You are not broken!

photo

My daughter Faith received a treasured gift in the Florida Keys this summer. Following a family visit to see dolphins, her big brother bought her a dolphin necklace. After a few times wearing her precious treasure, the tail broke off… Of all things! grrrrr! A dolphin without a tail is a pretty unlovely thing!

I was angry at first when I saw the broken treasure. Part of me knew that once loved charm was headed straight for the trash. My baby girl’s heart would be broken just like the little dolphin tail.

Faith held the little dolphin and then proclaimed, Look Mommy, it’s not broken, it looks like Winter!

photo

Winter is the world famous dolphin with no tail that survived against all odds. Faith learned about Winter through the movie Dolphin Tale seen over a year prior. Because of Winter’s story, Faith did not see broken-ness but a little dolphin that was was  broken-less.

What’s your story of broken-ness that might prove to the world they can become broken -less?

The broken pieces of your life can offer the missing peace to mend others who are hurting.

 

Here is an excerpt from Winter’s website!

Winter” is our most famous dolphin. You may have seen her featured on the NBC Today Show, CNN, BBC, or possibly the #1 box office hit Dolphin Tale, in theaters around the world. Winter was one of the most difficult strandings we have had at CMA. Her story is a bittersweet realization of the dangers these animals face as a result of human activity in the wild.

 

At only three months of age, Winter found herself wrapped tightly in a crab trap line and was unable to escape. She was rescued from Mosquito Lagoon (near Cape Canaveral) and transported to CMA to begin a long rehabilitation. Unfortunately, Winter lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae a result of the serious injuries that she had sustained.

Although her story is intriguing, it is also very rare, as many dolphins unfortunately die in monofilament and crab trap lines. Despite the odds against survival, Winter’s energy and ability to adapt to her new physical form has surpassed the expectations of many experts. Winter has done amazingly well in the short time since her stranding. She has completely healed, adapted to a new swim pattern, and learned to eat fish on her own… about twelve pounds a day! She is growing quickly, and now weighs in at 230 pounds!

Just wanted you to know today- You are not broken!

The Bible reminds us of the beauty of weakness with this verse from 2 Corinthians 12:10-

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Your struggles are a story in the making that God will use to inspire others as you press on and refuse to quit!

You could be the person that puts a smile on the face of someone else who will need to see their

broke-ness as broken-less!

photo

 

A Practice of Prayer recycles pain

Prayer recycles paina repurposed heart

What was your plan that hit the can?  Was it a lost dream, marriage or friendship? As women it is so easy for our emotions to make us feel trashed with the fear of failure and insecurity of lost relationships.  Today, will you consider opening your hands and letting go of trying to be in control of that plan?

I know it hurts but be encouraged!

God’s purpose will be accomplished in you and through you, regardless of this situation.

Admitting to painful emotions is the first step unraveling their power.

Following my mother’s death, God revealed to me that I had to get my heart in the right place –

 In a figurative sense, the recycling bin of prayer is the place for my heart to seek healing changes not a trashcan. I began to view my prayer time as the place where I would sit to sort through my painful emotions with God, one by one. With tears streaming down, it was not a pretty process but it was life giving.  Most counselors will agree: You can’t heal from it, if you won’t deal with it!

Here’s my simple recycling prayer:

God I feel_( insert emotion)_________________ about (situation _________________________ because.( insert your feelings about the situation)

Help me to trust you with this!

 

I found the practice of confessing my painful emotions before God gave me the ability to see answers in his word.  When I admitted I felt helpless, God’s word told me God would hold me together.( Ps 57:1-3the message) When I admitted I was lonely, the words of Jesus seemed to whisper, I will never leave you or forsake you!

 

Is there a deep hurt that you have never admitted to God? Don’t be afraid to pray a recycling bin prayer before the one who can change your heart. I am a friend to remind you that God is not afraid of any hurt you give Him.  It is in the messy emotional state of feeling trashed that we often find the message that will change the world by faith.

Prayer Practice for Parenting: Using verses in a prayer as if spoken by God to your heart.

I found a letter I wrote myself during my grief counseling.  I was hurting over the ways I watched my children struggle through this painful situation. 

As their mom, I was afraid of all the ways I was failing them with the pain of my own grief.  They were too young to understand that their mom was almost paralyzed by the hurt.

My counselor told me to write the verses of comfort into a letter to myself, as if God was speaking directly to me-

The statements were based on scriptures but put in first person form-

This practice helped me personalize many of the promises of scripture in a deeply meaningful way.

Maybe you need a little parenting pick me up from the Lord?

Parenting in this day and age is a daunting task. Without Christ, it can be an near to impossible mission to raise children to walk with God in a really challenging world. I was just reading these words spoken by Jesus to his disciples,

Mathew 19:26- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Is there an impossible situation you are wrestling in your child’s life? Are you secretly worried that a weakness in you will damage or limit God’s work in your child’s life?

I am so grateful for this reminder from the heart of Christ himself that my impossible parenting task is possible to God. As I focus on God’s power and not my own, my heart can rest in the security of God’s work in the lives of my children.I pray you will hear the words of your Father in heaven spoken to you today.

Here is an example of my prayer that I wrote.

Maybe you can take the same challenge and write verses in prayer form as if spoken to you by God?

Dear One-

Why are you so downcast and discouraged? It is I who formed and made your child in the secret places of your being. My heart for you today is to rest. Come to me with all that you hold onto, your fears, your doubts and I will give you the rest you are longing to find. I will carry your load for you. Will you stop fretting and trying to do my job in your child’s life? Only I have the power to create change by the work of my Holy Spirit. Take Heart. Do not be afraid or discouraged. I am doing a new thing. You may not see it with your eyes, or hear it with your ears. Your mind can not understand what I have planned for you but it is a wonderful plan to prosper  you and to bring you hope. My blessings are generational as I bless to the thousandth generation.

Rest today knowing your child’s future is in my hands.

 

 

Reclaim Joy when you want to quit! Part 2

Don’t Quit! Part 2

Here is a fun way to reclaim some motivation through a simple picture on your phone. 

Repurposing Activity: grab your cell phone during any point of the day and take a picture of something God is trying to show you to encourage you about the future. Is it a gorgeous moment in nature, the face of a child or a symbol that only your heart understands? Look at that picture as a view of his heart to encourage you daily. When you are tempted to feel fear or discouragement, use that picture and remind yourself of the truth. You might even want to post it to facebook or pintrest with your thoughts to encourage someone else!

Ask God to give you a view of success in the future and not the mess-ups of today.

Here is the picture I use to remind myself that God will help me each step of the way. Even when I make a few slip-ups!

Psalms 37:23-24

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him. Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

photo

The next morning, after I was feeling really discouraged, I woke up early to walk in our field behind the house. This was the view I was given by the one who raises the sun each morning. I was filled with joy as I grabbed my phone and captured the fog lifting over the glory of creation. My fears, my inadequacies, my confusion are like the fog that disappears with the rising of the Son . The light of Christ exposes my desire to quit and gives me hope for His power in my future. I am called for His purpose, not my plans. As I open my heart to His calling for my family and His provision for my time, I can do everything He calls me to do.

So, what did I do?

I ran back home and began to clean the kitchen with a smile on my face and a bottle of Clorox in my hands!

All day, when negative feelings would hit my heart, I took out my phone and looked at the beauty of this picture. Each time, God was whispering to my heart, don’t quit! I posted it to my facebook and another person commented that they really needed that encouragement too.

GOD will repurpose our fear with confidence as long as we

Don’t quit!

Don’t Quit!

After one week spent launching my blog, I sat frustrated before my husband.

Okay, so the kitchen was dripping in dirty dishes (whoops!).

photo

The unfolded laundry was mounting in wrinkled little piles around my family room (wince), The only thing I saw folded were my husband’s arms held across his chest with an unsympathetic look on his face.

I knew I had become a little a lot excited about writing and clearly didn’t have the appropriate boundaries in place yet.

As I looked into my husband’s eyes, I saw his frustration at my lack of prioritization in the home.

With one deep breath of humility, I told him I was really sorry for letting things go. I knew I had to keep my family first and any form of ministry second. (But this blogging thing is just so fun!)

I saw a smile return to his face and a look of love return to his eyes.

Whenever you are in the process of learning something new, expect a few set backs and slip-ups. You wont get everything right all at once.

Plan to say “I’m sorry, I am in a learning process…a lot! 

Just don’t quit!

After our discussion ended, I slumped onto the couch. The truth is that I really struggle with fear. I fear letting my family down and not knowing how to meet everyone’s needs, including my own   This kind of fear leads me to feel discouraged … I begin to hear a voice that tells me I can’t do anything right! That voice gives me the kind of give up quick, quit, call it off, don’t try discouragement.

I didn’t even have time to begin to pray when my seven year old daughter Faith jumped on my lap playing a game on my iPhone.

She spoke slowly …

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

I almost fell off the couch. That was the last verse my mother wrote in her prayer journal. I felt like I had just heard a verbal answer from heaven as Faith played her Bible app game, reciting the verse of the day. She just wanted to practice reading but, in my heart, I knew God had used her—had even used the iPhone app—to get a message to my heart. Secretly, I also felt I had a little wink from my mother in heaven telling me not to quit too!

Is God reminding you to stay encouraged and strong when you see your greatest personal limitations?

If you are anything like me, wanting to quit is often an attempt to reduce my fear and self-doubt , especially when I see a weakness in my own personal ability. I think it is critical to realize that fear and discouragement go together. The verse speaks to both ! Don’t be afraid or discouraged! The solution is found in the peace of God’s presence that goes with me into my failed plans and restores my purpose.

In my case, planning and time management are difficult areas. My failure to have it all together when I am learning something new makes me want to quit instead of learning how to cope with multiple responsibilities.

Inadequacy can cause a heart to want to quit!

Confusion can cause a heart to want to quit!

What about you? Is there some new thing you are trying to do? Are you feeling tempted to quit ?

Remind yourself of the words in Joshua 1:9 and be encouraged.

Don’t be afraid as you stand in the peace that God is able to do more than you can dream with messy, hard stuff.

For an idea of how to reclaim your joy today with this truth, read the part 2 post! 

 

The Hidden Treasures of Faith

images-4

The Hidden Treasures of Faith:

Day One: Planning the Hunt

 

Have you ever planned a treasure hunt for your children?

A treasure hunt includes a long strand of written clues that lead to a final gift or reward. The clues heighten the child’s imagination as they make their journey toward the treasure they believe know they will find. Their wonder soars as they continue in the faith that you will help them along the way, should they get “stuck.”

If you’ve ever played this game with your children you know that they can sometimes become too eager for the prize, neglecting the process and skipping over the carefully positioned guideposts. These children need your intervention to remind them of the importance of the journey.

For another child, you may have to give added inspiration and direction when they misunderstand a clue, get frustrated, or head in the wrong direction, away from the path laid out for them.

The intention of this game is clear: for the child to become successful in discovering a treasure along a hidden pathway.

Is it not the same with our heavenly Father?

Just as we delight in watching our children work through the clues and finally reach their goal, expressions of our faith and confidence along life’s hidden pathways actually please God. They tell Him we are listening and we trust Him (even with our life) to keep each promise He’s given.

Hebrews 11: 1 says, Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (NIV).

Our faith is like a child playing treasure hunt, assured that the journey will produce something good for them. Something planned uniquely for them.

Something wonderful.

Do you believe that God is leading you on a treasure hunt today?

hunt-300x234

Do you know that He is faithful to stand by you and guide you—through all of life’s mysteries and riddles, its twists and turns—to your reward?

Maybe you feel like jumping head first into the excitement of a new adventure to find what God has waiting for you? To you, do not be tempted to rush ahead to the treasure, trashing the process. God’s “clues” are as much about proper placement as they are about proper timing. Still, it takes lots of discipline to be led into life by the Spirit, as opposed to rushing in on the strength of your own flesh. So enjoy each moment as you run in the pathway of His delight. Rest in the blessing of the process and trust God with the treasure (placed specially for you) at the end of your journey.

If you are, instead, the child who needs a little more inspiration for the journey of faith, good news! I have some extra help to start you in the right direction: Paul reminds us that, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV). In other words, in your wildest dreams you can’t begin imagine how awesome God’s plan for you is—how rich the reward prepared for you.

Never give up, good and faithful servant! God has a plan for your life, even when you can’t see it … even when you can’t fathom one could exist.

Take heart! When you can’t see how things will work out, when you can’t hear His voice telling you all the details, be assured! He is leading you further still.

And all this, simply because He loves you.

Restyle an old sewing machine !

Super cute RESTYLE of an old sewing machine!

sewing-machine-bar

  • Have you ever seen an object from your parent’s or grandparent’s past and wondered what to do with it? This sewing machine is an example of a very outdated object that needs a whole new purpose.Maybe you have an old sewing machine you would like to convert into a decorative drink server?

    For added interest at your next party,  serve old fashioned sodas and lemonade from a sewing machine!

Interested in more re-imaginiations of furniture? Go to Scouttag.wordpress.com!

A Special Valentine for those who have lost someone

I remember my first Valentine’s day after the losses in my family.

I wanted to act like everything was okay.

I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the fact that my heart hurt

and

I didn’t want to celebrate love when my heart was dying.

I was screaming inside,” Doesn’t anyone understand what it is like to be miserable today?

So I wrote this post for the person who is feeling trapped in a world of happy faces.

You may even feel tempted to act happy but If you don’t want to pretend …

Let’s have a conversation about your heart

untitled shoot-0088-61

Is your heart so full of mixed emotions that you don’t know exactly how to feel?

Secretly, you are longing to go back in time when that person was just a phone call away. You watch as others express love freely to one another. Maybe you  feel like you have nothing left to give? Days like this hurt- I get it! I understand and it’s okay to feel the way you do. It’s normal.

Love like this takes time to sort out.

Just for a moment, will you close your eyes and let memories flicker into view like an old movie? What do you see? I know you may want to turn away from the past because of the pain.  Don’t be afraid to look at that memory as a gift of love planted deep inside your heart.

The person you miss would  want love in your heart today and not sorrow.

They would want you to know you are loved!

What negative feeling are you holding onto today?

anger, sadness, fear, regret, bitterness, helplessness, confusion

IMG_4383_edited-1

It is okay to admit to painful feelings in your heart, it’s the first step to healing! 

 If you would like to share a feeling or a memory with me, I am listening to your heart today. Feelings and experiences are important to me. You can respond with a comment and I will pray for you.

No matter what, find a moment and share your heart with God in prayer.

 

IMG_4420_edited-1 There is one feeling God wants you to hold onto today! 

His Love ! 

He loves your feelings, your heart, your emotions, your pain, just you!

His word is for you today, when no one else knows what to say.

Jeremiah 31:3

I have loved you with an everlasting love…

Now, in light of this present moment, will you let go of the painful emotions, and hold on to His love that promises new joy is waiting in your future. There is so much life ahead for you to experience.

 

IMG_4387_edited-1

Let go and live, because you are loved!

 

Notice there are still so many people you have to love. Your life matters. It’s important to find strength in the new plan God has for your heart. It is going to be a beautiful new purpose, just for you.

Romans 8:28 – And God works all things together for good, for those who love him and are called according to His purpose….

You will rejoice again, dear friend, as you seek God’s love

All who seek the Lord will praise him. 

Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. 

Psalms 22:26

Leaving your negative emotions behind, you will be repurposed by His love

Re-Joyce always, knowing God will return joy to your heart in the future for a Happy Valentines Day.

Feeling Trashed? Day 3: The gift of imperfection

a repurposed heart

Friend-

I wish we could sit down and you could see my heart that has stopped longing for perfect plans …. I  am learning to embrace the gift of my  imperfect life. I don’t like this process anymore than you do but I am finding so much more joy in living in the truth of my human state. I desperately need God no matter how many years I have served him. I will never arrive at the “easy”part until the gates of heaven open for me. ( and honestly, on a bad day, I can’t wait!)

It is only when we feel trashed, when we realize we don’t have it all together, when we weep for our broken state that we find God’s power in a new way. It is such a relief to finally realize I don’t have to pretend.

You don’t have to act perfect or look like you are perfect or try to be perfect! ( whew)

My husband and I  helped run the Celebrate Recovery program of our church. Step one was to realize we are not God, to admit we are powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable. I know this sounds crazy, but the people who began to take this step were able to run with freedom in life! I was one of those people! Praise God! I was honored to be counted among the broken souls that cried out to God with their whole heart for help! Truly, these men and women are some of the most trustworthy and true saints, reaching out to others with the healing they have received.I learned a little secret about hitting the bottom of an emotional trash can –

When we hit the bottom, there are big hands to hold us and lift us up!

To fall before God on our face and admit we don’t have it all together is a gift. Scripture says ” Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” Even today, I am wrestling an area of my life that makes me feel trashed. It is not the intensive grief I had when my mother died, but every day it makes me feel like a failure. I sat in my living room tonight and began to admit- Oh God, I don’t have this all together! I totally admit that I am powerless to change if you do not help me! I woke up this am and finally feel the first wave of freedom as I know the Lord is coming to help me. I also confessed this area of weakness to my husband and asked for his help.

In this place, God will usher in the power of HIS spirit to do work in the deepest broken parts of our hearts.

Another gift is the opportunity to dare greatly in the fight for our faith. Will you trust and not give up ? Will you walk away from the struggles and let them consume your joy?

It is my deepest prayer you will put on your big girl panties with me and learn to fight back!

Take that! Pow! Bam! Biff! Let’s give it to those emotions that try to break us down !

I love this quote!

“It is not the critic who counts… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; …who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  Theodore Roosevelt

 

When fear yells, You will fail again! Tell fear that failure is a part of learning to have victory!

When anger rages, You are not enough! Tell your anger, God is enough, I will dare greatly to trust Him!

When sadness cries, You are powerless to be helped! Tell sadness God has all the power you need!

I pray like a  heroic women of the faith that you will dare greatly to yell back at your emotions with the truth.

We must get in the ring of the emotional fight and place our confidence in Christ who has already won our war.

And friend, if you need a girl who knows how to throw a big punch to your emotions, look no further. I have been known to do a little fighting back in my day. I am ready to remind you that God will give you the power to conquer the pain of failed plans !

You may “feel trashed ” with emotions but I assure you, you are most definitely God’s treasure –

Feeling Trashed? Day 2: God’s heart for you!

photo

 

 My child, I see your heart and I desire to know you in your inmost being. Before time began, I called you by name and you were mine. I created you will a specific purpose in mind for your good and  my glory. When your heart is broken, when you are battered by this world and full of troubles, don’t throw away your confidence in my care and concern specifically for you. Didn’t I tell you, in this world you would experience many troubles?  Take heart my beautiful child, I have over come the world….Take your heart and place it in my loving hands that will never leave you or forsake you. For I am the watching you and you will forever be shielded by my righteousness, held close in my hands…

Loved with an everlasting love-

(words of love complied from scriptures as if expressed directly by our heavenly Father)