Sunday, November 10, 2013

Labor of Love

As I was laying down today wishing I could let my mind stop thinking about everything and take a short nap before Anna would wake up I decided to read some scriptures with the youversion bible app (which is free). Upon reading I discovered this verse in 1 Thes. 1:3

remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,

I thought it was odd to have the words 'work' and 'labor' next to each other. I thought how repetitive. So I used the Blue Letter Bible app (which is free as well) to look up the Greek meaning. What I found was crazy! So the word for work means your actual place of business or whatever you do for a living pretty much. The word for Labor means to cause one trouble or intense labor along with trouble and toil! I thought to myself, holy cow, that is so true. Let's be real...sometimes it is really hard to love people. 

Why is it so hard to love?

I think it is because it is such an intense emotion that you get caught up in. It makes you vulnerable to be hurt because you put so much effort into showing your love. And as a christian we are called to love and most of the time it coincides with our flesh, (our own will, earthly nature vs. spiritual nature) I think it is really easy to forget what manner of spirit we are. I was letting anxiety of 'what I don't want to do' overtake me. I realized that Loving others doesn't always involve what I want but esteeming others over myself. This could apply in friendships, family relationships, marriage, you name it! 

I think this verse brought perspective in my life and reminded me that love isn't always easy. It's hard work. Paul was admonishing the church of Thessalonica for their Faith, Love and Patience. Now those are three really neat things to be known for. And let's just say for the Holidays I think those are 3 important things to live by and be thankful for.

Work of faith--- May your faith be evident at your place of employment, business, house, and in everything you do.
labor of love-- May you love out of the overflow of God's love even though it will be painful and intense at times to love those closest to you or far away from you. May you continue to show grace and God's lovingkindness in the hardest times. 
Patience of hope--- May you not grow weary, but continue with patience knowing the hope of God's calling. 

Entering into Thanksgiving and Christmas, May your life be a testimony of your Faith in God, may you love even when it gets tough, and may your patience of hope in God sustain you. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Life has been super busy with expecting our little Girl in February!! We are so excited and yes, I have been "nesting" and trying to get everything ready! I have enjoyed making a lot of the decorations for her nursery. It is a woodland theme complete with my favorite little hedgehogs, foxes, birds, deers, and owls! I love it, it is very peaceful in there. In case you haven't heard already, her name is Anna Jean Baskins and we will call her Anna.

Our pastor challenged us to start one thing this year and really devote ourselves to achieving that goal. Instead of making a list of things that will never get done, to chose one thing and pursue it. I know for me the area I have been lacking, is my reading time with the Lord. It's so easy to get carried away and I can tell in my life when I haven't been in the word. I feel different and I don't like that feeling! My 'one thing' is every morning, usually while I am eating breakfast, to read my bible. I on purpose leave my bible on the kitchen table because if it is there it is harder to ignore it. If I have to go find it, sad to say I might be to sleepy to get it!

I don't know why it is sometimes a struggle to take the first step and really dig into the word of God. It is always so encouraging, refreshing, and rejuvenating and yet as christians it is so easy to 'forget' our source. I know when Anna comes life will be in a different season and I will have to find when is the best time to read but I want to be established with a good habit before she graces us with her presence.

In my reading today I chewed on these words Luke 7:36-50. It is the story where Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus over to his house for dinner. A woman who is a known sinner comes to the house to wash Jesus' feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, and anoints them with fragrant oil. Simon and the others were disturbed that Jesus allowed this to happen. But what Jesus replies is amazing. (verse 41:42)
   "Which of them will love more?"

"Who will love more?" The one who is forgiven of much.

We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. It doesn't mean that the worst sinner will love more but it is the one who realizes how great is the depth of their sin who will love more. Don't hold yourself up in such high esteem that you cover up your sin. Admit it and fall more in love with Jesus. Let His love overwhelm you with goodness and kindness, and mercy. Search Him out. Wash His feet with your tears, don't be afraid of looking stupid. It's not going to matter what others think in eternity only what God thinks.

I will admit my time in the word in 2012 wasn't what it should have been. I was wishy washy with it. I let the cares of this world get in my way. However, this year, 2013 is a different year. A new Year and I will be a person of "One Thing". What is your "One Thing"?   "Will you love more?"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Love vs. Fear

"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." -Romans 8:15 NKJV

I keep reading this verse over and over and you know what word keeps ringing in my ears? The word 'again'. This one word stands out to me because it means to fall back into something or to repeat. This word implies that at one time we were enslaved to fear. This happened due to the fall of man in the garden of Eden. We all know we are in a constant battle, as Ephesians 6:12 talks about, not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. There are two things at war, love and fear. 

You see, when Jesus died on the cross, He took away everything that happened with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Jesus fulfilled the Law and gave us His righteousness, He took our place. Yet we still find ourselves battling against fear. Fear tells us that we are not good enough, that God is mad at us, and that we are unworthy of love and of live. Fear keeps us quiet, it silences our voice, and can haunt and taunt. BUT We Are NO Longer under fear. We are adopted by love. We have LOVE on our side! 

The Spirit of adoption tells us we are loved, accepted, pleasing to God. God chose you and wanted you. It's amazing to me every time I see a picture of what Jesus went through on the cross the scripture always come to my mind, "and for the Joy set before Him, He endured the cross." You give God joy as His daughter. You are His Joy! He did everything for you. I know that God doesn't want you enslaved to fear. He gave us a spirit of Power, Love, and a Sound mind not of fear. 

He is your father, it doesn't matter what your past is or what line of heritage you came from, you have been adopted by love. When fear tries to overtake you, remember love. When fear tries to silence your voice about your Faith in God or about anything, remember Love. Remember how loved you are by your Abba, Father. There is freedom in Christ. Love has set us Free. I encourage you to Read Romans 8 and really ponder and meditate on what God is speaking to you. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

On Purpose

   In no way am I an expert on the father/daughter relationship. Relationships never arrive at perfection, they are a continuing process of effort, time, patience, love and the list continues. There are times I get irritated at my father and my father gets irritated at me but when there is a healthy relationship established it is easier to keep going on in life without being offended by the other person. It's about understanding who they are and what is going on in their world. It's so easy, especially being a women, to get caught up in our emotions and the way we feel instead of stepping down, separating ourselves from emotion and evaluating the situation. Some things you just have to let go and trust God. Other things might need to be discussed with healthy confrontation. For more about healthy confrontation click here 
 What does the bible have to say about relationships?

Philippians 2:3-4
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

Philippians chapter 2 has a lot of great things to say about relationships. It discusses how to be like Christ. Restoring a relationship doesn't happen by chance or luck but through the grace of God. It is through meditating, understanding, and applying scripture into your daily life. Believe me, it is not always easy but the more you let go of yourself and pursue God the easier it becomes. When we make known are weaknesses to the Lord and let go, His grace becomes all we need. It isn't through our own strength. 

Challenge for you: On purpose esteem, which means to regard highly with respect and admiration, your father. Look for something that interests him that both of you could spend time together. On purpose, make that phone call and talk about whatever he wants too. Go fishing with him even if it grosses you out! Take him out to lunch, play a game of checkers. Whatever it might be do something to place high value upon him with respect and admiration for being your dad. Love him through the grace of God no matter what has happened in life. Now is the time for restoration, not tomorrow. Start small. You don't have to do something big in your eyes, just take a step and watch what God will do! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Almost Finished

It's been a long time coming but I finally have the official title of the book! It is called, "Abba, A Daughter's Cry". I had been going back in forth between titles and none of them seemed to fit. The night before I had to give my editor the final title, I asked the Lord to give me a title. I felt like I needed to be still, listen and keep my mind from wandering and I knew the Lord would answer me. There is a verse in Romans 8 that talks about being children of God and since we are children of God we can call Him Abba, Father. That's when the title Abba, A Daughter's Cry came to my mind. I knew in a moment that was the perfect title for the book because as Daughters our hearts long and cry out for a father, and not just any father but a good father. We have a longing in our hearts to call out to God and call Him Abba.

This will be the front cover of the book. I absolutely love the colors and the font. I also love open fields. They remind me of freedom. I love how the wind blows the grass in the field because it looks as if it is dancing. The clouds in the distance represent storms in life but the brightness of the field brings joy and hope. Abba, a daughter's cry, is about the storms in a relationship between a father and a daughter. It is also about discovering God's heart as a Father which leads to restoration between a father and a daughter. The book isn't very lengthy because I wanted to keep it short. It is simply a guide to lead you closer to discovering God's heart for you and how to have a relationship with your dad.

I have not been told a release date yet, but I am hoping for sometime in July. They will be printing off a couple of copies and mailing them to me to look over and once I give the final 'OK' marketing will take off!

Romans 8:14-16 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." For his spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Looking for...Something?

Things have been so busy lately with finishing this season of my life. I am down to the final edit and am signing off for a completed, edited manuscript! Exciting times. The book will be moved onto production for book cover and layout designs. I am hoping for a release date around the end of May beginning of June!

I have been wondering what encouraging words I could say to you today. So how about something I am learning??? I have been looking for something. Not a material thing or object or person. It isn't anything  you would think about consciously throughout your day. I have been on the search for acceptance. It's funny how you search for it with out realizing you are searching until you have a moment and realize what is happening.

Key words: searching and realizing.

To be real with you, I have no idea what will happen with my book. I don't have any great people following it, I don't really have anyone "launching" me, and I don't know what to expect. I am searching for something. I am searching for acceptance for who I am and what I feel called to do with my life.Then I had this moment of realization. In the midst of tears free falling from my face I realize it doesn't matter because God is following my book. My Father, God, is sending me with a word from His heart to His daughters and He knows exactly where I will go and what I will do. The best part about this 'realization' is that I know God accepts me for who I am and I don't have to go looking for it.  I think this is what everyone is looking for and that is why people get hurt because they don't feel accepted. Every now and then I will feel that longing for acceptance and I stop in my tracks, and turn my attention towards the thoughts of my Father, God. If you stay in moments of longing for acceptance you will never be satisfied and will always end up hurt and in a pity party. What we are all looking for is acceptance from God and He accepts you.

 Think about what it is in life you want. What are you looking for beneath the smiles, handshakes, and conversations you have with people? Sometimes you will be misunderstood in life, sometimes people will let you down, sometimes people will promote you and encourage you but remember through it all, the good and the bad, at the end of the day all that matters is that you KNOW you are accepted by God and fully pleasing to Him and that you are loving Him with your life.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Editor's notes

I am so excited to have received my manuscript back from my editor! I love all the advice she gave me and will be diligently working this next couple of weeks on my edits! I thought I wouldn't like this part as much but today when I sat down to review, it was amazing. I love seeing and rereading what the Lord gave me. I am left in bewilderment and awe that God allowed me to write and has brought me this far! I just worked on the intro and first chapter this morning but while I was writing I stumbled upon this thought...

This book is about revealing God's heart as a father as well as restoring a relationship with a father. So as I was rewording and going into more depth on some things I wrote, I found John 14:3," When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am."(NLT). I was explaining how God is omnipresent and always with us but then I saw how much God longs for us to always be with Him. It was a thought that never really crossed my mind. I know God is always with me but He actually desires me to always be with Him. Take a moment and think about that.

My father is a policeman. He is a protector. Sometimes I view God as my protector as the reason He is always with me... and because He loves me and is God. I knew also that God longs for us to spend time with Him and be with Him but I never really thought about the reason God is preparing a House with rooms for us so we can be with Him wherever He is. And it isn't a control issue... you need to be by my side. No, it's a deep love that longs to be near a child.  This is proof that God longs for us to be close to Him and not just God being close to us. 

He really is a father who cares for His children, watches over them and wants the very best for them. 

Encouragement of the day: God longs for you to be with Him wherever He is. Think about how much God is in love with you. He is preparing a place for you so you can be with Him. Even though He is with you always, He wants you to be with Him.  You can never get enough of God's Love.