life is a journey

Going around again or moving forward?

Posted on

Here we are, already more than halfway through January in a brand new year. 2014 was quite an adventure for me. Lots of changes. A lot of growing. And a lot of letting go of my own will. It has probably been one of the most rememberable years of my life. I truly feel like The Lord started the year by saying, I want to take you on a journey, will you go with me? When I said yes to him. I heard the Lord say, “Just let go. Stop asking me how and why all the time”, “just know that I have all the answers and have had a path laid out for you since the beginning of time”. He truly has taken me on a journey this year. He has birthed new vision. I have trained in new skills. I have been on adventures. My oldest child has launched into his own path and walk with the Lord, and child two and three are about to be launched in just a matter on months. I have had to let go of some things that I loved, and give room for the Lord to heal old wounds and breathe new life on old dreams. All in all it has been a year with an incredible journey, restoration, and change.

I have always thought change is hard. But not changing and going around the mountain again is hard too. Sometimes when we come to a crossroads, it’s hard to decide, go on the known path, (again) or take a risk and try the new undiscovered trail. Sometimes as much as we hate going around the mountain again, it can also be comforting. Familiar. At least we have been here before. We recognize things. In uncharted territory, there are no familiar road marks. No part that says, oh wait, I know where we are. It’s all new ground. Total reliance on God. I think this is why we often resist change and new things, because it requires more trust in God. But there comes a time when going around the mountain has happened for too long. It is time to move on to new and better things. Time for us to step into the unknown and blaze a new trail. That is my prayer for each of you this year. That if the Lord is taking you on a journey, that you let him. That you face the unknowns, even if you are afraid. That you will even find excitement over the changes that the Lord is making in your life.

As we continue into a new year I am excited about my journey. It isn’t easy, but I trust the Lord. Change can be hard and even scary at times. But, in my life, not changing has become even harder and scarier. I don’t want to stay the same. I want to go where the Lord directs me. I want all that he has for me and my family. I want new adventures, the Lord’s adventures, no matter the cost. If this is where you are as well, let’s pray for one another and take comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our walk. That we have each other and that we always have a trustworthy Lord and Savior. Be blessed my friends.

The Uncertain

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on Updated on

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

Posted on

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.

What Does Your Mirror Say?

Posted on Updated on

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!

You’ve Got A Friend

Posted on

In honor of friendship, this week’s Poetry Tuesday’s feature is You’ve Got A Friend, by James Taylor. I thank God for the many friends in my life. (you know who you are)

“You’ve Got A Friend”

When you’re down and troubled
and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name,
and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name,
and you know where ever
I am I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend. You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEkIou3WFnM

Fitness for Optimal Living

Posted on Updated on

Today we have my good friend, Kelley Raetzsch, as our guest blogger. This article was first published on Kelley’s blog over at Fredericksburg Parent. I loved it and felt it is another aspect of identity and wanted to share it with you. Be blessed my friends.


Kelley__portrait

 

 Fitness for Optimal Living 
 Written by Kelley Raetzsch

 Take care of yourself.

My brother in-law spoke these words to me as we departed from our recent family vacation. I took these words to heart along with great conversations about food and physical activity. Before I tell you more consider this:

What comes to mind when you hear “fitness”?

Is it how your body looks?

Is it how well you can perform physical activity?

As I replayed the encouragement “take care of yourself” I considered other areas of fitness in my life. We must consider that our physical fitness is only one area of life where we benefit from being fit. How fit are you?

Physical Fitness. Get moving! Physical activity is known to keep illness and disease at bay, improve mood, increase energy, promote better sleep and achieve and maintain healthy weight. By the way, did you know some individuals can be FIT and FAT? Check out this great book:

big_fat_lies

Food Fitness. How well do you pay attention to what you are feeding your body? Are you fit with food? Does your intake include a variety of foods from all food groups? If you are missing complete food groups, counting calories or points, obsessing over what you ate, worried about gaining weight from eating certain foods, letting the scale or current diet control what you can and cannot eat, you may not be fit with food.

Spiritual Fitness. How do you express and engage in spirituality? Personally, I am Christian and aim to strengthen my relationship with God. Honestly, I have struggled recently in this area and might consider myself out of shape!! How can you get fit with spirituality? Check out this guide:

Spiritual_Fitness_Guide

Family Fitness. Whether you are parents, grandparents, foster parents, etc., do you engage and participate with your family regularly and in positive ways? In my stage of life, I take the 15 minute drive home to clear my head of the da’ys work clutter and fill it with readiness to receive the energy of my two boys! When I don’t take this time, my family fitness diminishes. Can you relate?

Relationship Fitness. This is very similar to family fitness. Do you make time for those who are important to you? How do you spend that time. I’m out of shape in this area too, but I have a plan in place to get fit. My best friend and I have to schedule each other as appointments to make sure we can see each other consistently. Personally, I need this time to get regenerated in some areas of my life!

Mental Fitness. Oh boy, this one has been tough lately, too! I have allowed more negative thoughts to take space in my mind. Not good! I am diligently working to replace them with positive, life giving thoughts! Additionally, this can refer to keeping my mind sharp through learning, reading, and brain teasers! How’s your mental fitness?

Others? What are other areas of fitness we should consider in our lives? How fit do you consider yourself after thinking about fitness beyond the physical aspect?

See more at: http://www.fredericksburgparent.net/blogs/love-your-body