This Joyful Journey

Lies are falling to the floor. Like drops of rain lies hit the ground with a gentle splash. I stomp over every single one. Joy rolls out from deep within me.

Laughter fills my belly. New wrinkles appear on my face from joy filling up my face.

My new declaration has been,

“Thank you Lord for the lies that are crumbling and falling to the ground. Thank you for filling the gaps with your truth.” 

Everyday I say this declaration. I say it even if nothing has occurred. I say it when I feel defeated or lonely. I say it after having conquered and won. I say it believing every word. 

This journey is like dancing in the rain and sleet. It is not an easy task but it is a joyful one. 

I know who my God is. He is mighty. He is powerful. He breathes life into my lungs. He is joy. He is love. I would not trade this life with him for anything else. Freedom feels good; it feels like the wind against my face running in fields of wildflowers. The sweet scent drifting up from the petals reaching towards the son fill my lungs and heal deep wounds that once made it hard to breathe. Now I breathe holy fire as if nothing had ever happened.

God is good.

He is my one-and-only. 

WOW!

“Why are you stuck in how you have always known it when I have set you free? Just walk in my freedom! Dance in my freedom. Joy is yours. Pick it up and live the way that I intended for you.”

2017 has been described to me as my “Wow” year.

Since January 2017 I have stepped foot from one victory to another. For the first time in a very long time my mind feels like it has been set free from cobwebs and tight fascia that once felt like it restricted freedom, joy and truth to reign. It is the reason for my lack in writing on this blog.

Perhaps I should not have kept my journey to myself? The reason why I question my silence is because God has literally done so much the past several months. I did not realize how long time had gone by since I last posted in any format. For this I am sorry because I am a writer and intend to share in order to encourage and help others.

There have been many freedom moments or “aha” moments since January. I found myself one day realizing that God had set me free and I did not change my thought process or habit. How often do we do this? We scream or yell, “I want to be free!” and instantly forget that God just walked us into victory. We have never needed to fight for it because it was already given to us.

Lies have been crumbling, and dropping to the floor like rain drops. In place of those lies God’s truth has filled in all of the gaps and holes. As this continues to take place on a weekly basis, toxic thoughts continue to die and a beautiful tree full of gorgeous blooms grows in its place. Freedom from bondage and heartache from holding on for too long is truly enabling me to soak up revelation of the truth that has always been right before me. It is a fun adventure!

2017 is my “Wow” year and I continue to walk in miracles and joy! I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

I am back! 😉

 

A Must Read! Destined to Win by Kris Vallotton

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What is holding us back? Have you ever wanted to stand firm in who you are and not sink back into false guilt, fear, or self-loathing? Destined To Win by Kris Vallotton eloquently and honestly addresses heart issues and lies that may keep us from living with our full potential. He talks about important keys from scripture that establish who each of us are in Christ and applies it to life and ministry.

 

Some of my favorite topics were where Vallotton addressed some of the reasons why we might tend to strive too much or somehow stray from our destinies. A large portion of what he talks about is “discovering your people”. Are you working for and/or surrounding yourself with people with the same vision, same passion and same heart? Often times we just have not yet found our people who will not only encourage us along the way but partner with us to fulfill God’s call upon our lives. Other topics included establishing healthy boundaries, knowing that Jesus is the savior and we are not, forgiveness, and understanding that it will take a lot of hard work to fulfill your destiny.

 

What I love the most is that Vallotton is so open about his own life that anyone can relate. He uses a great balance of humor and truth that I often found myself highlighting, circling and starring things on the pages as well as saying, “uh huh” or “right on” out loud. I deeply appreciate his honesty. I value his insight from the wisdom that he has gained from his own life and study of God’s word.

 

God desires each of us to live victorious, free and full of joy and hope. The question is whether you are ready to live out your God given destiny and put in the hard work to do so? Each of us are Destined to Win.

 

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com and these opinions are my own.

I Failed At Coming Up With A Good Title. Creative Writing Here.

Here is a little piece of creative writing that I have been working on. This is the kind of writing that I absolutely love to do. Enjoy!


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I walked down the rocky path full of colors of grey and brown. I descended from a mountain high up where home base was to welcome me back from a raging battle. There was no rest to greet me, no genuine camaraderie among those I called friends. Instead a hug turned into a stab in my back.

As I descended I came upon an old friend. The building was old yet it somehow resonated with something new that I could not place a word for. Silence rang through the thick, dense fog while smoke rose up from the remaining ashes of what once was a place full of laughter. An ache settled in my heart as if the bleeding wound I desperately needed to get care for resided deep within the slow beat of my heart. A crow made me aware that death was within walking distance from the ashes and as I looked up he was there as if to mock my presence.

With a deep breath that sent piercing pain through my ribs I gathered what strength was left within me and quickened my pace to enter the doors of an old sanctuary. Hoping it would shelter me from the rage of the one hunting me I sank into the shadows gasping for fresh air. Intently I listened for any sound that would alert me that I needed to flee. All I could hear was the blood pulsing through my body. I began to pray.

Nothing stirred. Even the crow seemed to be silenced. As if on cue a chill ran down my spine. At first all I saw was a glint of silver but I did not know whether it was from a sword or the edge of armor. He knew where I was. This was no longer my home. Somehow I needed to find my way to safety. As I slowly stepped deeper into a hallway it revealed his location around the corner. Our eyes locked and for an instant I saw who he really was. No amount of armor, or lie could keep it hidden.

As I began to turn from him he yelled, “You cannot run from me. You will belong to me just like all the others.” Hatred and rage engulfed him in flames of furry. He laughed as I walked from him into another hallway. It was there that I saw the others he was talking about. There they were on the right and the left. Some were friends, others were family, and all were moaning and in awful pain. Some were bleeding so much I knew there was nothing that I could do to save them.

Tears streamed down my face for I loved each one so much. The darkness seemed to hone in upon me as I looked down. A moan from deep within me filled the space for there were no words for this pain. As I passed each one they seemed to be tormented within their own mind. Not one acknowledged that I was there. I fell to my knees and bent over in pain. How was I going to make it to safety? Blood soon was pouring down my arm into my hand. Hope within me was dwindling. The air was so thick with death.

Closing my eyes I sought the Lord for strength and for some hope of a way out. As I opened my eyes there shone a light revealing a path out. Behind me arose a strong and mighty warrior. From him I heard, “Kara, you are strong. This man is lying to you. Do not look to the right or to the left. Keep your eyes on the light. The light is truth. Get up and keep walking.”

With everything within me I stood back up looking directly into the light. Each step was painful. I felt so tired but hope was pumping through my veins. Every time I faltered a bit I heard, “Keep walking. You can do this. You are strong.” And each time I slightly turned my head to the side he said, “Keep looking towards the light. Pay no attention to these lies.”


I keep walking…

(To be continued)

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Love Letters From God: NIrV Bible

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This sweet children’s Bible is simple yet beautiful. If you have read the book, Love Letters From God you know that it is a personal application for kids to understand that the Bible was written for them. There are some excerpts of similar artwork throughout the pages but I was hoping for more of them since the book was amazing. Despite that the illustrations have how to guides on things like praying, the Ten Commandments and information about Jesus.

My favorite part of this version of a children’s Bible are the love letters from God. These are written by Glenys Nellist, who authored, Love Letters from God. It is the same simple layout. Your child gets to insert their name into the letter written from God and then they can reply back to it on the side. Below that there is a verse that the children can meditate on and memorize themselves. These three tools are excellent ways to help make the Bible become a big part of your children’s lives. If the Bible just becomes a book to read there is no point to it. But if we can get our kids to understand that the Bible is a love letter from God, that it is a guide on how to live our lives, we have a big win there. I believe that for many kids this could be one of their favorite Bibles.

I have received this book for free from booklookbloggers.com and these opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

All That She Needed To Know

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This is from a previous blog that I wanted to repost. It has been good for me to be reminded of this post personally and I hope it will inspire others. Enjoy!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2013

All that she needed to know

She stood there shimmering with a beauty that defied all logic. After everything that she had been through many believed that she would be destroyed forever, left in the dirty muck. But there she stood, clothed in truth and a freedom that came only from the Almighty.
A man, who watched silently in the shadows, wanted nothing more than for her to stay bound in the dirty mud that once encased her. He looked her over with jealous disdain. She was clothed in white and wore a pearl necklace of remarkable worth. This necklace represented real beauty that is found only in an honest relationship with Jesus. It represented the truth of being redeemed and having every chain of fear, abandonment, abuse, and lies dropped to the grave. She was free. She was pure. She radiated Love.
In anger he pulled out a fake pearl necklace and walked toward her. He was tired of seeing her stand upright, smiling with joy. Her laugh grated at his nerves. She glanced his way the closer he moved towards her. She recognized his face. He was a familiar companion yet one she had been freed from years ago. Despite his advance towards her, she started to sing, closing her eyes as she peacefully smiled in worship.
This infuriated him so much that he screamed for her to take off the necklace she was wearing and put on the one he had in his hands. She opened her eyes in time to tell him no and made sure her footing was firmly planted so that she would not move. Being denied, he furiously brought up his hands and attempted to rip off the necklace around her neck.
Pain shot through her neck, head, and back. Nothing he did was able to break such an incredible gift. The more he tugged, the firmer she stood despite the pain. When he was tired of yanking her necklace, he wrapped his hands around her neck to strangle out her voice, which she was using to speak words of loving truth. The tighter his grip, the stronger she fought for her voice.
She pleaded with the Lord, asking for help from such binding actions. Jesus, having been the one to give her such a gift of priceless worth stepped into the room. She saw him in the distance with relief. He nodded to her to do what He had prepared her to do in this moment. In an upward motion, and with all of the strength within her, she broke off the hands that were slowly choking out her voice.
His eyes went wide. His grasp on her had been broken. Pain shot through her entire body as she gasped for air. Her throat throbbed.
Then Jesus, in all of His glory, appeared behind her. She was filled with awe as the man could only cower, desperately fighting the urge to kneel to the King of Kings. And as he collapsed to the floor, she stood victorious. Jesus wrapped His arms around her gently and whispered in her ear words that filled her with strength. These words she would forever remember.
Jesus said, “I am so proud of you!”
That is all that she needed to know.

Punching Pain in the Face (insert LOL here)

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Life with Jesus is the best adventure! It truly is.

In my life, I have been through some very hurtful and hard things. I have seen betrayal, loss and heartache over and over. So have many of you. One of the most interesting things about us is our response or reaction to the times where our lives are being hit with one painful process after another. Some choose to ignore the pain and let it rot within them. Others quite literally look pain in the face to meet it head on in order to let it go.

I have found that facing the pain head on is where you are faced with the decision to choose freedom. A year ago today I was physically ill (much more ill than I originally thought) and was experiencing grief as the holiday season was rearing its head full on. Looking back there is a complete difference within my heart as well as my body today. Part of my healing process has been a physical journey where I have made lifestyle changes as to what I consume and even how I care for myself. Another part of my healing journey has been confronting pain and kicking it right in its face! I am not even joking here. I literally have confronted issues, vocalized them out loud and then verbally forgave every single person that was involved, forgiving individuals even for how their action or lack of action made me feel.

When you hold onto pain eventually you get used to it being around. Pain can be a friend when its cause is to alert us that some action needs to take place immediately in order for healing to occur after. But pain can be our foe when we allow it to rot within us choosing to ignore the causes to the symptoms we are having. Some may not even realize how pain rears its butt ugly head in their lives but it eventually does manifest itself. It takes a toll on your body. Now just imagine for a moment what it does to your heart if you are not inwardly taking care of the issues that pain has caused. It gets more ugly the deeper in you get.

The beautiful thing about God is that he joins us in our healing journeys. When we look pain in the face and expose all the ugly, it is an opportunity for us to welcome our healer and our Abba God to come and do what he does best. He cleans us up and turns all the scars from our pain into something beautiful. When the shackles of pain release through the act of forgiveness freedom and joy like never before come to flood our soul. This is good for the body too! Forgiveness is one of the best self care protocols that everyone should practice regularly.

Be kind to one another. Be kind to yourself as you allow God to work deep in your heart to bring you into a greater level of freedom. Face the pain and get to the root of it so that you can punch pain right in its face. Do not harbor this any longer! Let it go. Forgive. As you do this it is sending long quenched nutrients to grow the fruits of the Spirit in your life.

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God Hates Suffering

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This simple yet profound book is life changing. For years I have asked questions about the suffering of those I love so dearly. Many that I know have experienced inner turmoil over the suffering of others. If you have had any questions about how God feels about suffering or wondered if he was the cause of it please read this book. The title of the book is the answer to your question and is simple God hates suffering. Because of this truth you understand that he is a God that has great love and compassion towards us. If you do not believe this then I encourage you to research for yourself the biblical content in this book.

Dr. Davenport provides stirring accounts of biblical proof to reveal to any reader that Jesus had compassion and love for the suffering during his ministry on earth. How you view people with sicknesses, disabilities, and certain types of afflictions may change after reading, God Hates Suffering. What I love most about what Dr. Davenport conveys is the importance of partnering with heaven and that we must confront suffering the same way as Jesus. Biblically you can see how Jesus confronted suffering. Every opportunity that he had he loved others and healed people everywhere he went. Compassion ran through his veins. If we do not have this same love and compassion we will not be portraying the true identity of Christ to anyone.

As you read you will see Dr. Davenport’s story interwoven in the pages as he discusses compassion as it relates to the Kingdom, how we are to live compassionately, how to respond to defeat and how to approach healing and deliverance. Each of us may come with our own different theologies and thoughts on this topic but Dr. Davenport does an excellent job providing biblical proof that God hates suffering. Truly, His Compassion is Our Commission.

Brew a good cup of coffee today and enjoy Dr. Bryan Davenport’s book, God Hates Suffering: His Compassion is Our Commission.

You can follow Dr. Bryan Davenport here:

Dr. Davenport’s partnership with Ten Talents International

Dr. Bryan Davenport’s blog

Click this link to purchase God Hates Suffering

 

 

I purchased this book and these opinions are my own.

Working Through Scar Tissue

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(Hannah Hope Photography)

Last week I tore some scar tissue in my wrist from an injury dating back to middle school. I heard a pop and had immediate pain. Like many times in the past where I had inflamed the same injury I instantly was worried. I soon realized that this pain was different and minor soreness occurred. I now have better movement and range of motion than I have ever had in years.

When God is allowed into our lives deeper and deeper, he starts to break up our scar tissue.

Scar tissue is an amazing thing as it is our body’s way of repairing and protecting the damaged area. Sometimes it can build up too much and we need it to be worked out in order for proper blood flow to return to the area and life can return back as it should be.

Our hearts, minds, and souls are very much the same. We do things to repair and protect ourselves when we have been hurt. But too often we can either run or see it as a bad thing when our inner scar tissue begins to break up and be worked out. It feels uncomfortable. It can be extremely painful at the time. It leaves us feeling vulnerable. Sometimes it can even feel too intrusive. This is a good thing!

I have seen too many people in my life run from these moments. Just when God is getting to the root of the cause of so much of our pain, we run. Just when God is getting to the root of our sin issue, we run. No one really likes pain but when there is pain with a purpose, a purpose to bring healing and life back so that we can be free, that is pain well worth experiencing.

Too many times I have seen people decide to run away from this process when the purpose is to bring them into a greater level of freedom and joy.

I will be blunt honest on here this time. I am tired of seeing so many people who were once on fire with passion for God slowly fade into the background when things got too intense inside of them and when the painful process of working out scar tissue didn’t feel good. It got too uncomfortable for them.

What is the point of having a relationship with a loving, all knowing, faithful God when we are only willing to give him our scraps or a piece of our heart?  When he desires more of us, some just sit back allowing themselves to turn into an apathetic Sunday or once a month Christian. If my husband did that to me, we would have major issues. I would know that he had lost interest in loving me and might even be hiding something from me. I am no longer friends with people who have treated me in similar ways because there was no longer a healthy relationship that was growing.

God knows all of our junk. He knows all of our secrets. He knows that what we go to often creates more agony and pain. His ways are always best because he is good. He is love.

Let him work through the scar tissue.

It is worth it.

Freedom. Overflowing joy. Love reigns where fear once had a stronghold. Addictions are gone. Trauma is healed. Life in Christ is a life lived from victory!

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Favorite Things

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(photo: Hannah Hope Photography)

The year two wave of grief hit and it caught me a bit off guard. I found myself crying more than I had intended. The intense heartache returned with a vengeance.

Grief is never an enjoyable experience but it does change. The heartache did not last as long this time but it reminded me how long I had lived feeling that way every day, all day for months. If you are still going through that cycle of grief, please know that it does lesson ever so slowly.

Just the other day, I had been weeping over so many different things that made my heart ache. I was struggling with not only my Mom but also so many family details and seeing the solution without any way of being able to change one thing. So much of being a Step Mom has shown me how true love is a love that has grit. I want to be a woman that has grit but the process hurts!

As I was weeping I opened my Bible to Luke 19 and read verse 41, “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it”.

This post is by no means an exegetical description of this chapter. But this spoke volumes to me that Jesus wept over the hearts of people in the city of Jerusalem. He knew the answer to all of their heart issues. He knew everything about them, their pain, and the depravity of their hearts. Jesus wept. Jesus knew grief.

As I listened in the quiet, allowing tears to fall rather than get stuck, God spoke such tender words. He said, “My own Son felt strongly. He wept. He loved deeply. Why should you feel wrong for feeling so strongly for people, for weeping? This is one of my favorite things about you. I made you this way!”

In that moment, in the acceptance of my Lord, I experienced healing. Inner turmoil I experienced for years for feeling wrong for how I felt so deeply and often ached for others began to release. Did you know that the very things that you may dislike about yourself could very well be Gods favorite things about you? When you realize this truth you will find yourself closer to Father God. You will realize that you do not need to do things to protect yourself from getting hurt because you will realize that God continually heals your heart and soul. God desires freedom for you. He wants to help you conquer everything that distances you from him. He loves you!

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(Hannah Hope Photography)