Mini blog: Lessons about Faith that I've learned from Rosie: Back to his Feet * Rosie is about the orneriest little sweet thing ever. She's a handful and doesn't know her manners or the rules very well, but she's learning. Mostly. She's a boundary tester. A natural wanderer. We have that in common. *One thing that Rosie does know is right where I am. All of the time. If I'm in the bathroom, her furry little paws are stretched under the crack of the door. When I'm in the shower, her little black nose is pressed right against the glass. If I stand still for longer than a second, she curls herself up into a little ball and lays right at (or actually, ON) my feet. *She's never far from my side. Even though she gets herself into all sorts of situations when she wanders, she knows that the best place for her to be is right at my feet. It's the one place that she isn't getting herself into trouble. It's a place of peace, safety, and love. *That is a lesson I'd do well to remember sometimes. Wandering is problematic for me. For all of us. When we wander we often find ourselves getting into trouble, but when we plant ourselves right at the feet of our Father there is peace, safety, and love. Did you know that I post daily inspiration just like this over on my Instagram and Facebook page?  I'd love for you to join me there each day to take some time and honor Him in the craziness of our daily lives.    
   Lie #1:  The best way to know my role as a mom is to look around.  Truth:  The best way to know our roles as a mom is to look up. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  The best way to apply this truth and to walk in freedom is to find out what God says about your role as a mom. Scripture Reference:  Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.   Lie #2:  I have to figure this out on my own. Truth:  You don’t ever have to figure out your role as a mom on your own. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  Aside for inviting God into your parenting, it is important to find authentic community who you can be open, vulnerable, and real with. Scripture Reference:  1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.   Lie #3:  If I’m doing this right, it will be easy. Truth: Being a mom is a hard and holy work.  It isn’t always easy. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:   There are times where being a mom is going to challenge us. Relying on our own strength and abilities isn’t enough. Scripture Reference:  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.   Lie #4:  Everyone else knows what they are doing. Truth:  Everyone is learning as they go and no one has it all figured out. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  Find a godly woman who has gone ahead of you and has some wisdom and insight to share that can be a mentor to you. Scripture Reference:  Titus 2:4-5 Then they (older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.   Lie #5:  Nothing less than perfection will do. Truth:  There was only one perfect person to ever walk this Earth and we aren’t Him. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  Say No to the Mom guilt we put on ourselves.  We must rest in the fact that we have a God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness. Scripture Reference:   2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.   Lie #6:  I have to meet other’s expectations. Truth:  We aren’t called to measure up the standards of this world. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  Remember, we look up instead of around.  We are supposed to be set apart.  Don’t try to be just like everyone else. Scripture Reference:  Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.   Lie #7:  My family should look/act/function a certain way. Truth:  Every family looks different Practical Way to Walk in Truth:   We must understand that our families are made up of individuals and each one is a unique creation.  We must let go of our own expectations. Scripture Reference:  Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.   Lie #8:  I have to be in control of everything Truth:  You don’t have to be in control, you just need to trust the one who is. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  We have to learn to release some of the pressure.   The best way that we can do that is to do what only you can do, and trust God for the rest. Scripture Reference:  Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.   Lie #9:  I’m only a good mom if I do ALL THE THINGS. Truth:  Being a good mom means focusing our energy and our attention on the things that matter most. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:  We are called to love God, love and be a help to our husbands, and raise our children up to know God.  Those are the things that matter most.  The rest is extra. Scripture Reference:  Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.   Lie #10:  Being a good mom means no one ever messes up, especially not you. Truth:  Being a good mom means giving grace to ourselves and to our families. Practical Way to Walk in Truth:   Being a good mom means that we understand that we need God’s lavish grace and mercy and so do the members of our family. Scripture Reference:  John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”   *All scripture is from NIV

Bible Verses for Anxious Hearts

  *Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV) When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.   *1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.   *Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.   *Psalm 27:3 (NIV) Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.   *Psalm 91:4-6 (NIV) He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.   *Isaiah 41:13New (NIV) For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.   *Isaiah 43:1 (NIV) But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.   *Lamentations 3:57 (NIV) You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”   *Romans 8:14-16 (NIV) For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.   *Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”   *Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   *2 Samuel 22:3 (NIV) My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me.   *2 Samuel 22:18 (NIV) He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.   *Psalm 9:9 (NIV) The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.   *Psalm 31:24 (NIV) Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.      
This month Build A Sister Up is highlighting one of my very dearest friends!  I met Shari Rigby several years ago at a Gary Sinise Foundation event and it was immediately evident that we had kindred hearts!  We connected right away and have been close friends ever since!I always look forward to visiting Los Angeles so that I can connect with her. She is one of my very favorite people to have deep, rich conversations with and the two of us can do some serious thrift store shopping when we get together. You are going to love getting to know Shari.  It is rare to meet a woman who loves Jesus so whole heartedly and is committed to following Him and honoring Him in her life and in her career the way that Shari is. I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend, actress, writer, director, speaker, and producer, Shari Rigby.   Can you tell us a little about yourself? First, I am a daughter of the King, then wife, mother, friend, lover of coffee and chips and salsa.  I have enjoyed an incredible life by doing the things I believed I was created to do.  I worked as a model for years representing numerous companies such as Mercedes Benz, Humira, American West Airlines, Suzuki, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cox Cable, and I started my film career with a lead in the Dove award winning music video, “Slow Fade,” by Casting Crowns.  I also appeared in The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. I have appeared in the following feature films: Not Today, which received seven awards including an IFFF Spirit Award and Best Justice Film, October Baby, named one of the “Top 15 Impressive Box Office Performances of 2012” by CNN, and have had leading roles in Boonville Redemption, (starring Diane Ladd, Ed Asner), Wildflower, (starring Cody Longo and Nathalia Ramos), The Journalist, (starring Sharman Joshi and Stephen Baldwin) and the upcoming film, Extraordinary, (starring Karen Abercrombie, Leland Klassen and Lindsley Register).
I co-wrote my biography, Beautifully Flawed, with Claire Yorita Lee, which was published in March 2015. Plus, I have recently directed and co-wrote several short films, Birdie's Song, nominated for 8 awards at the 168 Film Festival, and The Church That Never Sleeps for the LA Dream Center. I am the Director of Broadcast Media for the Dream Center in Los Angeles and Executive Producer and director of the Dream Center show currently airing on the Daystar channel. I’m passionate to serve others through the Dream Center Los Angeles. I am the founder of “The Women In My World,” a women's group focusing on identity, purpose, ministry, serving others,mentoring and living life in Hollywood. I have also worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. My greatest gift of all is my family. My husband, Matt and I have been married for twenty years and I have been blessed to raise two boys together. Coffee or tea? Coffee for sure full of yummy vanilla creamer Exercise or nap? This is a tough one but I will say exercise. I certainly see the importance of exercise as I get older. Cake or pie? Pie High heels or sneakers? Can I say boots? Vacation or staycation? Staycation. I travel so much that anytime I’m able to actually take a vacation, I want to stay home, sleep, eat and hike. Early riser or sleep in? Early riser. Read the book or watch the movie? Gosh, this one is tough. I’m really a lover of both but I will usually pick the movie. Dogs or cats? Dogs, I have 3. Introvert or extrovert? Both. I have come to understand that I need alone time to regroup and recharge but I enjoy catching up with friends, having some good laughs and great conversation. I really think that Jesus showed us how to be both and why we need both. Country living or city girl? City girl! Do you have any hobbies? Is thrifting a hobby? Haha, I love being outdoors, cooking and journaling. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Music: Plumb - God Help Me Podcast: Revi Zacharias and Graham Cooke Reading: Screenplay by Syd Field Watching: Poldark IT’S AMAZING What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about empowering women to reach for their dreams no matter what. What/where are you writing? I’m writing several new projects.
  • A Youversion study Beautifully Flawed Part 1 - Lights, Camera & Action
  • A new 30 day devotional The Ultimate Romance
  • A screenplay - An Untitled Thriller
My writing time takes place in my living room in front of my fireplace with a large cup of warm coffee. Truly amazing God time as I see Him write through me. Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work with the Dream Center serving on their media team. I have gone back full-time to mentoring this year. I have 5 new women that have come to Los Angeles to pursue their careers in the entertainment biz. I am having a Night of Worship for The Women In My World on Aug. 25th kicking off the fall group. How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) My website is On Instagram, Facebook and twitter: Instagram Facebook Twitter The Women In My World on FB What is an area that you’d like to grow in? If this is for personal growth, then it would be “being time efficient.” I have a lot of projects going simultaneously and need to be ultra focused to accomplish each one. How can we build you up? Praying, sharing about my film, Extraordinary, my book Beautifully Flawed, and my social media feeds with others. Really I find that “grass root” marketing and advertising is the best way to grow your project’s awareness and to connect with people. Is there a parting thought you would like to share? I would share the following thoughts from my favorite pieces from my book, Beautifully Flawed:

“I still get lost sometimes, but the difference now is that I know who I am. My  identity lies in someone so much greater than I am, in a Savior who loves me. That speaks to me and reminds me that the only approval I need is from Him, not man. I am called lovey, beautiful, and gifted. And each day I die to myself in order to become what I was purposefully created for, giving Him control so that I can do what it is He has called me to do." ~ Shari Rigby, Beautifully Flawed

Shari's book Beautifully Flawed is available on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
I'm so excited to introduce you to Tammy (T.H.)!  You're going to her energetic and encouraging personality, her uplifting writing, and her fun interview answers! Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a California-born girl who currently lives on her Texas farm, but as a child, dreamt of traveling to Spain. Instead, I lived and gave birth to my daughter on the Asian island of Okinawa, a place muggier than southern Georgia. I also lived and birthed my oldest son in the quaint village of Bad Windshiem, Germany. With exception, my third son was born in “plain” ol’ Kentucky, however it’s a state with captivating hills and karst terrain.

During my young adult years, I lived as a prodigal running from the church, and essentially from God. But in Killeen, Tx, I dedicated my whole life (and self) to Him. In those days, I jammed out to DC Talk’s, “Into Jesus,” and Rich Mullins,“Awesome God,” and studied a Life Application Bible as big as an encyclopedia.

For eighteen years, I’ve been married to my best friend who makes me laugh and finishes my sentences. Up until 2016, we homeschooled our two boys for seven years, now teenagers (with one having Asperger’s, aka HF Autism). I opened my first blog in 2009 called, If Meadows Speak. I also founded and co-led (with Amy Breitmann) a collaborative blog (now closed but still live) for Christians wounded by church, in a season without community, calledOutside the City Gates. We then co-led an online small group with (in)courage titled, Women Without Church Community.  

I love small, intimate conversations, un-sweet tea, road-tripping with a camera in hand, Mexican food (extra salsa, please!), and my family. I write from my kitchen table with our mini-Aussie, Einstein, underfoot. In addition to the soon-to-be-released book, A God of All Seasons: Walking Toward Mercy, Grace, and Hope, I’ve authored, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness-Explore Boldness-Encourage Faith; and Social Media Strategies (Without Losing Your Soul),

Coffee or tea? TEA! But of course.

Exercise or nap? Trick question, there. Exercise because I NEED it. But a nap is too luxurious to pass up.

Cake or pie? Cake, gluten-free if you have it.

High heels or sneakers? High heels with great arch supports! (Also snazzy, comfy sandals are the bomb!).

Vacation or staycation? Vacay, definitely!

Early riser or sleep in? Sleep in. Is that even a question?

Read the book or watch the movie? Watch the movie. I’m a visual person, though I love to read but have less time than I used too.

Dogs or cats? Dogs (‘though we have an outdoor farm cat that is the best-est)

Introvert or extrovert? Ambi-vert. I’m energized by meaningful conversations with people! Afterwards, I come away talking like a chipmunk when I’m telling my hubby about all the wonderful-ness of the get together. But I also NEED to capture and process all that wonderful energy by channeling it through introverted time.

Country living or city girl? I’m in between as a small town girl, for sure. Right now, I live way-out-in-the-boonies country and like our place but prefer “country” that’s closer to our small town and community.

Do you have any hobbies? Um, does writing count?  Add to that, photography and travel.

What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Cooper’s Treasure (documentary that’s absolutely fascinating!), just read Karin Fendick’s beautiful and poetic book, From Ashes to Glory: A Psalm a Day, and this week, I listened to the hilarious but serious sermon by, Pastor Tim Ross, titled, “Here, We Upset the World!” (from a Gateway Church’s podcast in Southlake, TX).

What are you passionate about? I’m motivated for people to be set free from bondage, as well as being an encouraging voice through difficult spiritual seasons in life (which looks different when raising toddlers versus an empty nester versus teens versus no children, etc). I’m an advocate for identifying God’s goodness, majesty (through His creation), and His gifts within others or ourselves.

What/where are you writing? My website, The Art of Fear Not is mostly a website not a blogsite, since I don’t blog as much anymore. My current focus is on longform like the co-authored book I’m launching with Amy in August, A God of All Seasons.

Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? I work as a social media specialist and content writer for a local economic company and am involved at my local church. I’ve also been talking to someone about revisiting a book idea we’ve discussed in the past, but that is still in the preliminary stages.

How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website: Twitter: Instagram: Pinterest:

What is an area that you’d like to grow in? I’m a Berean at heart so I never have enough historical background on scriptures and want to better understand things such as the cultural times of the Bible.

How can we build you up? Typically, because I’m an exhorter, I find it hard to focus on myself and even answer the question. Since I moved most every tbeyear growing up, I’m humbled by the smallest acts of kindness within this community. But if it crosses your mind, pray that I allow the Holy Spirit free reign in my life since I tend to hold back and that I’d allow Him access and control in every nook and cranny of me.

Is there a parting thought you would like to share? Don’t underestimate the power of community and supporting one another through the smallest of acts. And thanks Bobbie for taking the lead in gathering us together!