Monthly Archives: August 2015

I Love You More & I Choose You

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photo credit @Fathers Heart Ranch

*******I wrote this post towards the end of 2012 and realized this morning that I never published it because it was choppy and still needed lots of editing. And as I read it this morning I realized I have to post this before I share what has transpired over the past 24 hours. So I’m going against all the writing rules and sharing this with you- sometimes when you share your heart it’s not going to be perfect and clean.. it will be messy. So here’s my messy, transparent heart from 3 years ago. Updated blog post to follow. ***

I put out my final holiday (fall) decor, before possibly moving out of our home. It’s been wonderful living in a brand new 2 story, spacious home. We have really enjoyed it. But sometimes, when God places a dream on your heart, you will have to lay some things down in order to see the bigger picture. We’re laying down our positions as Children’s Pastors which has in some strange way been a part of our identity for more than 15 years. We are going to be without a set paycheck starting in January, and will be pursuing our Fathers heart, Father’s Heart Ranch. That being said, we will be putting our new home for sale, moving in with my in laws, and.. pulling our kids out of private Christian School to home school for a season (we think). Are we crazy? Quite possibly.

After a recent talk with our children about the possible changes, my daughter approached my husband in the kitchen. “Why can’t we just be like other normal people and just work at the same place and live in the same house and go to the same school forever?” Her question was innocent enough. Kind of made me chuckle- normal people. Huh. And then my husband told her that sometimes in order to follow God, there will be things we will have to sacrifice. We always seem to want God to drop this huge thing in our life, but are we really able to give up our lives to follow after Him?

My boys will have to move away from a neighbor that is like a brother to them (Carlos). Joel has the best little friends he’s ever had and will not be able to see them everyday anymore. My daughter has a best friend she is inseparable with. I love living one house down from my brother and sister in law and baby niece. We go for the occasional walk, we drive to the gym together 3 times a week (at 5:30 am), we are always exchanging coffee, cheese, or sugar. And I love our neighborhood- it’s all new.

And as all of my crafty friends are working on fun things from Pinterest for their home, I can’t right now. No more adding holes in the wall, no painting fun designs from those cute Martha Stewart stencils. No more worrying about trying to decorate my naked wall. In a matter of months, everything will be put into storage.

I’ve always wondered if I had minor ADD, but these particular changes have sent my brain into overdrive, where I actually feel like I’m getting less done than more. This is my brain on change: Ranch, speaking, media kit, writing, kickstarter, boxes, home-school, moving, kids choir, kids choir (see?!), kids church, my children, curriculum, teaching, homework, meals, writing (or lack there of), Jesus, help me… You see what I’m saying here? Over load. 🙂

And my mother in law was a teacher for over 15 years and at different points in their lives home-schooled her kids. My sister in law was an amazing teacher. I think if I need it, my support is there. Honestly, I heard very clearly from Him that this home school season wasn’t just about finances, it was about their hearts. I feel I’m fighting for their hearts.This is a part of our story.

And no one told my husband to quit his job, or told us to sell our house. We are just realistic and know it’s going to take some laying down of things to get there. Some sacrifices. And really, if we didn’t sacrifice anything, then our level of gratitude wouldn’t be very high. Cool- Got a ranch. Right on. But, man, when you give up something- to follow after what God is calling you to, how much sweeter will the reward be? How much more do we appreciate something God has done, when we allowed Him to take us through the process of building our faith. And that’s where we’re at. Faith is being built. We believe that God has been preparing us our entire lives for this (that will be a whole other blog) and this is way bigger than us.

So, are we crazy? Maybe. This is part of our story that God is writing for our whole family. It’s bigger than us. And I believe it will not only cause our faith to increase, but many others- to start believing God truly is who He says He is. This is a chapter that will have lots of stickie notes and yellow highlighter on it. The pages will be worn. But the story will be worth it.

What about you? What dreams has God placed on your heart? A dream is like a relationship. Sometimes, It can be kind of scary to open your heart back up if you’ve been hurt or let down by the way things turned out. But I believe God has placed it deep with in us to dream- and that our dreams are things that will bring Him glory and further the kingdom- deep desires, tucked away beneath our hearts. Ask Him today to show you if there’s something still locked up in the chambers of your heart that you’re afraid to let out. What if people laugh? What if people think you’re crazy? Or (and this is big) what if we thought we heard from God and put it all out there, and God didn’t show up? What if….. Just remember dear ones, God is always using our situations for the good as we keep our hearts on him (and continually, ask Him to check our hearts & motives). Romans 8:28- And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.    

So here goes everything, we’re diving in- keeping our eyes firmly focused on Him, trusting in faith that He has good things planned for us and will cause our faith to grow even more through all of this.

Mark 9:23- “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Yes, do it Lord.

My Prayer…

Lord, I love you more. I love you more than this temporary discomfort. I love you more than wanting to decorate and fix up my house. I love you more than wanting to stay comfortable and in the same place. I love you more than the need to buy new things or buy clothes. I love you more than this world although I will be the first to admit I am often lulled in at the first sight of color and the smells of seasons. At times I give in to the lie that “this new item is all I need” when I know you are vying for my heart. I choose you- even though the distractions are loud and they come from every direction. I choose you. It’s a daily choice. But since you are the author of this story, every time I try to take the pen, will you gently remove the pen out of my hand, and allow your Holy Spirit to write a far better story than any I can write.

I choose you.

Back To School Prayer

 

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1 Peter 5:7- Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

Lord, as we send our kids off to school, we say today that we trust You. Ultimately, they are in Your hands. Calm our anxious thoughts; speak peace to our emotions. We surrender them into your care. Protect them and give them peace. Help them to be a friend to others and to make some new friendships. Help them to not feel overwhelmed with so much new information. Give them things throughout the day to bring them joy. Give them favor with their peers and all of their teachers. Help them to not get distracted and to be good listeners. May this be the best year yet- a year of growth, a year of strength, a year of learning to trust You more, and a year of surrendering fears and overcoming much.

We also pray for the teachers today. May you fill their hearts with joy and give them all that they need to start this new year. Instead of seeing a child as disruptive or a troublemaker, may you give them eyes to see each child how you see them, with compassion and grace. We pray that these teachers will feel appreciated, encouraged, and loved. We pray that You, Lord, would help them to connect to each student individually. Give them wisdom for each situation that they might encounter and give them patience.

Give the students and the teachers strength- praying that this truly would be the best year yet! We surrender our schedules, our plans, and our agendas, and say, Lord, have Your way. Help us all, students, teachers, and parents, to work together for one common goal. Help us all to communicate effectively and to have grace for one another, knowing that even though we all have different roles, we are working together to make this a great year.

You are good Lord, and we know that there’s nothing that will happen this year that You can’t handle. You are the One who calms our anxious hearts and gives us exactly what we need when we need it. We look to You to be our helper for this new school year. Every project, every homework assignment, every tough situation, every challenge- You’ve got this and we put our hope and our trust in You, and You alone. In Jesus name, Amen.

He will keep watch over our children and keep them from harm (paraphrased from Psalm 121:7).

The Lord protects and preserves them– they are counted among the blessed in the land– he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. Psalms 41:2