About rejoicer73

Married to my best friend and love of my life, we have 3 kids together that have been a rollercoaster of laughter, tears, hugs, screams, etc. all of it to make me a better person. I will mostly blog about my walk with God because it is what matters most to me.

#Determination

new mercies

This week has been CHALLENGING! I have had up days and down days. I am so glad that God has new mercies for us every day! I don’t know how I could go on this journey to get healthier without a promise like that.
Drawing close to God feels so good, don’t you think? I have noticed it doesn’t come without attacks. It could be an attack of my own stubborn flesh, really wanting a big slice of chocolate cake. It could be physical, I hurt my ankle a few months ago and it’s now flaring up-making exercise a no go right now. Another physical is allergies in January? I am not amused! With all of this, I have to wonder how much of this is needled on by the enemy wanting to keep me frustrated. These things can easily cause me to lose focus, and get frustrated.
Then, I start praying. Listening to praise music. Drawing into the Savior that led me to where I am right now. I feel strengthened. I feel His love and hope coming to reside in my heart. I feel #determined to not let the distractions, temptations, excuses and whatever else gets thrown out there deter me from making choices that honor the bodily temple God blessed me with. I feel #determination to pick myself up, brush myself off and continue on the path to my Savior’s heart.
What is your struggle? Is God too small to help you? Isn’t He ALWAYS there to help us? I find such a bliss in that. Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The END OF THE AGE! Yea, I think He’s there! Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Can my Valley be chocolate cake? Allergies? A hurt ankle? I can have NO FEAR, He’s there to comfort and guide me through all these things!
I am ready to draw closer and closer, to choose life and life more abundant! I am ready to pray that He helps me through every discouraging valley with His Strength and #determination, for I can do anything when I have Jesus in my corner, walking this journey with me.
Now let Mercy Me help you “SHAKE” off all the things that hold you back & look forward with #Determination!!!

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A Raging Battle

I can hardly believe it’s been over a year since God led me to the amazing ministry that is Proverbs 31. He has brought me to a community of sisters that are struggling and pressing on to the same goal, drawing closer to the God we all love so much.
A little over 2 years ago, I quit smoking, and I know it was with God’s help. I had been down the road to quitting smoking before and just never really had the desire fully leave. I visualized in my mind quitting, and prayed to God to take the desire away for a year before I actually quit. God is faithful and it was surprisingly “easy” to quit and not have the desire to go back.
Then, I went on a journey to overcome FEAR! That was when God lead me to Proverbs 31 Ministries and the Online Bible Studies with Melissa Taylor. They were doing Micca Campbell’s “An Untroubled Heart”. That book was so eye opening and helped me gain perspective on how God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He has purpose and plans for us, and wants us to rest in the knowledge, that even when life gets hard-He’s there!
Through the many other wonderful studies we have done, God has helped me press into Him and His leading. He has helped me find ways to overcome being “Unglued”, opened my eyes to “Greater” things and plans He has. He has shown me I can be a woman that says “YES TO GOD” and given me a “Confident Heart”.
It is because of the knowledge He has been placing in my heart, and the wonderful community of AMAZING Sisters in Christ, that I know I can overcome the battle with food! I would not be considered obese, and many would say “You are fine”, but I know my battle lies more in letting food be a reward. I need to gain perspective on what goes in my mouth, and be aware and choose things that benefit my body, not just sugar and goodies(though God knows I love those things) I need to get back to moving and being active. So, I am hopeful and excited to walk this journey with the 40,000 people that have also decided that they want to #CraveGod.
I am not worried as much about a number on the scale. I want to feel healthier. I want to feel like God is coming first, not food or the hundreds of other things that are available to distract us from Him. I want to feel #empowered not defeated. I want more and more of God, and I hope you are finding that you do too!

PicMonkey-You Gotta try it!

Isaiah 41.1
I made this fabulous picture with part of our memory verse from a picture I took when we were camping. SO COOL! I feel like a magician, or at least somewhat more technically skilled than previously thought.
PicMonkey Collage2
The collage was one of my first PicMonkey attempts. It was my cover photo for a while. So, if you want to feel super skilled for a bit, try it out at http://www.picmonkey.com

Jazz up those blogs and pinterest pages!
God bless 😀

Blessed Even More

I enjoyed writing about the blessings in my life previously.  I wanted to delve into it a little more.

When I think about salvation, which was number one on my previous post, I think of a God that created me and loves me so much.  It’s unfathomable the love the Father showed to send His son to be our atonement.  It’s breathtaking to think Jesus willingly took that punishment.  It’s heartbreaking, in a good way, that we have a way back from our brokenness to be in relationship with God again.  Then, on top of all of this, we have the Holy Spirit, LIVING IN US, as believers to be our Teacher and Guide in this walk.  WOW!  Blessed does not even begin to cover it.  Hebrews 10:10 “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”

Marriage was my second blessing before.  My husband and I got together when he was 20 and I was just shy of 19.  We both loved God, but were NOT living a life that would have shown it.  I became pregnant very quickly in our relationship.  Despite all statistics that would have proven our relationship to fail, we have remained together.  We attempted to get married after our first was born.  Due to financial restraints, and family and timing issues, that didn’t work.  We had a second child, and shortly after that just went to the courthouse and got married.  We have been together 21 years and just celebrated 18 years married in March.  God and our faith has gotten us through the challenges.  We have grown up together, and he is my best friend and my biggest champion.  God used our stupid choices and really turned them to His good!  Romans 8:28  “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

My third blessing from my last post was my children.  I had my oldest at 19 with a man I was still getting to know.  I had moved away from my family in Vermont and was living in Colorado.  She was such a beautiful gift. John 16:21 “When a  woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she  has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a  human being has been born into the world.”

Now we were family, although it was still sometimes hard to believe I was a mother, that I was responsible for this tiny human.  My oldest loved Barney, I have no idea how many episodes we watched, but it was sure fun to dance and be silly with her.  My second child, another beautiful girl, was born 2 years later.  She was so sweet and mellow.  She has been like a ray of sunshine most days, but she does have her “ugly” times. (Who of us doesn’t)  This daughter has ulcerative colitis.  She deals with a disease that has no cure, and brings the joys of daily medication with a great attitude. Philippians 4:13 ” I  can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Then came my little boy 3 years later.  Such a beautiful boy and I was just so in love with him.  When he was about 3 1/2 and not talking yet, we knew there was an issue.  He had learning disabilities that we came to know were autism.  It was a challenge to deal with his outbreaks sometimes.  I have been hit, kicked, smacked, bit and screamed at more than I can remember.  I have dealt with the pickiest eater I know!  I have been ecstatic over him learning to talk, and then wishing I didn’t have to hear anymore about Ben 10 or Dinosaurs(any mom’s with autistic kiddos that can relate? LOL)  Thank God for my son, he helped me to grow more than I thought possible.  3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:3-5 .  God knows what we need more than we do sometimes. 

I love the Stressed-Less Living book and study.  It has been thought provoking, and made me realize that enjoying our blessings and leaning and turning to God is the best way to start reducing stress.  Thank God for Proverbs 31 Ministries and leading me to them.  It has changed and blessed my life.

Blessed More = Stressed Less

romans 12

 

We have been going through Tracie Miles “Stressed-Less Living” with Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study.

One of the challenges was to think of 5 things God has blessed me with.  Then to try to continue to think of more.  Challenge Accepted!

1. Salvation-Thank You, Jesus for your sacrifice!

2. Marriage- Even with the ups and downs, my husband is my love and best friend.

3. Children-  I was blessed with 3 that are a joy and frustration! 😀  Thank God for all the memories they have given me.

4. A Home- Thank God for a home we all fit in, and that we’ve been able to open it to family and friends, for bbq’s, birthdays, dinners, talks, bible studies and even a home for some when the needed one.

5 Vehicles-We are blessed to have a truck for my hubby, an SUV for me, and a car our daughters can share(which they could do better LOL)

6. Jobs-My hubby has been with the same company since 1999, and I have been with Edible Arrangements for 6 yrs.  We are blessed to have a job that covers all our majors and one that let’s us have a little extra.

7. Our Church- I love our Vineyard church.  Our pastor’s style really speaks to me.  Even though we are big, I have met a lot of people.  We’ve been able to share it with friends and family.

8.  Our Extended Family-My husband has MANY siblings that live close.  It’s blessed our children to be able to grow up with their cousins, Aunts & Uncles.  Even though my family MOSTLY lives out of state, we are able to Skype and talk on the phone.

9.Proverbs 31 Ministries-Finding Proverbs 31 was a wonderful “God Thing”  I have been blessed with their devotions and REALLY BLESSED by Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study.  I have found a community of women who love God and deeply desire to grow and share their faith!

10.Snow-Living in Colorado can be very dry.  SO, even though the calendar says “spring”, I will take the snow that helps bring out snowpack levels up, easing drought conditions.

11. Seedlings-  I am attempting to grown vegetables.  I am usually more of “black” thumb than green.  I prayed over the seeds I planted and God has helped them to grow! I pray He continues to bless my little garden this summer.

12.UNFROSTED Strawberry Pop-Tarts-  I Love them, ok!

13.Pets- I love my silly german shepherds and my bratty Siamese mix cat.

14. Challenges- Rough situations, while not always fun going through, help me to grow and learn.

15.Mountains-God blessed Colorado with some amazing ones.  They remind me of the majesty of God.

Ok, I could go on and on and on and on…………………..BUT I have to sleep.

I hope you find similar blessings, or a new perspective in finding your own.  Pray for God to challenge you to see things through His eyes.

Good Friday

love hurtsOur church service was a lovely reflection of the timeline Jesus went through from the Last Supper to his death. I am always struck by the love and sacrifice Jesus made. It shows how precious Father, Son & Holy Spirit think we, their creation, are to them. Father sends His only Son, part of the Trinity. The Son takes off His deity and becomes like us. He lives a life committed to the Will of the Father to let us know we can do it too. The Holy Spirit available to us because of Jesus sacrifice and our need of a Teacher & Helper!
WOW! I don’t know about some people, but that gives me a picture of love unbridled. We sin, we fall short, we mess up, we are broken and needy. In the midst of this God pours out love, sacrifice, redemption, salvation, eternal life.
John 3:16 is so well known, and rightly so, but I love what comes in the next verse.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17 (NASB) We know He sent Jesus because He loved us so much. But I think the even better news was in verse 17, NOT to judge the world, but to SAVE the world! Thank you Jesus, that you loved me enough to keep me from eternal judgement and a life apart from You!
I had an interesting conversation with an employee. He said he didn’t want to go to church for Easter. That got me thinking, what if Jesus, while praying in Gethsamene, said “Never mind, they’re not worth it” Where would we be? I know there have been many times I didn’t go to church because I was tired, busy, didn’t want to, whatever pitiful excuse I may have had. We are so blessed that we have a Savior who didn’t make excuses, but made the sacrifice.
I am in a very different place in my walk with God. I want to be in church every opportunity I can get now. One of the girls at work while the conversation was going on said “Oh Anna loves Jesus” And it’s so true, I can’t get enough of Him! I still get lazy, or complacent, but my desire is growing, along with my faith and happiness.
I pray this Easter, God reveals how much of a priority He made you, and perhaps you will make Him a priority this Sunday, and beyond. God bless and HOSANNA TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

The Sound of Silence?

Really?  Let.It.Go study you are stretching me so much.  One of our recent challenges was to be quiet and listen for God to speak to us.  When I make this an intentional exercise, I suddenly get ADD.  I think of every other thing possible and my brain refuses to SHUT UP!  It is a really taxing exercise.

This is not to say I did not do the exercise.  I did do it and I did hear from God.  Does anyone else spend quiet time with God in the shower?  I find there are less distractions there.  I mean really your just washing, it’s not rocket science and doesn’t require a lot of attention.  So I asked God to help me focus on and Him, and really tried to listen. 

Guess what?  The God who made me, He knows I have quiet time ADD! I really didn’t hear anything in the shower from God, ok, maybe a chuckle.  He had to have, I was trying to redirect all those stray thoughts to QUIET!  So, I got out and as I was drying off and getting ready for my day,  thought about one of my email inboxes and how I needed to clean it out.  BOOM!  God broke in!

He told me that that is like my quiet time with Him.  There is so much Junk and Spam vying for my attention, that it’s hard to focus on Him.  Thanks for the picture God.  So, I am trying to read God’s “email” and delete all the spam. 

Thankfully God also talks to me through music.  I have always connected with music.  In high school psychology, we had to say which sense we would hate to lose, and I said hearing.  I could not imagine a life with no music. 

I like to listen to Christian radio overnight when sleeping.  God just shows me His love by having a song playing that  really connect to as my brain wakes up.  It’s like Him saying “Good Morning, time to wake up!”  It really starts my day on the right track.  Sometimes, music brings me revelation, peace, exhilaration and so much more.  I can understand David’s heart to sing and dance for the Lord. If you saw me in my alone time of praise and worship, I think it would look something like that. 

Psalm 150:4   Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes!

This song makes me want to share God’s love and live this life for Him better!   I hope it encourages you too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-2dKOfbC9c