God's Will · TTC Tuesday · Uncategorized

Our Unexpected Journey

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Wow. Where do I even begin? I haven’t posted since August 26th…there’s a new domain name for our site…so much has happened…

The Lord has been knocking on my heart to begin blogging about Him – to share His Holy Name with the world, and to be honest, I’ve been lazy. I’ve been intimidated by the responsibility. I’ve been hiding in my grief after losing my precious baby boy this summer. But God continues His knocking, His beautiful persistence. And this morning I literally had no choice. I was compelled to follow His nudging. So let me catch you up on our journey to now.

I’ll begin at the beguine. If you are new to The Not-So Newlywed Lefebvres, I would ask you to back up a few posts and get a little bit of back story…but for any of you who have followed us for awhile now, you might remember that all Craig and I have ever longed for is a child. God promised us our precious Jonah Elizabeth, and we have been waiting patiently for nearly five years now. We were called to serve God in Maine this past year, and at the end of June 2016, we packed up our home in Georgia to move to a tiny town in Maine, into a big farmhouse we fell in love with. Almost immediately upon our arrival, amidst all of the painting and decorating and revamping, we received a call from the adoption agency we had been courting (but had not yet committed to), with amazing news: they had a precious baby boy (to be born in a month) for us.

As you might imagine, we ran the gamut of emotion: overwhelming joy, utter fear, anxiety, love, and were especially filled with praise for the amazing Father God who had blessed us in such a MIGHTY and unexpected way. Adoption had always been on the table for us. We have always wanted a house-full of children, and the moment we were exactly where God called us to be, here was our baby boy. Overwhelming cannot begin to describe the fullness every emotion carried during that month.

The adoption agency demanded every cent of their funding at the drop of a hat, and while scrambling to prepare a nursery and a home for this precious child, the Lord, literally, blessed us with every cent and every single thing we needed for our miracle. I could not have been more in love with a child if he had been growing in my own womb. I  must have cried tears of joy 60% of every single day. Every. Need. Was. Met. In less than a month. How can that be attributed to anyone but God?

I spent afternoons with the birthmother. I heard our boy’s heartbeat, watched him wiggle on the ultrasounds, saw him kick her stomach. He was my miracle. And then, he was not.

On August 17th, the birthmother’s parents intervened and told the agency their daughter could not give her child up for adoption. This precious child who they had tried to abort in the first months; who was the victim of alcohol and heroin and methamphetamine and cocaine abuse… And there was nothing we could do, but pray.

And we did. A whole army of prayer warriors rose up and prayed for this situation. But alas, what I believe was God’s Will was not done. And we were left standing there, not knowing if we could move or breathe or smile ever again. I have never known that kind of pain – pain I still face whenever I allow myself to think about our would-have-been baby boy…So I try not to.

Our failed adoption led to persistent longing. In prayer, the Lord was urging us on as He had never done before in pursuit of parenthood. It was as if a lion had been awakened from slumber. Friends reached out of the woodwork and recommended specialists and volunteered themselves to help in anyway they could have. It was beautiful.

On one such recommendation, we made an appointment with a doctor of functional medicine in Minnesota, Dr. Paul Deglmann. And in the same breath, we also made an appointment with Boston IVF, to speak with them about our options – maybe after 4 years and all of this heartache, we felt it was time to see if an IUI was an option for our family.

‘Dr. Paul’ in Minnesota, proved to be excellent and bring-about some thought-provoking insights for us about our infertility. After numerous tests, we began to solve many issues that didn’t seem directly related to infertility, but were certainly underlying factors. Eight months later and my blood work is what doctors have been referring to as ‘fantastic’. I feel better than I have in years. I don’t even need coffee in the morning. It’s pretty amazing.

Meanwhile, in New England, we had been to see Dr. Lannon at Boston IVF for an IUI consultation. After looking at our medical charts, he told us an IUI may not work with our particular fertility issues, because I may still (even after my procedure to reopen my collapsed Fallopian tubes in which I woke up from anesthesia during said procedure) have tubal damage. However, he said that in looking at my charts, we were a very unique case because I had been ‘diagnosed’ with PCOS, but had almost none of the  symptoms. Dr. Lannon said he didn’t feel like I had been properly diagnosed (the same thing my endocrinologist and Dr. Paul thought), and that there was a clinical study that almost no one qualified for (but I did), in which we would undergo IVF for *only* $6,000 all-inclusive.

  1. We were shocked. $6,000 is actually an unbelievable savings to undergo in-vitro fertilization.
  2. IVF is something we had never considered for ourselves, and in fact, had always been opposed to doing.
  3. Dr. Lannon felt that given our age, and our medical history, this could be our ‘only shot’ at having children biologically.

This was quite the amount of information to process…So we told him we would consider it, and get back to him…

Again, IVF is something that had been totally off the table. We both felt as if it would be unnecessary in our case, but after our summer of surprises, we decided we needed to seek the Lord about the options that lay in front of us.

Now, when Craig and I both ‘go off’ to seek God’s Will about something, we always acknowledge we will be praying, and don’t reconvene until the Lord has spoken. In this instance, God showed me some things, pretty emphatically, very quickly, but I knew Craig hadn’t received a Word yet – so I waited, as I have in the past, and lo’ and behold, several days later, he called from a trip to tell me what the Lord had revealed to him. Interestingly, God showed us the same things in different ways. Because God is AWESOME like that!

He showed me the book of Genesis, and pointed out that His first command to His creation was to “Be fruitful and multiply.”

“So God created human beings in his own image.

In the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.’ ” Genesis 1:27-28 NLT

To Craig, He revealed He is the author of life, and that this step would not be ‘taking matters into our own hands’ – that only God gives life, no matter science’s role in the ‘process’. We both felt, after years of feeling otherwise, compelled to take this step.

And so we did.

We began repeating every. single. fertility test known to man at the flagship Boston IVF clinic in Waltham, Massachusetts, driving there several times each week. Giving blood samples like candy to kids on Halloween and being poked and prodded and tested. Everything was set in motion. This was really happening.

And then it wasn’t.

We received a seemingly standard call from Boston IVF, and were told that the group heading the clinical study had decided against my participation due to the fact I take the prescription Metformin – a fact they had known all along.

And once again, it felt like the world was crashing down around us. But still we felt IVF was on our table. Still, we felt the Lord right there, next to us, in the midst of all this pain. After four years of being still and silent, all of a sudden, this summer had become tumultuous and sad.

Dr. Lannon called us and apologized that this had happened to us. He felt that everything was handled incorrectly, but told us he still wanted us as patients and that the clinic would take our particular case into consideration, and possibly be able to discount our own in vitro fertilization journey. Honestly, he was more considerate, kind and caring than any other physician we had seen – and we had only met with him in person once.

Fast forward to today. After much prayer, we are in the midst of an IVF cycle. I won’t say it has been a fun journey – because injecting yourself with three shots per night would only be fun if I were a masochist, but we are here. And we are at peace.

I’ve seen and felt the judgement when we have told others we decided to pursue IVF, and I want you all to know this isn’t a decision we came to lightly. This isn’t a ‘last-ditch effort’ to have children, and we didn’t decide to take this path because we feel God is any less powerful than we know He is.

I mentioned above that in our failed adoption, I don’t feel like God’s Will was done. And I don’t. I think many times something happens, or doesn’t, and people say, “Well, I guess that was God’s Will.”

I respond, emphatically, “No!

We live in a fallen world. God’s plan is not always heeded. If it were, this would be Heaven. All of creation would be following the Will and the Word of the Father. And that is not the case.

In the case of the adoption, the ‘birth grandparents’ intervened, I feel, against the Will of God. In the case of the clinical study, the megaset medical study team went on their own protocol and procedure, without giving a thought to God’s plan for the study.

Could I be wrong? Sure.

But I don’t feel so in my heart. The Lord let Craig and I be ‘us’, and led us to the place He called us, and now He has called us to fill our Ark. In the midst of these appointments and injections and medicines and procedures, we feel peace. And it’s the same peace I have felt when I relented to God and gave Him His way.

Watching a Joyce Meyer broadcast last week, she said something that really resonated with my soul:

Sometimes a miracle involves medical science. It isn’t that God couldn’t do it Himself, but Who gave the doctors and scientists the ideas in the first place? Without God, human beings wouldn’t have the intelligence they do to perform the medical miracles that are being accomplished.

God can use anyone, anything and any situation to bring about His Will. All that is necessary are His willing followers. Can He heal people miraculously? Absolutely. Does He always? No. Sometimes He uses doctors to heal His children. Sometimes He doesn’t bring us healing on Earth at all.

And so, my friends, here we are. If you wish to follow our IVF journey up to this point, check out our YouTube channel. We began vlogging about our experience because it is such an invasive and intimidating process and in our research and anticipation, we learned so much about it from other Christian IVF vloggers that we wanted to share the wealth (of knowledge).

And one other thing – I will be blogging again, as well. That’s no empty promise. God has been on my heart to write again, to tell the world what He places on my soul, and I plan to do just that.

So pray for us. And share this page. Tell your friends. You never know who God places in your path that might need a certain Word. Really. You never know…

Ta-ta for now, folks.

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Food For Thought Friday · God's Will

Journey To Our Miracle Child: Thank You So Much For Your Prayer & Support

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Hello Faithful Friends,

Thank you so much for your outpouring of amazing love, support and prayer over this past week. We love you all! Please click on the video below for an update of the latest in our journey for a child.

Please bear with us in this time of grief and pain. Please pray for our faith to be strengthened in this storm!

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God's Will · Thirsty For Christ Thursday

The Nomadic Not-So Newlywed Lefebvres

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I can’t believe it. Tomorrow evening we begin our drive to Maine. Time flies much too quickly, and the past six months of discernment for us has not proven to be any different. Before we knew it, summer had arrived – and with it, our big move up to Maine.

I know it took me quite some time to allow God to soften my heart to the idea of moving back. Don’t get me wrong – Maine is a gorgeous place, and I can think of SO MANY PEOPLE we connected with in 2014-2015 who are amazing, life-changing, life-long relationships. But being so far away from home was hard. Being ‘alone’ with 10 feet of snow outside your front door and a sedan (Read: No AWD vehicle) in the driveway was hard. Feeling as if you weren’t being spiritually fed was really hard. And so, even though we knew we probably shouldn’t have, we left.

There were just so many easy ways to justify our move back to Georgia…and it didn’t take long before we were able to justify it for our own hearts.

Turning around and choosing to follow God’s plan was a pride-buster. God had His plan for us in that too! It isn’t easy to admit you were wrong and do a complete 180° turn with your life, changing all of your plans and returning to a place you ran away from.

People (who aren’t in ministry) always ask me, “Is youth ministry all you’re going to do? Isn’t that more of a part-time thing? Is that really the reason you’re moving back up?”

And the answer is that youth ministry – ministry of any sort – is more of a full-time job than any 40-hour per week career on the planet. Youth ministry is LIVING your life for Christ, as a role model for teenagers with keen eyes and ears and their finger on the tip of every social media site you could possibly ever be a part of.  Youth ministry is waking up with your coffee in the morning to read scripture and study the Bible for hours. Youth ministry is always having your phone on so that anyone in your youth group can call or text at any time of the day or night. Youth ministry is planning a calendar full of events, studies, snacks, and trips a year in advance, to mesh with every possible school system. It’s praying constantly for yourself and others. It’s being a counselor and an encourager and a rule-reminder. It’s draining. No more leaving work ‘at work’. It’s all the time. The pay is awful (Read: Zilch). The health benefits are non-existent – there’s no overtime either.

But it’s the most wonderfully fulfilling “job” I can fathom.

Following the Lord is the most incredible journey…It’s literally beyond anything you could ever imagine.

We have been riddled with sneers about our ‘moving so much’, but literally, are you where you are called to be?? Or are you just settling for what’s less complicated?

Paul tells us, “As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us.” 1 Chronicles 29:15 (MSG) 

Peter says, “”Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11-12

As Christians, we are called to be like nomads. Jesus tells a rich man in the gospels that in order to follow Him, the man must give up everything he has and leave it behind to follow the Lord. Is our faith that important to us? Or are we so concerned about remaining in the same house, close to our friends and family, in the best school district for our kids and close to our jobs, that we give God a deaf ear when He calls us out?

Think about it. It’s of utmost importance… WHO are you living for?

You or the Lord?

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God's Will

The Way Life SHOULD Be.

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If only we all kept that verse written on our hearts…Take heart, JESUS has overcome!! We have no reason to fear, if we only follow His Word and His Leading.

If only we had more carefully heeded this Scripture last May…

Check out the video below to find out how God redirected everything and is bringing us full circle: {click or tap on the image below and the video will play}

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”

I cannot express to you how immeasurably that verse fits into our impending move and new journey for His Kingdom! The Lord has made this next step an increasingly joyful one for us! Gone are the fears about money and creature comforts and being tasked with a hugely important endeavor – for we have the freedom of knowing we are in the will of God. We know without a shadow of a doubt He has provided and will continue to! We walk in His freedom as His children, joint heirs with Christ!!

What a weight off our backs to allow Him to guide us and carry our heavy loads of worry! What a joy to serve our Sovereign Lord and King! What a privilege to be entrusted with such vital ministry!

Please continue praying for us and please pray especially for this grassroots youth ministry!

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I promise to do a better job of keeping you all posted on God’s work in our lives and through us. As soon as this move is complete…and our house is painted…and unpacked…I think I’ll have a little more time on my hands… #wishfulthinking Well, at the very least, I won’t have a 29 mile = 2 hour commute. Each. Way. #bethankful

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Asheville, NC this weekend!

We love you all and hope you’ll all pay us a visit!!

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Food For Thought Friday

It’s More ‘Good’ Than We Acknowledge

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I often wondered why such a seemingly unimaginably awful Friday as this is called “Good Friday.” Translation certainly has something to do with this naming, as the word ‘good’ in Old English is better translated to our modern day ‘holy’. And it is certainly a HOLY Friday. Today is the day we commemorate God sacrificing His one and only Son, Jesus, on the cross. Killing Him in a horribly painful way to save us all.

All of us.

So if you are thinking you are too ‘bad’, too old, too tainted, too far gone, not good enough…that this sacrifice was not for you because you don’t need the Blood of Jesus Christ to save you… Well, however, crazily un-PC this may be…

YOU’RE WRONG.

There is one single way to Heaven: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:16

You cannot be good enough. You cannot give enough or go to church enough or meditate enough. The only thing that is enough is Jesus.

On today, Good Friday, God is asking you to do one thing: Acknowledge He gave His only Son a death sentence to save you. Believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God and that He loves you – beyond ANY type of love you have ever experienced, beyond any type of love you could imagine. Nothing on this earth gets remotely close.

Once you acknowledge this fact, you simply have to believe, thank God for the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE and allow Him to be your Savior, by asking Him to forgive you and turning away from your past.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”               John 3:16-18

This is a reason today is a ‘good day’… without the death of Christ on the cross, there could be no resurrection, no Easter Sunday. He died for YOU and for ME, and in doing so overcame death completely. His resurrection on the third day means that the day I die, I can say with confidence that I will be with Jesus in Heaven.

 “One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!” Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” Luke 23:39-43

With death being the great uncertainty in life, knowing my destination is an amazing comfort that allows me to live for Jesus, able to follow Him no matter what the consequences are – not that any of us are ever 100% successful in this. We all sin, no matter how much we try not to. As much as I strive to listen to God, satan tempts me too.

I do not understand what I do; for I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don’t want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don’t do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do.If I do what I don’t want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.” Romans 7:15-20

Craig and I are about to embark on a new adventure for Christ – the details will be ‘spilled’ soon – and so many people have asked, “How can you just follow like that – no questions asked?”

And I have 2 answers:

  1. Plenty of questions were asked – whether they should have been or not. We are not experts, by any stretch of the imagination, in trusting God, but we are trying. He asked us; we pleaded with Him; we questioned Him; we questioned each other; we relented; we followed.
  2. Faith in the outcome. God the Father sent His Son to die for our salvation. Jesus, flesh on earth, asked for there to be ‘another way’…He was frightened. He was both totally human and totally God. But He followed His Father’s Will – and while it was painful for Him…more painful that I could ever fathom, His Father knew the outcome…and aren’t we all glad He obeyed?

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

You may have seen on Facebook or Instagram that someone recently made some pretty rude comments toward Craig and me regarding our infertility. I am trying to believe that they misinterpreted our faith for complacency. Just as I ask the Lord to ‘help my unbelief’ for my Christian faith, I ask Him the same mercy for our lack of children.

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‘Though [the Lord] brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.’ Lamentations 3:32

‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.’ Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’” Lamentations 3:21-24

He loved us so much He sent His only Son to die for us even though we did nothing to deserve this. If He loves me this much, He will provide for our every single need. How could I possibly doubt that? How can I worry about food, bills, a mortgage, children…when He provided even His only Son for me.

Can you fathom that?

Think of the person on this Earth you love most – your child, your spouse, your parent. Now imagine the entire world is sick. A disease is killing every person on earth and it is spreading like wildfire. The only cure is the blood of your loved one. That’s it. To save the world, you have to hand over your husband, your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, to be killed. And not in some pretty way. And not to a group of people who are grateful. No, you are handing over the one you love most to pain and torture so unbearable you don’t dare imagine it. And to a group of people who hate and despise the one you love most.

Could you do that? Could you sentence the love of your life to death to save people who don’t deserve it, even remotely???

I couldn’t. I don’t possess that much love.

So how in the world can I turn away from the only One who could, and did – Just for you and me?

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Prayer Changes…?

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Prayer. If I don’t begin my morning with it, the rest of my day goes quickly downhill.  And the question is: Why?

Does my prayer change what’s happening around me? Does prayer persuade God to do things differently? And what is it that we should be praying for, anyway?

I believe much of the answer to all of these questions is found in the book of 1 Kings, Chapter 3 – to be specific:

Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked,both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:3-14 ESV

Solomon could have asked God for anything, and yet, he chose to ask for wisdom… and God responds by not only giving him wisdom in abundance, but by giving him all the more on top of this – things above and beyond, that Solomon didn’t even ask for.

So, what does this have to do with our prayer lives?

It should tell you two things:

  • We should be praying for wisdom to discern God’s Will in our lives above all else.
  • When we are following the Lord, not only will He answer, abundantly, our prayers for wisdom and guidance, He also will provide the things we unselfishly don’t ask for.

We are all familiar with The Lord’s Prayer – right?

It’s found in Matthew 6:9-13:

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
    and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.

Lord, let us honor YOU above all and anyone else. Please come quickly and take us with you to your Kingdom. Please give us wisdom to discern your will on earth. Provide our basic necessities, and forgive us like we have forgiven others. Give us the strength to follow you at all costs and overcome temptation. Save us from death and satan’s tricks.

I think it’s pretty obvious from only those two (of thousands) passages from the Bible what we should pray for and how. I also think reading these prayerfully, it becomes quite clear that prayer changes us – the way we think, how we go about our day, our interactions with others…

If I am praying for the Lord to guide me and give me wisdom, the same troubles and difficulties may come my way…but how I approach them will be different.

If I am praying for God to give me strength to resist the devil, when temptation comes, I am prepared to stand firm.

Recently, God put something on my heart. Something big. Something I didn’t even want to think about talking to Craig about. But the Lord was persistent. The more I sat in prayer with Him…the more I was convinced I just had to talk to Craig…

…Craig reacted in just the way I thought he would. He was totally opposed to what I told him God had put on my heart. I told him I was too…but that the Lord was very strongly speaking to me. We prayed about it more…We studied Scripture and we prayed again.

About two weeks later, Craig came to me and said, “The Lord changed my heart. He is telling me exactly the same thing as He’s been telling you.”

Still, this calling was/is not what neither Craig nor I would have chosen for ourselves, but prayer gave us peace with God’s plan. It provided understanding about how this would be possible. It allowed us the wisdom we needed to hear Him.

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Until Tomorrow,

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TTC Tuesday

Bless The Lord, O My Soul!

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Yes, I know. I have been a bad blogger and ALREADY broken my ‘resolution’ of daily (M-F) blogging and we aren’t even out of January yet! 🙂 But, I have a good excuse…

Wednesday I trained a temporary employee all day at work, and then Thursday through Monday we were out of town. So, see…Does that really count as breaking my resolution??? 🙂

Well, since I have been playing catch-up all day at the office, I wanted to keep this post short and to the point, so here goes!

The current Bible reading plan I am using also includes one ‘focus Scripture passage’ for every week…I’m a little bit behind (of course), but I have been stuck on the first passage of the year. I keep it on a post-it note at my desk, and I feel like I have been gaining insight about what scripture is saying for several weeks now:

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I realize now that I’ve attached the photo you can’t really see the verses written on my turquoise stickie (because you know I can’t use a plain yellow stickie note, right?!?!???)… So let me share what my little note says:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Psalm 103:1-4

Wow!!! I just LOVE that Psalm!! What beautiful knowledge to be reminded that our Savior forgives everything we do, heals us to complete perfection (upon our entrance into Heaven), saves us from eternal fire, and once we are His, we are CHANGED!!

When I look up at my little note at my desk and see this, I am reminded that no matter how busy I am – no matter how much I am dreading the commute home or the upcoming meeting – no matter how sad I am that Craig is on a trip for work and I’m still not pregnant…this little reminder reminds me that He is in control; reminds me that He is my Savior, and I am His – that no matter what else is erupting around us in this world, our Lord is THE Almighty, and all things are possible through Him.

When you don’t know what to pray, repeat this passage. Praise Him for all the many things He has done for us! Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NLT) says, “Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.”

The Lord is so amazing and wonderful, He is beyond our human capacity of understanding! So this small set of four verses is a good place to start in our praise of Him. It reminds me to be thankful, joyful, peaceful and patient. So for you, I have made a little printable, so that you, too, can have Psalm 103:1-4 close-by to keep your mind on how amazing God is!

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Print this out, and enjoy being reminded as you go about your day, what an AWESOME GOD WE SERVE!!

Until tomorrow (and yes, I promise I’ll be back!!),

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My Choice Monday

My Choice Monday: Let An App Help Keep You On Track

Monday

Well it’s Monday! It’s a short week for us with our trip to Minnesota and Maine on the horizon, so the day has actually flown by! What’s that saying? “So much to do, so little time!”? #StoryOfOurLives 🙂

Today, in the spirit of being crazy busy, ‘my choice’ is for the Best Apps to keep you on your Christian walk – BUSY OR NOT! No excuses!

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    Blue Letter Bible – 

    This app is hands down the best Bible app on the market and it’s now available for both iPhone and Android users! Numerous translations of the Bible plus commentaries and concordances right at your fingertips!

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    Our Daily Bread 

    There is no excuse to miss reading your daily devotional with this app – NONE! I have the app read my devotion & Scripture references to me via Bluetooth on my way to work each morning. (Helps calm road rage too! #Bonus)

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    Abide

    Abide is an app that guides you in prayer. There are many different topics and some beautiful prayers available. If you ever have a hard time knowing what to say when you pray, this app with help!

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    Bible-Minded

    David, in the Psalms, tells us to hide God’s Word in our hearts…Scripture can help re-center you back on the things of the Lord; It can be such a comfort when times are tough…This app helps with that! Use Bible Minded to begin to memorize Scripture!!

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    K-Love

    Christian music -Anytime. Anywhere. This is another awesome app to keep on your phone or tablet. No matter what sort of stresses are going on in the world around you, you can always pop in your earbuds (or strap on your BEATS!) and tune out the world – and turn ON worship!

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    Skip Heitzig – The App

    Skip Heitzig, one of our FAVORITE pastors and the head of Calvary Chapel in Albequerque. If you’ve read our blog for long, we have mentioned him (and this app) on multiple occasions. It’s that awesome! I have learned so much about the Bible and gained so much that has helped me strengthen my relationship with the Lord from the sermons available on this app. Another perfect companion for your drive to (or from) work, a flight, or your exercise routine. This app has followed me across about four phones…and I have NEVER even considered not having it! It’s FREE – You have nothing to lose!

So there you have it – Six apps YOU NEED on your phone or tablet to help strengthen and guide your walk with Christ. Colossians 3:1-3a says this:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.…

When you’re alone in the car, don’t turn on the depressing/maddening/outrageous news or listen to the songs on the radio (not only played over and over and over again) full of lyrics of innuendo, cursing, violence…Listen to the Word of God or worship Him in song or pray…All of these apps help to ‘keep your mind on the things above’, just where it should be!

Have a wonderful evening! God Bless You All!

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What's Up Wednesday

A Revenant Review of A Quiet Weekend

Wednesday

Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week! I woke up this morning hoping it was Saturday as I looked at my alarm clock, buzzing like a madman. I don’t think I will ever get used to waking up before the sun!

Alas, Craig and I have enjoyed the whole week together and when I haven’t been working or commuting, we have relished every second. This past weekend we saw the new movie, “The Revenant“…

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Honestly…I don’t even know how to ‘review’ this movie  experience…except to say two things:

  1. I will, now, forever have an unhealthy fear of bears.
  2. You may find yourself unconciously holding your breath for long stretches of time, but you will never become disinterested in this film.

Apparently, the movie is based on a true story…and when you see it…you’ll perhaps understand why that is so shocking…Goodness, I am getting shivery just thinking about it…

Please, let me be frank – this is NOT a horror film, nor is it scary…It is just…indescribable, and has an incredible message, I feel, woven within…

Other than our cinematic experience, our weekend was pretty tame. Craig and I ventured into some thrift shops (my fave!) and hardware stores (his fave!) and even made it to JoAnn Fabrics, in preparation for my new sewing and embroidery machine:

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Eeeek! We haven’t had much time to experiment, yet!, but I have already delved into one project, and am next interested in converting a pair of huge jeans that I bought thinking they were men’s for Craig…only to discover they were a pair of plus size women’s jeans…which obviously neither of us can wear… LOL… So – On to reinventing into “skinny jeans” – which Pinterest claims is really simple… We shall see!! 🙂

Otherwise it’s been work work work around the Lefebvre home! We are preparing to take a little trip next week – beginning in Maine and ending in Minnesota! There are bound to be pictures to come!

Keep my precious Mama Dee (my mother’s mother) in your prayers, blog-family. In recent weeks, she has undergone a THIRD knee surgery since shattering her patella in November. Prayers for healing, peace, patience and comfort are so very appreciated.

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From Left: Mama, Mama Dee, Me ❤

And finally, I want to leave you on this ‘What’s Up Wednesday?’ with a beautiful article concerning God’s design for marriage.

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“A Last Name Says Alot” by Jasmine Holmes

Take a moment and read and think  on Jasmine’s words…We have a Father in Heaven who LOVES us!!

Well, back to work! Until tomorrow!

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TTC Tuesday

Our Limitless Savior

Tuesday

Early this morning, on the way in to work, I wasn’t sure what exactly today’s post would be about. Sometimes, though, the answer is all in my morning devotion – and this morning was no exception. ‘Jesus Today’ by Sarah Young (a ‘sequel’ to Jesus Calling) is one of the devotionals I’m currently reading and when I read this entry for January 12th…I could feel the Holy Spirit upon my heart.

What a beautiful feeling. There is absolutely nothing like it! And when it’s truly the Lord pressing on your heart, you cannot help but want to share His message! And so I knew that what impacted me this morning would be my gift to y’all today:

Jesus Today January 12

 

And before you argue that this is ‘just’ a devotional reading…all of these promises are backed up by the Word of God:

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Faith in Christ is truly the answer. It leads to prayer, persistence…hope…joy. If you are merely living your life…going to church now and then – or even every week! – but don’t have a true living relationship with the Lord, you just cannot even fathom what the life God has in store for you really consists of!!

When you’re in a seemingly discouraging situation, life can look bleak and hopeless. But Christ tells us to write His Word on our hearts (Deuteronomy 11:18), and that isn’t so we can look impressive with the amount of scripture we have memorized, but so that, as believers, we have the comfort of His promises in our souls whenever any situation arises.

The Lord keeps all of His promises (Proverbs 30:5), so we can rest knowing that He hears His children. Although it isn’t easy, there is never a need to ‘help’ God along and trying to do so shows a lack of faith…In true worship of Our Savior, we must acknowledge that He alone is limitless in His ability and able to do anything – creating life out of barrenness, healing the incurable, saving the unsaveable, providing the impossible.

In this day and age, it seems as if nothing shocks or amazes us anymore. But GOD is above and beyond any place your imagination could take you, and His Love is infinitely beyond our comprehension. While we remain on our knees in faith, He has already answered our cries in the best way. Just as you would never give your child a gift that might cause him harm, He gives His children the very best.

In His Word and in the devotion for today, Jesus is assuring us of His love for us…As a Father to His Children, the Lord wants the very best for us. All we must do as Christ Followers is to pray faithfully, and live our lives in relationship with Him. It is surely not a simple undertaking, but it is a beautiful and rewarding life to live unhindered in His Promise.

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