Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Attack of the "Guilts"

Hi everyone....

My goal was to make a batch of brownies for my husband, and they were harder than molten lava. Instant guilt. I made up my mind to organize my office from top to bottom, and I failed miserably. Instant guilt. How about my daily quiet time? Or my exercise routine? Or my promise to stay away from anything chocolate? Instant guilt.

Ah, I know I am not alone in my battle with the "guilts." They rear their ugly head from time to time. I am a recovering "people pleaser," so the enemy really knows my Achilles heel: my constant need to please others. And guess what happens when I do not live up to other people's or my sometimes crazy expectations? You got it. GUILT. Mercy.

Wives, moms, singles, single moms, women who work outside or inside the home, retired women - it does not matter what stage of life we are in. Culture has fed us the lie that we have to "do it all" and do it well at all times. Whew! I get tired just thinking about it. And when we do not live up to society's view of how we should be, we feel dejected and defeated.

One of the most freeing verses my Christian counselor gave me years and years ago is this gem:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."
--Romans 8:1-2

How is that for freeing? Christ does not condemn us because through His blood, He has set us free from sin and death if we accept Him as our Blessed Savior. Christ is already pleased with us, so we do not have to kill ourselves trying to be perfect. We just have to abide in Him, and He will abide in us. 

Are you tired of guilt being a constant visitor? Jesus came so we can be set free of guilt. Cast all of your burdens on Him because He loves you so much!

Lara <><

Friday, August 17, 2012

Come Follow Me Today

Happy Friday everyone!

Today, I am guest blogging on Kim Sorgius' site Not Consumed.  Kim has been doing an awesome series about Walking Through The Fire with a friend on a variety of topics. Today, I am blogging about walking with a friend who is battling an eating disorder. I drew from my years and years of being held hostage to anorexia nervosa and depression and how people in my life walked me through that fire.

Just click on the "Walking a Friend Through The Fire" link below, have a cup of coffee or tea, and read away! :-) Thanks for visiting.

Lara <><


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

Good Tuesday Morning!

We all have parts of our body that work better than others, right? For me, my eyes are a problem. I come by that genetically as my parents both have eye issues. My mom, my two aunts and my grandfather have glaucoma, and my parents have both had cataract surgeries. The minute I turned 40, I got bifocals, and when you catch me outside, I can promise you I will be the girl squinting  because of my intense light sensitivity. Very "Mr. MaGoo-ish!" :-)

All this background being said, I have to have this procedure called a Laser Iridotomy this Thursday. My doctor has to laser a hole the size of a pinhead in both of my eyes to allow the aqueous fluid to drain off better. This will help ward off glaucoma, and that makes me happy! Slap-happy, actually! :-)

Preparing for this procedure made me think of Paul's encounter with Jesus Christ. When Jesus appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road, He blinded Paul with His light, asking him why he was persecuting him. Can you imagine being completely blinded in an instant? I wonder what was going through Paul's head? Let's see what the Word says next in this fascinating account:

"The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything ... Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again (emphasis mine). He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength." (Acts 9:7-9, 17-19)

When we allow Jesus into our hearts, He gives us new life! New soul ... even new eyes to see His Kingdom the way He wants us to see it. My prayer for all of us is that we would ask Jesus to open our eyes to Him because He alone is our Savior. What a friend we have in Him!

Lara <><

P.S. My new blog is being constructed right now by Jami Leigh at Fount of Inspiration! Check out her website at www.fountofinspiration.com.  I will let you all know when this blog will be going down and the new one will go up. YAY!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

She Speaks 2012 ... God Spoke Loudly

Hello everyone!

It has taken me a little over a week being at home to absorb how life-changing the She Speaks Conference 2012 was for me. I am so happy that I can share my thoughts with you.

I really have ignored God's calling on my life. Yes. I freely admit it. I turned a deaf ear to my Lord. I allowed the enemy to get inside my head, telling me that no one really cares what I have to say. And I bought into his lies. ICK! You see, Satan knows what buttons to push with me. I battled clinical depression since I was a little girl (thankfully, I have been in recovery for years and am doing REALLY well), but I still sometimes give in to that negativity that he peppers over my thoughts. So I left my writing and speaking alone for years. And you know what? I have felt a huge void for the past five years - until the last year or so. My sweet Lord lit that fire in my belly again to write and to speak, and He made She Speaks happen for me. I married a wonderful man who supports my writing, so off I went to Charlotte! My man and my stepson even came with me for moral support - love those boys! :-)

I met some of the most AMAZING ladies that weekend, and I would like to introduce some of them to you:

I see Nicole, Michelle, Beth, Dawn and me!! Oh my goodness, I sound like Miss Sally from Romper Room (I have totally dated myself with that comment, but for those of y'all in your forties, you know what I mean!). Kelly, MaryBeth and Britta were not in this shot, but I want you all to know their names, too. Special, special ladies!

I feel like I have known these girls my whole life, and the Lord knew that I needed to meet them. We all spent Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning laughing, crying, worshipping and learning. God is so very good! He knew that I needed encouragement, and He gave that to me through these friends and the Proverbs 31 Ministries family.

I have not had a chance to look through the pages and pages of notes and information I learned about blogging, creating blog sites, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, agents, book proposals, etc., but I feel the Lord working and moving within me. The excitement I feel to serve Him through writing, speaking and blogging is INCREDIBLE! I do not feel overwhelmed - I feel overjoyed!

Thanks for allowing me to slowly unpack my thoughts to you. For now, it's bedtime! Blessings on each one of you. Nighty-Night!


Lara <><

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." --Hebrews 4:12

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Under Construction

Hello there!!

Thank you to all of you who are visiting my new little home in the blogosphere! I hope you will sit down for a spell, have a cool glass of sweet tea and kick your shoes off. :-)

Before the She Speaks Conference last weekend (the most INCREDIBLE writers and speakers conference EVER!!), I registered this site with Blogger. That is ALL I did! My apologies to all of you who stopped by from She Speaks and saw a dustbowl of nothingness on my blog. I promise that will change from this day forward - GUARANTEED!

I titled this post "Under Construction," and it made me think of how we are all under construction, too. We all long to be constructed in God's wonderful image each day, and, thankfully, when we accept Christ as the Lord of our lives, He promises to be with us each day, molding and shaping us into His image. What an awesome God we serve! Hallelujah!

This blog will be changing its look really soon because I am going to be working with Jami Leigh of Fount of Inspiration. She is a gifted designer of blogs, websites and e-books, but, most importantly, she loves the Lord! I cannot wait to see what she does, so stay tuned!!

See you all SOON!!

Lara <><