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Jun 282013
 

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 212013
 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

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Jun 122013
 

Ending a special chapter in your life is never without emotion.  Never without a process of letting go and embracing what’s new.

This is my last official post writing for Standing on Peace.

In some ways I can’t believe it to be true.  In all other ways, God has been preparing me for this and I have peace.

Jillian and I birthed Standing on Peace out of the longings God put in our hearts to reach women in the lonely and difficult places in life.  To take a more than frightening step in the direction of writing and creating.

To say Standing on Peace has been a learning and growth experience over this past year would be a vast understatement.  But we have loved every. single. step.  We have loved each one of you.

SOP has changed me in deep and wonderful ways.  I have seen, in greater capacity, God’s faithfulness and His working hand in the smallest aspects of my life.  Writing for SOP has also helped me get over the fear of putting myself “out there”.  It has helped define a clearer voice for me as a writer.  Working so closely with the writers of SOP only added to the love I feel for women.  It has built a greater confidence in God’s vision for me.

As God began moving in each of our lives and pulling a few of our writers in different directions, Jillian and I committed to praying diligently about the new direction of SOP.

As I’ve alluded to in my writings, God has brought about a plethora of transition and change in my personal life.  He is actively at work in our family.  So maybe I should have been prepared for Him to ask me to transition yet again.

And that’s exactly what happened as I began praying.  He began pressing on my heart that it is time to step away from SOP.

Jillian and I both feel complete peace and confidence in the way He is leading us.  He has put two very beautiful visions and desires in our heart, about how we want to speak into women’s lives.

My longings have not changed.  I still long to write from the deep spaces of my heart.  To continue creating a space of authenticity and love.  To write about the story God is telling through my everyday life.  The joys, challenges, process of healing and everything in between.

More than anything I want to give hope to women who believe: I’m just not good enough.  Because it’s a subtle lie far too many of us fall for.  One that steals our joy and can keep us stuck.

So to be clear, I will continue to write.  It will just be on my own site, which is in the creative process.

If you’ve at all been encouraged or challenged by my writing on Standing on Peace this past year, I do not want to lose touch with you!  I would love for you to email me and let me know you’re interested in getting a notification when my site launches.  Email me at audi@standingonpeace.com

I love you all,

Audi

 

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Jun 062013
 

This year has been a full one for me!

And I’ve really enjoyed the chance to write regularly.  I love to write, and hope it is a big part of my future.

But right now I’m feeling a call to radical presence–presence to Jesus, to myself, to nature, to quiet, to my husband, and to my children.  I am one who flings myself far and wide with lots of initiatives and ideas.  I’m feeling a call to pull it back and recenter this upcoming year.  I need to do the challenge I proposed on the site a few weeks back–saying no.  No blog, no homeschooling, no hosting the neighborhood Bible study, no service projects, no overseas mission trips.

I know I have a call to contemplative prayer and contemplative presence.  And this past year was just too busy to respond to and deepen in that calling.  I am tired of being too busy.

So, here’s to a year of letting go and slowing down.

Somewhere down the road I look forward to writing again 🙂

Heidi

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Jun 052013
 

With mixed emotions I write this post, as my last post for Standing on Peace.

It has been a blessed journey indeed!

Being a part of Standing on Peace came at a time in my life when I needed meaningful connection with others and needed to be affirmed as a therapist. I was just starting out working with clients after several years off and an unpleasant internship experience. My confidence was low. Processing through and writing about what it means to experience a peace of mind solidified the knowledge I had gained from graduate school. For this I am forever grateful.

But alas, seasons change. As this year with Standing on Peace comes to end I began to feel tugged in too many directions. Through Bible studies this year, Heidi’s challenge and my own challenge I heard the Lord’s call to simplify. Although I am a very part time therapist my heart deeply remains at home. The Lord is calling me back. My body may have been at home but my mind was not. He is leading me to be more intentional with my time and to make choices that follow my hopes for my family.

I will continue supporting the community of Standing on Peace as a reader and will keep you in my prayers.

Sarah

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Jun 042013
 

I’ve been in the process of learning a subtle lesson for the past few years.  But recently, it has been anything but subtle.

The lesson has been in how to take care of myself when silence and alone time abound.  And I’m not talking about the “heading to the spa” kind of alone time. I’m talking about the kind of alone time you have when your husband travels regularly.

And lately, my alone time has been expanded by us moving a state away.

I wish I could say I learned quickly how to spend this time well and with a good attitude.  In experiencing more time alone than I wanted, I have spent too many hours staring mindlessly into a TV.  Or even mindlessly eating in front of the TV. I’ve spent too many hours feeling sorry for myself, that I’m alone and have to stay home so my young children can get their rest.  Or passively being angry with my husband when we talk on the phone, so he feels guilty for being away.

No, I haven’t learned this art of being alone very fast or beautifully.

In all honesty, being alone has made me extremely uncomfortable.  It has made me realize my need to fill a room with noise because silence can be all too deafening.

Now that we have recently moved, and my husband’s travel continues, I have more time with my kids.  More alone time at night as we slowly develop a “normal” here.

I remind myself that this being alone thing is a true art.  I have to cultivate it and learn to enjoy and appreciate it.  In this season of life, I desire to treat myself well and use my time wisely and healthfully.  I can use this time to just be myself.

Perhaps you are single or live alone.  Perhaps your spouse works the night shift. Perhaps your husband travels too.  However you are experiencing being alone, remember it might take some time to learn the art.

I’m still learning with every passing quiet evening.  Here is a list of things I remember in order to be kind to myself while my husband’s away, while we transition.

While I’m Alone, I can:

  1. Light a candle
  2. Turn on some quiet jazz music (or favorite feel-good music)
  3. Work on a project I enjoy (searching for or organizing recipes, organizing family photos, etc.)
  4. Make myself a lovely dinner I can enjoy in quiet when the kids are asleep.
  5. Enjoy a glass of wine
  6. Read a good book
  7. Spend time writing
  8. Read my Bible for encouragement
  9. Be thankful for my husband and how God provides for us
  10. Have a phone date with a friend I rarely get to see
  11. Do an art project I enjoy
  12. Take a relaxing bath or shower
  13. Paint my nails
  14. Watch a “feel good” movie
  15. Go to bed early for some extra rest

Have you had to learn the art of being alone too?  What are some of your favorite things to do to be kind to yourself when you’re alone?

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May 302013
 

The dictionary definition of encouragement says…

1. To give support, confidence, or hope….

“But those [mothers] who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~Isaiah 40:31

“So do not fear, [you mothers] for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we [mothers] may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”~Hebrews 4:16

“For I know the plans I have for you [and your children],” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you [and your children] hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11

Hope that is seen is no hope at all. [What

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mother] hopes for what [she] already [has]? But if we [mothers] hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”~Romans 8:24-25

 

2. To persuade to continue in something….

“I know your deeds, your love and faith [in mothering], your service and perseverance [with your children], and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” ~Revelation 2:19

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance [in mothering] that comes from Christ.” ~2 Thessalonians 3:5

 

3. To stimulate the development of an activity or belief…

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us [mothers], who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us

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all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us [mothers] all things?” ~Romans 8:31-32

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no

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eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those [mothers] who wait for him. ~Isaiah 64:4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us [mothers] in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those [children] in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Press on, tired mothers! Know that even when no one else does, God sees.

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May 292013
 

As I was thinking and praying about what to write this week, I had a strong desire to write about something positive and uplifting.

Many of my posts have dealt with some hard stuff but today I want to focus on hope.

There are many books that have left a lasting impression on me but two of the most significant are The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

Both of these books literally changed my life. They helped me change my thinking and how I see the world.

The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith walks you through the journey of discovering who God truly is by looking to the person who knows Him best, Jesus Christ.

Smith suggests that we all have ideas (narratives) about who we think God is and how He works in our

imgreslives. However, many of our ideas about God are incorrect even though we may not be aware they are faulty.

For example, I held a belief that I would never be good enough for God. That He held high expectations for me and I would never live up to His expectations.

Smith helped this false truth come to light. He helped me to understand God’s unconditional love.

One of the most amazing things about Smith’s book is that at the end of each chapter he shares a “soul training” exercise. An activity or concept to work through to help you develop true narratives.

For the first time, as I read a book I experienced the hope of actually adopting the new information to my life. So often books share wonderful ideas but leave you hanging as to how to make lasting change.

The second special book is Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. It opened my eyes to all the blessing around me.

For years I had been wandering around wondering where my joy was. I felt lost and guilty that as a Christian I was not more joyous. I had met joyous Christians and read about joy in Scripture, but I was at a loss for truly experiencing a lasting joy.

When I started reading Voskamp’s book I felt like I was reading my own journal! Her words, her feelings, fears, where just like mine. For the first time I did not feel alone.

In her amazingly poetic voice, Voskamp shares how thanksgiving comes before the blessing. That is, to experience joy we must give thanks and recognize all the blessings around us. Even give thanks for the tough seasons in life, for the little things and the not so fun things like dirty dishes and laundry.

Voskamp points to many places in Scripture where the key to being joyful in all circumstances is to give thanks. Naturally I would like to think I am a person that is thankful but I was blown away to see Scriptures that I had read several times, jump off the page. I had missed it. To be joyous is to be thankful.

I followed Voskamp’s leading and started a blessing journal, writing down each thing I was thankful for. Not only did it help shift my focus but it also encouraged me to take time throughout the day to notice. The birds, flowers, the little things that often go unseen.

Am I forever in a happy go lucky mood?  No!  Even though I wish I was. That it is not me. I am however, better equipped to experience joy. I give thanks more often and I pay closer attention to the little things.

What books have impacted your life?

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