Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When there is not a because in your story line

I love finding little things in the Bible that I never realized before.
I wrote about finding the words "so that" and just recently, I've been kind of excited about reading the word because.

So many times we have to go through life, through trials, through pain...and we have no idea why.
We also can get to the point where we are having good things happen and we don't really know why then either!

I did a little research and came up with a bunch of different times that God specifically says His reasoning. 
Because let me just tell you something. 
You have to understand my God!
He does not leave us alone. He loves us, and there are many times we CAN see why things happen!
Not all the time. No.
But sometimes.
Here are a few examples from the Bible:

And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God

Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies

Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David

He delivered me because He delighted in me

By this I know that You are well pleased with me, Because my enemy does not triumph over me.

Because I live, you will live also.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.

I just love that about God.
He tells us why he does things. Why he blesses us. Why we need to be disciplined.

It's just amazing. The way God takes time to care about us so much. 
So if you are struggling right now and you just don't understand why.
Spend some time waiting on God. Finding out about His character, how He works, how He moves. Do your own searches (this is a great website to use) You may be able to find out a little bit more about the why.

And if you don't see the why? 
(because many times we may never see it while we're on earth.) 
Just trust.
Believe that God never goes back on His promises.
And even if you don't have a because in your story line? 
Know that He has a reason. He has a plan, and it is always. always. for your good!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mommy Monday ~ When you're so tired

When you are a mom, being tired is basically relative.
It's like...time is not stopping for anyone, and you better just try and keep up!

There are all different kinds of tired.
Right now, at the phase I'm in, not getting a lot of sleep is not where I'm at.
But...I remember it clear as day, oh yes I do.
Getting 5 hours of interrupted sleep for weeks on end became normal and you just went with it!

But then there is physical tiredness, from just running around everywhere.
And there is emotional tiredness (is tiredness a word? Because it's not getting auto-corrected so I am going with it! ha!)

Regardless of the phase of life you are in...whether you are up in the night getting bottles and pacifiers, or if you are running back and forth from this practice, to that event, or dealing with friend issues, and self esteem problems, you have to just get used to the fact this is where you are for a reason.

You have to understand the fact that God is completely aware of your stage of life, and He is right there with you through all of it.

Tonight, as I was limping to my computer at 10:15 to help AJ finish up his paper for school tomorrow morning, Riley looked at me and said - Mom, satan is really testing you right now!

Oh Ry. You are so blunt and straight to the point.
He's right!
It's all a test!
How am I going to respond when I blow a fuse (reason #1047 to NEVER iron!) in our bedroom. Go to Lowe's to get new glass fuses (yep, we are that cool) buy a stellar flash light (that the cashier assures me comes with batteries, because my head hurts so bad I can barely even handle the fluorescent lights) only to find out when you get home that the fuse doesn't fix the problem, (looks like a romantic candlelit evening when Adam gets home from reffing at midnight) the flashlight didn't come with batteries, (of course it didn't.) and my headache hasn't gone away?

Am I going to snap at my kids? (maybe I started to...a little)
Am I going to yell out in frustration (possibly)
Or am I just going to trust.
Trust that God has it all under control. (I am now!)
He made me a mom in the first place and He knows that I can handle what He's given me.

You're a mom!
You don't get a break, but it's ok!
Some people say it's not a rewarding job? But I think it is the most rewarding job!
When AJ walks up to me and hugs me, and Riley tells me he loves me...
it's all I need.

And ya know what?
All you moms reading this? You are shaking your head, because you know!
You know something no one who is not a momma can even comprehend.
Because our kids are gifts...treasures.
The best treasures there could ever be.
And in spite of the craziness of life, you can do it!

I know you can, because you have to! 
And looking at those babies (whether you are rocking them right now, or looking up to them) is all you need to make it all worth it.
All those sleepless nights, those crying fits, those sick days, those stressful moments...
it's all worth it.

So I know. I know what it's like to be tired in every way possible.
But when you're so tired.
Just keep holding on.
The night will end
The morning will come.
The sun will rise.
God will be faithful...
He promises. And He can't go back on His Word!

Keep holding on sweet momma!
Hold on to those treasures with everything you have!
You got this.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The reason I'm not inviting you to my Easter service

I've never actually quite understood it.

The girls frilly dresses. The boys suits and ties.
The importance of sitting in a seat for a one hour service, one day out of the year.

See, to me? Easter Sunday is literally like every other Sunday of my life.
It's getting up in the morning, getting the kids ready, and heading to church.

I'm not trying to sound insensitive or blasphemous to the meaning of Easter.
Easter is a big deal. The biggest of deals there could ever, ever be.
Easter means that I serve a God who is alive, as opposed to holding on to hopes of a god who is dead.
Easter means that I don't have to work anymore, or try to be good enough to get to heaven...
Jesus paying the debt that I owed covered it all.
Every thing I deserved to pay? He paid.
Easter means I have eternal life, hope, peace, satisfaction, and JOY.

But if you are just going to sit in a service because you think that is what people are supposed to do?
You are totally and completely missing the point.
It's not a show, people! It's not an act.

It's real life.

It's life that says I can not believe someone would actually love me enough to pay a debt that was clearly and totally mine to pay.
It's a life that says I can not even begin to understand the amount of love that Jesus has for me...little, old me.
I have done nothing to deserve it, and I have messed up way more times than I can count.
But still.
Still. He loves me.
He loves me because He created me, and He not only wants to pay the debt I owe?
He wants a relationship with me!
He want to help me get through my life.
Through the pains, through the struggles and through the joy!

And so the reason I'm not inviting you to my Easter service?

Is because I think maybe it's time you put down those dresses and suits and ties.
I think maybe it's time to stop doing a ritual to try and relieve your guilt.
I think maybe it's time to stop putting on an act.
I think maybe it's time to stop acting like you have it all together, when the truth is, none of us do!
I think maybe it's time you stopped trying to fool yourself into believing that you don't need anyone.

Until you stop believing that you can do it all on your own, you will never see the love of a Savior who says that He will do it all for you.

I mean, who are you trying to kid anyways? You know you can't do life on your own!
It's just too hard. 
Sure, you can work hard. You can believe in yourself and you can fight your way through.
But if you want to be able to do all of that and not have to take that pill every morning, or those drinks every night? You gotta get a hold of what Jesus offers.

So you heard me right. 

I'm not inviting you to my Easter service tomorrow.

But I am inviting you to my church service next Sunday.
I'll be at the same place, wearing what I normally wear, singing what I normally sing.
Because this is real life.
And much more than a church service? 
I am inviting you to stop what you are doing and consider a relationship with Jesus.
I am inviting you to come to the end of yourself and just consider that there's another way to live.

Whatever you were waiting for? Stop waiting.
Whatever you were trying to fix and get right first? Stop trying to fix it.

Just come exactly how you are.
Imperfect...just like the rest of us.

This will be a decision you will never, ever regret.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Mini Sessions and a Mother's Day Giveaway!

It's finallllyyyyy Spring here.
Well, you wouldn't really know it today with the 42 degree weather and a pretty crazy wind chill.
But still. The snow is gone, and we are moving on!

I am excited to be offering mini sessions this Saturday, April 26th.
I love the chance I get to spend time with so many different families in one day and just pound out a bunch of sessions all at the same time!

Also, because Mother's Day is coming up and you just know you want to get a perfect gift for your wife, I am helping you out by doing a giveaway.
You're welcome.

You have to share my picture on facebook to be entered to win!
(You can also tweet or instagram it if you aren't on facebook much!)
And even if you don't win? Don't you think your wife would love a mini session?!

Because I put SO much energy into all my shoots I don't like to book myself too full for each day.
I do have a few spots still open though, so hit me up and we will get your session booked!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Surge Teen Leadership Conference 2014

I am so incredibly excited to have other visionaries join me in offering a teen leadership conference!
We are still getting all the details together, but I already know that God is going to do amazing things as teenagers from New England come together and get fired up about being godly leaders in their schools!

A lot of the details are still in the works, but I am just too excited not to share it!

It will be held in August and will be located in Southern New Hampshire.
Just to give you a little idea of what the purpose is:

What it’s about.
This conference is designed to empower christian teenagers from the New England area who are
serious about their relationship with Jesus.
It will give them a chance to network with other like-minded teens, learn from godly leaders,
and make purposeful strategies on ways they can be used to change the world.

We will have specific workshops on how to share Christ on your sports team, how to start a Bible Study, and many others.

If you know a teenager who may be interested in the Surge Conference, please have them contact me here.

Getting all these world turners together in one place?
Ya. It's gonna be pretty awesome.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Up in the night

It's been a rough few days. Have I said that yet?
Please don't mistake my announcing the news of my life with complaining.
Complaining drives me crazy, and I am not trying to be a complainer.

What is going on: My back has been really bad since Sunday night, and my headaches not much better. (Adam is blaming both on stress)
This morning I was woken up at 2:30 by poor Ry who wasn't feeling well.
I got him a drink, had him go back to bed and rubbed his back until he fell asleep.
Then at 3:30 he woke me up again. This time it seemed a little more urgent, and sure enough...
He got sick.
So we spent the rest of the night/morning in the living room together. (not the best sleeping arrangement for an old crippled lady! ha!)

So it's just one more thing. But it's ok.
It's what is going on in our lives right now, and we know that God doesn't allow anything to get to us without his permission first.
So we are ok with that.
We also are very, very well aware that the enemy is threatened by us. 
So instead of complaining, we are taking it as a compliment.
I got a lot done, ministry-wise yesterday. And I will continue to do the same today.

We are up in the night, But we are focused.
I spent a good portion of the night praying for specific families from our town.
By name. 
Praying for their finances, for their marriages, for their kids, for their relationship with God.

It's all about focusing on the finish line.
It's a race, people. A hard one!

But we're up for it. We gotta stay hydrated, stay encouraged, and just keep pressing on.

Big things are happening around here. And I am talking big things. I can feel it...I can feel a revival happening, and I am going to be energized, and ready for it when it comes!
But this time, I'm hoping my prayer time can be at 7 in the morning, not 4. ha!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Giving you the what for.

I need to go to Bible Pre-school.

Seriously. It's like I need to be reminded of simple things now, like...
Do to others as you would have them do to you. 
Think about things that are true.

And the crazy thing is, I already know all of these things, but it is allowing myself to remember them that is giving me the hardest time.

I just got off the phone with one of my best friends.
I know she must really, really love me because I call it how it is whenever we talk, and she's still my friend.
She knows that when she calls me, I am gonna give her the what for.
I don't think anyone has time for friends who complain with them.
I don't think anyone has time for friends who husband bash with them.
I don't think anyone has time for friends who jump in their mud puddles with them and whine.
I just. don't.

The kinds of friends I make time for are the ones who remind me how I need to be acting...even when it hurts like a banshee.
I got a text this week from a friend that said - Make the right choices with your thoughts, girl.
Do you know what it could have said? - Can you believe she did that to you? You don't deserve that...
and on and on and on it could have gone. IF I had made time for that kind of a friend.

Sometimes we just need people who love us to give us the what for.
To remind us of what we need to remember.

So tonight, I am giving you the what for.
Whatever is going on in your life right now, you need to remember the truth about what love is.
The kind of love that has literally nothing at all to do with a feeling.
Trust me. The times I need to show love the most is usually the times I feel it the least.
So here it is. God's definition of love:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. 
It does not demand its own way. 
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

How are you measuring up?
Are you acting irritable? Are you demanding your own way in something? Are you keeping record after record of the times you were wronged?
It's not gonna make you feel any better if you are doing any of that. Believe that.

Here's me giving you the what for.
Remember the kind of love God has for us.
And go out and treat other people the same way...especially the ones you don't feel like showing it to!

And invest in friendships with people who are going to help you grow.
Not ones who are going to drag you down.

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