growing closer to god

Be You Bravely

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I saw this video a few days ago from a friend on Facebook. It impacted me greatly. My wish, no my prayer is that each of us would take this message to heart. That we would embrace who we are. That we would be comfortable in our own skin. That we could be comfortable being who He created us to be.  So my friends, I pray for you today, to take a step with me and together to Be You Bravely.

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Thankfulness

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This Thanksgiving weekend was one of the best that I remember in a long time. My parents came for dinner, my oldest son was home for a visit, we decorated for Christmas, we even played board games. It was a wonderful weekend. I came out of the weekend with the thought that you can’t put a price on the important things in life.

On the way to church on Sunday, I was feeling very thankful for all that this year has brought me and for all that God has done for my family and I. I was pondering how to keep the whole holiday season in perspective. I want to remember that it is a time to be thankful and a time that’s more about giving than receiving. Then, I began to think that’s how we should live our lives everyday.

Then in church, My Pastor put into words the answer to my question. The question of how to keep life in perspective. The answer is to be thankful in all things, at all times. He had a comparison chart that I loved. A simple negative versus positive comparison of how being unthankful versus thankful, affects our lives. It really impacted me, and I realize I need to be more thankful every day of my life. Below is the comparison.

Negative Affects of Unthankfulness 

Self Centeredness
Critical Spirit
Bitterness
Worry
Unbelief

Positive Affects of Thankfulness

Other Focused
Blessing Spirit
Joy
Contentment
Faith

As we delve deeper into the holiday season I want to keep thankfulness on my mind and in my heart. I want to remember that Christmas isn’t about all the gifts we give and receive, but about the gift that Christ gave to us all on the cross. I want to remember that family is one of the most important things a person can have. I want to give more of myself to God and more to those that I love. But most of all I want to have a happy, thankful heart, not just during this season, but every day of the year, because the price Jesus paid is too high for me to live any other way. Be blessed my friends, be full of joy, and know that you are loved.

The Uncertain

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Getting back in the swing of things here with this week’s Poetry Tuesday feature poem by yours truly. I read an article this morning about how doubt is like cloud that starts out small and then can become a large storm cloud in our life. I had written a few lines of this poem and today finished it up. Enjoy and be blessed my friends.

The Uncertain

Uncertainty lies within us all,
Will we succeed or will we fall?
For tomorrow is unknown.
Hidden, unrevealed and unshown.
Often afraid of what we can’t control,
Doubt creeps in and grips our soul.
But adventures await to unfold,
We must take a risk, we must be bold.
One answer proved to be true,
If life is too easy, it will be hard for you.

© Leah Jacobsen

Journey To Betel

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Hi friends I know it’s been a while. God has me on an interesting journey this year. I just got back this week from my second mission trip of the year. A team of us went to Betel ministries in England. Before this year, I had never been on a mission trip or thought much about going on one. Now I am amazed by what a mission trip holds for all involved and would recommend everyone to go on at least one trip.

On both trips this year, the first one to Haiti and the second one to Betel, I tried hard not to have any expectations and to let God lead my every step. Even if I had an expectation it wouldn’t have mattered. Nothing could have prepared me for either trip. On both trips I have been stretched out of my comfort zone and like a rubber band I will never completely snap back to where I once was. I am forever changed…. For the better.

Betel is an amazing ministry. They help the homeless with addictions get back on their feet and to find The Lord. I got the opportunity to stay in the women’s house with my team and many ladies that are part of the program. There were 21 of us all together. Let me say that community living by itself, changes you. Sharing rooms, bathrooms and being on a strict schedule is a sanctification process all of its own. Then serving, working and praying along side of those in need, both humbles you and changes you.

The women at Betel are broken but so beautiful and in love with The Lord. These women, who have been through terrible things, have such soft hearts and an incredible love for Jesus. I was left feeling humble and ungrateful. These women are quick to serve, quick to honor and quick to share their story with 100% transparency. Every morning they do praise and worship and the presence of God was heavy. It made me think of the scripture that God is close to the broken hearted. As in Haiti, I was left with indescribable feelings and emotions. I made friends that I hope to see again. I was left wanting to be more for God. Just like in Haiti, I left feeling that I came home with more than I gave. Servitude in the Kingdom is a beautiful thing. When we set out to serve each other, we all come out better on the other side. I hope to see more of that here in my own country and in my own church.

So today I am grateful for everything God is doing in my life and for the journey he has me on. I am grateful for the friends I have made this year. I think of them and pray for them often. I am thankful that God cares enough for me to not leave me as I am, put to keep changing me daily. I look forward to more trips in the future and am grateful The Lord walks with me hand in hand on this journey. I want to thank each of you out there for reading my blog and special thanks to the people in my life who are on this journey with me. Only in heaven will you truly know how much you mean to me. Be blessed my friends.

Cherishing The Moments

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In the last month I have had the wonderful privilege of spending a week at the beach with my hubby, my kids and parents. I’ve got to spend time with wonderful friends and I launched my oldest son off into the world. It has been quite an eventful month.

It has made me think of how life is full of beautiful moments and how quickly they pass. Having sent my oldest off, made me think of the moments of being a brand new mom. It doesn’t seem that long ago that it was my first day home alone with him. I was worried how I would do. Then it rained and the electricity went out. He fell asleep on my chest. I cried, overwhelmed by feelings of love, awe, and fears of doing a terrible job as a mom. In that moment, it was like the world just stopped awhile for him and I to bond on a rainy day with nothing else to do.

Looking back, I sometimes wish that I would have held on to many moments a little longer. One more story, one more hug, one more twirl around the living room. I feel blessed that I have God in my life and that I handed my children to him while still in the womb. It has helped me through sleepless nights and sticky fingers. Through long days, and diaper changes. It helped me say I’m sorry and I don’t have all the answers. In recent years it has given me the privilege of hanging out in those crazy moments with teenagers, even though they are hard. It has helped me let go, the hardest thing a mom will ever do. Most of all, it has given me peace that The Lord cares even more about my children than I do, so I know they are in good hands.

Recently I was talking to a mom with small kids. We talked about how hard the toddler years can be, especially when you have several children. But in that moment, all I could remember was joyous laughter, make believe, and sunny days. As most moms say, I told her to enjoy the moments. Cherish them. They pass too quickly. I told her she won’t remember the sleepless nights, the never ending diaper changes, and messy house. What she will remember are all those beautiful moments. And in that moment, I was so thankful for all the beautiful moments in my life. Thankful and excite for many more beautiful moments to cherish in the future.

Sometimes seasons of life can be hard. Letting go and entering a new season can be tough, especially as a mom. But I would encourage you as a mom, or anyone out there, that life is full of great moments when we are looking for them. So today, look for a moment to cherish. A hug with your child or a friend. Holding hands with your spouse. That call to your mom. Or simply one more diaper change with those loving, trusting eyes looking up at you. Life is fleeting. I love the quote “Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about the moments that take your breath away.” So, be blessed my friends and cherish the moments.

Times

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I love how God is everywhere. His love surpasses everything, reaches everywhere, and transcends all time. I have been feeling very heavy this week and I love that I know the Lord is my king and is the same, today, yesterday and forever. So this week’s Poetry Tuesday is “Times” by Tenth Avenue North. Be blessed my friends and know that you are never beyond the Lord’s reach.

“Times”

I know I need You
I need to love You
I’d love to see You but it’s been so long

I long to feel You
I feel this need for You
I need to hear You
Is that so wrong

Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

Now You pull me near You
When we’re close I fear You
Still I’m afraid to tell you all that I’ve done

Are You done forgiving
Or can You look past my pretending, Lord
I’m so tired of defending what I’ve become
What have I become

Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

I hear You say
My love is over
It’s underneath
It’s inside
It’s in between

The times that you doubt me
When you can’t feel
The times that you question
Is this for real

The times you’re broken
The times that you mend
The times you hate me
And the times that you bend

Well my love is over
It’s underneath
It’s inside
It’s in between

The times that you’re healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace

The times you’re hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal

In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame

I’m there through your heart-ache
I’m there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone

I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where you have been
I’ll never forsake you
My love never ends
It never ends, mmmm

Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

 

 

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

What Does Your Mirror Say?

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I posted this on Facebook a couple days ago, but wanted to share it here as well. I feel like this is a powerful message about how we view ourselves as women. Far too often we are hard on ourselves and only look at the outside image, when we should be looking at the total image of ourselves, from the inside out. I hope this brightens your day.  I hope this lets you believe that you are enough. I hope this will help you see what I see. You are beautiful my friends!