Waterfall

When you have hiked the trails to a big waterfall have you just stood there and marveled at its beauty? 

I love the smell of the water in the air. Even if I stand a fair distance away I can even feel the mist upon my face. It makes me feel close to the Creator. I long for closeness. It is what drives me everyday.

Life right now reminds me of a waterfall and I am standing in awe. Many circumstances that often cause an ache in my heart still remain the same. I have much hope that these things will turn into good. Why? Because God has literally made impossible things possible.

For so many years whenever something good started to occur an intense season soon followed. It occurred like this so often that I used to live my life flinching, waiting for the next negative and hurtful thing to happen. Instead of enjoying the waterfall up close I was content just feeling the mist on my face. 

I have chosen to live differently. Fear is gone and I am getting drenched under the waterfall.

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The Step in Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day is coming up & in my network of Step Mom’s I have seen posts communicating both dread & of blessings. For those that call themselves childless Step Mom’s, as in they are a Step parent only & have no biological children, it is a day filled with a bit of grief. We live in a difficult culture of double standards, disrespect & harsh stereotypes. Most of the time I hear the same thing over & over again from my fellow Step Mom network, Mother’s Day is hard. It is hard for any blended family. 

You are seen, you are known. Everything that you do matters more than you will ever know. 

Too often we can place expectations on a specific day & have it end in disappointment. This year I advise my fellow Step Mom’s to realize their important worth while releasing their step kids from responding a certain way. Perhaps this year you can give a card to your step kids to tell them how special they are. Any way that we can give our kids permission to love every family member even if they are not ready to love you in return quite yet is a way to win the day. 

Through it all, how you choose to love is what matters the most. Even if you feel overlooked, or under appreciated know that you are known. Your love is being written on your kids heart whether they show any love back to you in return. They will remember how you made them feel. They will remember your embrace, your words, & how you treated their biological parents. 

You matter. God loves you. To love your kids is to reveal a piece of God’s heart for everyone. 

BAM! What?


Have you ever gone so long in a season that you literally just thought that life would always remain that way? I ask this question because my husband and I have gone through season after season of intensity. Seasons were filled with yucky slime and we often felt robbed. Despite this we chose Jesus and chose to laugh, chose to remain steadfast and choose love. All we have ever desired was to please God and be faithful to him in all things. We still desire this knowing that we may have to walk through heart wrenching things. Life is tough but I have been realizing that because of God I am stronger and tougher than what may happen in this life.

Recently we have been living in a new season. It came slowly, and steadily until one day… BAM!! We were walking right into a miracle. What?! This was something so new and so surreal. God had laid our path in order to walk out impossible things. We have always believed this about God but never did we dare to even dream what he wanted to give to us. As I write this, tears well up in my eyes because I feel so overcome with his love for us. 

Our entire married life has been filled with miracles. When we needed a car, one was given to us. When we had no money for food or rent, a check would show up in the mail or groceries would be delivered to our door. When we were in desperate need God always provided. He was never late and never too early. His timing was impeccable, perfect.

Not only does God care about providing your physical needs but your mental and emotional needs as well. When you need people in your life to love you just like Father God, he will either send them or lead them to you. As we have walked in miracles God has given us the biggest one: family and a home. We no longer feel like we are wandering. Our hearts swell real big with gratefulness and a deeper love for others. 

Through it all, God remains faithful. The greater question through every season whether good or bad is, will you remain faithful to him? Will you praise him no matter the circumstance? 

Our answer has always been, “yes, God” and I pray that it always will.



A Step Mom Post

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I literally have three different Step Mom posts in my draft folders. There are several reasons for this. My fellow Step Mom friends will understand that the role we choose to take on is full of rejection, back stabbing and hard holy work as we love and cherish our kids. Sometimes we struggle with our roles because it can change depending on what our child needs at the time and what family gathering we might be at.

To begin I want to talk about honor. Too often honor gets dumped out as things get messy sharing kids back and forth between homes. Our daughter has three and you can just begin to imagine how difficult that is. Ever since the day I officially had the privilege to start my Step Mom role I wanted to make sure that my daughter’s Bio Mom was respected and honored. This can often feel difficult when it is not reciprocated. I have walked through a constant grieving process as I have honored her Mom and Grandma’s role. I would be quiet at mutual gatherings, stand back and watch rather than introduce myself, and go without hugging my daughter.

I would be careful with every word and every action because I feared any backlash upon my husband and daughter. Fear kept me from being fully myself. But I am so sick of this. I am sick of believing lies about myself.

I used to believe the lie that I made things worse. It seemed like the more I loved her, and supported her Daddy, the more both of them would receive backlash. For that reason, I hid in the shadows and remained quiet. But I felt like I was the big elephant in the room no matter what I did.

We are not welcome and our daughter continues to pay tremendously just because we are in her life.

I used to cringe at the thought of knowing that by showing any love for her in person would end poorly for her later. It made me want to stop anything just to protect her from the verbal and emotional abuse later. But why would I choose to not love when she so desperately needed it? Which one was better for her to go without? Why would I choose both lack of love on my end as well as the other end?

So I choose to love no matter what. I pray and weep knowing what she often faces for our love but at least she knows love. At least she knows the difference. I hope one day, ashes will fall and she will rise victoriously courageous knowing who she is and that she is deeply loved even if other people show her and tell her the opposite. I hope that what she remembers is that we chose her. I hope she remembers love, the unconditional love that remained through every trial, heartache, and joy.

Yes, daughter, you are chosen. You have been fought for. You are loved. You have been made victorious!

freedom birds

A Bottle to Break Over His Feet

There is a song by Misty Edwards with a line that says, “I want to put my passion in a bottle and break it over your feet”, like the time Mary anointed Jesus with perfume.

If I could put all that I am; all my dreams; all my passions; all my love; all of me into a bottle I would want to break it over Jesus’ feet and anoint him with it. As I think about what this means, it puts everything into perspective. There is nothing more that I would want other than to love my Savior in this way.

As I reflect over the past several years, everything that I have gone through has been worth it. It helped fill up the bottle of expensive perfume to anoint over the feet of the one who calls me Beloved. My bottle is full of joy, gratefulness, thanksgiving, blessing and every part of who I am. I long to give to him all of me even though I know it is nothing in comparison to what he has given to me.

I will live my life filling my bottle to pour over Jesus’ feet. I pray that it is a sweet aroma that brings a smile to his face.

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.