Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I'm an Addict....

I have a confession:

I am addicted to God's Word. I am. It's true.

Since giving up coffee, which I treasured like an addict would treasure their chosen drug of choice, I have been finding replacements for that addiction.

I think I've hit the jackpot.

Afternoon carpool was my favorite time to sip on this drug. It made me happy. It just did.

However, since detoxing from my happy drug, I have a new carpool routine.

I turn on my youversion bible app on my phone. This superior sounding British-y guy reads me the Bible in His perfectly polished accent.

I let the words wash over me like a spring rain. It's the most exhilarating thing that I've ever done. Truly, it is.

Something about God's word being spoken over you....there are no words to describe.

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17

We are reading Numbers right now in the Bible. It's fascinating. Moses had some stellar faith. He heard from God. A lot.

I found myself questioning why the Lord did not speak to us audibly? Why did He choose to deposit within us the Holy Spirit instead of showing up in a burning bush and talking? Hmm?

After the thoughts left my heart, the answer rang in my ears.

He speaks every day. Every minute. Every second.

Not only that, but we can hear Him as much {or as little} as we want to.


When we read HIS Word. 


goodbye caffeine--hello TRUTH,


Thursday, March 21, 2013


I know I have some readers that are not SHINE subscribers, so I wanted to post this here on this site.

This subject has been on my heart for weeks, and I knew the Lord was leading me to write about it. It was a hard post to write. Only because it's so personal. Sometimes it's hard putting a mirror up to your soul, because you don't always like what you see.

But, if we don't see---we don't know change is needed. The Lord shines the light on the places that need revealing---and healing.

Thursday SHINE:

Happy Thursday, SHINE sisters! Is this week flying by, or is it just me? Maybe it's because Numbers has picked up the pace a bit. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE all the words in the Bible. However, some stories just take a little longer to get through, you know?

I've never been big on numbers, anyway. Numbers in the numerical sense. Counting, adding, anything math-ish....blah, blah, blah.

Just not my thing.

So, when the Bible speaks of the number of sacrifices being made in explicit detail, I get a little lost. A little distracted.

 My mind wanders to other things--i need to call the dentist, i need to go to the gym today,  wonder what I can scrape up for dinner, did I wash Lem's underwear, i desperately need a pedicure, Oh, and my fingernails--yikes! where's that cute nail polish, did i leave it at the beach....

 {The Lord knows this is how I operated, He made me this way.}

Moving on.

So, our memory verse has had me thinking, pondering, and praying ALL week.

Am I hungry for Him?? Am I really hungry for Him?

Oh my, how the Lord knows how I have in the past filled my heart with everything but Him.

I would cram everything into this God-sized hole thinking it would fill that void that only belongs to our True Love, The Father.

For me, it wasn't a substance, but it was a a lot of other things. Things that I would literally crave, because there was such emptiness there.

Since I'm prone to being an open book, I will just share with you what those things were.

Approval. Being liked. Being sought after.

Oh, yeah. That was me.

I looked high and low, in every dark crevice I could find to get an approval fix. It's true.

My desparation for approval only drew me further from Him. I would go on approval binges, seriously.

For me this is what it looked like: Calling the friends I knew would tell me what I wanted to hear. Getting on social media and blowing it up with "please, please look at me!" phrases and such. Oh, yeah.  Let's just let it all hang out, shall we?

The fix would come. I would be on a high. Then guess what? I would crash and burn. Every single time.

Maybe you don't have an approval addiction. Maybe it's something else that you fill that hole with.  {Oh, and trust me I have many more things I've tried to stick in that hole, we will just stick to this one today.}

Friend, let me tell you from personal experience, there is NOTHING in this world that can fill you up, and satisfy that void, like Jesus Christ. NOTHING.

When the Lord showed me, after much misery over my crashing and burning, that I was looking in all the wrong places--I then had a choice.

I could believe Him, and start filling that gaping hole with Him. OR, I could believe Him, but not really trust Him with that hole.

Not trusting Him with that hole for me looked like this: Continuing to go to the places I knew I could still get my fix. Just in case, He didn't show up for me.

Oh, I'm cringing now. The truth hurts.

I've learned {after many failed attempts of not trusting Him} to trust Him. Believe Him.

Instead of devouring the world and the many things luring me to get my fix, I started to allow my heart and my mind to be lured by Him.

Girls, there's nothing else more satiating.

There is a verse that keeps popping up everywhere I go. I love when He does this. It's His reminder to me that I desperately need Him. No matter how far I think I've come, I'm just a "fix" away from being back in that empty place.

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."
2 Chronicles 16:9

Do me a favor and read that verse again. Let it sink in.

Friends, where are your hearts?

Are you hungry for Him?

What is the first thing you crave each morning? Is it Him? Or is it everything but Him.

Do you just go to Him when you have tried everything else and realize it's not filling you up?

Or, are you maintaining your heart by a daily dose of filling that empty space with His Word, and His Truth.

Did you know that physiologically speaking we often mistake thirst for hunger? Yes! Often times, we are feeling the craving for water, but instead go straight to food. Meanwhile, we are dehydrated and don't even realize it.

It's the same way with these "fixes" we get ourselves into. We choose the wrong thing to fill that hole--and end up dry as a desert.

Let me just shoot real straight.....

We often go to others for this filling or this fix. We go to Pinterest, to Twitter, to Facebook, just looking for that cozy scripture, or that perfect inspirational quote from someone we admire. We long to find someone who can give us just the "spring" we need to get us feeling good. To get us back on track. To get our "fix."

The enemy will use any tool, even seemingly innocent ones, to draw us away from seeking The Father. When we start to use these tools as a "replacement" for our time spent with Him and His Word--the enemy wins. We lose. Every time.

Can I just be real?

Let's quit looking to be inspired, and let's start looking to get infused.

Infused with His Word.

Infused by Him.

Oh mercy me! I think we will stop here. I think I've given us enough to chew on today.
{i may choke!}

stepping on my very own toes,


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bragging Rights...

This school year has been exciting!

Presley's art work was on exhibit at the Morgan Cultural Center! :) 

We are so proud of our little budding artist! Those creative genes did NOT come from her maternal side, I am here to tell ya. ;)

Presley's art work!

a doggie :)

Now, we celebrate Joseph! He was inducted into the National Junior Honors Society tonight. He wore his finest little attire, and took the NJHS oath for all to see. So very cute.

Nana Terri, Danny and Presley cheer Joseph on

Nana, Papa, Danny & Joseph

Maw Maw and Paw Paw and Presley Jane

Joseph gets inducted!

His candle blew out too funny!

Shaking Mrs. Norburg's {the principal's} hand.

Signing his name in the NJHS book

Celebrating Joseph!

The whole crew

Thought this was so cute...Lem, Joseph, Danny

So proud of all three of these kids!
Thank you, Father, for sending these angels our way. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hearing vs. Listening.....

Day three at the beach. I could totally live here. I really could.

Of course, I would never get anything done. Except for the occasional blog post. ;)

I've done a lot of praying here. I am needing some major discernment over some things coming up through my SHINE ministry. Like major.

I know that God is not the author of confusion, because His word says so. At times, I feel confused, but then, I know that He just wants me to trust Him. Completely.

I am learning that He calls us and can re-direct us at any point. It's not the re-direction that is the main thing, it's the hearing Him call you on a different path. You know?

It takes a whole lot of sensitivity to His voice in order to not miss the gentle call of His voice.

Life can get noisy. And I just don't mean in the physical sense.

 It can get noisy when I have too much on my plate, spend too much time on the internet, worry over a conversation that didn't go well and play it over and over and over in my head, feelings of guilt for a reaction I may have had to one of my children {this one can really trip me up}, wondering what others may be thinking of me, wondering what Lem thinks of me.

Yeah, my mind can get noisy.

All that noise playing in my head keeps me from hearing Him at times. If I am entertaining all those things in my blonde little brain, there is no room to hear the Only Voice that matters. His.

It would be much easier if He could just pull me aside and look me in the eyes and speak what He wants me to do. However, I think that negates the personal relationship I have with Him. Right? He wants to know that I am hearing Him, because I am choosing to listen for Him.

I don't want my kids being forced to hear me, I want them to listen for my voice. Anticipate it.

When I talk to my kids, I want them to listen to me. Not just hear my voice echoing.

Everyone with ears can hear. But, can they listen? It takes discipline to listen. It does.

I think that's what He wants from us.

It's a daily thing. To try to stay in tune with Him. He's always, always there waiting to talk, to lead, to direct me. But, am I waiting for Him to? Am I clearing the cluttered path for Him to come in to my heart and truly listen for Him?

learning to listen,


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Big, Big Day.....

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. 
Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 MSG

This verse was the verse of the day on It was THE verse that convicted me several years back. It convicted me to talk, teach, and LIVE God's word out daily to my kids. Yep, that's the verse.

So, when my Presley Jane gave her heart to Jesus on Easter 2 years ago, it was one of the best days of my life. The story is here.

Since that time, she has been wanting to get baptized. Sunday February 24th, she took the plunge.

It was a beautiful sight. Of course, like all mommas, I was very emotional. I prayed as she was being dipped into that cold water she would stay straight on this path. That her heart would stay tuned to His Voice.

I'll let the pictures do the talking for the rest of this post.

We love you, Presley Jane. More importantly, God loves you sweet girl.

Pastor Scott Moore baptizes Presley

Lem and I looking on...

Paw Paw and his girl

Maw Maw hugs her girl

Anna-Joy and Presley loving on Maw Maw and Paw Paw

Royce, Tyler, Audrey (Audrey's friend--not sure of her name),
Presley, Sloane, Anna-Joy, Joseph, Jasmine and Johnathon

Same kids plus Danny and Gabby!

Paw Paw gives Danny some lovin' as Missy looks on

Jason & Jenny Strantz, Lem, Tyler,
Jessica, Rob, Jane, Danny, Presley, Jasmine, Johnathon,
Joseph, PawPaw ,
Mary & Chad Balicki, Audrey, Sloane, Gabby,
 Angela & Lee Crowe, me
Missy is taking the picture! :)

Mommy Jane & Presley

Missy & Presley

Our family

Joseph and Jasmine

Anna-Joy & Presley

Audrey & Presley

she loves her daddy!

my favorite girl

Presley gives Jasmine a ride

Johnathon, a sweet boy who has my heart

long time friend, sweet Mary Balicki and her Gabby

Paw Paw & Presley Jane

Great friends! Danny & Johnathon

i LOVE these people

a heart cake by Momma Jane.
{because Presley gave her heart to Jesus}

a special chocolate request from Joseph--made by Aunt Angie

And of course--a special performance by the STAR!!!

one proud mommy,