Tag Archives: Psalm 23

My fork in the road in Austin…


Our family traveled to Austin, TX over Easter weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed the state’s capitol city and sight seeing. There was one small moment during our trip, when everyone was tired, cranky and just like every normal family… a moment of crabbiness shined through all of us. While we were driving, I saw this beautiful field of wildflowers and a path and asked my husband to pull over. While the rest of the fam stayed in the truck, I decided to take a stroll down this path ALL BY MYSELF 🙌🏼🙌🏼. (All caps is on purpose 😜).

This time alone was brief, but the view was beautiful and my conversation with the Lord was just what I needed. 

I cried out to the Lord to help my family in those moments of weakness, when we are tired and hungry and allow the flesh of selfishness creep in. I prayed to the Lord to help my husband lead our family well and daily become more and more the spiritual leader in our “home on wheels”. I begged God to help me raise my children in a peaceful home (I know we will still be loud 🙉) but I want my tone with them to be peace filled. I want our tribe to love each other well and to speak in kindness. 

As I walked along the pond and prayed (for my 2 minutes of alone time 😉)… I turned the corner to head back to the truck and to my little family that I adore… and saw this scene. I had to stop and snap a photo. What I saw was a fork in the road. And in that moment I had a choice to make.

We all have a choice…

we can choose the desires of our flesh or walk in the Spirit.

Often times, we only think this way when we have a BIG decision to make like taking a new career path, deciding to sell our home, making a large purchase, should we sell everything and travel the US in an RV,  etc.

But really, this scene occurs in the day to day, mundane, tiny detailed moments of our lives.

When our kids are arguing… we can choose peace or yelling (Phil. 4:8).

When anxiety consumes us… we can choose to allow it to control or claim Phil.4:6.

When people say hurtful things to us… we can believe the lies or know who we are in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

and the list goes on and on and on in every single fork in the road throughout our day.

In the big decision moments and the tiny ones… will you follow Him, allow Him to restore your soul…

as He leads you on…

the path of righteousness…

for His name sake (Psalm 23:3)?


And while you’re here… enjoy these pics of our trip to Austin…


I recently read there is a couple who travels in an RV and paints these greeting murals on walls in cities throughout the US… I have no idea if they painted this one… but if you ever find yourself in Austin, I would for sure stop for a great photo op…


When we were in Amarillo, TX, we took a can of spray paint and headed to Cadillac ranch (google it, such a cool place)… I had no idea Austin had a similar area… they call it Grafitti Hill. From what I read, this was an old condominium establishment that never materialized and over time it turned into an art district…


Take your own can of paint… and if you forget, there are usually street vendors there with cans for sell (and an ice cream truck). 

Our kids have checked off many state capitols during our 2 years of travel… so stopping by Austin’s capitol building was a must. You can even take a tour of the building… but we stopped by on Easter so obv offices were closed. 


Just outside the city (about 20 miles) is a fabulous restaurant called The Oasis. The drive through “Texas hill country” as it is referred to, was breathtaking. I seriously felt as if we had left the state of Texas. The restaurant is one of those… you won’t believe it until you see it kind of places…. but here’s a few pics of our time there and the beauty as it overlooks Lake Travis. If you go, be sure to drive around and check out the gorgeous mansions nearby. 


If you are in Austin and are looking for a great church, we recommend, The Austin Stone Community Church . I asked FB land for church recommendations in the area and had many options posted… we decided to go with this church because it was the closest to our hotel. The sermon was on point and the church was alive! They have several campuses, we attended the main campus in downtown, Austin. Check it out if you are ever near by and want to hear the Word preached in a powerful way. The lead pastor, Dr. Matt Carter preached the day we attended and was fabulous! 

If you are in Austin in early Spring, Google wildflowers near Austin and take a drive to see the beautiful flowers and the Texas state flower… the bluebonnet/ Lupinus texensis. 

Texas does everything big… and the rule applies to their wild flowers! Here’s a few pics of them and my little princess posing in a patch…

Warning… if you do make the wild flowers a photo opp… make sure you check the ground for ants and snakes. Thankfully we didn’t see any… but was thankful for the pre-warning. 


The yellow and red flowers (Indian blankets/ Gaillardia pulchella)were found on the campus of St. Edwards University. 
Speaking of campuses… hello… we had to stop and see the University of Texas! Hook ’em horns! Thankfully my hubby wasn’t wearing his Baylor hat at the time ;). 


And last but not least… we waited on Congress Ave Bridge (with a couple hundred other curious minds) to watch the famous bats come out at dusk… sorry I don’t have pics of the actual bats, but trust me, there were thousands of them… but I suppose they were full on Easter candy and didn’t come out at dusk when the photo opp would have been perfect… it was really dark when they came out so the pics just didn’t turn out. As the story goes, a colony of about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live under the bridge and come out at dusk for their evening meal between the months of late March to November.  I’ll post a pic of us waiting on the bridge to watch. Other viewing options are the  lawn just below the bridge or in a boat on Lady Bird Lake, which flows from the nearby Colorado River. Many people observe from their personal boats and kayaks, rent them or take a boat tour on the Lone Star Cruise line or Capitol Cruises to watch. It is for sure a sight to see… although we had never even heard of this concept until we started our travel life and began following other traveling families online. 


We really enjoyed our quick trip to Austin. There are signs, tshirts and souvenirs everywhere that says “Keep Austin weird.” Well, Austin made the word weird a positive one for us, as we for sure enjoyed our time in this artistically colorful, eclectic city!

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green pastures…

green-pasture-summer-1_00444059Life is busy. Life is loud. Life is crazy, hectic, chaotic… Life is…
Let’s just face it… we are all busy… it matters not if we hold the title of CEO of a large company… CEO of our home… or somewhere in between…it seems that as each day passes… life gets busier and busier.
Overbooked schedules (for ourselves and our children)
White noise from FB, IG, Twitter, phone calls, emails etc.
Daily chores, daily demands, doctor’s appointments, and meetings galore… and that is just the beginning of what could become quite a lengthy list of just how busy our days can become.

Just the other day… in the middle of MY busy… in the middle of my first attempt of cleaning/organizing my house after a summer of well… just playing and not focusing on the chores… in the middle of preparing for a new year of home school… I decided to stop what I was doing, sit down on the couch a watch a movie.  Normally “watching a movie” for me looks something like this  “Hey kids, let’s sit down and watch a movie”… they put a movie on… I sit in the living room “with them”… and I get a thousand things done…(computer work, fold the laundry, make out our weekly dinner menu, write a to do list etc. etc. etc.) while the kids watch the movie. I never, EVER just sit. and. watch. a. movie.

Well… this particular day was different. I put everything aside and just sat. I decided to introduce my children to a classic “Where the Red Fern Grows” (I do not recommend this movie for younger children). I loved reading the book as a child and thought we could make a great memory as a family watching this movie.
Y’all…. have you seen “Where the Red Fern Grows” lately?
25 years have passed since I last watched the movie or read the book.
Talk about S-L-O-O-O-O-W. This movie made my heart beat slower… I began to breathe a little slower… and my mind had to slow down in order to not race ahead of the movie. It took a second… but I LOVED IT!  Even the intro to the movie took five minutes longer than one of today’s era would.  I had to make myself stop and slow down in order to enjoy the movie because even in movies… our society is used to action, lights, color and a faster speed.

Boring to my children for the first half hour… YES… but it certainly taught them a much slower pace of life than we are acquainted with.
After getting accustomed to the slowness of the movie… it ends up that my children enjoyed watching it quite a bit. They also learned several valuable lessons on trusting God, being good stewards of their money, being generous to others… and my middle even learned how to chop down a tree. 🙂

A slower pace. A simpler life. In the middle of my every day crazy… it’s really what I want. I yearn to slow down. To simplify. To rest in the moment instead of racing as fast as I can past every single one.

I am “slowly” learning what God has to say about slowing down. Read what David has to say about resting in Psalm 23.

Psalm 23:2-3
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

In the middle of the hustle and bustle… in the middle of over-scheduling and the crazy… let’s be quick to lie down in green pastures… rest in quiet waters… refresh our souls… and let the Lord guide our paths for HIS NAME SAKE.

We spent a few days with grandma and grandpa last weekend.  While there, on their beautiful land, it was so nice to rest in acres of green pastures…

blog pic 2 blog pic blog pic 3greenpastureswborder

 

photo credit (top pic): wallpoper.com; bottom pic (quaker.org)

… I shall not be in want

 

I shall not be in want. I shall not be in want. I shall not be in want…

Why? Why shouldn’t I be in want?

I mean, isn’t it just a natural part of flesh to want?

Babies certainly enter the world “wanting.” They may not be able to verbalize their want with words… but they make it very obvious as soon as those first few days of constant sleep are over. They cue and cry and make their parent very aware of the need to be fed, diaper changed, loved and nurtured.  And while at it… they do it in an adorable, you just want to give them everything they want because they are so precious… kind of way.

This carries on through toddler hood, childhood, adolescent- hood and sorry… but even adult hood… but that “they do it in an adorable, you want to give them everything they want… precious kind of way seems to decrease with every single year. 🙂

We all want. Unfortunately, those of us who are a part of the modern western culture have a “give me, give me, give me” mentality. I am not at all saying we are all selfish, never think of others, and are only consumers. Comparing to other parts of the world… most of us are truly in need of… well… nothing.

Our amazing pastor, Louie Giglio is preaching a mighty mean series on Goliath Must Fall.  A few weeks ago, he challenged those connected with Passion City Church to 40 days of daily reading over Psalm 23.  Well… since he demonstrated playing the audio version with the British Man’s accent on Bible Gateway… that is exactly what my hubby and I have been doing.  We feel like this unknown British fella is a part of our family now.  He reads over us every morning and at night before we go to bed… click… and Psalm 23 is read over us as we drift off into dream land.

Since I am immersing myself into this very popular Psalm… I thought  I might as well break it down verse by verse and blog about what the Holy Spirit is teaching me through it.

Psalm 23:1 has the exact answer to the above posed question… “why we should not be in want.”  The Lord is my Shepherd… I shall not be in want.

lack nothing… I have all that I need… there is nothing I lack… are all other translations way of stating the exact same thing.  He is our Shepherd…

If we can begin to train our minds on this concept… memorize this truth… and allow it to penetrate our heart… then we will slowly begin to be content people.

The next time we are quick to compare our lives to our neighbor and want what they have… say…

“The Lord is my Shepherd… I shall not be in want.”

The next time we want to make a purchase although we already have ten of something very similar at home… or our bank account says that we shouldn’t make that purchase… say…

“The Lord is my Shepherd… I have all that I need.”

The next time we log onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. and suddenly feel that our personal lives no longer seem so glamorous because so-and-so seems to have it all together, makes the best meals, has the most obedient children… is living the dream life etc. say…

“The Lord is my Shepherd… there is nothing that I lack.”

IF:

IF He is our Shepherd… IF we live like we believe that… then… we are full, content and blessed.  We already have enough because HE IS OUR SHEPHERD! Will you let him shepherd you and your desires today?

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

Lord, Un Rush Me

“Lord, Un Rush Me”… were the spoken words from Lysa TerKeurst at the conference She Speaks that I attended this past weekend.  This was a conference for Christian speakers/writers… and was absolutely life changing for me.  I was 1 in 800 women in attendance at this conference… there were many beautiful faces to meet… many faces who have the same desire and passion as I do to speak/write in order to spread the love of Christ and to make His name known.  So much information was consumed this weekend that my mind is still spinning.  I met so many, I learned so much and I was challenged in more ways than I imagined possible before attending.

However,  as I step into Monday.  As I step back into the busy/hectic schedule of being a wife and mom of four… as I try to steal away little minutes through out the day to process all that I learned this past weekend… I can’t seem to get the words UN RUSH ME… out of my mind.

I desire to slow down.  I desire to make the most of each moment.  I desire to sit on the floor and play blocks with the baby and sing songs at the top of my lungs with my five year old daughter.  As I fold the laundry… I want to do so with gratitude that I have a large family to clothe.  When my boys want my attention and desire to carry on a conversation with me… I want to really be present. Really. Be. Present… not just nod my head as if I were listening to them while what I am actually doing is going through my lengthy to do list in my mind as they talk. I want to hear them…Lord, UN RUSH ME. 

My mind is filled with so much as a result of having attended such an impactful conference.  Am I walking away desiring to write a book? Yes.  Am I walking away desiring to book speaking engagements so that I can tell others about the love of Christ?  Yes.  Do I want to have more blog followers than I ever imagined possible?  Yes.  but more than those things… as a result of this Speaker/Writer conference that I just attended… I want to be a better wife.  I want to be a better mom.  I want Jesus to UN RUSH ME.

Do you need to be “un rushed?”

Psalm 23:2: he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.