Category Archives: Uncategorized

SUP Lovin’

I ❤️ SUP!

In the last year, I have discoveredthat one of my Life-givers is the water. (Lifegiver=a unique visual, companion, or activity that God uses to simultaneously energize and relax you, make you feel more like yourself, and draw you back to joy). 

Be it a brook or the seaside, water is something that just fills me up deep in my soul. 

This summer, thanks to a friend who has graciously introduced me to the sport, I have found a new favorite way to explore this passion. 

Today, stand up paddle boarding gave me some quiet space for my Jesus-focused yoga practice, a unique perspective of perseverance (post downdog failure), and much needed mindfulness of the vast beauty of God and his creation, of which I am a part of.
 I also got to float around with my two-year old son, searching for driftwood. To him, it’s a pirate ship, but to me, it’s a simple gift… 

So here is your campfire check-in for the day: What is your life-giver? 

Find me on Instagram @campfiregrace for more life-giving updates!

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A Send-Off Prayer for a Friend

This is my friend, Christa.She is about to begin a new chapter in her life. 


Our friendship began a short few months ago. In that time she has become a kindred spirit. 

Christa provided a bright spot in a spiritually lonely time in my journey as a new mom. I met her at MOPS. Her presence quickly helped me see God’s faithfulness to see even the small details of my heart’s cry for friendship. 

Our staccato conversations, interrupted by toddler squeals begging for discipline, have become a collective life-giver to my soul. Her kids befriended my kids, and the rare gift of having children of similar age play together blessed me tremendously. 

She helped me re-organize my perspective of motherhood to be more kind and less self-critical. Her own vulnerability became an unexpected balm to my weary spirit. That, and we both find potatoes hilarious. 

And now she is moving to a new city, 6 hours away. With littles in tow, 6 hours might as well be across the country. I will miss her greatly, but I have great hope for all that God has in store for her family. 

As her new chapter begins, I would like to send her off with a heartfelt prayer…
Lord, 

Thank you for friendship. For creating me with a need and desire for it, and for meeting that need, in part, with such a beautiful soul. 

I praise you for the work you have done in her family, for guiding her husband into godly leadership of their home, to build a life that glorifies you. May he always lead with such Christlike direction. 

Father, give them so much joy in this transition. Provide in my friend that Proverbs 31:18 sense “that her gain is good:” that she is a good mom, regardless of a perfectly executed Pinterest project or an epic parenting fail. She is a good mom because You are a good, good Father, who gave us access to perfection through the cross of your Son. 

Protect her children and her marriage. Bind up any force of evil that might influence their life. I pray against any form of depression, anxiety, addiction, manipulation, selfishness, pride, or bitterness that looks for a way to take root in her heart, or the hearts of her husband and sons. Bring each family member friends, mentors, and other life-givers to help each of them flourish in the way You uniquely designed them to. 

And prepare your church in their new city, Lord, to welcome and embrace this lovely family. Ready the hearts of everyone in their neighborhood and nearby parks to be impacted by the enriching joy that this family offers. 

As I trust my friend into Your hands, I trust my own heart to your plans. Your ability to WOW me never fails. As I wait, help me to be a similar life-giving friend to those around me. 

To exemplify such fierce love and devotion.

To drench my surroundings with such hope that spills over from a truth-soaked soul. 

To abundantly bless in all that I do.

By your will, and through your grace I pray,

Amen 

Do you have a friend who could use a similar prayer? Copy the link to share this post through a personal text or message, or tag a friend in social media comments on Facebook or Instagram. 

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How God Calls The EXTROVERT Out Of Her Comfort Zone 

blowing bubbles

Dare. That was point number 5 of the sermon my husband preached this past Sunday: 6 Tips for Entering the Promise Land.

““Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” Joshua‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭

As he spoke about living life abundantly (or living in the promised land), Shane confessed his sometimes-struggle with social anxiety.

  As an introvert, for Shane to be strong and courageous means leaving the security of solitude behind. To open up. To construct conversation instead of walls of comfort. It’s a dare.

However, I am the opposite. Talking with people does not require courage for me. Public speaking comes naturally. Being the center of attention, and using it to point people to Jesus, gives me an absolute thrill.
No. My Dare is something different entirely. Becky’s “strong and courageous” is to embrace the mundanity of motherhood.

  • At home.
  • With the same 2 people.
  • Building blocks instead of conversation.
  • Sounding out consonants instead of discussing complex ideas.
  • Introducing myself to Gigi the Giraffe instead of new people in our community.

Being at home is absolutely, without a doubt, NOT my comfort zone. And yet, it is ABSOLUTELY my calling right now.

I have two gorgeous spaghetti-smeared faces that confirm that calling daily.

Mothers Day 2016

I could let my personal bent as a social-butterfly define how I spend my energy. But that would greatly infringe the opportunity to teach, guide, and play with my kids, where my presence and ATTENTION is paramount.

It’s no secret that the vacating of comfort can drain us. Shane sometimes gets depleted when he extroverts with people all day. I too feel I have nothing left after introverting all day.

Here is the beautiful part:

This draining is good. 

“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬

When we don our brave and walk boldly into our calling, especially when that calling clashes with our natural tendencies, we can identify with Christ.

This is how God calls an extrovert out of her comfort-zone: He gives her twins to raise. This task forces me to rely on His grace, guidance, and Presence with me every day. It is sanctifying and redemptive and fulfilling and exhausting.

It is also a unique avenue for gospel-sharing, by reflecting Christ both to my family, and this world.

Christ was the first to deny his personal bent. Although inclined to glory, Lordship, and omnipotence…

“He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”‭‭ (Philippians‬ ‭2:7-8‬)

So we could be saved. 

That He would give me a chance to reflect this comfort-zone denial astounds me.

I still make a weekly effort for heart-care. I get out of the house, meet with people, and dig deep into Scripture. That is just wise emotional health attention.

However, it is the out-of-my-comfort-zone routine and solitude that ushers me further into this abundant life with Christ.

And that, ironically, is a comforting thought.

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Let Easter linger 

  After Easter, we tend to pack away the promises of Lent. We punch the accelerator on our activity-driven lifestyle again. We rush past worship and rest in favor of Spring cleaning and a last ditch effort to get a beach body. 

I am suggesting we let Easter linger for a while. 

Let relief from sin and darkness linger on our souls. 

Let the celebration of Christ is Risen hover in our homes. 

Allow the memory of his sacrifice permeate each meal, as a type of communion. 

Taste the sweetness of Gods acceptance, and savor the flavor of new life! 

Before we take on a spring cleaning or a spring diet or a spring project, let us linger in the true meaning of Spring: new life, given not earned, fully in our grasp. 

Let Easter Linger. 

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Weak Way to Enter 2016

It’s not ideal, ringing in the new year with illness. The flu and a common cold has wreaked havoc on our family beginning in the final hours of 2015, holding us back still 2 days into 2016. 

My great expectations to start a new year with strength and momentum failed miserably. 

But I am realizing something profound: sick days are better backdrops for Gods strength and momentum in 2016. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬

Failed resolutions, unmet expectations, have already speckled the landscape of 2016 for all of us who:

  • Indulged in the Christmas cookies we swore off for January
  • Didn’t make it to the gym yet
  • Glanced once more at that image-site we know dishonors God
  • Fell back into gossip
  • Sacrificed another hour to Facebook
  • Have yet to clean out that closet
  • Are still haunted by a dusty goal from 2014

Whether it’s the weather or a sickness or a neglected resolution that has made you feel a failure, allow this weakness to do it’s great work in you. This bent helps us to recognize His greatness, His potential, His faithfulness, His getting-everything-right-EVERY-TIME! He offers this perfection to us in Christ. 

Those of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior get to experience the exchange of our weakness for His Ecxellence in our very identity. And it is when we see our weakness again, it helps us to recognize His greatness, giving us perspective of humility, gratitude, and confidence. 

That’s the SYMOTA I am reaching for this year: His power made perfect in my weakness. 

As a family we ended up spending our sick days reading books, watching movies, and live streaming the Passion Conference. 

 

Rosty Family Worship
 
Instead of getting my house clean for the new year, I watched my toddler son drum his little hands to the beat of songs that magnify Jesus’ power. 

Instead of getting in the work-out I’ve been pining for, I sang and danced alongside the chirps of my 1 year old daughter with the words: FOREVER HE IS GLORIFIED! 

Originally, I had intended to avoid Facebook; but the sick day had me checking “memories” which brought up a picture of us watching the passion conference 1 year ago. God met me in the middle of my weakness, my failure, to draw me to celebrate His strength. I was intent on bitterness, God was intent on being glorified. 

Hallelujah, He is Alive! And because if that, so am I. Happy New Year!

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4 Ways to Keep Engage 24 Going All Year Long

  While the day of Engage 24 in 2015 may be over, the spirit of Engage 24 can endure. The point of this initiative is not to check off a yearly gospel sharing opportunity. The point of Engage 24 is to be a kick off to gospelize each of our lives, and equip and excite us to share our blessed faith more often. 

“Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:18, 20‬ 

While I believe we should always be searching actively for the opportunity to join Gods work of reconciliation, I also understand our humanity and penchant for busyness. If we don’t establish a sense of intentionality into our days, our hectic schedules can often blind us to the needs of the lost.   So, I have listed 4 ways to help us maintain an evangelistic awareness all year long!

1. Keep your engage 24 shirt, (ours say “tell me your story”) an active participant in your regular wardrobe.  

 2. Go on engage 24 “dates”. Jesus sent His disciples two by two. Follow his command by having engage “dates” with your Christian friends. Start by sharing the gospel to each other over coffee or dinner. Unpack how the gospel specifically impacts one another’s lives. 

Then grab soularium and head to the mall. Or use a jar of quarters to buy laundry time for strangers at your local laundromat. Visit the homeless in your area or a local shelter with care packages. Your kindness may open a door for a stranger to ask about the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15). If not, you get to spend time with a friend (or special someone) of the family of God. 
3. Establish a regular “engage 24” day in your routine. 

Set a side one day every month to prayerful engage your community (the 15th of every month, maybe?). 

Level up to once a week! (like every Thursday). Add in a regular “monk” day as well.  Ask you community group to join you. 

4. Subscribe to my blog and stay updated on tips on sharing your faith and growing as a Christian. 

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Refocus Challenge: Week 1 Review

The 5 Week Refocus Challenge is well underway. Here’s a recap of week 1:

My Thoughts:

What an awesome week of sweet soul searching!

Remembering my identity in Christ was invaluable to begin this process of “getting back to” God’s best for my schedule, my thoughts, and my relationships.

I set up some reminders of my identity in Christ in highly visual spots. My favorite is my current home screen background for my phone (verse from 1 Peter 2:9)

 

 

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Next, I dove deep into my thought-life, schedule, and day to day activities to uncover my true objects of worship. I discovered a few areas I need to refocus by intentionally worshipping God through these activities, instead of using them to worship myself, others, or the almighty to-do-list check marks. Some I need to refocus are:

  • Worrying about followers/views on my blog
  • Time spent on Facebook/Instagram
  • Thinking too much about my size/looks
  • Turning our ministry into a check-list mentality instead of a relationship-based one

God is helping me refocus my worship in these, and other areas. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to contend with my flesh here. It’s been an emotional and spiritual battle to embrace the power of “re-“.

(Check out my quiz to discover any areas you struggle with idolatry/making much of anything other than God)

These 2 concepts, remembering my identity and refocusing my worship, have been invaluable in this grand return to a cleaner, fuller life, inside and out.

 

From the Campfire Circle:

What!? I have no status reports to share?

It’s true. No hashtags like #5weekrefocuschallenge or @campfiregrace were found in my search, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The idea of walking with friends and family through these changes, as you also strive for a refocus moment, is incredibly encouraging! 

I consider each of you a part of my campfire circle. It’s the place we meet, celebrate, and share with Jesus and each other all that God is doing in us… together. Let us empower one another by sharing the journey of the 5 Week Refocus Challenge.

Join me next week as I strive to reclaim my mornings, and rekindle my prayer life!

Check In:

How has God helped you refocus on him this week?

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Confessions of a Missions Trip Junkie

Adventurous missions“You have been tagged in 39 new photos….”

Facebook notified me of new pictures displayed online, apparently with my face participating somewhere in the frame. My amazing friends and students of our college ministry were spending their Spring Break serving inner city Dallas, Texas. My husband was leading this missions trip, while I stayed home with the kids. For the first time in several years, I was not elbow deep in soup-kitchen meals, clean-up jobs, and VBS planning. Still, they graciously included my name in all the pictures so I could stay updated and add my investment through prayers.

This is new territory for me. Since Highschool, I have spent many years chasing the next adventure for God’s glory. Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Bahamas, Africa and many local excursions never satiated my craving for traveling with the gospel in hand. Each trip has broadened my perspective of the world I live in, the God I serve, and the connection between the two. Traveling has helped me shed the shell of American-Christianity. Exploring new cultures provokes a greater understanding of God’s unconditional love, no longer defined by my environment.

But this year, I stayed behind. Disappointment morphed into delight as I saw the same things happening in me during my time at home. I was able to serve my two beautiful babies with the consistency they thrive with. Participating through prayer for the missions’ participants renewed my understanding of God’s work and the power of a petitioning warrior in the background. Even without the exhilaration, rush, and crazy community of traveling on a missions trip, I still experienced God’s grace and supernatural intervention in my life. That week at home, mundane and regular, was still an adventurous discovery of God’s grace:

  • Learning to mirror God’s faithfulness in the small tasks.
  • Grasping that a faithful day at home is not a small thing, but a very very big adventure pieced together by small moments of frailty and trust.
  • Choosing to see that pushing a stroller during a prayer jog is just as deeply motivating and connecting in my walk with God as driving a van full of students to share the gospel on a beach during Spring break.

Final thoughts:

If you haven’t traveled with the gospel in hand, please go! Take advantage of the life changing experience, whether you are 4 or 40 or 84. Glorify God, expand your perspective, and stretch beyond your limits of what you think God can do in and through you.

However, if you, like me, have become so accustomed to mission trip adventures that your new “out of my comfort zone” is now the act of simple faithfulness at home, get on board! Stay home. Pray hard. Rediscover the beauty, power, and spiritual momentum gained from simplistic faithfulness. Don’t use it as an excuse for disobedience or laziness. Rather leverage your calling for deep gospel change, in your own heart first, then for the hearts of those around you.

Be it a bike or surf board, minivan or missionary airplane, the bed of a truck or my own two feet, God bless the vehicle of adventure and may it ever drive me closer to you.
In faith and faithfulness,
Becky
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The Prince Who Chose Drizella

I was a bit skeptical about the 2015 interpretation of Cinderella. This has got to be my favorite fairy tale, so I like to see it filmed exceptionally well. I believe the story of Cinderella is written on the hearts of every human being on the planet, which is why we relate so well to it.

In fact, neither the Grimm brothers nor Disney have the monopoly on the story. It is perhaps the oldest story every told. In my opinion, it is owned by everyone who realizes the significance of Prince Charming, a life of slavery, and the glorification of a poor individual into royalty.

I remember when I first unlocked the treasure in Cinderella, realizing that I too, was a slave girl. Listlessly lost in my sin, my efforts always failing to clean my own mess and others’. My flesh, like a wicked-step mother, tricked me into a life I was not destined for. Yet despite my circumstances, a handsome prince, my Savior Jesus Christ, swept me off my feet. Though I am an unworthy commoner, Jesus made me a royal princess. Like the doting father-in-law, my King adopted me into His kingdom, and my life is forever changed.

To my great delight, I found my heart soaring as I watched the recently released film. It was a beautiful reminder of my own story, or rather, His story. The little girl in my soul was squealing with delight when Ella twirled in her blue “cupcake” dress. My eyes filled with tears scene after scene, rejoicing over this picture of God’s love for me.

However, something inside remained unsettled about the story. Oh Ella, with your beautiful blonde locks and lovely blue dress. Your voice shining bright and your determination to be kind. In my former years, I completely identified with you. A good girl, plunked down in a poor circumstance of sin, yet ready for royalty and needing no polish or preparation.

Now I realize that was never me. The further I hike into my relationship with God, the deeper I realize the river of sin that runs within me. Watching Cinderella this week made me realize a movie about my life would be titled “Drizella.”

drizella

 

The step-sister, with her squawky voice and big feet.
Frizzy hair and arrogant attitude.
So many clothes without a single ounce of style or poise, inside or out.
Eager to please yet failing miserably with every attempt.
Boisterous, competitive, loud, jealous, insecure.
Manipulated and manipulative. Miserable company.

If I am honest with myself, apart from Christ I am nothing but an ugly substitution for a princess. I squabble with fellow church members. I strive for attention and acclamation, an embarrassing display of insecurity. My prayers lean toward “parasols and lace” requests, instead of a deeper relationship with my Father. My efforts to be accomplished fall humorously short. In my own strength, I have no ability to truly “have courage and be kind.”

I am no Cinderella, heart pure and true. I am Drizella, heart desperate to be noticed and filled with self-made accolades.

But you know what? Jesus chose me anyway.

How different the story would be if the prince turned his head and offered his hand at the last minute to Drizella, in all her pomp and ridiculousness. We might leave the theater disappointed, annoyed, and unsettled.

“She didn’t deserve him.”

“She will never live up to the role of a princess.”

“The prince is really going to make a mess of things now.”

And that is exactly what Jesus did for us! He chose the mess, the cross, to bring unkind, uncourageous, prideful, awful, ugly step-sisters like you and me into His kingdom. A relationship with Jesus then transforms us into the kind and courageous, beautiful ambassadors of His Kingdom, but that is not how He finds us. Of course, Cinderella’s story cannot fully embody the story of our Savior, because Jesus invites every ugly-step sister, not just to the ball, but into the royal family!

Whether you identify with Cinderella or Drizella, the wicked-step-mother or that one extra-in-the-background-wearing-the-green-dress-that-no-one-ever-notices, Jesus has an invitation for you!

He stands with arm extended, hand open. Though it be nailed to the cross, it still cries out, “dance with me!”

Have you accepted His proposal?

What did you think of Disney’s recreation of the classic Cinderella?

Something new is coming to this blog, and it is hidden somewhere in this post. With Easter in the air, who is up for a little egg-hunt?
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My favorite Christmas Song Discoveries of 2014

I love Christmas music. This year I realized that singing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving isn’t a bad idea. After all, we are celebrating the birth of our Savior! Singing about it only enhances our worship of him.

This year I made a playlist of all my old favorite Christmas songs from my childhood. My memories are full of singing along with artists like Avalon, Sandy Patty, and Point of Grace. My mom and sisters would belt out christmas anthems and carols unashamed while driving around town or baking cookies.

As much as I love the “oldies,” there is something thrilling about discovering new “classics” to raise our kids on from year to year. Here are a few of my favorite new finds from this season:

1. Prepare Him Room by Sovereign Grace Music.

If you are looking for a song to share the beautiful Gospel of our Savior, this is it. I heard it at a Christmas concert this year, and it made my heart explode with praise. Another song on sovereign Grace music’s Christmas album will also blow your mind. It is called “Who Would Have Dreamed and it will change your life this Christmas. 

 

2. Born is the King (It’s Christmas) by Hillsong music.

This song has such a celebratory feel, it makes me think I am getting ready for a Birthday party for Jesus. Definitely a good wake-up anthem.

 

3. Come thou Long Expected Jesus by Kings Kaleidoscope.

An Indy-style spin on this classic, yet oft-forgotten, Christmas carol… Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is perfectly paired with the advent calendars wreath reading regarding the long wait that Israel endured for the Messiah.

 

4. It Really is (a Wonderful Life) by Mindy Smith.

Shane and I have entered into a marvelous season. The twins are thriving, Shane’s job is such a blessing, and we are healthy physically and spiritually. We have even prioritized room in our schedule to share the gospel every week as a couple, which has dramatically impacted both our relationship with Christ and our marriage. Every day, we are steadily looking forward to enjoying the fulfillment of God’s many promises. Unfortunately for us, we keep expecting it end. We think, “how can such a season of rest and happiness last forever?” We know there will be hardships in our future, there are some even now. But I believe God wants me to trade my attitude of worry for a song of praise. Mindy Smith’s lyrics reminds me to take joy in the moment, instead of waiting for it all to cave-in. Celebrating what God is doing in our lives is a beautiful way to commemorate the salvation He freely gave us through the cross.

 

What are some of your favorite classics or new discoveries this year?

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