Change is coming…bring it on!

There’s a line in one of my favorite movies….It goes something like this….

“I serve a mighty God. He will open doors He wants open and shuts doors he wants to shut.”
God has been showing himself in the details of our lives for months.
As you know, we are going to have to move because our house (which we rent) is up for sale. We are totally OK with that. God’s plans are always better than ours. 

Looks like He is done with us being renters and is ready to have us being owners again, here in our adopted home – Boise. 

Feeling like we are about to begin another amazing adventure. I cannot wait to see what He has prepared for us now.

What was the last adventure God took you on?

An Audience of One

I really want to be a good blogger. I don’t know why. I’m drawn to it, I’ve been working at this for years now in fits and spurts. I do well for awhile but then I give up because I know I have no audience. Recently it was a topic on other blogs I frequent would bloggers keep blogging if they knew know one was reading. And the resounding answer was yes. They would keep doing it if it helped even one person. Changed their life somehow and made a difference. Just one person would be enough because you never know who that one person could be or how their life might go a different day if you didn’t have a message for them on the very day they needed it most.

This got me to thinking about the One who always has a message for me. Some days I need it more than others. Some days I honestly don’t want to hear the message being sent.  However but know that I must keep my ears and my heart open and be willing to respond to what I hear. Can you image if we went to the Throne one day and God said…. “Sorry. I got nothin’ today! Maybe try again tomorrow, or next week, or in a month. Actually it might be more like 6 months before I get around to having anything worthwhile to say.”
I know for me I would be devastated, dumbstruck and speechless. I would not know where to turn or what to do next. I doubt I will never have that kind of an impact in the Blogosphere but since I am still drawn to blogging I am going to try to be OK with an audience of One. Maybe that One is the One who I go to when I need a message the most.

So thank you my blog readers, if you are out there. And if not, then that is OK too. Thank you Lord for this computer to type on, these hands that still work and the brain that can string a bunch of sentences together into something that might halfway make a little bit of sense.

Hugs and Love
Jen

Season of waiting

I am not sure Lord what you have me doing right now. I hope that I am correct in seeing the signs you are putting out for me and that I need to be patient and wait this out. I know that your good will come from which ever direction you take us and I am happy and willing to be obedient. I just ask for confirmation Lord as I wait. I praise you and all the blessing you put upon our family. Holy, Holy, Holy are you Lord. Please just give me peace and calm while we wait.

In your blessed name,
Amen

We saw God at the library this week…..

We had started our day like all of the others. We did the calendar for the day, learning the days of the week, months of the year and singing a few songs to help reinforce the concepts for D Man. We discussed the weather and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The last thing we did before we started was we pray and give thanks to God, as we are trying to make Him the center of all things in our life.

Our morning went along great, working on math and reading. We listened to praise music as we studied and worked on our bible verse for the week.  By this time I could tell we were all a bit restless.I knew that we had movies that needed to be returned and we wanted to find a few new books so the kids and I headed to the library.

D man headed off to one area, Miss A to another. I had a few moments to browse around and grab the books I had put on hold the previous week. Most of them were school related. Chemistry, math, science….good old fashioned learning. While I was waiting for the kids to check out their books and movies, the librarian and I started chatting. Of course it came up that we were a homeschooling family…since we were at the library during the middle of the day, while most children are in school. The sweet gal I was chatting with shared with me that she and her brother had been homeschooled while they were growing up and she was a huge proponent of it. She was in 3rd grade and her brother in 1st grade when they started and it was a journey that continued all the way through high school. The love and enthusiasm that poured from Gabby was amazing. As we talked I realized that this encounter was not some accidental occurrence but rather a response from God to the prayers of that morning. In our daily prayer I had invited the Holy Spirit to join us that day, to be a part of our learning and and to be an active part of our day. He was there to reinforce to use that we were doing the right thing. We were following HIS will for our life and our obedience was good. He was using this person to speak to us HIS excitement for our journey and our learning and giving me the pat on the back that so far I was doing a good job.

It was another tangible way to show my children how God is alive and actively participating in our lives. We had asked Him to be a part of our day and He was there and showed Himself in a way that I could point out to my kids and they could understand. No parables or outdated language. Just a very sweet young lady at the library who showed enthusiasm and love of the learning that we are doing. A few weeks ago Miss A (age 9) had asked me how I knew when God was talking to me. That was hard to explain and I found myself grasping for tangible evidence in our lives that she would be able to understand. This however was an answer to that. And I know the library encounter it wasn’t all for me. Part of it was for her….a way that I can show her how God is always present, no matter where we go even though we cannot see Him. To me, it was a double confirmation….like a 2-1 special at the store!!!

I’m slowing learning to see God in all things. Not just the season’s of dry desert, or the times of hurt and emptiness. But also the times of regular life, like between seasons or during the season of peace that I never thought we might reach, and even the season when things are finally going good and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. God is here and an active part of my life. I am so blessed to be able to now share and show my children this amazing gift as well. I hope that you can take some time after you read this and try to find Him in the little things. If you are needing Him….call out to Him! Reach out to Him!!! Lay it all out there and be open and ready for Him to respond. I promise you that if you ask He will come!

Blessings to you my friends. I am so happy to have you!
In Him,
Jen

Faith building obedience

Obedience is usually a word that makes me think of children. Mine, yours, her’s….it doesn’t really matter. Being obedient is something that we usually expect from children. When our children are not obedient then we have consequences for them. In our home when the kids were younger that would mean some time in the corner, or alone in their room along with an apology to the person that was disobeyed and an lesson on how to be obedient the next time. As the kids have gotten older the consequence may change but the expectation of obedience has not.

Do we ever expect our fellow grown ups to be obedient? I didn’t use to think so. It wasn’t until I began to take my relationship with Jesus much more seriously did I realize that I was going to be called to be obedient to Him and that thought rocked my world. I learned that if I prayed I had better expect Him to answer. Once the answer was given I needed to obey it, even if it wasn’t the answer I was hoping for or expecting. Recently this lesson has played out loud and clear in my life.

Many months ago it was laid on my heart by the Lord that I needed to start learning about homeschooling. He put people in my path along the way that were already involved with this form of education. I sought out people in my community, in my church and eventually on the Internet. I realized that this was no longer an abstract way to raise your children but in my state, it was actually a very common practice.

What on earth was I considering!!!???  I was finally a full time, stay at home mom. This was going to be the first year that both of my children were going to be in school all day long. I was about to have most of the days to myself, to do as I wanted. Whether that was work on blog posts, stamp a new card, take a class at the YMCA or have coffee with a girlfriend, my days were going to me about me and what I wanted. Ha Ha Ha!! Who was I kidding…..I should have known that idea was way toooooo good to be true!

Fast forward to this summer when the decision was finally made that this was the path that God was wanting for our family. As much as I had dreamed of having time each day for God and myself I knew in my heart and from all of the signs and ways God shows Himself that this was what I was supposed to do. And when I realized that, acceptance was easy. This wasn’t some half thought out plan. This was God’s Will for my life and I knew I had to obey.

The big day had finally arrived. We were about to begin this new journey! The kids and I finished our morning routine of breakfast, getting dressed and morning chores. We headed upstairs to the school room and were just sitting down to pray and start our day when the phone rang. I had set a rule that no phone, internet or email during school time but before I could utter a word the kids were running for the phone. On the other end was my dear husband. He was calling to give me the news that it was his first year anniversary at his job and he was going to be getting a raise. The amount of the raise he was given was the same amount that I was loosing by leaving my part time job at the school to be home with my kids. While I’d like to say I was shocked the only words I could utter at that moment was ” I knew it!!! I just knew it!!!” “God had this whole entire thing planned out and he just wanted to see if we would trust Him enough to actually obey His will for our life!”  I instantly felt like we had been rewarded for being obedient.

Now I have to admit that this is the first time I can say that we were ever rewarded monetarily for being obedient to God. Actually this will probably be the first, last and only time this will ever happen to us. And that is just fine! To be given such a tangible reward, for it to be something that we can actually see and use to show how trusting God is worth it being a once in a lifetime event.

Do you feel that God has put something on your heart or is calling you to do? Are you listening to Him and are you willing to be obedient? If you don’t, you may miss out on a great reward, a once in a lifetime reward. It may be something that you can share with an unbeliever and use to show that God is alive and well and working in our lives right now. I wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity. I hope that by sharing this story with you, you won’t miss yours.

Blessings,
Jen

Crazy Summer!

Hello!!! I cannot believe summer is just flying by so fast. We have been having so much fun. We have been going to the park, the movies, the library, playing with friends, taking it easy, sleeping in, watching sunsets and loving the freedom we have with summer.

Tonight I reflect on the message of my Pastor last weekend. We have been studying the book of Joshua for about a month now. It is new material for me and I am really trying to find how the lessons that Joshua faced apply to my life now….thousands of years later. Sunday’s message really hit home and it was easy to see how God’s lessons transcend all time, places and people. His message applies to Moses, Joshua and Jen……

God laid something on my heart months and months ago. It is something BIG and scary and it seems like a totally crazy idea. But what I have realized over this Joshua Study is that sometimes God has BIG plans that make no sense but have a larger and greater plan. If we are willing to take the leap of faith and follow them, the reward will be so BIG we won’t even remember what the fear was!

If God is leading you in a direction that just feels crazy…I urge you to stop and LISTEN. God’s direction doesn’t always make sense to the Human mind but HE is so much bigger and more powerful than we can understand. He knows what is best for us….even when it makes no sense!

Being emptied to be filled up again

This morning it occured to me…the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He let me know a little bit of what he has been doing. Why He has been doing all of the wrecking of my heart and the tears for what I thought were no reason and all of the pain and questions of why why why. Today He let me in on His little secret. He is emptying me so that He can fill me back up. He is making me less and less caring of myself and more and more aware of others. Children in poor countries, Women and Men of faith who show them to me. I am seeing that the pain and tears and hurt that I’m feeling aren’t for me or because of my circumstances. It is for them. The lost, the lonely, the sad, the hurt. It’s for my friends who are going through tough times as the man of the family learns a new life from the seat of a wheelchair. The words of a friend whose heart is burdened by the troubled marriages around her. I see this pain and I am taking it all in, making it a part of my world so that I can SEE it and instead of sitting on the side watching it go by, it moves me to action.
I have a feeling this is only the beginning of this being wrecked part. And that is OK. A while back, I don’t remember when exactly, but I asked God to change my heart. Help me be more like Him. Help me be the woman He created for me to be when He knit me in my mothers womb. I see now that is exactly what He is doing. This fall I asked Him to speak to me as I was working through Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God bible study. This winter He gave me a life situation that I cannot imagine happening to my family but I am a part of and am so blessed because of it. God is speaking to me loud and clear. He is wrecking me to fill me up with Him. The only thing I can think to say is Thank You. You are giving me exactly what I want, even though it is hard. Thank you for having so much faith in me.

Wreckin’

God is wreckin’ my heart every single day. I don’t know yet what it is for, or how He plans to use me once He is done with me. But I can tell you this! Each day, as I go through life, read blogs of faith and encouragement, talk to my girlfriends, go to work, go to church, be a mom and wife, life a life of faith as much as I can – I see that God is doing a number on my heart and soul…and I welcome it! I am not sure why I felt led to even Blog. I think there might be 1 or 2 people that read it. And if not that is OK. I do it for me. Or more for Him. Right now it isn’t any big thing. Maybe it never will be. But maybe someday, in some way there will be some other 30-something woman who is trying to find her way in a new place, with a new faith and she reads something here that makes her realize she is not the only one that felt that way. Then, it will be worth it.
Or maybe 20 years from now my kids look back at this and see how much I was trying to life faith out loud, change my heart and my ways so that they would learn to love Him first and follow Him more than anything else. If my kids turn out that way, then it’s worth it.
And if no one ever reads, replies or posts God knows. He sees….this is me, living my faith outloud. Sharing my journey of how He is changing my heart and my ways. As long as I glorify Him then nothing else matters.

My Prayer Journal


I’ve been wanting to create my own prayer journal for awhile now but considering the condition of my stamp room until just recently that was not going to happen. Now that it is back in good working order I decided tonight would be a great night to do finally work on that project.

The spiral bound journal I picked up at Michael in the dollar bins. You have got to love that place! I used the SU! Spiral Punch on the left side, it fits just perfect on these. I pulled out some left over Enchante Designer Series paper for the background since it has such a soft, pretty look to it. The cross is stamped in Perfect Plum on Vanilla card stock and then cut out. I mounted that on some Mellow Moss card stock and then cut that out for a small layer. This was a huge task for me since I am scissor challenged! I popped the cross up on some dimensionals and then mounted it on Pale Plum card stock that has been lighted stamped with the flowers from Refuge and Strength in Pale Plum and the edges distressed using the cutter tool. The sentiment was printed out on my computer on Vanilla card stock. It was mounted on Mellow Moss and then Pale Plum. I added a few ribbons to the spiral spine but did not want to over do it. I think it could use a few more but I seem to not have any other ribbons in coordinating colors….how can that be?!
I am looking forward to start using my journal during my evening devotional time. I like to read My Daily Bread and talk with God each night before I head off to bed. I’m not a morning person and so I really enjoy ending my day this way.

Thanks for coming by. Happy Stamping!