Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wake Up Early & Rest

In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus. 
In the morning, I will rise to meet with Jesus. 

I don't know about you, but I love to sleep. We recently upgraded to a king bed, so it's that much harder to get out of it! (By upgraded I mean sold our queen for the same price we purchased a Restoration Hardware beauty from Craigslist! If you don't check out Craigslist & OfferUp when you're looking or dreaming about something-- do it! Every night Cole exclaims how in love with our new bed he is!) Anyways, back to getting out of bed... WHY is it so hard?! Our middle guy, Connor James, sneaks in with us every night as well, so I just love his little cuddles and don't want it to stop. BUT... If I don't get my morning ME time-- I'm just not at my best. Does this mean I wake early every morning? No, not nearly. But the days I do, I NEVER regret it. Being the first one to wake in my house and pray for my family and our day, is one of my greatest joys... so naturally, I want to share the thought with you. Am I a morning person? No, never really have been. I've always considered myself a night owl. So don't write me off as that. You can do this too, just give it a try.

Yesterday around a table with some beautiful women we talked about creating margin in our lives, room to breathe and why that is so difficult. We are going through the book Breathe by Priscilla Shirer (definitely recommend.)   We've been discussing how we are so comfortable with exhaustion and running in circles, we don't know how to enjoy a break. The guilt that comes in when a day in our calendar isn't full. We've equated significance with busyness. That just reeks of the lies to me. The truth is that He created rest for us. We are not too important or too busy to rest. Maybe we won't find a full twenty-four hour period to rest (especially as a mommy of littles, it's not like we can tell them to stop dirtying their diapers because it's our "sabbath") but finding a chunk of time to pause, to stop, to rest.

So back to waking up early, I know it's not everyone's jam and I'm not trying to push it on you. But what I'm reminded of daily is: 
"The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41 ESV) 
Our flesh can be selfish and sloppy. I don't want that to run my day. I want to feed my spirit and flourish. I've chosen little simple things to discipline myself, just like there are consequences to choices for my boys-- I'm giving myself some. I changed two things yesterday, simple & easy. I moved my phone from charging right next to my bed (I even purchased the extra long cord so I didn't have to reach and could have it closer and convenient.) Now it charges across the room by the door. For one-- it will not keep me up late at night, scrolling. Secondly, when the alarm goes off I can't simply hit snooze. I have to get up and it's right on my way out the door and downstairs to my ME time. Secondly, I told myself if I can't get up early, I can't have coffee. Maybe that kind of "discipline" sounds silly, but if you share in the love of coffee-- maybe you understand! Paul talked about self-discipline.
"Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."               (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT)
Just a little encouragement to try something new to fit in some time for you to "rest" and feed your soul. There are so many voices swirling around in our heads in the day, I'd like to start mine with the voice of truth. 

To top off the sweetness of my morning-- Connor was the first one to wake up and make it downstairs. His next moves reminded me of how special it is "just to be near the one you love". He leaves his favorite "special seat" (that is a daily fight in our house of who gets to sit in it) and says, "Mom-- will you come bring your Jesus computer and sit on the bench with me? Cuz I wuv you." Perfect end to my time, joining with the sweet slowness of my three-year-old eating his breakfast. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

See Yourself the Way God Does

The following is a "note" I wrote on my iPhone while flying across country. It dawned on me that I need to know who I am-- what makes me, me-- and not trying to simply live based on other's expectations or off of insecurities. So this was my synopsis of some pieces that make up who I am. It was freeing to write and I encourage you to identify the same. Lining up with this verse-- it's a careful exploration of who I am. Not impressed with self & not comparing others. This is a piece of me at my creative best. 

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Galatians 6:4-5 MSG)  


I am in love with the living Truth— Jesus Christ. I love reading His word, speaking it, meditating on it, listening to it, writing it out. It is alive and active. It has the power to bring hope and destroy darkness. It is life.

I am a (chronic) over-sharer. I love to share my life, my discoveries! Whether it's a recipe, a cool place, a good deal, but most of all the hope that saved me and continues to change me daily— of course I want to share it!

I am a recovering people-pleaser who will no longer be bound by the anxiety of what people think about me. I love people- and hope you can love me. But take me or leave me— I have no doubt that once you discover what I have in the word and person of truth you will love it! There's no chance of looking back or turning back to your old ways— because He is life.

I detest the lies that tear us down, keep us bound and steal our joy. I hate the father of lies. It is a daily motivator to demolish his strongholds of darkness, turn the volume down to his blaring lies and turn up the truth in my life and anyone else who will listen.

"The truth is foreign because the lies are so familiar."

I believe when we begin to recognize and then replace the lies with the truth of heaven— everything changes.

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

When we change what we think about ourselves-- we change what we believe and ultimately how be behave. Life is not determined by our circumstances, but what we tell ourselves about them.

My passion is for us to begin to:
"See yourself the way God does."

I believe when that begins— we start on a journey to freedom, wholeness and purpose! We get to partner with heaven and discover the destiny God has for our daily lives.

I believe joy is found in the journey. I believe we were created to be better together. There is power when we come together in real, transparent, selfless community. Where we are not in competition with each other, but for each other. Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but we are an army together against the darkness.

I believe in the power of the spoken word. I want to be a voice and a servant to those who feel they don't have one or it's been lost. Hope has a voice and there is always hope.

We are loved and valued by the One who matters most. Nothing can separate us from that love. Let us walk together in that love and we will not be moved.

(Also found under "I Believe" on turnuptruth.)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saying YES

I had a beautiful conversation with two friends last night. In packed schedules and lots of little ones (between us we have seven kiddos and two on the way)... it can be rough to have a real conversation. So we made it happen. Put the kids to bed and sat around my table with some sweets and conversation that was sweet to the soul. We kept the candles burning and moved to the couch till we past into the next day (I think like 12:01am to be exact.) It was so refreshing. I shared a God dream/download I think we are going to walk in together, we shared our current struggles and insecurities, our prayer needs, our dreams. It was so good and a reminder we can make that happen WAY more often.

I encourage you, wherever you're at, to make that happen. We're all craving real friendships with depth, understanding, transparency, prayer and LOVE.

Just step out and invite someone to your table.

We have a lot of personal revelations just when we have a space to speak and have others who care listen. I got to go a step further in what I've been processing with God by sharing with them how I've been teetering on disobedience. I feel God tell me something to do, then He puts the writing on the wall by giving the same message to others to give to me, yet I still don't do it. Why?

What keeps us from all He's designed us for? Created us to come alive with?

Fear of failure. People's opinions.  Laziness. Excuses. Insecurities.

So it gave me the final push in my spirit to keep walking in faith and obedience. The obedience is up to me, the results are up to Him. So I will obey. I will continue the faith walk into what He has laid before me. I will continue to be faithful in the small and everyday things, as well as the uncharted and scary things.

"What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice." (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT)

"Then Samuel said,
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
    empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing,
    not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you
    is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God
    is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God’s command,
    he says No to your kingship." (1 Samuel 15:22-23 MSG)