August 11, 2018

A Tribute to a Real Proverbs 31 Woman... A Five Minute Friday post.

***

I can't even...

I saw the word prompt on Friday morning and thought of writing a tribute to the Woman my girlie has grown up to be! After vacationing with her for five days and seeing her Mama Lil Miss -- honestly, I was so blown away with her awesomeness!

But the day got away from me and I never did find my way back to this chair.  And then we got news this morning and my sweet Mother-In-Law passed away and I knew... even though five minutes will never be enough time, with the suddenness and the shock - it will be a start of processing and praising, so here we go:

{GO}


I was grafted into this family through marriage some 25+ years ago. 

Ours was a short courtship. I was a new Christian and My Honey was newly returning to his roots as a PK and believer.  This falling in love with the Lord was happening while we were falling in love with each other and I am pretty sure that I was not what his sweet Mama had in mind.  

This was the return of her firstborn... her only son.

But I was different from his other girlfriends... 
I don't know that that was bad
--and in the end, it turned out to be very good... 
but it seemed her first impression of me was not great. 

I was clearly no Proverbs 31 woman. 
I hadn't even HEARD of a Proverbs 31 woman.

August 2, 2018

The Way Maker... A Five Minute Friday post.

***
Listen... it's summertime and we are in the midst of a whole lot of hard and holy... so we won't pretend that I even knew what day Thursday was last week - or the week before that... But tonight, He called me to sit in this chair and to lean back into His chest and let His arms of Love wrap around us... holding us close... trusting Him even when we can not see! He calls me to stir up my faith... and to encourage you, sweet reader, to do the same!

Our One Word Prompt is ANNIVERSARY. This is Five Minute Friday! 
Let's go...

{GO}



I made it! I actually made it on over to 'the Twitter' tonight to play with the tribe of amazing writers that make up the Five Minute Friday community! It felt so good to catch up and pretend for a few that life is back to normal... whatever that is! I don't even know anymore... 

But it's good.  It really is --even while it is Hard and Holy, too!  We know we are in the In-Between on nearly all counts... so what was normal is not available anymore... but we have Peace about that. 

And yet... I see the prompt and I'm not so sure I want to play along. 



My first thought when I see "Anniversary" is the anniversary we just reached a few weeks ago --the year marker of losing our brother-in-law.  To see how God has worked and has healed and has comforted our sweet sister and her boys is amazing!  Hard... and Holy.

And then my mind goes forward to the days following our little gathering at his graveside.  The days filled with doctors appointments and ER visits and what we thought was one thing turns out is most likely something else... something worse... but God!

July 26, 2018

Welcome to the Launch Week of The Changing Our Minds Podcast

***

Hello there, sweet readers! Here's hoping you will join us and become a sweet listener as well! 



My girlie and I are launching our very own podcast called Changing Our Minds and today is the premiere of the first official episode!

We will release one mini (-ish) episode each day for 4 or 5 days... and from there the goal is once or twice a month! That should be plenty of us! 

Listen here, or better yet, click on over to iTunes and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!



July 23, 2018

Changing Our Minds Podcast... Coming Soon!


***


UPDATE: Our Plans changed... and we are going LIVE tomorrow!


So... here's the thing: We were told it could take up to two weeks for iTunes to approve a new podcast. Apparently, not for us!

So what we planned for Launch Week in mid-August is all of the sudden may be happening right now?

Well --we'll start tomorrow with the actual podcast and maybe some of the Giveaway fun will wait for August because we are in the middle of real life, Y'all!

July 19, 2018

We're Just Never Really Done, Are We? - A Five Minute Friday post.

***
Last Thursday was the one year anniversary of the tragic death of our brother-in-law.  We spent it with family and friends, celebrating a year of him being with Jesus and a year of Jesus being so tangibly with Heather and the boys. I got home and saw this word prompt and honestly, I just couldn't (even) yet. And then last weekend threw us another curveball and while we would like to be done... we just never really are, right?

Our One Word Prompt is DONE. This is Five Minute Friday! 
Let's go...

{GO}



I keep saying it, and I know it to be true down deep in my bones... I know it more in this season, that just seems to be dragging on, of hard and holy mixed together:

Peace is a Person... 

and He's a GIFT that is available to us at all times.

This season that has lasted for over a year now...
This season that has resulted in loss after loss...
This season of holy and hard... 
--of wanting to be done, 
but realizing that we just never are done, right?

Not that it's all, "The hits just keep coming!" 

It's more like, "We are living eternally right now... and there is just no end..."

But praise God, there are promises and there is Hope (--There is ALWAYS hope!) and there is Light all around and Peace within... 



(wait for it...) 
  --It's just that sometimes we forget!


July 8, 2018

A Vacation In Your Mind... A Five Minute Friday post.

***
Let's not even pretend... I simply forgot what day it was because: Summer + a mid-week Holiday = Who Can know what day it is this week?! 

Our One Word Prompt is VACATION. This is Five Minute Friday! 
Let's go...

{GO}

I see the word and I think immediately, "Yes, Please!"

I mean, who doesn't want/need a vacation from time to time?



When I think of that word, visions of sand and sea come to mind... or memories of changing planes and booking hotels and exploring someplace new... 

I can reflect back to trips taken as newlyweds and as a new and growing family. I think back to traditions kept and remember when new ones were created... 
and I am oh so thankful!

We love to travel, but let's be real:
We don't have the budget for that.

At least not as often as we'd like! 

We always say it's just time and money... 
But when we are short on both, 
I've learned that we can still
take a vacation in our mind.

July 3, 2018

Battle Ready... a Guest Post by Kelly Balarie.


For whatever reason, I rarely have Guest Posts on this blog, but when a friend is launching a book so powerful and that carries so much potential to change and set free… to empower us to rise up and be (…wait for it…) Battle Ready –well, you open your doors and invite her right on in!

So welcome, Kelly! I’m so glad you are here! (Sweet readers, you’re going to love her!)

***

The Blessing of Being Battle Ready


I was in the waiting room for the MRI. All that was going through my mind was thoughts of, This is horrible. I am never going to survive. I am not going to be able to walk. There is no way out of this. I will be scared to death in that loud machine. I hate needles and they’ll put one in me.

All I could see there was me. It was me and my problems. Me and my trauma. Me and all the horrible pain that was ahead of me.

Add this to the fact that I was a new mom. My kid had been up screaming all night long. I had been pacing the hallway with him. I had been the one trying to hug him all day long as he screamed his head off. I think he had acid reflux.

I also had a mole that needed to be taken off my chest. We didn’t know if it was cancerous. The doctor gauged my chest. The scar still remains.

Did anyone ever tell you that we have an enemy that roams around like a sneaky, conniving villain in the night, searching out ways to steal, kill and destroy?

He’s likely come after you.

But, may I tell you? Battle Ready women, built up in the Lord, strong in their mind – those who renew their thoughts – know something that others don’t.

They know: It doesn’t matter what the enemy does; It matters what Jesus did.

You see, above our problems, our mayhem, our issues, our dents and dings of life, is a victorious King who reigns and rules. He sees everything. He knows our every tear. He sees our every way. He is a help in a time of trouble. He is our refuge and our strength. He is our way and our life.

He is Overcomer. He is Victorious. He is equipping us with all we need to fight the good fight today. We are not crushed, ruined or abandoned, we are raised up with Christ Jesus in the heavenlies.

Jesus brings resurrection life no matter what situation we’re in. Battle Ready women are not driven by their wide-ranging emotions but by heartfelt dedication to God’s truth, His promises, and His purposes. This changes everything.

Rather than seeing the issue, they see the Provider. Rather than seeing the MRI, they begin to see the other woman in the room that they can minister to. This happened to me. I lifted my head there and got to know a woman with bone cancer. She was in so much pain. I prayed for her before she went into her MRI. I told her about Jesus.

Battle Ready women do the awesome and amazing work of God. They let not their issues hold them back. They’re all in. They go for it.

Are you Battle Ready? Are you ready to let peace, passion, life, and freedom take over?

Come join me.


About Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt & Live Victoriously


"The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy's tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!"
Lysa TerKeurstNew York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries


Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You'll gain practical wisdom, like how to

· make new habits stick in just five steps
· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters


To get Battle Ready freebies - printables, devotional reminders, a customizable daily Battle Plan and the “Find Your Battle Style” quiz, visit: www.iambattleready.com  


To order the companion Battle Ready Daily Prayer Journal that will help you practically change your thoughts, then your life, visit: Amazon


Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, 
is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. 
Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman, every battle and in every circumstance. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today's Christian Woman. Kelly's work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts. 

When Kelly is not writing, she is chilling at the beach with her husband, a latte, and 2-toddlers who rightfully demand she build them awesome castles.

June 29, 2018

What If You Believed... A Five Minute Friday post.

***
After last weeks' Word Prompt and post on the Ocean, well-- we were packing last night to head for the water!

Our One Word Prompt this week is IF. This is Five Minute Friday! 
Let's go...

{GO}

I see the prompt and think, wow --that is just wide open! We could go ANYWHERE with that word!

So I stop and pray...




Because, as is always the case here, I don't really want to just share my words as much as I want to share His heart... so I slow and I still and I ask Him, "What do you want me to say?"

And I wait...


June 22, 2018

When the Ocean Beckons You Out... a Five Minute Friday post.

***
I had a friend stop by last night and --well, I'm pretty sure you and I both are getting tired of the excuses of why I keep missing out on the gathering on Twitter! My best explanation right now is: Summer! One day soon, I will make it back! 

Our One Word Prompt this week is OCEAN,  which just so happens to be one of my very favorite destinations and that friend I mentioned above? Yeah - we talked about the ocean and how we can't wait to get back there together! This is Five Minute Friday! Let's go...

{GO}

I have long had this love affair with the ocean.



I just can't get over it... how it beckons me to come closer... to sit and listen... to watch the mesmerizing rhythm of the tide pushing and pulling and how it reminds me that I am oh so small... and yet, oh so loved and held and protected!

It's so romantic... when it's warm and sunny and the kites are flying and the kids are playing in the waves... and when it's stormy and windy and the rains are coming at you sideways and threaten to blow you off course. 

Either way... 

I will take to the ocean
and lean into the Lord... 


June 15, 2018

Restoring Our Impression of Father... A Five Minute Friday post.

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As this Father's Day weekend approaches, I know many are feeling all kinds of feels.  
The Good, the bad, and the ugly... right?

For many, Father's Day is a chance to celebrate an amazing Dad. For many others, however, this 'holiday' can stir up hard feelings, anger, resentment, old wounds, and fresh scars.  

Some experience a sense of loss because their father is no longer here... or at least 'there' (active and available in their every day lives), while others experience gratitude for the memories - both past and ones still being made.

Many of our single Moms pull the weight of mother and father and they deserve to be celebrated and prayed for this weekend as well!

I shared a bit over at LifeLetterCafe this week about that, but with our One Word Prompt this week being RESTORE, I am pretty sure we are going to go there today!  This is Five Minute Friday!

{GO}

I think back to when I was a baby Christian. 

I'm not sure why other than I remember a strange feeling rising up within me whenever I would hear anyone pray out loud.

It was a whole new concept to me --to pray out in the open to a God who couldn't be seen.


But it was more than that.

The community that I was plugged into as a new believer was one who often referred to God as Father. 

In prayer, it would be "Father God, this" and "Father God, that..." and while I liked my Dad just fine, this made me uncomfortable.

June 14, 2018

His Hands... a tribute to Fatherhood


An Ode to Fatherhood, inspired by my husband.
 

It was his hands that first held me... 
that first cupped my face and caressed my shoulders.
It was his hands that first loved me.
 
It's his hands that still, every day, 
gently guide me and strongly urge me forward.
It's his hands that help me up, 
pull me close, and push me on.
 
His hands have held on tight, 
and at times, let go loosely.
His hands are rarely, rarely ever clenched.
They always wide open, palms up, 
ready to praise, ready to pray...
Ready to practice what he preaches every day...

***
In honor of My Honey and Father's Day, I've updated a little piece written right here about four years ago and I am hanging out over at LifeLetterCafe

I'd love to have you join me over there and comment on that post about a man (or two) who has helped to father and shape you! Let's honor the men (and all the single Mama's... amen?) who we will celebrate on Sunday!

Come on over and jump in HERE!

Happy Father's Day
to everyone who has poured into me
and who flow from the Father's heart!




June 9, 2018

I'm Gonna Fly Again... A Five Minute Friday post.

***
The only thing I can tell you is every year in June I get a call to sub for my old Bunco group... And every year I say yes, please! So that is where I was on Thursday... one day soon I will make it back to the tribal gathering on Twitter on Thursday nights (aka #fmfparty) -at least that is my hope and intention! Until then, let's write!

Our One Word this week is FLY!  This is Five Minute Friday!

{GO}

Fly... I see the word and I laugh because, yes! 
Yes... I want to do just that!

On a plane... sure...
but in general, in life... 
I want to soar.



I'm a dreamer and an artist and I am constantly standing up taller in who I am and how He has made me and I can promise you that when you discover and remember your true identity, operating in and out of that, --well... there is just nothing better!

As I've mentioned (too many times, probably!), we are in an In-Between season and things are still slow and silent.  This is mostly restful and so much grace, but every once in awhile around the edges, one can begin to question if we'll be invited out to fly again.


June 2, 2018

Return to What You Know For Sure... - A Five Minute Friday post.

***
I know... I missed it again! But if it makes you feel any better, I didn't have ANY screens in front of me Thursday! I was battling a migraine and even though my heart was sitting in this chair, connecting with my tribe --my head was bossing me around in darker spaces, wanting to be horizontal and quiet.  I'm feeling MUCH better today... so here I sit, windows wide open, sunshine streaming in, coffee by my side (of course!) and ready to write! Let's go!

Our One Word this week is RETURN!  This is Five Minute Friday!

{GO}

Listen, sweet readers...

It's not like this is new news, but My Honey and I?
We are in a season of waiting... of living and lingering in the In-Between. 

I wrote about it a couple of times over the last few weeks... And while we have been gifted Great Peace, living in the middle, in the Not-Anymore-but-Not-Yet spaces, 
--it's not my favorite!


It would be easy --it may even feel more productive-- to give in to worry. To let our minds wander and our hearts get out of rhythm... to allow worry and doubt and fear to sneak right (back) in.  BUT... What God is asking of us in this season of waiting is to simply Return to What We Know For Sure!

May 29, 2018

Begin Again - a Book Review post.


***

I know... I really do! I know you may get tired of me talking about All the Books... but buckle up, because this book right here? It was a gift in more ways than one and I'm about to tell you all about it!


I am a part of Revell Reads and this book, Begin Again -The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt & Receiving Rest by Leeana Tankersley divinely showed up on my doorstep at exactly the right time! (Because of course, right?) 

Begin Again... in this season of our lives, of my life, --this title is such an invitation!  (And if you know me even a little, you know the subtitle about rest had me at Hello!)

In other words...

May 25, 2018

When He Causes You to Pause in the In-Between... A Five Minute Friday post.


***
I had every intention of joining the Tribe last night... but after all the fog and frustration of the mad rush of trying to understand and implement all things (well - at least some things!) GDPR, I needed a break. I needed to hit 'Pause' from all the screens and all the (over)thinking! You'll see what I did there in just a second...

Our One Word this week is PAUSE!  This is Five Minute Friday!

{GO}

You guys!?  

I don't know about you all, but I somehow managed to ignore all the GDPR talk or convince myself that it really didn't affect me. 


I mean - honestly, I still think it mostly doesn't... but the threat of fines and the reality that, in truth, I DO want my readers to rest assured that their privacy is a thing to me and I will not sell or distribute or abuse their information... those two facts caused me to feel overwhelmed and oh so behind this week.  


Also - the fact that I am one of the least techy bloggers out there, and I don't pay any attention to building platform or growing an audience. I just write what He tells me and trust He will put it in front of whoever may need to read it!


All of that to say this:

We are in ALL KINDS of transition right now...



It seems the Lord has us in this bubble of Peace while we wait in the In-Between of what was and what is to come!

May 24, 2018

Updated Privacy Policy... aka Thanks A Lot, GDPR!



This policy was last updated on May 24, 2018


Your privacy is important to us here at Abiding Love, Abounding Grace. The policy below outlines how your personal information is collected and how it is used when you use our website.

You agree to the terms of this policy when you use this website. This privacy policy may change from time to time. If any changes are made, then you will be notified by revising the date at the top of this policy.

May 21, 2018

When It's Time to Tell a Secret. A Five Minute Friday post.

***
I have been silent around these parts yet again, but the Lord has been calling me back to this seat, to write this post... even before Kate gave us the prompt! Our One Word this week is SECRETThis is Five Minute Friday!

{GO}

Maybe you haven't really noticed, but it feels like I've been keeping a little secret lately.

I've hinted at it... and maybe let a few things slip here and there. I've been quieter over the past year or so when it comes to writing or posting about a specific topic, but that was not how we started out. Oh no... we started out bringing y'all along with us on a new adventure and we now unexpectedly find ourselves in yet another new season. 

But let me back up.

This is the post where it's time to tell a little secret. This is the post where I talk about church. Not necessarily the church in general, but our church specifically.

The same church that we were extremely honored to help plant three years ago.  The same church that we prayed into and over and poured into and helped to grow.  The same church that we stepped down from a few months ago... the same one we have slowly been stepping away from. 
The same one we still madly love...



















We are leaning on and trusting in Peace Himself and we are following His lead... --even when His leading takes away from places that we're not sure we want to leave!

May 10, 2018

These Are the Days Of... (Spring 2018)

***

A few years ago, Emily Freeman shared a tool that she uses to help herself stay present!  She makes lists titled, "These are the Days..." and she scribbles down what her days in that season hold.

Well --I'm a list lover and so I grabbed hold of this idea right away!  I'm also a poet from time to time, so I tend to blend the two!  

It's been a long while since I sat down and made a 'list' but it felt like it was time for an updated version! 

So, here we go!


These Are The Days Of...
(Spring 2018 edition)

***
These are the days of...
Letting Things Go, and Giving Things Up.
Seasons Ending, Jobs Winding Down.
Hard, Honest talks and Grace doled out.
So Unsure, yet Peace abounds.

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