Monday, September 30, 2013

I laughed today....

I laughed today. Bent over, belly jiggle, cheek hurting laughed today. I couldn't stop. There was a joy so deep in me it would have been near impossible to throw me off. I found laughter in circumstance, in a simple genuine text, the kids next doors simple innocence. There was joy surrounding me.

I decided today our new family mantra is find happiness in circumstance. If I have found anything, it is that you can't hope the next day will be easy, you just have to be content no matter where it ends up.

Laughing is not such a big deal to some people, they either have learned the above lesson already or they are just born with it: I envy those people!!! It hasn't come easy for me this fact when you've went months without laughter and joy....ridden with fear and anxiety....these days stop you in your tracks. It's beyond an answer to's a miracle.

My text to my friend tonight read: I'm healing. Thank you for traveling through the Valley with me. If you've ever been through a valley, you can appreciate that shepherd God places you with to lead you through. They love you at your worst, rejoice in your best.

We never know when we will see the seas parting, but if we keep paddling one day you just end up closer to the other side. God is good at many at quiet details with big outcomes. So tonight as I lay down I first thank God for a blessed day. Then I pray tomorrow I find contentment no matter where the day takes us...then I'll add but today felt really good:)

Have a blessed present my friends:)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

You are Enough

My heart was hurt very badly many years ago. Then we thought they had scarred me forever, boy did the Lord have different plans. Far from scarring, what we didn't know at the time is they have helped to shape the person I am now becoming.  Seeking God, healing hurts, becoming the best woman I can be.  The amazing Woman God created me to be.  A wife, A Mom and a witness of Christ.  So thank you, for shaping me. So for all you ladies out there who have ever felt hopeless when someone seems to take your heart for granted, rejoice.  It's part of your story and no one can devalue the greatness that could only be created by our beautiful savior. 

Dear Lord:

I feel there are women out there today that need big prayers.  Their self worth is being compromised by hurt and others in their lives who don't know the value of their being.  I pray these women today turn to you.  That you give them confidence where it is lacking, strength to stand tall, and power to move on or walk away.  That Lord you are parting the red seas, you are creating a life before them they can only imagine.  Let them be still in the storm Lord, and forever they will rejoice in your greatness, their greatness.


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Christ is Enough For Me.....

One of my favorite songs by Hillsong is Christ is Enough For Me.....

"I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. 

The cross before me, the world behind me. no turning Back, no turning Back."

I had a talk with a newly baptized follower last week.  We spoke about following Christ and how as we celebrate our new members to our we want to also say suit up for the battle before you.  Not so inviting in such a period of renewed joy.  Yet so very true.  Any follower will resonate with this statement.

Seems as though when I decided to follow, everything in my path has attacked my every weakness.  I can honestly say this has been the toughest year of my life to date.  Emotionally, confidence wise, and physically.  One thing after another.  When I pray for you and your burdens and I state his word, that very statement is under trial that day or week.  I'm surely held accountable.

The other day I prayed.  Lord whether it be the Devil or testing please let me not turn back.  Please don't let me look to the worldly ways as easier.  Don't let me give up the race to see your Glory.  It's in everything.  In my trials I find strength.  In your testing my faith soars.  The cross is before me there I find my purpose.

No matter how hard it gets, no matter how hard you pray.  He hears, he is there.  In my biggest moments of doubt I always get a vision.  He is there on the cross.  Bloody, tired, hanging by a thread. Every bit of suffering you can imagine.  He is there for me.  For you.  For my kids. My family and friends.  The dear Lord sacrificed his very son for me to live a life of purpose, of hope. To share that hope and faith with you. So there I keep my eyes upward and the next day a new day to pray harder. As a Mother I can't even imagine giving my only son, and there I find a love that I know is not forsaken or without promise. I hope you find that today.

Christ Is Enough - Hillsong Live

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fear in the Dark

When I was a little girl looking back now I went through a period of time I was so scared of the dark....I would wake up and scream for hours thinking the house was going to catch on fire or there was someone lurking in the dark outside my bedroom door.  My poor parents and siblings how exhausted they must have been.  Yet they nightly would reassure me it was OK, but I dreaded the next night.  Daylight brought peace, I could see everything around me.  The darkness clouded every certainty I had those scary and frightening nights.

Fast forward years later, I have went through another battle with fear.  Seems like daily I wake up not knowing what to expect that next day.  Will I be frightened, doubtful, lacking confidence. Will circumstances that are in my imagination come to haunt me.  There I find my thoughts creating a deep response in me.  Though some people experience anxiety in many physical and mental forms I have found such an awareness of the physical effects it produces.  Feeling trapped in your body, wanting to run away from it but internally held captive.

I've told many people instead of now sitting and thinking of solutions out of my doubt alone, I have learned to immediately go to the word.  There I find a pathway of conversation to Jesus that gives me that reassurance to get through another day.   Though I know this will not magically go away overnight or the fears and doubts will suddenly subside. These are the promises he gives you and I to keep pressing forward.

My prayer for you today is in your darkest most doubtful hour....when a burden so heavy on your heart is immobilizing you.  That you read these promises and know the one thing we can be assured and hold tight to is this.  You have no idea the miracle that lies ahead for you.  When it is dark it is hard to see the fullness of Gods doing behind the scenes.He works tirelessly on your behalf to deliver you from the dark. Just as he promises he guarantees healing and wholeness when you seek him in your fears with all your heart.

There is two things in my devotional today I want to leave you to pray over. 

For years I tried the first approach to deal with my darkness. Yet each attempt to help myself failed. It was only when I turned to God, crying out for His help, that things started to change.

Today, if you are in the darkness … if your circumstances are threatening to consume you … if you feel utterly defeated … seek the Lord. Ask Him to rescue you and remember this, He is there … parting your “Red Sea.”

Dear Lord,

Bless those who are reading this today.  Who find hope in your word that you can send through me.   Please each day Lord let us seek and find the truth and hope of all the work you are doing behind the scenes to deliver us.  That you have promised and will fulfill those promises to give us a miracle we could never even imagine.  That Lord through this journey of darkness, there is light.  It's a light that we will be blessed to find that brings us closer to you.  In your name we pray. Amen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You asked for It: Finding your Purpose

I recall one of the most deep and honest conversations I had with my husband.  We had just moved to Birmingham and we were sitting at an outside Mexican Restaurant middle of day.  He looked up to me and said you know what my biggest fear is:  Not knowing and living my purpose.   It struck me, one that my husband would show that much vulnerability which I loved and second the genuine sadness in those words. 

I'm always the one that used to search for it endlessly let alone talk about it.  I never felt truly fulfilled no matter the success, or the dreams that came to flourish in front of me.  Yet him, it was from such a place of concern.  For someone I thought so successful at such a young age and so confident, this came as such a shock.  A naive and young me told him all the "right" things at the time.  You are living your purpose.  Each day you go and do your best with the talents God has given you. I'm pretty sure if I asked him today, that answer really didn't get him to where he needed to be.

Fast forward today, many self help books later and mindless conversations on purpose.  Happiness projects, etc... I finally today know what my purpose is.  It lies in him. Notice emphasis on the "."  It's that simple. Doing what you are passionate about each and everyday to serve him, his word and his glory.

Colassians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Today I'm going to ask you to think about 2 simple questions:

1. What is your unique passion?

2. How can you use that unique God given passion to serve him on this earth?

Friends today you will find an end to your endless searching, void and craving.  These two questions are as simple as it gets......

Dear Lord,

I come to you today for you to show me your gift and passion within me.  How I can use it for your Glory on my time here on earth.  Lord please let me not waste idle time on the mundane, in the searching.  Yet use my talents to make myself an image of your own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You Asked for it: God's Way

Today I had my lesson broken down for the week....I apologize I missed yesterday. I had a very sick little girl at the hospital.  Yet I said a prayer that God turns everything for the Good at 8 am yesterday morning.  Even at midnight last night as my day after stating that tested my very thinking....I held onto that.  Today once again he showed me why.

 As I drove home today, I had a huge pang of doubt and insecurity that ran through me.  So deep that I traced back and questioned my very being. Have you ever felt that?  I felt tired, run down, unkempt, so out of body.  Who was I becoming?  Was it too late to grasp on to the old me?  Was I becoming that "Mom" that let her kids and life overcome her and losing herself in the process.  Was I a person who no matter what I did, would never measure up in societies standards. Why couldn't my life just be normal.

I questioned God.  Why when I pour myself in to you more now than I ever have do I keep getting literally pushed down more and more.  Why is this so hard? Why do the tests keep coming? Why have I always been one who has trouble just fitting in to the norm, being like everyone else.  Why can't I just live the normal life that everyone around me mimics.

No ER trips, no trials of magnitude, no doubts and no fears.  Why can't I do the things I used to and keep it all together.  Why God are you letting me down.  When all I do is preach your name and goodness. I knew at that moment, I needed to get into the word.  There I would find his answers.  Not in this booming hallelujah moment where he would answer and my problems solved.  No that is not how it worked.  I had to seek him.  For me and now for you.

I happened to miss church on Sunday, now no coincidence.  The message I watched today would have had no real relevance to the answers and reassurance I needed at this very moment.  He spoke about this study and purpose.  Finding ours.  Then he said something from the first sentence

 "To find yourself and your purpose is about losing yourself in the process.." John Maxwell

I realized then all my doubts, were now reassurances.  This is working!  The pain and uneasiness I feel is the chiseling I need.  The very thing I'm scared of, is exactly what is going to make me into is very plan.  To know that you are there, that God is really working is one of the most amazing feelings I've ever had.  It was like God sent me a text that said......I've never been working more for the good in your entire life my child.  You have a plan I'm completing. Be patient.

Mark 8:34:  Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Today friends I ask you this:   Have you really given yourself to God?  Our you ready to give your life away to him?  If you have and it feels messy, unfair, not the promise you were expecting you are right where you need to be.  He is working.... Celebrate that as hard as it seems.  Know that he has a prayer for you and today I want you to print this verse out where you can see it everywhere you go.  The only thing you need to hold onto.

(Jeremiah 29:11) 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.

Friday, September 6, 2013

In Perfect Time

Thank you for one amazing week of prayer and reflection into ourselves.  I've received many heart warming notes of inspiration and appreciation from some of you on how this week and the words have touched you when you've needed it most.  When I set out to do this small group which has been anything but small, I was nervous.  Who would really follow this with me, would people shun me or reject my words.  God is powerful and they haven't.  This small group just this week has grown to 90 by the end.  I pray even more come to this group in the weeks ahead and most importantly the words on my heart are directed to the ones who need it the most.

Today we will settle into our weekends to enjoy our football, our families and the activities we love.  Keep God in your forefront always, remember to pray no matter how simple or small the prayer and we will come together again Monday for another exciting week.

I come to  you today with humble requests for my own family.  Most of you know I had a sniffly 1 year old this week and most of you dont' know what we endure many days with our 3 year old little boy.  Cash is being tested for many additional problems with his thyroid and other food allergies other than gluten on Sept. 26th, Oct. 1st and Oct 3rd.  For 3 months he has had solid diarrhea and chronic stomach pain.  Last night despite our diet efforts, he crippled over in screaming pain that lasted an hour.  After my husband and I finally got through it together and with the help of our loving neighbors, we were emotionally exhausted. Seeing your son in so much pain at such a young age is not only frightening, but overwhelming.  Are we doing something wrong? Are they missing something already?  The thoughts continued.

I was giving Presley her vapor bath last night and the tears streamed and sobs came out.  I'm very overwhelmed.  For a solid year our immune systems have failed myself and my children.  Infection after infection, and illness lurks.  I was mad last night, I didn't believe this was our journey. How could this be.  We look weak in the eyes of others, no energy but words to give for people when we often feel so terrible.  Then the call came this morning.  We traced back to the beginning and found many answers of what is the reasoning.

One incident pointed them to all the answers they needed.  At 5 years old I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin.  I've never been able to have it again.  Another to a Hershey's chocolate bar, severe hives and swelling. Still to this day I get sick if I eat chocolate.   Grass would break me out, couldn't wear bracelets the metals would tear up my wrists still to this day I don't wear a lot of jewelery because of this. I developed ear infection and chronic bronchitis all my life.  In college I developed Mono from Ebstein Barr Virus.  Then it attacked my thyroid at 22 years old.  I developed severe endometriosis another autoimmune disease at 24 and then as we all know another virus led to me developing Cervical Cancer.  A cancer only due to the fact I couldn't fight off the cells over and over.  Which led to 5 surgeries and 3 recurrences in 2 years.  I was healthiest in Pregnancy, which makes sense as your immunity naturally balances it out.  My Virus was gone and my cancer was stable.  4 months after pregnancy my body rejected me again and antibodies not thyroid disease struck my thyroid once again causing an overactive thyroid.  After this nothing has been right since.  Chronic Sinus problems and GI issues.  Nausea so extreme it's hard to get up in the morning.  Not to mention my body rejects every medicine I seem to take.

I have had such bad reactions to mosquitoes the past few years, whelps after whelps to the point people notice how horrible they look.  I could go on, but today finally I didn't need to.  They finally got it. I have so many allergies and intolerance I've put around and in my body for years that my immunity has weakened and body has rejected.  So today my prayer, through even the worst scenario of my baby boy in pain, has led us all to the pieces of the puzzle.  Nothing is more genetic than autoimmune disorders and allergies/intolerance. If the maternal side has it almost 75% of your children will adapt some or all of those issues.  I'm sad for that, but happy to know what it is. Mostly what we are going to do here forward about these things.  To give ourselves imperfect progress to health.  Maybe live life a lot more normally, maybe take a breath of relief if only for a month or two at a time.  Maybe by sharing this help someone else in the deep desperation we found ourselves.

We were tired, I was weary.  Just when I thought God was not going to step in he rescued us. I will be forever grateful for that.  Sometimes the worst situations, bring out the best outcomes.  Although we will have many more along this journey...I'm thankful that we know that there is hope.  With faith we can overcome this too.

Thank you for your prayers....they will work and they already have.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Prayers for you Working Moms......

Well we made it through our first week of study of You asked for it.  I'm so blessed to be going through this journey with you.  I hope after this week you have seen Imperfect Progress. I will use this phrase often because at the end of this week this is the one thing I realized I personally need to change.  My race for perfection.  It has led to so much impatience and anxiety in my life, my marriage, and even my parenting I'm so sad to say.  Maybe that is when we finally get it, when Motherhood the greatest blessing of imperfection of all, shows us Perfectionist Type A's that we need to surely get in check with ourselves, our Lord.

I had a specific group laid on my heart this morning from the moment I raised my head.  Often times this happens, and I now love it so much because it leads my day of prayer and my outward focus.  Today working Moms was at the forefront of my mind.  The respect I have for these women is immense.  When I say working Moms I'm not speaking of the ones who work and put their careers above their children.  In fact I say a much different prayer for these women.  I'm talking of the ones who must work, or who even just enjoy their work and find a way to keep it in perspective and be a role model for their children. No task is easy.

What I want those women to hear today is encouragement.  To feel it the minute their cars take off for work and travel back home.  The minute they rush to get everything ready to make it to the bus, to the day care or to their jobs.  You are weary I know.  You have to be.  You are doing your best.  You may have forgotten something you should have done at home, for your kids.  That's ok.  No one is perfect, no one can do it all.  You must enjoy the imperfect progress you see in yourself, your children, your home each and everyday.

So this weekend enjoy the long days with your family.  Think about this prayer.

Dear Lord,

It's not easy. To be a Mom, To be a Employee, To be a wife and daughter.  Some days are harder than others.  Some days I feel I'm at my end.  No time to take care of myself, maybe like I'm failing in one area of my life.  Yet Lord my heart is in the right place.  With my focus on you, you can guide me.  Give me the peace and rest I need.  Take special care, with special eyes on my children when I can't be with them.  Put loving arms around them for a few hours while I'm away.  Lord please always guide my path of priority...make a way. 

In your name I pray......Amen.

Go be warriors you star Moms.  This Mom thinks the world of you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You asked for it Day 4:Fill the Void

So today I learned a hard lesson.  Today my youngest child started 2 day a week Mommy's Day out.  I know I took this Mama needs a break thing seriously.  For the record no excuses without guilt still and I made the break to give me some time to breathe.  Yet as I drove them off and drove away that burning hole in my stomach said what now.  I cleaned all day yesterday, laundry done.  How am I going to fill my day, fill the void.

I should have done many responsible things which the left side of my brain said to do.  Yet the right side said go enjoy yourself.  Go to Target.  Shop around without hurrying...get you a few things.  Well that was the mistake.  I did and as usual material things fill you up for about 2 minutes.  That is until you drive off and realize that void you filled was useless.  Of no substance. Only making me miss my kids more and feel guilty the rest of the morning.

So I'm back home and I'm studying.  How should I really have filled that void.  We don't always have to do tasks, but we do need to fill our soul with things that continue to build and teach us what really works to make the most use of our new chosen path.  Here is what I learned I am going to start to do, hopefully you will join me.

1. Learn about Jesus---right now I'm doing what really fills me.  Putting myself into the word and pouring myself into others.  This feels right, and there is nothing but growth and progress on this path. Good thing church is tonight.  I surely be doing some repenting:)

(Ephesians 4:8-12) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead be filled with the Spirit.

2. Join a group.Get together with that new sphere of influence you are creating.  Whether it be a small group from church, bible study, exercise group, etc... fill yourself up with fellow believers who will hold you accountable to the person you want to become in Christ. 

(Ecclesiastes 4:8-12)  There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil...two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

3 Find your purpose in life.   Find something where you can reach others as a witness to Jesus.  I write because I fully believe this is my purpose. Some volunteer.  Some just have a talent that reaches others.  Do what you love for this is your spiritual gift.  Thrive in what God has empowered you to do.

(Acts 20:24) But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful Grace of God.

4. Live your life for the Good of Others.---- Serve.  Ties along with the above.  We need to help others.  Whether it be walking up to a frazzled Mom in Target lugging 3 kids and saying with a hug, it's OK I'm there you are doing the best you can.  Or if its calling your stressed out husband to encourage him today and tell him thank you for what he does.   Make someones day today.  This is what our true calling is, we are his temple to serve his ways on earth. If you aren't doing that daily....the void will never be replaced.

(Peter 4:10) Each one should use whatever gift he's received to serve others.

Pray this simple prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come to you today with a heart open and a soul ready to be filled in your spirit.  Lord I ask you use me in any way I can to serve you on this earth dear Lord. That you mold me to be just like you, and you show me more and more the life you would like me to lead.  Open up doors for me to serve you today, make me brand new. In your name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You asked for it: Day Three Make the Break

So if you don't mind let me indulge a little truth into your day.  In working on excuses, here I found a truth.  I dropped off my first born, Mama's boy, and precious angel to his first day of preschool today.  5 day a week preschool.  As I drove off I could've made every excuse to myself why I shouldn't have done that today.  I'm a stay at home Mom.  How dare I?  I'm letting him down.  What if he does horrible in class. The list goes on.

I'm familiar with it, because all last year I did this.  I beat myself up on all the reasons I shouldn't take a break.  So much to the point I literally drove myself insane.  A long hard lesson I learned was to ask for help.  Let go of control.  This year I'm doing just that.  So when he said bye Mommy, I happy I go to school.  I looked in his eyes and said Me too buddy! 

Not because I don't want him with me.I will surely miss him, but it's good for him.  It's good for me.  Then we can both be happy and healthy and there you find peace in the truth.  No excuses, no guilt----pure peace.  Day one of stopping the excuses.

So on to day we've pondered all the excuses we have made to hold us back.  5 was probably a weak number I'm sure most have so many you could write for days.  Yet focusing on small progress is our goal we will stick with 5.  So now you have them in front of you what do we do with them.  We make the break.....yes cut all ties. Adios. No love lost.

Sounds easy, though I know of anyone it is not.  So how are we going to do this together?

(2 Corinthians 6:14-17) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people."  "Therefore come out from them and be seperate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."

 Ok this is the hardest part of change.  What we break apart from can be an emotional decision that will last a lifetime.  Yet the absolute necessity of change.  My Mom used to say birds of a feather flock together.  She was so right.  We are labeled by our surroundings.  Our associations.  They tell a lot about the people we are. The things we enjoy, the beliefs we hold.  If you have been struggling to break it off with company that doesn't walk in a fashion you are proud of, make that break today. 

To walk free we must cut the baggage, we must hold ourselves differently.  It's tough to say goodbye to your norm, your comfort.  Yet that very word comfort is what is holding you back.

(1 Corinthians 15:33-34) Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning....

Today make a list of people and things you know and have known for some time you need to make the break from.  Pray about it and then ask God to bring Godly influences and friends into your sphere of influence.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week One: Day Two How to Change

So we introduced yesterday the question what it is you want to change.  We talked about the limitations to get there being naivity our enviornment makes us that way, we know no different.  Temperament, we just our made that way we tell ourselves.  Fear, we are scared once others really know the truth they will reject us.  Past experiences, we have a wall built so high change isn't allowed in.  Last, Busyness...if we stay busy there is no time to change.

All these equal excuses.  Which brings us to the first and hardest part of change:

1. Get Rid of the Excuses.   

(Luke 14:18-20) But they all alike began to make excuses.  The first said, "I have just bought a field, and I must go see it.  Please excuse me.  Another said, "I have just bought five yoke of oxen and I'm on my way to try them out.  Please excuse me.  Still another said, "I just got married, so I can't come."

(Romans 6:12-14) Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become and instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourselves completely to God...Sin is no longer your master.  Instead you live under the freedom of
God's grace.

Excuses will not get you anywhere, but exactly where you are.  Idle. Unhappy.  Stagnent. 

My next challenge for today is to look at the thing you have chose as your mission for change.  Write down 5 excuses you have used that have led to living an unchanged life.    Pray on this, ask God to make you aware of these things.  With help and grace you will be able to remove them from your life.

Dear Lord,

I know what I do and I hate that very thing.  I find reasons to not do what I know is right.  I let the enemy, the devil fully attack that very weakness.  Leaving me miserable, lonely and idle.  Lord be my agent of change.  Move me forward in faith. Remove the excuses, free me from bondage.  In your name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 1: How to Change

I wanted to host this group, not because I'm an overachieving Christian.  Farthest from it.  In fact, each night I lay down my head I have to ask God over and over to give me a retry tomorrow.  A mulligan.  I can do this, tomorrow I will reach this goal with pure determination and will power.  I will change my life, surely all the self help books I've invested in can get me there.  Funny how I always end up back in that corner on my knees. Asking for forgiveness, feeling more alone than ever.  Realizing each day the pit, the hole I'm digging gets me farther and farther away from the person I was made to be.

So when this opportunity came up, I knew this was my calling.  I had such an amazing prayer experience last month that has absolutely started the transformation.  Has the work been finished, not a chance --just begun.  Though I see progress. Imperfect progress.  Yet I still have those nagging questions that linger.  What does it take for real life change.  Total transformation to occur. A God Chisel.  For me to hold a different posture.  I don't know the answers yet. That's where you come in.  I pray you walk with me. Lets find the answers together.

Two things need to happen for real life change.  Accountability.  We must find authentic godly relationships in our lives to witness progress and pray diligently for all the tools we need.  Also to walk knowing the outside is not where it begins.  Painting your face up with the newest cosmetic gimmicks, flashing your zoom whitened teeth a little more will not fill the void and heavy burdens that we bear. No not even a new pair of Jimmy Choo's.  Gasp I know. Beauty and real change come from within.  In fact during this six weeks, I challenge all of us even the most vain to set that aside and let God work. Find your security in the one above, not the one in the magazine.

"It's better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.  And if one falls down, the other helps, but if there's no one to help, tough!  Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst.  Can you round up a third?  A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Message)

"When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside.  He is not the same anymore.  A new life has begun!"  (2 Corinthians 5:17 TLB)

Each day I will give a talking point for you to think about and by the Friday of each week.  I hope you have your answers for the weeks questions.  I would love for you to keep a notebook of the questions and answers.  I want you to pray on them. Be completely authentic in your struggles.  Say them out loud to your God.  Ask for exactly what you want each day, each week.  I also pray you share the answers with me.  I would love to pray for you and more importantly celebrate the new you at the end of our journey.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are some positive changes you have seen in your life? What did you do to bring about change?

2. We have all found ourselves isolated at some time.  Five reasons we often walk alone is: naivety, temperament, fear, past experiences, and busyness. Which reason(s) can you relate to the most? What can you do to overcome it?

3. What would you want those who know you best (family, friends, associates, etc.) to say about you when your life is over, and what would have to change in your life to make that reality?

Tomorrow I will start giving you scripture and insight to help you change.  Maybe touch the places we spoke about or the places that you find yourself hurting or struggling with. Romans 7:15 states: I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. I do the very thing I hate.   Isn't this oh so true, in turn we hate ourselves.  We hate the person we see in the mirror.  The very things we hate becomes our identity. We feel hopeless.  We become defensive when love ones point it out or even worse our holy spirit speaks to us within.  We become slaves and in bondage. We begin to slowly lose our lives.

Today lets get our lives back, find freedom.  Love ourselves, more importantly love the one who knows you best.  Who wants to rescue you, free you from bondage.  The one who wants to set you free.

Until tomorrow.....