What I did with "WHY"….

A person. People. Sometimes, they test you. They test me - my limits, my patience, my tolerance. Yet, LOVE has been an overwhelming theme for me lately, in my family, with my friends, with my church. Love has met me in most conversations and when I am being irritated or feeling challenged - love - is what comes to mind, like a sword of defense to every negative thought. God is doing a work in me.

In the last year I have walked through a couple of very difficult situations.  At one point, like some I imagine, I asked God "why?" WHY? I couldn't even articulate beyond this simple three letter word. When hard times hit - no matter the situation - don't we all wonder that on some level?  I asked God this question with a heart searching for wisdom, direction, and understanding. And I had to keep asking… I didn't get any immediate answers. I had to keep asking - keep seeking - keep OBEYING.

It's been a little over a year since I began asking my simple one word question and just now has He given me a glimpse of understanding and I wanted to share it with you in hopes it may encourage you in whatever you may be facing….

Through the sadness, He has taught me to communicate and to trust in Him. Through the hurt, He has shown me compassion. Through the struggle, He has given me a desire to help advance the Kingdom through women like never before.

Before the walk of this year, I was comfortable. Knowing what I know, doing what I do, pressing in how I press in, serving how I serve. Was I doing anything wrong? Bad? No. BUT God was able to take circumstances that I wish were different, and grow me in ways I couldn't have done before. In ways I cannot deny or be distracted from. I know my place in the Body of Christ is to serve women and I was doing that. But now, I have a desire on my heart like never before to help women discover the transforming Power of Jesus. Through these trials I've been strengthened.

"3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealedin the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honorwhen Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:3-9

My "why?" has changed to "what next?" and I couldn't be in a better place. That doesn't mean that I'm not dealing with the continuance of the hardship - but it does mean that I can do it knowing for CERTAIN "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

I may not know your personal circumstance, your person or people who may be testing you - but I do know we all face difficult situations whether it be with family, friendships, finances, your job, or all of the above. What I do know dear friend, is that God is ALWAYS working something out in us and through the situation we are in. Approach Him in prayer, with a teachable and tender heart and ask Him to show you what you need to know and where you need to go. He will show you everything in due time and it will all be worked out for the good according to His purpose. These are His Promises to us, stand firm in them and do not waver

Image: Pinterest


CALLED Women's Conference - Middle Tennessee

The time is finally here for us to fill you in on something we have been working on for quite some time...

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting, along with our home church Christian Life and local community sponsors, the Called Women's Conference!

Now, we know the word "Conference" is the type of word that (let's be honest) can leave you desiring a little more…so let us challenge you to not think conference, but think CONNECTING, COMMUNITY, ENCOURAGEMENT and EQUIPPING. We have been burdened for quite some time to put together an event that will encourage and equip women of all ages to walk fully in their salvation so that they/we can LIVE OUT their/our God given CALLING.

"He called you out of darkness into His beautiful light." 
1 Peter 2:9 

Author Annie F. Downs is going to be one of our wonderful speakers. She will remind us all that we are all made on purpose and that we are made to be BRAVE by our Heavenly Father. How encouraging is THAT?! We will also have Christy Sanford from Greenhouse Ministries and Debi Russell from Branches Recovery Center speak about our callings and how to live fully in the salvation given to us from our wonderful maker.

We are beyond excited to be able to offer an event that is focused on women as a whole - whether you're a college student, a mom, a wife, a grandma, or all of the above - this event is for YOU!

***The cost to attend this event is FREE, but we do ask that you register online at clctn.org***

Mama: The Gorilla Glue

We have a saying in our house - dubbed by our longtime friend Czaplenski (everyone needs a Czaplenski in their lives) - it's "gorilla glue." When someone in the family is the one holding it all together, being the peacemaker, making things work despite the circumstances - they are the gorilla glue. B & I look at each other and just say those two words and call it out. It's a compliment, I promise. Although, it may not always feel like it…

As Mamas, I think that especially during the Summer months our gorilla glue abilities are seriously tested. I can at least say for myself I know this is true, and if I'm not careful, all I will remember about this Summer is how many times I refereed my children, how many times I had to ask them to stop "Mommying me to death," how I may have let a friend down, hurt a family member's feelings, how there's simply just NOT ENOUGH OF ME to keep a house clean with five tornadoes living here….I mean the list could go on. I wonder, do you ever let yourself feel like this too? If so, I have earth shattering news…

There isn't enough of you to go around, you're not strong enough to handle everyone's problems, and here's the catcher - you aren't meant to be. Jesus said "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." In Matthew 11:28 Jesus is giving us a direct command - He is telling us again to seek Him, to give Him our burdens and he will give us REST. Can we all all do a collective *SIGH* of relief? Thank you Jesus! 

When I find myself overwhelmed and feeling like I'm letting everyone down, I have to do an honest assessment of how I've been handling the days. Usually, its my own fault - I've taken everything from the day IN but not let anything OUT. I've not GIVEN any of it OUT to Him

Image: Pinterest

The Psalm 55:22 continues that The Lord will "not let the righteous be shaken." When I find myself shaken - I have to check myself and turn to Him. After all, I am not the answer, He is. I don't know it all, but He does.  I am not strong enough, but He will sustain me.  I cannot fix anything for anyone, but He can

So what are we to do? When we feel like we ARE the gorilla glue for so many? I think it all boils down to knowing what our job is vs. what God's job is. It is our job to steward our position - as wife, Mama, friend, etc. But it is not our job to take on ALL of the burden and try to strive in our own strength. When we are stewarding our position well, we must always seek Him for wisdom, direction, strength and - sometimes the hardest for me - REALLY CAST - LET GO of the burden and trust that The Lord is working out all of the details for our loved ones. Whether it's your children bickering, a friend's struggle, or a situation you just don't understand...Our job is simply to be present for those we love. God's job is to handle it/fix it according to His divine plan (not my plan, your plan, only HIS plan). Whatever "it" may be.

Remember that Jesus said this my friend:

"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:9-10 ESV (Emphasis mine)

Jesus came and died for us so that we, as believers, may have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY. Not half heartedly, bound up, stressed, and burdened - that is the thief's work in our life. Don't forget to remind yourself and your loved ones that we have authority and power in the name of King Jesus to live life SAVED, SET FREE, and LIVING in fruit bearing ABUNDANCE…and that's true for the gorilla glue and all. 


Friday Five July 11-13

Summer lovin, had me a blast...summer lovin, happened so fast...

Hello! Can you believe it's JULY, friends?! I truly hope you are making the most of your summer and spending it with the ones you love doing all the things you enjoy. Here are 5 events that could possibly be just what you are looking for to have some fun this weekend :

37th Annual Uncle Dave Macon Days Festival  
image found on hellonashville.com
7-11-2014 to 7-13-2014
Held at Cannonsburgh Village (312 South Front Street Murfreesboro, TN)
National Championships in Old-Time Banjo, Old-Time buck dancing and Old-Time Clogging. Fun for the entire family! Arts and crafts, “Motorless Parade”, children’s activities, concessions and more.
Admission will be charged -$5.00 per day (12 and under admitted free)
For more information, please call Gloria Christy at (615) 893-2369 or visit http://www.uncledavemacondays.com

SHREK The Musical 
look at our gorgeous friend Kerri! photo by: Jessica Storvick

July 11-26 (on stage at the Arts Center of Cannon County July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26 at 7:30PM and July 13, 19, 20 & 26 at 2:00PM.)

Believe all ogre again! Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film is the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre brought to life on stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand…and his name is Shrek. 
Click Here To Buy Tickets

Movies Under the Stars - The Little Mermaid

Movies Under the Stars - The Little Mermaid (rated G)
7-7-2014 to 7-12-2014 8:30pm (Friday and Saturday night) 
Bring your whole family (along with blankets and/or lawn chairs) to this free event and make some great memories! Begins at 8:30 p.m.
Monday: Cason Lane Trailhead
Tuesday: Cannonsburgh Village
Thursday: Siegel Neighborhood Park
Friday: Mitchell Neilson Primary
Saturday: Hobgood Elementary School.
Admission: Free
For more information, please call Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department, (615) 890-533, email recreation@murfreesborotn.gov, or checkout their facebook page for more great events.

Main Street Saturday Market

Main Street Saturday Market
Every Saturday until the late fall 8:00 am-12pm
Downtown Murfreesboro Public Square (specifically the Courthouse)
Vendors will be on the west, north and south side of the historic Rutherford County Courthouse offering fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, and flowers. Great time to do some shopping in those great downtown stores, too!
For more information, please call (615) 895-1887 or visit http://www.downtownmurfreesboro.com

Events at The Wilderness Station
697 Barfield Crescent Rd, Murfreesboro, TN 37128 (615) 217-3017
1:30 p.m. Animal Encounters 
Meet a resident animal and learn about its characteristics. All ages.

3:00 p.m. Puppets on the Porch
All ages can enjoy wild animal puppets as they teach about their habitats and daily lives.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!
Get out and do something fun and different - maybe even be spontaneous (as I am telling myself to do the same...) - we live in a great area with plenty of options to do just that!