Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days - What I've learned...

I can't believe the month is over...really it seems like I just started this 31 day journey! Though the page on the calendar is turning I pray my intentionality of looking for God will continue. I hope I will hold onto the lessons I have learned.

So today I want to take a minute and think about what He's been teaching as I've been looking -

* I will find what I'm looking for. I've seen God at work and noticed the beauty of creation, but after 31 days of intentionally looking for Him I am reminded that I need to open my eyes and in my head I need to know what it is I expect to see. That doesn't mean life will be easy or the picture I see pretty, but if I set out expecting to see God in it, I will. His hand is in everything. I know I want to live to see it.

* I don't just see with my eyes. God is different than man...He is invisible so obviously I can't see Him with my eyes. But friend I can see evidence of Him around and so can you! But we also see with the eyes of our heart and the pictures our heart captures are better than those a camera will ever take. Oh how I long to see Him more with my heart!

* Sometimes I might not like what I see. I'll have to admit this lesson has surprised me a bit or at least it wasn't one I expected. Over the last 30 days I have seen God in many, many good ways - blessing me, creating beauty around me, loving me and others, working in ways that amaze me and the list goes on. But I have to confess some of the things I've seen Him doing have been hard to observe and harder yet to endure. You see I've seen Him working in me, changing me, changing relationships and I don't know about you, but for me change is hard. There are times I don't want to let go, I don't want to step out. I don't want to be molded or chiseled, but that's what I see Him doing. Today my 7 year old daughter was learning to borrow and she didn't like what she was seeing - it was hard, she was frustrated, she didn't think it made sense, but as her teacher I know. I see the big picture - I know there's purpose and friend God does too! He sees the big picture and knows how His plan will unfold and though it may be hard to believe in the long term it's for our good.

* I see Him when I reflect. When life is hard and times are dark, I know it can be hard to see God, even though I know He's there. In moments like that I've been reminded to reflect, to look back at where I've been and see how God was with me too. My flashback Fridays have been good for me - remembering what God has done and where He's brought me from builds my faith and encourages my heart. It reminds of His presence and leaves me looking for Him again.

I'd love to hear from you...what's God taught you this month? Or as you look for Him what have you been learning?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days - "But He's invisible!"

Awhile back I was talking with my kids about seeing God and one of them responded, "But Mom, He's invisible!!"  In her 5 year old brain, she knew if something was invisible that meant it wasn't able to be seen. Colossians 1:15 supports my daughter's thinking. It says, " The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

There have been times in my life when I would have agreed with her thinking I can't see God, He's invisible!! Perhaps you can relate to those moments, when you get a call with news you never expected, when a love one passes away, when the diagnosis is not the one you prayed for or when a relationship falls apart.

In moments like that I find myself slipping into a dangerous place...not just thinking God is invisible, but questioning if He's even there at all. And friend that is a lie satan would love for us to believe...regardless if I can see Him or not He is there!

We don't have to look any further than His word to know He is omnipresent!!

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell [the grave], behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7–10)

Friend if you're in the middle of a storm, physically or spiritually, He is there! It may seem He's invisible, but so is the wind. If we look we can see the effects of the wind and the same is true, if we look for evidence of God...He Will Show Us! Ask Him to reveal Himself and open your eyes to see!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days - Scripture for Sunday

Words from King Jehoshaphat to the Lord -
 "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Oh, that they would be our words as well!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days - Seeing God in our Obedience

Today I'm excited to be attending a women's conference where Lysa TerKeurst will be speaking! I know I will see God and expect to hear from His as well!! But for this post I'm taking another trip back and sharing a post from exactly 2 years ago when we were thrilled to have Lysa speak at our retreat! 

The day came and the day went…God was present and He provided! In attempt to update anyone who is unaware - Rise and Shine is a women’s retreat that was held this past Saturday. I’ve been blessed, honored and humbled to be a part of the team that God has entrusted to be responsible for the event. This year we were thrilled to have Lysa TerKeurst as our guest speaker and God spoke through her in wonderful ways!!

So back to the day that was…actually I’m going to begin on Thursday night - about 7 PM my little Joy started to get sick and she was my priority through the night, especially from midnight to almost 4 AM. By Friday morning she was feeling a bit better as in a “sick” little voice she assured me, “I’ll be OK.” I knew she would, but still saying good-bye was hard. This was the beginning of the reminders that God is in control and He will provide, strengthen and make a way!!

And make a way, HE did! Friday, the 4 of us along with some fabulous volunteers spent the day prepping - everything from preparing retreat guides, name-tags, decorating, last minute registrations… And it all went well! I missed this step last year, but all the others agreed it was much smoother and faster too. Again, it’s in God’s hands!

Then around 5 I received a call from Holly, Lysa’s assistant that they were near the church and looking to have supper prior to the practice and run-through. So we welcomed them to Iowa and they met real farmer’s wives and had a delightful conversation over supper. It truly was a joy to meet both Holly and Lysa! God is good and His people really are family!!

Rachel, Myself, Lysa, Holly, Judy and Leanne
Everything that night went so well and ahead of schedule, that Rachel and I decided to make the hour and a half trip home to at least see our families even if that only meant while they were sleeping! I believe God truly provided that opportunity because it really put my heart at ease to have my healthy little Joy smile and send me off on Saturday morning! And I was blessed to start the day with my husband, who’s believed in me and Rise and Shine since day one!

And now I look back at the day and it was all so good, I wish each of you could have been there, but that’s not realistic so I’ll share some highlights - we started the day in the prayer room, which is where our hearts have been all along! This year we’ve made prayer a much bigger priority and God responded to that!! From there we moved to the volunteer meeting and it was on my heart to share 1 Corinthians 3:6,7 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Because really that’s what this was all about!!

The day began and before I knew it Lysa was finished with her testimony and closing in prayer. During this time she explained the difference between religion and a relationship with Christ in a beautiful way. It was then she invited women to accept Christ as their Savior or recommit their life to Him. With everyone’s eyes closed in a powerful time of prayer she asked these women to make eye contact with her in order to acknowledge their decision and as they did she “Praised God” with her mouth and I did with my heart.

This truly was the highlight of the day for me and has once again brought me to tears because it’s such a picture of answered prayer - hearts were touched and lives were changed. Seeds were planted and others watered, but God was doing the growing! As this session came to an end, I whispered to a fellow Rise and Shine team member, “The day could end right now and the retreat would have been wonderful.”

It didn’t end there, but this blog post will…until next time friends, I will share this - if God puts something on your heart - even if it seems crazy, beyond you, too hard, too much work, whatever the excuse, today I want to encourage you to say “YES!” Initially I didn’t want to, but I did and like Lysa says, “Our job is obedience…leave the results to GOD!!” He can do it!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days - Flashback Friday

Today for our flashback Friday, I'm going back 3 years and returning to a post I shared after the first Rise and Shine Women's Retreat. I see God's hand in it all and pray you do too. I'm so thankful for the reminder of His faithfulness!!

From Nov. 2, 2009 -

The Rise and Shine Women's Retreat was held on Saturday, October 31st and what a day it was!! Above is a picture of the planning team along with our guest speaker, Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 and her assistant, Leah DiPascal. (From left to right - Leah, Rachel Beran, me, Renee, Judy Walsten and Leanne Anderson) The event was one we've been working towards and praying about for months and God showed up in a big way to answer those prayers and more!!

Leah, Rachel, Myself, Renee, Judy and Leanne
I'd like to try and capture a bit of the journey this has been, so to start at the beginning - in September of 2006 God put it on my heart to write a book and a couple of weeks later the idea of a women's conference was impressed as well. Doubt took over though and I really didn't think that would happen. I'd read plenty of books and attended a few conferences that I knew there was no way I could do either. I was right, alone I couldn't, but after putting the ideas in God's hands He continued moving me forward.

He started with the book, but about a year ago reminded me of the idea of a conference. I entertained it in my mind for awhile, still thinking it was a bit of a stretch, but yet no matter how much I tried convincing myself this was crazy, the idea didn't go away. So by December I stepped out and shared with my husband and a close friend and mentor and they agreed it would be work, but encouraged me to keep listening to God and move forward.

So I did and by January, we'd set a date, had a location, contacted Renee Swope to speak and created a planning team. It was all a bit overwhelming, but God kept providing confirmation as this is what we were to do. But by the end of February circumstances made me second guess all that was taking place - I found out I was expecting a new baby!! And with a due date of October 29th, 2 days before the retreat, I honestly didn't understand what God was doing.

I questioned how this was all supposed to happen and wrestled with the fact that I may not attend a retreat I was planning and excited about. I also felt bad in a way thinking here I had this idea, put a team together and may not be there to help. But still God confirmed it all - I remember in March when we were going to sign a contract and officially book Renee as our speaker. Before printing the contract, I emailed the team a second time to make sure this is what we were to do. After hearing another round of yes responses I printed the form and felt God say, "You need to do this."

That thought came to mind quite often as we kept moving forward. At times I'd wonder, "Why God? Why do we need to do this?" I never heard an answer, but tried to create one a few times, and often thought about the women who would be attending. And though I'm sure He had more than one reason for us to plan this event, He answered my question this past Saturday.

When God impressed on my heart, "You need to do this" I never thought the reasons would be so many and so personal. Like I said I know other lives were touched, but not until I was driving home did I realize I was one of the women we'd been praying for. Our goal for the retreat was that women would be encouraged, refreshed and renewed and leave with the desire to "rise and shine." He answered that prayer for at least one attendee - ME!

I look back at the journey of the last year and I am amazed at His faithfulness - God provided every step of the way. Including the birth of our little man on the 12th of October. And then He topped it all off with a wonderful experience this past weekend, one in which I was truly blessed. It was an honor to meet and visit with Renee and Leah on Friday night - they are wonderful women - so real and have a huge heart for God and His people.

Then Saturday, wow, I still feel like I don't have words. It was so neat to see faces for the names we've been praying for and hear stories of hearts touched by God. Listening to Renee was an opportunity to hear from God - I related to so much of what she said and was greatly encouraged by her obedience.

It seemed like God had so much to say and from the stories I've heard He wasn't just talking to me! I could elaborate but for now all I can say is I'm so grateful we serve such a BIG God, one who is good and has plans that are perfect. Tonight I encourage you to listen to His voice and follow His lead because when we believe, He will bless!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days - In the rain

As the rain falls, I think, "I wish I would have left the suburban out instead of parking it in the garage." We live on a gravel road and though our vehicle's paint is blue, but appears to be dirty brown. It's just a reality of country on them often enough and your car will get dirty.

This thought reminded me that I too get dirty as I walk down life's road. This dirt doesn't come from a muddy road or dust in the air; no, it comes from the choices I make, better yet, the sins I commit. Romans 3:23 tells us, "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Friend, that includes me and you.

That's not necessarily the good news you wanted today, but it's the truth.

And there is a good part: Just as the rain can wash my vehicle, God can make me clean. And if you go to Him, He can make you clean as well.

1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." Do you know what purify means? The dictionary I used said, "to rid of impurities, cleanse and to free."

I'm thankful for the rain...our land needs it, but I'm also grateful for the opportunity to see God. I've been reminded that He is a forgiving Father...He has cleansed me and I am free. 

I missed out on an opportunity to have my vehicle cleaned, but I pray you won't do the same. Take a minute and make the choice to stand with the One who reigns and let Him wash you clean.

It doesn't matter if you're covered in mud or just have a little's all dirt to Him and through the blood of His Son, He can make us white as snow.

Would you join me now, "Father, you are all-powerful, you alone are holy, you reign Lord and you know, you know I've sinned. You've watched me _____________. Please Lord forgive me for _____________________. Help me turn from my sin and walk in Your ways, in your light. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days - In His Word

For some reason today, I'm finding it difficult to sit and write, but that's OK. I'm seeing God and pray you are as well. This morning as I was reading I was reminded I never have to look any further than the Word to see Him. I'll share the Psalm that gave me a glimpse of God today -

The Lord reigns,
    let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
    let the earth shake. 
 Great is the Lord in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the nations. 
 Let them praise your great and awesome name—
    he is holy.
The King is mighty, he loves justice
    you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
    what is just and right. 
 Exalt  the Lord our God
    and worship at his footstool;
    he is holy.
 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
    and he answered them. 
 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
Lord our God,
    you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
 though you punished their misdeeds.
  Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the Lord our God is holy.

How have you seen His holiness today??

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days - In the life of my friend...

Intentionally looking for God is a good thing and really opened my eyes to a truth I new, God is everywhere, but a reality I don't like to admit, I haven't always seen Him. Honestly it's been a challenge to narrow my thoughts down to a simple post most days and that is a good thing!! So onto today's post...

The other day I read a devotional that focused on Job 42:5, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You." Henry Blackaby went on to share how during our trials God will reveal His character in ways we never knew. I have experienced this myself, but as I thought of my friend I saw this verse come to life.

You see Rachel and her family have had quite a year...I'll mention a few of the major things: stitches for their oldest son, her husband had an emergency appendectomy, a miscarriage, a major drought that affected their farm, she had her gallbladder removed and now their youngest son fractured his leg. She's still a longs ways from the suffering we read about in the book of Job, but that's a list of events I wouldn't want to experience in 10 months. How about you?

Now many might read this (or think about your own struggles) and wonder, "How can she see God in this?" Friend, there's a time I would have asked the same thing, but honestly as I've shared this journey with my friend I have seen God in it all. And I know Rachel has as well. I can't speak for her, but I'd like to share a few observations of my own:

1) Daily in my own life I'm reminded that I am not in control, but some of these major struggles have really solidified that fact. Seeing God in Rachel's life reminds me that Proverbs 19:21 is true - "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."

2) Worry does us no good, but there is power in prayer. I'm not saying Rachel hasn't worried...I have to believe every Mom does that at least once, but she has prayed and asked for prayer. I have watched God answer prayers and work through them. He has provided, sustained and comforted. Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Rachel can vow for this, but she also knows the importance of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing!!"

3)  One of my favorite passages is Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love  has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Though I don't believe Rachel would have chosen the events that unfolded this year she has endured them. Because of that I have seen God at work and I know she has as well. Trials are never the way we'd chose to see God, but often it's a way He uses to reveal Himself to us. When we come to the end of ourselves, our patience, our ability...He shows up and He shapes us in the process. He's developing character in us to make us who He created us to be. When times are tough, we are able to see our God, a God who is stronger than any trouble that may come our way.

I share these things with a bit of hesitancy because I'd guess there were days when these thoughts and truths weren't the first thing on Rachel's mind. And I know the trials, injuries and illness won't always be part of my friend's life...someday I might have a year like her's. It is then in the dark that I must remember to hold on to what God has shown me in the light.

I'm praying this rollercoaster year will soon come to an end for my friend, but I'm thankful God has opened my eyes to see Him in it!! I hope you've caught a glimpse of Him here as well!! And if you want to read a firsthand account of Rachel's story check out her blog by clicking HERE!!

On a side note thanks to all those who left comments last week!! The winner of Wendy Blight's book is Rachel...I'll be contacting you!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scripture for Sunday

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
Hebrews 12:1-3

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days - Time for a trim

Once again another week is coming to a close and I'm doing another flashback Friday. This time I've gone back nearly two years and pulled out a post that still comes back to me from time to time and one that fits in well with my "Seeing God" series.

From November 19, 2010 -

Time for a Trim

Over the last few weeks God has really been working on my heart to slow a wife, Mom, homeschooler, MOPS leader and member of a women's ministry team I have been busy. And last week we added illness to the mix - then things were messy and I was tired. But as I sat up in the wee hours trying to comfort my little man, God worked to do the same with me.

You see He'd been "messing" with me - in a good way, but yet it was hard. So I sat there crying out to Him, "God what do you want me to do?"

And then a picture of my little Joy came to mind and I saw myself trimming her bangs - now initially I thought, Jill focus and honestly I did not know why my mind was thinking of this. But then the picture changed, I saw her face in a new way - a better way, a more complete way and then God said to me, "Jill, if you cut back in your life you will see me better too."

Wow!! I'm still not sure what He will be trimming from my life, but I'm willing to let Him and I look forward to seeing more clearly and am excited to see HIM in bigger and better ways!

How about you, "Is it time for a trim?" I think of my little Joy again and this is never something she chooses to do. In her words, "It feels funny. I want to play instead." I know I've said similar things, "But God it hurts. It's change. I want to..." Just like I know what's best for my little girl, God knows and wants what's best for me, and you.

So today will you join me in handing him the scissors and simply being still so He can do what He needs to do? 

This mind picture is one that has never faded that time in my life God did some major trimming. I won't lie it was hard and took some adjusting, but the view it led to was beautiful. Friends, if God is asking you to step into the ultimate barber's chair can I encourage you to do it!! Your life may look different, but trust me you will SEE Him more!!

Has God ever given you a trim? I'd love to hear how it helped you see! Remember your comment enters you in a drawing for Wendy Blight's book "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner." 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days - In my husband...

Yesterday I wrote about seeing God in my children and today I want to share about seeing God in my husband. We're celebrating his birthday today, but I'm thankful for his presence in my life everyday.

It's hard to believe we've been married for over 11 years and have known one another for over 20! My relationship with Job is one that caused my relationship with Jesus to grow. We started dating shortly after I had given my life to Christ and much of what I've learned and the habits I've created are because of what he's taught me and the life I've watched him live.

He is a man who seeks Jesus and one who shows me God. In honor of his 3+ decades I'm going to share 3 ways I see God in him...

Sometimes I look at my life and marvel at the things God's allowed me to do, but the thing is I know I wouldn't have stepped out in obedience without Job first believing in me. He'd never want to be known as a cheerleader, but he's my biggest one!! When he expresses the confidence he has in me, I'm reminded God feels the same way. I'm praying God will allow you to see His belief in you today!!

Job is one of the most generous people I know...he is constantly sharing with someone in need. It doesn't matter if it's encouragement, finances, a meal or a friendly smile; if he can help someone out he will. Friends to me that is a picture of God - "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7

Last but not least, Job is an honest and loving guy. He says what he means and he does things the right way. He disciplines our children, but he does it in such a gentle, yet powerful way. He tells me the truth, but he speaks it in love. Jesus (God) is the TRUTH (John 14:6) and He is LOVE! (1 John 4:8)

Friends, I am grateful my husband gives me a picture of God and gives my children a glimpse of their heavenly Father! 

But my prayer for you today is that you will see God! God the one who believes in you, gives you what you need and loves you in the most amazing way. He is real and He's waiting for you to find Him today!! 

I would love for you to share what you see...remember a comment from this week's post will win a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner! You will see God on the pages of the book!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days - In my children

I find it kind of funny that yesterday I wrote a bit about being unglued as a Mom and today I'm going to share about seeing God in my children. This past Sunday our pastor was preaching on Matthew 7:12, which says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." This is where we get the "golden rule", but as he dug into this deeper we found there is a lot in this's not always as simple as it sounds.

Anyway he challenged us to think about how we are doing with this concept and encouraged us to ask those we love the most. So I did this...even though God was already convicting me of somethings I needed to change as a Mom. I expected my children to be honest with me and figured I might get a response similar to "you could do better Mom" or "Part good, but sometimes bad!"

Actually I didn't just expect that...I knew I didn't deserve a real great evaluation. So I was a bit surprised after I spoke with my oldest 2 children. I talked with each of them individually and they both answered my question with these words, "Pretty good Mom."

I've been reflecting on this and as I do, I see God in my children. They are giving me grace. They are quick to forgive. They love me for who I am not because of what I do or do not do. And friend God does the same. Only He does it perfectly.

Through my children God has helped me see Him as a there something you need Him to forgive you for? Go to Him today and share the sin. Friend, He knows we're not perfect, but He loves us and wants to forgive us and free us. 

Psalm 130:3,4 says, "If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you." Today won't you let Him forgive you so you can serve Him?

Question for you - How have you seen God today? If you're a parent how have you seen God in your children? Remember all the comments from this week serve as a chance to win "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner" by Wendy Blight where you will learn more about the freedom forgiveness offers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days - Seeing God in and because of a Conference Call

It's Monday night and I'm writing Tuesday's post because I have to share how God showed up big tonight. So big, I'm not sure how to put this all together, but I'll try, so please bear with me.

Tonight I had the privilege of being part of a conference call for Melissa Taylor's online study of Unglued. Wendy Blight was the guest and her message was one God knew I needed to hear. She was focusing on being an unglued parent.

My starting five on Mother's Day!
Now when I tell you I'm the homeschooling parent of 5 children who are odd (that was our discovery today - since Jed turned 3 on Friday I now have a 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 year old) you might realize there's the potential for unglued moments in our day. But if you were to ask some of my friends or people who know me, I'm guessing the last word they'd use to describe me would be exploder. I can recall the comment I heard the most as a former teacher (junior high of all things), "You are the most patient teacher my kids have ever had."

Let's just say my husband cannot say that about the woman who teaches his children day after day. And the thing is, he hasn't really even seen me snap at them. So what's changed? Home-school vs public, Elementary vs Junior High, My children vs My students, Me? Lots of things really, but since I only have control over myself that is where I must look to make improvements.

Before improvements can be made I must confess something isn't right. This isn't an easy thing to put out there, but God already knows - Psalms 90:8 says, "You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence." He's seen me snap at the ones I love the most, He's heard me use words that hurt their heart (and His) and He knows I've regretted reacting wrongly, said I'm sorry but then did it all again. He knows and now you do too, but that's OK.

Tonight I truly believe He's taken me from a place of condemnation to a place of conviction. It's no longer about me trying to work harder and get this Mom thing right it's about turning to Him faster and being a daughter who relies on her Father. He is the one who does the Mom thing right. 

I was blessed to meet Wendy this summer...a real woman of God!
Friend, I'm seeing God in all of this and I pray you are too! You see as Wendy, gentle, kind, loving Wendy shared her story tears fell from my eyes, but God spoke to my heart. From my perspective, I've observed a wonderful relationship between Wendy and her college daughter, but to rewind and see how things were years ago that gave me hope. If God can do that for her...I know He can do it for me.

The call ended...a bit early for me, my 3 year old dropped my phone and it died, but I didn't explode!! As we prepared for bed I was eager to begin applying what Wendy had taught us...I was going to pray, dig into the Word and begin filling myself with Truth.

But God had other plans...we started in with the bedtime routine and I found myself laying next to Joy. I started what I thought to be a quick prayer, but God intended to be a cleansing of the heart. The spirit had been stirring my heart and I began pouring it out...this put Jed to sleep, but left a look of concern on Joy's face. 

This opened the door for a mother and daughter heart to heart complete with tears and laughs, apologies and forgiveness. A precious and powerful time.

I came downstairs with much on my heart and a house that was quiet. The thought, "I should write my blog post for tomorrow" crossed my mind, but then I recalled words from the call, "Go to Him first." So I opened my prayer journal and poured from a heart I thought was empty. 

As soon as it was empty God led me to His Word so He could fill it. He took me to places I didn't expect, but shared passages I needed to hear. The journey began in Psalms with the verse I quoted above and then led to Psalm 51, specifically verses 10 - 12, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit  from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." 

These are words I recited every week in church as a child, but ones I didn't realize came from the Word until I was an adult. Words that are now the prayer of my heart!! I want a heart that's pure, I need His Spirit in me and I desire a spirit that is willing even when my children are not!

My walk thru the Word took another change of direction and I ended up at 1 Samuel 28. Here Saul inquires of the medium at Endor after he had expelled them from the land. The point God made to me here is: an unchanged heart is going to return to sin. I have been down that road and I don't want to return. 

Friend, it's not enough to acknowledge the problem and say we want to change, we have to do the work. Like I tell my kids, work usually isn't easy, but it is necessary. And when God is the One we are working for the effort is worth it and the results are eternal. 

I'll close with two verses I plan to enthrone on my heart and I'd love for you to share one of your own! Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Wendy Blight's amazing book, "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner." Believe me God speaks thru this book!! I will draw a winner from all of this week's comments and announce the winner on Monday!

Two verses I know I need and trust He'll use - 

Proverbs 19:11 - A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 16:32 -  Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days - In my life...

The other night I had a visit with a friend, one in which she shared about her day. A day a big event was held, Truth was spoken, women were encouraged, hearts were touched and God was glorified. The event she was referring to was one I've attended for the last 3 years, one I helped organize in its first 2 years and one God put on my heart many years ago.

The praise reports she shared were powerful and I was grateful, but part of me was sad...sad I couldn't be there. Disappointed I couldn't see some of the women I've come to know thru the years. As these feelings of disappointment and sadness rose to the surface I began to question if I'd heard wrong.

You see I'd been praying about attending over the last few months, but the door never opened. As my friend's excitement and enthusiasm came thru the phone I thought, "Maybe I was supposed to be there."

I put all this thinking aside and listened to my friend share. We went on to have a wonderful conversation - one that truly blessed me. It left me reflecting about so many things and helped me see God in a few different ways.

One, I saw God in my past...this conversation stirred up memories from years ago when God led me to step out and do what seemed crazy. Though I thought it was impossible, He has shown me HE is the GOD of possible!!

Two, I saw God in the "No's"...not always a fun place to be - saying no or hearing no, but God is in it. He knew where I needed to be on Saturday. Two years ago He knew I needed to say, "No" and step away from the Rise and Shine leadership team. But He's also reminded me when I say "No" to one thing, I'm freeing myself up to say, "Yes" to God's thing.

Which leads me to three, I saw God in my friendship...though the retreat would have been a blessing and He would have used it in my life, the phone call and heart to heart with my friend was what I needed and where I saw Him.

Friend, can I encourage you today - sometimes we have to say "no" to what is good so we can experience what is God's best.

And God, the one who was part of your past, wants you to see Him today and trust Him with the plans He has for your tomorrow!!

On a side note - Kimberly is the winner of Letters from Leanne - I pray you will see God's story as you read mine!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days - Sunday Scripture

May these words  
of my mouth 
and this meditation of my heart 
be pleasing in your sight, 
my Rock and my Redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14

Saturday, October 13, 2012

31 Days - In the details...

Yesterday our little guy celebrated his 3rd birthday and everyone in the family was excited for this special day. I saw glimpses of God from morning to night and today I want to share one of them.

Little Jaylyn was up early and wanted to help prepare the traditional birthday breakfast. She put a balloon on the back of her little brother's chair, helped mix the pancakes and began setting the table.

I'd handed her a stack of plates and she began putting them on everyone's place; before she set Jed's down she held it up for me to see. In her soft little voice she said, "Look Mom, I'm giving Jed the heart plate because it's his birthday and we want him to know we love him."

I'm not sure my new 3 year old picked up on that or even saw the heart on his plate, but I saw God in the whole situation. I was touched by Jaylyn's compassion and then reminded of God's attention to detail.

He whispered to my heart, "You are impressed with a 5 year old's ability to select a certain plate, but remember I know the number of hairs on your head." (Luke 12:7) He also knows the plans He has for me. And friend those aren't just the BIG plans...He knows it ALL.

But sometimes, actually more times than I want to admit or even realize, I'm like my son. The little boy who was so busy this morning and focused on everything but the plate that was in front of him, that he doesn't even see the love someone is trying to pour out on him. And if that hadn't blinded him, the pancakes covered with syrup and whip cream would have.

I too can pile my plate so full of that I don't even know what's on it and distractions can make me lose focus in a real hurry. Sometimes I miss God in the details. Friend, I don't know about you, but today I want to slow down and see God placing the heart plate in front of me!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days - Flashback Friday

It's Friday once again, a special one in our house as our little Jed man turns 3!! The big day has me reflecting so the post I'm going to share is from days after his arrival. But first a couple pics - our precious little baby boy and one of my happy, energetic little man and then a story of the hope God brings!!

Jedidiah Jay Beran - A Few Hours Old
Our little clown - 3 Years Old

From October 17, 2009 -

Something I've waited to share...
This past June 20th, I sat alone at the computer and put these words together, but have waited until now to share them with you. It's a glimpse at how God has worked in my life and shown himself real. There are certainly times when life seems to make no sense and moments when His plan seems far from perfect, but He is present and He is working. While He does just that He never asks for me to figure things out (though all too often I try), He simply wants me to seek Him, trust Him and never lose my hope in Him.

So with that here's my story of "Hope"...

Last August we experienced a miscarriage – pain and loss you never understand until you’re in the midst of it yourself. I only knew I was pregnant for 15 days – doesn’t seem long, but once you’ve connected with a child it is a bond you share for life. I never felt the baby move, saw her face or heard her voice, but yet the baby is mine.

The days following the loss were difficult; tears would come in ways I never expected. I’d see a baby toy and wonder if we’d ever need that again, I’d look at the kids’ pictures on the wall and realize I wouldn’t need to rearrange them 9 months down the road, and once my 3 year old asked me to read a book and handed me one titled, “We’ve Lost our Baby.” She didn’t understand why it made me cry.

During the time of sadness there was also strength, not mine, but God’s. He lifted me up in ways I hadn’t experienced. The loss was real, but His comfort was too. In this difficult time, I experienced a side of God I never had before. Even when I wasn’t seeking Him, He was holding me. When the hurt created questions and caused me to push away, He drew me close.

Looking back it’s still hard to understand and thinking about our little one who should now be 2 months old still brings tears. But God’s word is true, He has a plan and it’s one for good. Now I would never say losing a child is good, but what God did through the experience has been.
He made Himself real and proved His word to be true. He worked through others and lifted me up. He reminded me why we have hope and how heaven is real.

And nearly 6 months following, He unexpectedly blessed me with another pregnancy. Early on the fears returned, what if I lost this baby too? That wasn’t a road I wanted to walk again.

As our pregnancy reached the 6-week mark, thoughts turned to the baby who should have been born in 6 weeks and feelings of joy turned to ones of guilt. I really struggled with God’s ability to give and take away. I rejoiced for the baby to come, but felt like I was forgetting the one who already was.

Time went on and God continued to walk me through this journey we call life. I would cry and He’d dry the tears. I would question and He would answer. He assured me my pain was OK, the loss was real and He knew, He’d lost a child too.

So as the pregnancy progressed I found myself thinking about names. And as a family of all J’s, thoughts started there. Janelle, Judson, Jordan, Jace, Jared, Julie…the list went on, but I always came back to Jenae. I’m not sure why, but it seemed to be the name God had for our little one.

Eventually I looked into the meaning of the name and found it to be, “God has given.” Since this wasn’t a baby we had “planned” (are any?), I thought the name fit.

Then it was time to move on to the middle name and instantly Jenae Hope entered my world. It made sense - God has given hope, and what a gift that is!!

My husband still wasn’t sold on the name; he claimed it sounded too much like one of the other girl’s. I assured him all names that start with J would be similar. We continued to discuss possibilities and had plenty of input from the little one’s older siblings, but still without even knowing the sex of our baby I was sure we had a little Jenae Hope Beran.

Well that confidence only lasted to the halfway point of our pregnancy. We had always waited for the Dr. to announce the baby’s sex in the delivery room, but this time my curiosity surprised me.

At the completion of our ultrasound, the radiologist handed me an envelope with the answer to my question. I waited awhile, but eventually took a peak and pledged to a 20-week secret – it was a boy!

I wasn’t totally surprised as there had been similarities in the pregnancy with that of our other son, but because of the name, it seemed God had given, I was prepared for a girl. I can remember thinking, “What about Jenae?”

And though I didn’t hear God’s voice, it was as if He said, “I’m already holding her.” And then there was peace – it all made sense - that name was on my heart during the time she should have been born. I thought I was naming baby number 5, but God knew it was number 4.

The name doesn’t make it any easier; actually it brings the tears right back. But I’m learning that’s OK, though her life was short, her presence was real and the pain is too. She’s one I won’t hold until heaven, but I’m thankful for her life and that I know her name. I’m also grateful God has given us His hope! Mommy loves you little Jenae Hope Beran.

Friend, it was good for me to revisit this story and I hope the words have blessed you as well. May we always look to see God! Today as we celebrate Jed's birthday I thank God for him and I realize our precious little man wouldn't be here without God's perfect plan.

So today, how have you seen God? Remember all comments from this week's post are entered to win a copy of "Letters from Leanne".

Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days - God is Love

Last night we attended parent's night at AWANA's and I saw God. His presence was obvious and I pray His spirit was at work!

God is Love - this point is made twice in 1 John 4. Verse 8 tells us, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." And verse 16 states, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."

As I watched leaders interact with my children and the other 70+ kids in the building, it was clear God was working thru these individuals. Whether it was a gentle touch, an encouraging word or heartfelt prayer God was there. 

It wasn't just the things they did or said, but the heart they did them with...these leaders, men and women who'd had a busy day, maybe even a bad day, were patient and joyful, understanding and loving. Even when some of the little people were distracted, unprepared or misbehaved.

I watched the evening unfold and was reminded that sometimes I'm like the little AWANA students - I lose focus, sometimes I put off what I need to do and there are moments I don't live or think like a follower of Christ should.

But God...He is a leader who loves. He's gentle and patient. He wraps His loving arms around me. He understands I too am a child, one prone to mess up, but He loves me anyway. And friend the same is true for you!!

The AWANA leaders mission is to fill the young people under their care with the Word and though I'm an adult, God desires the same for me. He wants me to saturate myself with the Truth. 

During counsel time, the AWANA leader shared how God's Word is like a compass, it gives us direction and points us to God. And I'd have to add it tells me of His promises, one that reminds me I am LOVED.

So thankful I saw my loving God last night and I pray you not only see Him today, but feel His loving touch as well!!

This post is part of my 31 Days of Seeing God can find all the posts HERE.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days - Sometimes I'm surprised...

The title of this post says, "Sometimes I'm surprised," but honestly I'll have to say often times I don't see what's coming. That's the case with this post, it wasn't one I predicted when the month began, but it's the one my eyes were open to last night.

Perhaps it will surprise you too, but my prayer is that it will encourage you and maybe even open your eyes to a surprise of your own. This wasn't a sighting of God I was looking know like you might do when you take a walk on a beautiful fall day or watch the sunset on the horizon. But still I trust it was the answer to my daily prayer, "Lord help me see you!"

Last night our new Bible study began, a study of Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst, a study I am leading. Maybe I should stop here...the fact that I'm leading a Bible study should be evidence of the presence and power of God.

Chances are though that you don't know me as well as I know see 13 years ago, I hadn't given my life to Christ so the thought of even attending a Bible study was crazy. Fast forward 3 years and I was a young mom, who finally accepted an invitation to a MOPS meeting, but even a year into it I rarely shared more than my name and the ages of my children.

Over the last few years, I've taken steps out of my comfort zone...became the coordinator of a new MOPS group in our church, facilitated a few Bible studies and helped organize 3 women's retreats.

These facts alone allow me to see God...the power He's used to change me, work in and thru me is amazing and could only be Him. But last night I was reminded that He's still at work and if I keep looking and allowing Him to melt and mold me, He will.

As our study came to a close, He really put on my heart that I wasn't simply facilitating this study. You see that's been my role of choice...kind of my easy, safe way to step into leadership. I could handle the crowd control and found myself willing to ask the questions, so I didn't have to answer them. Honestly at times that's what we need to do, but last night as I was looking for God, I heard Him.

He'd been impressing on my heart that I was leading this study and He'd given me a group I was responsible for and then as one of our gals closed our evening in prayer He provided confirmation. She prayed for me and asked God to strengthen and bless me as I taught this study.

Friend, I saw God. Again I was surprised, but it was good and needed. I want to encourage you today to look back over your life, look for His hand. Where has He brought you from? As I reflect on the power He's displayed in my life, I trust that I will see Him again and I believe He can do what comes next. I hope and pray you can say the same!!

I want to close with the reminder that really this month what I'm looking for is to see Him high and lifted up; friend as we allow Him to do what we never could that will happen!!

Now to him who is able  to do immeasurably more 
than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us,   
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus 
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! 
Ephesians 3:20-21

I'd love to hear your story and I encourage you to share it for His glory!!

Just a reminder - I'm giving away a copy of my book, Letters from Leanne - The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship. Truly I never expected to write a book, but God was part of it and did it. So today, share a sighting of God...perhaps one that surprised you. Leave a comment on the posts throughout the week to increase your chances. I'll share the winner on Saturday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days - Where I least expect...

Cleaning is not my favorite thing and with 5 little people in my house I'll be honest, dusting isn't something I often do! So today I was surprised when I saw God where I never expected to find Him!

I was in the process of putting something away in a cupboard I hadn't used for awhile. A cupboard that was covered with a layer of dust and may have enclosed a cobweb or two. I was struck how I walk by this place in our home daily, but still I was blinded to the dirt that was there.

As I'm beginning to get down on myself for being a terrible keeper of the home, my thoughts shifted. God used this to remind me of truth. Remember I'm on a 31 day journey of seeing God...I've intentionally been looking for Him and I've been blessed by what I've found.

I looked at the mess that had accumulated over time, one that was a result of laziness, busyiness and neglect and God spoke to my heart. He whispered, "Though you didn't see the dust over the last few's been there. Daughter in the same way, there may be times you don't see me, but child I am always here."

Friend, right now I'm being intentional in looking for Him, I'm being diligent in spending time with Him and I'm not allowing the busyness of life distract me from Him. But that's not always been the case and though I hate to admit it, it could happen again. Though the things I do may change as will the situations around me and the circumstances of my life, but God NEVER does.

He is present in my life today! And yours too! Whether you see Him or not.

But today can I encourage you to look for might just find Him where you least expect!

Jesus Christ is 
the same yesterday, 
and forever. 
(Hebrews 13:8)

In honor of this reality, the fact that sometimes we see God where we don't expect...I'm giving away a copy of my book, Letters from Leanne - The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship. Truly I never expected to write a book, but God was part of it and did it. So today, share a sighting of God...perhaps one you didn't expect to be entered to win. Leave a comment on the posts throughout the week to increase your chances. I'll share the winner on Saturday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days - What am I looking for?

Typically I am not a visual person. I've always loved sunsets, but aside from that I really didn't notice the beauty of the world around me very often. Honestly that's one of the reasons I think God put this series on my heart...I've often heard from Him, but looking for Him with my eyes hasn't always been the case.

After 7 days of praying, "God help me to see you today" I've been amazed at how I am seeing the beauty that surrounds me in so many different ways and places. For instance, last week my kids brought home about 30 pumpkins and you want to know my initial thought? The first thing that crossed my mind - here's one more thing sitting around that eventually we'll have to clean up.

Then a few days later I'm visiting with a friend and she is seeing God as she looks at the pumpkins. She shares things like, "I just love looking at all the different pumpkins. Their shape and size, it's just amazing how God does that." That is so true and I've missed so much by not looking for Him in the world around me.

I'm grateful He's using this journey to change that...this past weekend I was driving and found myself praising God as I observed the changing colors, falling leaves and beautiful sky.

At the same time, I was listening...the way I often experience God, and heard a song I've heard numerous times over the years. A line in the song really hit me. The song was "Open the Eyes of My Heart" perhaps you've heard it and sang it yourself.

The words that caught my attention were: "I want to see You." The music continued but my mind paused as I thought that's right, I do, I want to SEE Him.

Then I started listening again and heard Micheal W. Smith say, "To see You high and lifted up. Shining in the light of your glory." That is it friend, that is what we are looking for!

The thing is we can see that glory in nature; like my friend said, "God didn't have to make the trees different or the leaves change colors, but He did." And friend, He doesn't have to glorify Himself thru us, but He can! Perhaps someone out there is needing to see God, won't you let Him work thru you so they can see Him?!

Today I ask you: What are you looking for? Are you waiting to see a beautiful sunset? Or that perfect smile on your child's face? Don't simply look for something that is worthy of a picture, but instead open your eyes to see the ONE who is worthy of our praise!!

He is Him...pray and ask Him to open the eyes of your blessed by His glory!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days - Scripture for Sunday

Then Jesus said, 
"Did I not tell you 
that if you believed, 
you would SEE 
the glory of God?"
John 11:40

Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days - Seeing Clearly

Yesterday morning my husband was up and got our little guy out of the crib; I was still in bed, but from what I could see my big guy and little man were enjoying a precious moment. It was then I said, "It's times likes this I wish I didn't have glasses."

I could see them vaguely but I knew there were details in the picture I was missing because of my cloudy vision.

As I thought about this my thoughts went a bit deeper. I don't need glasses to see God, but week 1 of this 31 day journey is showing me something. Just like I physically have to put my glasses on if I want to see clearly, I must intentionally look for God if I want to see Him fully.

How do I look for God intentionally you might ask. I honestly believe it begins with prayer...each day this week I have asked God to help me see Him and He has. Remember Monday's begins with seeking Him? God has confirmed those words time and time again this week.

Another part of the process? Get in the Word...if you or I don't know who we are looking for chances are we are not going to find Him!! We need to know God if we want to see Him. And the better I know Him the more He will make Himself known.

So today I challenge you to begin your day with prayer and the Word and then by the time it comes to an end you will have seen Him! And friend seeing Him is precious even when my vision isn't perfect!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days - Flashback Friday

  During our 31 day journey, I'm going to use Friday's as my flashback day...I plan to revisit a post from the past and trust I will see God in it. I pray you do too!!

from October 24, 2011 -

"Who am I?" - One who needs to trust!!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I'm beginning to believe this is my life verse! It has come up through the years in what the world would call random ways, but I know it's anything but random to God. He uses these words to speak to me and to remind of what I need to do!!

Just the other night He did this again...for the last 2 years I was part of the Rise and Shine Women's Retreat leadership team, but last winter God called me to step away from a position He had used and I had enjoyed. Through the year I've kept in touch with the team and prayed for the event, but as it nears I have found myself missing what was and wondering, "Why?"

Practically I know why - I'm a busy mom and wife...planning a retreat takes a lot of time and energy, something that was lacking with a newborn this past July. Honestly I also know God clearly called me to step down, but still it's hard at times.

So this past Thursday night I received the list of names and promises I'd agreed to pray specifically for leading up to this year's retreat and God got my attention again. My name was "randomly" placed under Proverbs 3:5-6, the same promise I'd "randomly" selected out of a basket at last year's retreat.

I was like, "Wow God!" and moved on with the prayers, but through the night I thought about this more and more. I found myself wondering why this verse again. Then my mind would shift as I reflected on all God had done at Rise and Shine the previous two years and anticipated how He'd work this year as well. These thoughts then led me to that place of feeling like I was missing if God wasn't using me for this BIG event, I was on a vacation or something. Thankfully I didn't follow this down my typical dead end trail to doubt, but instead returned to the promise that has been chasing me around!!

I went to sleep not knowing the why's, but there was peace and I chose to do what God's Word said, "TRUST!!" And friend, I have to say God responded in a fast and BIG way!

The very next day, the kids and I were doing some reading when my little peanut (Jaylyn, age 4) sat on the couch beside me with her sister's old Awana book. She wanted me to read the story with the snake picture. I had my agenda with more school work to do, dinner to make and probably a diaper to change (and in my mind I might have even grumbled a bit), but I knew this wasn't the time for my "we'll do it later" response.

So we get into the story and it's all about the Israelites complaining and whining (I'm thinking OK God, I get it!! And praying the kids do too!!) We read on and the story closes with Moses lifting up the serpent and then the final two sentences say this, "Many years later, God lifted up Jesus on the cross. If we believe (trust) in Jesus, we will be saved from our sin and live forever with God."

The story ends and typically I'd be on to the next thing, but God kept me still and moved my eyes to the question on the bottom of the page. I look at my little Jaylyn, who's snuggled in beside me with her big brother to her right, and ask, "Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior?"

She shakes her head no, so we talk about what that means. I talk...she listens. I ask questions...she answers. We talk about Jesus knocking on the door of her heart and she says, "I want to let Him in."

We pray. She tells Jesus, "I know I'm bad and I know you died for me. I want you to live in me. Come in. I love you." We say, "Amen" and open our eyes - she is grinning and I'm crying. Her big brother who's observed all of this simply says, "I bet they're celebrating."

Jaylyn then asks, "Who??" And big sis says, "In heaven, they are having a party!!" She smiles again and decides we better make cupcakes!!

We had reason to celebrate...a child taking a step towards owning their faith and choosing to follow Christ!!! And personally I felt like having a party too, God clearly showed Himself faithful to me! Twenty four hours prior to this, I'd let myself think I wasn't doing much for God, then He reminds me to TRUST and look what He does!! He brought 3 John 1:4 to life, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

Friends, His ways are not our ways...they are so much better!! May we keep walking in them!!!! 

I found this specific post because my little Jaylyn is now in AWANA's and as she worked on memorizing verses with her sister that had an argument about when she asked Jesus into her heart. I pulled this post up, started to read and eventually had the entire family gathered around the computer. It was a blessed time...I saw God once again! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days - If I can see Him...

As I was preparing for our Unglued Bible study and heard Psalms 19:14 I was struck with a new thought, well not really new, but one that hit pretty hard in the midst of this 31 day journey. In this Psalm, David says, "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

I listened to Lysa TerKeurst share these words and the reality of it all hit me upside the head...if I can see God, He can see me. And friend, if you're seeking after Him, He can see you too!

Now I don't want this fact to keep you from looking for God because the truth is regardless if you want to see Him or not...He sees you! Honestly, I'm beginning to think I should have named this study 31 days of Experiencing the month unfolds I believe I'll be sharing more than visual sightings of God, but instead I'll be including His whispers to my heart and the Truth from His Word.

As this journey continues I believe this reality - the fact that God and I can see each other, is part of my seeing God today. I know He reminded me of this truth for a reason, especially as I prepare to lead this Bible study.

One that will deal with emotions and experiences I'm not proud of, but ones I pray will change. Others may not know I scream at my children from time to time and they may be oblivious to the fact that I have been known to play the "I'm fine" game, but God knows. He has seen me do it. 

Like I said, I know God sees all and knows all, but tonight this verse hit, "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Pleasing in His! I think about how I've been pleased when I see Him...friend I know that's not always His reaction when He sees me. How about you?

Really I don't want this post to be a downer, but it's a truth we can't deny - we see Him and He sees us. We know Who we're going to see, but the question for the day - "Who do you want Him to see?"

May the fact that He is watching encourage you today!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Seeing God - In the Harvest

This morning my husband and I were talking about the harvest...with the drought in Iowa we weren't sure what to expect. He was sharing with me about the beans...some of them weren't over a foot tall, but still the field yielded just about as much as it did last year. He said, "I don't know where they are coming from."

Minutes prior to this conversation I'd done the very thing I wrote about yesterday...I asked God to help me see Him and He did. My husband made that statement but we both know where the beans are coming from...they are coming from the One who created the earth, the One who gives us every breath we take. The One who works in ways we often don't understand.

As I saw God in our harvest, two passages came to mind -

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)

These words apply to our farm - we planted the seed, tilled the soil, picked the rock and pulled the weeds, but God did the growing. Friend, the same is true as we plant seeds of faith. You may feel like you are in a season of drought as you attempt to share Jesus with others, but trust me God is the One in control of the growth that will occur. And even when it seems there will be no fruit to harvest, He can do it...believe me, we are seeing that happen in our fields and I have no doubt the same is taking place in God's spiritual ones!

The other scripture that came to mind was Luke 10:1-3, "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves."

Harvest time is busy on the's not unusual for my husband to eat 2 of his 3 meals in the combine. Regardless of the conditions, harvesting the crop requires work...physically and spiritually. Friend, He has work for you and me to do...let us set our plans aside and allow Him to send us where He needs us! Perhaps that's across the ocean, maybe it's out in the field, but chances are it's in your backyard. So go now and remember as you do, look for Him...He will make the seeds grow!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Seeing God - It Begins with Seeking

It's day two of our journey and already this is going in direction I didn't expect...

Honestly I expected to chronicle a sighting of God, but throughout the day I've been reminded that often I only see what I'm looking for. And friend that is true when it comes to seeing God.

If I, or you, want to see God, we'd better be looking for Him. How do we do that?

Well, if you want to see a friend what do you do? I know what I do...I call them up and ask if we can get together. We can do that with God as well.

Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

Today, right now, I encourage you to pause and go to God in prayer. Share with Him your desire to see Him. He will hear your prayer and reveal Himself in ways you never imagined. He did that for me today. 

I look forward to our journey together, but remember it all begins by seeking Him because when we do that we will SEE the KING! 

My sighting of God today - as my older kids listened to a radio program, I heard God speak to me. The truth that was shared reminded me of His presence and concern for me! 

How about you? Are you seeking Him? What do you see Him do today?

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Seeing God

Have you ever done something for 31 days? If you're a Mom, I know you have...dishes, laundry, diapers! But I'm thinking of something else...have you ever set a goal to do something for 31 days? Perhaps you've wanted to exercise or eat right? Or maybe you wanted to not lose your temper for a month? The options are endless, but personally for the next 31 days on my blog and more importantly in my life I'm on a journey of Seeing God!!

A year ago, I did a series titled 31 days of Who am I? on my blog and the journey was a successful one. As I walked that road there were some twists and turns at times I went in a direction I didn't expect, but as the month came to a close I was blessed by the road I had traveled. I believe this journey will be the same.

Some things I expect as I look ahead: as I seek God I will see Him. When I see Him, I will hear from Him. When I hear from Him, I will get to know Him more. I truly believe my faith will grow. I expect to see Him in familiar ways and in familiar places but also trust there will be some surprises. I hope to include my children on this journey and would love to have them share with you as well. My prayer is my sighting of God will bless you, but more importantly I pray they will encourage you to look for God with more intentionality in your own life as well!!

So for today...

A visual look at seeing God: currently in Iowa the leaves are beautiful and so are my children! Today I'll start simple and share a pic of God as our creator and giver! He has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy and given us loved ones, who may at moments drive us crazy, but in reality bless our lives just by being a part of it!!

Today friend can I encourage you to see God!! Look for Him in the beauty around you or in the smiles of the ones you love! If you have a minute, I'd love to hear where you saw Him today, so leave a comment to share your sighting as well!!