Stand Your Ground

Lately I keep being reminded to stand my ground. Every time I cannot help but think of The Princess Bride. You know the scene I am talking about:

“I am the dread pirate Roberts. There will be no survivors…”

Only it sounds like, ” I am the dwread piwate woberts.” I smile every time I think about it which is probably one of the reasons why I keep being reminded to stand my ground.

There is much to be said when you can laugh in the face of your circumstances because you know victory is on the horizon. Victory does not come without a battle. Opposition will come and there will be moments that stretch you and break your heart.

Stand your ground.

When the darkness surrounds you and the ones that you love, it can get easy to lose focus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Do not look to the right or to the left. The enemy is a liar and a cheat. He takes cheap shots. He does not play by the rules.

But God is bigger, grander, and the ultimate judge.

God has already had the final word.

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Don’t Be Boring

I have never wanted to live a boring life.

Boring is over-rated. Boring does not leave a legacy that births revivals and love. Boring changes nothing. Boring leaves stagnant waste and leaves people questioning purpose rather than living abundantly in love.

I would rather live my life having given every breath to speak words of truth & love.

I would rather die knowing I chose an adventurous life with Jesus and gave my all to him. Are dead people rising from the dead? Are you seeing the light return in the eyes of those you spend time with even in the line in the grocery store?

When impossible becomes normal and the possible becomes mundane that is when you know you are truly living. It is exhilarating.

Don’t be boring.

Be different.

Choose the Jesus adventure & you will realize that in surrender you gain an epic life.

Facing Victory

When one waits for a miracle to come to pass in what direction does that individual stand?

One stands facing towards victory no matter what opposition may come.

It can be too easy to dwell on the current circumstances where it can seem like nothing is changing. At some point it may even feel as if one has moved backwards rather than forward.

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If this is where you are, stand facing victory.

This means you choose hope. On the days where it is hard to keep going, you expect victory to come whether there is anything significant to suggest otherwise. You get to choose to look at life through the lens of faith.

Stand facing victory.

Expect victory.

Do not look back (unless it is a joyful reflection). Do not dwell on that which does not increase your hope.

Victory is coming.

Victory is something the enemy can never touch unless you decide to hand it over to him (#can’ttouchthis).

Victory is here.

The Choice I Make

There is something very powerful when we can make the decision to choose hope. I truly believe that hope is often a choice much like love is. There are many mountains in our lives. Much of what we face look impossible through our eyes. But if we choose hope, we choose to look at life through the eyes of God.

Mountains bow at His name. Kingdoms fall. Circumstances miraculously & supernaturally at lightning speed, change! Darkness flees. Healing floods hearts, minds & bodies. Death and the grave are defeated. Life is birthed out of nowhere.

I choose hope!

Stones of Remembrance

Stones of Rememberance: Healing Scriptures for Your Mind, Body, and Soul is a practical guide to healthy living. Written by Daniel G. Amen, a Medical Doctor who has studied the brain, this book can be a good asset to add to your daily routine. The book is split into three sections. The first reviews the 12 stones of remembrance. These are all practical tools for self-care and overall health. I appreciated each category because the 12 stones represented health for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

The second part shares 12 verses everyone can remember for 15 differing needs like sickness, depression, hope, fear, and loneliness. The last part is 12 important verses everyone should memorize and know by heart. For an added bonus there are tips to not only learn how to memorize scripture but healthy snack options as well as exercises to improve your memory. This book emphasizes in a simple way how much healthy living can help your brain and how a healthy brain can help your heart, mind & body. Everything impacts something else and it is important that each of us treats our mind, body & soul with great care.

If you are looking for ways to help you learn scripture and know it by heart this book is a good start. It is an easy read & keeps things short and sweet. If you are wanting to read more about the brain and how it affects your health I’m assuming you would want to read Dr. Amens other book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. I have not read this book but may now since I was hoping to read more behind the science of the importance of the 12 stones of remembrance and the recorded health benefits. Either way, knowing Gods word is a crucial part of our health for mind, body & soul.

I have received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

Pregnant With (full of) Hope!

There has been an immense amount of love and support since I shared my last blog post. Thank you!

I wanted to video a message of what has been on my heart recently. I am so full of hope. I know how good, how faithful and how mighty my God is. He is not limited by test results, bad news, diseases, addictions, or any mountain in the path of life. Rocks are thrown into the depths of the sea. Mountains crumble. He is mighty. He is faithful.

It is because of what He has done already and who He is that I know He loves and cares for me. No matter what happens He is what matters the most. He is my hope. He is my joy. He is the reason I am pregnant with hope!

Celebrate Michael

Let me introduce you to someone so precious. He was a miracle. He was a gift.

The first part of November I was having strange symptoms. At first I thought my body was responding to an amazing but extremely busy season of ministry & was protesting. I had also been battling colds for a month & a half. There was a strange fatigue that had settled in my body. So time went on & I remember feeling “pregnant”. I cast it aside as wishful thinking.

It had been impossible for me to conceive. I had already had a previous miscarriage that did not last past the first month early on in our marriage in 2011. I had already grieved through not being able to give birth to one of my own flesh. Hope was on the horizon to foster or adopt and continue loving my daughter (SD). I was content. 

In November a pregnancy test confirmed what was once deemed impossible. Our world was turning upside down and landed a bit lopsided in the most precious and beautiful way. 

I told my husband that I was battling against fear and could only believe life. I felt like I had already lost too much to handle any alternative. Every day I placed my hands on my belly and declared life. I prayed for every organ, for every tissue formation, ten toes, ten fingers and that all would go smoothly. At night I wept with thankfulness because of this beautiful miracle. I fell asleep embracing my baby and told him how much he was loved. The journey felt like a dream.

We had talked in detail about how we wanted to tell the good news and when to do it. Even though I wanted to shout and celebrate his life right away we both agreed that telling family in person would be the best way. 

(Week 6 pregnancy picture)

Week 6 went by and I was so sick & tired. I was so happy because it was the only way that I knew that he was doing well. Week 7, and 8 slipped by without any issues. By week 9 I was able to get into the Dr. and all my test results came back without any signs of complications. He was really coming! He was really real! By this time my belly was starting to grow & I felt pregnant for real for the first time.

Week 10 was the week we were going to tell our daughter & begin the journey to family for Christmas. Our daughter was beyond excited. She was already making plans. She was the best big sister ever!

The next day she could hardly contain her excitement as we were going to tell my husbands parents. Tears, smiles, hugs and congratulations were in order after breaking the good news. But a couple hours later I started to have slight cramping and instead of getting better my heart & body went on a journey I never thought it could handle.

The details into that night are too much for me to write out. The ER visit was horrific. What I was going through was unstoppable medically speaking and those working there did not acknowledge my sons life. With that perspective I know why I was treated as if what I was going through was not a big deal. 

Instead of a proper burial my baby is swimming in sewage because he was flushed down the toilet in the ER. Losing life and not being able to control what your body is doing is horrifying. 

Because of our miracle I have this need for people to know our son. He was important. He was not a blob of cells. His heart beat like yours and like mine. God still did a miracle in my body to be able to conceive and carry for 10 weeks. Those weeks I will cherish for the rest of my life. Our son helped my faith to grow. Impossible is fading out of my life. God is good and He never changes. 

Please meet our son. 

(Drawing by artist Brynna Hosszu)

His name is Michael which means, “Who is like God?”. It is a name passed down in my husbands family. When I give birth to my rainbow baby, Michael will be their middle name just like his Daddy and in remembrance of his big brother who prepared the way.

Michael you were and continue to be loved. It was a fun adventure while we had you with us, tiny as you were! 

Here are some of my favorite memories with you:

(We didn’t even know that we were a family of 4 during these fun moments in October)

(My first big ministry event knowing you were growing in my belly. It was a miracle I didn’t faint on stage due to sickness & fatigue. I remember telling you, “Okay baby, time to go worship God together! Let’s slay the enemy!” Photo Cred: Austin Groskopf, @agroskopf33)

(Family Thanksgiving 2017 two weeks early)

(Together for Thanksgiving at Long Beach)

(Our last full day together at Heritage Kids Family Christmas)

(This was our announcement photo. I bought 4 large stockings expecting your first Christmas with us would have been in 2018)

Enjoy time with Jesus & with my Mom sweet child. 

We love you Michael! 

Do It Again

2018 is on the horizon and I have many things on my mind. I have spent 2017 forgiving many, loving fiercely and surrendering my soul to my mighty God. There are many questions I have and many prayers I’m waiting for the Lord to answer. 

He has done great things for my heart, my soul & for my family. He has delivered me from pain & healed my body. He has set me free.

My biggest question going into 2018 is, “Will you do it again?” 

Every day for the past week and a half I have asked God this question. I have wept and I have spent hours into the night interceding for my family. There is so much on my heart that I cannot give up hope believing will happen. 

I have spent my time watching the boxing scene in Rocky where he did not win that battle but he put up one good fight & remained standing. This is 2017. 

2018 will be the year I see God do it again. I will go back in that boxing ring and win! It will be my year full of laughter & joy. 

I have listened to this song every day for the past week and a half. It has been my anthem. God is good. He is faithful. ⬇

“Do It Again” Elevation Worship

The Circle

Church service had ended and I was talking with a sweet couple. Soon I went to move and found myself surrounded by a circle of people. I made a joke and hugged some of these precious people. I could have just waved it off but I realized that these people in some sense surround me often with prayer.

For a large part of my life I felt betrayed, alone, & sometimes exposed. I didn’t feel safe or known. No more. 

As I was reflecting on my past and seeing the extreme difference in my present it made me smile. It was just a circle of people surrounding me but it was more than that. It was an example of what is & what will be. 

God goes before you and he stands behind you. He places people in your life to surround you and go on the front lines in prayer on your behalf. You are never alone. You are loved.

I love the people in the circle. They are a reflection of God’s heart for me. 

My heart is full of gratefulness.

I am blessed.