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Worship Changed my Picture

Welcome to my crazy little RV-World I’m so glad that you took a moment to stop it. Sundays have always been a day where I like to reflect, refresh, and refuel for the week that lies ahead. So my prayer today on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon is that my blog post will be a time of refreshing.

I’ve heard it said many times that a picture is worth a thousand words … but when my precious friend of 19 years sent me a picture last night from November 2000 there was only four words that popped in my head ….

“What were you thinking?”

And so it began as I allowed my thoughts to hop on the hamster wheel that I keep tucked away in my mind … for such a time as this .

What were you thinking wearing that outfit .. those colors wash you out?

What were you thinking allowing yourself to get that big?

Look at your nose … it looks huge at that angle .. so what we’re you thinking standing like that ?

And as I allowed all these negative thoughts to play around in my head I went to bed feeling once again that no matter what I would never measure up .

Wow… I know, BUT how many times do we find ourselves in these situations … how many times to we tear ourselves down? How many times do we look at a picture of ourselves and immediately focus on what we think are the negatives instead of calling out the things that are beautiful and true ?

This morning I got up early and decided to look at the picture one more time and I started to laugh because I found myself amused at my big mouth … this thought got the hamster wheel turning again and this time it was spinning so fast I couldn’t catch my breath.

In moments like these I know that I need to capture every lie and negative thought and apply the truth of God’s word to the situation.

Then all of a sudden I told myself to stop … I made myself look at the picture one more time , and this time I was amazed at what I saw…. before I tell you what I saw, I feel like I need to tell you what changed.

What changed was the atmosphere… how did the atmosphere change….it changed because of worship.

I allowed myself time to unplug and breathe as worship filled the room and praise filled my mouth . The longer I worshiped the more I felt the Lord speaking so softly to my soul.

So this time when I looked at the picture I saw a woman so full of love and worship that she didn’t even care that someone was taking a picture .. a woman so lost in the presence of her King that no filter was needed .

In 18 years a lot of things about me and my life have changed BUT one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for Jesus … He is my all in all …and I am His beloved child.

So as I close this post I want you to know that every day, God longs to speak truth of our identity through His word and Spirit. The truth is found in His word … and things are revealed when we take the time to worship Him.

I challenge you this week to find time to get alone with God … worshiping Him and allowing Him total access to all of you !! Allowing ourselves time to worship truly changes our perspective.

Have a wonderful week beloved child of God!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you!

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Where does your bellybutton point?

Hello sweet friends … welcome to my crazy little RV-World I’m so glad that you took a moment to stop in . So why don’t you grab a drink and sit a spell , because trust me when I tell you the best is yet to come . All you need to do is take a deep breath and wait for it .

Six weeks ago hubby decided to surprise me with a gym membership and at the time I found myself a little upset and a whole lot of scared .

The gym has always been one of those places in my mind where all the beautifully perfect people hang out. I truly had no desire to go there and be reminded of everything I wasn’t.

So for the first 3 weeks I would fake going to the bathroom so I could sit on the toilet and give myself a pep talk while I cried . I knew the tears weren’t helping me face my fears but that’s okay I just needed those moments to allow my tears to wash over me .

Then something inside of me clicked on a early Monday morning when I say a sign posted by the water fountain that read “Build a strong core.” They were offering training designed to strengthen the body’s trunk muscles in order to provide power, protection, and flexibility when engaging in other activities, sports, and training.

For some reason I could not get those words out of my head … so the entire time I worked on my strength training I let those words play over and over again in my head .

When I got home later that day I started to research some of the thoughts that were in my head… one of the main reasons was because no one showed up for the free core class .

Sometimes we see things like that as just one more thing to add to our already crowded schedule.

As I sit here this morning sipping my tea and enjoying the start of a new day I’m realizing that there seems to be a parallel between the wisdom of strengthening one’s physical core and tending to one’s spiritual core. If you strengthen the core, the rest of your body—or soul—will be strengthened as well.

Trust me I get it … some days I find myself borrowing time from the next day’s agenda just to figure it all out.

So just imagine a wheel with many spokes radiating out from the hub. If you see yourself as the hub, with the demands of your life as the spokes radiating outward, then the invitation to work on your spiritual/physical being becomes one more spoke on an already crowded wheel.

But if we put God at the core, as the hub of our life, we are not adding yet another spoke. Instead, our relationship with God flows through everything else we do every day, all day.

Two weeks ago I stepped back in a barn .. and as I have said before it felt like coming home. The sounds and the smells were like a hug that started from deep inside and radiated out.

Climbing on top of Icky to start are stroll around the arena my riding instructor kept saying these words that I now repeat almost daily …. put your belly button in the direction you wanna go!

I’m still smiling as I read over the last line I just penned … you see dear friends when we put our core (belly buttons) , our entire being in the direction we want to go the rest of us must follow .

The gym is no longer the horrible place where I don’t belong … it is the happy place that is helping me strengthen my core … and my strong core is helping me develop a bond with Icky as I improve my riding skills !!

When we decide to point our cores in the direction that we want to go amazing things will start to happen … trust me you are more than enough because the greater One lives in you!

With God at the hub of your life, you benefit from having power, protection, and agility for everything that you are called upon to do. You also have direction and guidance for the many decisions you face each day.

So I challenge you today… try to see God’s action and God’s will in every commitment, interest, and responsibility that you have.

It may help if you include a few minutes each day to just stop, breathe, and take a spiritual practice of a “daily examen” in which you look to find the movement of God in your day and listen for what God might be calling you to next…. it truly is about doing the next right thing!

Be blessed, be bold , and always be you!

God Believes In Me

Hello sweet friends… Welcome to my crazy little Rv-World I’m so happy that you stopped in.

I’m not sure when I first formulated the plan in my head that some day I would own a horse… and that horse would be brown and absolutely beautiful…. BUT I do know that it’s been a dream of mine … and at 48 years old it feels like this dream will never come true, but I will always hold tight to this dream!

At the age of 6 I remember my grandma helping you right a letter to Santa .. and in this letter I wanted a horse … and I believed with everything that was within me I would wake up Christmas morning to a beautiful brown horse under my tree .

Well dear friends that did not happen but that did not stop me from asking every year… and yes I still ask for a horse every year for Christmas.

With each year that comes and goes I prepare my heart for the disappointment… and no this post is not about me getting a horse … (insert laughter).

Today I got up super early … it was still dark out and I quietly slipped downstairs to spend a few moments with the Lord before starting my day .

Today may have started out like any other day but I knew that it was going to be a day that would change me…. forever !

You see many years ago I used to love riding horses … mucking stalls … and watching my children learn to care for these majestic creatures … but then life walked in and I walked out of the barn and though my heart was sad … I never looked back . Fear had taken ahold of me … it had rooted itself in my head and I believed it’s lies .

In these past few years of resetting my life I have come to learn that owning your dream means having belief in yourself .. and that belief will outweigh your fears!

So this morning while I was preparing myself for what was coming I penned this nugget from the book, Failing Forward, ” if you know who you are, make the changes you must in order to learn and grow, and then give everything you’ve got to your dreams” wow what a powerful thought .. I sat there with only the hum of the fan and pondered this statement.

Then the lightbulb in my mind went off and it was an Aha moment… I can achieve anything that my heart desires … and so can you !!

Friends I’m living proof that is not about the failures in our lives … our failures should never hold us back … it’s all about putting things in the proper perspective.

So this morning while I got on my riding pants and boots (omg they fit again .. another day another post) … I had Paul on my mind … he knew how to keep things in the proper prospective… because throughout everything, his faith enabled him to maintain his focus. He realized that as long as he was doing what he was created to do , his being labeled a success or failure by others really didn’t matter.

At 9:45 this morning I walked into the barn and my soul came alive and the tears began to fall and as I hugged Nicole (my beautiful riding instructor) it felt like coming home .

In that moment of walking Icky up from the field I ask myself this question … Kecia, what really matters to you? So friends I ask you the same question, “which matters more to you, your past failures or the dream God laid on your heart?”

God has given each of us unique abilities because He has plans for us … He has plans for me and He has plans for you ! Don’t get so caught up in being like everyone else that you lose yourself.

Be blessed, be bold, and always be you !

I challenge you this weekend to do something to an action behind your dream .. even if it’s only a baby step … it’s still a step !

Jesus… My Hope

Hello sweet friends … I pray that today was a good day ! Welcome to my crazy little RV-World I’m so glad that you stopped in.

This morning as hubby and I were driving through our quaint little town of Quincy I became overjoyed when I looked out into the pumpkin fields and saw beautiful little buds!

I have to tell you for a moment I was giddy … pumpkin buds mean that pumpkins are coming … and pumpkins coming means that Fall is soon to be here ! And that makes me happy.

You see when it’s 97 degrees outside and your AC doesn’t work and the sweat is dripping off your nose … it feels like the summer heat wave will never end … BUT we know in our knowers that Fall is just around the corner .. and that brings us hope… well, at least it brings me hope.

As we continued our morning drive I thought to myself, “hope is real”. And for several miles I pondered that thought …But as I pondered the simple thought , I realized that for many people hope is not real. I believe that is one of the most important gifts we can give to another person, the gift of hope.

You see, someone who is hopeless and alone usually cannot help themselves out of their situations. They have a great sense of loss and helplessness. We must come alongside and bring the good news of Jesus Christ and all that He has to offer. Many times I have held a friend , cried with a family BUT I don’t cry tears of hopelessness… my tears are salt that can be tasted and my hope is a light that can be seen because the greater One lives in me .. and He is my HOPE!

So for most of today the word HOPE has been swirling around in my mind and tugging at my heart …. to be completely honest I have been researching the word hope for several weeks!

Here are some of the most beautiful words of truth that I have ever read : “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5).

Hope is a small word, but it is one of the most powerful. Why? Because in hope lies the power of the human soul to turn to God and live as if His promises are going to come true. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).

Because dear one we know that all of His promises are yes and amen!

As I sit here sipping my tea I feel as though people think of hope as an emotion …. when the truth is that hope is a determination to believe in God’s reality and power …. even when the world seems to be crashing down around you.

A few weeks ago we were in church and the pastor made this statement and it stirred something so deep within me that I had to jot it down … “the amazing power of Hope is that it flies in the face of calamity, saying, “The world can do its worst to me. But still I will hope. Still I will know that this is the day the Lord has made, and He will take care of me.”

Learning to just stop … take a deep breath and truly believe that God has me no matter what has become part of my daily routine … and the reminder that I’m not alone , that I am loved beyond measure, and that it is well has reignited Hope in my life .

The key to surviving any challenges that we may face is hope…

Hope that Jesus loves us . Hope that He is, right now, working out a solution for each of us. Hope that the future that we place in His hands will be better than the present we hold in our own. ”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Practice this hope, even if you have to will yourself to do it. With its power, you will overcome all things. “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Hope is a beautiful thing…. it is our promise that God is in the details and no matter what He is our strength.

Sleep well child of God !! Be blessed , be bold, and be you !

It’s Just a Boom

Happy July 5th my darlin friends… today is going to be a good day and I can’t wait to watch it unfold. Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World so glad that you stopped in.

This morning has been a tad busy as we loaded the vehicle and set the GPS for home. But even in the busyness I took a few moments to just breathe in the beauty of early morning with my Jesus and my tea.

Saturday night we had just settled in to watch a few episodes of, “I love Lucy” when all of a sudden there was a loud POP … and a very loud BOOM! My heart jumped in my throat as I quickly got up to head outside to see what all the commotion was about.

Before I reached the last RV step there was another big BOOM and a low sounding hiss… by this time Daisy was barking like crazy and all the hair on her little 6 pound body was standing on in.

For a few minutes I wasn’t quite sure what was going on … the entire holler seemed to be sleeping all but the booms, pops, and hisses. Just as hubby and I turned to go back inside and continue on with our night…..

Boom! Pop-pop-pop! “Ooooo!” Claps and shouts of laughter rang out among the trees…. and Magnificent fireworks painted the once quiet sky.

Although the loud blasts startled me first , my eyes quickly widened with excitement as bright colors flew toward the heavens.

With each boom, pop, and hiss my heart would jump BUT oh the beauty of the fireworks display made me smile !

I’m sure there are many of you reading this that can relate to how the loud “booms” can be distracting at times. The times we allow our attention to sway and our overactive imagination to take the lead role in our lives.

You see… when the commotion started it was still 4 sleeps until the 4th so I wasn’t expecting it to be fireworks… my mind went to a place of fear and uncertainty.

How many times do we find ourselves in the middle of a situation and we react out of fear and unbelief….. these things are distractions and they are fleeting BUT as I stood in awe of the fireworks I had to smile because what comfort it is to know that God is forever … HE is NOT just a fleeting moment or a passing phase.

Each day God reveals His presence, power, grace, and love. And He continues to amaze me. He answers my long-awaited prayers. When I am discouraged, he is my encouragement. He gives me blessings in abundance. He is my healing and my hope… He is my calm and my perfect peace!!

God is a magnificent fireworks display and He holds nothing back from us. Don’t focus on the “boom”, distractions because you’ll miss the wonderful plans He has for your life.

I challenge you today to jot down the “booms” in your life and then cast them upon HIM … His burden is light and His yoke is easy .

Don’t allow the booms to sway you away from the truth … you are not alone ! You have been chosen and set apart .. you are loved beyond measure the apple of God’s eye!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you !

Charred BUT Standing

Good Morning dear friends… welcome to my crazy lil RV-World I’m so excited that you stopped in ! I truly believe that today is going to be a good day !

I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket but for a moment I was too busy to stop what I was doing to take a peek . Several minutes turned into over an hour … finally hubby opened up the RV door and called out for me to check my phone .

I quickly put down the leaf blower and turned my phone on …. right there before my eyes was a text that read, “we are leaving Wed …. pack a bag … Tennessee here we come!” I jumped up and down and went running inside , by the time I got up the steps the tears were falling like an unplanned rain shower ! It was a good day!

There is just something that happens down deep in my soul when I see the majestic Smoky Mountains …. it always feels like coming home!

As we made the journey from South Carolina to Tennessee we spent a good bit of time talking about the fires that had spread through Tennessee… the sadness and the devastation that occurred because of choices that people made truly made my heart hurt.

My heart grew heavy because I wasn’t sure what to expect… and I wondered if some of our favorite spots were still alive and as beautiful as I remembered.

Oh, on the outskirts of town everything looked like business as usually and it did my heart good BUT in the back of my mind I knew that I wouldn’t fully understand the effects of the fire until I got deep inside the trails that ran up and down the mountains.

Thursday morning I was up before the roaster had a chance to crow and I was so excited … today was the day I was going to sip tea, listen to banjo music , and take several strolls through the Smoky Mountains… it was going to be a good day .

Everything was so lush and green … the beauty that surround me was almost breathtaking and I found myself wiping my nose as I praised God that my favorite spot was still alive and thriving.

At every twist and turn I snapped pictures and even took a moment to sit on a slippery rock and journal a few notes so I wouldn’t forget what I was feeling …. and as I sat on the rock and listened to the soft groan of the water … I looked up and that’s when I say it :

The trees surrounding me were as tall as church steeples and so lush … full of new growth, BUT all around the bottoms they were charred . The bark was so black and ashy that I knew if I touch it it would crumble .

I sat there for what felt like forever before I climbed back up the rocks and hopped in the car .. as I explained to Joey what I had seen we were both so amazed .

For the next 2 hours we retraced our steps and as I looked more closely I seen hundreds of trees that were :

Charred BUT standing … Burnt BUT thriving… distorted BUT NOT destroyed … there was such beauty from their ashes … and I wept!

I’m here to tell you that the best is yet to come … and no matter what life may throw at you God has you .. He has NOT forgotten you …you are His beloved child !!

All you have to do is believe what He said He would do … and know that on the cross He took care of it all!!

Do you truly believe that God can turn your ashes into beauty? That He can take the trials of your life and make something beautiful out of them? Take the broken pieces of heartache and turn it into something so beautiful that it is unrecognizable?

So many times in my life I have looked back on the hard things and marvel at how God redeemed the situations and restored the chaos. I praise Him for all the times He turned my pig pen into something beyond beautiful.

Oh I know in the middle of it … it’s a totally different story …. we feel as though we are alone. BUT that is not true God will never leave us and He will never forsake us !

As I stood there looking at one of my favorite trees (pictured above) I had the thought … while the fire raged all around the tree and the smoke was engulfing everything in its path, all that tree could do was just stand there … and trust.

What a testament to steadfastness…

My challenge for you today is to remind yourself daily that Jesus understands…so when you feel overwhelmed and find yourself struggling Jesus is right there waiting to wrap His arms around you !

He loves you beyond measure … you are His!!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you

Overcoming the Sinkholes

Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World … I’m so glad you stopped in . Today has been a busy day in sunny South Carolina, but it’s been a good day.

Tuesday as we were traveling I became consumed with thoughts and like most of us I have to jot those thoughts down and attack them on at a time.

As the news of Kate Spade’s death spread all over social media and the TV stations I thought about how precious and fragile life can truly be.

I remember receiving my first Kate Spade bag the Christmas after my son was born … and I was truly hooked on her fun and whimsical style .

As I thought about that memory almost 21 years ago I kept going back to the thought how our minds can become like sinkholes.

After spending just 3 winters in Florida i have become quite fascinated with their famous sinkholes. I grew up in Maryland and most of our holes are made intentionally.

After a late night of google searching I found a very interesting explanation. Scientists have come to determine that sinkholes occur when the underground resources gradually dry up, causing the surface soil to lose its underlying support. Everything simply caves in forming an ugly pit.

As I laid in the stillness of the night I came to the conclusion that … Depression and sinkholes have a lot in common. Depression seems to overwhelm with a vicious suddenness when it is actually the result of a constant process.

Inner resources are slowly depleted until one day there is nothing left. The world caves in and darkness seems to overtake each day.

I remember at a ministry conference one year the hosting pastor got up and addressed the issue of depression… I was a tad shocked , it was things like that we didn’t talk about. I recall him telling us that when a truck is carrying a load of bricks and the bricks start to crumble and fall .. was it the first brick or the last brick that caused the mess? Wowza, I wish I knew the answer.

He went on to say that because no one is immune to the darkness, we must learn to face it honestly, with emotional integrity.

Today I am raw and real … I was that person. I had a husband and 2 adorable little girls… BUT in 1997 after giving birth to my beautiful baby boy that God had healed of a life threatening disease … I had everything a women could want … yes, even a brand new Kate Spade bag.

I realized that something was drastically wrong. I was absolutely empty and completely exhausted. It seemed as if I had been living in the fast and furious lane forever! Overwhelmed, I sat down and mentally listed the demands on my life.

Wow, I recall looking at the list and thinking to myself …. No wonder you’re struggling. I was just plain tired.  Being a people pleaser, I had always been very strong, driven to make sure that I made everyone happy!! Now I, the strong one, couldn’t get out of bed. Getting dressed by the time my children were up and seated in the homeschool room was a task that took great effort to perform.

I had no idea how I had gotten there and what was even more frightening was the fact that I had no idea how to escape!  I did the only thing I could do. I cried out to God.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”  (Psalm 40:1-2 NIV

This cry started my journey not only into my healing BUT opened the door for me to minister to other ladies.

“Mire” comes in all shapes and sizes – buried pain, the loss of a loved one , broken relationships, unresolved anger. Eventually, the mire works its way to the surface spilling ugliness and darkness into life.

As I looked back over my life a startling realization came – I had painted a picture in my heart and mind of how I wanted my life to look….. and then I became upset and overwhelmed when it didn’t look like I thought it should .

In the following weeks and months, the Lord and I sifted through the enormous pile of “mire” that had settled into my spirit and life.

Trust me when I tell you it wasn’t easy but it was worth it! That journey of unpacking my pain refueled my desire to write, craft, journal, and even to go back to school.

Dear friend just know you are not alone … at times it may feel like you are BUT the truth is He will never leave you nor forsake you .

I felt as though I could not talk to anyone … I began eating my feeling because that brought a few seconds of happiness…. all I can say is BUT GOD.

My challenge for you is to take time to breathe … if you begin to feel overwhelmed know that it’s okay to talk to someone…. trust me it’s okay !!!

It’s by His stripes we are healed , it’s His peace that is perfect and is in us .

This morning as I sat on the patio and watched the sun come up I have truly learned that it is darkest before the dawn but joy comes in the morning … Christ in me is my joy !!!

I am healed , whole, and well … because He alone conquered death. He heard my cry … He picked me up … He gave me beauty for ashes!

NO weapon formed against me will prosper !!

Be blessed, be bold, be you

Xoxo