Mustard Seed of Faith

“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith.  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.'”

– Matthew 17:20

What does it mean to “have faith as small as a mustard seed” here?

We have heard this Scripture probably a hundred times or more.  But what does it mean?

To put this verse in context, a man had brought his very ill son to Jesus for healing.  The boy would have such great seizures and suffered so much that he would throw himself into the fire or water.

Can you imagine how distraught this father was seeing his son suffer so much?  I bet he would have gladly taken on this suffering for his son so he could be healed.  If this was me, it would be torturous to see my son suffer in this way.

So this man, after bringing his son to the disciples for healing, brought him to Jesus.  He told Jesus that his disciples tried but could not heal him.

Jesus is frustrated at the unbelief of His disciples.  He told the man to bring his son to Him.  Jesus rebuked the demon that was in the boy and he was healed from that moment.

So later, in private, the disciples asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out of the boy.

Verse 20 (above) was his response.

First He tells them it was because they had so little faith.

And then Jesus goes on to tell them that if they have “faith as small as a mustard seed”, they can move mountains.  Nothing would be impossible for them.

Do you see the irony here?

Jesus first tells the disciples that their faith was too small to drive out the demon.  But then He tells them that if there faith was even as small as a mustard seed (google it to see how small it is) they can move mountains.  Nothing would be impossible for them.

So what gives?

Small faith is not the issue here.  I believe it has to do with who your small faith is in.  Small faith in something other than Jesus will get you nowhere.  But small faith in Jesus will move mountains.

So I think the disciples small faith stemmed from they did not believe they could heal the boy.  They were looking to themselves to drive out the demon when they needed to rely on the Lord and His strength.  So their unbelief kept them from seeing a miracle.

Oh how often I have done this!  How it pains me to think of all the things I have missed out on seeing God do because my faith was in the wrong place.

We all struggle with unbelief.

But the key to having faith that moves mountains is our gaze, our focus, where we place our trust.  Who are we trusting in to accomplish what is before us?  Am I going to focus on my situation that looks impossible or am I going to choose to direct my focus on the Mover of Mountains?

So – where is your small faith?  Is it in your abilities?  Your gifts?  Your talents?  Your strength?

OR

Is it in THE ONE who can truly move mountains.  THE ONE who NOTHING is impossible?  THE ONE who is for you and not against you?

Where is your struggle?  Who are you going to choose to place your “small faith” in?

Let’s choose today to place it in the Mover of Mountains.

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Oh how I wish….

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Oh how I wish I could eat whatever I want.

Oh how I wish it would not go straight to my hips.

Oh how I wish I could easily burn off the calories.

Oh how I wish I did not have PCOS that makes it so stinkin hard to lose weight.

Oh how I hate that some people can eat whatever they want and food is not a battle for them.

Sometimes it just seems like that would be so easy.  But then I don’t know what other battles they face.  Because we all have our battles.  Would I want their battle instead of mine???  Probably not.

So instead of focusing on my battles and shortcomings, I will choose to be thankful for what I do have.

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Oh how I am thankful that I have a body I can move and workout.

Oh how I am thankful for a body that was able to grow and give me a beautiful son.

Oh how I am thankful for a husband who loves me just the way I am.

Oh how I am thankful that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Oh how I love that I am not alone and the Lord is with me to give strength to fight this battle.

“I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

Psalm 9:1

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,

so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

“Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10b

Instead of wishing for a circumstance to be different, how will you choose to be thankful?

May – what a month

May was not an easy month.  I am actually glad it is over.

My husband’s grandmother and grandfather passed away within 11 days of each other.  His grandmother at the end of April and his grandfather in early May.

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They were such a sweet, sweet loving couple and I miss them a lot.  I am so glad that Brayson got to spend time with his great grandparents.  They loved him so much.

Then some of the crazy flooding that has been going on in Houston and in Texas has also taken a toll.  Thankfully we did not experience any flooding.  There was a little leakage from our roof but nothing big.  But it has caused me to have some nights of not getting enough sleep.

My goals were hit and miss.

I did finish Max 30.

I did not finish A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman.  I am in the last chapter and should finish in the next day or two.

I was not good about writing my positive things I did every day.  I have tried to focus more on them though.

One thing that I have really enjoyed is getting ready to teach the Restless Bible Study by Jennie Allen.  This study is really hitting me right where I am.  Each video segment has me in tears.  God is doing a work in me and I CAN NOT wait to see the work He is going to do in the women at my church.

Last week, my son graduated from Pre-K.  That was emotional.  How did my son get so big?  Where has the time go?  One thing I have done with Brayson is to not wish the time away.  To enjoy each phase with him.  That is why the 2’s and 3’s were not terrible.  And even doing that I feel like time has flown by.  I feel like now my son is going to be graduating from high school tomorrow.  I am trying to hold on to time but it won’t sit still.

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So my May has to be summed up in travel, loss, emotion, and lots of water.

I am looking forward to this summer and what the Lord has for me.  I feel some good things coming.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Summer Before Kindergarten…

So tomorrow this baby…

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will be a Kindergartner.  Sniff, Sniff….

I can’t believe it.  I still feel like he should be a baby not a 5 1/2 year old boy.

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This summer will be the last summer before he starts school.

[Insert more sniffing….]

And I want to do some things that will make this summer special for him.

So I would love to hear from you….

What are some things you did the summer before your child started Kindergarten?

Was there something you wish you had done?

I would LOVE to hear your ideas!

I really don’t want this summer just to fly by and wonder what we did.  I would like to make it a special one.

What I am doing in May

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Can you believe the year is almost half way over?  I can’t believe May is half way over!!

Man, it just seems like the years just go by faster and faster!

Here are a few things I am working on this month:

POWER SHEETS

I am working on living with more intention.  Not just letting the days, months, and years go by and not have anything to show for my life.

One of the things I have been using are PowerSheets.  It is a system that Lara Casey has developed to help people focus on living for what matters.  Living your life on purpose.  I have really been loving using these.  I have not been totally faithful in using them but I am making imperfect progress with them.

So this month I plan on being more faithful in using them.  I am getting better.

INSANITY MAX 30 JOURNEY

I just finished with my Insanity Max 30 journey (5/15). This was a big accomplishment for me!

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It has been a tough workout.  I used the modifications through most of the workout.  But this workout was not about having another workout completion under my belt.  It was about pushing myself, getting out of my comfort zone, fighting for myself and seeing how far I could go.  It was about pushing through the mental blocks I get and becoming more of the person God made me to be.

Truth be told, when I heard about this workout before it debut in December, I had no intention of doing it.  I had no interest in it.  It wasn’t until I was listening to some of Shaun T’s podcasts and hearing his heart behind this program that I was inspired to do it.

This program is not about beating yourself up with a workout.  It is about pushing yourself to become the best you can be.   Every workout you hear the passion and care in Shaun T’s voice and he is pushing you and motivating you through this workout.  He really does care and that is evidenced in this workout.

WHAT I AM READING

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Currently I am reading “A Million Little Ways” by Emily Freeman.  This book opens your eyes about the art of your life.  That God is making art in and through your life.  I am not finished with this yet but it is one of my goals this month to finish it.  I try to read a little each day.  Some days I miss that goal but I don’t let that stop me.  I do what I can and keep moving.

A MORE POSITIVE MINDSET

Another goal I have for this month is to write down the good things I have done each day.

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Boy, I have not been good with this so far.  I started off the first few days of the month well but then I just would forget about it at the end of the day.

But I am set on making imperfect progress – so I will continue to strive to do this every day.  I will let you know how that goes.

SUMMER BIBLE STUDY

I am preparing this month to teach Restless by Jennie Allen at my church this summer.

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I am real excited to go through this Bible Study with the women at my church.  This study will help point us in the direction to run after God’s purposes for our lives instead of letting fear hinder His purposes for us.

So those are a few things I am doing this month.  I need to figure out my workout schedule now that I have finished Max 30.  I think I am going to do a mixture of workouts for a while.

What are you working on this month?

A Lovely Mess…

I am a mess.

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I fail every day. I have a house that looks like a tornado has gone through it. (I need to fire my maid! Opps that is me…) I get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. I get easily distracted. I rather stay in bed. I love to sleep and be lazy. I am so not type A. I get tired of going to the grocery store every week. I love food so my nutrition is a daily battle. I have PCOS which makes life interesting. (Not really – just frustrating). I like having a schedule but I don’t want to schedule every minute of my day. I hate to shop for clothes. I wish someone would do that for me. I always feel like a fashion mess. (BTW – I have tried Stitch Fix but so far it has been a fail for me). I am a social introvert. Sometimes I want to be around people, sometimes I don’t. I don’t think quick on the fly. I need time to process.

I could go on and on……

But in the midst of my messes – I have a God who loves me. I have a God who nevers gives up on me. I have a God who helps me and does not leave me to fend for myself.

You see – God loves messy people. If He didn’t we would all be in a world of hurt.

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I love how the Bible is not a book of a bunch of perfect people. It is a book with a bunch of messy people that God uses and nevers gives up on.

God uses people in the midst of their messy.

You don’t have to get your act together for God to use you. It would never happen if that were the case.

You just have to be an open, willing vessel for Him to use. It doesn’t matter that your vessel has cracks in it. We are all broken vessels. The key is to give our broken pieces to Jesus and allow Him to put them back together and make us a beautiful, messy vessel for His glory.

Don’t you want to have your messy bring glory to Him? Don’t you want to see that your messy has a divine purpose?

Friends – that gives me hope. That gives me purpose. That fuels my perserverance.

The Comparison Trap

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One of the things I have been doing in my quiet times is studying the book of Titus.

Not too long ago, I was writing out Chapter 2 and a phrase in verse 5 stood out to me.

In this verse, Paul is instructing Titus what the older women in the church should be instructing the younger women.

And there is this little phrase that made me pause – the phrase where Paul says for the younger women to be “workers at home”.

It made me think – what does this really mean?

So I sought the Lord. I asked Him what does this mean for me?

And what come to my mind was the comparison trap that I struggle with so frequently. That I need to stop comparing myself to others and work where God has me.

We have all heard the phrase – “The grass is greener where you water it.”

I have to work and water the plot of grass that God has given me and not look at what others are doing around me.

It is so hard though. Especially in this age of social media. I see friends doing things that I want to be doing. And then I feel like a loser. Like it is too late. I’ve missed the boat. God has left me behind.

But you know who is telling me that? Hint – It is NOT the Lord!

It is Satan. And it is a lie from the pit of hell!

He is doing whatever he can to discourage me and keep me from what God has for me right now. He wants to keep me from the great plans God has for me.

The truth is God has great plans for me. Plans to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

The truth is God is for me, not against me. (Romans 8:31)

The truth is God ways are not my ways and He will work out everything in His timing. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

There is purpose in EVERYTHING God has called me to do today. Even in doing the dishes that are stacked up in my sink today.

What happens when we don’t take care of our lawns? If we don’t do the work at home?

The lawn gets overgrown. Weeds take over. The good grass dies. It gets trash. Bugs over take it. It looks really bad. It is an eye sore.

What happens when you take care of your lawn?

You get rid of the weeds when they pop up. You regularly mow it. You fertilize it so it is green and pretty. There is no trash. Everything is well taken care of.

So what do I have to do to water my lawn and not get stuck in the trap of comparison?

I think we have to ask some questions of ourselves before the Lord:

Where does God have me right now?
How does He want me to be faithful right now?
What are the things I need to be praying for right now?
What is one small step I can take today to water and fertilize “my lawn”

Take some time today and read Romans 8. Write out the chapter. Pray through the Scriptures that stand out to you. There are some really good truths to help us water our own lawn and see the great love God has for us.

Do you struggle with the comparison trap like me? What is the one step God is revealing to you that you need to do today?

Hang in there friend and don’t give up!

Where Do I Store My Treasure?

We all are in the business of storing treasure.

The question is:  Are you storing your treasures in the right place?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend my church’s Women’s Stay Treat.  [A Stay Treat is where we have a retreat at our church rather than go out of town]

The speaker was my college friend, Lori Joiner and the topic was Laying Up Treasure.

Lori did a fantastic job helping us really think about where we are laying up our treasures, how to lay up treasures in heaven, and thinking about what kind of legacy we want to leave behind.

The fact is we are all storing up treasure either in heaven or on earth.  It is one or the other.  There is no in-between.

So where are you storing your treasure?

I loved Lori’s definition of what is a treasure in heaven:

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Isn’t that good! That means it is not just the big things that we do for God that are treasures for His Kingdom.  It is also the little things He calls us to do every day.  Changing diapers, respecting our husband, being the manager of our home, being a faithful employee, etc.  Every act of obedience matters.

So I want to share with you Lori’s 5 Treasure Tips to help us on this journey of laying up treasure in heaven:

1.  Read God’s Word

2.  Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit

3.  Have faith that what God says is true.

4.  Don’t compare yourself to others

5.  Make every day count.

I want to emphasize we all fail at laying up treasure in heaven at one point or another.  All of us will have some wood, hay, and straw on the day we stand before the Lord.  The only person who would not have any wood, hay, or straw would be Jesus.

So don’t beat yourself up about what you have or haven’t done.  Just start today and do what He has called you to do.  And if you fail, go before Him and tell Him.  He loves you and does not condemn you.  He wants to you to keep going and not give up.  So let’s keep pressing on and lay up treasure in Heaven for God and His glory!

My Kick In The Pants…..

Have you ever wanted to see how far you could push yourself?  To see how far you could go?

I don’t know about you, but I need a good kick in the pants!  I have struggled this year to be consistent with my workouts and it is time for a change.

So I am going to do a workout that I had no plans on doing.

What is that workout – Shaun T’s New Insanity Max 30!

Check it out here

Am I crazy?  Probably

But it is time to do something different.  It is time to challenge myself and see what I can do.

I didn’t want to do this program.  I had NO plans on doing it!

But listening to Shaut T’s podcast and hearing his heart behind this program has changed my mind.

I am still scared as all get out to do this program but real change comes when you stop feeding your fears.

If you have ever listened to Shaun T, you no doubt hear his heart to help people become their best.  And that is what motivates me.

So here I am.  I am going to buy the program this week and start it on March 16th.

If you are ready for a change. If you want to see what you can accomplish.  I invite you to take on this challenge with me.

I can’t do this by myself and I would love to have you join me.

I will post a video with more details later.

But until then, think about it and most importantly pray about it.  See if the Lord would have you take on this challenge.  And if so, then let’s get started!!

My Weight Stuggles

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I have struggled with my weight ever since high school. I thought I was fat. I was made to think I was fat. I did not think I was good enough.

My senior year I was on the drill team. But I barely made it on because of my weight. But you see if you looked at my pictures, you would not have thought I was fat. But I thought I was huge because I did not meet the weight requirements. I had to be weighed every week and it was posted every week for everyone to see. And every week I could not perform because I did not make my requirement. The only football game I got to perform was the Homecoming game because it was the one game everyone got to perform.

I was ashamed and embarrassed. One week I was 3 pounds from their requirement and the officers wrote on the sheet for everyone to see how close I was to making the requirement. I don’t know if it was their way to embarrass me or encourage me. If it was meant to encourage, it had the opposite effect. I was embarrassed. So the next week I fell further from the goal.

So I went into college thinking I was fat. But the truth was, I was at a healthy weight for my body.

So I struggled. And I struggled. And I gained weight. I felt defeated and worthless.

Then in my junior year, I took an awful aerobics class for one of my PE credits. One of the things we had to do at the beginning of the semester was we had to weigh and everyone saw it. I saw the number that as I the scale and I was in disbelief. I did not believe what the scale said. I could not believe my weight was so high. Cue embarrassment again.

All through college I struggled. Especially when it came to dating. I thought if I lost a certain amount of weight then so and so would ask me out. But that was just a dumb roller coaster I was on.

If my weight was keeping someone from asking me out, that said more about him and not about me. Boy how I wish I knew then what I know now. But that is another story for another day.

I have struggled and struggled with that dumb number on the scale. I have let it determine my worth for so long. So back in 2013, I had enough and I threw my scale in the trash. You can read about that here.

I wish I could say that was the end of my struggle. It was freeing but not the end. The fact is I still struggle. It is definitely a thorn in my flesh. But I am learning more and more that it is not a battle of my will. It is a spiritual battle for my heart, mind, and soul.

Last weekend I was praying about this and I searched for verses with the word struggle in them. And this verse was the first one that came up:

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“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Exactly what I needed from the Lord. With this journey, you are made to think you just have to will yourself to do the workouts and eat the right way. To suck it up and do it. But in reality, if it works, it will only last for so long. I believe is a big reason why so many people gain the weight they have lost and then some.

We have to change the way we think about this battle. It is a battle. It is not easy. It is super hard. But God does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He is right in the midst of it – He is here to help us and guide us every step of the way.

I certainly DO NOT have this nailed down. But I am learning to rely on Him more and more. I want to share my failures along with my success. And I hope to encourage others along the way. I also want to hear about your victories and how I can pray for you. So please comment below or if you want to send me a private message, you can go to my FB page and send it to me there. I would love to hear from you.

Let’s fight this battle together in power and strength of our Lord!