Jesus Calling

{Photo 312/365}  Ok, so I picked up this little book when I was at the Relevant Conference a couple of weeks ago –> Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence <– I love, love, love it!  I’ve been reading it each morning, the messages are speaking directly to my heart.  The tag line…enjoying peace in His presence…is what I’m experiencing — peace in His presence.  This is the little piece of “fresh-ness” that I needed to add to my quiet time.  Today’s message was powerful.

“Learn to appreciate difficult days.  Be stimulated by the challenges you encounter along your way.  As you journey through rough terrain with Me, gain confidence from your knowledge that together we can handle anything.  This knowledge is comprised of three parts: your relationship with Me, promises in the Bible, and past experiences of coping successfully during hard times.

Look back on your life, and see how I have helped you through difficult days.  If you are tempted to think, “Yes, but that was then, and this is now,” remember who I AM!  Although you and your circumstances may change dramatically, I remain the same throughout time and eternity.  This is the basis of your confidence.  In My Presence you live and move and have your being.”

Square UP

{Photo 299/365}  I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off today — getting unpacked, grocery shopping, kids settled in and taken care of, filling book orders, and packing again.  I leave EARLY tomorrow morning for the Relevant Conference in Harrisburg, PA — SO excited!  With that said, today I am grateful for Square…this new little tool makes my life so simple, and I’m looking for some “simple.”  I love technology, I can sell my books, The Ultimate Journey, and coaching packages so easily from my iPhone or iPad…on the fly!  Today was a great day — productive. blessed.

Snow Birds

{Photo 298/365} Count ‘em — that’s right — 18 wheelchairs welcoming the flight to Florida’s Southwest International Airport.  We travel back and forth frequently and I have never seen this many wheelchairs waiting for snowbirds at a gate…ever!  The security guard I talked with said the last 3 flights had all been like this — 14, 18, 24, and now 16!  This is a  T R U E  sign that winter is coming…solution?  Fly south to the Sunshine state.  The lady sitting next to me on the airplane chuckled and called it a wheelchair derby and Zach called it an “antique rodeo” — Love it!. =)

Thy Will

{Photo 285/365}  We are working Step 3 together, me and my “sponsee” — Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him — S U R R E N D E R!  The best part about working with others is that it forces me to, again and again, work on me.  I needed to review this message today — THY will, NOT my will.  It’s that simple, yes it’s that difficult.  I need this constant reminder to keep me grounded, focused, and to slow down!  I need this constant reminder to not get ahead of His plans with my plans.  I need this constant reminder in all my relationships to be more accepting, more patient, more tolerant.  I am grateful for the opportunity to “carry the message” each time I do, it affirms within me too.  blessed.

A Season Over

{Photo 279/365}  My sweet friend had GREAT reason to celebrate tonight…a season over.  A long journey came to an end…a new one begins.  We learn, we grow.  We are stretched, we are challenged.  We refine, we become.  I am so grateful for the people in my life — wisdom, confidence, strength.

Changing

{Photo 270/365}  I noticed this tree in my neighbor’s front yard as I pulled into my development this afternoon.  Do you see the change taking place?  The gradual change?  The left part of the tree is green, then as you look to the right there are hints of light orange, then red.   It’s happening slowly as we enter this new season, Autumn, by small degrees; little by little.  Soon, this tree and the tree-line behind it will be vibrant in color.  I think of life…my journey…the journey of others who are close to me.  How we want to see change happen so quickly.  How we can be impatient for what’s on the horizon, what’s next.  How if we were to go at the speed that we would like, we might not get the outcome that God has planned for us.  How with gradual change comes refining, learning, growth.  I love how I am gradually changing.  I’m grateful for God’s patience with me through all of my seasons.  My desire is to extend that same patience to others.

Funeral

{Photo 161/365}  He asked me, “Mom, should I smile or not? Because, isn’t this supposed to be sad?”  Today he attended his first funeral.  One of my best friend’s mother-in-law passed away on Monday.  She was an amazing woman.  She was so young.  Cancer.  My heart aches for those she left behind – her children, grand children, husband, and friends — she was a light into the lives of many.  However, today she walks the streets of gold – hand in hand with her Father God.  So, my answer to Zachary was, “You can smile if you want to.  You can cry if you need to. Everybody responds differently.  It’s a sad day, yes – but it’s a celebration of a beautiful life.”  He wanted to be there – he dressed up – asked a lot of questions – we had great conversations.  It was a very emotional day.  No words can comfort those who were so closely connected.  Lots of hugs.  Lots of tears.

Domestic Day

{Photo 158/365}  This is where I spent a good portion of my day, in the laundry room.  I think I did about 10 loads — I was the domestic diva.  Our final guests left this morning so today was all about getting the house “back” — now…got to figure out the new routine, what’s next, and our busy summer schedule.  My life is full of changes, just taking it one day at a time.  Today – I crossed a lot of things off my to-do list and it felt great.  progress.

Who Needs to Change?

Do you believe others need to change?  OR do YOU?

For years, I thought everyone else needed to change.  I can remember back in 2002 reading Dr. Phil McGraw’s book, Relationship Rescue.  I needed a relationship rescue in a serious way at the time so the book came in handy.  That was the first time it sunk in for me that I NEEDED to change.  Blaming someone else wasn’t the answer and I was not a victim.

I was still in my 20’s, very late 20’s, just had my second child and thought ok, let me work on this.  I CHANGE.  I read that I needed to change my reaction to get a different response.  SO, that I did!  It WORKED!  The relationship I was focused on changing, was changing because I was changing, it was good!!

BUT, it was short lived and it didn’t last long.  Eventually I went back to my old behaviors and experienced the same old responses to my same old reactions.  BUMMER!!

I STILL believe the LAW OF CHANGE:

Nobody can change YOU (why? Because your brain ONLY listens to YOU)

YOU canNOT change others (why? Because they only listen to themselves)

YOU can ONLY change yourself (why?  Because YOU only listen to YOU)

As YOU change, those around you change as a reaction to all of the changes in YOU!

THAT is where I am today, in my late 30’s – it took me just shy of 10 years to get this change thing down AND I’m STILL working on it!  The difference today, than where I was when it first hit me, is I AM INTENTIONAL about MY CHANGE.

I’m focused on where I want to BE.   Where I’m headed.  The Goal.  I’ve experienced growth in MANY areas of my life discovering what I want. need. think. feel.  FINALLY!!  The only way to get to the goal is for me to CHANGE.  The “drive-thru” mentality that many people have, even me at times, doesn’t work with change.  It’s a process, it takes time and to sustain the changes, I need to be intentional about it by equipping myself.

Some people FEAR change and believe that it is bad, not me, I’m all about change!  Bring it on.  Where are you at with change?  Is it something you fear?  Something you think others need to do?  OR Is it for you?  If so, how will you sustain it?  How can you be intentional to get to where you’re going?

Breakthrough Ministries

We are thrilled to introduce to you our very first “KIP Pik.”  This organization is a perfect example, to us, of what we envisioned when we wrote our overview of How We Are, “Keeping it Personal and sharing your passion could be the start of an organization to help a family in need or a homeless/runaway on the street.”

We are proud to share with you, Breakthrough Ministries, Inc. Teri and I had a chance to visit with the men behind this ministry, and are excited to share with you their story!

Dave Engman had a vision in July of 2009 and launched Breakthrough Ministries in August 2009. This organization is based in Minnesota and exists to end homelessness, while helping people discover the destiny God has for their life. Their mission statement is simple, yet profound, “Leading the lost home,” in spirit and in flesh. They are introducing the homeless to unconditional love and acceptance, and meeting them where they are at, both physically and in the spiritual sense.  In this short period of time, Breakthrough Ministries has opened 3 homes, and are providing housing to 10 men and women who previously did not have a place to call home.

Breakthrough Ministries seeks to serve the Twin Cities homeless. That number is staggering. Research indicates that there are well over 10,000 homeless people in Minnesota. Of that, over 2,000 are sleeping in places that are considered uninhabitable. Places like under bridges, abandoned buildings, cars, etc.

The problems causing homelessness are not always the same. They range from loss of work, family issues, mental illness, loneliness, hopelessness, lack of self worth, rape, incest, neglect, abuse, hurt, etc.  This is the mission field. And it is right here in the Twin Cities and Breakthrough Ministries, Inc. is on a mission!

We had the privilege to talk to two of Breakthrough Ministies residents, Ken and Nick, who after a series of unfortunate life circumstances and illnesses, found themselves living under a bridge and in tents. Amazing men, with amazing hearts, who are overwhelmed with the love that has been poured over them. For the physical roof over their heads. For their safety. For food. For prayers.

Nick said something to us that I will never forget. “Who would walk up to, and want to talk to someone like me, living under a bridge?” Simply answered, Jesus would. And so would the men working at Breakthrough Ministries. You see, they continually are reminded of Matthew 25 verse 40. “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

If you’ve got a couple of minutes PLEASE watch this video documentary ~ Breakthrough Ministries Documentary

Keeping it Personal is offering a dollar for dollar match on any donation made to Breakthrough Ministries from now until May 31.  Follow this link to their website and click on the DONATE button ~ simply type the words “Keeping it Personal”  on the second page in the online donation process under Add Special Instructions to the Seller.  Or if you would prefer, checks can be mailed to PO Box 931 – Burnsville, MN 55337 – please write “Keeping it Personal” in the memo.  Even $5.00 would be a significant blessing.   We are excited to be a part of this ministry and walk along beside them as they move forward in their vision and passion, and continue to bless the lives of others.

If you want to learn more about Breakthrough Ministries and/or how you can get involved connect with them by going to their website www.breakthroughmn.org and become a Fan on Facebook.