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.

 


“My faith was real but it wasn’t perfect. Because of that, I had built too many walls around my heart and life to even consider the possibility of authentic friendships. Those kinds of friendships would require me to be open, vulnerable, and to be authentically myself. That would also mean that these other Christians who would be my friends, the ones who seemed to have it all together, might realize that I wasn’t very together at all.

I was pretty sure I didn’t need those kinds of friendships. I was much better at having acquaintances than having friends anyway.”

Click the link below to see what changed all of that for me!  I had the privilege of posting this article over at iBelieve.com and I’d love for you to give it a read and see if you can relate.

http://www.ibelieve.com/relationships/just-because-you-ve-never-had-friends-doesn-t-mean-there-isn-t-still-time.html

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


I need to tell you about my sweet friend Katie Reid. I haven’t actually met Katie in real life yet, but we are social media besties.

She reached out to me a couple of months ago on voxer and we chat All The Time.  She truly is a gift and has been such an awesome encourager, a listening ear, and a sounding board for all of my dreams and plans.

Not only is she an amazing friend, she’s an inspiring writer, a talented worship leader, and singer, as well as a hard working mama!

I had the privilege of guest posting on Katie’s blog today.  I was able to share what grace looks like to me and how I’m learning to recognize and even seek out grace in the everyday.

I’d love it if you would pop on over to her blog and see how you can see grace in the everyday moments of your life.  While you are there, say hello and browse her blog.  I know she will be an encouragement to you!


Do you feel the tension that seems to permeate the air of this world lately? Things just feel heavy. Hearts are hurting. People are discouraged and dissatisfied. It seems as if this whole world is worn down from the struggles and it would be so very easy to just give in to the pull of weariness and discontent.

In the middle of the strife and struggles, we can start to feel overwhelmed, worn, and just plain weary. When these feelings come, and they linger far past their welcome, what can we do to keep our heads up? How do we remain hopeful when things just seem so difficult?

We might get angry and feel like being loud to drown out the noise of others or fighting back harder to win the war. We might get fearful, worried, and just want to withdraw and hide our heads in the sand to ignore the strife around us. Or maybe we don’t even know how we feel or how to respond, but we do know that we are called to be set apart and to shine as lights in the darkness of a weary and worn world. We are called to be the salt that seasons the bitterness around us and makes it a little more palatable. Because we know these things, we need a plan to stay in the battle when weariness starts to overcome us.

Maybe a good place to start is to look at someone else who was weary in the battle and see how they overcame it. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat is facing a multitude that has come against him. He’s going to have to fight his enemies, however, when he seeks God’s battle plan, he sees that it is a little different than the one he might have been considering.
Maybe like Jehoshaphat, God’s plan to overcome our battles looks a little different than ours.
When Jehoshaphat took the fear, discontent, worry, and strife that he faced because of his battle to God, the Lord sent a message to him. 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 ESV says, “Do not be afraid or dismayed…for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight this battle…Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.” Those verses outline a battle plan that ultimately spells victory for the believer.

This is a truth God has been continually pressing into my heart lately. There is so much peace that floods my soul when I realize how much easier God’s battle plan is than the ones that I have been using. His plan is a plan that can breathe hope into our weariness.

5 Steps to Hope for The Battle Weary
From 2 Chronicles 20:15-17

1. Don’t be afraid- Fear is such an instinctive response to trials. We allow ourselves to be afraid of what may or may not happen. We allow ourselves to fear how circumstances might turn out. We also allow ourselves to be scared that the battle may never be won. That is not what God calls us to. He tells us not to be afraid.

2. Don’t be dismayed- Discouragement plants deep seeds of bitterness that can grow into anger, depression, hate, or hurt. Discouragement can fool us into thinking that the battle isn’t worth fighting. It can make us want to give up. God wants us to keep hope, to trust in him, and to have faith.

3. Let God handle the battle- It is in our nature to struggle and fight for victory over the battles that we face or to try to avoid them by running and hiding from them. God calls us to seek Him continually and rest in the fact that He is not only working in our hearts and in our lives, but also our situations.

4. Stand firm and hold your position- We can get a little wobbly when the battles rages. The things going on all around us can seem to pull us in all directions and make us doubt our stance. God calls us to stand firm in His truth and to hold the position that He has called us to.

5. See the salvation of the Lord- God is at work in everything. The victory is His in the end. The fact that in the battles, He draws us closer to Him is proof that he is doing a good thing, even if the overall situation doesn’t look like it. God calls us to believe that, ultimately, He is working all things together for good.

Read the rest of the article and find even more encouragement at iBelieve.com by clicking the link below!

http://www.ibelieve.com/faith/5-steps-to-hope-for-the-battle-weary.html

Love and blessings,
Bobbie Schaeperkoetter



Sometimes doing wrong isn’t deliberate. Sometimes it is simply the lack of focus on doing right. At least that is usually the case for me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often set out to make a slew of bad choices, but occasionally (or often, depending on the week) I find myself in a place where I am standing, dumbstruck, wondering how I ended up in the situation that I am in. Does this just happen to me?
I think it is safe to say that it probably doesn’t. I found the explanation for it this morning in my Bible reading in 2 Chronicles and it hit me like a ton of bricks. 2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV says, “And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.”
This verse is talking about Rehoboam, King of Judah, but it might as well have had my name in the text. Maybe yours could have fit there too? I think this is a truth that applies to all of us because we don’t typically end up in a mess because we plan to. We usually end up in our messes because we forgot to seek God in certain situations and followed our own way instead. We didn’t set our heart and our focus on staying on the right track so before we knew it, we were on the wrong one.
Man that sounds super familiar! I can tell that I have gotten on the wrong in a few areas in my life lately. It reminds me of what I’m always saying to my boys. When they get a little out of control and are headed toward bad choices, I’m known to say, “Rein it in, boys!” They know that means to check their behavior. I can feel God telling me to “Rein it in, girl!” in a few areas in my life.
1. Being Content
Way too often, I just forget to be content with what I have. Everything that I have, everything that I am, and everything that I do is a gift from God. It is evidence of his grace poured out in abundance in my life. In turn, I should be grateful for all he has given me. Instead, I’ve continued to strive for more instead of being content.
I add more to my schedule. I add more to my closet. I add more into our budget. I add more into our lives and I often do it without even stopping for a second to consider God at all in those decisions.
Here is a very embarrassing example. I felt like I really needed to declutter, simplify, and cut out the excess. The place I decided to start was in my closet. I love to shop. Like, I really love it. It is usually at thrift stores because I love a great bargain, but it has gotten a little out of control. My closet was prime evidence of that. I’m not even going to shame myself by admitting how much has amassed in my closet.      That isn’t good stewardship. It is excessive and wasteful and selfish. I need to reign in my desire for more and learn to be content with all that God has already blessed me with.
I’ve really felt convicted this year to focus on the amazing grace that God has lavished on me in every situation and circumstance. If I’m focused on his gift of grace then being content and being thankful comes as a natural result of that. It has really helped me to see that I have all I need.
2. My Words and Attitude
Here is another not so flattering truth I’m seeing about myself these days. I am not sweet and loving and kind by nature. I’m just not. I know this about myself. I tend to be a little sarcastic and snarky. I’ve always just kind of chalked that up to my personality. I’m not mean and I am usually pretty funny, so it all balances out, right?
I’m not so sure. God’s grace is so evident by the amazing people that he has lovingly put in my life. I’ve been feeling very convicted for my words and attitude to match my gratitude. I want to show just how blessed I feel to have these wonderful people in my world. I’m a work in progress. We all are, but I truly desire to do a better job of building up, encouraging, and loving. I want my words and attitude to reflect a heart overflowing with thanks for these gifts of grace.
3. My Time
Oh man. At the risk of sounding like a total slacker, I will share this last area that I want to rein in. I’m turning into a recluse. I could easily stay in my house, in my pajamas, on the couch, with a good book for days. I don’t do that. Much. But I could. Very easily.
I really enjoy being at home and homeschooling my boys, but without a real effort on staying involved with people and with the work God has called me to, I could very easily just keep my focus on what is right in front of me in my own home.
I know in my heart of hearts that isn’t what God wants for me. I firmly believe He has called me into relationships, into community, and into works that He has chosen specifically for me at this time. My time isn’t mine to hoard and use in whatever way pleases me the most. It is a resource and a tool to do the work God has called me to and I want to be a better steward of the time God has blessed me with.
Getting off track in these areas wasn’t deliberate. It was simply a lack of focus on seeking God and doing the right thing. I took my eyes off of God and put them on my own ways for a while and before I knew it, I felt God saying, “Rein it in, girl!” 2 Chronicles 12:14 was like a palm to the forehead. What a call to refocus and put God back at the front and center!  What a gift of grace that He allows us to see our messes for what they are and gives us opportunities to change them!
Are there any areas where you feel God asking you to rein it in and put your focus back on him? I’d love to hear from you!
Love and blessings,
Bobbie


It’s become a bit of a tradition to choose a word for the New Year.  This word is supposed to be one specific word to focus on all year.  Honestly, I’m not big on this.  It feels a little like boxing myself in.  My mind goes one hundred miles an hour in a hundred different directions.  How on Earth do I choose just one word to represent all that I want to embody in a whole entire year?  That just seems plain impossible.

Unless, of course, God writes that word on your heart countless times over the last several weeks.  It seems every time I turn around one word keeps being presented to me.

GRACE

Let me get a little wordy nerdy and define it for you.  According to Oxforddictionaries.com, one of the meanings of grace is “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”  It’s synonyms are:  goodwill, generosity, kindness, benefaction, beneficence, and indulgence.

That definition, that deep truth behind the meaning of grace, has lodged itself in the forefront of my thoughts for weeks.  It has taken up such real estate in my thoughts that I wake up at night pondering God’s unmerited favor and his constant bestowal of blessings in my life.

I’ve been thinking back to trials and struggles in my life and have been sifting through the evidence of God’s grace through it all.  His goodwill, generosity, kindness, benefaction, and indulgence is overwhelming.  Just focusing on finding the obvious ways that His grace has been present in every situation has caused a perspective shift in my heart and mind.

Looking for grace is simply seeing glimpses of His little gifts, evidence of His love and favor, in everything.  Keeping my eyes open for it makes me humble and grateful.  It keeps me attentive to God’s goodness and blessings.  Hunting for grace in each moment allows me to see the hand of God at work when I might otherwise miss it entirely.

My blog has always purposed to talk about honoring God in the craziness of our lives.  I truly believe that no matter how messy, how chaotic, how absolutely crazy our lives get; we can choose to honor God by the way that we live it.  That’s why my little tag line has always been “Honoring Him in the Craziness of Life”.

I still firmly believe that, but I’m adding on to that thought in 2017.  I’m narrowing my focus, or maybe broadening my view, depending on your thinking.

In 2017, I’m choosing to honor him by looking for evidence of His grace in every moment of this crazy life that I’ve been given.

This verse has been etched in my heart.  I’m making it my focus verse in this new year.  John 1:16 ESV says, “For from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.”

GRACE UPON GRACE

What a beautiful truth!  I want to be more aware of His grace.  I’m going to search for evidence of His grace upon grace in every situation, in every moment, in all of the craziness of my life in 2017.

If you would like to join me, my social media posts and blog will feature the hashtags #honoringhim and #graceupongrace in 2017.  When you see evidences of grace, use these hashtags and share it with me.  I’d love to see how you experience His grace upon grace this year!

Love and blessings!

Bobbie


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My heart aches this morning as I scroll through my news feed on Facebook.  So many people that I know and love are hurting.  I see so much heartbreak and pain and confusion.  I desperately long to hold tightly onto the shoulders of each person that is broken and look deeply into their eyes and tell them of the hope they have in Jesus.  He’s the only thing that makes walking through the trials bearable.  He’s the only constant and steadfast hope that I’ve ever found.  He’s the only one that will never ever fail.

If I were with you right now and I knew that your heart ached for something better than this world can offer, that is just what I would do.  I would lovingly tell you that this world can be hard and God never promised that living in it would be easy.  I would tell you that although He doesn’t offer you a life of ease, He does offer to make life a little easier by shouldering some of the burden for you as He walks with you through your trials.  He promises to be a comfort, a friend, and a constant companion to all who trust in Him.  He is good no matter the situation.  His love endures no matter where you are.

I would encourage you to turn to Him and to seek Him and I would do by very best to point you towards Him.

That desire spurred this prayer in my heart this morning.  I shared it with my Facebook small group and I felt led to share it here as well in the hopes that it might be a blessing to a hurting heart.

Love and blessings,

 Bobbie

31 DAYS OF CHANGE GROUP Day 26:
Prayer:
Father God,
Help me to have a heart for your people. Give me eyes to see them as you do. You see the affliction of your people. You hear their cry and know their suffering. You feel the weight of their burdens and you long to redeem them. Your desire is that your children would know you, love you, trust you, turn to you, and be restored to you. You gave your only son, Jesus Christ, for that purpose. You love your children that much.
Father, help me to look at my brothers and sisters, and all of the people of this world, and see them as you do. Fill me with love for people. Open my eyes to see those around me who are hurting. Break my heart for the broken. Give me a tenderness and a compassion for people, but Lord, I also pray that you would give me the ability to be a help and an encouragement to them. Fill my heart with prayer for them so that I can lift them to you. Let me be a witness of your saving grace, and of your love, compassion, and mercy. Help me to act as your hands and feet while I’m on this earth. Help me to be compassionate and merciful to others because you’ve been compassionate and merciful with me, Lord Jesus.
I know that this world isn’t an easy place to live. You never promised a life with our trials. In fact, your Word tells us that we go out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Yet, you still call us to walk in love. Give me discernment so that I can be as wise as a serpent but as harmless as a dove. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me a sensitivity to respond to its’ stirring in me. Fill my heart with your love and my mouth with your words in the specific moments that I need them. Work through me to show your love to all that I encounter.
In Jesus precious name, I ask these things.
Amen.

Bible Verses:
Exodus 3:7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings.
Exodus 6:5-7 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Psalm 55:17-18 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
James 5:11, 15, 19-20 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Matthew 10:16-20 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Discussion Question:
How can we be more aware, sensitive, and compassionate to those who are hurting that God has placed in our lives


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My friends and I been putting in work each and every day this October over on my Facebook group called 31 Days of Change and it’s been amazing!  I’m loving the community there and the way that we all encourage each other and can share and talk about how God is working in our lives this month.  What I’m loving the most, though, is the way that God has been working on me!   I’m learning so much as I study the scriptures and write the posts for each day.

Today we talked about renewing our mind.  This is something that’s always been a little bit of a challenge for me.  OK, it’s been a BIG challenge for me!

I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to my thought life because I’m driven far too much by my emotions, feelings, and the thought patterns of my past.  I let myself get trapped in that cycle way more than I’d like to admit.  Renewing my mind when it’s stuck in that place is hard.

I’m learning to trust what’s God’s word says about who He is, who I am in Him, and what I’m capable of as HIS beloved child.

I was challenged by today’s post and I hope you will be too.  Studying the verses for today and praying over them was powerful for me.  I’d like to encourage you to give it a read if you’re at all like me in this area.

Here is a little peek into what we are discussing over in the Facebook group.

Change Is In The Air: 31 Days Of Change

Day 21:
Prayer:
Father God,
I am ready to put off my old self that was driven by my past, my feelings, my emotions, and my own desires. Renew my mind so that I can fully embrace the new identity that you’ve given me as your child. I want to be more Christlike.
Set my mind on the things that are above and not on the things of the world. I don’t want to be someone who is consumed by worldly thoughts and desires. I don’t want to be conformed to this world. Lord, transform me by the renewing of my mind so that I’m more closely attuned to follow after your good and acceptable and perfect will.
God, fill my mind with thoughts that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Help me to put aside thoughts that are selfish and self serving. Let them be replaced by thought of things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Those are the things I want consuming my thought life.
Your Word says that you will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is focused on you and I believe that promise. You did not give me a spirit or a mind that is a slave to fear, shame, hurt, anger, bitterness, or worry. You adopted me and gave me a spirit and a mind full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The moment I cried out to you and became your child, I became a new creation. The old things lost their grip on me in that moment.
My thoughts and feelings don’t have control over me. I submit my thought life to you, Lord. I don’t want to be double minded and live a life focused on fulfilling my own selfish desires while claiming to follow after you. Father, renew my mind every time it turns from you. Help me to love you with all of my heart, with all of my soul, and with all of my mind.
I ask this in Jesus’ holy name.
Amen

Bible Verses:
Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:2-3 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Psalm 119:113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Discussion:
Is your thought life surrendered to Jesus or do you still let the your feelings and emotions control you? How can we renew our mind every time we feel that familiar push of our past thought life creeping in?

 

If this hit home for you, you may enjoy joining one of my online small groups.  Be sure to like my Facebook page to see when there are more available!

http://www.facebook.com/bobbieschae

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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I think something that I just absolutely LOVE about our Father is that he never ever gives up on us.  Even when we deserve nothing but his judgement and anger, he offers us forgiveness, restoration, and matchless grace, mercy, and love.

I’m currently doing a Facebook Group where we are focused on committing to 31 Days of Change.  We are reading and praying God’s word every day this month.  I am just loving all that we are learning and the community that we are building.  (You can learn a little more about that at this link:)

Change Is In The Air: 31 Days Of Change

I had something different written to post today, but during my quiet time in prayer and Bible study this morning, I felt led to share this instead.  Maybe you need this reminder of God’s desire to draw you back to him.  He’s ways seeking your restoration.

Here is today’s FB post for the group

31 Days of Change:  Praying and Reading God’s Word

Prayer:

Father, God
You are a mighty redeemer. So often I’ve chosen my own way and my own path. I’ve sought after my own heart and not yours, yet you always offer me the chance to turn back to you. You are so good, so merciful, so forgiving, and so loving God. You are always seeking my redemption and restoration. You never give up on your children.
Father, I want to choose you. I want to seek your heart the way you diligently and relentlessly seek mine. Help me not to turn aside after empty things that will not and can not profit or deliver. God, you are what fills me and gives me purpose. Turn my heart fully towards you.
Help me to stand still and trust in you.
Quiet my spirit when it’s turbulent and give me the peace to know that you are doing great things even if I can’t see them.
I know you will not forsake me, Lord. You are sure, strong, and steadfast. Help me to seek you in prayer and through your word. Instruct me in the good and right way. Help me to love you, serve you, and follow after you with all that I am.
God, you’ve been so good to me. Thank you for your love. Thank you for never giving up on your children. Thank you that you seek to restore me and draw me close.
In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Amen

God’s Word:
1 Samuel 12:14-16, 20-24

If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king. Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

Discussion Question:
These verses were written in the Old Testament to the Israelites when they rebelled against God and looked for a King, yet he still offered reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness, and blessing.
Have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life when you’ve rebelled, yet he was still faithful to offer you a chance to come back to Him and be fully restored?

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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I just love new beginnings and fresh starts.  I love the opportunity to wipe the slate clean.  Today is the first day of a new month.  We are in a new season.  Change is in the air.

And I’m so ready for change.

My heart aches for it.  My soul longs for it.

I want to truly grasp Christ’s love for me and rest easy in my identity in Him.  I want His love to overcome all the muck that weighs me down.  I want to understand the character of God and trust in Him fully.  Just like the seasons are visibly changing, I want to see real, evident change in my heart and in my life.

Don’t you?

I’m a tough nut to crack though, and change doesn’t come easy for me.  I’ve learned that on my own, I tend to just make things a big ol’ mess, so I’ve come up with a plan.  This time, I’m turning to the one agent that always produces a truly changed heart and a changed life.

I’m turning to God’s word

I want to invite you to come along on this little journey of change with me.  I’m committing to reading and praying God’s word EVERY DAY during the month of October.  I’m going to let His word sink deep into my heart and pray that over myself and my circumstances.

I’m trusting in the power of His word to bring about a change in me.

Come with me.  Let’s walk this road together.

I’ve created a Facebook group here:  31 Days of Change Facebook Group

so that we can really walk through this together.  I’d love it if you would join me.

Change is in the air and it’s going to start with you and me.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 


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Life is full of trials, stuggles, and stress.  It’s so easy to get bound up in all of the things that are out of our control and to just anxiously toil and struggle our way through.

This morning, while reading in Exodus, I was reminded, yet again, that isn’t God’s plan for His beloved children.  He has a better way for us.  He calls us to trust in His plan, to rest in His provision, and to believe that He is working on our behalf.

I know not everyone is as in love with the Old Testament as I am, but, trust me people, it is so full of applicable truth and encouragement!  Stick with me for a minute and listen to this example.

My reading this morning was centered around the time when the Hebrews were fleeing from Egypt under the leadership of Moses.  It must have been chaotic.  The people left in a hurry without much time to prepare.  It also must have been terrifying to leave all that they had ever known for an unknown wilderness.  In the midst of all of that, their enemies, the Egyptians, were in hot pursuit of them.  Fear and doubt were running high!

Have you been there?  Maybe you’ve not been feeling from your enemies into the wilderness, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ve experienced fear and doubt.  I would guess that you’ve felt like you were struggling looking for answers.  I’m sure you’ve looked into the unknown and wondered how on earth God could have led you to the place you found yourself and how in the world you could safely make it through the trials you were facing.

The Hebrews sure felt that way and they let Moses know about it.  Yet, right there, in the middle of the chaos, God gave Moses a simple command for the people.  It’s one that’s just as applicable to us today.  He said, “Fear not.  Stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

That’s about as simple as you can get, yet it’s one of the most difficult things to do.  It must have been so hard to trust God and walk across that sea, but as always, God came through.  He stood between the people and their enemies.  He provided an escape.  He crushed their enemies.  He kept his promise and fought for them.  All they were required to do was to trust Him and obey His command.

Lord, help us to be able to do the same.  Help us to be able to claim that promise in the middle of seasons of chaos, fear, and doubt. Calm our hearts.  Help us to cast out cares at your feet.  Remind us to not be fearful but to stand firm because we know that you fight for us.  Give us the wisdom to not anxiously toil and struggle, but to be silent and trust in you.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Today would be my Dad’s birthday.  Mine is right before his.  This is a picture of us celebrating together a few years ago.  He’s been gone now for about a year and a half.  It sure doesn’t seem like that long, but at the same time, it feels like forever since I’ve seen him.  I miss him often, but especially today.

I don’t understand why God allowed him to die.  I don’t understand how taking him was a better plan than doing a miracle of healing.  I still struggle with that.  Honestly, there is only one way I know to deal with that kind of pain.

This morning, with a heavy heart, I prayed a version of the same prayer that I pray every time I feel a little overwhelmed by the grief.

“Father, God,

I don’t understand your ways.  I hurt and I miss my dad terribly, but I’m choosing to trust you in the midst of the hurt.  I know you are good.  I know you are love.  I know that you see the beginning and the end and that your plans are greater than my own.  I don’t understand why God, but I understand who you are.  Help me to trust fully in your character and in who you are in spite of how I feel.  Fill my hurting heart with peace.

Amen.”

That prayer gets me through the things I can’t understand and the things that aren’t easy.  I’m hoping it can help someone else today.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 

 


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I have a fun little herb garden out by the side of my home.  It’s made from old pallets and leans back against the house in our flower bed.  My hubby built it for me last spring and we filled it with lots of fun little herbs.  Last year I enjoyed fresh basil, dill, mint, and oregano.  It was wonderful to go out and harvest all of these fresh little herbs to add into some of my favorite recipes.  I enjoyed it so much that when winter rolled around and all of my little herbs died off, I was a little sad.

I had a little surprise though, because when spring came around again, so did my mint.  It came back tall, and strong, and abundant.  In fact, it has out grown its little pallet planter and is spreading out into my flower bed.  I’ve even got a few little shrubs that have sprigs of mint peeking through their branches.  They are like little ninja mint shoots that are popping up in rather unexpected places.

My mint has already gown so much that I had to prune it.  I climbed into my flower bed one day and began to pull up some of the plants that were intermingling with my flowers and shrubs.  As I pulled and tugged on this hearty little herb, I began to expose this vast system of roots that had spread through a fair amount of my little bed.

You see, during the season when it looked as if my mint had withered and died, it was busy doing something meaningful and productive that I couldn’t see .  Down deep, where important things happen, my mint was growing roots.  Because of these well established roots, I had a rather had a hard time loosening their hold on my flower bed.  I would tug and pull out the little green herb and then up would come what seemed like an endless root system.  They were stronger, stretched out farther, and were much tougher to unearth than I would have imagined.

In fact, after some serious labor, I thought I had taken care of them all, only to look a week later and find new shoots springing up from the ground.  The root system was established so even when I pulled up most of the plants, they were still able to keep growing.  It almost looked as if the pruning had made the herb stronger.  The fresh, new shoots were popping up everywhere.

Can you see how this really isn’t about mint?

This morning I was reading in my Bible in Colossians 2:6-7 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, ROOTED and BUILT UP in him and ESTABLISHED in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

As I read this verse, thoughts of my mint and its root system flooded my mind.  This isn’t about mint at all, its about being rooted, built up, and established in our faith.

Do things to grow roots.  Establish a habit reading God’s word.  It’s like fresh water and fertilizer.  That habit will help your root system be strong so you can stand firm.  Pray.  Connect with a good community that will help build you up.  Get established and keep growing stronger.

Harsh seasons may come but as long as we are growing those deep roots, we will be hard to unearth.  We will come back even stronger that before.  Not only that, but as we grow and  establish our roots, we may start to influence those around us.  Maybe our faith will spread and pop up in unexpected places as well.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 


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There is something beautiful and powerful about a light shining in the darkness.  I’m guest posting over at From His Presence today and sharing about a time recently when God really impressed something special on my heart when I looked out the window of an airplane and saw the twinkling of lights below me.  I’d love for you to read Light It Up! and see the way that God has called me, and calls each of us, to shine!

Read it here:  Light It Up!

Love and Blessings,

Bobbie


Have you ever felt like you didn’t quite fit the mold?  Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?  I had the wonderful opportunity to share at iBelieve.com about how I’ve felt that way and what I’ve learned about being a part of the body of Christ.

Read more at iBelieve article


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

There sure seems to be a lot of darkness these days.  Everywhere we look people are hurting.  Chaos and tragedy seem to be around every corner.

It can overwhelm us if we let it.

OR…we can overcome it.

We can drive out the darkness.  We can be light.

WE CAN SHINE BRIGHT!

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Every very time we walk in the love of Christ, we drive out the darkness.

Every time we show the boundless grace and mercy of Jesus, we drive out darkness.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 says, “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.”

Keep doing good.  Shine bright.  Be a light.  Walk in Love.  Push back the dark.

Love and Blessings,

Bobbie

 


 

For today’s Mondays in a Minute, I just have a quick thought for you.  It’s small, but powerful.

You are known.

Wow.  Let it sink in deep.

2Corinthians 5:11b …But what we are is known to God…” (esv)

It’s so easy to feel forgotten and overlooked.

Mama, it is easy to think that folding that mountain of laundry in the laundry room or cooking dinner for your family or even playing outside with your kiddos isn’t important.  Career lady, it is easy to think that showing up every day at your 9-5 with a smile on your face and doing your best in the job you have doesn’t do much besides pay the bills.  Single lady, it’s easy to think that you’ve slipped through the cracks and no one really sees you.  Divorced woman or widow, it’s easy to think that without a husband to care for, you no longer have a real purpose.  Young woman, it’s easy to think that while you are preparing for the life you want, the one you have is a little meaningless.

Friends, those tasks that you do, day in and day out, that feel almost worthless sometimes; they matter.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, it is known to God.  He sees you.  Each day, every minute, in all things.  He sees.  He appreciates the love that you pour into everything you do.  He sees that care you take to do your best to honor Him in the mundane tasks.

He sees.  He knows.

Because, you are known to God.  Not only that but he loves you.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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I’m a work in progress.  God is continually refining me and I’m grateful for that.  I love that He is working on me, pruning me, and helping me to grow.  I don’t know about you, but it seems like, for me,  one of the areas that requires the most refinement is parenting.  Being a mom is a  challenging job.  It requires us to be selfless, patient, loving, generous, tender, and all of those other wonderful qualities that seem to go against all that is natural in us.  For me, there has been a learning curve with this.  My boys are 13 and 9.  I was kind of hoping I’d have it all together by now.  I don’t.  I love my kids and they know this, but I also make some mistakes parenting.  My kids know this too.  We are on a journey together and they know that we are all growing and learning through the process.  Tonight I learned some things and I thought just maybe someone else might find them meaningful too.

These lessons came after a rough start to our bedtime routine.  (Please tell me you’ve been there and that this doesn’t only happen in our home.)  It was going so well, and then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.  Meltdowns ensued.  Consequences and corrective conversations had to happen.  The correction wasn’t really very sweetly given and even less sweetly received.  Earlier in the evening, the boys had asked to sleep in my room, but I had taken away that privilege as a consequence of the craziness that we had all just participated in.  Tears were shed.  By the time I had both kids in bed, we were all a little frazzled.

I was frustrated and worn, but was trying to bring a little peace back into our night before we all went to sleep.  I asked the boys to sit beside me in Gavin’s bed, and I reminded them that today had been a little rough and we needed to all work a little harder at being loving and respectful tomorrow.  I pointed out some of the areas that we struggled with throughout the day and mentioned that we all should try to do a little better tomorrow.  The list wasn’t a short one.  It hadn’t been our very best day and I wanted to use this as a teaching opportunity so that we could all improve in the areas that were problematic for us.  I wanted to drive this lesson home so that it stuck because I wanted tomorrow to be better for all of us.

My tender-hearted and wise-beyond-his-years 9 year old stopped me and said something that has been on my mind ever since.  He looked at me with very sad eyes and said, “Mommy, really, it has been a pretty good day.  There was way more good than bad. Right?”

You know what?  He was right.

It actually had been a pretty good day.  It wasn’t perfect, there was way more good than bad.  However, in my frustration, I was focused on all the bad moments that had happened.  Not only that, I made sure we were all focusing on them.  I was wrapping up a pretty good day together by dwelling on all of our mistakes.

Don’t we all tend to do that sometimes?  We forget about the day’s blessings because we let ourselves be consumed with the frustration of the moment.

I am all for looking at the areas we struggle in and finding ways to improve in those areas.  We all need to do that from time to time.  It is an important part of the growth process, but there is also a lot to be said for extending a little grace and mercy sometimes too.  God does that for us so often.  I am afraid that I don’t do it nearly as often.  I thought of the verse that I had read earlier that morning in Romans 2:4b that says that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance.  Maybe a little kindness sprinkled in with my correction would do more to encourage a repentant heart in my kids than my list of wrong doings.  Hmmmm, God, are you trying to tell me something?

I finished tucking in my boys and then jumped into the shower to just physically and literally wash away the day.  Some of my best thinking happens in the shower, and tonight wasn’t an exception.  I couldn’t get Gavin’s words out of my mind.  I was reminded of my tendency to look at the frustrating moments and forget the bigger picture.  I was also reminded of God’s mercy and grace, and especially His kindness.  I thought about the times my heart was most often turned toward repentance, and I saw that it was most often due to His kindness.  He doesn’t throw my mistakes back in my face and make me confront them over and over again.  When I’ve asked for forgiveness and owned my failures, He forgets them and loves me like they never happened.  He’s way better to me than I deserve.  He is so patient and longsuffering with me.

I finished my shower and went back into my kids’ rooms.  It was obvious that both boys were having a hard time falling asleep after the emotional evening.  I told the boys what the Holy Spirit had pressed upon my heart.  I told them that most often, when we need God’s kindness the most is when we deserve it the least.  We had obviously had a rough night, but what we all needed was a little grace, love, mercy, and some kindness.

So, here I sit, typing away.  I’ve got one boy curled into his sleeping bag on the right side of my bed.  The other is sprawled across the top of his sleeping bag at the foot of my bed.  My heart is full as I reflect on the pretty good day that we had.  We definitely had a few hard moments, but, those few hard moments allowed us all to be reminded of the grace, love, and mercy that is always there waiting for us.  Those moments reminded me of God’s continual kindness that draws me to repentance.  Those moments, the words of my sweet boy, and the Holy Spirit,  taught me a lesson tonight that I hope sticks with me for a long while.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 

 


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Here it is.  This is what you have waited for your whole life.  Permission.  Permission to breathe.

This is the first post Funk blog entry, and there is something that I’ve really wanted to share with you.  I think the reason that it weighs so heavy on my heart, is because it is something that I needed to be reminded of as much as I needed to write it.

We don’t keep the world spinning.  We don’t run the show.  We are not responsible for everything nor do we need to be.

Whew!  What a relief that is!  Do you feel the weight lifted?  Can you breathe a little easier?

We have permission to put the brakes on when life gets a little too crazy and make a space to just breathe.  It is absolutely ok for us to take a moment to stop and settle ourselves.  Even if the world around us is running at full speed, which it always seems to do, we can break from the race and catch our breath.  Even if it feels like we are drowning under the weight of to dos and expectations.  We don’t have to stay on the hamster wheel and run.  We can hop off and pause for just a moment.

We have permission to breathe.

In that space, that pause, you and I have permission to call out to our loving Father and to ask, to question, to struggle, to wrestle, to rest, to be weak, and to just let it all go for a moment.  In life, so often it seems like we have to be so strong, but not with our God.  He is strong for us when we are weak.  He’s got our backs.  We have permission to crawl into the lap of our loving Father and lay our head on his chest and rest in his love, strength, care, and provision.  He will keep the world spinning while we just catch our breath and refocus ourselves.

He’s got us.  He’s got this.

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When we take that moment, when we allow ourselves the chance to break the cycle of constant motion, we are often worried that we will lose out.  We might get behind.  We might miss out on something.  We may not look like we have it all together.  We worry that if we don’t keep the world spinning, it might tilt right off its’ axis.

And sometimes, we run ourselves ragged trying to keep up.

That’s not God’s plan for us.  He wants us to come to Him with our burdens and our loads.  When we feel like the weight of things is getting too heavy, he wants us to Him and hand it over to Him.  He doesn’t want us to weary ourselves trying to bear everything alone.

And when we do that, the opposite of what we worry about happening actually happens.  When we hit pause and take a moment or two to stop the striving, we don’t fall behind.  We don’t miss out.  Instead, we are refreshed.  We are strengthened.  We are renewed.  We pause and take that time to renew ourselves through him and then we have the ability to jump back into life ready for the marathon.  We have the energy for the long haul now instead of wearying ourselves in the sprint.

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So, sweet friend, there it is.  There is your permission.  When it all gets to be a tad too much, allow yourself the grace to just take a moment.  Pause.  Climb up in your Heavenly Father’s lap and turn it over to Him.  Ask Him for what you need to keep running.  When you’ve received your full share, hop back in and finish strong.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Have you ever been in a funk that you just couldn’t seem to get out of?  I’ve spent the last several weeks in a fog that just hasn’t seemed to want to lift.  I’ve had some little health stuff going on and had to have a couple of little medical procedures done.  There are a few more little procedures on the horizon as well.  This has all left me feeling just plain worn out physically, but it has all left me feeling emotionally spent as well.

Have you been there?  Maybe it wasn’t a health related issue.  Maybe it was a relationship issue, a work issue, or just circumstances in your life that had you in that funk.  Whatever it is that put you there, Funkytown is really not a great place to visit and it’s even worse to settle in and dwell there a while.

And that’s what I was doing.  I was dwelling.

I was totally content to just sit in that foggy, hazy Funkytown and dwell there.

Last week I started to realize just what I was doing.  I started to realize that I had set up shop in Funkytown and gotten pretty comfortable there.  (Really folks, it shouldn’t have taken me so long to see the error in my ways.  A couple of weeks in, I went 8 days without putting on real clothes or leaving my house.  Which felt glorious at the time, but, looking back, might have been a tad much.  Not to mention that I binge watched a ridiculous amount of Netflix.  Which also felt glorious at the time, but wasn’t even remotely productive and kept me from doing the things I should have been doing.)

I knew I needed to pack it up and leave Funkytown, but it was just so comfortable there.  So, I did the only thing I knew to do to make a change.  I went back to God’s word and prayer because they are the things that have always brought me stability, strength, conviction, and  encouragement. I moved off the couch and back into my regular Bible study and prayer time (which had been mostly set aside for Netflix and naps).

And in his usual, glorious way, when I started moving back towards Jesus, there he was, just waiting for me.  Arms open.  Ready to draw me closer.

This morning, while I was reading my Bible, I came across something beautiful.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables about someone being separated from something and diligently seeking it until it is found and restored to its’ rightful place.  He tells of a shepherd who lost one sheep out of a flock of one hundred, yet the shepherd left the others and went after the lost sheep to bring it back into the fold.  Next he tells of a woman who lost a silver coin and turns her house upside down to find it and add it back into her purse.  Then he tells the story of the prodigal son who left his father and lived a wild lifestyle, only to be brought low and return to the father seeking mercy.  The father lovingly welcomes the son back and restores him to a place of honor.

And God’s word remind us that He does that for us.

Separation.  Seeking.  Restoration.  It is kind of His thing.

I know these parables speak of Jesus seeking the lost, but today when I read these they had new applications for me.  Today they reminded me that no matter how discouraged I feel, or how deep into a funk I am, I’m never far from Jesus’ love.  When I feel discouraged and distant, he is right there seeking my heart and waiting for my return.  He diligently longs for me and doesn’t want me to be separated from him.  Just like the wandering sheep, the lost coin, and the wayward son, when I am separated from him, he is seeking me and wants my restoration.

So, today those parables have a new meaning because today the fog is rolling away a little and I’m leaving Funkytown behind.    (Not that I’m giving up naps and Netflix, people.  That would just be plain silly.  I will how ever be enjoying them in much greater moderation than I have been over the last several weeks. )  If you need me, you can find me back at the feet of Jesus.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


 

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I’ve been sick all week.  I don’t like to use the F word, but this feels an awfully lot like… the FLU.  I have turned my living room into my school room/office and have taken up residence on my couch for the last 4 days.  All school work and regular work has been conducted from this place that is adequately stocked with tissues, hot tea, cold medicine, blankets, and pillows.  It has been my little refuge and I’ve been very grateful for a comfortable place to ride out this yucky virus.

This could be the Day-Quil or maybe even the fever talking, but God has been speaking a specific verse to me this week that I wanted to share with you.  It involves birds and penguins and couches, so give me a little grace and mercy here.  Maybe I should warn you that I’ve taken cold medicine and have a little fever.

Each morning, as part of our homeschool curriculum, my kids do some copy work form the Bible.  Monday morning, when I was feeling particularly cruddy, our verse to copy was Psalm 91:4a.  From my little alcove on the couch, I read aloud,

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge…”

My oldest son was particularly interested in this verse and it started a pretty great conversation about the character and qualities of God.  That is one of the things that I cherish about homeschooling.  I love the way when something peaks our interest, we can take the time to delve into it.  On Monday, we took the time to do just that.

I shared a story with my kids that I remember hearing somewhere years ago.  It isn’t really Biblical, and probably not even factual, but I love the way that it illustrates this verse.  Because I was delirious with fever, I even acted it out for them.  You can imagine that as you read the story, if you would like.

Here goes.

A mama bird was in the forest when a forest fire broke out.  Her little babies were not big enough to fly yet and she knew they were not fast enough to get away from the fire.  The mama feared for her babies lives.  As the fire got closer the mama saw her only chance of saving her precious babies.  She opened her wings and crouched low to the ground and welcomed them under her feathers.  She gathered them tightly into her and wrapped them in the shelter of her wings.  The fire swept rapidly through the forest and the mama fell victim to the flames.  As the firemen came to put out the fire they saw the mama bird crouched there and heard a muffled noise.  The firemen picked up the mama bird and the babies were still there, unharmed, wrapped in the protective shelter of her wings.

I can’t remember where I heard this.  I’m not even sure it is possible.  But I love illustration that it provides.  Pretend with me for a moment, that it is possible.  Can you imagine being that baby bird?  As the fire rages and the world is in chaos, you are safely tucked in a place of refuge.

My oldest was a little skeptical about this story.  Wouldn’t the babies die too?  Why didn’t they all burn up?  Maybe.  I’m not really sure.  I hated to leave him questioning, but God, in His very cool, God like way, gave us another example yesterday.  I love when He comes through for me in those little ways that build up my faith and the faith of my kiddos.

You see, unfortunately, Sunday and Monday were just a little introduction to yuckiness that I was feeling.  Yesterday I felt awful.  In sheer desperation for some quietness, I turned to my very favorite substitute teacher, Amazon Prime.  We are studying zoology this year for Science, and the video, March of The Penguins, would not only tie in perfectly, it would give me an hour and twenty minutes of quiet.

God used this very interesting movie to illustrate this verse again for me and for my boys.  He gave us a perfect example of a real life scenario of the mama bid and the baby birds.  Penguin mamas lay one egg a year and then must rush off to get food.  The Daddy penguin is responsible for caring for the very delicate egg in the harsh Artic winter for months.  To do this, he sets the egg down on top of his claws and tucks it underneath of his tummy.  He snuggles down on top of it to completely envelop it IN THE SHELTER OF HIS FEATHERS.  As the ragged winter rages on and the artic winds blow, the Daddy penguin safely shields the egg from the cold and the storms.  His feathers trap in enough heat to keep the egg warm and they also provide protection against the elements.  His protective feathers keep the egg alive and safe so that it can hatch in the spring.

My boys and I discussed this and talked about how God is that place of refuge for us.  I compared it to my little sick bed that I had set up in the living room.  It was my place of comfort in the chaos of sickness.  It had everything that I needed and was a place that I felt safe and cared for.  Tucked away there, being sick wasn’t so bad.

As I explained to my boys, this world is a crazy place filled with chaos.  Fires tear through.  Cold winds blow.  Storms rage on.  But, Psalm 91:4 says that in the midst of all of the things that happen around us, God wraps us in his wings to offer us refuge and protection and shelter.  He is our calm in the storm.  He is our shelter from the forces that could harm us.  He is that comfortable, safe place to find rest.

When life gets a little crazy, we have the opportunity to be like those little baby birds.  God, like that mama bird, opens his wings to welcome us into His protection and provision, but we must go there.  We must be like that little penguin egg and stay nestled under our Father’s protective embrace.  He promises to be our place of peace, provision, protection, and comfort if we rest in Him.

So, maybe it is the Day-Quil or maybe it is the fever, but I can totally relate to the little egg and the baby birds.  I love knowing that my God offers me a refuge.  When I face trail and chaos in this life, I run into the open arms of my Father.  I look to him to provide that place of shelter and protection.  I look to Him to lovingly care for me, and I don’t fear because I’m nestled safely under his wings.

Love and Blessings,

Bobbie


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I’m a home school mama. (Yes, that’s me in all my yoga panted, head banded, hoodied glory on a typical day.)   I have two sweet, wild, chaotic boys that I am beyond blessed to spend my days with.  Every Day. I love it.  Really, I do.   But, can I be honest, just like any other job, sometimes it is HARD WORK!

These boys refine me and test me and try me.  They challenge me and make me a better person, a better mom, and a better Child of God.  They question me… about EVERYTHING… and make me really think about things.  They stretch my patience to the limits.  They make me laugh and sometimes they even make me cry, because being a mama is a tough job!

Can I be honest again?  Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it right and if it’s worth all the effort.  I know I fail a lot.  I know I get a lot right too.  I hope that the scales balance and that these boys get the best I have to offer more often than not.  These challenging and amazing fellas have been trusted to me by my Father and I desperately want to do right by them and by Him, so I just keep pressing on and praying hard and leaning on God for my strength.

But did I mention that it is hard work?

Things that matter typically are hard work!  Things that are meaningful take a lot of effort. They are difficult because they are shaping us, growing us, and challenging us to be and do better.  They require us to lean into Him for encouragement, support, and help.  I think that is kind of the point.

Do you know what I just love though?

When things get tough and I get weary and begin to question myself,  it is just like my loving Father to send me a little “hang in there girl, you’re on the right track” message.  He did that this morning.  (He does it a lot, but sometimes I’m too caught up in the craziness to notice.)

I was sitting at my usual morning spot, reading my Bible and writing out a verse in my journal that spoke to me, Zechariah 13:9 ironically enough, when my sweet 9 year old walked in with his Bible and sat down beside me and began reading from his.  He didn’t interrupt me.  I got a quick smile from this dimpled cheeked, bed headed cutie and he opened God’s word and dove in.  It was just what I needed this morning to give me that boost to keep on keeping on!

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Zechariah 13:9 “And I will put this third into the fire,and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them.  I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

So today, whatever it is that you are pushing through, whatever work God has called you to be faithful to; I just wanted to give you a little encouragement.  It can be tough.  It can make you weary and you may question yourself.  It is hard work and it is suppose to be.

Hang in there.  You’re on the right track.  Keep your eyes open for little messages of encouragement from God.  Keep on keeping on because he is refining you, growing you, stretching you, shaping you, and teaching you to lean into Him.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 


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Good morning friends!

This morning I was reading out of the book of Daniel and a sweet little nugget of truth just jumped out at me!  It was an encouragement to me and I wanted to share it with you.

Daniel 3 is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Most people are familiar with the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, the big golden idol he created, and three Jewish  friends who refused to bow down and worship it.  Most people are also familiar with the story of how the King threw these three into the firey furnace and a fourth man with the appearance  of “a son of the gods” delivered them from the fire with out even the smell of smoke on them or a hair on their bodies singed.

I love this story for so many reasons, but this morning I thought about it a little differently.  This morning my heart picked up on the important message that God is showing us about the value and influence of good and Godly friends.

These three men stood strong and untied against a King who wanted them to renounce their God.  Their lives were at stake, yet together, they had the courage to stand up for right and truth.  We have so much power when we join together with other believers. Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  He definitely  showed up for these three friends!

One of our greatest and most underused weapons are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  They are our adversaries who should come along side of us and encourage us to stand strong.  Together, we can have such a beautiful influence for God’s kingdom.

Just look at what happened when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood together.  They changed the heart of one of the most powerful kings ever.  Their influence was amazing!  Daniel 3:28 says, “Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

This morning I am so thankful for the community of believers that God has put me in. They lift me up, strengthen me, encourage me to stand strong for Jesus, no matter what is going on in this world.  If we all looked at ways to do that for one another, we could be a powerful influence for the kingdom!

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


 

imageI’m a little bit of a country girl at heart.  We always had some type of livestock that we were raising when I was a kid living at home.  I can remember having cows, hogs, chickens, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, and more.  I grew up in the country where raising and caring for animals just kind of came with the territory.

We never owned sheep, that I can remember, but I imagine it is much like owning other livestock.  When you are responsible for the care and well being of livestock, they are completely dependent on you for all of their needs.

I can remember my Dad and my brother getting up early and going out to feed and water in the mornings before school.  Before dinner, they would make another round to tend and care for whatever animals my dad was interested in raising at the time.  (Side note on my dad:  He liked to hop around from one animal to the next depending on the year.  One year he might raise hogs.  One year he wanted cows.  We almost always had horses, mules, and chickens.  We even had a little pot bellied pig that lived in the house until it ran away!  But I digress.)

The animals required continual attention for their provision and their protection.  They depended on my dad and my brother for every aspect of their care and well being.

This morning I was reading in Ezekiel.  Most of chapter 34 is written to Ezekiel telling him to speak to Isreal and remind them that they are God’s sheep and He is their shepherd.  Much like my dad and brother (and even more so since my dad was a little wishy-washy as a farmer) a shepherd’s priority is provision and protection for his sheep.  God was judging those people who had led His sheep astray and was telling them that He would be their good shepherd and was giving them a promise for their future.

I just selected a few verses from This chapter to give you an idea of what God is saying here:

Ezekiel 34:4, 11-12, 16, 31 “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.”  “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”  “You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Wow!  I was a little overcome as I remembered my dad and my brother chipping away ice from the horse trough on a frigid winter day, or cleaning the barn in the brutal heat on a humid summer day.  No matter the conditions, with no regard for their own comfort, they cared and tended their animals.  Because that’s what a farmer and a shepherd do.  They provide care for the livestock in their possession.  How much more so will our good shepherd care for us?!?

Father God,

Thank you for being the good shepherd.  Thank you for understanding that I’m a little sheep easily led astray and prone to wander.  Thank you for your loving guidance, your tender care, and your divine provision and protection.  Help me to trust you more and to fully rely on you as my shepherd.  Help me not to stray, but to stay safely by your side.  Father, I look to you for my needs.  I know that your love for me is true.  You truly are the good shepherd and I’m so thankful to be a sheep in your pasture!”

Amen!

Blessings and Love,

Bobbie

 


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I saw this quote floating around on the Internet and I loved it for so many reasons.  A blank page, depending on your view point, can be a cage to imprison you or wings to give you your freedom.

I love to write so I’m pretty familiar with the feeling of sitting down and opening up to a blank page.  Honestly, sometimes, I can let that page tie me up and hold me hostage.  It can be a little intimidating.  There it sits, a wide open space, just waiting for me to fill it with whatever I chose.  That blank page can be scary if I start to wonder what people will think about me and what I write.  I can let their opinions shape the words I’m putting on the paper.  I can start to feel insecure and limited.

The pressure to make this blank space into something worthwhile and beautiful can weigh on me as well. I want to be relevant and encouraging. I want to show love and character.  I want my words and the use of this page to matter.  That beautiful blank page can become like a cage to imprison me, if I let it.

Or I can shift my perspective.

I can look at that beautiful blank page as wings to give me freedom.  That blank page is mine.  I can dream, hope, think, process, and connect with people through that page.  I can shake off the insecurities and the fears.  I can kick aside the expectations.  And I can just write about the things that I hold dear.  I can express myself and enjoy the freedom that comes from just putting pen to paper.

Each time I open up my notebook to a fresh, new, blank page; I get to make the choice as to which perspective I will view it through.  In 2016, I choose to fill my blank pages with the murmurings of my heart.  I choose to not be improsioned by my own or someone else’s thoughts.  I choose to use the blank pages as wings to fly!

Love and blessings!

Bobbie


Last week was one of those weeks that just left me reeling in exhaustion and emotion.  Have you had those?  Those are the weeks where, when they draw to a close, we look back and think ‘How on Earth did I just make it through all of that?’  Everyone has those weeks, where you are pretty sure the world has slipped off of its center and everything feels a little wonky.

I hesitate to lay out the details because I know that some of you walked through weeks that were so much more difficult than mine.  However, because I really want you to see what God is working on in me, I want to share some things with you.

I am just starting to get over a bout with pneumonia.  Pneumonia is no joke.  I felt awful and so run down all of last week.  Some of that still lingers into this week.  Along with all of that, my grandpa, whom I’ve been in charge of caring for the last several years, is on hospice in the nursing home.  He’s battled Parkinson’s Disease and Dimentia for a long time and took a turn for the worse about 2 months ago.  It’s been a very long battle and has been so very heartbreaking to watch.

Just to make things a tad more interesting, all of this is happening on the same week that my Dad went into the hospital last year.  The one year anniversary of his passing is this coming Saturday.  That alone has been a very hard milestone to approach.  The emotion and the memories that just hit me out of the clear blue have been enough to knock me clean off of my feet at times.

Needless to say, I’ve been a walking train wreck on the inside all week.  I’m physically feeling sick and worn and emotionally feeling very raw.  I’ve been trying very hard to take care of my family, move past my own health stuff, and be there with my grandpa.  I’ve been trying to keep everything running smoothly.  On the outside, things probably didn’t look too bad, but on the inside I was a mess.

The results haven’t been pretty friends.  And would you like to know why?  Because I was trying to do it in my own strength and for my own benefit.  I was wearing myself into a frazzle trying to keep everything from falling apart all around me while keeping a smile firmly etched into place, because that’s what we think we are suppose to do.

Can I just be honest?  That’s an exhausting game to play.

Yesterday, I went to church and then came home and watched my boys decorate our Christmas tree.  When that was over, I packed my bag to go spend the rest of the day and evening with my Grandpa, by myself.  When I got into the car, I realized how tired I was, so I put on a podcast by Francis Chan to keep me awake and alert while I was driving.  It was so good.  I love when God just gives you this little random thought, like ‘maybe I will listen to this to stay awake’ and it turns out to be exactly what you really need to hear.  He’s good like that.

Anyway,  Francis Chan was speaking at a retreat for leaders in the church and asking them to quit trying to be something that they are not.  He was asking them to lay aside their phony facades of perfection and be real with their people.  He was calling them into transparency and authenticity because sharing our struggles is one of the most sure fire ways to help someone feel like they aren’t alone in theirs.  Not only that, but it shifts our perspective from one of ‘I must do all and be all’ to one of ‘God help me’.

It was just what I needed to hear.  I had been running myself into the ground all week desperately trying to keep everything around me from plunging into chaos.  I hadn’t asked for much help and hadn’t wanted to even admit how difficult the week had been.

So, last night when I pulled into the nursing home, I picked up my Grandpa’s hand and opened my Bible and gathered as much wisdom, peace, love, strength, direction, correction, and inspiration as I could find. When my Grandpa’s sweet nurse came in and asked how I was doing, I fell apart a little and told her how hard it was to watch this, especially after I sat in this same place exactly one year ago.  I readily accepted her hug and words of comfort.  I reached out to my personal friends and some of my sweet friends on Facebook and asked for prayers for comfort for my Grandpa and peace and strength for myself, and they responded in ways that bring tears to my eyes.  I came home and crawled into bed and was graceful to myself by letting myself sleep in a little later this morning because my body desperately needs the rest.  I’ve allowed my self time to read my Bible, reflect, process, and write this morning because that is the way I feel most connected to God.  I let go of the ‘do all and be all’ and starting saying ‘God help me’.

The weight of perception can be crushing.  Trying to keep all of the plates spinning in this circus act can be utterly exhausting.  We often refuse to give ourselves grace and mercy.  We don’t want to take off the mask of perfection because it’s possible that people will see that we really don’t have it all together.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I DO NOT have it all together.  I never have.  I’m sure I probably never will.  BUT yesterday and again this morning, I was reading through Isaiah and was so encouraged that I DONT HAVE to have it all together because I serve a God who does.  He is the beginning and the end.  He is my protector, provider.  His plans have been laid since the foundation of the earth and He never fails to keep his promises.  He loves me.  He has this whole great big world, and even my little tiny existence in it, firmly in His grasp.

I have no idea why last week was so rough.  And it’s entirely likely that this week could be equally as difficult.  But I know the one who created the moon and the starts and knit me together.  He loves me and my grandpa.  All that happens in this world and in my life will ultimately bring Him glory.  I know that I don’t have to be perfect or understand His plans because He is perfect and His plans are perfect.  As much as I can, I’m going to rest in that this week when things get difficult. As much as I’m able, I’m going to leave my mask off and show that the only hope I have of making it through is by clinging to the one who loves me and has this all firmly in the palm of His hand.

Isaiah 43:2-3a, 4a

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…”


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Father God,

This world is hurting.  It is everywhere we turn.  This whole world is groaning and crying out for its Savior.  People are reeling with heartache and confusion.  Lord, in the midst of chaos, help us turn to you for the peace that passes all understanding.  Help us to look for your comfort. Let us diligently seek your hope.  Help us to continually turn to you for strength.

Father, in a world that’s gone haywire, help us to remember that you are our constant.  You are our rock.  You are our good Father.  You heal broken lives, broken people, and broken hearts.  God, you are creator, sustainer, and ruler of all.  Lord, God, you are sovereign.  You are strong and mighty.  You are righteous and kind.  You are holy.  You are just.  You are near to all who call on you.  You are faithful and true. You are judge and jury. You redeem and reconcile.  You pour out unmerited mercy and grace.  You are love.

We praise you for all that you are Lord.  We love you and we trust you.  We know that you watch over us.  You don’t rest Lord.  Your eyes are continually upon your children.  You are our shield, our fortress, and our protection.  You hide us in the cleft of the rock.  You hem us in, behind and before, and your hand is upon us.  You are our refuge.  You are everywhere.  There is no where that we can go that you aren’t present.  Let that be our comfort.

Lord, when this world is madness and confusion, we turn towards you as our strength, hope, and comfort.  Father, give us peace in our hearts and our minds.  God, only you can bring peace in our world.  Give us the peace that passes all understanding.

Amen

Encouraging words from His word:

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?

Psalm 141:8 But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge—leave me not defenseless.

Psalm 139:5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Psalm 144:1-2 Praise be to the Lord my Rock,who trains my hands for war,my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, (more…)


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Do you know what I just love?  I love authenticity.  I love it when what you see is exactly what you get.  I’m not a fan of false pretenses or underlying meaning.  I don’t really like fake.   I like to be able to take things at face value and trust that something or someone is who they claim to be.  I kind of just like people to be real.

Because of this love for all things genuine, I just adore Jen Hatmaker right now.  To be honest, I wasn’t really familiar with her until last week when a friend mentioned that they were reading her new book and loved it.  The friend quoted some of her work on a Facebook post, and I was immediately hooked. I could tell that she was the real deal!

I bought her book, For The Love, and I just LOVE it.  Jen is hilarious!  I actually woke up my son the other night because I was reading her book in the living room and was just laughing so hard.  Not only is she just really funny, she has a way of boldly and unashamedly  getting to the heart of a matter. Her manner is bold and brave but she is also very transparent and therefore very vulnerable.  She is a straight shooter and I very much appreciate that!

I think I love that quality so much because God is such a straight shooter in His word.  He pretty much just tells it like it is.  He gives us some clear direction and clear commands in His word.  There are things that He leaves mysterious because we cannot understand His ways, but when it is time to lay out expectations, He takes most of the guesswork out.

Not only is He clear, He is repetitive.  He knows that we need to hear things over and over for them to really sink in.  I’ve been reading through the Psalms over the last week and God keeps hammering in one clear message to me.  He used Jen Hatmaker’s book to reinforce that message.  Like I said, he like repetition.  He’s good like that.  He likes to give us the old one-two to really be sure we are getting what He has for us.

He repeatedly showed me this week that He wants to use US to deliver HIS message to OTHERS.  He calls US to sing His praise, to declare His goodness, to speak of His might, and tell of His works.  He calls US to think on Him and share our thoughts with our children and our families and our communities so that we can make Him known.

He calls US to extol Him.  I had to look that word up.  It appears in the book of Psalms a ton and I wasn’t really sure what it meant.  It means to lift something up and praise it highly.  All throughout the Psalms, we are called to praise and extol Him.

I don’t think that God is calling us to a passive thing.  I believe He is calling us to take bold action.  He is calling us to stand for Him and tell the truth of what He has done for us.  He wants us to use our story to show Him to others.  He has given us each a specific story to share.  We get to be the connection for people!  Wow!  That’s just plain crazy!  We have the privilege to introduce others to Him by sharing what He’s done for us.

Psalm 145: 4-7, 10-12 “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”

That’s kind of a big deal.  And it’s not a responsibility that we should take too lightly.  It is a privilege and an honor.  Can I be honest?  It’s also a little intimidating.  If I’m going to introduce people to Jesus, then I want the introduction to be a good one.  I want to share my story in a way that compels people.  I want to show other’s how much Jesus has done for me.  I want to share His goodness, love, mercy, and grace.  I want others to be drawn to His saving power like I was.  But, that requires a lot of bravery and a lot of courage.  It requires me to be authentic and real and vulnerable.

I can’t really tell you of His grace and mercy without telling you what He’s done for me.  I can’t show you how He unconditionally loves me if I’m unwilling to show you how often I’ve failed Him and how often He extends love to me in the midst of that.  I can’t really show you the power of His redemption unless you see how far He has brought me.  And I can’t really show His strength until I show you my utter dependence on Him.

To follow that call to praise Him and extol Him and declare His works, we must be uncommonly brave and bold.  We have to be willing to share.  And it’s scary because being vulnerable is hard.  It’s hard to just put ourselves out there for the world to see because the world can sometimes be a harsh and judgmental place.  But there is also a lot of love and grace and mercy there.  And there is freedom in the sharing because our boldness not only gives glory to God, it breaks down our own walls and it gives courage to others.

My favorite quote from Jen Hatmaker’s book addresses this specific thing.  She talks about telling our truth to the world regardless of our hesitations.  She says, “Just tell the truth because it sets us free.  This first domino unleashes a chain reaction of liberation.  If we tell the truth in the small things, our honesty is well-practiced when stuff gets dire.  This creates a sincere community for which the earth is starving.  In a world full of the fake, artificial, pretend, and superficial, we have the sustenance to nourish starving hearts.  I promise to be gentle with your truth-telling, and you’ve already demonstrated tenderness with mine.  And as we witness this beautiful community, we aren’t just observing vulnerability but rather chains breaking, darkness receding, victory rising.  We are watching the light win truth by truth, and when enough bright places are created, the dark has no where else to hide.  Show up.  Be seen.  Tell the truth.  Be free.”

I seriously love that!  What a bold deceleration of our responsibility to share our story and to be the ones pointing others to Jesus!  This morning I prayed for a renewed boldness and strength to stand for Him.  I prayed that He would give me the courage to be authentic and to share.  I’m praying that for you too.  I’m praying that we all will take Jen’s challenge To Show Up.  To Be Seen.  To Tell The Truth.  And To Be Free.  After all, I think God calls us to the same thing.  Let’s Extol Him.  Praise Him.  And Declare His Greatness.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Alright.  I’m warning you all in advance.  This post makes it sound a little bit like I’ve gone off the deep end.  That’s my early disclaimer.  You’ve been warned.

I didn’t grow up in church.  Matter of fact, I didn’t come to have a relationship with Christ until I was an adult.  I can vividly remember going to church every once in a while with my aunt when I was a kid and being more that a little intimidated by those people who were obviously sold out Christians.  They quoted God’s word.  They prayed loud and proud.  They praised unashamedly.  Their lives were obviously different.  I can’t even put my finger on it, but something about them was obviously different.  It was totally weird to me and a little scary.

Even after I had come to know Christ in my 20’s, that fully sold out approach to believing was a little strange to me.  I loved Jesus and was so thankful that He bore my sin and shame.  I gladly accepted His gift of salvation and did my best to repent and turn from sin.  I made some major changes to my life because I wanted to please my Heavenly Father.  But still.  Those fully sold out Christians weirded me out a little.  I wanted to love Jesus, but maybe not with everything I had.  I wanted to be set apart, but maybe not really far apart.  I didn’t want to just go totally off the deep end!

It has been roughly 14 years since I became a Christian.  And can I be really honest, here?  Up until recently (like really recently), those all in Christians still kind of weirded me out.  They intimidated me.  I just could not grasp how they could just live and love and praise and pray like they did.  It was uninhibited and bold.

But then something strange happened.  Maybe it’s the time that I’ve spent in my Bible lately.  As strange as it sounds, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with God’s word.  He draws me to it like a magnet.  Maybe it’s the amazing Sisters in Christ he has placed in my life who help point me to Him.  Maybe it’s the books that some of these friends have recommended.  Maybe it’s the time I’ve been able to spend engaged in small groups and in Church.  Maybe it is the powerful messages of healing and love from the retreat I attended this weekend.  Maybe it is that He has been at work in my heart for a very long time.  Maybe it’s the community (real life and on line) that I’m beyond blessed to be a part of.  Maybe it is that I’m finally getting out of my own way.  I’m not even sure exactly what the catalyst was that brought about the change, but I think I’m becoming one of them!  AND IT REALLY WEIRDS ME OUT!

What is even weirder though, is that it doesn’t really scare me anymore. Strike that.  That’s not entirely true.  It doesn’t scare me, but not as much as it use to.  It still scares me a little, but instead of seeing it as weird, I see it as absolutely beautiful.  And, oddly enough, I’m kind of excited about going off the deep end.

I can feel God calling me to go all in.  I can feel Him asking me to just close my eyes and not be afraid to jump off of the deep end.  Have you felt that?  (Please tell me I’m not the only one because then I’d have to really wonder if I am, in fact, a little weird.😉)

I can feel His tugging on my heart to fully commit to the life He has called me to.  I can feel His urging me to turn over the things that I’ve been hesitant to let go of.  He wants those things that I’ve held on to a little too tightly because it might be a little uncomfortable to let them go.  He is calling me to give him the hurt from my past, my stored up pain, my heart that’s been broken and mended, my time that I want to keep for myself, my present and the things I give myself to, my future and my plans.  Really, I can feel Him asking for my all.  And even though it may seem a little like going off the deep end, I’m going to just willingly hand it over.

Because, I’ve not really done a great job managing those things all by myself.  Matter of fact, I’m kind of a hot mess.  If you get a grade for trying, then I’m an A+ student.  However, as far as performance goes, I’m more than a little lacking.  I still let my past tangle me up.  I still let this tattered heart lead me in more decisions than it should.  I still guard my time and my plans like they are my own to control.  I still cling to my own visions for my future.  And that’s ok.  Because God works at His own pace in each of our lives.  Obviously, He knows I’m a slow learner and more than a little stubborn since I’m still very much a work in progress after 14 years.  That’s what grace and mercy are for.  So, as much as possible, I’m going to get out of the way and let Him have control.

Are you there too?  Are you feeling Him lead you just a little out of your comfort zone?  Is He calling you to step out of the norm?

It’s ok.  Just jump with me.  He’s trustworthy.  He’s faithful.  He’s good.  He’s true.  He’s strong and powerful and Holy.  He loves us.  He has plans for us.  He’s big enough to catch us.  He’s great enough to lead us.  He won’t fail us.  He’s got this even if we don’t.

So, weird or not, I’m going all in.  See you in the deep end!

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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One of my favorite weekends of the entire year has come and gone.  The Inspire Heart Retreat always seems to rush past me in a blur of emotion and activity.  It drew to an end way before I was ready to let the messages and the images from those sweet days leave my thoughts.

I have spent any quiet moments that I could claim today just sitting and reflecting.  I let the images from this weekend run through my mind like an old film reel.  I closed my eyes and remembered the feelings and let them sink deep into my heart.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable throughout our praise and worship time.  It engulfed me.  With a heart full and hands raised, I closed my eyes and let my voice join in with the sound of over two hundred women raising their voices to praise our Savior.

Our speaker, Nicole Johnson, delivered messages that were like a balm to the aches in my heart!  My eyes were continually brimming with tears of laughter, tears of brokenness, and tears of healing.  Her authenticity was refreshing.  Her willingness to join into our little community and minister was inspiring.  Her ability to point out our need for God’s healing and His love in the broken and hurting areas of our lives was just simply beautiful.  I could feel my Father calling out to me through her words.

The entire weekend was just enveloped in Christ’s love, grace, and mercy.  I got teary eyed as I moved throughout the weekend and caught glimpses of His pure love in action.  Going though the foyer, I glanced out the glass of the front doors and saw two friends huddled close and deep in conversation.  On my way down the stairs I watched a group of ladies sitting cozily in arm chairs sipping coffee and sharing their lives.  In the kitchen I saw our speaker bowed in prayer over a tearful woman.  During one of the messages I looked to my left and saw a woman protectively place an arm around the shoulders of her friend as she wept.  I watched friends taking selfies to capture cherished moments together. I witnesssed women giggling with each other over a meal.  I saw strangers becoming friends during a game.  I saw women standing in unity during an ice breaker game and realizing that we have so much more in common than we think.  I listened to women talk about staying up late into the night with friends and sharing their hearts.

Everywehere I looked this weekend, I saw examples of the kind of real, authentic connections that we all long for.  I saw women showing each other Christ’s love, mercy, and grace.   The walls that we, as women, tend to put up were crumbling because of all of the love shown in that place.  That kind of love only comes because of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He knit our hearts together all weekend long.  He forged new friendship and strengthened old ones.  He filled our hearts with love and He reminded us that when our focus is on Him, we can be vessels of love.  He healed broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships.  He encouraged and strengthened us.  He gave us faith in the power of our supernatural sisterhood.

Nichole Johnson used her last message of the weekend to talk a little bit about the separation anxiety that she gets as these types of events come to a close.  That resonated deeply with me.  I hated to see our Heart Retreat weekend come to a close.  I knew that the moment that I stepped back into the busyness of real life, I would miss that sense of being enveloped in such a loving community of women.  I would miss those intimate times spent engulfed in Christ’s presence.  And I would miss the times that I simultaneously spilled tears of laughter, brokenness, and healing.

This morning was a little bittersweet when I woke up in my own bed.  I was so grateful to be back at home with my family.  It was wonderful to wake up to my husband and my boys and to jump back into the frenzy of everyday life.  However, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the beauty of the weekend, so I sat down and I journaled.

I wrote down some of the things I learned about myself and my Savior this weekend.  I acknowledged the areas where I felt the Holy Spirit’s stirring.  I poured out my brokenness and described how He administered healing.  I confirmed some of the decisions that I had made.  I put all of those beautiful memories down on paper so that I could reflect on them and store them away like the treasures they are.  I didn’t want to forget.  I wanted to hold onto those sweet memories as long as possible so I wrote every single one of them down.

I built myself a little memorial with words.  My journal is now a place where I can go to remember the work that Christ did in my life this weekend.  I can look there and let those feelings be stirred any time I need a little rekindling. I can return to it when I need the encouragement that these memories will provide.  I can go there and be reminded of His love when I am discouraged or hurting or just apathetic.

When we have those types of beautiful encounters with one another and with God, we need to be able to go back and look at them and remember.   All throughout the Old Testament, men of God built alters to remind themselves of the work that God did.  Often they returned to these alters to worship God for what He had done in their lives, to remember, and to be encouraged.

I challenge you to do the same.  Build a little alter with your words.  Create a way to remember the work God did in your life this weekend.  Create a way to hang onto those sweet memories.  While they are still fresh in your minds and in your hearts, I encourage you to write them down. Process through the events, the memories, and the feelings from those precious times with God and with His daughters.  Recall the sense of peace and love you felt when you rested in His presence.  Tuck them away like the little treasures they are and pull them out when you need encouragement.  When real life is roaring around you, let them be a reminder to you of a time when you felt totally engulfed in God’s love!

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Have you ever placed your trust in the wrong person or the wrong thing?  Have you ever been let down by someone or something?  I think we all have.  I’m pretty sure that at one time or another we have all experienced the pain of broken trust.

I know I have.  Even as a child, I learned the risk that comes with putting your trust in people.  I came from a divorced home and I would often sit, dressed and with an overnight bag in hand, waiting for my Daddy to come and pick me up.  Sometimes I’d wait for hours.  It was a hard lesson that taught me that sometimes people will let you down.  They often do not intend to.  My Daddy never really meant to cause hurt.  People are broken and flawed and sometimes react out of hurt or to protect themselves.  Sometimes, even with the best intentions and with love in their hearts, they fail you.  As Christains, we are called to forgive and to continue to act in love regardless.

We’ve all had friends that have failed us.  Maybe a confidence has been breached.  Maybe you’ve been betrayed.  Even the truest friend isn’t infallible.  People simply can’t be perfect.  We understand that basic fact of human nature and we forgive and move forward in love.

Maybe it’s a spouse that has broken your trust.  Marriage is hard, friends.  When two flawed people come together, there is bound to be some difficulties.  Even the strongest and most loving marriages have experienced some level of hurt.

I adore my husband.  He is one of the best men I’ve ever met. He is so kind and caring and compassionate.  He is so forgiving and so loving.  He is generous beyond belief.  However, our marriage has been littered with issues that involve hurt or broken trusts.  Every marriage is to one degree or another.  We’ve both made mistakes and we have both caused hurt.  Regardless, of the challenges that we faced, we embrace our Christian duty to forgive, to be united, and to daily walk forward in love.

Just maybe, it is your own self that you don’t trust.  There may be some thing that you are struggling with that has caused you to be the one who breaks trusts or causes hurt.  Hurting people sometimes hurt people.  It’s often unintentional.  I know I’ve been guilty of this.  I know that I’ve acted out of pain in a way that has caused hurt to people that I love.  But I also know that God can forgive, redeem, and restore.

Here is where all of this gloom and doom takes a beautiful turn for the better.  People will fail us.  We will even fail ourselves.   It is a given.  We are sinful people in this flesh.  However, that doesn’t mean that we should ever become hard hearted.  We should never allow bitterness or unforgiveness to take root in our hearts or in our relationships.  We should always seek forgiveness, restoration, and love.

Our hope doesn’t lie in people.  Our hope lies in a God who is powerful enough to walk us through any hurt or broken trust that we may face.  He is who we look to.  We know people will fail us, but we know that God never will.

Psalm 62:8

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

If you are in that place where your trust has been broken or your heart is hurting, look to the one who takes brokenness and makes it beautiful.  Pour our your heart to him.  Let Him be your refuge.  He has the power to forgive.  He gives the power to forgive.  He has the power to redeem and restore.  He has the power to change hearts and minds.  He specializes in taking situations and people that seem too far gone, and turning them in to a beacon of hope.  He is trust worthy.

He does that in each and every one of us when we trust in him for salvation.  He promises that if we call out to him in our brokenness, ask him for forgivenness, repent, believe in Jesus, trust in His name, and follow him; he will save us from death and hell.  If He has the power to save our souls, He has the power to redeem any situation or relationship here on earth.

He is worthy of trust.  He is strong and mighty.  He is good.  He is forgiving and loving.  He is merciful and full of grace.  He is the God who redeems and restores.  He takes our brokenness and makes it beautiful.

And He desperately wants you to trust in Him.  First, He wants you to trust in Him for salvation.  After that, He wants you to realize that you can trust Him to redeem and restore other areas in your life as well.  He wants to heal broken hearts and broken relationships and broken people.

The verses leading up to Psalm 62:8 are a beautiful example of why we can trust him.  As you read these verses, meditate on them.  Remember His saving power.  Think about the fact that He is the only rest for our troubled souls.  Trust Him to redeem and restore.  Turn all of that brokenness over to Him.  Trust in Him to make it beautiful.

Psalm 62:5-8

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Today is Thoughtful Thursday at The Women In My World!  I want to use these days to give you something to read, watch, or listen to that will really cause you to pause and think about your relationship with God and your Christian walk.

Today, I’m thinking about thirst.  Have you ever been in that place where you are just thirsty for God?  This morning I was reading in Psalm 42:1-2 and I realized that the more God meets with me, the more I see Him moving in my life, the more I crave His presence.  It becomes like an unquenchable thirst.

Psalm 42:1-2 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?”

There are times in our lives when we know God is present but we do not physically feel Him or sense Him.  He seems quiet and distant.  But, because we know God’s character, we know that isn’t accurate.  We just aren’t as in tune with Him sometimes as we are at others.  In those times, we long to feel that divine connection to our Father and sometimes we chase after Him by filling our plate full of God things and hoping to impress Him.  We hope that by checking all of the God like items off of our to do list, we will please Him and He will want to connect with us.  That’s not how God operates.  God is not impressed by our to do lists.  He’s impressed by our focus on an authentic relationship with Him.  When we set aside all of our pretenses and truly seek a relationship with Him, above all else, He meets with us there.

I have been reading through, and co leading a small group, on the book Chasing God by Angie Smith. She tackles this issue in such a real and relatable way. (Plus she is just terribly cute and hilarious!  I adore her writing style and humor!).

She reminds us that often times, when we are thirsty for God we exhaust ourselves by doing all of the things that we think will allow us to catch God, instead of simply allowing ourselves to seek Him where He will most often be found.

Those times when we feel His arms of love wrapped around us, when we can literally feel Him guiding, protecting, and leading us, those are the times when we are meeting with Him in the way He calls us to.  He wants us to seek a relationship with Him instead of making our Christain walk about doing certain things, looking a certain way, and living a certain life.  He doesn’t want us to chase Him.  He wants a real relationship with us.  He seems to penetrate our thoughts and our daily activities in every way when connect with Him in prayer, His word, and an attitude of worship.  In those places, we will meet with Him in such a real and divine way!

Because I know what it feels like to physically feel His presence, I just don’t want to ever feel the distance come between us.  It’s like the psalmist writes.  My soul just thirsts for Him.  I want to feel His continued presence in my life and His hand upon me.

I’ve loved Angie Smith’s book, Chasing God.  It has helped me to take a look at my relationship with my Heavenly Father and to identify the areas where I’m involved in a relationship with Him and the areas where I am just chasing Him.  It has changed my quiet time, my prayer life, and my thoughts on my Christian life.  It is a must read if you’ve been in that place where you are doing everything that you think will make you a good Christian but you are missing out on that relationship and you are thirsting for him.

Think about it and grab a copy of this book. 🙂

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Yesterday was a hard day.  There is just so much sin and hurt in this fallen world.  There is so much pain. There is so much loss and grief and discouragement.  My heart aches for the brokenness that is so evident everywhere I look.  This whole earth is groaning and crying out for it’s Savior.

Do you see that too?  Do you see loved ones dealing with loss and grief?  Do you see sickness, pain, and suffering?  Do you see discouragement and hopelessness?  Do you see relationships falling apart and the scars left from that?  Maybe you are the one in the midst of all of the trials?  I’ve been there too.

I was confronted head on with all of this hurt in so many situations yesterday with several friends and loved ones dealing with very difficult tribulations.  My heart breaks a little with each situation.  And honestly, it’s easy to look around at all that is going on in this life and in this fallen world and get a little discouraged.  It’s tempting to turn my eyes away from God and get overwhelmed with the way sin and hurt is wrecking so much.

But, when I keep my eyes fixed firmly on my Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Friend, Father, Deliverer, Strongtower, and Help; I can see His mighty hand at work in the midst of each situation.  He is right there.  He is in the midst going to battle for us.  He is busy working in our most difficult circumstances to soften hard hearts, reconcile broken relationships, comfort the grieving, and draw the lost to Him.  He is hard at work uniting believers, encouraging the weary, giving hope, and strengthening us.  He is pouring out grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love in our most desperate times.  He is wrapping His arms of protection around us.

He is so good that when they enemy seeks to destroy, God is at work on our behalf to reconcile and redeem.  He uses the schemes of the enemy to draw us closer to Him and build our faith.  He is so Holy that He is moving in each trial to work it out for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.  His Love is so great that in the midst of our hardest battles, He provides comfort, peace, and joy.

As I sat this morning, reading in Psalms, I was reminded over and over again how God is with us through all that we face.  In case you are in that place, or in case you want to provide encouragement and direction for someone who is, I wanted to point out some scripture that really spoke to me today in my reading.

Psalm 25:15-17    “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.”

Psalm 25:4-6     “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.”

Psalm 27:1     “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 28:6-8     “Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 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. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”

Psalm 31:24     “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 32:7     “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 33:11     “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

He is there.  In the middle of all of the messes that we deal with, He is our hope.  I’m so thankful that He loves us that much.  We never face any situation on our own.  He goes with us, giving us strength, love, protection, power, peace, comfort, wisdom, grace and mercy through the journey.  Wow!  What a God we serve! (more…)


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I have been reading through the book of Psalms this week and I’m about to wear my highlighting pen out!  There is just so much truth and so much wisdom stored up in this book of the Bible.

This morning I ran across this little nugget of truth and my mind just kept going back to it.  Psalm 20:7-8 was just such a great reminder that I do not need anything else to trust in besides God.  I don’t need to do enough or be enough because my God is more than enough.

Psalm 20:7-8

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”

There are so many things that we tend to trust in.  Horses and chariots in that day symbolized power, strength, wealth, status, and success.  When war was upon a nation they often sought help from neighboring nations who had many chariots and horses.   Trusting in those things was trusting in all that a nation had been and had done.  It was trusting in their power, their strength, their wealth, their status, and their success.  Trusting horses and chariots was trusting in the physical instead of the spiritual.

When those hard times that we are in spiritual battle come to us, where do we seek our help from?  Sadly, sometimes I looks to the things that make me feel powerful, strong, and important.  I sometimes look to the chariots and the horses as my first help.  That’s a lot of pressure!  What if my chariots and horses aren’t enough?  What if I haven’t been enough or done enough?  What if those physical things I’m depending on aren’t strong enough?

Luckily, we aren’t called to trust in chariots and horses.  We don’t have to feel the pressure to be sure our physical things are enough.   My battle plan for overcoming the wars that I face should never hinge on those things.  God’s word says that those things will fail me.  They will make me fall and bring me to my knees.  Things have no real power to save us.  Only our Heavenly Father has the power to save us when we are in a battle.

Father, God, help us not to trust in horses and chariots or the power, strength, wealth, status, or success they symbolize.  Help us to remember that the only way that we will be able to rise up and stand firm is by trusting in you.  Father, we can’t trust in physical things to save us.  We can’t trust in ourselves and our own merit.  Lord, we don’t need to have enough or do enough or be enough because you are more than enough.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Life is complicated, isn’t it?

There is always so much going on.  There is so much to be and so much to do.  My to do list is long and my days seems short. I want to live life purposefully.  I want to follow God’s perfect plan for my life, but sometimes I get so caught up in the little mundane details of life, that I forget exactly what that purpose is.  And I don’t know if I ever got the plan.

Because surely there is a big purpose.  I know He has a plan.  Surely following God is more than these little steps I’ve been taking.  It is suppose to be filled with lots of really big leaps, isn’t it?

For weeks and even months, I’ve been praying for direction and a clear path in some things.  I’ve been diligently seeking God because I NEED to know what His specific plan for me is.  I’ve been praying and really studying His word because He is moving in my life right now and I really want to be on board.  I want to follow exactly where He is leading.  Except I’m not one hundred percent sure how that actually looks, or maybe even exactly what I’m suppose to be doing if I am on board.  I’m not even really sure exactly where He is taking me. It’s complicated.  You know?

I’ve got a lot going on, like most of us do, so I’ve really been praying for a big blinking neon sign to just point me to right where He needs me.  I’ve basically said to God, “You show me exactly where to go and tell me exactly what to do God, and I’m there!  I’m ready for some big leaps!  I’m your girl.  Just point me in the right direction!  Show me the plan, Lord, and let’s do this thing.”

But, I haven’t seen that big blinking neon sign.  He hasn’t exactly given me the plan.  I’ve had some leaps, but I’m not leaping all of the time.

Instead I’ve seen a lot of smaller (and yes, sometimes bigger) opportunities every day, in every moment, to make choices that honor Him.  I’ve had opportunities to trust and opportunities to praise.  I’ve had opportunities to seek Him.  I’ve been given choices to do my own thing or do things that would bring Him glory instead.

These steps aren’t huge.  Sometimes they aren’t even that big.  These steps are often just little steps of faith towards Him.  I’m definitely not always leaping.

Here is the crazy thing.   Here is the part I sometimes miss.  Looking back over these last weeks and months, even years, I have been walking the whole time.  I’ve been making progress.  Those steps have added up to a pretty decent walk of faith.

With each choice and every opportunity, I’ve been taking steps down His path.  There wasn’t a big blinking neon sign, but He still managed to point me down the path He’s chosen for me.  In those little steps, I’ve been walking down it without really even realizing it.

I’ve had opportunities to be a better wife, mom, friend, servant, and follower of Christ.  I probably haven’t always made the best choice, but for the most part, He’s been keeping me on track.  We’ve been walking along together and we’ve come a long way.

That shows me something.  That shows me that maybe following God isn’t always these big, huge leaps of faith.  Sometimes it is and that’s awesome.  I had a few of those moments and they are truly amazing!  Following God isn’t always that complicated.  More often that not, it seems like following God is the act of choosing to honor Him with each step along our journey.  It’s choosing to love Him, praise Him, glorify Him, and serve Him in the little moments, in the little choices, and in each step along the way.  It’s really pretty easy. (more…)


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Yesterday I told you how much I love the book of Esther.  Today I began the book of Job.  Can I be honest?  It’s one of those books that I’ve always struggled with.  I just don’t really understand it.  I’m not a big fan of reading about how my good and loving God allows one of His finest men to go through such an awful time.

I mean, God himself, tells Satan that there is no one on earth like Job who is blameless, upright, fears God, and shuns evil.  This guy got up every morning and offered a sin offering to God for his children just in case they had sinned or cursed God the day before.  Every day.  He was that good.

I’m not that good.  Not even close.

But God still allowed the enemy to attack Job.

I just really struggle with that.  Maybe because I know I can’t really compare to Job.

I understand that God is righteous and holy.  I also understand that every one, no matter how good they seem, can’t stand before our righteous God.  He is so holy that even our most honorable and good acts are like filthy rags in front of Him.

But he also loves His children with a fierce love.  He is graceful and merciful.  He is good.

I think that’s where I get a little stuck when I read Job.  I have a hard time reconciling those characteristics of God.

I know that the book of Job kind of rubs me the wrong way, so I really prayed for understanding this morning as I read it.  When I got to parts of the life of Job that trip me up, I paused to pray again.

This time, as I read through the first half of the book of Job, I noticed something that I’ve never really seen before and suddenly things shifted in my thought process.

I want to share this thought with you in case maybe you struggle to reconcile the holy, righteous, blameless God in the beginning of Job with the God of love, mercy, goodness, and grace that we enjoy reading about.

It’s just a thought.  It by no means, makes this awesome and powerful and incomprehensible God understandable, but it does point out a truth that really spoke to me today.

Job 9:32-35   “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.”

Poor Job lived during the Old Testament times.  Before Jesus.  He feared God and honored God.  He accepted God’s blessings as well as God’s curse because He understood that God is God. He is awesome.  He is mighty.  He knew he had no way to stand before a holy and righteous and just God and ask for anything.

Our sins separate us from Him.  Even our most righteous acts fail in comparison.  He is righteous.  He is just.  He is holy.  Job was pretty awesome, but he knew he couldn’t even begin to hold his head up in front of God. On our own, we really can’t either.

BUT JESUS

We have something that Job didn’t have.  Job didn’t have an intercessor to come between he and God to arbitrate on His behalf.  He sure wanted one.  Look at that verse again.  He didn’t have the blood of Jesus covering His sin, making him pure and blameless before God.  He didn’t have Jesus, friend of sinners, to lay his hand upon him and reconcile him with the Father like we do.  He didn’t have anyone to bridge the gap between him and the Father.

No wonder Job begged for his life to just be over.  He loved God and knew of His majesty and understood that there was nothing he could say or do to deserve God’s grace and mercy, just like there really isn’t anything we can do or say on our own.

The difference is Jesus.

Once we trust in Him for salvation, we can stand pure and righteous before God.  It doesn’t matter how filthy we were before, or how good.  Christ’s blood covers us.  He creates the bridge between us and God.

God is good and if you know the story of Job, you know God blessed his ending much more than his beginning.  He restored Job and all he had and blessed him greatly.  But Job went through such a time of despair and hurt and pain.  Although he knew God was there and with him in his trial and he never cursed him, he didn’t have the same comfort that we can have.  He  knew, just like us, he didn’t deserve God’s goodness at all and he accepted his trails because he understood how he compared to God.

We may have trials too.  God doesn’t promise us an easy life just because we’ve trusted Christ as our savior.  Trials still come.  Maybe you’re there.  Maybe you’re feeling a little like Job.  I’ve been there.  I’ve felt like my world is crashing down and I’ve been brought low.

BUT JESUS!

One thing that we have that poor, old Job never had is the hope, comfort, and friend that we have in Jesus.  He’s on our side.  He stands before the Father and pleads our case.  He makes us righteous and pure because his sinless blood is on our account.  He stands in the gap for us, while Job had no one to do that.  No wonder he was in such a place of despair!

I’m so comforted by this truth.  It brings me so much peace to know that when things get hard, I don’t have to be in that place of total and utter despair like Job.  I may not always have an easy time.  Let’s be real here, life just gets hard sometimes.  After all, the book of Job tells us that Satan is in this earth just roaming through it and going back and forth in it.  He’s a trouble maker.

But, we have the hope that our Jesus is working on our behalf to arbitrate between us and God.  He’s bridging the gap.  He has made a way for us to stand in front our righteous and just Father and receive love and goodness, mercy and grace, poured out in abundance.

Because of Jesus, we can have a hope that Job never had.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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My favorite book of the Bible is Esther.  I love the drama.  I love the story.  At the risk of sounding trite, Esther is a fantastic script with a twisting and turning plot, rich characters, deceit, love, betrayal, an underdog overcoming great odds, and a beautiful story of grace and mercy.  It’s a script that could only be written and directed by our mighty God, and produced in real life through his awesome power.

I love this biography of a young orphan girl, raised by her cousin, suddenly thrust into the palace with the chance to be a queen.  She must hide her identity because her people are looked down on.  She finds favor with everyone, including the king, and is made queen.  In the mean time,  her uncle saves the king’s life by uncovering a conspiracy to murder him.  Simultaneously, the King’s main advisor is planning genocide for the queen’s people but he doesn’t even know the queen is one of them.  It’s scandalous and the intensity is palpable!

In the face of her death and the death of her entire race, Queen Esther is warned by her cousin that she has two options.  She can choose to stand by, try to protect herself, say nothing, and allow her faithful God to send another deliverer for the Jews.  Or, she can rise to the occasion, and risk her own life for the chance to save her people.  It’s a nail biter!

All this intensity leads up to one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible.  I’m a sucker for a good plot, and when reading about these events in Esther’s life, I’m always on the edge of my seat.

“…and who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14b

Wow!  What a thought for Esther to ponder.  Her cousin Mordecai reminds her that God has been in charge of this scene from the opening act.  He loves His people and will deliver them with or without her.

But, Esther has the choice.  Will she just watch as God raises up a deliver from another place, or will she bravely step up and accept her divine calling.  After all, it’s quite possible that this one moment is the entire reason that God allowed her to become Queen.  Every detail, every event, has been leading up to this climactic choice.

Isn’t it amazing when you sit back and really think about it.  This is a true account from the Bible.  It’s not a script or a work of fiction.  God actually called this beautiful, young orphan girl into a royal position and gave her the awesome opportunity to provide deliverance for her entire race from complete genocide.

Now, maybe God isn’t calling you to something quite that intense.  Maybe it’s a smaller step of faith and obedience  in marriage, your career, or your ministry.  Who knows, maybe He is calling you to something monumental.  Regardless of the fork in the road that you are standing at, God does give us opportunities for Esther moments in our lives.  He brings us to a crossroads of sorts and allows us to choose which path to follow.  We can meekly sit back and allow God to find another person to fill the role that He has called us to.

Or we can boldly step out in faith and obedience.

We can choose to let our Esther moment become the defining scene of our story where we choose to follow God’s call regardless of the risk.  We can choose to bravely accept His plan and His will for our lives.

My prayer today is that we will each come to our Esther moments with purpose. We will gladly accept the challenge to follow where He leads.  We will step into our calling, whatever it may be, without hesitation because we trust that it has been His plan all along.

Esther did.

Imagine that moment I described earlier.  The ultimatum is given by Esther’s cousin.  She is forced with a heavy decision.  She can let God use her or watch someone else fill her divine calling.

Now picture yourself there instead.  The ultimatum is given to you.  You stand at your own personal fork in the road.  You know that God has called you for such a time as this.  Sister, boldly step into your role.  Take courage, because God has a plan for you just as He did for Esther.

Embrace your Esther moment.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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Don’t you just love this?!?  The God of all grace wants to come to us, in the midst of our suffering, and restore us!  He wants to make us strong, firm, and steadfast!  I love that!  I love that even in the middle of our pain, struggle, and trials, God has a plan for our restoration.  He is working in our situations to make us strong, firm, and steadfast.  The suffering isn’t in vain.  It has purpose.  It grows us into trees whose roots are deep, whose branches reach heavenward, and whose trunk is powerful enough not to bend or break in the storms of life.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Don’t judge me today because I’m just keeping it real.  I’m pretty sure that the m&m’s and the caramel that I just ate for lunch were totally a coping mechanism.  Comfort in an uncomfortable place.  Chocolate and caramel can do that for a girl.

Have you ever been in that place where you just feel a little out of your element?  Maybe you doubt your abilities.  Maybe you doubt you can do what you know you’ve been called and created to do.  Maybe you feel inadequate.  Maybe you are feeling a little insecure.  And just maybe you are more than a little tempted to comfort yourself with chocolate and caramel too!

You know what though?  That didn’t really work.  As a matter of fact, I’m a little hacked off at my self for eating that candy, especially since I’ve got skinny jeans laid out to wear this evening.

The thing that finally allowed me to get outside of my own head was a sweet and gentle reminder from God, my Father, saying that HE HAS GOT MY BACK.  I am exactly where He wants me and I am exactly who He has called me to be.  He has a specific purpose and a plan for me.  He’s lined up every detail of who I am because He wants to use it.  He will equip me for all that He has called me to.  If He has called me to it, He promises to walk me through it.   I just need to quit the worrying.

And so do you.  He takes that burden for each and every one of His children.  When we are walking in His ways, He promises to stand beside us and strengthen us for what He has called us to.  He doesn’t want us to stay bound in insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.  He wants to free us from that bondage and fill us with strength, boldness, and courage.

Man, that lifts my wavering heart and I hope it lifts yours too!

Deuteronomy 31:8

“The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


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There are often times I sit before God in total awe of who He is and what He does.  Today is one of those days.  Today I bowed my knees in humble adoration before a God who loves so lavishly, gives so freely, and delights in redeeming even the most tragically broken and flawed.

This Holy and Righteous God has taken a hot mess like me and has chosen to use me in spite of myself!  His love over comes my weakness.  His forgiveness, grace, and mercy redeem me.  He brings beauty from my big, dirty pile of ashes.

And if he can do it for me, he can do it for anyone!

Our Father doesn’t require perfection from us.  He doesn’t require us to be flawless, sinless, or righteous.  He knows we are dust.  He understands our weakness and our frailties.  After all, he created us!  Jesus walked among man and faced temptations and trials.  He didn’t sin, but He understands that we are not God in the flesh.  His word says no one is righteous, so he doesn’t hold out a measuring stick with unattainable standards to judge us.

What He does require from us is a trusting and repentant heart.  He asks us to love Him whole heartedly and to follow His will.  He wants us to turn from our mess and turn to The One Who Is Able.  He wants us to be willing to be molded and shaped into His image and He understands that is a process.  I believe that He even understands that for some of us, myself included, it is looooong process!

He is sovereign and mighty!  He is good and holy.  He is powerful.  He speaks life into dust.  He brings beauty from ashes.  He gives new hearts, new life, and new purpose.

He can take our flaws, our imperfections, our failures, our frailties and use them for His honor and glory if we let Him.  He is a God who redeems.

No one is too messy.  No one is too broken.  No situation is too difficult.  No one is too far gone.

I’m so overwhelmed by His love this morning.  I’m floored that He would choose to love someone as messy as me.  I needed a lot of work.  Sometimes I still do. It would have been so easy for God to find someone who would have been an easy little project instead of someone who would be such a fixer upper.

But He seems to delight in taking the biggest projects and doing a complete overhaul!

Moses was a murderer with a bad temper.  Aaron let the people influence him.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Sarah laughed at God.  David was an adulterer.  Paul persecuted Christians.  Peter denied Christ.  The list goes on and on.  Sinner after sinner.  Failure after failure.  All repententlay turning toward God and bathed in love and forgiveness.  All then used in spite of their past.

God uses the broken who turn their mess over to him and commit to loving and following Him.

I’m just so thankful for that.  I’m thankful that we can look to our perfect Father and know that He looks at us with eyes full of love.  He sees our hearts.  He sees our love for Him and our desire to follow Him.  He sees our potential.

And he knows His plan to bring beauty from the ashes of our brokenness.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


There are times I feel a little greedy when I come before my Father in prayer.  I have a long list of wants and needs to lay out before Him.  I know He hears my prayers and often answers them.  He wants me to cast my cares on Him and bring my needs before Him.  He has called me to do that and not to feel badly for bringing everything before His throne.

And I love that!  I love that such a mighty God cares so much about me and my needs.  I love that I can trust Him with that.  It gives me such a peace and such comfort!

And he doesn’t think I’m being greedy.  He knows I’m trusting.

However, this morning as I was reading 1 Chronicles 16, I got to thinking.

David sure praised God a lot and he was called a man after God’s own heart.

God sure praises us a lot too.  He calls us fearfully and wonderfully made, child of the King, beloved, and forgiven.  He reminds us all throughout scripture of his unfailing love towards us.

Can I be honest?  I’m not great at giving or receiving praise.  It makes me a little uncomfortable to receive praise.  I’m not a natural praise giver either.  I have to make a conscious decision to give praise because it isn’t something that just naturally flows out of me.  It use to feel very forced and foreign, but, the more I learn to give praise the more I’m learning how important it is.

Praise shows love.  It shows respect.

It is vital in relationships!

It’s important for me to praise my husband and my kids.  Important for me to praise my friends and family and those who are a blessing to me. It shows them that I love and appreciate them.  I need to do it way more often than I do.

It pretty vital for me to give God praise as well.

I think He enjoys our praise too.  Just maybe it makes Him feel loved and appreciated too.  Maybe I need to praise Him more often too.  Above all, He is worthy of praise.

This morning I wanted to be like David.  I laid aside my requests and my needs.  God knows my heart.  He already knows what I need and want.  Instead, I just took the time to praise Him.

And maybe I’m taking a little too much liberty here, but I think He enjoyed it.  I know I did.

And a funny thing happened as I began writing out my praise prayer to the Lord this morning, I felt a softening.  I felt a welling up of love and gratitude.  The more I thought about giving Him praise, the more reasons I found to praise Him.

Maybe that’s a little life lesson for me.  As I focus on giving praise and using my words to show love and respect, just maybe, my heart will continue to soften a little.  My perspective will continue to shift a little.  Just maybe my focus changes from receiving to giving.  And just maybe praising comes a little more naturally.

I think I may just give that theory a try!

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Man, lately my life just seems to be hovering in the unknown.  Have you been there, in that phase of life when things just don’t seem to make a lot of sense?  I seem to be there a lot lately.  It’s not even a bad thing.  It’s just different for me.

I’m pretty good at just rolling with things.  Although I love order and a control, I’m not to shabby at just flying by the seat of my pants sometimes too.  This is different though.

This is not flying by the seat of my pants.  There is still a bit of control in that.  Most of the time, I still get the choice of where, when, and how to fly and when not to.

This is a little more out of my control than that.  This phase of life almost seems like a roller coaster ride.  There is a track and a destination and I’m barreling down it at full speed with lots of really high highs and some places where the bottom just drops out.  Sometimes I’m thrown for a loop.  There are some tunnels and some places where I get turned upside down a little, and sometimes I’m tempted to close my eyes when it gets a little scary.

But, I’m also tempted to give in to the ride.  I want to just throw my hands in the air and scream and enjoy myself.  I want to give in to the complete freedom!  I don’t know exactly how this roller coaster works, but I don’t really need to.  I mean, I am pretty sure I saw the end destination when I jumped on board, but every twist and every turn and every thrilling moment in between is new to me.  So I just hang on tight.   I mean, the operator knows what’s going on, so there is no need to worry.  I can just sit back and enjoy the ride, even if I’m a little scared and a little confused and a little nervous!

Been there?  Understand at all?

I know God has a plan and I can see where the destination might be, but I really don’t understand the path that’s leading me there.  There are a lot of unknowns along the way.  Sometimes I am at the peak and sometimes I’m down in that valley.  Sometimes I’m in that tunnel where things look a little dark and I can’t see my hand in front of my face.  At other times I’m turned upside down or thrown for a loop, but the operator of this ride is in total control.

After all, he isn’t just the operator, He designed the ride just for me with every detail along the way.  Each high and each low was put in place for a purpose along the journey.  He mapped out each turn just for me!

This roller coaster ride never surprises the operator.  He knows every twist and turn,  every peak and valley.  All of my unknowns and completely known by him.  I know he’s in total control and I trust him.

So, here’s to giving up control to the one who knows all, operates all, and designed each detail and JUST hanging on for dear life and enjoying the ride!

“Have you not heard?  Long ago I ordained it.  In the days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass.”

2 Kings 19:25

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Sometimes during my quiet time, word just jump off the page of my Bible and connect deeply to my heart.  They get me thinking and feeling and really understanding God’s character.

Yesterday, I wrote about wanting to have faith to just bravely step out into God’s plan like Rebekah did.  I mentioned that sometimes I question and sometimes I even doubt.

Then today, these two verses just flew off of the page and landed squarely in my heart.  They were like the part b to my thoughts from yesterday.  These verses were like a healing balm for a questioning soul.  They comfort me and remind me that God cares for me enough to encourage me when I’m weak.  I love when God does that!

“…Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”  Gen 26:24b

“…Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it…”  Gen 28:16b

I will admit it.  I have trust issues.  My past has given me many opportunities to doubt people and their words.  However, God is not ‘people’.

God is God.

His promises are true.

He is faithful.

He promises to be with us and he gently reminds us that even if we don’t SEE or FEEL him, He has been there the whole time.

I don’t know about you, but those words cover any doubts that I might have.  They show me that I am completely safe in trusting My God in ALL things.  He is my constant and He has proven himself trustworthy.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Sometimes my faith wavers a bit.  It’s not something that I’m proud of, but I have the tendency to look at hard situations and say “why me?”, “why now?”, “what in the world is the purpose of this?”.  My first response to something is usually emotional and full of questions.

This morning as I sat and read my Bible, I was floored by the faith Rebekah showed in Genesis 25.  She was just going about her day, drawing water from the well like she always did, when God rocked her whole world.  Everything changed for her in a mater of minutes when she was told that the Lord had a plan for her.

She didn’t question even once?  I would have grilled that poor servant to no end!  I would have needed him to go though and tell me again, step by step.  I would have had lots of questions.  This guy is trying to change my whole world after all!  Am I just suppose to trust him and trust that God has a plan at work here?  That’s a big leap of faith!

Rebekah did though!  She RAN to tell her household and they all welcomed this traveling servant in.  Without a second thought.  Because they knew he came with a plan from the Lord.

As that servant laid out the events that led him there and told Rebekah’s family of God’s plan, they surely had to be shocked.  Didn’t they have any questions?  Who is this son of your master? God wants to do what now?  You want to take her where?  And you prayed what right before Rebekah showed up?  Are you sure?  Maybe we should take a few days to think this thorough?

But no.  That’s not how it went at all.

“This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter…Let it be as the Lord has spoken.” (Gen 24:50)

“They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”  She replied, “I will go.” (Gen 24:57-58)

And she did.  Just like that.

Even though it had to be hard to just drop everything, leave everything she had ever known, and walk into a situation that was very unknown and possibly scary.  She unwaveringly believed that God had a good plan for her, and she stepped out of all she had ever known into his glorious plan without a moment’s hesitation.

WOW!

I want to trust God’s plan like that.  It’s easy when His plan is easy, but when that plan has me walking into something unknown or scary, I sometimes drag my feet.  I question.  “Why?”  “How?”  “Are you sure you’ve got me God, because this looks hard?”

Oh, to have a faith like Rebekah!  As I’m walking though things that I don’t fully understand right now, I am choosing to turn away from my norm and respond like Rebekah.  It may be hard.  It may be unknown and even a little scary.

But I’m choosing to answer with, “I will go.”  That’s it.  Just, “I will go.”  And then I will.  Completely trusting that God has a plan for whatever it is I’m being called into and He will work it all for His ultimate good.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


I don’t know about you but sometimes I look at the situations in my life and I just get a little overwhelmed.  Sometimes life just gives us a lot to deal with.  And honestly, sometimes I just don’t feel up to the task.  I just don’t want to go to battle.

This morning I was so encouraged by my Bible reading that I just had to take a quick minute to share it with you.

2 Kings 6:16-17

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

WOW!  I often need my eyes opened.  I need a reminder to take my eyes off of my circumstances and look around at all of those who God has called to go to battle with me.  He is by my side with the hosts of heaven, but He’s also given me friends and family who will go to battle for me.  Some of those people stand in the gap in prayer.  Some come along side me to encourage.  And always, He is there strengthening me to stand strong in the midst of every trial.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Do you ever feel like the more you learn, the more you realize that you don’t know?  Man, I feel that way that a lot.  The more I study something or try to understand a situation that I thought I mostly understood, the more I see its complexities.  I realize I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.  So, I keep trying to get a better understanding and as I study, some things become clear and some times I realize there is still so much I don’t know.

Can I be honest?  Sometimes I feel that way as I look at life and it’s situations.

I KNOW God.  I KNOW Jesus.  I KNOW what He did for me.  I KNOW His love.  I KNOW these things because I’ve experienced them.  I have felt His presence and I’ve experienced His hand on my life.  I believe and have faith because I KNOW, from personal experience, of His love, mercy, Grace, and forgiveness.

But, the more I read my Bible and study the character of God, the more I understand how much of a mystery He is.  His ways are so far above mine that sometimes I just have to trust in complete faith.  That’s a big part of faith, the act of just believing.

I love studying the Old Testament because I love learning about God’s character.  I’ve learned so much about His love, His mercy, His patience, His kindness and His long suffering.  I’ve learned how gracious He is to a people who just can’t seem to get it right and continually fail Him.  I’ve learned that He is true to His word.

I’ve also learned that He is so much more than I could grasp.  I’ve learned I can’t comprehend all He does and all He allows.  I don’t fully understand the plan.

BUT He sees the beginning and the end and works accordingly.  He isn’t limited at all by the tiny view of things that I am limited by.

This morning in my Bible reading, I was just awe struck by a couple of verses.  1Kings 12:15 says “…for  this turn of events was from the Lord to fulfill His word…”  And 1Kings 12:24 says…”for this is my doing…”

Wow!  What a powerful, mighty, sovereign God!  His hand can be seen in everything!  The good  and the seemingly bad.

Both of these verses reference situations that weren’t particularly pleasant at the time.  But, they show God working out His master plan to bring His people back to Him.  Because He loves them that much.  Because He is good and mighty and sovereign.

I can only relate it to this;  just like sometimes as a parent, I have to allow my kiddos to experience both the good and the bad of life to be a loving parent, our Father allows us the same opportunity.  Because that is a part of His character too.  He is rightous and just.  He is sovereign.  He is omnipotent.  He is a good Father who looks at the long term when He is growing and shaping His children.

So, even though I don’t always understand the situation I’m walking though, I can trust in Him because I KNOW the one who is in control of it.  I KNOW His plan for me is good and that His purpose is for me to grow closer to Him. I don’t have to understand or to have all the answers, because I trust the one who does.


Man, sometimes life can be difficult!  It seems like so many people that I love are under attack right now.  I’ve been under attack.  Sometimes things get hard.  It can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed by the chaos and strife that is just an ugly part of life.

Sickness, loss of loved ones, hurt, discontent, job loss, distraction, discouragement…  The list can go on and on.  And it often does.  Sometimes the casualties of life just pile up and we lose heart a little.

I was reading in 2 Samuel today and just felt really connected to David.  He just struggled sometimes.  This poor guy has gone through it all. He came from a poor family.  He spent the better part of his life under attacks from his king, his enemies, even his own family.  He failed God is some pretty big ways and had to deal with some pretty big consequences as a result.  He lost loved ones.  He was shamed and ridiculed and his people turned against him.  He just seems to be constantly dealing with life.  He had every reason to get discouraged and lose heart.  But through it all, God stood beside him and walked him through his trials.  God loved him, disciplined him when necessary, and blessed him when he did right.  And through it all, David kept his eyes on God and never forgot who He was.

This morning as I was sitting here just honestly feeling a little overwhelmed, I came upon 2 Samuel 22.  Phew!  If you ever need a little pick me up or some encouragement, read it and let it remind you who God is.

David reminded me this morning that God is flawless.  He is my rock, my shield, and my salvation.  He is alive!  He is my savior who delivers me and preserves me.  God is mighty.  He arms me with strength and stoops down to make me great.  He is God and He is worthy of praise.

He is my fortress, my refuge, my support, my stronghold, my salvation, my rock, and my shield.  He rescues me from my enemies.

He is faithful.  He is blameless.  He is pure.

With My God, darkness is turned to light.  With Him, I can advance.  With Him, I can scale the walls that hold me back.  He avenges me and gives me victory.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me.  He drew me out of deep waters .  He rescued me and delights in me.  When I call out to Him, He hears me.

God lives.  He is my rock.  He is exalted.  He is my savior.  He shows me unfailing kindness.

When I sit and read 2 Samuel, I’m reminded that He is in control of the chaos.  He brings beauty from ashes and He works things for my good because He loves me.  He is on my side and fights for me.  That discouragement and distraction that I was feeling just flee in the face of who He is.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Do you have a friend that you just feel connected deeply to, like a soul sister?  There is just a really strong bond that binds you two together.  You love them so much that you would do anything for them.  You have even risked your own happiness to be sure that they were happy.

Those soul sister relationships are amazing!

This morning I was reading through the 1 Samuel account of the friendship of Johnathan and David.  I’ve always been drawn to this friendship.  It just seems like such a beautiful picture of the kind of relationship that we all want.

This friendship was built on love, trust, and care and concern for the other.  1 Sam 18:2 says that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David.  Man! Who doesn’t want a friendship like that, one where your very souls are knit together!

How does that even happen?  How does that even look?  It’s so vastly different than most friendships we see.

One of my favorite verses about this relationship, and what I think sets it apart from most friendships is 1Sam 23:16.  “And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.”

Wow!

I’m telling you, there is a big difference between friendships and real, intimate, authentic soul sister relationships.  There is a depth to these soul sister friendships that just goes beyond the norm.  And for me, one of the things that solidifies these soul sister friendships  is that characteristic of strengthening and encouraging one another in God.

That’s a big deal.

A friend can give me advice and listen to me talk.  They can even help, but a soul sister takes you to the feet of Jesus.  They go there with you in prayer and keep you there with their conversation and actions.  They cover you in His love and bathe you in His truth.

Spending time with them is like getting a little glimpse of Jesus.

I can remember praying earnestly that God would just send me some real soul sisters to encourage me and draw me closer to Him when I was in a difficult season in life.

God answered that prayer and I couldn’t be more grateful!

I’ve been blessed with a couple of nearly lifelong friendships that I just treasure beyond measure.  They mean the world to me!  However, in the last several years God has knit my heart together with several women in ways that can only be described as divine.  They are my mentors and counsellors.  They are my prayer warriors and ministry partners.  They are the ones who know the nitty gritty, real parts of me and love me anyway.

They are also the ones who constantly go with me, hand in hand, to the feet of Jesus.

Friends, I can’t even begin to describe what an answer to prayer these friends are.  Seek these people out.  Pray for God to send you these soul sisters to strengthen you in God, just like Jonathan and David.  Be the real and authentic you that God created you to be so that these friends can be grounded and genuine.  Ask God to grow your friendships into those soul sisterhoods that you long for.  He is able.

And to my soul sisters, I love you.  Thank you for always helping me to find my strength in God.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie (more…)


Today I was reminded of two little words that instantly create a bond.  These two little words can quickly turn strangers in to friends.

me too

I spoke at our local MOPS meeting on repurposing.  More accurately, I spoke about the work of repurposing furniture and drew some parallels to the way that Jesus has repurposed my life.

I was a little nervous.  Speaking doesn’t really bother me.   What made me nervous was that I really felt led to drop any pretenses and just be vulnerable and transparent.  Just putting myself out there has always been a little difficult for me.  I have a lot of baggage and a lot of junk.  It’s not always easy to just leave all of that exposed.

It’s scary.

but

It’s also beautiful in the hands of God.  And sometimes necessary.

You see, by sharing our story- even the ugly parts- we can show the work that God has done to repurpose us.  We can show the way he has turned messy into a masterpiece.  We can show that nothing is ever too broken to be remade into something beautiful in His hands.  And maybe, hopefully, we can give a little encouragement to someone who knows all too well what it means to be a little worn and tattered.

As I spoke today, I looked out into the faces of His beautiful daughters and I didn’t see looks of condemnation or judgement.  I saw smiles and some tears.  I saw nods of agreement and lips mouthing “me too”.  I felt such love and encouragement.  I felt such connection and community.  I felt my walls crumbling.

Those walls that we build around ourselves as protection crumble a little when people are brave enough to be vulnerable .  I think sometimes, God calls us to that type of vulnerability and openness as a way to not only point to His love and mercy and grace, but to connect us to others.  Aren’t we all part of the same body?

Reach out.  Be bold.  Share.  Encourage.  Uplift.  Point to Jesus.  Connect with people.  Let them see that you are an imperfect person, living your life to glorify a perfect Jesus, so that they can look you in the eyes and say “me too”.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie