Monday, March 31, 2014

Forever Changed



Its been several days since getting to post but if you've been following me.... There has been lots going on! ELLIE is home! 


Brown family of 6 is complete! Words can't describe how this family keeps changing my life and heart! By their obedience and loving others, it challenges me daily to do the same! Getting to be with Lilly, Asher, and will for two weeks... We've bonded and nothing will ever break it. From story hour with Asher and will, and fun conversations with Lilly.... I will never forget it. Meeting little Ellie... Oh what a day! We all love this girl so much already! She doesn't know it yet but we are all going to be best friends!
Since being home.... My life can't go back to "normal". God is stirring something in my heart and I'm earning to know the answers. All I do know is loving others is my mission! I can't go back to wasting time. I am needed!



He is doing a great work and isn't finished yet! His story for me is so much greater than I could even write. Your story is too! Don't settle for what's easy or convenient! Be bold and courageous to say YES to His story for your life!








Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shout out Wednesday



We have some great news around here! First, Andrew, Diana, and Ellie will be HOME Saturday! The kids are so excited!!! It's been so great to get to be with Lilly, Asher,and will! Today we went to see the Muppets movie after school. They really enjoyed it. Every night I read a story and tell stories of my childhood to the boys! They love it! Glad they think I'm funny!


Registration will be opening up next week for our conference!!! It's really becoming real! If you haven't gone and liked our Facebook page, please do. She Dreams Ministries.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It Takes A Village


I never truly understood this African proverb until today. I actually heard it a lot when we were in Africa and would watch parents and older kids just taking care of everyone's kids as we worked. Sometimes you couldn't figure out who their real moms were. They all loved and watched after each other.
I experienced that first hand today. We are in round 2 of me staying with the browns as Andrew has gone back to Ethiopia to be with Diana and baby Ellie. If things go as planned and how we are praying, then we hope for them to be home by this weekend.
So today after school we had back to back ball practices, homework, kids to feed, and errands.
But oh how awesome to watch the village of people who love God and love the browns come together to help. I had help in getting boys to practice, as I was helping with homework, family and friends came to feed us, clean, work on laundry, and paint and work on Ellie's room.
It takes a Village!!
This is the meaning of our church.... The Village. We are called to love God and love people. Man did we feel loved today. I pray Diana, Andrew, and Ellie are feeling it miles away.
Are you a part of a village? What role are you working in? Sometimes it's places we'd never expect to serve and LOVE IT!!


The kids and I wore our letter E today to remind us and others to pray that Ellie gets to come home soon! She has a village here waiting to love on her!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday favorites

I love getting to come home on Friday's and just relax! Lately my Fridays have been my nights to catch up on laundry and just be. I know that sounds lame, but I think everyone needs a time to just relax and rest. It's crucial for me and gives me the energy to get the things I need to accomplish.
Here are my Friday favorites!!!


These spring colors came this past week! I can't wait to try them out. Go check out Julep site. You can get a free box sent to check it out. I love the nail polish. It goes on thick.




My Simplified planner arrived this week and I am on cloud 9!! I love how sturdy it is and easy to fold over. With lots of dates and lists to remember, this has already come in handy.



I love my new 31 bag! The spring colors are pretty and I love having our new ministry She Dreams 
on it. It's been so useful and I love the length of the handles.





I have needed a new foundation for quite awhile. I used to always use Clinique but in the past year my skin gets really dry. So last weekend I went to Ulta and had a lady help me. This feels so light on my face and its almost like I can feel my skin getting lots of air!:) 
 



Went to a Kari Jobe concert last Friday and it was beautiful! I loved her new music and to watch her lead worship! Can't wait to get her new album!!

















Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is HERE!


Today was exciting to find out it was first day of spring!! Seems like winter has been long!!!!
I want to hear from you! I'm going to leave a few questions and would love to hear your comments! 
  1. What are you reading?
  2. What blogs are you reading?
  3. What are you struggling with?




I hope you were able to get outside today and breathe in fresh air! It's this time of year that its hard to know what to wear! Is it going to be cool or warm! I've noticed some pretty spring colors for the season in clothes. Two of my favorites are this mint color and tangerine orange. You'll see some of this in my Friday favorites tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Shout Out

Weeks like this week where I've been sick, I haven't done too much reading. But I did read through some of my favorite bloggers! These never disappoint me in their knowledge, easy reads, and funny stories! I know I've posted them before, but they seriously are worth your time to check out!!

Jen Hatmaker


Lysa Terkeurst


Small things blog


Hannah Brencher




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Just What The Doctor Ordered


2014 has not started out great with my health! I'm on my second sinus infection! I've had some time today between sleeping to try and figure out what this keeps happening! I am prone to allergies especially when seasons start changing, but I couldn't help wonder today if there was something else. I know the devil uses many tactics to get us down. Since saying Yes to God on pursuing my dream of speaking, I've been the sickest I've been in years. Have you ever thought about this? Maybe God is need ending me to rest more to allow my body to function like it needs to in order to get the tasks at hand done.
 Whatever the reason, I'm not allowing it to steal my joy. No, I don't have time to be sick, but going to use the added time for rest and praying. There is so much to pray for. People really suffering, families dealing with loss, and friends trying to make right choices for their families.
No matter what you're going through today..,. Know you're loved.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Lucky or Blessed?


Happy St. Patrick's day! There has always been the battle in my head of using the words lucky or blessed! Probably from a former Sunday school teacher! She would always correct me when she heard me say lucky instead of blessed! In my young mind I thought I was "bad" for using the word lucky and my rule following self always tried to use it correctly!
But as I've gotten older, it's became more of how my heart looks at things. It's the love I feel from God and how he's blessed me more with people, a job, and things I don't deserve! 
What are you blessed with? Do you feel we get lucky sometimes or things happen because God designed us this way? We may never know the answers but what's more important is this: He loves us and wants us to love others. Period!
Hope you wore your green today!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Speak life


Well my time at the Browns has came to an end! It's strangely quite at my house!:)
This week I've had many difference encounters and reminders of how powerful words are!
Two that I want to share happened today at school! I had to go in the high school building to do an observation and when I stopped by the ladies room, some pieces of paper caught my eye! On the inside stall door and above the mirrors were signs that some student had posted that said things like,"you are enough, you are beautiful just the way you are, and more I can't remember!"
I thought of how powerful those words are and how I pray these girls walking in those bathrooms grabbed those words off the pages and placed them in their hearts! I personally needed those words today! Words speak life or they don't! There are no other choices!
I got back to my classroom and on my keyboard was a handwritten note sharing with me what a great job I was doing and thanking me! This person had no idea what doubts and failures had run though my day today!
Friends your words matter!! Lets choose to speak life into others!

Funny of the day: when will was looking at the prizes to buy with tickets he earned at fun factory today... He said,"breeze what a rip off!" I could but this stuff at Walmart! Smart kid!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Shout Out Wednesday


This week shout outs go to ALL you moms out there!!! You are amazing and I want you to know on the days you feel like you can't catch up on laundry, patience is thin with your children, feel like when you're leaving the house that you're half put together.... That you still WIN!!! You're children love you and in their eyes, you are super mom! Even those of you who have teens who act like you're the most incapable person on the planet, deep down they love you!
My friend Diana is still in Ethiopia with Ellie! She's so brave and strong! Please keep the prayers coming that paper work gets done quickly and they can come home soon!!


Her kids here are so loved by her and Andrew! They are training them well! Lilly their 12 year old daughter has been soooooo helpful!! Most girls her age would not be interested in helping me! She's 
been so encouraging to her brothers and myself!!
Asher and Will have done amazing too! It's been such a wonderful week to walk in someone else shoes and gain an even stronger appreciation and admiration for my friends and all you moms!
Tomorrow will be our treat day after school!!! Pictures soon to come!:)

Funny of the day: every night when I tuck the boys in, I've been telling them stories that either I made up as a kid or about me when I was a kid! They think they are hilarious!!:) I love any opportunity to have "story hour!"





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beautiful Exhaustion


This morning we got to face time my friends Andrew and Diana with their daughter Ellie!! The kids were so excited to see her! Please pray they get to come home very soon!
I remember my first trip to Africa! It was unexplainable! It was hard to put into words! Andrew actually wrote a song called beautiful exhaustion! Here is how he describes the song and the meaning behind it.

in the winter of 2008, i laid down in my bed in a hotel in Africa after one of the most amazing days of my life spent with the people of Kandaria, Kenya doing life and learning from one another the true meaning of unconditional love.  8000 miles from home, I struggled to find words to send home to tell my wife and others of all that had transpired over the 24 hours since our arrival. 

the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion was extreme, but in the middle of it there was this incredible satisfaction.  the experience of the day and all of the images were overwhelming but exactly what my soul longed for.  the excitement of new relationships, the visual strain of abject poverty, the resilience of a people unfazed by circumstance and seemingly full of joy and hope, the differences of our cultures muted by the existence of something greater... or should i say, SomeOne greater:  a SAVIOR, a HEALER, a RESTORER, a CHRIST, a SPIRIT that fellowshipped between us and shattered language barriers and conquered insecurities.  the excitement of a 70 year old blind woman who had waited for years to see changes come for her community, the mixed emotions of heartbreak and compassion while holding a smiling 3 year old with AIDS who had no idea what the future days would hold.
as i lay there i knew, regardless of my physical, mental, emotional fatigue that i was right in the middle of a GOD MOVE and i wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else and i wanted THIS ... whatever it was ... for the rest of my life.  the hunger, the yearning, the satisfaction, the exhaustion, the feeling of being totally poured out and used up, but used up for the cause of THE ONE. 
the words i sent home trying to tell this incredible story of God at work in me and all around me were simply titled ‘THE BEAUTIFUL EXHAUSTION’.  later the lyrics for the song were penned and have become the prayer my wife Diana and i pray for ourselves, our children, and every living breathing soul.  that we could be lost in the beautiful exhaustion of a life totally poured out in response to a savior and his great salvation of us.  i pray that we all find ourselves in the beautiful 
exhaustion for the rest of our lives.  for His fame...




I've thought about how exhausted Diana and Andrew must be with travel, trying to figure out how long they will be there, and missing their 3 here. They are living out their dream that God laid
 on their hearts and prayer 6 years ago! I hope when someone looks back at my life they can say..... She ran her race well!!

Funny today: being tooth fairy for the first time and Will seeing a mustang being driven by an older lady and he says, "breeze, you know why old people have nice cars.... Because they don't have to spend all their money on their kids!"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Practicing what I'm learning

This week I'm staying with my friends 3 awesome kids while they are in Ethiopia getting their new daughter. These kids are awesome!!

What I've learned in the last few weeks is trying to manage my time better and this week I'm definitely getting some practice. Work, homework, ball practice, and some other obligations has added some new things to my schedule. I'm excited for the challenge of working on managing our time and schedule for the week. Having 3 kids after normally it being just me, can seem like a huge adjustment. One thing I'm hoping is these experiences will help me to not always be self-centered! Being single, you think of yourself more and that's natural because you are all you have to take care of. But I want to be a person to help others, not be selfish with my time, and putting others first.
This week ill be sharing about our day, funny stories, and things I'm learning!
Please join me in praying for Andrew, Diana, Lilly, Asher, will, and Ellie as they get ready to become a family of 6 and that they will all get to be together soon!

My new appreciation for parents today: sitting at ball field until 8 is crazy!! It's made me reevaluate and think about my homework I give and to make sure I'm not asking too much!
Check in this week! I'm sure you'll be in for some laughs!







Thursday, March 6, 2014

Part 4 knowing more equals doing better



This scripture has been swirling around my head and heart for the last two months! I was on the sidelines forgetting how and why to run. Now I'm back in the lane created for me, I realize its not always easy but the abundance of joy that God floods through my veins is what keeps me running. Knowing that every step I take is one more step closer to helping someone help in this race.
What I'm learning in evaluating this concept of time is that's its not just for me to give God my time, schedule, and free time. It's for the many God wants to minister and encourage using me!!! I'm not the only one who suffers when I gamble my time! 
My prayer is that each day I'm able to know more so I can do better! That while running im able to encourage those on the sidelines and we all run this race together!
I hope through this series you have gained even just one tip to incorporate in your life.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Shout out Wednesday


Days like today make me hope spring is near! It was a beautiful day! I hope you're enjoying the time series! One area I'm trying to work on is arranging my time to spend more time on the blog. One thing I'm going to try this weekend is write my posts a day or two ahead of time so I'm not feeling rushed or when unexpected things come up, I won't feel worried about getting that days post up! 
It's just like in lots of areas we try to improve in, we want fast results! Baby steps is one more step closer to your goals! If I'm doing something better than I did yesterday... Then I count that as a win!

Here are my shout outs for the week!


Catalyst podcast is what I mentioned yesterday. Click on Terkeurst, Voscamp tab. These wonderful ladies share their ideas and dreams.

Pouring out is a post by Holley Gerth. She writes about the importance of filling up as we pour out onto others.

Lysa Terkeurst post about 5 things you should say to a friend.

Check in tomorrow with part 4 of our time series.








Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Part 3 knowing more equals doing better


I've had many conversations with friends lately of how it's hard to balance time! I know even as I'm spending a lot of time preparing and prepping for the women's conference that other areas in my life are getting neglected! I listened to a podcast today(I'll have the link in my shout out Wednesdays tomorrow) and I loved when Lysa Terkeurst said," God develops our character to match our callings. To ask God each day what is my assignment today." God isa God of order!
As I've stepped towards my dream and involved with creating this ministry, God is equipping me to be a leader. He's showing me how to delegate and organize lists. If you knew me at all..... You know this is not a natural characteristic of mine. The beauty is I'm able to see God at work through me.
Are you struggling with not feeling equipped for your calling? The best news is God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. Start asking Him what areas you're fearful of or feel not qualified in. He will show you in ways you can't imagine how He's preparing you for what He's called you for.
I hope these time tips are helping you gain confidence you were created for this journey He's put you on, and that there are many resources out there to help you.
Here is today's time tip comes from Katie! I've met her through a Facebook group called Dream Chasers.
I've started using Trello for my to do lists, especially at work.  I also use Pocket like you wouldn't believe, haha.  I save articles and such to Pocket from Facebook, Twitter, Feedly, etc. and then use pockets of time to read them as needed.

Pocket (www.getpocket.com)
Pocket is a website and app that allows you to save links to your "queue" to read later (hence why, at one point, it was called "Read It Later").  It integrates with Feedly (my reader of choice ever since Google Reader bit the dust), as well as Twitter.  I love Pocket because I'm often checking Twitter or Feedly in the little pockets of time in my day - waiting on a meeting to start, taking a quick break, etc., and Pocket allows me to save things to read in one big batch later.  Plus, you can tag and organize things you've saved!

Trello (www.trello.com)
Oh, Trello...my new lifesaver, especially at work.  I work in higher education, and I have a lot of tasks or projects that have "soft" deadlines - basically meaning I have a big list of things that need to get done at some point.  Before I found Trello, I was writing color-coded to do lists at work - one color for "urgent" tasks, one color for tasks that needed to get done this week, this month, etc...and I was spending a lot of time rewriting to do lists!  Enter Trello, which allows you to create organizations, boards, and cards.  I find Trello really hard to describe without seeing it visually, so I've attached a couple of photos.  The first is of the main Trello page after you log in.  I've created 
two organizations - one for my work (I work with an honors program at a university) and one for my personal life.  In each, I have a variety of boards, and within the boards, I have my action items on cards.  The second photo shows my "This Week" board and items I'm working on.  You can move cards between boards, add checklists to cards, and do many more things that I don't even know about yet!



Katie is a twentysomething living in Kentucky and working at her dream job.  She's a proud cat momma and Southern belle, an avid sports fan, and a chronic live-tweeter of the Bachelor and Bachelorette.  You can usually find her with a coffee or a Diet Coke and blogging at Collectingjoy@wordpress.com





Monday, March 3, 2014

Oh how He loves You!


Oh my friends! If only I were a great artist and could draw you a masterpiece, good with words and write a book, sing you a song, a musician and play you a tune to show you how much God loves you.
I've know this concept from an early age...... "Jesus loves me this I know!" There have been several markers in my life where He has shown me in such beautiful ways of how deep His love is for means I know I've only touched the surface.

There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place that we can’t find peace
  There’s no end to Amazing Grace

Take me in with your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child

 Love like this, Oh my God to find!
I am overwhelmed what a joy divine!
Love like this sets our hearts on fire!

This is why to You I run

There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place that we can’t find peace
There’s no end to Amazing Grace

"I Am" by David Crowder is a song I've heard many times but today I heard something different. I heard words sing what I feel in my heart. This past weekend was a market for me. A time for prayer and surrender. Gods love has no boundaries. There's no place in our lives and hearts where it can't touch.
What does Gods love look or feel to you? Maybe if you're like me it's expressed through a song. Maybe you have a word, picture, or story. I would love to hear about it. So my Monday challenge is for you to share.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's part 3 in our knowing more doing better series. Thank you for reading and your encouragements!

David Crowder "I Am"