblings after an incredible eye-opening experience with my lover (Cole) and the lover of my soul (Jesus). 


I will not be afraid. I will just write and share as I believe I know I'm supposed to.

And now my baby is awake and needs his mommy to feed him. Thank you Jesus for this sweet boy AND the fact that I can stop this writing now. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Check out "Bloglovin"!

Check out "Bloglovin"-- it organizes all the blogs you'd like to follow in one place! Love it!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6548389/?claim=r3gz3r4gm2t">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's time...


It’s time for me to get “Mary’ed” up! 
 
 Yes, I’m already married… I’m talking about a whole other kind of Mary’ed. 

"As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”       (Luke 10:38-42) NLT

So wow. To be completely honest… I was dealing with some weird emotions. I recognized them as not normal and definitely not truth… as I was processing them aloud last night with Cole, "where did they come from" and "help me speak against these lies"…
I was feeling:
  -not needed, insecure
            -no value, no purpose
            -disconnected

I realized (which I have many times before) that my life has always been and is continuously so “performance-based”…

I’m a busy-bee, productive-person, efficiency-engineer….. I get things done-- and I like to. It’s not all bad, it’s part of my giftings for sure… but I’ve been put in a season where that is all halted (at least in a position to where I can gain acknowledgements for it, accolades, a pat-on-the-back, a feeling of “they-couldn’t-get-by-without-me”, a hero of the moment). 

No, this was all halted… as I was knee-deep in diapers, discipline and all the chaos in-between. And it’s not like my baby boy is going to thank me for cleaning up his poop all over himself, me and the couch. My two-year-old is not going to tell the world that I just cleaned up his buckets of water all over our hardwood floor without freaking out on him. My dishes aren’t going to gain a voice and thank me for putting them away.  

Talk about for an “Audience of One"... and I'm reminded: 

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..." (Colossians 3:23)

So here I am, embarking on summer camp. The camp where typically I had some performance-based role. Whether it was managing people, organizing registration, calculating rooming situations and numbers, speaking a message—always something. Now I was left feeling “purpose-less”, or I guess you could say “useless”. Why am I even going? Why are we having “babysitters”? I might as well just sit with the boys alone all day.

Then I heard/felt it clearly. It’s time for you to get Mary’ed up! I’ve been Martha for too long. And everytime I’ve recognized that fact and known I need to slow down and just sit at His feet and sit amongst others relationally…. I find an excuse, or better yet I find people that people “NEED” me to do something for them. Not this time.

This time I NEED to be with Him and do the basics-- 
LOVE GOD & LOVE PEOPLE.

Let’s face it, normally I’m “too busy for people.” How ridiculous does that sound? I know! Walking along… barely acknowledging the people who I’m “doing it all for”. Just to get ‘er done… and keep being productive.

Well now I have no excuse… and leave-it-to-me… I would’ve found one no doubt! But He’s clearly spoken…. PLEASE BE A MARY RIGHT NOW. SLOW DOWN. Stop performing and seriously CONNECT. 

"Connect with Me, connect with people. LOVE ME, LOVE PEOPLE."

So I’m ready, but I’m really uncomfortable. And as silly as this sounds I feel like I’m going into “uncharted territory”. And I’m putting this out there, for others who may be like me and need the encouragement to “Get Mary’ed up!!” and for accountability for myself. 

NOTE-TO-SELF:
Allow no excuses to find busy-work to hide behind… 
it's time to CONNECT and LOVE. 





Please excuse the utter messiness of this entire post. It was written quickly in the midst of packing and cleaning. Everything in me wants to keep it to self. But I believe I'm supposed to post it. This is raw, this is quite frankly a bit embarrassing, but this is my "no turning back moment." Ready to obey whole-heartedly... all the while praying, "Lord, please just let no one read this." Eek. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The (Comparison) Trap Door

The more I thought about this comparison trap.... and how easily it's talked about and owned by myself and many of us... I realized it's a really pretty label on something really ugly. I feel like it's easy for me to say, "Yes. I too struggle with comparison." But what is really behind the door of comparison? Jealousy, envy, bitterness, pride, and the list of nasty just goes on.

I have always agreed with the thought that, "recognizing the problem is half the battle." Well if this is true... then mis-labeling the problem, well that's an issue. I can say, "oh I just need to stop comparing." And move on with my day. But when I open the door of comparison... I must realize what's behind that door and in my heart is a whole lot of jealousy for what I don't have; envy of what other's have that I don't think they deserve (or if they do, then I definitely do); bitterness towards others or God for not "blessing" me with that; pride that I am so much better than someone who made that choice. I mean all kinds of evil really.

"For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." (James 3:16 NLT)

What a word of truth. So if the comparison in my life is stirring up jealousy, envy and selfish ambition... I can know what will follow. Disorder, confusion, every kind of evil. No wonder it can "seep into every area" of my life or seem to consume my thoughts at times. It's a disorder I don't want to dive into. I picture a trap door in the floor; the trap being comparison. And once I fall into the trap, I'm swimming in the mess of pride, jealousy, envy, bitterness, and more.


"Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15 NLT)
 "A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones." (Proverbs 14:30 NLT)

Let's look after each other. Let's refuse to live this way. I refuse to go another day living in this without recognition and repentance for doing so. God made us for so much more. So I have to recognize what is really going on in my heart and mind, acknowledge the error of my ways and pursue peace and love (and "The Art of Celebration"-- see previous post.)


God, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for living like this for so long and writing it off as no big deal. I know you have designed life to be so much sweeter than living with this disorder. Thank you for showing me this truth. Let it come alive in me in such a way that I can't turn back. I don't want to be "okay" with this. I want to truly celebrate others and be grateful for the amazing life I have. Thank you for rescuing me from this trap. Help pull us out, one by one, day by day, moment by moment and look to You for wisdom on how to celebrate & love others... give us Your thoughts, show us Your ways. I love you. Thank you for grace.... again. 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth so my ways are higher than your way and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)


Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Art of Celebration

Our household seems to be in a state of constant competition. We have been amazed at how young our boys are, yet how instinctive competition and comparison seem. It seeps into every area of life. The dinner table, "my strawberry is bigger than yours." The parking lot, "I'm beating you." The car, "no this is my song, not your song!" And the list goes on...

I've found myself thinking back on my life and how it's not much different. I am an only child, but the closest thing I have to a sister is my friend Katie. We were born on the same day, in the same room-- with moms who were best friends. I found myself always competing and comparing, but in a very dangerous way, silently. It started with things like, who had more toys, or got the newest Barbie. To who had the bigger house, who had more friends, who was prettier, who got better grades. I mean it is endless. It seeps into every area of many of our lives.

From the time we are young it seems ingrained in us to envy, to compare, to compete.... rather than to celebrate. Comparison is always a trap because it either causes us to feel better about ourselves and get puffed up (while looking down on how bad others are) or it causes us to feel awful about ourselves and life (while reflecting on how much better other people have it.) Comparison is a nasty trap, that I will be on the look out for and strive to not get caught up in.

Rather than be in a state of constant competition... 
We need to discover the art of celebration.  

That is celebrating others. What does it truly mean to celebrate others achievements, happiness, etc. Is it possible to celebrate when your friend gets that new gadget you've been eyeing, when they get a new car and you're driving a clunker, when they get publicly praised and you feel invisible, when they get promoted and you just lost your job, when they have their fourth child and you can't seem to conceive, when they get their dream home and you just lost yours.

There is never a formula for life (although I always try to make one up to solve my world problems.) So if I took my best shot at it-- I think a good recipe to avoid becoming a burnt-out competitor is a mixture of gratitude, grace, and celebration. Learning to be grateful for what we've been given. The good, the bad, the ugly. All of it. Fixing our eyes on Jesus as the One who holds it all. Living with grace towards others and ourselves. Forgiving faults & failures. And learning the art of celebration. I think it truly is an art. It's a masterpiece and in these times, it's rare and I think very valuable.

"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them." (Philippians 4:4-5)

Lord, teach me to celebrate others well. To become less centered on myself and put my eyes onto You and to those you've given me to walk this beautiful life out with. I am sorry for the times that I've let envy take up space in my heart. Lead me to grace and gratitude. Clean me out of my constant competitive nature. Help us to create a culture of celebration. Celebrating with each other, for each other. I want to live this life to the fullest with You and with them. Thank You for Your grace and for second (and 55th) chances! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Side of Grace

Wow. A full plate. With a newborn, two crazy toddler boys, a busy husband, and many ministry opportunities... I underestimated just how full life could get. It's a good, full life. I'm just realizing with this heaping plate, I'm in need of a side of grace.



With this full plate of life I honestly can say I have heaps of gratitude for those in our lives that love on us. I'm more grateful than ever and truly learning it really does "take a village" and we are not alone. So this message is to all those who've loved on us in so many ways. From our baby shower, to meals delivered, taking care of our boys, welcome baby gifts and even Caleb's birthday party. 

I just found myself up at 4am with my mind spinning of everything I want to do but felt there would never be time for.

When my hands aren't full of a baby, spilled food, diapers, laundry, dishes, cleaning or my computer... I try to get some sleep :) So I've realized that the things that are in my heart and head just quiet possibly won't get to reach my hands during this season. 

My mama raised me right with always sending thank you cards. But the idea of sitting still with a pen and notecards seems like a mountain I just cannot climb right now. (I'm writing this on my phone will rocking Cade and Connor trying to climb on us with his toy car.) 

So please know if you've given a gift, a meal, an encouraging word, prayers through our health struggle, time with our boys... It has not gone unnoticed. I am constantly reminded when I put an outfit on one of the boys, or they're playing with a toy who it was given by. Caleb always asks "who gave me these shoes?" and such, because I've tried to instill that same grateful heart in them. 

So thank you!!!!! And thank you for the grace of my delayed responses and lack of "thank you cards" in this season of life. 

Much love!!! (and admiration to all of the other moms who are living this crazy-awesome-life-calling!!!!) 

(I was reminded to write this as I was dressing Cade in an outfit I remember being given to us by the Reid's for Caleb. It's now on its third Zick boy!) 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Go(o)d Life

The Good Life = The God Life



As soon as I saw this statement as I was scrolling through Instagram it resonated something within me. Almost like a love song in my heart. It even reminded me of the silly movie "Elf" when Buddy screams, "I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!"

Life with God is so good. So often I find myself focusing on the "fight" of life. Why does it seem so easy to talk about the problems and not the victories? Life with God is so good. Like driving in the car with the windows down, sun shining, music playing on a fresh spring day! It's so refreshing. He is the best. The best friend, the best comforter, the best companion, the best father.... simply the best. Life lived with him is so sweet. Even in the trials, even in the struggles... He has such a way of making it better. I could not do this life without Him.

In Romans 8:31 (read the whole chapter, it is so good!) it says:
"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?
If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"

So take time today to revel in the goodness of God, rather than focusing on what is wrong... focus on what is right. Instead of digging into darkness, turn on the light. There is no competition. The good life is the God life. He makes all things new. (Rev. 21:5) He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8) He puts me at rest. (Matthew 11:29)

The struggle is real. Yes. But today, fight to find the truth and overwhelming power in the fact that He is for you!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Insecurities are Ugly Little Liars



Insecurities are ugly little liars. They make you believe non-truths. You freeze up.

Ever needed a pep-talk and had to give it to yourself? Use the word of God... it's FOR you!

There's so many things against us-- I want to focus on what's FOR me.

The liar loves to steal, kill and destroy.

He loves to steal my hope, kill my passion and destroy my confidence. 

But I won't allow it. I will win in the end. If for that reason only- I will fight my fears. I will go against the tide of everything that seems "doable". I want to do the hard things. I want to conquer... I was made to conquer. I will not settle for less. Victory is mine.


"Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us." (Romans 8:37 AMP)