Tag Archives: inspiration

Fresh Start

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Photo Credit: David Ammerman

It’s the songs of birds in the large tree outside that stir me awake in this early hour and beckon me out of bed. The sun just beginning its ascent brings promise of a fresh start; a chance to begin again. It will later direct our paths as it gives light to the darkness and will thaw the thin layer of frost blanketing the earth.

As the coffee begins to brew, I peer through the kitchen widow. The greenhouse sparkles with a million crystals of ice shimmering in the slowly rising sun. Tucked inside all my delicate plants are happy and content; saved from the damaging frost by the shelter literally built by love.

It is the beginning of a new day.

Seize the opportunity to drink in all that is wonderful and good, and against all that may stand in your way, make this an incredible week.

H

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Mama Said, “Don’t play with your food”

After a blustery weekend in Colorado, I’m quite thrilled with the sun making an appearance today. In celebration of the return of warmer weather I thought I’d share with you this character I found in my ‘power foods’ salad the other night:

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I got to the bottom of the pile of shredded brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cabbage tossed with a poppy seed dressing (it’s a salad kit from Costco – I’ll tell you more about it another time because it’s worth a try, for sure) to find this little guy looking back up at me.

Unsure how the stars all aligned in such a way to pull this off, but here you have it.

I like to believe that many things, especially those which are quite unique, are a sign; a communication from above, but I just can’t put my finger on what this one could possibly mean.

Let’s consider it a sign of good things to come – for me and for you. I hope you are having a fabulous week! The weekend is in sight!
H


Save The Storks

Several months ago my husband and I were introduced to this amazing organization while at church on a beautiful Sunday morning: Save the Storks.

The more I learn about this organization, the more I continue to be awe-struck by the incredible work they are doing across the nation and I couldn’t resist sharing with you this morning.

Rooted in Christian principles, which are Pro-Life, their goal isn’t to force religion and shame women who find themselves in such a desperate situation that they are considering abortion. Rather, the mission is to bring resources and awareness of options (and for those who get twisted up in semantics: choice).

Save the Storks funds mobile units for pregnancy centers which are equip with pregnancy testing, and ultrasound capabilities as well as teams trained to meet women where they are (which is typically on their way into the clinic to terminate a pregnancy) providing them information and counseling on options. All free to women who dare to open their minds to alternatives and gather information so they are better able to make an informed decision.

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Photo Credit: Save the Storks

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Photo Credit: Save the Storks

Four of Five women who step foot on one of these mobile units will ultimately choose life for their baby. Whether that means they will raise the child themselves and call upon available resources in their community to support them along the way or consider adoption; placing their bundle of joy into the arms of another couple – possibly a couple that has been unable to have children of their own but desperate feel a calling to parenthood – these babies get the opportunity at life.

And, Save the Storks outreaches in other ways including Assure Me machines in public restrooms which include a pregnancy test at a  reduced rate than sold in stores as well as information on resources, StorkWorks Consulting which provides resources and support for pregnancy centers that have a mobile unit in operation, and Stork Coffee.

In this life, we are all called to give back to good and charitable causes:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27

As you consider where your next charitable contribution may be going, take a look at Save the Storks (click for link to webpage).  If their mission isn’t draw enough, all donations are tax deductible!

-H


Spring 2017

Flowers

Spring is quite possibly my favorite time of the year. While I don’t appreciate the finicky weather that Colorado brings our way in the Spring (seriously, the forecast for today is sunny and eighty degrees and by Friday we are in the path of snow!), I do so love watching everything come back to life.

It renews my energy. It beckons me outdoors. The labors of love that leave me with sore muscles, perhaps the first sunburn of the season, and eventually evidence of the fruits of this labor when our kitchen is filled with delicious veggies from the garden and vases of freshly cut flowers begin to pop up all over the house.

Friends, it has been quite some time since a new post has hit my blog. Seems I write this same sort of post periodically – after I’ve gone MIA in the blog world. Here’s the ugly truth about why: allocation of too much time to things that don’t really matter. It’s a tough pill to swallow when one sits back and realizes that the best of them, both time and energy, has been given to an obligation; leaving little to nothing left over for the things that truly fuel their soul. When you fall into a rut with life…work, eat, sleep, repeat.

If you find yourself in this same situation, I encourage you to allow the newness of Spring to help you turn that around. Set better boundaries. Save some of what’s your best for whatever energizes your life and fuels your soul. I know I’m going to….

Hope to see you back here at the blog in the days that come as I share what’s going on in the garden and the kitchen, tidbits about my favorite things and stuff that blows my hair back with inspiration.

-H


Discerning The Voice of God: Chapter 11

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Knowing through experience is far different than having knowledge of an experience.

You must experience God for yourself – this is not something you can pick up vicariously through others.

Part of differentiating the voice of God from anything <anyone> else is understanding that the message from Him will glorify and highlight His character. Anything to the contrary isn’t a message from Him.

This isn’t to say that the message is always leading us down the easiest path. In many instances, it’s quite the opposite. He will lead us into places where we are able to experience and grow with Him in powerful ways. This often means a challenge…a challenge that he will most assuredly  enter in to with you and see you through.

Dare to take the challenge – lean into him through the storm – and see the ways in which He will be glorified in and through you.

H


Discerning The Voice of God: Chapter 7

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I remember when I began this book, and the excitement I felt as I finished Chapter 2 (and then another chapter down the road; which one specifically, I can’t recall). While it’s true that every chapter has brought excitement; I’m talking about EXCITEMENT!!

It was all because of the peace I felt within. The comfort in knowing that what I was hearing was, in fact, His voice/guidance/direction. The relief in having it re-confirmed that He has it all under control, and is even letting me in on some of the details. That ‘ah-ha!’ moment when what I think I know is confirmed.

PEACE.

Not only a characteristic of our Savior, but an indication that he has spoken.

For the longest while I’ve struggled to let go of my burden – or I would set it down for just a short while, only to run quickly back over and pick it back up. How much of my hyper-organized, need to be in control, urge to analyze every detail has done nothing but get in His way? I suspect all of it…

And then something amazing happened! I reached a point where I <finally> acknowledged I am just too drained…physically, mentally and emotionally…to continue running interference. To continue getting in His way. And because I have <finally> been <metaphorically> beaten into submission, I’m just not anymore. Not that I no longer care about things – because I surly do – but I find I’m better able to take only the steps He directs me to take and leave all the rest to him. He is the one in control, after-all.

I have laid my burden at His feet, just as he instructs us all to do.
Matthew 11: 28-30 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

It doesn’t feel “amazing” to come to this point via the road I chose to take, but it is quite incredible how it’s worked for good. I am finally feeling an inner sense of PEACE like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

Yes. Me.

The hyper-organized, need to be in control, urge to analyze everything….Me.

 


Discerning the Voice of God: Chapter 3

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How often, during times of struggle, do we pull in closer to the Lord seeking comfort, guidance, and answers only to allow him to slowly fade into the background of our lives when the crisis has been diverted? As much as I hate to admit, I am guilty of this, time and time again.

The trouble I find is that the crisis isn’t necessarily diverted, as much as it is minimized, at which time I think I’ve got it all under control and can take it from there. How ignorant of me! It’s no wonder that the same crisis flares up again, or that another comes in its place. It’s sort of like sticking your hand back in the fire after recovering from third degree burns! And how many times must be we burned before we stop punishing ourselves?!? We ALWAYS need Him!!

An essential element of discerning the voice of God is regular meditation on, and knowledge of, the Scriptures. Regular = Daily. This can become quite a trick when life demands so much us. There’s a lot to get done. We are tired and believe we won’t be able to focus. Things are going okay, so time in the Word isn’t essential today, right? Wrong!

Time spent in the Word is time spent with God. If we want to hear from Him, we must MAKE time for Him. These moments with him are more serious than we think – even when things are going “okay”.

And, here’s the other thing that’s paramount to our prayers being answered: our desires need to align with His Will for us. How many of you want to dig in with the thought of that? The idea that what you desire may not align with His plans for you, and aside from taking things into your own hands (free will) and forcing the issue (for which there are other consequences), those desires may not become your reality?

Yea, it’s a tough pill to swallow but allow me to offer a bit of hope: permitting the Holy Spirit to work in you, and doing your part in that process (see above), means a transformation will begin taking place within. If you really get on board with this, you will find things you once desired no longer tug quite as much at your heartstrings, and the gap between what you want and what He wants for you will grow more and more narrow. Suddenly, but not all at once, your desires and His Will align and things start happening in a magical way in your life. That is what is meant in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”. God really does know what is best for us, even if it’s not what we want to hear or accept at the moment, and THOSE desires of our heart are what will be given.

The reason we eventually <really> become okay with our reality not matching our dreams is because we’ve really worked on building that intimate relationship with Him. He’s working from within to change our hearts (and thus, our dreams), and we can hear Him with more clarity…perhaps leading us down a path we never would have chosen for we never knew we’d love.

In those moments that you want to be okay with things not working out as you had hoped, but you just aren’t feeling it with every inch of your being, talk to Him about it, ask Him to help you… “Lord, every day I’m trying my best, but if in any moment I lose my hope, please remind me that Your plans are better than my dreams. Amen.”.

He understands that we live in the flesh and that the natural tendency of the flesh is to crave the standards of the world rather than those of God, but he also expects us to seek, and stick close to him.


Discerning The Voice of God: Chapter 2

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Having finished Chapter 2, I feel at peace and am beyond encouraged.

The voice of God comes to us by the Holy Spirit, already living in us, via our own conscious. Of course, we must first accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savoir and begin to WALK with Him. This is different than believing – even the Devil is a believer – we must work at a relationship with HIM . Once we do this, our conscious, initially shaped by things we absorb from the outside world – seared by sin, shaped by varying sources and made susceptible to corruption by others – is converted. It’s awakened!

I LOVE that because as I reflect on questions I believe I’ve not received answers to, it seems clear to me that I HAVE and I’ve just not known it was HIM!

I’ve always believed in God. I’ve never doubted that He has a place for me in Heaven. I wasn’t “churched” growing up, but I was taught just enough to make me a believer. I had, and still have, a LOT to learn about growing that relationship and walking with Him. God will use any means necessary to grab our attention, to draw us into him. I am no exception…

I have suffered an incredibly tough past couple of years. To the point that I can’t even believe this is my life. It’s easy to question why. Why me? Why now? When will the suffering stop? HELLO, ANSWERS PLEASE??

Without one doubt I now believe that every bit of my suffering was for my benefit, so I could grow in faith and strive to really FOLLOW God.  Now, that’s an answer I can accept and move on with…until it seems the hits just keep coming and I can’t help feeling picked on and thinking “okay, you’ve made your point – lay off a bit!”.  The honest truth is that I’ve found myself very angry with God, and wondering if my questions have gone into the abyss, never to be answered. I can admit that because he knows what’s in my heart, there isn’t any hiding. And, because of His unconditional love and grace, He not only handles it but waits patiently for me.

Truth is, I’ve gotten answers. From HIM!

Because of my continued suffering – issues have been pushed so answers could be sought and I could be connected with some of the savviest people who God will work through to get me what I need…and shelter me during the storms. Because of my continued suffering, I grow closer to the Lord everyday and feel compelled to share the Good News! Because of my continued suffering, my priorities get more and more in line. Because of my continued suffering…well…I could go on and on…

Did you know that physical and spiritual healing often times go hand in hand?
Isaiah 38:17 – You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

That we are to suffer in this life because Jesus suffered on the cross for us? That it’s an honor and blessing to suffer?
Acts 14:22 – We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.
Romans 8:17b – …indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Did you know that the length of time you feel overwhelmed and trapped in your suffering is totally up to you? The Devil seeks us at our weakest moments; it’s when he does some of his best work.
Genesis 50:20 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

We have a God who will protect us and use it all for good, if only we will let him. That he promises to make good out of the storms that bring devastation to our lives!
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Read about the powerful 5 things (the 5 M’s) you should do when you feel God might be leading you in a certain way.

He’s ready to talk – Are you ready to listen?


A Good Reminder

One of my very favorite quotes hangs on my fridge.

It offers wisdom, support, and hope during rough times and has been a good reminder for me more than once in my life.

As the devastation continues with the wildfires in Colorado, people struggle with illness, injury & disability, the heartache of losing a loved one, or the pain that accompanies all curve balls in life I am reminded of this:

Remember What Is Most Important…

It’s not having everything go right;
it’s facing whatever goes wrong.

It’s not being without fear;
it’s having the determination to go on in spite of it.

Remember that every day ends
and brings a new tomorrow
full of exciting new things.

Love what you do,
do the best you can,
and always remember how much you are loved.
-Vickie M. Worsham

I hope that where ever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever frame of mind you are in due to the curve balls of life,  you can find the bright spots in each and every day.

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend.
All my love-
H