My Love Dare with God – Week 12

wk 12

Can it really be the last week??????  For some, you may be thinking, “FINALLY!” — but can I share something really incredible?  After this week, you will have the gift of seeing this particular piece of the puzzle…. a bag full of tools that can help you seize more opportunities to love…. to boldly go thru doors and let God’s love be known to others in a powerful way.  This is Living My Love Dare with God… but first things first…. let’s work through Week 12

Dare days 38 – 40  – we continue with topics that are a deeper, as they directly focus on our relationship with God

This week we take a look at how Love

  •  Fulfills Dreams – seeking God for direction  and leaning on God to open your heart to the beauty of dreams
  • Endures – the no matter what kind of love
  • is a Covenant – not a contract and so much more than a promise

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 12

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My Love Dare with God – Week 11

wk 11Week 11 – Dare days 35 – 37  – we are on the home stretch!  And although the topics are a deeper, they directly focus on our relationship with God

This week we take a look at how Love

  •  is Accountable – the impact and importance of godly women/men in our lives
  • is God’s Word – the many tools available to us that help bring God’s Word to life and help us apply it to our daily walk
  • Agrees in Prayer – the power of prayer with others

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 11

 

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My Love Dare with God – Week 10

wk 10Week 10 – Dare days 32 – 34  Some of the dares this week are a bit more challenging to flip the perspective between a spouse to God

This week we take a look at how Love

  •  Meets Sexual Needs – yes – this one’s tough… so we look at how sex filters into our daily lives through media with the question, “Does this glorify God?”
  • Completes Each Other – recognizing God is integral to our future success and seeking Him first in all things
  • Celebrates Godliness – shifting from only looking at areas that need improvement to rejoicing in all the work God is doing in us and to be cheerful in all circumstances

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 10

 

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My Love Dare with God – Week 9

wk 9Week 8 – Dare days 28 – 31  Ready to keep diving???

This week we take a look at how Love

  •  Makes Sacrifices – keys of actively submitting to God’s call by sacrificing personal desires to meet the needs of others
  • Motivates – components that motivate us to love differently
  • Brings Unity – identifying previously undressed areas of sin in our lives that can potentially block a deeper relationship with God
  • and Marriage – taking a look at behaviors or things that can drive a wedge in our relationship with God

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 9

Thanks again for your participation!

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My Love Dare with God – Week 8

wk 8Week 8 – Dare days 25 – 27  Ready to dive a bit deeper???

This week we take a look at how Love

  •  Forgives – handing over our imprisoned pain to the only one who holds the key: Jesus
  • is Responsible – recognizing the role of pride, seeking God to show us where we’ve faltered, seeking forgiveness from Him, and gaining the strength to humble ourselves before others
  • Encourages – setting aside unrealistic expectations; ones we place on ourselves and others instead of looking to God first

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 8

I’m still behind on audios, but making progress! I’m working on week 7 now.  Thanks again for your grace and patience!

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My Love Dare with God – Week 7

wk 7Week 7 – Dare days 22 – 24  On the surface, some of the days may seem repetitive; but they aren’t – I believe each takes us one step closer to experiencing a deeper connection with God

This week we take a look at how Love

  • is Faithful – committing to show God we love Him even if we’re tired, sick, etc.
  • always Protects – taking a hard look at choices, priorities and balance
  • compared to  Lust – exercising our understanding of the difference between allowing God to fill voids versus turning to temporary pleasures

 

My Love Dare with God – Week 7

I’m still behind on video/audios, but I’m diligently working to catch up!  Please continue to be in prayer – it’s been a challenging few weeks health wise, but I’m getting there – thank you for your grace and patience!

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My Love Dare with God – Week 6

wk 6Week 6 – Dare days 18 – 21… yes, this is another really good week!

This week we take a look at how Love

  • Seeks to Understand – how do we gain wisdom, discernment, and deepen our trust in God?
  • is Impossible – we will take a look at the distinct difference is manufactured vs God given love
  • is Jesus Christ – the daily realization of just how desperately we need a Savior
  • is Satisfied in God – how do we ensure daily time in His Word to stimulate growth?

My Love Dare with God – week 6

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My Love Dare with God – Week 5

wk 5Week 5 – Dare days 14 – 17… I realize I mention this each week, but this is a really good week!

This week we take a look at how Love

  • Takes Delight – we will explore how some areas can mean relearning some of the ways we express our love for God, which will open us to a truer love
  • is Honorable – how do we express a willingness and develop holy habits to sacrifice for God on a daily basis?
  • Intercedes – how do we become “wise farmers” and care for the soil of our lives so that seeds planted will reap a harvest in God’s timing; and
  • Promotes Intimacy – how do we love well by accepting ourselves and others as God accepts us

My Love Dare – week 5

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My “Mess” is My Message

Today I received my copy of Stephanie Ackerman’s latest book Faith Journaling for the Inspired Artist. Did I need another book on Journaling or Art? Well, apparently I did! Not five pages in, the photo to the left smacked me upside the head…kinda crazy, right? Stephanie, among other wonderful women, have encouraged me from afar with their zest for art, an insane love for God, and the desire to intertwine the two.

For the past month, God has really been working on me & my obedience factor… at the forefront has been a host of new cancer challenges…. but those challenges have been the catalyst to realizing I haven’t consistently been giving God my best.  I’ve been giving what’s easy and through numerous experiences… sermons especially ….(thanks Pastor Jim!), I’ve been convicted as to how I’m living my life I’m for God.

Stage IV Cancer, like so many other chronic diseases, is HARD.  It doesn’t go away.period. and more often than not, you get new challenges… like wonky lungs, blood clots, and such.  I am very thankful though – just think if God allowed cancer to hit you with everything all at once? No bueno!

While I thought I’d learned my new normal, I was still entirely too focused holding tightly onto the things I could still do.  Like grocery shopping, housekeeping, or walking the dog… yeah, call it what it is….PRIDE.  Don’t get me wrong, staying active is essential, but holding too tightly onto things is a slippery slope and sets you…me… up for missing great God opportunities.

As it is today, I’m in a season where those types of activities aren’t necessarily adding value to my days. Instead, little things, like going out to the grocery store, have the potential to set me back vs propel me forward.  So I’m learning to choose more wisely and it’s definitely a process!

My 2018 goal (starting now!) is to be more mindful and dig deeper in my relationship with God.  While cancer isn’t exactly what I may have chosen, it has given me the opportunity to focus more time on Him by not trying to balance a demanding and stressful full time job….HE is my full time job…and that is pretty darn amazing – not many get that opportunity!

If you’ve read my blog, the consistent thread has been my lack of consistency in writing. And writing is a big part of my relationship with God…to be vulnerable and transparent, and to share how He leads me daily to walk closer with Him.

If I had to choose ONE thing that propelled me into deepening my relationship with God, it was a little book you may be familiar with called The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. It is a 40-day Christian devotional designed to strengthen marriages.  No, I’m not married – I’m not even dating or in a relationship.  God brought me the book as a dare to strengthen my relationship with Him.  Weird? Odd? Perhaps.  But I hope you will follow me as I share, and possibly help,  precious readers do the same… coming soon… My Love Dare with God.

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Boot Camp

When last wrote, I talked about moving into the next phase of My Love Dare with God: Living My Love Dare with God...here we go..

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress,    my God, in whom I trust.’  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence..” Psalm 91:1-3 (ESV)

Allow those words to sink in  a bit…refuge – fortress – deliverer

I’ve known for some time 40 days of developing a deeper relationship with God was, for the most part, an outline of sorts – still an essential, integral part the journey; but a critical part..a connection with my heart and in my spirit, wasn’t there yet.

The real work was only beginning – taking the concepts introduced in the initial 40 days and putting them into practice – application is always a critical step of development.

My initial confrontation/realization came  last Fall —  my life was changing dramatically and the chain reaction was much more than I could have imagined.  The range of emotions seemed almost too much to bear at times.  I went from certainty to uncertainty  to greater uncertainty day after day.  I felt more alone than I had in a long, long time.  I would soon learn the loneliness I felt had nothing to do with a man – it was about me attempting to venture down a path without completely trusting  God as my guide.

At the time I wrote this entry, I believed I was planning to marry and embark on a new journey.  But the plans were falling apart.  In the blink of an eye, the wedding moved from 60 days away to an undetermined date.  I went from my future husband moving to Texas  to me moving away.  I went from transitioning away from the life I’d known with the help of a partner to feelings of abandonment – on my own to sell  a 30yr old home in need of much repair, moving away from a full-time corp career, being near family and friends, and most of all, remaining in close proximity to my daughter.   In other words, moving from my comfort zone to something unknown.

I was now being thrust into a position where all of the “things” I cherished would be stripped away and I would be responsible for the execution – no one here to physically push me forward.

It had to be intentional surrender and I was in a tailspin of emotions.

I felt abandoned by the man I trusted as a future partner and it was excrutiatingly painful – I kept thinking to myself, “I could do this if he were here.”

You see, even  though God provided great revelation in the 40 day Love Dare, the principles were still theorectical – I had no life application (yet!) and my old tendancies readily moved into play.

I found myself trusting a man…loving a man…an imperfect human more than God.  My instincts weren’t honed yet to look to God first and foremost for my motivation, strength, and support.

You see, God had shown me what was necessary to really take my walk deeeper two years before…

08/04/09: For God to effectively use me, He has to take me completely out of my comfort zone…that way I will be forced to lean on Him.

What does this mean to me? BIG change.

Interesting…I hadn’t read that note since I wrote it 2+ years earlier.  Am I  willing to embrace what God has ahead even if I don’t have a grasp on what the picture looks like?  No one else can do this for me – someone pushing me through won’t achieve God’s objective.

This leg of my journey is intended to be bonding time with God – much like the initial bonding between parent and infant.  In spite of past experiences, in spite of past perceived successes, this is a time of trials where establishing complete trust and dependence on God is critical – and no human can provide the incentive or fuel.

And so, God is providing me with opportunities to trust Him and depend on Him in every single facet of my life – to take refuge in Him when weathering the storms of life changes….

    • Relationships: uncertainty will inevitably create strain – can I trust God to manage it all?
    • Career: it’s not the career I love, but the confidence I have gained – will I surrender so God can redefine my sense of self-worth?
    • Possessions: I must de-clutter my life – voluntary purging of the past is essential for me to be fully available to God

I’m sure there’s so much more I haven’t recognized yet, but it is overwhelmingly apparent I’m not just moving into a new phase – I’m in boot camp to serve the Most High!

©  Celeta’s Journey & My Love Dare with God, 2012. All rights reserved.