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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

Gear Up To Declare

This blog is nearly 4 years old! And I am readying to attend the Declare Conference for the 4th time – that place where I’ve gone to find rest and inspiration to continue on in this bloggy space. Where women gather to worship. Where friends find one another for the first time. Where the #digitalevangelist is equipped.

To gear up for this year’s conference, attendees are linking our digital arms and answering a few questions…So here we go!

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? Wife to Steve, homeschooling mama to two (so far!), writer, speaker, editor, writer’s coach, and native Texan. I’ve always been an old soul, an avid reader, a lover of music. Although I’m an introvert in need of recharging time on my own, I love people – meeting, encouraging, diving deep.

S & C in Vail

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why? I love writing nearly everything. But books are my favorite, by far! I enjoy the long-range project, the life-message, the time spent with God processing on paper. My first book  – Refining Identity – a Bible study, a discipleship journey. My second, an ebook – The inTentional Mama – a super-short and practical read to uplift mamas everywhere. My third releases in ONE WEEK! Chronic Healing follows my journey living with a chronic condition, walking alongside the Lord who is my Healer.

CH Front Cover Perfect

3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? Can I just say ALL the things? Articles and blogs, commentaries and Bible reference, Christian novels, Christian inspiration, classics of the church fathers and mothers that challenge me to go deeper. I wrote recently about the books I couldn’t stand to part with during our recent move. Give me words to read, to ponder, to apply, and I’m generally content to sit for hours [if anyone will let me…ha!].

4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? Have my pre-dawn writing time followed by listening to waves on a beach, toes in the sand. Dine slowly at delicious, local restaurants with people I love. Hold my hubby’s hand. Kiss my daughter’s freckled face. Tickle my son. Nap. And read.

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve? I love this space dedicated to finding God in the midst of everyday life. I love the freedom to express, to share, to challenge myself and others. I’d like to tweak a few things to make the site more aesthetically pleasing and current.

6. [Lightning Round] Would you rather…

Read on Kindle or paperback? Silly question…paperback! Pen and coffee go with my reading time.

Drink coffee or tea? See above =) Coffee, for sure. But I don’t mind a cup of tea in the evenings either.

Go to a musical or a movie? Unless the musical is Les Miserables, I’ll take the movie option.

Vacation at the beach or at the mountains? Engaged on a mountain, married on the beach, I love them both! Beach ultimately wins – crashing waves, bare feet in sand, endlessness of the ocean.

Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? Relaxing night in. Games, pjs, cuddles, deep conversation = happiness.

Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? I’ll watch as long as hubby is nearby. Then it classifies as a date. =)

Thanks so much for joining me on this link-up intro!

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Finding God Everyday Freedom | Identity Now Found Blog

What Names Are You Calling Your Children

A friend of mine is mama to three wonderful sons. I’m sure they’re quite human, with flaws and weaknesses. But I only know that because they have pulses beating. From my friend’s mouth comes life spoken over these sons of hers. She may be younger than me, but she’s a mama-mentor to me especially on those difficult days when it’s hard to see the amazing in my children.

She has names for her sons that call them into their identity, like “The Strong One” and “Lil Warrior.” I’ve never heard her complain about her sons. I’ve only ever heard her speak of her prides and joys with genuine pride and joy. These names she calls them by not only lift them up, but they call out identity from within.

So, when God spoke to my heart last month, giving me new names for my family members, I was thrilled! I was at a women’s conference and it was during worship on Friday night when I heard Him speak. And He spoke newness and life and identity. He gave me new names that I was now tasked with speaking over my family members.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17

When bedtime comes for the little ones, I’m usually more than ready for it. But that night was different. I gathered my brood on the living room floor…me, with bubbling-over excitement and a sense of urgency…them with a look of confusion on their faces. And life tumbled from my lips.

My daughter, I declared, is called “The Worshiper.” It’s fitting for this little girl who can sing praises for hours with hands lifted. It’s a challenge, calling her to focus on the blessings all around, thanking the One responsible for giving.

My son, “Servant Leader”…in that order. He loves to serve and he loves to lead. This name puts in focus the reality that in order to be a leader worthy of being followed, he must first be a servant. Then, those he serves will know that he leads with their best in mind rather than according to his own agenda.

My husband received his name, “The Tackler,” which is hugely appropriate for this football fan. But, football aside, here stands a man of God who moves forward in fearless obedience to God, ready and willing to tackle any challenge before him. Here is a man who can be trusted with immense tasks because he first trusts God to equip him.

Then there was me: “Water Walker.” Of late, songs like Oceans and You Make Me Brave have spoken vibrantly to my soul, calling me out beyond the safety of the shore and into the unknown. Whether the waters are choppy due to storms or calm in the mundaneness, walking across them is miracle. God is calling me out to walk over the impossible situations, be they stormy or mundane…and to see the miraculous in every moment.

What about you? Do you have names for your children? Your husband? Yourself? Are they names full of life or are they, honestly, full of death?

In the recent weeks since being given these names, there have been some tough mommy moments, where my kids’ behavior hasn’t aligned with who they are. This reminder is where I go; what I speak over them again and again.

To the son demanding his own way, “Who are you, son?” “I’m the Servant Leader.” A shift occurs…

To the daughter beginning to whine…. “Who are you, daughter?” “The Worshiper.” A new perspective…

To my own soul, when I feel pulled down under the weight of impossible things, “Who am I?” Water Walker…taking miracle-steps through storms and mundane alike.

God has a new name for you too. One that speaks to who you are, how He sees you. Would you stop today and ask Him? What does He declare over your children? How does He see your husband? Who does He say you are? And…will you agree with Him?

[This post first appeared at Next Level Mama.]

InTENtionality-cover-w-impr
10 ways to apply 10 minutes inTENtionally!

 

Are you inTENtional in your relationships with your children? Beneath the weight of living and day-to-day responsibilities, it’s so easy to stay in survival mode. We think it’s too hard…we aren’t doing enough…WE aren’t enough. But God always is. When we partner with Him in raising these kiddos He’s entrusted to us, when we put aside time on purpose, we can live inTENtionally. Check out my latest ebook, The inTENtional Mama, a quick-read where the inspirational meets the practical day-to-day. You’ll be blessed, uplifted, inspired, and equipped to become an inTENtional Mama! [Available where ebooks are sold!]

 

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

Are You An inTENtional Mama?

Are you inTENtional in your relationships with your children? Beneath the weight of living and day-to-day responsibilities, it’s so easy to stay in survival mode. We think it’s too hard…we aren’t doing enough…WE aren’t enough.

I read an article a while back (forgive me for not remembering the author!) which said something very freeing: “As parents, we don’t need to be fully present to our kids ALL of the time. But, we do need to be fully present SOME of the time.”

What I was doing was being semi-present ALL of the time, hounded by mama-guilt that I wasn’t doing enough. But then, God showed me how to apply ten minutes at a time with inTENtionality.

I realized how powerful 10 minutes can be in helping me be fully present to my children some of the time, which is far better than only being semi-present all of the time. There are meals to cook and laundry to do and work to accomplish and urgent tasks that require attention. And kids can enjoy time playing on their own or with siblings or friends.

But I can know now that when I’m with my kids, I can have inTENtional times where I’m truly with them!

My latest book dives into very practical detail as to how to be inTENtional with 10 minutes. Currently, it is available for FREE downloads to all subscribers to Now Found Ministries. (Once you subscribe, you will receive an email with your access code.) The inTENtional Mama is available for Kindle, iBooks, and Google Play.

I pray this is a resource that you will find a very practical blessing in your relationship with your child! Be the amazing mama you are! Be inTENtional!

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Finding God Everyday Now Found Blog

When I’m Not Enough…He Is

SuperMom Action Figure - the transformation

Yesterday was one of those days in my land of mommy-hood…struggling to make it through the day…frustrated at the seemingly constant need for redirection, melt-down diffusion, and overall discipline.  After these many moments with my son, when bedtime came for the kids, I was amazed when he skipped over to me with a smile and asked me to tuck him in.  I figured after the day we’d had that he would much prefer Daddy to do the honors tonight.  But, no.  He wanted me!  He held my hand all the way to his room…cuddled under the covers…turned over to give me a huge, squeezy hug and a sweet little-boy kiss.  Before I closed his door, he said, “I love you, Mommy!”

So many things in life right now are great…exciting…fresh…wonderful.  But then there’s that one glaring area of parenting where I find myself of late feeling like I’m failing, just trying to make it through the day.  And it stings especially because tomorrow celebrates all of us “moms”!

A little while after getting him to bed, I was getting myself ready to sleep too and this realization came to me: “I am not enough!”  But this time, it wasn’t the condemning voice of the enemy that I heard.  It was me…realizing that my “not enough” added to God’s “more than enough” is plenty!  And instead of feeling the brooding sense of failure, I felt a spark of hope.  I don’t HAVE to be enough, because He is!

I don’t have to be super-mom.  I don’t have to have all the answers.  I don’t have to conjure up the strength to do this thing called motherhood.  I am not enough so that I can lean on the One Who is!

I also don’t have to believe the lies that tell me I’m failing when my kids disobey or that my voice doesn’t matter when they don’t listen.  Because reality is that I am succeeding and my voice makes a HUGE impact in my kids’ lives!  When I tell my son how proud I am of him, he beams! When I tell my daughter how beautiful she is, inside and out, she smothers me with hugs!  To them, I’m the best mom in the world!  (Taking a humble moment to really believe that myself!)

I can trust in my kids who actually want me around, even after having been with me all day, every day.  And tomorrow, when the “Happy Mother’s Day” sayings abound, I don’t have to feel condemnation in my “not enough”.  I can remember my God Who is. 

Are you a mom struggling to see the fruit of your labors?  Don’t believe the lies that you’re a failure.  You’re not!  You are the best mom in the world to those kiddos you love and give yourself to every day!  And God will make up every area of “not enough” you have with His “more than enough”.  

 

InTENtionality-cover-w-impr
…where the inspirational meets your practical day-to-day mama-hood…”

 

Are you inTENtional in your relationships with your children? Beneath the weight of living and day-to-day responsibilities, it’s so easy to stay in survival mode. We think it’s too hard…we aren’t doing enough…WE aren’t enough. But God always is. When we partner with Him in raising these kiddos He’s entrusted to us, when we put aside time on purpose, we can live inTENtionally. Check out my latest ebook, The inTENtional Mama, a quick-read where the inspirational meets the practical day-to-day. You’ll be blessed, uplifted, inspired, and equipped to become an inTENtional Mama! [Available where ebooks are sold!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo source