November 30, 2013

That Thing I Do Now - even over Thanksgiving Weekend!

So... NORMALLY the drill here is I hook you up with all kinds of Awesome... fabulous and powerful, uplifting posts to read... but it's Thanksgiving week and I didn't write much and while there were some who did - and there is Awesome to be found for sure...

...we are all busy and what I really wanted to share is how I am
oh so thankful for YOU...
dear readers. 

I don't want to take up a lot of your time because I truly believe Thanksgiving is about family and friends and while I adore you - it's about the one in front of you... the one beside you.  

So this week, I thought I would just gather up a few videos and clips that inspire... keep it simple and sacred, and help us to lean in to all that the season is really about!

Happy Reading Video watching!
(We'll get back to reading next weekend!)

* This video about a disabled veteran and a man who knew how to Be the Gift...

* This video... Sweet Jesus, we need more of this! Love the hearts of these kids!

This video on The Power of Forgiveness, because 'tis the season, ya'll! Really!

* This one - because, well - who doesn't love this little guy? C'mon! 20 Things We Should Say More Often...

* This video by Ann Voskamp on The Greatest Gift...

* and this one - because it is officially after Thanksgiving now so I will be getting all Christmasy up in here... Little Drummer Boy -A cappella

I am counting gifts this weekend, sure... but I count gifts every day. I am thankful for the good, for the happy and the love... and I am learning to be thankful for the less than too! 

P. S. What about you, sweet friends?  What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  How has the Lord surprised and blessed you this year? What new thing have you learned? Comment below... I'd love to hear!

Oh yes... the winner for the Giveaway for the Handmade Journal was: Deb A Weaver! Congrats! 'Tis the season though... so check back on Tuesday for another awesome Giveaway!

November 29, 2013

What I Learned in November...

So - the last time I wrote about things that I learned in a month was way back in September... that was like, a LONG time ago! In between then and now - well, surely I have learned many things, right? (Right?)  Well - again - how could I know? It's not like I remembered (yet again) to keep a list... sigh...

So - this list will have to randomly cover October and November but rest assured, it's not like they didn't all run together in real life too!  I won't add more things... but will just pick a handful of things that I CAN remember and call it good, so here we go:

12  Random Things that I learned in (October &) November:

1. I learned that I really CAN lock myself up and stay focused and write for days and days and survive it... I wasn't so sure but once I committed to writing #31Days - as in, RIGHT after I signed up and wrote a little 'What I Learned...' post stating that I was doing it (and then linking it over at Emily's blog - who happens to be The Nesters sister...) I then - and only then - realized that we would be gone for over half of October.  As in - no exaggerating - GONE.  I would be out of town for 17 out of 31 days!  How did I not know this?  So what this meant was that I prayed up and bowed down and got busy... writing 31 posts in a matter of days.  I forewarned told my little family that I was going to be pretty much in this seat, in front of this monitor, for days - but then it would be better because then, while I vacation, I could remain gloriously unplugged! That mostly happened, so it was win-win! I honestly didn't think I could write 31 posts in 3 days... and sure I went back and added a photo here or edited it a little there - but overall, the bulk of it was done by October 4th and I was free to get up and move about the aisles, uh plane no, planet!

2. Sometimes it only SEEMS as if you may die and have to cancel your vacation plans... oh and Prayer is AWESOME, ya'll!  So, just days before our trip to South Carolina, I got sick.  Now - given, we are not 'good' at being sick.  We are blessed with overall health and we just don't usually have to worry about having medicine cabinets fully stocked or any other 'necessity' of being sick on hand either.  I got SLAMMED... I really thought I may die... and worse yet, it seemed as though I would be sending my husband to Allume with my girlie in my place... or someone in my place... but not me. I could not possibly board a plane and be expected to sit upright and keep anything in the right places while battling close quarters, turbulence, and shared air. I mean, really!  So I weakly asked for prayer... honestly I didn't have much faith at the time but I knew it would have to be God to get me there and ya'll rallied!  The night before our flight - I softly uttered some weak attempt at giving out options to my hubby for who he could bring in my place but he was having none of it! I woke up in a few hours at 4a.m. and we headed over the mountains and through the hills and we boarded our plane and ran to the next gate at layovers, and finally landed in Charleston around 9p.m. - and not ONCE did I remember that I was pretty much almost dying the day before?  Yeah... Prayer is Awesome! (and Thank you! ...and thank You, Lord!)

3. Date Nights got NOTHIN' on Date Vacations... Seriously... oh you with Littles, I promise one day this may see more doable and when it even begins to hint at a possiblity, DO IT!  It's just the best

 (Photo credit: Kim DeLoach)
4. Sometimes you can think you know what God is gonna do, and sometimes you are right even when it looks like you Got. It. All. Wrong.  So, I wrote about Allume HERE... and a little HERE... but let's just say - I thought I knew why God was calling me to Allume.  But once I got there, it felt like maybe I didn't belong... like maybe what I wanted wasn't so much what God wanted but it seemed impossible because I'm pretty sure we both were wanting the same thing.  Yeah... after the fact, He let me in on what He was up to.  Remembering to get His bigger perspective really helps and I'd like to think I learned that in October and I'd love to say I didn't need to relearn it in November but... well... yeah, that.

5. When you are in a different time zone from your (not so little) Girlie and she wants to Snapchat or Facetime... well... you learn to love it!  We were on our way to South Carolina... we were probably over the midwest when our Nearly Grown Girlie texted that she felt like she was going to die. (See #2 above.)  Yeah. That.  Poor thing... with not a Mama at home to help her through it!  I promised her that she would not die and, in fact, in just a matter of days at most, she'd feel completely better.  I knew it was true - but when she Facetimed with me, hearing her little voice erased the space between us! She bought me my iPhone before we left... yep - SHE bought ME an iPhone so that we could Facetime and Snapchat while we were on the other side of the country... she's pretty amazing!  So - bonus: Days later when I was really missing her, I remembered that I had Snapchat on my phone and then opened it to find a pile of messages from her... well - I learned to love it (and make a duck face, and take a screenshot- oh yeah!) almost immediately! Thank God for technology!

6.  When you go to the Atlantic Ocean in late October and it's all mid-70s to lower 80s, South Carolina gets all flirty with you...  For just a few moments, we lost our minds and entertained life on the East Coast... strolling along the shore on Sullivan's Island, or browsing along King Street and Battery Park... or walking among the gardens at Magnolia Plantation... but then we'd remember - Wait... it's usually HUMID and STICKY here, right? Oh yeah... we don't like that... OR the huge bugs... or the alligator.  Yeah... whatever. So what if the water felt like a lukewarm bath vs. a tortured form of ice bathing that we are used to while wading into the Pacific. We were not fallin' for it! But SC sure is cute!

7. Dry Shaving while in a hurry to leave for the Beach is probably never EVER a good idea...  I'm just sayin'... it's really not a good idea ever... but especially when you are in a hurry to go to the beach... especially when Mr. Atlantic is oh so flirty and such and you somehow FORGET that you dry shaved in two seconds flat until you are knee deep in salty SEA WATER... yeah.  THEN you remember.  Then you remember ALL about it!

8. Sometimes you really don't have any answers for someone... but sometimes they don't expect you to have any answers, but they hope you have a little grace. I have a friend who has been in need of help in the past month or so.  Help that is beyond my knowledge or skill set.  I feel helpless and out of answers but in reality, what she needs more than answers thrown at her, is grace wrapped around her.  And prayers... lots and lots of prayers! (See #2 again!)

9.  I have rediscovered the simple joy of an Eggnog Latte made at home... in my jammies... with nothing else planned!  A friend requested that 'someone' enjoy an eggnog latte in her honor since she no longer lives in the States and was unable to enjoy one herself so you know that I stepped up and answered the call! That's just the kind of friend I am, ya'll! I bought one in her honor... and then (oops?) while grocery shopping the next day, just went ahead and bought a small carton of eggnog to keep at home... you know, sort of hidden way way way in the back of the frig.  (Whatever!) 

10.  I learned that I really like Mumford & Sons and I know that I am terribly late to the party...  Yep- I had heard of them, and heard part of a song or two, but while flying the friendly skies, I listened to the whole CD... several times... and I think I will have to own it... as in - legally purchase an actual CD! 

11.  I learned that I love TV more than I thought... case in point 3 cases in point:
I love Parenthood on NBC too so much... as in, I don't like it when I 'see' the actors outside of their characters... I want them to really BE the Bravermans... like, ALL the time... and I want them to live next door to me! Also... I feel like this is TOTALLY normal! 
Boy Meets World was a great show... and they are making a sequel of sorts with ALL of the original cast (as if they are the characters they play and they have just been WAITING for the cameras to roll again!)  Uh... see #11.  My girlie and I love to watch this show in the afternoons... when we should probably be doing lots of other stuff but instead, at least for now, snuggle up and ignore homework and such and watch us a little Cory and Tapanga... and who doesn't love Shawn? ...and Mr. Feeny? 
I heard a rumor that there is an agreement with the cast of Gilmore Girls to do a movie... with the script written by the original writer of this series... so I hold. my. breath.  As in, God - let this be true! I mean - The Gilmore Girls is simply the best show ever. Hands down. No Contest.  (Note - All Bravermans are to remain Bravermans at all times but let's just be honest, 'Sarah' will always always always be Lorelai Gilmore.  Always.

12. I am thankful for many things - FREEDOM (and not just my own) tops the list. Each year, there is more to be thankful for!  Maybe there is not More... but Less?  Less distractions... Less 'things' placed up high as important or needed... Less stress of even striving for perfection... This month, my girlie and I hosted our second Annual Women At Risk Open House Trunk Show.  WAR Int'l shipped me boxes and boxes of gorgeous handmade jewelry and scarves and cards and such and we opened our home and invited people to come and shop with purpose... 

...and I learned that when our eyes are opened and we are offered an opportunity, more often than not - we will step up and step out and we want to Be the Gift and help to change the world!

I am Linking up with Emily over here at Chatting at the Sky!
Join us!

So what about you?  What have you learned in October/November? 

November 27, 2013

In Which We Just Can't Out Give God...

So, I didn't really want to write much this week...

With Thanksgiving and then the fast approaching unfolding of All Things Christmas, I just thought maybe it would be good to quiet myself a bit and breathe in and out and just let a little silence settle in before the rush.

You know, practicing His Presence and all that.

It sounds great in theory and maybe this is just me - but what happens when I decide not to write is I end up 'writing' several half posts in my head.  In an attempt to stop that, I distract myself with Pinterest and party planning and the making the lists (of All the Things) and the cleaning (of only Some of the Things!)... so here I am - writing.

What I really wanted in my attempt at silence was to hear His Voice again.  

Oh He speaks... He is always speaking, and I have learned that when I lean in, when I slow down and breathe deep and hush my thoughts and simply wait... I am reminded that He is with me always and that He has plenty to say! 

So - because I was so distracted, I decided to sit down, journal and Bible in hand, and pray for you. (Yes, you!)

I asked the Lord to bless you richly... to show up in and through you as you gather with friends and family this weekend, and then I asked for a non-traditional Thanksgiving Scripture. After all, giving thanks is found through out the Word and we are often so very familiar with those verses.  I prayed, and found myself reading Psalm 84.  (It's one of my favorites!)

I read through the whole thing and then again, slower... savoring the words as they became both Bread and Wine, giving nourishment and refreshment.  My own Thanksgiving Feast spread out before me!

"For the LORD God is a sun and a shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."                      (Ps 84:11NASB)

It's vs 11 that is standing out to me and I realize as I am thinking of all things for which I am thankful for, many of them are simply that: 'things'.  And yet in verse 11, it says that God will give grace and glory. While I praise Him and give Him thanks... He is handing out Grace and Glory!

(Selah! Pause and think on that for a moment, ya'll!)

In the Amplified Bible, it reads, "the LORD bestows (present) grace and favor and (future) glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)."

Uh... yes, please!

We just can never ever out give God.

While we give thanks this week, this season, ...through out all of our days, He is giving grace and glory... love and mercy... peace and joy!

That verse goes on to say:
"No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
No good thing... that is some promise!

...and that brings us back to 'things' but I get the sneaking suspicion revelation that my 'things' and His 'things' are very, very different!

I am finding, the older I get, that I am wanting to trade more of my things for His!  

What about you? Have you ever tried to outgive God? What are you thanking Him for today?

Linking up with #TellHisStory

...speaking of trying to out give God... well - we know that can't be done, but we are attempting to partner WITH Him next week!  Stay tuned for more info on Phase 5 of the InMercy Project, where we hope to raise funds to purchase a house in Kenya for our sweet sisters!

November 25, 2013

Counting Gifts, Being the Gift, & a Giveaway!

Thanksgiving Week (in America) is upon us and this, as I have stated a number of times, is my absolute FAVORITE ya'll!  I mean - as much as I am all about Autumn, I am even more so all in when it comes to Thanksgiving. 

For it represents freedom and community and family and reflecting back... gathering and sharing (and eating, sure!) and there is a grace for forgetting... for forgiving... for letting go and seeing what is more (most?) important... for counting gifts and remembering blessings and my how I just love how that preps us for what is to come as December unfolds and "Christ is born" is celebrated and shouted from rooftops... (or at least children's plays and Christmas caroling!)

This past weekend, my daughter and I opened our home and our hearts once again to Women At Risk, Int'l.  We hosted an Open House Trunk Show, selling jewelry and scarves and cards - all handmade by women who have escaped sex or human trafficking, or who were at risk and were brought in to safety and trained and equiped with a skill that will help them to support themselves and their families without the lure of going back to their former horror.  

Last year, we raised enough to support 4 women for a month... right around $1200.00   That was our goal this year as well.  We came close, and I am keeping the party open another day or two before shipping back all of the merchandise, hoping we can get a few last minute sales to put us at our goal!

So we count on... when this issue which is so close to our hearts, and so completely overwhelming, can make us feel helpless if we let it - we count on... for the gifts of freedom - ours and theirs... for the power of prayer... for awareness and justice arising... 

We count on, focusing on what we CAN do, not what we can't. As Noel Brewer Yeatts said in her book "Awake" - we may not be able to change the world... but we can change the world for one person... or one community... one village!  We really can, as Ann says, Be the Gift... 

When we choose freedom... when we use our gifts and our voices and raise awareness... when we stand alongside these sisters, even if just in the spirit - and we speak Life to them... we choose to Be Love, to Shine On... we are changing their world... and oh how we can't know what the ripple effect will be but when we are doing it with Him - the creator of oceans and sky... we know it will be amazing!

And so we count on...

#1702 - A Weekend away - a yearly getaway with great friends!  

#1703 - Laughing over jokes that stem from over a decade in the past... and oh how they never really get old!

#1704 - Grandma Ruth - peacefully passing... knowing she is with Grandpa George and Jesus now and my how just a little bit of me is jealous!  

#1705 - Morning Coffee in PJs with friends... Grown Up sleep overs that go deep even while keeping it light! Waking up with friends who have known you at your best... and your not-so-best too!

#1706 - Eggnog Latte - the first of the Season... (and all because a friend requested for someone to enjoy one for her since she no longer lives in the States and can't have one of her own! Yes... do you SEE how I suffer for my friends?  That one was for you, Fiona!)

#1707 - A Feast... a table set for community and communion with hearty homemade soup and so much warmth and richness both in flavor and in converations!

"I can't imagine life without a table between us!"
(Bread & Wine)

#1708 - Writing a couple of "Five Minute Friday" prompts with friends - live, in real life! They are journalers more than bloggers but oh how they just may have caught the bug!

#1709 - Worship & Prayer with long time friends... hearts and voices harmonizing together!

#1710 - Hobby Lobby... Aaaah yeah! 

#1711 - Congregational Worship DURING Baptisms... and Baptisms involving grown (older) men, as well as young children... and LORD how seeing a veteran go under water and come up clean, rejoicing with fists in the air just right undid me!

#1711 - My traveling Companions (as my Honey drives us home!)

#1712 - A cozy home inside, when it's oh so chilly and windy outside!  

#1713 - Baking Cookies for my girlie's friends who are all away at college!

#1714 - Balsamic Marinated Pork Loin... in the Crockpot!

#1715 - A small Gathering to watch Christmas at the Farm with Annie and Lizzie!

#1716 - Women At Risk (WAR) International... An Open House Trunk Show...


#1717 - Free Press for our event... raising awareness as well as proceeds - both which will lead to more Freedom!

#1718 - Thanksgiving plans with both sides of the family... keeping it simple and low key, and counting gifts together, around the table...

So that brings us to the Giveaway... in case you missed my weekend post FILLED with links to hook you up to all kinds of Awesome (including some serious tips and ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas) - I am also giving away a Journal that I made for Counting One Thousand Gifts (and beyond!)  I love making these Journals and use them all the time!  
Click HERE to get to that post, and at the bottom you can enter to win! (Contest closes on Friday night - 11/29!)

What about you?  What sort of gifts of blessings are you thankful for this week? I'd love to hear!

Linking up with Ann Voskamp and the Multitudes on Mondays

November 23, 2013

That Thing I Do Now (Vol 19) + A Giveaway!

So... you know the drill... it's the weekend and life is busy and you know how I like to gather up all sorts of Awesome and then pass on the wealth of Awesomeness to all of you, the Internet... just in case you missed it!  So - here are some of my favorite finds this week...

Happy Reading!

* This post over at LifeHack, listing 13 Things that Mentally Strong People Don't Do... so good!

* This post by Shauna Niequist on what her mother taught her... what every woman should know!

* This one by Kristen over at We Are That Family on taking Thanksgiving back (with a link up FULL of tips and ideas!)

* This post over at Prodigal Magazine by Emily Wierenga on what Love is... joining her in prayer!

* This by Kayla Aimee with tips on how to keep it simple this Christmas... filled with 25 tips on non-toy gifts to give! So good!

* This post over at Thought Catalog listing 18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again by Brianna Wiest

* This post by Edie over at Life in Grace - it is FILLED with tips on hosting Thanksgiving and enjoying it... so for those of you who are filling your homes next week, or anytime really - these tips are great! So here ya go!

* The post right here from Abiding Love, Abounding Grace where I talk about how to create an atmosphere of Gathering In...

Of course - we now come to the video portion... because, you know... "that's how we do!" This one is a bit longer than most, but bookmark it and make the time when you can... Annie and Lizzie at the Farm. Oh my!

...but, we're not done yet! Oh no... BONUS:

Now - for a bit of a Thanksgiving Love... I am literally gonna hook you up with an altered handmade One Thousands Gifts Journal... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What did I miss? Did you find anything Amazing online this week that I didn't list here? Link it in the comments and share the love, friends!

November 22, 2013

With Him, you can FLY! W.A.R Int'l & Five Minute Friday

Yesterday was crazy busy in all the best ways... I did manage to pop in to the #fmfparty Twitter Party for a few, but having written a post on how to create an atmosphere for gatherings in the morning, then hosting a gathering, then joining the #christmasatthefarm party, then dinner, then rearranging for ANOTHER Gathering... well - ya know... my family requested some eye contact in between there somewhere!  So today - I am taking a quick break from all the rearranging and displaying of all the jewelry for my Women At Risk Open House tonight and tomorrow... I will write... for five minutes flat... and maybe add a photo or two and then get right back to work (because I was just contacted by the press ya'll - and they are coming... so all of the sudden - everything I wrote about yesterday on how I am low key and not stressed out... yeah... well - I feel like that, except the exact opposite!)

Oh but - first - the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is!  Five Minute Fridays are hosted by Lisa Jo Baker.  It is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE!  The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.)  I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!

So - here goes: Five Minute Friday - The Word Prompt is:  FLY


"Time flies when you're having fun..."

It's the first thing I think of when I see our prompt and I can't help but realize that time just flies - no matter what, but oh how it sure doesn't FEEL like that when you are having anything but fun! 

I can look back over the years and yes - those fun times, they seemed to evaporate before our very eyes... vacations are over too soon; summer never lasts; our Nearly Grown Girlie is in college... COLLEGE, ya'll?

But what about those seasons when the answers didn't come... at least not fast enough, or not in the way we wanted?  What about when the pain or sickness lingered, or seemed to win? What about when your heart was broken and it didn't seem like you would ever see the light of day and be joyful, or full of hope, ever again? 

What if you felt like time was standing still and you were stuck in darkness... imprisoned in hell... tortured and tossed aside, but never let go of?

I am hosting an Open House again this November... it's tonight and tomorrow actually!

Women At Risk International is an amazing organization that restores hope and dreams to women and children who are at risk or who have escaped a lifestyle of human/sex trafficking.  They provide safe houses all over the world, and they retrain women to have skills that will help them to transform their lives and provide for themselves and their children without the lure or danger of going back to that old familiar horror.

I think of these girls... some who never knew hope... who were caught or sold or trapped at such a young age, this darkness is all they have ever known.  They never had anyone whisper to them to dream... to hope... no one ever looked into their eyes and saw value and encouraged them to fly... but we do; we ARE!

Time stands still for these girls... these women.  But hope is arising... and on His wings, we partner up and we speak life and we are being love and we are shining on for them... showing them it's okay to dream... showeing them that hope in God will not disappoint... and with Him, you can FLY! 


That went fast... there is so much more I want to say, but again - today is Bossy and I must move on! 

Please be praying for these women... these children.  God is raising awareness and freedom is coming.  Pray for my Open House if you think of it! Last year, my daughter and I were able to raise enough money to fully support 4 women/families for a month.  We are praying God will help us to meet or surpass that goal this year as well!

Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "FLY"  
Five Minute Friday

November 18, 2013

Glistening Hope...

I am a worshiper... hands down. (well... uh - up, really!  Hands lifted up!)

I, a writer and lover of words, can get lost in a lyric and be brought into His Presence in 3 seconds flat.  It's my favorite way to settle myself and calm my mind... to silence my thoughts and re-center my focus. 

I need it.

I am other things too, of course! 

I am an intercessor... I love to pray. I have a gift of faith and will come into agreement with His Word and believe for miracles before I have finished my first cup of coffee.  It's part of my DNA.  

I have felt a call from God to live out consistently the 'tagline' if you will that He spelled out for me over the last several years... no matter what I do, who I am with, or where He leads me - every day, I am to 

Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.

Some days this flows naturally and it is easy (and I will admit that I have the luxury of working from home and so often, on those days - I have not left my front door!) On other days, it is more of a challenge - but one I am trying to stay aware of and rise up to meet on a consistent basis.

So when worship, and prayer, and speaking life (at least to myself) gets tough... I have learned to stop and pay attention.

I wrote recently about my Allume experience and how I felt a little disappointed.  I had high hopes of really pouring out and for whatever reasons (some my own, some the enemies, and some His doing!) that didn't feel like it was accomplished. I came home unsure... foggy... and feeling a little let down.  

I didn't really want to spend time with Him... I wasn't in the mood for worship or praying.  I began to question if I hear from God ...if He could be trusted with my whole heart afterall... if He had any real intention of using me anywhere, ever, ever again!

I felt so invisible... and I've been shelved before... I have had a season of laying down giftings and ministry and having to walk away.  Coming to the conclusion that it's ok if I am never asked to minister in that way again.  It was a long and painful Getting There and I don't want to go around that mountain again! So I pray... and I ask Him to help me understand what the purpose was behind my less than stellar experience (and the lingering heavy after-effects!)

It was by no accident that He began luring me back to His heart through worship.  I fought it... yeah, I can be stubborn like that and I was having a few trust issues with Him. I know that sounds silly - but it is true.  It is true - but it is not TRUTH... and knowing the difference is what helped me to not harden my heart and to lean IN anyway!

I gave myself a little grace and a few days of pouting... I allowed myself days of quiet, but not quiet time - if you know what I mean!  And then... when my heart was ready to be opened up again - I turned to worship.  It's a powerful familiar tool that brings me right on in to His Presence.  

It bows me down and lifts me up and while I tend to want to be prostrate... if I linger long enough, He always asks me to look up... to look into... to see and to be seen. 

(Ironic, yes?)

But I am ready... or at least I know I need to be and so I give in a little sooner than I want, and I bow down and give Him praise anyway...  even when my heart is not completely feeling like I am in agreement with the words that my lips are singing... I sing it out all the more because while they don't feel true... I know that the words are Truth and oh how I need them!

Then our meeting flows from worship music to Word and how the speaker quotes Francis Frangipane in saying something about how if there is any area in your life 'that doesn't glisten with hope, then you are believing a lie and that area is a stronghold of the devil in your life' and oh how I could feel the ties that bind getting tighter!  

I'm almost afraid to ask... the idea is to pray and ask God if there is an area... ask Him to shed light on the lie... to restore hope, and who doesn't want that?

But Glisten?  That's a lot of hope!  I like to think that I am a faith girl... encouraging and sparkly - shining bright for Jesus... but do I GLISTEN?

When I think of 'glisten', I think of persperation and a little hard work and who among us hasn't had to fight to hang on to a little hope?

Sometimes it's easy and we're blessed and we know it!  We count on with ease...

And sometimes it's a battle and a choice and when we are willing to do the work and stand on His side, victorious, we shine... we glisten...

The evening service went on as God began to shift and shed light and speak to me.  My doubts were being washed away and He was assuring me once again that He has a plan and He is never unaware.  

Towards the end of the meeting I encountered God and with my eyes closed, I 'saw' Him gave me two things... first, Jesus handed me a gift to unwrap. It was a megaphone that was 'blank' - all plain white on the outside, but it came with markers to write on it - and use it! He whispered, "I've given you a voice!"

Then, I saw the Father lean in and He whispered straight into my heart.  Among other (personal) things, He said that I was a reflection of His heart and His Joy and He said that He is calling me to be a mirror of Him to those who feel invisible.

Aaaah- and there it is! 

With that one visual, I found peace. I found understanding and comfort in knowing that my feeling invisible at Allume was not punishment or merely an attack... it was for a greater purpose and oh how we like to forget that sometimes that He chooses to teach us these Truths through hard lessons! That everything He asks of us is not always fun or easy!

Another definition of Glisten is: 'to give off a sparkling or lustrous reflection of...'  
Hmmm... to mirror.  To Shine.

One of the (many) benefits of living Free is that you recognize sooner when you are not walking in freedom!  The choice is still yours what you will do with that knowledge but it's for freedom that we've been set free! 

I knew I was pushing God away... I knew I was not leaning IN... I knew I was believing a lie... I knew what felt true, and what (Who) was Truth were not matching up.  

It felt familiar... that building up a wall of self-protection.  I've been there before... but you build and build and find yourself locked in, and locked out, on the wrong side.  

Sometimes it requires work to dismantel a lie... to tear down a wall.  But if you are willing, you just may discover along with a bit of persperation, you will find a little Glistening Hope being restored!

(...and who doesn't want that?)

Linking up with Barbie over at The Weekend Brew

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