honestly? i have been wearing many hats lately. running a business..growing it..is lots and lots of hard work
i am learning it is blood sweat and tears on my part and then letting God do His part
which means the down time i do have is usually spent answering etsy convo’s..planning the next days workload and putting something in my mouth to eat…cleaning house .. oh and i do find time to eat Mexican with my mom and girls!! i love Mexican food!!
it leaves little time to peruse my favorite blogs and leave comments
answering back comments on my own blog all of which i miss terribly!!
but you know–it is part of growth. it is a season. for me..i know i cannot do everything- we aren’t meant to.
i can only do so many things and do them well so some things have to be set aside for a time. and i am learning not to feel false guilt
or take on pressure that isn’t mine to take…you know?
and that is ok!
and honestly… i passionately love what i am doing and where i am at right now
i feel like i have been given a second chance in life..i am feeling better and stronger than i have felt in years
it has been a year april 28 since i had major surgery having my colon removed and a colostomy bag. since then, i had another surgery to create a new pouch that takes the place of my rectum made out of my small intestine ( crazy right ) and then april 21 i will have the last and final surgery where they will hook it up and remove the bag. while i am beyond grateful for this process, having a bag has been…life-alteringly HARD!! and while i am super duper excited to not have a bag i am aware there will be some months of healing and adjusting to the new way of doing things. it will be hard. but I AM READY:)
i will never be “normal” again. there will be things i won’t be able to eat. there are some issues that pop up with jpouch’s and energy levels always seem to be an issue and dehydrating but being on this side of severe ulcerative colitis and having such a poor quality of life i will take this anyday!!
God has been my rock..my strength. He chose me for my weakness…it has been through these hard places that i am willing to be teachable, by His grace, to be taken deeper into trusting Him
giving Him a real chance to prove Himself to me
i am trying to learn everything i can from this experience and one thing i have been practicing is LIVING BRAVE!
to STOP DOING WHAT ISN’T WORKING..and figuring out why i keep going back
creating a new future – living day-tight as mark batterson says:)
nikki and i have so many things coming up–i have some fun news that i will share soon too:)
all of this being said
PLEASE know i think of you all often. i do! it is the way i am made. i know those of you who pray with me..and for me and encourage me are part of the reason i am this far in the journey. i am SO looking forward to the next part of the adventure–and i think it really will be an adventure!!
if i am to tell my story…i have to be at that place to help others get out…so this season of my life is part of that story
it is part of what i am to teach but i have to “live” it first…does that make sense?
ok…now for the winner!
we had 313 comments and random number generator choose 105
Ashley – ashmcferrin on ig –
i asked ONE thing you want to do this summer and Ashley said, ” my kids have been begging to go fishing for the first time… so this summer i want to go fishing!….have fun Ashley..fishing is one of summers highlights:)…xo
whoo hoo girlie!! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and it is boxed and ready to come home:)
i am dropping the tailgate down…jump up…let’s talk
i’ll share my heart tiffini style…( making no sense..ha!)
then i want to listen to yours…that is what we would do if we were together today..
we’ll start the week off on the deep end and then end it on a lighter note…
the GIVEAWAY is at the end of the post..i will never know you don’t read a word…xo
i have been working on taking back my life and i am giving it to the One who can put all the pieces together again
i stand before the One who knows all of me
i can hide nothing from Him
pieces of my broken self is dying off so the new me can rise up from the fire
i can’t get back the years
i can’t make up for it all by sacrificing myself .. punishing myself
i’ve spent so many years trying to make my fairy tale life come true
you know when you grow up without a daddy you seek love from all the wrong places
you can manipulate someone into staying with you so you can create that perfect family with until
one day you wake up in survival mode desperately trying to bail the water out of the lifeboat
but the water is pouring in faster than you can bail it out..there are 5 kids and you
and only 5 life preservers…who is sacrificed today..the water rises even more toxic
i ultimately stayed in a relationship that i thought was giving my kids what i never had but it was a lie..
laying them on the altar and sacrificing them and me while eroding our hearts from the inside out
i can’t change someone else. i tried
it really comes down to owning my story by changing myself
i am learning that owning the story also means i can write new chapters
i can change the characters
i can create a new plot
i am not powerless
i am not a victim
i am not helpless
all those stories i tell myself about myselfare FEARS!!
they are lies that keep me living a life in circles
always going back when i step to far out in to spaciousness and freedom
and you begin to create life preservers..for everyone..but most importantly..yourself
i have waited for years for “change”
i have lived years accepting responsibility for stuff that was not mine really believing it was
and this wasn’t the only relationship i do this with
come to find out “taking responsibility for others” is something i do as easily as i breathe”
so i have allowed God room to work in my heart. to radically change me. i am a rebel at heart
i always have been i guess
maybe a little david..a little peter
i am learning to submit all of me to Him..to use what is weak
for His glory so that my weakness are saturated in His Power
and in so many ways and on so many levels
what i’m doing “feels” so wrong and i am learning to not live on feelings but in faith
new territory remember? never been this way before…
but deep in my soul
i believe there are slaves in captivity…in eygpt
that need to be led out of captivity into the promised land
i have decided to be a jesus follower..not a “christian” or a “religious” person
it is time to break the chains forage a new land
walls are crumbling…His wind words are burning inside hearts
i can feel them blowing all around me as i am taking back my life
in grace and truth
you want to know what i am finding as i am taking back my life?
i was broken and bruised
out of the ashes i am burning like a fire
all the pain and the truth
i wear like a battle wound
so ashamed and confused
i am not broken or bruised
now i am a warrior
i have thicker skin
i am a warrior ( you are more than a conqueror )
i am stronger than i’ve ever been ( when i am weak – He is strong = i am God-strong
my honor is made of steel ( i have the armor to put on )
you can’t get in ( because i am surrounded by favor from the one who is fire in the bush )
you can never hurt me (
there is a part of me i can’t get back ( now you are a reborn into a new life )
a little girl grew up to fast
nothing left you can say
cause you were never going to take the blame anyway
it is time to stop waiting ( move forward )
i have seen so many people die in waiting!
they wait their whole life away
leave us alone here in egypt – we’re better off as slaves in egypt than as corpses in the wilderness exodus 14: 12
going back to what doesn’t work BUT we know it inside and out don’t we?
it is comfortable
it is our safety net..
we take 10 steps in and the ground quakes with approaching giants
a finger pushes hard into our deepest fears
what are we going to do?
how hungry are we?
the red sea scene is filled with passion!
God’s people being so afraid!!
but taking God at His word
ought we to do the same?
the above is being a jesus follower…not 60 minutes on sunday
it is living the Word out in everyday real life
it is galations 5:25-25!
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original
what is engaging 60 minutes a week and then live a life that is no different than the world?
i ask myself these same questions!
the choice can go something like this
are you going to stay sick or do you want to be healed and made whole?
abba showed me something last week as i was having a hard morning and i couldn’t put my finger on it. i left the house for work with a to do list running long in my mind which turned into a heavy weight and hot irritation
and it sends you straight over the edge at one bump
so anyway – i was driving down the road with no radio cause sometimes it it to much noise for my head and i wanted “still”
and here is what i heard
daughter, why are you carrying it? it is MY WORK and you are carrying the whole weight of it as if it was YOURS
what? i was momentarily stunned
wouldn’t you know the first giant i meet is my deepest fear
the bulls eye at the core of my insecurity
BAM! just like that
so naturally i grab hold of it and start controlling it as if i can…
but God already went before me right? remember He tells us that
so He put the circle maker and now all in…in my path
not a coincidence btw…
it is helping to connect the dots i always ask for God to help me understand HOW TO “do” His word HOW does that look in real life…i so often don’t understand at first
how do i take those pieces of verses and change me…
so what was i doing?
i started worrying about how i was going to do all of it
there is a whole other part of this story i can’t share of course
suffice it to say
we are in the thick of it and it is coming down to the one question i have feared for years
it is being narrowed down
God and me
though He slay me YET will i praise Him
so i gave it back…and again and again
it is His work
He can handle it
it is way bigger than i could ever dream
so i am circling my jerico
praying for wisdom
trying to bridle my hurt-anger
standing on the promise that
God will fight the battle for me while i am inwardly STILL!!
we can throw the word brave and courage around like candy..much like i’m sorry and i love you
but when the pestle of life relentlessly grounds you round and round…squeezing out all the fear down to the raw meat
it can get bloody real
what about you? do you feel like this sometimes too?
are you going to give me a chance to prove myself to you daughter? love, abba
THIS is my loaded question today..
it’s time to burn the plow no looking back..no more living there..no more egypt
no more slavery
go to ourinstagram feed and enter to win our new 24″ x 48″ FIERCE sign!! instagram post will go live around 6:30 cst..
tell us ONE thing you want to do this summer and the WINNER will be announced in wednesdays post…xoxo
i needed to be encouraged…and i thought just maybe YOU did too
maybe your THIS is cancer, divorce, rejection, discouragement, depression, loneliness, or something so terrible it shouts but remains unnamed? whatever is pounding loudly in your mind, your body, your soul, let me…let US be YOUR balcony person today..yes?
let me hug you with my words. let me wallpaper your soul to mine. let me encourage you to sing God’s song, and let me remind you that the song in YOU is His idea
hear me when i say the apostle paul did not lie when he wrote, ” long ago, even before He made the world, God CHOSE .. US! me and you..to be His very own
i’m leaning way, way over your balcony railing; i’m waving my coat above my head, and i’m yelling above the frightening noises of your world, ” i love you! i believe in you and your abilities! you can do it! keep at it! keep on!! He’s here beside me..our Abba..and He’s beaming with delight in YOU! yes, that’s right, He’s here, and He’s not sitting down
YOU are His child, He is your father. His coat is off too, and we are both in your balcony cheering YOU on together!! –excerpt from balcony people by joyce heatherley
wasn’t that good? i want to that kind of balcony person. and i need balcony people
i have struggled this week with something and through a song God reminded me that i am standing with an army
that i am not alone
that i just have to look around…and look up
there really are people in my balcony..cheering me on and up
rooting for me
and friend…look around…look up
i’m waving my hoodie for you!! with tears streaming down my face
i am cheering you on…YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT
when nikki & i saw these words we knew we had to create a tshirt
all of the items in the shop are inspired and pulled from our life
here is part of our mission statement i felt led to write one night
i want to make it into a sign for the shop–God’s shop
it is a joy and a gift to do what we do and we are humbled..truly
at your support of our business but more than that..of our hearts
in the words of ann voscamp
all is grace
thank you for sharing your adventures with us
it was awesome to read each one!!
the winner of the circle maker book is kahra!! number 21! email me at email@example.com with your address and i will have it mailed right out to you
ps..i wish i could send you tickets to paris too…don’t quit your daydream…layla @letteredcottage
we took the weekend to finish cleaning up & clearing out the old house. moving the rest of the stuff into the shop. moving is exhuastingisn’t it? the chapter is closing and a grand one is beginning. i’m scared to death and excited all at the same time!
a silly sidenote: I just realized yesterday that our two new addresses both equal 10!
i don’t know the words to tell you how i am feeling these days so i will share two photos that “kinda” capture it.
i started a new pin board titled .me. it is sort of a “vision board” to help me get to know me…and what that “looks like”.
here is the first one – i am terrified of heights…and to swim in lakes so this kindacaptures that stomach in your throat..eyes closed
this is the other one…
THIS one…to me…captures just a little what it feels like when God’s love and grace POURS down on me like RAIN!
and the funny thing is i am seeing FIRE all around me! like in my quiet times with God…FIRE words
my friend speaks a song to me…FIRE
my sign is aries…FIRE
and in Hebrews 12:29 this morning… God Himself is FIRE
i don’t understand it…i just see it…pray it…journal it
it burns inside…lissa said it this way, ” i have FIRE in my belly” i have known fire in my bones for a long time. i never knew what to DO with it..or really what it was
now don’t get me wrong…i still don’t KNOW what it is or what to DO with it except
LISTEN to it!
the unexplainable thing is how His love rain fills the empty places and yet…leaves me wanting more
the fire is burning while the rain simultaneously leaves me screaming Your name abba!!
there are somany things going on in my life right now and honestly…some things fall through the cracks. some balls drop.
i am focusing on my relationship with God and the business and really just LISTENING and GOING where i feel He is leading
i can’t explain it to you…i don’t understand it
the exodus house
a SHOP that happened in 3 days…literally!! i have GOT to tell you the story! it is SO God!
i still laugh like sarah must have laughed thinking of it
but i DO know God is moving
He wants us to LISTEN
the promise of the promised land still stands..we can still enter into it but we must BELIEVE and not doubt
there is the letting go…the taking a RISK!
speaking of RISKS! i am so far out here girls….so FAR
several times a day myself asks myself ” WHAT in the world are you doing?!
but you know what? the material things can be nice but i am keenly aware that they are GIFTS and meant to be enjoyed
i am still learning to enjoy good gifts from my abba!!
but not worshipped or the means to an end
the BEST thing ever is getting to know God more…and deeper
and taking His hand and going on a GRAND ADVENTURE ..WITH Him
we will go on together girls…i don’t know where we will end up
it could all fall apart in the end…that is what the LIES tell me everyday but the TRUTH is
it could end up to be the most amazing comeback story…EVER!!
God has this one…i believe that! God is above ALL things…yes yes and yes!!
it’s better than sex! i know…GASP! the S word…i’m 45..i’m over that…ha!
my season of life and circumstances maybe different than yours. my kids are grown for the most part. i still have grace who is 14 but i don’t have little ones anymore so i have more freedom than i did when i was a mom of young ones
my fingers are cracked and bleeding from work.. stain and paint under my nails everyday
my hair is thrown up into a messy ponytail or bun
mu daily attire is paint clothes
not much time to go out on the town getting all dolled up
my laundry is in piles
boxes are still strewn all over the house waiting for be put away
I USED to believe God just came in and did the rescuing
now i KNOW it takes hard work on my part…PRAYING hard and long…for years sometimes. at the same time .. when it is GOD’s TIME…things are effortless. they just HAPPEN!
you see Him everywhere!! HIS PART…it blows my mind!!
the SHOP is in full force and is fast becoming our second home
the days are FULL
my heart is on FIRE
and i don’t know much or do many things well but the ONE thing i am hearing and responding too is to let God LIVE FREE within my LIFE
i am deconstructing false constructs (LIES) i have been taught
and rebuilding from the ground up!!
it really hit home when i was asked to fill out a page telling about ME and i couldn’t answer hardly a one of them!
i don’t know WHO i am…no wonder i was whatever to whoever!!
it is so much more than an exodus house..it is my exodus
i am making a commitment to share more often about that here..everyday or two. so many many of you have prayed through with me
and supported me with you words and i can’t thank you enough! i wish we could sit together over coffee and just talk
for hours! you have asked about a home tour and i promise i will be sharing all of that so very soon. just taking a little time to get
things in their place!!
we just added our first POSTER to the SHOP! ( link on the sidebar ) it is printed on a high quality archival paper and is SUPER nice
so i will leave you with these words for monday
fill in the blank with YOUR name!!
___________ LIVE COURAGEOUS
love LOVE love to each of you today!!!!
**i am having trouble with linking and images…just something weird going on with my computer…so i couldn’t link to lissa, the shop, my .me. pin board or the images…i will work on it:)
ok..BIG NEWS! t-shirts have arrived in the SHOP!what do you think?
yay!!! we are excited!! this is just the beginning. we will be adding more in the coming weeks PLUS stay close because some of my blog friends will be sharing their shirts in the coming weeks too–we will have some fun giveaways or something. FYI – we have more GOLD designs coming too…yay again!!!
i am excited to share my YES news with YOU! but the words won’t come out right … it is to BIG! only God. not even humanly possible. i had no resources to make this happen. on instagram i shared this picture of how my heart is feeling right now…