What Are You Waiting For?

What Are You Waiting For?

Probably every one of us can think of a time in our life that involved a difficult season of waiting. Maybe you have been waiting to find that special person, get a new job, a bigger house, or you could be waiting for the test results to come back.

Or quite possibly, it’s simply waiting for direction on what to do next. 

My husband and I know that wait very well.  For four years we felt the Lord calling us to do something drastic but couldn’t get clarification on what it was.  During that season, a friend of mine had asked me to help edit her first book as she was writing it. What God did during that time was so beautiful. He gave me a step by step guide on how to wait well.  As I read each chapter I gained wisdom and insight into our wait. 

waitandseeblogtour2 I began to see things differently, look at our situation in a new light, and learned to focus my desires on the Lord instead of the “object of my wait”.  I’d love to share a little about that book with you and who better to give you the details than the author herself, my sweet friend Wendy Pope.
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My She Speaks 2016 Conference Recap

My She Speaks 2016 Conference Recap

 

Heading out to the She Speaks Conference last weekend here in NC, I prayed that God would reveal to me what it is He wants me to do.  It’s been a crazy year, an even crazier 6 months, and I’m tired of this feeling of not knowing what my purpose is.  You know when you have something in your mind, and it turns out to be nothing like that at all?  That would be what I feel right now.

Iimage2
image1In my mind I hoped that if I immersed myself in Gods word, and listened to passionate and knowledgable writers and speakers,  I would come away with a game plan. Returning home I’d be ready to take on the world and write as I’ve wanted to…would know what to write about and how to do it to the best of my ability.  There would be clarification of purpose, an identity if you will.  

Instead, a quote stuck with me.  Like stepping on sticky, gooey, gum left on the pavement in the 100 degree NC heat in my shoes… these words hit me and I can’t shake them off; “Many people can relate to your failures and frailties.  Therefore, THIS is your connection to helping people.” (This is where if I was texting, I would add one of those little gagging emojis!)

On Saturday morning I sat in a class led by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, entitled “Your Very Best Idea Ever”.  Sounded like just what I needed- the catalyst to propel forward.  But, no.  Instead, it was a lesson that stopped me in my tracks and made me really consider what God would have me write about.  “The very things God won’t take from you, that you beg Him to, is the key.  The habit, the curse, it’s a special assignment.”

I’ve run from this habit, this curse for so long.  Ever so often, I’ll stop and realize how destructive it is, how controlling. How much it affects my self esteem and my identity.  To be honest, the thought of trying to fight this demon again makes me want to quit before I even start. (Any other quitters out there? Can I recommend an amazing book for you? 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit ).

Yet, I see how faithful God is, how patient and loving He has been with me over the years. I’m so grateful for the 3 simple words I walked away with this year, words that really sunk in and have begun to take root in my heart.  “Slow, Durable, and Beautiful.” Shauna Niequist filled me with the desire to work on these words, to create a life that is shaped by them.  To fight what the world says, and to listen to what the Lord says.  “Stop right now and remake your life from the inside out.” Nicki Koziarz said “Victory is found in the uncomfortable places of life.” Lysa reminded me to “Feel it, Heal it, and Reveal it” and in order to do all of these things I have to “Stop trying to achieve and slow down to receive.”

I don’t know what this all looks like, but I do know that the only way I can truly find my calling is to be with Jesus…

“We must be with Him before we go out for Him”, (Lysa TerKeurst).

Tomorrow is a new day, and one of my new words is consistency. Not just in life situations, but in this writing thing that I have such a love/hate relationship with.  I covet your prayers, and hope to be able to share more in the upcoming days about my struggle. Maybe you too battle with this “thing” and we could support and spur each other onto victory in Jesus.  It’s all about Him anyway and when we keep that as our focus, everything else will fall into place.

To be continued…

*( If you would like to hear what other women that attended She Speaks had to say about their time there please click on the link below! There were 1,000 women on the waiting list this year…if that gives you an idea of how powerful this weekend is.)

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Broken to be Healed

With a significant surgery happening in the next week, my brain has been in overdrive.

My oldest daughter is having an operation on Wednesday to repair a long standing problem with her hip. She has gone for the past 5 years with an incorrect diagnosis, which we’ve only just recently become aware of. Thankfully, by Gods grace, we were put in touch with a specialist who was able to correctly diagnose the problem and will hopefully be able to repair it. Phil413

It’s not an easy surgery.

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Losing, yet winning

Losing, yet winning

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

I was lost in the moment. Sitting on top of Mt. Arbel while on a trip to Israel, I was incredibly aware of as how close we were to Jesus. There have been times before where I’ve been caught up in a moment of worship, or touched by something I heard or read… but nothing like this. We were overlooking a rugged terrain and had just learned that this place may have been the actual site of the feeding of the 5000. A herd of wild goats meandered up the side of the mountain and my camera was calling. Setting my Bible, notebook and water on the rocks I headed down the path… all the while wondering if Jesus had walked this path, sat on these rocks, felt the warm sun on His back. It was a beautiful place that that seemed frozen in time, untouched by the human hand.

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When God’s Plan Surpasses Yours

When God’s Plan Surpasses Yours

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Ephesians 3:20-21

     Exactly six months ago this week, Kevin and I were sitting in the Charlotte International Airport discussing a decision that was going to alter the course of our lives.  We had been invited go to the Women of Faith conference with other Proverbs 31 Donors, and staff.  I had been to NC many times for events with Proverbs 31, but this was the first time Kevin was able to go with me.  He knew that Charlotte had already claimed a special place in my heart, but this time- it snagged his as well. We’ve known for over 3 years that God was doing something big in our life… we just couldn’t narrow down what it was until that weekend.  Sitting in the airport that night we both knew that God was asking us to leave our life as we knew it and to trust Him with our future.  

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Life Without Dr. McDreamy…

Life Without Dr. McDreamy…

Thursday night I sat, along with millions of other fans and my heart broke as one of my favorites said goodbye. It’s been all over the web the past few days… CNN’s headlines: “Death, A Nightmare for ‘Greys Anatomy’ fans.”  Perez Hilton: “Mourn the Loss of Derek Shepherd, AKA Dr. McDreamy.”  Facebook has been bombarded with fans sharing their feelings….and I totally get it! You get wrapped up in a show and the characters feel real. It took me a long time to ever watch ER again without George Clooney, who knows how long it will be before I can handle ‘Greys Anatomy’ again? Think about all of the people mourning the loss of a TV character- He was a major part of the show! Can Grey’s continue without Patrick Dempsey? Yes, but it wont be the same.

Greys-Anatomy

This morning, while taking a walk, I was assaulted with a thought. All of these people (including me), feeling sad about this fictitious death…How many give a thought to what Jesus did for us all those years ago on the cross? A character dies on TV and we are wracked with grief. Do we take time other than Easter or maybe communion at church, to consider what Jesus did for you and for me? Matthew 20:28 says “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Even in death, Jesus continues to save us. I’m certain that no TV character can ever claim that.

What about you? What happens when your “show” ends? Do you know where you are going after you breathe your last breath on this earth? Jesus died a horrible death on the cross for you and I, to give us the opportunity of eternal life. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 4: 6-8

no greater love

Do you know with absolute certainty if you are going to heaven? Many in the world feel that by doing good works, they can punch their ticket. It’s wonderful to do good deeds, to serve others, to pray for others – we all need to do more of that. Unfortunately good works won’t guarantee an eternity with Jesus.  Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If not I would pray that you would seek to learn more about Him.  Reach out to a pastor, find a church, go to a youth group where you can meet others who can help lead you to a relationship with the Lord.  Above all- get a Bible- open it up and ask the Lord to speak to you. He’s got all the answers in there – It’s our own personal instruction manual.   It’s simple, really… “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. “ John 3:16

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ will never be the same. What about the end of your story? You have the opportunity to make it a wonderful ending. What will you choose for your last scene? All it takes is a simple heartfelt prayer. It’s your choice.

Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

In your name, Amen.

When Satan Sugar Coats Sin

When Satan Sugar Coats Sin

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Message)

How did I get here again? I really thought I had figured it all out last time and I was going to be free and clear to enjoy my new life, my new body. To be able to shop without tears, to get up and get ready for the day without dreading the getting dressed part… to be able to go on vacation without fear of the same old thoughts- What will I wear? What will people say when they see I’ve gained the weight back yet again. Y’all, it’s exhausting! This battle satan and I have had for the past 26 years just gets so darn old sometimes and really makes me what to give up. But it’s when I’m at the end of my rope- yet again- that I feel that gentle nudge to return to God…to go to the only One who can help me with this struggle.

Those of you that know me well, know my weight has been a struggle most of my life. I can claim with almost certainty that I am the “Biggest Loser”. I have lost and gained, and lost more weight in the past 26 years that I care to admit. I’ve done it all…the programs, the self help books, I even went as far as to try to listen to some silly cd that was supposed to hypnotize me into a better body. Yet, here I am again- on the road to “recovery”. My biggest struggle is an internal one- a question that nags me each and every day… How can you, Shelley, lead a health and wellness ministry when you can’t get yourself together for more than a few months? Well, I may not have it all together all the time, but I can say that each time I fall I learn something new and these falls are getting fewer and farther between .
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