Idol of the heart

I didn’t watch much of the winter Olympics on TV recently, but there was one story on Yahoo Sports that grabbed my attention.

Heidi Kloser, 21, is one of the top skiers in the world. She’s at her first Olympics, but for her, they’re already over before they even began. Kloser was skiing a practice run on the moguls when she wreckedand tore both ACL and MCL and fractured her femur, and she’s out for the rest of the competition.

What got me though is what was shared further on in the story when it quoted what her Dad wrote on Facebook: When she was in the ambulance she asked her Mom and I if she was still an Olympian…we said of course she is!

The moment she had trained for had arrived and when an injury took her down, she instantly questioned who she was. I think of my walk with Christ and how I have at times found myself out of commission, sometimes from my own bad choices or just from life getting the best of me. And just like Heidi the Olympian, I have questioned who I am.

Am I still a daughter of the King? 

Like Heidi’s Dad, my Heavenly Father said to me…

Of course you are! 

Last week, my girlfriend Jennifer Lee asked me to read her first book, Love Idol releasing April 1st. I couldn’t type my “yes!” back to her fast enough. But then reality hit. See, Jennifer’s book “will help you dismantle what’s separating you from true connection with God and experience the astonishing freedom of a life lived in authentic love.”

In the introduction she explains what a Love Idol is:

I can almost hear your question. The…what idol? Love Idol? How can love be an idol? Love was God’s idea. We were created in God’s image, and God is love! Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “These three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.” Yet we take God’s “greatest” and contort it into an idol. We twist our desire for approval into a false god. Instead of resting in the love and approval of an unseen God, we chase after the temporary pleasures of human validation. Whatever rules our hearts become our lord.

I hate admitting this, but I have a Love Idol. God wants me to let go if it, but I don’t want to. My flesh is wrestling and God isn’t budging. He wants all of me. Every time I begin to loosen my grip I hear lies whispered straight from the pit of hell, “If you let this go, then what? This is what you know.” So I hold on and the result of holding on to this idol is the vicious cycle of questioning who I am in Christ.

Today I received a package from Jennifer that included a beautiful necklace made by our girlfriend,  Kashoan over at Krafty Kash. 

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The word on the necklace is preapproved. Jennifer’s hope in her heart is that those who read her book will smash their Love Idols while claiming their preapproved status in Christ.

I’m ready to smash my Love Idol. Ready to change the course of my legacy. I just have to. I love God too much not to. And honestly, a relationship with a Love Idol leaves you exhausted and empty.

It’s time to consistently believe that I am a preapproved daughter of the King.

Blessings,

Lelia

To begin smashing your own Love Idols, join us on the Facebook page, The Love Idol Movement.

Visit Jennifer at http://jenniferdukeslee.com

Like Kashoan’s Facebook page Krafty Kash and get your own necklace.

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Despite Our Fears

FEAR

The enemy of confidence.

The silent killer of courage.

The little red devil on the shoulder of belief.

Sometimes things happen in our lifetime that make us afraid to try again. They cause us to be afraid and no matter how hard we try to place our trust in the Savior’s lap, there is a part of us still holding hands with fear. Fear has a power all of its own if we let it.

I’m writing this from the Hilton hotel lobby about a mile from the prison our son is in. We are waiting to go to his parole hearing and this is a much better lobby than the prison one and they have a Starbucks.

Today’s hearing determines when he gets out. Three out of the five board members have to approve his release to parole.

Fear tried to park itself in the driveway of my heart this week, but God showed up in a tow truck and hauled his behind away.

I strongly believe what is about to happen is because God has approved it. Not today, but before our son ever made his appearance in this world 19 years ago. Last weekend my girlfriend said this at a conference and it stuck with me… What God is doing now was already in the works years ago.~ Deidra Riggs

God did some amazing things leading up to today to remind us…Do not fear.

So we’re taking God at His Word. A God known for His faithfulness because He alone knows where our son needs to be.

Recently, our friend from church wished his son a happy birthday on Facebook. His son was born after he and his beautiful wife Miki lost their precious baby daughter. This is what he wrote and I asked him at church last night if I could share this:

After our daughter returned to her Creator, He created for us another child for us to love and care for, despite our fears. ~Vern Montgomery

Despite our fears…I love that. God knows that we’re going to be afraid at times and yet in His tender-hearted way He will bless us in our hardest of days. Despite Vern and Miki’s fears of loss, He kept growing their family and they trust Him.

I started this post while at the Hilton and had to pause to attend the hearing.

All five board members approved his release. He will be on parole for over a year after his release and immediately the fear of him violating parole invaded my mind. Despite our fears He has blessed us with a release date.

In April, I will cook for my son for the first time in a year and already FEAR is on my front porch ringing the doorbell trying to get in. I think I’ll open the door and let Aaron’s dog out with the command, get him Kane! and just soak in the decision God made today regarding our son’s future.

Whatever you may have that is causing you to have fear, remember that despite our fears, God wants to bless and love on us.

Let Him.

Blessings,

 

We are overwhelmed with the prayers, support and love that has been shown to our family. Thank you so much. For everything. To God be the glory.

Love,

The Chealey family

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(un)Happy New Year!

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The 3 most popular words heard and said this time of year.

Resolutions are written.

Gym memberships are purchased.

New beginnings have begun.

Hope for a happy and prosperous year is in the air.

But what if the next 300 plus days are anything but happy?

What if heartache awaits you in 2014?

Hard stuff happens to God-seekers all the time.

Loss of…life, jobs, dreams.

Broken…hearts, vows and plans.

Christ centered homes become the biggest messes in their neighborhood.

Princes and princesses of God become Prodigals.

But it’s in the unhappy moments where discovery occurs.

Where the Names of God you’ve read about gets personal with you.

When the 23rd Psalm is lived instead of recited.

It’s where victory straight from the throne room snuffs out the devil.

It’s where your pain becomes bearable only to Jesus.

It’s where your hopelessness parks you on bended knee at your Savior’s feet.

It’s where a life can become completely surrendered to God and leave the devil breathless.

2013 filled my heart with ache, but my God.

My God conquered when I had no fight in me.

My God has given and taken away.

My God has blessed in the middle of bad.

And it’s because of Him I’m still standing.

It’s because of Him my family is still together.

It’s because of Him my son is seeking Jesus from his prison cell.

It’s because of Him I trust.

He stamps the trials with worth.

So whether your 2014 is met with happiness or heartache choose to lean into your God.

Praise Him in advance for what He has planned and trust Him like never before.

For this God of ours proves and out does Himself to a believing heart with no hesitation. And in the unhappy your heart will leak with unexplainable joy only He can provide.

Blessings,

Lelia

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Christmas Interrupted

Today I am guest posting on my friend Caryn’s blog. This was such a tough post for me to write that I threw out the first draft and considered backing out of writing this post.

After a week of tears and prayers and encouragement from Caryn, God gave me the words. This post is very special to me as God guides us through this season that is all about Him.

Oh…and there’s a GIVEAWAY! My dear friend Renee Swope is giving a signed copy of her new book, “A Confident Heart Devotional”. A perfect way to start off 2014 would be with her 60 day devotion.

To be entered for a chance to win, click on Renee’s book and it will take you to Caryn’s beautiful blog, State of the Heart Living. 

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Comparing our Christmas

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Last night my husband and I watched a movie that was on TV. There was a line the male character said that caused this writer to grab her phone and type his quote into her notes so I wouldn’t forget it.

“You are a woman to love.”

We are in the midst of a season that if a poll was taken would show that it is the most time women compare themselves to other women.

We can be hard on ourselves for the silliest things.

We spend hours decorating our home for the holidays and love it. Until we scroll through Facebook and see a picture of her home that looks like a spread from Better Homes & Gardens and suddenly we think our home looks like an ad for the Dollar store.

We receive a Christmas letter from the Family of the Year. The family that undoubtedly just lived through 12 months of perfection. Perfect vacations, perfect kids, an all around perfect life and we reflect on all the things that happened in our last 365 days. And without even meaning to, we downsize all the good God did in our life.

We see others participating in Advent, attending Christmas Eve service and having such a Christ centered Christmas that even the angels are impressed. While we can only produce a picture of our crying kids sitting on the lap of a mall Santa.

 

We compare the 5 minutes it took to pick out our bakery purchased goodies to her hours of Betty Crocker baking beauty in her Christmas apron.

We compare

our on-line purchased gifts to all of her completed Pinterest projects that were hand-made with nothing but love.

Suddenly

, we’re not good enough decorators, bakers and gift-givers. Our comparisons make Jesus’ birth an after thought and on New Years Day our resolution is next year Jesus will be the reason for the season.

 

If not careful, our comparisons can become so great that it’s not the CEO’s of big stores keeping Christ out of Christmas, it’s us. 

Jesus doesn’t want us to create our own personal hell of not measuring up. He wants you to know that He came to this earth because you are a woman to love

You are a woman who He’s not comparing to any of His other creation. He loves you as is. And more than He wants you to have a life that is Christmas letter worthy, He wants you to endure the messed up months of your year with Him. He wants you to have more than a Christ centered season, He wants you to have a God focused year.

 

So, starting today, let’s put down our comparison measuring stick because in this world of bigger and better, we will never arrive. Instead, wrap yourself in the truth that our Savior thinks that you are a woman to love

Blessings,

Lelia

 

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