Thursday, October 30, 2014


Go here for more in this series 31 Days Brave

It is so awesome to be able to call someone friend. Someone you are able to walk through this world with and call upon in time of need. Especially when it is someone who really gets you! Ya know? It can be so comforting. To be honest a blessing from God. I believe God extends His own hands through the friendships we make this in life. We call it Jesus with skin on!

Sometimes in this life our friendships change. They shift or move in a different directions. I am actually walking through this myself. It has been emotional and raw. Mostly a roller coaster. My friend is in a place where she is unsure and often confused. I am often the supporter, encourager and even the challenger. I find some people do not enjoy or want to be around people who are giving you truth. I  believe this to be because it hurts so much. Right now she does not want to face the truth.  She is hurting right now! I love her dearly and consider her to be one of my closest friends.

So, how do you maintain a healthy relationship when your friend is suffering? 

First, look to the bible for guidance. The first story that comes to mind is that of Jonathan and David. I Samuel 18:3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. King Saul(Jonathan's father) is so jealous of David because the people love him so much and he is popular. So The King tries to kill him. Jonathan was trying to protect David from his spear throwing father. In 1 Samuel 20 Jonathan warns David of his father's intentions. They both make a covenant of friendship. The story continues through several chapters and we see in chapter 24 David is strengthen by Jonathan's friendship. 

I am personally encouraged by that last statement. When we choose to stand strong for our friend our strength is given to them and can empower them. Just like Jonathan did for David. They endured some tough stuff through their friendship. They had to face a crazy mad angry father and hide in many different places for protection. They were on the run! Jonathan had to go with what he believed to be right and true which was against his own father's belief! Very inspiring!

My strength only comes from the Heavenly Father. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay one's life down for the other! I will be honest it would be so easy for me to walk away or say this is too hard. I could be selfish. After all doesn't our flesh want to be act upon? What would that accomplish? I can still be a source of strength for my friend and be there for her while setting healthy boundaries. I do believe in my heart of hearts those boundaries are not permanent. I know she will come to the place she needs to be. I may not know when but I do know it will happen. Especially since what she is going through is her own personal struggle. I will be standing on the other side waiting for her to come through that door when she makes that decision.

Second is LOVE! 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.  I love this verse. No pun intended. When all else seems to be failing, just love them. It is hard sometimes to put our own needs aside or desires so that our friend's needs can be met. I know I am not giving much detail here but in this situation I could easily stomp my foot and demand for my feelings to be known. Very childish. Trust me my flesh is screaming at me to think of my feelings. That is just it, I can not trust feelings. I am not saying don't acknowledge your hurt but recognize the deeper underlying root of the why this person is striking out at you. You may be the one sounding board that they have in their life. When we look past our own limited vision then our eyes are able to see the picture fully. 

Third is to Serve. Job 16:5 But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief. Ask them what do you need from me? They may not know. Sure is nice to be asked though. Most times what they need is a word of encouragement or a note. Don't you love snail mail? I do! I love getting notes, cards and especially when it comes through my mail box! So exciting!

Lastly, Pray pray pray! Matthew 26:41 "watch and pray so that you may not fall into temptation. the spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak." Pray for them, over them, with them and pray for God to guide you during this time.

Obviously, I do not have all the answers about this topic. This is just what I am experiencing and what God has shown me through this friendship. I know we will be closer and stronger for it.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually,.....

My brave today is sharing this with you and understanding friendships. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Go here for more in this series of 31 Days brave

just a side note....this post is for the norm situation not the extremes such as abuse or molestation. That would require much more than just a process! 

Forgiveness it is a powerful word of action. I believe it is an action that we do not give enough attention to in the church. I know the typical scriptures are quoted and the stories we have all heard before. For some reason I believed that forgiveness should come easy and be natural. After all we are Christians, right?

Let me back up a bit. I grew up in a very conservative church and background. I always thought forgiveness meant the offender says sorry and it is done, you forgive! Easy peasy! Then I would struggle with those hurt feeling still swirling around in my heart and head. Not good. So, I thought well I did not really forgive them! I am sinning! I need to fix this. Then I would wonder "where is the natural part in this process? Sure doesn't feel natural."  I thought the process of forgiving the person was completely on me! Such a wrong outlook. No body's fault in particular. They were teaching what they believed to be truth.

Fast forward many years later and a lot of experience, forgiveness looks different. More wisdom and understanding of the truth. Obviously more maturity on my part! God does call us to forge. In Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  We know from this scripture that we are to forgive since He forgave us. How do we forgive? I believe that is the pressing question concerning forgiveness. When we choose(key word) to verbally say to someone "I forgive you" we must trust that God will complete the work in our hearts. It really is not in our nature to forgive. It goes against it. So we rely on faith to forgive. We have faith that God will continue to work on our hearts and complete the circle of forgiveness. Did you catch that? It is a circle. Think about it. The person approaches you to make the wrong right. They ask for forgiveness. You give it. Then God continues to do the work in both your hearts so when you come back around again you are stronger. Stronger in your faith and relationship. God is the head and center of the circle. He reaches back to you, to them and to each other. All through Him. Is this resonating with you? 

There are many myriad's of forgiveness. Some situations are very cut and dry. It was simple mistake and now it is past. Others go much deeper. Depends on the offense. Take the sin gossip. Your friend gossips about you behind your back. You are able to forgive but your heart is still healing. After much time and prayer you discover that your trust as mended. Therefore the completion of forgiveness has occurred. You may not forget the situation but you don't dwell on the matter. That is when you know forgiveness has gone deeper. Take the offense of cheating. This situation entangles more hearts and will take longer to mend. The actual words "I forgive you" come out of your mouth and that starts the process of acknowledging your hurt. The part of forgiveness that needs to be worked on is the part of trust. Do you see that? Trust is part of that circle of completion. Why wouldn't be? Have you thought about it?

Stop for minute. Think about it like this:

an offense happens
the parities involve ask for forgiveness
you verbally forgive
through prayer you ask God to work on your heart
God goes deeper
Your trust starts to mend back to that person
You start to feel freedom in your heart(no anger, bitterness, resentment or hurt)
God again goes deeper
Trust is building more and more each day
You pray
God goes deeper again
You start to feel that you want to be around that person
Forgiveness in your heart grows

and so get the point. Look at it. Really look at it! It really isn't as simply saying "I forgive you" in most situations. There is a process. I often think of forgiveness like a cork screw. It twines, goes in a little, then a little more, maybe a long pause, it twines down deeper, then a little more, maybe a short pause and so on. Just because you have had a conversation with someone about the wrong doing does not mean the conversation is done or that you are done. Sometimes another conversation has to take place. Sometimes you have to let it breath. Often it is best to let it breath for  a bit. Pray, regroup, pray some more and ask God to show you. It is okay to tell that person "hey, I need to take a step back. Let me pray over this matter. I want to understand it fully. Can we put a pause on it?" Anyone who really loves and respects the friendship will do that for you and for themselves. When we do take a pause sometimes God reveals to us the underlying truth and that is when you can begin to understand why the offense happened in the first place. Obviously this is not the case for most. Most times it is easy as "I forgive you" and you heart is ready. Others require more work. That is okay too.

Another part to forgiveness is YOU. Yes, I mean you. It will set your heart and mind free when you choose to forgive that person. Philippians 1:6 states, And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day Christ Jesus returns. We are part of that completion of forgiveness. Forgiveness breaks the chains we hold and extends a bridge to the hearts that once were broken.

Today, Brave means learning to forgive but also recognizing it is a process. Some situations it may take a quick "I forgive you" and others need a little more tending to.

What has been your experience with forgiveness on both ends? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Go here fore more in this series of 31 Days Brave

Setting healthy boundaries is necessary for maintaing a positive self concept. It protects us from being harmed by others who want to manipulate and shows we have self respect. It is hard sometimes to make the decision that this situation or relationship is no longer healthy for me. Some relationships or situations you are able to let go off easily. They may be the relationship you would only see by choice because you do not run into them on a daily basis. Others are more difficult to set boundaries since you see them in different circles more often than you would like. Being aware is one of the first steps or signs that you know change needs to happen. Following through what you believe needs to happen requires you to be Brave or have courage. 

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I allowing this person or relationship to define me?
2. Do you feel bad or guilty when you say no?
3. Are you quiet when you need to speak up?
4. Are you giving more for the sake of giving to please this person?
5. Are you going against personal beliefs for the sake of pleasing them?

If you find yourself saying yes to these questions then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. By all means I am not the expert but I have learned through my own mistakes and experience. Sometimes we are the ones who are not healthy for that person. We become the one who is manipulating without knowing that we are harming them. It is hard one to swallow.

Which brings me to the point of realizing you need to act from a place of love and not fear. I say that with much conviction. For some relationships all it takes is a conversation or two to help them see what you have experienced. Be very careful to not go into "cut off" mode which sometimes is easy to do when we feel threaten or harmed. Please understand I am not talking about abuse here. I am referring to the norm here. We can harm someone or be harmed with words or actions without abuse being involved. We need to remember at times in our life we have been on both ends. Whether you want to admit or not. It is the truth. For that reason alone when we remember that and come from a place of love we are able to see and act more clearly.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you want to continue the relationship?
2. Do you believe a conversation or two would solve the issue?
3. Is the person going through a difficult time? (does not excuse but helps understand)
4. How much time have you invested in this relationship and how much have they invested?

Taking time to reflect on those questions may bring you to your truth about that relationship. Again I am not the expert nor do I have all the processes in place to be able to make a complete picture for you. This is just what I have experienced and what has helped me. This is just a starting point or stepping stone.

Above all pray about it. 
Seek God's wisdom. 
He knows all! 

Today's Brave is asking yourself, do you need to set any boundaries in your life? and following through with what you believe God has revealed to you. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Movie

Go here for more in this series 31 Days Brave 

I have been camping so I apologize for the late post. It is a quick thought but one worth pursuing. 

Brave the movie. Merida, the princess and all that great hair! love it! 

I thought the movie Brave was really just okay. Not my favorite movie but still had some good moments. My favorite is in this picture. Merida is defying an old age custom of her hand to be betroth in marriage by whomever shoots an arrow at the target. She has decided to make the best shot and she did! In this movie Merida wants to make her own path and this particular scene starts her down that road. 

Don't we all want to write our own story? Define the lines that have been written for us or determined for us? 

We have the opportunity to change it. To make it different. To ask for help. To reach out. To do what is hard even when you don't want to it or feel like it. To let God lead us. It is never too late. 

This post is more for me than anything else. I am challenging myself right now with my own questions in certain areas of my life. It is good. Maybe once God has shown me I will share it with you. 

Brave is just that writing your story....

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Today I am camping & well it is going. Why is it no matter how prepared I think I am, I'm not! Ever feel this way? So today I leave you with a poem. It is called It Takes Courage by anonymous!

It takes courage

To refrain from gossip
When others delight in it,
To stand up for the absent person
Who is being abused.

It takes courage

To live honestly
Within your means,
And not dishonestly
On the means of others.

It takes courage

To be a REAL man or a TRUE woman,
To hold fast to your ideals
When it causes you
To be looked upon
As strange and peculiar.

It takes courage

To be talked about,
And remain silent,
When a word would justify you
In the eyes of others,
But which you dare not speak
Because it would injure another.

It takes courage

To refuse to do something
That is wrong
Although everyone else
May be doing it
With attitudes as carefree
As a summer song.

It takes courage

To live according
To your own convictions,
To deny yourself
What you cannot afford.
To love your neighbor
As yourself!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Self Care

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For me being Brave means self care. It is different than selfishness. Self care means to truly understand what you need to be able to fill up your tank or know what you need to say no to so YOU can be "filled up" and not always running on empty. Self Care is about taking care of you the whole person. Body, mind and soul. I think this one is a hard one for anyone. I believe as moms or women we really struggle in this department. I often can feel guilty if I know I need a break or need to be alone. I am so use to taking care of all those around me that I sometimes put myself on the bottom of the list. This is not good. 

Self Care starts with what you choose to fill yourself up with. The older I get and the longer I am a mom I realize how important it is to take time to fill up with scripture and prayer. To start my day with God at the top makes all the difference in my day as a mom, friend, wife and stranger. I am also aware that it does not have to be an hour-long-deep-meditating-bible-study in order to be effective. Though those type of bible studies are important too and have their place. Not all of us have that kind of time in the morning before our household begins to stir. I have discovered that 15 minutes in the word and time with God goes a long way in my day. Then when I have the time during the day throughout the week, I grab my deep intimate bible studies that challenge my thinking and encourage my spirit. I find I do better carving out time that is during the day than first thing in the morning. I know that can be opposite for most. My brain has to be fired up first along with my body. My early routine starts with a 5:30 am boot camp then by the time I get home the household is stirring. Of course I have to shower and eat breakfast along with answering the 1,000 questions that are aiming at me from my family. I love them so! I rely on simple quick devotionals first thing in the morning. I like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. 

Self Care also means what you choose to do that is simply a pleasure to you or something you enjoy. I enjoy hanging out with my mommie friends. Stepping away for that short time fuels my soul. I am able to talk to other women who are in my season of life and also eat an uninterrupted meal. I find being able to sit at the table without little hands disrupting me a simple pleasure. I would not trade those little interruptions for nothing but to enjoy a meal like a real adult is awesome too. I enjoy a good book, a coffee house, a concert or trying something new like one of those painting with pals or wine or something. I will one day participate in Painting with a Twist! What do you enjoy?

Self Care can also means taking care of your outward appearance as well. Now before you get your knickers in a wade or all ruffled, hear me out! I am not talking about having the best body or being the prettiest or perfect in make up or the latest in fashion. I am talking about getting our hair styled because we have not done it in a year or two. Buying a new pair of yoga pants since the ones you have been wearing have another stitch sewn in them. I am referring to things you put off because you have not made the time. Sisters, there is a difference between being a stay at home mom and a homely mom. I say this with a lot of love. I am also speaking from experience. Trust me I am going tonight or first thing in the morning. I need new clothes. It has become embarrassing for myself. That is bad. I am not fashionista. I just want to be able to grab a pair of yoga pants or jeans without worrying if this is the pair that has the hole in a bad spot. Know what I mean? I just had my hair colored and cut so I am covered there. Trust me I am a no fuss muss kinda of mom. Simple and less is better. 

The other part of your body Self Care is physical fitness and healthy food. Are you attending to those needs as well? I am working on mine. Exercise I got down. The food I will always be learning about. 

I love this picture below! 

Isn't this what it is all about? Realizing you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family and others around you. 

I recently was on a air plane and was reminded of what is important. Of course the flight attendants have the usual speeches about the mechanics of the plane and what to do "if" something were to happen while in flight. Always always always they say "put your own oxygen mask on first then assist others!" Oxygen is an important element required to sustain life. So you could say Self Care is oxygen to ourselves. 

How are you sustaining? What are you doing to fuel your body, mind and soul? Be Brave & realize you need to do it and then ask for it! Speak up sister! You are so worth it! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Go here for more on this series 31 Days Brave. 

Do you find yourself doing things for your kids that maybe you wouldn't have before? I do. I am really stretching myself this time. I am taking my son camping. Me! No hubby! I like camping don't get me wrong. I have come to depend on hubby to pitch the tent, make the fire and all that manly stuff. My husband is taking our son first to a cub scout camp out Friday night and then it is my turn to take him to our boot camp family friendly camping trip. Yeah, both events fell no the same weekend. EEEKKKK! My hubby has a commitment Sunday morning where we attend church so that is one reason why the camping aspect is falling on my shoulders. Just part of the weekend anyway. I know we will be fine but I sure do love having a familiar man around that I trust for such outdoorsy stuff. Ya know? You can pray for me! Pray for our weekend. I am really excited to have mom and son time together. I will let you know how it goes. 

So, what is the gutsy thing you have ever done with your kids that was out of your comfort zone?