Building Another UP!

Building Another UP!

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

When the unexpected happens and it turns out to be an amazing experience…God is working in that.  These unexpected things are constantly presented to us by the Holy Spirit so that we can look forward to building another up!

Can you instantly recall when someone spent time, even if only a few minutes, building you up?  Usually those moments, no matter how long or short, have a lifelong impact on us.

Last month, I was fortunate enough to witness one of those moments for someone else.  It was pretty amazing!

The Scene – A Concert

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for…one of our favorite bands is about to take the stage.  They come out strong and light up the crowd…

AND THEN, something really interesting happens. Even though their time on stage isn’t up, all of a sudden, the lead singer starts reminiscing.  He begins to share about how before their band ever made it big, an unexpected, amazing experience happened.  The lead singer of an extremely well-known band invited the lead singer of this lesser known band onto stage to sing a song in front of a screaming crowd of 20,000!

Passing on the Impact

Because of that simple gesture of momentarily sharing the spotlight with someone else, that lead singer and the band were built up and encouraged to the heavens and back.

AND THEN, they wanted to do the exact same thing that was done for them.  (Hmmm…isn’t that what Christ’s love does for us?  It makes us want to share what has been shared with us!)

So on March 12, 2016, a young man from Enid, OK with singing aspirations, was called onto stage by Dave Frey, the lead singer for Sidewalk Prophets, to sing “The Words I Would Say.”

It is said actions speak louder than words and in this case it is totally true.

Not only did Dave and his band want to bless someone else in the same way they had been blessed, but they did it with such humility.  They literally put the spotlight on this young man and were building him up even in his stage presence.

Sidewalk Prophets - Building Another UP!

 

Your Impact

This is such a great story to share but the truth of the matter is we are all called to find ways to build each other up!

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
– Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

When we humble ourselves to God, He asks us to put others before ourselves.  To always put the spotlight on Jesus and be willing to take a step back to lift someone else up.

Who can you impact today?  

It may be your children, your husband or wife, your coworkers, your church family, your “neighbors.”  Everyone you come in contact with today could use a good dose of encouragement.  It very well be someone you’ve never met in your life, but the Holy Spirit points and says, “That’s the one. Step back and let the Lord do some work here!”

A Little Extra Generosity For You

God not only encouraged Dave Frey to remember that He is a humble servant of the living God and he is using his musical talent to glorify God and encourage others, but we were also gifted with Sidewalk Prophets “Something Different” CD to give to one of you!

 

Sidewalk Prophets’ “Something Different” CD GIveaway!

 

Win this Sidewalk Prophet's CD

 

By the Way…

In case you were wondering, it was the lead singer of Audio Adrenaline, Will McGinnis, who brought Dave Frey onstage to sing one night.

Encouraging Prayer

Lord, you are King of the Universe and all Creation.  You know everyone’s needs and simply as that, we will open our hearts and ears to your leading.  May we reach out and build others up and when we do not happen to notice someone who needs it, we pray that you will bring them point blank to our attention so that we can reach out to them in your name.  In the One who is constantly reaching out to us all – Amen!

A Nightmare that became a Blessing

A Nightmare that became a Blessing

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

5 years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare.  A nightmare that eventually came true, but turned out to be a major blessing instead of a nightmare.

How did a nightmare turn into a blessing?  Good question. I believe it only turned out that way because we were obedient to God’s calling!

It all started in the Summer of 2010

We came across a book called Walking with God by John Eldredge and it completely changed our prayer life. Between this book and scripture, we saw how God really wants us to pray. Instead of stating to God our plans and asking him to bless them or close the door, we started asking God what all he had planned and how to follow them.  Once we started doing this, our life literally turned upside down and it has been an amazing ride.

December 2010

I woke up in the middle of the night convinced my husband didn’t have a job.  It felt so real. My husband had to calm me down and convince me that he indeed had a job and nothing was on the horizon that he could see that would indicate otherwise.

January 2011

My husband came to me and said through prayer, he believed God wanted us to sell our house, get out of debt, and buy some land.  It would be an understatement to say I was shocked by this.  I was 5 months pregnant, we lived in the house we brought all our children home to and once we purchased this house, I did not plan on moving….obviously, my plan, not God’s.

I never intended to move from the house, we brought our kids home to, but God had different plans.

I never intended to move from the house, we brought our kids home to, but God had different plans.

Ironically, for the previous 2 years God had been working on me in the area of submission.  I wish I could say that I immediately agreed to submit to God’s plan but that didn’t happen.  I actually fought it! I tried to convince my husband that God just wanted us to get our financial house in order instead of actually selling the house.  Thankfully, my husband wasn’t convinced.

June 2011

I called my husband at work and let him know that a real estate agent would be coming that Friday to look at the house.  Needless to say, he was shocked and this was our conversation:

My husband: “Why?”

Me:”You told me God told us to sell the house, right!?!

My husband:  “Yes, but I never thought you would agree to it.”

Me: “I know.  I’m sorry.  She is coming on Friday.”

JULY 2011

With a 3 month old, a 2 year old & a 3 year old, our house officially went on the market on July 15.  Within a week, we had a cash offer. with a stipulation…they wanted our dining room table and my clock collection.

I felt like someone punched me below the belt.  First, I lose my house and now I’m supposed to give up the only thing I collect?!?

This first real big test of listening to God was an eye opening experience.  We prayed about this cash offer and what we heard was not “yes” or “no” but “It doesn’t matter.” We truly didn’t understand what that meant until months later.

At the time, I came to terms with the fact that it truly didn’t matter.  These were just things. Physical. God was calling us and even though I didn’t want to loose my stuff, I figured he had a good reason, if for nothing else to teach me to put Him first, so we agreed to the offer and then I cried.  I never dreamed I could be so attached to stuff.  It was heartbreaking from that realization alone, but I was thankful for God to help me realize it.

October 2011

Month after month went by and we kept getting excuses as to why the closing had to be pushed back. Then finally we learned that the couple did not actually have the cash in hand.  They were waiting for a pay out they had not yet received.

It Didn’t Matter! God was so right that “It doesn’t matter,” because in the end that couple didn’t end up purchasing the house.  Once the house was back on the market, we received another offer.  This time they only wanted the house.

December 15, 2011

4 years ago today, we signed the paperwork and handed the keys to the house over to a wonderful couple. We were excited to see where God would lead us but truly had no idea where or when this would take place.

We did know that with less money tied up in a big house, we could pay off the debts we had been trying to pay off much faster.

Dave Ramsey

We’re DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Summer & Fall of 2012

During the summer of 2012, using the Total Money Makeover plan, we paid off all our remaining debt, saved up 6 months of income (thanks to my husband’s bonuses), paid cash for a celebratory trip to Disney world & then did our debt free scream on the Dave Ramsey show.

By this time, God decided to challenge us in other areas of our lives too like where we were attending worship. We had never prayed about it and once we did, we realized, He again had a different plan than we did. Get all the amazing details to this story here.

Disney

Celebratory vacation to Disney World!

Fast forward a few years to 2015 – present

We now have four kids instead of three and we are officially land owners.  We were able to purchase a piece of property that not only answered our prayers but also matched our pocketbook! The amazing part is we found the land in January, 4 years after my husband listened to God’s calling to sell our house, pay off debt and buy land!

We found a piece of land in January. 5 years after God told my husband to sell the house, pay off debt & buy land.

We found a piece of land in January, 4 years after God told my husband to sell the house, pay off debt & buy land.

Then after changing companies due to divisions being sold or companies being acquired, my husband found himself without a position.  It was the biggest blessing that could have happened.

If it hadn’t of been for the Holy Spirit urging us to sell our house almost 5 years ago, we would have been stuck in a nightmare situation with a big house payment and barely anything in savings. My husband would have been forced to take the first job that came along just to make the house payments or we would have had to sell the house and lots of stress would have been felt from many different angles.  It would have been a nightmare situation instead of a blessing.

As it is, my husband has been able to care for his grandparents, who had some serious issues pop up this summer, find them the proper care they needed and take his time in finding a position that suited him best, one where he can glorify God most and use the talents God has given him to benefit the company too.  We are still actively waiting on where God will place him but trust in His timing.

Loving Grandparents

What a blessing!

Throughout this past 5 years our faith and trust in God has grown tremendously.  We have learned to rely on His plans and not on our own.  I’ve learned to submit to my husband and my God (the majority of the time) and because of our obedience we see his blessings in our life that we didn’t dream of 5 years ago.

Psalm 145 is what my heart has clung to during all these years:

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, LORD;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all the people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
Psalm 145:9-13 (NIV)

How have you experienced God’s blessings because of your obedience?

Has he ever used something you feared to bring you closer to him in a glorious way?

 

 

 

Say What?!

Say What?!

This is a story about a single shocking moment that will change my life forever.

A moment of unbelief. A moment of hope. A moment of cautious excitement.

The moment of a positive home pregnancy test…

Take six years of marriage, 4+ years TTC (trying to conceive), then add numerous rupturing cysts, PCOS, endometriosis so pervasive that it had fused my colon and uterus together (which are not supposed to be attached), plus vaginitis, a miscarriage, and a host of other issues…

= EQUALS =

the recipe for “Kiss Any Dreams of Having Kids Goodbye.”

But God is faithful. God is healer. God is miraculous.

I could tell you of all the moments over those long years of torment that God gave me visions and spoke promises over us. The moments when dear friends would call to share a dream they had about our future (with children) or offer encouragement.

Those moments were vital in the hard times when negative voices would creep in: “You’re not worthy of parenting. That’s why you’ll never have kids. You’ll be barren forever” and on and on and on.

Until the moment I’d remember: none of that sounds like the voice of a loving Father–which means one thing. Satan, the Enemy, is prowling around me, seeking to kill my dreams, steal away my encouragement, destroy my hope.

God is Faithful.

But God is a faithful friend who reminded me of the vault full of His promises and encouragements.

Those aren’t the moments I want to talk about now.

The Moment of Realization.

Disbelief. Doubt. Uncertainty.

Am I dreaming?

Is this real?

The moment we’ve waited so long for is finally happening?  God’s promise is actually being fulfilled?

Say what?!

God is healer.

God is the Creator of medicine and physicians.  When I asked for His help, He responded by leading me to a doctor and tests and research.

I could talk about the moments the doctors discovered my deficiencies (extremely low progesterone, high estrogen, low in vitamins D, B and folate).  Or the moments a thought came to mind of something specific to research, which I recognized as God’s way of leading me to a plethora of knowledge about my ailments, how to minimize them and their effects.  I could go into great detail about the moment God led me to research diet and how it affects PCOS and endometriosis.  The moment I learned I needed to get far, far away from soy – which appears in almost every packaged food, store-bought baked good, salad dressings, and vegan or vegetarian prepared meals.  The moment I learned I needed to remove red meat from my menu.  Or the moment I learned that the best diet to keep my suffering at bay is the diet of a Type 2 diabetic.

No more sweets – what?!?

Ok, THAT was a devastating moment, having to say farewell to the decadent three-layer chocolate cake. Until…God showed up again, prompting me to research the healing nature of all the herbs and plants He created.  Such as spearmint – God designed spearmint in such a way that offsets the negative effects that too much sugar in a diabetic can cause!

You know what that means?! Hello, chocolate cake!

How awesome is that?!  And He created yams and other plants to act as natural progesterone, balance hormones, melt away endometriosis, shrink cysts, and so many amazing things that only God could think of to put into a plant!

That was the moment my vigorous studies into herbs and essential oils began – and I became a believer and avid user of oils and all things homeopathic.

But those aren’t the moments I want to share this time.

Instead, I want to share the moment I realized:

Sometimes, God chooses to heal through education.

He has given us access to so many resources – if we ask Him where to look.  There were many moments when I asked God to just heal me and make all this pain go away!

And then there was a moment when I asked God, “Help me find solutions–natural ways to heal and take care of myself. You are God, who created everything, who knows everything, who has access to anything! I know You have the power to make me well. You have full control.  Is there anything I can do from the passenger seat?”

And so my journey began. Which led to a miracle.

God is miraculous.

The moment I want to share most of all is the moment I realized:

God loves to show us His miracles.

God reminded me that when something seems impossible, HE can make it possible.

While being obedient to the research and doctors God led me to was (is) important, that did not create a miracle.

The many moments of prayer offered by friends, family, even strangers from around the world did not weave a miracle.

I could claim that it’s because of all the things I did…such as the month before that moment I sat staring at those two pink lines on a stick, I increased my vitamin intake. I completely cut all soy from my life. I doubled my daily dose of progesterone.  While that’s all great, it’s not the reason there’s a peanut growing inside me. (Nor is it because of a certain activity that took place on a particular camping trip!)

The truth is, God is miraculous.  He led me to take positive action in caring for myself.  He prompted the faithful action of believers as they lifted thousands of prayers to heaven over the last several years.

And HE wove together all the pieces, at all the right times, so that in THIS VERY MOMENT He is knitting together all the very complex parts of a little human.

Only God can do that. A faithful, healing, miraculous God!

Thank you, Father, for making this long dreamt-of moment a reality.

Insert Psalm 139:13-18 here.

This is just the beginning. 12 weeks and counting!

Any advice? Encouragement? Questions?

Want to share your similar experience or another ‘Say What?!’ moment?

(If you’re interested in any of the research I mentioned, or want to know more about herbs and oils, or want to learn more about who God is, I’d love to hear from you!)

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