Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teens and Porn: The Second Glance



I'm normally mesmerized by the landscape when I'm running in Texas in April.  Beautiful wildflowers stretch themselves toward the sky.  Bright blues, yellows, oranges, and reds take my breath away even though they've been a part of my life since I was five years old.

That day in April, I was running and admiring when something of a different nature caught my eye.  Honestly, after I saw it, I said to myself, "That must have been a Victoria's Secret ad."  I meant to jog on by because who wants to carry trash with them on a run?  And jog on by I did until I heard God whisper in my heart, "Go back.  Pick it up."

Will you join me for the rest of the story at The Whatever Girls?  Click here to continue reading.  Comments closed here so we can converse over there.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thirteen and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria party!
This is a place where women gather to encourage each other to live authentically,
sharing our heartbreaks, our joys, and the wisdom from God that sustains us.
Please, link up your heart with ours and encourage other's before you leave.  Only have time to read one?  Choose your neighbor -- no one wants to leave a party empty-handed!
If you would like to be a part of a Soli Deo Gloria small group, now is a great time to join.
Click here for more details.
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I'm not sure why I chose this picture.  Maybe because it reminds me of our slightly crazy life.  And who can resist a six year old in the background giving her daddy bunny ears?

But I needed a picture to show you because today is our anniversary.  Lucky 13.

But, as I'm sure you know, we didn't make it this far on luck.  Actually, I don't think anybody makes it this far on luck.  Marriage is hard work, but we all know this.

There is a bazillion wonderful things about my husband, but the thing I love about him the most is that he trusts me.

He trusted me enough to have children with me, even though I've been known to intensely clean and organize, make mountains out of molehills, and do things like stand up on a trashcan to unplug the garage door opener because I've left the remote in the car, which is at the shop.  (You know, somebody could use that opener to get in the house and kill me.  Right.  Ahem.  Moving on.)

He trusts me when I tell him about wanting to attend the She Speaks conference in which I could work on my speaking skills and explore this new calling, even though it would cost a lot of money.  He simply responds with "If God wants you to go, He'll provide a way."  Which, He did.

He trusts me when I have this crazy idea to book a hotel for a retreat I want to have for my Soli Sisters, even though I had never planned a retreat before.  He doesn't know if anyone is going to come, but he doesn't (really) bat an eye when I tell him it means signing a contract, putting us on the hook for $3,000.  I tell him the theme of "Lost in the City, Found by God" and he doesn't even say anything about losing money or my sanity.  

He trusts me the next year when the opportunity arises to go to Speak Up and I tell him I can meet with publishers.  He even trusts me when I say the only book-worthy thing I have to write about is our journey through his porn addiction.  

I could tell you a thousand other ways he shows he trusts me, but just in writing down those above, I have come to this realization: Sure, he trusts me.  But the only way he is able to do that some completely is because he trusts God.

And perhaps this reason alone is why he has faithfully stuck by me for the last thirteen years.

Aren't I lucky?

(I'm celebrating with my husband, so I won't be around to read your sweet posts.  Can you do me a favor and visit an extra sister or two in my place?)
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Click here.
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read!
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Did you see?  SDG Retreat Registration is LIVE!  Click here for more info & the link to register.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Food: Nourishing your body or your soul? part 3

We've been discussing how to keep food in its rightful place in our lives.  So often (and it is so easy to do this), we turn to food as a source of comfort when we are stressed, empty, bored, unsatisfied, etc.

And when we use food in this way -- as spiritual/emotional nourishment -- we put food in the place of God.  And, therefore, food becomes an idol.

One of the difficult things about food addiction is this: food is crucial to our body's survival.  We cannot ban it from our lives.  To do so would issue in death.  This addiction is unlike porn, alcoholism, drug use.  All of those things can be forever forsaken with no detrimental harm done.  Not true with food.

As such, there is a daily tension between us and food.  How will we use it?  Will our choices be nourishing to our bodies, full of those things God intended for food to give us?  Or will our choices be empty of nutritious goodness, but full of comfort for our souls?  Or something in between?
Two weeks ago, we began to tackle #1.  Today, let's look at #2.

Be consistent about when you eat.  I was notorious for heading to the pantry or fridge whenever I felt hungry.  But when I was in the middle of the struggle, I had a really hard time distinguishing between physical hunger and emotional hunger.  And so I set up a schedule of when I would eat and limit myself, generally, to those times.

Every body is different.  Some people like to eat many small meals during the day.  Some people like three squares and no snacks.  Some people like 3 meals plus snacks.  And some people may not know what they need and when they need it, which is why, for all of us, this is a process filled with prayer and discernment.

I decided to eat three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), plus an afternoon snack if I was physically hungry.  Here's the thing: our body give us cues, which tell us when we need to feed it.  But when we consistently eat for reasons outside physical nourishment, we forget how to listen to those cues.

What if you began the day in prayer?
God, I want to eat in ways that are pleasing to You.  Help me begin to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger.  Help me to develop a keen awareness of what my body needs as opposed to what my soul wants. Amen.
And then, make sure you listen.  Listen to God.  Listen to your body.  Is your stomach growling? Do you feel light-headed?  Do you feel full?  Is your  heart sad, anxious, bored, etc?  Listen to the cues that God has created your body to give you.  This is not just about denying yourself something you want.  This is about creating opportunity to find the nourishment you need.

Learning how to be mindful of your body's cues will help you once you move past these three consistency "rules."  The fact is, our body changes, our nourishment needs can change (i.e. if you start exercising, you may need to adjust your protein intake, etc), and our environment can change.  When we learn to listen, we have the freedom to respond to changes in a healthy and mindful way.

Linking today with Tracy and  Michell.

photo credit: BurgTender via photopin cc (words added by Jen)
photo credit: atomicshark via photopin cc (words added by Jen)

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Happens when You Leave the Boat and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria party!
This is a place where women gather to encourage each other to live authentically,
sharing our heartbreaks, our joys, and the wisdom from God that sustains us.
Please, link up your heart with ours and encourage other's before you leave.  Only have time to read one?  Choose your neighbor -- no one wants to leave a party empty-handed!
If you would like to be a part of a Soli Deo Gloria small group, now is a great time to join.
Click here for more details.
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Photo courtesy of Nanette Harper, used with permission

There are a lot of unknowns in this life.  And sometimes, even things we think are safe can have unintended consequences or some hairpin turns on this journey we are on.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think having kids could be such a (sometimes) scary adventure.  If I knew how crazy it would be -- how much it would change me, or perhaps how much I would have to change so to be the mom they would need me to be -- would I have been so looking forward to becoming pregnant and raising a family?

Had I known, I would have been paralyzed, constantly weighing the pros and cons, my strengths and weaknesses.

Instead, Craig and I were blissfully ignorant.  We jumped in headfirst.  And we've never looked back.  Despite the unknown hiccups and trials, it is clear these children were destined for us, and we for them.  It seems to take a miracle to raise kids these days, but here we are, walking on water.

Don't worry.  Sometimes we doubt and start to drown (more me, my husband is much better about being even keel about things), but there is Jesus, with His hand outstretched, reminding me I cannot do this on my own and He is there to catch me.

Thank God for Jesus.  Mighty sure Peter felt that same way after he took the risk and left the boat.

Peter was asking Jesus to prove Himself to be God (and maybe even prove to Peter that walking with Jesus made him different somehow) and when Jesus responded, Peter didn't have time to second guess his own question.

Sometimes we ask God to prove Himself to us -- His power, His word, His love -- and then when He does, we respond.

We respond without realizing what we are doing until there we are doing it.  And all of the sudden, we think how could this be happening, and it's like we forget what we asked in the first place.

Next week, I'm heading back to Speak Up!, but this time as a breakout session leader.  Many months ago, I felt God led me to submit a proposal (totally unasked for by the Speak Up! team) to lead a workshop about cultivating authenticity in a women's ministry.  Over and over again, I asked God to prove Himself so I would know I wasn't hearing crazy things.  And He did in many ways, the last one being they asked me to come.

I've been walking on water until now when I'm asking God these ridiculous questions, doubting what He has called me to do, and listening to silly worldly lies.  And I'm thrusting out my hands, frantically wondering Will You catch me?

And of course, we know the answer to this question.

Yes.

And I've decided even though the boat I had been in looked and felt safe at one time, I've gotten close enough to Jesus to know it's better to be scared and holding onto Him than to be in a boat tethered to nothing. 

Because if I'm not holding onto Him, there is nothing of worldly substance which can really hold me.  Not in the way I want to be held.

I'm leaving my boat.  I don't know where Jesus and I are going in this adventure (except to Michigan), but perhaps He's dealt with me enough to know that I don't do well in the driver's seat and it's just best He keeps the other destinations a secret for now.

Who is ready to leave their boat?  It's an illusion of safety.  There's no better place than out there, walking on water.

And if you get scared, He's there to hold your hand.

Linking with Michelle for Hear it On Sunday, Use it on Monday
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Click here.
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read!
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Did you see?  SDG Retreat Registration is LIVE!  Click here for more info & the link to register.

Friday, June 14, 2013

5 Minute Friday: Listen

Abby and me at her Mother's Day Muffins (which was also my birthday, as to why she has made me wear a birthday hat)

We're in the pool together playing the color game and so she's essentially trying to read my mind so to avoid getting dumped backwards in the water.

She finally tires and I have her facing me and we are traveling about in the water and I lean in close and simply say,

Tell me your hopes and your dreams.

And she says, "Mama, you always ask me that."

And I think of a thousand responses, but I say only one:

Hopes and dreams change.  I need to keep up with your heart.

And she smiles and she knows I'll listen as she talks about having fun at VBS next week and doing well in fourth grade.

They are expected answers from a fourth grader.  But the day will come when it might be an answer I don't expect and I might be left holding this burden, desiring to make something happen for her that is in her heart but may not be in God's plan for her.  And I'll have to not follow that desire, but still listen.

And so often, the heart cries of those around me stir my very soul.  They make me want to serve up delectable piles of delicious dreams and delicate hopes that fully satisfy.  A fresh platter every new day.

But I remember...this is not my job.

I have been created and placed so to listen.

And pray.

And listen some more.

My job is not to solve problems but to reflect a Savior who can.
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I'm hanging out with Lisa-Jo this morning.  Want in?  Here's the deal:




1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Worshipping the Golden Pizza: A guest post about food addiction


We've been talking about food addiction and how it's not just a physical battle we fight, but a spiritual one.  My friend, Stephanie, agreed to share this post, and how it's a battle she fights daily, too.  You see, friends?  We are not alone in this.  (By the way, if you have a story about food addiction you would like to share, please let me know. I'd love to feature you here.)
“You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.” Nehemiah 9:29
I always think of Israel as some obstinate defiant people of the past. People I have nothing in common with other than serving the same God. It’s been my assumption that the Israelites didn’t really care about or want to do the right thing. That they were deliberately defiant towards God’s direction and will, and because of this, they struggled.
But what if they didn’t do it on purpose? What if they were like me and wanted to do good…yet they found themselves falling down and failing over and over again. I think this could be the case.
The Israelites saw The Lord part the Red Sea. The Lord led them out of captivity and provided for their every need while they wandered in the desert…and yet they wanted more.
They became frustrated with God. They grew tired of waiting and began to lack confidence in Him. They could not see Him, and out of emotional desperation and prideful arrogance, they built a golden calf.
It sounds so silly. That a people who had seen such miracles could doubt The Lord. Or does it?
I’ve seen some pretty substantial miracles in my lifetime. Most personal to me, when The Lord lifted me out of depression.
None the less, at times, I still doubt Him. I still wander in the desert wondering if He will provide.
The most pronounced struggle in my life right now has to do with food! I’m starting to empathize with the Israelites as every time a slice of pizza or a sugary treat enters my line of vision, I can’t resist! I might as well erect an idol to these unhealthy inappropriate foods and worship them!
And it’s not that there is anything wrong with these foods. They aren’t the problem. It’s my attitude towards them that is the problem.
It’s the fact that I have 28 pounds to lose, not to be skinny, but to be healthy, and I can’t resist the things that are leading to my deterioration.
It’s the fact that I would hide if I could and shove these foods in my mouth until Jesus comes back, maybe even longer!
It’s the fact that I can’t seem to turn myself from these foods and take care of my body like The Lord desires for me to do.
I am worshiping them and the way they make me feel with no long term thoughts or cares about the consequences. I am worshiping the golden pizza. And that my friends, is a problem.
So what do I do then? What did the Israelites do? The way I see it, I have two options. I can continue to bow at the feet of my cravings. Or I can choose to bow only at the foot of the cross.
It may seem silly to spiritualize this battle with food, but when we take it to the core, the battle is very spiritual. It’s about so much more than food. It’s about, as Lysa Terkeurst wrote in Made To Crave, craving God-not food. It’s about satisfying my desires with Him rather than a donut. It’s about celebrating my victories in new ways other than with food. It’s about choosing to swallow my pride and get real with God about the sins that are depriving me of much desired intimacy. For me, my food addiction is about so much more than food. And maybe it is for you too.
So rather than being stiff necked and backing myself out of the blessings The Lord has for me, I will choose to turn from my idol and run to Him. Every time I’m tempted I am going to visualize myself bowing down to the gigantic golden unhealthy food, and rather than bow to my cravings, I will turn and bow to Jesus.
Will I make mistakes? Most likely yes. But each time I choose to glorify God with my body and healthy choices, the food idol falls away a bit more, and God chisels my mind-body-and spirit to be the woman He has called me to be.

Stephanie Clayton is a counselor with a passion for integrating Bible teaching with professional counseling. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She serves with the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies Team in the areas of professional counseling advisory, teaching, planning, and development. Stephanie also works as a counselor with homeless children and families. She has experience and training in the areas of poverty, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, dialectical behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Stephanie, her husband Kevin, and their two children live in Amarillo, Texas. You can find out more about Stephanie by visiting her blog atwww.stephanieclayton.org.
Linking Wednesday with Tracy and  Michell.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Crabgrass and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria party!
This is a place where women gather to encourage each other to live authentically,
sharing our heartbreaks, our joys, and the wisdom from God that sustains us.
Please, link up your heart with ours and encourage other's before you leave.  Only have time to read one?  Choose your neighbor -- no one wants to leave a party empty-handed!
If you would like to be a part of a Soli Deo Gloria small group, now is a great time to join.
Click here for more details.
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I despise, greatly, crabgrass.

While it is green and only a hair of a shade lighter than the freshly planted bermuda grass, it eventually sprouts up into an unsightly pronged weed.  And it trails its ugliness, not content with just moving up, but also out, as it attempts weaves itself across the yard, sowing new roots every couple of inches.

And these roots, they are not easily pluckable. They do not like to release their dirt.  They don't want to lose their ground.  In fact, to really get out the roots of the crabgrass, I would chance uprooting the freshly planted good grass.  No bueno, friends.  

So what is a girl, who really desires a crabgrass-free yard, to do?  If she was smart, she would leave it alone and let new grass slowly overtake the crabgrass (because as the landscapers and the books say, the bermuda will win the battle in the end and trample the crabgrass).  If she was smart, she wouldn't spend her time just pulling off the tops of the little weed monsters.  Because as we all know, lopping off the tops of weeds does nothing except waste time.  The action is in the roots and we've already gone over that.

Unfortunately, this girl gets a little obsessed and even though she knows it's a waste of time, she is compelled to try to speed up the process.  She doesn't want to wait to see the power of the bermuda.  She just wants it now and she is afraid that if she doesn't do something about this!, somehow, what is promised will not happen.

And so she plucks and plucks and she plucks so much that when she closes her eyes after a plucking session, all she can see is crabgrass.

So much focus on the ugly starts to take away the beauty of everything else in the garden.

There are some things in life we just can't do anything about right now.  We have to wait for the promised strength to come and overtake the problem.  Any work on our part is just toiling -- fruitless and a waste.  It leads to worry and anxiety and a good measure of unbelief.  I'm sorry, but I don't need anymore ugly weeds choking out any more beauty in my life.  I wonder, do you feel the same?

God promises to take care of the birds and the lilies of the field, but I wonder, do you sometimes believe that if He's not providing enough or quickly enough or strong enough, that you'll just need jump in the action and take charge, even if it's something fruitless?

I wonder, why do I feel better if I'm doing something fruitless instead of being still and letting God do something of magnificent wonder?


And I think it's simply because I like to be in charge.  And I've deemed movement, any movement, as good.

But it's simply not true.  And that which I cannot change right now, I must let go and trust in the strength of God to win in the end.  

He hasn't failed me yet.

T.R.U.S.T. Question:  Do you struggle with believing you are valuable to God? Do you worry that He doesn’t see you? How do you get past your worries and take hold of the life that is truly life?
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Are you new here? Welcome! We'd love to shower you with some love and encouragement, so if this is your first time linking up, will you put "I'm New!" as your caption under your linky picture? Want more info on what this sisterhood is all about? Click here.
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Want to show a sister some love? Tweet her post using the Twitter handle #sdgsisters. Make sure you check the # later for some great posts to read!
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Did you see?  SDG Retreat Registration is LIVE!  Click here for more info & the link to register.

Friday, June 7, 2013

5 Minute Friday: Fall


GO

I was 20 and we were at Fiesta Texas Theme Park and my dad was paying and my fiance would be strapped in next to me and so I said 'yes' and we went on the Screaming Skycoaster.

I don't remember how many stories up we were, but I remembered the pulley's that cranked as higher and higher we rose, and thinking Dear God, please do not let the rope break.

The whole idea was to feel like you were touching the sky and then free fall back to the ground, all the way down, except for right at the end when the ropes caught and the pulleys held and you were whisked back up towards the heavens instead of landing splat dead on your face.

It mirrors life, don't you think?

How many times do I feel that I am in a free-fall and I cannot see the ropes or the pulleys or even feel the hands of God and all I can say is Please God, don't let me die.

And even though I may not always be talking about a physical death, those emotional and spiritual places of darkness can feel just as painful and real as the ones felt in my bones and my skin.

Sometimes writing this book about our journey through porn addiction feels like a free fall.  But I have to remember that falling can also feel like freedom.  Pulling the rip cord doesn't mean sudden death, but rather, trust.  Somebody will catch me.  Letting go, hands out, allows me to catch the wind, the sails of my soul.  And my husband? He's strapped in next to me and we're both tethered by Jesus.  And even though the ground rushes up quick, soon the rope will go taut and we'll be flying through the air again. Seeing things like we've never seen before.

STOP.  (and honestly, I got a little caught up in my emotions here and forgot to look at the clock. whoops)
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I'm hanging out with Lisa-Jo this morning.  Want in?  Here's the deal:




1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


{Oh! And did you hear?  SDG Retreat registration is live.  How about a little restoration, girls?} Click here to find out more.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc (words added by Jen)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Everyday Jesus: Even From the Other Side

(Looking for the SDG party?  Scroll down one more post)
I was incredibly afraid of taking them to another funeral.  I was afraid to watch them bury yet another great-grandparent.  I was afraid that they would fail to see the hope and the life and concentrate solely on the deadness, on the vacant body, on the loss.

But Mama Gal, or Mrs. Mavis to some, she didn't plan to go out without reminding everyone for whom she lived.  And how can you instruct people to talk about your faith without imparting the hope that comes with the name of Jesus Christ?

The preacher extolled Mama Gal's bible reading.  He held up clippings and pictures that she kept in her large-print bible.  He read some of her notations and shared some underlined verses.

And the mind of my eight year-old daughter absorbed all the hope she could as her eyes filled with tears.

It was a whirlwind trip to Shreveport, Louisiana, and soon as she got to her room, Abby took out her glittery Bible and opened the front cover.
You see, the preacher said Mavis spent a lot of time reading Romans and so Abby decided she would too.  And so she wrote herself a reminder.

How else did Mavis affect my little one?  How else did her words reach over to the other side?  Click here to continue reading.

Linking Wednesday with Tracy and  Michell.

Monday, June 3, 2013

ATKT with Jennifer Camp, Retreat & Giveaway, and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to the Soli Deo Gloria party!
This is a place where women gather to encourage each other to live authentically,
sharing our heartbreaks, our joys, and the wisdom from God that sustains us.
Please, link up your heart with ours and encourage other's before you leave.  Only have time to read one?  Choose your neighbor -- no one wants to leave a party empty-handed!
If you would like to be a part of a Soli Deo Gloria small group, now is a great time to join.
Click here for more details.
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Today is a fun day.  Why do you ask?  First, it's the first Monday of the month, which means it's time for Across the Kitchen Table (what is this?? I'm so glad you asked.  Here are the FAQs.)

But today is a special ATKT because we are sitting across from Jennifer Camp.  

Which leads me to the third really fun thing about today.  The Soli Deo Gloria Retreat registration is OPEN!
Now, before you start asking all your retreat questions, let's listen to Jennifer, and see what God is teaching her about restoration:

First, her written word:

Let’s go away together . . . and be restored

Restoration brings to my mind the image of an old car, rusty and neglected and in need of loving care. This car was dreamed up by someone—its design, its engine, the color of its paint, the particular fuel it needs for the mechanics to run well . . . It was created for a particular purpose, and it needs attention and care to keep it thriving.

When it isn’t cared for properly, it begins to fall apart, bit by bit. Just a little, at first.  Nothing too noticeable. But every few thousands miles it needs an oil change. The wiper fluid needs to be checked, along with the water. The tires need to be rotated, or the brake pads replaced. It takes a lot of effort to keep this car looking beautiful and running well. Wear and tear, after a while, begins to show.

Now this may not be the best analogy to introduce what I am excited to share today, with you awesome gals of the Soli Deo Gloria community. In the video below I don’t talk about how we are each cars that need to be fixed up. I don’t talk about how thankful I am that God, as our Creator, has the manual for each of us and knows just how we each need to be restored. (Although this is true.)

Instead, I talk about how restoration is still a word I am getting used to. It is a word that I think is one of the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard—a word filled with hope and newness and life. (It is the new engine for the once broken down car.) Restoration makes me think of something once lost and forgotten made beautiful again.

But sometimes, I have trouble seeking restoration because I don’t know what it is supposed to look like. I don’t know where to find it.  Oftentimes, I don’t know what I need to be restored and rested and revitalized and made new.

Sometimes all I know is that deep down, I am tired, I am weary, I am suffering, I am weak  . . . and I need a change.

In the video below I share how, while I didn’t know what God had for me and my family regarding restoration this past week, we know we needed it. And in the pure act of seeking restoration, in God, we found it.  And we found, Him, too.

Picture steep canyons and rushing water and community and adventure and time away from routine.  . . Where would you go to be restored? Restoration, due to the unique way in which you were made by God, may look completely different for you.

As I talk about over at You Are My Girls, where I describe my restoration adventure in more detail, restoration happens in the midst of beauty. Restoration happens when we look for God to show up. Restoration happens when we know this truth: we can't be restored on our own.

I wonder how He is calling you to be restored, my friend. I wonder how, in your weariness, in your suffering, the Father is uniquely calling you to Him?

"The God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you "(1 Peter 5:10).

Let's look for Him. Let's see how He calls us away. Let's notice how He beckons us to turn. Let's notice how He comes running . . . Oh, sisters, He just can't stop running toward you.

Let's see, together, what He has.

I am excited and blessed to be joining up with my friend, and Soli Deo Gloria sister, Jen Ferguson November 15-17, at a beautiful ranch outside of Austin, Texas for the Soli Deo Gloria retreat, a retreat where women can gather and be restored.

We are seeking God, knowing He is the one who restores.  Want to come?

We would just love to meet you, be with you, pursuing His restoration, together.

For all the retreat details, please head over here.  You'll find {I hope} everything you need to know and the registration link.  There are only 40 spaces total, so if you know you want to come please register and pay as soon as possible.

Now, what is a retreat launch day without a giveaway.  Enter in for the Restoration Package, which includes a $50 SpaFinder gift card (I've received these before -- they are awesome because you can use them at a spa near you!), a $10 iTunes gift card, a beautiful DaySpring Journal, andelovely scented candle.  Just reading these prizes makes you feel restored, doesn't it?  Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway