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My Freshly Brewed Life: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
   Help the oppressed.
      Defend the cause of orphans.
      Fight for the rights of widows.

(Isaiah 1:17)

Hello my lovely followers.  I don't normally do things like this on my blog, however, I feel compelled to get the word out about this.  Although I do not know this family personally, I have been moved and inspired by their story.  They have given their lives in ministry and in caring for orphans.  To read their story, please click here.

I am asking for your help to nominate this precious family for an Extreme Home Makeover.  I cannot think of a family more deserving. It only takes a few moments to nominate them, and I will be forever grateful!

Email nominations to
Each nomination must include the names, ages of everyone in the house, a description of the major challenges within the home and a short description of the family story. (Feel free to copy and paste some of the information on the linked blog.)

Here’s a list of their names and ages if you’d like to copy and paste.

Renee-mother (49)
Flo- Renee’s mother (72)
Telma-Renee’s daughter, adopted from the Marshall Islands (19)
Teyolla- Renee’s daughter, adopted from the Marshall Islands (19)
Keyolla- Renee’s daughter, adopted from the Marshall Islands (19)
LeeAnn- Renee’s daughter, adopted from the Marshall Islands (16)
Sophia- Renee’s daughter (13)
Michaela- Renee’s daughter (10)
Sana- Renee’s daughter adopted from the Marshall Islands (9)
Sasha- Renee’s son with Spina Bifida adopted from Ukraine (8)
Ethan- Renee’s son with Down Syndrome adopted from Ukraine (7)
Silas- Renee’s son with Down Syndrome adopted from Ukraine (4)
Judah – Renee’ son adopted from the Marshall Islands (1)
Joanna- a blind girl under the legal guardianship of Renee (from the Marshall Islands) age 13

Deadline is March 31st.
Additional Details HERE!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blogging In Style

Earlier this week, my lovely blog friend Jill at Pathway To Purpose awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award! How sweet is that?  Thank you, Jill, for this sweet award.  Have you ever visited Jill's blog?  She has a beautiful family and recently started her own business, Simple Delights, selling all natural lotion bars and lip balms.  She has been such an encouragement to me on this journey.  I humbly accept this award.

The Rules of Acceptance

1. Link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass it along to 7 other stylish bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their award.
7 things about myself.

1.  I have lived in California all of my life.
2.  I work full time as an administrator at Convergence House of Prayer.
3.  I did not get my driver's license until I was 20 years old.
4.  I am addicted to coffee and am not seeking help at this time.
5.  I love to sing, pray, paint, read and write. 
6.  I dream of writing a Woman's Devotional one day.
7.  I am passionate about bringing freedom to the captives.

I follow so many wonderful and encouraging blogs, that it's so hard to pick just seven.  Each of these woman have impacted my life more than they probably know, through their encouraging and inspiring posts, as well as their prayers.  I am so thankful for these beautiful woman and their blogs, and I am honored to call them friends.  In no particular order:

Cindy @ She Sparkles 

Katy @ B'ahava

Have a blessed weekend!


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Catania - Chained to my soulphoto © 2010 Francesco Pappalardo | more info (via: Wylio)

Last weekend, I attended the Freedom Summit at a local church.  Over the last couple of years, I have been uniting in prayer with others for justice for those enslaved.  I've prayed and cried out to God to free the captives.  Yet I never felt like my heart was moved.  And I seriously doubt that I understood what exactly this was I was praying for.  I asked God before the conference to break my heart for those held captive. God heard my cry.  I wept much of the day of and following the conference.  I have been changed.  There is now an empty place in my heart where God can come and fill me with compassion for those held against their will. 

  • Human Trafficking is modern day slavery.  
  • There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in human history.
  • According to the US Department of State, there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men trafficked across international borders annually.  Between 14,500 and 17,500 of those are trafficked into the United States each year.
  • According to the United Nations, the total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion.
Up until the time I attended the conference, I believe I was oblivious to the fact that this could happen in my own backyard, so to speak.  Just a day or two before the conference, law enforcement raided a home where I live, in the same city, rescuing those enslaved, and arresting several traffickers.  Not in my backyard?  Think again. My eyes have been opened.  I drive down the street and look at my surroundings differently, and I pray.  

Human Trafficking is more than forced prostitution, although the thought of this alone is enough to cause me countless sleepless nights in prayer.  But what about the children, women and men that are trafficked across our borders, and into our own country, for slave labor -- forced to work in fields, in homes, etc. for no wages.  What about children in other countries who are categorized as "war children", who are taken from their homes at very young ages and forced to fight wars.  They are all slaves.  And I thought slavery was abolished.  I think it's time for another abolition.

One of the things I asked God to do following the conference was to show me practical ways that I could assist in this fight to end Human Trafficking.  There are three things I feel compelled to do at this time:
  1. Blog.  I would love to use this blog as away to speak into this cause.  I hope to be able to post more regularly about Human Trafficking, possibly sharing testimonies of those who have been rescued.  I believe this is something that I need to keep in the forefront.
  2. Volunteer.  I am asking the Lord where I can volunteer my time/efforts.  I have no clear directives but I know that He will show me.
  3. Shop.  For more on that, read below.
When I shop, I like to get the most bang for my buck.  We live on a very tight budget and I exhaust every resource to find the cheapest price for most things.  However, I am no longer willing to purchase products when they are made by way of slave labor.  My conscious will not allow it.

Do you have an iPhone?  If so, there is a very handy App called "The Better World Shopper" that you can download that will assist you in making wiser choices about the products that you buy.  There is also a book entitled "The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes A Difference" which gives even more information. 
*Disclaimer:  Please do your own research.  This information was compiled taking into consideration human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement and social justice.  I am not saying it is wrong to purchase a product with a letter grade of "F".  I am simply sharing what God has spoken to my own heart.  And I am continuing to do research, because I want to be well informed and be led by the Holy Spirit in my choices.  I am willing to pay a few more dollars for a product if it means I am helping to buy someone else's freedom.

I am compelled to continue to do what I can to bring freedom to the captives.  I must keep this issue in front of me, lest I forget that there are those who are still enslaved, held against their will, for the gross benefit of others.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time Out!

Today I am contributing over at 5 Minutes for Faith, speaking about "Time Out".  Here's a little teaser:
As a mom, I have often sent my children to the “time out” chair or corner.  Sometimes it would be 15 minutes, or 30 minutes.  It was an opportunity for my children to sit quietly and reflect on their behaviors, attitudes and motives.  I cannot say that it always worked, but when it did, I was thankful because their hearts were changed.
Won't you head on over there and read my post?  And please leave me a comment letting me know you stopped by.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Guest Post And A Giveaway!


Today, I am guest posting over at Dane And Be Glad.  I am so excited to announce that Leah has asked me to be a monthly contributor at her site. I am so honored to be able to share my journey and experiences in all things creative with you there.

Today I am sharing about "Art And Prophesy".  And Leah is having a give away for a couple of amazing resources for you.  Won't you stop on over, read my post and enter the giveaway!  Oh, and please leave a comment letting me know you stopped by!


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sanctity Of Human Life Sunday

Babyphoto © 2006 gabi menashe | more info (via: Wylio)

Jesus, I plead your blood over my sins, and the sins of my nation.

God, end abortion, and send revival to America.

Today, on the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, my heart is heavy for those who have lost their fight to survive.  There voices were not heard as their lives were ended, abruptly, without their consent.  I am thankful that God holds each one of these precious babies in His arms in heaven.

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.
How precious to me are your thoughts,
   How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.
(Psalm 139:13:18)

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cultivating A Heart Of Love

I heart this treephoto © 2010 Tim Simpson | more info (via: Wylio)

As I enter the second week of my 21 day fast, my heart has been stretched.  I feel vulnerable, raw and tender.  In this place of voluntary weakness, my desperation for God is something I cannot ignore.  My need of Him has risen to the forefront. Apart from Him I can do nothing.  This week, I am more aware of the groaning inside my spirit to know this Man Jesus.
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
   for the living God.  (Psalm 84:2)
I've grown closer to the Lord this last week, yet there is an internal struggle to stay in the place of prayer.  There are so many other things that are demanding my time and attention.  As a wife, mother and ministry leader, I cannot ignore these other things.  Yet, I understand the importance of continually seeking His face in order to receive the fuel that I need to do these other things well.

One thing I have learned is that my love for God and this 1st commandment lifestyle must be cultivated.  In Mike Bickle's teaching, "Becoming A Person of Extravagant Devotion" he says,
"We must consciously carry our hearts. We must consciously cultivate a spiritual atmosphere in our hearts and in a way that we are more responsive to God. God wants to enable us to be responsive to Him in love. This anointing to be able to respond to God in love is not something that is automatic. It is cultivated. The ability to respond to God in love is cultivated. It is cultivated deliberately. It takes time to cultivate it, and it does not come automatically. What happens is that our love for God diminishes? If we do not invest in growing in love for God, our ability to respond to God in love diminishes. ...The ability to respond to God in love is something we cultivate. It grows, it increases, or if it is something we do not pay attention to, it decreases."
I have been faced with my lack of God this last week.  I have felt a little edgy, a little stressed, a little out of sorts. As I turn my attention to God, I have a heightened awareness of the condition of my own heart. My selfish attitudes, negative thoughts and wrong views have all risen to the surface and are staring me in the face.  I've been forced to look at my weakness.  I want to cultivate my love for God, but how do I do that when I am faced with myself -- my lack, my weakness.  Even so, I must continue to be diligent and purposeful in my pursuit of God.  I must set aside time each day to be with him.  It's not about doing for God, but being with God.  This is where I am changed, by simply being in His presence.  This year, I want to learn how to "be" in the presence of God without feeling like I have to do something for Him.  Anything that is cultivated takes time.  A garden does not grow instantly. Once the seeds are planted, it is watered, nurtured, tenderly cared for.  Every now and then the Master Gardner has to come and weed the garden in order to allow it to produce more fruit.

I must invest my life in cultivating my love for God.  Mary of Bethany had the right idea.  When Jesus came to visit, she stopped everything she was doing and chose to sit at His feet and minister to Him. Her sister, Martha, got upset and began to complain to Jesus that Mary wasn't helping her.  Here is Jesus' response to Martha:
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Mary was extravagantly devoted to Jesus.  And this type of devotion would never be taken from her.  Mary took the time to invest in her love for her Lord by forsaking her duties to sit at His feet.  Mary will not be known for her works.  Rather, she will be known by her devotion to Jesus.  I want to be remembered as a person who was extravagantly devoted to Jesus.  Nothing else matters.

God has planted a seed of love in my heart.  It is up to me to water it, nurture it, care for it, so that it will grow.  I want to know this Man Jesus, intimately, above all other things.  Will it always be easy?  No.  Will it be worth it? Absolutely, 100%, YES!

(Photo Credit for this blog post here.)

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...The weather the last couple of days has been unseasonably warm.  It was 67 on Saturday and I loved being able to go outside without a sweater on, and in a t-shirt mind you.  Yes, I am still longing for Spring.  It cannot come too son.

{2}...How will I be spending this holiday with my children?  Doing school work.  Yep, they and I have procrastinated on some reports so today we must hit the grind and get it done.  Please pray that I don't lose my mind in the process.

{3}...Do you ladies decorate your homes for Valentines Day? I wish I were one of those women who decorated for every season/holiday. But I don't have the creativity, nor the finances, to fund it.  I would love to live vicariously through some of you.

{4}...First rule of thumb....if you are going to blog on the couch underneath your favorite blanket....take your cell phone with you!  Mine has rang three times this morning.  I have finally gotten up to get it.

{5}...Ive posted the 2nd week of my P365 pictures...all 3 of them! I hope to get better as time goes by.  You can view them on my P365 blog, My Daily Captures.  I am not a very good photographer but I am hoping to see growth by the end of the year.  If you visit, please leave a comment so I know you stopped by!

{6}...I've been meditating on this scripture this week:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Please remember Joanne, Edie and Penny in your prayers this week.  I posted about their struggles here.

Linking up with the lovely Carissa at lowercase letters this morning.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

He Knew You

Before the world began.  I was assisting in the Children's Equipping Center last night and we were talking with the children about a God who knew them before they were born.  We shared how God thought about each one of them before He even laid the foundations of the earth.  We had the children meditate on a song that expressed God's heart for them. I loved hearing the children share what they wrote in their journals.  They have such a rich understanding of God's love.
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 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.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.  (Psalm 119:13-18)
I was not privy to this information, about a God who loved me deeply, while I was young. I came to know the Lord at the ripe age of 20.  Understanding, and even fully experiencing the freedom of this kind of love is something I've struggled with all of my life.  I wish I could say that I have fully come to know and understand this love.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
But I can't.  Oh, I believe that God loves me.  I believe it because I know His Word to be true.  I believe it with my mind.  Head knowledge.  But I long to feel the depth of that love, like waves crashing in the ocean, overwhelming my heart.  A portion of the above scripture was used for the tagline in my header "rooted and grounded in the marvelous love of God".  I chose that not because I have arrived at a place of understanding, but I chose it as a constant reminder to continue to pursue the knowledge of God and the love that He gives.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  (Jeremiah 31:3) 
The children at CEC get it.  They understand and are able to comprehend.  I can imagine how they feel when they hear about a God who loved them before He even made the world.  And I find myself longing for those feelings, those butterflies, the warmth of knowing.  Why is it so hard for this love to go beyond "head" knowledge and sink deep into my heart?  Is it wrong for me to want to "feel" this love?  I am not lacking in experience.  I've felt His touch on my life.  It goes deeper than that.  And then I ask the question, "God, what is it that makes it so hard for me to fully comprehend your love".  And I wait. And my heart is raw and tender before Him today as I ask Him to come bring revelation to my heart.


Friday, January 14, 2011

A Heavy Heart

Maybe it's because I am on the 5th day of a 21-day fast.  Maybe it's because I've been asking God to break my heart for the things that break his. Maybe it's because I've been crying out for compassion.  Maybe it's because I am getting closer to Him.  

Over the last couple of days, my heart has been heavy for a few of my friends in the blogsphere. I do not know these women. I have never met them personally, but I feel close to them. They have invited me into their lives, into their homes.  On more than one occasion I have laughed, cried, been encouraged, strengthened and even challenged by the hope they give through honest glimpses into their realities.

Friends, my heart is heavy. And I am asking those of you who read this blog to take a moment today and every day that God would bring them to your mind, to PRAY!  Pray hard.  These woman are experiencing huge losses and battles in their lives, yet I know a God who is more than able to breathe hope and life into their situations.

Joanne, The Simple Wife, has suffered a massive stroke due to a blood clot in her brain.  She was found unconscious a couple of days ago on her treadmill by her 9 year old daughter.  I cannot imagine. She has undergone a couple of surgeries and still the prognosis is not been good.  She is just 38 years old.  She has an adoring husband and two precious girls. Please pray for healing for Joanne, for peace for this family. 

Penny, Living Above Ministries, recently lost her husband of 19 years in a hunting accident.  He was a pastor of a church in Louisiana.  Penny and John Franklin have two small children.  Their lives as they knew it will never be the same. 

And please remember Edie, Life in Grace.  A few days before Christmas Edie lost her beautiful, picture perfect, magazine worthy home and all of her possessions in a tragic fire.  But God miraculously spared the lives of 6 people and 2 dogs on that tragic day.  I cannot imagine her grief and that of her family as they begin the rebuilding process.   

As I finish this post, tears burning my eyes, I am asking the "why" question.  I know better. It's not for me to ask why. But my heart is so broken over these who I do not even know.  But God knows them. And He will hold them close, catch their tears, heal their hearts and their bodies.  I have been asking for God to give me greater compassion and maybe this is a start.  

And I am receiving a new perspective on life -- how it can can change in an instant.  We are not promised tomorrow. And I want my life to count, to have purpose and meaning, I want to leave behind a legacy.....well, that's another blog post.

Would you pray friends?  Would you add these woman to your prayer chains? I know that prayer changes things.  I am after change -- life hope, healing, and restoration for these woman and for their families. 


Monday, January 10, 2011

Miscelleny Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...It is freezing outside.  It was 38 degrees when I took the kids to school. I know it's much colder in other parts of the world, but this is just too cold for me.  When I'm cold, I'm cranky.  Makes me want to sit on the couch under a warm blanket drinking coffee all day. Or maybe I should just go back to bed!

{2}...And with all of this cold weather, it makes me long for Spring. I love Spring. Everything is so new and fresh and beautiful.  And even though it rains, the weather is perfect for me in the Spring.

{3}...I am trying to do the Project365 this year, where you categorize your life by taking one picture a day. I am linking up with Sara.  I haven't been taking a picture daily, but I hope to get there soon. I will post here weekly (on Sundays), but you can also check out my P365 blog, My Daily Captures.  Are you doing a P365 this year? I would love to visit you.

{4}.. I started reading the One Year Bible through YouVersion on January 1st and it's really helping me to stay on track. I love that I can follow along with my friend's progress and encourage them.  Are you following a reading plan this year? If so, what is it?

{5}...I am hoping to get away with hubby tonight for a coffee date. We also have a $50 gift card for Bed Bath and Beyond. What should we buy?

It's always a pleasure to link up Carissa for the Miscellany Monday.  Won't you join the fun?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Project 365 - Week 1

Project 365 button designed by

Well, I am on a journey to capture my life one day at a time through pictures. I do not consider myself a photographer by any means.  And I have to admit, I was afraid to sign up for this because there are so many fabulous photographers out there who take beautiful pictures.  And then there's me. But I got over that. I am me and this is my life.  My life is worthy of being remembered in this way.  So whether beautiful, silly, weird, yummy, etc., I am capturing my life!

I missed a few days, but I figure I have an entire year to perfect this.  Just so you know, these pictures were all taken with my iPhone. I did use my camera for a couple of others, but I couldn't upload them into the computer because I lost the cable.  So, until I get a new cable, my iPhone will have to do.  

Here is week one of my Project 365.  I am linking up with Sara at Make Music from My Heart to the Lord.  If you are doing this too, be sure to link up!  I would love to see your photos.

I was bummed that this photo was so blurry, but I was determined to post it anyways.

 "Sweet and Salty"

DAY 6 
"Angels Overhead"

"Comfy Cozy"

I started a new blog for this project.  You can find it here if you want to follow along, but I will continue to post here as well!

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Miscellany Monday - New Year's Edition

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Today I am linking up with the lovely Carissa over at lowercase letters for the Miscellany Monday.  I am not sure how miscellany this post will be today!

{1}...How did you celebrate the New Year?  I spent the evening in prayer and worship at my church's House of Prayer.  I could think of no better way to usher in the New Year than in God's presence. It was so refreshing and I came away with my heart so full. 

{2}...Resolutions.  Did you make any?  I have written a post about my main focus this year here, and shared my Word and scripture for 2011 here.  Even though I am reluctant to make resolutions, there are a few goals I would like to achieve.  I would love to lose weight.  However, I want my focus to be "healthy eating".  I may still decide to rejoin Weight Watchers at some point.  But, I have found out about this wonderful book through other bloggers and am thinking about ordering it. 

 Have any of you heard anything about this book?

Another thing I would like to accomplish is to be more intentional about capturing the beauty in my every day life.  For this purpose, I will be linking up with Sara for Project 365.  I will attempt to take one picture a day, focusing on capturing something that is beautiful to me.  Don't worry,  I will not bombard you daily with photos.  But I will have a weekly post on Sunday where you can see what I've been capturing.  Wish me luck!  One more thing I would love to accomplish this year is to get and stay more organized!  Can I hear an AMEN?

{3}...Bible Reading Plan.  Are you participating in a Bible Reading Plan this year?  I am going to be reading through The One Year Bible using YouVersion.  My Pastor shared about this today, and many at our church have jumped on board. You can follow each other along, share bookmarks, notes and thoughts on what you are reading.  You can have an entire community of like-minded people encouraging you as you get into God's Word.  There are many different reading plans to choose from.  If you have an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android phone you can also download a free app and take it with you.  With my busy life, it really helps to have a structured reading plan.  I am really excited about this!  Oh and if you decide to use YouVersion for your daily reading, I would love for you to be in my community.  You can find me here

{4}...O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.  My Christmas tree is still sitting pretty, branches in tact, in my house.  I was hoping to get the ornaments off, put away and the tree down today but it didn't happen.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have my living room back. It doesn't really feel like the New Year yet with Christmas still hoovering.

{5}...God is Doing a New Thing!  Just to encourage you, I leave you with this scripture:

For I am about to do something new.
      See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
   I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
      I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
 The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
      the jackals and owls, too,
      for giving them water in the desert.
   Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
      so my chosen people can be refreshed.
(Isaiah 43:19-20)

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Strength of My Resolve

I am featured today over at 5 Minutes for Faith, talking about "Resolve".  Here is a little teaser:
As I’ve sat and reflected on the coming New Year, there are a few goals I would like to accomplish.  I have always been one to make resolutions — a resolution to lose weight, spend more time with my family, be more organized, simplify, eat better, sleep more, and be more patient and loving.  But as each year has come and gone, I have found that, for the most part, my resolutions remained unmet, and I was left confused, angry at myself, and unmotivated to continue the journey.
To read more, click here.  Oh, and I would love it if you left me a comment letting me know you visited!  And tomorrow, I hope to be able to share with you the word and scripture the Lord has given me for 2011!

Blessings and Happy New Year!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Constant In 2011

I am so excited to share with you the word and scripture that the Lord has spoken to my heart for 2011. 

Constant -
continual, persistent, sustained, unceasing, relentless. 

When I think of this word, it reminds me of God, His Character.  He is the only thing, the only person, who is constant in my life.  He never changes.  He continually cares for me.  He persistently and relentlessly pursues me, even when my heart is not fully His.  He has sustained me through heartache.  His love for me is unceasing.  There are so many areas in my life where I need to be more constant, but none more so than in my relationship with God.  In 2011, I am making Him my focus.  This year, I am resolving to fix my attention on God.

I want to know Him.  
I want to be fascinated by Him.  
I want to be constant in my pursuit of Him,
as He is in His pursuit of me. 

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." 
(Romans 12:12)

2010 was a rough year for my family.  My husband was unemployed off and on throughout the year, and we lost our home.  But God has been faithful to always provide for our every need.  We have had heartache, but we have learned to rejoice in the storm.  We have learned how to hope.  Not just the kind of hope that says "maybe", but the kind of hope that reaches deep down into your soul and clings, with every ounce of strength, to the unknown goodness of the Lord.  The kind of hope that knows, beyond a doubt, that everything will work out, even though you cannot see.

We have learned to be patient in tribulation.  There were many times were we had become frustrated in the process, yet God has shown us how to wait on Him.  Patience is not something that comes easily for me. Especially when we would wait, take a step forward, wait again, then two steps back, and then everything fell apart.  Yet through it all, God was teaching us how to lean into Him, "being patient in our affliction".  

I am still learning how to be constant in prayer.  Sometimes, things just got too difficult, and believe it or not, prayer was what I lacked. But still, God was faithful. This year, I want to be constant in prayer. He has opened my eyes more this year to His faithfulness and His constant presence in my life.

I am looking forward with great anticipation to all that 2011 holds for me and my family.  I cannot say that it will be a year without trials, but I will continue to rejoice, have hope, be patient in tribulation, and especially, be constant in prayer! God is faithful and I know that everything will work out.

Do you have a verse, or word from the Lord for 2011 that you would like to share?  If not, there is still time to pray and ask for one!

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