The Victorious Life

"A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is the journey where she will become strong."

Hebrews 12:1-2
"...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."

About Me

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It is my desire that this blog be a place where women can visit and be encouraged and blessed. May the words and stories on this page speak to hearts that need mending, spirits that need filling, and people who simply need to be reminded that Jesus loves them in spite of all else. I am a blessed mom to 3 precious children, Crystal 13, Cameron 12, and Carson who is 3. I am certain God must have a sense of humor as I realized we were expecting our 3rd child just as I got rid of the last of the sentimental baby items AND was about to turn 40! However God gave us a blessing we did not even realize we needed. He does know best! I cannot wait to learn more about you as well, and I hope that you will make yourself at home here and comment as you feel led to share. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or hot tea (Starbucks' Sumatra is my new favorite :) and let's visit!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Good is Always an Enemy of Best!

It is that time of the year when high school seniors are busy preparing graduation announcements, signing year books and discussing future plans. What a busy but exciting time!  My oldest will be entering the 11th grade so I realize we are very close to this pivotal point in life as well, but I admit I am NOT ready!  I am still getting used to the idea of her driving on her own! 

I can still remember a history teacher I had in high school who signed my year book and included the verse Jeremiah 29:11 that reads, "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 hope and a future." 

That verse has since become a favorite and one that I often whisper into the ear of a friend or one of our precious youth who may be struggling with the uncertainty of their future.  My Momma would often say "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!"  God's Word reminds us of this truth my sweet mother shared.

You see I know I often imagine these grand plans in my mind of how I think my life should be, and yet the reality is God's plan will always be better than anything I could ever create myself!  I may have a "good" plan and since we serve a God who allows our free will to reign, He will allow my plan in my life, BUT I want God's BEST plan for my life!  Let's not allow our good plan for our lives to be an enemy of God's best for us!  He will reveal His plans to us as we spend time with him daily through prayer and meditating on His Word!

"Father, thank you for your Word that reminds me that you DO want the best for me and my life.  I will stumble and fall short, but your Grace is new each day, and I am SO grateful for that truth!  I ask you to ordain my steps so that I might strive for the best life you have for me, not the good life my flesh strives to achieve.  I will give you honor and glory always.  In His name I pray...Amen."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weeds in the Garden of my Heart

As Spring begins to welcome us with longer days and warmer afternoons, the weeds in my front yard also sense the coming of the season and don't want to miss the excitement in the air as they poke their heads up threatening to take over my flower bed.  I decide that some of these giants; however, must be leftover from last season as I pull some treacherous thorny and intimidating monsters from the dirt.

I commonly refer to weed pulling as my "garden therapy," yet on this day...Good Friday....the day my Jesus hung on the cross....I pull weeds and consider a stark reality as I eagerly anticipate celebrating "Resurrection Day" on Sunday.  A gardener knows it is vital to prepare the soil by removing the weeds that will choke and destroy the plants if we want them to thrive.  Do we as Christians prepare our hearts to worship a resurrected Savior or do we get so caught up with baskets and bunnies, buying new outfits for the kids and coloring eggs, that we really do not stop and pause and reflect on what Jesus REALLY did for us on the cross?  Oh don't misunderstand my heart as I too enjoy making cookies and hiding eggs with my children, and I certainly make sure they know the real reason we celebrate this season.  However, do we really prepare to hear from Christ and to worship Him by examining the weeds in our own hearts?  I do not want any unrighteousness to keep me from hearing from God as I worship Him!

Isaiah 59:2  (NKJV)
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.

You see I pull small weeds in my flower bed that don't seem to have deep roots yet, but then I also pull huge weeds with significant roots that require me to get thick gloves to complete the task.  All the while, I notice that some of the weeds get uglier and thornier as they grow larger and in spite of my efforts to protect myself from harm, I still end up with bloody scratches caused by some of these offenders and exhausted by days end.

Isn't this true in our own life too?  Sin may seem small at first as a little white lie is justified, innocent flirting seems to go unnoticed or office gossip is succumbed to, but then just as the Enemy always does if we are not on guard, he convinces us that the small weed is not a big will not take over our will not leave us bloody and scarred.  Oh what a lie that is dear Friend as sin's roots grow deep!

John 10:10  (NKJV)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The Enemy does not have your best interest in mind, but Jesus DOES and he proved that when He hung on that cross bloody and bruised for OUR sins, so that we might have eternal life in Him!
You see as we prepare to worship our Risen Savior and celebrate the victory of the cross and what it represents, we must prepare our hearts so that we do not miss hearing from Him.  Let's make sure we repent of any unconfessed sin so that our lives and hearts will be "refreshed" with His presence and that we may realize that the same power that gave Christ victory over the grave is also ours as His children!  WOW!

Acts 3:19 (NKJV)
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

Dear Jesus, thank you for taking my place on the cross and suffering for my sins so that I may spend eternity with you in Heaven!   I am so unworthy of this ultimate act of love and unselfishness yet your grace and sacrifice sets me free!  Thank you Father.  I celebrate You and do my best to examine my heart in preparation to worship You!"



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Jesus Loves the Little Children"

I was intently listening to the beautiful voice of my sweet friend who was singing like an angel as usual in our worship service that morning; lost in my own moment of rejoicing.  Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a small figure moving toward the front of the church, and I realized it was a young boy just 7 years who felt compelled to come forward and pray during the song.  Sitting on the third row I could easily see the emotion on this little boy's face as he fell to his knees visibly moved by the song, but more so I believe by the Holy Spirit moving in him.  Somehow I felt like I was at that moment, privy to a glimpse into the heart of Jesus.  You see this little boy we have grown to love dearly also has Down's syndrome, and I can recall praying over him with several other brothers and sisters in Christ when he was just a new baby asking God to use him in a mighty way.

Often I must admit over the years I've had such compassion and concern for this child who the world may view as weaker due to the health challenges he struggles with daily, but in this blessed moment he seemed to me to be the strongest person in the room as he reached for a tissue by the stairs before he stood up once again.  His face was red and stained with tears, but he looked up toward the ceiling of the church as if he was looking right into Heaven, and he simply smiled toward the ceiling before returning to his seat.   

I am reminded of the words of Jesus Himself when he said, "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 18:4

Somewhere along the way toward adulthood, we begin to believe that we can rely on our own abilities, talents, education, or influence to enable us to be be considered great.  When I think of a child, and especially an infant, I think of a helpless little person whose needs are entirely dependent on the person who cares for him.  Oh how true this is with our Creator! 

"Father, let me remember that you are the only one in whom I can trust for all of my needs, and yet you are more than sufficient!  May I be like a little child totally dependent on you for all things even when my circumstances may not make sense to me.  I choose to trust you in all things!  In Jesus name...Amen."