Where Would You Like To Go?

January 31, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hero

Five Minute Friday - link up by clicking the button below…

HERO:

beauty that is found in a quiet spirit
when the outward adornment of a red cape is not needed
moments that saving lives looks like: kissing away tears, singing songs, reading books, and fixing another glass of chocolate milk
perhaps not as glamerous as the latest Marvel movie but so much more rewarding than Hollywood could ever portray

her little eyes that have seen so little of the world
yet speak to the depths of your heart
she thinks you can do anything
she desires to be just like you
at least the you that she sees through her 3 year old eyes

never looking to play this particular role of hero but yet somehow thrust in the middle of it
all you can do is to look to the only One who has indeed come to save the world
when you are drowning in all of your own personal kryptonite
He is there to be your Hero
and you breathe deeply because you know He can be hers too


January 25, 2014

Five Minute Friday ~ VISIT

If you've read this blog before, you know I love a good Five Minute Friday…even if I'm not writing it till early Sunday…



Visit.

Growing up it looked like Sunday lunches after church at Pop & Nanna's.  There were days that it meant an entire afternoon at Papaw & Mamaw's which hopefully also included a good nap.  Sometimes it meant picking up those random items in the living room because someone from out of town was stopping by.

Visit.

to sit, laugh with, swap stories, make memories even when you weren't aware you were making them, to share, to smile, & hopefully to relax a little with ones you love

Visit.

The past few years it's looked differently.  It's been computer screens filled with loved ones faces.  It's been long distance phone calls because I just want to hear my momma's voice.  Then there are times where it's been a year's worth of memories crammed into 10-15 day trips.  It's meant long plane rides and culture shock for whomever is coming.  It's looked like extra hugs, holding hands, and just being because everyone is all too aware of how long it will be before it happens again - and the reality that it might not ever happen again.  There are tears of grieving & happiness that usually appear at the same time.

Visit.

to love, to share life, to enjoy time, to not watch the clock, to fellowship, to embrace, to notice the things that are normally taken for granted, to give thanks

Visit.

January 21, 2014

Authenticity

For the past two years, I feel like God has spoken a specific word to my heart and then used the whole year to teach me more about it.  This year, I know He is speaking "authenticity" over my life.  I've known it for a few weeks now but haven't written about it.  Probably because when I write/type something it's like I'm saying it out loud…admitting it to myself…and honestly it scares me.

Authenticity is real.
It's honest.
It hurts and heals at the same time.
There is no room for masks, games, or pleasantries when you are being authentic.
It's a bare your soul, laugh till it hurts, cry till you can't anymore, kind of life.
it's freedom.
its intimidating.

My prayer is that what comes out on this blog this year, what comes out of my mouth, what is seen in my actions, and what my life reflects is authentic.  My prayer is that it is all for His glory.  My prayer is that when I fall short of authenticity, that I will be honest about that too…that I will give Him all the praise for His forgiveness & mercy & for the chance to try again.  I desire to be real with God, myself, my family and all of you.

because honestly? we're all in the middle of war - every single day…sometimes we can see the enemy approaching and sometimes he catches us completely off guard - those days aren't pretty, funny, or enjoyable.  I want to be open about those times just as much as I'm open about the victories and things that bring abundant joy to my heart.  because maybe not during or even right after those hard times, but eventually, He does teach me so much about Himself and about what He desires to do in me.

I pray that through this transparency you too can be transparent with yourself, God, & your family/friends. We need to use this authenticity to encourage one another instead of creating another standard to live up to - He is the only standard that we need to have our eyes on.  In Him alone we find our worth - not in how many pinterest projects we complete, FB comments we receive, or by a list we've read on a popular blog.

He is the source of our authenticity…without Him we are nothing.
without Him I am nothing.
here's to being real...

January 16, 2014

A New Year's Resolution

For a girl who loves organization and to do lists - the idea of starting a new year has such a great appeal to it.  There's something about thinking you can wipe the slate clean and start over anew.  While I've never literally written down any new year resolutions - I usually have a list in my head of what will be different in that particular year.  
 
This year, January 1st somehow came and went without too much fanfare.  Perhaps it's because my brain is now back on that newborn 2 1/2 to 3 hour schedule and that's what the rest of my world is revoloving around too.  A new year?  I'm having a hard time focusing on each new day…how about a new 3 hours?? Does that work??  During one of those 2am feedings, I read a blog where someone talked about (I'm sorry to whoever this is - I genuinely can't remember where I read it) that as Christians our life doesn't have to be & shouldn't be about each event, the next thing we're looking forward to, or each January 1st to start things over.  
Our Redeemer offers us a living salvation each and every day.  There is never ending grace and mercy.  His forgiveness is available at all times.  Praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning!  The standard of Who we are to look like is quite difficult to type up into a 5 point list of resolutions.  There is no gym membership that will make us look the way that Christ's love in us will make us look.  There are no books to read that will change our lives the way His words can.  There is no diet that will make us as healthy as partaking of the Living Water & Bread of Life.  
I'm not against resolutions, there have been years that I've enjoyed making them and doing my best to keep them - but in this season, this year, my resolution is to not have a resolution.  I just want to daily live freely in Christ.  There are so many, many things that this could & does mean - I have no idea what He has in store…but I know that He does indeed have a purpose and I'm here to glorify Him through it…one 3 hour period at a time.

January 13, 2014

Update in Pictures

I know I've been more than a little absent on the blog lately - but I have updated all of our pictures via Facebook.  So for those of you who keep up with us via the blog and don't have a Facebook account, I thought I'd make it easier for you to see all of the pictures too!  Hopefully a real blog post will happen sometime soon!

Life in Joburg

Ryleigh's Birthday Week

A January in Joburg

Free

"Live as people who are free…" 2 Peter 2:16a

FREE OF:
bondage
eternal death
chains
other's opinons & expectations
hell
the culture of this world
materialisim
lies

FREE TO:
laugh
love
give grace
forgive
experience eternal life
glorify the Father
have peace
talk with our Creator
intercede for others

FREE TO LIVE


January 6, 2014

The Important Things

So, I've been a little "absent" in the blogging world lately.  The things I've posted have mostly been short & sweet or not my words to begin with (aka copied & pasted - aka easy blog post)!  I mentioned last week to my mom (LOVE having her here in South Africa with us) that I was way behind on blogging.  She laughed and told me that it was my blog so I couldn't be "behind" when it's only up to me when to post.  While she speaks the truth it doesn't change my mindset of FEELING like I'm behind and need to play catch up.  

The truth is I have a lot to say, a lot to type, a lot to sort through but the focus and brain power simply aren't present right now.  Possibly due to sleep deprivation but nevertheless they're just not "there" right now.  Maybe soon - maybe not till we get back to Madagascar - time will tell.  However, there are QUITE a few people who have it much more together than I do and the Lord has been using them to speak to me about a variety of things and I wanted to share them with you today...

"What if all it took was the word of God to inspire the worship of God" - David Platt

"God alone knows the definition of terms. I cannot precisely define who “all the nations” are. Only God knows exactly the meaning of “evangelize.” He alone, who has told us that this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations, will know when that objective has been accomplished.

But I do not need to know. I know only one thing: Christ has not yet returned; therefore the task is not yet done. When it is done, Christ will come. Our responsibility is not to insist on defining the terms of our task; our responsibility is to complete it. So long as Christ does not return, our work is undone. Let us get busy and complete our mission."- George Ladd

"Few of us would argue about prayer being the prpoer response in our crises, but we often don't perceive prayer as being the most practical response. Sometimes we regard prayer as less practical when our need is more concrete." - Beth Moore 


"Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge!" Psalms 62:8

Until next time...

January 1, 2014

A New Year's Prayer

     Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human handsPs. 115:1-4

Dear Heavenly Father, it's the last day of 2013, and I'm feeling a degree of redemptive conflicted-ness, as both laughter and lament dance around my heart. It's a good tension—one createdby, not in spite of, the presence of your grace.

Looking back over the past twelve months, I can easily say with the psalmist, "Be praised, adored and worshiped, O God, for your steadfast love and great faithfulness!" Abba, Father, you loved us all year long, with a relentless, non-wavering, fully engaged affection—irrespective of anything we did or didn't do.

You loved me as much as you love your Son, Jesus, for you've hidden my life in his. Thank you for the fresh mercies that arrived with each new day—when I was aware of them and when I wasn't. You remained faithful to everything you've promised us in Jesus. You did everything that pleases you, and what pleases you is always for my good and your glory. That makes mevery glad.

But Father, it's because of your love for us in Jesus that I can also own my sadness. I lament the times, this past year, when the gospel wasn't functionally enough for me; when your love didn't seem "better than life"; when grace didn't seem sufficient. That's when I took my thirst and hunger, disappointments and longings to my voiceless, sightless, senseless, powerless idols. I grieve my foolishness.

But here's where the gladness trumps the sadness: I won't always be a man "in two minds" with a divided heart beating in my breast. Father, you will complete the good gospel work you've begun in us. One Day I'll no longer even be tempted to worship, love or serve, anything or anyone but you. Hasten that glad and glorious Day.

On the eve of 2014, prepare each of us, your children, for twelve new months of groaning and growing in grace. In the New Year, may Jesus be more beautiful and precious to us than ever; your love more compelling and your grace more transforming; your presence more real and your kingdom more treasured; your name more exalted and your glory more sought. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus' merciful and mighty name. 

- Scotty Smith  www.thegospelcoalition.org

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