Thursday, April 26, 2018

WHAT IS FEAR?



FEAR IS DEFINED AS:
A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger
or threat. Induced by something or someone.

Other words to help you relate to fear are:

Alarm
Anxiety
Concern
Dread
Jitters
Uneasiness
Fright
Phobia
Angst
Apprehension
Despair
Doubt
Panic
Horror
Suspicion
Worry
Agitation
Cowardice
Distress
Funk
Nightmare
Cold feet
terror

Do you find yourself faced with or tortured by any of the above feelings/emotions?

2 Timothy 1:7...God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound
mind/self-discipline.
**Fear compromises these things...it compromises power, love and a sound mind/self discipline.
It makes you FEEL like those things are impossible. Like they are unachievable. Like they will
never happen for you.
Fear is a liar. Fear tells us that we do not and cannot have power, love, peace of mind, and
self discipline. But guess what?? Our enemy is a liar. He is the father of Lies. He is the instigator
of fear. He attacks your mind with a vengeance, with lies subtle enough for you to believe them.
He tricks you into believing  they are YOUR thoughts founded upon your reality and because of that,
you believe they are true. And when we believe these lies, the enemy uses fear to attempt to keep
you from being all that God created you to be.

Think about it...and we will talk more later :).



Sunday, April 8, 2018

30 days of blogging challenge day 1

a recent pic of me and 15 interesting or random facts about myself...

1. I am the oldest of 4 kids.
2. I teach theeee CUTEST chinese kids english one on one via the VIPKID platform (It pays awesome so if you love kids and want a job, i can help you get hired!)
3. I have played piano since 1st grade.
4. I am learning to play guitar. I love to play worship music and sing...but you'll never see me in front of a crowd doing that lol ;).
5. I am PASSIONATE about worship music. Worship music is my love language...yes I just invented that category. I could worship God through music ALL. DAY. LONG! :D
6. I have struggled with depression all my life. It's hard. But God is good...and he always gets me through...and has used me countless times to encourage others with depression too. Some would say depression is a "sin problem"...those people don't have a clue what they're talking about ;).
7. I LOVE papa murphy's supreme pizza...minus olives, minus mushrooms, add extra onions and green peppers :).
8. My doctor's name is Pepper...DR PEPPER...we spend a lot of time together :p.
9. God gave me my desire to adopt from foster care when i was 14 years old...and he kept that desire alive and saw it through completion. Am I done adopting? well, am I dead? lol. Truth is, IDK, and I will do whatever God calls me to :) But right now, I have thee awesomest 6 kids on the planet and it's amazing how God pieced this family together as a perfect puzzle in his own special way and timing.
10. I used to be so narrow-minded and legalistic that I thought there was one denomination that was THEEEE denomination that was the mostest rightest with God. LIES LIES LIES...God loves all denominations, my friends...(now don't go taking a loophole there just to argue ;)...If they preach that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he died for you and rose again and he is the way, the truth and the life and salvation is a gift from God by faith and not by works that each of us must receive...and that the Bible is TRUE....get over your other preferences...because that's what they are ;)...don't get hung up on your own interpretation when it has nothing to do with the core of the gospel.
11. I had 3 babies without epidurals...because I HATE NEEDLES ;D
12. I didn't realize I have been meditating on lies from the enemy all my life until the last year! Seriously people - think about what you're thinking about...Kick that ol' devil out of your brain space! This takes lots of work and meditation on God's TRUTH and actively replacing those lies.
13. I am passionate about discipling others to be closer to Jesus in a real, personal, intimate relationship..starting with my kids and extending to whoever God puts in my path to speak to about HIM and HOW GREAT HE IS! This last year has brought me to incredible places with my relationship with God and it is so rich! I want that for you too!
14. I want to speak and write books when i grow up ;)...how old do i have to be for that?? ;) ...i want to do everything I can to be used by God to draw others closer to him. It's real people - the relationship is amazingly real and intimate.
15. I am in love with books by henry cloud right now...they're about boundaries...and they're really good. Did you know I'm not in charge of your feelings? And you're not in charge of mine? I am not here to please you and make my decisions based on your opinion, nor are you here for me to do that to you. We do not exist to control people or grown children and tell them what to do and expect them to obey us? That's crossing a boundary line. We are each accountable to God and do not answer to people for decisions we make in how God leads us in our lives. We ought to please God rather than men. And fear of man causes a snare.......and those books are amazing. If I've ruffled feathers or intrigued you....check out the books! They're very healing and eye-opening :).

Well there ya have it...that's me in a nutshell...well a fraction of me ;). Y'all have a great week! Thanks for reading! And I truly hope I have encouraged or inspired you in one way or another. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2018

WHO AM I?



I am worth it. I am loved. I am enough. I am strong. I am capable. I am forgiven. i am right with God.  am ok. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am adequate. I am amazing. I am accepted. I am smart. I am valued. I am treasured. I am precious. I am important. I am god. I am valued. I am priceless. I am adored. I am amazing. I have a unique purpose I am created for. I am unstoppable. I am victorious. I am an overcomer. I am held. I am protected. I am trusted. I am a conqueror. I am unconditionally loved. I am whole.I am healed. I am known. I am set apart. I am appointed. I am God's masterpiece.

CHRIST IS IN ME! 
I AM ENOUGH!

ALL OF THIS AND MORE!!!
...because...
I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
Sooo...who are YOU? :)
SPEAK LIFE! SPEAK TRUTH!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

FEAR IS A LIAR

All my life I have struggled with not feeling good enough. No matter what I do, I have always felt like it wasn't enough. like it didn't measure up. like I PERSONALLY didn't measure up. like God was judging me. Like I could never win or get ahead. Like God wasn't happy with me. Like I wasn't pleasing enough to him. Like I was a disappointment. Like I had to work hard for God to be pleased with me...and even then, I may have been unaware of a mess-up or wrong I did, causing God to frown upon me. I've also spent my life fearing people weren't happy with me. Fearing their opinions of what I did and didn't do...and basing my behavior and performance and judgment of myself based on what I ASSUMED THEY were thinking of what i did and didn't do or say. Fearing that I didn't measure up. Fearing that somebody didn't like me or something I did or said. Fearing that people were judging me - and judging me wrong - and then I get defensive. Just LONGING for people and for God to be proud of me and see how hard I was really trying at this thing called life. Performance. In my head, LIFe has all been about performance. Could i be good enough to earn approval and acceptance from this person...or from God...and the answer in my head was often a resounding NO, NOT THIS TIME...but try again...slamming rejection in my face and creating depression in my heart.

Do you know how defeating all of this is to a kid and also to an adult? Y'all those are pure lies from the enemy! This is NOT the God of the Bible and these thoughts are NOT what HE thinks of me. And if HE does not think these thoughts about me then I CERTAINLY SHOULD NOT think these thoughts about me. Because these are LIES from the enemy in effort to defeat me and steal the abundant life God sent Jesus to die for me to have...in the future YES!,,,but also here and NOW! (John 10:10). Our enemy, the devil, comes to steal, kill and destroy. And his primary way he does that is through our mind. The battlefield is IN OUR MIND. The war is for our mind! What will I let DOMINATE my thinking? Lies from the enemy who hates me and wants to destroy me? Or TRUTH from my loving God who sacrificed his only Son so he could BUY ME BACK and REDEEM ME and he RUNS after me pursuing me RELENTLESSLY because he thinks the world of me. He would leave 99 to come after ME. And he does the same for YOU! (Matthew 18:12)
I get to CHOOSE who and what I believe. I get to CHOOSE what I allow my mind to dwell on. I get to CHOOSE what thoughts I'm going to let my mind ruminate on. I CHOOSE to NOT let my heart be troubled/disturbed/afraid/bothered...but to TRUST GOD! (John 14:1). If I pay attention to my thinking, I can take the enemy's thoughts CAPTIVE (2 Corinthians 10:5) and trade them out for the TRUTH of what God says about me! (Romans 12:2) This is not a one time deal. (Joshua 1:8) This is a daily, thought by thought battle and process.  And we are NOT alone! God is with us! BE STRONG AND FULL OF COURAGE! We do not war against flesh and blood...but against powers, principalities, rulers of darkness in the UNSEEN WORLD. (Ephesians 6:12) THIS, my friends, is a SPIRITUAL battle FOR MY MIND...and yours. We can sit back and allow our thoughts to drift all over and defeat us, or we can ENGAGE in the war that is ALREADY WON by the blood of Jesus and we can overcome these thoughts here and NOW because WE ARE OVERCOMERS!!!! (Revelation 12:11)
It wasn't until this last year, that I realized I had been living my life in fear of the lies I was believing in my head. HOW did it take me 36 years to learn this TRUTH!? I had been so deceived by what I THOUGHT being my reality that I didn't realize it couldn't be FARTHER from what my mind should have been set on! But forget the past, I must press on to what lies ahead! It's not too late. NOW is the time to apply what God has revealed to me. (Philippians 3:13-14) I am now accountable to live up to what God has taught me (Philippians 3:16). Not to be perfect. Sanctification is LIFE LONG and PROGRESSIVE. NOT automatic. NOT magical. NOT PERFECTION. Not even to strive for performance-driven perfection. WE ARE NOT CALLED TO THAT! but to live in HIS GRACE and pursue the abundantly life that is mine in HIM. There is no judgment. My judgment, my mistakes, my flaws...were ALL paid for on the cross when Jesus willingly died so I can LIVE.  FEAR IS A LIAR!

I now see the TRUTH about what God says about me...and that the opinions of people are just that...they're THEIR opinions. They don't define me and they don't determine what decisions I should make or how I should live... That old record of negative thoughts daily tries to over-ride that truth...but that is a battle to engage in DAILY...and that's another blog post ;)

so friend, I want YOU to know...and GOD wants you to know...
It is what God says about you that is TRUTH and THAT is what Matters...which means, You are good enough. You are strong enough. You can fight! You are worthy! You are loved! you are beautiful! You are ok! You are not crazy! You are not alone! You should not run away from your problems. You have a home/family! You are not dirty. You are not condemned and should not be ashamed. Grace can change you - have faith and believe! TRUST HIM!...



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

NO LONGER SLAVES

HOW ON EARTH has it been almost 1.5 years since I have posted to my blog!?!?!? Where has the time gone? sooo much has happened in the last 1.5 years...but that's another blog post. Because right now, God has laid it on my heart to talk journal about how FEAR IS A LIAR! Have you heard that song? I LOVE that song.
Today, I woke up with the song, "no longer slaves" playing on my phone. (I sleep with music and sermons playing in my ear all night long <3). The words, "I'm no longer a slave to fear. I am a CHILD OF GOD!" resonated with my spirit. Then I had a thought...what exactly is fear. If I am NOT a slave to whatever this fear is...what am I NOT a slave to. So I did what every gal my age does...and I GOOGLED it! :). Google is my BFF of the technology world :). And then I utilized my second BFF of the technology world...wordhippo.com. you type in a word and it pulls up a million or so other words that mean the same thing. It really helps me process the full meaning of a word and I love how it helps me think about it deeper and on other levels. It rocked my world this morning. I hope it rocks yours too. Are you ready for this?
FEAR IS: worry, anxiety, concern, despair, dread, doubt, agitation, distress, funk, phobia, timidity, unrest, suspense, uneasiness. SOOOO If I am NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR, because I AM A CHILD OF GOD...I am not a slave to these things! They have NO POWER over me except the power I GIVE THEM! I do NOT HAVE TO wonder/worry/fear/be concerned/doubt, etc...circumstances, situations, relationships, people, provisions etc because I am NOT a victim of FEAR! I AM A CHILD OF GOD! When I am walking in the spirit and in TRUTH,  I control my fears. They do not control me. Letting myself be controlled by my fear/negative thoughts (or other words listed) is NOT TRUSTING GOD. It is FORGETTING that GOD SET ME FREE! I am NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR - I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
Jesus doesn't ASK us to not fear. HE COMMANDS US not to fear!...over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....do you think he's trying to get his point across? Being ruled by fear is letting your enemy rule over you! In John 14:1, Jesus COMMANDS us..."DO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED (ruled by fear!). TRUST GOD INSTEAD!" He doesn't say TRY not to let your heart be troubled...he says DO NOT LET your heart be troubled. HOW? By TRUSTING GOD! (proverbs 3:5&6 tells us to TRUST in the LORD with ALL YOUR HEART...and do NOT trust or lean on your own understanding/reasoning/logic. ACKNOWLEDGE HIM in EVERYTHING and he will lead/direct you!) Life is so good! There is rest for our souls when we TRUST God and let him lead us! His yoke is easy, his burden is light! (matthew 11:28-30)

I'm posting some of the lyrics to NO LONGER SLAVES  by Bethel music...I encourage you to listen to the whole song on the youtube I will attach. But LOOK at these words...and how they resonate with the TRUTH of what God tells us in His Holy Word...in his LOVE LETTER TO US! ....I'm surrounded by the arms of the father and songs of DELIVERANCE! I'm LIBERATED from bondage! I AM FREE! God splits the sea/makes a way for me! He drowns my fears in his PERFECT LOVE! HE ALONE RESCUES ME! (not my coping mechanisms that bring me comfort!) I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the Father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We've been liberated
From our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears are drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God.

Y'all, God is so GOOD TO US! He LOVES US SO MUCH! Meditate on THAT. Repeat it to yourself over and over and over. Speak TRUTH! Speak LIFE! Quit speaking the enemies lies back to yourself and believing the horrible things he says to you and about you, making you feel hopeless and defeated. If you have trusted Jesus to save you from your sins, YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD! Let's LIVE like it through HIS MIGHTY POWER that is at work within us! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in YOU! (Ephesians 1:19,20)







Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WE ARE NOTHING. BUT GOD IS BIG!

I get comments about how great we are to take on foster kids...and the fact we want to adopt these kids makes us look like superstars in the eyes of some onlookers. And THAT, my friends,  we are NOT. We are simply followers of Christ pursuing what our amazing God has called us to. We in ourselves are not equipped for this. We live in 864 square feet. Have 3 bio kids, 1 foster kid, and hope to adopt four in our near or maybe distant future. 

We do not posses in our hands what we need for this adventure...BUT WE HAVE A GREAT GOD! All we need is Gods problem. What he has called us to, he will provide. Such as the incredible family to walk along side us and foster some of our kids until we have a bigger house....this family had become so much more than family to us! We have a connection with them that is God-created. 

WE DO NOT HAVE THE SPACE...but God has already provided a bigger house and the downpayment we need as we are about to close as God breaks down the obstacles that the enemy is trying to use to slow us down and discourage us. This is God's victory and God's got this!

WE DO NOT HAVE THE FINANCES TO RAISE THIS MANY KIDS BY AMERICAN DREAM STANDARDS...and the enemy is zapping $$ with two mortgages coming up until we sell our other property. But it's God's resources and he promises to provide...beyond our wildest imagination. Money isn't everything. The American Dream isn't everything. What's eternal cannot be achieved with $$.

WE DO NOT HAVE THE ENERGY. Raising seven kids from 2-14 even part time is hard. Exhausting. And rewarding. When a teen comes to you and asks you to do Bible study with her. When the two year old says "hold you" and melts into your neck. These are Jesus hugs😍. How much he embraces me through his ministry! While the "suffering/struggle" is great. The reward is great. Kingdom living. Not to mention we have amazing friends by our side helping us! 

WE HAVE FRIDGES AND MOWERS AND CARS AND WHAT SEEMS LIKE EVERYTHING BREAKING DOWN. Our freezer dying and with no money to replace and two friends have offered their extra fridges for us to use free! Drew tried for 2 months to fix our mower and a friend gave us their extra mower! We were rear-ended this summer...but the $ helped make buying a bigger house to house these orphans possible! What the enemy means for bad, God uses for good!

 WE DO NOT HAVE A BIG ENOUGH VEHICLE TO HOLD OUR GROWING FAMILY. God will provide when it's a necessity :). 

WE DO NOT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO RAISE 7+ KIDS...We don't know what to do with teenagers (and we are taking on two!). But we do have God and he gives wisdom in each situation. and friends who have been there :). 

We do not know what tomorrow holds. 
But we have God's people in our church surrounding us and praying, talking, reaching out, giving food, washing our car, being the body of Christ to us and these kids... etc. 


BY FAITH we put two of the kids in Christian School...trusting God to provide the funds. GUESS WHAT!? The school bill is half paid before the end of September from known and anonymous donors! That's almost 5k from Gods people!!!

Until we step out in faith and walk where we know we cannot walk or survive alone we have yet to experience this realm of Gods power and grace.


We do know God has planned these good works for us before time began and HE is the one directing our path as we seek his guidance and the next step on a daily basis. Sometimes one little moment and tear at a time. 

The struggle is real. This lifestyle isn't easy. This lifestyle is HARD. But this lifestyle has been the most rewarding experience and example of the body of Christ working together EVER.

Your calling may or may not be to foster or adopt. God's callings are individual and nobody's calling will be exactly the same. He has you where you are for HIS purpose. We cannot look at what somebody else is doing for Christ and strive to be that person. Let them inspire you to seek God whole heartedly but don't try to be them. Try to be like Jesus. Seek him. Follow him one step at a time. And in doing that you will make the eternal difference he has called you to make from before time began. Have faith and do what he has called you to do - it's crazy, insane, people question you...but there's no other place I would rather be than in God's crazy, insane, humanly-speaking un-abtainable will. :)

We are not amazing. But God is amazing. And without all his people surrounding us and functioning as his hands and feet these kids and our family would not be where we are.  God gets all the glory as we live out HIS STORY in our lifetime. I hope this inspires you to seek him too! He comes through exceedingly, abundantly, beyond our wildest imagination (eph 3:20). Just remember...it's HIS TIMING.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

HOW DECLUTTERING AND MINIMALISM HAVE CHANGED ME

For the last 10 years, Drew and I have been experts at having garage sales to get rid of stuff. The running joke in the family is, "don't give that to Drew and Kimberly because they will sell it in their next garage sale lol."...which is very likely true. haha! However, I knew I still held on to WAY TOO MUCH....thinking "I may need this." or "I'm not sure if I can let go of this." My house proved it. It was ALWAYS cluttered and never organized. Now i KNOW I don't have the gift of organization...my house is still unorganized... I still need somebody to come by and do something about that for me...but just last January, I learned that my BIGGEST problem was not my inability to organize, but my inability to let go of STUFF. STUFF requires maintanence. STUFF requires our attention. STUFF requires being put away. STUFF requires cleaning. STUFF requires energy. And with STUFF beckoning me constantly one way or another, I realized it was robbing me of things that mattered...time with my family and other things i enjoy doing.

Settling for less, we have always lived pay check to pay check. For me, sharing used to be hard...it had always been hard for me all my life. But living one pay check to another definitely brought out the hoarder in me. Left-overs and hand-me-downs were treasures. I would hold on to what I could, and then some. I kinda envied people that could give so freely. People that could just let things go without feeling the need to sell them or make money off a single item to afford the next thing. Once i didn't need an item anymore, I felt the need to sell every little trinket, rather than freely let it go, in effort to stay afloat financially.

The change God made in me last January (2015) has forever changed everything. The great purge of possessions began. This initial purge was so ginormous that I sold the items in a consignment sale and made about 2K for our family missions trip to Haiti! (about 75% of it was stuff I had waiting for use around the house). I don't think the timing was a mistake. God, in His sovereignty had that all planned out. My sweet little 7 year old at the time, caught a glimpse of what matters and also wanted to sell all her toys to go be friends with the little kiddos in Haiti. Now God has set me free. Free from the feeling that I need to make a penny off every item  that leaves my house. Free to give it away to someone else in need who can use it more than me.

Lately, I have realized that I don't feel the need to hold on to things "just in case" anymore. The more I declutter, the less attached I feel to my belongings. Today i was thinking, wow, if something happened that completely destroyed all of my earthly possessions, I would NOT be devastated. If i have my family and friends (and of course God;), that is ALL i truly need. I am content. And it is a great place to be. 

God has grown my heart HUGE in this last year. He has replaced my selfishness (hoarding) with a huge desire to give and serve and invest in others however I can...however He leads. And it started with decluttering to live minimally. living minimially doesn't mean living with nothing. You define your own minimalism. Minimalism to me is living with what we NEED and USE and that's it. If we don't play with a game or a toy or don't use a utensil then it needs to go. We still have some left overs that need to head to charity. But we have made huge progress as a family in the last year. And I see God working at my children too with their willingness to hold earthly treasure loosely. It's easier for one than it is the other two....but it's God's timing! And they are learning!

Stuff and clutter takes up mental space. It creates visual unrest and keeps us from fully relaxing. It robs us of peace of mind. It robs us of time spent on what matters. If I could change one thing about my life it would be that I would've realized this a long time ago. I do my best to teach this concept to my kids. Less is more. Stuff doesn't satisfy. Contentment is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ and with investing in right relationships and serving God down here.

I have not arrived...but I sure have come a long way. And i have a vision for where i am going in this declutter/minimalism process...and I plan to get there in 2016 :).