His Word, Series

Do You Control Your Thoughts? Or Do Your Thoughts Control You?

Romans 8:6 (NLT) So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 

So many Thoughts

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your action; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become your character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”    ~Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tze~

Recently, in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, I read her opening sentence: “Let me control your mind.”

She goes on to say, “The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind.”

Why are our minds so hard to give up to Christ?

Why is it such a challenge to give our thoughts to Him, first and foremost?

As I peruse my bookshelf, I read titles like, “You’re Already Amazing,” “The Power of a Positive Mom,” “Love Idol,” “Hello Beauty-full,” “You’re Loved No Matter What,” “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.”

All of these titles remind me that our thought life is of the utmost importance to God. He cares not only for our external well-being, but more importantly, our internal selves.

He wants us to remember how much we are loved by Him. How much He cares for us. That He has numbered the very hairs on our heads.

That we are princesses in His eyes.

I’m preaching to myself, here folks.

These are things that I constantly struggle with. Despite knowing in my head that I’m cherished, chosen, celebrated, and created by Him. I still forget…my short-term memory loss kicks in and I think that I’m just another nobody.

I’ve been around people who are clearly giving their thought and spiritual lives to Him. They’re the ones who are at peace and calm and relaxed no matter what their external environment presents them.

Yes, I’m sure they have moments where they fall off the wagon and question and doubt God, but for the most part, they are walking hand-in-hand with Him.

I’ve also experienced times in which I’ve been the calm, relaxed, peaceful person. However, it seems lately that I’ve been the one wrecked with fear and anxiety.

How have I been managing it, you ask? Well, unfortunately, I’ve been behaving like an immature disciple. I’ve been more of a fan of Jesus than a follower.

See, a fan of Jesus is someone who’s only in it for the good that Jesus can give. A follower or a disciple has more of the attitude of Job from the Old Testament. In Job 2:10 we read his response to his wife who wants him to curse God for the troubles that have befallen them, “He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Why should I expect to receive only good from God? Especially when Jesus tells us in John, chapter 16 that, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

He tells us right there…in red letters…that we WILL have trouble. We will have trials and sorrows. But we are to be encouraged because He has overcome the world.

There are battles still waging, but the war has been won.

If I already know who wins the war, why am I fretting? What do I have to be anxious about?

The astoundingly simple answer is: NOTHING.

But alas, being human in my imperfections, I still worry. But my worry comes more from a place of concern that God’s not handling things MY way, rather than seriously wondering if God will take care of me and always be there for me.

Because, in my heart of hearts, I know He is there. He has always been there. He will always be there.

Because I am His. And He loves me. Completely. Unconditionally. Perfectly.

And when I give Him complete control of my thought life, He will never allow me to forget this.

Link-Ups, Series

Dairy Queen, Hotels, and Racing

When my husband and I started dating, we knew that we would be in for some wild rides. I mean, how could we not be? We each had school-aged children we were bringing into the relationship. I have a ten year old daughter, a nine year old son, and he has a nine year old daughter.

One such adventure brings me back to Labor Day weekend of 2015. We decided the five of us would travel to Brownsburg, Indiana, to visit my brother and his family. Living outside of Lafayette, Indiana, Brownsburg is easily a day trip, but we wanted to allow the kids time to swim by staying overnight in a hotel.

A week or so in advance, I, with gusto, jumped at the chance to prove my hotel-booking abilities to my new fiance. I did a search for area hotels, and, having found one that proved to be satisfactory in the two big requirements: breakfast and pool, I booked it. Success!

The day of our trip comes. We head south to visit with family. The weather was gorgeous. The food was fantastic — of course, when is grilling out NOT a supremely awesome choice for summer meals? And the company was enjoyable.

As the day turned to early evening, we knew we needed to be getting to our hotel to check in. We say our goodbyes, and get everyone loaded up. At some point after we left, I decided I wanted Dairy Queen. Being such an excellent navigator, I opened my Mapquest app on my phone and got right down to finding a Dairy Queen in the area.

It seemed the closest one was quite a distance away, but hey, it was a warm night, and our spirits were high from the wonderful day we had. We ventured on.

As we traveled, it was becoming unclear where this elusive Dairy Queen might be. We ventured on.

As we turned into the golf course, my fiancé was beginning to question where Mapquest was taking us. He was adamant that there would be no Dairy Queen in the middle of a golf course. I was adamant that THIS is where Mapquest was taking us, so there MUST be a Dairy Queen. To which he replied, “Unless there is someone living in this neighborhood named Dairy Queen, there is NO Dairy Queen here!”

Well then. I guess my fine navigational skills just got knocked down a notch or two. Ok fine. Well, Mr. There-Is-No-Dairy-Queen-here, then by all means, please lead us to a Dairy Queen.

Sure enough, he did just that. He pulled out his phone (we both have iPhones, both with AT&T as our carrier) and opened his Maps app. Which promptly delivered us directly to a Dairy Queen parking lot.

Ok, there’s my first slice of humble pie for the evening.

Once we had our fill of ice cream and the kids were beginning to get a little stir crazy, we decided it was time to call it a night, and headed to our hotel.

Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the festivities in Brownsburg, Indiana over Labor Day weekend, let me share something with you. Brownsburg is the NHRA drag-racing capital of the world (if not the world, certainly the USA). And guess when their biggest event is? Yep, you guessed it, Labor Day weekend.

Suffice to say, every decent hotel room within a 15 mile radius of Brownsburg was booked. Which, was of no consequence to us, because I am a master-hotel-room-booker.

Or so I thought.

My charming and gentlemanly escort pulled up to the hotel I booked and walked in. Confident in the fact that his woman, with two degrees, has this room ‘in the bag.’ Poor fella. He didn’t know what he was about to face.

Apparently, when I booked the room, the website had defaulted to a day two weeks in the future. So, we had our room booked…for the Saturday in two weeks. Um, not the best situation, considering where and when we were staying.

Humble pie slice number two was a little rough going down.

Not to worry, my man is a problem-solver. There is a hotel right next door. Let’s see what their room availability is.

He goes into the hotel, and comes out successful. We have a room! We were so excited.

Until we got to the room.

It was a room with two full-sized beds. Not exactly prime sleeping conditions for 5 people. But we managed to make it work, without anyone falling out of bed. But not before we went swimming in their outdoor ‘heated’ pool. Oh yes those are my air quotes, because there was NOTHING heated about this pool. Fortunately, the woman at the front desk of the original hotel, you know, the one with the room booked in two weeks, felt bad for us. She allowed us to swim in their hotel pool. Which was thankfully, indoors.

You know the old saying, “We will laugh about this someday”? Well, we do, now. Although that night, I was really beating myself up.

I felt inadequate. Incapable. And most of all, I thought for sure that this would be the beginning of the end of our relationship. I mean, really? Who wants to be with someone who can’t navigate or book a hotel? I just knew our demise was approaching.

Fortunately for me, my husband is a wonderfully forgiving man, who gives me more grace than he gives himself. He was cool as a cucumber the whole time, which was a good balance to my embarrassed, red cheeks.

I guess the lesson I learned is that we all make mistakes, no matter how much we try to be ‘perfect.’ And the important thing is how we handle the mistakes. Do we let them make us bitter? Or better? Now, when things begin to escalate between us, and one of us is about to say something we might regret, all we have to do is say ‘Dairy Queen’ and this event comes back to mind and we can laugh together.

Link-Ups, Series

My Goals and Vision…

Areas of Lack

They say that the best way to accomplish your goals is to write them down. The purpose for this blog post is just that — to develop SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound and to document them. To put them in writing is to give voice to them and make them more concrete.

I’ve put off doing this for quite some time. Until today. I recently decided to plunge into a writing challenge in order to overcome some of my perceived inadequacies. I’m hoping that this writing challenge will push me beyond my current writing comfort zone.

Let’s be clear. Anything worth having is worth working for. Nothing good will come easy. And, to be honest, I’ve been, ahem, coasting in this writing thing. Well — no more.

I am dissatisfied with my current level of writing; more specifically, the lack of time I set aside to write. I have yet to make it a discipline — something I do whether I want to or not. I’m also desiring clearer direction when I do sit down to write. Sometimes I sit down to my fancy Mac, and just don’t feel I have anything worthwhile to say.

Finally, I desire to have someone help me with some of the technical/programming elements of my website. I am pretty tech-savvy, but again, finding the time to devote to searching for the answers is a challenge.

Vision and Direction

Well, in order to get somewhere, you have to know where you’re going, right? This is my vision for my writing.

I can see myself, by the end of the calendar year 2016, having written an eBook of devotions for moms. Additionally, I can see being a regular contributor on at least three websites, other than my own. My writing habit will continue to flourish.

Steps to Get There

In order to accomplish my vision, I will write more. I will start by writing 250-300 words three times a week. Once I have been doing this consistently for 4 weeks, I will increase my writing to 500 words three times a week Once I’ve done this consistently for 4 weeks, I will increase my writing to 500 words five times a week. Once I’ve done this consistently for 4 weeks, I will increase my writing to 750 words, five times a week. I will then set a longer term goal with upwards of 1500 words per writing session. During this dedicated writing time, I will turn off all distractions, including email, my phone, and the tv. I will also utilize the many writing prompt resources that are already in my possession.

I’m excited that this journey begins today. I hope you’ll come along with me. Perhaps you can begin your own journey based on my experience.

Link-Ups, Series, Soul Relationships


Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the five minute friday community. But when I saw the word for today is ‘focus,’ I knew I had to share a few words with you all.

The premise for five minute friday is that you are given one word and you write for five minutes solid. No stopping…no correcting grammar. You can learn more here at Kate Motaung’s blog.

Merriam-Webster defines focus as: the subject on which people’s attention is focused; a main purpose or interest.

Focus is my word for 2016. I am going to focus more on what matters. I’m going to make my focus the intangibles of life.


As I sit here in Starbucks, I’m finding it difficult to focus on this post. It’s loud. No more are the days when you can sit in the coffee shop and have some elevator music playing softly in the background. Nope…now it’s loud…and distracting…and not relaxing in the least.

Aside from the music, it is FREEZING in here. I can’t even begin to relate to you just how cold it is. My fingers are having difficulty typing. Because my hair is pulled back today, my neck continually feels the breeze, coming from where, I’m not exactly sure. And I’m trying to get my hood to stay up, but it won’t.

It’s distractions like this that the enemy uses to derail our focus…our thinking…our attention. He wants to get us thinking about something other than God’s Word or His plan for our lives. The enemy wants to make us ‘busy.’ Because if he can make us busy, he can get us sidetracked in our goals and dreams.

See, that’s where I’m trying to focus more this year. How can I be a better steward of what God has given me? How can I focus more on what He wants from me and for me?

And a shiver just went through my bones. As I’m trying to get my thoughts in line. As I’m trying to decide the right words to say to you to help you find your focus.

Do you want to get in better shape?

Do you want to read more?

Do you want to earn more money?

Do you want to have more quality time with your family?

Then ask yourself this: is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW going to bring my desire into focus or will it cause it to be blurry? Will it cloud my vision? Or is it in line with my mission?


His Word, Series

My Why and My What

My Why is…

…to inspire others to live in the fullness of Christ

…to share my story

…to love others to draw them to Christ’s love

My What is…

…being a child of God

…being a wife

…being a mother

…being involved in women’s ministry

…being a writer

…being a reader

What has made me forget My Why…

…fear – of acceptance, of rejection, of being too loud, of being too quiet, of being known well, of not being known well

…the enemy

…money, or the lack thereof

…confusing the ‘urgent’ for the important

Am I being a good steward of My Why…

…not always – when I get discouraged or think that everyone has already said what I want to say, and said it better, then I shirk my God-given responsibility to share

…when I am walking in my purpose, I feel fulfilled