Welcome To My New Website!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Girlfriends!

Welcome to my new website and blog! It’s been so much fun updating and changing things around a bit.

I’ve been blessed by two talented ‘angels’ who have done the building and designing – I am so happy with the result! I hope you will take a look around through the site and if you like what you see, please visit often for encouragement, hope and life-changing truth from God’s Word.

I plan to continue to blog regularly and often about things that we, as women of all ages and stages, struggle with. My deepest desire is to be helpful by sharing what I have learned or what I am learning and to point us toward the only One who can redeem, restore and repair – Jesus.

I certainly don’t have all the answers to the issues you and I face, but I know where the answers can be found!

I love that we are all on this journey together. It is so much more meaningful and sweet when done with sisters. We are not seeking perfection, but to become the women He had in mind when He made us. And, if you have no idea who that woman is, then you are in good company and have found the right place! Won’t it be amazing to finally meet her?

It is never, ever too late to become who He has created you to be.

As this new site was being designed, I took some time to read over all of the names of the women who subscribe to my blog. I prayed for and thanked God for each one.

 

 

Whether you are a subscriber or not, thank you for reading my words. Thank you for inviting me to share my story at your gatherings and thank you for leaving comments or emails and sharing a bit of your story with me. I write here to connect with you and as authentically as I can, to offer hope, encouragement and God’s truth.

Scripture tell us that God has had His eyes on us long before we knew Him. He alone is where we find our significance.

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.”  Ephesians 1:11

The key word in this Scripture is everyone. Not everyone else, not those pretend women who seem to have their act together, but real, flawed and imperfect women – just like you and me. I’m so glad you’ve joined me on the journey!

Many Blessings,

PS. Since this is Memorial Weekend, I have added our Acuña Family Guacamole recipe to the ‘Freebies’ page! You will find other yummy recipes there too, including a strawberry salad that is perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!

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Unfinished Business: A Good Friday Devotion

Hello Girlfriends,

As promised, here is a short devotion for Good Friday. I hope you are able to settle in and not rush on to the Easter celebration. Today is a good day to reflect on what He has done and what our response will be to His sacrifice.

 

 

The video devotion is based on John 19:25- 30, the last few minutes of Jesus’ life on earth.  Praying that it blesses you on this holy day.

 

Sunday’s coming!

laura

Consider the Source {when a friend hurts you}

Hi There,

I know it’s late — it is after 11:00 PM my time as I write this to you. I figure some of you are up and having a little quiet time after the kids are asleep and some of you have already gone to bed. In any case, I am posting this even at this late hour.  I’ve fought with technology all evening just to get this video from my phone, to my computer and then on to YouTube. I am posting this tonight if it kills me!  Lol! 

I hope your evening has gone smoother than mine has. 🙂

Here you go – I’m sharing a few tools to help us when our feelings get hurt by our closest sisters. It happens in every friendship at one time or another. I hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to me.  As Lysa TerKeurst says, ‘Imperfect Progress’ is what we are after – not perfection.

Love,

laura

 

 

PS. And speaking of imperfect progress…thanks in advance for grace as you view my ameteur video. I am learning, but I’m not there yet! 

 

Don’t Be The Rock

We finally had a snow day yesterday! It’s been a snowless winter until now – I was so grateful for a day off work and to myself.

As I puttered around the house, I was thinking back to a blog post I wrote in January about the Women’s March in DC. In it, I shared that in the original language of Genesis 2, the word ‘helpmeet’ – referring to why God created woman – actually translates back to the original Hebrew word ‘ezer’ which means, ‘rescuer, lifesaver and strong power.’ Those words have so much more strength in them than helpmeet. Don’t you agree?  

I often share this when I speak – always with the intention of reminding women how much they are valued and treasured by God. I love the ‘whoo-hoo’s’ I hear from the audience when I tell them this world was not complete until we arrived on the scene!

But when thinking about the word ezer yesterday, my mind went in a completely different direction.

The day my mother died, we were all gathered at her house in the evening with family and friends coming by. As you can imagine, after a week holding vigil at the hospital and then with her passing, we were exhausted. There was a bit of family drama going on. You know what I mean – emotions were running high.

My Godparents were among the visitors and witnessed some of the family stress. As they were leaving, and I walked them to the door, my sweet Godfather hugged me and then looked me in the eye and said, “Laura Anne, YOU are the rock.”  

He meant this as the kindest compliment and I took it as such. In that moment, he saw me and was conveying that I was strong enough to handle all that was swirling around. I hugged him back, and told him that I learned how to be the rock from my mother.

Next week, it will be two years since that evening.

Over the past 24 months, I have learned so many important truths – far too many to detail here. But as I remembered the word ezer and its meaning, I was reminded of something I’ve learned since mom died..

Often times, our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness.

As Christian women, we have such big hearts. It’s easy for some of us to become very caught up in being the rescuer, the lifesaver and the strong power. We are natural fixers and may feel it is our calling to rescue the lost, hurting and dysfunctional.

We want to help, inspire, cheerlead, figure out the problem and then fix it. Us to the rescue! We can feel responsible to make everything and everyone ok. Sound familiar?

So here is what popped into my mind as I was thinking this through: Don’t be the rock.

There already is a Rock and it isn’t you.

It’s not your job. It isn’t your role and it won’t work anyway.

You can’t rescue anyone – you can’t fix anyone.

And all the helping and cheerleading in the world will never save a single soul.

Don’t be the rock.

Our role as women – as mothers, friends, siblings and lovers is to…

Love

Encourage

Listen

Be an example

Pray

And then, keep pointing to the true Rock, the only One who can save and rescue – the strongest power, Jesus.

Only the Creator can fix what He has created.

In psychology lingo, trying to be the rock, the fixer, or the rescuer of people is called co-dependency.

We Christian girls are amazingly skilled at this and we confuse it with love, caring and compassion. But in reality, co-dependency crosses a line and accomplishes just the opposite.

To rescue your child from pain or obstacles is to teach them to be helpless for a lifetime.

To be the lifesaver for an addict is to prolong their addiction and hinder their recovery.

To try to fix everything and make it all ok for everyone is exhausting, keeps you from living in freedom and hear this truth: it will continue into the next generation.

Don’t be the rock.

Our beautiful and powerful attributes, given to us at Creation are not to be used for our own glory, a search for significance or our need for validation. We place ourselves in God’s role when we do that – and that’s always a problem.

Instead…

We rescue by taking them to the Rescuer.

We help save a life by pointing them to the Lifesaver

We use our strong power, by loving deep and unconditionally with healthy boundaries.

Our true strength is seen when we allow others to experience their own journey and learn their own lessons –  and we do the same.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” – Psalm 18:2

Someone already has been given the assignment – and it is not you or me.

Please, please – don’t be the rock.

Many Blessings,

laura

If The March For Life Was Painful

The March for Life was last Friday and, if I didn’t have to work, I would have been there.  Washington D.C. is only 45 minutes from my home and it’s an easy trip. I’ve always wanted to attend, but haven’t made it there for a variety of reasons. Maybe next year.

Last week I wrote a post in response to the women’s march that occurred on the Saturday after the inauguration. I was heartbroken after watching it unfold both on TV and on social media. I know that many of us were troubled by the message that day and I wanted to write a simple piece on our true, God-given, feminine identity.

As for The March for Life, you might be surprised to know that I felt heartache over it as well. My feelings had nothing to do with the peaceful and prayerful march, the wonderful speakers or the message of the day. All of it was uplifting and inspiring. God truly is answering our prayers for the unborn.

Image Credit: Terri Cunningham
Image Credit: Terri Cunningham

Even so, as I watched the march unfold, my heart was broken for many of you – my dear sisters who have had an abortion.

From Sanctity of Life Sunday to the march on Friday, we were reminded that since Rowe vs. Wade became law, 58 million babies have been aborted in this country.

What if one of those dear souls was your child?

I say this because, even though the cause is important and we as Christians must stand to speak out for the unborn, it doesn’t mean that the message wasn’t painful for you.

All of this, though well intended, can pick open a wound.

And so I prayed and asked God to remind you of His great love for you. And even though I have not had an unexpected pregnancy, we really are no different from one another.

In the time and place I grew up in, coming home pregnant was completely unacceptable. Fear was put into us, that we would shame our entire family. We were told we would be forever ruined.

I remember one girl in my high school who was quietly sent away to have her baby and give it up for adoption – but every other girl I knew in high school and in college who became pregnant, chose to have an abortion.   

They almost universally made this decision based on the belief that they could not go home and tell their parents such news. They believed it was better to just make it go away.

And make it go away, they did. The problem is, it never really goes away.

When I look back on my younger years I am convinced that, even though I was a Christian and understood abortion is a sin, I feared shame, being ‘ruined’ and disappointing my family more than I feared God.

My faith was simply not strong enough to trust Him with a situation like an out of wedlock pregnancy.

Although I will never know for sure, it is quite possible, had I been in the same frightening place, I would have chosen abortion too – even though I was a Christian and even though I knew it was a sin.

In those years of my life, I didn’t have the faith and trust that I have now.  The truth is, God never asks us to do anything He doesn’t give us the power to do. He would have given it to me, but I didn’t know it then. 

And so, I can’t pass judgment on any of you who have made the choice to abort her baby. I feel so fiercely protective of your broken hearts that my heart breaks for you, too.

I am no different from you. I just never had to make that choice.

The story of my growing up years may be different than yours. Women deal with unplanned pregnancies in different ways and for different reasons.

But no matter how you came to your decision, know this – if abortion is part of your story, you are not ruined. 

If you have asked Him for forgiveness, He has forgiven you. He sees you, understands your broken heart, and He will take away your shame.

My sister, you are not ruined — you are redeemed.

And today, maybe, just maybe, you need a reminder that your child is in His care and you are too.

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. — 2 Kings 20:5

Many blessings and so much love,

laura

"The first time I heard Laura communicate, my exact response was 'Wow'! Laura's teaching style is passionate, relatable, and hope-filled. She radiates warmth, kindness and a genuine interest in those around her -- on and off the platform. Her amazing story of transformation, coupled with her solid biblical teaching, will leave you also saying "wow!" If you're looking for a dynamic communicator, Laura has my highest recommendation!"

- Cindy Bultema, International Speaker and author of Red Hot Faith: Lessons from a Lukewarm Church and Live Full, Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin Soaked World