No Matter What

Wow! I cannot believe that 2016 is almost behind us.

2016 has brought some very high moments and very low moments for me. 2016 has also brought lots of learning curves. Through all the learning curves, God has shown even more faithful than before.

The passage that I have held so dearly this year is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

With every stanza is a story of something I have walked through this year. As I prayed and reflected on this year, I read on in Ecclesiastes 3,

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” (verses 9-14)

At that moment, it hit me. When I look at 2016:
I see hurt, but God sees His plan.a
I see pain, but God sees rejoicing.
I see defeat, but God sees victory.
I see broken, but God sees mended.

A dear friend and mentor of mine told me recently to say “no matter what” I will still trust God. That has echoed in my head over and over again.

No matter the outcome, I will trust.
No matter the pain, I will trust.
No matter the scar, I will trust.
No matter what happens, I will trust.

And let me tell you…easier to type than live. It has been a daily minute by minute battle for myself to completely trust God no matter what. Some moments I do better than others, and that’s ok. God is always there to remind me that there is a time to learn. I want to learn with no one other than Jesus.

As 2016 closes and 2017 begins, live with the “no matter what” mindset.

No matter what 2017 brings, I will trust God.
No matter what 2107 brings, I will walk in truth.
No matter what 2017 brings, I will worship.
No matter what 2017 brings, I will be a witness.

Join me, with them No Matter What mindset.

Here’s to 2017!

XOXO,
Marcy

My House Will Not Look Like Pinterest- And Why I’m Ok With It

It’s that time of year again…everyone is talking about Christmas decorations, gifts, and the busyness begins. This is also the time of year most women take to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Internet to find inspiration for their personal trees and house. I am seeing trees being decorated and people “pinning” their favorite ideas. I cannot help but think, “Why can’t my house look all beautiful decked out for Christmas?” “Why can’t my tree look like the one on Pinterest?” The answer? I have an almost 2 year old.

I was so excited to put up my tree and decorations this year. This year my daughter is almost 2 and she will be able to enjoy everything! Lately while driving around she says “Momma, WOW!” to all the lights and decorations. This only fueled my excitement to make my house perfect! I had a Pinterst picture in my head and I could not wait to make it come to life. I got out my tree, began to put my tulle down the sides, then the ornaments filled the tree, and finally my topper! I was so excited to step back and see my Pinterest picture come to life. You can imagine my surprise when I stepped back and the bottom layer of my tree had been stripped of ornaments and the tulle was next. My adorable 20 month old was there to help.

This is her first Christmas where she is mobile. She was not crawling last Christmas and this year she is crawling everywhere and getting ready to walk! I wanted to be mad because my perfect Christmas tree was ruined…but then I caught myself. Is Christmas about how perfect my tree looks? Is Christmas about having my house Pinterest worthy? No! Christmas is about celebrating the ONE who makes Christmas possible. Christmas is about traditions. Christmas is the most wonderful time of year…enjoy it!

In true reality, any given day you might stop by my house there will be toys everywhere, possibly and empty sippy cup, dishes in the sink (or on the counter drying), and a happy 20 month old. My family is at a stage in life where it is not possible to have the straight, clean, perfect home all the time. And I have learned it’s OK!

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To the mom who wants the picture perfect home, look around YOU HAVE IT. You have the sound of laughter, TV, toys, dog barking and sink running…that my friend is the definition of a picture perfect home. I once saw a sign “Please excuse our mess, we are making memories” Mommies, enjoy this stage! You might not have the house from Pinterst, but remember this season is a time of loving on your children, allowing them to learn and grow (like my daughter learning how to take the ornaments off the tree…maybe the growing of putting them back will come soon 😉 ), a time to create family traditions, a time to truly teach your children the truth. Enjoy this season! There will be a day where we can have the pretty tree and perfect house, but don’t rush there just yet. It’s ok for people to see the toys scattered, TV on, dishes piled, because they know you’re making memories.

Enjoy this Christmas season. Remember for you children this is a magical time of year…make it that way. Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Enjoy your Christmas season!

Merry Christmas,
Marcy

survive or THRIVE

If you listen to Christian radio, you are familiar with the song “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. This song has penetrated Christian Music since it released in January. I expected nothing less from Casting Crowns. I have been a Casting Crowns “fan” since their first CD. The reason I am a “fan” is because they write REAL lyrics. They write music that is in your face. I have been constantly challenged by Casting Crowns music. Which is the reason I knew “Thrive” would be the same.

This song has hit me right in the face… why?

There is a line in the song that says,
It’s time for us to more than just survive; We were made to thrive

Wow.

God created me to thrive, so why am I just surviving?
Are you surviving or THRIVING?

Have you ever said,
If I can just make it through this I will be fine.
If I can just get through this week life will be better
If I can just make it through this meeting life will be good.
If I can just get through this event life will be back to “normal”

I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have said something similar to those statements.
The mindset of just getting through is surviving not THRIVING. I want to THRIVE not survive. To help me THRIVE and not survive I asked myself these questions. What area(s) in my life am I just surviving? What can I do to THRIVE? How do I THRIVE? What does THRIVING look like?

When I began my quest, I looked straight to the Bible. I came to the book of James. It did not take long for me to see an example of THRVING. James 1:1 “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” James knew who he was. Do you know who you are down to your core? As I kept searching I found honestly, to truly THRIVE check your priorities. For me I am a child of the KING, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a worship leader, a mentor, and the list goes on. Where are my priorities? Where am I spending most of my time?

You might be thinking, well I do good to just survive because I work full time, volunteer in ministries, have a spouse and family…I do good just to get through the day. And I completely understand that, but are you truly grounded in the Word? What can you cut out to truly THRIVE? Allowing yourself to be stretched thin can be harmful to you, your family, your ministry, and every aspect of life. What needs to go so you can THRIVE in every aspect of life?

Today, I challenge you to really think about what you need to do in your life to THRIVE. Pray about it, I PROMISE God will reveal how to THRIVE.

Just to know you and to make you known
We life your name on high
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
XOXO,
Marcy

While you’re at it…listen to the song 🙂

This SUMMER

When school let out in May, these were my thoughts: “I will finally have time to deep clean my house, redo my kitchen table, cook, REST, brainstorm for next school year, paint and re-organize my music classroom, re vamp my music class”…and the list goes ON! Little did I know NOTHING on that list would be accomplished this summer. Little did I know how much I would grow during this summer.

This summer has been a challenging summer. From my husband being gone for a month, dad having a second surgery in less than 2 months, to weekend trip with the hubby & daughter for a family reunion. I have had NO time for my todo list.

This has been another instance of God showing up and showing me how His plan is far better than my own. The plans I made were all material…His plans for me were so much better. I had a plan to redo a table…He(God) had plans to redo me. God used this summer’s events to truly mold my heart in preparation for what He has to come. Do I know what is to come? No. But I do know I have a great God who will never leave nor forsake me.

Does your todo list reflect God’s list?
Mine at the beginning of the summer didn’t…I had to learn to lay mine down.

What do you need to lay down today so God can prepare you for what is to come? What do you remove from your todo list?

Can’t figure out what to take off? Allow me to help…what have you been trying to accomplish and it is just not falling into place?

Example: This entire summer I have tried so hard to redo my kitchen table. I have talked to my husband about buying 100 cans of spray paint (we have a large table with 6 chairs), fabric and all other tools needed to redo the cushions and we have yet to have a full conversation about it. I tried to buy spray paint and Walmart didn’t have my color. No matter how hard I tried to redo my table, something got in the way.

What needs to be laid down in your life? What are you pursuing that needs to be laid down?

I leave you with this: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8‬ NLT)

Xoxo,

Marcy

What is First?

This morning, for some reason I cannot comprehend, I was wide awake at 4 am! I am NOT. A morning person. Right now is summer break for me and I have truly enjoyed my days to sleep in, so 4 am was not in my agenda. Actually, I had set my alarm for 7:30 last night and honestly that made me a little sick to my stomach.

So when 4 am came along, I was tossing and turning, I did what any good Christian would do…er…ummmm what most of my generation would do in this time…I grab my iPhone and begin check emails, social media and catching up on some blog posts I had wanted to read.

Finally after getting up to date with the cyber world, I stumble into the kitchen to make myself a nice cup of coffee…after all gotta get the caffeine going…I have an almost 15 month old daughter who will wake up in about 3 hours and I need energy!

Finally, sipping hazelnut coffee and a flood of thoughts goes through my mind…
“pray for ______, ______, _____”
oh and “_______” and
” ______ needs a text” and
” ______ needs a card”
and…
“Must take care of ______, ______ and ______ today.”
and …”Today’s schedule!
do the laundry…
Feed the dog we are house sitting for…
Be at the Doctors by 10:15 (check up for the daughter)
Feed all other animals we are taking care of…
MUST. PLAN. NEXT. SCHOOL YEAR!”
It keeps going….

The coffee is only helping to speed the formation of these thoughts…

But in the back of my mind and heart is the quiet thought:
time with Jesus.

Not as a to-do.

Not as an escape.

Just a reminder to of my priorities.

I’m reminded of Mary breaking the alabaster box. With a year’s worth of perfume in it.
Spilling out on Jesus.

Am I giving my best to Jesus?
Am I allowing Him to be number one?
Am I allowing my list to get in the way?
Am I allowing poor things to get in the way?

Jesus said: the poor, you’ll always have. I’m not always going to be here. In this moment. In this way. She chose the right thing. The value placed on the valuable.

My list? It’s the poor stuff. There are legitimate needs in it and legitimate things that need to get done. I can justify it. There are PRAYER requests. But the list? It’s needy. It’s always gonna be there. It’s a list of the world.

Jesus? He gets the stuff of value. First. Not what’s left over. He gets first pick.

Did I do that this morning? Sadly, no. Does that mean God doesn’t love me? No. He helps me remember to put Him first. He guides me gently and loves me relentlessly. He cares!

As I was browsing Social Media this morning I came across a quote on Pinterest. “You always have time for the things you put first.”

What did you put first today?

XOXO,

Marcy

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The “C” Word

No one knows what to say when a doctor utters the unthinkable “C” word. Your mind just stops, sits there and is in complete shock.

As humans when we hear “cancer” we forget who is in control. We forget that God has a plan. We forget that it is in His hands. But…how else do you function when you hear that you or someone you love has cancer? How do you let God comfort you? God allowed this to happen to you…why is it part of His plan for this person to have cancer?

Cancer has been all around me lately and I can’t help up think, WHY GOD? I want to be very open and honest in what I am going to say next. I believe God has a plan…but I can’t see it right now.

Why did a 7 year old have to battle cancer, chemo and radiation? Why does a daddy, husband, farmer, and man of God have to go back and forth to Dallas for treatment? WHY GOD? Why does MY daddy have to get cancer? What have they done in their lives to get cancer? All 3 of these people love God with all their hearts and follow Him DAILY…so why must they have cancer?

God, I know you have a plan…but why can’t we see it? I know you are in control, but why does this have to happen?

I believe God allows us to walk through storms in life so we can rejoice in Him later. He doesn’t ever show us His plan…because our human brains cannot comprehend it. When we feel like He has abandoned us…he is actually right next to us. When we feel like the world is crashing down around us…He is there to rescue us.

Like He PROMISES us in His Word:

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will gather you and your children from east and west.”
Isaiah 43:2-4a, 5 (NLT)

God knows what He is doing. He has a plan. We may not always understand what is going on, but God does. There is a saying that I LOVE:
If God brings you TO it; HE will bring you THROUGH it!

Cancer is tough, but we serve an even TOUGHER God. Cancer is big, but we serve a BIGGER God. Cancer is scary, but serve a COMFORTING God.

Today I CHOOSE to put my trust in a tough, big, comforting God. It is/will be a day by day battle to choose to trust God in the midst of the storm, but God the Bible says, “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them {your circumstance}, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6 NIV) Quote that verse to yourself when you need a reminder 🙂

XOXO,

Marcy

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Roller Coaster 2014

Well…2014 is here whether we were ready or not.

In my life, I was ready for 2014. There is always an excitement in the air when a New Year comes around. Everyone seems excited and motivated to conquer their New Year’s Goals and every one excited about a “new start”.

For my family 2013 was one roller coaster year…let’s take a quick look at the “big” moments of 2013. We welcomed Abigail Hope, ended my first year teaching, Luis had 3 job changes, moved to a different town, I started 2 new jobs, and we celebrated our 1 Year Marriage Anniversary (Wahoo!!). Whew! It just makes me tired thinking back on all that has happened in a year.

So ending 2013, I was able to get off that roller coaster and get on the new one called “2014”.

Throughout 2013 I had to learn to trust the seat belt of the ride.

I don’t know about you, but when I get on a roller coaster and all they strap on me is a small seat belt across my lap, I begin to worry and pray that will hold me in during the ride.

The same concept applies to my life in 2013…I had to trust the seat belt. I had to trust that it would not break, it would not allow to me fall off and it would protect me during my “ride” in 2013. That seat belt never failed me, even though some days it would feel like that seat belt was holing on by a thread or some days it felt as though it wasn’t there…but it was.

The “seat belt” holding me together in 2013, was the Word of God.

When you, like me this past year, are faced with situations in life where it seems completely hopeless, that “seat belt” is there to hold you tight. Sometimes when you are on that roller coaster you feel like you will fall out of that seat belt, but you never do.

God has been with my family and I every step of the way. We have had our shares of ups, downs, and loops this past year, but God has guided every step.

In 2014, my prayer is that I won’t have to even think twice about that seat belt holding me. I pray that I will just know that this year God has got me covered.

My prayer is that God will use the ups, downs and loops of last year to help others around us and He will hold us in the ride of roller coaster 2014!

Happy New Year!

XOXO,

Marcy

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