FINISH–My Final F-Word for 2014

Finish.

The word “finish” carries such a powerful meaning.  It implies completion of a task. It brings something to an end.

God the Father talked about how He finished things:

“Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.” ~Genesis 2:1 MSG

What’s more, I am with you, and will protect you wherever you go, and will bring you back safely to this land; I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you all I am promising.” ~Genesis 28:15 TLB

Jesus was the ultimate example of someone who knew how to FINISH things. He fulfilled His mission of showing love to all humanity and satisfying every requirement of the Law on our behalf. He did as the Father had asked Him to do– He brought grace and truth. Jesus said it Himself, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Because He finished strong, the salvation process is complete, once and for all.

And now, Holy Spirit lives within every believer so that we too can fulfill our God-given mission and finish strong.

For the last half of 2014, I’ve been concentrating on one F-word each month. It all began in December 2013 when I felt as if I wasn’t focused enough on important things so that I could finish them. I attended a retreat in January 2014 where I realized there was an F-word I needed to eliminate from my life: FEAR. This retreat helped me to key in on the things that mattered most to me and to know that I was already empowered by God to “get ‘er done.” One of the exercises at the retreat was to write a word on a smooth stone that reflected what I wanted to do in 2014. My word was “FINISH.” I wanted to finish strong in 2014!

F-word--Finish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the first six months of 2014, as I worked to eliminate the fear, I was able to FINISH a huge goal– plan and host a retreat for women who were struggling with infertility. The retreat resulted in establishing a relationship with one of the attendees that has been such a blessing because she is now pregnant! As a result of her pregnancy, I am now writing a book specifically crafted for women who have overcome infertility. There’s a difference in the experience in the overcomer’s pregnancy versus that of other women who did not have that struggle. This book will provide the encouragement needed to stay focused on God’s words of love and to FINISH the pregnancy. I’m so glad that I finished hosting the fertility retreat and am moving forward in finishing the book.

As I’ve done in previous months, I wrote my thoughts about this month’s F-word on an index card so I can keep it in front of me on my desk:

F-Words--FinishSo as 2014 draws to a close, I’m thankful for all that God has brought me through this year and empowered me to finish. I’ll host another fertility retreat in May 2015  (I hope you’ll join me) because I’m even more confident that when He gives us a vision, He also gives us the provision to FINISH.

What is one thing for which you need His provision in order to finish strong?

 

One is Barren, One is Fruitful

Barren and Fruitful

As I was reading Jeremiah 17 this morning, I was struck by the contrast of barren and fruitful that’s mentioned in verses 5-8 (Message Bible):

God’s Message:

“Cursed is the strong one
    who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
    and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
    out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
    in a land where nothing grows.

 “But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
    the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
    putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
    never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
    bearing fresh fruit every season.

Can you see the dry, desert ground where nothing but weeds can flourish? This scripture is an astounding picture of the barrenness that comes in life while we don’t trust God’s love and His willingness to bring good things to us.  The tumbleweed doesn’t rely on anything to keep it stable and growing.  The hot winds that blow through the desert serve only to push the plant that has no roots; bouncing it up and down, carrying it without any real destination, giving it no purpose. That’s how life can feel in various seasons when we choose not to trust God’s love.

But wait…there’s HOPE! This passage also shows us the wonderful blessings that come our way when we choose to believe God’s Word and confidently trust His very personal love. His Word acts as water from an eternal stream or river that keeps the nearby soil moist and full of life-giving nutrients.We can be serene and calm, as if we were a tree in the Garden of Eden, when we trust God’s promises found in His Word.  Like that tree, even as drought conditions come, we are not prone to be anxious because we’ve sunk our roots deep into the soil that’s been watered by the Word. As our roots spread, they gain more and more strength and the Word promotes life within us. The Amplified Bible says that trusting in God is so powerful that we may not even see, notice, or be swayed by the heat and the drought conditions surrounding us. I believe it’s all because God’s Word provides supernatural nourishment for our parched souls and His provision is always more than what we need.

An additional point of good news is that as a believer in Jesus, you have been delivered and forever set free from the curse mentioned in verses 5-6. No matter what circumstances you may be dealing with right now, you are no longer under the curse (Galatians 3:13-14)! God is a giver of good things and has a good plan for you. Because of Jesus’ love for you, you can choose to confidently trust God’s promises that apply to your situation and experience the serenity and fruitfulness that He had planned for you all along.

What do you do to increase your trust in Jesus’ love and His promises?

A Black Friday Just for Books–The Read Tuesday Event

Read Tuesday

Love to read books? Wish there were a Black Friday just for books? There is! It’s called Read Tuesday, and it happens on December 9, 2014. Some of the books are already on sale!

Take advantage of this amazing deal on my book, A Seed of Hope, on Amazon– “Buy the print edition, get the e-book for free.” What a great way to gift the book to someone else and be able to keep the ebook for yourself!

This is the season of bringing hope to others and I can’t think of a better way to share the hope of God’s promises of fertility.

If you read ebooks on a platform other than Kindle (Apple, Kobo, Nook, etc.), I have a deal for you as well. The digital format of A Seed of Hope will be FREE on Smashwords through 12/12/14 by using the coupon code BL66C.

As a bonus, I’m also discounting my book, Infertility Sucks! How to Maintain Hope in Your Marriage During Infertility. You can get it for $0.99 on Amazon on Read Tuesday (12/9/14 only).

Find out about the other Read Tuesday authors and their books here.

Happy book shopping!

 

Monday’s Marinade – Hope and Love

Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating  about how it pleases God when you have confidence in His love for youRepeatedly think about this and quietly say it to yourself.  Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

Here’s your spiritual marinade for this week:

Monday's marinade-hope and love

In case you missed it, here are some tips for getting through the holidays.

 

Don’t Give Up — What If What You Want Is Just Around the Corner?

Just a quick, friendly reminder today — DON’T GIVE UP!

Find your hope in the comforting, steadfast, and powerful promises of God (Romans 15:4).

Don't Give Up

Image courtesy of Infertility Inspirations

Take Your Place at the Father’s Table

Thanksgiving table settingWe’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in America today. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle in the kitchens of most homes. The preparation of large meals and the consumption of large portions of food are part of the tradition. Some cooks may bring out their fine china to set the table for the occasion. There’s a sense of joy among those seated together at the table because family and friends have come together and most, if not all,  are expressing some level of gratitude.

I like to think about the table that God the Father has prepared for every believer (Psalm 23:5). He not only has pulled out the finest of foods, tableware, and furnishings, He has made it available for access right NOW. And the best part is that He is seated at the table with us. No one is relegated to the “kids table!” The Father is ready to serve up everything that He’s prepared. We’re blessed that we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to enjoy God’s best. We can enjoy His presence each and every day. But there are times that we find ourselves so deceived that we avoid His lavish table. Too afraid to come close. Too self-conscious to take a seat. Too afraid to feel worthy of partaking and delighting in what He has prepared. Too doubtful that He meant it when He said that He personally made it, especially for us.

Instead of giving in to deception, may I encourage you to believe that the Father loves you immensely? Believe that He wants to let His blessings and benefits overflow toward you every day. He said so (Psalm 68:19)! Consequently, expressing gratitude to Him will require less effort and  you’ll express it more frequently. Being more conscious of His love will make it easier to approach Him and to enjoy what He has prepared just for YOU.

Find your way to the Father’s table.

Take your place there.

Marvel at His abundance.

Enjoy partaking of His goodness.


“My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” ~Jeremiah 31:14 NKJV


Photo courtesy of Apolonia |FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Ways to Survive the Holidays in the Midst of Infertility

Holidays can be difficult to navigate when you’ve been declared infertile. I remember how easy it was to get caught up in all that was going wrong (infertility). It would have been easy to paint myself into a corner and neglect enjoying what’s meant to be a festive and fun time.  With the disappointment that comes month after month, it can become difficult to maneuver through the emotional drain of infertility, the possible health scares, the financial toll, and the marital problems that tend to stealthily creep in.

But during this week leading up to America’s celebration of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season, I encourage you to make a DECISION to look for the things in life you can be thankful for during the holidays and beyond. A thankful heart looks beyond its present negative circumstances to the positive possibilities that lie ahead.

You may be asking yourself, “What do I have to be thankful for when all I want is to get pregnant and it isn’t happening?”

Be Thankful

 


 Be thankful that God is with you. 

If you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, He has promised to never leave you and to always bless you with his unfailing grace. Be thankful that you can rest in knowing that God is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31).


 

Be thankful that there is nothing too hard for God, not even infertility!

Some people believe that we’re to thank God for putting us in tough situations because that’s how He teaches us something. I believe God is a better teacher than that. He can get his point across to us without putting us in tough situations. I believe that tough situations are brought to our lives by the devil but God can and will bring us out of them. Trust in God’s ability and willingness to make good come out of bad.


 

Be thankful for role models.

Be thankful that He has given so many examples of women who overcame infertility and that He has made promises in the Bible that relate to your fertility. Thank Him that you can count on Him to make good on those promises.


 

Be thankful that God hears you as you pray His promises.

“So is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me [through your confession of it] without producing results. As you believe and speak it, My Word will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” ~Isaiah 55:11 [paraphrased]

When you’re in the throes of difficult circumstances, life can become overwhelmingly sad and anxiety-laden. But remember, the One who has the power to change your circumstances is always right there with you in the midst of them, ready to display His power as you trust His love and His promises. God the Father wants to bring you out of the grip of tough times into His gentle caress of peace and rest. That’s what He planned for your destiny.

Giving thanks to God is the means of focusing on the solution rather than the problems we have. When we give thanks in the midst of our problems, we keep victory’s door open. Thanking God when we’re dealing with infertility or any other trying circumstance  is the best way to express that we expect Him to show Himself strong on our behalf and to make good things happen.


 

Be thankful that He loves you unconditionally.

God the Father loves you just as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23)! To have someone who always loves you no matter how much you doubt His ability, willingness, and timing…that’s something to be thankful for!


 

What will you choose to thank God for today?

 

Monday’s Marinade – I’m Here

Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating  about how God is right there with you in the midst of your circumstances. Repeatedly think about this and quietly say it to yourself.  Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

Here’s your spiritual marinade for this week:

Monday's Marinade-God is here

Intentional :: It’s Not an F-Word But It Works For Me

For the month of November, I’m being intentional about having FUN!

F-words FUN

FUN is this month’s F-word in my 2014 F-word challenge.

I’ve found as I’ve gotten more intentional about these F-words, something has shifted (for the better).

As I have weaved my way through this challenge over the past four months, it’s clear that:

  • Fellowshipping with God and acknowledging His presence frequently throughout each day
  • Focusing on Jesus’ love for me instead of my problems
  • Following through on things that I promised myself and others (that’s called integrity) AND expecting God to follow through on His promises as well
  • Flowing with Holy Spirit by being in synch with Him and allowing His desires for my life to shape my desires and therefore my actions

have all provided an environment where FUN can now thrive in my life. Weird huh?

The FUN started flowing right on 11/1/14 and hasn’t stopped yet. Each day, there has been some opportunity for me to have fun (I actually started tracking it). I’m loving it! I also see how I’m enjoying stretching myself in ways that I would not have enjoyed at the beginning of 2014. I’m finding that FUN is coming a lot easier than it used to. It’s coming at times and in places where I wasn’t looking for it and it’s happening more intensely in the places where I would expect it.

NOTE: A Word about my personality– I’m somewhat serious. There have been a few times when my kids and husband have called me a “fun-sucker” because I’ve killed the fun instead of enjoying it. So this month is HUGE for me! :)

Joy and Fun DancingFor instance, this past weekend, I attended a conference that I knew would help me with my financial mindset. My expectation of it was that it would be B-O-R-I-N-G some of the time. But it wasn’t! Even though it was a 3-day intensive workshop, there were fun activities interspersed throughout the day. One of the activities was to allow attendees to come up on stage and dance at the beginning of each morning, afternoon, and evening session. When I got home Saturday night, I made up my mind to have some FUN by running up on the stage and be one of the dancers for the Sunday morning session. I did it, along with ~20 other attendees, most of whom could surprisingly stay on the beat! :) It was a challenge for me since I’m usually the one who observes the FUN rather than participating in it. But this time, I was in the groove, literally.

This week is already packed with activities to have FUN with 3 friends– a new one, an old one that I haven’t seen in a while, and one who I’ve yet to get to know very well. My point is that when I got intentional about doing a few things (all the F-words), it created an environment of overflow that required no effort from me, other than being available and open to receive.

Kinda like God’s grace, don’t you think?

Would you like to take the F-word challenge? Maybe this would be a good way for you to start 2015. Let me know if you’re open to seeing what your intentionality will look like.

Photo courtesy of Vectorgirl | Fotolia

Monday’s Marinade – How to Prosper

Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. Start your week by meditating on this Word about how to prosper. Repeatedly think about this scripture and quietly say it to yourself.  Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

Here’s your spiritual marinade for this week:

Monday's Marinade - Prosper