What Makes You Feel Whole?

taos-tin-works

Just read a little article about different creators and what inspires them and teaches them and keeps them going.  One gal listed six things that she relies on to make her feel whole.

Kids. Love. Business. Health. Travel. Spirituality.

Hmm.  What would I write down if someone asked me that question?  What makes me feel whole?

Just off the top of my head I would say:

Knowing and being known by Jesus.

 Reading and hearing God’s Word.

Being out in God’s Creation.

Loving and being loved by Craig and the boys.

Loving and being loved by Family and Friends.

Creating.

and if I get to say seven—Music- singing, playing and listening!

So what would your list be?  What things do you touch every day to help you stay whole?  What a good practice to think through this question and then make sure you are touching these things each day.  Your Sursee is to make a list for yourself and tell someone about it.

I would love to hear in the comments below.  Inspire me.

 

The Summer is a great time to CREATE

FLowers from ELlen

 

I love being around creative people.  All of us are creative in some form or fashion.  Creativity looks different on everybody, but everybody is creative.

I know this is true because God is creative.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

And we are created in His image.

 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. Genesis 1:26

I want women to embrace this.  I want you to become fully alive doing the thing that makes your heart sing.

But you might ask, how do I know what makes my heart sing?

Maybe you could sit down with a big piece of white paper and brainstorm everything that makes you Happy.  Don’t leave anything off or think anything is too silly.  Write it all down and start seeing how God made you to add color, zest and life to your little corner of the world.

In the garden God told us we get to bring order and subdue the earth-

 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.Genesis 1:28.  

You get to bring your creative juices to the little corner of the earth where you live.

Your little garden is not going to look like anyone else’s. But whatever you bring to your garden- it is good.

Do your thing today.  This summer.

Hanging out with creative people helps me to get my creative on. We need each other.  We need to see God working out of each other.  It inspires me.

This weekend I listened to a friend sing in a venue downtown.Helene Cronin

Helene Cronin is the reason we showed up.  Go listen to her here.  For three hours we listened to her and two other musicians sing and play and tell stories in song.  It was wonderful and helped  release something inside of me that was trying to get out.  When I see or hear someone create and be the creative person God designed them to be, it makes me want to create and sing and dance.  It releases something inside of me and it feels Free and Wonderful and Rich and how I think God wants me to live- with no fear.

So what can you do this summer to release and create?  Maybe you need to go back to that chalkboard or whiteboard or a piece of paper and figure out what your jam is. How do you work? What makes your heart sing?

Write it down, then you need to do it.  Surround yourself with people who are also doing the creative thing.  Ask them what makes their heart sing, and it will encourage you to tune your heart and get some serious singing going on.  Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the fullest.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Creative endeavors help us to live abundantly.

Remember it is not just the simple things like painting or singing.  It could be that, but maybe it is gardening, cooking, running, teaching, sewing or reading a book.

Maybe you organize or love people well by listening or you like having people over.

Whatever it is, embrace it and be the gal fully that God created you to be.  No one can be you.  God made you to fill in the cracks in this world and to bring a little more of Him into the world to reach the people with whom you are connecting.

So what is your creative jam? Can you dive in this summer?  Do share as it encourages us all to sing the songs God gave us to sing. xo

Thoughts on Isaiah 6- Great Joy and Freedom

For you Isaiah 6

Heard a sermon on Sunday about Chapter 6 of Isaiah.  It was good.  Sitting in the pew on Sunday I needed to hear these words of freedom.

I am going to let the Word speak for itself.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LordAlmighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wow.  I immediately glommed onto verse 7 where he tells us:

YOUR GUILT IS TAKEN AWAY and YOUR SIN ATONED FOR.

Freedom.

Relief.

Joy.

I had the same response as Isaiah.  Here I am.  Send me!  

I want to tell all the GOOD NEWS! That their guilt is> removed.  Their sin> atoned for.

Oh, the joy. The richness of His mercy.  I love how God tells us our guilt is taken away. I am thinking you might hold onto some of the guilt like I do about your sin, your choices, your attitudes.  But we don’t have to. It is gone, baby. GONE! And my sin?  Paid for.

That my friend, is good news.  That, is your SURSEE for the day, the week- a kajillion years.

Thanks be to God.  What have you been learning and  with whom are you sharing the Good News? Do tell here…

xoxo

 

Flip-Flop :: Loving the Home You Have

flip flop a room

I love the word flip-flop.  It is so active and fun and celebratory.  I used it in this post about doing the hard things first in my day, and how that clicked with me.

Today I am going to use it to show an active way you can love your home.  Our little homes need our loving. And embracing.  We have been thinking about remodeling around here and of course like all good DIYers have been watching Fixer Upper.  Ack. Joanna is wonderful at coming in and blowin’ out those walls and making one great, big room.

I, for one, am not a fan of that.  I like my separate living room and den/kitchen area, but lately I have been thinking I might blow out the wall between said rooms. But then I had a Lightning Bolt moment and had this idea.

Why not Flip-Flop my dining room and my living room area?  

before flip flop

The before look as I had my Lightning Bolt Moment

I mentioned it to Craig and BAM! the next thing I knew we were flipping and flopping.  It didn’t take long to move the rug and the furniture, and it made so much sense.

flip flop (2)

Before whenever we had people over to eat, we had to put another table up, and the extra table would squish out of the dining room into the bigger living area.  Now, my little cozy circle of chairs is all snuggly in the smaller room, and I have room to put more tables up when we throw a big bash in my new Dining Room.

cozy room

 

I love it.  It makes sense.  Looks great. I was also able to add all my chairs to the chair wall.

chair wall

I am about to have my first big party with the flip-flopped rooms, and I think it is going to be dreamy to have all this room for extra tables.

more room for entertaining

 

The other big plus is I get to keep the separation the wall provides.  Different things can happen at the same time, and it won’t be so loud.  My little cozy circle just feels more inviting with the coffee bar behind it and lamps ready to glow in the early morning hours.

 

coffee bar

So my Sursee for you is, how can you love your home with a flip-flop?  Maybe it is a table you take from one room and put in another.  Maybe you flip a lamp with another.  Maybe, like me, it is a whole room or a kid’s room or hey,  you tell me.  I would love to hear.  Inspire me with the flip-flopping  you try.  xo

 

Start Your Day Doing the Hard Things // Flip-Flop Your Day

Start your day doing the hard things.

I have a huge Sursee for you today.  I heard this idea recently from two people.  First from my husband and then yesterday from a dear friend.

Flip your day.  Start with the hard things first.

The conversation with Craig went like this.  He told me he recently learned that most leaders do the hard things first. They get the hard stuff  over with at work, first thing-like the difficult conversation, the task that has been dogging them or whatever they have been dreading.  They dig into the hard things first in the business day. Then you have the rest of the day to tackle the other things. And the energy.  And the courage.

For me, the hard thing is my writing. I mean, I love it, but it takes brain power, and I was always putting it off till later. Till I got all the other stuff done.

The errands,

the cooking,

the housework,

the phone calls,

the to-do list that is endless.

So Craig planted a seed and next, cue up the conversation I had with my friend yesterday.

“When do you write, Leslie?” she asks.

“Ummm. Well, whenever I can squeeze it in. I don’t, uhh, have a specific time.”

My friend then proceeds to tell me I need one. And she has found that mornings are her productive time. And she uses that morning time for her writing.   She said she had flipped her day and started off with her writing. Then she added in the other things later in the day.

Shazaaaaam! I think I have heard this recently from sweet Craig.  And it sounds good to me.  I need to write early, in the morning. Everyday.  Of course, you can guess, that writing is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  Even my word for 2016 is WRITE, but I am not putting it first.

I am putting my writing after everything else.  I think, When I get my stuff done, then I can write.   

But not today.  I am writing first. And cleaning bathrooms later. Reading later.  Meeting for coffee later.

I am doing the hard things first.  Saving the other things for later. I am flip-flopping, and it feels good.

Join me?  What hard things have you been putting off and need to flip-flop and put first?   Tell me about it in the comments.  Or talk with your gal pal and encourage her to do a flip-flop. xoxo

Scripture Journal :: One Way I Battle the Negs

 

 

Scripture Journal 2

Yesterday I wrote about an idea for a Scripture Journal that has helped me spend time with the Lord when I feel out of sorts or just need an easy way to get into the Word of God.  Today I want to share some of the verses I use in the journal to battle when my mind starts talking crazy.  You know those lies and negative self-talky stuff that starts happening.  Battling the Negs. Ugh.

To start with, I believe that God’s word is powerful and life changing and so meditating on it and memorizing it and going back to it really changes me and my thought patterns. In Hebrews 4:12 it says that the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  

This tells me that God’s word can help me discern what is truth and what is a lie. Yay!

So how do I battle negative self-talk?  Here goes.

  1. I start with remembering who God is when I am battling negative self-talk. I do this in the morning because scripture has that pattern.

Psalm 92:1-2 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O most High, to proclaim you love in the morning and faithfulness at night.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with thy lovingkindness, that we may sing of joy and be glad all our days.

2. Find verses that name your identity and describe who you are.  Meditate on your identity In Christ. Good, good medicine.  You find your own scripture, what speaks to you, gal.  Here is one that I have written down since I love singing…

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

3. Next, I remember that it is a battle for my mind.  A battle, gals.

Ephesians 6:10-17 says  10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I need armor and protection. Put on, take up– these are action words.  I see in this verse that this  putting on the armor helps me stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  I also need to protect my mind and thought life through meditating on the Word and my salvation or identity.  See it again here:

taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Our sword is the word of God. Awesome.

4.  We are active in this process.

II Corinthians 10:5   We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Do you see in this verse we are destroying speculations.  We are taking every thought captive; those negative thoughts, that is what we need to capture.

5.  I can’t be lazy.

I Peter 1:13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I am to prepare my mind for action.  Not going to be lazy and let any and all thoughts in.  I am to be fixing my hope on GRACE and Jesus.  Yes.

 6. Next I see this little pattern. Don’t be anxious+Pray+Be Thankful= Peace of God guarding my HEART and my Mind.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

One of my mentors this past summer, flat out told me I worried too much. She reminded me of this verse and told me the Hebrew word for Guard is like the word for a sentinel on the top of a castle wall, walking back and forth, back and forth.  Constantly guarding.  Guarding my Heart.  And my mind.  I need that!

And lastly I read a little further in Philippians and see that:

 6.  I am to replace my thoughts with His thoughts.  

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8,9

I love thinking about this verse and thinking of things in my life that I know are true, honorable, right pure, lovely, good repute, excellent, worthy of praise.  Those are the things on which I am to fix my mind.  Remember too, gals, we don’t have to go it alone.  We depend on Him to help us, guide us.  We need Him- can’t do this without Him. And He is faithful to walk through this life with us. Amen.

So those are  a few of the verses that I use to battle that cray-cray  negative thinking in my head.  And the verses are written down in my Scripture Journal.  Do you have a verse you go to when you start that talk? Have you found a journal to start writing the verses that speak life to you?  Do tell. xo

My Little Scripture Journal

 

 

ScriptureJournal

I received a message from a reader asking me what verses do I put in my Scripture Journal that I mentioned on the God Centered Mom Podcast.  Specifically, she asked for verses that help battle negative self-talk.

So let’s go backwards.  My Scripture Journal or I might have called it notebook, is something I started using to hold all the verses I wanted to remember.  These  are verses that I wanted to memorize or verses that spoke to me.  You know ones  that really minister and give life, but sometimes you can’t remember exactly where they are in the Bible. I now write those verses down in this little journal.  It can be any little journal that you have lying around.  I know you have one:  you received it as a gift or saw it in Target and bought it and you are saving it because it is too cute to use.

Well, I have the use for it, gal.  No more saving.  That little Surseee of a Journal can become your truth fighter; your reminder of who you are in Jesus. Your little go-to when the day starts and you are slow. and can’t figure . out. What to read?

Do you ever feel like that?
I do.   I am too tired, too sad, too whatever to even figure out where to read in the Bible, so I grab my Scripture Journal and voila! It is all there.  It is not great quotes or worldly wisdom, although I do have files for great quotes. ( You knew I did, right?)

The Scripture Journal is my little go-to for those mornings I described above and let me tell you, it works.  God’s word does not return void when I read it, and as I go through the verses,  I am encouraged, given life.

Reminded of who I am in Christ and my identity as a daughter of the King.  I’m forgiven. Free. Loved.  Bought with a price.

I am also reminded of what I need to think on–Things that are good and right and beautiful.

I also am encouraged about God’s faithfulness.  But I stray.

The Scripture Journal is for you to fill in.  I can’t tell you what to put in yours…  What speaks to you right now?  What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell You?  What have you been learning or moved by when you read the Bible.  Those verses are what goes in Your journal.

A Scripture Journal is also a great gift/SURSEE for a graduate or a new mom.  You could write a few of your favorite verses in there to start them off.  How lovely is that? Your handwriting and your verses.

Hope this idea of a place to save verses helps you.  Hope it helps you get in the Word in an active way. Tomorrow I will talk about some verses that help me to specifically battle that negative self-talk.

Do you have a favorite verse you would include in your journal?  Do tell.

XO

 

Craving Authentic Friendships :: Sursee Gal on the God Centered Mom Podcast

attracting an audience

Happy New Year!  What better way to start out 2016 than talking about friendships and connecting and mentoring and parties and hospitality and trusting in our great big GOD! The above picture is a fun Sursee Party we had for my friend Heather when she was pregnant with her fourth boy! A pink parade!

 

Heather MacFadyen

 

Heather is over at the God Centered Mom and had me on her podcast segment called, ” That’s Me,” and we discussed friendship and hospitality and other fun stuff.  I hope you will be encouraged by it.  Heather is so real and funny and easy to talk with- she makes even me sound good!  Heather talks with a young mom, Libby, and me and weaves our conversations together seamlessly.  Pass this podcast on if you know a young mom who needs a little encouragement.

Go listen to the podcast on Heather’s site or listen here.  Would love to hear what you think or what ways you creatively practice hospitality and connect with friends.

xoxo

 

 

Saturday Sursee :: May Graduations and Seeing that Nest Empty

empty nest thoughts for pinterest

Gal,

Are you there?  Are you about to enter the Empty Nest?  Are you looking at your son or daughter as they graduate and realizing this is it?  Maybe you are Wondering, What Next?

I was thinking about this today as I thought of friends who are entering this next stage of life- we all enter it, right? May is the month. Differing levels of our nest being rustled and blown and changed.

Baby sleeping through the night and crawling to freedom.  Toddler climbing up and over and under.  Kiddo running through elementary school.  Tween Getting Through middle school.  Almost adult rounding the last corner of the track that is high school.  And then bam.  You are done.  The nest is empty.

We really can’t prepare so much.  But we can trust that He who is faithful will meet us and walk the path with us.  

I wrote some thoughts about the path through and in the Empty Nest.    Wondered if you needed to be reminded that He is able and more than sufficient for all of our needs.

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. II Corinthians 12:9

I need to say that outloud.  I need you to say it outloud to me.  We need each other, for sure.  If you have a friend who is turning one of life’s corners, might you share this SURSEE with them?

On this Saturday, remember that His grace is sufficient for whatever nest you find yourself in today. xoxo

Saturday Sursee :: Looking for Spring

Don’t you love looking for spring?  The trees are blooming, the flowers are in full gorgeousness.  Everyday is a new day in our yard as everything wakes up from winter.  It is a wonderful reminder that God is alive and present and working.  Out of the dead brown comes the fresh green.

Spring flowers5

Are you looking for it?  Are you seeing it change?

 

Springis here

 

What are you seeing around your yard?

springflowers6

springflowers4

springflowers5  springflowers3 springflowers2

What Spring Sursees do you see?  Do tell.