Hearts Unfold

DARE TO LIVE OPEN AND REVEALED FOR GOD


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Hi, my friends! Hope you have enjoyed a summer filled with sun, fun, and sweet memories. I’ve taken a few months away from writing,  but with college football and all things pumpkin right around the corner, I’m ready to settle into (almost) fall and excited to blog again.

So, in the spirit of the obligatory “What I Did This Summer” first day of school writing assignment,  I thought I’d write a report, too! The list is in no particular order, but then most of my life is like that so…

We are now these people.

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Yep. That’s right. Jim and I are currently remodeling a home two houses down from us. Somehow we went from taking on a kitchen overhaul last winter to accelerating into Chip and Joanna Gaines wannabes in no time flat.  Jim’s parents are moving to Pensacola in late fall, so we are tearing out, ripping down, and pulling up stuff and having a blast getting their new home ready. So, if you see me out shopping and I’m covered in paint or dry wall dust, just smile and give me a pass.

There’s this book I’m reading…

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Embracing Obscurity was written in 2012 by a well known author who chose to publish without recognition. I’m only through the first few chapters but it’s having a big influence on my thinking ABOUT influence. I have a new perspective on the servanthood of Christ and will forever view Philippians 2 in a new light. It’s the unnoticed, the unrecognized works for Christ that truly reveal my character. It’s shaking and breaking up my world, people.

Surprise! Let’s go to the Keys for the weekend!

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Normally I like to be part of the planning (translation: control issues), but I trust my husband. And he totally pulled it off! The best seafood (and those key lime pies!), stunning sunsets, and a gorgeous morning drive from Key Largo to Key West. It was the most relaxing time I’ve had in ages.

I revisited my past….

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Twenty years ago this month…well, it was tough. I was in the middle of significant health issues and hospitalizations. But I had no idea of the healing, physically and spiritually, that was coming, and how the Lord was going to use it to move Jim and me to Pensacola. Two weeks ago I walked to this spot in my former neighborhood and looked at my beloved West Virginia hills. It was the perfect place to thank him for years of goodness and restoration.

…and spent time with the future.

Mentoring young women has taken my spiritual life to an unexpected level, but not because I am that awesome. They are. God is using this next generation to teach me much about simplicity, perspective, being on mission 24/7, and what it means to be a follower of Christ in changing times. A fresh vision about future ministry is stirring inside me. I don’t know all the details yet ~ I will just wait on God to put it all together. But I’m excited.

So that pretty much sums up my summer. Thanks again for stopping by Hearts Unfold today. While I may not know your name, I am praying for your growth and encouragement. Looking forward to reconnecting in this journey together for Christ.

Enjoy your day!

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We’re Different…But For the Better

We’re Different…But For the Better


Posted By on Apr 13, 2016

A few days ago my husband Jim and I were texting about ordinary day stuff. We needed milk. Who would unlock the fence gate for the lawn service guy. Doctor appointment went well. So-and-so said to say hello.

His next text was about work. Two good things had happened before noon and another unexpected opportunity was coming his way. I sent him a thumbs-up emoji, set the phone down…and started to cry.

But these were happy tears of relief and thankfulness. In that moment I realized, we were having a normal conversation without the fear and worry.

And on the other side of the purifying fire God allowed in our marriage.

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The details? Nothing scandalous and no vows broken. But we faced three years of attacks in almost every other area we felt secure. Months of seemingly silence from God about a particular need exhausted us. And ugly emotions, mostly mine, had to be confronted every day.

Through all the battle weary days and pushing back doubts and fears, we fought hard to see God in all of the mess. It wasn’t easy, yet we were determined to keep our marriage strong and protect it at all costs.

And looking back while those days are fresh in my mind, I am a quiet kind of grateful.

For a deeper prayer life. Not one just over meals or for safe travels. But for specifics beyond “bless the day”. And for a husband who started kneeling by my bedside to pray for me before my first cup of coffee. Brave man right there.

For a (more) minimal lifestyle. Fewer material items to clutter and manage. God chose to empty so we could see open spaces with room to dream.

For evening walk talks without iPhones and away from anything plugged in. Those sweet, uninterrupted times taught us much about communication and getting to the root of the daily struggle.

For a life disrupted, jolted out of a comfortable glide. We had it easy. The Lord allowed it to be hard. And now we are softened. Only God.

For what I once took for granted. The list is long. I want my appreciation to be longer.

For the unanswered. We’ve learned to trust the glimpses of God. Anything else would be too much for us to handle. The Lord has a timeline far different than ours and what He chooses to reveal, or not, is up to Him.

I saved this text from Jim. Part of another conversation about what God had taught us and to remind me of His faithfulness through the broken days and building us back stronger.

My husband’s words just struck me as perfect for us.image

And this verse is everything.

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”  ~ Psalm 66:10-12

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