Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are you that guy or girl?

For anyone who has ever felt invisible...

For the guy who stands in a crowded room and feels alone...

For the girl who leaves a party in tears...

For the one chosen last for a team...

For the girl who hates her reflection in the mirror...

For the guy who doesn't believe he has what it takes...

For the girl who feels she's somehow too much and not enough all at once...

For the one who feels they are never heard...

For the guy who feels incapable...

For the girl who can't find a way...

For the one who can't figure it out...

For the girl who forgot how to dream...

For the guy who forgot his courage...

You are SEEN.

You are HEARD.

You have a PURPOSE.

You have a MISSION.

You ARE enough.

You are NOT too much.


You are BRAVE.

You HAVE what it takes.


You are STRONG.

And you are LOVED.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dreaming of Mr. Right

It’s easy to spot Mr. Right in the movies or in a good novel. He’s the one who shows up out of nowhere, casts a handsome smile, and sweeps little Miss Lonely off her feet. There are struggles to be sure. There may be moments when Mr. Right seems long gone, but if the movie/book is one of those happily-ever-after stories Him and Her will end up realizing their love and committing themselves to each other for life. Riding off in the sunset with Mr. Right is the correct ending for every good story.

Yet there is a time in all of our lives when we doubt there is a Mr. Right for us. Those dumb boys at school aren’t nearly as cute, or smart, or kind as the heroes on television, but sometimes that doesn’t seem to matter very much because we’re not necessarily Cinderella or even Snow White.

At night, as we lay in bed drifting off in sleep we may dream about our future, about our wedding day and our life, our career and our kids. But once we’re at school, or work, those thoughts seem like fading dreams. Our focus turns to reality—to today—and we forget to plan, or pray for, all those tomorrows that are hanging in the future with bright expectations.

We don’t think about Mr. Right at school. Or when we’re with our friends. We don’t consider our future wedding day and all the marriage days to follow. Instead we look around and see that all our friends are dating and we want to keep up. We watch the teen movies and desire some of that romance that we see on the big screen. We feel empty inside, incomplete, and we want loved. Need love. Sure our parents, and siblings, and maybe even friends from church or school love us, but it’s not the same. We want to experience those giddy feelings and that flutter of butterflies in our stomachs … you may feel that way, too.

So then comes the day when that guy that sits three seats in front of you in Chemistry asks you out you quickly agree. He’s just average looking, and he doesn’t go to church. He mostly hangs around his friends and plays video games or football on the front lawn after school. He’s not someone you can really imagine spending your life with, but he’s not that bad and he likes you. And you don’t want to miss the chance. After all you do want to go to the prom and you do want to experience a kiss. And so those hopes that you had when you were drifting off to sleep are forgotten. Mr. Right is just a fantasy and you live for the here and now. After all, there is no guarantee for a good future, right?

Then again, maybe there is something you can do. Maybe there is something you can do with your friends.

It’s a place to start. And it starts on your knees. Before you date. Before you give your heart PRAY. Pray for God to guide you. Pray for His will. Seek HIS peace.

And then, if you don’t have peace that this guy is God’s good, perfect will for you … at this time … for your heart.

Run. Run away from temptation. Run to God.

*Image c/o stock.xchng

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's Next?

For my last post I blogged about an exciting event that helped launch a book that I’ve been writing for almost three years. It felt amazing to finally hold a long-awaited copy in my hand. As I look forward to the day when it will go live on Amazon and other venues, my imagination goes wild with the possibilities of what God might do with this book. This week, however, that excitement is being replaced with uncertainty? Why? Because I have no idea what is next for me.

I know I am finishing a story for Kathi Macias’s 12 Days of Christmas Series and polishing a devotional to hopefully contribute to another project, but beyond that, my writing future is a mystery. I’ve never been a big fan of mysteries, particularly when I’m the main character and have little or no say in the plot twists. 

This afternoon, however, I decided that I do have a say; I can either see “What’s Next for Jeanette” as terrifying or thrilling. I have the choice to panic or sit back and wait for the surprise. Today, I am asking God to deepen my appreciation for mysteries, particularly those that star Him as the hero who gets to call all the shots and me as the supporting character. I pray that He will help me to remember that He knows what He is doing, even when the next chapter includes nothing more than a blank page with a giant question mark at the top. 

What about you? Are you enjoying the mystery?

Friday, November 08, 2013

How to Pray for Your Future Husband: Understanding

I started praying for my future husband when I was 17 years old and pregnant with my son. I wanted someone who could love both me and my child. I wanted someone who loved God. God brought me an amazing man. John and I have been married for 23 years now. We had two more biological children, and we've adopted three more . . . making that six kids total! God has done more than I'd ever hoped or imagined.

My friend Robin Gunn and I wrote Praying for Your Future Husband a few years ago. The fun part is getting photos from some of the young women who prayed—wedding photos!

Of course there are women who are still praying and waiting, and we've gotten letters from them, too. They tell us they are drawing closer to God as they wait . . . and that is exactly what we hoped for!

In the moment, though, it's hard to understand the wait. It may be hard for your future husband to understand, too.

Here are 6 ways to pray for understanding.

Pray for Understanding for Your Future Husband.

  1. Pray God's Word will flood his heart.
  2. Pray your future husband will seek God and try to understand what God is doing in His life.
  3. Pray he has a tender heart that will be understanding of your past mistakes.
  4. Pray you will be understanding of his.
  5. Pray that if he has his heart broken, he will be surrounded by good friends who will support him during the healing process.
  6. Pray that in each of his relationships, he will develop an understanding heart and will always believe God has a different and better plan.

When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart. —John Bunyan

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Proud of Mom

Photo: Had an amazing time last night, listening to Michael Hingson and Susy Flory, talking about the kids' book, and signing copies.

Nate got to help with the signing by stamping Roselle's paw print (her pawdograph) into books.For almost three years, my son Nathan has heard me talk about the book I was co-authoring with blind 9/11 survivor Michael Hingson. He listened to stories about Mike and his hero guide dog, Roselle, who guided him down 78 floor of the World Trade Center, read chapters, and offered his opinion on titles. In that time, he fell in love with Roselle, felt deeply sad when she passed away, gained a fascination for service dogs, and found it extremely cool that his mom knew a man who occasionally appeared on television. 

On Saturday night, we finally launched the book, Running with Roselle at a big speaking event that Mike and Susy Flory (his co-author for New York Times Bestseller, Thunder Dog) were doing. Nathan proudly pointed out pictures of me with Roselle when they popped up during a slidshow. He named, "Mom got to go up on stage, too" as a highlight of his evening. And at the end of the night, he got the honor of stamping each book that Mike and I signed with Roselle's pawprint stamp (her pawtograph).  

In all the exciting, I must say that having my son at my side to share every moment of the event meant as much to me as holding my first hot-off-the-press copy. Nathan didn't just tag along, he fully participated and was truly proud of his mom. The memory of him nudging me whenever he heard my name mentioned during the program, and watching his hand carefully stamp about 100 books taught me that while parents take pride in their kids' accomplishments, it is also nice to have an occasional role reversal.

As a mom, it felt nice to have my son not only share this special night with me, but also be excited for me. He treated it like the big deal it was from the moment we woke up on Saturday morning and he said, "It's your big day. Are you excited?"

I decided to share this story to inspire you. When is the last time you participated in something that was a big deal to your mom or dad? When have you shown them, "I'm proud of you" through your response to exciting news or a big accomplishment? How many times have they done this for you?

This week, maybe you can ask God for opportunity to show one of your parents that you are proud of them. Take my word for it: it never stops feeling nice.