Archive for June, 2012

My Resolution Revolution is Just Beginning…..

Happy Friday, dear friends!

I mentioned in my blog yesterday that this monday, July 2nd, I will be embarking on a new journey Resolution for Women which will last through this September. I will not be traveling on this journey alone. Not only will I be taking my Heavenly Father along to guide me, but I will also be joined by my husband Craig who will be following the book Resolution for Men and hundreds of women all over the world who are making this same resolve with the group Girlfriends Coffee Hour.

Yes, my husband Craig will be blogging his journey over at www.adversusmundi.wordpress.com (Tell any man you love to follow his blog!!!)

Yes, I will be blogging HERE and on Tuesdays I will guest blog over at www.girlfriendscoffeehour.com (FOLLLOW AND JOIN US!!)

If you want to make sure not to skip a beat of this new adventure in furthering God’s Kingdom, click that “follow” button you see at the top of my blog and the other 2 I just mentioned or notice on the right hand side of this page where you can subscribe to this blog via email.

Our kids June, 2012

First and foremost, this Resolution I am making by beginning this journey is with God. The resolutions I will be making in the next few months are founded on God’s principles and supported by the encouragement and comfort of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. These are not New Year’s Resolutions that are forgotten by January 5th because we try to do it all within OUR power. These really are God’s resolutions for ME!

I am also believing that this Resolution will impact all of the people I love, including Craig, our kids, our immediate family and closest friends….. as well as all of you who I interact with daily. As I partner with the Lord on this journey in making decisions based on His Word, the impact of this journey is sure to overflow into all of my most precious relationships and experiences with everyone around me. By recently completing the Love Dare with Craig, I feel like my heart really is best prepared for this Resolution and I am so excited to see the Lord work extravagantly as I intentionally make this BOLD stand for my family and our life. I am believing for change in a mighty way in my home and the rest of my surroundings.

I first purchased this book back when the movie came out in theaters and have been praying ever since for the RIGHT season to take this journey. I prayed for God to show me the group of women He intended me to walk it out with and to help hold me accountable with it. I asked Him to prepare my heart and the hearts of my closest humans. I asked Him to give me His supernatural strength and POWER to fight off any spiritual warfare that might interfere with this journey. I KNOW with certainty that THIS is the most perfect season for me to make this resolve and THIS is the group God intends me to walk with. My God armor is ON and it is unpenatrable!

If you would like to take this journey with me and some amazing other women of God, just go on over to www.girlfriendscoffeehour and send them an email at GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com letting them know that you are ready for this Resolution Revolution!!! They have a “secret” Facebook group set up just for this study so that women like you can safely interact and lift each other in prayer as we travel this journey together. Let them know if you would like to be a part of that group. I’m there and it has had the most amazing impact on my life and my family…. Precious women of our Most High King!!!

You might think that you are doing well with your family and your relationship with the Lord and don’t “need” something like this. Please listen to me when I tell you that no matter how GOOD your life is, GOD WANTS SO MUCH MORE FOR YOU!!!! As Priscilla says in the book “…the Lord is always calling and challenging you to grow because His ability to make your life more radiant and abundant is absolutely endless. The more you grow, the more His power is able to flow through you, satisfying your heart and transforming your world.”

WOW WOW WOW!!!! Uh… sign me up!!!! 🙂

Dear Lord,

WOW! Thank you for this season and for being so faithful as you always are in answering prayer! Thank you for each woman you intentionally selected for this journey and I pray that you surround them and their homes with your angels and your supernatural protection from any negativity or discouragement that old smutty face might try to sling her way. I am believing for many miracles through this study over the next few months and I am confident that my life and the lives of my fellow sisters will become intentionally lived in extravagant ways for Your glory! I belive that hearts will be healed and families will be transformed. I believe that we will see change that we never thought was possible. I believe, Lord…. I believe ❤ In Your Son’s Mighty Name I Pray, amen ❤

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June 29, 2012 at 9:25 am 9 comments

Resolution…. for Women

Where are you, WOMEN of courage??? 

This coming Monday, July 2nd, I will be blogging about a new journey. Many of you have followed me as I dared to intentionally love my kids, then my husband, and now I vow to RESOLVE to live each day, with complete intention for my family.

Have you seen the movie Courageous?

It is about Four men who have one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused, yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.

While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they quickly discover that their standard is missing the mark.

When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. One of them starts living with a newfound urgency and  helps the other dads draw closer to God … and to their children. This starts them all on a journey to raise their children intentionally in a God-honoring way….. and THAT is courageous!

In the book Resolution for Women, Priscilla Shirer explains how today’s women can and should live out their own resolution. It is “a defining banner that hangs over your life, written in the ink of your own choices.” A woman’s banner should be an accurate reflection of who she desires to be-someone completely Christ-centered who blesses and changes things in her world for the better.

This book inspires women with intentional, spirit-filled living from three unique angles.”This Is Who I Am”  is the first section and it helps a woman define herself as “authentically me, purposefully feminine, surprisingly satisfied, and faithfully His.” Section two, “This Is What I Have,” invites her to value “my best, my blessing, my honor, and my heart.” And Section three, “This Is What Matters To Me,” focuses on joyfully honoring God as a wife, mother, and family member while resolving to live with the grace that leaves a godly legacy. This book is designed to inspire a revolution.
I pray it will begin a revolution within me and all other lives that are touched by this blog and the women of the group Girlfriends Coffee Hour!
Have you been over there yet? Girlfriends Coffee Hour? If not, now is a great time to sit back, grab a hot cup of joe, and read through some of their past scribbles. I know when I spend time there, I feel like I just sat down with an old friend and I always leave more encouraged than when I came!
I will write more about what this journey will look like for me tomorrow…. please seek the Lord on whether He feels that NOW is also the time for you to resolve to be your very best for the Lord and your family and let me know what you think 🙂
Many blessings, dear friends,
Megan 🙂

June 28, 2012 at 9:59 am 1 comment

I could not have said this any better. Robin, thank you for sharing your heart and God’s word about this important subject. Please let me know your thoughts, friends and know I am praying for God to give us all the most perfect words to intentionally love our kids with.

I have written each of my kids cards telling them how amazing they are and how much I love being their mom. God, help me live this out each any every day forward ❤

Girlfriends Coffee Hour

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV

We know this scripture by heart, do we not? Yet as parents, we still make mistakes, we are not perfect. When you turn the television on the news has yet another case of child abuse, you open the newspaper…yet another instance of abuse, schools, churches, homes…not one place is exempt. According to the government website I went to research child abuse percentage, newborns to age 3 had the highest percentage of abuse: 34%, next: ages 4-7 with 23.4%, ages 8-11 with 18.7%, 12-15 with 17.3%, next age is 16-17 with 6.2%. The abuse by race was White: 44.8%, African American: 21.9%, Hispanic: 21.4%, Unknown: 6.3%, Multiple race: 3.5%, American Indian or Alaskan Native: 1.1%, Asian: 0.4%, and Pacific Islander: 0.2%. The types of abuse were neglect:…

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June 27, 2012 at 8:09 am Leave a comment

Intentional Encouragement: Friendship Edition

Growing up, my family and I moved very often. From the time I was in kindergarten until I graduated high school, I had attended 7 different schools and lived in ten different neighborhoods. I had no choice but to become good at making friends…… and I am happy to say that even though I moved around a lot, I still maintain friendships today with people I have known since I was in 2nd grade!

Now keep in mind, this was before internet and many of these friendships I had to work HARD at keeping up with. It is so worth it, my friends! Each person I have gotten to know and love over the years has been placed so intentionally in my life for a reason and it is worth every phone message, email, txt, letter, and Facebook post to keep connected to every dear heart!

But, as I have gotten older, I have learned that I must be intentional about encouraging my friendships, new and old, or I know they will likely fade into memory.

God shows us the importance of maintaining friendships all throughout scripture……

Proverbs 17:17

17 A friend loves at all times…

Proverbs 18:24

24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who  sticks closer than a brother.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and  has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep  warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

It’s hard to keep up with everyone and everything, isn’t it? As we get older, more and more responsibility gets piled on us which leaves us less and less time for fellowship. If we do not make this aspect of our lives a priority, it is likely that you will look around one day and realize that you have successfully lost touch with many close friends. In my life, this has always happened in seasons just when I needed friends the most.

So, here are some ways that help me stay connected and even help me keep groups of friends connected….

1. I INTENTIONALLY send out 5 cards or letters every single week in the snail mail.

I rotate through my address book and send a personal, hand-written note to friends I have had for years and new ones. I draw, I send photos, I do things the old-fashioned way because it is so much more fun to get a handwritten note than a bill in the mail!

2. I keep a prayer journal.

Every prayer request that I receive throughout the day gets recorded in a journal that I keep with me at all times. Not only does this help me to remember all of the requests for when I have my intentional time with the Lord, but it also helps me to really know what my friends are struggling with and ask them about these things when i talk to them next. That makes them feel good that I remember issues that are close to their heart and I am able to record the ways that God is answering prayer all around me! What encouragement!!

3. I send packages

When I am out and about and I see something that reminds me of a friend, I try to get it for them and send it… if it is their birthday or not. If it is too pricy, God always shows me a way to make something similar or simply take a photo of it to send to that friend. Even the idea that this item made me think of them makes them smile and brightens their day. I let the Lord lead me in finding ways to let my friends know they are in my thoughts and that I do know them.

4. I gather friends.

I do my best to plan get-togethers as often as I can to stay connected. I have always done this… even as a kid. Thank God my parents never minded and always let me have a house-full of friends join us! As i have gotten older, I have been able to connect friends who I have met along the way with friends from my past that I know would get along really well. That also helps me to stay in touch and stay connected to different groups of friends.

5. I use social media

I even did this before it existed, friends! Back in my teen years and through college, I had over 100 pen pals at one time all over the world. I have even had the pleasure of meeting many of them in person over the years and now keep in touch with them on Facebook. Many of us completed these things called “friendship books” where we would write down our mailing information and different things that we liked on a page in a small book made of a few pieces of paper bound together with staples. When I was done making my page, I would send it on to another pen pal  to complete a page and it would travel around until it was full. Then, the last person to write in it would return it to the owner and they would have many new friends with similar interests waiting to receive a letter and get to know them. We now have Facebook and through GROUPS on there, I have been able to meet new friends with similar interests and get to know them just as well as I did back in the stone age!

These are just some of the ways to be intentional about encouraging your friendships and I also encourage you to help others in your life (especially kids) stay connected to friends by more personal means rather than always by txt and Facebook in leading by example.

It is important to be in fellowship with others and to encourage your friends to stay connected. We need to make this a priority to give us the time we need to decompress, be in communion, gain perspective, and honor God through loving people ❤

If you feel led…. Craig has a great post today on men and selfishness…. check it out 🙂

http://adversusmundi.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/selfish-i/

…and my dear friend Robin has an incredible post you won’t want to miss about the power of the words we speak over ourselves  over here:

http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2012/06/26/understanding-the-power-of-our-words-regarding-ourselves/

June 26, 2012 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Intentional Encouragement

 My husband Craig has a very stressful job at home and at the office.

At home, he leads me along with our 5 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat. He is our spiritual leader, master accountant, comic relief, bread-winner, confidant, and referee….. and he is all these things remotely most of the time as he travels almost every single week for his career.

At work, he is by title the Vice President of Sales for half the region for a leading Mortgage Company. His mom boasted to other family members that his job title was “VIce President of the Nation” and we all got a kick out of that because in our minds, he really is VP of “our” nation, right beside our Lord.

He also has been going to school to complete his Masters of Divinity, he teaches the K-1st graders at church Sunday mornings, and he makes the time to update his blog with different ways to encourage fellow Men of God in their walk with the Lord and in being a better husband.

It would be hard enough for most men to do that while coming home to their wife and kids every night. However, Craig spends most of his nights alone in various hotels rooms with no one to hug and kiss him goodnight.

If I choose not to intentionally encourage my husband, who will? How long could he keep up this pace if I am not supportive and positive in our interactions? God mandates us to encourage and strengthen those around us throughout scripture and I owe it to my hard-working husband to make him feel so treasured and valued in all aspects of his life.

Job 16:5

But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Acts 15:32

Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.

Romans 12:8

If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Romans 15:4

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Ephesians 6:22

I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:14

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Titus 2:6

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled

Titus 2:15

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Philemon 1:7

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

For a long time I was so wrapped up in “poor me” mode because my husband was gone all the time that I was not encouraging him in much of anything as I was so focused on how hard my life was. I felt so far away from him and we were not happy. I began to pray for him, intentionally, every single day. Everyday I prayed for specific aspect of his life and our life together and it filled my heart with so much love and appreciation for him and all he sacrifices for our family, I couldn’t help but begin to focus on making his life easier and serve him. God showed me how much harder I was making life for him and for our family by not encouraging him through his busy days and lifting him up with encouraging words and helping him feel so unconditionally loved.

I have to think outside the box to do this some days with him being gone, but it is worth it and our relationship is now stronger than ever.

Ladies, our words are so powerful in either edifying or wounding our husbands. If we all just focused on that one specific way to encourage our men in their days and in their walk, we will have happier homes, more fulfilled marriages, and we will be confident in how we are honoring our Lord by serving the mate God so intentionally brought into our lives to complete us.

I challenge you as you go throughout your week this week to intentionally only speak in a positive way to your husband. If you normally do this, take it to the next level and praise him in front of others! Even if it is your waitress as you are having dinner together…. let her know that you are blessed with the most amazing man in the world as your husband. Don;t be afraid to think outside the box and be ready to see positive changes in your relationship! Please share with me any challenges you might have with this…… and be sure to share your successes!

Craig has a strong message for husbands here: http://adversusmundi.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/words-of-affirmation-why-the-struggle/

My dear friend Robin Packer has written a wonderful guest post for Girlfriends Coffee Hour today about the power of words. Please read it here: http://girlfriendscoffeehour.com/2012/06/25/understanding-the-power-of-our-tongues/

I would be honored to pray for you….

Dear Lord, help us as a community of strong, Christian women come together and lift each other up and encourage one another in how we intentionally encourage our husbands. Help us to hold each other accountable in a loving way in this area so that we can be doing our best to honor our spouse and in turn honoring You. Thank you for the inspiration in Your Word to make this a priority and give us all the strength we need to be victorious in this task this week. Help us to not say a word if we are tempted to be discouraging at all and give up Your words of love and affirmation that You would love for us to speak. May You get all the glory, Lord! Thank you this and every provision as we vow to boldly love on our husbands in a most intentional way. In Jesus’ name, amen ❤

June 25, 2012 at 7:04 am 12 comments

Please friends……. whatever you do, never stop daring to love your mate in the most intentional of ways. YOU deserve the very best out of your marriage and so does your family ❤

Today’s challenge: to never give up and to never surrender.

The 40 day Love Dare is now complete but in many ways the real challenge begins today. Over the past 40 days we have had a direct road map and instructions to follow. The Kendrick brothers spent this time training us all to think differently about the expectations we have of our spouses and how we should be loving our husbands and wives just as Christ loves the Church.

It is said that it takes 21 days to break old habits and to establish a new pattern of thinking. The Kendrick brothers gave us double this time through the Love Dare book. If we remain intentional in the way that we love our spouse then there is no way to fail and backslide. We must all view the love dare as a 365 day a year process for all the…

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June 23, 2012 at 7:14 am 1 comment

Loving My Husband Intentionally: Love Dare Day 40

Day 39: Love Endures

I must spend time in personal prayer today, then write a letter of committment and resolve to Craig. I must include why I am committing to this relationship until death, and that I have purposed to love him no matter what. I must leave it in a place that Craig will find it.

I started to pray for God to guide my words as I began to write this letter to Craig and God told me to stop and re-read the letter of committment I wrote to my kids at the end of the family love dare I concluded in February of this year. God also wanted me to share this with each of you dear, dear friends….

Vicky, Timothy, Dustin, Stephen and James,

I have been in prayer with our Heavenly Father all day about what He wanted me to say to you in this letter and, as always, He was faithful and has given me the most perfect words to convey what I feel in my heart. He showed me this through a conversation I had with Vicky tonight.

Vicky asked me tonight “What made you decide you wanted kids?”

You all know the story…. God told me as a young child that I would not give birth, but I always felt in my heart that I would have children. I did not know what that meant until I met all of you. I didn’t know quite how to answer Vicky’s question because when I fell in love with your dad, I knew that the five of you were part of the package….. so I fell in love with ALL of you, not just him. It was a decision of the heart and I knew, even at that time, that this was a divine appointment from God. He crossed our paths at that moment in time for a reason and He has shown me many times since then that His mighty hand covers our relationship.

I chose you. I knew at the time that the path would not be easy, but I also knew that it was God’s plan. As I have grown in my walk with the Lord, I can now clearly see how divinely orchestrated our relationship really is, and I treasure it. Our journey has certainly had many bumps along the way, and I’m sure there will be more to come in the future, but He always gives us the strength we need to endure and the tools we need to overcome.

I guess to answer Vicky’s question, it was the five of you who made me decide that I wanted kids. When I would only see you on the weekends, I found myself spending my weeks thinking of all the fun things we could do together once you landed in my arms. I thought about you constantly when you weren’t with me and I tried to make the most of every second I was with you. Dad and I never let anything stand in the way of us being together during that time.

This is our tenth year of knowing one another. Can you believe it? TEN YEARS!!! This milestone has caused me to look back and reflect on our relationship…. and how God has used and is still using our lives for His kingdom and using our trials, and victories, to help others and even bring us closer together. I see how you are all now able to help friends through difficult times because of how we were able to help you work through your own tough situations. I see five confidently bold children of God in you and I am so proud. I am thankful He has entrusted you in my care for many days so far that you have been in my life on this earth and I can’t wait to see the plans He has for you all to be lived out!

God has really been working on my heart and over the past few months as I have been on a journey of intentionally loving each of you the way that Christ mandates that we love one another. Some days have been easier than others, but it has been incredible!!! Each of you have taught me so much about unconditional love and have blessed my life so much. Everyday God uses you as vessels to help me on my journey, just as I see Him use me to further your walk with Him. How wonderful is that!

It is important to me that you know about the lives that have been touched while I have been on this recent journey of intentional love. I have been writing about it every day on my Blog and every single day I get message after message from parents who are blessed by our story. The way God has been speaking to me through you over the past few months has been blessing families all over the world! Praise Him!!! It was really hard to be “real” about the hard days, but I was faithful to God’s call and helped a lot of parents know they are not alone in the real struggles they face in their homes everyday….. God gave them tools through our journey to help them with their own relationships.

My dear children, I vow to continue this journey the rest of our lives. To live each day being intentional about all I do to love each of you. Thank you for loving me as completely as each of you do and for trusting me with your lives and your hearts. I decided on you many years ago, and today I decide on each of you all over again! I love you and cherish each of our individual relationships. I am so humbled that God chose us for one another in our time on this earth…… and may He get all the glory!!!!

Love,

mama 🙂

Adoption Day February 20, 2009

Smidt Kids June 20, 2012

So, yesterday was one CRAZY day! I think Dustin had a fun birthday. His girlfriend came over and I thought it would be a good idea to take the kids swimming to get them out of the house. I could tell that Craig was really having a rough day, so I wanted to give him some kid-free time.

While the kids swam, I worked and put the finishing touches on my letter to Craig. I re-read this letter I wrote to the kids back in February and I immediately began to cry. Our family’s story is so unique and special….. and it is all because Craig and I fell in love.

I wrote my letter to Craig and I gave it to him as soon as I got home. I wrote it on lined paper in orange ink. As soon as I handed him my letter, I saw his letter to me on the table in front of me. I read it and it was perfect.

He is my most perfect complement and I truly believe God put him on this earth to complete me. He is my soul mate and I vowed to give him all I am for God to get all the glory for the rest of our lives.

I am one blessed monkey ❤

***********************************

Day 40: Love is a Covenant

Write out a renewal of your marriage vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, I could make arrangements to formally renew our vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of our marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being in covenant with my husband.

For most couples, this is day is REALLY meant for the Love Dare as it pertains to marriage between a husband and wife….. but our family situation uniquely fits into this scenario. We DID have a family wedding back on October 5, 2004. Craig and I had gotten married in Vegas back on August 1st of that year, so LEGALLY we were already married. However, it was very important for us to have a family ceremony with the kids. So, Craig and I officiated the ceremony ourselves. We told our family story and I exchanged vows to the kids at that time…. making a covenant with them through this marriage. The kids got rings, just like Craig and I did and we made a pretty big to-do over me officially blending into their family and them into mine.

Then, back in February of 2009, I legally became mother to all 5 kids by adopting them. Once again, our covenant was renewed… this time making all of us feel secure that our relationship could not be severed if something ever were to happen to Craig. This has certainly been one incredible journey and I am so excited to see where the Lord with take us all from here!

Today, we have 3 adult children, 4 of which who drive, 3 who have jobs, 1 college graduate, 2 starting college in the fall, and 2 in high school. They have a dad who is an honorable man of God and to him, I am the most amazing, beautiful woman God ever created. They have me, not their mom biologically, but I am mom. Craig has me, his monkey…… and I will be his until death do us part 🙂

What does Craig think? Go here: www.adversusmundi.wordpress.com

June 22, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment

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