Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Crafting, and SVGcuts!

I have been having such a wonderful time Christmas crafting. This season is flying by for me this year, and I am feeling the need to extend my Christmas-ing into the new year.

Here is a fun star I made...

I heart SVGcuts! I am so thrilled with my new Shilouette  Cameo and my downloads from 

I am loving pinecones this season

And I even saw Santa out for a drive with Mrs. Clause!

My kids are so excited its Christmas time. And my one year old has completely un-decorated the bottom half of the tree
I am crafting most of my gifts this year. I made these letters for my Mother in Laws birthday this weekend

Yes, what a wonderful time of year.

If you have an electronic die cutting machine (Cameo, Bosskut, ect) be sure to go visit It is absolutely phenomenal. 

Ah, how delightful to be Celebrating Christmas, and to be able to blog (finally) from my iPad.

-just megs

Thursday, December 15, 2011

scrumdilly-do!: Homemade Holidays: make a mini yarn garland

scrumdilly-do!: Homemade Holidays: make a mini yarn garland:  Happy December friends! Here's a nifty, easy (with a wee bit of wait time involved) garland project that can be adapted for any holiday. ...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Return of the crafting!

My husband converted our old laundry room new STUDIO!

And so, with great joy and good tidings, I announce: the return of crafty projects to this blog!!l!

Painting, papercrafts, art, you name it, I will have it here. In addition, I have the blessing of using the NEW Silhouette CAMEO! And I HEART! And so many other sites I have discovered...My Thoughts Exactly, Pumpkin Patch Stamps, Websters Pages...and on and on and on....

Photos will follow shortly!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baby MnM

Watch her grow...

Now she's 9 months old!

- just megs

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Creativity and Worship

Creative expression is Worship to you. Our souls thrill when they are captivated by a striking piece of music, or for those with the blessed talent to play music- when their fingers hit the right chords that resound in their spirit and echo into the heavens. That is how my soul and spirit respond when I use the creative desire in photography that you have given me. I imagine this is how my mom feels when she sits at a canvas and her brush dances across the surface, creating beauty that pours forth in worship to the King of Kings. How a dancer feels as she executes her arabesque flawlessly across the stage. How a runner feels when they are in the rhythmic momentum of their jog. How a writer feels when the words flow forth onto the page.

It all cries out "Glory!" Praise! Be magnified O God! 

Those who don't know you think that the thrill of creative expression comes from within, and that it is meant to glorify themselves in some way. What they have yet to realize is that the gift of creativity was given to worship the Creator of all things! Sadly, these gifts can be used to worship self, to worship evil. Worship is exalting something, pouring out our focus on don't have to be consciously involved in a religion to worship something. We all worship something daily. Whether it is the almighty God, ourselves, the earth, other people, the media...sadly, much of the world is deceived. The Evil One is one of deception. Twisting our desires and focus, manipulating us slowly into worshiping something other than God, and therefor worshiping evil. How heart wrenching to realize that if it is not God we worship, it is evil! Because worship is meant for God only. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 

The Word of God directs us to worship God only. Luke 4:8 says: And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'" Jesus is responding to the devils attempt at tempting him. Manipulating Jesus' priorities and trying to take something good and use it for his own evil. One of the most used tactics of the enemy. Take good, and twist it a little to use it for evil. Sadly, the evil is subtle, and not realized. Pride, self worship...even "doing ministry" when the goal is to serve oneself and ones own pride. 

The beautiful thing is that we don't have to be manipulated! Glory to God! We are kept on the path of God Worship through the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. He keeps our hearts right as we come humbly before him. He washes away our pride, our self desire, our inclinations to wander. And as we are washed, we can come to Him in divine worship.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Revelations 7:9-12

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Generous Living

Matthew 10:5-10
5 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
"Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. 6 Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. 7 Tell them that the kingdom is here. 8 Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
9" Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. 10 You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

You have been treated generously, so live generously...

Generous living. Some people are such graceful examples of this. Christ lived generously.

My thoughts are drawn to a specific area of generous living, that of our hearts and emotions. Our culture puts self first, others second. If someone hurts us, we are taught to protect ourselves and build walls so they may not enter into the venerable realm of our hearts again. This can severely stunt generous living. Generosity is giving above and beyond, and when you are withholding yourself from loving others with your whole heart, generosity is crippled.

Jesus lived generously. Over and over again. He gave his time generously, he healed generously...but the most outstanding act of generosity in his daily life that stands out to me, is his love and acceptance of one man whom he knew, from the beginning, would betray him at the end. And yet, he allowed this man into his inner circle. He called him. He loved him. Judas.

Judas is brought up several times with the obvious statement that lets us know that his sin of betrayal was premeditated and contemplated. One such reference is in John 12:4-" Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him..."

That is generous living. He didn't guard his heart or words from Judas. And the whole time Jesus KNEW what was coming.

Another example of generous living is discussed in Matthew 10:41-42:
41 Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. 42 Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing."

This generosity is smaller, simpler, but just as important. We are all called to live generously, and even the small generosities matter. Jesus tells us that it is a large work, but to start small. You don't have to begin your life of generous living by loving your 'Judas' right this minute. It is character built up over time, through acts of generous living, and a constant giving of yourself to the Lord. Until one day, you find yourself able to love the Judas' of the world, because Christ loves them too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prayer Journal {words and thoughts}

Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. I submit myself to your Lordship this morning. I give my day to you. May I do your will and not my own. I submit my mouth and tongue to you, I ask that your Holy Spirit would bridle it, that I would spiritually and consciously reign it in- in how i speak to my children, my dogs, the news that I share with others...let my words be ones of kindness and compassion, giving life, not causing death in heart or mind or soul. Let my words bless, uplift, be pure, sanctified. May I take every thought captive and thus every word captive. May my tongue be unleashed in praise to your name, giving you glory and honor. May I speak with kindness and compassion, gentleness and patience. You made my mouth, let your creation bring you honor, not dishonor. Make me sensitive to the Spirits prompting to check my thoughts or my words, to change them when He instructs me to.

James 1:26, 3:1-12
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless....
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

If you look in 1 Corinthians 10:5b you will read "...and take every thought captive to obey Christ", and in James 1:14-15 we read "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

Our words come from our thoughts, our heart. Thus in pursuit of controlling our tongue, we should be taking every thought captive to obey Christ. Oftentimes I thing this scripture is applied to the more obvious thoughts of lust, ones that come from anger, and so on. But perhaps a closer study of our thoughts would reveal that we need to be taking captive thoughts of pride, judgement, and even plain self-centeredness. Or to take captive those lightning quick thoughts that led to an unbridled tongue, words of anger or short-temperedness that should never have been spoken. The path that words take can be seen in James 1. Here it is speaking of sin's conception and the sequence that it follows. First being lured by our own desire- I would say that this applies to our speech also, there is a desire to speak something inappropriate lures and entices us. Then it is conceived (I am thinking here that this would reflect being dwelt on, contemplated, or not taken captive and instead allowed to marinate) and gives birth to sin. The sin I am looking at today is that of the mouth, our words. And words have the power of life or death in them.

Proverbs 4:23-24 says:
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

And Titus 2:7-8
7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,
8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Colossians 4:6 talks about life giving speech:
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

And a prayer in Psalm 19:13:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Today I commit to seeking ways to bless with my words, and to give life with my words!

-just megs

Monday, May 16, 2011

Personal thoughts on knowing God, and being filled with the Spirit of God

The following are my personal thoughts from some time I spent reflecting on where the Spirit filled life flows from. If you feel like digging in, join me!

Matthew 13:18-23 (The Message)
18 "Study this story of the farmer planting seed. 19 When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn't take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person's heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.
20" The seed cast in the gravel--this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. 21 But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
22 "The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.
23" The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams."

Person -> hears AND takes in the NEWS -> produces harvest beyond wildest dreams

Person+Word of God taken in = harvest

Key thought- hear and take in the word of God


The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon
 Strong's Number:   191   
Original Word Word Origin
ajkouvw a root
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Akouo 1:216,34
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
ak-oo'-o    Verb
to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
to hear
to attend to, consider what is or has been said
to understand, perceive the sense of what is said
to hear something
to perceive by the ear what is announced in one's presence
to get by hearing learn
a thing comes to one's ears, to find out, learn
to give ear to a teaching or a teacher
to comprehend, to understand

 King James Word Usage - Total: 437
hear 418, hearken 6, give audience 3, hearer 2, miscellaneous

  Strong's Number:   4920   
Original Word Word Origin
sunivhmi from (4862) and hiemi (to send)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Suniemi 7:888,1119
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
soon-ee'-ay-mee    Verb
to set or bring together
in a hostile sense, of combatants
to put (as it were) the perception with the thing perceived
to set or join together in the mind
i.e. to understand: the man of understanding
idiom for: a good and upright man (having the knowledge of those things which pertain to salvation)
 King James Word Usage - Total: 26
understand 24, consider 1, be wise 1

In personal reflection, the overflow of the Spirit is encountered in my life when I am truly immersing myself in the study of the Word. The Word is where we get to know God, and it would seem that we would need to know God to hear him.

A brief thought:
As the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one; so it seems the Word, purposeful prayer, and the Gifts of the Spirit are one

Pursuing Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven

Matthew 13:31-33
31 Another story. "God's kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. 32 It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it."
33 Another story. "God's kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread--and waits while the dough rises."

31- time to grow
33- time to rise. Also, yeast infiltrates every part of the dough, thus producing rising bread. Yeast produces results. The Kingdom worked into a life produces results.

Matthew 13:52 The Message:
52 He said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it."

Matthew 13:52 AMP
52 He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].

Matthew Henrys Commentary on Mt 13:52
4. A skillful, faithful minister of the gospel, is a scribe, well versed in the things of the gospel, and able to teach them. Christ compares him to a good householder, who brings forth fruits of last year's growth and this year's gathering, abundance and variety, to entertain his friends. Old experiences and new observations, all have their use. Our place is at Christ's feet, and we must daily learn old lessons over again, and new ones also.

Jamieson, Fosset and Brown Commentary on Mt 13:52

52. Then said he unto them, Therefore--or as we should say, "Well, then." every scribe--or Christian teacher: here so called from that well-known class among the Jews. (See Mt 23:34 ). which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven--himself taught in the mysteries of the Gospel which he has to teach to others. is like unto a man that is an householder which bringeth forth--"turneth" or "dealeth out." out of his treasure--his store of divine truth. things new and old--old truths in ever new forms, aspects, applications, and with ever new illustrations.

Matthew 22:37-40
37 Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' 38 This is the most important, the first on any list. 39 But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' 40 These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

Love the Lord your God with all your Passion, Prayer, and Intelligence. Loving God and moving in the Spirit isn't feminine. It can have a form of strength, masculinity. Look at Acts, it was the Apostles who were moving in the Spirit. They set the example. But they were also rooted in the Truth. The Word of God makes us aware of what we are hearing- is it truth from the Spirit? Or is it from ones inner thoughts or desires? Instruction on guidelines could be beneficial. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word of God, for the Word is God-breathed, spirit-breathed.

John 15:7-8
7 But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. 8 This is how my Father shows who he is--when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples...

John 15:16
16 "You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

Personal thought: depth of true worship can only come from a knowledge of the one you are worshipping, your theology of God. Depth of moving in the Spirit comes from abiding in His words and prayer where the Spirit works intimately in you, which then pours out in the giftings. But the key in Jesus words seems to be that you must seek God first. What good are Spiritual gifts if they aren't overflowing from a desire to know God more?

Friday, May 13, 2011

{the unforced rhythms of grace}

28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

Isn't that what Jesus is all about? Grace. Freedom. Unforced. Unburdened.


Chrisitanity has become a "religion" lumped in with other religions to the world. And perhaps that is why it seems so dry to those on the outside looking in. Or even those on the inside.

And yet...religion burdens. Religion forces. Religion binds. Religion dictates.

This is where the difference lies. This thing, this relationship with Jesus, this love by the God of the universe, this is not a religion. It is a reality. Religions require things of you to gain a right standing with their God, or oneness with their nirvana. A list of standards that you
MUST follow and complete to gain access to the end reward.

Many people think this walk with Jesus, commonly called 'Christianity' is also a list of rules, of do's and don'ts, and often this is what
Christian people portray. But the God of Christianity, this one true God, the maker of heaven and earth, provided a way that doesn't require you to achieve something to gain a right standing with God. Instead it requires something very simple. Belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, and repentance from sin. With that comes an intimate friendship with God himself, and eternal security.

It all comes from grace. Grace upon grace upon grace. It is the Gift of God, eternal life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Eyebrows now signify to me the busyness of life.

What sort of ridiculous statement is that? I'm smiling to myself as it type what sounds like nonsense.

One of my pet peeves used to be unplucked eyebrows. On other people. Horrible, I know. My inner dialogue would chatter away about it "why don't they just take the time to take care of that each day?!" Icky confession. I mean really, how petty could I be to spend my time examining someone else's eyebrows? I suppose we all have those inner dialogues that we wouldn't really want to share. Blech.

Now this previous pet peeve makes me laugh. Because I will look in the mirror and see that my eyebrows are going nuts. And I will think "wasn't it yesterday that I took care of this?!?" and then I realize that it must have been last week. Last week! Shocking to the previous eyebrow snob.

Now I get it. Time is a commodity that can run out oh so quickly. And eyebrows just don't really matter that much. There is spit up. Diapers. Getting out the door on time for school. Colds and flus and sniffles. Dinner to make. Sandwiches to make. Marker to wipe off of the white table. Floors to mop so the baby doesn't ingest an unhealthy amount of dog hair. Doctors appointments. Hugs and smuggles. Life!

I promise you, I will never again examine or judge your eyebrows. I probably won't even notice them! I will see your smile, your heart, your spirit.

Why oh why do we waste so much time judging everyone around us? We all do it. In little ways, in big ways, in ways we don't realize. Something they are wearing. A feature to pick at about their physical appearance. Maybe they are dirty, clean, punk-rock, polished, tattooed, scarred. Maybe we don't like their glasses, their belt, their hair...I don't know. We can pick at anything. It's disgusting! I don't want those thoughts in my head! Who cares about appearance? What does it matter? Each one of us is created by the Loving hands of the greatest creator. Gently fashioned, shaped, planned. Infused with the personality and uniqueness that He wanted us to have.

Jesus loves us as a whole. You are beautiful. Period. Not because of some nice feature of yours or well executed highlighting job on your hair. You. Are. Beautiful.

We are beautiful. Warts and all. Flawed, every one of us. So flawed. Why do we focus on the flaws? Let's spend this resurrection weekend with resurrected vision, eyes like Christ's, wearing glasses of pure love. Pure acceptance. Grace.

Lord, help me to see like Jesus. Not to see others by the pieces of who they are, but the wholeness of their spirit, the wholeness of who they are.

- just megs

Location:Stray eyebrows.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Talk about CUTE!

Ok, I. Love. This. Site. Check out and go find yourself the CUTEST dress ever. Vintage style? They have 'em. Flirty and fun? Yep. And they design them with modest necklines and hemlines in mind! So, like, I could wear one as a mom of three kiddos, and bend over to pick up a dropped binky, and stay modest. On both ends. Lol.

They also have maternity. And kids. And jewelry.

Go. Shop. Wear. ;)

Dresses from Shabby Apple

I want this one!

Friday, February 25, 2011

No bones about it!

I was blessed to go to a massage therapist yesterday for some work on my back. While she worked on various muscles she explained their connection. As she worked on what seemed an obscure area, I asked her how it was connected to my actual area of pain. She explained that there is a muscle under the arm on the ribcage that gets tight and adheres itself to the bone. This muscle directly affects the muscles under my shoulder blade next to my spine. I had no idea. Here I thought she should be going after the sore spot directly. But it turned out that that little spot is actually a big culprit to my discomfort. When I was done and ready to leave, I stood looking at the diagram on the wall of the human bodies muscular system, and thinking about how interconnected and combined all of the muscles are. And how those are connected to the bones, and how the nerves and blood vessels connect. How intricate!

Today I reflect on that and think about the body of Christ-

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?

18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,

25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
1st Corinthians 12:14-26 ESV

"If one member suffers, all suffer together;
If one member is honored, all rejoice together"

The body of Christ, individuals with specific purposes, each with intrinsic value, seen and unseen. Tied together whether we think about it or not. Intricately connected like the human body is- connected like muscle, tissue, nerves, blood vessels, bones, guts, skin, hands, feet. Perhaps more striking if you break it down further. I may or may not be taking liberty here...but connected like cells, DNA. All connected, all extremely unique.

"that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another"

The implications of this just keep multiplying in my mind. The application of this hits on so many areas.

I want to ask you to take up where I am leaving off, and tell me how this applies to you, to me, to Christ followers. Tell me what it stirs in your mind and heart...

- just megs

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Burdens and Strong Shoulders

From Tuesday's prayer journal-

Father God, thank you for your grace today. Thank you for helping me and lifting the weight of my burden that I have carried these past few weeks off of me. Thank you for making my burden bearable. For shouldering my load with me.

You say "come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I don't think I've ever really experienced that before. It's incredible. I still have the things that have been troubling me, but the impact of them is lessened, the extreme weight of them is lifted. In my mind I have a picture of myself under a heavy cross, and you come alongside of me, and take the principal of the weight onto your stronger, taller shoulders, and we continue on together. How gracious you are.

Another way I have witnessed your grace in this, is that you have allowed me a significant amount of time to get used to the changes that I need to live out, the daily adjustments that must be made. I've seen that I can do it, and I've been able to let go of the importance I previously placed on food related things. Thank you for your tenderness Lord.
Part of my struggle has been with food allergies and the knowledge that an IgE allergy to soy has a pretty far reaching is EVERYWHERE. Along with almond, hazelnut, and who knows what else as I wait on my test results. I also have had some pretty intense back/back muscle pain and a headache every single day. I awoke with the same problems Tuesday, and spent time praying in the shower for help. Somewhere between the shower and breakfast, my burden lightened to be bearable. It didn't happen in an instant that I recognized. I just realized at one point that my headache was gone, my back was FAR less sore, and my emotions were more under control. I just wanted to give a frame of reference for you. :)

I share this because I feel led to, and I pray that somehow it helps you today. I don't know how the Lord would choose to use it, but I trust He will.

The Lord is truly our strength. May you experience his help as you bear your cross today, knowing that he comes beside you and lifts the brunt of your burden off of your shoulders.

I love you, O LORD, my strength.
Psalm 18:1

- just megs

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{ take courage }

But You, Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7

My husband gave this verse to me and it really impacted my heart. The surrounding story is about a prophet telling a king to take courage and do what the Lord told him. So the king "took courage" and removed the idols from the nations, and the Israelites made a covenant to search for God with all their desire and find him. And they did, and he was found by them.

This scripture stirs my heart for several reasons. First of, just verse 7, "take courage!" Most of the time I don't feel courageous. I feel worried or overwhelmed or afraid. And this is not about natural human courage, because that only goes so far, until something scares it out of you! No, my courage can only come from the choice to believe that the Lord is all powerful, in complete control, and loving. Courage from faith in a God that is bigger than my mind can conceive. Courage from the knowledge that he holds me in the palm of his hand. Courage because his grace has covered me, I need not fear his judgement, and I can be me, with all my uniquenesses, fearfully and wonderfully made. Courage to go wherever He sends me and speak whatever He tells me to. Courage to step out, to release my kids to God. Sometimes I just need courage to make it through the morning, let alone the day or week!

"Do not let your hands be weak", stand up and keep going, apply myself even when I feel sick or fatigued. "For your work shall be rewarded"

In my English Standard Version Bible, the phrase take courage is found in several other places. The ones which grab me are:

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Psalm 31:24

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded."
2 Chronicles 15:7

...take courage...
{ take courage }

And here is a summary of the story in Chronicles:

and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2 Chronicles 15:2
7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded."
8 As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 15:8

(you know what the tattoo guy said to me as he prepared to start and I closed my eyes? Yep. Take courage. Ha!)

Blessings and courage be with you!

- just megs

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Transparency and Grace

I am LOVING the book "The Grace Awakening" by Charles Swindoll right now. I've almost finished it, and it is a powerful, yet easy, read.

I feel the Lord is creating such a unique perspective for me, a unique view of life. David Platt's book "Radical" is exactly what it's title states. The Lord spoke to me a lot through that book. But combining those teachings with Chuck Swindoll's Grace Awakening is a whole different flavor.

Isn't it interesting the journeys God takes us on?

I'm going to try to be more transparent here on my blog. I sometimes avoid posting because I don't know what to say or am afraid to share the dirt of real life. But that's what life is, it's real! Too real sometimes! :)

I don't know if you remember how I wrote about a time of sickness in 2009, and how the Lord very graciously healed me, and then in His love, blessed us with a healthy pregnancy and child. All glory goes to him for that. Because of that time of healing I was able to carry and birth baby MnM. Praise the Lord!

Well, here is my transparency today...ever since I had our little one my stomach problems have been coming back and getting worse again. I am afraid to tell people because I feel like I have to defend God, because he DID heal me in 2009, or sound like a quack. But I don't have to defend God, do I? He is God, for heavens sake! He can defend himself! I giggle at myself for my knee-jerk reaction of defending God. If He felt the need to step in and stand up for himself, I am sure he would!

So, here I am. Blessed abundantly with darling MnM, LaLa, and Dear Son. Confident in the work the Lord did in 2009, and not quite understanding why we are walking through a similar scenario. But I am so grateful that I get to start where I left off before, with a depth of relationship with the Lord that was cultivated during a very hard time, and I know that He holds me and guides me. And loves me!

I'm going to be posting some of my prayer journal entries on here as the days go by, because I feel led to share and be transparent with whoever reads this, trusting that God will use it as He wants to.

Do you struggle with transparency?

Ugh. Ok, here we go. I have these stomach issues that seem to be food related. (I am an information nut, and have researched them like crazy, gone to the Dr, allergist, and am seeing a naturopath) I can't seem to make it through the day without ending up nauseous and bloated (like, I look like I'm pregnant bloated), with, ahem, other issues also. It can discourage me and make me feel defeated at times. I try to stand strong, and to watch what I eat, trying to minimize the impact of food. But, some days a girl just needs SOMETHING, and a craving for something normal gets me, I eat it, and my issues get way worse. So then I get in this cycle of defeat. Bah.

Here is what I do know right now as I am waiting on some test results that will tell me more...I know I am allergic, with a genuine allergy to soy, almonds, hazelnut, and cherries. These are somehow commonly connected to various springtime airborne allergies. But these affect my stomach big time. I am also avoiding gluten because it gives me major problems. That cuts out the majority of food out there!

That is just my basic rundown for ya, I'm not going to bore you with more, because honestly, I could write a book on it. But I don't wanna. Humph.

I am just giving a little foundation for this transparency thing, because a lot of what I share will stem from this situation.

I am thankful for it though. It brings me to my knees and into the arms of God, it drives me to seek Him more, to search for Him, to find Him. It makes me realize how much I want to KNOW Him. Really truly. Not just to be a well behaved Christian. Not even to stop at spending time daily with Him and in the Bible. I. Want. Him. I want total immersion. I want life abundant. I want...everything.

So, here is my entry today, as I sit on my bed and gather my thoughts.
Sunday 8:32pm

Heavenly Father, you know I am in a place of utter weakness right now. You know today was a hard day. Please forgive me for my short temper, loud voice, immature words and wrong choices. I thank you that my sins are wiped away, and that right now, I am clean. I am not judged by my shortcomings or failings, in fact, you can't even see them on me. You see me as I am made to be, you see me clothed in righteousness and success. You see beauty and strength, courage and faith, goodness and ability.

I don't really get how He sees me like that, but that is what His word says, so I plan on figuring it out and letting it seep into me and transform my view of myself!

Thanks for sticking with me in this post today. I'm going to tack a picture on the end here just to say hi.

Hi!!!! :) that's me with baby MnM all moby wrapped and snuggly early in January. Alright, baby fussing (she has a cold) and bedtime calling.

Till tomorrow!
- just megs

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I have been eating far too many cookies lately...

Not quite like these, this picture is one I took in Venice this last year. What a year it was!! My husband and I got to travel to Italy for 8 days, I was pregnant with, and gave birth to our 3rd child, and we saw the Lord do great things in our lives!

I'm excited to watch the new year unfold. I have not idea what it will bring, but I trust that God has extraordinary things planned for me and for you!

And I'm sure that there will be many more cookies also...

Happy New Year!
- just megs

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