Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Extreme Makeover Blog Edition

My blog got a makeover!  What do you think?  I'm really liking it, myself :-)

Do you know the song that my blog is named after?  It's "What Faith Can Do" by Kutless.  It's a few years old now, but still one of my favorites (I have a LOT of favorites ;-) )

Have YOU seen dreams move mountains?  Hope that doesn't end?  Miracles just happen?  Silent prayers get answered?  Broken hearts become new?  I have!!

Okay :-)  So ya like the new look?

Monday, January 21, 2013

all the days of my life!

Read this today in an article on (website for Christian young adults).  

As a woman, God designed you to be a helper. In marriage, that means using your gifts to help your husband carry through his leadership. In all of life, including dating, it means living out all the 'one-another' verses in Scripture, as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to help one another grow in godliness. That's no less true when we're dating or hoping to date. His godliness...should be your primary motivation.

Love that last statement, "his godliness should be your primary motivation."  Years ago, I heard a devotion on the Proverbs 31 woman -- I don't even remember who it was by, but I remember the emphasis on verse 12, "She does him [her husband] good and not evil all the days of her life."  I probably remember it so well because of this note I still have written in the margin of my Bible:  "I am to love my future husband and seek his highest good all the days of my life, even before I know him."  

How I pray for him.
How I relate to other guys.
How I prepare to be a good wife/homemaker/mom.
How I take care of my body and health.
How I grow as a Christian and a godly woman.
How I practice purity and faithfulness.

All these things and more will have effect in that future relationship.  Are you and I making decisions that seek our future spouse's highest good even now? 

And when that relationship happens, I love the challenge that even then, our focus is to be on building the other person up in the Lord, helping them to become all they're called to be.  The full sentence in that article, by the way, says "His godliness, not your hope for romance, should be your primary motivation."  What girl doesn't love a little romance? :-)  But keep the priorities straight.  There's a bigger, more glorious picture to see:  a picture of two people who love because He first loved them, two people who help each other grow in faith and godliness, two people who further God's kingdom together.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I heard that faith moves mountains...

I heard that faith moves mountains
I know it moves my feet
To follow You
Maybe I'm a mountain
Because it's moving me
My faith is not a fire, as much as it's a glow
A little burning ember in my weary soul
And it's not too much
Just enough to give me hope
Because love moves slow
Your love moves slow

So, I'm in love with Audrey Assad's music.  Last weekend, my sister and I got to go to one of her shows in Nashville, and it was great.  Small, intimate setting, very relaxed and personal, and lovely music.  Afterwards, I bought her newest album, "Heart."  This song, called "Slow," is my favorite on the album so far.  I think one reason I love Audrey's music so much is that it's so expressive, and I can so identify with it.  Often it seems she puts my feelings into words!

And this song about faith....yeah.  Recently I wrote this prayer in my journal:  "I want to please You by having faith, but it's hard when you're not sure about..about anything.  When there's no evidence.  But faith IS the evidence, Your word says.  The evidence of things hoped for."  

The reference there is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the assurance (or substance) of things hoped for, the conviction (or evidence) of things not seen."  As I was reading that verse that day, my eye caught another verse at the end of chapter 10, "But My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him."  So I added to my journaled prayer, "Lord, let me not shrink back.  Help me be strong in faith!"

And God is good, to give reassurance at times when He knows we need it, to strengthen our faith.  Sometimes faith is a "little burning ember," and sometimes He lets that ember get fanned into a flame of faith!  We need to remember that whether it feels like our faith is a forest fire, or barely bigger than a mustard seed, God can use it to move mountains....and to move us.  May we delight Him by believing Him!

"Without faith it is impossible to please God..." Hebrews 11:6

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Goals

It's a new year!  Twenty-twelve definitely held some good stuff and some hard all years do.  I'm super excited for what 2013 will hold.  Yesterday God showed me the Scripture above, Isaiah 34:18-19, reminding me that He has new things in store, and He alone can make a way where there seems to be no way!  So bring on 2013...bring on the new!!

Okay, so I wanted to share some of my goals -- "resolutions" if you will -- for this year.  The CCCA conference I went to at the beginning of December was kind of a "re-starting point" for me.  One of my biggest take-aways from the conference was BE INTENTIONAL.  Figure out what your priorities are, what's important to you, where you want to be by the end of the year, and MAKE IT HAPPEN.  As I remain a single woman for now, I want to be intentional about my personal growth as a godly woman, as a future wife and mom, and as a leader.

One of the speakers I heard at the conference, Dr. Tim Elmore, challenged us to choose several areas that we want to improve/grow in this year, then set some intentional and practical goals to help us grow in those areas.  Dr. Elmore suggests recruiting people to mentor you in each area you choose to work on -- for example, if one wanted to improve in time management, he'd ask a friend who is really good at time management to give him advice and hold him accountable throughout the year.

So, here are the five areas I've chosen, with some thought and prayer, to focus on this year:
1. Financial responsibility/fundraising
2. Exercise
3. Courage/boldness
4. Prayer
5. Prep for being a godly wife

And here are my practical goals/things I've already started doing to grow in these areas:

1. Daily workouts!  So far I'm enjoying the workouts and feeling the accomplishment, and that's keeping me driven!  :-)

2. I've chosen a few books to read in 2013 that correspond to my focus areas:  The Missional Mom by Helen Lee (wives/moms in ministry), In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (courage/boldness), and The Ascent of a Leader by Bill Thrall (general leadership).  Confession:  I am NOT very good at sticking with reading and actually finishing a book!!  So three in one year will be a big deal for me! haha.

3. I'm studying women of the Bible in my quiet times -- just kind of my own personal study on godly womanhood.

4. Making a priority to pray more specifically and faithfully for family and friends' specific needs.

As you can see, I haven't dived into all the areas yet, but workin' on it!
So far, I haven't really run with the mentor idea.  That's probably something I should improve on -- having people in my life that I intentionally glean wisdom from and who hold me accountable.  Hmm, something to think about!  :-)

There you have it!  The basic rundown of my 2013 goals, that really started early in December.  So far I've stayed pretty motivated and committed, but I know that could definitely wear off in the coming weeks and months, and then I'll need to evaluate and figure out how to stay the course!

What are your goals?  What five (or six or four or two) areas would you focus on improving this year?
Here's to a 2013 of INTENTIONAL growth and ministry!  Happy New Year!