Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I was thinking about friendships. I am blessed to have great friendships in my life.  The thought of having a "forever friend" is such a comforting thought, but can that always be the case??? I understand the thing of “loyalty” in friendship, but if a time comes that a friendship is stopping you from doing what God has called you to do… what then?

These are some questions God has laid on my heart to ask myself… Is a friendship putting up road-blocks? Is a friendship causing me to step away from serving? Is a friend’s offense becoming my offense? Is this friendship hindering the Lord’s work? Are there bad changes that have happened so subtly that I don’t even see it? Am I ignoring words of truth from other good friends?  Are things I am hearing and believing to be truth from this friend taking precedence over what is in God’s Word? Am I putting so much stock in a friendship and being a good friend that I have replaced God with that friendship? I guess the ultimate question for me when evaluating all this is… Is this friendship making me sharper for the Lord or is it dulling my edge?

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens
the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17

It is great to have good friendships, but I always need to remember that there is no relationship in this world that is worth keeping if the cost is a broken relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I pray for loving, encouraging friendships in your life.  I pray that God puts the people in your life that will keep you on the path He has planned for you.  I pray that you will seek God as your ultimate friend.  I pray that you will make the choices that are pleasing in God's eyes. In Jesus' name.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bloomin' for His Glory...

I have been going through a little bit of a rough patch… at times I feel like I am losing my mind! *Ü* Some may be hormone related, some may be the enemy, but what I do know and believe is that through it all if I can keep looking to Jesus and keep praising God… I am on the right track. I may be praising Him through the tears, and that is okay at least I continue to praise Him.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13

It is hard sometimes to realize when I am going through something painful, those are the times I can be growing the most in the Lord… those are the times when God’s glory can be revealed more through me… those are the turning points in my Christian walk. It is hard when people may not understand the choices I make… choices I know God has called me to. It is difficult to have people turn their back on you. I was reading this morning how when trials come it is like having the soil turned over in our “potted plants”… I need to let my soil be loosened up and weeds pulled out. God wants to loosen things that can choke our lives and stop us from radiating joy. And yes, unfortunately it may be those same people that have turned their backs on you that also could be choking out your joy.

It is not fun to go through painful or troubled times, but if stirring up my soil is what it takes to move me forward in my walk with the Lord… I look with anticipation for the joy and fruitfulness to come… it will be greater than I could ever imagine! It is not easy and sometimes can be lonely but I choose to surrender it all to God.

“Those who bless God in their trials will be blessed by God through their trials.”
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Identity Crisis...

Life has been so busy lately... all with good things, but just VERY busy!  I haven't even taken the time to stamp lately... I need to get back to that.  I do realize that sometimes in the busyness I can lose track of myself.  I really felt like I needed to share this on our identity.

Everyday your identity is under attack. You are bombarded by the enemy’s lies… he wants you to feel worthless. Don’t look to things around you to find your worth. You are God’s, and He doesn’t want for you to go through an identity crisis… you are His Treasure.

“… out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 14:2b

Papa God is the only one to appraise your true value and worth. When you think about Him sending His Son to die on the cross for you… doesn’t that already prove how much you are worth to Him. At this very minute, embrace what you are – God’s treasured possession… His crown jewel… chosen one of the King. Our Heavenly Father is the only One who defines you!

Imagine how highly He thinks of you… you are loved and accepted by Him for who you are. Treat yourself as the precious jewel that you are, because that is what He wants for you. Don’t settle for anything less than your worth… see yourself through the loving eyes of your Creator. I pray you will never let anyone tell you who you are, accept for your Heavenly Father, He is the One that knows exactly who you are because He created you.

Praise His holy name because He has made you the wonderful woman you are… maybe not perfect on earth, but perfect in His eyes. Love yourself for who you are now, but love yourself enough to keep growing in the Lord… giving Him all the glory. He is right there with you ready to lead you from glory to glory… grab hold of His hand and don’t be afraid... He only wants the best for His best… let His light shine through you, my dear sisters.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beautifully broken...

Guess what... more snow in northern Michigan!!!  It is very white here, maybe I should go out and build a snowman.  Ok, maybe not!

Do you ever have those moments when something is said to you in a joking way, but to you it just feels mean?  Well, that happened to me... there was this "funny" incident that happened a few weeks ago... I laughed about it at the time, but it was one of those things that you say, "ha-ha, that's funny, now let's move on." If you know what I mean??? Well, someone that had nothing to do with this incident came up to me and told me they had a good laugh a couple days ago over this thing that had happened to me.  Let me tell you I was not in a great mood to begin with, plus I had a terrible headache... I don't have a problem laughing at myself when something is funny, but I didn't appreciate being laughed at, as I saw it. 

Luke and I had a discussion about it and I felt like he was just trivializing how bad this made me feel, so I told him I wasn't going to talk to him about it.  I know, probably not the best attitude but I was so frustrated and my head was just pounding so hard from the headache... I just dropped it, even though I was feeling old and ugly, hurt and misunderstood.

Okay, fast-forward to this morning... when I got up my hubby had left a marker in the “My Princess Warrior” book at the page entitled “Beautifully Broken, My Beautiful Warrior”. It talked about the weakest points in me are the places where God can shine the brightest. He wants to use my brokenness to make me beautiful for His glory. He will rebuild whatever is broken to become more beautiful than I can ever imagine. It talked about Esther and how God took her heartache and brokenness to be used for His glory and actually, if you read the book of Esther... she was used to save a nation.

Let me tell you these words in this book were just what I needed.  God has blessed me with the best hubby in the world... I love, love, love that Luke is the husband God has called him to be. Praise to You, oh Lord!

I want to share my prayer for spiritual beauty… I pray to see how beautiful God has created me and how He is turning my brokenness into greatness. I will believe Him when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I bring my weakness and brokenness to Him so that He can restore me and turn me into something more beautiful than I could ever be on my own. I pray that all of Heaven’s beauty will shine through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

I have let this hurt go because I will not let the enemy have his way in this… I am beautiful in God’s sight… He is the only one that I need to validate who I am.

I hope that if you are feeling down or not too beautiful today... these words may be a help to you... let God's glory shine brightest where you feel the weakest.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Potter's Hands...

I feel like life has been so busy the last couple of weeks. There has been a lot of really great things happening and going on, but there are also those things that I wish would not be part of my daily living. I am feeling like life is spinning out of control at times… I like to know exactly what I am doing… I like to have things organized and set to go, but I don’t see any of that going on right now. People have been so great… very encouraging.

Are you feeling under pressure from test or trials in your life?  Just remember those are the times that God can use to form us… those are the times when I am “pliable” to either let Him make me what He wants to make me or I can keep fighting against it which will leave me broken and more or less just a blob that He has to start over again to form.

And the vessel that the potter made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand! Jeremiah 18:4-6

When I feel like my life may be spinning out of control that is the time the Potter’s wheel is spinning me to make me evenly formed into what the Potter has planned to make me into. The problem comes when I take my eyes off God and I focus on the circumstances or the mishaps in my life… that is when I become “dizzy”… that is when I let this journey through life get the best of me. I also realize the times when I feel like I may be under fire, both from people and the enemy… those are the times that God can fire the clay that He has formed. A masterpiece is never put into the kiln only once… in may be fired and then taken out and added to with more glaze to make it more beautiful. It is a process… it isn’t a quick process, but God, the Potter, has shown me that the masterpiece He is making me into is a slow and sometimes painful process… perfection will take a lifetime and that is okay because He has the plan for my life. He loves me just like He made me, but He also loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to remain where I am.

I know it seems totally insane in human thinking to be joyful in trials, but that too is a choice… how will I choose to handle when yucky things happen???

“My brother and sisters, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” I Peter 1:2-4

Just a thought... if you can’t praise God in the bad things then do you really mean it when you praise Him in the good???
Besides knowing are never alone in this life... a word of encouragement would be to stay in God’s Word… pray for His guidance… ask Him for patience and for His joy to bubble up in your heart… hold on to His peace, His is the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)

with a grateFUL HEART, carin