Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giveaway Alert (no - not mine)!

Good morning bloggy friends!

For those of you that are motivated by giveaways, I wanted to give you a heads up about a month-long giveaway taking place at April Showers. I "happened upon" her blog via another blog that I follow (hint...hint...OSCBB) and LOVE what she does over there. You really should check it out - regardless of the fact that prizes are involved, but who doesn't like winning a prize?! Click HERE to read more:

A reminder to my scripture memory verse followers: tomorrow is April 1, so be ready to post your next memory verse! Until then...

Have a most blessed day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Africa Bound!

God called a shepherd boy to slay the giant...

God called a stutterer to lead His people out of slavery...

God called a man that had never seen rain to build an ark...

God called a prisoner to the position of second in command over all of Egypt...

God called a prostitute to protect some of His chosen people...

God called a persecutor of His church to be one of the greatest preachers of all time...

God called a virgin to give birth to the King of Kings...

And...God called me to Africa!

Me? Yes...somehow, God has a plan to use me in Africa this summer, and I am absolutely humbled by this opportunity. Let me share more...

Several months ago, a sweet friend of mine asked if I would like to serve alongside her and some other women from the US in Liberia, Africa. Our mission would be to lead two retreats for a very poor group of pastor's wives for the sheer purpose of lavishing them with the love of Christ! I gave the answer that I felt I should..."I'll pray about it"...while knowing that God has been preparing me for this for a long time! So, it wasn't long after she asked that I made the commitment to go! God placed a love for the nation of Africa on my heart several years ago. I never really understood why, but I simply have a deep love for African people and always hoped to be able to serve there on the mission field someday. Guess what? Someday is here! It's actually 72 days away, to be exact!

Even after committing to the trip, I had a few minor apprehensions, but I faithfully trusted God to take care of each of those needs. One of the largest concerns I had was being able to raise the $3500 needed for the trip. Unlike some, we simply don't have that kind of money sitting around in our budget ready to spend. This $3500 will have to be completely raised from family, friends, strangers, etc...those the Lord nudges. Almost three weeks ago, I directly sent out support "ask letters" to many people and have been utterly amazed at how God has stirred in the hearts of His children to faithfully come forward with the needed support. Due to the urgency to get the lowest rate possible for airline tickets, they will be purchased the week right after Easter, so the need for quickly raised support was also manifested by a pretty fast timetable.

Blog friends...while the support has been trickling in, we still have quite a ways to go to reach the $3500 goal. I have been very cautious about trying to "pre-judge" ahead of time those that may or may not be able to provide a donation. That's between God and the giver. I know that many of you have a heart for missions and lap up opportunities to support mission trips. If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to support me in this trip, please contact me directly, and I can give you more information about how to do so. You may (1) leave a comment on this post with the best email address to use to contact you, or (2) feel free to email me directly at, or (3) if you are a Facebook friend - feel free to send me a direct message. Seriously friends, if financial support is something you simply cannot do and don't feel the Lord asking you to do, then I ask that you pray for me regarding this trip. Please pray that the financial needs will be met, that our team of women will be protected from the start of the trip until we return to our homes here in the states, and please pray that we will effectively serve God, as we pour out His love on these sweet Liberian women! I do not take this mission lightly.

However, if you DO feel the nudge to support me financially, then please act as quickly as you can in obedience to whatever the Lord calls you to do. I pray that your blessing in giving is as huge as my blessing in going!

I hinted in my last blog post that another 40 day consecutive blog writing journey will commence soon! Lord willing, I will be blogging each of the 40 days prior to my leaving for Africa! So...stay tuned!

May God richly bless you my sweet friends!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Burning those Blues Away!

Good Saturday morning! Another weekend is here already! It feels like it was just yesterday that I was packing for a quick little beach getaway with my hubby, but it was actually a week ago yesterday! We had a wonderful weekend full of relaxation and fun and left all of the stresses at home! The beach is literally my small piece of heaven while on earth.

We were only home less than 24 hours, and life kicked back an ugly sort of way. It's been a very tough week for me in many respects, but it seems to have captured me emotionally in ways that I don't like. I felt as if I was losing control...rapidly! Amazingly, I kept up with my quiet time each day in prayer and God's Word. I can't imagine how much harder the week would have been without it. By Thursday, however, I was spent! I prayed that God would grant me rest and relief. He did both! I was able to leave work a little early that day and take an extended nap that I needed desperately! I woke up...shared dinner with the family...then, we all headed to the local gym for an evening workout! This was my first in several weeks, I'm sad to admit. It felt so good that I went back again last night! The endorphines kicked in, and I could really feel that I was burnin' those blues away (and hopefully some fat too!).

Thanks for the prayers blog friends! I know many of you have been praying for me through these difficult days. Please know how much those prayers have meant! You are so important to me!

Now...just a couple brief things to share:

1. Guess what arrived yesterday? MY PASSPORT!!! My very first passport! I'm so excited! I needed this in order to go to Liberia in June on my first mission trip! Exciting days ahead, and I'll share more about that trip in a future blog.

2. I want to encourage those of you that have participated in the Scripture Memory Verse challenge this week but have "fallen off the wagon" so to speak to GET BACK ON!!! It's not too late. April 1 is right around the corner. Right before Easter would be a perfect time to kick it back into gear. I also know that some of you were planning to join me a little later in the year, well guess's later in the year! We want you part of this little - but power-filled - team!!!

3. For those of you that were around for my 40 day consecutive blog writing challenge at the end of 2009...another one is on the way, so be watching! It will start before summer! More details to come...

4. I loved doing a birthday giveaway so much back in January that I plan to do another (obviously not for my birthday this time)...just not sure when yet, but be watching!

OK - that's all for now friends! Have a blessed weekend!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scripture memory verse 6!

As promised (even though it's very late in the day), I've returned to "blogland" to post my next scripture memory verse. I'm so committed to this challenge, that regardless of what trials life brings my way, I will not stop memorizing God's Word. I keep looking back at 2009 and realize that often times the verses I memorized were literally what got me through the days, weeks, and months sometimes. I know that some of you who began this journey with me in January have not been around for the last few posts. I know that some of you are in a foreign country right now (on mission work). That's okay - you can catch up soon! Some of you may feel like you missed a few opportunities earlier this year so why get back on the wagon now? Don't stop! That's exactly what the enemy wants to see you do! Please don't give in to that ploy! You can start right back up where you left off. Either way - I'll be here twice a month posting my verses. We've got to keep at this friends! God's Word is powerful. Living. Active. Sharper than a double-edged sword. (see also Hebrews 4:12)

OK - that said - this will be a brief post. You can read my previous blog post to get a small understanding of why it needs to be brief right now. I'm sad to report that I continue to feel great discouragement right now over difficult life situations. I'm doing what I can to try to overcome that, but I can't do it on my own. I'm leaning on God's Word and my prayer warrior friends heavily right now. memory verse for this time is something that I hope to memorize quickly and cling to deeply and constantly:

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I need to know and believe that today! How about you? What verse has God led you to memorize beginning today? If you're struggling with picking a verse, feel free to work on the same one that I'm doing. So, if you're used to this...go ahead and post a comment with the verse you're memorizing including translation. If you're just joining us for the first can read more about it by looking at my first post for the year by clicking HERE. It's NEVER too late to start!

Have a blessed evening friends! You are special to me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life is Hard!

Life is hard...I know...what a revelation! Honestly, I'm not just figuring that out, but it seems to be kind of "in my face" again recently! I'm having a hard time blogging and enjoying life in general, because the "stresses" of life seem to have taken over for awhile. Yes, I've been in the Word. Yes, I've been praying. Yes, I've fasted. what? I wait. This is the hardest part for me. Waiting is not my forte. I'm not very patient. It's something I desperately need to work on, so it seems that I've been placed into a position to learn how to do just that. Ugh!

I'm so sorry that I've not been much of a blogger as of late, but I honestly don't have anything worthwhile to say. I really want this to be a place of encouragement, so when I don't feel very encouraging...I tend to back away. I love you all friends, my blog readers, my family. Please don't give up on me. Just pray for me through these difficult times. God is definitely trying to teach me something. I'm eager and desperate to learn the lesson!

Whenever He gives me something to say...I'll be here. Until then, thank you for being patient with me! I'll definitely be here on Monday for our next scripture memory verse installment. I'm committed to that!

Be blessed my friends! You are loved and very important to me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scripture memory verse 5!

Can you believe it's already March? I'm still trying to get used to writing 2010, and we've already completed two months of this "new" year. Where has the time gone? It's also hard to believe that those of us that have been working on the Scripture Memory Verse Challenge for 2010 have 4 verses under our belt already! (If you joined us late...don't worry about it. We're simply so happy to have you meet us wherever you are along the journey.)

Before I get to the actual memory verse for the first part of the month, I thought I'd catch you up a little on what's been going on with me since I've been a little light on blogging as of late.

Two weeks ago, I began a fast. I completely fasted from all solid foods and only drank water and organic fruit/veggie juices. I actually did a full seven day fast! I've completed several fasts before but nothing beyond 3 days. I'm still in shock at how easy the fasting part was. It wasn't perfectly easy - there were a few (but very few) times of difficulty. However, for the most part, I felt great that entire week. Nobody (other than my family and a close friend or two that I asked to pray for me) even knew I was doing this. I was on such a spiritual "high" the entire time I was fasting. My quiet time in God's Word was deep and very profound at times, and my prayer time was out of this world. I had 7 things that I focused on during the fast, and I devoted one day to each of those focuses. I feel like I've heard clearly from God in response to a couple of items, and I'm still waiting and praying about the others.

By contrast, the week after my fast was horrendous (and, this week is unfortunately starting the same way so far). I went from such a spiritual high to such a spiritual low very quickly. I honestly feel like I'm under attack (and probably am). But, I'm not going to stop trusting God for those things that I know to be true. I'm just feeling a little down these days, but that will change soon too. I just need a little time and a lot of prayer. Regardless, I WILL make fasting a regular part of my spiritual walk from now on. It's way too important not to, and I feel so close to God during those precious times.

So, in light of the spiritual attack that I feel as if I'm under...I've chosen the following verse to memorize for the next 14 days:

Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Let's hear it folks...verse, version, your first name, and city!

Be blessed dear friends!