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

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She knew…Do you???

22 Oct

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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

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

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

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

Summer Break from the Ordinary

30 Jul

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Hey, girls!

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer, a break from the ordinary in some way.  That’s what this summer has been for me, hence my hiatus from posting the last eight weeks. But though I’ve had to step away from the computer, you have been on my heart and in my thoughts!

Recently, my husband shared with me a dream on his heart, something he wants to do to help people in life. Driving in my car a few days later, singing along to my new favorite song, the kids in their own world, laughing and talking in the backseat, I was suddenly struck with a thought:

This dream my husband shared is also my dream! I was instantly swept back to a moment when I was a teen, reading a certain book for the umpteenth time, inspired by the beautiful passion in its pages, telling God how much I would love to help people in this way. And now, so many years later, my dream was coming out of my husband’s heart, waking up desires I had set aside for the moment.

Tears began to fall as I realized how very good God is, that in His amazing plan for us, He remembers and answers dreams for His glory.

If you are a young woman reading this, know that the time you spend pursuing God now counts more than you may realize. Go after Him with all you have. Spend time on your knees with Him in both prayer and worship. Let His Word become life to you. Read (or listen to : ) books that inspire you for more than just yourself. Let God develop you in the days, months, and years to come, knowing that while life may have many twists and turns as you follow His direction, God will use the dreams He’s given you, amazing you with not only how big His plan is for you, but also the immense privilege it is to be a part of it.

I plan to be back writing weekly in September, but until then, check out the many other posts waiting for you in our archives. I pray they encourage you as you finish out a great summer! (Oh, and our workbook officially comes out on Amazon, etc., in August, so please write and let me know what you think once you get one! : )

Much love,

Lisa

Here are some favorite posts you might want to check out first:

The Perfect Guy

Beautiful Dust

Go Ahead — Shine! 

Not Alone!

Series: Assumptions (10 posts)

(photo credit: Moyan Brenn)