Pursuit

Sarah OlsonFaithLeave a Comment

Pursuit: (noun) The act of following with a view to overtake. [source: Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] As I sit and ponder this word, I think about God’s pursuit of his most prized creation – mankind – set apart, blessed, appointed, given a promise upon creation. From the beginning of time, God has pursued His children’s hearts. After the fall, in Genesis 3 verse 8, God is wandering amidst the garden “in the cool of the day” and Adam and Eve “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD.” The beauty of this story is in verse 9, “Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” Does that not give you hope, friend? You can be in the deepest pit of shame and disbelief and fear and God is still there and He is still pursuing you and He still loves you! Can you not hear the deep passion, fatherly care, and concern in that moment? Adam and Eve are in a dark place, and God is calling out, “Where are you?” When I was 18, I ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I put myself in a vulnerable position and … Read More

5 Time Management Tips for Busy Women

Jen CudmoreWomanhood1 Comment

I’ve always been a busy person, juggling my family, day job, church commitments, and writing goals. But I recently reached a place where the pressure was unbearable. Below is what I learned from my recent struggles with time management. These items are essential to surviving those busier seasons of life.   5 Time Management Tips for Busy Women 1) Quality time with God every morning: I was shocked when I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to get up a half hour earlier every day. I was barely surviving on 6-7 hours of sleep each night – how could I possibly get up earlier than 6am? It wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. It didn’t take long for me to see that spending 15 minutes in a half-asleep stupor wasn’t good enough; I needed more. Focusing on my Creator first thing each morning helped set a positive attitude and made my days more productive. God is an energizer! 2) Day of rest once a week: My family has always tried to observe Sunday as a time of rest. God is clear that we need to observe the Sabbath, and while this may be a different day for each person/family, it must be a priority. … Read More

But if not…

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

This topic has been on my heart since I was very first asked to contribute to this blog, but each week God has said “not yet.” I’ve sat down over and over again thinking I was going to write about this, but have ended up in another direction instead. This post may be too deep to cover all of the thoughts I’ve had all at once, but stick with me, I feel God really has a lot to say. There have been many Bible stories, especially Old Testament ones that I’ve heard over the years that I have sort of shrugged off. They are “good stories” examples of trials, faith, perseverance, promise, but there are many times I’ve thought “that’s great and all, but how is that relevant to me?” One of those stories comes from the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the … Read More

Are You Caught in the Comparison Trap?

Jen CudmoreTrialsLeave a Comment

Comparison Trap

Do you measure up? The best advice I received at my bridal shower many years ago came from one of the pastors’ wives. She told me “Never ever compare yourself to other women.” The comparison trap is a snare all women must watch out for. We tempted way too often to worry if we’re a good mom, wife, employee, blogger, Sunday School teacher.  Are we thin enough, fit enough, strong enough? Trendy and fashionable? Wise and knowledgeable? Skilled with hobbies like decorating, photography, crafting, scrapbooking? Got the right amount of wealth and education? And we measure ourselves against other women to see if we meet “the standard.” It’s not always directly related to us, but also our homes, families, possessions, and jobs. Are our children as smart or athletic enough? Is our husband high enough on the corporate ladder, or even the spiritual ladder? Should we be pursuing a better job, like the business women who recently became a CEO of a large firm? Or should we be a stay-at-home mom like the other ladies at church? Should we purchase expensive furniture and décor for our run-down trailer or stay within our means and stick with Wal-Mart? I wasted too many years wondering if I … Read More

Hello Martha, Hello Mary…It’s Monday

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

It is always intriguing to me how God shows me myself through His Word.  Oftentimes, when I read an account of someone’s life, a parable, or ANY verse in Proverbs – I see myself – not in the heroine – but in the counterpart opposite.  Take the account of Mary and Martha. Jesus and his posse were coming to dinner!  How exciting! How nerve-racking! How fun!  Martha loved Jesus and wanted everything to be perfect for Him.  She saw the enormity of the task and she jumped right into service for Him. The busy-ness and opportunity to create an event thrilled her! She got to make lists with her favorite pen, plan, decorate, facilitate. She found herself at the helm and secretly loved being the “go-to-gal” with all the answers.  Making decisions and bossing others suited her perfectly – it was her “gifting.” Multi-tasking was her middle name – her motto:  “Get-er-done…” Check. Check. Check. Except for that LAZY sister of hers – where was she anyway?  Well, we know, don’t we?  Hanging out at the feet of Jesus – avoiding the work that needed to be done.  Hmmph! Using the manipulative skill of a true martyr – Martha felt it her duty to inform Jesus of her personal … Read More

I think I tripped you…

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

There’s a really good chance we’ve all done it. Sometimes we’ve done it on purpose, sometimes we’ve done it without knowing, but there’s a really good chance we’ve all done it. There’s a chance it happens more often these days, than it ever has before. There’s a chance I’ve done it to you. There’s a chance you’ve done it to me. And can I just say, I’m really sorry for it?! I might have done it to you when I talked about how amazing my husband is, or when I talked about the baby sleeping through the night. I might have done it to you when I talked about being able to bring the baby to work with me, or when I posted about my children’s grades. I might have done it to you when I posted about what we’re having for dinner, or when I shared pictures from vacations we’ve had. I might have done it when I posted projects I’ve completed, or pictures of my home. I might have done it when I posted pictures of my post baby figure, or when I shared publicly that I was pregnant. I might have done it when I posted about where … Read More

Marveling at Martha

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

The other night I stood in the kitchen with a fussy baby in one arm, while cooking dinner with the other. As I stood there I felt a temptation creep in. At that moment I felt tempted to take a picture of myself, then post it on social media as a way to toot my own horn so to speak. “Look at me, rocking this mom thing! I’m handling it all! Long day at work followed by making dinner for the family while holding a baby in one arm! I’ve got it all together. I’m rockin this mom thing!”    Some might think that it was silly that it was tempting for me to take a picture.  Some might not see anything wrong with posting something like that. Some post things like that on a regular basis for the world to see and admire (or envy) but the ironic thing is that I didn’t actually feel like I was “rockin this mom thing” at all. Truth be told, I felt like I was failing…big time!    That day I had overslept quite a bit, and was 15 minutes late to work. I went to work in the clothes I slept … Read More

Hoarding Grace

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, Redemption2 Comments

Grace

Have you ever found yourself asking a question, knowing you didn’t want to know the answer? Asking the question was necessary, but the response had a realistic potential of being hard to hear? That was me yesterday. Yesterday wasn’t a very good day. If I could do the day over, I absolutely would, but if it hadn’t of been a bad day, I might not have learned what I needed to. Tensions have been high lately. We have a very sick kiddo (for almost 3 weeks now) who’s been missing school. I’ve missed a lot of work, money is tight, we’re not sleeping well, ministry has been frustrating, work has been stressful for both my husband and myself. Tensions have been high, and then they peaked yesterday via an argument on the way to work. I hate when days start like that. Thankfully they don’t happen often for us, but when they do it ruins the whole day. I don’t like being angry, but especially with my family, and I definitely don’t like it when someone is angry with me. After some important discussion, requests for forgiveness, and some reconciliation, I asked a hard question… “What can I do to … Read More

Did You Pray About That?

Jen CudmorePrayer & FastingLeave a Comment

prayer

I don’t recall the specific situation; I just remember that I was mad. I marched over to where my friend was sitting and told her the details of what happened. Her words stopped me in my tracks and defused my emotions in about half a second. She raised an eyebrow as she regarded me. “Did you pray about that?” I gulped, then gave a nervous chuckle. “Well, not yet. It just happened.” I went back to my seat, sufficiently scolded that I had not taken my concerns to God first. That situation was the start of a new journey for me. I knew I was instructed in the Bible to pray without ceasing, but I had not been applying the concept. I began to recall many other situations where I got upset or worried rather than handing the burden over to my Savior. God wants to be part of our day, and more than just a genie who grants our wishes. He wants to be acknowledged and involved in everything we do. We sometimes forget that talking with God is an honor. We have direct access to the King of Kings! That’s something to get excited about! He devotes His … Read More

A critical eye

Rosalynn LasleyTrialsLeave a Comment

This week I was reminded again, that I have a lot of work to do. The reminder came on Monday afternoon while I was waiting to check-in for an appointment at the pediatricians office. The office we visit has a check-in counter right inside the front door. As I walked in there was a woman at the counter being checked in, so I stood back in my best effort to give her some privacy while I waited my turn. The receptionists verify information during check-in such as your name, your relationship to the child, your current mailing address, phone number, and type of insurance. While the other woman was checking in I admired her appearance. She was wearing adorable designer jeans that happened to be my favorite brand. She had on nice shoes (also my favorite brand) and a beautiful handbag. I noticed the nice way she wore her hair.  She looked well kept and so did the child that was with her. Although I stood as far back as I could in an effort to give them privacy, I couldn’t help but overhear when the receptionist asked about her insurance. At that moment I went from admiring her to … Read More

When there’s shame in your story…

Rosalynn LasleyRedemption, Trials1 Comment

Throughout this blog I’ve been slowly sharing parts of my story. One of the good things about telling my own story is that I’m able to share the parts of my story I want you to know. I can shine up my story really nice so it sounds awesome, but what about the parts of my story that won’t ever shine up? What about the parts that are so dark and ugly I wish they could be removed completely? What happens when there’s shame in your story?   The other day I was thinking about many different Bible stories and characters I’ve heard about through the years. I thought to myself, “How embarrassing to have some of your biggest, most shameful moments written down and passed along, all through history!!” Sure the stories are about more than just the things they’ve done wrong, more than just the things they’re ashamed of, but it’s still embarrassing sometimes when everyone knows your story.    I thought about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One of Eve’s most shameful moments changed all of mankind. Her decision to disobey God was written down for all to see, and also brought sin into … Read More

From the moment I met you, I knew I was going to fall in love with you

Rosalynn LasleyMarriageLeave a Comment

Fall in love with you

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I say that a lot, because I have a lot of favorite times of year, but this really IS one of my most favorite times of all.  This time of year is my favorite because this is when our love story began. Next week makes 16 years since we’ve been “us” and even though I’ve loved him for more than half of my life now, it feels like it was just yesterday when he held my hand for the first time.   We were only 15 years old when our story began. We were merely two kids who knew little about life, but two kids who loved each other with a love that was solid and would withstand all that life had in store for us, even if people didn’t understand at the time.    We dated in a time before texting (imagine that) back when people talked in person or on the phone. The very first time we ever REALLY talked to each other, we talked for over 6 hours! Even now, all of these later, we could sit up and talk late into the night. We don’t even … Read More

The Journey to the Mountaintop

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Journey Mountaintop

The Certainty of God’s Witness.  this is He who came by the water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For  there are three that bear witness in heaven:  the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit;  and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness on earth:  The Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.  1John 5:6-8 “BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP!”  my alarm clock screams. I arise with the sunlight creeping in through the shades polishing a shadow of the mountain I am about to conquer.  I get ready in a hurry with the electricity shooting throughout my body.  Full of the excitement and anticipation, I stare at Eureka Mountain – my place of pleasure, my place of peace, my place of solitude.  The significance of this summit lies deep within my heart; once more I step foot at the base of this mountain, but with a different purpose.  A purpose not of fear or redemption, but a purpose to see His divine creation, to listen, to hear, and to soak in … Read More

How to deal with Loss

Guest BloggerTrialsLeave a Comment

How to Deal with Loss

When the unexpected happens and we are faced with death, how do we deal with that? The past couple of days, I have witnessed a family member die from illness, and a tragic accident that killed a young teenager in our community. Life can be brutal sometimes.  How do we explain things like this?  How do we function? When things like this happen, it is hard not to look at our own life and make sense of these unfortunate circumstances.  For me, I have reflected on my past of when I lost my mother at a young age due to a car accident. Growing up without my biological mom, life was hard.  I do not wish that on anyone.  To this day after 31 years of not talking to her, hearing her voice, hugging her, or seeing her, makes me sad.  I do long for her and I always will.   However, I have comfort in knowing that she is alive in her new home called HEAVEN! With death there is sadness, pain, suffering, grieving, unfairness, and much more.  However,  knowing JESUS is the answer to finding COMFORT, JOY, LOVE, and getting through this ultimate LONG SUFFERING. “But the fruit of … Read More

Give it to God

Guest BloggerFaith1 Comment

Seek God

Another week has gone by and my long to-do list isn’t any shorter! In fact, it’s a little longer. Only a couple things crossed off, but I am sure proud of those couple tasks! I’m sure I am not the only one with this issue. Often times when I look at all that things I want to accomplish over the course of the day, week, month, even year I experience a multitude of feelings. First, I get excited at the idea of accomplishing it all! Second, I usually feel motivated, often times I even create my game plan on paper. At that point, I’m ready to get things going! Then all of sudden, reality hits! My everyday life continues on, despite all these other plans I have made- all my other tasks do not stop just because I add new ones. Recently, I have been pondering how many things would get crossed off that list or how many things wouldn’t even make it to the list if I prayed and asked God for guidance? Would God help me determine what tasks are necessary for me to accomplish? Would God help me utilize my time better? The answer is YES! The bible says … Read More

Tell me about your daddy

Rosalynn LasleyPrayer & Fasting, Redemption, Trials1 Comment

Jesus Love

I have been avoiding writing this post for a very long time.  The title alone is one that can elicit a wide variety of responses.  For some people the thought of their dad will cause a visible smile to spread across their face, thinking of all of the lovely things that make their dad who he is.  For others it may cause their eyes to well up with tears because their dad is no longer on earth.  There are others who may get a sinking feeling in their stomach because their relationship with their dad isn’t a good one.  There are some who may not know their dad at all.  There are some who think of a stepdad or foster dad when thinking of their dad.  There may even be some who won’t read this post at all because it has to do with dads.  That’s why it has been so hard for me to write this, it’s hard for me to talk about my dad. When people talk about God as The Father, its is often hard for me to comprehend that.  I don’t have a good relationship with my dad so my view of what a father looks like is cloudy.  I … Read More

Whom do you serve?

Rosalynn LasleyFaithLeave a Comment

Worship Lord Serve Him

Do you ever feel like your hard work goes unnoticed or unappreciated? Do you feel like you don’t have much to offer no matter how hard you try? Do you feel burnt out or like you just can’t quite juggle it all? Do you feel like you’re the only one trying or contributing? I know there are many times that I do. There have been many different situations lately that have left me discouraged because I feel like in my current circumstances, I don’t have much to offer. There have been many different things that have left me feeling like the effort I do have to give goes unnoticed and it sort of leaves me with the “why bother” attitude at times. (Not the best attitude to have, I’ll admit that.) I was talking with a good friend a little while back and she was sharing that she felt burnt out, over worked, taken advantaged of, and sometimes resentful because of her circumstances and what was asked of her at times. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way, but I knew that we both needed to put things into a better perspective in … Read More

When the story is ugly, God is beautiful

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Redemption2 Comments

I recently asked the question on my Facebook page “What would be the way that you would describe a control freak?” It was really no surprise to me that most of the responses had a negative context to them.  The post kind of was a little bit of a set up.  I said “freak” when referring to control, and therefore implied a problem with just one little word.  It’s OK, I got the responses I was looking for that way.  I wanted to know the negative ways that people view control, because I was wondering if I was on the right track in my previous blog post.  Most of the things people responded with were true depictions of the control in my life, and the reasons for control.  There was only one person who said in a side conversation “why does everyone see control as a bad thing?” Ah-Ha! Two sides to the story huh? Let’s give control a fair shot, shall we? Not all control is bad or negative, and I’m not just saying that to cut myself some slack. I know that seems like quite the contrast when compared to the last two blog posts, but hear me out. Control is a necessary part … Read More

Have thine own way.

Rosalynn LasleyFaithLeave a Comment

When I was asked to be a contributor for this blog, I didn’t have to think more than a few seconds before eagerly saying yes! I’ve started to embrace that I’m not too shabby with words, and realize this is an excellent opportunity to use the talent He has given me, for Him. After all, in elementary school I excelled at speaking (listening…not so much) and through high school creative writing was one of the few classes I didn’t even come close to failing. I immediately started thinking about all of the things I could write about, all of the experiences I could share, and maybe, just maybe something good would come out of it. I started praying for the blog, the opportunity to write, the women it may minister to.  I told God what I wanted to write about, I told Him what I thought would be good to share, and finally I handed it over to Him.  In hindsight that’s where I should have began. Then God laughed at me.  I know I’m a funny girl, I crack myself up all the time, but God…I wasn’t being funny this time.  God said “Uh yeah you were.  You are talking about what YOU want to … Read More

The Best Marriage Advice I Got From My Pastor

Jen CudmoreMarriageLeave a Comment

It was last September when I honestly felt I was losing my mind. Multiple issues had compounded between my husband and I, and one day I just couldn’t take it any more. I couldn’t figure out where to go next. Concentrating on anything was a struggle because I couldn’t think straight. I cried constantly for several days, in the car, in the kitchen washing dishes, under my desk at work. It scared me that I couldn’t seem to get back to the normal me. It was then I knew I had to talk to someone who could help me get control of my brain and guide me in making right decisions. So I called my pastor. We hadn’t spoken about my marriage before, so I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to paint my husband out as a bad guy, and I didn’t want to blubber in front of my pastor. He was very understanding, and reminded me that many men are hard-headed, yet there is always hope. He listened to my concerns with no judgement, then gave some advice I have held onto for the past 9 months. My pastor told me: 1) Wives are to be submissive … Read More