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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Prep-Phase Day 17, 40 B4 40: Who will you 'offend' today?

(I am praying and fasting on and off for 40 days b4 my 40 B4 40 countdown to my 40th bday. I want to see God move in those last days of my 30's. I'm choosing not to pout, I'm choosing to pour out!)

According to the media, lately, and well for years now, I could have really offended some people this week.

I went with my husband and girls to get my hubby's hair cut. He only has one guy that can deal with that thick mop on his head, Pat.

Pat has been diagnosed with cancer. There is nothing anyone but God can do but pray. It's a done deal in the eyes of doctors. However you would never know it by how he looks on the outside. Tan, fit, trendy clothes and European eye glasses. White teeth and a great personality.

As I sat in the shop waiting, the opposite walked in, "John". John was loud, gruff, super macho with the language to prove it. My hubby got him to talk about his job and he ate it up. My girls and I witnessed a very intense and interesting conversation about motors-peppered with some spicy lingo. (I never say anything when that happens, I just use it as a learning tool later. And a vocabulary builder! ;) We homeschool, everything counts. That's a post for later, maybe.)

I knew absolutely that I was supposed to pray with Pat before we left. I was pretty pumped. Not everyone is like me or has to be, but this is my thing. I'm not shy, at all, ever. (I found out that shyness is actually pride- it still doesn't mean that God made us all the same.) So when we got up to leave I shook Pat's hand but we didn't let go. Our eyes locked and I told him we had been praying for his healing, praying for a miracle but most of all praying for his soul. He thanked me and I asked if I could pray for him now. He agreed!  By this time "John" was in the chair next to me with his bib on ready for a cut. I didn't even think- I just put my hand on his shoulder and said, "John", do you mind if I pray for you, too? Sure! Alrighty then, away we went, to The Throne Room. Petitioning the Father on the men's behalf. My girls and hubby joined in. It was quite the thing. The presence of the Lord was in the barbershop. They both thanked me. Tears.

They were not offended that I had offered to pray, they liked it.

Today we delivered cookies to all of our closest neighbors. What started out being planned as quick drop-offs turned into a major prayer vigil at 2 houses! One of our favorite retired neighbor's wife is in rehab and not recovering, so the girls and I prayed. Not just for her, but for him. The Lord showed up in the foyer. Tears.

He was not offended that I offered to pray, he liked it. 

Then on to a new neighbor I hadn't met yet. As the girls and I were interviewing her and she us, we found out that we both knew who Dave Ramsey was. I gave her our "debt free" testimony and asked her what her plan was. Her eyes lit up. She said that she had been praying about finances. Her Christian friend had said that she felt like our neighbor would get some confirmations today. Our neighbor said she just knew we counted as one of them! She knew she was supposed to continue on with the financial plan to get out of debt. I encouraged her to tithe to a ministry since she had not found a church yet. We prayed and God showed up on the front porch. Tears.

She was not offended that I offered to pray, she liked it. 

People are hurting, they need a touch from God, whether they are a believer or not. You may need a touch from Him.  I'm not hurting at the moment, but I need a touch from God. He created me to need Him, want Him, desire Him. We are all that way by divine design! The best way to get over the dumps of whatever you're walking through is to go 'offend' someone and pray with them. And if you don't feel the time is right, intercede, offer to pump their gas, pull down their trash can on trash day, clean their bathroom. Do the hard stuff.

The more uncomfortable and awkward it is for you, the more they need for you to do it so they feel love.

His love.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

They will not be offended that you offer, they will like it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Prep Phase-Day 7: 40 B4 40 ~Are you a Faithful Fairy?

  I have had some amazing things happen in just the first 7 days of my Prep-Phase for my 40 B4 40! If this sounds weird, go here:

The first amazing thing is that I started reading the book Revolution by Y.P. Yohannan (Gospel for Asia) with hubby and it is just killing me of my selfishness, fast! In the first couple of chapters I read how this man from India surrendered his life to the Lord and shortly after, he had a similar anxiety attack about what on earth could he do for the billions of people on earth that needed a Savior. I had to cry and smile at the same time, boy, this was familiar! I can't wait to dive deeper into this life story of one who has given everything to get the gospel to the unreached people groups of Asia. His view of my American opulence is making me pretty sick, but in a good, gut-wrenching way. Heavy stuff and written from a perspective I've never heard. Thank you, Lord, for leading me to this book at this pivotal point in my life.

The second thing that totally ties in with my heart this season is our new Faithful Fairies!
Since I homeschool, I figured that it was imperative (and unavoidable ;)) that I include my girls in my quest to skinny up my reserves of fat, american blessing. A friend found 'Kindness Elves' here:
 and I thought, what a great thing to do! The elves are not mischievous, they are kind and loving!  Another friend thought it was great, too, so she crafted these for us, I named ours 'Faithful Fairies'  and she has 'Candycane Angels' for her girls. They all invite our children to do selfless acts each day until Christmas. It is a nice take on the Elf on the Shelf. Which really looks fun, but for the direction I'm going this season and since we don't do Santa, 'Faithful Fairies' seem a better fit for us.

Here is the letter the Faithful Fairies showed up with this morning:
Good Morning Shea and Claire! 
We are the "faithful fairies". It's so nice to meet you! We are fairy sisters-we just don't have our wings yet! Will you help us earn our wings by serving others this Christmas? We will give you kind suggestions on how to serve and love others.
It's up to you to follow through!
We are here to help you!
How about today we begin our letters to Khushi and Muskhan? (Girls our girls ages that we sponsor through GFA). How fun!
The Faithful Fairies

After much squealing, the girls came up with other things the Fairies could do this week with us. They are thrilled! Thank you so much for making these for us, Kris!!!!!

I'm pretty pumped about all the fun ideas I have for these fairies! I'm thinking I will add a new bible verse to the daily suggestion from the fairies to help us focus on humility at Christmas.

Any ideas for my Faithful Fairies?

What does your family do to keep the gimme's out of Christmas?

Have you read Revolution? If so, what is your take?

Have a Miraculous Monday!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Prep Phase-Day 1: Going nowhere fast? Come with me!

I can't really say I'm going nowhere, I'm definitely going somewhere and that somewhere is straight to 40 in 80 days! But lately, I have felt like I'm going nowhere fast- spiritually. Kind of in a spiritual rut. Is it too early for me to have a mid-life spiritual crisis? I am very happy with my life. I have a great husband and great children. Everything is just, well, great. I feel really spoiled. I feel itchy. I feel like my cup is brimming over with no saucer to catch the excess. I feel fattened up on blessing.  I need a change, not in the direction of my life-I have peace that I'm on the right track, but in the direction of my heart, my spirit. It doesn't have to be huge, but I want it to move me. I want God to move me.

I just got back from a pre-birthday trip to NYC. I loved it. Every time I go I love it more and I see something different that will stick with me forever. This time it was a man on the subway asking for money. He was tattooed with prison ink, announcing he was a felon and couldn't get a job. There was no way to ignore him. He was LOUD and if you've ever ridden the subway in NYC, no one talks, hardly at all. They are all in their own world. I can't blame them. When you are used to seeing 10,000 different people a day, if you said 'Hey there!' to all of them you would never leave the train! He was almost impossible to ignore, yet it was possible. There in my face, this man was laying out his heart and I diverted my eyes and ignored him along with the 50 other people. I thought...he could be lying and just lazy. As he continued his plea, I felt God show up in the train car. My heart got heavier and heavier, my eyes stung as the Holy Spirit spoke so softly to my heart-"It doesn't matter how he got where he is, he is here now and he needs Me." I panicked. I couldn't get off that train fast enough. I raced up the stairs to let the icy air cool my red-hot face and cried out to the Lord, "Oh God! What do I do?! There are millions of desperate people in this one city and billions on this planet and I'm just one girl!" 

 He gently reminded me that He had given me a small plan a few months ago. There was something I could do.

Option 1: I had read Facebook posts from a girl who was turning 30 and every day for 30 days leading up to her birthday someone somewhere did something wonderful for her. Wow! How nice!

Option 2: I also read a blog about a different girl turning 30 and on her birthday she did 30 selfless acts for random people. She hauled her kids and husband all over town in their mini van to drop off goodies, visit the nursing home, hide gift cards at Starbucks in the napkins and pay for the person behind them at Mickey D's.

 Seeing as Option 1 is probably not gonna happen, I picked more of an Option 2. I just think mine is gonna be really different.

So, for the next 40 days before the 40 days before my 40th birthday (got that?) I will be in the prep phase. Praying, fasting, and asking God for direction on how to handle my last 40 days of being 39-my 40 B4 40. I'm so excited I could pop!

 There ARE some things I can do!

I can choose to fast on and off and pray for 40 days in the prep phase for God to reveal His plan for me to give myself away to others instead of selfishly focusing on new wrinkles, lost dreams of the past and disappointments surely to come if no one throws me a big 40 surprise party! ;) Face Forward!

I can choose to open myself up to the Holy Spirit's direction and ask my Father to do what only He can do through me for the 40 straight days before my birthday. Open, listen, hear, act. He may or may not give me a road map. He may or may not give me anything. This could be really interesting, or really boring!

Will you pray for me and with me for the Lord to use me to bring people to Him through creatively blessing them? Would you pray that God gives me grace to be consistent and dedicated in my prayers, fasting and blogging? Would you please pray that I can clearly hear His voice and heart through this and see people through His eyes?

I have NO IDEA what to expect but I do feel like this is a game changer for this season of my life.

Would you like to join me in this challenge? I'm looking for cool stuff to happen even before my 40 day countdown begins on January 12, 2014. I will share periodically what I learn in my devotions during the prep phase and then will try to daily share my experiences during my 40 B4 40.

I'm going somewhere now, baby, come with me!

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.- Jim Elliot

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13