Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Can God Bring Good from This?

I get these daily devotionals from Proverbs 31 Ministry. Every day they are awesome. But specifically today's hit me hard. So I wanted to share with you all... ENJOY!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Have you ever faced a personal struggle and wondered how God could possibly bring good out of it? How could Romans 8:28 apply to my hidden issues — the ones I don’t like to think about, deal with, or even admit I have?

If you would have told me 10 years ago that God could bring good out of my weight issues and food struggles, I would have seriously doubted you.I would have rolled my eyes and excused myself to the bathroom.

Bathroom stalls are great places to cry in secret.

When a soul is rubbed raw from years of trying and failing, you don’t want to hear, “eventually good will come from this.”

I wanted something to instantly fix my issues.

I wanted to stop calling myself awful names I’d never let another person call me.

I wanted to be naturally thin like my sister.

I wanted to stop crying when I walked into my closet to get dressed in the morning.

I would have cared less about some elusive, eventual good. My jeans didn’t fit. Even my sweatpants didn’t fit. I felt horrible. I couldn’t stay committed to a healthy eating plan to save my life. And I saw no hope in sight.

It’s a terrible thing to scan the horizon and see no evidence of hope.

Maybe you’ve been there with some hidden issue. Maybe you’ve been there like me with food and weight struggles. Maybe you’re there today.

Whether your issues are the same as mine or not, all of us Jesus girls have struggles. We all fall short in some way. And we all need to know more about this “good” mentioned in Romans 8:28.

But instead of a three point sermonette, I want to share with you a letter I recently received. As I read it, the mercy gates of heaven split wide open and reigned down “this working of good.”It was heaven’s salve soothing deep places in me.

It is a picture of the reality of God’s Word being true. Always true. God does work for the good… in all things… every single thing... even our most raw and seemingly impossible things… but we must know it even when we don’t feel it.

“Just want to say thank you for sharing your struggles, Lysa. I’ve had an eating disorder since August,1978. Full blown anorexia, which led years down the road to bulimia.

I became a Christian in 2002, but never could fully surrender my eating disorder to our Lord. Through your story and the advice you shared the Holy Spirit is empowering me as I never knew possible. I’ve had 7 days of no binging or purging!!!

This may not seem like a high number to you, but after 33 full years with this binge/purge addiction, this is AMAZING. Hallelujah!!

You shed such new light on scriptures that I have read, but never knew how to interpret in my life especially with regards to eating. I’ll be honest I figured my eating disorder wasn’t that big a deal to our Lord. In fact I had told myself that He made me this way so it must just be the sin I was born to deal with; so glad to know that it isn’t, and that I matter to HIM."– Melissa P.

As I read this, my tears leaked free.We don’t have to figure out how God will bring good, we just have to stay on the journey with Him and watch Him work.

May this be a glimpse of hope in the midst of your struggles as well.

“And we know (we know it even if we don’t feel it) that in all things (even the ones we can’t even fathom being used for good) God works for the good. (He works for the good. Our job is to walk with Him day by day. His job is to work the good.)

Dear Lord, thank You for this hope. Thank You that You don’t waste our tears, our struggles, or those places rubbed raw from years of trying and failing. Once we do what You’ve instructed us to do, You always do what only You can do. I know You will bring good even when I can’t see it or feel it. And what a comfort that is to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If this devotion resonated with you, Lysa’s new book Made to Crave is just what you’ve needed. This is the message Melissa read that prompted the letter in this devotion.Click here to order your copy.

This book can also be a group Bible study by using these life-changing resources: Made to Crave Participant’s Guide and Made to Crave DVD teaching series, also by Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa will be speaking in over 40 cities this year and would love to meet you! To check for a city near you, click here.

Application Steps:
Write out your struggle on the front of a 3×5 card this week and pray for the next 5 days for God to reveal some good that could come from this. Write some of the power verses on the back of your card and meditate on these truths.

God doesn’t comfort us to make us comfortable. God comforts us to make us comfort-able. Able to comfort others with the same comfort we’ve received from Him. Is there someone in my sphere of influence who could benefit from hearing my story? Could this be some of the good God can bring from this?

Power Verses:
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lessons Learned

Yes, that's a retaining wall. I will never look at one the same again. This past week, I was one of 13 people selected to be on a court case. And this case was all about a retaining wall. A retaining wall that failed and a man that lost his house. We had to decide who's fault it was - his, the builder, or the designer. And how much money to award the man if we decided it was under 50% his fault.

It was quite an experience. It left me emotionally drained every night. I missed my husband and I missed my son. But nonetheless, it was a good experience. I was able to share my faith and hopefully be a shining light for Jesus.

My lesson learned was that you are to make the most out of EVERY opportunity. The first 2 days, I was negative and quite frankly pissed I had to be there. But then after hearing more of the case and God speaking to me through quiet time - I realized God told me I should make the most of this opportunity.

And so my perspective changed and I did make the most of it. I was praying a simple prayer a lot. "Less of me, more of you"...

So thankful for another awesome lesson learned from my abba father.

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two thoughts

Sorry for delay in my posting. I am in jury duty this week. And when I've gotten home from that - I have to work. It's Wednesday and I'm already wiped out. Sitting in court for 9 hours a day is exhausting. But I know I'm there for a reason.

This brings me to my post. I have been dealing with a battle in my mind. I wanted to post some things I've learned recently about how to fight this battle. It is one that always seems to hit me. And hit me hard.

Here are some facts that I keep in mind:
1- You cannot think two thoughts at the same time. What I mean by that is if I am anxious and worried, I can't be feeling peaceful and trusting at the same time.

2-"Your emotions represent truth"is a lie. Our emotions are not truth - God's word is truth. I must focus on His words not how I "feel."

3-You cannot make yourself stop thinking a thought.

4-If you don't willfully choose your mind, it will be set for you.

Here are some tips, I use to help me in the battle:

1- Take every thought captive immediately. Stop the thought before it goes down the road of "what-ifs."
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

2-Resting in the truth that I do not have to accept every thought that comes into my mind.

3-Resisting what I have been taught my whole life by society - "go with your gut" - that is a lie. We cannot trust our emotions. Emotions or feelings are not truth.

4-Reflecting and trusting in this truth - "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. " Romans 8:5-6

I want to have a mind governed by the Spirit, don't you?

Jesus turned and said to Peter,“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; 
you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 
Matthew 16:23

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekly Lessons Learned

It's basically daily that Finn does something that God uses to teach me a truth about Him. I thought it might be fun to start sharing some of these lessons. I'm going to try to post them every week on Wednesday since I'm home.

This week it happened on Sunday. So picture this - we were at the park just letting Finn run around in the soccer field. The weather was perfect - warm with a nice cool breeze. Finn really enjoyed running around. He would take off like a firecracker! What I began notice is that he would run and every few feet, he'd turn around and say "mama?" Once we would make eye contact and I said "I'm right here" he'd wave and start running again.

Do you realize what he was doing?

He wanted to make sure I was watching, following, and at a comfortable distance. It was the third time he did this that God said clearly to me - do you look for me like that? I was speechless. What a proclamation! And if I completely honest, I don't look for my Father that often. And what an awesome lesson Finn (and ultimately God) taught me that day. Now throughout the day I call out to make sure my Daddy is still there - watching over, leading me, and shining through me to others.

When was the last time you called to Him? Or have you forgotten like I had?

He's always there waiting to be called upon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


 Hey my blog readers, twitter followers, and facebook friends-

I wanted to give you the opportunity to join my team of supporters. So below is my letter asking for support....

Over the last two years a lot has changed in my life, but the one thing that hasn't is my love for Cambodia. Last year I felt a calling from God to go back to Cambodia. I was hesitant because I didn't want to take the spot of someone who had never gone. As I knew how much the trip had changed me for the better and wanted someone else to experience that opportunity.

In December, I talked with my friend Jon about going back (he led the trip the last 2 yrs). After talking and praying, he asked me to co-lead the trip with him and I felt this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I'm so excited to see my kids again.

This trip will be focused around loving on the kids, teaching them biblical principals, and taking them to the beach. The mission trip is from July 21 to August 1.

I'm writing because I need your support. I need prayer warriors and financial aid. Would you consider partnering with me? I will be sending out monthly updates with prayer requests and where we are with our financial support.

Thanks in advance for your generosity and support!

**To give online vist:

Make sure you list my name under "individual" and chose "Cambodia-Battambang 7/21-8/1/11" from the list of trips.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Who/what are you listening to?

There was a series done last year by Andy Stanley and Jeff Henderson called Game Plan.  It was just life changing for me! Here is the series description:

Discovering God’s plan for our lives can be frustrating. Some have described it as the most challenging experience of the Christian life.
But it shouldn’t be.
It doesn’t have to be.
After all, God is the preeminent communicator. He created communication. And as your heavenly Father, he wants you to know his will for your life.
In this 6-part series, Andy Stanley and Jeff Henderson explain, in the most practical ways imaginable, how to discover and embrace God’s game plan for your life.
In part five, Jeff preached a message that really changed things for me. The message was called A Word from Coach (you can download an mp3 for $1).  The main take away I got was "the people you listen to are a preview to the future you." Basically, everyone and everything you listen to shapes who you will be in the future.

So-my question for you to think about...Who and what are you listening to? 

If you are a mom - hopefully you have some resources and support. Because I know this is all tough to balance. I have to recommend you check out Birds on a Wire. It's an awesome ministry for us moms.

If you are a dad - I can recommend my husband's blog. He is blogging about how he's learning to Raise the Next Generation. Check it out - I know I'm bias, but I think it's awesome! He definitely will make you think.

Please comment if you have suggestions for singles, college students, etc...

Ok - that's it folks...have a GREAT day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What the 8 month break has taught me

As many of you know, I left Facebook back in August 2010. It had gotten to the point that I was a little LOT obsessed with Facebook. That's not easy to admit but I know it's true. I looked to Facebook as a wealth of not needed knowledge. And once I left, I was glad for the time I got back. I wrote two posts about deleting my account - Social Networking & Why?

Since August, a few things have changed. I have gotten much more into writing on this blog. And I have really enjoyed writing. It's good for me to get things out of my head. I've realized that Facebook could be used for good. What I mean is that it's merely a place to share what God is teaching me. I feel that I can spread my words to more this way. It's an easier place for people to read. So we will see how it goes.

In a nutshell - my mind has been changed. I will have to be very intentional that I don't get back to the way it was before. And I will still be primarily posting on my blog - but the blog will be connected to Facebook. And from time to time, I'll post thoughts, quotes, studies, questions, etc.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My time balance "rules"

It is so important that you be intentional with your time. As you know, our time is limited. We hear about this in Ephesians 5:15-16. I'm very goal/task oriented. So I write out goals and then back them down to the quarter, month, week, and day. I know that's a little crazy for some - but it works for me. And that's what you have to do. Find a system or no system that works for you. But the end goal is intentionality.

Today I wanted to share how I try to keep my time balanced. It's a challenge but I have a few rules to keep myself accountable. I long to be a great wife and mom. And the only way that can happen is if I keep my husband and family first. I also long to have time to grow a relationship with my heavenly father.

So here are the "rules" for myself...(again this is for me and doesn't work for everyone)

1-I'm not in more than one group at a time. For example-I'm in a mom's group right now, but I'm about to start training a team to go to Cambodia. So I will take a break from mom's group until I get back form Cambodia.

2-I try not to plan more than one outing for the weekends. This gives us time as a family and time to rest before the new week starts.

3-I keep a family calendar on google calendar. This way Greg and I can share it. We both can see what's going on at all times.

4-I set an etched memory for each quarter. I make one for family, one for marriage, and one for Finn and I. This keeps me accountable to do "stuff" that matters and not get lost in the tasks of everyday.

5-I keep a "life on purpose" weekly guide. On it I can write down goals for the week and my schedule. It helps me to easily see how I'm doing balance between all areas (Spiritual, Marriage, Family, Work, and Church) If you are interested in seeing this document - comment or send me an email and I'll send it to you.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12

Monday, March 7, 2011

A peek into Cambodia...

This is a video that my church did to promote missions. It was Gregory's idea for me to put the video on here. And what a great idea! This truly gives you a peek into what it's like there. So excited to be going! Enjoy...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cambodia 2011!!

Very exciting news...I'm going back to Cambodia!!

I will be sending out a support letter like the picture soon. If you would like to be included, please comment to let me know. I will be mailing and emailing this letter. I'm hoping for a HUGE group of supporters. I need prayer warriors and financial support. I'm very excited about this opportunity. And cannot wait to share it with you. 

Just to go back for a moment, read these blog entries from 2008. God really showed me A LOT! And I know he has even more in store for me this year. Praise Him!
Post Cambodia
Home Sweet Home

1.5 year update!

Hello friends,
Since Finn is approaching 1 1/2 years old, I thought it would be good to give an update. What better way then through pictures.
Here's Finn with his best friend, Savannah. He's watching Mickey Mouse - his new favorite show!
Here's Finn in his new class climbing - that's his new favorite act. And his best bud Will is behind him.
On Wednesdays, I'm home with Finn - in this picture he learning to color.
Look at that face lighting up while coloring, too cute!
Here is Finn outside just running on the deck
And here he is jumping from the deck. Finn makes me super nervous because he is all boy!
Finn is just enjoying exploring around the yard
Sitting at the table like a big boy and eating with a fork!
Finn, you are growing up way too fast!

I love you,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Letter from My King

I have a book that I just adore.  I look at it a couple times a week, just open it to a page.The book is a collection of letters from a King (my God) to His Princess (me). Every single time I open it the letter has perfect timing. This was the entry from today :

My Princess...

I want your mind to be fixed on Me, My beloved. But I want even more from you. I desire great things for you, so I want you to guard your mind by making an "aware list"-all the things you watch, listen to, and read. Let Me show you the things that can carry you away from your calling and destroy your dedication to Me. Even your thoughts can be held captive by the ways of the world. I want to protect you but I will  never force you to listen to My Spirit or make your mind dwell on what is true, pure, and right. The choice is yours, My love. You can have an abundant life, a blessed life-a life of influence for others to follow; or you can join the way of the world. I, your God, am asking you today to let your mind dwell on Me, you will discover the kind of life you long to enjoynot only now, but forever.
Your King and your Peace of Mind

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:7

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Family Inheritance

 On Monday, I received a devotional in my email that discussed family inheritance. It was so good I wanted to share a few things.

"Though you have made me see troubles,many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up."
Psalm 71:20 (NIV)
  1. There were some great questions brought up, here's two that I wrote in my journal - What blessings and curses does your lineage carry with it? What family troubles have you seen, what miracles of restoration?
  2. It brought up the subject of forgiveness. That's a subject God has been bringing to me a lot lately. In devotionals, in my quiet times, even in my mom's group - God's tapping me on the shoulder...saying "Forgive, as I have forgiven." In the devotion, this statement hit me hard - "We should not have unfinished business at the end of our lives, for we'll only pass it along to those who follow behind us." 
  3. The lineage of Jesus is also brought up. His lineage wasn't perfect - but he was. This is to be an encouragement to us. Break the chains of brokenness and suffering in your family and chose to start a new lineage. A great heritage. "I choose to be a blessing in my family tree. What about you?"
I leave you with this - What’s Your Family Inheritance? Is it what you want it to be? Forgive those that have hurt you and move on. Remember, forgiveness is a choice. And you can't truly worship God until you forgive those that have hurt you. 

Below is a prayer and some application steps. I hope it helps you as it helped me.

Dear Lord, please help me understand the people who came before me, and who I am today as a result. Lord, on this day, I choose to let go of those things which hold me back, and to search for the beauty in my family inheritance. Please use me to be a blessing in my family tree. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Ask God to remove any anger or resentment in your heart, and choose to forgive those who have passed along troubles to you. Choose also to forgive yourself.

Examine your family tree. If there are family members no one talks about, ask questions and break the silence where needed so true healing can begin.

Seek God when discerning where to go from here. Who do you want to be? Take full responsibility for the person you have become and choose to change those parts of you that are simply a result of past hurts.

Be a prayer warrior for your family, especially for those seen as "black sheep." Pray for your children and for all who will come after you. Pray for God to use you in a powerful way to positively affect their lives and lineage.

Whom in my family do I most take after? Who has had the biggest effect on my life?

What branches in my family tree are unfruitful? Which are full of life?

Is there any "unfinished business" I need to deal with?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 61:4, "They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations." (NIV)

Genesis 12:2, "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." (NIV)

Blog written from inspiration from Proverbs 31 devotional.
Prayer, Application Questions, Reflections and Power verses from - © 2011 by Nicole Seitz. All rights reserved.