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Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflecting back on 2014...



I know for me & many I know...seeing 2014 go seems to be a well-needed time! I'm not sad to see it be done, that's for sure. ;) That's not to say it's been horrible, but there has been a lot of junk that I'm thankful is over. I pray every year for a theme from God for me & my family...2014's was "Beyond our limits". I tried to convince myself that would be for the good...great things beyond what our limited minds could even think up, but deep down I knew God was preparing my heart for a rocky year.

I've truly felt I was moved beyond my limits...& even though that really stunk having to go through, I'm thankful for it. God  used so much this year to grow me further than I ever thought was possible. I've learned through the hard stuff...the dark valleys that seem darker than any other before...the moments I'd rather hide out & sleep it all away is when Jesus shines brightest. I can trust Him through it all due to seeing how He's NEVER let me down in anything I've went through. He's always got me through everything...most every time better than I could've done by myself! I look back & see how God was my everything when I felt I had nothing. I see where He held me when I felt lonely...ever so lonely. I see where He was teaching me about His love & sinking that into my heart (which is a game-changer, by the way!). I see where He was showing me even deeper levels of loving others...amidst every human reason to justify not loving! I see where He was bringing back to life the Jennifer that got lost amidst life struggles...the one I missed greatly & yet didn't even know anymore. He helped me understand literally how He can calm ME in the storm rather than calming the storm. I see how He helped me truly understand forgiveness & how important it is to continually forgive rather than letting unforgiveness harbor anger & resentment...which leads to bitterness. God definitely pushed me past the limits I had set for myself...& now I can say I'm thankful. He used everything for my good...just as His word promises me. :)

As you look back on your year...whether thankful it's over or praising God because it happened...

  • Where has God been most real to you?
  • Where did He show up the most?
  • What did you learn through that time/situation?
  • How is He now more real to you because of having gone through that time?


2015 will be here in just a few days...how can we apply what we've learned this year to the new year? I've had a stirring in my soul regarding 2015...that it's gonna blow me away with how good it will be! :) Very exciting times! It's one of those moments you're almost afraid to blink due to possibly missing something! Haha Let's prepare for the best...even with a reality that it could be totally different than our idea of best...yet also holding onto the hope that Jesus lives & because of that, this new year could be spectacular! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Your rod & Your staff, they comfort me...

Psalm 23...a very popular psalm that many know...if you don't know it, you probably just didn't realize it was a Bible passage. :) Here it is...

PSALM 23
The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows, He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me.
Your rod & Your staff protect & comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely Your goodness & unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
& I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Notice the lines I italicized. I read this Psalm the other day & these lines have stuck with me. When I walk in the darkest valley...You are beside me, Jesus. Your rod & staff protect & comfort me. If you read into taking care of sheep, sheep herders will tell you a rod is used to discipline...to get the sheep back in line where it needs to be. A staff is used for comfort to the sheep...it lets the sheep know its owner is there watching over it. In using this stick as both a rod & staff, it shows the sheep love.

I found it interesting this line came after the section about walking through the darkest valley(s). Even in the valley that's ridiculously dark, the rod has to be used. Hmm. Even when Jesus is the only light I can see in these kind of valleys, I still get out of line & wanna stray off to do things my way! Amazing how "awesome" I think I am sometimes that I try to be God & make things happen. Sheesh! haha Just like walking in a dark room...sooner or later, I'm gonna stub a toe or fall over somethin! haha Sometimes, He has to give me a good whack with the rod so to set me straight again...which I'm cool with even though it hurts. He does it only out of love & knowing where I'm headed when I'm in that mode. :) 

What about you? Do you have those "I can do better" moments even in the dark? I know I have...not fun having to be disciplined back to the straight & narrow! But one thing I'm thankful for...the staff. Jesus uses the staff to remind me He loves me...to remind me He's always with me...to keep me close so to stay on track with Him. All of it He does out of love. Thank You Jesus! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Job grieved...THEN thanked God.

I was reading a blog post of Ann Voskamp's about "How The Brave Deal With Losses." She mentioned Job & how much he lost...yet the first words from his mouth were thanksgiving to the Lord. This man finds out within minutes that he's lost EVERYTHING...livestock, kids, etc. Yet thanks God a moment after. Wow! God even states through His word that Job never sinned even with the words he spoke. Holy cow! Honestly, I'm only up to chapter 3 as I'm trying to sink in everything God is showing me through Job's life & how it can relate to my life in all the broken pieces right now.

What do you do when life seems too much? What do you do when you feel weary & seems you can't make it the next step let alone the next few hours before blessed bedtime?? What do you do when you feel there is no hope anymore...that things won't get better & it's time to give it up? How do you handle those moments where you can say, "It's been one thing after another lately!"??

I'm in that moment now. I've heard myself saying that very thing a few different times. I feel like that weary soldier...afraid to take off the armor & rest b/c "they might come back" or "I need to stay suited up" or "It's not ok for me to not handle everything & be almost perfect at it." :( Not easy to be real, but that's the hard truth. There is a lot of brokenness right now in my life...& I'm now learning by God's grace that that's ok. :)

You see, God wants you to hand Him all those broken pieces & say "Here...I trust You to make it all beautiful again because I can't. I don't know what to do...but You do so it's Yours." It's in that moment He can then mend brokenness so to shine Jesus through the cracks. ;) When I think I can keep it whole & I can work it out right, I end up blocking the light of Jesus for others to see...they can't see Him b/c I'm in the way. That's not the purpose of this life, right? I mean, we do have a role in this show...we do have to do our part, but that's just it. It's a part...not the whole play. I do my part & then let God do the rest.

Job did that. He did what he was to do in those moments...he was to the point of so much brokenness that all he could do was grieve & then thank God. Thank God for the time he did have with the kids & the stuff, but also reminded himself that God knows what He's doing. "The Lord gives & the Lord takes away." Notice he didn't stay in the pit...he didn't grieve forever. WHILE he was grieving, he thanked God for Who He is. Doing this got him through some great grief. Doing this kept him focused on The One in control of all things (read those first couple chapters where satan had to get permission from God...it's great!). Doing this kept him reminded that even though God allowed this great sadness & loss that He could very well give again.

How can you thank God today for the troubled seas? What is one good thing coming out of this dark valley that I can think on & find new everyday? How much more will our faith have grown as we come out of these darker days? Will you read Job with me & tell me your thoughts...your heart...your ah-ha moments as God shows you how much He wants to love you, especially through the really really tough stuff?? Praying this has encouraged you to continue the fight...even when it's as simple an act as being thankful for God knowing...God caring...God being willing...God being able. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's NEW?!

It's time to get back at this & be persistent with posting. I've had so much going on & so much learning taught by none other than God Himself. If I included it all in this post, it'd be HUGE! I've had moments of faith-building, moments of faith-walking, moments of rest, moments of letting God fight for me due to no ability left to fight myself, moments of loving others as Jesus does, moments of tears beyond measure, moments of tender love & filling from the Holy Spirit, & moments of release of anger & bitterness. It's been awesome...even amidst the struggles! :)

I'd love to take you back through each moment as I'm sure you've felt very similar when faced with situations that are so much bigger than you, but that's not where God has led me for this post. You see, I'm in a season of focusing on & celebrating the NEW God is doing rather than dwelling on the past things that won't be the same again. Sounds like a Bible verse, right? Because it is! :)
Isaiah 43:18-19
But forget all that -- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

I find it neat how God uses His Word to bless me in different seasons of my life. For the first part of this craziness, He kept reminding me of Galatians 6:9...don't grow weary as change is coming in due time. Ugh, do you know how bad you wanna hate a verse when everything crazy is going on?! haha But God was just with me through it all & knew I needed His words of comfort & promise. :) So, for this season it's been interesting. I think through a lot of my life, I dwelled on the past & how it wasn't the same anymore, etc. I'd say I'd forgive, but then hold you to the fire every time I saw a fault...bringing up the "you remember that time" moments. :/ Ugly, but true. God doesn't want me or you to live like that. He wants us to live life to the fullest! How can I do that if I'm constantly looking in my rear view while trying to drive forward?! The present is what should be clearest...not the past while the present is blurry!


So, my encouragement to you (along with myself) is to ask yourself today: What's NEW today? Look for even the smallest detail that God is doing. Look through the eyes of your kids (or relatives kids if you aren't a parent yet)...have the excitement that can't be contained! Be like my Isabelle...when she gets excited, she grabs her nose & mouth & the feeling takes her over! We tell her "Let it out!" :)

Be full of what God is doing NEW! It will overflow to the point that others will come to you asking what the deal is! :) Cause others to ask you, "Did you take your happy pill or somethin' this morning?!" ;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

From the graVe to graCe

I'm just starting the #LivingSoThat online Bible study with my sweet sister friends & Proverbs31. I had to share this as it was a huge ah-ha moment for me & many others. How awesome that THE God I serve willingly can speak to us even amidst a one-letter typo!

Stacy (a Proverbs31 OBS Team Member) posted about how she was texting about grace & what the author, Wendy Blight, describes. When she typed grace, she typed "graVe" as the V is right next to the C. In that instant, God spoke to her heart about how Jesus takes us from the graVe to graCe. The "v" points down...just as a grave is in the ground...this is where we were all at. God says, "You see that...that V right there. It is burial...it's death. It's where all are before accepting Jesus. I'll give Christ (notice the C) & He'll cover you. He's covering you...above you, below you, already beaten death so you don't have to go there."

Wahoo! Is that not awesome?! She drew this out on her video & I made my own so to have a daily reminder of what grace truly means. :)

You'll never look at grace the same! ;)



Joy is... Prayer for the moment... Thankful for...

This was an activity in the #MadeToCrave Action Plan online Bible study. The purpose of it is to focus your mind on what God is doing & how you can stay in His will by being joyful, prayerful, & thankful. It's based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. How does the activity work, you ask? Well, let me tell you! :)


  • You can use regular notebook paper, printer paper, or have a journal specifically for this activity.
  • Set an alarm on your phone/computer/tablet/whatever that will go off every hour, 2 hours, however many times daily you want to do this. My alarm on my phone is titled "Joy/Prayer/Thanks" so I know what I'm to do when it goes off. :)
  • When the alarm goes off & if possible, stop what you're doing for a moment & think about these 3 things... What is joy to me?  What can I pray for right now that I need right in this moment?  What am I thankful for right now?
  • Write these down with the time of the day.
  • At the end of the day, go over all you've focused on all day. :)
This has really helped me stay focused on God & what He's doing in my life rather than focusing on the junk/negative that can cause me to drown. I pray you find encouragement & God-strength as you embark on this journey. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Verse Mapping (Heather Bleier)

In going through the Proverbs31 Online Bible Study, I learned of Verse Mapping. Basically, you ask God to lead you to a verse to study throughout the day/week/month/however long God keeps that verse in your mind & heart. Write it out on an index card. Read the verse, aloud if needed, & pay attention to each word/phrase that stands out to you. Circle/underline/star/highlight those word(s)/phrases. You then write the thoughts that come about that particular word. I include some of the definition(s) for the word as well. Once you've dug into all those words/phrases, write a simple prayer or thoughts to God on the back of the card.

Having done this for now 4 verses, it has caused me to get deeper than face value with God's Word. I ask more questions in how each verse relates to me or what God is trying to show me through focusing on that verse. :) AND, it helps with memorizing Scripture so to withstand the fiery darts from my enemy.

Here is an example from the last verse I just finished mapping out. This is actually the verse of the week for our Made To Crave Action Plan study. :) You want to know God's will for your life? Read & study in the depths this verse...

Front of index card -- Verse
Back of index card -- Prayer

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Of Dimes walk is less than a month away! :)

If you or anyone you know has had a premature baby, March of Dimes was there to help. I'm walking in support of my baby cousin Amelia & raising $ to help March of Dimes improve the health of babies like Amelia by preventing birth defects, premature birth, & infant mortality. Please donate $ and/or walk with me on my team (if you're local). :)

Click HERE to see my team page & donate/register to walk. Thank you so much!!


**Baby Amelia & me. This was taken within a couple months ago. She was born at just over a pound & barely 12" long (the size of a standard ruler!). She is now almost 20 pounds at 10 months old.**

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Romans 8v28


Anything I face, good or bad, God is working out to the good for me as I love Him & am called according to His purpose. :) Wahoo! :)



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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#Action

Sunday, I started the Made To Crave Action Plan with Proverbs 31 online. Lemme tell  ya'...it's only been the first few days of this, but after watching the video of Lysa with Dr Ski Chilton...whew! This is going to be another awesome study!

Do you realize the food industry throws 3,800 calories at each one of us (man, woman & child) EVERY DAY?! Have you really sat back & pondered how many times you hear of or see ads for food?? I mean, it wasn't by coincidence that the candy, chocolate bars, snack size bags of chips, etc are seen when you are waiting to check out. I just can't believe how much crap is pushed at me...all while being shown as what I "need" to be happy or how this won't last long so get it "now" or that I'll get over anything by eating that food, etc. Think about this:
  • How many commercials do you see throughout your favorite sitcom that involve food??
  • How many billboards do you see while driving down the road that are just calling your name to that food displayed??
  • How many jingles do you know that are for certain foods (ie - "I'm lovin' it", etc)??
Crazy, right?! What's even more bothersome is that I've grown accustomed to this. I didn't even realize until I stopped & thought about it how food is everywhere. Don't think so? Let's play a guessing game...guess which restaurant these belong to:



Now obviously I could go on & on with logos from restaurants you know...but you get the idea. :) How much does food rule in your life??

Friday, February 28, 2014

I am courageous!

That sentence has been on my mind a lot this past week...I am courageous! I always had in my mind an idea of courage...people I've learned about or knew that seemed courageous. Like Martin Luther King Jr. He faced a hard reality head on with God leading & overcame so much with courage. Or Helen Keller. She was deaf & blind from young childhood on yet achieved so much in her life due to digging deep & being full of courage. Then of course Jesus. He was THE Son of God, yet came to live among us humans. He was & is the epitome of courage. Looking at all these people, I sometimes find it hard to find my courageous moments in life...if there are any, they definitely don't seem to be the same depth of courage as these few people listed. But then, I look up the definition of courage & expand on that a moment...

Courage means the power of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc.; the confidence to act in accordance with one's beliefs. But my favorite definition: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc without fear. Whew! Just typing it made me sweat! ha j/k j/k. :) Now that I read the definition & think back through my life, I really am courageous! :) Of course, in many situations I had room to take action on that courage a lot more than I did, but hey, live & learn & grow, right?! :)

Now to think of being courageous with my cravings, especially my food cravings. Lysa Terkuerst (author of Made to Crave) mentions how I can be courageous with choosing healthy options...not only when I'm in front of other people, but more than that when I'm at home & no one is around. Wow! Then God ran with that & showed me how this craving of food can be such a HUGE blessing in my life in this way...here's a peek at how the convo went down between me & my Best Friend, the Holy Spirit. ;)

Me: "God, why is it I have to have this craving of food...why can't my craving be with something else that's easier to deal with &/or stay away from??"
God: "Jenn, think about how many times a day you face food..."
Me: "A lot...multiple times a day. That's the problem. ha"
God: "Now, think about all those times & choosing to eat as I lead you..."
Me: "I've been doing that through this study & it definitely has me feeling closer to You for sure. :)
God: "Do you realize that is living courageously? Like Lysa said choosing courageously the good healthy food over the junk especially when only Me & you know..."
Me: "So, that's considered courage? Never thought about that. Just thought it was obedience more than anything."
God: "Yes, it's obedience, but how easy is it to choose the junk & satisfy the temporary craving rather than look to Me to fill that craving? See, if you can choose courageously in those moments in particular, how much more courage in Me can you live out in other situations in your life that you only face for a moment rather than daily??"
Me: "Wow...that's awesome! I've been blessed rather than cursed...I get to live this issue out so to bring You glory through it by applying its truths to other situations too. You are awesome, God! Thank You Holy Spirit for this wisdom. Man, I love You."
God: "I love you too...you put a smile on My face!" :)

Now, did I have a full out audible convo with God? No, but this rather happened in the depths of my soul. The Holy Spirit was impressing in my soul all this wisdom for a battle I thought I was cursed with. I was finally ready to gain wisdom & understanding in an area that had almost overtaken my life due to the defeat I felt repeatedly. God now fights this battle for me. Is it easy to turn away from the brownie or cake or fudge or cookies or...you get the idea. No, it's not, but it's EASIER now that I know I don't have to resist by my own self-power. I've allowed God to work through me so to cause me to crave good healthy things. :)

What about you? Do you feel any more empowered now realizing God loves ALL parts of you, including what you eat? You pray blessing over your food, why not pray about your food & if you should eat that particular item?? ;) You are loved...You are courageous. If you don't feel that way, have a little talk with Jesus. Tell Him all about your trouble. He will hear your cry & answer. (That's a song, too! haha)

Please, if you don't know the God I speak of & don't have a personal relationship with Him...don't wait. Message me or comment on this post. There are multiple resources to help you understand more about God, Who is love. Or contact your pastor or a close Jesus-lovin' Christian friend that you feel comfortable being real with. We need each other...the support helps, especially when we choose to live courageously! :)

Joshua 1:9
"Be strong & courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

March Of Dimes walk is April 5th!

Please walk with me or donate to March of Dimes. They help with babies who are born prematurely. My baby cousin Amelia was one of these babies. She was born at just over a pound & just barely bigger than a standard ruler. She has fought a fight to live that most of us don't even know! Now she is growing & is already trying to crawl. :) She's awesome! :) Click the link below to help my team raise money for March of Dimes. If you're local, come walk with me! :) Thank you for your giving! It's greatly appreciated. :)



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Words of encouragement...

I came upon this verse in my journal I'm using for the Proverbs 31 Made to Crave Online Bible study & thought I'd share it with you as it has blessed me today...

Depend on the Lord in whatever you do,
& your plans will succeed.

*Emphasis added. When we let God take control & be the pilot, we will succeed. Depend on God...Rely on Him for support/help/etc. Place your trust in Him. Once you do this, plans are made more to His liking as you draw closer to Him through following His lead. :) Then you get to see God bring those plans into fruition. Granted, we all have days we try to take the reigns back & get in His way again. What does that mean? It means give the reigns right back & keep chuggin' on! :)

True success = Letting God lead in ALL things. How do I know? The B-I-B-L-E...it told me so as you can see above. ;)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When I am weak, then I am strong!



Here's a tid-bit of background to the author of this book...Paul was not a cool cat to know prior to him coming to know Jesus personally. He killed those that loved God. He made it his duty to kill anyone proclaiming God...even had himself believing it was the right thing to do & what he was called to do. BUT THEN...don't you love those words when God is involved?! :) Paul met Jesus on a road & was blinded. This guy...who hated & killed so many good people...blinded now & in darkness. He couldn't see who was around him. He couldn't see where to step & not to step. I'd imagine he pleaded daily that those followers of the ones he killed wouldn't come after him when they heard he was blind. I mean, they could kill him & no one know, right? Well, besides God anyway. But back to Paul...God caused Paul to be in a very weak state. A circumstance that required being dependent on others. A circumstance that required being in a very dark place, & for Paul that darkness was literal due to being blind. A circumstance that required no sign of stability or safety. A circumstance that required being alone with God & God only. Been there?? Maybe you're there right now?? I know I've been there a few times...honestly, I don't know how people make it through without knowing God & His complete love for us individually.

In these few verses in 2 Corinthians, Paul is pleading with God to take this "thorn" from his side. He wasn't just asking...he was BEGGING. He hated this "messenger of Satan," as the NIV Bible puts it. Apparently had God taken this "thorn" from Paul, it would've caused Paul more damage than the thorn itself was trying to cause. Paul states in verse 7 that God allowed this thorn to keep him (Paul) from becoming proud or conceited. Paul received many awesome revelations from God that he could have boasted to others about...unfortunately in a "Hey, look at me! Look who I am that God showed this to ME!" kind of way. God knew that this "thorn" would keep Paul's view in perspective. It was cause enough pain that Paul would look to God for comfort.


One of the definitions of thorn is "something that wounds, annoys, or causes discomfort." This "thorn" could be a multitude of things in our lives, but I ask what's your thorn?? For me, it's my anger. Ugh. I hate it, but God's grace is sufficient & in those moments of my human self wanting to RAGE, His grace is enough. His power is perfected in my weakness. Do I always have that outcome? Ha ha, no way! I wish I did, but I do know I'm getting better only by that grace of God's that's enough. :) "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." What does that mean to me? That I can be thankful in those learning moments of anger. That I can know it won't overcome me as the Holy Spirit is in me living & breathing & showing me His grace. That I get to have first-hand experience of God's AWESOME power! What about you? Can you see the "thorn" in your life now being a blessing?? I sure hope so. :)



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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Who's crazy? Me crazy?? Not anymore. :)


I've been in this Made To Crave online Bible study through Proverbs 31 for 3 weeks now. (Click HERE for more info on the study) 3 weeks...can you believe it?! I can't! ha This has been life changing...one of those times I've said & will say again, "Man, I wish I had heard this sooner." But, I'm so thankful I'm learning so much now about who God made me for Him. :)

Thursdays are for the Blog Hop. Many of us ladies (& a few men) get a few topics we can pick from to do a blog post about. Then we get to share our links with each other & learn together on this journey. I've been struggling all day with what to post about in the topics given as this study has God to bless me in so many ways. One of the many things I've noticed for sure is the battle I've had with food & how that battle caused me to hit #CrazyMode status repeatedly doesn't happen anymore! Whew!

One day I'm feelin' it...that "I'm sexy & I know it" way about things. The next day I feel like the frumpiest person ever that can't for the life of her get it together. One day I can see junk food & not even bat my pretty brown eye as it has nothing on me! The next day that crap becomes like the Sirens in Greek Mythology, causing me to forget everything else just to have it's decadence! One day that number on the scale is just another number in my life. The next day it's the holy Grail of scales that needs to show a certain number or I will surely be cursed! You feelin' what I'm talkin' about??

Like I said, this thing with food & cravings has been a BATTLE. Food has controlled me for so long. How I looked & what I weighed have been issues for just as long. My opinions, which were negative, & others opinions of me physically have left scars & caused #CrazyMode status way too many times. I did just as Lysa Terkuerst said she did. I'd go into withdrawal mode so to build walls around my heart & keep to myself. Or I'd go into fix-it mode so to try to fix the situation so I was accepted, liked, etc.  Just typing this has made me tired...let alone living it! ha Anyway, thank You God that is not the case anymore!

I crave God now more than ever...& rather than food! I crave knowing Him deeper so to know me as He knows me. I crave having #peace in my soul as my weight loss goal. :) And I now know what it's like to step on a scale & know that those are just numbers regarding my weight...not numbers regarding my value! God is awesome & when I FINALLY let Him lead & show me how to take this weight loss/healthy living journey, I FINALLY get to just be me...not the #CrazyMode girl that has to fight & war within herself constantly. Whew! :) I'm a Jesus-girl. I'm a child of God that is loved, forgiven, adored, priceless, & finally SET FREE! Wahoooooo! :)


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Friday, January 31, 2014

A deeper kind of Determined...

I'm in week 2 of the #MadeToCrave online Bible study. Man, oh man! God knows me so well & knows exactly when I need anything. This week our word has been #Determined  with our key verse being 1 Peter 5:7-8. To have a word like that with all that's happened this week was only a God thing! He knew what I'd face this week...He knew how I would feel most loved & cared for by Him. God's timing is perfect.

See, I've always been the person to say I have a lot of determination, but when it came down to it most times I wanted the end results without all the work & objections. I'd find excuses to convince myself that I could give up. This was a really hard truth to admit especially to myself. Because of giving up so many times, I started labeling myself as being a quitter, etc. I'd frustrate not only myself, but others that would show support only to have me back out.

This week, there has been a difference though. One I haven't truly experienced before that I know of. This time I know it's the Holy Spirit doing this through me. I've never had so much determination! No joke, EVERY time something came up or thoughts overwhelmed me with situations we know of that are out of my control, I prayed our verse back to God. I was #determined to let Him have control. I was #determined to trust Jesus with all these messy issues. It has been the neatest thing to live & see of myself.

And then with the junk food! I've NEVER looked at heavenly Reese's & not wanted to taste their sweet heavenly flavors! God strengthens me while standing in that checkout line at Wal-Mart by reminding me that yes it's good, but it's not beneficial to me. And I check out & leave the store Reese's-free! I've noticed I'm finding healthier food desirable, just like Lysa talked about...I'm retraining my taste buds & body to like salad, veggies, fruits, etc. It's awesome! All glory to God!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sure I can have it, but is it beneficial??


This verse...sheesh! It's stuck in my head & heart all week. That's a good thing since this has been the first week of the Made to Crave online Bible study through Proverbs31! :) This really hasn't been as tough as I was expecting...key words being "so far". I know I will have my days as we all do. It has helped keeping my cravings under God's control & keeping them in perspective to the bigger picture of God's plan for me. Food has controlled & ruled over me for waaaaaayyyy too long!

One way the Holy Spirit has helped me through this journey of discovering God through my food/weight struggles is with this verse. I've faced cookies, Nutty Bars, high fructose, chips, & candy this week...every time I would say to myself (even out loud, if needed), "Sure I can have it, but is it beneficial?" And every time I said, "No, it's not" & walked away. Will this happen EVERY time in the future? No. But if I can say no 90-95% of the time by reminding myself of this verse, then that shows me the progress I need to see! :)

Now, this verse isn't talking just about food. It's talking about anything you or I crave or desire & indulge in MORE than God. Indulging in non-beneficial things causes not only me to stumble, but others watching me to stumble too! Is everything bad?? No, no, no. "And God looked at what He made & said, 'It is good.'" The problem is when I go in excess with the good...which turns it to bad for me. Anything in excess is sin...just sayin.

So, I ask...what have you been indulging (or allowing/entertaining/spoiling/pampering) in that is causing you to go backward rather than forward? What do you take way too much pleasure in that is hurting your relationship with God? What is that one thing(s) that when you think of having to give it up, you cringe?? Mine was food...& now I continue my journey of working through it. ;)

One final thought...

Philippians 4:8
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's ok to crave!

God made me to crave! This has been such a relief to learn & sink into my heart depths. I was made to crave Him. It's when I start craving other things more than God that my life gets twisted. I've been going through the Made To Crave online Bible study with Proverbs 31 & it's been such a blessing! Did you realize Jesus Himself gave us an example of how to deal with temptation? So did Eve in the Garden of Eden...except hers wasn't focused on God.

Eve focused only on what she wanted. She didn't look away. Satan had convinced her through her craving, her eyes, & her value that indulging in this would be eternally satisfying. Jesus, on the other hand, focused solely on God. He replaced Satan's twisted truths (or lies) with God's Truth! He overcame!

I've personally struggled with this for years & always thought cravings were horrible...like a ball & chain that I could never get rid of. What about you? What do you do when you crave that junk food, or that next new gadget, or that next promotion?? What thoughts go through your head & what actions, if any, follow??

Friday, January 17, 2014

2 more days!

Sunday is the big start day for our Made to Crave online Bible study! :) Wahoo! Wanna join me & 36k+ women in learning to crave God over food?? Click below to sign up. All you need is the book...you can get the journal & participant guide as well, but only the book is required. :)

SIGN UP here... or click the P31 button below.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Favorite Verse.

Let me just start by saying I have many fav scriptures! One I've held most all my life is Philippians 4:13. The Message version reads, "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One Who makes me who I am." That verse has gave me hope in so many situations I've faced since I was a teenager. God is able & because I am His child through Jesus Christ, He enables me to make it through ANYTHING! What a promise! :)

I would have to say that for this season in life though, my favorite verse would be Ephesians 3:20. From the New Life Translation, "Now, all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." In the Message version, it says God can do more than I could imagine or ask or guess even in my wildest dreams! Isn't that awesome?! :) Let's break this verse down...stick with me for just a minute...

First, anything done in God's magnitude can give glory ONLY to God as it is something that humanly we couldn't have done if we tried.

Second, God is able. Do you realize just how powerful that statement is?? God can do ANYTHING. Just like in my life verse. God isn't restrained by limits, especially our limits. We can't put Him in our favorite box. He's bigger & greater & stronger than any other! And that power, if we have received Jesus in our hearts, is in us! Can you believe this?! :) Again, like my life verse...I can do anything when God is doing it through me. WAHOO! :)

Third, I've experienced this part of the verse in 2013. See, in 2012, I had a year from the pit. It started with my grandma passing away on January 8th & just snowballed from there. My husband left me closer to the end of that year (this was the last time he left...we had many times of him leaving & coming back!) & that separation lasted 2-3 months. But then...that's a favorite PHRASE of mine! But then, God caused a miracle. In the first week of January in 2013, He changed my husband's heart. My husband came home & worked ALL YEAR on our marriage & family. I couldn't have asked God for this in a husband if I tried! Kima has worked hard at what's hard in our marriage. He's replaced same-ol-ways with new-Christlike ways! :) It's been awesome & God can be the ONLY One to receive glory! :) Do we still struggle?? Yes! Just like any couple. BUT, God is Head of our marriage & family now, & that in itself makes ALL the difference.

So, now I ask you...what's your favorite verse/quote/song?? Something that's seen you through some really hard times or some really great ones. Please share in the comments as I'm sure your story can help someone in a similar situation that can't find the strength to share right now. ;)

Lots of love,
Jenn

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies
Join me & other ladies for the "Made to Crave" Bible study starting this Sunday! :)

Welcome!!

Glad to have you here! You are loved. You are special. You have a purpose greater than you know. You are the only you this world has! :)

I pray as I start this journey of sharing pieces of my life that you would find encouragement, hope, & understanding in the posts. I'm human just like you, so I have struggles just the same. But, life can be really awesome too! :) Feel free to comment, share your tidbit in life, etc on any post you find hits home.

My contact information is also available if you'd like to message me for additional advice, counsel, encouragement, or accountability. :)

Lots of love,
Jenn