Wednesday, June 26, 2013


As I’m sitting here sipping my morning cup of coffee, the rain pouring down outside and a cool breeze bristling through the branches of the trees, I’m feeling refreshed and peaceful.  Just like the rain is a reprieve from the hot, muggy days we’ve been experiencing, Jesus has been a reprieve to my soul.  I just finished reading the last pages of what has been an amazing book – "Stressed-Less Living," by Tracie Miles and I truly can’t believe that this life changing twelve week journey, with all the incredible woman of Melissa Taylor's Online Bible Studies and Proverbs 31 Ministries, is already coming to a close.  I’m not ready for it to end.

I remember, when considering going down this path, feeling like perhaps I should skip this study and rejoin for the next one because I was going to be so busy during those twelve set weeks…I almost have to laugh at myself now - knowing what I’ve learned since then; especially in reading the last chapter and when considering the reflection verse this week:
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." ~Luke 10:41-42 
Boy am I glad that the Lord kept me from that mistake – from being Martha!  I was going to choose the “many things” when what I needed most was “only one thing” – Jesus.  Praise the Lord he did not allow me to travel down that familiar sun parched road again!  Even though I am certain that he would not have abandoned me, I am equally sure that I would not have experienced the renewal and growth that I have spiritually and emotionally and I certainly would not have the peace in my heart that he has provided me with through this journey...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who U R

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Who am I?  And why am I here?
The answers to those questions I’m beginning to fear.
Am I a rose blossoming in the light?
Or am I only a left over fragrance fading in the night?
What am I?  Could you tell me?  Or do I want to know?
Am I just another flower that belongs in a row?
Among the gardens of flowers do I want to be found?
People staring beneath my blossoms
At the thorns and roots by which I’ve been bound?
Those roots – they are sucking in the water too fast!
Drowning my future…overwatering my past!
Oh how they’ve held me, and those thorns how they’ve torn-
My thoughts into two, I’m becoming so worn.
But go on without them, do I dare?
Pull away from the comfort that I’ve planted there?
My thoughts, my feelings…how do I show that I care?
Someone, please, rid me of all my confusions!
Take the time to show me that happiness
Is not just another one of life’s delusions...
Could you at least attempt to answer me this -
Or do I want to know?
Am I a rose blossoming in the light?
Or just another flower in the garden
Whose fragrance is fading in the night?
~written by Katrina Wylie ‘98

One of the things I’ve been struggling with the last few years is losing weight and getting back into shape after first: a car accident that resulted in a neck injury, and second: the pregnancy and birth of my daughter which also resulted in more physical injury and limitations.  Though getting healthy is definitely on my “need” list, it seems every renewed attempt I’ve made has ended the same way – giving into temptations due to a perceived lack of results.  Every time I’d get dressed, and every time I’d look in the mirror, I’d see the me that I didn’t want to be anymore…the extra me, if you know what I mean!  Then, out of discouragement, whenever a craving would present itself or when it became time to do a work out and I had a million other things to do, the attitude I found myself adopting was: “What’s the point?” I think this same thing can happen to us in our Christian walks...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Breaking Point

This week in Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies we studied chapter 10: “Broken for Breakthrough,” in the book “Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles.  As one of our blog hop topics, we were asked to write about a breaking point in our life.  For mine, I’m going to share with you all a previous post of mine that I had written last August, just a few months before discovering Proverbs 31 and the online Bible studies.  I think that through it you will see that it was no coincidence that I “stumbled across” these studies just as they were getting ready to begin the “Let. It. Go.” book.  At that time, I was definitely at a breaking point in my life – struggling with physical health problems, fear, lingering post-partum depression, stress-eating, relational and family stress, and on top of all of that, I had fallen away from my close, daily relationship with our Lord.  It was also only a couple months after my Mom had open-heart surgery to repair a birth defect that had gone undiagnosed and as a result had almost killed her…just one month after I originally wrote this post, she died…God turned me back to him knowing how much I was going to need him just a few short weeks later.  God is good. 


(from August ’12)

I spent much of my life struggling to hide and stuff down the pain that I felt, so that on the outside, I'd look strong and unbreakable; but it was all a front. Truth was, inside, my pain and sorrow continually cut like a knife, destroying me slowly one tiny piece at a time. I did not always know the Lord, nor have I always understood that my daily struggles in the world could be healed through His Word. While sometimes I find myself briefly falling back into my old habits, the Lord is always there to pick me up and remind me of His truths...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Matter of the Heart

"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3 
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The matter of the heart – it matters to God.  How do we know that? - Because it’s a topic that can be found all throughout the Bible.  In just the last three days I’ve spent digging deeper into Psalm 147:3, I counted the word “heart,” and its many variations, used 75 times in God’s Word.  That’s a lot and I’m sure there are many more still.  This “matter of the heart” has also been an important subject threaded throughout the book “Stressed-Less Living” by Tracie Miles.  Like I shared in a previous post of mine, "A Gift From Above," the lesson that has impacted me the most so far through this book is that God cares more about changing our hearts than he does about changing our circumstances.  This has been affirmed to me again this week, through Psalm 147:3.
When I looked up “broken hearted” in my dictionary, which read: “overcome by grief or despair,” I couldn’t help but also notice a few of the related words and their definitions. 

“Hearten” – encourage, energize, enliven, arouse, rally, rouse, stir
“Heartfelt” – sincere, genuine, honest, true, unfeigned, deep, profound
“Heartless” – unfeeling

What caught my attention in reading these, and maybe perhaps it drew yours too, is that the descriptions of the first two sounds like they’re describing God himself and what he does.  So much so that we could just erase the words “hearten” and “heartfelt” and replace them with “God” in the dictionary.  But then there’s the third one.  Is it just me, or could “unbeliever” possibly be substituted here for “heartless?”  I know that the word “unfeeling” described me before I came to know Christ as my personal savior and it is also how I can start to become again when I wander from him...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spiritual Vitamins

It seems that lately I’ve had so many questionable feelings, to the point where I can feel no more; only numbness.  The conflicting emotions have slowed my brain like a drug, taking over the realization that it is my turn to lead this dance.  Instead, I find myself waltzing around in a circle of confusion, battling myself every step of the way.  It’s as though a civil war has erupted inside of me and I’m frozen right in the crossfire of my own thoughts.  I sit here lost in the whirlwind of arrows buzzing by, not knowing which one is pointing in the right direction.  I try to find my way, but the smoke from the bombardment of mixed feelings has stolen my sense of direction and is slowly smothering me.  I run this way and that, finding myself advanced to the front line, where there are no more trenches to shelter me from the battle, only an open field of illusional freedom staring me in the face.

I wrote that sixteen years ago, as a senior in high school who was facing graduation and the prospect of going out into the world on my own for the first time.  I share it with you today because, to me, it illustrates what life looks like when facing it without God…or at least a life without leaning on His strength, power, and wisdom for help and guidance.   It is a painting of a battle met in confusion and ending in defeat because it is one that we can only recognize and win in Him.  It is the battle that is raging all around us for our hearts, our minds, and our souls - the spiritual warfare that the Bible speaks of and warns us about...