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Video

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

Less stress in just 2 minutes???

26 Jan

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Happy New Year, beautiful girls!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get on here and wish you a Happy 2014…We had a crazy start to our new year with being snowbound in another state and then, once home, battling the flu—TWICE! But life is back on track again now, thankfully!

Over the holidays, I watched a video in which the speaker shared some interesting research regarding body position and its effect on the body chemically. She gave a lot of information, but what I took away most was this:

 Body position can alter your body chemically, both positively and negatively.

This researcher found that the test groups members who (upon request) sat in a chair for two minutes making themselves physically small, close, and withdrawn:

1)    Did poorer in the job interview that immediately followed.

2)    Tested lower in testosterone (the get-it-done hormone) and higher in cortisol (the stress hormone)

The researcher also found that test group members who (again upon request) sat for two minutes with their arms raised in a victory pose:

1)     Did better in the job interview that immediately followed.

2)     Tested higher in testosterone (the get-it-done hormone) and lower in cortisol (the stress hormone)

She urged viewers to take just two minutes before important events (like a job interview, important test, etc.) and strike that victory pose. She is convinced it will make a real difference in the outcome.

Instantly, I thought of the different verses in the Bible that encourage us to raise our hands to our Heavenly Father.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:3-5

God, come close. Come quickly! Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing! Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising; my raised hands are my evening prayers.  Psalm 141:1-2

While we may think of worshipping God for who He is as benefitting us spiritually and emotionally, according to this research, it even helps our body work better! It actually reduces stress and equips us to succeed.

So let’s lift our hands to Him this year, even if for two minutes at a time, trusting Him to take care of our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our dreams.

With God, nothing is impossible. And that victory pose is ours.

Believing with you for a great new year,

Lisa

photo credit

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

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

Different is Good

1 Oct

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Here are a few follow-up thoughts from last week’s post about Dream Chic

As I said before, much of the fun of Dream Chic involves the fabulous women I get to spend time with over those few days. Like my mil Victoria Raftery, founder of Dream Chic, who isn’t just a fashion plate (this woman can work it!), but also a powerhouse of wisdom & encouragement, reminding us that our dreams count! GO FOR IT!

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Or Christine Martin, a firecracker from New York (now a Floridian) who reminds you not just who you are and what you can reach for, but how do-able it is to step into God’s plan for your life. (She’s REALLY fun to listen to, by the way!)

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I could list all the amazing speakers and how each one touched my heart in some way (some of them young women your age). But here’s my point today: Each woman had something significant to contribute that weekend, even though each one had a different look, personality, and message.

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The key was that each one was herself, and in that, her story shined beautifully.

Together, all of us speakers just being “us,” we made a lovely symphony that worked together to give God glory and encourage the many women listening. Women who came with their own unique situations, hopes, dreams, problems, and concerns, yet were able to process what was shared and leave that conference healed, refreshed, and forever changed. (Me included!)

Would that have happened if all of us told the exact same stories, challenges, struggles, and victories? Or did our varying personal journeys with the Lord help more women connect in some way to what was said?

So…how has God made you to fit in His beautiful symphony? Because if you try to be someone else, we all miss out on the sound He created you to provide. (Remember my post awhile back, Please Be You! ?)

No matter how you feel about yourself today, it’s important that you yield to the truth (because truth is truth regardless of our fickle, unstable feelings that change constantly).

The truth is:

You are beautiful and precious.

God loves you to such a profound degree, you get to simply enjoy it without ever fully understanding it.

Your Heavenly Father has plans for you today and tomorrow that are so special, so valuable, they are worth fighting for and protecting. Why? Because you are worth so very much to Him and to others (both those around you now and those you have yet to meet in the future).

Do you realize that your dream counts (the Dream Chic motto)?

Why does it count? Because YOU do!

Have a great day remembering that…
Love you, beautiful girls!
Lisa

marshmallow/live speaker photos credit

Why Can’t I Read This???

10 Sep

buried in books

School is back, and many of you are once again buried in books and computers, quizzes and tests, classes you like and maybe even those you can’t wait to be done with already!

As a former high school teacher, I’ve seen some pretty funny things over the years with students. One of my favorites was when I was monitoring an elementary student who was doing his science homework. His assignment was to write down the chapter vocab words in his notebook and then go back and fill in the definition of each term from the glossary located in the back of the book. (Ever had to do this?)

This boy worked quickly and diligently, proudly handing me his notebook upon completing all the terms. I scanned the list and took a double-take. Yep, every single term was perfect. (Seriously, not even one spelling error that I could see). I handed the notebook back to him and said, “Um…could you read me the first definition please?”

The kid glanced down, started reading, and suddenly stopped. A shocked look on his face, he cried, “What in the world? Why can’t I read this?!

We both had a good laugh when he realized that he had painstakingly copied every definition perfectly—IN SPANISH! Apparently, there were TWO glossaries in the back of his science book, one in English, the other in Spanish. This actually very smart student was so focused on what he was doing (finishing boring homework he had no interest in), he hadn’t connected with the words he was writing. He had written out hundreds of Spanish words without bothering to process or understand them. Had he simply paid attention, he would have noticed his mistake on the very first definition.

So, what’s the take-away? You really can go through the motions of doing something without connecting. Yet if you don’t connect, you’re often wasting your time. Or at least not getting as much out of the experience as you could have.

How are we simply “going through the motions” in our lives? Are there ways that we are missing out by not truly “connecting” to what we are experiencing? This can apply to school, work, relationships, or even the time we spend reading our Bibles or worshipping.

As we start a fresh fall season, take a moment now and then to check if you are really connecting to life around you. I promise that you’ll get a lot more out of…well, EVERYTHING, if you choose to be present in the moment.

(So happy to be back writing with you girls now that it’s fall. : )

Have a fabulous week!

Much love,

Lisa