12 Things I want you to know about living with Lupus

May is Lupus Awareness Month. I have systemic lupus erythmatosus {SLE or lupus for short}, diagnosed in October 2009. I have friends that live with this disease as well.  Day in and day out, year after year lupus does not go away. I don't spend a lot of time focusing on lupus and the effect it has on my life but, at the same time, I am not embarrassed or ashamed of it.  I want to educate people about this insidious disease that needs a cure.  I am pulling back the curtain on this thorn in my flesh today to help raise awareness about this illness, one that affects more than 1.5 million people in the US alone and an estimated 5 million people around the world. The Lupus Foundation of America gives a brief description of lupus: "Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can … [Read more...]

Introducing my heroes {a God-sized Dreams post}

They choose life. We choose them. YoungLives offers unconditional love to teenage parents. By coming alongside and accepting them wherever they are in their parenting journey, seeds of hope are planted. YoungLives provides a Christian mentor for each mama in the program.  A been-there-done-that type of friend.  One that listens without passing judgment.  A friend that loves at all times. YoungLives is about fun too! After all, these precious girls aren't just moms.  They're teenagers too! I could tell you story after story of how God has reached down and touched hearts through this ministry in the last few years but I think I'll let the pictures do the talking. Lives changed.  Generations impacted. All for Christ. That's what YoungLives is all about. I have … [Read more...]

Shining Light into the Dark {a God sized dreams post}

I got alone with God this week.  That usually corresponds to a good deal of writing {I added 2100 words to my manuscript on Monday!} and often results in conviction and action on my part as well. Sometimes, in the pursuit of this God-sized dream of mine, I get overwhelmed.  Thoughts like "there are plenty of other people that can write and teach" or "can a messed up girl like me really make a difference".  Times of concentrated prayer and leaning in to hear from my Father dispel those lies and doubts. God has handed me a candle. God simply asks that I light the candle He has given me.  To share with others the hope that He has provided … [Read more...]

Joy is {a God sized Dreams post}

My pastor reminded us this week that we tend to confuse joy and happiness. Happiness is an external circumstance dependent fleeting feeling.  Joy is an internal, eternal gift that comes from our Heavenly Father. Joy can be found in the midst of the midst of the painful.  True joy transcends circumstance so it is not dependent on success or approval or accomplishment or reciprocation, joy simply is. The path to our God sized dreams has as much to do with the journey as the end result.  God is not waiting for us at the end of the finish line- He is walking the path with us.  The Source of true joy is right beside you every step of the way. And that truth, my friends, makes my heart smile. Will you join me and all the other God sized dreamers at www.holleygerth.com? … [Read more...]

Dear God Sized Dreamer

You.  Yes, you. I am writing these words to you. You who works endless hours at a job you don't feel called to because your family needs the income. You who stays up late and gets up early to create time to practice your craft. You that doesn't speak of your dream out loud for fear others will think you are silly...or prideful...or crazy. You who have watched door after door close on your dream and you have started to wonder if you heard God wrong. Don't give up on your dream. God placed it on your heart for a reason and He will be faithful to bring it to fruition in His timing. As my friend, Holley, says in her new book, You're Made for a God Sized Dream: Opening the door to all God has for you, "You don't have to be ready. Conditions don't have to be perfect. … [Read more...]

Homecoming

We don't always realize how beautiful the tapestry of our life is turning out to be.  We get caught up in the busy of everyday life and fail to take note of the extraordinary way He weaves things together.  Friends, even when life doesn't make sense or you are left wondering why God lays something on your heart but doesn't explain His plan, trust that He has a purpose for ALL things in our lives.  Seeing those things come to fruition is truly a beautiful thing. I have always had a special place in my heart for children with special needs, specifically Down Syndrome.   I worked as a case manager for children with developmental disablities back in 2007 and LOVED it.  Many of you that read here know I advocate for Reece's Rainbow, an agency that assists in the adoption of children with … [Read more...]

Putting Fear Away- A God sized Dreams Post

It was awkward. Stiff. It wasn't the throw me up in the air and let me think I'm going to fall, then catch me at the last minute type of hugs he gave when I was a little girl. It wasn't the comforting arms that soothed my tears and hurt feelings. But, it was one of the sweetest hugs my dad and I ever shared.  In that side-hug moment, thirteen years of bitterness, anger and fear melted away. Thirteen years of not speaking, let alone hugging. Love won. Restoration and healing began a fresh work in my heart. That was four years ago, after a near death experience had left me with an absence of fear and an overwhelming desire to chase after God's best for my life. Slowly, but surely fear crept back in.  It started with a fall that caused me to be out of commission for … [Read more...]

Just do the next thing ~ A God-sized Dreams Post

I love to dream.  I love to brainstorm.  I love to see the big picture. There is a downside to being the big picture girl.  The downside being those darn details. As a dreamer, the details can easily overwhelm and, at times, paralyze me.  And my enemy, the one that pounces on weakness, he knows it. One thing I have learned that has helped me on my journey of following my dreams, big ones and small ones alike, is to just take the next step.  Sometimes its a scary step, sometimes it is a seemingly meaningless step but it counts.  Any step toward your dream is a step that counts. Whatever you are facing in your life, sweet friend, is not insurmountable.  We serve an amazing God who is able to do ALL things for those He loves.  He who spoke the world into existence and gifted us … [Read more...]

When You Need a Real Life Friend

Today, I had a medical procedure that caused me immense anxiety.  I asked for prayer on Facebook and was touched by all those that responded.  But, I needed more than the reassurance that someone, somewhere was praying for me.  I needed someone to look me in the eye, tell me to calm myself down and to pray with me and over me.  So, I drove to a dear friends house and she did just that.  And, it helped. In real life friendships are invaluable.  We are designed to need each other, to crave community. I am beyond blessed by the women God has brought my way over the years that have spoken truth into my life, lifted me up when I was down and encouraged me to let loose and just laugh sometimes {something I wouldn't do without prompting}. That is why I am excited to host an (in)RL get … [Read more...]

I have a {God-Sized} Dream

A few months ago, I hit send on an application to be a part of Holley Gerth's God-Sized Dream Team. I didn't expect to make it through and literally squealed when I was one of the 99 women chosen. The program has blessed my socks off over the past few weeks and we are just getting started!  I even found an accountability partner for my 5k aspirations and we ended up living close enough to each other that we are going to run together monthly and {how God is this?} run our first 5k together in April!! I love the way God ordains connections {and if you don't believe He uses social media for good, you are missing out!} We are supposed to share- unveil- reveal our God sized dream today. Confession time- I am scared to death to type it out. I live it out every day but to type it … [Read more...]

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