as i wake up…drink my cup of coffee and uncurl myself into abba’s pretense i hear the the muffled whirring of life outside my window tempting me to join while my thoughts struggle to collect themselves and settle down into being present with God
as i am dating my daily journal entry may 7, 2014 there has been a shift on my insides i am not the same..something has happened..i am changing. i can feel it i am trying to put my finger on it i am starting a new beth moore study .. daughters of the day so i’m reading through the lesson and this paragraph STOP girl!! whoa… tidbit about me: i am a highlighter and underliner girl..i write all over my books and my bible this is what beth said this is where we begin. your circumstances are not coincidental in your journey. God’s timing is impeccable.we have before us real words for real crisis, real medical diagnosis, real afflictions, real relationships, realdoubts, real concerns, and real fears.REAL .. a word i fight hard for in days when everything is fake and photoshopped..down to the very food we eat REAL is a word i want to be..you too? i am sure it is more than just this..it is God’s perfect timing..people and places to be in the right time..a surrendered heart..a readiness to be all in i had to take back my life dissect it to get to the core of my beliefs that had me in the rut of life’s road from which i could not get myself out my age old questions has always been searching for someone to pattern my life after i look high and low and under every nook and cranny another question i have always asked is God is HOW do i DO bible verses so that they change me? i have sat in churchs a bazillion times and wept over awesome sermons preached by charismatic preachers and i have also been bored out of my brain wishing it would hurry and be over i’ve said before i have read every self help book known to man i have tons of head knowledge bottom line we must understand HOW to apply God’s word to be changed..for it to make sense and i can’t tell you how many times God and i have talked about this all of this and more is why we need to understand how the change happens since i didn’t have it modeled before me growing up i have been fighting tooth and nail for it t being the avid people watcher that i am…watching for someone to show me how its done he last 15 or so years since i wasn’t in a church that taught it i set out on my own journey to find it aha moment:now i understandthat my resident teacher…the holy spirit .. has been teaching me and i didn’t even realize it until last weekend!! john 14:26 immediately came to mind .. the one where jesus said the Holy Spirit..whom my Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that i have said to you! if i’d had only known that is what was happening a decade ago….ha! i humbly share my story with all the realness i can i will teach only what God has taught me/teaching me…yes i am still very much a student wise in some ways…a beginner in so many others being open has been a big game changer for me it rides alongside changing the way i think oprah said it this way and i wrote it down in my journal with these three words- i said this is me!the opening myself up into that which awaits me based on everything else that has brought me to this point.-oprah i now have a few weapons under my belt to get me from point A to point B on my treasure map of my story i am persuaded now more than ever that changes really are from the inside out our thinking or what we believe is in the driver’s seat of our life that is where we need to begin our work in our mind this is where i have noticed the biggest changes..they happened inside me first and that has begun changing me on the inside thankfulnesssurrendertrust these three words are like three strands that are interconnected and for me were and are the rope that holds me tight on this exodus road i will share romans 12:2
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
isn’t that awesome!!? so much to unravel in my story for it to begin making sense but i am going to plug away at it it is therapeutic for me so lets begin by lifting our hearts and hands high..placing our lives before God as we begin today’s journey thank you again lissa for all the beautiful images….muah! xoxo
my voice is shaky and shy and can be very awkward at the least…but i am finding it
i am not feeling so invisible
it is in the doing..putting thoughts into action — that is the KEY to living BRAVE!
you see..i spent years of “time with God”
years of acquiring knowledge through books, classes, seminars, conferences
none of these things are wrong in and of themselves..
however..NONE of them changed the cycle of insanity that kept the merry go round of crazy spinning
i struggled to figure out how to make the journal pages begin to write something new!!
i would read through old journals and each one would sound exactly the same…it was frustrating when i was
trying everything i knew
part of the problem was FEAR
i was unknowably held hostage behind a wall of lie bricks….built up so tall that very little light could come in
my pain was so great on the inside God couldn’t get in..neither could anyone else..i was walled in on all sides
i was a prisoner .. waiting for my knight in shining armor – God – to swoop down and rescue me
and when that didn’t happen despair and depression ate me alive
leaving me whimpering on a dirt floor with tears as my drink and my own flesh as my food
on the outside i “appeared” to be a normal mom .. all smiles..homeschooled, taught sunday school, had the “perfect” family
teaching sunday school with a baby on my hip..cooked up dinner..hung clothes on the line..consumed with the crumbling walls trying
to plaster them back before anyone could see the cracks of our family and what was happening behind closed doors…especially
our church..i just couldn’t be “spiritual” enough..so i tried harder…and harder
on the inside the scream that was silent went unheard as the darkness crept in..the storm was rolling in and my family would be hit by
a life-changing storm that forever altered the landscape of our family. it was a blessing i didn’t know what was ahead because
i would not have went
God didn’t write a fairytale ending for this girl..instead he thrust me into the wilderness and said woman, find thyself
and gave me a promise that
His angel would go before me and that He would be my rear guard that He knew the way i needed to go and that if i would be strong and courageous He would destroy my enemies before me and that He would get me to the new land that He would show me and that there would be giants there but that He would help me destroy them and that i would never be alone
these were some of the promises He gave me and that is all i had to hold onto things started really changing was when i acted on them
by taking risks of bravery
my pain was hot to the touch and came out only at select counseling sessions and when i was alone
the wracking of sobs of a lost girl who desperately needed someone to rescue her
i really believed i wasn’t able to do that for myself…a learned helplessness added to that
were my babies..my children…how was i to save them too?
i was thrust in head first and can only tell you from this side of it that i didn’t hear the words
woman, find thyself! i didn’t see it as a love…i think it was God’s tough-love….ha!
so i knee-jerked my way through the first couple of years and when that didn’t work i switched to woman, save yourself - i was pretty good at this one for awhile
then onto woman, survive thyself
none of it worked..maybe when i was at the end of myself the
dots finally started to connect
we were living in independence in a big rental home where i thought the fairytale
would finally come true
only to find that the definition of insanity really is a true statement
that the same thing happened again..in what seemed 18 times and counting
my heart finally shattered in a million little pieces
i moved the kids and i to a little rental house across the street from my mom
and a wrestling began between God and me
He began to give me eyes to see i really wasn’t an orphan
i was a daughter. HIS daughter to be exact
i AM NOT an ORPHAN…I am the DAUGHTER of the KING
it was life-changing when i stopped believing i was an orphan
and started LIVING like a DAUGHTER!!
one day Jesus gave me this verse in john 11:40
” jesus looked her in the eye. ” didn’t i tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
i always wanted to “understand” everything but jesus was telling me to just BELIEVE
i began to live by belief rather than understanding
i cannot live anyone else’s story. i have to begin to live mine
to SURRENDER ALL of me to ALL of Him..not another person or thing or idea
i love what mark batterson says in his book All In
jesus didn’t die to keep us safe he died to make us dangerous
i don’t know about you but i want to live the rest of my life dangerous!
not isolated and protected
i wast to LIVE in the WIDE OPEN SPACE God died to give me
knowing that i will always have FEAR
i will always be afraid of things…i am an introvert that loves people too shannon;) the key to change is prACTicing COURAGE..
it really is doing it afraid..it is living dangerous…how?
it is taking risks! that is scary as ??!!
it opportunities that are WAY out of our comfort zones
but if we don’t
we will never write OUR very own STORIES
i believe stories are medicine
and people are sick
paralyzed in the battlefield called life
who is going to carry the stretcher to the wounded?
sometimes God wears skin ( paraphrased from the character steady from the book unwritten )
i was that girl..who needed someone to take a risk on her and no one did
because God had a lesson for me
well…i take that back God did take a risk on me but it wasn’t the fairytale and knight in shining armor that my little girl heart dreamt of
now i see it as a great love story..one filled with adventures waiting to be LIVED!
so now – i want to be a God-skin wearer and help carry the stretcher to the wounded
i know there are others just.like.meout there
it doesn’t matter my ideaof whether my story is good nor not bottom line: my story isn’t mine. it is His
Jesus didn’t die to keep me safe..to get me safely to heaven
he died to make me dangerous
house of belonging : the art of living courageously volume I
ok..ok..THIS is what we have been wanting to share for.LIKE…ever!
House of Belonging: the art of living courageously
we will tell stories of courage
answer the questions of HOW do I live courageously in the middle of cancer for example
you fill in the blank a word
YOUR stories grassroots stories
we will peek inside hearts of people around the country
we will get real
we pray hearts are stirred
we will offer meaty content to chew on
that encourages YOU to pioneer new territories
take down giants
set captives FREE
maybe even cook a good meal just to BEGIN..
to let each other know WE ARE NOT ALONE!
our first lookbook..ebook..some kind of book…haha
to say it was a learning curve is an understatement!
my upcoming surgery had us in a time crunch which meant we didn’t get to put
EVERYTHING in it THIS go round
but hey...we are trusting Jesus with it all…it’s ALL GOOD!! right?
lesson learned: there is A LOT of work in putting together a lookbook!
volume I is a sampling of sortsof what is to come
WHO took these pictures you ask???
i love this person so much..and i have been so…beside myself to share her and her beautiful work with all
we mailed lissa the shirts and she ran with it telling the story that we all believed God wants women to hear
lissa so freely gave herself..her heart..to us
i’m just going to SAY it…it was God!
she bared her soul and let Jesus pour Himself into her
i can’t even pick a favorite..can you?
i LOVE them all!!
her gift is telling soul stories through the lens of her camera she lives her life REAL and is a living example of allowing God to heal her and set her FREE
to BECOME all that He had in mind for her from the beginning
the story of FREEDOM in Jesus!
real BEAUTY..true BEAUty is LIVING COURAGEOUSLY … in FULL FREEDOM
in a relationship with JESUS!!
Jesus BEAUTY crosses all barriers
age ethnicity economic status social status
whatever..you name it
::::: if you are interested in receiving our questionnaire on the next
House of Belonging : the art of living courageously volumne 2
email us at email@example.com
if you would LOVE to have lissa tell a story for YOU
you can find her
God, You catch us -You can reach alllll the way
from sky to sea – You can pull us out of anything!
from the ocean waves that leave us gasping to the giants breathing out threats and taunting us,
only You truly know the void in which we are drowning
they hit us when we’re down, when life’s blows come
but God always sticks with us You stood us up in a WIDE OPEN field we stood there…SAVED — surprised to be LOVED! (the last two sentences are my fav…)
YOU God – are making our lives complete..moment by moment..day by day
when we place ALL the pieces before You when we surrender our plans for YOUR plans
when we are alert to Your ways
and don’t take You for granted
daily going over the ways You work;
we try not to miss a beat
we begin to feel put back together
and we practice trusting you ..with each step
God..only YOU…You rewrite our lives when we surrender the book of our heart to your eyes
-psalm 18:16-24 mingled with my words. i wrote this out as a prayer to God last week in my journal
something new is growing around the HOUSE:) i can feel it coming alive…
the rest of the story is coming next week!!
i emailed janet tonight and told her she WON a pair of freshly picked moccasinsfrom our giveaway monday she was the 15 that the random number generator chose. i bet she is one happy momma:)
wishing i could give each of you that entered a pair…they TRULY are darling
thank YOU’s so much!