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Showing posts from 2013

Let's Hit the Reset Button!

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All that stuff I said last week, about choosing joy and how it's up to us how we handle hard times? Well, I need to take a huge dose of it this week. I'm hanging on by a thread, friends.

Some days, the stormy seas of life feel a whole lot like a hurricane, and you're soaked to the skin inside your slicker and galoshes.

Once a year, we get to make a fresh start. All the bad times, poor choices, heartaches...they're all washed away. No sense in feeling guilty and letting negative thoughts flood your boat. It's time to batten down the hatches and hang on to the solid Rock. I'm going to work on positive thoughts, plenty of rest and prayer, Bible study and counting my blessings. Here's the ones I'm thinking of first:

I am not alone.
God is enough.
I don't have to be perfect.
God is forgiving.
I am abundantly blessed.
God is gracious.

The secret is not to try harder, but to lean on God even more than before. It's time to start the new year with a new h…

Christmas Gifts From God: Joy for the Journey

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Your life circumstances can be great one minute and lousy the next. After getting an attagirl at work, your car breaks down on the way home.  Life pushes a lot of crazy stuff our way. Instead of reacting negatively, we can choose to live calm, not windblown and unruffled, not buffeted.

Last week, as everyone was busy buying the last few Christmas gifts, The Hubster was checking into the local hospital. He has pneumonia, and since his chronic cancer condition depresses his immune system, it was serious.

Admittedly, I was scared. I could have curled into a ball on the floor, but I had things to do. He needed me and I needed him. So I got in there and got things done, with God's help and grace. I had faith that God would see The Hubster through, and I knew the Lord would give me strength to support him.

It's up to us, how we handle life's stormy seas. Next time you find yourself curled in a ball on the floor, say a quick prayer, dry your tears and pull on your galoshes and s…

Christmas Gifts From God: A Mission

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I believe we'll have things to do in Heaven. Maybe not jobs, per se, but meaningful work serving God, according to Revelation 22. Adam was busy in the Garden of Eden; he didn't just lay around fanning himself with palm fronds. Here on earth, we all have work to do, but what is our mission?

I knew I wanted to make a difference; to be a help to others. I didn't know how or where or when, but God did. When I was done floundering around, God was ready to get down to business with me. I came to a place where I was no longer satisfied with my life. Wanting more, I cried out to God and showed Him I was willing to obey.

It might be in the darkest jungle in Africa, but sometimes your mission field is your own neighborhood. Good news, it's never too late to start, and never to early, either. Just take one step.

Start with a mission statement. Here's mine:

My faith simply wraps itself  around everything I write  and I consider it my mission  to encourage women around me  to see…

Christmas Gifts From God: A Talent

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Psalm 42:1-2 (KJV) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 

I love words, and I'm not the only one. Writing is my niche; the gift God gave me. Encouragement is my area of expertise. It burns in my heart and head. Do you get that? What makes you get out of bed every morning?

You have gifts, too. Mine was hard to uncover; or maybe I'm just thick. The Savior's plans were better and more fulfilling than any dream or idea I ever had. I gave up control, but received so much more. Can I be willing to serve, even when it's not convenient?

I must be careful not to fall in love with the sound of my own voice, or words. Am I following after God's heart, or mine? Being mindful of their origin makes me even more grateful for the gift. Like the passage in I Samuel 13, I want to be a "(wo)man after God's own heart."

Celebrate our differe…

Christmas Gifts From God: A Partner

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Marriage is made up of moments. The Hubster and I have many, beginning when we met in November 1980. I'd never met anyone quite like him: smart, worldly, kind. He was a man, and made me aspire to be a woman. He took me seriously; no one ever had before. It was different.

The moments Steve spent talking with me late at night after we married, even when he had to be up at 5 a.m., are precious to me. They helped ignite my passion for a personal relationship with Jesus. Satan attacked hard at that time. We fought big; we loved big; we learned to relate.

The moment Steve stopped the car when he saw a large white bird standing in the roadway, I knew the Hand of God was upon our lives. He gave him divine protection from the other speeding car that day, and many more since.

The moment he stood on Main Street and blew kisses at me as I drove by, my heart melted. Steve has never been afraid to publicly show his love for me.

The moment he shaved his head when all my hair fell out from c…

A Month of Gratitude: Embracing the Future

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Lamentations 3:21-26 (KJV)This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

The Hubster and I have a family meeting every year on New Year's Day. We sit at the dining room table and write down our goals for the next 12 months, review last year's objectives and take a look at the progress we've made on our long-term targets.

Let's just say that this was a "rebuilding" year. We took a big hit financially and had to slice expenses to the bone. That being said, The Hubster and I have a lot to anticipate. Our business is slowly growing again and my health is back on track.

Regardless of what h…

A Month of Gratitude: Embracing Prayer

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Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Mom and I took our annual road trip to the University of Missouri last week, and it gave me a chance to reconnect with her. We laugh, talk, eat, talk, drive and talk some more. The Hubster teases us about how much we talk. It's a mom-and-daughter thing. Although we do lots of fun things together, prayer is my favorite thing to do with my mom.

There's just something so special about joining hearts and hands together in prayer. It is a time of sharing and intimacy that brings us closer to each other, and our Savior. I treasure every moment. Mom is an incredibly special person. She's alw…

A Month of Gratitude: Embracing Change

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Isaiah 46:9 (KJV) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.


As we drove home from church last Sunday, The Hubster and I enjoyed the fashion show that God is hosting. The trees were a myriad of fall colors: russet, bright orange, yellow...there was even a neon pink redbud! This spectacle won't last long; the seasons change so quickly.

This season of change applies to my life, as well. I am no longer identified as a cancer patient, or even a cancer warrior. I am a survivor, and put that chapter behind me. My hair is getting longer every day and soon I'll have my portacatheter removed.

Work for me now is nothing like before. I'm in a large office, full of people. For 15 years, I was alone at home. While my previous schedule was not terribly demanding, I am pulling 10-hour days and weekends. My brain is stretched and filled to capacity with much new knowledge.

God never changes. His love is steadfast...unmova…

A Month of Gratitude: Embrace the Place Where You Are

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Psalm 133:1 (KJV) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


I grew up with itchy feet. Not from athlete's foot...from wanderlust. From as far back as I can recall, I wanted to travel.

Perhaps it was from all the books I read about faraway places. When I read about the Connecticut Yankee, Huckleberry Finn's Mississippi raft trip, Robinson Crusoe's island, or the gold prospectors in Michener's Alaska, I longed for similar adventures. My life seemed pretty stale in small-town Kansas.

I wanted to be out there, trying new things and really living. The world looks pretty inviting from far away; a beautiful blue planet chock-full of grand sights. As wonderful as Earth is, it can be a cold place when no one is around to share. I love to travel, but doing it alone sounds completely uninteresting.

When my family took summer vacations, I stared out the car windows, wishing I had a daredevil life. Instead, I should have been looking inside …

The Gifts That Breast Cancer Gave Me

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My breast cancer journey is almost at a close. In the last year and a half, God gave me some precious gifts. I thought I would just bear down, and tough out this cancer battle, instead I have found delicate and multi-faceted jewels placed in my path.

Rest: I didn't ever sit and get quiet until I was forced to with cancer. Seems like I always had something to do, or somewhere to be. Now, I have to schedule in those quiet times to relax my mind and gather my senses.

Prayer: I've always considered myself a prayer person, but I really became a warrior during my cancer journey. Not how you think, though. I was praying for others, not myself. There are so many around us that are suffering. Achieving a deeper level of worship and prayer makes me hungry for more.

Humility: I realized early on that I had very human limits. My body simply gave out when it had enough. There are lovely, kind people in my life who stepped up to the plate. They ministered to me, body and soul. I'm used to…

Breast Cancer: Why Do I Feel Guilty For Getting Better?

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It seems like there are a million products on the market now that are "light," "lite," or "reduced" in some fashion. Weird, but I think about my cancer in that way. I had a very mild case of breast cancer, or Cancer Lite.

I almost feel like I shouldn't claim to be a cancer survivor. So many others have really, truly struggled with side effects of treatment, horrible pain from surgeries and catastrophic changes to their daily lives. While I did have three surgeries, six doses of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatments, my body tolerated all of it fairly well, and I seem to be bouncing back rapidly.

Call it "survivor's guilt," but I went through a couple of months after treatment where I felt a bit ashamed. I gained weight, had tons of personal support and a great experience with my cancer team. During this time, a young man I knew died from liver cancer. He was a vibrant, strong Christian with a young family.

Pink ribbons are everywhere…

Breast Cancer: Living Beyond My Circumstances

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John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


When my doctor told me I had breast cancer, I went into battle mode, full force. The Hubster and I prayed about it, then got a plan together. I went from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, until I found the best fit for me. Here's the interesting part...I kept right on with my life. I still worked, grocery shopped, did my laundry and paid my bills.

Cancer was part of my life, but it didn't take over. What are your circumstances? Is there something that makes you want to stop trying?

I wish I could whisper this truth in your ear.

                                                       You. Can. Live. Abundantly.

You are not alone. There is significance and joy to be had in every day, good or bad. God will be in every one of those moments. Be secure in His presence, no matter what you face.

I've said it b…

Why I Went (Very) Public With My Cancer Battle

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A friend and I talked about our cancer journeys this evening. She's in the middle of hers; I'm nearing the finish line. We both said we feel a need to pay it forward and encourage others who are facing this life-changing illness.

I decided to go public with my cancer battle. Others are very private about their lives. You see, this is not my first bout with cancer. I survived skin cancer at age 25, with a husband, four-year-old and newborn. Cancer has taken several members of my family, too. I knew it was a matter of "when," not "if."

Here's my reasons for living out loud:

No secrets. Fear lives in the dark.
Sharing my faith is what I do.
I put it all in the blog. My whole life. I don't pick and choose from the pretty parts.
Christians' lives aren't perfect. Bad things happen to everyone.

Do I like calling attention to myself? Not really. I'm waving a flag for all cancer fighters. We're around you, and it doesn't take much to encour…

Limitless

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The lesson I learned in last week's post was that I needed to find facts first, then add faith, and the feelings would follow. Let's face it, I haven't always done the right thing...or even the smart thing.

This week, I'm making a full confession on what happens when you lead with your feelings. There are consequences to every action, and one of the things that happen when you let your feelings lead the way is that you won't be living God's best for your life. Our Father still honors His children, and will bless you in whatever you do, but it won't be the absolute best plan that He had laid.

I am going through a season of mental challenge in my life. Frankly, I'm scared! Am I smart enough? Can I do all this? Will they think I'm stupid? All these questions are fear-based. We all know where fear comes from. Every self-limiting question that swims in my head is straight from the Devil. 

A holding pattern of fear is what I am in right now. I'm fr…

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Feelings

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I once had a conversation with The Hubster about our emotions. I asked him when the last time was he felt an emotion. He thought and thought...and finally said it was about three weeks before. I was completely floored, and told him that I had suffered at least five emotions in that conversation alone! He was perplexed by this and asked me, "How do you handle all of that going on inside of you?"

"Exactly!"I exclaimed.

In the story of Isaac's death, the blessing of a father was at stake. Esau was the oldest son, and tradition held that he would receive his father's blessing and inheritance. Isaac, who was blind, asked Esau bring him his favorite meal before he conveyed the award. Rebekah, Isaac's wife, had other plans for the inheritance. She wanted her favorite son, Jacob, to receive it, so she conspired to trick the elder patriarch. 

Genesis 27:21-23 (KJV)
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou …

God is There

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Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.--St. Francis of Assisi, 13th century

These words were set to music in the 1970s, and my vocal music instructor in Junior High School assigned us the task of singing this 12-page concerto by Mary McDonald. It was an ambitious piece for a group of awkward adolescents. We gave it our all, though, and it was well received. 

I have always kept the words to this beautiful poem tucked away in my heart. It strengthens me when I'm weak and shares my joy when my soul soars. It is truly a …

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

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When I was a kid of six or eight, I had an obsession. It was a food obsession, particularly with Chicken in a Biskit crackers. It was a doomed relationship from the start, because even at that tender age, I realized the glaring spelling error.

I found a box of those crackers in the cabinet one day, quietly put them under my shirt, and slipped downstairs to the family room, where I proceeded to watch Major Astro and eat the entire box. It wasn't much later when my tummy started to protest. Too much of a good thing was definitely not a good thing.

After spending several hours in the bathroom that evening, I learned a valuable lesson: Even the best food doesn't taste good in reverse. Since that day, even the sight of one of those crackers makes me  slightly nauseated. I can't go near them.

Seems like a lot of us are looking for something to fill in the nooks and crannies of our lives. The temporary satisfaction that an earthly pleasure may bring cannot compare to the deep,…

CELEBRATION!!!

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It's time for a celebration, readers! Female in Motion blog just passed the 30,000 all-time pageviews mark!!!
Thank you to all my faithful readers, who've been with me from the start. And thanks to the folks who just found me recently. I appreciate each one of you from the bottom of my heart. I lift you before our Father's Throne daily and pray God's best blessings on all.
I like to celebrate old-school, so here's a little Kool & The Gang to get this party started right.
Go out into the world and make it a great day, everybody!

What's My Job?

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As we mark the unofficial end of summer, I am pleased to finish this Biblical blog exposition.  This is the eighth and final entry in the I Thessalonians 5:16-23 series. I love digging in to God's Word and finding the gold meant just for me, and hope you've enjoyed it, too.

Tonight's verse is a perfect fit for this Labor Day holiday. In order to be "preserved blameless" when the Lord sees fit to call me home, I have a job to do. What's my job?

*To spread the Gospel
*To prepare myself and others for Christ's return
*To serve God
*To glorify Him

There's nothing I can do to earn my ticket to Heaven. Salvation is a gift and I'm incredibly grateful to God for His love. Because I am beholden to Him, I want to take as many people with me as possible. The immeasurable joy I have in my heart, I want everyone to experience.

The God of peace has sanctified me; set me apart. My desire to represent Jesus is compelling. He has done incredible things with my …

Look Behind You

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One summer when I was around eight years old, my parents took our family on a two-week vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Once we entered the park, my dad told us that we needed to keep close to him and always stay on the trail, because there were wild animals like bear and moose living in the woods.

While on a hike with my father and older sisters, I started to lag behind because I was little and had much shorter legs. A fallen tree across the trail was no problem for the others, but I had a tough time getting over it. I could see my dad and sisters getting farther and farther away, but I still couldn't manage to get over the log.

"Help, Daddy!" I screamed. "A moose is gonna get me!"

I have no idea why I was more afraid of a moose than a bear, but I needed my daddy's assistance. He made his way back, lifted me easily over the log, and dried my little-girl tears.

"Don't worry, Snooks. I won't let anything happen to you."

Sometimes when…

Testing, 1, 2, 3

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Sometimes things look good--really good. Our eyes get greedy. We see something shiny and immediately are drawn to it. There are times when a bauble is all sparkle and no substance beneath the surface. If we take time to test it, and use the good sense God gave us, we may just find a diamond, or save ourselves from fool's gold.

Years ago, when The Hubster and I were much younger, with two small daughters at home, a unique opportunity presented itself. The Hubster was offered a job with better money, prestige and benefits in Iowa. When he interviewed, the company seemed ideal. We prayed about it and made the decision to go. After putting our house up for sale and watching our children cry as they left their classrooms, we moved...to a tiny apartment, loud neighbors, double bills to pay and a job that only slightly resembled what was promised.

God taught us a lot about ourselves in Iowa. We learned to rely on Him and not on others for our security. Not everything was bad there; we h…

Prophesy!

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I remember a long-ago conversation with a friend. We were discussing the book of Revelation and end times prophesies it contained. She said,"I don't like to think about all that stuff. It's just too scary!"

That statement stuck with me. It seems like Christians fall into two categories: Those that love Biblical prophecy and those who detest it. The Hubster and I fall into the former division. We study prophecy throughout the Bible, read other texts and attend meetings and seminars on the subject. To me, it is fascinating.

Every day, as I watch the world's current events, I see prophecies; governments at war, natural disasters, crime and disease. There are positive predictions, too, like how our Savior is coming back. One day, when Christ comes to Earth to reclaim His church, the prophecies will be fulfilled.

I don't want to head to Heaven until everyone I know has heard His story. The ending is the best part! Don't miss out by hiding your head in the s…

Liebster Blog Award

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One of my favorite bloggers, This Busy Life, has nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. "Liebster" means "favorite" or "dearest" in German, where the honor started. While it's actually more of a type of chain letter, the origins are pure of heart. Small-time bloggers support each other through the Liebster Award. And so, I will accept in the same way I was selected, kindly.

The rules for this award  state that you answer 11 questions asked of you by the blogger who gave you this award, nominate 5-11 other bloggers, generate 11 questions for your nominees, then contact them.

Following are the questions I was given by This Busy Life, and my answers:

Question: How long have you been blogging?
FIM: Next week is Female in Motion's sixth blogaversary!

Question: What do you love about blogging?
FIM: I love to write, but more than that, I love how God uses mere words to touch hearts. 

Question: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
FIM: The Hubster can a…

Quench Not the Spirit

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My brother and I were more than siblings; we were best friends. We did the same things with the same people. One of our best childhood friends was Charlotte, who lived on a farm outside of town. The farm was a place full of possibilities and adventures. Until the day we bit off a little more than we could chew.

One summer day, Dave and I made our way to the farm to have an overnight camping trip. Charlotte's family farm was on the Arkansas River and had lots of sandy beaches. We planned to pitch a tent, cookout and sleep under the stars, maybe do a little fishing. The afternoon was spent on the river, hiking and exploring along the banks.

As the afternoon wore on, we decided to make camp and start a fire to cook our dinner. The summer had been dry and the river was a slow trickle down the middle of its bed. Charlotte and I gathered driftwood as Dave started the fire. Kansas is known for contrary winds, and that day was no different. The wind pick up a cinder and dropped it nearb…

Part 3: In Every Thing Give Thanks

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1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) 
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

God gives to us so abundantly. All He asks in return is a grateful heart.

I've passed out candy to the kids after church every week for 20 years. They line up and pick their favorites from a bag I proffer. The bag contains a variety of gum, lollipops and chocolate. Sometimes they get one piece, others two, depending on their behavior during worship service. These are good kids; they almost always get at least one piece of candy.

Some of the kids say thank you each time. Others forget. Sometimes a parent brings them back over to thank me. I don't provide candy to receive thanks; I do it for the joy on their sweet faces.

Years ago, there was a very quiet boy that came to church most every week. He sat by himself, or with his little brother. This boy kept his head down; seldom looked up and never looked anyone in the eye. He lined up every Sunday for his …

Pray Without Ceasing

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I was blessed to have a whole bunch of people praying for me in the last year and a half. I felt every one. It is an amazing feeling, knowing that you are completely covered in prayers from God's people. Now it is time for me to return the favor. There is someone I love who is suffering. Instead of feeling helpless, I can take action. I can pray.

Praying is something I have developed over the years. When I was a kid, I only prayed if I was in a tight spot or really wanted something badly. After I became a Christian, I spent more and more time in prayer, as I realized it made things happen. Today, I have a near-constant exchange with the Savior.

I know this about prayer:


It is powerful.                              It is intimate.                                      It changes things.


Here's a tip on how to incorporate more prayer into your day. Retrain your brain. When thoughts of a certain person you are concerned about or a specific need or worry spring into your mind, focu…

Rejoice!

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.




I've been studying Paul's letters to the church at Thessalonica. These instructions, posted above, spoke to me, so I'll be sharing my thoughts on them for the next few weeks. Hope you don't mind.

Rejoice evermore.

Jenn on The House FM was talking about contagious joy today. She said we should share the joy that's in our hearts and not be stingy with it.

Some people think I'm a bit of a Pollyanna, always seeing the good side of things. I've been through some hard things in my life, (haven…