You Will Indeed Fly

I’m continuing Part 2 of the butterfly’s journey from last week.

I found something really cool. Did you know the monarch butterfly migrates north from Mexico? It can travel 3,000 miles in its short lifetime!

How do they know where they are going? Their wings are special they detect the ultraviolet rays from sunlight which gives them the direction to go to reach their destination.

Look up! Our help comes from the Lord!

He gives direction and guidance. He’s our counselor!

This special detector in the monarch’s wings is like the Holy Spirit.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39

You can receive the Holy Spirit anywhere. I know people who have received it at their homes, in their bedrooms and living rooms. I even know someone who received the Holy Spirit in the shower!

If you believe and ask God for it, you SHALL receive it.

According to Acts 1:8 the Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome sin and to be witnesses.

An overcoming life comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s a promise!

People are seeking hope beyond this world. We have the answer. You have the answer. Jesus.


I just want to encourage you today. Let’s use this time to work on our relationship with Jesus.

That’s what the Lord is asking of us during our “chrysalis time.”

Wouldn’t it be sad if the Caterpillar went through the special time of darkness and isolation and came out as the same caterpillar instead of a beautiful butterfly?



Take time to grow closer to Jesus.

When you take one or 2 steps towards HIM. He takes about 25 steps toward you.

He loves you and He’s faithful.

And you’re going to come out of this a butterfly. And you will indeed fly.

If you desire to experience this Holy Spirit like the church did all throughout the book of Acts, I encourage you to seek out an Apostolic church where they teach Acts 2:38. The Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome the things we face and baptism in JESUS NAME washes away our sin.

It is a gift. And it’s available for EVERYONE!

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? Acts 19:2

-Tonya

Becoming a Butterfly

I felt God spoke these words to me. I hope to bring you encouragement today.

“YOU are a butterfly” these words boomed inside my chest in the middle of the night.

Which made me study the caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly.

The caterpillar encloses himself into chrysalis, in that cocoon the entire  caterpillar is broken down into a soup like mixture.

All of the major structures, including the heart, are broken down and then rebuilt.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

You are in a process, my Friend. We all are! You are going to come out of this stronger than you were before. Right now it’s dark and lonely. You are isolated. It can be scary. The unknown surrounds us. But God is making you into something new. It’s not a waste. He’s changing our heart and He’s changing our mind. He’s preparing us to be greater for HIS glory. He’s creating in You and I a clean heart and a right spirit.

The bible says “Be still and know that HE is God.”

Just like the process of a growing baby inside of you there’s no way around it. Those growing pains are there. But you will never be the same after that baby is delivered. And neither will your baby for that matter!

“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27

He will give us HIS desires. And he will give you the ability and the POWER to do it.

The butterfly soon emerges from the chrysalis, just after 2 short weeks. The butterfly is free to fly.

He’s rebuilding you and shaping you into what he sees you can be.

He sees your potential. He sees your heart.

He gives us grace to be what HE wants us to be.

Butterflies and caterpillars don’t just look different — they behave differently, too. Caterpillars live in a tree. Butterflies must go through a time of isolation to get broken so they can fly!

When we lose our structure, when we lose our control, we are forced to be STILL inside the cocoon. It’s quiet. We have to remain comfortable with the quietness.


Caterpillars eat leaves, while butterflies feed on nectar.

It matters what we consume. What we read, watch, and listen to. If we listen and watch dark things, darkness will surround us. If we listen to positive things, like worship music, uplifting podcasts, and Bible reading, angels are drawn to worship. Angels can be in your home.


We are strengthened by the Words of the Lord. You can ask God to direct you in your bible reading. While you are reading, scriptures will jump out at you.

That’s not just you, that’s God saying this is for you, right now.

When he speaks to you write it down in a journal so you don’t forget. You can easily look back at the things God told you in different seasons of your life. We encourage ourselves in the Lord by keeping a Journal.

I’ll be talking more about the butterfly and caterpillar next week.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share some encouragement the Lord has placed on your heart. I’d love to hear from you!

-Tonya

Passion for your “Elephant”


God wants to renew your passion for the “elephant” prayers in your life. (The things that are huge or that seem impossible.)

I began working on this post last week. I had one particular “elephant” in mind.

Little did I know this prophetic word from the Lord was about to unfold in a matter of a few days.

These “Elephants” can be a God-given vision, dream, plan, or word which you feel inadequate or are losing the faith it takes to see it unfold.

I have called them elephants because they seem like huge prayers that you can’t accomplish yourself. It would only be achieved with the help of God.

I had a family member slip away from God for 9 years.

I would pray for her on repeat. I knew God was the only one who would bring her back.

2 weeks ago I had a nightmare that scared me so that I woke up and my entire body was covered in goosebumps. I was shaken with fear.

I knew this was not just a bad dream or “the pizza I ate before bed”. I was dealing with a demonic spirit.

My husband and I went on a 3 day fast that week.

I was carried through the fast. I had NO desire for food. Even when I was fixing meals and snacks for the 5 kids. That’s only happened 3 times in my life, (where I was given supernatural strength to make it through a multi-day fast.) Fasting is usually VERY difficult for me.

This time was EASY. It made me curious and ask the Lord, “Why are you carrying me through this fast?” I was nervous about what was coming ahead that I would NEED this time of sacrifice and the power it brought.

On the 3rd day of the fast, I had another nightmare. This time God revealed to me I was in spiritual warfare for my family member I mentioned earlier.

The enemy wanted ALL of her. He was plaguing her mind to cut off the one thing she had left that tied her to God. She was holding on by a thread.

The enemy wanted her, but so did we. There were people who stood in the gap. Interceeding for her. Fasting for her. Crying out for her. Believing for her.

I decided to tell her what I was dealing with. I told her specific details in my dreams. What did I have to lose? Why be intimidated of what she might think of me? I spoke to her the things I felt on my heart.

It was exactly was she needed to hear and the right time. She cried and thanked God that He cared enough for her to send her a message regarding specific things she was dealing with.

This Sunday she went to church and felt the presence of God again. She was renewed with His Spirit. I believe this is only the beginning!


Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us —
Ephesians 3:20 HCSB


We never know what God is doing in someone’s heart. Only God knows that.

If God tells you to do something just do it!

God is still moving even when we can’t see it.

Don’t write off your “elephant” just yet. Ask God to renew your passion and faith you need to see it happen. Just make yourself available in willingness. God will use you where you are right now.

We need to be a vessel God can pour into and flow out of!

Go after your elephant! It is available!

Do you have a testimony of an “elephant” prayer God answered in your life? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

Gladness

It was morning. I opened my eyes, rolled over, looked at the clock on my nightstand, 5:15 am


I was debating in my mind. Get up now (before the kids) grab a cup of coffee and have some one-on-one time with Jesus OR “sleep in.” (just until 6:30 am. That’s when my kids come barreling into my bedroom letting me know they made it to the potty and they were ready for breakfast to be hot and ready on the table, right now… please mom?)

Thinking of the latter, I couldn’t help but despise the rude wake-up call. It made me eager to catch as many snoozes as I could before my day would begin.

So without further ado, I turned my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. I had made my decision.


Suddenly a voice inside of me loud and clear proclaimed,

“Serve the Lord with GLADNESS!”


It was so thunderous it was as if it shook me right out of bed. I got up to pray with a smile.

The Lord gave me the strength and encouragement I needed!

God knows what YOU need too!

Matthew 6:8 says…” for YOUR Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Simply talk with Jesus when you are feeling low and drained from life’s errands. Cleaning up toys. Wiping messy hands and faces. Changing dirty diapers. Oh yeah, the laundry needs to be put away and those dishes need washing, and Oh it’s supper time… already? … I think I made my point.

Remember, His strength is abundant. He has unlimited resources for us. He isn’t going to go bankrupt. God’s got YOU. Ask Him for a double portion of strength. I know it’s available because I have received it.

“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalms 100:2

Has God ever given you the energy you needed right on time?

I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

Colorado Road Trip (with kids and COVID restrictions)

Our Colorado vacation was phenomenal and very achievable, even with all the new restrictions. You need to put in your time planning for a successful visit. It’s more work, but you’ll be glad to did the extra planning.

First of all, Colorado has an all-state mask mandate. Though most of the places we visited were outdoors. We went out to eat one time which required us to wear face masks if we were not sitting at the table eating.

We had 13 people in our group. 6 kids ages 9, 5, 3, 2, 1, and 1!

We drove 2 vans. We decided to drive all night; 16 hours from Milwaukee to Denver. I drove 8 and then, my Dear Husband drove 8. My brothers and sisters joined us. It was so much fun because Tasha ( my sister) would call me when she felt tired and I would call her if I got bored. I was on the phone with her when she hit a flat tire from a semi-truck! It left a tire shaped dent in their front bumper. We were thankful they were fine and their van was driveable.

We drove straight to downtown Denver to see the “Big Blue Bear”. The 40-foot bear is peeking in the window of a museum. (Which was not open because of Covid) but we got a photo with the bear!

Coloradans I met at a park told me they stay clear of Denver because it’s not family-friendly with all the homeless people on the streets. (Although we walked around one block; we didn’t see any homeless or vandalism.)


We walked through the Garden of the gods. (No reservations needed) We saw the mysterious beautiful red rock structures in front of the mountains.


Next, we went to Cheyanne Mountain Zoo. (Reservations required) This zoo is in the top 5 zoos in the nation. The whole zoo is on the side of the mountain. The more animals you want to see the higher you climb the stairs. (They do have elevators and ramps)

We toured The Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and a playground! It was a full day. Everyone was tired and ready to nap for 3 hours in the car. Heading toward Great Sand Dunes National Park for the next day’s adventures.


The Great Sand Dunes National Park: The scenery is epic. We rented sandboards and sleds to go down the dunes. (Snowboards and snow sleds DO NOT work) you need to use the special sand sleds with wax.

Bring lots of water! We spent around 4 hours here. That’s including the time waiting in line for board rentals. (No mask no service.)


Next, we drove to Glenwood Springs, CO. 4 hour drive from Sand Dunes. We stopped at a free fish hatchery. There was a TINY hike in the forest with a beautiful lake. I recommend stopping there to stretch and let the kids out of the car.


We hiked at Saint Mary’s Glacier and boy, are we glad we did! Just make sure you take the trail IN THE WOODS instead of the rocky way all the way up like we did. We just followed everyone else. There were many people. It was almost impossible to park in the parking lots. We walked further to park on the side of the road.

The view was worth the trek. The glacier is always there. Some guys from the group hiked all the way to the tip-top.


I sent 8 from our group rafting. Roaring Upfork is a good rafting trip for kids. My daughter is 5, she enjoyed it. We went with Glenwood Rafting Company because we did the 8 person raft.


Next we went to Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park. You take a Gondola ride up the side of the mountain to get to the park. I definitely recommend the Cliffhanger Ride and the Alpine Coaster, they were worth the long wait in line! It was such a fun. Don’t forget your mask. (They enforce the mandate IF you are standing in line or in the caves.) Online Reservations required


We drove to Estes Park and stayed at an Airbnb with gorgeous views. We rented an entire house it was perfect for all the kids and adults!

We went horseback riding at Cowpoke Corner Corral. We went with them because they allowed the youngest ages to ride. We did the 2-hour ride tour for $80/person.

Let me tell you! These are mountain climbing horses! The horses we rode had 10+ years of experience! The horses were experts. Our guide was fun and down to earth as well. It was quite the adventure as the horses literally had to climb up and down boulders at times!


We tried to get into Rocky Mountain National Park, but you need reservations. They go on sale 2 days prior to the date you want to go. The tickets sell out in 3-4 mins at 8 am. I was unable to get early morning tickets ( what we preferred) but we made it work. Without reservations, you can still get into the park after 5 pm with a $25-day pass at the gate. We waiting in line for 50 mins just to get into the park.

We hiked to Dream Lake (at Bear Lake trailhead) we all agreed the wait and cost were worth the views!

Even though is started to pour rain when we reached the top. It was very windy and chilly by the lake. Bring sweaters and ponchos. Again we did this hike with 4 kids ages 3 and under!


We stopped at Stanley Park 3 times during our visit at Estes Park. It had the most gorgeous views. They had a new zipline swing that my kids loved! They had play grounds for older kids and one for younger toddlers. This park has rock structures too. Micah found a cave he didn’t want to leave. Cindee like climbing high on the rocks.


The best thing about vacations is the time spent with the people you love and care about most. We did some devotionals. Which were some of my favorite times. There’s just nothing like praying together and talking about the Lord. I’d definitely go back to Colorado someday.

I hope this helps you. Below are links to the websites we reserved online.

God Winks

The past few weeks I have been wishing Micah had some easy-slip on sandals.

Today as I got the kids ready to go outside again I was reminded of how he could use some sandals. I was careful to not say my thoughts out loud in front of him or my other children because we really have all we have need of here in America.

About 3 minutes after I sent Micah out to the back yard to play, he runs inside the kitchen where I am finishing cleaning up breakfast and doing dishes. With a big smile and a look of excitement, my little 3-year-old boy comes racing around the corner almost dropping the “like new” croc sandals he’s hugging in his arms.

“Where did you find those shoes?” I asked.

He happily replied, “Cindee (his older sister) found them under the deck!”

“Let’s try them on,” I said as I took the bright blue crocs out of his little arms and knelt down at his feet. I thought, “I sure hope these fit him, he’ll be sad if they don’t.

I slipped on one shoe, He squealed “They fit Mom, yes they do fit Mom! “

They were the his perfect size.

Rob and I don’t remember purchasing them. I could have and just not remember, but having them show up at that exact moment was definitely a God wink.

God is personal! God really does care about us and our own little lives. He cares about the small things. Our small things.

Just a thought, when we go to the stores and malls and buy buy buy anything and everything we want, it makes it hard to give God a chance to do these kinds of small miracles in our lives.

These “God winks” absolutely increase our faith and the faith in our children.

This is a testimony to me. My children can look back and this remember for years.

I hope to encourage someone today.

Matthew 6:8…” Your Father knows what you have need of before you ask.”

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes my kids and I, yes even me, (cringe face) are ungrateful. Impatient. Frustrated. Irritated.

My kids throw the biggest tantrums because their Ol’ Momma won’t give them thirds on ice cream, won’t let them play with scissors, won’t give them candy for breakfast, or let them have screen time all day!

One night I awoke with worship on my heart. I spent 30 minutes in the wee hours of the night on my knees in my living room telling Jesus how good and wonderful He is.

I started praying for my children. God, help Micah go in the potty, he just forgets when he’s playing or he doesn’t want to take the time to actually just go.

I said, “He just doesn’t get it.” To which the Lord replied, “Neither do you.”

I throw fits too. Some days I just need a friend to sit down, chat with, share some things on my heart over coffee, but instead, I’m surrounded with toddlers all day.

When I’m tired of cleaning the kitchen and sweeping the floor, but still tomorrow comes and I have to do it all over again. There is no end in sight.

Some days, I just don’t get it. I am reminded, thank you, God, I have a kitchen. I have food to cook. I have healthy children to clean up after. I have dishes to put in the dishwasher. I have a husband that comes home from work. Thanks for supplying our need, Jesus.

We need His grace. We need His help. We need His mercy.

Because of the Lord ’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22‭-‬23

So you see, we are ALL a work in progress. We will continue to be until we reach our heavenly home.

Until then, be on the look out for God winks in your life. Share a story of your own God wink in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading.

Mom’s lesson

Cindee Lee Sweeney, my Mother. She had a contagious laugh. She loved to have a “good laugh” (which meant laughing until your belly was sore and your eyelashes were wet with tears.) She loved to chuckle, even if it was at the expense of herself, or someone else. She would much rather have a good time than do chores, but she instilled in us the following lesson: work first, then play!

Growing up, chores were to be done right away in the morning. Then we were free to do the things we loved to do IF we accomplished the things we despised first.

The chore I dreaded most was laundry. I hated putting clothes away, especially for a family of 8. It would’ve made sense to have everyone be responsible for putting their own clothes away; which did occur, but rarely. It was more work to be the “laundry coach”.  This job included going around the house rounding everyone up and making sure they put their clothes in their appropriate dresser drawers.

I would get in trouble if my siblings left their clothes lying around. So it was a tough duty. It was just easier to put everybody’s clothes away yourself.

I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. When you’re the oldest you automatically get a majority of the tasks.

Every eldest child knows that fact. I would hang the laundry out on the line. I would carry the bulging heavy basket up the basement stairs and out the back door, and down the deck steps. I hung the clothes over the clothesline using all the clothespins we had.

Now, this wasn’t an ordinary basket of wet clothes I carried. Oh no, not normal at all. Sometimes when I pulled them from the washing machine they would be sopping wet and dripping with water.

My mother thought it was necessary to stop the washer before the spin cycle was complete. She was savvy. She saved money and water, but at my expense (yes, I’m smiling)

Not always, but occasionally, the jeans would be hung and they would drip, drip, drip, with water because they had been interrupted during the spin cycle.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do ALL the laundry in the house, but I did help with much of it. Mom would do at least 2 loads per day, if not 3, so she expected my help. If she skipped a day of laundry, the next day she would have to do 5, or even 6 loads.  Occasionally I would refuse and battle it out. It didn’t ever go well.

I remember the laundry basket breaking on my way up the stairs. Not from accidentally dropping it, or being too rough with it. Oh no, this was because it was so full and so very heavy! The poor basket was literally breaking down in my arms.

My uncle Ryan would grip my biceps. He would ask how I got these muscles. My answer was always, “I don’t know, laundry I guess.”

Some early mornings the hill was covered with dew. I would be outside hanging up laundry. As I reached up to grab the clothespins I would be slipping and sliding down the wet hill.

My oldest brother would run and hide in the woods when chore time came around, not every day, maybe every other day, he thought that chore time was a good time for him to work on his tree fort. We wouldn’t see him for hours. He’d show up at lunchtime.

He was careful never to give away his hideout. When mom would start passing out chores, he would vanish, almost as if it was mid-step (like the rapture will be someday.)

One day my sister, Tasha, and I were determined to see where (and how) my brother got out of sight so fast.

Trying to catch our brother, we may have had Walkie Talkies to be more official spies and more dramatic. We needed to communicate with each other the details of Tanner’s plan.

He put to use the phrase “out of sight out of mind”. If mom didn’t see you, usually you got away with no chores… maybe, at least until our bedtime chore routine.

One day we caught him. He whisked outside with snacks out the basement back door and through the garage! We finally had the answers to his masterminded intentions.

We told mom of his scheme. She had a talk with him when he showed up hours later coming up out of the thick green forest. By that time chores were long accomplished.

Mom chose to show him mercy. She was good at that.

Was it fair? No.

I feel like I was one of the people with the stones ready to throw mine at the sinner woman who was brought to Jesus caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, the people left. The woman covering her face in shame heard the sound of stones thumping as they fell to the ground instead of on her. By law, they had a right to stone her. Jesus showed her mercy instead of judgment. He said, “Go and sin no  more.”

Was it fair? No.

I was eagerly waiting for my brother’s judgment. It was like I had my stone clenched in my hand and positioned over my shoulder ready to strike, but mom showed Mercy.

Was it fair, No

I’m thankful for God’s mercy on my life. His mercies are new every morning.

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-23

Thanks mom for showing me what it means to be merciful. Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry and the importance of self disciplines.

I miss her wisdom. I miss her smile. I miss her prayers. I miss her laugh. I miss her.

Thanks for reading!  What chore was your least favorite growing up? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Why Wildly Joyful?

Why did I choose the name Wildly Joyful for my blog? Well I’ve been waiting for a “good” answer to this question.  I believe the Lord revealed it to me it this past week.

Getting out in nature does wonders for the mind, body, and soul. Experiencing God’s creation is exciting!

I love to pray outside and hear the rustling of the wind in the trees or the water rushing past rocks on the riverbed. I enjoy the silence of a wooded forest.

When we turn off the noise of the other things around us we become more aware of His still small voice which speaks to us.

Nature is an exhibit of God’s glory.

I’m fascinated how a soft velvety rose petal can literally come out of a thorny stick.

I’m in awe of how you can take a bite of a fruit and its juice runs down your face when it came out of the rough wood of a tree. It’s just amazing to me how the earth shouts His glory!

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
Psalms 96:12

I’ve always loved nature. I always have.

I knew my life was busy with 3 kids (ages 5, 3, & 1). I also watch my niece and nephew (ages 2 & 1).

So to say my life is “wild” is accurate. My days range from running to the rescue of the poor toddler whose toy got stolen away to kissing a “boo boo”, from catching their innocent (and crazy cute) conversations about their fairytale story, to explaining to them why I shouldn’t give them popsicles at 7am.

This is my life right now. Sometimes it’s chaotic.

Yes, today my 1 year old thought it would be ok to take his messy diaper off  in the middle of the living room without telling his mom.

Yes, today Micah spilled his freshly poured cereal all over his lap, chair, legs, table, and floor. Then minutes later Avery spit his milk all down his face and shirt and on to the floor I just mopped previously (all to make his siblings laugh during breakfast; he’s definitely our clown, but I wasn’t having his humor then.)

Cindee whined about her chores and how it wasn’t fair that I needed to comb and fix her hair daily.

This is my life. Nothing out of the ordinary.

In the midst of the wild days are sparks of joy.

My days are also filled with Avery’s waves. His little hand goes back and forth abruptly as he says “hi” with his cheesy smile. He shuts and reopens the door to say “hi” again and again. He always puts a huge smile on my face and I just can’t help but kiss him from head to toe. That’s my joy.

Or how Micah walks out of his bedroom rubbing his eyes and says, “Good morning Mom.” How he sits at the table and compliments me “You’re a good cooker Mom.” That’s my joy.

And when I catch Cindee being kind helping her little brothers throughout the day. How she reminds us to pray for her at night and then she prays for us by placing her little hand on our head. That’s my joy.

When life is wild you stay content because of the joy that breaks through.

Like on a cloudy day with rays of sunshine bursting through.

Like a beautiful forest with some muddy spots you need to jump over.

Hey have you ever seen the pattern of a painter turtle? God’s design is amazing! We found this baby at a little lake in Wisconsin.   Mr. Turtle didn’t want to sit still for the picture.

I’m learning to keep an eye out for joy in my wild.

While camping it poured rain and thundered. We were stuck inside our tent for 3 hours.

I decided (along with my two boys and husband) to find joy in an afternoon nap.

In the every day mundane you too can find joy, you just have to remember to look for it. I guarantee you can find a spark of it!


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

Thanks for reading. What are some things in nature that awe you? Where can you see God’s glory in the simple everyday things?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Beautifully YOU

There are many types of flowers from roses to daisies, from lilies to daffodils, from the iris to the tulips. All have a distinct characteristic. All are beautiful in their own unique way.

Just like God made many kinds of flowers, He made many kinds of people too.

Each person has the potential and opportunity to impact a life.

My three-year-old son Micah loves to pick dandelions and violets growing in the grass from our little backyard.

One day he came to me with his hands behind his back ready to suprise me. He said, (sweetly with his dimples showing) “Mom I got something for you, flowers!” He showed me two handfuls of dandelions as he jumped around excitedly.

I helped Cindee and Micah cut the stems to the proper size. We put them together in a small cup and displayed them in the middle of the patio table that day. He was proud of his yellow bouquet he foraged himself.

He put a smile on my face that day with his thoughtfulness. And he smiled as he gave them to me.

It feels good to give. It feels better to give than to recieve.

Not everyone thinks highly of the dandelion (a common weed) , but in my son’s eyes they are “pretty flowers” in his words. We are all precious in God’s sight.

No matter what kind of flower you are, we all have the same amount of time on earth.

He blossoms like a flower, then withers; he flees like a shadow and does not last.
Job 14:2

Roses may last a week, carnations maybe 2 weeks. Once picked, tulips live only a few days.

Our time is short. Use it wisely.

Flowers are pleasant to the eyes. They are a gift of beauty to whomever walks by.

As we grow in Christ we have the opportunity to touch the hearts around us.

We can brighten someone’s day with a smile. Share a kind word. Give a compliment. Pray a blessing on a loved one.

Be an encourager. They’re fun to be around!

No matter if you have a large circle of effectiveness or have a small growing circle, YOU are important! YOU can make a difference in your world.

Sometimes we may think we’re not qualified. We may feel inadequate. That is a lie from the enemy.

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.
Psalms 139:14

God made you wonderfully! You can be a spark of joy in a heart around you.  We have the opportunity to change the atmosphere around us.

I love to go out on my deck and smell the lilacs and hydrangeas close by.

Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Just be real. Instagram is full of picture perfect stories and cliches.

It would be a terrible thing for the petunia to compare itself to the sunflower.

Authenticity is powerful in reaching to a hurting heart. The truth is we all have encountered hurts and pains. That’s just life.

Photo by Rob Schuetz

For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12

If we are open in sharing our weaknesses where we have been broken, God gives strength so we can be put back together.

Give someone a sweet smelling fragrance today. Share Jesus. Share a smile. Just be kind.

Be a lovely YOU. Be a peaceful YOU.

You are special! You are unique! You have characteristics that make YOU, YOU!

Be the best version of you because there’s only one YOU!

Thanks for reading. Do you have a favorite flower? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Disruption

I’d like to share a story of the last trip we took to Cliffside Campground in Southeastern Wisconsin.

My family and I went camping (in a tent, we rough it, so we appreciate our comfy beds when we return home.) My two youngest brothers joined us.

We had a long day of walks and playing at the playground.

The entire stay we heard an obnoxious rooster in the background, I’ll talk about him in a moment.

I think cooking our meals outside is fun. I enjoy serving my family as they gather around the picnic table when everyone has worked up an appitiete and is excited to eat.

One of our favorite things about camping is roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire.

I stayed up with my brothers around the campfire later than usual. They made me laugh with their crazy rap songs, dances, and their innocent ideas of the world.

I explained to Teyt (my 9 year old brother) why it would be a bad idea to eat more than 4 S’mores.

All day we heard this rooster “cock-a-doodle-doo ing” at a nearby Farm. It wasn’t different at night because at 2:00 in the morning this rooster was still crowing.

I just wanted to sleep. I wanted him to stop sounding the alarm for a good morning. It was still dark it was just after midnight. There was no daybreak. There was no dawn. It was black outside except for the full moon that night.

It reminds me of how dark our world is today. In darkness God is still calling out. The Spirit is also still calling out to wake up the church and tell his people (and anyone who will listen and obey) that it’s time to rise up and be ready for his coming. Like the 10 virgins who waited for their groom to come, 5 had enough oil in their lamps the other 5 did not.

That annoying rooster on our camping trip made me think of an alarm of the spirit going out to the world to wake up those who are sleeping spiritually.

We don’t want to be bothered. We want to roll over and go back to “sleep”.

We enjoy doing the things we’re doing. We don’t want to be disrupted. We want to continue in our rest.

The urgency of the call is persistent. It’s continual, because the time is come for the world to wake up and know the Lord’s coming is drawing close.

We have a work to do. We should be urgent to put down this flesh and walk in the spirit. Allowing Him to work through us.

This rooster wouldn’t keep quiet! It was relentless! All I wanted was some beauty sleep. I needed to rest.

I knew my kids would be up with the sun and they require much of my strength and effort throughout the day.


And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:11-14

Lord wake us up. Help us be diligent with the time we are given. Help us put down our “wants” and focus on what really matters. Connecting to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s about people. Not things. It’s all about people.

The Spirit is constantly calling. If you get quiet with Jesus you will hear His voice.

The closer we get to Jesus the more we desire Him and the easier it is to pray and be in His Word.

God is calling today. Do you hear it? Will you respond to the call?