Jump

So here I am wondering what is next…

Inside I literally jump

with what?

excitement?

something.

Like there is something BIG coming

What is it exactly?

Is is just meeting new people this past year and finding them to be like family?

Is it seeing old friends and finding that it’s like no time has past? But instead find that we relate even more?

Is it the ways that I’ve seen God at work in the lives of many family members – encouraging us, changing us, growing us closer together?

Is it the new opportunities – dreams for here and dreams for far away that are so incredible I wonder at God’s audacity?

Is it the past – the things that have happened, the people we were with and we aren’t now –

excited for them and all that is in store, sad and yet hopeful for what God has in mind for their life?

Yes, it’s all of these things I guess.

And I think it’s not fear but a big hopeful excitement and faith that comes from my Brother.

A knowing that He has something in mind and it’s good.

He has a plan and it’s something worth jumping into.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Breaking the silence here with this great word prompt from Five Minute Friday

5-minute-friday-1


Rest

Rest.

To cease working

To cease thinking so much

The mind rebels at this idea

Why?

I must be responsible?

What must I prove?

He says come all you weary

Come all you who are heavy laden

I will give you REST.

In him this is what we have.

Always.

No demands to produce

No asking me to do more, be more.

In Him…just rest.

Oh the struggle though.

I don’t see the rest or understand.

I try hard and fight against.

What will come?

How?

When?

The worry and the straining.

Yet he still is there calmly offering

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5-minute-friday-1

Linking up again with other writers and Lisa-Jo Baker to write for 5 minutes using this word prompt – no editing, no backtracking. 

 


(in)This Season Session 2 – Welcome!

Hi Friends!

If you are hopping over from {in}courage for the first time, “Welcome!” I hope you will feel at home right away!

If those who regularly read here are wondering what’s going on…

Session 2 of  (in)courage Community Groups are starting today. These groups are a place where can connect with other women on a HUGE variety of topics ranging from new moms to empty nesters to women who write to women struggling with infertility to those with kids with special needs AND so much more. These groups are private, sacred spaces for you to be YOU in the season of life that you find yourself in.

I will again be co-leading one of these communities! So here’s the deal…

The topic ::
A place to (in)courage those women IN ministry/missions/etc who are struggling in some aspect without a safe outlet to let their guard down and/or those coming OFF the field of missions/ministry/etc who are struggling in ANY aspect and would like to connect with those who understand.

For those of you interested in being a part of a group like that….you are in the right place.

Lindsey {that’s my co-leader} and I have a heart to reach out to those whose lives are/have been all about reaching out to others and along the way brokenness has become like a second skin due to major change, redirection, crisis of faith, discouragement, physical/mental illness, burnout, loss of support (financially or otherwise), or just have found themselves in a surprising period in ministry or from leaving a ministry…

(In) This Season was born from that heartbeat. “Where do we go from here?” in THIS season most unexpected…

Want to get to know us a little better and WHY this topic resonates with us….here’s a little more about who we are….

Libby Rosengren – “I have been married to my best friend for 17 years and mom to 4 kids.  I am involved in homeschooling our kids, helping my husband with his business, keeping our home, blogging, reading, etc. Our family was in ministry in Peru, South America as missionaries for 8 years. That was 3 years ago, and I feel like I have left a part of my heart in Peru. We know that God still has something in mind for us there, but we are not sure what or how that will look. For now we are in the U.S. and at peace with where God has us.
Having faced burnout, depression, loss of support (both financially and otherwise), discouragement in ministry and major changes both IN ministry – and then – changes that caused us to move out of being directly involved in ministry, I have a real soft spot for those who struggle or have struggled with these issues in relation to ministry.”

Besides blogging here you can find me on Twitter: libbyrosengren

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lindsey van Niekerk – “I grew up in Haiti for the first 16 years of my life {my parents are still there, by the way – for almost 40 years – Yeah, I know…they deserve a medal, right?} Then, I went to college, got my bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as in interpersonal &organizational communications {Shew! That’s a mouthful!}

I spent the next 10 years after that working as missions director, children’s pastor, youth pastor, & associate pastor.

I married the love of my life and my best friend {I know, I know…but it’s a cliche for a reason} 7 years ago, and we have lived on the East Coast of the U.S. as well as the great province of Gauteng in South Africa {he’s from there, by the way}. Chronic pain, infertility issues, interpersonal conflicts, impending depression & panic attacks, confounded by the stress of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that my parents were involved in{they are doing well now, by the way} brought us to the point of an indefinite time-out/sabbatical during this season of life and finding out what the next steps of God’s plans are for us.”

Lindsey’s Blog: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up

Twitter: lindseyfoj

Facebook: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up

So if (In) This Season sounds like the place for you, a safe space to interact with peers who understand your story, opportunities to share as little or as much as you want in a private setting, encouragement to write and blog together, and listening ears who will “just be there” without judgement or trying to fix you, then please email us at beautyoutofdust@gmail.com, and we will invite you to the closed/private Facebook group and provide more details of how you can get involved.

If you are a one of my regular readers (and are a women🙂 ) and would like to check out all of the communities available, hop over to (in)courage to see what group speaks to you. This first session will run from February 12th to April 26th so the commitment is short term and you can be involved as little or as much as you would like.

Whatever you decide to do, we just want you to know how AMAZING you are and that God has just the thing FOR you, WHEN you need it! May His grace breathe life into your soul, giving you space to breathe and know that you are unequivocally, irrevocably His.
 


Forgiveness ~ some thoughts

 

This week a blogger friend and author Tracie Stier-Johnson has released her book 31 Days of Forgiveness {through the eyes of grace}!! I am so excited for her and I am jumping in here at the end of the week to join many others in blogging about this book of hers.

 

 

Forgiveness is something I am wrestling with…again. I used to feel so raw about the subject that I couldn’t really handle listening to most Christians talk about it. But right now I’ve actually come to a place where I’m ok with listening to various takes on the subject. I think people are very brave to tackle this subject in a book, article, blog post, or even just a conversation with someone!

 

And yet, I don’t feel brave for writing this blog post! Far from it! I am scared to death and have put this off for weeks!!(Sorry for all the exclamation marks but it’s the best I can do at conveying just how freaked out I am!)

 

 

Forgiveness is messy. That’s what I’ve come to see.

 

You know that saying “Forgive and Forget”?

 

Yeah, not so easy.

 

We do not totally forget and the moment you say “I forgive you” it doesn’t mean the forgiving stops.

 

So then HOW do we forgive?

 

Yeah, that’s where it gets real messy for me and where I am wrestling.

 

 

I have no plans here to lay it out and give you the answer. I do however, want to share some thoughts as I begin reading 31 Days of Forgiveness.

 

In her book Tracie shares this verse from Luke 22:44

 

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

 

This verse stopped me in my tracks, especially when it comes to the subject of forgiveness.

 

It makes me think of just how much anguish Jesus went through before he went to the cross for us so that we might be forgiven.

 

I’m comforted to know that I am not crazy for struggling so much to forgive others. Even Jesus, who was the perfect God/Man was in so much anguish over it that he sweat drops of blood! I never understood how that could be, before I went through something where I was acutely hurt, but now I have an inkling. Nothing like what He went through of course, but it’s painful.

 

Jesus, being God, understood the WHY of what was to happen to him – he wanted to forgive and be a part of that (otherwise he would have not come to earth!) – and that was part of the struggle maybe? I don’t begin to understand all of what He must have been thinking especially being an All-Knowing God! But I do know as a human, struggling to forgive someone who has wronged me…There is a great struggle within me of wanting to be gracious and merciful. Wanting to not wish bad to happen to someone or the same pain and hardship on them…because I know what pain I am going through having been hurt! And am so incredibly thankful and relieved that God is merciful and gracious to me when I don’t deserve it.

 

AND at the same time I am struggling with the sinful nature that I still have to deal with here on earth. When hurt, I want the other party to know and understand the pain I feel. To pay for what they’ve done. And I want them to know just how disappointed, angry and upset I am. I want them to realize clearly the reality I live in now thanks to their choice to hurt me. It’s quite a wrestling match inside of me!

 

If Jesus experienced intense anguish and pain as he faced the cross and was/is perfect, without sin? It encourages me to know that

 

a) He undestands me and my struggles and

 

b) it’s not strange that there would be this wrestling going on within me over the hurt, emotions, and the struggle between my sin nature and me the New Creation (the REAL me).

 

It doesn’t excuse what was done. Nor does it excuse me from forgiving.

 

In fact, it shows me more and more just how amazing God’s love is for us. That He would send Jesus and that Jesus would take all our sin on himself and die for us. What love!

 

 ~~~~~

 

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter 4:8 {NLT}

 

God’s love isn’t cautious and has no restrictions. He doesn’t love us to get something from us. God has loved us before we were ever born . . . extravagantly.” ~ Tracie Stier-Johnson

 

~~~~~

If you go over to Tracie’s site : Tracie Stier-Johnson {believing in better} you can check out the giveaway she has going on and other important information about her book.


(in)RL 2013 Registration

Today I am excited to share that registration is open for the online (in)RL conference happening in April!! It’s online and it’s free so wherever you are in the world you can join in! Last year I did this and it was so encouraging and fun to join about 2,000 other women around the globe to tune in online to talk about community.  I also went to a local meet up with other women who had registered. Some I had only ever read things they had written online through (in)courage. It was so fun and truly encouraging to meet them in real life.

They are doing it again this year and registration is FREE! Here are all the details. Join me! 

irlbanner

What is it? 

(in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments at (in)courage craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.

Last year we explored the nitty gritty of community. This year we’re taking a closer look at what it takes to stay rooted in community when sometimes just walking away would be so much easier and tons more convenient. Women share stories of how they’ve chosen to stay through hard marriages, challenging parenting, worthwhile friendships. How choosing to stay has freed them more fully and unexpectedly than if they’d cut and run.

When:

The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 26 and (in)RL meetups follow on Saturday, April 27

Registration opens Monday January 14th at www.inrl.us

It’s FREE!

Everyone who registers  today gets a copy of the (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last (US residents only).
Everyone gets a copy of our first eBook: “Best of the Beach House 2012.”

Check out the everyone’s invited trailer:

Think of it as a FREE girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared.

 

 


DIVE

Five Minute Friday is back and I am joining in this week.

Writing for 5 minutes without deleting or backtracking.

Click on this link if you want to find out more and join me. And a big HELLO!! to my Five Minute Friday friends!

5-minute-friday-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annnnd GO!

Dive 

Perfect word to start things up here this year.

It’s time. Time to go deeper into the things I am learning.

Time to dive into some new things.

Time to dive back into things like homeschooling my kids, writing and life in general.

I stand on the edge so much. Watching, waiting, hesitating.

Fear. That’s what it is.

What am I so afraid of?!

It’s hard to think that things could be different even though I know they can be.

To just dive in and go for it?

That seems so scary and yet I know I won’t be sorry.

Where will it take me? Who knows really.

What will happen? It really is ok NOT to know.

It’s ok to not be sure. To be afraid too.

Sometimes I only see what’s right here today and no farther.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Matthew 6:27


He gives gifts – always

 

We get up

We go through the routine of getting ready to send my window cleaning husband out for the day

Rags are folded and by the door

Invoices ready

Lunch packed

Uniform on

While this routine is now familiar, it still feels strange.

So different from what we once did

What we thought we’d do for life

 

Here we are now in this season

We have peace that for now this is where we stay

This is where we work, live and play

And there are days when we really don’t want to do this

 

What has come of it?

Incredible blessings – without a doubt.

Along with the uncomfortable, the sometimes painful, the weird…

There is joy

 

Our Father, He gives gifts – always

I don’t always see them, yet they are there

 

And so I count:

#1087 – Family who is there for us

#1088 – Kids growing and learning lessons not learned any other way

#1089 – Peace and freedom found in following God’s voice

#1090 – Cardinals singing to each other in the back yard

#1091 – Pink streaks in the sky as the sun comes up

#1092 – Food to eat

#1093 – Plateful of cherry tomatoes, green and red

#1094 – 4 kids sleeping in their beds

#1095 – Meeting new people

“…and it’s counting the ways He loves, this is what multiplies joy.

The life that counts blessings discovers its yielding more than it seems.” ~Ann Voskamp