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My Freshly Brewed Life: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Look Up!

I am contributing over at 5 Minutes for Faith today, talking about "Looking Up".  Here's a little teaser:
This past year has been one of loss, hardship and uncertainty for our family.  During this season, I have learned to yield, to trust, to seek and to find.  I have learned to have hope in the face of adversity.  The dictionary defines “hope” as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Over the last year, there were many days where I felt hopeless.  I was looking at my life through foggy lenses, unable to see beyond my circumstances into the promises of the Lord for my life, and that of my family.  I had lost my sense of expectancy.
Will you head on over to 5 Minutes for Faith and read the rest of my post? Oh, and be sure and leave a comment letting me know you stopped by!


Counting My Gifts

A few weeks ago, I received Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, in the mail. It is changing my life.  I am realizing that I am not truly living each day to the fullest.  Every day is a new gift to me from the Lord, and each day is full of promise; yet in the mundaneness that has become my life, I forget to stop and notice how abundantly blessed I am.  The most extraordinary gifts lie in the ordinary.  They lie in the simplicity of life.  They lie, buried beneath loads of unfinished laundry.  They are in the not all put together parts of my life.  I am surrounded by them.  And yet, they often go unnoticed. 

I have been blessed and encouraged by reading the lists that others are making of their 1,000 gifts of love and grace.  I've been afraid to take the dare, to live life fully right where I am.  My life is not perfect.  It can be messy.  I get mad at my kids.  I can't keep my house clean.  Yet, even on those days, there are gifts waiting to be revealed.  I want to learn to slow down so that I can see what God has so graciously put right in front of me.  Yet, They will only be found if my eyes are wide open to receive them.

So, here I am, beginning the journey of writing down my 1,000 gifts of love and grace, those that God has already blessed me with.  My prayer is that the Lord would open my eyes that I might see them.

My gifts today:
  1. The deep sighs of my children as they lie sleeping.
  2. The quietness of the night. It's so peaceful when it's just me and Him.
  3. The truck my husband was loaned this week, for as long as he needs it.
  4. Healthy children.
  5. The smell of a freshly washed load of laundry.
  6. A husband who constantly calls out the gold in me.
  7. My friends who run along side of me, and often fall behind so they can push me.
  8. The hum of my computer.  It works. And I am thankful.
  9. Dinners at my parents and for money saved.
  10. That in my lack, He is sufficient.
It's not too late for you to begin your journey of writing down your 1,000 gifts.  Do you dare to allow God to open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you?

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Oh how I've missed linking up with all of you beautiful people for the Miscellany Monday! I guess my life has been more structured and scheduled these days.  Nothing too random to post about.  I am thankful for Carissa at lowercase letters for the opportunity to be random. 

{1}...Brrrr! It's absolutely freezing!  As a Californian, I am not use to such weather.  I'ts been in the 40's the last couple of nights. Okay, I realize many of you have it much worse.  But the cold just makes me not want to move. I want to stay in my nice warm bed and not even have to get up to use the bathroom.  That reminds me, has anyone invented the heated toilet seat yet?  Just sayin!  Well, there is a new storm coming that will keep this cold weather hanging around for at least another week.  Oh Spring, you cannot come soon enough.

{2}...Lost MoJo.  Can someone please send me some motivation?  I really need to finish unpacking from our move back in September. I still have boxes in the garage and it's driving me crazy.  I just can never seem to find the time.  And now my garage is too cold to spend any time in.  Maybe I'll wait for Summer to get it done.

{3}...Road to health.  I am on day 5 of a pretty intensive diet.  I have cut out all sugar, processed food, carbs, etc. from my diet.  I had a pretty bad headache until today, but thankfully it's gone now.  I can't say it's been perfect.  I had a small cheat or two, but it really wasn't any big deal because it was not as satisfying as I was anticipating.  I am hoping to eat this way for 20-40 days.  I need to rid my body of some pretty serious and unhealthy food addictions.  I know it will be difficult at times, but so worth it in the end.  I will feel so much better and lose a few pounds in the process.

{4}...Car Trouble.  This three car family is now a one car family.  My husband's truck broke down a couple of months ago. We opted not to fix it because it was going to cost over $4,000 to drop a new engine in it.  But then, a week ago, the transmission in our SUV went out.  I called for the estimate for that and am told it will be between $3,700-4,200.  Thank God we will be getting enough back on our taxes to fix our SUV.  It's been quite interesting working out all of our schedules.  My husband has to work, I have to work, my daughter has to work.  We are using way too much gas.  But, looking on the bright side, most families I know only have one or two cars.  I realize that we could have been left without a working car.  I am grateful for the one we have that is still running.  Hopefully, we will be a two-car family in the next few weeks.

{5}...ETSY.  I just recently created an Etsy store where I am selling prints of my prophetic art.  If you would like to have a look, go here.

Have a blessed Monday beauties!


Thursday, February 17, 2011



I was going through my archives and came across this post. It originally was posted in September of 2009. I felt as if I should resurrect it this week! 

Since the day we are born, we are taught to wait. In our infancy, we are helpless. We cannot ask for the things we need, so we cry, trusting that mom or dad will come to our rescue. As toddlers who are old enough to ask for what we want or need, we are often met with the dreaded word “wait” by mom or dad. We throw a fit, stomping off with our arms crossed and a frown on our face. We would often comment, “I don’t want to wait. It will take too long”, or “it’s not fair”. In our teenage years, we wait for the first day of Jr. High or High school, we wait to get our first job, our driver’s licenses, we wait to graduate high school, for acne to be gone, to start college and to find our soul mate whom God has designed specifically for us. The list goes on and on. 

As adults, we are still waiting on the Lord for many things. Waiting is not always easy. But I believe God’s timing in all things is perfect. He always brings forth the answer, yet it is not always within the time frame we would choose. We simply have to trust. David was a man after God’s own heart. He walked closely with God. Yet, his prayers and admonishes are full of waiting: 
  • David waits in expectation for the Lord’s answers each day.  
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psa. 5:3); 
  • David encourages us to be strong and to not lose heart as we wait for the Lord to reveal Himself in our situation.   
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (Psa. 27:14); 
  • David instructs us to wait with hope because God will come to our rescue. 
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. (Psa. 33:20); 
  • David instructs us to put our hope in the Word of God as we wait for the Lord’s answers. 
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psa. 130:5) 

Webster’s Dictionary defines “to wait” this way: to remain in readiness for some purpose.  Other words for “wait” are: anticipate, look forward, long, pine, yearn, expect, be ready

As David waited on the Lord, he remained in a state of readiness to fulfill the purposes of God for that day. He encouraged himself in the Lord, telling himself to stay strong and reminding himself that God would rescue him. David put his hope in the Word of God. He trusted that God would take care of him. 

In those times when I desperately need an answer from God, I can often get impatient and tend to want to find my own solutions. Sometimes in the waiting, I can feel abandoned, unloved or like God isn’t hearing me. But the Word of God reminds me that He is waiting for me to come to him during those times. 
But the LORD still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them. (Is. 30:18) 
Does this mean I simply ask once and leave it at that? No! I must continue to press in, to ask, to seek God through His word until such time as the answer or direction is brought forth. I am to continually come to Him so that He can show me His love and compassion, and so that in due time He can rescue me. 

I do not know what you are waiting on the Lord for. I myself am waiting on a few things. But my prayer is that we would all be strengthened as we wait; that we would lean in to hear what He is saying; that we would trust that His timing is perfect and that He will reveal His plan in due time. God is for us, not against us. In our waiting, we must remember His great love for us! 
But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Is. 40:31)

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Sunday, February 13, 2011


My heart in your hands

I give You my heart.

How many times I've sang this song in church,

Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I live for You alone
Every Breath that I take
Every moment I'm awake
Lord, have Your way in me

Have Your way in me, Lord.  I pray this prayer, but I am not always prepared for what God will bring.  When it comes to attitudes and issues of my heart, those things about myself that are hard to face, I would rather hang onto the old heart, because the pain of facing myself is sometimes too overwhelming.

I have been walking down some old paths lately.  I've been partnering with old thought patterns and allowing my emotions to slow me down in my pursuit of God.  The mind and the heart are so closely connected.  I have allowed my negative thought processes to filter down into my heart.  The pain of dreams yet unfulfilled.  The pain of "if I only would have".  The pain of regret and missed opportunities.  And even though the feelings I have are valid, my response to them have been far from perfect and have adversely affected my heart.  I have allowed my heart to become diseased.

A couple of nights ago, as I was striving to give God my all in worship, we had the following dialogue,
GOD: Give your heart to me.

ME: I already have.

GOD: Give me your heart.

ME: Lord, You have my heart.

GOD: I want to give you a new heart.

ME: Lord, it hurts too much. Can't you just fix the one I have?

GOD: I can fix it, yes. However,  I desire to give you a new heart

I was undone at that moment. There are things in my heart that keep me from pursuing my Beloved the way I desire to.  These things keep me in a place of unworthiness and insignificance and prevent me from moving forward in my pursuit of Him.  These things must be pulled up by their roots.  God desires to break every chain that binds, and remove every barrier that hinders me from running hard after Him.  I am desperately in need of a new heart. 

I've been crying out for God. For the Living God.

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) 

And as I cry out for more of God, He comes, like a flood, to fill my heart. But lately I feel that there is hardly room enough for God to come and occupy the deep places of my heart.  My arteries have become clogged. The blood flow of the life of Christ that is running through my veins is sometimes blocked from reaching the very core of my heart.  And my heart often beats for other lovers.  Other things and other relationships that can only bring momentary satisfaction.  I want a heart that beats for Him and Him alone, a heart flowing with the richness of His love and mercy.  A heart that is pure and unwavering in my faith.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10)

And even though my heart says "YES", I am weak. My love for Him is weak. I would rather not have to endure the pain of facing myself, my shortcomings, my failures, my attitudes. But I trust Him to care for my heart, despite the pain.

Sometimes God comes as the Potter.  His desire is to mold and shape me more into His image and likeness.  At other times, God comes to cleanse and to purge, to take out the impurities in my heart so that I will have space for the Holy God of the universe to reign there.  And there are still other times when God comes and desires to bring a complete overhaul of my heart.  This is where I am today.  I've struggled with these "little" issues for far too long.  They are weighing me down and slowing me down.

"So I place my heart into Your hands, Lord,
and offer it up to You

And even though it's painful, I trust that God will care for my heart gently and tenderly.  I am willing to endure the pain of a heart transplant if it means I will gain Christ as my reward. 

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mistaken Identity

I am featured today over  at 5 Minutes for Faith talking about "Mistaken Identity".  Here is a little teaser:
This week, I have been purposeful in reminding myself of who I am.  There are many things that I DO that I have allowed to become such a part of me, that I sometimes lose my way.  It is true.  I wear many hats.  I am wife, mother, sister, friend, administrator, blogger, counselor, cook, dishwasher, laundress, housekeeper, caregiver.  And the list goes on.
I would love for you to visit me there.  Oh, and please leave me a comment letting me know you did!