Through the Eyes of a Parent

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When you grow up in the church, you know at a young age that you’re a child of God just as easily as you know your full name and can recite your home phone number. But it wasn’t until I started having kids and becoming a parent myself that the relationship between God the Father and me as His daughter took on technicolor meaning. And now, this correlation is all I see in my everyday, parenting moments.

For instance, no matter how long I’ve been potty-training my three-year-old, he still has accidents. And in those moments when I’m looking at his sorry face and rummaging through the drawers looking for clean underwear (again), I think of how God shows us the right way to live in His Word, but time and time again, we have accidents. And yet, every time, how patient He is with us. 

Or when Oscar says thank you when I give him a snack, I light up, and as a mom trying to teach my kids to mind their p’s and q’s, I’m so proud when he says that on his own. Which leads me to wonder how much more does our Heavenly Father’s heart soar when we acknowledge the gifts He’s given us and actually take the time to thank Him. 

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Colleen Robinson
I am so thankful for the love that God show me every day as a daughter of His
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 09:38
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Reconciling Our Riches

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It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

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Monsters

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“Life cannot be sustained without hope. That is what is so remarkable and intriguing about this tiny word.

It has a mysterious and generous quality. We know hope when we have it and feel miserable when we don’t.”

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Identity Rooted in Truth

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We were all in our twenties at one time. That place of struggling to find out who we are and where we fit in the world. McKayla has been a guest writer in the past and we love her honesty. I find that I always learn a thing or two from this spunky young woman. And I'm sure you will too!

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

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Who Do I Say That I Am?

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Our next contributor is a dear friend of Julie Miller's, Melody Martin. Mel has lived with cerebral palsy and all the struggles that a disability entails. She has endured the trauma of being hit and run over by a truck and has recently undergone two serious neck surgeries. It is through these times the Spirit has acted like an Energizer bunny and kept her going. She realizes it has been God, the Eternal Life force within her, that has gotten her through all the hard times.

 

We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

― William Shakespeare

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Being Single in Christ

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As we continue our discussion on our Identity, we've invited our precious friend, Lisa Harrell, to add her voice from a single woman's perspective... be blessed dear readers!

 

Another single friend and I were talking recently and she recounted again her frustration about having to do everything herself.  “If I were married, someone else would at least be mowing the lawn or balancing the checkbook or getting the oil changed. Sure, I can do each of those things but it’s trying to keep up with it all while working a stressful full-time job, cooking, getting groceries, cleaning, doing laundry, working out, keeping up with friends, caring for my parents, and attempting to tend to my spiritual life and relationship with God that overwhelms me. Heaven forbid I should get sick or some other unwelcome emotional upset, relational conflict, or life event disrupts my life.  There is no one to share the load. I need a partner! I want a companion.” While it may sound strange to call this full, busy, often frazzled and overwhelmed way of living lonely, it can be excruciatingly so for a single woman – be she single by choice, a lack of choice, death, or divorce.

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Consider Yourself Loved: Questions on our Identity

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We gals at Heart Matters would love to hear from you as we continue our discussion about our Identity.

If you'd please leave your comments - we will pray for you!

How do you view yourself?

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Identity Thief

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I see you dressed in whiteEvery wrong made rightI see a rose in bloomAt the sight of youOh, so pricelessIrreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparableDarling, it's beautifulI see it all in youOh, so priceless  

—King and Country 

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Be YOU!

Be YOU!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.

—Dr. Seuss

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

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When Angels Appear

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God’s angels are watching over us.

David Jeremiah

 

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To my child...

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A beautiful letter from a daddy to his 1st child as he heads off to school...

 My hands paused for an extra moment this morning; hovering over the shoes that would carry you off to Kindergarten. For a fleeting moment I thought if I waited long enough I could turn back the clock. Perhaps time would settle into stillness long enough so I could revisit all the times I've rushed you out of childhood and forgotten you are still beautifully wrapped in innocence and wonder. 

My throat tightened the way it always does before the tears start to fall. Your feet danced back and forth with excitement, this new beginning pulsing through your body. Your sister and brother helped you with your new backpack and asked you questions you were too excited to hear. As the oldest you not only forge this path for yourself, but you also make a way for them when their time comes.

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What's in a Name?

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“The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate.”

Isaiah 62:2 

 

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Blustery Winds

Blustery Winds

As we prepare our hearts for autumn...

I thought a reprise of this old devotional I wrote might be just the ticket we need to refocus our thoughts as the blustery winds blow in.

 

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This Labor Day weekend...

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 Have a blessed and rest-filled weekend dear readers!

 

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Gossip Tornado

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  A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

—Proverbs 16:28

Recently I watched gossip about two people sweep through a group of friends.

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With Friends Like That...

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A silence fell over the group that went on…and on…and on. So, I started to talk. I chatted on like a radio.

Carole Mayhall

I’ve been reading through the book of Job from the Bible this summer. It really is a painful little book. It’s painful, not only because of the horrific catastrophes that happen to Job. That is excruciating enough to imagine. But, to have to listen in as his closest friends carelessly prattle on and on as Job suffers…well, that just breaks my heart.

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I'll Leave the Light on for You

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Give light and people will find the way.

—Ella Baker

The sun room in the condo where we’ve stayed in Big Sky, Montana the last couple of years overlooks a small lake hedged in by the small ski village. The village sits at the base of Lone Peak. And the view at sunrise is breathtaking.  

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Lake Country Booksellers - Book signing

Lake Country Booksellers - Book signing

We Heart Matters gals are really excited to share our latest devotional with you! So, please mark your calendars! We'd love to see you!! 

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Quick… Pass the Popsicles

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As I breathe in the last few weeks of summer, I am reminded of one truth a wise mom shared with me when I was struggling with a couple of toddlers. “The days are long," she said, “but the years go fast.” At the end of each summer, I feel the truth of this statement weighing down on me. The years have gone fast, and they show no signs of slowing.

I cannot help but begin counting down the summers I have with my eldest child.

Just three.

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A Love Letter from Jesus

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Our fourth guest is a writer of poetry. Her name is Denise Smith Collier and her beautiful words can be found on her Facebook page, Heart of Worship. May these words from both of her poems bless and encourage you today...  

Love Letter from Jesus

My beautiful bride, I long so for you, With sharing our love, Communion of two.

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The Real Reason Getting Healthy is so Hard (And How to Overcome it!)

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It's our third week and we are really excited to share another lovely lady's blog with you. Her name is Heidi Zwart. She has a wonderful blog about health and wholeness that you will be so encouraged by. Follow her at www.heidizwart.com.

We pray that these words that Heidi wrote will resonate with you today as you move toward a healthier life, day by day.  

 Have you ever blamed yourself for not eating well, exercising consistently, or having a body you just can’t seem to love? Me too. And, there’s a reason we share this struggle. Getting healthy is hard.  But it’s not because we lack willpower or haven’t found the right diet plan. It’s not because we haven’t mastered good habits or broken bad ones. The truth is, we were born into this fight. Our struggle began long before we were born...   Our story started with Earth’s first inhabitants, Adam & Eve, a beautiful garden, a serpent, and a piece of fruit. One small not-so-great decision has impacted everything since. Everything. Including our health. Even if you’ve never been a regular church-goer, you’re probably familiar with the story that unfolded in the Garden of Eden. Whether or not you believe the Genesis account to be an accurate reflection of history, I encourage you to lean in and give this story a chance. Keep the door open to the possibility that this story matters. More importantly, consider that this story just may hold the key to healing not only your health but your life.My counseling training has led me to believe that sometimes it’s important to look back before we can move forward. Each of our lives is a collection of past choices. And those decisions have created today.Sometimes, we chose independently. The consequence, good or bad, was solely our responsibility. But sometimes we were impacted by someone else’s choice. We didn’t choose. They did. And we suffer the consequences. Sometimes, we inherit a mess. Never has this been more true than with Adam & Eve’s choice in the Garden of Eden. We didn’t eat that piece of fruit. They did. They paid the price for their decision. And so did we. Our struggle for healthy living is included in this fallout. Why?Because Adam and Eve were given a choice. Life or death.Life was abundantly available if they trusted their Maker and resisted the only thing in the Garden they couldn’t eat... a single piece of fruit (ironic, huh?). But death was promised with just a single bite of that forbidden fruit. It was up to them.And they bit.The crunch resounds today. Can you hear it?  Death became their inheritance. And ours. We can’t undo their decision. We’re tempted... daily... to follow in their footsteps. It’s easy to listen to wrong advice, give in to temptations, and stay stuck in a cycle of defeat. That’s exactly what the serpent wants us to do.If we do this, the serpent wins.But, it’s not the only path. We can choose differently.Though death is ultimately promised to each of us (our inheritance), we can choose abundant life in-between our start and end date. It starts with a small decision. And then another. And another. What kind of decisions?Daily ones. Small ones. Ones that enhance or life rather than detract from it.Eat an extra vegetable. Drink a glass of water. Walk for five minutes. Give thanks for the body you have today (that’s a tough one... I know). The healthier our decisions and the more we practice them, the better able we are to carry out the unique purpose God has for us while we’re here. I can promise you, our purpose goes far beyond a number on a scale or the size of our jeans. The quality of our choices around things like food and exercise impacts our ability to be fully alive and well. But it’s hard sometimes. So I decided to write a book to make it a bit easier. It’s the part of the story we haven’t talked about before. It’s the part that makes all the difference in finally making peace with your life... mind, body, & spirit. It Began In The Garden is blanketed in Biblical truths observed in the Garden of Eden. When applying this new perspective alongside new strategies, we experience release from the shame, guilt, and self-punishment we’ve inflicted on ourselves for years because of food and our body. More specifically, It Began In The Garden will help you:Make small daily changes for big impactRelease the blame and shame that have kept you stuckHave a “good enough” relationship with food Embrace life beyond the scale     Live at peace with your bodyYou will find hope, encouragement, and resources for making fresh choices that will lead to a healthier future. The one you really want.Caution... you may lose weight.You may also develop better discipline and willpower. You may build new habits and break old ones. You may learn to eat better and exercise more consistently. If you really dive in and apply the principles in this book, you likely will. After all, physical, emotional and spiritual weight loss are the side effects of healthier choices. It’s about wellness... the whole body kind.Adam and Eve made their life-altering decision. Now it’s your time to turn the same power of choice into the catalyst for your healthier future. One decision at a time. Welcome to your fresh beginning. 

 

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On Baking Bread and Remembrance

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This week we Heart Matters gals are highlighting Amber Krueger's beautiful blog. She uses her gifts of creativity and artistry to bless and encourage others to do the same.

Check out her blog: https://byambershands.com/. It's a wonderful collection of yummy recipes, creative crafts and ideas to inspire you to tap into your own God-given gifts and abilities.

The last few days have been incredibly difficult ones for me.

On days like today, when my heart is heavily burdened, when my thoughts are clouded and my spirit is grieved, I find myself drawn to performing simple tasks with my hands.

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A Cat with No Name

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During the month of July, we gals at Heart Matters want to lift the voices of other women who write beautiful blogs.

I'm delighted to re-post a beautifully written blog by Hannah Sorvik Fordice.

“I don’t know who I am! I’m like cat here, a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”— Breakfast at Tiffany's 

"Did you hear a cat too? Or am I crazy?"

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Waves

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When the hope of heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of My Presence envelops you. Though heaven is future, it is also present tense. As you walk in the Light with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.

 —Sarah Young

The fact that I’m a novice paddle boarder was made very evident the other day.

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Hello, Goodbye

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The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, it is hello, goodbye…until we meet again.

—Jimi Hendrix 

One of the advantages of advancing years are all the memories that are stowed away in the heart. Like treasures that have been carefully tucked away up in the attic, we brush the cobwebs aside, lift the trunk lid and memories come spilling out.

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Sally Page
Awww, Jule, precious words, and such precious memories. This got me teary-eyed. I'm so glad you were able to make the trip back Ea... Read More
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 18:57
Betty Miller
Beautiful reflexion my dear sister-in-law. It surely brought tears to my eyes but we are assured that we will meet again one day ... Read More
Thursday, 22 June 2017 21:45
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Julie has been inspiring children, youth, and women as a speaker, teacher, silent retreat leader, author and mentor for over 30 years. She was the Director of Women's Bible Studies at Eagle Brook Church, is a certified Spiritual Director and the owner of Heart Matters Publishing Company. She is an alumnus of Bethel University and Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. As an author she has written Bible Study Curriculum and Devotionals, including her latest collaboration, Whispers of God's Grace. Julie draws on her wide range of life experiences, humor and love of God's Word and His creation for her writing. When she is not writing, you will find her absorbed in a good book, puttering in her garden or dreaming of France. Julie and her husband, Rey, live in White Bear Lake, MN and are the parents of two grown sons, Erik and Kyle.

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