Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Cast All My Cares Upon You

Well, I did it. I bubbled over with stress and did that embarrassing sobbing-face-in-the-hands thing in front of my husband. Sometimes, it helps to pop the release valve just ever so slightly and let some of the steam escape from my emotional self…ugly as that may be.
It’s rather embarrassing when my inner 4-year-old emerges unexpectedly. Do we ever outgrow tantrums???
And then these words….merely words if we don’t put them into practice.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

(Isaiah 26:4)

Be blessed today and always,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blessings on the Wind

'Fall hiking' photo (c) 2010, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - license:

Can you hear that?
It’s blessings on the wind.
In the rustling of the leaves; they shimmer crimson in fall sunlight.
Can you feel that?
It’s the sweet, cool breath of the Holy One.
He whispers your name and calls in your dreams.
He’s moving in a mighty and powerful way.
The blessings…they’re there. Just around the next bend, from high up they descend gaining speed and land at precisely the right moment. His moment.
If we only believe.

“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them…”

(Deut. 28:12-14)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Unravel Me, Lord

There isn’t a single hose at our house that doesn't spit water from somewhere other than where it should! I kinda dread going out to water the garden or fill my pond when it gets low.
The hoses kink and knot up and create pressure until the water has nowhere else to go but to burst through tiny holes or spew from the nozzle! Uggh!
Of course, you know where I’m going with this, right???
Yep, sometimes, I am that hose!
I allow myself to become so wadded up and bound up tight with pressure and stress and emotion until finally…I erupt! Usually with tears (just like those tiny holes in the hose) and usually all over my unsuspecting family! (Sorry, guys).
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
Funny thing about those kinked up hoses, and many gardeners know this to be true: the fastest and surest way to relax a hose and make it pliable is to lay it out in the sun.
How ironic that the same would apply to you and me.

When we lay ourselves out before the Son, knotted up, tensed up and on edge, the stress, the tension, the raw emotions and the hurt simply fade away. Just like we use that garden hose to “spread the blessing” of water, wonderful life-giving water, the enemy will try to stop the flow of those blessings by creating little “knots” in our lives. He wants you to be that kinked-up hose that can’t bless and can’t give thanks. He delights when the pressures of your life cause the tears to flow and the blessings stop coming.

But sweet friend…don’t give in to him. Remember to lay yourself out before the Lord, regardless of the condition of your heart. If we want to be pliable and give ourselves over to God’s use, we have to bring it all before Him, poured out and receptive to His will asking simply…unravel me, Lord.

Many Blessings,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Who’s Behind Your Dream? (remix)

'towels' photo (c) 2009, EvelynGiggles - license:
Laundry doesn’t fold itself.
What a wonderful and hidden blessing found in those quiet moments of smoothing out lines and wrinkles of the day. It seems my deepest, heaviest thinking takes place over stacks of fluffy bath towels, the jeans and dress shirts of my hard-working husband.
Even when I’m feeling a bit unraveled, I can fold things into neat and tidy stacks and feel some sense of accomplishment, though I’m still rushing to be and do all that the day demands.
'Latte 0708_2' photo (c) 2009, Sharib4rd - license:

There was a time when I couldn’t see beyond the tall piles of laundry. Couldn’t see beyond the walls that enclosed my mind and my spirit. I couldn’t see past the frustrated, depressed, “you’re-not-good-enough” mess that I was; beyond my failed attempts or the unclean, untidy, undone and unfinished….into God’s real plan.
I assumed my plan was His plan, so I headed strong and fast into each new dream with wheels spinning in the mud and going nowhere fast.
Back then, the only voice I heard was my own. Sadly, all others were distant and less important.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing
through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17) ESV
I push the stack of towels aside and rummage around for the matching socks. I join them, one with the other, and realize the simple reality; the lesson in the moment:
A dream powered by our own will
will be an uphill climb and reap little benefit
but a dream powered by prayer and unwavering faith in God
will reap blessings of God-sized proportions.
Who’s behind your dreams today?
Who’s behind your thoughts and your actions?
Who’s behind…you?

I’m so glad laundry doesn’t fold itself.

Be blessed today!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sharing CW Voice

You know….I’ve always loved magazines, and publishing my own is truly a labor of love. When I was young and growing up in the mountains with horses, I saved my money to buy every copy of Western Horseman I could find. Later in life, it was Victoria Magazine. I could not get enough of Victoria – I’d read it cover to cover again and again.

I especially loved the way it made me feel. Looking through it invited a sense of calm in my day as I’d sit with a cup of coffee and soak in all the articles, beautiful photos, travel destinations, the recipes and decorating styles. (I had no idea back then that I would actually be published in it one day! “I Remember Paris” appeared in the July/August 2011 issue).

I think, subconsciously, that’s what I hope to accomplish with CW Voice. It’s a Christian magazine and quite honestly, flipping through and reading the variety of articles and features, it almost feels like a friendly get-together with a bunch of ladies over coffee. Each contributor shares her heart, her experiences and her faith with the reader. I believe that’s what we’re called to do as Christian women. To gather and share what the Lord has done or is doing in our lives so that we may encourage others in their spiritual walk.

I love that our magazine speaks to women of ALL ages; from the young wife, the busy mom, the homeschooler, the empty nester and the grandmother. There truly is something for every heart in each issue.

This one is especially wonderful:

We’ve included a 30-Day Goal Challenge, a running worksheet for you to fill out in an effort to help you identify your dreams and goals and start working towards them. The 30-day challenge doesn't imply that you will have met your goal within that amount of time. It’s simply a tool to get the ball rolling and allows an opportunity to document your progress.

·       In an article shared by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s “The Amish: Simplicity and Satisfaction Personified,” you’ll get a glimpse of the Amish lifestyle and also a recipe for Funnel Cakes.

·         Our Frugal Living expert, Kim Wolf, shares some incredible tips and recipes for making your own household products.

·         Lisa Phelps talks about “Finding God in the Stillness” and how His voice speaks through all the negative thoughts and confusion when we’re in the middle of our storm.

·         Kelli Zaniel shares “I Remember,” recalling times when we might feel God is far off and distant.

·         Guest Contributor, Dr. Rita Hancock, shares practical, Biblical tips for making the right food choices during the holidays.

·         Robin Prater shares “When Did You Notice?” which encourages us all to go outside of our comfort zone to befriend someone and share the love of Jesus…before it’s too late.

·         We’re sharing a great house-cleaning schedule from a wonderful web site:

·         Pamela Johnson talks about “The Battles Within” and how the love of God can break through any stronghold.

·         Nancy Sullivan honors the legacy of her precious mother who recently passed away in “The Flame of Hope”.

·         You’ll find delicious ways to make the most out of your vegetable garden with wonderful harvest recipes “From Tami’s Kitchen”.

·         13-year-old Lauren Lee is passionate about the rescue of dogs – check out her article regarding “National Mill Dog Rescue”.

·         Kimberly Lomont helps put the garden to bed after the long growing season in “Tips and the Potter’s Voice”.

·         Heidi Avery talks about the real and honest motivation behind our prayers in “Before I Utter One Word”.

·         Fitness Expert, Bethany Learn, answers your health and fitness questions in “Q & A with Bethany”.

·         Kimberly Guzzi talks about how we, as women, often set ourselves up for failure or discouragement in “Soar on Wings Like Eagles”. She also offers some great savings tips for back-to-school.

·         Custom Baker, Tea Aficionado and owner/operator of “Royal Tea Scones,” Joy Whipple, is our Entrepreneurial Focus. See how she turned her passion into profits.

·         Freelance painter and mixed media artist, Alisa Burke shares her “Pretty Painted Pumpkins”- directions and photos for a festive yet contemporary fall craft.

·         Robin Prater reviews Darlene Zschech’s new book, “Revealing Jesus – a 365 Day Devotional” in Robin’s Book Nook.

·         And I’m sharing the next to the last chapter of my fiction saga, “Scattered Hearts”. If you’ve been following this story line, you WON’T want to miss this chapter.

·         And of course, we end the issue with the Prayer of Salvation. We always want to give you an opportunity to give your heart to Jesus and begin a life of freedom in Him. It’s the most important relationship you could ever have.

I do hope you’ll consider subscribing to CW Voice – it also makes the perfect Christmas gift. Visit us at:Christian Women's Voice and order yours today.

Be blessed,

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