One way to to Tackle your Fears- Get a Makeover

makeup gals

I just noticed that I look like I have long hair as Crystal’s long tresses are colored like mine! Ha Ha!

 

Ok, raise your hand if you get a little nervous when you walk by the make-up counter…

I always think I am the only one in the room who is not quite sure how to put on the shadow or line the lid.  But, I think, I am not alone.  I have now been twice to Sephora to do a little mini-eye makeover.  Once with my daughter-in-law and once with a friend.  It was super fun and a great way to tackle a little fear minion in me.

The gals at the store are super friendly and approachable and are great teachers.  Our teacher let us try the products, answered the million questions asked and even wrote down how she did it for me so I could go back over the notes later.  I know a little nerdy, but the first time, after I got home, slept and woke up, I had forgotten everything!  This second time around I came home prepared with my handy notes.

How does this help me tackle my fears?  Well, I see how fearful I get with makeup, I see how that bleeds into other areas- this lack of confidence.  The doubts and fears of an unsure spirit spill over into all areas.

At the makeup counter, I gained courage with each swish  of color and realized I am not the only one who doesn’t know how to tightline or use the brushy brush.  Just like in other areas…I am not the only one who doesn’t understand or know.  It’s ok not to know and to ask for help.

Something I struggle with is making mistakes. I learned that a  little makeup remover around the edges of my eyes cleans those mistakes up and I am good to go.  Or I make another stab at the lid with the lighter color and it is solved.  Just like in life.

I make mistakes or don’t really know what I am doing sometimes. I am reaching out to try new things and find it a little scary.  I make the mistake and  I offer my confession, receive God’s grace, and I am good to go.

When I swish on the color in life and make a little mistake, the Lord is there to clean up the messy edges.  He is ok with that. He knows the color is going to go on a little too strong sometimes. He is patient and a loving teacher.  Ahhhh.  Grace.  Love it.  Making the choice to go in and do the makeover has given me a little more oomph for the next time I face something I fear. I know that sounds silly, but it is true.I also love my new look!  What is your favorite place to learn new makeup tricks?  Or better, when was the last time you popped in for a makeover? Might be time to face those fears and try a new look.  No Fear.

xoxo

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

 

The Very Best Prayer for our Kids No Matter the Age

Praying for our kids

Sometimes we need to be reminded.  I have published this prayer before, but thought you might like the reminder.  I know I need reminders and you are probably not that different from me.

I love this reminder of a great prayer for our kids.  Good for all ages.  All stages.  It is one of those things over the years that I am growing in and learning more about.

Sometimes I make things more complicated than they need to be.  Prayer is one of those things.  What to pray for my kids?  Over the years I have read books, been to studies, downloaded calendars, all of which are good, but here is a prayer for you that is simple and lasts through all your days here on earth.

God, I pray that ________ would be all that You created them to be.

This prayer.  Simple.  Easy to remember at any age.  Helps me to loosen my grip on these kids and hand them back to their Maker, their Father, their King.  Covers all the bases.  All the years.  All the fears and worries.  Joys and good times.

Sometimes the simple is the SURSEE.  Do you have a special prayer that encourages you? Do tell.

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

 

Embrace the Family God Created You To Be

embrace the family GOd created you to be

One thing that helped me embrace my family was to take time to reflect on how God created me and my husband.  What were we like and what did we like?  Take the time to discover this and then Embrace the creative way God made you.

Do you love music?  Then sing!

embrace the family 4

Did He create you or your husband to love running? Then run all the races and time your kids with a stopwatch in the front yard.

Does little Billy or Susie or you love nature?  Then camp and hike and be outside.

embrace the family 5

Are you artistic?  Then go to art museums and spend a fortune on art supplies.

Do you like to create?  Then invest in Legos and blocks. Build and tear down and build some more.  Or buy sewing supplies and fabric and yarn and popsicle sticks and craft kits and C R E A T E .

Is Johnny or Jenny competitve? Then collect and  play all the  boardgames there are and enjoy winning and losing.

Do you love gardening?  Then grow beans and corn and tomatoes and get dirt between your fingers and toes.

 

embrace the family 2

God did not create you to C O M P A R E. No, sir.

Comparison is the thief of all joy!  Don’t look at other families or their kids and wonder and wish….

Embrace who you are.  Embrace those kids you have.  Embrace the Family you were created to be.  Talk about this with your husband.  Dream a little.  Talk about this with your friends and get some good ideas.  Talk about it with the Lord and gain His wisdom and insight.  Be the Family He wants for you.

I would often say, We are the Johnsons and Johnsons __________________ , and I would fill in the blank.  For example, The Johnsons play the piano and love music.   So we invested in years of piano and listened to music all the time at home and in the car.  That was our gig.

Or, The Johnsons are helpers and we share the work around the house.  Each of the boys had a chore chart and started helping around the house at a young age.

It doesn’t matter what goes in the blank, but it does matter that it isn’t blank.

What is your gig? Or you sweet spot? DO IT!

Today, E M B R A C E the way God created your family to look and work:  the Gifts, the Talents, the Quirks and the Fun!  The Sursee is to discover how He created you and your family and then R U N with it. Embrace it.  For more on this subject of embracing, go read my post about Embracing the children God gave you

Embrace

These photos are from the giant tree swing in Red River that sadly, is no more.  What fun it was to swing out and feel like you were flying…

 

 

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

 

Mentoring Moment :: You Have What You Need

 

Mentoring-2

You have what you need.  I am thinking here about wisdom for living.  Being a friend.  A wife.  A mom.  A neighbor. Just being YOU. You have what you need to live.  You just have to receive it.  But let’s go back a few years ago to a conversation I had when I was stressing out about raising teens.

My mentor spoke some wise words to me when I was wondering what books she would recommend to me to read about raising our teens.

Her words kind of took my breath away.

“You don’t need another book, Leslie.  You have what you need.  In the scripture.”I remember thinking, Whaaaatttt?  But I have so many books, and so many of them half-read on my night stand.

The other part of me thought. Yes. She is right. Again.

We are all into simplifying right? So how much simpler can it get than to search God’s word for wisdom in raising your kids?  It is all right there.  And, if you have joined me in the One Year Chronological Bible reading, you will get to it all in 2016.  It is all right there, divided into 365 beautiful bite-sized pieces.

Now I don’t think she was saying that we never read a book about kids or spiritual life or whatever.  But the crazy, frenetic pace of life that I was in and thinking that just one more book would have the answer to all my questions was just not true.

She encouraged me to trust that the Lord could speak to me through His Word and to have faith that the Holy Spirit could speak to my spirit and give me what I needed for the everyday.

Another mentor, just a few months ago, challenged me that I needed to study scripture with my Mom Heart group.  She asked me what we went through when we got together and I told her a book about marriage or kids, or sex or spiritual life.  She looked squarely at me and with no hesitation said,

“You need to be teaching those girls that they can get into God’s word and study it for themselves.  Teach them they don’t need to go through a study or another author.”

She was very firm. She always was.  And I have thought and thought about her words.  They are true.

You have what you need in the word of God.

So. I am telling you gals; I am passing on what I learned- You have what you need.

Spending time in the Word is all you need for life and godliness.  You have what you need, gal. There are wonderful Sursees waiting in God’s word for you today.  Let me know what you find.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as fas as the division of soul and spirit , of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

 

 

Reading the Chronological Bible in 2016 :: Finding the Sursees

morning and night chronological bible

Y’all have heard me talk about reading through the Bible using the Chronological Bible before, I know.  But I just have to toot its horn one more time. I have received some emails/messages from friends about how do I do it over and over OR what do I do when I read through it again; so I thought I would share a few ideas about how to make the Chronological Bible reading work year after year.

Let me just start off and say that I love reading through the Bible this way.  It weaves the stories together and you feel like you are reading a novel.  For instance, when you are reading through the stories of David in Kings and Chronicles, you also read through the Psalms. When you read through the Gospels you read all the versions of the miracle back to back.  When you hit Acts, you read the Epistles that match with what is happening in Acts.  Love.

The  deciding factor for reading this version of the Bible was the first year I read through it and hit Leviticus.  Now that is not the most scintillating book, but I was struck with the repetition of the phrase,

I am the LORD your God.

 

Chronological Bible

Over and over I read that and underlined it. I was encouraged by God’s reminder to them that He was their God and then His instructions would follow.  I need those reminders that He is who He says He is. That He is looking out for me.  We all forget don’t we?  Thank you, Leviticus, for the reminders.

So here are some tips for reading through the Chronological Bible.  Hope this helps.

I mark it up.

I underline passages that speak to me and write a notation for the year. Like thisShowing the years in my CB                                           It is amazing when the next year I read and I see my underlining and think, “I don’t even remember that!” Or, I put another  year marker by it because it still speaks to me.

I also grew more bold and wrote bigger in the margins with things that I wanted to remember.  Like the word GRACE or Thankful for this.  This year I plan to get some of these

 

Chronological Bible-4

to draw a little in my Bible.  I know there is a whole world of Bible journaling out there where people decorate their Bibles.  Going to try a little of that.

I Write it down

I buy a little journal or spiral notebook to keep with my Bible, and I write the date for the day in it and write longer thoughts about my reading.  Just something that causes me to think or a question I have, or a praise for something I read.

I Look it Up

When I am in the Old Testament and have a question about something in Ezekiel, I look up the passage in one of my Bible commentaries and read what a scholar has written to try and understand what I am reading.  I also have looked on the internet in John MacArthur’s website at his sermons that correspond with the passage and listened to that during the day. Dallas Theological Seminary also has resources that I have used to try and understand some of the more difficult books.

I ask a Question

I have several gals who are reading through the Bible with me and sometimes when I get stumped, I email or text them to ask my questions.  They are so helpful to respond and tell me their thoughts or questions.  Love that idea of community and reading with a group of gals.  It also like a little accountability group for me.  I know they are reading, so I keep on plugging through, too.

I tell a Friend

In my little community of Chronological Bible Readers, I will often share a verse that meant a lot to me in an early morning text.  I love the connection I feel with them when I do that and they share randomly with me.  Really makes me feel like part of the Body of Christ. Like I am not alone out there reading.

I also use texts to send out to gals that I mentor when something has jumped out at me.  I will make  a visual and send it out.  I use the You Version Bible app because it lets you highlight a verse, copy it and text it.  It also lets you put a pretty background on it and send as an encouragement.  I love the feeling of connection I get when I do that and I hope that it encourages the gals that receive it.

I use the Kindle version when I travel

Instead of lugging my big Chronological Bible around on a trip, I use the Kindle app and have downloaded a version so that it is at the ready.  I found this was easier than trying to read it on my phone with just the Bible app and my notes about where to read.  A lot of times the Chronological Bible skips around between different books and it makes it hard to do that on the Bible app.  I am all about easy and the Kindle version of the Chrono Bible is easy.  Now, I will say, it is not the same translation as my hardcopy  Chrono Bible.  I don’t worry about that. At all.  I just read the day that it is and go on.

I do not stressed if I get behind

If I do get behind, I just read a bunch of days when I have the time.  I also have just skipped to the day that I am living.  I figure that I will read it all again next year and will catch the days that I missed then. God just wants me to spend time with Him and wash over my brain with His Truth.  I think He gets it when I get behind, and I have learned to not sweat it.

Join me?

So will you join me this year?  Let me know in the comments, and I  will add you to my community of gals reading through the Bible.  It is such a great, great way to read through the Bible and be encouraged.  Let me know if you want to join…I am reading the older NIV  Tyndale version, but you pick the version you want and we will mostly be together.  Let’s look for Sursees together.

I have to say a big thank you to my friend, Paige, who introduced me to this wonderful Bible several years ago. She encouraged me to give it a go and I have loved it.  xoxo