Friday, August 11, 2017

For I know the Plans I have for You...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

This is one of my favorite scriptures! I love to plan...plan my workday, plan my weekly menu, plan our vacation, and write it ALL in my monthly planner. I like to know what I am doing so I can "mark it done" and have that since of accomplishment. 

Many times our plans are not God's plans, and our ways are not God's ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I used to get upset and stressed when things did not go as I had planned. But, I have learned that I can plan... and still be flexible. There will be times when something comes up that must take priority over what is on my list for that day. It may be a task that is more important, a sick family member that needs attention, or a divine appointment with a stranger. I don't want to be so busy that I miss an opportunity that is placed before me.

I know God's plan is better than my plan and I have to trust Him and be sensitive to his leading in order to stay on the right path. I want to be in the center of His will; whether I am working, with my family, or doing a ministry for the Kingdom. 

The path is not always clear. At times, it can be scary because I don't know what is going to happen next. I want to see ahead and know that everything is going to work out... but God knows. He can see ahead and more importantly He sees the "big" picture. He knows what is best for me and His plan includes good things for my future! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

You Are On The Path to Your Destiny!

God's plan for you is not just for you. His plan includes using you to help others in this world.

God always works on more than one level, what he is doing in you, for your benefit, and what he's doing through you, for the benefit of those around you.

Think about Joseph for a moment:
He had a dream that his family was bowing down to him. He thought the dream was about himself, but Joseph's purpose was so much bigger. He would ultimately sustain the lives of not only his own family but so many other lives as well. (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 often say, "If I'd only known then what I know now..." We can't see the end. We may not even be able to see the next step, but if we trust God and believe in his word than you must believe Job 8:7 which says, 'Though my beginning was small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase' and Jeremiah 29:11 that says 'For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans for a hope and a future'.

The Lord has a plan for you and even if it starts out small don't be discouraged. It took twenty years for Joseph to fulfill his purpose. In that time, he dealt with struggles, pain, lies, heartache, loneliness, and lots of emotions. During that time God was shaping Joseph and preparing him for what was to come. He positioned him in the right place at the right time to fulfill God's greater purpose.

You are on the path to your destiny. It may be tough, painful, and emotional but God is using this time to shape you into the person he intends for you to be. He is strengthening you, building your character and maybe even testing your faith. He needs a strong person to do His work. When you are facing trials remember James 1:2-4, 'Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance...'

Your path of pain can be your place of preparation. When the road gets difficult, don't look for a way out. Ask God to guide you through and teach you what you need to learn. He will walk through whatever it is with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Know that God is using your circumstances to prepare you for what lies ahead. Be encouraged that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28)

This post was inspired by the book, "Now What: An honest look at following Jesus through difficult times." by Scott Rodgers (affiliate link provided)

Friday, July 28, 2017

God, don't you have something more for me?

Are you content where you are at in your life or do you have a desire for something more? 
Do you ever think, "Is this it? Is this all there is for me in this life? This can't be where God intended for me to stay."

You are not alone. Even if you do not know what your future holds, God has a great plan for you! He has given you gifts, talents, and even relationships that He will use to take you down a path that will ultimately lead to your Purpose. 

That path may not be an easy one. Sometimes the Lord takes us through trials to prepare us for the work He has for us to do. The storms of life make our faith stronger. The fire cleanses us and removes things that don't need to be there. The rough, rocky roads make us trust Him even more and the mountains reveal God's glory. 

Whether you can see it right now or not, you have a destiny to fulfill! God has placed before you opportunities and responsibilities that are covered in divine significance. He has given you that desire that is in your heart. The talents he has given you and the experiences you have had, will all work together to be used on behalf of the kingdom. You WILL be more, You DO have a purpose, You ARE a part of God's bigger plan.

God is with you in the very place you are right now. If you are reading this form your desk, your living room, or your car; He knows where you are and He is with you. 

He DOES have a plan for you. That "thing" that you are passionate about - he put that compassion in you for a reason. It is not a coincidence. Now, what can you do to move forward?

Find a way to work toward that desire in your heart. It doesn't have to be a big step or cost money. If your passion is to help the homeless, but you do not have the financial resources to fulfill your vision, start with what you can do. Maybe you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate items to a homeless shelter. If your desire is to help young people; sign up for a mentoring program or volunteer to help with the youth at your local church. 

Think about your desire and then find a way to take a step toward it.

Doing something, even a small something, will encourage you and make you fill better. Ask God to open doors for you and then look for those opportunities to happen. They may not appear in the way you would imagine, so be aware and be open. Trust that the Lord will reveal His plan to you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

How full is your Pitcher? Taking time for self-care...

Imagine with me for a minute that your day starts out like this Mom's:

Your blessing of a child is frustrated, "Mom, I can't find my track shoes. Today is the track meet! Can you please help me?" It takes you two seconds to find the first one and 10 minutes to find the other one. As you rush to finish getting ready for work, your husband comes to tell you bye. "Honey, could you pick up my dry cleaning on the way home? Please don't forget, I need it for tomorrow." "Of course," you reply as you add it to your mental list in RED letters and say a quick prayer, "Lord, please don't let me forget!" You finally get out the door with no time to spare. No Starbucks today, and you really need coffee. On the way to the office you go over your top priorities for the day and take a deep breath. It is Thursday...tomorrow is Friday...then the weekend (Happy Dance). As you approach the office door, you see your boss is already there and seems to be in a panic. You walk in cautiously and he turns to you, "Oh good your here!" You soon find out that the project that wasn't due until next week is due tomorrow. Someone had a miscommunication and it is this Friday not next. And who suffers.... you do! It's not your fault but the work load falls to you. You roll up your sleeves and get to work. You end up having to work late but you get it done and head home. As you pull into the driveway you remember the dry cleaning. By the time you get to the garage the tears start to fall. You have given all you have and now your just empty...

Okay, so maybe your day isn't exactly like this Mom's, but you get the picture. We all face days like this and get overwhelmed with everything we must do. We give, and give, and give until there is nothing left. We become dry and empty.

I had a friend who used to tell me, "Your pitcher is getting empty. Come on, let's go get our nails done." She saw that I wasn't taking any time for myself. My first thought was no I don't have time for that. But I soon realized that I was happier, more energetic, and just felt better if I just spent a little time each week on ME. 

Take some time this week to do something that you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Get up early and have some alone time to pray or read
  • Call up a friend and have coffee or go to a movie 
  • Make an appointment to get your hair or nails done
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go to the library and pick out a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Sign up for a yoga class

Seriously, right now, pick something and put it on your calendar! The sooner you do, the sooner you will feel better!

What works for you? What do you do to fill your pitcher back up so that you are ready to give more? Your idea might be just what someone else needs to hear! Share in the comments below.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What is Bloglovin and do I need it?

I used to wonder how do you even follow blogs? Do you just have to remember their website and go back and check if they have posted anything new? I had no idea how this worked...

Well, you can always sign up to get emails when new content is posted, which is a great way to "stay in the loop" and be a VIP. (My VIP email list gets all the news first, extra info about me and my life, links to free downloads, and much more!)

Now days there is an app for everything! So here it is... the Bloglovin app. It is a great tool for keeping up with all the blogs you are interested in. You can sign up with facebook or an email and "follow" blogs that you like. New posts will then show up in a news feed fashion. When you click on a post, it will take you directly to that site so you can leave comments and the blogger gets credit for your page view.

Once you have installed the app, search for "Shining with Sparkle" and Follow Me!

If you want to be on my VIP email list sign up here. It would be an honor to visit your inbox!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Do you allow time for breakdowns?

Recently, on the radio I heard a story about a businessman whose car broke down in a small town on a Saturday afternoon. He was frustrated and angry. His first miracle was finding a mechanic on this particular afternoon. As the gentleman told his story he said, "God allowed" me to breakdown. It was not his ideal situation but God had planned a divine appointment for the mechanic in that small town on that day. The businessman experienced a second miracle when given the opportunity to tell the mechanic about Jesus and he accepted Christ as his Savior. The man left with his car fixed and was filled with joy and peace.

If he had stayed frustrated and angry he might have missed the opportunity to share Jesus with the mechanic. He didn't let his unfortunate situation ruin his day. In fact, it Made his Day! 

Things happen that end up disrupting our plans. When those things happen, I encourage you to be observant and look around you. Did God put you in this place right now for a divine appointment?

Is there someone you need to witness to? Maybe someone you are going to encounter needs prayer or just a smile or a kind word. It might be someone you know or a complete stranger. It could be that you see a need that you can meet for a mom or her children. Your appointment could "show up" in many different ways. The important thing is that you be obedient when it does.  

We can get so caught up in our schedule and what we need to do next that we miss opportunities that the Lord places in front of us. 

Be willing to let God use you today. If you see an opportunity in front of you don't be in too big a hurry to Shine the Light of Jesus!

Do you believe in divine appointments? Have you experience a divine appointment in your life?
Comment below↓

Friday, July 7, 2017

Three Steps from the Wilderness to the Prominse

*This post contains affiliate links.

God's Plan for Your Wilderness

Are you going thru a really difficult experience? Do you feel like God is not hearing your prayers? Are you feeling lost or ready to give up?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in the wilderness. We have probably all experienced some type of wilderness in our lives. From feeling like you are in a dry, desolate place to experiencing burnout in your ministry.

I have good news for you...
the Wilderness comes before the Promise.

God took the Israelites to the promised land by way of the wilderness. However, what should have been approximately an eleven day journey turned into one that lasted forty years. I don't know about you - but I don't want my wilderness to last any longer than it has to.  

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV

Rejoice knowing you are in the place God has chosen as your testing ground! God wants to strengthen you and prepare you for the future he has planned for you. On the other side of this growth process is something great for your life!

God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the promised land. That's the same pattern He uses in our lives today when He wants to lead us into something wonderful. (The i Factor)

Out of Egypt - Your Egypt might be a situation, a financial struggle, an unhealthy relationship, or even depression. Any type of bondage or tough situation you might find yourself in.

Through the Wilderness - A time when you feel uncertain or lost. You may feel like God has left you or doesn't hear your prayers. This time might feel like that old saying, "you stepped out of the fire and into the frying pan". 

(Hang on - It WILL get better)

Into the Promise - The moment that God shows you the place you are headed. This will be different for everyone but often it will feel like freedom. Your promise may be freedom from addiction, freedom from financial struggles, or freedom from a situation. Maybe your promise is physical healing, a relationship mended, or salvation for a family member.

So, how do you get out of the wilderness?
#1. Do NOT give up. Do not let this place destroy you. This is not your end!
#2. Trust that the Lord will get you through this. God has a plan for your life. Ask Him to reveal it to you and then watch for it. It will likely come in a way you do not expect. Watch for opportunities to be placed in front of you.
#3. Realize that this is a growing experience. Humble yourself and truly seek God's will for your life. You may not feel like you are growing but sometimes a plant must be pruned so that it can grow to its full potential. If God is removing some things from your life, don't chase after them. Look for the new growth to start happening.

*excerpts taken from the The i Factor 7-Day Reading Plan.  To participate click on add this to my reading plan.  

To get the complete book or small group study guide see below.


Monday, July 3, 2017

The Greatest Freedom of All!

* This post contains affiliate links

Each year we celebrate our Independence as a free nation with 
fireworks, cookouts, and family get-togethers. This year, take time to remember just what you are celebrating....FREEDOM. Many people have suffered and died so that we can experience the freedom we have today. Nations across the world know American as "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". Regardless how you feel about our government right are still blessed with a free nation. 

You have the freedom of religion, speech, and press. You have the right to bear arms and protection of rights to life, liberty, and prosperity. I could list the the whole Bill Of Rights here but that is for another day.  I just want to encourage you today to stop for a moment and remember what Independance Day is all about. 

I can't talk about freedom without mentioning the greatest freedom of all, and that is freedom from sin. We have all been born into this world with the choice of living a sinful life or repenting of our sin and experiencing forgiveness and freedom. 

Sin is like slavery, it traps you and keeps you longer than you want to stay. It takes you places you never thought you would go and once you are in so deep, it can feel like there is no way out. Well, I have some good news for you today! Just like our soldiers died for our freedom, Jesus died so that we would be free from sin. He will deliver you from the bondages of sin and set you free! 

All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Admit to God that you have sinned. Believe in Jesus Christ as God's son. Confess your faith in Jesus. (share with someone else the decision you have made) If you would like to read more about this click here. If you would like ask Jesus into your heart you can pray this prayer. 

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves 
be burdened again by  yoke of slavery. "
Galatians 5:1 NIV

When was the last time you celebrated your freedom from sin?
What does freedom mean to you?


Leave me a comment to let me know you have visited my page. I reply to all comments 💗💗💗

Friday, June 30, 2017

How to find protection, strength, and courage

*picture taken by Jacklin Drake - near Branson, MO

Back in the were a place of safety. 
They provided protection from the enemy and a shield from the weather. They provided a place of refugee to regain strength before continuing on their journey. It was a safe place and a place to rest. 

Today, God is our Rock. He will protect you from the enemy and shield you from the storm. He will renew your strength and your courage to continue on this journey of life. When you are tired he will give you rest.

Lean on the Father today and let Him be your rock. Run to Him in your time of need, talk to Him, tell Him what is on your mind, and trust Him to deliver you from what you are facing. 

The Lord is my rock, 
and my fortress, and my deliverer; 
my God, my strength, 
in whom I will trust; my buckler,
 and the horn of my salvation, 
and my high tower. 
Psalms 18:2 

What are you facing today? Do you need prayer? 
I would be honored to pray for you if you would like to share your need in the comments below. ♡♡♡
You can also email me at

Friday, June 23, 2017

This is the Day the Lord has Made

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This is the day that the Lord has made, 
let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Shining With Sparkle
*picture taken by Jacklin Drake - Lake Texhoma

I took this picture when my husband and I were on a 
weekend get-a-way. It was a very stressful time in our lives and God provided this trip right when we needed it most.  

By the time I took this picture we were relaxed and enjoying ourselves. God always knows what you need and He will give you rest when you need it most.  

It is important to spend some quality time with your creator. Maybe you can't take a trip but find a place to "get away" from your daily routine. Eliminate all distractions and give God your complete attention. Talk to Him and let Him speak to you and rest in His precious presence.

"Come unto me, 
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
 and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28 KJV

Are you tired of the same thing every day? Are you physically exhausted? What do you need from the Lord today? DON'T LEAVE ME A COMMENT... Go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to give you rest, revive your spirit, and renew your faith in Him.

(Of course, I love hearing from my readers so if anything I write touches you please let me know.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

First Day of Summer - Free Bucket List!

Well it is officially Summer!

I love the long evenings, swimming, cooking on the grill, setting by the fire pit, and everything thing else that comes along with Summer Time!

Yesterday, I was browsing on Pinterest and ran across a Summer Bucket List for kids. It is great and you can find it on my Family Fun board HERE. But, I wanted to create a list for those of you who may be empty nesters, or young couples, or anyone else who wants a list not necessarily "just for kids". 

So, I put together an A-Z Grown-Up's Summer Bucket List!
Several of these items are things my husband and I do and some are goals for this summer. A few may seem childish - but hey, we are all kids at heart right? And isn't that what summer is for, to go back to your childhood days? 

I hope you enjoy your summer!

Click to download

Question for YOU!
What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? (Now or when you where a child) Share in the comments!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Think about positive things and thank God

*picture taken by Jacklin Drake - Hartshorne, OK

God is the creator of the universe and all that is in it. 
Sometimes you can run across something that combines God's creation with man's creativity and just be astounded. 
Man has made lots of things in our world, with the knowledge God has given us. 

This man-made dam at the end of a local city lake can be breathtaking at times. Just to sit and listen to the water rush across the top can be so relaxing. It runs down the side of the dam and into a small stream then under a bridge. I can get lost in the majesty of our creator as I observe the beauty around me. 

It is good to take some time and spend it with the one who created you and everything around you. Whether that be alone at your kitchen table, sitting on your front porch, or outside near the lake.Think about positive things and thank Him for all He has done for you.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
 whatsoever things are honest, 
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever ever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; 
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, 
think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 

Where is your favorite place to be alone with God? 
Sometimes we need to change our place. If you feel like you are in a "rut" try spending time with God in a different place. If you usually sit at the table take your coffee and Bible out to the porch or vice versa. 

Would you share with me your favorite places to spend time with God? Comment in the box below 

Friday, June 9, 2017

It is the begining of a new day ...A fresh Start!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits. 
Psalm 103:2 KJV

*picture taken by Jacklin Drake

I love taking pictures and I love watching the sunrise!

It is the begining of a new day ...A fresh Start!
If you didn't like the way yesterday went it's a chance to do something different, to do better.

I heard a saying once:

"If you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?"

Think about that for a minute. What WOULD you have?
Would you have your kids, your spouse, or your parents?
What about your home, car, food, or the clothes on your back?

When was the last time you REALLY thanked God for all that He has provided for you?

It is easy to take for granted the blessings that we are surrounded by each and every day.

Start something new! 

Begin each day by giving thanks to the Lord.
Count your blessings and name them one by one. Write them down even. If you have a journal, start a new habit of writing in it daily, beginning with what you are thankful for. It will make your problems look much smaller.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits. 
Psalm 103:2 KJV

How do you start your day? Coffee or Tea? Scripture reading or Bible Study? Or maybe you have your quiet time in the evening? Share with our readers what works for in the comments below

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Are you struggling to break free? Download Scripture Cards

Are you struggling? Do you have a problem that just seems too big to handle?

Sometimes what we are going thru seems to hard too bear. When we are in the middle of a struggle it is hard to have a positive perspective. The problem seems like a huge mountain and we don't have enough energy to face it another day.

I saw a funny the other day that said... see the footprints in the sand...that is where I walked beside you; see that long groove over there.... that is when I dragged you for a while.

Feel like the Lord is dragging you? Read this post...

I know.... I know.... He picks us up and carries us, right? Well, have you ever tried to carry a child who is kicking and screaming because they don't want to go the way you are making them go? But you know best, (cause you're the parent) so sometimes you might have to drag them a little. Not in a harmful way but in a safe way for BOTH of you. (as arms and legs are swirling around you!) If you are a mom of a child over two you get the picture!

Have you ever felt the dragging of the Lord? It usually comes after the gentle prompting that we didn't obey. Then there was the more direct persuasion but we still didn't obey. Then someone gave you confirmation that this is the way you need to go and you just outright said "NO!". That's about when the dragging takes place!

Our Heavenly father knows what is best for us. He can see the BIG picture. He sees what lies ahead of us on the path we are on. He loves us and adores us and wants us to be happy. But he knows what is best and to protect us he will drag us if needed. 

You will most likely struggle during this process. You may not understand what is going on around you. Your faith is being tested. You feel week and out of control. You normally trust the Lord and His direction but this time you just don't see how this is going to get better. You can't see any light at the end of the tunnel.

As you struggle you are being strengthened. Your faith may be tested but when you get through this it will be stronger than ever! You may feel weak but give it ALL to God. Don't fight against the Lord. Walk beside Him as he fights this battle for you. When you get to the other side of whatever it is you are going through right now, you will be able to look back and see the Lord's hand at work, it may not be immediately but eventually you will see.

When we come out of each battle we are stronger than when we went into it. If you are thinking, "God, you said you wouldn't give me more than I can handle. And I don't feel like I can handle much more of this...". Know this very important fact...God knows EXACTLY how much you can handle. He made you, he knows the number of hairs on your head, and he knows right where you are at right now! He has not left you! Trust Him even when you cannot see Him working. He will bring you through :)  

Download FREE scripture cards

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.
~Psalm 28:7

FREE Scripture cards!
Download and print these cute scripture cards. Place them on your mirror, fridge, bathroom, etc. as daily reminders.
Here is a sample of one of the cards:

FREE Scripture cards - Click to download

Do you have a favorite scripture that has gotten you through a time of trial in your life? Would you be willing to share that scripture with others who might be facing the same situation? ❤❤❤❤❤
Please write the scripture or reference in the comments! Thank you :)

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to speak your husband's Love Language?

If you haven't read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman you really should!

I read this book for the first time several years ago after winning it at a Valentine Banquet. We won the Newlywed Game! We had been married about nine years and were very happy but I was always looking for ways to be a better wife and mother. 

I read the book and took the quiz at the back for myself. Then I answered the questions the way I thought my husband would just to see if I was right....I was sooo WRONG! After having my husband take the quiz I went back and compared my answers for him with his actual answers. I realized I answered in ways I was actually showing him love which was not his #1 Love Language. 

Visit for free download

So, now that I knew what his Love Language was it was time to change the way I was speaking Love to him. This may not be as easy as it sounds...especially if you are a routine person and are "used" to doing things a certain way. For example I was doing Acts of Service when I should have been speaking Words of Affirmation. That doesn't mean I quit doing the Acts of Service but I was more intentional in telling him how much I appreciated him and how proud I was of his accomplishments.

So what are these five Love Languages?
A. Words of Affirmation
B. Quality Time
C. Receiving Gifts
D. Acts of Service
E. Physical Touch

Need some ideas in each of these areas?

Visit to download free printable

It takes being intentional and really focusing on your spouse to help make your marriage better and happier.
This is just one tool to help you in your 
Happily Ever After...

Find out what your love language is here...

Visit for Free download

Okay, this question is for those happily married couples out there... 
What has worked for you? What are some extra special ways you show your man you love him?
If you could share a tip with a newly wed couple what would it be? Leave me a comment!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Are you facing a storm in your life?

You probably know the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus but I want you to imagine the scene as you read this from Matthew 14: 22-32:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," They said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water.""Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying. "Truly you are the Son of God."

Now think about the storms of life and how this can compare. Can you relate to the disciples getting in the boat and doing as Jesus tells you? Can you see yourself as Peter obeying the command of Jesus and bravely walking out on that water?

When we feel like our life is a storm Jesus is there with us. When we think we are falling we can call out and the Master’s Hand will reach out to us just like He did for Peter. It took courage for Peter to step out of that boat and onto the stormy sea. The water wasn’t calm. I am sure he was excited and maybe anxious...they had been fighting this storm all night. The fear, fatigue and excitement were all affecting him at this time. He probably didn’t even think twice when he heard Jesus say come. For he knew his voice and he was right! It was Jesus!

Is your life like a storm? Click to get Tools for the storms in your life,

Think about the last time God spoke to you to do something. Maybe it was to start a new ministry, maybe a job venture, maybe to help someone in need, or maybe it was to witness to someone. How did you feel? There might have been a little wrestling at first. (Is that you God? I don't know if I can do this.) But that moment when you KNEW it was God... How did you feel? Where you excited, anxious to get started, or maybe a little nervous?

When we climb out of the boat to do what we feel like God is calling us to do we get excited! We may experience some anxiety as well but the adrenaline gets us going. Then, when we get about half way to what we think is our destination, we notice the water swirling around us. We aren’t standing on solid ground anymore. We’ve gone too far to go back and our victory looks a long way off! Then fear and doubt set in. We wonder, "Did God really tell me to walk out in this?" Often times we say, "This isn’t how it was supposed to be!" And we think maybe we missed God... Maybe that was just our own ideas... Maybe we should just quit. 

But wait!...
God told you to do it He will bring you through it!
Click to learn more about tools for the Storms in your life.

Notice in verse 32...And when they came to the into the ship, the wind ceased. So, that means as Jesus and Peter were walking on the was still stormy. Peter left the comfortable boat (or not so comfortable...doesn’t it seem like God gets us uncomfortable where we are right before He tells us to step out into what He has for us?) So Peter steps out onto the water IN A STORM. We can usually get out of the boat okay, it’s when we get right in the middle of what we “think” God told us to do that we start questioning, doubting, and getting fearful. It may seem like we are far away from Jesus when really we are closer than we think. We just have to call out to him and focus on Him instead of the problems and instability swirling around us.

Go back to your imaginary scene for a second. How far do you think Peter got to Jesus before he started to sink? Was he just getting started, half way there, or was he within arm’s reach? Now we know this was a supernatural feat but just humor me. Where was he? If he had been within arm’s reach would he have doubted so much? I picture him about half way there. His courage took him far enough from the boat that he was “on his own”. But when he cried out, “Lord, save me”...Jesus was instantly there and immediately reached out and caught his hand. Jesus met Peter right where he was. Could he have walked all the way to Jesus? Sure, if his faith had been strong enough. Can we make it all the way without calling out to Jesus? Why would we want to? Relying on Jesus strengthens our faith! 

It takes more courage to ask for help than it does to do it on our own. Jesus is here for us and will meet us right where we are. What ever our faith level is...that is where he will meet us. We just have to believe in Him and know He is walking with us.

Now let’s go back to the storm in our lives... Each one of us has been through storms. Maybe some of you are going through something right now. If not, you might go through some rough patches in the future. So what are some tools that can help us in the storm?

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Now that we have all of our tools to face the next storm…we have to remember that Jesus doesn’t always calm the storm immediately but he is with us immediately and will walk with us through the storm.

Also remember that many times storms cause change. Think about your storms. Was their change in the midst or after the storm? Change: a move, illness, death, job, finances. Change is not always bad. It may be rough getting to the change but it will strengthen us and improve our lives. Change brings about differences in our routine. We know we can’t keep doing the same thing and get different results. And if we are not willing to make the change we need to, God has a way of persuading us.
We have all faced our share of storms in our lives and it’s sure we will all face more. But if we use the tools God has given us we will make it through and be stronger. When we feel like we are falling all we have to do is call on the Lord and he will reach down to rescue us. We may feel the effects of the storm for a time but God will not allow you to go through more than you can handle.

Are you going through a storm right now? Can I pray for you? Leave a comment or send me an email.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother - Are you Happy on this Day?

Are you happy with yourself as a Mom? 

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I want to encourage all the mothers out there who might be struggling today.

Being a new mom can be scary even though it is one of the most exciting times in your life! And doesn't.... get.... any... gets harder!

Being a Mom is the Hardest Job I've Ever Had!

Struggling with being a Mom? Read for encouragement!

Have you ever thought, 

"I am a failure!", "I just can't do this!", 
"Why can't I be like other moms?"

Well Join the Mommy Club - We've ALL been there! 

From newborn issues, to the terrible twos, to teenage years and even parenting adult children...It can sometimes just be HARD! Nothing can really prepare you for what lies ahead in your motherhood years. You will experience happiness, fear, joy, sadness, anger, and sometimes several of these emotions all at the same time! But, it is also the most rewarding experience! 

I remember when my three girls where little. I was lugging a baby carrier, diaper bag, and hanging on to the other two trekking into church. (It was probably one of those days when we couldn't find matching shoes, hair halfway fixed, and going on little sleep - you know the kind of day I'm talking about right?) Anyway, a lovely lady walked up to me and said, "Enjoy them while they are little because they grow up sooo fast". My immediate thought was I just want them to be able to get in and out of the car by themselves! But now, now that my "babies" are 14, 18, and 20 I know what she meant. And if I could go back and do some things differently I definitely would! 

So many times I felt like I just wasn't good enough. I wanted to be the best wife and mother that I could be but there was always that voice telling me I wasn't doing enough. I failed, I made mistakes, and I messed up. Every mom does. Nobody is perfect and we ALL make mistakes! But don't let the lies of the enemy take root in your heart. 

Don't let the enemy lie to you and tell you that 
you are not a good mom or that you don't have what it takes 
or that you'll never be enough. 

Take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
and replace it with positive thoughts!

You are enough! 
God choose you to be the mother of your children and he chose those children just for you because he knew you could do it! 
You can handle it! You will make it!

Are you struggling as a mom? Need some encouragement? Click to read more

**Would you leave a comment?**
What is the one (or two) tip you would give to the struggling mom today? What is something that helped you get through the rough times?