Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rachelle's birthday Blog Hop!!

Happy Birthday Rachelle!!!
My sweet friend Rachell is having a blog hop in honor of her birthday today!! I am excited to be a part of this and so excited to share some cards I made with you. I'm even more excited to share a card that my 12 year old son made for her because he loves "his Rachelle" lol and one my daughter made as well.
Supplies used will be listed below and if you'd like more info just let me know!
Enjoy the hop and remember to leave some positive comments below and on each blog you hop to for a chance to win some beautiful blog candy!!
Hugs!!

This happy birthday card I'd made by my son Zach. He knows his Rachelle loves cats and butterflies so he stamped and colored 2 cats and arranged one cat like its jumping on the other to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He also made a shaker frame (with moms help) and added some butterfly stickers and hearts to finish off the card. He also wrote a sweet note inside.



Stamp sets are:
Furry Friends by Avery Elle
You are Pawesome by Simon Says Stamp
Colored images with Copics and Stampin' UP!

My daughter, Jordyn, also made one.
She used a stamp set from Mama Elephant called Up and Away and the Penguins on the inside are from Artic Penguin from Mama Elephant as well. :) colored with copics and markers from Stampin'! UP! 


My card:






Stamp sets:
Avery Elle- Ellie
W Plus 9- Party Animals
Hello and grassy border dies - lawn Fawn
Polaroid die- Simon Says Stamp
Wink of Stella clear glitter pen- Simon Says Stamp
Glossy Accents- Simon Says Stamp
Cloud paper is from the BRIGHTS designer series paper pack- Sampin! UP
Calypso Coral bakers twine- Stampin! Up






Keep Hoppin'!!! Blog Line-up

Rachelle- www.rachellescreativeplace.blogspot.com
Amanda- www.craftsbyamamda.blogspot.com
Deb- www.flyingstamper.blogspot.com
Eileen- www.craftykards.blogspot.com
Sharon- www.meemeescreations.blogspot.com
Barbara- www.barbarab3.blogspot.com
Mary- www.cardztv.blogspot.com
Krystal- www.crystalKlearcreations.blogspot.com
Brook YOU ARE HERE...KEEP GOING!!!! 
Susan- www.itsmesusanp.blogspot.com
Jackie- www.jackrabbitcreates.blogspot.com
Shawnee- www.sunshinythought.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Applying it to your own life

Today I found myself commenting on a friends status:  Allow those emotions and feelings to be what they are and give them their moment but don't let them define you, your day or your life. Well you know what I had to do next.. right? Yup, that's it... I had to go and apply that to my own day. It was a message that God allowed me to give to a friend and then hear and apply it to myself, my own life. I was also going through some old videos from last year and came upon this one. Some of you have seen it, and I have seen it a few times, but it had such a profound message that came through to me that I'd never gotten before and I was the one saying it!! It came from my own mouth, out of my heart, and something I haven't gotten before while listening to it before. So I hope it helps y'all and hopefully God will speak to you in the place where you are... BLOOMING!
:) Have a great sun shiney and blessed day!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

He is right where I left Him...

Hello Everyone,
 Again I have to apologize for it being so long since I've blogged. I know I promised to get back to nightly or at least every other nightly posts but as all of us know... life always gets in the way. I'm going to issue a *disclaimer* I guess if that's the right word before I go on with this entry. I'm not trying to feel sorry for myself or gain sympathy or anything other than I just feel like HONESTY is what I've created this blog  for and what it's about. My promise to GOD upon starting this blog was that I would listen to Him, that I would let Him speak through me and most of all that I wouldn't say "all the right happy things all the time or put on a fake "LIFE IS GREAT attitude". I want to be real with you all because you're taking precious time to spend with me on my blog and as we ALL know life is never ALWAYS happy great and PERFECT.

This afternoon as I'm sitting at Jesus feet I am feeling like instead of sitting I should be curled up in a ball like a baby crying and pouring out my heart that's filled with regret, sadness, worry and depression. I feel like my hands should be holding His trying to un-tie a tangled mess that I've put his hands into. I feel like I've tied His hands from being able to bless my life. Now, I know that God is almighty and silly ole' me can't REALLY physically tie His hands together but for the past few weeks I've limited my time for Him. "THINGS" have gotten in the way of my relationship with Him and in that regard I've tied His hands and prevented Him from being able to work in my life, comfort me and bless me. And when He was doing those things... I wasn't paying attention to see Him doing them.

Sitting at his feet I feel hopeless and depressed and almost unworthy to be sitting here. It's such a hard spot to be in when you come to His feet and have A LOT to repent for, A LOT to ask forgiveness for and the feeling that you've walked so far away that if feels it will take FOREVER to get close to Him again.

Sitting at his feet I'm humbled because I've fallen down. If Jesus' feet had feet I'd be sitting at those right now, lol. My husband has been gone for 5 weeks this Friday.  I think I even commented in my last post about how hard it's been to be the "mom and dad", the only disciplinarian, and solely responsible for comforting myself instead of having an extra set of shoulders to lean and cry on. So instead of focusing on GOD for those things, I've sat here and hardened my heart and given up. I'm a TOTALLY co-dependant person and as anyone who knows me well would tell you, I've given my husband a lot of my burdens because he's the one who is PHYSICALLY here, touchable, audible, etc... when I should be giving more of my burdens and heavy loads to the ONLY one who can ultimately fix and comfort them... and that's GOD. These past 5 weeks would have been the prime time to begin doing that but instead I've felt sorry for myself and just given up the thought that I'd be comforted, have someone who cares enough to listen and say "I've got your back no matter what and it's going to be okay". When in reality the ONLY person who can really say those words and it be true is my Sweet Jesus. The past 5 weeks have also proven harder than I thought for church. I've given myself the excuse "well I only see my husband 1 day a week (Saturday and 3 hours Sunday) and I want to spend every moment with him and the kids as a family so the 3 hours Sunday being filled at church seemed like something that didn't work b/c in church we aren't talking, doing something, etc... But HOLY MOLEY that's the EXACT and ONLY thing that should matter during the time he's home. THE ONLY thing that really should be a family time event, spending it together in the Lord's house. I feel so ashamed that I chalked that off as "not as important as fixing a nice breakfast Sunday morning and eating as a family followed by the kids and I helping him pack up and any last little thing we can work into the time frame before he leaves".

Today sitting as Jesus' feet it hit me over the head as hard as 16 frying pans.... "That's why my weeks are harder, my comfort levels are almost non-existent, the kids are less loving and more combative towards one another, and my walls around my heart are going higher and higher and harder and harder". I'm not giving GOD His time with me. I'm not giving ME my time with Him. DUH!!! I guess better late than NEVER. It's so hard to come to Jesus' feet feeling so overwhelmed and unworthy isn't it! That feeling of sadness and embarrassment. Wow- it sure has been hard for me the past 2 days. It was almost harder than going to my parents when I'd done something wrong when I was a kid and admitting to it knowing how very disappointed my dad would be with me. I would always wish that he'd just ground me or spank me instead of saying those words "I'm so disappointed in you". 

So after I was able to sit for a while and talk with God, listen to him through His Word, and really humble myself enough to stop believing Satan tell me that God is too far away now to care, love or hear me... I actually felt such a peace. That peace that passes ALL understanding.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I felt that still small voice say "I've got your back and everything is going to be OKAY". (and it didn't come ONLY from my husband... it came from my sweet Jesus) 


I really wanted to add this post to encourage all of you to remember that when you don't feel like going to Jesus' feet, when you feel unworthy, when you're scared or just too plain stubborn like I've been.... His feet is the VERY PLACE you NEED to be. He's calling you there, He misses you and He wants that intimacy with you. I've chosen today as a new beginning, being forgiven for my immaturity and mistakes prior to today, to make sure that all my ducks are back in line and all in a row again. I've made the choice to do the hardest thing for me to do and that's to allow myself to FEEL the forgiveness from God and I'm so excited that you guys get a chance to see and walk a few miles in my last week and see my goals for the next 3 weeks until my husband comes home. My goals to
  • hold up the fort until he's home again (Because with GOD all things are possible and His strength makes me perfect in all my weakness.. and this is one of them.
  • keep the barriers broken down, and just allow God to comfort me.
  • Bible study every night with my kids (even though that was Rich's thing when he was here every night and I don't feel very strong in that area doesn't mean I can't do it)
  • My personal bible study no matter how late it is or what's going on.  
  • My blogging b/c that's something that God's blessed me with and asked me to do
  • And.. of course CHURCH ON SUNDAY b/c without that, any family time spent while he is home is a waste b/c we aren't giving GOD our BEST, our FIRST, and our LAST! 

 I hope that this has helped you and encouraged you to NEVER think God's walked away from you. He's still RIGHT in the same place YOU left Him when you walked away. And He's there with OPEN arms and comforting words and will be so happy that His little lost lamb is back again in the fold right where he belongs. I know that my thoughts from Jesus' feet today, bigger and better than any specific and personal experience I had, needed to be as much or more for me as it was for you. God hasn't and will NEVER walk away from ME. He's always RIGHT WHERE I LEFT HIM!!!

Thank you for spending some precious time at Jesus' feet with me this evening. Thank you for all your words of encouragement, prayers and for sticking it out with me. I consider each and everyone of you accountability partners and I know you'll help hold me to my goals and always remind me, just as I hope to remind you, that GOD IS ALWAYS THERE... RIGHT WHERE HE'S ALWAYS BEEN!!!

Much Love In Him,
Brook

Monday, May 28, 2012

Long overdue....

Hello my sweet friends,
    I'm sorry that I haven't done an entry in a while. Just when things started to even out in life, our new puppy Axel (a boxer) got parvo. We've had 2 weeks in and out of the vet, sick nights filled with IV's every hour, and as you can imagine 3 children who were scared their baby Axel wasn't going to make it. In the light of all those hours on end of IV's and sleeping on the floor with Axel I just didn't have the energy to write. It's not a good excuse, I'm sorry, it's just the nature of how things are going around here.

    My husband left last Thursday and will be gone 8 weeks to be an Advisor at COTA (Correctional Officer Training Academy of Arizona) and will only be here on the weekend. I wasn't sure how exhausting it would be to have the kids out of school, husband gone, trying to find fun things to do for the kids while caring for a sick dog- BUT IT'S EXAUSTING!!! I'm sure you all are there too with me. My husband sent me a text last night on his way back to COTA and said "I'm sorry I have to leave you especially when things are hard right now, I wish that I could be there with you and help you because I know you really need my help". It kind of broke my heart and made me sad, thinking of how easy things would be with 2 parents here, 2 people to help nurse a sick puppy, 2 parents to run errands, 2 parents to fix meals, 2 parents to entertain children.... then God reminded me..... HE is there for me when my husband can't be. HE Is there to listen to me when life is hard, when things feel out of control and when things are just plain overwhelming. HE is there to give me HIS strength, HIS comfort and HIS guidance. As helpful as my husband is because he is a physical body present to help, and as much as I love and adore the man he has become and all the help and guidance he gives me when I am overwhelmed.... GOD IS THE ALMIGHTY and we are made perfect by his strength. My husband gets tired just like me, we both get bogged down by daily "life" and while we can energize each other and coach each other at the end of the day we are both completely exhausted and need to sleep to restart the next day. GOD doesn't. He won't sleep, he won't eat, he won't leave us for even a second, HE IS ALWAYS THERE with ENDLESS love, strength, listening ears and an outstretched hand for us.
    
     Just remember my friends, when things are hard and the light isn't shinning on our day/evening/moment God still wants us to be HAPPY and filled with HIS joy. I know I needed to remember this and hold onto it this week, and will be holding on tightly to it for the next 8 weeks, 8 months, 80 years. (As said by my dear friend Christina)

Psalm 27:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

  Thank you for spending some time at Jesus' Feet with me today and I promise to do better about posting daily as before. I love you all, thank you for what each of you bring to my life every day!!

In Him,
Brook

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm just like they are and He's just like me!!

Hi my sweet friends,
     Man, I had one of those rough emotional days today (you know the kind.. if you have kids, a husband, pets, parents, in-laws or any and all of the above) and it seemed like I wasn't going to get through it. I also kept thinking about my blog tonight and how I was going to even begin to inspire or sit and Jesus' feet and get ANYTHING out of it to pass along. Then, as I thought about my day and what was so hard to get passed, there was Jesus... in the simple words of my husband.... and I know that tonight our journey together would have profound meaning to me.. and I pray to you as well.
     So, it was a rough day on the mom front today. Sometime I struggle with being a mom, cook, driver, leader, nurse, friend, maid, coach, teacher of homework, etc.... and I struggle with those things because I forget to be ME too. I get wrapped up in each thing/problem/situation that surrounds me and I forget that God has given me the tools to do them ALL... and EXCEED at them because I AM ME. His daughter, His servant. HE has given me to my children and I am responsible for their little hearts learning to love the Lord, learn to be sympathetic and loving and kind. I am responsible for their little minds to learn all those things in school that we swear they'll NEVER use again and were NEVER taught to US when we were their age "that way". I am responsible for them being able to love themselves, honor God's will for their lives, and build their self-esteem so that they won't look for it anywhere else BUT from God.  Whew... all that in itself feels like my shoulders are weighed down to the floor. But then, I'm lovingly (and sometimes it takes a frying pan to the head) reminded that GOD'S GOT THIS... therefore I GOT THIS too!
I am going to let you a in on a few little "secrets" that God very profoundly (again) reminded me today.
  • My daughter and I almost daily (and probably if I"m honest with myself DAILY) have lovingly heated discussions (or fights, whichever you prefer to call them) over what she's going to wear to school, church and ANYWHERE for that matter. Even to BED. I'm TOTALLY serious and not over exaggerating AT ALL!!! She has been a little "tom boy" from the day that little princess was born. Her daddy had her hanging from basketball rims at a year old, her big brother had her driving trucks and cars around the whole house before she could walk, and then her mommy (yup- that's me) isn't necessarily a girlie girl. So- My little princess fights tooth and nail if a shirt she has to wear to school has too much pink, any sparkle at all, or doesn't seem "loose" enough. Now, I'm totally happy with her not wanting to wear skin tight shirts or anything like that at age 10 (or any age I pray) but I am just losing faith having to fight her every single day. I'm telling you my princess doesn't even want to wear the clothes she picks out from the store (which are more on the girlie side sometimes). She will not wear "night clothes" she wants to wear her basketball shorts and a t-shirt. I'm not sure how your wal-marts are around where you live but since that's the ONLY place to shop here in the town I'm in and the next one is 2 hours away that's pretty much all we get unless I happen to go 2 hours to Tucson and happen to have a clothing allowance to spend AND I don't have to fight within myself on buying her clothes b/c I know she'll never wear them. So... back to Wal-Mart, our store's little girls department have NOOOOO shorts of ANYYYY kind that are not daisy duke style.... ya know those shorts that when girls bend over you shutter b/c you're SURE you're going to see their underwear or GOD forbid something else. I'm talking for children sizes 4T and up to whatever size it goes to before you hit women's sizes in this women's department. I get so frustrated and I refuse to buy her those shorts so I travel over to the boys department for basketball shorts that go to her knees. (At least she's modest) So- I suppose I will take blame for her demands for boyish, silky basketball shorts or jeans. -K- so this may not seem like such a big deal for you all, but it's a fight every single day. If her shoes needs to be washed then she has to wear her white and pink tennis shoes... OMGosh white tennis shoes with some pink....she'll definitely die right? She thinks that she will. I just get so frustrated with having to battle her. I would love her to get "more girlie" but I guess it's not worth fighting over, it's just the actually fights that wears me out. I finally won holidays and Church so she will wear dress clothes on those days, but nothing else she's budge on.
 So while I was thinking over that and being upset.. I heard God say "Daughter, don't you remember when you were just like her"? My face fell a bit and my heart kinda melted. Then I heard Him say "You fight me on things tooth and nail too and you don't take the time to realize I know best and I'm trying to make sure you represent me as a daughter to the King." Wow- like a frying pan over the head I tell ya.
I started to realize how much I am like a child, kicking and screaming and thinking I know better than God sometimes. And how many times I will do the TOTAL opposite of what He's asked me to because I want him to come running after me (like my kids do to me). As you might guess, the similarities just kept going on from there, for almost an hour. I started out crying out to him b/c I was at my wits end and ended up crying my eyes out asking him to forgive me for being JUST LIKE my kids.

Therefore, I'm just like they (my kids) are and He is just like me (a parent trying to get their kids to mind and not go crazy in the process).   Boy, don't you just hate but at the same time LOVE those frying pan to the head moments. Forget my toes getting stepped on.... my head hurts!!! LOL

So, I wanted to encourage you my friends to remember our Heavenly Father goes through the EXACT same things with us as we do with our children. It will humble you to be a little more patient with your children's strong wills and help remind YOU to let GOD break YOURS. Sometimes things really matter in the scheme of things and it's a mountain that you must command to MOVE and sometimes it's just a little hill and you can just lay back under a big shade tree and enjoy the soft grass of that hill.

   Thanks for listening and joining me for my frying pan moments today. My time at Jesus Feet was very much a lesson learned and a "THOUGHT" that I will keep with me from now on. Everything doesn't have to be a battle and NOTHING should be a battle again GOD.  Sometimes our children just need us to pick them up and cuddle them in our arms and tell them how much we love them for who they are and that even as much as we love them..... GOD loves them EVEN MORE!!!  Just as we need God to comfort us and hold our hand and tell us how much he loves us!!


 Lots of Love In Him,
Brook

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sit at Jesus Feet tonight and let him speak to you

Sweet friends,
I feel like God wants our time together to be devoted to our time at his feet. God wants you to sit at his feet tonight and just be in His presence. Allow Him to speak to you, comfort you, carry you through and inspire you. He wants to speak a word into your life, into your Heart and into your spirit.

I pray over each of you that God's word will touch you and meet you where you are tonight. He knows what is going on in each and every one of your lives and will speak to you as much or as little as you will let Him. I encourage you to give him as much time as possible and worship Him. Pour out your heart, sing to him, worship Him.

I have Faith that God will give you all a special blessing tonight and I encourage you to just be still and listen. And if you're comfortable, leave me a message or comment and share with me and others what God blessed you with tonight!  You're ALL in my prayers, now let's go sit at His feet!!

 Lots of Love In Him,
Brook

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reaching your full potential for GOD.... Psalm 139:13-16

Psalm 139: 13-19 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Sitting at Jesus' Feet today the word "potential" kept coming to mind. I was thinking about what God expects from me as a child of His. Is my life just about living to please Him, witnessing to others, being "good" or exactly what my potential is according to who and what God placed me on this earth to do/be. I started asking myself "am I excited about my life or do I feel like I am merely existing"? "Am I moving toward a clear goal that God has for my life or am I just drifting along from day without any sense of purpose or direction? I was thinking about a few times in my life where I could clearly remember being excited about my life and where God was taking me but then the excitement faded and I started to ask myself "what happened to me"? Do you sometimes ask yourself that question? Why are you so apathetic about your life and where did your inner drive go?

I believe that there are clear reasons why God's people (and people in general) have become so unmotivated, stuck in their circumstances, or just bored with their everyday life.
  • People have lost sight of who God created them to be and what he created them to do.
  • and as a result, people are not pursuing that "thing" that God has created them to do or who He has created them to be.
When you lose sight of who you are in God and what God has called you to do then life seems to lose all sense of purpose. Your life seems boring and you feel like you are going to be stuck forever in whatever season of life you are in. It definitely takes DAILY talks with God and DAILY time at Jesus' feet for us to make sure that our will and His will are aligned with each other. That doesn't mean that we make sure what we are doing is "okay" with God, it means that we find God's will for our life and make sure what we are doing or going to do is His will for us. It's really easy to become complacent with our lives. We settle for whatever hand of cards we are dealt and then we try to find a way to survive those cards. Sometimes we feel slighted, like God must of passed us by when he was handing out "GREAT LIVES". We don't have enough money, enough time, etc... We get stuck in how badly things seem because we compare our lives and circumstances to those people around us or those people on t.v. They seem to have it all together, more than they can use and we wish that we could have even a little of what they have. Comparing ourselves to others causes us to come satisfied with what we think is adequate or satisfactory.
I think that once we settle into that lifestyle we feel we're "forced" to live then we end up feeling threatened by achievement, challenges or ways in which we could make our life better.

Tonight as I sat listening to God and reading through Psalm 139:13-16 I felt God telling me that I need to start and continue to see myself and my circumstances with His eyes. I need to see myself like He sees me. I need to thank Him and feel blessed by the blessings that He has given me. It confused me a little bit because sometimes I find it hard to A.) see myself how He seems me and B.) figure out how does He actually see me.
  • Our Heavenly Father sees us through eyes of love and forgiveness.
  • He sees us where we are, but more than that He sees us where He has created us to be.
  • God sees all the possibilities and potential that He has created us to fulfill.
  • He sees us as His child, perfect and without sin. He's forgiven our sins as far as the East is from the West and a lot of times that in itself is what keeps us from reaching our full potential.
It's hard for us to get past the fact that once we accept Jesus into our life that we are seen perfect in His eyes. There is nothing more important to the Lord than each of us are. He wants all of us to see ourselves as Children of the King. We have unlimited access straight to his feet. He is ALWAYS there for us, just like we talked about in the first blog post.  Psalm 139: 17-18 God wants to communicate with us!!
During a class I took last weekend the speaker started his sermon with this: "What in the Holy Ghost are you doing?" I loved that. It really made me think. 1 Cor. 12:7 You are put in a place to grow in God.

I think it's VERY IMPORTANT for us all to realize that we are ALL predestined to something great. And one day we WILL arrive. When we do arrive God has given us the key to open the door into our destiny. The key is IN HIS WORD, the Bible! Even if you don't feel ready (and most of the time we won't) go ahead and step-up and step-into your destiny. Reach your full potential in God. He wants that more than anything for us.
Don't let this become overwhelming. Stepping into our destiny isn't going to happen over night. God will teach us in the place where we are spiritually. He will grow us just as we grow our children. We give them milk for a time, to help them grow and connect to the world around them. Then we move our children  onto more solid food as they mature in order to help their minds and bodies grow. God asks us to mature and grow and leave behind the "milk" and move onto the "solid foods". He grows us day by day, minute by minute, scripture by scripture. Once we begin to learn what the Lord has for us, the potential we were meant to reach, we MUST continue learning and moving into our potential. We can't start eating steak and then go back to milk again. Our bodies and mind have matured and gotten used to "big food" and if we put it back on milk we will start to lose all the things that the steak provided to us. We start going backwards instead of forward. 2 Cor. 2:11 being ignorant of the Word and what God wants for us allows satan to do his will. There is a reason that God wants us to start on the path to reaching our potential and a reason why he doesn't want to see us backtrack. It's easy for satan to get his claws in us and start to lie to us. He will tell you that you aren't good enough, there's no way God can use you because of your past, God will NEVER forgive you for "that", etc... ALL of those things that satan uses are examples of a lot of lost Christians who never gain or reach their potential.

God has give me some tools that I believe we can all use while we begin and continue the journey to reach our full potential in God:
  • We will fail, but don't go back to drinking milk just because you made a mistake. We are reconciled: OUR SINS are PAID IN FULL when Jesus died on the cross. He isn't crucifying us every time we make a mistake so why should we crucify ourselves?
  • Walk in the Spirit. See the "CHRIST" person in yourself and also in others.
  • FORGIVE FORGIVE FORGIVE
  • It's easy to get offended when I am immature, but as I become more mature those offenses will be easier and easier to FORGIVE. They may even stop being "offenses" in my eyes.
  • Remember: Nothing can come in or out of my life unless GOD allows it to.

God loves us all enough to let us choose. Our choices are what makes us either strong or weak. Each morning we can wake up and choose GOD'S path, the path to happiness and fulfillment, the path to learning and walking into our FULL POTENTIAL. So friends, let's WAKE UP and CHOOSE GOD together.

Friends, I want you to know that I pray each and every day over this blog and over each of you who are joining me. I want you to know that I am growing and learning right along with you and I pray that even if our paths only cross because of this blog that God will allow our paths to cross in Spirit and truth.
Thank you again for spending time with me at Jesus' feet and I pray that your day is blessed beyond measure.

Until tomorrow.... Lots of Love,
Brook


P.S. I had a question and I wanted to post the answer for everyone to see. During my blog I am reading and quoting scripture from the NIV bible (New International Verson) because it's easier for me to read and understand. No matter which version of the bible you choose to read, it is all the same. It will be worded a bit different, but that's okay. Don't let it keep you from getting your bible and reading these veres and seeing how God uses the different wording to speak to you! :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trusting God.... Psalm 28:7

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him
 
        My friends, open your hearts and open your minds and I hope that God will show you areas where you need to trust him completely as you read this entry. I know through writing it God has showed me several areas that I haven't given to Him. Together we can do it!!!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. If I were to ask you individually, most of you would say without hesitation that you trust God. Do you. However, if you are honest, you will have to admit that there are times when trusting is not so simple. The way is often perilous and hard, with no end in sight. We cannot see what lies ahead and feel helpless and alone in our struggles. God wants you to trust even when you do not understand, when the future is uncertain, when you feel like you cannot go on. God says trust Him.

Life can be tough. How you can tell when it’s going to be a rotten day:
· You wake up face down on the pavement.
· You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.
· You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.
· Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.
· You turn on the news and they’re showing emergency routes out of the city.
· Your twin sister forgot your birthday.
· Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.
· Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.
· The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.
· You wake up and your braces are locked together.
· You call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.
· Your income tax check bounces.
· You put both contact lenses in the same eye. – Source Unknown
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I used to think that it was the easiest thing to "trust God". Just send up a prayer and wait for Him to answer it. Then when it wasn't answered I assumed it was my fault and that I didn't deserve it. Or maybe that he just didn't think I deserved my prayer. I stumbled across this verse and as I read it, concentrating on each piece of the verse, I realized I was looking at the phrase "trusting God" in totally the wrong way.
Let's break down the first part: The LORD is my strength and my shield;
Is the Lord YOUR strength and shield. Do you wake up every morning and put on the armour of God? Do you pray that he will give you strength to get through your day and allow all your steps and words to glorify Him? Do you put on the shield of the LORD? Do you understand what the shield of the Lord is?  If you look at Genesis 15:1 it says: After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.
The Lord is our shield against enemies, people who seek to do harm to us and even satan. The Lord sees every step we take and every move we make and has planned before us each step. The Lords shield protects us from walking off a cliff into the pit of the enemy. Remember when Daniel was thrown into the Lions Den and the next morning he was still in the Lions Den despite everything that was thrown at him? He was in the den walking among the lions as they bowed down to Daniel. It is safe to say that Daniel had the Lords armor and shield was around Daniel. Then the enemy may, and usually does, try to attack us but when we are armed with the Lord nothing can touch us that God doesn't allow.
Let's break down the second part: My heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.  
Does your heart trust in God? I mean really trust in Him? Do you trust Him with your life, your families life, your finances, your health, your friends.... your EVERYTHING? When you trust God in EVERY area of your life then He helps you. I sometimes think of this part of the verse backwards: He helps my heart trust in Him. It is very hard sometimes to trust God with everything and in everything we do. Especially if we've felt jaded from past experiences. It took me years and years to actually put all my trust in God. Sometimes he would lead me into the darkness and that just wasn't "cool" with me. If you're like me I need to have a plan A and B and then as a back-up I need plans C-J too. (haha) I wasn't okay with God saying "Here is plan A and I need to you walk". I was terrified of the bumps and bruises and twists and turns. I'd usually follow along, my hands glued to the wall, until the wall stopped. Then I'd turn around and back track. I'd then get upset with God at why my circumstances weren't changing. Well, it's because I wasn't trusting HIM. My heart only trusted what my heart could SEE. This is still a BIG area of struggle in my life but the darkness doesn't scare me much anymore, it is more about what waits on the other side of the darkness. Most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, are comfortable in our present mess... because we've been there so long that we know what will happen. Friends I have to tell you from experience.. the comfort of KNOWING that Jesus has it all under control is much more comforting than that pit you've fallen into, or dug yourself into. The scary feeling will go away and the comfort and peace of the Lord will take hold of your soul and you will NEVER be the same. It's like a roller coaster ride. The first time your hands are shaky and sweaty, your head is telling you that your car is going to the be the one car to go flying off the track leading to your vegetative state and that you will never ever do it again... right? (or is that just MY thoughts :) You may even end up riding the whole ride with your eyes closed screaming to your friend beside you "I hate you for making me do this".... but once you are back safe on the ground... you start to think... LET'S DO THAT AGAIN! Trusting God is similar to that. He knows you're going to go kicking and screaming (oh how he must giggle at us, our arms and legs kicking and thralling, spit flying everywhere as we beg Him to just let us be) but he knows that when all the fuss is over, we realize that it wasn't so bad and we feel so safe and grounded at the end that we wanna trust Him again and again.
Looking at the last part of the verse: My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him. WOW!! My heart LEAPS for JOY and with MY song I PRAISE HIM!!! That's the best part of trusting the Lord, just being able to say "Thank you Daddy for saving me, for making everything turn out okay and for LOVING me through the fit I just pitched". (haha) God knows his children and what it means for us to completely let go of all the WORLDLY things that's been ingrained into us since we were a baby. We cry and we get a bottle, we cry and we get a new diaper, we cry and someone holds us. Come on.. we're born spoiled.
The Lord wants to spoil us to. He wants NOTHING more than to give us the desires of our hearts my friends. He wants nothing more than to see us happy, fulfilled and full of joy in the spirit.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and HE shall direct your path.

So my friends, I want to leave you with this:
No matter how long, how rough, how dark, how lonely the way may seem, trust God and His love for you. Remember the words of Job, ‘But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10).
 For a moment, consider the words of the song, “Follow Me”:
 I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care. The burden on my weary back Had bowed me to despair; I oft’ complained to Jesus How folks were treating me, And then I heard Him say so tenderly, "My feet were also weary, Upon the Calvary road; The cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load, Be faithful weary pilgrim the morning I can see, Just lift your cross and follow close to me."
So friends, lift your cross and follow close to God. For He knows how long the road before you is and how hard it will be. But know that He has walked that road before and as long as you cling to Him... He will lead you to the still waters.

Lots of Love,
Brook



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Diving into John 15:12-15 "Friendship"

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.


What a powerful verse.  Friendship has been on my mind for the last few days and I've come to learn that when God's laying something on my heart like this I need to study and share it. I was thinking about this verse today while I was sitting in the doctor's office. I pulled some muscles in my back and ended up having to go get some medicine to help. I picked up Blake from school and enjoyed listening to him talk incessantly about this friend and than friend and all the fun things he'd done with them today. I think we can all look back and remember our Junior High/High school years and wish that we had more friends, made different choices in friends or maybe we can all just wish our best "teenage" years would have been different. I can honestly say that I never allowed God to bring the right kind of friends into my life until I was an adult. The sad thing is that when I wanted the right kind of friends, I wasn't ready to be a friend back. I didn't know how to be a friend back. I lost some amazing women in my life because of that. About 8 years ago I sat down and prayed that God would show me how to be a friend. I asked him to break the cycle that had been ingrained into me from a young age about friendship. It didn't happen over night, but it did happen. I had to learn that to have those good close Christian friends you have to BE A FRIEND. To be a friend you have to be willing to become: 

  • constant
  • kind and caring
  • giving
  • emotionally, physically and mentally available
  • willing to get calls at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m.  
  • love your friends as Christ loves you
  • Forgiveness!!!!!
  • Acceptance
  • selflessness
I love that God says in that verse that a servant doesn't know what the master is doing, but a friend does. I don't divulge all my deep dark hurts and problems to a stranger. I don't do that even with a new friend. It usually takes time and patience to really become intimate enough with a friend to start opening up those areas that plague us doesn't it. The word "servant" also struck me in a weird way. In this verse I understand that word, but trying to apply it to friendships kind of left me speechless. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.... Do we sometimes treat our friends like servants? Expecting them to 'KNOW" when we need them and then getting offended when they don't just "KNOW" it. Maybe we get offended when they have other friends and we aren't their ONLY commitment? As if we own them and they aren't allowed to work anywhere but here. Do we expect them to open up to us but we keep them at arms distance when it comes to our life? I'm honest enough to say that I've struggled with ALL of those areas. When God would bring someone into my life that I connected with I wanted to hang on to them so tightly. I wanted to be their ONLY friend and I wanted them to be available for me and ONLY me. I felt slighted when they wouldn't open up to me but I wasn't willing to open up to them. I wasn't willing to invest my ALL into our friendship but I expected them to. I had to learn a lesson the hard way once that God had brought someone into my life for THEIR need and not mine. I was meant to love on them, teach them, enjoy them and be a friend for THEM. It had nothing to do with me at all.  

I also learned that sometimes friendships have seasons. During those seasons things can change just as drastically as Summer changes into Winter. Sometimes I might be going through something and really need to rely on my friends to support me, love me unconditionally and really be okay to give their time and energy to me. Other times I need to be sensitive to their season. I have to be supportive, love unconditionally and open to give them my energy and time. Other seasons may bring a sunshine filled day with a beautiful spring breeze. Days of lunch dates and tea times. Lazy afternoons at the park letting the kids play and laughing together about "those darn hubby's and what they did this time". :) What I'm getting at is I had to learn that God didn't place people into my life to be my emotional slave. They aren't there to pick up my mess, listen to all my gripes and complaints or be worn down to nothing by my problems. We all need to GIVE more than we TAKE. We all have to understand that there may be a season that both your friend and yourself are going through something and it may be hard for you both to be emotionally available to the other. If that season should arise, I feel like God has instilled into each of us the strength to fight for the other one. Intercede for their needs.
I just love this verse:
       God comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to 
         comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

God blesses us when we bless others. Even our friends. Especially our friends. Those who he's put into our lives for a purpose to bless us, we are responsible to bless them as well. It makes me sad to look back at those friendships in the past that I let die because I didn't know how to be a friend back. I've even sent out a few cards to those people expressing my honest apology and sincere gratitude toward them for putting up with me as long as they did. Apologies and forgiveness are almost as necessary in a friendship as love.
God has become my best friend, my daddy and my Lord over the years. He's always there for me, and I've learned to make time in my "busy" schedule to be there with Him too. Sometimes I find myself driving down the road just talking to Him. As if there is someone sitting in the passanger seat beside me and I'm sure other cars look at me and think I'm a complete weirdo. Learning how he is a friend to me has taught me how to be a friend to others. It has taught me how unconditional my time should be to them (within reason) and how supportive and loving my attitude should be. Learning how to continue being sensitive to the needs of my friends, love them for who they are, bless them however I can and thank them for being in my life. We should really stop to think sometimes about all it takes for someone else to deal with us. I know sometimes I tend to withdrawal, I am crabby and demanding, and at other times completely and totally loving and giving. My friends have to love me through all those times just as I have to love them. I think I owe my friends the biggest THANK YOU in life.

I have learned through many years of "being a friend first" that sometimes God will put people into your life for a season. During that season you may find that God has allowed them into your life to teach you a lesson. Maybe you need to learn patience, selflessness, giving WITHOUT receiving, or just to plain drive you nuts. But.... God has instructed us to LOVE at ALL times, and that's what we must do. Even when it's hard and we don't "feel" like it. I know I'm unlovable at times, and God continues to love me despite my worthiness.

So, I'll leave you all with this thought and one of my favorite verses about friendship:

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Thank you all for spending time at Jesus' Feet with me tonight. I hope that you take time to pray over your friends, share with them how grateful you are for them, and even do something special to just bless them this week. I'm sorry if it seemed I rambled on at times. Thank you all for being special friends in my life. I enjoy EVERYTHING that each of you bring in your own way. I love our friendship and the motivation, inspiration, direction and Christian influence that each of you give to me. Most of all I Thank you for loving me despite all my quirks, being there for me, and teaching me how to be a friend. I wouldn't trade any of our friendships for all the money in the world. You each bless me every single day and I know that I don't say it enough, but I love you all!!!!

Check back tomorrow as our Journey at Jesus' Feet leads us to study Psalm 28:7  "Trusting the Lord". 

Lots of Love,
Brook

Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's begin this journey TOGETHER

Welcome to Thought's from Jesus' Feet:  Grab some coffee and your bible and let's begin this journey... TOGETHER!
I just love how even when God's speaking to us... He is also speaking to millions of other people at that exact same time. Think about that for a minute. He doesn't put us on hold when we begin to reach out and come into His presence. He doesn't say "Hold on Brook, I'm with another child right now". He's never too busy for us. I've never gotten his "Answering Machine", (not even once, ha ha) and He ALWAYS meets me where I am. I know that he always meets you where you are as well. He's there in a crowded mall, while you're in your car, on a quite night as you sit on the porch and listen to the rain fall, and even as you sit humbly and quietly at his feet for a purpose. He will ALWAYS MEET YOU THERE!
Tonight as I sat in worship, something got a hold of my heart and all I could do was SING. PRAISE GOD. CRY out to Him and thank Him for all he has done, is doing, and will do in my life. Thanking him for saving me and just pouring out my heart to him in JOY and ADORATION. I realized that something that got a hold of my heart was Jesus. It was my Heavenly Father (my daddy) wrapping His arms around me and filling me with more gratitude than I've ever felt before. Yup- I had that moment. That moment of complete and total awe for my sweet, almighty Jesus. I couldn't help but feel so unworthy and undeserving. Sitting at Jesus' feet can be quite humbling. It is also the most beautiful and exciting experience I've ever had.

So, before I go on and before we really get started into this journey I want to break the ice and tell you a little bit about me. I feel as though I am robbing you of where and how I came about doing this blog. It's so long and the roads are windy but God used each and EVERY one of those hair pin turns to bring GLORY to His name and to teach me how to get on my knees and cry out to Him. Those of you who know me have heard my testimony and those of you who don't know me have probably lived through areas of my testimony. We all struggle and fall short at times and we ALWAYS will. I'm here to let you know that you aren't alone, you aren't "weird" and that there is a MIGHTY Lord who desires your time, your praise, your gratitude and mostly YOU! I was born in Tennessee and raised in Arkansas. I was part of a Christian family who regularly attended church every Sunday morning and night and every Wednesday night. My father was a deacon and also the church bus driver so I pretty much grew up at church. There were always bus meetings, choir rehearsals, drama practices or something needed done at the church. If you can imagine we were always there. Always serving the Lord. Even as a young child I remember going with my dad to cut the grass or help my mom clean. It never struck me as to how lucky I really was until I learned, at age 16, how amazing it feels to serve the Lord. I was able to serve the Lord on my own accord. During the year I turned 16 a lot happened in my life. My parent's had been divorced for 3 years and because I was left alone a lot and needed to feel "LOVED", I ended up pregnant and ashamed. I wasn't sure what direction God was going to take me, and up until I was almost 18 I never went back to my "home church" (or any church) to find that direction. The next 2 years were pretty uneventful. I tried to attend college with the help of my parents. I tried to work full time to provide for my son and I, again with my parents help. I gladly got up early every Sunday morning and spent the 2 hours to dress myself and my son and head off to hear the word of God. I don't mean to take away from the hardest 3 years of my life being a single mother and all, but it's a story that needs no introduction or detail. You can look on t.v., next door to your house, or even in your own home and find a young, unprepared, teen mom and my story will look just the same. I was married at age 21 and quickly moved 25 hours away to the state of Arizona with my husband and son. I was 4 months pregnant with my daughter when we got married. (I know, I kind of jumped a few years and details on you). With 3 children and a husband, help from anywhere we could find it, and a LOVE and PASSION in my heart for God the next 10 years were filled with cancer scares, a brain tumor, moving 9 times, the normal and abnormal fights that all married people have I am now here. Doing this blog. Knowing that it's a direction in my life that God is leading me to and praying that this blog will reach out to millions. Millions who have been there or know someone who has, young and young at heart, supporters and critics, Christians and non-Christians and new friends and old friends.

This first blog entry is a bit long. I wanted it to be. I wanted to give some details into my life that has caused me to be who I am today. I mean come on be honest, when we read blogs we tend to wonder "who this person is and just WHAT makes them such a professor on the topic". I don't claim to be perfect, a professor or a novice. I am just a girl who could never have made it to where she is without the unconditional love and acceptance from God. You'll find that over the next however long, that mixed in with "Thoughts from Jesus' Feet" will be life stories, my journey as I see it, and even some humor (I hope). I encourage you all to enjoy this time and to keep an open mind and heart to the Lord. Allow Him to speak through my words into your heart and feel free to leave comments. I LOVE hearing from y'all. I am also a pretty open book and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask them. If it's too personal I will tell you, but there's not much that's too personal for this girl to answer.
Thank you for spending some of your precious time here on my blog, and hopefully with the Lord. Please check back daily for updates and scriptures. I will be doing daily "thoughts" and we'll all really begin to explore the journey that happens when we Sit at Jesus' Feet.

Lots of Love,
Brook