January Fast

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One more day until traveling man and I finish our first fast of the year; fasting pizza and desserts. We both have learned a crazy amount in this first month already. Let's chat.


For those who may not know why we chose these two particular items well 1. we wanted to fast something challenging. Desserts and Pizza are literally two things we consumed almost daily (desserts were daily!). We were using these foods as comfort items and celebration items instead of diligently going to our heavenly Father when we needed complete comfort or when we were joy filled. It was time for a serious cut off from both of them. 

Not to mention, traveling man and I have not gone more than five days without pizza. Ever. Since we've been together. That is so sad to admit. 

Fasting is hard. It's not easy but as we go into our new fast for February which starts Saturday we are more prepared, equipped and educated. Fasting is not meant to be easy. It's meant to be sacrificial. We wanted to share a few pieces of what we learned and hope it will be encouraging to you on your next fast.

1. It's OK to alter your fast, for medical needs, but not just because it's hard. 

Ok. So first. We did have a "cheat" day. Our 2nd year wedding anniversary was January 20th and before even starting our fast when we prayed about the things we would be fasting in 2014 we felt a peace about having a dessert that day. However, there were other times where we wanted to adjust our fast just because it was hard. 

We do Sweet Frog Friday's with our kids every Friday. It's just something we've developed that we love and there was a time during this past month that I told traveling man I want to eat this so bad, it's good for the kids too right? Because we're doing it as a family? "Soon," He said. He reminded me that this moment of sacrifice, of obedience, is far sweeter than a small cup of frozen yogurt/dessert. 

There were also birthday parties that tempted us because they too were special events, but we didn't cave. Fasting is not meant to be easy. Would it mean it anything if I gave up something I normally didn't do often? No. I want to show my King that I'm serious. 

2. Not everyone has to or needs to fast the same thing. Ask God what you need to fast. 

The neat thing about our fasts of the year is that this first one fell in line with our churches fast. I loved talking to people and hearing all the different things people were giving up. I heard everything from french fries, to cheese, to video games, and fear. Fasting looks different for everyone. Your season is not the same as mine, your level may not be the same as mine, thus your fast will not be the same as mine. 

Traveling man and I agreed on our fasts because we are one. We want to support each other and are praying for very specific things during each of our monthly fasts. You will notice though in my blogs throughout the year that while our fasts may be similar they can be different. A great example is February. In a quiet time earlier this week God clearly asked me to fast TV time in February at night and then limit my online time to very specific times throughout the day, but God did not direct this at traveling man (he doesn't struggle in this area as heavily as I do). 

3. Pray, pray, pray. Fill yourself with the Word.

I cannot express the importance of prayer during any fast. Be real. Have an accountability partner during the time you fast (if you are married, your spouse) so that you can be vulnerable and real with them when you are struggling. If you are not replacing that fasting item with prayer and scripture reading you are defeating the purpose of a fast which is to relentlessly pursue Christ and grow closer to Him. 

Traveling man and I grew much deeper in prayer this month because we started praying together regularly. There were times when we just needed to pray because our sugar craving was so strong. Thankfully a month later we don't crave it nearly as much because God used this time to heal our addiction and teach us self-control.

Don't be so concerned of the "rules" of fasting. Know this, God will tell you what you need to fast if you just ask. It's meant to be a break from something to give you time to work on your relationship with Him. It's a time to be cleansed. A time to grow. 

We are headed into February and it's going to be tough. I do a lot of outings with friends and ministry and we normally meet at restaurants but now I'm going to have to stick to coffee and water (the two things I'm allotted in February). 

The pizza from Due Amici's is going to have to wait until.....March. o_O

Be Blessed Friends!

Two Years and Counting

Monday, January 20, 2014

Today Traveling Man and I celebrate a blissful two years in marriage. It has been one of the toughest, most painful and yet beautiful journeys I have ever walked. I wanted to take a moment of time to share with you some of our testimony on how we got to where we are. Traveling Man and I are excited to eventually share it all one day!

Traveling Man and I met while I was working as a leasing consultant for an apartment community in Cornelius, NC. In fact, we met on May 31, 2010. I remember the date so well because it was Memorial Day. Him and his buddy were touring apartments and making small talk. He tells the story by saying, "I was immediately attracted to you and your personality."

They eventually moved in and the pursuit began. You see, that is one of the biggest differences between Traveling Man and any other guy I've ever been with. He pursued me relentlessly. He would put in dumb work orders (like a light bulb change just to chat), drop off his rent check personally (when we had a drop box on the outside), and would invite me out to dinner almost every time we saw each other.

But you see. I was a single mom to a beautiful two-year-old daughter. I didn't have time for dating. I didn't have time to entertain and I didn't really have time for dinner. 

Finally he walked into my office and said, "I know you get a lunch, you can't say you don't, lets go to lunch."


Lunch was the start of something amazing. We were inseparable after that. Traveling man has this way of making me laugh regardless of what mood I am and has an amazing personality. He is also extremely good looking.

All of this was during my BC days (before Christ, or before I was truly dedicated to Him) and so we made some poor choices that would affect our future forever.

We kept our relationship quiet at first and also were very cautious around Kaidance. She would only be around him the first few months in social settings but honestly took instantly to him. Things seemed to be going so smooth and we were both so happy.


To put a long story short, at the end of October 2010 we got some news that would rock our world.

We found out we were expecting a sweet little girl. It was a complete shock because when we found out I was already 12 weeks pregnant. (I was on birth control at the time). We had conceived Sophia the first time we were intimate.

This was just one of many challenges the enemy would throw at us in our four years total we've been together. Traveling man and I will both admit though that our first year of official marriage (yes, we lived together before we were married, that's another story of God's grace!) was a complete disaster.

During our first year we grew a lot in the first five months. We joined our church officially, we both started serving in kids ministry and on the setup team and we began a life group. We were growing physically, spiritually, and emotionally and the enemy hated it. 

The enemy hates good marriages. He doesn't want marriages to succeed because it would mean that families succeeded, and kids would be healthy, and the church would grow. I understood though despite what was going on in the marriage that God had us together for a purpose. That He would bless our marriage and that I was in this for a lifetime.

Traveling man took our vows seriously. We opted for tattoo rings as a permanent sign of our commitment and love. We knew that regardless of what either of us did we would remain together.

That first year we experienced financial turmoil, serious broken trust, a custody fight for our eldest, court proceedings, pain, living separately for three and a half months, amongst other things. Truly according to the world's standards we should have separated. We should have divorced. We should have given up and walked away. We were even told by a few people, "You can get those tattoos covered."

But we believe in God's healing power. We believe in His restoration. We believe in His grace. Psalm 32:1 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered." We believed that through Christ's blood that our sins were covered. And that God would honor and bless our marriage if we pushed through.

The Lord HAS blessed us.

We have three beautiful children, our marriage improves every day. We love deeply, forgive often, and pray together daily. We serve one another and our children daily and we live our lives according to God's word.

I know this is a just snippet of our journey and that some of it may not make sense (we're working on a book!) but please hear this. God loves marriage and hates divorce. There is nothing that is too deep, too painful, or too "gone" that God cannot pull up, heal or restore. 

Be Blessed,

Love is...

Monday, January 13, 2014

My instagram photos are nice, eh? My facebook statuses are positive and I appear to have so much together. And truthfully, a lot is going very good in my life. This is a combination of prayer, scripture study, and time management. But. (There is always a but, right?) No one is perfect. In my family we have adopted our churches policy and no perfect people are allowed. 

With the start of the new year I knew I wanted to do two things different in my family; 1. I wanted to be creative in parenting and 2. I wanted to be proactive. I knew that each of us struggled in a different area and that we needed to begin to work on those things, pray on those things, and be proactive. 

So last week we started the love is challenge. What is this? It's simple. It's speaking over our lives as individuals what we know God says we are and then walking in that truth. You see while we are sinners we are also redeemed through Christ's blood. Because of that redemption power and through our helper, the Holy Spirit, our weaknesses are able to be made into strengths through Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:9 states "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 

We wanted to take this to another level though. We started by sitting down as a family and identifying what we struggle with the most. Once we identified that unloving trait (ie: selfishness) we replaced it with a loving, Christ like trait (ie: generosity). Then we took it one step further by making a vow to focus on this until we didn't struggle with it as much and could move on to a new trait. With this vow we decided to write a heart on our hands with what we needed to work so that we would have a consistent visual throughout the entire day. 

Walk with me a second.


I struggle with anger. I believe it is something that is passed down through the generations in my family. I have prayed and broken the generational curse but I am still very much aware that I need the Holy Spirit's help on a daily basis.

My replacement trait is being slow to anger. Christ was slow to anger and it is my prayerful goal to master this part of self-control in 2014. I have been writing out very specific prayers (I will share some of those later) concerning anger and I pray most of them daily. They are full of scripture and encourage my spirit. I realize every time I talk that I need to talk with a loving spirit, be quick to listen and very slow to speak. 


Traveling Man's struggle is not the same. He struggles with laziness. Particularly at home. He's a very hard-working man in his career but tends to want to lay around while at home. He was first to admit that he wanted to be more like Jesus and be hard working. Love is not lazy. Love is hard working.

Yes, all of our kids are involved. Ask Sophia what love is for her.

She's a rough kid naturally but the bible says that love is gentle and kind, meek and humble. Love for Sophia is gentle.

Kaidance struggles with meanness. She comes from a blended home and we notice a serious increase in her meanness after coming back from the other parents home. This is partly due to transitioning into a different environment but we also know what the Bible says.....

Joseph is not too young either. He has a biting issue when it comes to nursing. But we know that he's a baby and still wanted to pray specific things over him. For Joseph love does not...

Each and everyone of these help us to remember that we are not perfect. That we need Jesus and one another. We need to be encouragement to one another and to love one another while being slow to anger, loving in kindness, being gentle, and hardworking.

We pray specifically over these areas daily. Asking the Lord to soften our hearts and create in us a desire to thirst for the goodness of these traits and how they can impact our lives and those around us.

So, today, what is love for you?

Be Blessed,

12 Fasts in 12 Months

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Every year my church, Freedom House, starts our year off right with a 21-day fast. You are encouraged to fast something that God is asking of you, typically something you need to give up to re-focus your eyes to Him. (Go to to check out the churches fast and find more information on fasting).

Well this year I felt challenged by God to fast more period. So I began journaling and came up with 12 Fasts in 12 Months.

They are not going to be easy. In fact, I probably will need lots of prayer to get through most of them. I am blessed to have my husband partnering with me in this journey. We are not just using this as a way to get closer to God, but also one another. When you take away the everyday distractions that can so easily become addictions you find that you grow closer to those you love, easily.

I've had several people mention or say, "Why didn't I think of that?" Well I want you to know it's not too late to join. Fasting is for every Christian and it's a good way to rid yourself of the extra clutter and dirt not just in your spiritual life but also in your physical.

I love what this verse says in Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before God, to seek from Him the right for us and for our littles ones and all of our possessions. 

When you fast, you are fasting to humble yourself before the Lord. This enables you to hear Him more clearly, serve Him with more excellent, and overall increases your spiritual maturity. Not just that but we are not just fasting for ourselves but those in our inner circle. I have specific goals and prayers for 2014 and I've resolved that this is going to be one of the most incredible years I've ever had.


What am I fasting you ask? Here's our month to month look. I'll give you up to May as we are still praying about a few things for the remaining of the year. We will probably finalize or list for the later part of the year closer to May because a lot could change and our focuses may need adjusted.

January - Pizza and Desserts. How did we come to this conclusion? Sadly, my husband and I have a serious addiction to both. Since I've stopped consuming sugary and sweet foods my headaches have nearly stopped completely. I was getting them daily, sometimes twice a day.

February - Eating out. Another serious addiction we have. It's so easy for us as a busy family to just pick up something on the run but I know God is calling us to work as a family and as a team to create healthier meals for our family. It is also a goal of mine to cook a hot breakfast for my family at least four times a week. I notice a difference in the tone of our day when I present and cook a hot meal at the start.

March - Facebook. Everyone needs a good cleanse from facebook at least once or twice a year.

April - iPhone. Hard to imagine but in April we will be fasting from our iPhone's. When I say this I mean we will not be using our phones outside of getting a hold of people and conversating. There will be no instagram posts, no candy crush (yikes), etc. We will be unplugging.

May - In May we will be fasting breakfast and lunch (drinking juices/liquids/protein shakes). It is my goal to do a 21 to 30 -day fast (liquids only) by October so I am using May as a trainer/conditioning month. This will also be a great way for me to dive deeper into focusing on my prayer time, my reading time, etc.

I am so excited to see what 2014 brings. It's going to be a year like none other. Thank you for coming along side with me.

Be Blessed,

Then Came Agnes

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Anyone who knows me knows I am a major movie fan. I love movies of all type (well, honestly I prefer more macho movies over girly, romantic movies: BOORING) but particularly love watching children's movies with my kids. A lot of cartoon movies have great, clean, humor and I eat it up. Besides all of that it seems that God almost always chooses to speak to me about something in a child's movie. Rise of the Guardians is a great example and one of the greatest spirit filled movies I've seen. (I will write on that movie later).

For Christmas my girls received the movie Despicable Me II. Secretly I bought it because I haven't seen it yet and I was itching to watch it. The movie gets ten stars from me and my family. It's a sequel of course to the first one and outlines Gru's new life as a dad and also his journey in finding a mate and mom for his girls. This is another post all in itself but we could learn a lot about parenting from Gru!


This past week sickness ran it's course through our home. It started with Joseph last week, then me, and finally sweet Sophia. She took it the hardest and for two days (Wednesday thru Friday) we watched this same movie a thousand times. I never bore of it, because it's that funny. 

One scene kept replaying over and over in my heart though. There is a scene where Gru finds out that his possible future wife is being moved to Australia. His once earlier joy and demeanor turned to sorrow as he walked back and it began to rain. He sat out on the porch and just, wallowed.

Then came Agnes. 

You see Agnes is not an elder of the church. Agnes is not a teenager. Agnes is not a preacher or a counselor or someone you would call right away when a situation arises that causes you pain. Agnes is just a child. She's small. She's uneducated. She's little.

But she came. 

When Gru turned around after hearing his front door opened he saw this scene. He saw little Agnes holding a large umbrella. She was there to help. In any way that she could. Even if it meant getting a little wet or carrying this umbrella that was three times her size. She wanted to be there for Gru and to let him know that despite the circumstances of life, she would be there to help cover him with that umbrella.

Have you ever felt like Gru? So sad or depressed that you just wallowed in the rain? Have you met your Agnes? We all need one. We all need one to come out and carry that umbrella. Christ is like Agnes. He carried that umbrella and He gives us the help and the chance to carry it for others. Are you?

Gru's face changed. He has a some what puzzled, bewildered, yet comforted look on his face. A small little child is coming to cover me. Is coming to encourage me. 

Let me tell you, friends, your part in the Kingdom of God is never, ever, too small. Agnes had confidence in her role as Gru's child and she knew that even if she got wet, or if Gru was already wet (which he was) she couldn't bare to see him get wet any longer. So she went to him.

Gru took that umbrella and held it. They sat together and while their conversation wasn't deep or religious, it was exactly what Gru needed to hear to push him forward. 

We all need to be like Agnes. We all need an Agnes. 

Be Blessed,