When Your Real Life Bestie Writes Her First Blog Post (Birthday Blessings)

It was ONE year ago that I sat with my dear friend on her Living Room couch, sharing a cup of tea while she explored creating her own blog.You know I shared that in one of my Miscellany Monday posts. Today I have the honor of sharing her first blog post, right here and am bursting like a silly, crazy proud mama because I know her heart, her struggles and her faithful friendship. She prays for my writing and this blog, friends. She has stood by me through adversity and is a faithful friend. When I think of her friendship, this is the verse that comes to my mind:

A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
 Proverbs 17:17.

My sweet friend brought me a  coffee and Rice Crispie Treat from Starbucks and sat with me during my weekend Yard Sale. This is how I look when I roll out of bed and have a Yard Sale. But she looks fabulous, right? 

Saturday, I celebrated my 49th year of living. Forty – Nine years of walking on this planet. I purposed to count my blessings and the way He loves me from Sunup to Sundown. But you know, somehow it didn’t all happen the way I thought. Yet it was still Good. From morning to evening I counted it all joy, confessing along the way, when I started to grumble or complain…sorry- it really is my default. But He gives more grace and gives me faithful friends and family. I realize I am both needy and grateful because He does provide, not always the way I expect or even want, at times. But He knows me better than I know myself. He loves me, gives me good things, and some things I reckon not so good BUT I can still thank Him, IN and through ALL. 

 I realized this weekend, that it is the presence of those I love I long for so much more than anything they give. And realize that this is the will of God, to know His desire. His presence. He so longs for us to dwell in His presence. Aware. Not the gifts we bring, the sacrifices of toil. But our sitting, walking, moving all the day knowing He is with us. Yes, as close as our very breath. In all of the joy, pain, sorrow, struggle and blessing. He, sitting with us, in our husbands, sons, daughters, mothers,fathers, friends. It’s miraculous but He is with us.

#471. This post birthday present: seeing my BFF brave sharing her heart and words here in the blogosphere.

The rest of my multitudes will be shared in later post. Meanwhile would you click on over and send some encouragement Lauree’s way. I know you will be blessed by her brave sharing. 

Read her very first published post called “Waiting to be First” over at Tea Dreams and Sleepless Nights– I promise, you will be blessed!

Linking with Ann for Multitudes on Monday and Carissa for Miscellany Monday.

Linking Thursday for the Cozy Reading Book Hop w/Marissa and Imperfect Prose w/Emily:

The Road Ahead (Soli Deo Gloria)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Isaiah 43:18
You know when God is trying to tell you something…
Friends, He always wants to tell us…something.
Let us listen well. 
You say, “Ask”.
I am asking, Lord. 
You say, “Seek”.
I’m seeking, Lord. 
You say, “Knock”.
I’m knocking, Lord.
I listen and try to figure it out.
But then it seems unclear.
Yet, I know He is a faithful teacher,
a solid guide.
One who longs to hear.
So I start trying to hear Him better.
Until it is clear.
I look right and left
until the right path appears.
I read His Word.
I pray.
I look for those little gifts that speak multitudes…
like dew on a flower,
a brambly path.
A bird singing in the morning
or splashing in the bath.
I listen.
And seek.
And wonder if He heard.
I ask myself,
does he really care for
each and every bird?
Then a breeze gusts through my hair
and I suspect that it’s absurd.
What’s absurd you ask?
I’ll tell you this today,
For you or I to tsk, tsk
and fret,
act with dismay.
For He hears, and cares
and speaks- 
masterfully weaves His plan,
and He holds the smallest feather
and frets not at our demands.
He longs to teach us in each moment
if we will at last,
listen to His whisper
and not dwell upon the past.
Focus on the road ahead, 
He has much more for you
both here and hereafter
With you He is not through.
Nor is my Lord, finished with me,
I’ll take my chances on His grace
and all sufficiency,
and the hope of His embrace.
Let’s fix our gaze on the horizon
He will meet us there
set our eyes toward the sun,
turn away from our fear.
Look toward the East
For His Feast, let’s prepare.
We will be together
always in His perfect care.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, 
dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8
Soli Deo Gloria.
(For my SDG Sisters and Sisters in Christ everywhere, we are united in Him)


Peace In The Midst of Life’s Trials with Natasha Maciel

Today I am thrilled to share with you a message from my dear friend, and Moms In Prayer partner Natasha Maciel. Natasha is a gifted speaker and has a heart after God as well as a burden to bring the encouragement, comfort and transforming power of Christ to women through her life, testimony and ministry.
We have to choose in this life whether we will follow the wisdom of the world or the One who is Wisdom and Peace, who promises to never leave nor forsake us.

God never promises perfect circumstances.
He promises something better.
Really that’s what we need. 
Paul Mcartney sings a worldly anthem “if this ever changing world in which we live inmakes you give in and cry “…

As Paul McCartney sings, in this ever-changing world in which we live in, the message is live and let die; but In Christ, the message is we live now, and forever. Gloriously with Him. 
He is our peace. Amen?

I pray this message is a blessing to you. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Ephesians 2:14-18

Linking with Bonnie and Emily.
Also joining in Friendship Friday at Create with Joy!

Dig Deeper (The Surprising Joy of Sisterhood in Christ)

I am on my way to correct the form of one of my students in Boot Camp. I start to speak words of instruction, correction and before I can finish I see her eyes averting my eyes, distancing me. I feel her feeling me, too close. In her space. She speaks, and I see her fighting to maintain composure. “My arms hurt and I don’t want to talk about it.” She is fighting hard to maintain the pace and we are on the last round. Surrounded by college students, I sense her slipping. This sweet mother of five is at her breaking point and feeling defeated. I give her space and come back with words of encouragement. There comes a point where the correction is irrelevant. She must get through this…I remind her she has made it through childbirth five times and that this class is hard but I bank on knowing she has the strength and endurance to get through it.
Sometimes it is about just hanging on for dear life.
The getting through it when it is so hard that you want to cry.
Or quit.
Sometimes a workout OR life can feel like one hard Boot Camp 
and we feel like the new recruit who just did not realize what he signed up for
 when he joined the ranks.
The demands are too hard.
Our strength feels too small.
We feel the pain of weakness and want it to stop.
But in the digging deep, we find there is more than we realized that resides within us.
There is a possibility and potential we have yet to tap!
Have you ever felt defeated? 
Lean in and listen.
Dig deeper. 
Deeper still.
You have more within you than you know now. 
Do the thing that is hard and see.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Although I met Sam (my “student”) in a class I teach at a local gym, in an epic turn of events she has come right alongside me (usually at Starbucks, over coffee on Sunday afternoon) in my Home Schooling adventure, giving me advice, cheering me on and lending me books. She has Home Schooled all of her children and is currently expecting Baby number six! I am so thankful for our new friendship.

I am also grateful for the way Jesus comes right alongside us wherever our own Emmaus Road leads. Yet, there we are, surprised when at last He breaks the bread, reveals Himself, disappears and leaves us full of joy-as we enjoy the precious promise of His presence unseen. We are left holding bread looking at one another.

Just as is His will.  

How this Shepherd leads me to Sisterhood when and where I least expect it, reveals His perfection, love and gentle humor. Be awake to His surprises, daily – He will introduce you to new sisters to encourage and be encouraged by as you do. 

Linking with Imperfect Prose, Intentionally Me, Faith Barista, Create With Joy.
Christian Mommy Blogger, Missional Women, Mommy Only Has Two Hands.

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With God In Left Field {Guest Post & The Inspiring Women Series Returns}

Photo Credit
I am very honored and excited to introduce my Bloggy Best Friend Forever (BBFF for short) Pam Manners today for a very special Guest Post which kicks off the return of The Inspiring Women Series here at Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith. Somewhere between our common love of Jesus, blogs, e-mails, prayers and Facebook, our lives became intertwined. For that I am grateful!
 Pam blogs at In The Shadow of His Wings
Take it away, Pam!


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Sometimes, God seeks to get my attention with gentle, whispered invitations in my ear. Speaking to me with His still, small Voice.

In My Father’s Lap, by Carol Schuchman
But sometimes, because I often suffer from spiritual attention deficit disorder, God has to use different methods.

Sometimes, God has to send along a loud brass band. 

Brass Band Revelry, by Alan Flattmann

Or worse, drop a ton of bricks on top of me.  Ouch!

And sometimes, He has to move me all the way out into left field, where it’s quiet. Boring. Solitary.  A wilderness spot, if you will.

I can barely see, if at all, the other players and vice-versa. No fly balls coming my way. Not even a butterfly to distract me.

Just me.  And God.  Face to face, and eye to eye. 

Because sometimes, that’s exactly where I need to be. Out in left field. Far from the maddening crowd.  Free from distractions. A place of solitude and quiet. 

In fact, that’s exactly where I find myself these days. Out in left field. 

Just me.  And God.  Face to face.  Eye to eye.  Oh, yes.  You’ve got my full attention, Father.

Where does God have YOU today? And what is He using to get your attention:

·         A whisper?
·         A brass band?
·         A ton of bricks?

Or do you find yourself somewhere out in left field?  Just you.  And God. 

Face to face.  Eye to eye.

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