A New Kind of Challenge

I first thought about sharing a few things on Facebook this morning but it seemed too much for that format. I have so much to share and to put in to what I call a new kind of challenge. Let me start with what brought me to write this post this morning.

I have started in the month of September “the 30 day praise challenge” by Becky Harling (is this the challenge I’m issuing to everyone? no, but it would definitely be worth your time and I would absolutely recommend the book). And isn’t it just like God to bring things together. Before starting my quiet time, which included a “day of praise” from this book, I had earlier checked Facebook and saw a post asking for prayer for a family going through the pain of not knowing what would happen to their little girl who was showing almost no responsiveness after a surgery (http://heavenisourhome.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/hard-news/). In this post my friend spoke of how “Social media can be lethal, but the power of a praying army is more powerful than the enemy.” Without using the word challenge, she was asking us to stop and pray for this family before moving on to whatever the next post in the home feed was. I’m adding to this a little.

Enter today’s day of praise speaking about how we can trust God’s kindness even when life seems unfair (and boy sometimes doesn’t if feel really unfair). And this brings me to my challenge. I’m sure many of you have seen more videos than you can count lately in social media (mostly the ice bucket challenge comes to mind). And, please don’t get me wrong, I think the intentions were very good, or sometimes even just fun, and I myself participated. But, I want to see the same kind of excitement about what God is doing in our lives because He is God and He is good and believers supporting each other as a praying army as my friend mentioned.

So, if you’re tired of the word “challenge”, than just take this as a “I think this is worth 10 or 15 minutes out of your day” recommendation from me. I’m not even calling out anyone specific. And maybe no one else will read this, but if you do I pray it speaks to you as it did to me.

So here it is: Take the time to read the following “invitation” from Day 4 of “the 30 day praise challenge” and then listen to the songs I’ve linked –Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns, Forever Reign by Hillsong Live, and I Lift My Hands by Chris Tomlin (last two were included in the book as suggested listening). Then think about what God is saying to you today and and let Him speak kindness to you. And pray for those who are hurting and struggling.

“Injustice is a part of the fallen world. When life feels unfair, you are tempted to question My kindness. Satan, the Enemy of your soul, fills your mind with doubts. Child, My sense of justice is different from yours. Dare to praise Me for being good, even when I allow circumstances to occur in your life and in the lives of those you love that feel unfair. My every intention toward you is good. I continually offer you kindness as an expression of My nature. Celebrate My loving-kindness by thanking Me for the gifts I shower on you every day. I reign with perfect justice. There will come a day when I will bring good out of every evil. When you worship Me, My Spirit nurtures your faith. Test Me in this; praise Me for My justice and goodness, then watch and see how your trust in Me grows. I have your best interests at heart. Come, praise Me and feel renewed hope rising in your soul. (Ps. 118:1; Ps. 33:5; Ps. 34:8; Ps. 107:1).”

 

One last thought, it might seem like a quirky metaphor, but God gave me a picture that made sense to me. Sometimes our lives seem like bits and tattered pieces of scraps. But when God is finished sewing them together (and sometimes we don’t see the finished for a long time) it’s like a beautiful quilt that we can wrap around our arms.

 

My Crazy Wonderful Hardest Best Job

I love being a mom. Somehow, though, I always thought it would be easier. I guess I conveniently didn’t think too far. I’ve been a babysitter and nanny for a large portion of my life when I was single. I’ve seen some definite “almost enough to scare you away” cases of childhood drama. But… when I had children… that would be different (yes I thought I had all the answers back then -show of hands from those who know what I’m saying). God has a good sense of humor and a definite way of humbling us. So even with my experience (and no I’m not saying I was Super-Nanny by any means, though I could write my own Nanny Diary of my experiences in the interviewing process alone) and with many wonderful examples of mothers growing up, mine included, motherhood has definitely thrown me my own share of curve balls.

These days I find myself searching God’s Word and reading many helpful parenting resources seeking to get a better idea of the mom I want to be and of how I can give these two darlings (now two and four-I affectionately call them the goober twins) the best of what I have without loosing my ever-loving mind and without messing them up. I can’t even imagine doing this without knowing that God is in control. If you’ve been a mother for any amount of time I’m sure you can relate. If motherhood is on it’s way to visit you or you hope it one day will, start preparing.
But how do we prepare, how do we work though our current seasons of being a mommy. One very awesome book that I’ve been so privileged to help launch is The Making of a Mom by Stephani Shott. She has so much advice and encouragement to offer but she also is leading a mission of mentoring moms.

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There is so much I could take from this book and share. I really don’t even know where I would start. I so encourage you, whatever view you are seeing the road of mommy-hood from to pick up this book. Catch a vision for the mom you want to be, find help for the drama you feel like you’re moving through with your children right now, or if you think you’re past all that… gain some wisdom in learning how to help the rest of us. We need you, mom who has been there, done that and has the t-shirt complete with matching stains.

I could say more but Stephanie really says it so much better. Stephani, thank you for your words, for your heart and for your passion to follow God in helping moms be better together.

Stephanie Shott is crazy in love with Jesus and believes Him for the impossible. Through The M.O.M. Initiative, Stephanie is changing the world one mom at a time and she wants YOU to join her! Her heart resonates with William Carey’s quote, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” To invite Stephanie to speak at your next event, visit her website at http://www.stephanieshott.com. To find out more about The M.O.M. Initiative or to begin a M.O.M. Mentor Group, visit http://www.themominitiative.com.

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Purchase Links

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/The-Making-Mom-Practical-Purposeful/dp/0830770577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400208636&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Making+of+a+Mom)

Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/making-of-a-mom-the-stephanie-shott/1119619618?ean=9780800726362)

ChristianBook.com (http://www.christianbook.com/the-making-of-a-mom/stephanie-shott/9780830770571/pd/770571)

Had Again!

I don’t want to be in this place. I’ve been determined many times before to change. But here I am again. I’ve been had. By a big bully. His name is Procrastination. And he has friends. The thing is I’ve been learning about these bullies lately. I’ve been reading The Cure for the “Perfect” Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. To be honest I didn’t think at first that this book would have as much to say to me as it did. I certainly don’t think of myself as a perfectionist. No, Perfectionism doesn’t speak to me much at all. Now, Procrastination and I, however, have danced many a time and I also have been swayed by Performancism and People-Pleasing, sometimes even more than I realized. Why do we listen to these bullies? What can we do about it?

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I’ve gotten some really good perspective changes, “ways to stop trying harder and start living braver.” But for me just reading about them once doesn’t quite do the trick. I have a feeling this book will be one I’ll be turning back to for a while and really studying and applying. Which brings us back to where I started this post. I had originally intended to post about this book later in the month. But, the messages about dealing with procrastination were so eye opening to me and made so much sense that I wanted it to be my very next post I wrote. If you choose to really look at my blog you’ll notice that it has one other post. Okay, maybe not so odd you might think. Until you notice it’s date. May 14. Almost three months ago!

Yes, I have two very busy little girls. Yes, I’ve been sick a lot this summer. But three months! I don’t think I’ll be a daily blogger by any means but what is it that has really kept me from posting. It’s not for lack of ideas or lack of something to say (my Cozi Journal has plenty of notes with thoughts I want to share). It’s just something I keep putting off for another day. Then to, it’s that little thought in the back of my head , two bullies working together, telling me that if I can’t get it done and ready to post right away then I shouldn’t bother. I saw a  Facebook post of a quote that caught me right between the eyes. “The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write.”

So… coming back around and trying to pull this altogether… I reset my due date for this post as August 12 knowing I would need to do some work to get it done and ready. I certainly didn’t want to be writing it on the 12th, my oldest daughter’s birthday , which she was sure to tell everyone about tonight at a church gathering as she proudly went around holding up four fingers. Yes, you read that right, tonight. I’m trying to pull this altogether tonight, the 11th. I procrastinated. And that is something I will be working on.

One more thought: I said that in the beginning I didn’t think this book was going to have as much to say to me as it did. So what about you, should you read it? (Yes, yes, yes, I say with a smile). Try this quote on for size: “Some chapters will hit home with you more than others. For the ones that don’t really feel like they apply to you, here’s a suggestion: try reading them to better understand someone in your life who does struggle with that particular bully belief.”

In closing, while I wish this could be more polished, and do the right justice to this awesome book I’ve read, I won’t give in to the need for it to be perfect or to give up because I think no one will really read it anyhow. I’m choosing to be brave. I’m choosing to move forward. And I praise God for every lesson I’m learning along the way. How will I know when I’ve arrived? Well I probably never completely will this side of heaven, but, “Peace is the litmus test, indicating whether our choices are driven by fear or motivated by love.”

 

About the Authors:

kathilippKathi Lipp

Website:   http://www.KathiLipp.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/kathilipp

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/kathilipp/

Kathi Lipp is the author of The Husband Project, The Me Project, The Get Yourself Organized Project, 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids, and several other books. Kathi’s articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, and she is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family radio and TV. She and her husband Roger are parents of four young adults in San Jose, California. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at http://www.KathiLipp.com, on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp, or on Twitter @KathiLipp.

 

Cheri Gregorycherigregory

Website:  http://www.CheriGregory.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/CheriGregoryAuthor

Twitter:    https://twitter.com/CheriGregory

Pinterest:   http://www.pinterest.com/CheriGregory

Cheri Gregory is a Certified Personality Trainer; contributor to multiple books, including Wired That Way and 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids; and frequent speaker for MOPS groups, women’s retreats, parent workshops, and educational conferences. She is also a high school English teacher and graduate student. Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel (her opposite personality), a pastor, for over a quarter-of-a-century; they have two college-aged kids (who are also opposite personalities). She blogs about expectations, “baditude”, and hope at http://www.CheriGregory.com. Connect with her on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/Cheri.Gregory.Author and Twitter @CheriGregory.

 

About the Book:

Website Link:  http://www.TheCureForThePerfectLife.com

 

FREE download of Chapter 1:  http://www.thecurefortheperfectlife.com/downloads/chapter1.pdf 

 

Facebook Page (aka “Braver Living Rebel Headquarters”):
http://www.Facebook.com/TinyActsOfRebellion

 

Barnes & Noble link (we’d like to support B&N as they’ve been VERY supportive to us!)

 

 

What I have to share

I can’t say that I’m the most brilliant writer out there. Certainly not. But, I’ve learned, and I’ve found some things along the way in my life thus far (thus… hmmm… is that a word anyone uses anymore…. anyway). That’s why I’ve titled my blog the way I have. I have a voice and you’re welcome to listen to it. I love to read and when I find something that seems so profound or even just helpful to me I want to share it. That’s all for now. If you continue to follow me you’ll find my thoughts can be anywhere from quick to long but as a full time mommy with my own business and ministry aspirations as well… my time flies quickly.