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Archive for February, 2011

Living Life Today

It is the last day of February.  March is upon us!  A quick update on my  February journey – my initial goal was to find 100 things that I am thankful for and that bring me joy during the month of February.  I didn’t quite get to 100, but God kind of changed my route along the way…in a really sweet, good way. 

But, in case you are curious, here’s a few joys I did list along the way:

#1 – memories of fun shaped pancakes with my Ma and now with my kids on Saturday mornings

# 5 – the smell of rain

# 8 – mocha java chip Starbucks ice cream

# 17 – my babies in pajamas

#24 – snuggles, cuddles, and squishes

#32 – Super Bowl parties with good friends

#37 – a mom and dad who love the Lord

#41 – when God wakes me up to show me something new

#49 – chai lattes

# 58 – conversations with women who love the Lord during and after Bible Study

#64 – listening to my kids play piano

# 72 – deep conversations about life with Dallas

#75 – my beautiful friend, Christel Beth – a friend God blessed me with at age 18 who will be my friend for life

#80 – naptimes

 After I had started my 100 joys challenge, I started reading a book that is seriously messing with my head – in a good way.  It’s called “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.  It’s this profound journey into discovering how to live fully right where you are – not down the road when I lose that 25 pounds I’ve been wanting to lose, not after I my house is magically clean, not after Ella Joy is born in July, not after I land that dream job or even after we get enough money or enough debt paid off so that I can quit working and stay home full time….but right now, right where I am – as messy as it may be.

I think I lived my entire twenty’s thinking that joy and fulfillment were looming in front of me like a carrot and I just couldn’t get there – spending all of my time wondering when God was going to give me my big break – when would I finally start walking in the blessings instead of feeling covered up with the “challenges” in life that make me a stronger Christian, when would God post that big billboard I’ve been wanting that shows me where He’s taking me in life because there had to be more than just where I was, etc., etc. 

 I am quickly realizing I was WAY off…

I’m coming to a more full understanding that in order to live – to REALLY live – to be able to take in all that God is placing right in front of me right now – I have to first have a heart of thankfulness and then, from that thankfulness, joy pours out onto me and onto everything around me.  It’s quite ironic that Cathryn posted about being “full” on Thursday…because I think it is in our ability to look around us and see everything we have to be thankful for, that we begin feeling “full” and His joy starts seeping from our very pores!!! And we can start living life – the life God has placed right in front of us – in this very moment, not waiting for the next BIG thing….

So my next goal is to come up with 1000 gifts that God has placed in my life.  My 100 joys list is just the beginning.  No set time frame to get this done…just a way to sort of “train” myself to see what God is doing around me every single day.  A way to live the life God has for me right where I am.

 – Kacey

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I’m Full

We would love to hear anything that you would be willing to share with us! Send it along to springsstillwaters@gmail.com. We’ve been very blessed to have different people sharing lately, and we would love to have more stories and thoughts to add.

I’ve had a lot going on in my brain lately. It usually comes in a very unorganized smattering of thoughts, so it can take a few days before the thoughts become fully formed and begin to make sense. (I’m sure I’m not the only one to have experienced this…at least I hope not.)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working through the idea of contentment, enough and being full. I’ve found that so much of my day tends to be run by what needs to be done or obtained next. This in itself is not bad. I need to do that in order to take care of my home and family. I need to be aware of when we are low on groceries, diapers or (gasp!) chocolate as these are necessities for our everyday life. But what I found happening was that I was letting that begin to take over my whole perspective. I was constantly thinking of what I needed and not taking time to see what I have been provided.

One day I heard a Bible story on Air1 about a women whose husband had died and she was going to have to sell her son in order to pay off the debt. She prayed to God, and he told her to put out every jar she had. She did so, and the next day every jar was full of oil. She was able to sell the oil and have enough to pay off the debt. This story caught my attention and seemed to nestle itself into my heart.

Then, one evening, driving home from my parents after eating a family dinner, I was turning around to check on Elizabeth in the back seat, and I could visually see Jerod and Elizabeth at the same time. I had a profound peace come over my heart that I have everything I need. We have a beautiful little family, Elizabeth was clothed and safe in a car seat, we were riding in a good car with plenty of gas, and we had all just been fed. Not one of us lacked a necessity. As someone who had been consumed with the “what is next” mind set, this sense of peace and contentment pleasantly suprised me. I wanted more of it.

More events occurred over the next couple of weeks that were going to cost us a lot of money that we really did not have; however, they were all taken care of. As I watched God provide for us over and over, to think about the Isaeralites and the manna they received. They were not allowed to store it up and keep it for the next day. They received everything they  needed for that time on that day.

I started to realize that I may not be able to build up material or financial wealth in my life, but my needs will always be provided for. In the past, I found my security in my “plans” and being “prepared” for the next emergency, but God has begun to show me that the best security is resting in Him, allowing Him to fill up my jars with oil and shower me with manna. As God has been working these things in my heart over the last few weeks, I’ve seen Him not only provide for our physical needs but He has also begun to fill my heart and heal it in ways I did not expect or even know I needed. 

I still run into obstacles where I have a moment of “Oh no! I’m not in control.”, but these subside quicker than in the past. I feel as if He has begun a major transformation in my life. I see  Him filling  my jars, I enjoy His sweet manna, and I feel the joy of a healing heart.

-Cathryn

“Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24b

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Prayer for Perseverance

Last week, we had a comment to Fran Orson’s post on TellingOurStories from May Dixon. I don’t know if everyone had a chance to see it, so I asked May if we could post it on it’s own page.  I want to encourge each and every one of you to share your story – it doesn’t have to be your entire spiritual journey.  It can be just one tiny chapter of your story.  But it is through our testimony (our “dynamic witness”, as part of our 2-fold churchwide focus for 2011) that we overcome and we get to play a part in others getting to see a glimpse of Jesus’s heart.  This blog is one place you can share your story.  Just contact me or Cathryn or you can email the blog at springsstillwaters@gmail.com.  Now, here’s May:

Thank you Fran for reminding me how important it is to share our stories. I want to share how Our Father has been working in my life.

The past few months our family has been struggling in different ways and I have never undestood the meaning of “God satisfying my hunger” with his words.
I work at Lenscrafters, and on Thursday, I was helping a man and after a while, I noticed that he was carrying a book and I asked him what it was a about he said it’s a book about Spiritual Gifts.”

He started to tell me his story…he just found out that he has cancer. I never known or seen someone with cancer and honestly he was so happy and told jokes that I would not have known that he was dying. He then told me that he believes that God will heal him.

I told him that I will be praying and I believe that God can heal him, too. He then told me “you have a gift of language !” I was so touched by this man and I started praying for him in my heart. After a few minutes he looked in his pocket and took out a piece of paper and said. “This is for you” it said: “Prayer for Perseverance.”

The prayer went like this…
“Christ said to His loved ones: ‘ I am with you, fear not, be not anxious.’ May it be confident that in the trials and crosses of my life, you, O Lord, will be my constant companion. Whenever I cannot stand , you will carry me lovingly in your arms. May I have no fear of what may happen tomorrow. For the same eternal Father who cares for me today will take care of me tomorrow and everyday of my life. You, O Lord, will either shield me from suffering or give me strength to bear it patiently. May I be at peace, then, and put aside all useless thoughts, anxieties and worries. Amen.

After reading this prayer, I was reminded of how much my Father loves me and will always be there for me and my family.

When I got home from work, I told my husband the story and I gave him the prayer to read and he said, “on that note, I have something to tell you…” at first he handed me an envelope, I open it and there was an other gift that took care of our tomorrow worries… we looked at each other and started crying.

This man that I have never met in my life blessed me with the best words that filled my hunger. I was hungry and God used His servant to deliver those fullfiling words to me. God showed me that I just have to seek and ask, and I will find. My dear Springs family, we are soo Blessed to have you guys in our life and God has used you guys so many times to bless us and soo many other people. I pray that we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus everyday until He returns! Blessing to you The Springs Fellowship!

Thank you, May, for sharing some of your story with us…and may God continue to bless you and Brad and Jeremiah.

– Kacey

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Love Letter of Praise

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! This is such a great day to remember how truly loved we are by our Father!

Last Monday, Kacey asked if anyone was willing to write a love letter to God and let us share it on the blog. Today we have a love letter to God written by Lauren Childress. Hope you enjoy it!

Dear Daddy God,
Thank You that I am Your treasured possession (Ex 19:5) & that nothing can ever separate me from You & Your love (Rm 6:38-39). Thanks Dad, that I am fearfully & wonderfully made (Ps 139:4), & that You have precious thoughts of me (Ps 139:17-18). I know that the accuser of the brethren stands & accuses me day & night (Rev 12:10), but I am free from all condemnation (Rm 8:1). In You, I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). I am an overcomer because of the blood of the Lamb & the word of the testimony You have given me. I pray that I will honor You in such a way as not to love my own life when faced with death (Rev 12:11). LORD, help me not to take my identity from the lies of the enemy, or even from the sin I commit against You, for my whole being & identity are found in You (Jn 1:12, 1 Cor 6:17, Eph 1:3-8).
Thank You that I am fully & completely loved by You with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).
Thank You for creating me for such a time as this, not to remain silent, but to speak what You tell me to (Esther 4:14). I know that You are for me & that with You on my side, no one can stand that comes against me (Rm 8:31). Thank You Lord, that I am Your ambassador (2 Cor 5:20). Help me to re-present You well & remember that I am more than a conqueror (Rm 8:37).
I praise You that You & You alone open & shut doors that no one of this earth can undo (Rev 3:7).
Thank You for sending Your Only Son, Jesus to earth (Jn 3:16), so I can have eternal life & don’t have to be judged (Jn 3:18). I believe & put my hope & trust in You God, & You alone. I am kept by Your power (1 Pet 1:5) & sealed with Your promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13).
Thank You that You give wisdom to all who ask for it (Jn 1:5), & that You want to show me great & marvelous things (Jer 33:3). You even give me the desires of my heart when I delight in You (Is 37:4).
I thank You, that You are not distant or angry, but lavish Your love on me (1 Jn 4:16), & are oh so close when my heart is breaking (Ps 34:18). You are the greatest Encourager (2 Thes 2:16-17), & comfort me like no one else can when I am troubled (1 Cor 1:3-6).
I am complete in You (Col 2:9-10) & can do all things through You, for You are my Strength (Phil 4:13). You have chosen & appointed me (Jn 15:17) & I will be kept strong to the end (1 Cor 1:8). Hallelujah! I am free (Jn 8:36)!!! I always triumph in Christ (2 Cor 2:14)!

—GGW
(Go God Warrior)
(aka Lauren or “Nonnie”)

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Always Faithful

This morning we have a post from Becca Hargrove to share with you. She reminds us of God’s overwhelming love and constant faithfulness. Thanks, Becca, for sharing your heart with us!

I just want to say God is faithful.

 He is faithful in all things. I know the Bible says this over and over and over. I just keep experiencing it. It is so incredible how much he does for us and how he comes through for us all the time. We are so lucky to walk in the light and to have a father in heaven who dearly loves us so and shows it. He doesn’t love us from afar. He loves us in every moment of everyday. He participates, if you will. He is always listening even when you don’t think He is. He is always holding you even when you don’t feel it. I know that most of us know these things.

 ~Remember a time in your life when you just knew God was holding you.~

 When Lilli was born against all odds and all reports from the doctors, I knew she was going to live. I knew when she was born and I finally got to see her that she was a warrior. That was the word I had been given for her my entire pregnancy. I wanted a warrior for God and He was so faithful to give me one. Sure I was scared and traumatized, but I had a peace, too. I couldn’t explain it. Satan tried and tried to convince me that this was all my fault. I still struggle with that. The Lord had healed this hurt by healing Lillian. He prevailed like He always has. This shouldn’t surprise me, but His love is so overwhelming sometimes.

  The Lord has been faithful my entire life, but I see it now. I see the miracles He words for me everyday. I am so thankful for all He has given me, and I know that my life may not seem blessed to the world, but my world is so blessed. That is my testimony.

 Becca

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Love Letters

Some people love it, some people hate it – some people think it was a big conspiracy by the greeting card people to get us to spend money on their products.   Regardless – it’s still coming –  Valentine’s Day. 

Personally, I have no real like or dislike of the holiday.  I like the colors – reds and pinks and sparkly hearts everywhere.  It’s fun.  I have great memories of feeling very cherished as a young girl because my daddy (as reminded by my mom, I’m pretty sure) would always make sure to send me flowers or bring me candy on that day.  Other than that, it holds no real significance for me…except this year, we get to have a sonogram for the baby on Valentine’s Day…and hopefully find out if the baby is a he or a she so I can finally get my kids to quit calling the baby “it….” 🙂 

Anyways – on to the blog topic at hand…

Love letters.  I have a few of those tucked away in a special place that maybe one day I’ll let my kids see. I also have a few that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was marching across Europe in World War II.  They are priceless treasures to me. 

So I wish I had come up with this idea all on my own.  I really do, but I didn’t…I’m borrowing it from this post:  http://www.incourage.me/2011/02/love-letter-to-my-king.html.

Since we put so much emphasis on LOVE and all that goes with it this time of year, why not put the focus back on the creator of love himself?  Here’s your challenge – write a love letter to your Father, your Savior, your King.  I’m going to attempt it myself…and if any of you are feeling brave and would like to share it, email them to us at springsstillwaters@gmail.com and we will post them next Monday. 

Have a great week!

– Kacey                                                                                                                                             

 

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Dearly Loved

Good morning! I first want to extend an invitation to all of our readers that if God is putting something on your heart to share, please send it our way at springsstillwaters@gmail.com. Thanks!

I’ve had a few things rolling around in my head this morning. I’ve been thinking about Kacey’s post on Monday and about the lies that we hear whether we believe them or not. I’ve also been thinking about something that Beth Moore shared on her simulcast over insecurity that we watched on The Springs Women’s retreat this last October. One thing she said that stopped me in my tracks was that I am a dearly loved child of God.

I had to stop for a while and think about what that actually looks like. I’ve always known that God loves me, but there is something about the phrase “dearly loved” that makes me realize that I am not just one of many that God loves. The lie I heard is that I am like a tiny little ant, one of billions in this word to a great, big God. Yes, He loves me, but it’s not really that special; He loves other people, too.

But there is something about being dearly loved that made me realize His loves is special and unique to me. He cherishes me, wants to hold me close, would like for nothing more than to spend the entire day with me in my living room, kitchen or where ever, talking, dancing, or just sitting. To know that my King wants to be with me suddenly makes me feel like a million bucks, like I am the most special girl in the world! I have to hang on to this every day in order to dispell the lies that I’m really nothing special.

What makes God so great, big is not that I am tiny, but that He can personally love each and everyone of us on an intimate level. We all receive love differently, and He who created us knows exactly the best way to dearly love us.

I don’t know what kind of lies come your direction, but I do want you to know that you are a dearly loved child of God. If you can, take some time today to think about what that looks like.

Please take a minute to share a comment. It can be about anything: what being dearly loved looks like to you, the lies that you hear, how we can hear truth instead or whatever you like. I know it can be intimidating or inconvenient to share (on a blog or elsewhere), but I also know that the Bible tells us we overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. We have to speak out in order to overcome these lies. Satan would love for women to live in silence and shame, believing these lies, but our Father desires for us to live in boldness and truth! Whether it be on this blog or just in visiting with a close friend, please take time to give voice to the truth!

-Cathryn

“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. “

-Romans 8:37

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