I believe many of us struggle with being honest with ourselves because we don't know what to do with what we find.
Therapy can be ineffective, some of us can't afford the $40 copay every time, and others are so numb to it they've given up or avoided trying entirely.
We find ways to suppress our truth with distractions like drugs, alcohol, porn, video games, and other forms of escapism.
Even our achievements can cause us to avoid what needs to be fixed by providing a false sense of security only for a moment until you're left unsatisfied again.
I believe God not only wants our truth, but He wants to heal us from the hurt we are desperate to hold onto— but tired of escaping.
This world will have you believe you are permanently broken, but God says you are sons and daughters of the Most High do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
God made us exactly how we are and He is no stranger to how we will struggle, so take your truth to God and watch as He leads you on a path to rebuilding everything this world took from you plus more than you could possibly imagine.
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“My previous battles have trained me to trust in the One who girds me with strength when I grow weary.
The Word of God has trained me to stand strong in the face of my enemy, to be on guard, and most of all to trust God because the battle belongs to Him. Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord.
As long as Jesus is my commanding officer, my trust in Him is complete because He has given to me the Word to train me, my confidence in Him does not waiver because I know I don’t battle alone, and my hope will not falter because I know the victory has already been won.”
- Kim Renard
Casual Meetup at SweetHeart Bake Shop
Fun times and a good chance to connect over "life stuff". <3
Aug. 21, 2019
Cupcake In A Mug & Coffee Gathering
Sept. 18, 2019
Lindsay LeBreton did an amazing job in welcoming, decorating, and hosting our Stirring Embers get-together! As I helped (the little bit that I did ?) I kept getting distracted by this 'live magazine' I was standing in. I enjoyed listening to all the hard work her and her husband put into turning this home around to what it is. I have other friends with similar stories...who created beautiful homes from worn down fixer-uppers. It reminds me of how God does that with US.
Worn down hearts.
Peeling wallpaper hearts. Loose railings.
He is the Ultimate Fixer Upper of our HEARTS and gives us that roaring flame! ?
He gives us each other as crew members for those 'painting and patch ‘er up parties' and those 'home-warming celebration parties'.
Encourage each other.
...Those warm, waiting spaces soon filled up! I think I was a little like Goldilocks as I went and tried out all the different seating areas. ?? It was so good, enriching, and relaxing as people kept coming in. Yes, it’s so much fun, but there’s more that takes place that is deep and lasting. We need these moments...these conversations...the room to breathe a little more from suffocating battles.
We need godly encouragement...grace given when we feel messy...warm smiles and deep hugs.
I don’t say it to be poetic...I say it because I know that need all too well.
Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your heart and your home as we Embers gathered together and enjoyed all three fireplaces! ???
Next Gathering is our Casual Meetup at The Riv!
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At our last Stirring Embers gathering, we enjoyed a popcorn bar with treats, ever-flowing coffee, and great company at Nina Cummins' home!
Robyn McLean shared a devotional on the verse Psalm 73:25-26 which focused on breaking it down in a way that offered a deeper perspective. God is not just our foundation, He is also our structural bearing beams!
We followed up with the movie, "Here Comes The Boom," and enjoyed some chill time.
It was so much fun - we hope you can join the next one!
We are rotating in our Casual Meetups!
This Wednesday (08/21/19) we meet at SweetHeart Bake Shop // 10am-12pm //
...more info on website or join via Facebook.
Photo by Diamondheart Photography
I strive to be consistent.
Emotions can make that walk as unsteadily difficult like hiking on a giant waterbed.
I am SO thankful I can take it all before God because I need Him! I am so grateful He patiently listens, loves, and holds me through my messes. I appreciate His gentle, but oh so effective correction to my flawed, human nature.
I can walk strong because I lean on Him. So can you. ❤️
Photo by Diamondheart Photography
I LOVE designing and creating! I love creating social moments as much as I do artsy things. They have always been a part of me.
I’ve gone through a winding road of seasons and changes...but, I see where certain areas have always remained. There were hard seasons, and wonderful seasons! There were meaningful phases and “what a waste of time” phases. However, the journeys I traveled were not wasted because they all poured growth, insight, and experience into me for what I feel called to right now. It was great training!! Don’t feel “wasted”! God can always use what you’ve lived to enrich where you are today.
1. Ask Him for that wisdom and guidance.
2. Choose to learn what you can whether it was positive or negative. (We always want to learn from the positive, but sometimes our greatest growth is through the negative!)
Don’t give up on your calling!
Don’t give up on growing through HARD THINGS!
Keep living your passion in the midst of your priorities (it might look different than you imagine sometimes). Live out who you are in the ways you can now, and just don’t lose sight of your goals. So many times, I’ve been whacked with the “We can’t do this because...” reality, so every time I counter-ask, “Well, then what CAN we do?!”
So, what is it that you CAN do now in the season that you’re in? And, here’s the “topsoil” finish to that: Remember, don’t toil to make it happen in your own strength. With God, all it takes is a faithful heart coupled with diligent action...leave the rest to Him and there is peace in that. ❤️❤️
Photo Credit: Diamondheart Photography
I’ve been misunderstood before. We all have. It stinks! It burns!
They scare me as much as they thrill me.
Most people probably don’t view me that way...and I honestly don’t truly view myself that way...but when I really get down to it, and actually acknowledge the crazy feelings I go through...and as often as I actually confront them...it’s true. :(
Yes, it’s true I am happy and thriving amongst wonderful friendships and acquaintances.
Yes, it’s true I never seem lonely.
Yes, I have a pretty active life.
Yes, it’s super joyful! (Thank God, because He’s good like that! I am so not watering down His goodness!!!)
Yes, I smile a lot (do we need to go back to those posts that pointed out when I don’t smile I look like a ticked off assassin? AND, yes, I truly am happy a lot because there is a lot to smile about. Again, thank you, GOD! Seriously, without God, life REALLY STINKS.)
Yes, I truly do have a wonderful and blessed life full of support!!
...YES, I ALSO have struggles because I am human...it’s the world we live in...and battles are real. My feelings are REAL. More real than I really want to admit. :'(
Why do relationships scare me?
Because EVERY RELATIONSHIP is another possibility that I love them so much more deeply than they might love me and to me that is the loneliest feeling in the world. (Maybe not to you...but to ME it is).
Honestly? My love for God and His love for me swells me with an unexplainable love for people, a desire to see them thrive, and for us to be connected in championing each other on in who He’s created us all to be in our unique, individual ways!
I’ve been misunderstood that people said I surround myself with people so I am not lonely (even if so...is that really a bad thing…? LOL -- what kind of thing is that to judge someone on?) -- I’ve been misunderstood that I did so to feel important (no way, I just think that people are important and valuable, I love them, and relationships are awesome and kind of a charge given by God...so…?) Because of inaccurate judgments that didn’t come from the “world”, but actually the “church world”, relationships scare me sometimes! (Don’t leave church just because of some of the craziest, unfair hurts! It may seem I am there because it’s all butterflies and rainbows for me...I am there because I love the One who created butterflies and rainbows, and I know He is faithful; it’s “Him and ME”...not “me and circumstances”).
So, where did Stirring Embers come from?
My website says, “When hot coals are stirred up and cozied together they have the ability to give off wonderful warmth. They also carry the ability to re-ignite the once blazing flame! We women have walked through "fires" in life, and through it, we also acquire a flame of purpose. When we come together, we enable each other to give off a loving warmth and ensure our ability to "carry our flame"! One ember by itself quickly becomes a deadened coal...but when you stir the embers together they easily carry the heat and gain the ability to create a strong blaze.”
But, the most transparent, raw origin?
It came from the deadest, coldest part of myself being breathed back into life by God and His burning love for me and for YOU.
For those closest to me, and those who hate and judge me most…
For those who flicker, and for those blaze…
For those who have hurt me and I’ve forgiven, and those who were selfless…
For those who have had shifting loyalties, and those who always have my back...
...I know God is working in you just as He is working in me too...and because of His enabling love…
I love you, forEMBER.™
Photo Credit: Diamondheart Photography, LLC
“We all have shortcomings. Every single one of us! And, it’s through our weakness that God is strong, it’s through our inadequacies that His power is shown. We can never 'be' at that perfect place that He says, 'Oh, she finally has it all together. NOW I can use her.' If we are willing vessels, God can and will use whom He chooses!! And if He chooses you, you’re just what He wanted. Just as you are!!”
- Kim Renard
“I always tell others to celebrate their right now...And then quickly I hide behind my camera...Why? Because of the few pounds I picked up, or insane amount of gray hairs? Is it the visible wrinkles I see forming after a few years of watching my mom being stolen away to dementia?
Those are excuses. My passion is to capture other people in their right now, no matter what that ‘right now’ looks like to them. Even in those not ‘best of times’ moments...(because, your LIFE, every single day IS your best of times, you are alive, you are here, you have reason to celebrate!) - And so, I let my dear friend raise my camera to ME today...Not at all easy for me, and in many ways even harder to edit without faking away all the wrinkles and calling it good...This is MY celebration, my right now.”
- Written by Angela from Diamondheart Photography, LLC // Facebook
Photo Credit: Robyn McLean
It was more than a photoshoot. ?
It was an opportunity to get out of the house with a friend and push myself to have some fun...free of my moody prison. Recently, I’ve discovered why my body has been out of whack for three months, and why almost every day has been an unexplainable battle of depression. Even on my good days! It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t always a spiritual battle. So, it really didn’t make sense. I pieced together that the antibiotics I needed to save me in the ER from an anaphylactic reaction to crab had killed my good gut bacteria! It explained the strange stomach aches I had following that, and my continual illnesses from family colds. My body wasn’t processing foods right, and I started gaining a lot of weight. I couldn’t wear my wedding ring, and if I did, my skin chaffed, swelled, and hurt. My face was rashy and dry. I had random histamine breakouts in 3-4 parts of my body. And...bloating...oh my goodness. The gut and brain are connected, and I was an emotional whirlwind!
I don’t always do well in front of the camera. I like it to be with someone I am comfortable with and won’t judge me when I am undignified, or when I try to make a pose attractive. I just want to be able to be me and have fun! The past three months, I have struggled with feeling comfortable with myself in clothing because of all the recent changes that are now slowly returning back to normal. In fact, right before this photoshoot my gut was having problems, and I was feeling bloated. I looked bloated! I decided I was going out anyway because life was too short and too valuable to hold back from enjoying it.
Angela’s talent and heart is so fitting! Why? Her mantra is to “Celebrate Your Right Now”! I absolutely love that! I found that out mid-shoot...so it was perfect! I may not be where and how I want to be, but I sure can celebrate MY RIGHT NOW and thank God for all He’s done, what He’s brought through, what He’s brought me TO, and I can celebrate NOW because He’s the One taking me wherever I am going.
~ Robyn McLean
Photo Credit: Diamondheart Photography, LLC