I Will Carry You

Lastest update (Mon. 7-3-17) Alyson arrived home Friday night about 10. She texted me Friday then called me Saturday afternoon as she was exhausted. She said Cuba was nothing like she expected. She said she never saw any law enforcement people. They stayed at a Baptist Retreat Center and there's a big Cuba Baptist Convention building over there as well. She loved the whole experience there. She will probably write about it on her blog this coming Thursday. Yes, she felt your prayers and had much peace, so did I. Thank you!

I thought you might like an update on my daughter, Alyson. She is scheduled to return from Cuba late Friday night. We have not been able to communicate since she left last Monday morning due to Cuba not having towers for cell phones or laptops where she is! Before she left she set her blog to post today (Thursday) like always. Since it was written before she left I want to share it with you and thank you for your prayers! I did feel peace all week. Here's her 
blog with her anticipation of the trip and how the Lord spoke to her!

I Will Carry You

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I am honored and excited to be an influencer this week for Holley Gerth’s new book! First of all – how cool is that? But my pastor often says we are all leaders and influencers of someone. That is so true. So don’t be all impressed with my new title! Ha.
Ok, let me fill you in on the book particulars. It’s called Coffee For Your Heart and it’s actually an updated re-release of the formerly published God’s Heart For You. It was sent to me for free, but all opinions in this post are totally my own.
I am writing this post for you before the mission trip I told you about. Thanks to prescheduling-technology you will read this on our usual Thursday (June 29th) – even though I will be off the grid. I’ll travel home tomorrow, so please say a quick prayer for us.
I meant right now.
Now, on to my thoughts about this sweet little book.
It arrived in the mail with a note that said “please share within a week of receiving your book.” Yikes! Here I was – a chronic rule-follower getting ready to go on a week-long mission trip! Now I am sure they would have been understanding and this was surely an acceptable excuse, but …
I decided to add it to my to-do list!

And boy am I glad I did. God sure has perfect timing.

I immediately liked Holley because in her introduction she described herself this way: “God prompted me to get up early each day to spend time listening to Him. Confession: I’m not a morning person. Once I even put chocolate on the alarm clock to bribe myself to get up. I ate the chocolate and went back to bed.”
We would definitely be friends. We have in common both the chocolate and the prompting.
Side note: Funny how God called a non-morning person to write a morning devotional! That’s so Him.
And we have another thing in common – our love of learning from Hadassah, the star of the Mark of the Lion trilogy – who is mentioned right off the bat in chapter one. (If you need a summer Christian-fiction trilogy, I highly recommend.)
Anyway, Coffee For Your Heart is a 40 day devotional with a pleasant format. Each day starts with a key verse, then a short story from Holley, then room to Reflect, Respond, and Remember. These are guided sections with questions to answer and starter-prayers to finish. I’m a fan!
So, I was zooming through – reading it all, rather than one day at a time as it was intended. I was trying to discern what to share with you. And bam! God hit me right between the eyes. Sometimes He has to hit hard when you’re zooming.
I came to chapter 22 and instead of finding something for you, I found something for me! The key verse was …
Isaiah 46:4: I have made you and I will carry you.
Get a load of Holley’s message written straight for this gal who is getting ready to get on a plane for an out-of-my-comfort-zone mission trip …
“The plane takes off as we giggle nervously. With room for only eight passengers, this is hardly a luxury flight. There are no stewardesses offering peanuts as my family and I soar over pristine waters and the vibrant green trees of the Alaskan wilderness. We see places we could never go on our own. Later I think about the places I feel called to go in life – not spots on a map, but destinations God has written onto my heart. Sometimes they feel as tall as those Alaskan peaks, and I wonder how I’ll ever reach them. But then God shows up and says, “Get on board, girl” I step inside His will and take a seat, and soon we’re moving. I’m learning our job isn’t to fly. Oh, I still try sometimes. I flap my arms until I’m exhausted and then wonder why my feet are still on the ground. Our job is obedience – to get on the plane, to let God carry us.”
Did you catch the written onto my heart part?
I told you we would be friends!

  So then, the book says to read Isaiah 46:3-10 and answer a few questions. Then there is the starter-prayer with room to finish. (Check out the one in the photo! Perfect for my trip.) Then each day ends with a “Remember,” like this:
I rest my head on the pillow
without much rest in my heart..
To-dos swirl around in my mind.
Tasks fall heavy on my shoulders.
I silently pray,
“Lord, give me the grace
to carry all of this.”
It seems I hear a whisper in response,
“Ask instead for the grace
to let Me carry you.”
That is what this book is for – to reflect, respond and remember and rest in the assurances of God. This book will remind you every morning that you are carried by God, wonderfully made, chosen, irreplaceable, strong, never alone, and so much more!
Guess what books went on the plane with me?!

 The hand-lettered print above? All my email subscribers got that in their inbox for free! I send one every Thursday so they can either make a greeting card, save it as a screensaver, give it as a gift, put it in their planner or scrapbook, make index cards to memorize, etc. If you want to join the fun too, you can subscribe right here.
If you missed the printable while it was free, you can find it in my SHOP.
Have a comment? Head on over to my Instagram or Facebook page!
Related posts:
Don’t Do Anything
3 Practical Ways To Quiet Your Fear

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Thank you for your prayers and your interest.
I'll give another update after Alyson returns!
Check back over the weekend for an update.


Would you be willing?

What are you willing to do for God? As Christians I'm sure our first thought is "anything!" After giving it a little bit of thought though, we might back down a little, making excuses, such as our health, age, etc. That would be my thoughts. How about if one of your children decided to do something/anything for God? This is what I'm facing now. It isn't easy, my mother bear instinct kicks in big time!

I'm re-posting my daughter Alyson's blog for you to read. She is leaving tomorrow (Monday) on a mission trip to Cuba. Yes, a few weeks after the president made his speech about changing things with Cuba. She writes all about it in her blog Write Them On My Heart below. She even has a link to the president's speech if you want to read it.

How would you feel? I'll be honest, I'm very proud of her, but I'm having a hard time with it and I need all of you to pray with me, please! One thing I'm praying is for their protection and angels to surround the mission group - a party of six, including her minister and his wife. Yes, I know God is in control!

Here's what Alyson wrote in her blog:


I’ve had this book on my shelf for a really long time – so long that I couldn’t even tell you how long. So long that they’ve even revised it and updated the cover! It’s one of those books you’re not sure you want to read. You’re curious, but you have trepidation. It’s called Anything. Need I say more?
Yes, actually.
Any guesses on what this book by Jennie Allen is about? You hit the nail on the head.
It’s about the time Jennie told God she was willing to do anything for Him. I take that back. It wasn’t about the time, it was about a lifestyle change – an attitude change – and how it all worked out for her.
And lest you think that Jennie is some unbelievable person with already-built-in courage, here’s what she said: “I can barely obey God without thinking, What will it cost me? I don’t want to think that way. Left to myself, I am just that selfish. I want things. I want comfort and fun. I don’t want to suffer. I want things to feel in control. Today I don’t want to be typing and studying about God’s glory – I’d rather be at Target or on Facebook.”
She’s just like you and me. And I like that about her! It helped me want to finish the book even though I was afraid it was going to be all conviction, conviction, conviction. Ha. I’ll go ahead and tell you up front that, PHEW, it wasn’t as scary as my mind had built it up to be. I should have read it a lot sooner! It was a good mix of Biblical conviction and inspiration and motivation.
Judge for yourself …

Here are 8 things I learned from the book Anything:

1. Truly knowing our beautiful and terrifying God is what makes us willing to do anything for Him.

It’s that truly part.

2. Being willing does not alleviate fear, and that’s okay.

Jennie says, “I had prayed the prayer of ANYTHING as though I were about to launch on a ride at Six Flags, my eyes closed tight and fingernails digging in. I was so afraid. I can just imagine God thinking something like, Thanks a lot, Jennie. Great. You’ll be used by me, but no one else will want to ever be, because you are making it look so terrifying! But on the other hand maybe he was thinking, I love that she realizes she is going to need me for this. I have; I do need him. He has stretched me to the places where fear should be paralyzing me, and yet I am okay.”

3. ANYTHING sets us free. (the exact opposite of what we think)

When we’ve got our lives in our gripped hands and we consider handing them over, most of us get that feeling – fear mixed with adrenaline mixed with nausea. It feels as though we might die if we jump. But when Jennie prayed ANYTHING, what she feared would bind her actually set her free instead. She said, “It stung like death, and it still feels like death, but that feeling is the key turning in the lock. On the other side of the pain is freedom, peace, joy, hope, the loss of control, and it is how I was made to live.”
Read #3 again!

4. ANYTHING takes time.

Without the Spirit of God to lead our anythings, we will only be do-gooders with our own agendas. Jennie prayed anything, but it was over the course of months and years that her anythings were revealed. We need to wait for the Spirit to tell us what’s next. This is not easy, but it is pretty simple. Keep seeking to truly know Him and His will.

5. God is ridiculously radical.

He is serious about us not loving anything more than we love Him.
Luke 4:8: And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
Luke 14:26-27, 33: If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
I like how Jennie paraphrased these verses: “Until this life gets small, really small, and I get big, really big, you won’t truly follow Me. Because loving this life too much will affect your love for Me. It also will affect what you are willing to do for Me.”

6. Mary prayed ANYTHING.

Mary’s high calling was a costly calling, and it came with tremendous suffering. She faced the rejection of her fiance, persecution from her community because of a seemingly illegitimate pregnancy, the pressure of raising the son of God, and ultimately the pain of watching Him die a humiliating and excruciating death. All of this lay ahead of her that day the angel came, yet the first words out of her mouth were …
Luke 1:38: And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Her true belief in God was evidenced in the denial of herself. The consequences of obedience paled in light of her God and her calling. Mary never sought her own comfort. She lived entitled to nothing. She expected suffering rather than being surprised by it.

7. Radical acts are not the goal.

Throughout Scripture trusting God was pretty intense. Sometimes it required near insanity. Moses raised a stick over the Red Sea; Joshua told everyone to walk around a wall seven times and then scream and blow horns; David picked up stones to kill a giant; the disciples waited on a Spirit to fill them before they did anything. All of it took an almost silly amount of faith in God. Yet the radical acts were not the goal; the goal was – and is – the trust, the love, the relationship. A love so big that it comes with a willingness to hand over our lives.

8. God is still not very practical, and to follow him takes trust.

Following Him completely requires belief that He is good even if everything here and now is not and that he has an intentional plan for our few years here. We trust in Him to lead us to do spiritual things that may not totally make sense.
Which brings me to my most recent Anything.
On Monday I will be leaving on a mission trip! You may remember that I wrote about a big decision HERE and gave a hint about it HERE. Today is the big reveal! And just so you know, I made the decision a while back – long before reading this book. But the book certainly confirmed it!
This is not my first out-of-the-country mission trip, but it is only my second. The first was to Brazil and included my husband as well as lots of other people. We went door-to-door sharing the Gospel and it was wonderful. This trip, on the other hand, is to Cuba – exactly one week after our President’s Cuba speech. And I won’t have the security of my husband with me this time. It’s going to be all God this time.
Exactly how He wants it.
He is serious about us not loving anything more than we love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5: For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I get back!
P.S. It would mean a lot to me if you would pray for us – and more importantly, for the hearts of the Cuban people we will be sharing with. Thank you, thank you! Alyson

Thank you for reading Alyson's blog and for your prayers! I feel better knowing other Christians are praying for her as well!

Here's Alyson's blog link Write Them on My Heart  if you would like to read more of her posts - you will be blessed! You can also sign up to receive them (free) each week. She also has her handwritten/painted verses for sale, check them out! I have the verses all over my house - a good reminder of God's love for us!



New Door Decor

My daughter, Ashleigh and her family
gave me this new door decoration
for my birthday!
It came from Etsy.

 This is how it looked when it arrived in the mail - unfinished wood!

I did my initial first so it wouldn't be "jak!" 
I painted it Hunter Green

 The green looks black, but it's Hunter Green!

Hunter Green looks nice with our pale yellow front door.

I decided to decorate the top with silk flowers

 Don't you like it better this way?

Welcome to our home!

Thanks, Ashleigh! We love it!

I'm linking to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday, click on her name for more fun. 

(The door monogram was ordered from Barn Love on Etsy.)


Bible Journaling for Easter

Today I'm sharing some of the bible journaling I did during Easter time. 
I drew them in my Aspire journaling bible, but the ideas came
from people who shared them on Pinterest. 
I don't have their names to give them credit.

 From Luke:

From Matthew:

 From John:

From 2 Peter:

From John:

The Holy Spirit is promised to 
come to those who believe
Jesus is the Son of God
 The Holy Spirit leads and guides us.

 Eternal Life is our Free Gift
when we Believe

The Holy Bible is full of promises for those of us
who believe
to claim and trust the Lord to 
do as He has promised us.

Thank you Lord Jesus
for dying on the cross for us
so we may have eternal life.



Where we stayed on vacation

This is where we stayed on our recent vacation, it is near Disney World.
View from our balcony, we were on sixth floor, view to left
overlooking one of the golf courses:

View to right:

I don't like heights and wouldn't get close to the screened rails, but Lynn did!

Several pools that were surrounded by this "river" that ran around the pool complex

"River Rafting!"

Joe by the water spouts!
Bridges cross over the "river."

Lynn wanted to go to the "Mussels Gym!"

Every night we watched the Disney fireworks from our balcony
on sixth floor!

Fun Memories!
I hope you enjoyed seeing it all!
Click here to see where we visited
Click here to see Celebration shops
Click here to see Columbia Restaurant



Some shops at Celebration Town Center

While visiting Celebration, FL we went to some of the cute shoppes in the Town Center. 
Must share a few with you!  

 This one "Woof Gang Bakery" is the most elaborate doggie store we've ever seen! They even have a crystal chandelier over a doggie treat buffet! Joe and Lynn are dog lovers and had to check it out!
 Doggie treats in all shapes!
 See the blue and pink doggie party hats, Lynn bought a blue one 
for her dog's birthday!
 They even have Disney doggie treats!

What fun the Macaron French Pastries shop is

 It is decorated so cute!

What a fun place!

The owner is from Paris, he also owns another shop like this at Winter Park, FL

Gifts and fancy boxes for the macarons::

 He even has unusual flavors of gelato

 I bought three macarons for us. Top is lemon for me,
coconut for Joe and raspberry for Lynn! They were delicious!
 The brochure shows other flavors:

 We couldn't leave there without going to Kilwin's Candy Shop!

 Lynn loved seeing all that candy!

They make my favorite chocolate fudge! Yep, I bought some!
 They also sell ice cream and we each had a cone! Yum!

This is the third post of our trip to Celebration, FL
Click here to see the Columbia Restaurant where we ate.
Click here to see pictures of downtown Celebration.
Tomorrow I will show you some of the resort where we stayed.