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Is Your Memory As Good As You Think It Is?

I’ve spent my life as a mom building traditions into our family. Even wrote a Christmas devotion to help families do the same.

So you can imagine why it shocked me to my core when I heard one of my children answer the question, “What Christmas traditions does your family have?” with “We don’t really have any traditions.”

Seriously?

We have so many traditions I actually have a notebook dedicated to all things Christmas. It holds Christmas traditions, recipes, menus, etc.

I slept on that comment and woke with it still front and center. It was bothering me because I’ve worked so hard to create in our family memories, experiences, and traditions.

As casually as I could muster, I asked my son why he answered that way. He didn’t remember giving the answer he gave. I tried jarring his memory.

“Remember, they said this. You said that.”

He looked at me quizzically. After a moment he responded, “Well, we don’t really have any do we?”

“What? Are you serious? Let me remind you and see if you recall them.”

I continued to list them all.

“Mom, why are you so upset? Those aren’t really traditions are they? I thought traditions were big things?”

“No, it’s a repeated experience. It can be something small like we have Pioneer Woman Blueberry French Toast Casserole every Christmas morning.”

“Oh, well, I wasn’t thinking that way.”

“Well, how about these? We have a gingerbread house competition every year. Or we make Rolo cookies every year. We have a competition before the baking begins to see who can unroll and stack their Rolos the fastest.”

His response, “We didn’t do it last year.”

I felt myself get defensive all over again. “Yes we did!! I even have it on video.”

I spent the next 5 minutes searching for the videos and made him watch them with me. It all came back. He remembered it clearly.

Yet, until I forced him to recall, he’d forgotten.

If we don’t practice the art of remembering, we forget.

We forget easier than we remember. And we don’t all remember the same way or the same things. We must practice how to remember well.

The Bible is full of this call to remember.

“Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected? Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected?’”

Matthew 16:8-10

Simply Remember

In 2017 the word God continued to speak to me was Remember. In 2018 the word was Simple.

And today I continue to hear these words together. Simply remember.

Remember Me. Remember My works. Remember My faithfulness. Simply practice the art of remembering.

It was the days leading up to Christmas I felt called, inspired, and driven by God to write Illuminate. The inspiration came after a time away at a writer’s retreat and after months of Him stirring a theme in my heart. One of remembrance.

This year has been a challenge for me in many ways as I’ve attempted to homeschool a high schooler, middle schooler, and a delayed learner in elementary school. All while writing and launching 2 businesses at the same time. I’ve cried many tears over all of it and the overwhelm.

Do you know when I’ve hit my wall or felt completely overwhelmed, the Lord has asked me to remember. Every. Single. Time.

It’s like He whispered, “My child, you are forgetting again. Remember. Simply remember.”

I have personally gone through Illuminate multiple times over this last year. God has used it to minister to my soul. He’s used it to restore my hope and put the tools in my hands to defeat the discouragement the enemy attempted to bury me in.

You, my precious and faithful readers, are always on my mind. When the Lord shows me something, you are the first to come to my mind. I begin to think, “I have to share this with my readers. I know they will be as encouraged as I’ve been.”

Illuminate released as a 14 day audio devotion. Meaning it arrives one day at a time for 14 days as an audio file.

I realized some people simply aren’t audio. And some people get stuck at the 14 day piece thinking they need to carve out 14 days (you don’t).

So I packaged Illuminate in 1 complete eBook.

You can now purchase the eBook and get the entire 14 day collection as one book. You can view it on any device or computer. Or print it off. I’m a paper kind of gal and printing at an office supply store is super inexpensive.

While the audio version comes with the transcript as well, there’s something about getting it all at once that some people really want.

Now you can have it both ways!

What God does flows out of who He is.

When we begin to practice the art of remembering and establish this habit, everything changes. Suddenly fear fades, anxiety shrinks, and worries wither.

Illuminate will provide the light your soul is longing for to see the path toward a deeper intimacy with God. For 14 days you will practice seeing the character of God like never before.

ebook devotional

What will Illuminate do for you?

Illuminate will teach you how to truly rest and be still like never before.

No more living overwhelmed by life.

At the end of 14 days you will have a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Creator of your soul. It’s exactly what your soul is longing for.

Who is Illuminate for?

For the one ready to:

  • live free of fear
  • release anxiety and worry once and for all
  • learn to rest even in chaos
  • grow in knowledge and love of God

Looking for a last minute gift?

Give Illuminate. No shipping. No runs to the store. No lines. And best of all, no more adding to the gift clutter. It’s a simple gift that will appeal to all.

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How To Stop Facebook From Deciding What You Want To See – My Facebook Breakup

Cut the Facebook cord

When you get on Facebook, how do feel after you leave? Do you feel uplifted? Inspired? Encouraged? Happy? Satisfied?

Many of us express feeling anxious, stressed, jealous, discontent, or frustrated after our social media time. Studies are revealing the level of addiction to social media is pretty startling. We reach for our phones hundreds of times a day to scroll through social media.

Many of us have experienced how much happier we are when we’ve taken a social media break, but we feel we will miss out if we aren’t there hanging out.

At the same time, we are finding great frustration with Facebook these days (and Instagram is close behind). Facebook is deciding for us what they will show in our feeds. They don’t really care what I’ve chosen to like and follow. They feed me what they want to feed me. I’m pretty fed up with their feed quite honestly.

So, I’m breaking up with Facebook. I’m cutting the cord.

I’ve found that if I struggle to let go of something, it’s a strong indicator I must let it go. If I feel I can’t live without it, it has a power over me that isn’t healthy for my soul. It’s become an idol.

We’ve given control to Facebook, now it’s time to take it back. God has been telling me to go on the offense and gain back ground from the enemy for quite some time now. I believe this aligns with what He is showing me. I think you will be able to relate to what I will share even if you don’t write online.

We all want the choice of what we see. And we all know what Facebook is doing. So let’s stop letting them.

If you decide not to read this post, I do want you to scroll to the very end so we can be sure to stay in touch!

Steve and I, followed by a large group of people, were driving to the interstate. As we approached the interstate we saw roadblock and detour signs. We turned to follow the detour. We got to the detour only to find another roadblock sign. We looked at each other and wondered aloud what we should do. I found the in charge road construction man sitting in a roadside trailer office.

I asked how we were to get to the interstate if both access points were blocked. He shrugged his shoulders saying no one knew and they were trying to figure it out.

Everyone in my group seemed to accept his answer. In fact they pulled out camping chairs and camped out. AT THE ROADBLOCK.

Well, I refused to sit at a roadblock. It was crazy. There had to be another way, and I refused to settle into the roadblocks like everyone else.

I began telling everyone we shouldn’t settle into this roadblock place. We needed to be ready to get up and go at a moment’s notice.

Suddenly, it hit me. It seemed so obvious that I didn’t understand why no one else had voiced the thought.

Why don’t we simply go back the way we came? I mean it might take longer, but we’d get there for sure.

Then I woke up.

It was the kind of wake up where my mind said, “No, no, no, no, no. Take me back to the dream.”

I know why I desperately wanted back in that dream. Because it was God speaking to me through it.

God has given me many dreams. Not frequently, but enough that when I awake from one, I want nothing more than more of it. So I ask Him all the time to speak to me.

We all hit roadblocks in life. Currently I’m facing a couple, but one specifically is Facebook.

Facebook has completely and totally stopped serving my posts. On my author Facebook page I have almost 4,000 likes and followers combined. Yet, when I share a post to Facebook, they serve it to an average of about 20-30 people. Yes, you read that right. My Facebook has gone silent.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I never wanted to be on Facebook. I knew it would prevent me from being as intentional with my children as I wanted to be. I knew it would steal my time and create in my heart thoughts and feelings that don’t belong. But I was a blogger and it was the way everyone else was going. So I jumped in too.

About a year and a half ago I began asking God for a way out of Facebook. I felt almost an obligation to be there as a voice of encouragement, inspiration, and sharer of God’s goodness. There was so much yuck on it.

My soul hasn’t handled it well. I’m sensitive and tender. Not easily offended interestingly enough. But issues weigh heavy on my heart. I get annoyed at “friends’. I’ve been hurt by “friends”. I’m just being honest with you.

In 2016 I wrote Breaking My Phone Addiction and Experiencing Freedom. When I’ve taken social media fasts, it’s felt so good I never wanted back on. But I never felt the Lord releasing me from using my gifts in that space.

Until recently.

I’m on Facebook, yet no one hears me. So I began praying, “God speak to me. Show me clearly what I should do and where I should share. Show me what to do about this Facebook thing.” I actually asked Him to speak to me in a dream simply because He gets my attention and I’m on alert for His confirmation.

He always confirms first in His Word.

Before this dream God brought to mind Daniel 10:13.

“But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.”

There was a roadblock. That roadblock required the powers of Heaven to clear the path.

Is there a roadblock in your life that needs the powers of Heaven called down? What is your first instinct when you hit a roadblock? Where is God leading you toward greater surrender and leaning into His light to lead you out?

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect”
 Matthew 24:44
Thinking on my dream these verses came to mind.
I continued praying for wisdom, answers, and guidance. God gave it so precisely that I almost dropped my phone when I saw it in my inbox. The title read Beating Facebook’s Algorithm and Being Your Own Curator.
Challies writes:
“I tend to think the future lies in the past, in a brilliant little technology called RSS. Essentially it works like this: Almost every web site generates what is called an RSS feed—a little file that contains the site’s most recent content. It’s kind of like a web site, but for computers to read, not people. You can use an app or site known as an RSS reader to subscribe to that content on your behalf. When you do that, it will “translate” it to an understandable format, and present it to you. The job of an RSS reader is not to curate the content, but simply to provide it to you in chronological order. You get to be your own curator by choosing what you will add in the first place.”
That’s it! The future lies in the past. God has been telling me to remember lately. In my dream I had the obvious revelation to go back the way we came.
I started blogging in 2008. It’s my 10 year anniversary writing on the internet. Cue the streamers and party horns. A lot has changed in the blogging world.
God is telling me not to settle in at the roadblock. He’s telling me to go back the way I started. You know how I started blogging? When I fell in love with reading blogs. I loved stories. I loved when the stories reached the reflection point and I could find my own story nestled in the author’s story.
You know how I read these blogs? RSS Reader. That is how I controlled what I saw without being on social media. I read my blogs at night after the kids went to bed. I emailed the ones that touched me to specific people the Lord led me to share with.
I’m leaving Facebook. I’m living my life ready to hear that trumpet at any moment. And until the Lord calls me home, my desire is to inspire and encourage you to walk faithfully with your Savior.

2 ways you can be sure to receive my posts.

  1. Subscribe via email. I highly recommend this. It arrives to your inbox and you read when it suits you.
  2. RSS feeder/reader. I found Feedly incredibly user-friendly. I actually love it. I searched my favorite blogs and subscribed to their feeds. It’s as simple as adding  /feed to the end of the web address.
You end up with your own personal feed of everything you actually want to see! No one decides for you if you see that post or not. If you get sick of a particular feed, just delete it. No biggie.
You can subscribe to the feeds on the sites you love with your computer or with your smart phone. I downloaded the Feedly app on my phone. Then I searched for the sites I really enjoy. In the search box you type the web address with no spaces adding /feed to the end. It will bring up the site feed and you click the plus sign to add it. You can customize if you want pictures or no pictures, newest first or most popular. Basically, you create the reading experience you desire. And you control what you choose to read.

If you don’t use your phone, you can subscribe to feeds a few ways.

  1. Just type in the address bar the web address followed by /feed. It will bring up the feed for that site and a box at the top of your screen that says “Subscribe to this feed using Live Bookmarks. Always use Live Bookmarks to subscribe to feeds.”
  2. Visit Feedly.com or another free RSS Reader site (there are plenty). Sign up and simply use their site for creating your own reading experience.
I think Tim Challies is right. I think the way of the future is in the past.
It’s time to simplify and declutter. Feedly is helping me do that.
Goodbye for now, Facebook. I may be back one day, but for now, I’m taking back control of what I see and I’m breaking the control social media has over me.
I’ve prayerfully created a resource for you that will give your soul a much needed break from this fast-paced, screen-driven world. Our souls long for us to tenderly care for them. Take a 14 day journey with me through Illuminate – Seeing God by the Light of His Word. I’ve created it in such a way that you will receive 14 emails, one per day. Each day will include an audio and a print link. You can simply hit play and allow yourself to relax and listen. Or you can read if you aren’t an audio lover.

I’ve heard from many Illuminate listeners that it’s become their favorite part of the day. It’s a break from the race and a redirect to the One who desires to walk with us intimately.

Purchase your copy today. And then buy a copy for a friend.

If you have been blessed by Illuminate, would you kindly share with your friends and family?

audio devotional