Calm in the Chaos

Where do I even begin?  Well I guess I could start with we have moved.  Wow the emotions a person goes though just moving because moving is stressful no matter how at peace you are about it!  There was so much to do and so much yet to do.  This morning I was listening to the radio and there was a song that came on that was talking about restoration but in it there was piece by piece but the Lord spoke to me peace (I will try to find it and add a link at the bottom).  I’ve learned so much during this move, was I stressed at times, yes but I would always return to where I knew there was rest and in that rest was peace.  I truly was learning how to rest in the mist of the storm.  Wow just as Jesus was asleep in the boat He could rest because He knew they were going across to the other side.  Why worry about what is happening in the meantime of getting there?  Resting in God is the same way because you know that everything is going to work out for your good and that God has your best interest in mind.  It’s not about what is going on externally but more what is going on internally.  Are you like Jesus and resting when there are storms rocking your boat or are you up being chaotic.  Guys this move has been one of the best things for me.  One I have been able to experience peace in the storm.  It is one thing to hear about peace in the storm and another to experience it.  Joshua he is steady and I used to think that if he wasn’t getting as worked up as me that he wasn’t nearly as concerned about the situation as I was.  That was not the case at all he was concerned but knew that if he would be a peace and approach the situation calmly that he could think more clearly and evaluate.  Joshua since he has been in battle has always amazed me at how he keeps his cool even in high tense situations.  My adrenaline gets to pumping and next thing you know I am physically shaking then my body is overcompensating for the shaking that my brain isn’t functioning properly.  It’s good to just rest, breathe, trust, know God has got this.  Imagine that!  God has got this! Hahaha ok now I am about to preach for a minute…because  don’t you know why you get all worked up?   Because you are trying to fix it and you are the one in control but there is peace in taking your hands off the wheel.  Don’t tell me you got your hands off if you aren’t at peace.  It’s like riding with someone and they are getting too close to the car in front of you so your right foot starts breaking but you’re not going to be able to stop the car because the break isn’t there.  Yep, subconsciously you think you would drive differently than them and want control.  I just recently rode with my mom and didn’t put my foot on the fake brake once because she is my mom and I have trusted her to drive me since birth.  Why can’t we trust our Heavenly Father more with our lives?  That is only a question you will be able to answer for yourself.  Isn’t He all knowing, He knows the broken places better than we do.  If you are showing signs of rotten fruit why not ask God what is the root.  Not the rotten fruit of others, but the rotten fruit from yourself.  If you do see rotten fruit in others then why not ask God if there is a way that you can help mend the broken place, the crack that is allowing that root to take place.  Listen I fail at this but oh when I don’t and I get it right how rewarding that is.  Let me tell you guys this move has been so rewarding, God and Joshua knew that I needed this move.  I needed to move from the stress of the city to take a minute and breathe.   I needed to go sit outside and watch the wind blow through the trees.  I guess it’s true you can take a girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.  I still hate bugs (just saying).  But honestly let’s start asking God the hard questions, the ones we don’t necessarily want the answers to but need the answers to.

Project Freedom

If you didn’t catch the first blog post about this project and get some of the back story you can get caught up here——->


Ok guys we did it!  We signed the dotted line the last day of March and we now (I would say have the keys to the property) but since it didn’t come with keys I can’t, I will say we owe on the VLB loan that is in our name and now have rights to the property.

So what has happened since my last blog post.  So much has taken place and it has been just an absolute joy to see it happen.  Remember someone called the paper and they came out, from that a lady called Joshua and wants to donate some items that we can use or she said sale and help raise money for the project.  Hold on though because we had someone else call and is donating building materials.  We also had someone else call and donate some money for the project.  Every little bit helps and people are doing their part.  I am amazed and so grateful for the miracles that happen through people.

The property is no where close to being ready for programs but one day it will be and it is going to be amazingly beautiful.  There is still much work to do but there has already been so much work done.  Just look at the before and after pictures below.  How we got all the trash and debris moved I don’t know other than God and the people that came to labor together.  Wow and wow some more is all I can say.  I hope I can convey my gratitude through a blog post but I don’t think it is possible to really put out what is in my heart.

This place was a place that was full of trash and debris and had the signs of being burnt.  It looked like it would have been better off left alone but oh my husband saw something that others couldn’t.  He saw the beauty of restoration, isn’t that the same with people as well.  They have signs of being burnt, worn, used, spit on, and they are not pretty after it, but the story isn’t over.  The beauty that is there after the clean up and it still isn’t ready for use but it is starting to look like a shell of something that can be useful.  There is still a process that this building must go through before it will be ready to be used but underneath all the trash and debris and the burnt marks is beautiful and sturdy wood.  We want it easy though don’t we?  We want people, places, and things that are polished and ready for use right now.  We don’t want the work, I maybe can’t speak for everyone but I know for myself I will say I didn’t want the work.  Remember I was ready to toss this place to the side but God.  God sent people, beautiful people, are they perfect no but neither am I.  Why have we became such a society of self-righteousness?  Our blessings have definitely blinded us especially if we think we were the ones who made the blessing happen.  Ok so I didn’t plan on preaching in my blog post but it seems to happen time and time again.  Oh well so about the property it is beautiful once we got past all the dirt and burnt places, it’s a sturdy shell that is going to be beautiful.  Here are the before and after clean-up pictures and then most recent ones below.

To donate to this project online visit here—–>

To donate via Facebook fundraisers—->


Sanded Raw

Have you ever had moments in your life where you feel as if you are being sanded down to where you are raw?  That is where I am right now in this moment.  There is so much happening in my life right now, physical things effecting me emotionally.  Honestly, I am in awe of the peace that I have.  There is peace that comes from the Lord that is not explainable.  Just to give you a little background if you are new to my blog post…right now we are working on a big ranch project with the non-profit my husband founded.  The ranch is an hour away from our current home and an hour and 15 minutes from our office.  We have been going there almost everyday.  This cost more gas, wear on the vehicles, wear on our bodies as we are doing manual labor.  The great thing is I am in peace about it.  Then here is the second thought we are looking for a home to downsize from our current home not just because it is large for a family of four but because we have equity in the home and we could use that equity to pay off bills.  Once the bills are paid that money then can be used to help others.  It will go towards the ranch project or whatever else may be laid on our hearts.  This I am at peace with (besides fighting my flesh) read on to find out more.

Okay so I am going to pause here and tell you about me fighting my flesh.  Ok so to let you know right now I have a beautiful almost 4000 square foot home.  There are two master bathrooms that are both the size of a bedroom each.  I have a large walk-in pantry and a beautiful large kitchen in an open floor plan.  Needless to say I love my large house, it is beautiful.  Here is the raw truth after looking at a few houses I was like this is crazy I am not moving no matter how much equity is in my home.  Bahahaha God has a way of softening my heart though.  I finally give in and say ok Lord your will not mine.  Is it easy no, not by any stretch.  Honestly, there were nights were I would look into my bathroom from my bedroom and cry as I knew the next house wouldn’t have this much space not if we were going to get a home for the purpose of paying off bills.

The struggle is real, at first I wasn’t even budging in the area of where I would move, I was insistent on staying within a 15 mile radius of the office and our church home.  Man did that change quick.  It’s funny when we are being stubborn and resisting what God really wants for us.  He does want to give us better and I know that moving is His will because it goes along with His word.  Let’s see pay off debt or not which one is His will, honestly you shouldn’t even have to pray about it.  Yes we were paying off bills one by one and getting it tackled miraculously but if we could do it sooner wouldn’t that be His will.  However, I’m just letting you all know what has went on in my head.  Remember that ranch we are working on an hour away well doesn’t it make sense to move there as I am not needed every single day in the office.  Why not move out there, OH MY, brakes screech to a halt you have got to be kidding me.  Let me move where we only know a total of 4 people and we have just now met them and have me drive an hour to church every week or an hour when going to the office.  Yes I am being sanded and sanded raw but here it is I’m fighting but when I finally surrender, peace comes.  So peace comes in the surrender.  Crazy thing is yes I am at peace with this but I’m still crying about it.  Don’t you remember Jesus sweat blood, I am in no way saying this is anything like what Christ faced.  I still at times cry because I’m fighting my flesh but with each passing day it is getting easier.

In the middle of all of this one of my good friends goes on to be with the Lord.  Oh my sweet friend, one who I would call on to pray with me.  The one who was there for so many battles, the one who was crazy but she made you laugh, faithful and true friend.  This happens and it’s been almost 5 years since I have actually spent good quality time with her.  Talk about when your priorities are getting straight the Lord is still sanding and getting even more priorities in order for you.  Those rough spots that need some sanding and special attention are getting it and He isn’t just working on one spot of the board He is sanding the whole board down.  You know when you are sanding a board for a project and you’re using the fine grit paper because it is almost time to be done sanding and the board is getting ready to apply the stain or paint to it for your project.  Yep that is where I feel I am right now, I am in that fine grit sanding process and I am excited to see what the master painter is going to paint on me because I know it is going to be beautiful as long as I continue to allow him to work.  The great thing about a wood board also is it can be sanded time and time again to create a new piece of art.

Let me encourage you do what God is calling you to do, listen to His voice, have faith and know that He has your best interest in mind.  I can’t wait to tell you how the story plays out but for now, know that I am listening and allowing the Master to work!





Anger, Bitterness, Offences, OH MY!

Why am I angry?  That has been a recurring question I have had to ask several times.  Why am I angry or upset about this or that?  I will share with you what I have found to be true as I share other short stories.

If any of you have children then you know that they at times fight.  The fights are ridiculous usually over the silliest of things.   I remember a story my mom tells of my brother and I fighting in the backseat and I contest “He’s looking out my window”.  How petty is that?  I am certain the fight didn’t start with that and I’m certain it had nothing to do with that but that is where it had led.  My children fight as my brother and I did, and I asked God to help me because I was tired of it.  The Lord reminded me of a scripture.  (James 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?)  Right then I knew what to do.  I knew to ask Rebecca why she was upset wasn’t it because of some desire within herself and not really anything that had to do with Ethan and then ask Ethan the same question.  For example Rebecca was desiring to watch TV but she couldn’t until the chores were done so she is yelling at her brother to come finish the dishes because of her desire to watch TV.  Ethan is mad at Rebecca because he doesn’t like doing the dishes so he is taking his time dusting.  So he has a desire not to do the dishes and is avoiding them at all cost.  I don’t remember the exact fight but that is an example of what would happen in my house.

Since, that scripture has resonated with me.  (James 4:1 NLT What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?)  So why am I angry, what desire is going on within myself that needs to be checked.  You know this question has helped me a lot even when others are offended with me because that happens.  I have been on both sides of the fence.  I have been the offended and I have been the one who has given the offense.

I have this lady in my office who really has made me mature about certain things.  One day I was just concentrated on work and when my appointment came in I didn’t introduce her to them, we just went on back to my office to get business done.  Later that day after my appointment left she asked if I was embarrassed of her.  Wow I was shocked I am in no way embarrassed of her but in her mind she wondered if I was embarrassed of her because I didn’t introduce the person from my appointment to her.  I could write a whole chapter out of a book on this but I will try to keep it short as it is a blog post.  First thing from this is how mature is she to ask instead of dwelling on the thought and just assuming that I was embarrassed of her.  Second thing is see how easy an offense could come.  Third I was super glad she asked me and didn’t let that wall of offense get built.  Since then, she still ask me questions about certain things and I am so glad she does.  It is better to ask than to assume.  I do not think her questions are stupid because I have had battles in my mind as well (only if I could have been wise enough to ask the person instead of assume).

Thoughts aren’t they powerful?  Yes they are that is why we are supposed to take every thought captive.  There are several scriptures on this but the one I want to bring attention to as we are discussing offence is (2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.)   How do we demolish arguments and every pretension bring those thoughts captive.  Don’t marinate in them.  What started as anger can easily turn into bitterness.  You have a thought that isn’t a thought that Christ would have about a person then take it captive.  Is this easy, no, can it be done, yes.

Offences are coming but how are we going to respond when they do come.

I just want to add this as Joshua is a mighty man of God but he is human and not perfect.  I am not either and sometimes I think that since I am married to him people think I should be as great and awesome as he is.  I am a different person than him yes do we share the same heart the Father’s heart.  Because of this people sometimes people put us on a pedestal.  A pedestal we didn’t ask to be on.  I know because I have put people on a pedestal as well and they didn’t ask to be put there.  When you do put people on a pedestal they are more likely to fall.  The square footage on those things are not very big so less room for error.  Why do we hold those we put on a pedestal accountable for what we have done?  We made them a god when there is only one God.  There is no way they can live up to the standards we think they should live up to.  The same grace that has been given to us we should give to others.

No matter the subject it usually always ends up with self-reflection.  Looking and fixing us internally so that we can exude better externally.  A lot of times with offense we can stop after dealing internally and dropping it but if you can’t seem to shake it then the bible does give us some instructions.

Are you the one who felt wronged?  This is what the lady in my office did she came to me.

Matthew 18:15 (NLT) If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense.  If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

Are you the offender?

Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Here is my plea and hearts cry from this blog post.  Let’s grow up, let’s be mature, let’s not be so easily offended, and let’s grow in love for one another.  I’ve been on both sides of this thing and neither side is nice.  God is still stretching me out of my comfort zone and causing me to mature.  If I have offended you please forgive me as it wasn’t my intention.  I am definitely rough around the edges but I am being polished to shine for The King!

Miracle Worker

I sit here amazed at everything going on in our lives right now.  It’s so good that I hope I don’t leave out any important details or jump around to much, so I am going to back up to get to where we are.

Over a year ago Joshua (my husband) saw a property for sale online.  He was so excited and ready to dive in and I was my usual self saying “Um are you sure about this we have a lot going on no need to add another project.”  Joshua let it sit for about a month then wanted us to see this amazing property that he just couldn’t pass up.  So we get in the car and a few of us drive to this little place.  The drive was amazing and fun and I will add it was beautiful on the way.  You got out of the city and began to see the rolling hills of Texas.  It was a relaxing drive.  Then we turn into the property and my, oh my.  All I saw was dollar signs and work.  Joshua the dreamer that he is saw the beauty and what it could be.  I just couldn’t see past the work.  Was the place great yes, but the building had been burnt, there was evidence of squatters, and the grass was so grown up I didn’t even walk to the barn.  Good thing for Joshua he brought a friend that was right there with him dreaming and good thing for me I had a friend that was seeing the work.  I laid out some guidelines before we stepped forward with this.  I love his dreams but there is a reality as well.

So at this point in the story if you couldn’t tell Joshua and I balance each other out very well.  He sees potential in everything and I will count the cost, almost a little too much but it makes for a great marriage.  Now back to the story.

Of course because of what Joshua wants to do with the property eventually this isn’t just our decision we have to get a proposal together for the board.  Since I am negative Nancy about this right now I leave that up to Joshua to do.  If there is one thing about him that you probably already know is that he is persistent.  I think that if you look that word up in the dictionary you would see his picture.  However, Joshua actually gets something together for the board and speaks with them about it.  They agree to at least move forward with putting in an offer.

Something you need to know is that Steel Hope is still in the baby stages and we do not have that type of credit so Joshua is going to put up our credit and get the loan for this place.  Joshua wants to avoid loans right now and submits to the family maybe an owner finance.  This isn’t accepted and I’m wiping my brow in relief.  Remember Joshua is tenacious though and he isn’t giving up that easy.  I am thinking ok maybe he will look for a different property to fulfill this dream of his, one with less work.  He lets it sit for a little while but is still watching the property.  He watches the price drop and is chomping at the bit, but he somehow waits patiently.

Joshua receives a phone call one day from a friend about something not even pertaining to the property but Joshua gets it in their conversation some how.  This person is now intrigued and wants to go look at it the next day with him.  They go look and he agrees to help Joshua secure the property.  Wow now I am amazed and honestly can’t resist anymore.  I was like it would have to take a miracle for this to happen and that is exactly what God did right then was provided a miracle through this person.

So I know this is getting long but it is so good and the obstacles are not over.  The next day Joshua calls the person selling the property and the person tells him we just had someone put in an offer yesterday.  Joshua said ok if for some reason it falls through let me know.  It’s like Joshua knows God has set this land aside for him.  You would think he would look for another place to have this but he just can’t.

Needless to say Joshua got the call that is fell through and they are offering the purchase to him.  Joshua is excited and gets the ball rolling.  There were many obstacles with the financing but nothing major until now.  Joshua gets notified from the finance company that everything is ready to go but the trash and debris must be removed before the purchase can finalize.  They want Joshua to ask the family selling the property to do this but Joshua is not that type of person.  He planned on cleaning the property up anyway, you would have to before you did anything out there and he went into the purchase knowing this.  Why not go ahead and clean it up now and get this taken care of.  Joshua’s faith is one that he knows he is getting the property.  I know others may have walked away and said forget it I know I would have if it wasn’t for Joshua.

Well we have 5-6 days total to get this done and Joshua is not 100% able bodied if you haven’t noticed.  He walks with the assistance of leg braces and his feet swell without doing anything so image doing a little work what happens to him.  He is persistent though.  I don’t even know how we are going to get this place cleaned up in time but God takes care of that.

The first day Joshua goes out there to meet with 3 people and that three people turn into around 10.  Joshua said someone called the paper and they were coming out the next day to do an interview.  They put it on their Facebook page and last I checked there was 5000 views.  The community is rallying behind my husbands dream and people we don’t even know are coming to help us clean up a place that others would tear down.  Joshua sees the good in everything and I am overwhelmed by the goodness of people to help those that they don’t even know.  My faith is being strengthened by the goodness of them.  They are working so hard and I would name them all but for the fear of leaving someone out I won’t.  I can tell you this though these people have a special place in my heart.  They have caught the vision that my husband casts and they are standing behind him.  It’s so beautiful when people come together.  God is a miracle worker and He uses people for those miracles.

There is still much to do and we still need a lot of money to get it to where we want it but I’ve seen God’s hand upon this and I know that it will happen.  If you read this and you feel compelled to give please do so here

Proud Moments

Right before Christmas I got a machine that would cut vinyl.  Talk about exciting, it is.  I couldn’t wait to use it and try it out.  I have and since I feel very accomplished when I finish a task with my vinyl cutting machine.  I have also been praying for creative ideas so that I could use the machine more.  I have to tell you about a recent experience though.

My son joined the Bible Quiz team at our church.  I am super proud, anxious, nervous, excited, every emotion that comes along with your child doing something and being a part of their/our community.  As Ethan shares with me his excitement and that they are coming up with names I of course begin getting my wheels turning.  One morning I wake up and have an idea.  So to try to keep the story short I will skip all the boring details and get back to where my idea and the vinyl machine come together.  The idea becomes a design for a t-shirt.  How exciting but I am my worst critic so this could also be a bad thing.  I will over analyze every detail even when it looks fine.

It’s time to make the shirts.  I am weeding the vinyl and I am so proud to see the idea taking form.  In that moment I begin to cry not at how proud I was but at the thought of how proud God is of us.  How excited and proud He was when we were being formed, His idea of us coming to life.  Wow in that moment I was overtaken because I know that how I felt honestly couldn’t even touch how God feels about us.  He is excited to see us just as I am excited to see that design.  Think about making something and you see someone using it how much more is The Father excited about seeing us in our day to day routine.  For months I have been praying for creativity as all creativity comes from God and I know He has plenty.  Look at the things He has created.  God truly dances over us.  He is proud of us even with all of our flaws.  Trust me the t-shirt is not perfect and the design is not perfect but it is perfectly imperfect.

Joy During the Journey

So I just stated that I was determined to have joy during the journey, Sunday as a matter of fact.  It was time for me to have joy during the hard things during the adult things.  Time to face life with a smile.  Hahaha since saying that talk about things trying to steal that joy.  It’s been a crazy Monday and Tuesday already.  First we start our work day off on Monday with many task to complete.  This is nothing unusual, it is a Monday after all.  I get started on those tasks and then my regular scheduled plans are interrupted to deal with an airline.  Our Executive Director calls and informs me that they are unable to board their flight as the flight hasn’t been paid for.  Um yes it has, ok so I think calm down this is an easy fix we will just call the airline we booked with.  We call and then the first representative says no it’s been paid for and is of no help.  We try to ask his advice on what our director should do and how should they handle this.  Needless to say that got no where so we are on the phone again and the wait time is around 10 minutes before even speaking with someone.  Mind you our Director is at the airport trying to check-in for their flight.  Time is of the essence.  Now they are stating that they need the card holder to go to the nearest airline counter we booked through.  Thank goodness there is one at the DFW airport but still this is getting crazy.  Still smiling I think fine we can do this once my husband’s plane lands at three but our director will still miss their flight.  The airline graciously states they will try to find a flight for tomorrow.  There is hope after hours of being on the phone with representatives thinking we fixed the problem only to find out we hadn’t.  Joshua calls and it is during the time he is supposed to be in mid air returning from his speaking engagement.  I said how are you calling me your in the air well at least that is what my flight view app notified me of.  Haha funny thing Joshua wasn’t in the air he had problems at the airport where he was and was unable to make his flight.  Right here I smiled again saying ok everything is going to work out and it is going to be great.  I’m frustrated yes and I am a little overwhelmed but I’m still smiling.  Time to call a representative of the airline that our executive was supposed to be on and is unable to make.  I need to figure out all options wow there is one and it is that I can use a card to pay with as long as I show my credentials in person at the airline counter at the DFW airport.  Great so I am headed to DFW airport after a long day of being on the phone.  It’s getting good now but I’m still going to smile.  I park at the DFW airport and that in itself is stressful.  Construction is taking place at the terminal I needed to be at.  I’m there and there are people in line so that makes me hopeful because there doesn’t have to be a representative at the counter until 3 hours before the flight.  The people in the line are getting anxious.  You could tell they were irritated I still insisted I was going to smile.  I’m in the line and have no bags of course I stand out like a sore thumb so the lady in front of me begins to chit-chat with me.  During this conversation she ask if I was flying, I state that I am not flying I’m here to pay for a ticket for our director flying.  The lady behind me overhears this.  I wasn’t keeping it a secret and I in my mind was going to let her go before me I just wanted to keep my place in case the line got too long.  I in my mind figured they would have to call a supervisor anyway especially with the way my day had been going.  I’m still smiling as I am going to do and I’m not fake smiling I truly am thinking about things that would make me smile.  Instead of dwelling on how bad this could go I’m thinking if I just do what they have asked and advised then this will be taken care of and it will be smooth.  Remember the lady behind me that I was going to allow to go in front of me yes her.  The lines at the airport are wide and she stands beside me to chit-chat and then works her way in front of me.  This began to get under my skin but I insisted and thought to myself this lady maybe like me and get nervous before a flight.  I want to get through security and be at my gate at least an hour early.  No matter what I’m not missing my flight.  Maybe this is her so I will just let her keep pushing her way through.  Boy was that a sight and at the same time I had compassion on her and honestly kind of sad because if you want something just ask.  Needless to say finally a representative is at the counter to start helping those in line.  I decided I already knew this lady had cut but let me tell her she can go in front of me anyway.  I did and I made it to the counter.  Was is easy to get everything taken care of no because at first the representative didn’t understand why they sent me to her but it’s ok because it all was worked out.  Great and we had booked another flight for Tuesday for our director.  Great I leave the airport and get in traffic (did I mention I avoid traffic like the plague)  I know how do I do that in the metroplex.  I go to work after 9 am and usually leave late or go on back roads to my house.  I could tell the frustration was trying to steal my joy.  Oh no I’m not letting this traffic after the day I had steal my joy.  Awesome I am home and my husband should be home soon.  I get a call from my husband and he says Crystal I was on standby and there wasn’t a seat for me.  My eyes well with tears and my heart is broken but I began to laugh and thought I’m not letting this steal my joy as I will see him tomorrow.  I go off to bed as it had been a long day.

Tuesday morning it is a new day!  Well when you get woken up at 5 am from you director saying they will not issue the ticket for the same reason as yesterday it may not seem like a new day.  Remember though I’m determined to go through this with joy, I went through this yesterday so it will be easier because I have traveled this road already and at least now I know what to do.  Time to get up and wipe my sleepy eyes so I can face the day.  First stop after I am ready pick up my husband from the airport as his flight is arriving early then we are off to the terminal I need to handle this business.  We get there and there is no one at the counter but they do have a flight today and they should be at the counter in one hour according to their rules.  We wait patiently on my husband’s birthday to take care of this.  So the flight is handled by one airline and their co-share airline.  I do what I am supposed to do at the counter and then I get confirmation from both airlines that the ticket is good and paid for.  Awesome time to notify our director.  I do so and they head back to the airport to check-in.  Everything is good to go from here right.  No, the ticket shows paid but it isn’t standard enough to issue a ticket, what does that even mean, oh my goodness.  Remember I’m still going to do this with joy.  I’m breathing sometimes you have to do that take a deep breath and realign yourself.  I had to do that and then I smiled and thought about how this is going to go right I just need to make a phone call and get this all adjusted as I have followed all their (the airlines) rules.  I call and the representative from the airline steps away to speak with a supervisor.  This gives me hope as she is really willing to help me.  She comes back on and states the only other thing that they may be missing is a coupon so they send that over to the co-share airline and we should be good to go.  I called the co-share airline just to verify and they said good to go.  I then inform my director please try again.  They try again and they are able to make their flight.  It’s almost like I could sigh with relief but honestly I knew that as long as I remained calm and with joy it would all work out.  Whether they were able to board or not because my trust and joy is not from the things around me they are in God and He is constant.  God is not wavering in His love towards us and He has our best interest in mind.  Might it seem crazy in the moment and it was but I was able to have joy during the journey because I know the outcome is always for my good.  Know that today that God has your best in mind and maybe there is traffic to keep you driving slow so that a car that would normally speed isn’t able to and it saves lives or etc.  Who knows but God and trust Him.  Trust He really does got this.

A New Pot

I am going to write about something very relevant in my life right now.  A new pot yes because I received a text message from a dear friend that said they saw Steel Hope here.  For those of you who don’t know I am the CEO of the non-profit organization Steel Hope and my husband is the founder.  We are small but I am reminded often not to despise small beginnings so I am thankful for everything that we have started.  Ok so on to the text message it read 

Sometimes for what is planted to grow the soil must be changed out and the pot enlarged.  Painful to the roots but necessary for systemic growth.

Wow tears began to fill my eyes as soon as I read it because that is exactly how I felt.  My root system is in shock.  Here I am going through things and begin to think am I losing my footing what is taking place here.  I’ve been pruned before but I can’t recall my roots being pruned before.  God is speaking, He is still very present but my roots are in shock.  Once you get to know me you know that I dislike change.  I really do and what is funny about this change when it is put like that I can handle the change.   Nothing is changing we are just getting a larger pot some of the same soil still goes with us the plant is the same but we get more soil and a larger pot.  This change is a necessary one and one that anyone would want, growth.  

Think about changing a plant out of a pot it has outgrown.  You must loosen the soil around the roots so that the roots can spread in the new pot.  So you lose and prune some of the roots in the process but I know God is the master gardener, I trust He will do the best job.  The plant after being moved to a new pot with new soil can now thrive and grow.  It needs water and food just like before but now it can become larger and produce more.  This surly has brought a whole new meaning to the scripture enlarge your tent post.

Isiah 54:1-3 NLT   “Sing, O childless woman,
    you who have never given birth!
Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem,
    you who have never been in labor.
For the desolate woman now has more children
    than the woman who lives with her husband,”
    says the Lord.
“Enlarge your house; build an addition.

    Spread out your home, and spare no expense!
For you will soon be bursting at the seams.
    Your descendants will occupy other nations
    and resettle the ruined cities.

I went to read this scripture while typing this up as it came to mind.  Wow and wow God has a way of really bringing joy to His people doesn’t He.  I have at times FELT that we as an organization are not bearing fruit.  We are doing things and making a difference but a lot of what we have done has been partnering with other organizations.  I understand that we must partner together as we can achieve so much more together but it is like having a baby.  I want my own baby I love yours and will hold and help take care of yours but you want to have your own.  Nigeria has taken off and that is our seed growing and we have an amazingly awesome director over Nigeria who is making it happen.  I’m beyond thankful for what is taking place over there but sometimes you want to be a part of what is going on in your own backyard.  I read the above passage and was just filled with joy as if we will get our child!  We will have our growth and we will be bursting at the seams.  

I want to leave you all with this encouragement that if God has promised something to you He will bring it to pass.  Do not grow weary in well doing even though I know that is easier said than done.  I have grown weary at times and God has always brought the strength right when I needed it because when I am weak He is strong.  I get encouraged right when I need to be encouraged because God’s timing is perfect.  The thing you have to do is keep doing what God has told you to do, stay connected to the vine.  Those who fail are those who give up, so, don’t give up.  Don’t throw in the towel and don’t sit in the same pot when it is time to be re-potted.  Loosen up the dirt allow God to work don’t refuse the growth because you may look ok right now but it won’t take long before your root system can’t breath and the plant begins to die.  Running or resisting growth is not what God wants for His people.  Don’t fear change because of how foolish you think you will look.  Don’t you think the lady who hadn’t bore a child yet looked foolish to the rest of the world?  She wasn’t even with child and God said enlarge your house and spare no expense.  I don’t care what I look to the world or anyone else around me we can look foolish.  Doesn’t the word say that God will use the foolish things of this world to confound those who think they are wise.  God is wise and I choose to do the things that He is telling me to do no matter how foolish it may look.        

Commitment Issues (Draft that I finally finished)

So I have a confession to make, I have commitment issues.  This morning I honestly broke down from this thought.  I think about it and I have problems committing to things.  Short term is fine and I think that is because there is less time to fail.  Most short term goals are easy to accomplish.  Long term goals take much more commitment.  I began to think do I even commit to anything?  My husband has this great vision and wants to change the world so guess what we do it.  I drug my feet for the longest time though.  For those who know me they may think that I don’t have serious commitment issues but I do.  Trust me keep reading it gets better.  Well the money comes and we can start a non-profit.  Listen being married to Joshua for 13 years I have learned there isn’t much that he wants that he doesn’t get.   Bright side I committed to be his wife and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  (We have had our moments though around year 7 when we almost called it quits but that’s another story)

So back to my commitment issues.  We started the non-profit great now I’m dragging my feet to do anything.  I’m not really wanting to commit to this because it will require a lot of work and I honestly don’t want to work that hard.  So we are doing a whole lot of nothing then here comes another opportunity to get an office space.  Joshua is so excited as he usually is and I am thinking work and money um no.   Remember Joshua usually gets what he wants and not because of me.  The Lord always provides exactly whatever we need in order to move in the direction Joshua says go.  I guess I should tell you another thing I have committed to and it hasn’t steered me wrong, I will follow Joshua wherever as long as he follows God.

This morning as I am evaluating myself and my commitment issues I even look back on this last year.  Honestly I wasn’t ready to commit to the role Joshua has me in for the non-profit.  Yes I would come in and do work because I am good at doing things on a checklist and short term goals.  The position he gave me is one that requires long term goals.  Not only long term goals for myself but for the organization.  This morning it hit me in the face.  My commitment issues are holding me back.  They are hindering me from really honestly taking leaps and bounds.  Trust me I feel like we have moved leaps and bounds this past year and we have but how much more if I would have just committed to my role.  Honestly I was waiting on someone else to help me.  I thought this is too much for me to do.  It isn’t though God is just waiting for someone to be willing.  He will teach and guide you.

Wow I just read this draft from who knows when, it’s been a while.  I am going to add to this because I do think that it needs to be published.  Yes I have commitment issues I truly do but wow from the time I wrote this to now I have seen God show up in so many ways.  I decided even if I had to do this alone (silly me never alone because God is always there).  I would still do it.  Once I decided to commit things began to happen.  God began to bring more people to help us.  Money started coming in to fund programs.  I am not sure what the future holds but I do know this that because of our commitment and not giving up I have seen the hand of God time and time again.

So today let me encourage you maybe you are like me and you have commitment issues ask God what He would have you commit to.  Scripture even says that you are suppose to count the cost.  If God ask you to do it though He will bring you everything you need to finish because He who has started a good work in you will complete it.  Look I realize there are times to pass the torch on but whatever you are working on do it as unto the Lord.  Dive in and watch what God does, He hasn’t dissapointed me yet and I don’t think He ever will.

Spring Begins

Today is the first day of spring.  Spring brings many things including growth.  Trees are in bloom, the grass begins to grow, weeds are coming up and the list goes on and on.  It’s time for maintenance on our yards.  I believe it is that way spiritually also.  Before I get into that let me tell you all how the last month has been.

Saturdays are usually days for my family to get rest if we do not have plans.  Well every Saturday since March 1st we have had an event.  Whenever there is an event usually there is planning beforehand that adds to the work load.  The first Saturday since we do a lot of administrative work in the office we did a lot of the planning and prep work before the conference.  Listen I love a well executed and well planned event so much so that I don’t like to veer from the plan.  That could be a whole blog post in itself but I will not bore you with the details of my crazy tendencies.

On to the next weekend this time we were taking out the RV for the first time since we had gotten it.  I was so excited to actually see how this would work and nervous all at the same time.  Well before we arrive our destination there were many detours including getting stuck in the mud.  Truck and 31 foot RV stuck in the mud.  Boy that was fun and I honestly was laughing about the whole ordeal.  Thankfully there were some men of excellence who came to our rescue.  We get settled finally and rest for our early day tomorrow.  This event was great.  I became overwhelmed with emotions even though I didn’t show anyone, there was so much going on inside.  I started making plans because I was motivated to do more.  This event didn’t go by the book but that was ok with me.  I realized then sometimes you can’t go by what is written on paper.  Impromptu is needed.  It’s fine if you don’t go by the schedule sometimes.

Awesome I’m on a high from this weekend and am excited to dive in.  This week it’s time for us to go get some repairs on the RV.  Joshua goes to take it to the repair shop and the tire blows and there goes the fender.  We thought it needed repairs before hahaha.  A one day trip has now turned into two full days and the next night I am up until 3:30 in the morning with an event to attend the next day.  I have worked long hours this past week and now have an event and I’ve stayed up until 3:30 am waiting making sure that I wasn’t needed to drive to him.

It’s time for our next event I’m beyond thankful that this event I didn’t have to plan anything.  We were just supposed to show up and help out at certain times even though we missed our times because we were still in bed.  My body needed rest and I still wasn’t rested.  I was beginning to have a breakdown emotionally.  Crazy things would make me cry.  It was ridiculous.

So with spring weeds grow and it becomes time to remove them.  This past month has been a month of growth and we have been busy and in that time weeds have grown.  It is past time to pull them.  One of the most important things about growth and doing things for others is self care.  If you do not take care of yourself than how can you can take care of anyone else.  Spring is a great time it’s wonderful because things start happening and we come out of our houses and we start doing things, but don’t get so busy doing things that you don’t stop and take care of you.

Friday we had training to better ourselves for what we do with our non-profit and that was one of the things mentioned was taking care of yourself.  I almost cancelled our upcoming family vacation but I’m not because I realized that I must take care of me before I can help take care of anyone else.

It would look foolish if I went to my neighbors yard and started pulling weeds from their flower beds if I didn’t first do mine.  We want to do that a lot though don’t we.  We get so caught up helping everyone else that we don’t take the time to help ourselves.  I encourage you take care of you first and then help someone else.  I’m not saying you have to be perfect before you help someone because if that was the case I would help no one.