Friday Finds

FRIDAYWelcome! Thank you for visiting. Today begins – what I hope to be – a fun series I call Friday Finds. Often when I’m meeting with women, I get asked what I’ve been reading, seeing, and discovering. I hope to share some of those finds here. Please let me know what you think! Let’s get started.

My friend, Jenn Hand, is hosting an online conference next Friday night and Saturday morning. Jenn is author, speaker, and founder of Coming Alive Ministries. It was so fun having her visit Minnesota last fall to be a part of the Living Bravely Conference. The women loved her! Here’s Jenn’s invitation…

Friends, do you ever get a case of the winter blahs? Feel like your heart needs an awakening? I am so excited to announce that we are doing an online Bloom Conference. You can attend from anywhere – in your pj’s at home, at your favorite coffee shop, or with a group of your friends in the living room. If you cannot join us live, you can still register and watch the replay. The cost is only $10.00 for a four-session two-day event. I promise you will come alive. All ticket proceeds benefit Coming Alive Ministries.

I love that if you can’t join in live, the replay will be available to you whenever it works for you. I’ve registered. I hope you’ll join me. Click here to register.

Last week I wrote about my word for 2017…believe. You can read about it here. But beyond my words, the comments from dear women who shared their word and why they chose it are genuine and heart-felt. Definitely worth your time.

In that post I shared about my favorite journal that I’ve been using in my times with God for the past year. It’s from Life Lived Beautifully. Check out them out here. My favorite is the “Give Me Jesus” journal. It’s a 40-day or 90-day quiet time journal. This journal helps guide my time through the study of Scripture and prayer and allows space to journal my thoughts.

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We can choose our word or phrase for 2017, but this week Holley Gerth challenged us to think about the words we won’t be choosing. Holley writes, “‘Should’ in my life is a shamer and a trickster, a liar and taskmaster. I have decided that for this year I will not speak its name. Instead I will choose love. I will choose gratitude. I will choose contentment.” I encourage you to visit Holley’s blog here.

I’d love to hear about a word(s) you’re not choosing. Mine? Not enough. More about that later..

An invitation to believe {& a giveaway!}

Happy New Year…just a few days late. But it’s still January so I think I’m OK with the greeting.

I’ve never been good with entering the new year with a list of resolutions. One quick fail and I’m ready to call it quits. But a few years ago I read about choosing one word or phrase to focus the year on. Something about that resonated and I took the leap.

In Brave as a Girl Can Be I wrote about my phrase for 2015…Living Bravely…and then how God led me to stick with it one more year. I thought I knew what living bravely would or could look like. Boy was I wrong!

As I began planning for 2017 I also began asking God for direction and for that one word. Weeks went by and I still didn’t know. Continuing to pray I asked Him to show me where He wanted my focus to be. Added to that prayer was asking Him to help me pay attention. True confession: sometimes I can get distracted with my own stuff and I just didn’t want to miss it.

Well, He certainly made sure I didn’t miss it! Within days I received the following gifts.

First this one

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And then this one

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And let’s not forget this one

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Not only did He show me visually what my word should be, but He also used some dear friends to direct my focus. Again within days of each other I heard this: “Deb, I wish you could see and believe in yourself what I do.”

I receive this invitation to believe. To believe more in Him – to learn how to believe in me – to grow deeper to believe in us. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m excited in a tender kind of way to discover where BELIEVE will take me and us this year.

Do you have a word or phrase for 2017? I’d love to know what it is and why you chose it. Comment below and on Monday I’ll randomly choose a name to receive my favorite journal from Life Lived Beautifully.

Until next time…

Shades of Green and Starting Over

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Well. As my Grandma Rose would say, it’s been a “sweet forever” since I’ve written in this place. Yes, a sweet forever.

Lots of life. Lots of hard. Lots of enduring. Oftentimes grace and hope and life show up brightest in the dark…layers of dark mingled with glimmers of light. There is much to learn there. I’ll be sharing about those lessons in the weeks to come.

During a walk recently I noticed these beautiful pines. What struck me where the different shades of green. The shades gave those old pines character. They told a story. The darker greens representing strength and depth resulting in time tested character. The lighter shades displaying the hope of new life. Both are needed. Both are necessary. That’s true in those pines and it’s true in our lives. And we need both to begin starting over.

I’m glad to be starting over. As ministry was something I was asked to lay down during this time of hard, I wasn’t sure if it was for just a season or forever followed by a period. But God chose a sweet forever. He has been rebuilding my calling and ministry step by step. Fun stuff is happening.

This happened!

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And this happened!

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And this is happening on October 22nd!

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I would love for you to be a part of the Living Bravely Conference. It wouldn’t be the same without you! Some dear friends are joining me to share their stories and gifts. You will love them. I promise! Click here to learn more.

It’s good to be back. I’d love to hear your sweet forever story.

Today you are 16…a letter to my daughter

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Dear Amanda,

Today you are 16. Wow! Happy, happy birthday, dear girl.

Since I was eight years old, all I’ve ever wanted to be was a mom. But you know that story. You know how long we waited. You know how excited we were to be chosen to be your parents. You know our grief when we had to give you back. You know our joy when you came back to us. Sometimes I think what is joy to us is great sadness for you.

I’m not your first mom. I’m your second. I’m not sure how happy you are about that these days. I’m sometimes asked if it’s hard not being your only mom. But with you and for you, I’ll be second any day. And today you have two moms thinking about you, praying for you, wanting God’s very best for you.

It’s been a bumpy year for us. A painful bumpy. This mother daughter thing doesn’t come easy for us. To be honest, some days I didn’t know if we would make it to 16. But you’re here and I’m here and we did. We made it. That’s something to celebrate!

You are stunningly beautiful.

You are smart.

You love people.

You are a good friend.

You are creative.

You are loved by many.

God has amazing plans for your life, and I get a front row seat.

I love you, Amanda Brown – when it’s easy and when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Love,

Mom