2015-12-11 08.41.49

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

 

 


image

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


2015-12-11 08.41.55

It is Father’s Day, Dad.  I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately as this holiday had been drawing near.  I’ve been remembering some of the times we spent together and some of the things you taught me.

Do you remember the time I was in middle school and you were driving me home?  I was complaining and sassing and just having an all-around ugly attitude.  You sat silently, driving the truck, while I went on a teenage hormone infused rant about the unfairness of life.  When we turned onto the gravel road that we lived on, you quietly pulled over and told me to get out.  You suggested that I use the time it would take me to walk the mile and a half down the dusty road to our house to think about all of the things I had to be grateful for.  Then you drove away and I was left to start walking and thinking.

That was a good one, Dad.  I used that recently on my teen age son while I slowly drove behind him as he walked the block and a half to basketball camp after he gave a particularly surly tirade about my driving and time management skills.  He was right, but he was disrespectful. You weren’t a fan of disrespect.  I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.  Thanks for teaching me to be grateful and to be respectful.

Do you remember that time I was a 20-year-old newlywed and had made a string of really bad choices that had turned my life from good to bad very quickly?  I was in a tail spin and had pushed everyone that I loved away so that I could just keep on going on down the slippery slope I was on without having to hear from everyone what a mess I was making of things.

In the midst of all of that, you drove an hour up to see me.  We went to a park and we just sat side by side in the grass.  You didn’t ask all of the details.  You didn’t blame, condemn, or shame me, but you didn’t coddle me either.  You lovingly and firmly told me that I couldn’t ride the fence between teenager and adult any more.  You made me take responsibility for my decisions and called me out to make a choice to be better than I had been.  You were a rock for me when things were in chaos.

That was another good one, Dad.  You always had a way of knowing just what to say and how to say it.  It was just the kick in the pants that I needed to see what a train wreck that I was.  I am already trying to teach my boys how to own up to their mistakes and look at the consequences of their choices.  I hope I never have to help my kids really see and understand the mess they’ve made of their life, but I’m filing this little memory in the mental rolodex of stellar parenting moves just in case because it meant the world to me.2015-12-11 08.41.49

Don’t forget about the time I came home at nearly 30 because marriage and family were so much harder than I ever imagined they would be.  I wasn’t sure how on earth I was supposed to do and be all that I was supposed to do and be.  I sat curled up on the couch in your living room tearfully telling you how things were just too hard sometimes.  You sat across from me, wrapped in a blanket in your favorite recliner, and shared some of the times that you had felt the same way.  We laughed and we cried and then we watched Gunsmoke.

I’m going to remember that one too, Dad.  I know there will come a time when my boys will feel overwhelmed by all of their responsibilities and will need a soft place to land.  They will want me to nod my head in agreement and then comfort them with some quality time together.  I want to remember to always be that place that they can come back to when they need encouragement.  Thank you for teaching me to take the time to listen and to care.

I won’t ever forget how hard you worked when you were in physical therapy all of those months.  You would get so frustrated at having to learn to do things that were once so simple for you.  You hated having to re learn how to pick up a spoon.  Learning to walk again was so difficult, but you kept pushing until you got it.  I’ve never seen perseverance like that before.

That was amazing, Dad.  My boys were right there.  They watched you try and fail and never give up.  You taught them about hope and hard work and fighting through every obstacle.

We probably looked a little crazy that one day when the boys and I were down sitting with you when you were really sick.  I was making Christmas ornaments out of paper and hot glue.  It was ridiculous.  It took forever and I was constantly burning my fingers. You just sat in your wheel chair and giggled at me as I growled and rolled my eyes.  After a few hours I had made a handful of beautiful ornaments to hang in the booth I was renting at a local antique mall.   You relentlessly teased me about all of that time and labor plus the money I would need to spend on band aids for my fingers. We both got tickled when you said that I would only end up making about a quarter an hour after all of that.  We laughed until we cried as we looked at my poor blistered fingers and the piles of supplies around me.

That was a good one, Dad.  That still makes me smile.  Thanks for teaching me to laugh at myself.  You could always take any situation and make it a reason to smile.  I loved that about you.  My boys are going to need to know that they don’t always have to take themselves so seriously.

You passed away before Christmas that year and I hung one of those paper ornaments on my tree last Christmas to mark the second Christmas that you had been gone.  I miss you every day, but especially on Father’s Day.  You were such a good man.

There are so many stories, Dad.   There were so many little things that made you so special.  The thing that stands out the very most was how much you loved me.  You loved me when you didn’t have to and you loved me when I was very hard to love.

2015-12-11 08.38.03You weren’t my biological father.  You married my mom and automatically became a step parent to a child who wasn’t entirely sure she needed or wanted you around and wasn’t afraid to make that abundantly clear.  Despite all the ways that I pushed you away, there was never a single moment that I felt like anything other than your dearly loved daughter.   Even when I was too young and too immature to see it, even when I doubted it, even when I didn’t understand it, you were always pouring you heart and soul into loving me as best as you could.

Out of all the things that I remember, Dad, that is the thing I will remember most.  I always knew that I was unconditionally loved.  That is also the thing that I most want to pass down to my children.  It taught me about accepting a love that I did nothing to earn and didn’t really deserve.  Your love for me opened the door for me to begin to understand the kind of love God has for me.  I want to show that kind of love to my boys every day.

Thank you Dad.  That was a good one.

Happy Father’s Day.  I miss and love you more than you know.

Love and Blessings,

Bobbie

Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there.  May your day be filled with love and may you leave a strong legacy for your children.


image

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


image

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


image

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


image

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


image

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


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


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