Planted By God to Display His Glory -Isaiah 61:3

Posts tagged ‘Believe’

LOVE is…

LOVE  is…

A Christmas present worth unwrapping every day of the year!

In honor of all that LOVE has done for me recently I’ve put together a video collage of  the images and messages I’ve been blessed to receive from God this year.

LOVE is…

The beautiful sound track is from Hidden in My Heart Scripture Lullabies–the music that healed my soul this year as God healed my body.

Yes friends, I am finally walking (and dancing) into my miraculous physical healing!

What can I say, except that God’s LOVE is amazing!

Praying for God’s LOVE to embrace you and fill your heart with strength and joy today and every day!

~ Linda

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011

Dancing Doodle

Hope is hearing the music of the future…

Faith is dancing to it now!

                                        ↓ (that’s me dancing!)  ↓

Happy Monday!

 

Doodle Monday!

Let’s start the week with some no-coloring-between-the-lines fun! No rules, just doodle and post! This week’s doodle theme: Dancing!

Walking it Out in My Red Shoes

I used to hide from you.

Why?

I didn’t want you to see me. The REAL me. Not just the morning hair, dark circles and messy house me. The me that had a messy past. The me that was not the perfect Christian. The me you might not like.

So I hid from you. I was afraid of any relationship beyond “How are you…I’m fine.”

I wore black, brown, and boring so you wouldn’t notice me.

It didn’t work. I wanted it to, but even black and boring is visible! So I worked out a plan of operation to show only the “pretty parts” of me. You know, the “good Christian girl” bits, wrapped up with a pretty bow without all the messy stuff from my past and present.

Living life with a script, I was an actress in the story of my own life. A lonely girl, then woman, who thought life would be safer hiding in the dark corners.

It wasn’t. It was painful. And joy-less.

Until the day I put on a pair of red shoes.

Noticeable red shoes. Shoes the Lord used to set the hidden me free.

Free to be ME. The real me. The one that was finally willing to put God on display through all the messy bits that He had transformed for His glory.

What a victory…except… it wasn’t a perfect happy-ever-after ending. Because later I hid the red shoes, and hid me for about eighteen months. I’d suffered an injury and was in a lot of physical pain. So I put on my black slippers and suffered in a dark corner, steadily losing hope for healing and for ever being useful to God again.

I gave up on April 6th of this year and told God I was done. Done with anything connected to sharing my life because I knew I was useless to Him.

On April 7th Debbie sent me an email. She had read a story I had written years before about my red shoes and how they had set me free. She was so moved by it she created a red shoe theme for the entire year for her women’s ministry.  She wanted to thank me and let me know how the story was inspiring the women of her church.

First I cried. (Messy snot crying) Then I went to my closet, dug out my red shoes, and went to physical therapy. I told my therapist I was going to believe for my healing. Even though I was still in pain, and even though a walk through the grocery store would put me in bed for 2 days, with my red shoes on I was able to believe.

Debbie gave me my red shoes back.

And I began walking into healing and into the future God has for me. The future He has for the REAL me. Not some polished up version I put on display for you so you can think I’m better than I am. Because…

God wants to use every part of my life for his glory – not just the pretty parts.

Once and for all, I’m done hiding. I’m walking into a miraculous healing and I’m walking into the future God has for me willing to share all the good, bad, the painful, and the ugly to bring Him glory. I’m truly free to be me.

In my red shoes.

And not alone! I’m walking it out with a whole bunch of amazing girls like me who are done hiding too!

Why? Because…hear me on this one…

Red shoes are our courage shoes, girls.

They helped me stop in the middle of the Denver airport last weekend to pray for a woman I just met on the shuttle bus. (It was “Tebow-ing,” girl-style!) They helped me share my story with the women at Debbie’s church as the REAL me, not some polished up version of me. They are helping me write and trust that God can use my story to inspire others. They help me to have the courage to be visible with my faith and “sparkle” for Jesus.

Are you willing to make your faith visible too? Are you ready to stop hiding and be real?

It’s time for us girls—girls of all ages—to put on our red shoes and walk it out for Jesus!

Me, and the Girls Like Me from California are doing it!

Won’t you join us?

  ~Linda

(That’s the amazing red-shoe Debbie!)

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011.  All rights reserved.

Everybody is a Genius

Everybody is a Genius

It’s true.

It has to be because one of the smartest people to ever live said so—Albert Einstein.

It takes a genius to know a genius right? And he says you and I are geniuses.

(Don’t choke on your Diet Coke, it will burn your nose.)

Do you believe it? Do you believe you are a genius?

If not, according to crazy haired Mr. Einstein, there could only be one reason:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Let that one hit you between the eyes for a few minutes…

<pause here for a “30 seconds with God” commercial>

Now print it out on a piece of paper along with this from the world’s greatest genius:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

And post them both where you can read them every day.

Until you believe the words are true.

Which leads me to my prayer for this week:

May you and I be set free to become who we were created to be—geniuses. Living in the truth and able to believe we can be all that God created us to be!

Amen!

And by the way, don’t forget to tell your husband, friends, co-workers, children, neighbors, and strangers-in-the-checkout-line that they are geniuses too!

~ Linda   🙂

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011.  All rights reserved.

Listening for the Words of Life

Human communication is inherently flawed. When I said to my thirteen-year-old daughter, “You’re going to be late for school,” she heard she was a failure. That she didn’t measure up to some personal standard of perfection I had for her.

Whoa! That’s crazy! My mouth never uttered such words of condemnation!

My husband casually says, “The house is a mess,” and guess what? I decide I’m suddenly the lousiest wife on the planet.

How do simple statements like these get translated into beliefs that we’re not good enough?

What we say is so often not the same as what is heard!

I don’t intend to speak words that are hurtful, yet sometimes they end up being just that. People around me don’t intend their words to be hurtful to me, yet I interpret them that way. Why?

I don’t have a clue, so I’ve studied the Bible to figure out some answers. I think I have a tidbit of revelation to share, and it starts with this passage in Exodus:

“I am God. I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I will rescue you from slavery. I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment. I’ll take you as my own people and I’ll be God to you. You’ll know that I am God, your God who brings you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I’ll bring you into the land that I promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give it to you as your own country. I AM God.” But when Moses delivered this message to the Israelites, they didn’t even hear him—they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions. Exodus 6:6-9 The Message

They didn’t even hear him?

Hello? These were words from God! How could they not listen?

they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions.

This was their reality. Everything they heard was put through a filter of what they believed, through experience, to be true. Think about it from their perspective…you are a captive, a slave, and for generations there has been no evidence to give you any hope that you will ever be anything but a slave. No matter what you hear, your truth is in what you believe to be true about yourself.

I ask you, are we so different?

When my husband said “The house is a mess” he was just making a statement of fact. It was a mess. I was the one who put it through a filter of what I believed about myself…and it revealed, not what he believed about me, but what I believed about myself!

I do the same thing with words of praise. Instead of receiving them as words of life, I find reasons to persist in my belief that they just could not be true about me…After all, I know myself!

Can anybody relate?

I read my Bible and I hear God’s promises spoken to me. Yup, even those go through the Linda’s-not-good-enough filter.

But how could I not listen to the words of God?!

I was that beaten down in spirit by my own harsh criticisms.

I spent too many years as a slave to a habit of  self-doubt and condemnation. But thankfully, God’s truth and love are stronger than the chains that seek to bind me to the lies. I’m breaking free. From the bondage of lies into the freedom of  life.

I’m now able to hear….to listen for the words of life.

The next time I tell my daughter she’s late and she thinks my words are condemning her, I pray I can communicate that she is loved and wonderful, she just needs to know there’s no time to dry her hair!

The next time my husband comments on the state of the house, I pray I can say, “Yeah, you’re right,” instead of  telling myself “I’m a lousy wife and housekeeper.”

The next time someone praises me or God reveals a promise to me, I pray I can receive and believe that what they say—and what God says—is true for me!

And today, I say to you…

You are wonderful, beautiful, worthy, holy, and dearly loved with an everlasting love. You have been chosen, adopted and anointed as a child of God, and nothing—absolutely nothing can separate you from His love!

Are you listening??  🙂

“Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:2-3 (NIV)

       

         ~ Linda

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011.  All rights reserved.

What Roxie, Bobbles, and Pistachio Taught Me about Going after Your Dreams

Roxie was a chicken. So were Bobbles and Pistachio.

And they lived at my house. Not out in the country, where chickens cluck and peck and roam free to do chicken-y type things, at MY HOUSE. My two-story 1970’s style middle suburbia house. With two dogs, a minivan in the driveway, and our family with 1.0 child.

A 1.0 child who had a dream to raise chickens. In the middle of a  town of 165,000. Did I mention at MY HOUSE?? Oh yeah, I did.

Needless to say it was a shocker, but in reality not so much. Because she started young collecting worms (I had to stifle my “ewww’s”), bugs (more “ewww’s”), and later managed to talk us into owning guinea pigs (one HE ended up being a SHE, and another ONE unexpectedly became TWO). She also begged to have a gecko and to babysit the reptiles from the school science lab over the summer (sorry kid, reptiles are worse than “ewww” to me).

Ah, but chickens. What do you do when your 1.0 only child begs you to have chickens? And you live in a bizarre square block of town that is zoned “rural estate?” Where chickens are legal, even though the mall is two blocks away and there’s a 7-11 on the corner. And furthermore, your kid knows it’s legal because the neighbors across the street have chickens. AND she thinks they’re cute.

We said we’d think about it. That’s the parent way of saying “no,” when you don’t want to crush your kid’s heart so you pretend you’re going to talk about it later. A week went by and we blissfully thought the chicken dream was  just going to fade away.

Yeah, right. The kid was quiet because she had hatched a plan (pun intended).

As we returned from an afternoon shopping trip she ambushed my husband and I at the door. In high-heeled black sandals, dressy black pants, and a long black jacket over a white shirt. Oh, and her hair in an up-do and make-up on. In her most professional business woman voice and posture she gestured to us to “please step into my office, I have something to show you.

Oh man, why do kids have to be so darn cute? Even though she was sixteen, we couldn’t resist her charms any more than we could when she was two. She had us, and she knew it.

As we were ushered into “her” office (my husband’s) she sat us on the couch and graciously offered us the drinks and snacks she had made. My husband and I exchanged an eye rolling we-know-we-are-in-for-it now glance as she began her presentation—in Power Point. With animation. Pictures. Charts. Sound effects. Oh my!

It was an epic “I Have a Dream of Owning Chickens” presentation. She promised to feed, clean, care for, and otherwise be “mama” if only we would let her have three chickens. She said how great it would be to give her an opportunity to show how responsible she could be (music to a parent’s ears). She gave us all the research information and even a cost breakdown.

You guessed it, a few days later three fluffy gray chicks came to live in a cardboard box in our garage. She petted them, held them in her hands and nestled them in her lap. Sat for hours in the garage watching them before she could name them based on their personalities:

Roxie—the cuddly calm one who loved to be petted the most.

Bobbles—who kept falling asleep on top of the food dish in the middle of eating…and performed other silly antics.

Pistachio—nutty, more unpredictable, and always wanting to be noticed.

Our farm friends laughed at our “pet” city chickens who followed their “mama” wherever she went, and loved to sit in her lap and be petted long after they had moved into the coop and started doing stuff real chickens do.

Child 1.0’s dream had been realized. Things didn’t turn out exactly like the presentation promised, but living with chickens helped change my perspective about chickens.

And about going after your dreams.

You see, I came to like them. Even enjoy them. They did have personalities, and they were happy little chickens. Living in a happy place where they were well fed and cared for. Did I mention they would stay in the entryway in a dog crate on cold winter’s nights? Yup, very well cared for.

I never had a dream to own chickens. Never ever. But as a parent I held the power of the life and death of my daughter’s dream in my hands. I knew it and my husband knew it. “No” was our plan, and she knew that. She determined not to take “no” for an answer.

She believed she could convince us if she demonstrated that she was ready, able and committed to the chicken dream. (And she knew the Business garb-PowerPoint-Let Me Feed You marketing plan would work!)

Do I do the same with my dreams? Do I believe and demonstrate when I need to convince somebody that I’m ready, able and committed to my dream?

Nope.

Epic dreams wither and die with the changing seasons of my life and I’ve wondered why. And now that I’m old(er) I’ve started to believe it’s too late anyway. I’m obsolete, out of date…too “retro,” like my 70’s house, to be relevant.

But God says to me, “it’s not over till it’s over.” And I think, “Well, yes Lord, I suppose I’m not dead yet!”

And God says, “Remember the chickens. They filled an empty joy spot you didn’t even know that you had.”

“Time to get yourself all dressed up girl, arm yourself with what you know is true, and don’t BE a chicken! Because there are empty joy spots in other people’s lives to be filled. And they don’t know they need chickens (meaning YOU) either.”

(Okay, I get the message Lord, just please help me find the right outfit of courage to wear!)

Let me tell you friend, owning chickens was an impossible dream. God-sized dreams always are. You have them and I have them, and too often we take “no” for an answer.

So here’s the deal. We need to encourage one another, and stop with the “I’m not good enough’s,” the “She’s better than me’s,” the  “Why me’s?,” and the “Nobody will listen to me’s,” and just try. Try going after the dream until it happens.

I will  if you will.

Yes, you can call me chicken! 🙂

~Linda

Hey Jessie–this one’s for you! 🙂

And thanks kid 1.0, for the lesson in going after your dreams. You rock my world!

 

 

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011.  All rights reserved.

Fret and Faith Colored Glasses

I was fretting.

Justifiably so. A once in a lifetime opportunity was about to occur and we were going to miss it.

It was thirty minutes until the last solar eclipse of the century, and my husband, daughter, and I were stuck in a traffic jam on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria. Only miles from the total eclipse zone, traffic was barely moving and I was grinding my teeth in frustration.

Click here to read the rest of my amazing God story at Internet Cafe Devotions today!

~Linda

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