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BIG

25 Jun

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XziPUuptdOQ

Hello, beautiful girls!

Perhaps you’ve wondered why my absence here the last several months? Remember my post about suddenly realizing that my husband’s dream was actually MY dream as a teen? Well, that dream has taken tangible shape over the last 10 months. In fact, we just sold our house in Michigan, loaded our four awesome kids in our minivan, and are now driving across the country to San Diego, California, to pursue it!

I’ll fill you in on the details later, but we’re basically launching an organization called Muzzii that mentors youth through music. Plus our non-profit organization, Develop U Now, provides free instruments to kids without the resources to purchase them.

It’s a story filled with cool “God moments” that I’ll no doubt share at some point, but suffice it to say, following Christ is a journey that takes all the courage, trust, faith, love, and determination you’ve got.

Yet it’s worth every bit of it as we get to live incredible lives filled with God’s presence, real adventure, straight-up MIRACLES, and amazing peace and provision during change and challenges. There is nothing like following His voice and putting it all on the line, only to see God come through in ways that blow you away!!!

What are you facing right now (big or small)? If you’ll reach out to the One who loves you most, you’ll see Him work things out in miraculous and beautiful ways.

Be encouraged by the song above to live life BIG (developing the relationships, talents, & interests God has given you, day by day). One step at a time, you’ll end up walking out the life you were created to live!

We’re living big right now with our California adventure, and I’m so excited to share with you God’s faithfulness once we get settled on the West Coast!

Until then, enjoy the many encouraging posts in our archives! And read (or re-read ; ) Julia’s story in the Mr. Right Series novels and workbook. (Seriously, most of what girls ask me to counsel them on is found in those pages! Take advantage of them! We wrote them for you. : )

Looking forward to my next post from sunny California!

Love you, precious girls!
You are in my thoughts & prayers…
Lisa

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Click here to check out the series

The Letter

24 Dec

Hey, beautiful girls!
This post is actually one I wrote last fall, but it ties in to Christmas Eve and hopefully will be an encouragement to you as we all prepare for Christmas TOMORROW!!! Ahhhhh!!!!
May this Christmas remind you of what an amazing God we serve, that He loves you deeply and beautifully.
Merry Christmas!!!
Lisa

Mr. Right Series Blog

I have to pinch myself that I’ve been married to my Mr. Right for 15 years now.

Even so, I remember what is was like to not have someone in my life, wondering if it would happen for me. I remember being on a continual roller coaster, enjoying the highs of It’s awesome trusting God for my love story!!! only to plummet into the depths of Why in the world is it taking so long? Is the right guy even out there???   It was easy to start comparing my experience with other women’s, to get discouraged (whether I was observing those who were still waiting like me or those who had already met their husbands). My poor mother! How many times did she say something encouraging to me only to have me roll my eyes and answer, Yeah, but you’re already married!

One day I realized something I…

View original post 534 more words

Not Feelin’ It?

4 Dec

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Recently, a young woman wrote to me for encouragement. She had happily rededicated her life to Christ a few months ago, but wasn’t feelin’ it lately. Didn’t feel like going to church, listening to her pastor’s message, reading her Bible, etc. She felt bad and basically asked, How do I get out of this funk?

Ever asked that same question? ; )

When  we feel that way, we have to step back and remind ourselves of a few truths:

1) Our feelings often betray our true selves. In other words, feelings change like the weather; they aren’t dependable. Silly example, but one day a girl can feel lovely and confident, the next feel plain and insecure. Did anything really change in one day? Nope, just her view of herself, via her fickle feelings. In a few days, hydrating (seriously, not getting enough water is a huge mood killer!) and focusing on positive things, she’s back to feeling pretty good about herself again. Feelings come and go, and we have to control them rather than let them control us. And if we aren’t filling ourselves with the right thoughts, the wrong ones easily overwhelm us and take over!

2) Building our spiritual muscles is a lot like building our physical ones. Even though we know that exercising makes us feel the best, gives us needed endorphins and makes life much more manageable, it’s often the last thing we feel like doing. Ugh, don’t make me get on that treadmill!!! But if we PUSH PAST how we feel and do it anyway (because we know it’s the right thing and will get us the short and long-term results we really want), soon our feelings  catch up with us and we find satisfaction in exercising and seeing the results that come.

Same thing spiritually. We don’t always “feel” the connection when we pray or worship. But we are connecting all the same! And if we’ll push past feelings and do what we know is right (and good for our spiritual growth), those fickle feelings go away and we “feel” connected again. Either way, God loves us and wants to be close with us. Sometimes we feel it big time, other times we just know He’s real and with us regardless of what we feel. The truth will stand even when our good feelings take a vacation for whatever reason.

3) Sometimes we’re simply under spiritual attack. The enemy is working hard to get us discouraged and willing to give up or walk away from our faith. But the truth is that you have total victory in Christ. You have a Savior that holds you in His hands and can give you the will and strength you need to walk the road He has for you (no matter what the season or emotion).

So, once we remind ourselves of all this, what do we do?

Tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. You’re a new creature now, so you are not at the mercy of sin and discouragement. Fight back by reading your Bible ANYWAY! By going to church whether you feel like it or not. By worshipping because He is worthy of your worship, not because you feel goose bumps. (Sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t. But you’ll be rewarded for obeying, trusting in His wisdom and your relationship with Him more than your feelings in any given moment, week, or month.) Like the young woman at the beginning of this post, reach out to the right people for advice & encouragement.  Most importantly, ask God to help you feel loved and connected again. Because you are, and He will!

Hope this helps some of you today…

Love you, beautiful girls!

Happy first week of December,

Lisa

photo credit

Victim or Empowered One?

16 Nov

Ever wonder if you can really do it? (Only you know what “it” is for you: succeed at school, make new friends, change your choices to get to a better place, stay strong in areas you may be weak, find out who you were created to be, pursue a big dream you have in your heart…)

Sometimes we look at our situations and feel like they are too big to overcome.  But feelings often lie.

The truth is that God can empower you to not only face what comes in life, but enjoy victory over it.

Hope the amazing girl in this video encourages you that:

1) It’s important to be honest, intentional, and persistent regarding the challenges we face.

2) Attitude is everything, and we can choose to see challenges as opportunities.

3) It’s all in how you view yourself: victim or empowered overcomer.

4) Positive support in your life is crucial. Be real with positive mentors who love you, and then let them cheer you on!

5) With God’s help, hard work, and consistency, you really can do anything!

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13 (Amplified; underlined emphasis added by me ; )

“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:13 (The Message)

Love you, beautiful girls!

Lisa

She knew…Do you???

22 Oct

she knew purpose pic

Loved this thought on Pinterest today…

“She knew that she was formed by God’s hands, dreamed up in His heart, and placed in this world for a purpose.”

Do you know that, too?

Because God knew you before you were born. He has specific plans and a beautiful purpose for you, too.

Look at these verses in Psalm 139:13-16 (Message):

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

And the following verse in Psalm 86:13a (NLT):

…for your love for me is very great.”

Doesn’t it feel good to be so loved?

Praying for you this week!

Lisa

p.s. This pic was art created by www.redletterwords.com. (Lots of great word art there, btw)

Reality & Truth

16 Oct

LOVE LOVE LOVE this video! It perfectly illustrates so many things: unrealistic expectations, dishonesty in the media, our culture’s obsession with perfection, etc.

Today let’s talk about it in light of reality & truth.

Reality: If you were walking down that street shown in the video, you would look up and see a beautiful woman on that billboard. You might even wish you looked like her.

Truth: She is not real. Her eyes aren’t really that big, her neck has been lengthened and narrowed, and her cheeks have been shaved more shallow.

Truth: This billboard you’re supposed to want to look like is made up. Furthermore, that model was an attractive girl before they even started working on her!

My point? You are surrounded by realities every day. But I want you to start thinking about the truth that exists as well. Because running right alongside what is “real” is truth.

What’s the challenging reality that you’re facing right now? Because I promise you that God has a truth that trumps it!

Reality: There may be a guy at school that you really like, but he doesn’t seem to like you back or even think you’re pretty.

Truth: You are beautiful whether or not that guy thinks so. You are valuable, and God has a plan for your life that will take care of your heart’s desires in over-the-top ways.

Reality: Maybe you want to go to college, but your family has very little money.

Truth: Your Heavenly Father has all the money you need, and He can make it happen for you anyway! (Remember my college story?)

Reality: Perhaps someone at school (or work) is totally mean to you.

Truth: She’s hurting and miserable, lashing out at others from her own pain and problems. It’s not really about you at all! Seriously, it isn’t that personal.

Remember: We don’t always know the truth in a situation, but God does!

He is Truth! And He can help us navigate difficult waters.

Is your reality that you’ve gotten off track somehow?

Maybe you’ve made choices you don’t feel good about.
You’ve gotten into things you shouldn’t.
Watched stuff.
Said stuff.
Done stuff you know isn’t who you want to be.

The truth is:
God knows it all.
He cares so much about you.

His love is an everlasting love that is better, bigger, deeper, stronger, and more powerful than we will ever grasp this side of heaven.

God has a way to work things out for you.
He has a new beginning for you if you need it.
He has a plan for you.
You can still have a beautiful today and tomorrow as you give it all over to Him and walk close to Him.

So…
What’s your reality right now?
What’s the truth that God wants you to know about it?
Will you dare to trust Him with it?
Because your dreams are just beginning if you will.

Food for thought with love,
Lisa

Beautiful Dream Chics

1 Oct

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Well, I’m back from the Dream Chic Conference about a week, and I am still TIRED! But it’s the type of tired where you can still smile and let out a contented sigh, knowing it was totally worth it (said from beneath the pile of laundry I have yet to finish!)

Joking aside, I hope you can find a way to join us next September. No matter what your age, you’ll LOVE it—and its $39 price! (It can be a great girls’ getaway weekend..Did I mention Chicago is only thirty minutes from Dream Chic’s Indiana location? Hint hint ; )

Anyway, like every year that I go, I had the chance to get to know some great women, including some beautiful “Dream Chics” shown in the pic above.

One young woman (who rededicated her life to Christ at the conference) wrote this powerful message on Facebook afterwards:

This was an experience I’ll never forget. Ever. The women’s conference where young people gathered all for the same thing, to glorify God for who He is. To realize how big a plan that God has for your life. After this experience, I feel as though God has a big calling on my life, that I don’t even realize yet. I have a very very strong desire to reach out to people. Very strong. I want to help people, I want them to know, You can have more to life. God is more, God is there for you. I may struggle, and I may have trials, but God is there. God is with me. I’m grabbing onto God, and I’m not letting go…

Wow! So much in those few lines…

Glorifying God for who He really is…
Realizing He has a specific plan & calling for you (whether or not you understand it all yet)
Knowing that no matter what comes our way, God is there for us….
Grabbing onto Him so tight, we won’t let go…
(And, I might add, knowing He will never lose His grip on us!)

Hope these lines encourage you as much as they did me!

You’re in my thoughts & prayers this week…

Much love,
Lisa

photo credit for top group photo