Taking a much-needed break w/my guy

rest

In the past four months we’ve battled cancer, I’ve wrote a book, ministered at conferences, and was part of an amazing online Bible study with 25,000+ women.

We also suffered a private loss that’s just too tender to share.

This girl is tired.

I’m going to miss you but I need to listen to the Lord.

I’m taking a one-month break to breathe deeply, say yes to my family and yes to the presence of the Lord. [Read more…]

When you feel you’re not enough {{giveaway}}

not enough

If you came over from Encouragement for Today devos, welcome! I’m so glad you are here.

 

In today’s devo I shared a story from when I was a young mom. I had three toddlers and two of them escaped on Big Wheels in WalMart.

Today when I tell that story, I laugh. It’s no accident that my twins grew up to be adventurers. It wasn’t the first time — or the last — that they’d strike out on their own with the wind waving in their hair and their hearts set on “go.”

But back then, it was scary.

I didn’t share this in the devo (you know, with my closest 700,000 friends), but I was hard on myself that day because I thought a good mom wouldn’t have let it happen.

Things were hard when I was a child and I wanted my children to grow up feeling safe. I set the bar high on what a good mom should do or shouldn’t do, and losing them in WalMart was on the shouldn’t-do list.

The funny thing is that my kids were having a blast. They felt safe. They were safe.

Can I tell you something? It was my fear that was having a heyday, not theirs.

Years later I’d give anything to sit across from that young mom and tell her that we all have those days. We all run into our “not enough” on a regular basis. Not enough sleep. Not enough time. Not enough wisdom. Not enough of us to go around.

We’re human.

And that’s okay.

Rather than beat ourselves up for not being all-wise, all-omniscient, all-things-to-all-people, is it possible that we we can celebrate that God lives inside of our ordinary selves and He can use our “not enough” in an incredible way when we offer it to Him?

That fact alone makes my feet want to dance.

In fact, it’s in our “not enough” that God shows up the greatest. It becomes an incredible act of trust.

I’d tell that young mom that her twins — the two-year-old monkeys that sped away on Big Wheels — would grow up to be compassionate, caring adults that would pour into others. And yes, they would still grab life with both hands and speed into the unknown with joy.

I’d tell her to be a little more grace-filled with herself and to celebrate how well she was doing. Having three children under the age of 19 months was a BIG job!

twins

I’d tell her her not-enough was just as deep as the things she did really well, like laughing with her children, listening to what they had to say, and showing love to her babies.

Are you focused on your “not enough?”

Let me gather you close, friend to friend. Mom to mom. Woman to woman.

None of us are enough.

Not even that woman who seems to have it all together. But when we invite God into our “not enough,” we are no longer alone in parenting, or in our faith, or in our marriage, or in our insecurities.

We loosen our grip and stop trying so hard to be perfect. We give ourselves grace — which allows us to give others grace.

We are able to see the good that we do and celebrate those moments!

And most important, we stop beating ourselves up which offers no value at all. Instead we see growth opportunities and we do exactly that. We grow as a woman, in our faith, and in the roles we treasure.

Suzie

mom2beToday I’m giving away two copies of The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future.

It’s hard to believe but this book is almost 10 years old!

It will always be one of my favorites. My prayer is that if you grew up in dysfunction and want to give your children something greater, that this will be a powerful resource for you.

Simply comment on today’s post and you’ll be entered for one of two autographed copies of this book.

 

 

 

 

 

#livefreeThursday: Completely wrecked (in the best way)

Following Jesus
My feet are dirty, dusty.

For the past year plus I’ve been walking with the disciples in the book of Luke. I’ve peeled off my high heels and my ambitions and my to-do list and my version of Christianity and settled in to listen and watch.

These guys had no idea where Jesus was leading them. You see, all they had was His word that following Him would lead them to transformation.

And it did.

So I leaned in and listened more.

What would it look like if I started living like the disciples?

What I discovered wrecked my faith in a good way. After months I started seeing my faith differently.

I saw Jesus sitting around the table with sinners as He told the religious, “It is the sick that need a doctor.”

I saw Jesus crossing the street to love people that others avoided and He offered living water, grace and truth.

I heard Jesus telling the disciples to believe big when they felt small.

I saw power that came through belief.

I watched as Jesus continually reminded these men that riches have nothing to do with the size of your TV or how much is in the bank, but in people and in loving others.

I’m wrecked in a good way.

Faith is following Jesus. It’s listening to His voice. It’s crowding out the myriad of competing noises that confuse the issue and tuning in to Him, because that will never lead us wrong.

Over the past few weeks it’s been my pleasure — oh my goodness, my honor — to be a part of this amazing P31 OBS study over The Mended Heart. I hear some of you saying, “I’m not sure what’s next.”

Listen to Him.

Follow where He leads.

Let Him continue to wreck you and your faith . . . in a beautiful way as your life and heart and thinking are changed through Him.

Dirty, dusty feet.

That’s our faith. That’s all we need, sisters. It’s enough.

More than enough for you and me.

How is God wrecking your faith. . . in a good way?

Suzie

Today is #livefreeThursday and all day long we’ll be talking about “wrecked in a good way.” It’s an honest, real discussion with women from all over the nation. I hope you’ll join in. ~ Suz

 

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She forgave the impossible

Forgive to Live_02

laurie2I met Laurie Coombs a few years ago. When she shared her story, it was one of the hardest stories I heard in a long time. Her father was murdered. The guy confessed and was sent to jail. Laurie battled anger, and it didn’t make it any easier when the letters started between them.

In her new book, Letters From My Father’s Murderer, Laurie shares her story of forgiving the impossible.

I’m so glad she stopped by to share a glimpse of where her healing began. ~ Suzie

[Read more…]

I want to be wise

wisdom3

Do you ever find yourself asking God for wisdom?

Umm, this girl does. All the time.

Sometimes I close myself in my room. In the darkness I’m honest with God.

I have no idea which way to go next, but I trust you’ll show me.  [Read more…]

#livefreeThursday – a letter to my younger self

mailbox

Last week in The Mended Heart P31 online Bible study, licensed counselor Stephanie Clayton shared this powerful tool in healing. She asked women to write a letter to their younger self and say all the things that she needs to know.

Today is #livefreeThursday. It’s a favorite day around this community. Lots of brave girls are gathering together to share their stories as well. I love hanging out as we encourage each other!

Dear Suzie,

You’re 13. I see you at the skating rink going round and round. You’re not the girl that people seek out, but there’s a lot I see inside of you.

You’re thoughtful. You’re fierce. You love your little brothers and I hear you telling them stories at night, weaving those tales that make them feel safe and loved.

Yeah, you’re skinny. I know that. You have psoriasis and it’s embarrassing. I know that too. But one day, sweet girl, those things won’t be your identity.

skinnymini

I know things are hard and you keep those feelings pushed way, way down. Sometimes they erupt and you don’t know what to do with them, so you just put your head down and keep going.

I want you to know something.

You are beautiful. 

Your smile lights up a room. One day you’ll flesh out (having babies will help that along) and you’ll look back and laugh at all the times you worried about looking like ET for the rest of your life.

You are worth loving

Real love, sweet girl. I see that guy in the corner eyeing you. He knows that you’re vulnerable and that if he shows you attention there’s a good chance you’ll sit in that corner and make out. I want to scoop you up and tell you that if a guy wants something from you, but isn’t willing to give you respect and real love, then he gets kicked out the door.

Watch me. My mama-heart is not-so-gently eyeballing him and letting him know that the tender, broken girl isn’t his to conquer and then abandon.

You are fierce

You’re a fighter. Right now it shows up in the wrong ways, but that same spirit will one day make you strong.

You are seen

That day you sat on the curb, wishing you knew where to go. He saw you.

That night you slept on a co-worker’s couch because you were living as an adult at 17. He reached for you.

That day when things were so out of control and you could do nothing about it and you wanted to run away. He grieved with you.

One day you’ll realize that home isn’t necessarily a place, but feeling safe and confident on the inside. One day you’ll reach back and you’ll find God is your shelter.

One day you’ll realize that even though there are things you can’t control, there’s peace to be found. One day you’ll see that the people that are broken all around you, Jesus was reaching for them too.

So, hang tight, sweet girl. Don’t go down wrong paths out of brokenness or anger. You are worth way more than that. You’ll grow and you’ll learn and you’ll one day brim over with confidence and joy. Sounds crazy, right?

Except it’s true. I know what God is going to do on the inside of you.

From your way older self,

Suzie

Join in the linkup and share your letter to your much-younger self, or share it here. I can’t wait to see what you have to say.

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#livefreestory: I’ve been restored!

restores

Meet Crystal. She is RESTORED! This beautiful woman of faith is a mom of three, a pastor’s wife, a writer. She’s a creative and her work is beautiful. This is her #livefreestory.

I’m Restored!

Crystal Hornback

I’m not a “new” type of girl. I swoon over all things vintage or retro. An appropriate license plate would read “I stop for junk.” I like old things. I adore taking something old, tattered, worn, and giving it new life.

I call it upcycling. Maybe I’ll give it an entirely new purpose, or not. Maybe I’ll pick a piece for it’s solid bones and completely change it’s facade. Or maybe I’ll take an old school approach and simply clean it up, allowing it’s original beauty to shine. Either way, I’m a sucker for this art.

My home is one big eclectic restoration project; including the people who inhabit it. [Read more…]

#livefreeThursday: Nothing holding me back

So if the Son sets you free, you are

If you came over from Encouragement for Today after reading my devo, Giving God Your Not Enough, I want to welcome you! I’m so glad you are here.

Today is #livefreeThursday on the blog. Women from all over the nation are coming together today to talk and encourage each other. Grab your favorite coffee or smoothie and join us! We’re talking about: nothing holding me back.

I wish I could invite you into my living room.

I wish you could see my face when I realize a woman has just discovered it — freedom.

I wish we could sit together with the Bible between us and pray together.

I wish we could lift our hands together and praise Him for what He has done for us.

Over the past three weeks of Proverbs 31’s online Bible study of The Mended Heart, I’ve been in awe of what only God can do.

I’ve wept at the photos of women reading The Mended Heart, their Bibles open or pictures of passages underlined.

mendedheart4

I’ve read the messages on FB and Instagram and Twitter, like this one:

It’s no longer a gentle suggestion; it’s a clear call for the burden-carrying girl to put the weight down.

Oh yeah, messages like that set my feet to dancing!

For once we grasp the truth that we are loved, made whole, treasured, challenged, compelled, marked by God, then the layers start falling away and we are no longer twisted, tangled, trapped, broken, held back, but free to discover who God knew us to be all along.

Healing is hard work. No one’s going to deny that, but we start putting the weight down and realize that those things that used to hold us back no longer hold the same power over us.

Not the past. Not the way we think. Not people. Not words.

I love the song, Nothing Holding Me Back, because it describes what happens when brave girls put those weights down to receive all God has for them.

Will you worship with me today?

Suzie

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