"When life gets a little too busy, doesn’t it feel an awfully lot like The Scrambler ride at the fair?" I'm becoming less and less of a fan of the chaotic, busy lifestyles that seem to be becoming the norm.  That kind of hectic pace makes me feel all too much like I'm on a spiraling, spinning Scrambelr ride. I want to enjoy a life that is productive, but I also don't want to feel like I'm being slung from one thing to the next, missing out on the people, experiences, and relationships that God has placed in my life for me to enjoy. Today I'm sharing my plan to live unscrambled this summer over at Exhale Women. https://www.exhalewomen.org/blog/2017/5/29/life-on-the-scrambler
If you don't already know her, I am so excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to my sweet friend, Katie M. Reid.  She is someone you will want to get familiar with.  Her encouraging words and practical teachings have quickly become a favorite of mine! She has become a very dear friend and someone that I just love talking to because her heart for God and for people is just impossible to overlook! Today, in her guest post, she is sharing how we, as Christians, can have hope even in the hard days.  I know that you are going to love her and her words as much as I do! Hope for the Hard Days By: Katie M. Reid   Where do you turn in times of trouble? How do you excavate hope in the midst of sinking sand? When the earth seems to give way to fear, how do you find the strength to stand?   Besides eating copious amounts of ice cream, hiding under layers of covers, or putting our heads in the sand—how do we uncover light to pierce the darkness?   How do we adopt hope in uncertain times, when the world seems to be spinning out of control?   Through Jesus, by faith, we hope.   My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.*    Jesus.   The Son of God—fully man, fully God—came to bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the restless, and peace to the chaos by bringing salvation to the sinner.   Faith.   Faith is not a weakness, band-aid, or fluffy ideology. It’s hope with skin on—skin and bones that came to walk the planet** so that we wouldn’t be suffocated by dread or buried in darkness.   When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.*   Hope.   Hope is the assurance that comes from knowing that even if it gets darker, Jesus has already overcome that which threatens to take us under. We rise. We stand. We follow the lead of the One who sits on the throne.   Our faith isn’t flawed, fake, or fandangled.   It is the lifeline that is thrown when we are in quicksand. It is the anchor that holds us steady in the midst of wind and waves. It is the breath in our lungs, the song on our hearts, the comfort that upholds us.   His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.*   Where do we find hope? Upon the Rock.   Isaiah 44:6-8 The Voice (VOICE)   6 The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, King of Israel, who paid their ransom, has this to say:   Eternal One: I am at the beginning and will be at the end. There is no God except for Me. 7     If you know any God like Me, tell it now. Declare and demonstrate any who can compare to Me. Or if you know and have announced events before their time, told what is to come, then speak so now. 8     Don’t be afraid. Let your minds be clear of fear. Haven’t I announced events and revealed what is to come? From the earliest days, I have done so. You know it—you have seen and know. So, go ahead, My witnesses: is there a god out there other than Me? Witnesses: There is no other rock like God. I don’t know a single one.   These are not fighting words, these are cool cup of water words. These are not burning coal sentiments, they are a roaring blaze for those groping in darkness. These are not weak words, these are words to bolster and provide balm for the hurting. These are not words of judgment, they are words of life, of grace, of freedom.   The world cries out. The people mourn.   O God, may You excavate hope in the midst of sinking sand. Like you called Lazarus from the grave, may You call forth Your church to rise from the ashes and come forth, as gold. Like You were raised from the dead, may we witness the resurrection of Hope.   You don’t change. You don’t leave. You don’t abandon us. You don’t lack. You Are. You remain. You dwell within. You are enough.   Jesus, we desperately need You, every moment—good and bad. Forgive us for turning against one another. Forgive us for misplacing our hope. Forgive us for throwing stones and bypassing grace. Forgive us for being wise in our own eyes and misrepresenting you to a hurting world.   God, we need You. Set us straight with Your Word. Purify our lips with Your Truth. Deliver us from apathy, prejudice, and complacency. Return our hearts to Yours.   Restore our unity with You and one another. Heal our land. We have dirtied ourselves with blood, pride, and idol worship.   Lord, help us! We have turned our back and we feel the harsh reality that comes from distancing ourselves from You. Help us remember Who You are. You are Love. You are Peace. You are Holy. You are Just. You are Perfect. You are able to do anything!   We take a moment and bow before You Jesus.   We stop.   We turn back to You and we find hope.   It might just be a glimmer at first, but as we return, like the Prodigal, the light of Home becomes brighter as the Father’s arms open wider and we find Grace in the eyes of the One who calls us His own.   When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.*   Now, let’s go forward…through Jesus, by faith, with hope!   *”On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” hymn by Edward Mote.   **I heard this phrase “Jesus put skin and bones on and came to the planet” on an album of Judah Smith’s messages.  
Psalm 95:7b-8a “…Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” One thing that I am constantly trying to do is to listen to that still small voice that stirs my Spirit.  I’m trying to be attentive to its’ whispering.  I’m trying to keep a tender heart that is willing to obey. Do you want to hear a “true confession”?  Before I became a Christian, when I heard someone say something about the Holy Spirit, I thought they might be just a tad on the crazy side.  It all sounded a little too far-fetched for me.  Even early in my Christian life, I never fully understood the Holy Spirit because I leaned too heavily into the rules and the law.  They were black and white.  I could understand them easily and they left little room for interpretation.  Honestly, I was a little uncomfortable with the freedom the Spirit gave me.  I didn’t trust myself enough to let go of all of the rules and rely on the Holy Spirit. The longer I’ve been a Christian, the more I’m learning to listen to, to appreciate, to trust, and to obey that still small voice that stirs my soul.  I’ve learned that it isn’t about trusting myself, but about trusting Him.  I’ve also learned that it is very easy to harden my heart because those little promptings of the Spirit nearly always push me outside of my comfort zone. My friend Jodi Snider at www.Overwhlemedwithgrace.com and I always tease that we are going to have t-shirts made that say: “Jesus always got me like 😳" I’m not sure I can even begin to count the number of times that I’ve felt the Holy Spirit asking me to do something that feels a little uncomfortable.  Writing is a good example.  It’s a little bit awkward to just type out your deepest thoughts about what Jesus is laying on your heart and throw it out into the world for anyone to see.  Leading groups, teaching breakout sessions, participating in ministry; they are all things that push me a bit outside of my comfort zone. I’ve learned something, though.  Every time I obey the Spirit’s prompting, I am blessed.  The blessing may not always look like I expect it to, but listening to that still small voice helps me to trust, to press in to Jesus, to rely on Him instead of on myself, and it usually blesses me in an unexpected way. One example of that was this weekend.  I was teaching a breakout session at a women’s conference.  After my second session, I stood in the room as the women filtered out.  I chatted with them as they headed into the last session of the conference.  When the last woman left, I pulled out my phone to quickly check in with my family. After the call, I didn’t put away my phone.  I checked Facebook for a minute or two and then was going to log into Instagram when I heard that still small voice.  “You aren’t here to be on your phone.  You are here to build relationships.  Go out and talk to people.” Honestly, I would have rather just stayed in the quiet room for a few minutes.  I knew very few people at the conference and was content to stay tucked away for a little longer.  That’s not what the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do, though. I put away my phone, grabbed by bag, took a deep breath, and headed out into the main area where everyone was browsing vendor tables, getting snacks, and socializing before the last session.  There were three ladies standing in a group talking and one stopped me to comment on my session.  That comment led into a discussion that lasted long enough that we missed nearly all of the closing session. We had a deep and much needed conversation for both of us.  We prayed together and had a time that really ministered to both of our hearts. I am a relationship person.  Quality time is a love language of mine and connecting with people in a meaningful way fills my heart. I would have missed that opportunity if I would have hardened my heart and been unwilling to get just a little uncomfortable.  I can tell you story after story like this one.  I could share how I met some of my dearest friends by obeying the Spirit’s prompting to reach out or be vulnerable.  I can tell you about time after time that He asked me to get a little uncomfortable and the result was a beautiful, unexpected blessing. Unfortunately, I can also tell you about time after time that I hardened my heart and was unwilling to step outside of my comfort zone.  I wonder how many opportunities have passed by or how many unexpected blessings I’ve missed because I didn’t listen to the Spirit’s prompting. Maybe you can relate?  Maybe you’ve felt your heart stirred or have heard that still small voice, but have been afraid to trust it and obey it?  Maybe getting a little uncomfortable isn’t always easy for you either? Will you join me today in praying for an attentive and tender heart that listens and responds when He speaks?  It’s worth it.  Obeying that still small voice is always so worth it.   Father God, Give me a heart that is attentive to your voice.  Keep my heart tender to the Holy Spirit’s stirrings. Help me to recognize your voice, to listen, and to obey. In Jesus’ name.  Amen   Love and blessings! Bobbie
There are so many amazing women who are pouring their lives into serving Jesus and His people. They inspire me and encourage me to keep pressing on in my faith walk. I’m so excited to be able to share some of those women with you here, on the Build a Sister Up Page!  I hope this becomes a place that you return to often to meet new people, to be inspired, to be encouraged, and to encourage others!   Build A Sister Up is a way for us to connect with some amazing women, to get to know them, to learn what they are working on, and to build them up as they serve the Lord.   This month Build A Sister Up is highlighting:  Kristin Schell   About Kristin Schell? Kristin Schell is on a mission to love her neighbors. She put a picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together at The Turquoise Table. A new concept of hospitality unfolded in her neighborhood, and before long The Turquoise Table led to a movement of Front Yard People—ordinary people who long to create community right where they live. Today, there are Turquoise Tables all across America from California to Maine. In nearly all fifty states and in six countries, Turquoise Tables have become a symbol of hospitality, a safe place to sit down and connect over a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea. As founder of the Turquoise Table and Front Yard People movement, Kristin travels the country speaking at conferences and events with an encouraging word on how to open our lives and homes to others. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Tony, and their four children. What is the #frontyardpeople movement at #theturquiosetable and how do we join in? 1.Get a turquoise table Any picnic table will do. My original table came from the local hardware store, and I painted it Nifty Turquoise. Now, we’ve partnered with Tuesday Morning stores, and you can pick up a table painted and ready to go. In Austin, we’ve partnered with ReWork Project, a local nonprofit serving men and women struggling with homelessness.  Our friends at ReWork build amazing handmade Turquoise Tables.
  1. Put it in your front yard
Find a spot in your front yard. No front yard? No problem. Think about where people naturally gather in your community. Rooftops. Community Centers. Church patios. Libraries. Apartment laundry rooms. Neighborhood gardens. The possibilities are endless.
  1. Share the table
Invite a friend or neighbor over for coffee or tea. Keep it simple. Share the concept of the Turquoise Table and ask her to help you organize your first neighborhood gathering. Everything is easier and more fun with a friend!
  1. Share your story
Tell your community about the Turquoise Table. Don’t be shy. Tell your friends and neighbors how you hope to bring people together around your Turquoise Table. Invite them to join you. Then, encourage others to get their own tables and begin a new cycle of community. Share your stories with the Turquoise Table community. Let us know what’s going on at your table! Your stories will encourage others — we are all in this together.  Register your table.  Follow us on social media, and share with our hashtags:  #theturquoisetable  #frontyardpeople   Coffee or tea? Coffee for sure, but I love hot tea and milk too. I may lose my Southern card, but I do not like iced tea! Sweet or unsweetened. Weird, I know.   Exercise or nap? Neither, which is a problem because I need both.   Cake or pie? Cookies, cake, the pie. But not all at once!   High heels or sneakers? Flip flops or chacos. I'm in Austin or Colorado!   Vacation or staycation? Both! My dream right now is to have a long weekend alone with my hubby in our own house! Having 4 kiddos makes that a dream.   Early riser or sleep in? Early riser   Read the book or watch the movie? Both! I'm also a huge Netflix & Amazon prime fan. BBC shows are my fave.   Dogs or cats? No thank you.   Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert!! But as I get older I need my quiet time more.   Country living or city girl? City! But I recharge in the mountains.   Do you have any hobbies? cooking, needlepoint (but I can't see anymore!), fly fishing.   What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? Watching: Amazon Prime! Reading:  Mother Tonge by Leonard Sweet and Tech-Wise by Andy Crouch Shipt: The grocery delivery service!   What are you passionate about? I am passionate about bringing people together at the Turquoise Table   What/where are you writing? I just finished my first book The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard.   About The Turquoise Table book? Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available? Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you: Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table, simple recipes to take outside and share with others, stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods, encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting, and new ways to view hospitality. Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live. It’s about finding the community and friendships that are waiting just outside your front door. Here’s the Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Turquoise-Table-Finding-Community-Connection/dp/0718095588/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1488567727&sr=8-1&keywords=the+turquoise+table&linkCode=sl1&tag=theschcaf-20&linkId=da4421dbb085d8d67ce82c628a8ef103   Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with? Yes! Our family is part of a mission team with our partner church in Belize. I'm involved with our church foundation board and women's bible study and Tony (my hubby!) and I help with our kiddos Young Life and D-Groups. There are always kids at our house and I love it!   How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FrontYardPeople Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kristinkschell Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/kristinkschell/   What is an area that you’d like to grow in? Trust. We have 3 teenagers and 1 in elementary.   How can we build you up? Prayer! I've never done this whole book thing!  Also, you can join the Turquoise Table Community on my website or sign up to be a part of my book launch team.   Is there a parting thought you would like to share? I'm grateful to be at this special table. I talk a lot about gather small and love deep. In our social media world it's easy to get caught up in BIG. But I'm tired of going wide, I crave deep. Maybe y'all do too?
Carey Scott is an author, speaker, and life coach, honest about her walk with the Lord… stumbles, fumbles and all. She is the author of Untangled, a book where she bravely shares her story of abuse, the insecurities birthed from it, and offers practical advice on how to live in freedom. Her next book Uncommon, a battle cry for women to live differently than the world commands, is set to release in July. Carey lives in Northern Colorado with her family. [caption id="attachment_2058" align="alignright" width="244"] Carey Scott[/caption] Carey is a sweet friend of mine and I am pleased to introduce you to her!  I had the opportunity to do the first ever Build A Sister Up interview with Carey and I think you are going to love getting to know her. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a mom to two teenagers and am married to an awesome guy. We have a lot of fun as a family, and truly enjoy being together. We were told we couldn’t have kids, but I guess God had different plans for us. Sam and Sara are 14 months apart and a joy to parent (most of the time). I’ve been in ministry for about 12 years, and I reluctantly said yes to God when He made clear His plans for me. At that time, I wasn’t walking close with Him. I was just beginning to really deal with some intense childhood pain and found myself angry at God for letting all the hurt happen. So when He called me up, I said no. But God continued to pursue me and my healing, and here I am 12 years later sold out for Jesus. I’m an international speaker and author. I’ve indie published 3 books and traditionally published 2. I speak because it is where I feel the closest to God and I write to keep the crazies from taking over my mind. Ministry is hard but there is nothing I’d rather be doing. I’m Texas born and raised, but have lived in the Denver area for over 20 years. And while we live in the mountains, our happy place is the ocean. I am a functioning introvert who loves the quiet of the house when everyone is gone, but also appreciates the sound of family and friends there, too. I love coffee and mascara equally. Raining days are my favorite, maybe because Colorado gets so few of them. Coffee or tea? Coffee anytime and iced tea at restaurants. Exercise or nap? I’m not a huge fan of either, but do them both when necessary. Cake or pie? I’d rather have chips and guacamole. High heels or sneakers? I don’t even own a pair of high heels. Sometimes when I’m out shopping with my 14 year old daughter, she makes me try on high heels and walk in them. And then she laughs at me. Vacation or staycation? I love both! I need a mixture of ocean and home to be happy. Early riser or sleep in? I awake early-ish, but love those mornings I can just lay in bed without having to jump into action. Read the book or watch the movie? These days… movie. Reading puts me right to sleep. Dogs or cats? Love all animals… but especially love cats. We have two and they are my favorite kids because they don’t talk back to me. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert! Country living or city girl? I want to live away from people, yet close enough to a Target and Starbucks. Do you have any hobbies? That depends on what you consider a hobby. If parenting, being a wife, writing and speaking are hobbies… than yes. If they don’t fall into that category, then they are the reason I don’t have a hobby. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now? The television show This Is Us. Seriously. Nothing else matters. What are you passionate about? (1) Women knowing their self-worth. (2) Thwarting the plans of the Enemy to destroy our confidence. (3) Raising kids who are kind yet fierce. (4) Making home a haven to my family. What/where are you writing? I write at Life Letter Café and Propel Women and on my blog. I write the most about women’s issues like insecurity, self-worth, confidence, and reminding them they matter. Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with?
  • ​The Journey Together Summit is a webinar in May that is a collection of video interviews with over 30 authors focusing on different topics, especially fear. Kelly Balarie is the mastermind behind it.
  • Uncommon book is launching July 1st which means pre-launch is about to kick into gear!
  • Propel Book Club with Uncommon the month of September
How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?) Website:              http://careyscott.org/ Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/careyscotttalks/ Twitter:                https://twitter.com/careyscotttalks Instagram:           https://www.instagram.com/careyscotttalks/ What is an area that you’d like to grow in? Building community. Being such an introvert and a task-driven one at that, I often forget to connect with others. I want to be more intentional to reach out and develop friendships online and in person because I know God created us for community. How can we build you up? That is a really good question. I love opportunities to collaborate and build one another up. I want to support you just as much as I need you to support me. When others share my work, encourage my heart with kindness, speak truth into my weary spirit, pat me on the back, and really see me… that builds me up. Is there a parting thought you would like to share? I love the mentality that believes we are all on the same team. I get so tired of feeling in competition with other women because it discourages my heart and feeds right into the Enemy’s plan. My favorite people are the ones who see us as “in this together” and create a space where we can celebrate each other’s successes and circle the wagons when someone needs support. Where can we get a copy of your books (because I loved Untangled and can't wait for Uncommon)? Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life and Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose are both available on Amazon