Category Archives: believers

New Habits

Standard

2020 was the year our trauma was exposed. The year we had a moment to step back and see what God was seeing. Busyness. Greed. Selfishness. Chasing after the wind to gain power, success, money…but losing family, health and righteousness.

2021 can be the year to repair what the trauma exposed. Relationships with family, clarity in our mission, a new way of doing things. A greater focus on what matters and what you really “need” to thrive. God’s way is simple, but costs us everything. God’s way brings life.

2021 is the year of new habits. New mindsets that 2020 revealed are needed. Mindsets of humility, grace, health, knowledge of God’s word, seeing trials as a process for change.

This year starts some new healthy habits that will be game changers.

1. Reading the entire Bible. God gives us direct access to Him and I am taking advantage of it.

2. Changing what I put into my body. More water specifically.

3. Discipline through CG workouts. Build muscle, grow lung strength, push yourself mentally and encourage others around you. Take an hour for yourself to take care of your body and grow your mental toughness.

4. Choosing family and quality relationships while putting down the things that keep us from it. My FB friends do not fulfill me more than family.

5. Financial freedom. Stop using things to buy happiness. Get out of debt .

I struggle being generous because I fear not paying bills, but the truth is I am spending all my money on things for myself to make me happier. Time to stop.

This year is the year to make changes needed now that God has my attention.

Last Post of 2020

Standard

I am using this space to plead for prayers for my sister in law battling Covid in the hospital. Blows my mind that she A. caught it but then B. is struggling to fight it. She is a rock to my brother and the air that he breathes. Literally been with her since high school, his only girlfriend and as much family as anyone with my blood…so pray pray and pray again that she builds strength and recovers.

On that note, blessed our foundation is in Christ and we do not have to fear death. 2020 has taught me that this world is not fair, we live in a fallen world where we rely on things that are fake and not meant to sustain and that our foundation means everything. So if you are like me and this year has rocked your soul…then join me in checking the foundation and building it on Jesus. His ways. His word. His Plan A.

Declaring a Goal

Standard

I am putting it out to the universe a few goals I have for 2021 in hopes to hold myself accountable:

Goal 1: continue with Camp Gladiator to gain strength and good health. Of all the things in 2020 that make me proud, starting an exercise routine and sticking with it is at the top of my list. I pay more than I prefer, but I go and that is huge! I see results in my arms, abs and ass…also a positive. I feel more confident and my clothes fit. So the money is worth the confidence! I have paid gym memberships for years and never go so this works for me!

Goal 2: community. 2020 taught me to be vulnerable and be brave with people. I already joined a water group, Bible reading group and Camp Gladiator and hope to continue to step out with people. I have thought a lot about what people would say at my funeral and I hope they say “she was love”. My quote last year was “How do people feel about themselves in your presence?” I hope it is something positive!

Goal 3: get a foster care placement. This involves finishing the paperwork and application process so lots to do to reach this goal.

Goal 4: most important read the whole Bible this year. Growing closer to God and bearing more fruit that shows the light of Christ is always top priority but often my calendar and time does not show it, so accomplishing this will be huge for me.

Goal 5: continue to grow myself as a writer through this blog! Writing is my thing that I know God has gifted me to do and I pray to use this gift for His glory.

Unexpected Witness

Standard

It was simple. A card of scripture sitting in the dash of my vehicle. It has been there so long that I sometimes forget its power and purpose. It is a constant reminder of what and whom I live for, but even I can sometimes forget the power of the words. It is often not seen since few get in my car, but today was different.

The valet at a local hotel got my attention. He thanked me for the scripture and told me those words spoke to him. Looking into his eyes, I know he meant it. Such a strong human to share the impact. It caught me off guard as I was already nervous about getting my car filled with so much dirt and trash. In the middle of all these fancy cars, mine felt so out of place, but he reminded me my humble car was a witness. An unexpected witness pointing to a big God!

I hope to remember that our witness can be used by God in any way He sees fit. On this day I was moved and now see those scriptures with new eyes.

A Few Positives from Covid

Standard

First, let me say Covid is a disaster. Anything that causes people to die alone, businesses to crash, jobs be destroyed and kids depressed is awful. This pandemic is not to be taken lightly, but there are a few plus sides if you look for them.

1. To go alcohol. I do not mean drinking and driving…I mean ordering your favorite cocktail to go.

2. Reservations. How nice to know how many people to expect, less crowded places and knowing you are going to get in.

3. Online shopping. Now more than ever some of the best deals are online and delivery services are on fire.

4. Virtual everything. Virtual school. Virtual conferences. Virtual workouts. Virtual get togethers. Even virtual church. Virtual can be a good thing when you cannot afford to miss, but cannot get up to go.

If you need a place to worship our Savior, need some peace and hope or want to get back to your roots or start a new thing…let me invite you to http://www.clifec.com

Times are listed above or it will be on demand. Nothing to lose and it may be the start of something beautiful.

Taste the Shark

Standard

One of the things living during a pandemic has taught me is that life is short so live it. We worry so much about tomorrow that we often fail to enjoy today. Life changing lesson taught to me by a man that was about to die is to “enjoy the sandwich”. Creative way to say appreciate the moment rather than looking toward the next big thing. For our family, that involved taking a vacation that was probably not in our budget but filled us enough to remember why God put us together. We are family and God is using us to grow each other and be Christ to others.  Well for us that meant trying a fishing trip!

To see God’s creation on water is a sight to see! On this particular day, the storms were coming so the water was restless but we pushed through safely to experience the new memory as a family. I understood Peter’s fear in the storm…I prayed a lot on the boat! Prayed for calm (He answered), prayed to not get sick and prayed for God to share his creatures. He answered BIG with my son catching a Bonnethead Shark. What a memory for ALL of us!

As a scuba diver, I think I loved the shark most of all. Seeing sea life up close and personal and then hearing all about it from a biology teacher on the boat…day made! We would never kill a creature for the fun of it, so we googled recipes to eat it. I know we were all uncertain…but we each took a bite…it was delish!

Big finale to the highlight of our trip and a huge testimony to God’s love for us and how real the Bible is in our daily lives. That storm on the water was real, Jesus slept through it then taught us all about faith and trust. I will never read that story the same. Thankful we experienced this new thing together…when given the choice…taste the shark!

The Storms Make the Best Waves

Standard

Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.

Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!”  We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!

Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.

Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..

Look for a new job.

Finally move.

Make the budget.

Have the tough conversation.

Go to the doctor.

Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.

Say yes to family.

Mourn the loss.

Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.

Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.

Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.

Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.

A Mother’s Love

Standard

Reading about the Naya Rivera story…a story of a mother that used her last bit of energy to save her son before drowning…hit me hard as a mom.

I feel her frantic trying to keep her child safe.

I feel her fatigue using all her energy for another’s life.

I feel her panic that she cannot swim any longer.

I feel her love for her child and his future.

I know if she had any fight left in her or clarity of mind to make a plan then she would have done more/anything to save herself. As a mom, we want to be on the front row of watching our children succeed. Nothing breaks my heart more than to imagine not being able to see my child grow up. Not being the one to give the hugs, cheers and watch them grow into adults. I know it devastated her to not get into that boat with him. She gave her life for him.

“No greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.”

Jesus understands this kind of love for His children. He gave his life for me. He chose to die so that I could live. He gave all his energy and breathed his final breath only after He knew I was safe. I owe him my life.

I owe it to God to live my life to the fullest because He sacrificed his for mine. I owe it to God to be thankful for the gift. I owe it to him to tell others about this love.

I do not understand much about parenting, but I get the deep love for the life of a child. I will forever be connected to Naya Rivera on this deep love that you would use your last ounce of energy before letting go. Praying for her family as they navigate a future without her and praying for hearts to be opened that this kind of love is found in Jesus Christ for you and me.

“Faith Cocoon”

Standard
“Faith Cocoon”

We are living in a crazy time! Businesses open during the Great Depression are closing, schools canceled indefinitely, churches are even closed! Institutions that seemed unbreakable are broken…crazy times!

Look on Facebook and you get a range of emotions from fear to doubt to frustration. Truth is we all process trauma in different ways and no place is that more evident than on social media.

The battle for me begins and ends in my mind. Do I choose joy or jealousy? Do I judge or like a post I do not agree with because I know their heart? Easy to not want to read it, but then it is the one way to stay somewhat connected. Constant choices for your time. How best to spend it when getting out of the house is limited?

As Christians, we have a calling in times like these while the world watches. Where is my source of strength? Where is the root of my joy? Do I trust my heavenly Father like I say I do?

The best we can do as Christ Followers is to be the Church. Share love, time and our resources. Check on our neighbors. The world will know us by our love. Not easy when you just want to be left alone, but this is our time to prove our faith are more than words.

The greatest lesson I am learning is that we can fill our calendars with all of our stuff, but God is in control. God is the ultimate decision maker. This surprised us, but not him. My father always said after every plan “Lord willing”. It drove me crazy, but as I cancel event after event it makes sense. God is in control.

In my devotional today, the author talked about retreating to her “Faith Cocoon” in times like these. Meditate on scripture. Sing worship songs. Dive into devotionals. Draw near to God. This does not mean you push others out of your life, but that feed yourself in faith so that you can share that with others. If you are not full then you cannot pour into others. I believe lives will be saved and churches will be full the first Sunday they are reopen. God will redeem this if we hold on and wait patiently.