Shy Introverts: Sharing Your Faith and Shining Your Light

We are placed here as Light Houses of faith, to guide and direct others towards Jesus! It's not easy to stand alone on the shores, but in the darkness is where we shine brightest. I know that sounds intimidating as a shy heart, perhaps you have been struggling with insecurity wondering if you were enough to lead or show up in such a way. The answer is YES! 

What's good about Good Friday when I Feel like I am Drowning?

What a Week!!! Not only is it Easter weekend, it's also my bday week. So much LIFE to Celebrate over here!! Long story short, the Lord drew me out of drowning waters of perfection, worry, insecurity, living my life as a Check List Christian, hustling for my worth, and led me beside still waters where we sat quiet in the chaos, together. 

It didn't feel quiet really, but the waters were quiet. I didn't feel peaceful at first, I was still catching my breath from treading water and tumbling about my days nearly all my life. I was exhausted and at the end of my ability to keep up the hustle. He saw me, the sheep who had meandered to the back of the pasture, struggling to keep up and in His loving kindness walked over to me, carrying me back to nearness to Him once again.

But God. He was faithful as we sat in Holy Hushed silence.

While I had known Him nearly my whole life, it was during this time I got to know His heart. Good Friday took on a whole new meaning from this birthday on. What's so good about it?!? It's the act of Love that saved my life and yours. Good Friday taught me Love in Honor rather than expectation. Christ the King surrendered. His death wasn't "good."  He is good.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Love is Good.

My birthday week is especially special because it is my Celebration of Life date. It's the date I declared chains off, pit filled, valley conquered, heart mended, weakness overcome. April 2009 will forever be this Anniversary date in my life.

I can't help but live my life in a state of worship after living it in a lifetime of worry. He

I am forever grateful for my very breath. I am forever grateful for His Heart for me, and for you too. The enemy knows this and continually works to make us small. The enemy wants us to live life overthinking, overwhelmed and busy. This is how we miss God's whispers. This is how we miss out on fellowing with Him.

Soul stillness...this is that season for me. Being still, allowing Him to lead me beside still waters. It's hard to find the words to describe it, hopefully this video I recorded the other day helps. 

Whatever season you find yourself in, I pray you find stillness for your soul, a rest in the arms of your Sweet Savior. that brings you to worship. If you love a good worship playlist, I shared mine here if you are looking for some new ones.

Happy Easter, Happy birthday to all of us. We each have the opportunity to celebrate new life in Jesus Name, our Savior and King, Father and Friend. 

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,

How to be Brave as a Christian

I just didn’t know I could change. I thought I was just me. When it’s all you know, it’s simply all you know. This is why speaking life is so important along with Sisterhood, Mentorships, personal development and community.

Born into the Cradle Roll at our church by a military Dad and Friend-to-Everyone Mom, “going above and beyond and doing the right thing" was basically my DNA. You add in my shy, insecure personality and there ya have your official Shy Girl, Holy Rolly, Goodie Two Shoes, always trying to be perfect and pure, not causing any issues, church girl.

I accepted my Less-Than-Ness, fueled in the comparison game of observing the brilliance and beauty of everyone else seemingly living the perfect life. While my mindset was completely wrong, my heart was pure, desiring to be better and live "right" before God, family and others. It would be many, many years later I learned to live a life of Grace and honor rather than perfection and perception.

You don’t have to go very far online or out in the world to discover the next newest thing you don’t have and why you (apparently) need it now!

You can't help but wonder if it could be true. Those of us who struggle with insecurity are the perfect customer for these commercials. We are willing to try any and every thing out there in the quest for becoming better.

After years of self-doubt and constant fear of judgement, I collapsed under the pressure falling prostrate into a pit. Thankfully God knew I was heading that way, and He had already lined it with grace. 

Grace softened my fall. It bruised me, and scared me, but it didn't kill me. 

Grace caught me. 

Grace said Just be you. Grace said Life is short. Grace said Worship, not worry. Grace said Fear not! Grace said I am capable and you are in My hands. Grace said Follow Me, not them. Grace said My grace is sufficient enough for you! Grace said It’s Time! Get up and go!

This is one of the things in my life I wish I would have learned sooner. I wish I would have understood Grace and more important God’s love for me. I wish I would have learned about His heart sooner rather than in my 30’s. I am forever grateful for the season in the pit, as painful as it was, I was refined and chiseled as I tumbled about. 

Friend, know God loves you so much and He is near. Be courageous and confident in His Love and live in this Gift of Grace. Take time to be still and know, asking and seeking His heart for you. 

By grace, you are saved and held. By grace, you are brave. By grace, you are whole! Yo are fearfully and wonderfully made with a Divine purpose meant only for YOU!! You are YOU for this very reason! He has equipped you for such a time as this!! Rise up and Go in Grace!

"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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,

How To Be a Good Mom (When You Know You're Not Perfect)

As a Mom, do you ever feel like in one question you can go from Hero to Zero?

They asked for ice cream for dessert (a rarity in a house where Mom and Dad are trying to make healthy choices!!)
I said Yes. They replied I was the Best!!

They asked to stay up 30 min past bedtime to finish a favorite show.
I said Yes. They replied I was the Best!!

And then the No KNOW they didn't think or feel I was "The Best" when I said NO. I quickly went from Hero to Zero.

Each time they shout "Mom, You're the BEST!!!!!" I remind them that I am a good Mom regardless if they got what they wanted or not. I ALWAYS have their best in mind. I ALWAYS do my best to give them the desires of their hearts. I ALWAYS do what I can when I can for them. But, I don't always tell them Yes. 

In their eyes, I am not always their Hero.

NO, you may not play with the fire.
NO, you may not download that song with those lyrics even if the rhythm is cool.
NO, you may not have ice cream for breakfast.
NO, you may not drive my car at the age of 14.
NO, you may not watch certain shows.
NO, you may not date yet.
NO, you will NOT wear pants that show your undergarments. 
NO, you may not have a sleepover on a school night.
NO, you may not have a $135 pair of tennis shoes.
NO, you may not skip school.
NO, you may not roll your eyes at me
NO, you may not be rude to your sibling because they made you mad.
NO, you may not eat cookies for breakfast.
NO, you may not sit on the couch and watch TV all day long. 
NO, you may not skip church cuz you're tired. 

Yes, I will protect you.
Yes, I will be there for you when no one else is.
Yes, I will love you always.
Yes, I will hug you and sit with you any chance I am able.
Yes, I will watch your favorite movie with you.
Yes, I will make sure you have what you need for school.
Yes, I will do all I can to provide a healthy environment- physically, emotionally and spiritually. 
Yes, I will teach you how to behave, treat others, study the bible, tithe, drive, clean, every life skill I can.
Yes, I will forgive you when you crush my heart, roll your eyes.
Yes, I will reward you for your obedience and discipline you in your disobedience.
Yes, I will celebrate your victories in life and encourage you through the trials.
Yes, I will ESPECIALLY teach you all that I know about the Lord our God!!!!
Yes, I will always pray for you and hold you close.
Yes, I will hold you accountable!!!

My Child, I know the Nos don't feel good and you don't like them, but I Love You. I am still good, regardless of how you feel. Your opinion in the moment doesn't change the fact that I am good. No, I am not perfect,  I am a sinner saved by grace,  just like you, on a path of righteousness, just like you, intentionally living my life with Christ as my core,  just like you, I must confess my sins, just like you, I tithe my money, just like you. I don't understand God's way all the time, just like you. I have questioned if God was good when I didn't like His answer too.

But God, He is always good. He always has our best in mind. It doesn't always feel good, I know, but when you love someone, you trust them. God's Love is so Perfect, full of Grace and Mercy, unconditional and life-giving.

He is consistent, faithful and good. Whether I agree with what God is doing in my life...even if it is a discipline I know I absolutely deserve, He is still good. God is ALWAYS good. My opinion doesn't matter. It doesn't change the FACT that GOD IS GOOD!!!! 

Mama, you aren't perfect and no one said you were supposed to be. Steady your heart on Your Father's Love for you and in that overflow, love your children in the same measure of grace and patience. You are a good Mom!

To GOD be ALL the Glory!!!

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,

Why Good Friends are Important (Especially if You're an Introvert)

Why Good Friends are Important (Especially if You're an Introvert)
Do we really need friends?!? I didn’t used to think so. Jesus was enough of a BFF for me, so I thought. Then I wondered why I felt unseen and unbelonging. 

As an Introvert, we keep a little more tucked in than those extroverted souls in our life, making the establishment of friendships like finding a needle in a haystack. Sure, we can make Virtual Friends who feel real world to us, and it’s so fun, but there's something different and special about physically close, in person, feel your energy, pray together connections. 

Friendships take a lot of trust and energy and if I was honest, I just didn’t have either one to give.

Once I opened my heart to trusting God’s plan of community living, understanding the importance of iron sharpening iron, Titus 2 relationships, I began to pray for like-minded, spiritually bound, authentic relationships. These are thrilling but still scary prayers when you invite someone into the sacred space of your heart. You fear judgment, betrayal and rejection which is why not having friends seems safer. 

This is the twisted truth the enemy would like you to believe.

Truth is, we were built for community and instructed to serve as one part to the many. Will everyone enter the chambers of your inner heart circle? No. You filter through prayer asking God to show you who is meant to be there for such a time as this.

Friends are important because they are the few who reach into the daily grind of life and spotlight the things in our world, calling us out in the good, and sometimes not so good. Without them, where does our heart release it’s joys and sorrows? How are we sharpened if there is no other iron? 

Friends help us navigate seasons of life. A Good Friend will armor up to fight alongside you. They will sit with us beside still waters and remind us to be still and know God is near when our world feels chaotic. They share in our victories and help us laugh when we just want to cry.

Near hearted friends touch us with love and pray for us in the knowing and seeing. Genuine Sister Friends sharpen our dull edges and buff out the rough ones. 

Let’s be real here too. It is work, and hurt happens. The enemy will always come against covenant connections. Keeping Christ at the center and simply being aware and honest about it guards, restores and continually binds the cord of 3 strands, not easily broken. 

Good Friends are gifts from God and this requires your choosing to get out into the real world so your heart can connect with real love. Let not your heart be troubled my Introvert Sister. Let your walls down to the ones God brings into your life. You will recognize her by her boots and shovels ready to dig in, coffee and soft blankets for quiet moments, as she walks in through doors prayer opened with her love in her hand and His Love in her heart. 

May this new year bring you the blessing of community and good friends! Pray for the energy and trust to not be scared or shy. It’s essential you do!

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11,19

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,
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