Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Five Minute Friday: True

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They believe in me more than I believe in myself.

They never, ever try to compete with me or try to out do me when I’ve succeeded at something. They are happier about my successes than I am.

They squeal in excitement over my joys in life.

They cry with me over my heartaches and challenges.

They listen carefully when my heart is hurting. They pray for me when the battle is overwhelming. They cheer me on and encourage me to push myself further than I think is possible.

They don’t try to change me, but they do inspire me to be the best I can be. They love me just as I am. They are my true friends—always and forever.

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “True.”

The photo was downloaded at istockphoto.com

Five Minute Friday


Five Minute Friday: She

Christa Marie 2013

 

From the moment I laid my eyes on her, I was overcome with love. She stole my heart. Her beauty is so much deeper than skin. She is kind. She is compassionate. There is an innocence about her that is breathtaking.

She loves Jesus with all her heart.

She loves people passionately. She gives generously. She has a heart for the poor and the needy. She lives her life in a way that puts others before herself. She loves children. She inspires me with her creativity. She has a heart of gold. The light of Christ shines through her spirit. She is Christa Marie, my firstborn childmy beloved daughter.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

My daughter Christa was interviewed for a guest post todayCreativity Everywhere

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “She.”

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Mercy

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On a hot summer day, a week after my thirteenth birthday, I walked into my kitchen and saw my mother weeping. Her Bible was laying open on the table next to her, and in her eyes, I saw brokenness. I could feel the weight in the room. The air was thick with pain. I knew something really bad was happening. Suddenly, it felt as though my world was turned upside down.

My father asked my brother and me to take a ride with him in his car. Within moments of our driving away from our home, Daddy told us, “I’m leaving. I don’t love your mother anymore.” I was in shock. It wasn’t long before the pain began to rise to the surface of my heart.

My mother, who was and still is deeply in love with Christ, displayed His mercy in a way I had never seen before. In the days, and weeks following our devastating news, I watched closely as my mom responded with love and kindness. She spoke loving words about my daddy, saying, “We need to forgive him and pray for him.” She not only forgave him immediately, but she continued to love him in a Christ-like, unconditional love. She promised me that the Lord would redeem everything.

As painful as it was for me to experience such a loss and heartbreak in my childhood, I am grateful for that season in my life. It was during those youthful years that I began learning about the grace and mercy of Christ in a real and tangible way.

Now, thirty-five years later, I thank the Lord daily for His mercy and grace. It’s because of His loving-kindness and never-ending mercy that I can freely live in His love. I can love those who use and mistreat me.

His mercy enables all of us, as His followers, to love purely. His mercy heals broken hearts and makes life incredibly beautiful.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NIV)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Mercy.” Today, I had a hard time finding a good stopping point and wrote for about ten minutes.

The woman in the photo is my hero and amazing mother.

Five Minute Friday

His Treasured Possession

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Condescending words roll off the tongues of people so easily. My heart jumps up and down in protest whenever I hear someone refer to themselves or others as “trash.” How could anyone refer to a person as trash? There could be nothing further from the truth. In God’s eyes, no one is trash.

There was a time in my past when I felt like trash. I had left the corporate world to focus on parenting. I no longer had titles to prove my worth. It seemed like storms were hitting us one right after the other and it left me feeling like a trailer ripped apart by a tornado.

From an earthly perspective, I was of no value to the world. It was during that time that God began showing me what a treasure I was to Him. As I spent time in prayer and truly seeking to know Christ better, I found Scriptures that encouraged me and helped me see the truth about myself.

While I was reading through the Bible, I stumbled across a verse that seemed to jump off the page. “…I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,” declares the Lord Almighty.” (Haggai 2:23) As I meditated on this Scripture verse, I pondered the words deeply in my soul. Could it be true?  Could I really be His signet ring?  Did He really choose me to be His treasured possession? His words melted into my heart and never again could words or opinions of a human being determine my worth. It was a revelation that changed me forever.

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As the years passed by and I fell more in love with Christ, I began understanding in a deeper way, how treasured I am. As I drew near to Christ, He drew near to me and whispered His loving words to my heart. I began writing the words I would hear in my spirit as I read the Scriptures that spoke of Christ’s love for me.

As a young woman, I began writing these soft whispers that flooded my soul, and I have journals filled with words of affirmation and love. In 2009, I shared one of these love notes inspired by Jesus with a group of women at church. Today, I want for you to imagine Christ whispering these words to you.

You are My treasured possession…My beautiful daughter. You are royalty, a princessan heir of My kingdom. I love you more than you can possibly imagine or know. There is nothing you could ever do to change My love for you. It is eternal. I love you because you are Mine. I made you in My image, for your beauty to be displayed to the world. The core of who you are is filled with gifts and talentssome of these you have discovered, others are waiting to be unveiled. Rest in My love in knowing you are beautiful to Me. You are treasured. You are the apple of My eye. I love you just the way you are. No one loves you like I do.

Love,
Your Heavenly Father

Do you see yourself as the beautiful treasure you are to God? Every human is treasured by Christ regardless of his or her occupation, race, income level, physical features or anything else. He has dreams for every person’s life. He wants to use us and to transform us.

I pray you will always know that you truly are the apple of God’s eye and one of His most treasured possessions.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, his treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 7:6 (NIV)

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

Photography Credit: Michael von Borstel

THE STOLEN RED CAR

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I knew something was wrong when I heard my husband’s words over the telephone. “Please don’t get upset with me over what I’m about to tell you,” Michael said with a stressed tone and a sense of urgency in his voice. “My car was just stolen. I ran into the convenience store at a gas station really quickly; when I came back out, my car was gone.” I didn’t get upset with Michael, but my heart sank into my stomach with concern as I listened to his words.

Thoughts went swirling through my mind. Actually the thoughts were more like race cars speeding through my head at ninety miles per hour. What are we going to do? How can this possibly turn out good? That car is necessary for us to make it.

The little red Honda that was taken from us that day had been given to us by a sweet widow in our church. God had laid it on her heart to give it to us during a very trying season for us.  It was about seven years ago that my husband was supporting our family by delivering pizzas  six to seven days a week while I home-schooled our children and worked various side jobs like babysitting and teaching dance to young children.

At the time we were given the car we chose not to have full insurance coverage because we needed to save every little penny we could. We only had liability insurance to cover the damage done to another person’s vehicle. I questioned whether or not that was a wise decision.

After I let the shock sink in, I hurried and picked up Michael in our other vehicle which was a huge station wagon that guzzled gas. As I was driving, I continued to ponder the reality of the situation. How could Michael use our gas-guzzling station wagon to deliver pizza? The cost of the gas would eat up the measly hourly wage he was making. And his tips were almost always barely enough to make a difference for our family.

Later, when Michael and I sat down to talk about our options, we realized we really only had one option. We had to pray and trust God to return our car.

We knew it would take a miracle. I had heard of stories when cars were stolen and later found fully stripped down. I quickly shut those thoughts out of my mind and prayed, “Lord, return to us what has been stolen. We need Your help. With You all things are possible.”

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A sweet friend believed and trusted for the impossible, along with my husband and me. I was ecstatic when a few weeks later Michael received a call from a police officer. His words were sweetness to our souls, “We’ve recovered your car.” The police had found the car abandoned on the side of the road less than an hour from our house.

Amazement rose up in my spirit when we went to retrieve our car from the wrecker service lot. Not only had the car been returned. It had been upgraded. The thief had replaced our cheap hubcaps with alloy wheels.

We celebrated that day. And even though that hard season has been over now for a number of years, I’ll always remember how God used a little red Honda to show us that He truly does restore what the locusts have eaten.

“And I restore or replace for you the years that the locust have eaten…” Joel 2:25 (Amplified Bible)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Red.”  Today, I was typing as fast as I possibly could to be able to finish writing this story. It took me about fifteen minutes.

Five Minute Friday