Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Team KK

I am an avid reader of Karen Kingsbury's books because, as a fiction writer, she has an incredible knack for using words to pull you into her stories and make you feel as if you know her characters like family. She just posted another opportunity to become part of Team KK, and both Teighlor and I posted our submissions for a chance to win. Below is the info and my response (because I thought it would be fun to have this post on my blog and look back if I get chosen):

TEAM KK NOTICE: It's that time again!!!
I will choose 30 of you to win an ADVANCE COPY of LOVING for the purpose of REVIEWING it for our FACEBOOK FRIENDS here in my virtual living room!! I will also choose 30 of you, whose comments I will publish in an upcoming book.
HOW TO ENTER: Write 1-3 lines describing me as an author or the way you feel about my books. Also include 1 line about why you want to be on TEAM KK. I will choose 30 of you whose comments I will publish in an upcoming book. OR I may choose you among an additional 30 people to be on TEAM KK. If you are chosen to be on TEAM KK, you will receive the book next week and you will need to submit a 250-word review by Friday, March 9. NO SPOILERS, of course :) Please only enter if you are able to do this :)
You will receive a private message tomorrow if you are a winner.
Submit your comment about me or my books below this post. You could win by having your comment selected for a future book, or by being selected as TEAM KK, to review an advance copy of LOVING.
Entries can be submitted through 8 a.m. Friday (PST).
Here we go!!! Love you all :)
"In a world inundated with writers who fill pages with hopeless violence, excessive indulgence and unnecessary promiscuity, Karen always captures my heart with characters that become family members and story-lines filled with hope, redemption and the transforming power of God's love. Her books are shining lights in a dark world."

"I want to be on Team KK to get even a small chance to be a part of Karen's ministry through the faithful use of her God-give gift with story-telling would be the opportunity of a lifetime for this devoted reader."

Team KK gets chosen this week. I'm hoping that both of us get picked, but if I had to be honest, it would thrill me most if Teighlor was chosen because she lives and breathes Karen's books, even to the point of reading some multiple times.

God, would you bless Teighlor with this special opportunity? Love, her Mom

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Got You

I just got through reading this on Kate's blog,
"... and I thought about how God had heard my prayer. He had my back. He was and is working it out. He’s not tired. He’s not going to abandon the project before He’s brought it all to the complete redemption He’s meant for it. And none of this is because I’d been having regular “quiet times”, or praying as much as I could have, or being a particularly good anything. It doesn’t make sense, really. But He has me in a way I can hardly wrap my mind around…and He loves me. He is the same every day - faithful and true to His word - regardless of where I’m at."
and I had these thoughts:
  • Do I always believe that God's got me, that He really has my back?
  • What is about me that so firmly believes, without doubt, in the redemptive work of God in the lives of those I know, but I struggle at times to hold onto that for myself?
  • How often do I stop to consider the fact that God never sleeps, even when He created me to?
  • How long will it take for me to become convinced of who I am to Him and that He requires nothing of me except to abide in Him?
  • Is it remotely possible to understand the depth and height and width and sheer volume of God's love for me ... even just a teensy-weensy bit?
As I write that last bullet point, the song "Let's Worship" by Deluge & Kari Jobe is playing; and I am reminded of how I wrestled with the concept of that song over a year ago in my closet for hours on end (especially the line "I will sing from the overflow of love in my heart"), playing it on repeat over 30 times before I got up. Coincidence? I think not. I digress...
"And none of this is because I’d been having regular “quiet times”, or praying as much as I could have, or being a particularly good anything." (Italics mine)
That line caught me in my heart as soon as it passed through my mind. And I immediately thought of my kids. And I understood the depth of that thought. The sheer volume of love weaved throughout it and wrapped all around it.

Do I require anything of my children in order to love them; to take care of them; to protect them; to provide for them; to pray for them; to help them; to meet their needs ... and even exceed them? 

No. And neither does my Daddy-God.

Although I wrote the above question as I thought of my children, I could just as easily go back and hear God's voice speaking it over me. After all, I think this thought because He thought it first. I love because He first loved me; and I've learned how to take care, protect, provide, pray, meet needs ... and even exceed them ... because He did (and does) it all first.

"I Got You."

That simple sentence is abounding in strength and swimming in fierce tenderness all at the same time. It makes me exhale in peaceful and smile at its sweetness. He's got me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beauty Redefined

"I am weathered but still elegant ..." Song of Solomon 1:5 {TheMessage}

Friday, February 10, 2012

[I AM] encouragement

Last Sunday, Anthony and I attended a meeting at Gateway for Small Group Section/Zone Leaders. The last part of the meeting consisted of the leaders getting in groups just to pray, encourage and prophesy over one another. love.Love.LOVE. times like this!

As we were huddled in circles drawn by chairs and prayers began being lifted up, I felt HolySpirit spark my heart and heard His voice begin speaking. I grabbed my notebook and pen and wrote as fast as the words came. When there came a pause in prayer, I shared this with our group.

These words were God's heart for us and a reminder of [who] He is, and I wanted to share them with you, too. Sometimes, just having our Dad tap us on the shoulder and say, "I AM here", is all we need.

I AM the LORD your God
I go before and behind you
I encircle round about you
There is no place, no crack, that I do not cover
I AM your strength and shield; your strong tower
I AM your peace
I AM your wisdom
I AM your safety
I AM your joy
I AM the answer to your every question
I AM laughter in the midst of your frustration
I AM the eye in the center of your raging storm
I AM your comfort in the lowest place
I AM your all in all
because I AM

Awkward Acceptance

“Do I want my husband to stop seeing me and calling me beautiful? Is that really a question I need to be asked? Apparently.”
i sometimes think you write from the perspective of a fly on the wall of my heart. sometimes i read your words and they [too eerily] tell my story. it is almost unsettling at times. unsettling because you make me face me by surprise. maybe we share heart similarities without even knowing it. hearts that have been used, i’m discovering, are hearts that don’t want to believe in being seen, and adored, and loved … just for who we are. GOD is whispering…
the paragraph that starts with “my husband tells me” was like a page from the story of my life. i understand your discomfort in accepting. and your transparency has caused me to flinch a little. now i know i have to ask the question “why?”. why do i? why don’t i? and then i have to let GOD work out of me to work in me. to let freedom replace awkward acceptance. GOD is whispering…
thank you for your [heart]words.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gut-Check and Healing

I posted the following to my Facebook page on January 31st so that I could share a story, a moment, of God's power through healing. After reading through the comments I received, I decided I didn't want to lose this moment somewhere on Facebook, so I'm keeping it here ... where it belongs.
Yesterday, Teighlor talked to me about pain she's had in her neck, with almost constant headaches, for the past 2 months. We'd though it was muscular and that she was out of adjustment. We tried massages, different pillows, etc., but nothing worked. Yesterday something didn't sit right with my gut. I was legitimately concerned. So was Teighlor. I knew in my knower, without knowing what, that it was more than a sore muscle. Immediately I heard HolySpirit tell me to take her to the Healing Rooms at Gateway Church last night. They laid hands on her and prayed. The woman felt the "small lump" at the base of her skull when she began praying. Teighlor and this woman both felt intense heat at the spot where she laid her hand during prayer. After prayer, Teighlor's pain (which was constant) was gone and so was the lump! This morning, she woke up with no pain for the first time in 2 months! PRAISE GOD! I don't know [what] He healed, I just know He did! I know what He spoke to me and I believe the gut-check I had was from Him as much as the word He spoke to bring her to the Healing Rooms. He is healer!
[Healing occurred on Monday, January 30, 2012]

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grace Breeds Grace

"Grace breeds grace and gives you eyes to see the person, not the offense."

Good Lawd, Ris, you could have just written that sentence and it would have been enough to slay me, but then you followed up with these words:

"It was hard because my heart wanted to hold on to judgment, but God was prodding it towards grace. He almost always wants to do that if we let him."

"Our marriages are living, ever-changing exchanges between two imperfect people that need to daily draw from grace."

I asked HolySpirit this morning to speak into me perspective, because last night I went to bed frustrated and miffed, and in all honesty, woke up that way too.

And then I opened my email and saw the title of this article sitting there, waiting for me. "The.Gracious.Wife." I had to grab a fresh cup of coffee because I just knew I was going to be wooed out of my pity-party and into the wise lap of my Father who understands my emotions, but more importantly, desires to align my heart with His.

Sometimes alignment hurts. Even more so, it's humbling because it requires choice. I can choose grace this morning, or I can choose offense. Oh, how my flesh desires the second choice. But, the Spirit of God ... well, He knows the beauty of grace and sings over me loud enough to cover the grumblings of my selfish soul.