Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

The Loft – Talking About Trust

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Trust” (Opening another can of worms here, but let’s go there anyway~ wink. Is trust hard for you? Why or why not? What area are you struggling to trust God in? What have you learned about trust? The floor is open!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Best Practical Tip” (What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Or given? What one thing do you want to make sure you pass on to your children, friends, or family? It can be about homemaking, marriage, relationship with Jesus, anything… :) )

 

Add Your Link Here:

2 Comments »

The Loft – “Potluck” Style

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

Hello Loft buddies! This week is an online version of pot-luck. {Who doesn’t like variety?} Just link up the post of your choice and surprise us with the yummy when we visit!

 

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (Periodically, we’ll have a “potluck.” This is a blogging version of bring-your-own-dish. So pick a post and link up any post you want to share with our community!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Trust” (Opening another can of worms here, but let’s go there anyway~ wink. Is trust hard for you? Why or why not? What area are you struggling to trust God in? What have you learned about trust? The floor is open!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

8 Comments »

Greater Is He Who Is in Monday Mornings

Greater is He Who, spiritual warfare, spiritual battle, Satan, God, struggle, encouragement

It’s Monday morning, that dreaded day of the week.

The day when we realize it’s back to work, back to “real” life, back to dirty dishes and school schedules and all the things that so easily weigh us down.

But this Monday morning I sit before the computer with a big smile on my face. Why?

It’s not because of the school schedules or the housework that is waiting or even the awkwardness between my husband and I before he left for work this morning.  It’s not even because this Monday morning started out oh-so-fantastic: quite the opposite, in fact.

It’s not because I recognize the Enemy at work, his attempt to gain back the ground he lost on Sunday.  We talked last week about verses that pack a punch and the reality of spiritual warfare. Have you ever noticed, my sisters, how unbelievably difficult a Monday seems after an incredibly encouraging Sunday?  It’s not a coincidence that the reality of a Monday morning so often dampens our Sunday fire!

But today I smile in the face of everyday difficulty and Monday-morning rude awakenings because my Redeemer lives, and the battle belongs to Him!  Before I could be swayed by doubts this morning, here is the goodness He had in store for me:

A reminder from my GREAT blogging friends that we are not powerless in the struggle, neither are we alone.

This beautiful prayer by Jennifer Dukes Lee, that we might keep “in step” with Him as we step into Mondays. Go read it!

This verse from Ann Voskamp, a reminder to put one foot in front of the other, to keep climbing, to persevere. Take a look for yourself at His faithfulness.

This song from Mercy Me, the song I’ve been playing on repeat either aloud or in my head ever since I received a bad-news-wake-up-call last week.  It reminds me that He who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world. It gives me impossible hope in the God who specializes in the impossible.

 

I smile because He knows my name, He knows my pain, He knows my weakness, and He knows exactly what I need to hear on a Monday morning.

It’s like a secret message, just for me,

just for a beloved daughter,

just for my broken heart,

just for my wounded spirit.

But no, it’s for you, too, my sisters in Christ!

Just because He loves us!

He who is in YOU is greater than he who is in the world, don’t you forget it.

The Enemy is prowling, but our Lord is on guard, you can be certain of that.  And His witnesses proclaim His goodness for all of who feel the sting of the fiery darts this morning. He is faithful!

Ephesians 3

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,

to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 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,

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Father, I thank you for being in the midst of even the smallest things, like Monday mornings.  I thank you for faithful voices to remind us of Who you are, Almighty Lord, Highest Authority, One True God, yet also, the Lover of our souls.  We need not be afraid, for the battle belongs to You and the victory is ours to share!  Strengthen us as we wait patiently for victory, Lord.  It is coming.

It is coming.

And all the people rejoice.

Jen :)

 

Sharing with:

Mom’s The Word, Whole Hearted Home, A Little R & R, Jennifer Dukes Lee

6 Comments »

Verses That Pack a Punch (and #TheLoft)

Verses that Pack a Punch, spiritual battle, encouragement, Satan, scripture 

Two weeks ago, I shared about my personal weight issues here on the blog because the Lord just wouldn’t leave me alone about it. :)  I was afraid to open up that part of myself, but I trust that He knows best. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and even resulted in a speaking engagement for me.

Needless to say, I was elated!  It felt like a major spiritual victory to walk in obedience and see such immediate fruit.

Of course, as soon as I began to rejoice in the work the Lord was doing (in spite of me!), the murmuring voice began.

You’re not a speaker.  Who are you to think you have something to say?

You just ate donuts last night, and here all these people are praising you for keeping up the good fight. You’re a fraud.

You’re not worthy.

You’re not worthy.

You’re not worthy.

I felt the arrows of the Enemy, sisters, and I even let a few of them pierce me before I remembered who that voice belonged to.  Even once I recognized the slippery snake, I struggled to ignore his murmurs.  And the more I resisted, the louder he became.

I found myself in the midst of an unexpected battle and I felt unprepared. I had not put on the full armor of God that morning.  My belt of truth was quickly slipping as the arrows came in quick succession.

I cried out for mercy!

Our Father was quick to answer with truth from His word. He reminded me of my pre-approved status. He reminded me that I am a work-in-progress, not yet complete, but fully loved, fully accepted.

My sisters,  when you experience a victory in some area of your life, don’t be surprised to find the Enemy lurking just around the corner.  He loves to set a trap for us when we are the most joyful, the most productive, the most faithful, the most determined.  He delights in seeing us fall from the greatest heights to the lowest depths.

We must be prepared for the spiritual battle,my sisters, for it IS coming.  The Word aptly describes Satan as a prowling lion seeking for someone to devour.

One way to be prepared is to put on the armor of God, specifically the sword of the Spirit.  So, this week at #TheLoft, we’re sharing our favorite fighting verses!

When facing temptation and discouraged by sin:

Romans 7  and 8 – Anytime you feel stuck in sin or discouraged in your walk, read these two chapters. They are too lengthy to post in entirety here, but these verses from chapter 7 sum up the transition between the two well:

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

When disappointed in our short-comings:

Eph. 1:6

  “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Rom. 8:1

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

2 Cor. 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

When feeling unloved or unlovable:

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Zeph. 3:17

   “The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

When experiencing trials:

Psalm 34:17-18

 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When you feel you have nothing left to give:

2 Cor. 12:9-10

 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.(emphasis mine)

For when I am weak, then I am strong, even when you don’t feel it.

For when I am weak, then I am strong, keep saying it until you believe it.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Jen :)

For more scripture that packs a punch, visit the link-up at the bottom!

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

 

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Fighter Verses” (What are some of your favorite, well worn scriptures? Which ones do you find yourself going back to again and again? Tell us what spiritual warfare looks like for you and how you use God’s Word to be victorious. We look forward to learning from each other!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (Periodically, we’ll have a “potluck.” This is a blogging version of bring-your-own-dish. So pick a post and link up any post you want to share with our community!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

 

 

Also sharing with:

A Little R & R, Cornerstone Confessions, Messy Marriage, Whole Hearted Home, Jennifer Dukes Lee, My Freshly Brewed Life

19 Comments »

Tales From the Backseat (and #TheLoft)

Last week we shared our insecurities, and boy were you all brave! This week at #TheLoft we’re lightening things up a little with our real life funny stories.

I’m not sure if the fact that my babies were going off to kindergarten caused me to pay more attention to their words lately or if they have just reached the funny stage of childhood – either way, kids really do say the darndest things and with four in our house, life can be a real hoot at times. :)

Tales from the backseat, kid humor, funny kids, kids say the darndest things, funny kid stories

On our way home from the park during the last week of summer, our princess was exceptionally and unintentionally funny.  Of course, at first she was just really whiny because the water in her bottle was gone and she was really, really, really thirsty.  So thirsty, that it sounded as if she might not survive….

Trying to console her, I said, “We’re only a few blocks away from the house. It’s not the end of the world.”

She grew quiet for a moment, then muttered to herself “It’s the end of the WORLD??!! …I have to tell S– (big brother)!” I dissolved into silent giggles in the front seat.

Not even two blocks later, she began whining again about something she wanted behind the backseat of the van. (It was the longest few blocks of our life, at that point.)  Her twin brother graciously offered to get it for her, unbuckled his seat belt, and stood up while I was driving!  I quickly pulled to the side of the road and gave him the you-must-have-your-seatbelt-on-or-you-might-die speech.

Moments later we finally pulled into our driveway and princess piped up cheerfully from the back seat, “It’s okay, Mom. He didn’t die.” I guess she was waiting for the driveway to see whether my claims about death were true or not. :)

Backseat Humor, twins, funny, kids are funny, kids say the darndest things

As I waited in line to pick up our children after their first day of school, I was anxious to hear how it went, especially for our kindergarten twins who were trying out separate classrooms.  After everyone piled into the van and buckled up, I asked each child how the day went. Our third-grade son was brief and very matter-of-fact, as usual.  On the other hand, Princess used all sorts of flowery language to describe her wonderful first day of school.

Then it was her twin brother Daydreamer’s turn.  The thing about Daydreamer is that he lives in his own little five-year-old world much of the time, so you never know what sort of response to expect from him.  I was pleasantly surprised by his answer when I asked how his first day of kindergarten went.

“I didn’t get in trouble.” He grinned at me, dimples showing.

“Good! I’m so happy to hear that,” I smiled back at him.

Then he said it again. My praise was a little less enthusiastic this time.

And again.

And a few minutes later, again.

I thought, Okay, son, I believed you the first time, but now methinks thou doth protest too much!   Thankfully, there were no notes from teacher in his folder. :)

And one last bedtime funny….

One evening after school as I tucked our princess into bed, she told me she was afraid of the shadows on her wall. Attempting to calm her fears, I showed her that most of the shadows were actually coming from her. I told her to wave her hand and the shadow waved back.  She reached for me quickly and said, “I know, but I just hate my shadow because it always copies me.” Then she crossed her arms in her signature pout. I tried not to snort as I stifled my laughter and explained that’s how shadows work! :)

I hope our tales from the backseat made you smile and brought some cheer to your day!  Don’t forget to share your stories in the link-up below (or in the comments if you don’t blog) – be sure to read the guidelines first, of course.

May your week be full of smiles and laughter!

Jen :)

 

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post.


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Something Funny” (Laughter is good medicine and after this week’s topic, we all need a belly laugh. Or as one co-host put it, we need to spit in our coffee. Tell us a funny story, share a funny quote, post a funny picture or video, crack a funny joke. Just be careful with that coffee because this is going to be good :) )


Next Week’s Topic: “Fighter Verses” (What are some of your favorite, well worn scriptures? Which ones do you find yourself going back to again and again? Tell us what spiritual warfare looks like for you and how you use God’s Word to be victorious. We look forward to learning from each other!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

 

 

Also sharing this post with: A Mama’s StoryCornerstone Confessions

13 Comments »

Fat Girl Insecurities and #TheLoft

I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word aimed at me.  He spewed it out like vomit, his eyes filled with disgust. “Fat,”  the boy accused me, and I believed it even though I wasn’t anywhere near “fat” back then.

I always was a strong girl, a tom-boy with a hearty appetite, a girl who loved sports and climbing trees and running races.  My feminine side appeared on occasion, though, and like every other girl, I wanted to be pretty, to be liked.  I never saw my body as much of a hindrance to those desires until that day, the day he called me fat in front of the whole lunch table.

I acted like I didn’t care about the word, but my eyes burned and so did my face.

I stuffed the word way deep down inside of my junior high self and tried so hard not to hear it anymore.

Not long after that, I remember surpassing my own mother’s weight on our bathroom scales and shame nearly smothered me.  How could I, at thirteen years old, weigh more than my mom?  It didn’t seem fair, somehow.

fat girl insecurities, insecure, overweight, fat, trying to lose weight, obese, heavy

During my high school years, I finally resigned myself to the fact that I just wasn’t built to be tiny.  I would never be a size 2-4-6 girl.  My healthy hangout would be the 10-12-14 range.  But my legs were built thick and strong for soccer, volleyball, softball, and basketball, so I called a sort of truce with myself.  I ignored the word within me and began to find things I actually liked about my body.

I liked my blue eyes and  long, dark hair.  I liked my smile. I even began to like some of my curves.  I liked my brain (it’s a good one!) and my athletic abilities.

So the word remained hidden for the most part, only whispering to the surface when my friends were all asked to attend banquet (missionary kid date night) and I sat at home by myself or when we tried on clothes at the second-hand shops in town.  Nevertheless, by junior year, I was growing in the confidence that comes from Christ alone and the word bothered me less and less. I thought I had won the battle, defeated the Enemy.

When I met my husband a few years later, I never felt more beautiful.  Even though I couldn’t call myself thin, I knew I was healthy, and I was alive in Christ.  He was tall, dark, and handsome, and he loved the Lord and he loved me.

And then I conceived our firstborn not long after our summer wedding and I found myself alone in our country home. My parents and siblings had returned to the mission field and my husband kept busy with classes and work and ministry.  I grew depressed.

I used my pregnancy as justification for eating anything and everything I wanted.  Instead of filling myself with Christ, I filled myself with food.  I had already gained about 20 lbs. before our wedding because like any girl in love, I spent all of my free time with my soon-to-be husband, not realizing I was failing to take care of my body.  By the time our sweet son was born, I had gained about 80-100 lbs. (give or take) in a little more than a year.  I can’t really be certain because at some point, I quit weighing myself.

I just gave up.

Then, one year our church offered a First Place for Christ class, focusing on putting Christ first in all areas but especially in the areas of nutrition and wellness.  It was just what I needed.  The idea that my body had been purchased at a price convicted me.  I knew I needed to quit filling my God-sized hole with food.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,

who is in you,whom you have received from God?

You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Since then, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of healthy eating and exercise and fallen right off again. And back on, and then off, and back on, and so forth.  Healthy living will probably be a lifelong struggle for me, my personal thorn in the flesh.  :)

In the meantime, I’ve birthed three more children, including a set of twins, my body changing with each pregnancy.  My weight and health are still a work-in-progress, and I’m okay with that.

The word still haunts me on occasion, it does.  It sneaks up on me when I walk at the gym or play soccer with my kids.  Occasionally, I hear it faintly in my ear when I look in the mirror, tempting me to give up, quit fighting, resign myself to the word.

But I recognize the Enemy for who he is and even more, I know the power of Christ within me.  I know the Father promises to never give up on me, but to complete the work He started (Phil. 1:6).  I know that man considers the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. I trust in my new creation status.  I believe His Word when He calls me “fearfully and wonderfully made.” He says the same thing about you, too, my sisters in Christ!

We are not the sum of our insecurities, for we were created for more than this!

We’ve talked before about how insecurities keep us fearful, and that’s just how the Enemy wants us to feel – alone, afraid, unworthy.  My sisters, our God is greater than he who is in the world.  He is greater than our deepest shame and insecurities.  Our God loves us, pursues us, redeems us, and calls us His beloved.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate us from His love, not even our layers of fat. :)

We are daughters of the One True King, and the value He has placed on our lives is the blood, the life force, of His one and only Son.

Let us then live as children of the Light!

Jen :)

Also sharing this post with: Cornerstone Confessions

The Loft is open, come on up!

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth. Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

The Loft Link Up

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Kimberly
Arabah
Jen

Now it’s time to link up!

This Week’s Topic: “Greatest Insecurity” (We are going vulnerable here, asking you to share your greatest insecurity. How do you recognize it when it creeps up? What does insecurity sound like to you? What do you do to silence it? Any scriptures that help you fight it?)


Next Week’s Topic: “Something Funny” (Laughter is good medicine and after this week’s topic, we all need a belly laugh. Or as one co-host put it, we need to spit in our coffee. Tell us a funny story, share a funny quote, post a funny picture or video, crack a funny joke. Just be careful with that coffee because this is going to be good :) )

Add Your Link Here:

Also sharing this post with: Cornerstone Confessions, Jennifer Dukes Lee, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Wholehearted Home, Teaching What is Good, Sew Crafty AngelMessy Marriage, Missional Women, My Freshly Brewed LifeBeauty Through ImperfectionsRich Faith Rising, Beautiful Ashes

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All the Words That Need Telling

“You’re the best Mom ever,” she proclaims, as she grins and squeezes me with her small arms, and my heart nearly bursts for the joy of hearing it.

“Well, you’re the best daughter ever!” I smile back down at her.

All the Words that need telling, tell kids you love them, tell people the gospel

And it’s true. She may be my only daughter at this time, but she is also the best. I know she needs to hear those words; I know she needs me to tell them to her.  I know because I need those words, too.  I need the “I love you”s, and the “your the best”s, and the “your the beautifulest mom ever”s, and the “I missed you”s.

So, if I, the grown up, need those words to be told, how much more does my little five-year-old bundle of sweetness crave those words?  So much more. So much more.

So I tell her all the words that need saying – the words about love, the words about like, the words about her character, and the words about her Savior – because she needs to hear all of those important words. She needs to hear them often.  She may only be five now, but soon enough she’ll be heading to high school just like her oldest brother. And then she’ll leave for college (Lord-willing), and who will tell her all the words that need saying then?

We’ve only a few years, sisters, a few short years to tell all the words that need saying.  Only a few years to tell of our love for them.  Only a few years to tell of the Savior’s love, too.  And they need to hear them because love is so central to the Gospel, so important.

Don’t be shy; don’t hesitate.  Even if the words don’t come naturally to you, tell the words today, all the words that need saying.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on

your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,

when you lie down and when you get up.

Tell Love

and Truth

and Kindness

and Peace.

And do it today!

Jen :)

It’s Five Minute Friday and after taking a few months off, I’m so happy to be joining my sisters in Christ over at Kate Motaung’s blog.  We gather there ever Friday (some of us on Thursday evening) and write a fast and furious five minutes on a one-word prompt.  No planning, no editing, no second-guessing.  Just the written word.  Come join us!

I’m also sharing this post at:

Missional Call, Essential Thing DevotionsMissional WomenMom’s The WordA Mama’s Story, Monday Parenting Pin It PartyCornerstone Confessions

10 Comments »

A Lift for the Soul (and #TheLoft)

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

This week at #TheLoft , we’re sharing our favorite online sources of inspiration and encouragement.

If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that we have faced many struggles in the past year, and I spent a lot of time waiting on the Lord.  In times of darkness, the Lord has provided many sources of light, and one of those sources has been some of the blogs I follow online.

My sisters, we all face dark moments, days, weeks, perhaps even years.  But I’ve learned from this last year that the most discouraging feeling is that of being alone in your struggles. It’s the Enemy’s greatest weapon and he uses it liberally.  When we feel alone, we also feel ashamed, afraid to own up to our weaknesses, afraid that something is wrong with us, afraid that brokenness might be the end of the story.

But the body of Christ was made for community!  We crave it, do we not? And when we drag those weaknesses out into the Light, they don’t seem quite so scary or overwhelming. When we realize we’re not alone, we begin to experience hope for brighter tomorrows.

 

#TheLoft,  inspiration, bloggers, writers, women of faith, encouragement

 

And that’s why I appreciate the ladies I’m going to share with you today, because they help me realize that I’m not alone. No, I’m not. And you’re not alone either, sister, whatever you may be going through!

One of the first bloggers I ever chose to “follow” was Alia Joy @ Narrow Paths to Higher Places.  I discovered Alia through Five Minute Friday, a free-writing exercise for bloggers that takes place every Friday (well, Thursday night for some). Her writing is beautiful, full of imagery and depth. But even more than that, I appreciate that she doesn’t wear a mask; she doesn’t sugarcoat.

She’s brave and honest, even about the ugly parts of life. She’s not afraid to tackle tough issues, either, but even then, the manner in which she does so doesn’t smack of preachiness at all.  She has a way of drawing the reader in to both herself and to Christ. Yes, I can identify with Alia Joy.

Another blogger I really appreciate is Angie Knutson, who also happens to be my cousin. She’s a blogging pro who started out writing about kids’ products for companies like Tommy Nelson and Alex Toys , so you can find all sorts of parenting and homeschooling excellence on her site. However, she’s currently in the middle of transitioning her blog to be able to write more of what is on her heart.  And what is on her heart is Christ!

I like Angie’s writing because it is true to her character, and I probably admire her even more because I know how she lives her real life. :)  She is another transparent blogger who isn’t afraid to share her own struggles. I find her devotional posts uplifting and encouraging and appreciate that she uses scripture to back up what she’s writing.

One last blogger I want to be sure to share with you is Jennifer Camp @ You Are My Girls, whom I also found through Five Minute Friday.  Jennifer is a Christ-follower who is talented at reminding women of who we are in Christ.

Jennifer encourages freedom, and community, and story-sharing, and all sorts of other excellent things.  Her writing speaks to my soul and inspires me to want to live totally surrendered to the Father!

I could share quite a few more but lack the time and the space.  I hope you find someone here who can encourage you as you walk with the Lord!

Be ever in His Presence.

Jen :)

P.S. Don’t forget to link-up below if you wish!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

Listening is a lost art. Especially in the blogosphere where everyone wants to be heard.

At The Loft, we know that listening is rewarding and rich… surprisingly so. So we want to provide an opportunity for Christian bloggers to speak and listen, grow and be encouraged. We invite you up to the Loft, an out of the way upper room where we’ll talk, laugh, learn, and leave a little bit changed.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

The Loft Link Up

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 6 blogs (only 5 this week)! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah

Kathy

Arabah

Jen

Rebekah

Now it’s time to link up!

This Week’s Topic: “Blogs that Inspire” (Since we all love blogs and bloggers, tell us what blogs or websites you go to for inspiration. Why do you love the blogs you love? Are there certain writing styles you are drawn to? Topics? Personalities? Spill the beans and then check out what other’s are saying too.)


Next Week’s Topic: “Greatest Insecurity” (We are going vulnerable here, asking you to share your greatest insecurity. How do you recognize it when it creeps up? What does insecurity sound like to you: What do you do to silence it? Any scriptures that help you fight it?)

 

Click through below to share your link!

Sharing this post with: Missional Women

4 Comments »

Welcome to The Loft!

I’m sure some of you have noticed that this blog went absolutely silent at the beginning of summer.  I hadn’t planned for such a long absence. It really started out as a week off when my husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary with a trip all to ourselves (thanks to the generosity of others).

anniversary vacation blogging break

 

Loft ocean twilight

And when we returned, the school year was ending; chaos ensued.  And then we were enjoying the first week of summer break – lazy mornings, late evenings and no real schedule to speak of.

I think that’s when I decided that I wouldn’t blog again until I felt prompted to do so, that I would take the summer to enjoy the extra family time. That I would soak up every last bit of these pre-K years before our twins would head to school and our home would be empty during the day.

There’s something about the oldest starting High School and the youngest starting Kindergarten that startled me into realizing how easy it is to waste precious time with precious people.

#TheLoft, fourth of july, kids, blessings

It’s been a wondrous break; worth every minute!  The only thing I regret now is not telling you all that I was taking it in the first place. :)

 

So, now I’m back, and what better way to get back into the groove than participating in a weekly link-up that brings encouragement to each other and glory to the Lord?!  I beg you to join us for our first ever gathering at The Loft!

Jen :)

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth. Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

 

Listening is a lost art. Especially in the blogosphere where everyone wants to be heard. At The Loft, we know that listening is rewarding and rich… surprisingly so. So grab your coffee mug and come on up. Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 6 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah

Kathy

Arabah

Jen

Rebekah

Kimberly

 

Now it’s time to link up! Today is our FIRST EVER link-up! We want to get to know each other and begin making relationships, thus this week’s topic:

 

This Week’s Topic: “I am…” (finish the sentence, introduce yourself, share your passions, experiences, maybe tell us a few odd facts, or just link to your “About” page. We’re all ears!)


Next Week’s Topic: “Blogs that Inspire” (tell us what blogs or websites you go to for inspiration and what makes them attractive. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if someone mentions yours after finding you today?)

 

Click through below to join the link-up:

An InLinkz Link-up

6 Comments »

When Gratitude Comes Hard

It’s Five Minute Friday once again, where we gather at Lisa-Jo Baker’s place and free-write for five(ish) minutes on a one word prompt. This week the word is Grateful. Join us if you like!

Grateful, gratitude, hard times, motherhood

Some days the gratefulness comes easy like those lazy days of summer when the sunlight lingers and the breeze flutters warm and balmy. No deadlines looming on the horizon. No crazy schedule. Those are the days when the kids frolic outdoors like all of the Wild Things that they are. We’re happy and healthy and carefree.

On other days, the story isn’t quite so bright.  The winter lingered a little too long and leftover cabin fever rules the day.  Laundry piles up in one messy mountain, and the littlest boy who’s been potty trained for more than a year now, wets himself not once, not twice, but three times in one day for some unknown reason.

These are the days when children bicker and whine and complain, and we find ourselves unable to help them because the bickering and whining and complaining is going on in our hearts, too.

But in Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Unglued, I read about turning that attitude into gratitude, and I know it can be done.  Because who wouldn’t feel grateful for a healthy child, or food in the fridge, or soft beds to sleep in?

So even when the gratitude comes hard and we must dig deep to find the good in our day, it still comes. It still comes.

And I’m so grateful.

Grateful for grace and the promise of a God who will never give up on me, never quit working in my life (Phil. 1:6).

Grateful for the blessing of a Mom (and Dad) who love the Lord and taught me the truth of salvation.

Grateful for a house full of rowdy, messy children who simultaneously make my days exhausting and wonderful.

Grateful for 15 years wedded to a man who continues to seek the Lord and love me even when life gets a little crazy.

And for so many other things,

I give thanks.

No more attitude, just gratitude.

Because He is good.

All the time.

Jen :)

You may find me sharing at any of these lovely places or here:

Christian Mommy Blogger, Missional Women, My Freshly Brewed Life,

Beauty Through Imperfection, Managing Your Blessings

 

16 Comments »

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