Sunday, May 25, 2014

Limitless Life Study - Verse of the Week - Ephesians 2:22

I'm starting a new study this week with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies.

The book is "Limitless Life:  You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future" by Derwin L. Gray.  Join in!  It is not too late.  In fact, if you don't have the book yet, you can read the first two chapters at Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies page

The above is the first verse of the week for the study.  I figure I'll put it everywhere I can so I can nail that all down in my head.

I decided to take the study because honestly, labels have run my life.  I am the ever present work on self-esteem and self-doubt.  I have the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for my life, and I know that the slip ups and rough parts have a purpose.  I think I need to move beyond some of those things of the past in order to get there.

Here's a little bit about the book: 

Is your life limited by labels the world and other people have used to define you? Labels you have internalized and apply to yourself every day. Labels like Afraid. Or Addict. Orphan. Damaged Goods. Failure. Maybe even Religious. These labels might be sewn into your life with such tight little stitches that they feel like a part of you. They feel like they define you. But that’s a lie. If you let Him, Jesus can remove those old labels and tattoo new ones onto your soul. Then you’ll begin to see yourself as God the Father sees you. The limits will be lifted, and your life will be transformed. It’s the truth. Join Pastor Derwin Gray on a fascinating journey into what can happen when you offer your head, your heart, and your hands to the only one who can offer you truly limitless life.

Because I am taking this study through Proverbs 31 Ministries, I am using a link to their site to give a purchase option.  I think that it is only fair since this study, other than the book, is free.  


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five Minute Friday (A Day Late) Close

Five Minute Friday

Today I celebrate a little bit late, the joy of Five Minute  Friday.  A time when writers all over the that.  Take five minutes and write with complete abandon and total freedom.  It all starts with a prompt from Lisa-Jo Baker.  No edits, no freak outs, no worrying if you are doing the right thing.  Just a time to let go and let it be.

The important thing about Five Minute Friday is the encouragement you receive to just let go and the encouragement you give to others who have done the same.  You do not have to visit everyone, but a stop at the person who posted before you is requested.  Honestly, you wont want to stop there.

Today's...oops...yesterday's prompt is the word "CLOSE"

Let's  GO!!!!!!!

Sounds of a dining room buzzed in the back of my brain.  It was all I could do to not explode with the anger of my situation.

Here I was.


And I had to start a life here.

15-year-old girls weren't supposed to live without their parents unless they were part of some boarding school sitcom life.

I wasn't.

I was just stuck paying the price for my own mother's paranoia.

Misery and grief settled in, but I could do nothing but hold it all inside.  Weakness was not going to take over.

"You are alone" a voice that was not my own whispered menacingly "your life will never be the same."

"Hello!" another voice broke into my space.  She had dark hair and lively blue eyes and was smiling ear to ear.  I groaned a small greeting and prayed she would just step off and leave me alone.

She didn't.

That was my introduction to my oldest and dearest friend Lisa.  She reached out to me as I sat miserably in a restaurant with my grandmother.  I was miserable because I knew that in just a week it would be just me.  I did not want to be part of this new life living alone without my parents.

Lisa was a gentle gift from God.  A girl who just couldn't help but reach out to others and encourage.

As we grew through our teens and 20s we went through times of being inseparable to having  separate social circles.  I was the drifter girl who hung with artsy types.  I was a free spirit who would up and move to a new state at the drop of a hat.  I explored.  I lived with passion.  I also ran (I learned how at a young age after all).  She was the solid church girl whose goal was to be a stay-at-home mom and became one. 

As alike as we were different, we always remained close.

Over 30 years have passed since our first meeting.  We are thousands of miles apart physically, but we know that being close...for us...has nothing to do with proximity.

It is about our minds.

It is about our hearts.

It is about being different yet the same.

It is all about picking up the phone after a day, a week, a month and even a year...and still never running out of things to say.


So how about joining us?  You can learn more and jump aboard by following this link.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech (Book Trailer)

I haven't read this book (Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech), but I stumbled across it at LitFuse, and I am mesmerized. I had to share.  I simply happened to be at Litfuse today and read today's Sunday Refreshments with author Laura Sobiech.  I was floored by the post.  Read it here.  

My son is simply a few months older than Zach.  I had such pull in my heart to read more about Zach that I stepped away from what I was already reading and found myself online reading, watching and listening to Zach and those who loved him and were impacted by him.  Take a moment if you will.  I believe between the above link and this trailer, you are going to want to know more too.  

PS The book link above goes directly to Fly a Little Higher's website in order to purchase.  It is available at many sites, but I am hoping that by purchasing by going to their site, they will get extra funds.  No idea.  I just really again, was so moved by what I saw, I wanted to make sure that any affiliate link would be from there.  Make sense?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Grateful - Oh Yes I Am

Five Minute Friday has been a few weeks since I have participated in Five Minute Friday.  It was a case of me letting busyness rule.  No more. 

Five Minute Friday is all about letting go and being free.  Lisa-Jo shares a word prompt and we go for five minutes.  Five minutes of being free and unedited.  It is an amazing time with amazing people.  After you write, you share and you read, you learn and you grow.  It is pretty amazing.  Join us by heading to Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday Post

Today's prompt is GRATEFUL.


If I look back at my life to where I am right now, I can't help but be grateful.

Back story:  In 2005, I moved 3000 miles away from home to get away from an abusive relationship.  That relationship was five years too long.  Through those five years, I lost all confidence in myself and lost all hope.  Moving was a desperate act, because no matter how hard I tried, I could not get away from this man.  He showed up everywhere.

For two months, my son and I lived off of savings, and I decompressed.  I spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time healing.  My family in California counseled me and loved on me.  I needed those two months, but when month three came up, I needed to find a job.  I began sending out resumes and filling out applications.  I took lots of tests and waited. 


Finally when down to my last $40, I knew I was nearing the end of my rope.  I had to get a job.  I was on the way home from a job interview, and wanted to head home to freshen up before heading out for another step in an application process.  I began to cry.  I was scared.  Things weren't working out too well.  I just didn't feel good about my last interview.  Even the ones that I had felt good about didn't end up with a job. 

Suddenly the song that had been playing in the background seemed louder.

"Just a face in the city
Just a tear on a crowded street
But you are one in a million
And you belong to Me

As tears streamed down my face, I pulled the car over and listened to the song.

"I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more

It was as if God reached right out to me right there in my car.  At the time, I didn't even know who sang the song, but I knew God used it to show me His love.

I pulled myself together and drove back home.  I freshened up and headed out to the next opportunity.  I timidly applied for the job and was given an interview immediately.  I was then hired, and I passed a background check in an hour.  When I shared this with my co-workers they were stunned.  It took them months to complete the process.  The uniform for this job was supplied.  All I needed was to get shoes.  Twenty of my $40 paid for my shoes and the final $20 went to gas for my commute. 

I am so grateful that God saw me (never stopped watching over me really) in that moment and showed me His deep love.  

Here's where it gets pretty crazy cool.  Eight years later I was married to my soul mate (6 years married now), working in Christian radio and was given the opportunity to interview the person who wrote and sang that song.  Best of all, I got to thank him for it (minor PS - My program director only told me I was interviewing Matthew West 10 minutes before it was to happen, because he didn't want me to freak out...PPS I freaked out anyway).  It was like God gave me the opportunity to go full circle.

Life is not always going to be easy.  I know this.  I also know that God saw me through the worst and shared with me His best.

How cool is our God? 

How grateful am I? 


STOP's a link to that song.  Still gets me every time.

My First Mom's Night Out

**That's my mom.  A former Arthur Murray's dance instructor, she liked to party.  Just sayin'.**

When I heard about the movie "Moms' Night Out," I thought about my own moms' night out.

First, it wasn't really a moms' night out, because it was really just for my friend Lisa.  Lisa had a little boy who was about a year and a half old.  She drove up to visit me in Maine for a weekend getaway.  She pretty much was in the point of single motherhood where your biggest trip out is to the grocery store or pediatrician.  She was a student and a single mom.  There simply wasn't a lot of free time.

"I just want to go out" I remember her saying.

I wanted her to have a fun visit so I talked my aunt into babysitting so we could have some girly fun.  Back in the 90s that meant dinner and some dancing.  Back in the winter of Maine...that meant snow.  Lots of snow.

Lisa and I got dolled up to our absolute cutest (we were in our early 20s...and...pretty stinkin' cute) and hit the town.  Dinner was pretty much forgettable.  Dancing was sublime.  We had a great time just cutting loose, singing very loudly and enjoying some girl talk.  When 2 AM rolled around, we got set to leave the club and decided a late night breakfast was in order.

As we left the club, we were surprised to find a






"Should we just get home?" I asked kind of hopeful. 

"NOT ON YOUR LIFE!" Lisa pretty much yelled.  Nah...she yelled.  She was going to get as much living in this one evening as she could.  Besides, we were girls from the East...we could handle a little snow.  We figured, it can't be dangerous if people are out and about.  


So off we went to the only breakfast place we knew would be open...Denny's.

All was well until we almost hit the parking lot.  A big truck was headed in our direction.  It was spinning.  It was REALLY spinning.  Somehow it only partially hit us.  It clipped Lisa's bumper.  We pulled into the lot.  It didn't look too bad.  Since we were already there, Lisa figured we might as well enjoy some breakfast.







Told you she was going to get a lot of living in this night. 

The night mellowed after that.  We ate a bunchy kind of meal with the truck guy and two other guys that we had hung out with at the club.  One of the guys got lippy with the truck dude.  We all tried to laugh it off.  Well, all of us except the lippy guy.  Finally we called it quits, because once one person sours an evening, you just have to walk away.

Now I don't know how "Moms' Night Out" will unfold, but what about you?  Have you ever had a moms' night out?  How'd it go?

If you are interested in checking out "Moms' Night Out" here's a little trailer peek. 

Oh and big PS here. I posted this because I really remembered my mom's night out and the movie came out. I thought it would be fun. No compensation was given here. No giveaways are to be had. Darn....sorry...still Happy Mother's Day ya'll.