Friday, February 25, 2011


We are now to the second part of my Lets Chat series where I am bringing all of my guests together to share a piece of wisdom once again. I will begin today with the talented Bonnie Leon. If you have not read a book of Bonnie's you are missing out friends. You will see another glimpse of our first male guest, Lee Warren. I will close with, CeCe Morgan, a missionary, who is reaching the boundaries of Africa for God's kingdom. Every guest here at the Nest has brought life to this blog with their bountiful wisdom and words of grace. God is so good and through these special people He has brought into my life I see Him more and more. On this journey I am on with Him I continue to grow and learn from those He has perfectly placed in my life. I don't have to look very far for insight, inspiration and encouragement. I pray you too find a nugget of gold to place in your pocket today. A valuable insight to help you on your journey to walk closer to Christ.

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?

(Bonnie) Where do I begin? Life has been good to me, but there have been some deep valleys. My children, though they are all walking with the Lord now, have at times, put me on my knees. And some of their life choices made me wonder what I did wrong as a mother. But even during the worst of times, we’ve been close and knew that in the end God would have his way.

I guess my greatest struggle began in 1991 when the van I was driving was hit by a log truck that overturned. Life as I’d known it came to an end. I’d been active, working alongside my husband, gardening and loving my full time role as a mother. After the accident I lived on a pile of pillows on my sofa most of the time. In the months following the log truck encounter I waited for healing or a change of heart. I prayed for strength and growing faith. Instead, I was depressed, scared and angry. I wanted the old me back. The new life was too difficult and filled with pain.

I felt like a failure as a Christian. I’d always believed that whatever came my way I’d stand strong because of my faith in God. But that’s not how it was. And yet, God did not give up on me. He was faithful and full of mercy. In time, he lifted me up out of my pit of despair and set me on a new path. Even now, I have rough days but I know I’m blessed and thankful for all of God’s gifts. Bonnie Leon

(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Lynn) I look for a friend who isn’t afraid of my dirt and is honest enough to let me see her’s as well. My dearest friend calls it “opening your front door”. We need friends who know exactly what is going on with us and loves us just the same! I hope that others will find me to be a friend who loves unconditionally and never judges.    Lynn Martin Cowell

(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Noelle) In December of 1998 I started having these extreme attacks out of no where. I would end up in the emergency room & leave with no answers. After 5 visits, one by ambulance New Years Day, the emergency room doctor gave me a xanax. My body was completely exhausted but could not settle down. The next week I was diagnosed with a very extreme case of Panic/Anxiety Disorder. You can read about that on my site, wont go into deets here. I was determined not to let the fear eat at me. The enemy would lie to me out loud. Seriously. He would tell me that I would go crazy & never be the same. I got out my bible. I got my headphones and cassette player. Filled my mind with worship and the Word. Bought 3 of the most influential books in my life by Joyce Meyer and read, cried, screamed through the pages. (Battlefield of the Mind, Be Anxious for Nothing & Managing Your Emotions) My AHA, was that fear was the opposite of Faith. I could not walk in both at the same time. I had to choose & I did.     Noelle Mena

(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Kim) I love that question because it brings to mind a verse I often contemplate: "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep..." (Acts 13:36). I hope the foremost legacy I leave is that I served God's purpose in my own generation, that I lived full-out and unashamed for Him.   Kim Nash Tate

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Loree) I guess for that I’ll cite Deuteronomy 5:33, which says You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you. My humble translation: God’s requirements for success are pretty straightforward … stay the course HE has chosen for you!   Loree Lough

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord, has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Shawn) On March 26th, 1965, I was delivered physically into this world – and on October 30th, 2002, I accepted the greatest gift ever given, and was born into the family of God. Since then there have been many storms; and through my trials, I am strengthened and through my strengthening, I become closer to who God intended me to be. Like many of us, my Christian walk began with scars of my past, thoughts that were flawed and beliefs that hindered. But through the years, God delivered message upon message until I finally listened. He is so faithful, even though I had been so resistant.

I believe my struggle is the same as many others, it is not realizing who I am in Christ, and what that truly means. It wasn’t until God gave me the gift of writing daily about gratitude that the “light” went on, and His love was revealed. As a new Christian, saved from a background full of guilt, works and relying on the approval of others, it took some time to understand grace.

The true breakthrough came when God told me to be grateful for what I have through a friend’s posting, I felt a nudge to take a challenge of giving thanks during the month of November in 2009 – this is how God revealed himself and performed open-heart surgery. Today there is restoration, renewal and healing. Through the exercise of giving thanks daily, I have grown to love the idea of thanksgiving and gratitude in my life. I have learned to love myself more; I can now laugh at my mistakes, cherish my enemies enjoy the struggles and know that there is truly light, not just at the “end of the tunnel”, but through the entire journey, if I just look for it.

Today, I no longer struggle with who I am, for I truly know that I am a child of God, daughter of the King. I can do anything because I have God. If I am tired or weary, all I have to do is call to Him, and He’s got me. My life has a plan and purpose – I am important and significant, because He thought of me in the beginning of time, and has loved me that long.

I was very uncomfortable praying, would struggle, even when I was alone.

Now I pray all the time, and love praying with others – Colossians 1:10-14.

I could never be quiet, always had to have something on or someone with me.

Now I love being still and alone with God.

I loved God

Now I am passionate about God, and KNOW who I am with Him in my life.

For years I have been unhappy with how I looked.

Now I accept who I am as He perfects me.

I shared my faith once in awhile, but only when comfortable.

Now I am very comfortable sharing my testimony.

I complained all the time; I was afraid, doubtful and felt it was everyone else’s time to “do great things” or “win”.

Now I am so grateful for where I am and how I got here – Joshua 1:9.

I worried all the time; and made my circumstances worse.

Now I know how to give everything to God.

I felt like the world was against me – so many things went wrong.

Now I am living for God’s purpose and God’s plan.

I was plagued with depression, illness and exhaustion – couldn’t understand “why me”

Now I am encouraged every day that everything I experience is to make me strong – because there are great things for me to accomplish.    Shawn Boreta

(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Karen) Two things:

First, understanding that submission in marriage isn't a 4-letter word, but an act of obedience and love toward Christ. It took me a lot of years, a lot of pain, and many counseling sessions to finally see that the One I refused to submit to wasn't my husband, but my Lord. When I finally started doing that--when I focused on doing what I was supposed to do instead of on what Don was supposed to do, when I placed my "rights" on the altar and served Christ rather than myself--it changed everything. When I didn't feel respect or even love for Don, I put my focus on Christ, loving Don as His representative in our home. And doing that rekindled my love and respect for my husband.

Second, figuring out who I am as a woman without my mom. Her death was a terrible loss for our family, and it took me several years to get past the loss and grief. And anger. It just didn't seem right that someone as wonderful as my mom should die when there were so many awful people who seem to live forever. God had to do some serious work on my heart and spirit, but He finally helped me past all that. I still miss her--so much!--but now I'm grateful for the time we had with her.     Karen Ball

(Robin) What are a few books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Andrea) "So Long Insecurity" Beth Moore

"In The Grip Of Grace" Max Lucado

"Streams In The Desert" Devotional

"Daily Light Devotional" Ann Graham Lotz

"In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart" Ruth Graham       Andrea Bowling Perdue

(Robin) What is the best advice you have ever received?
(Lynn) The best advice ever given to me was something my husband said before we were married: “Don’t sweat the small stuff,…and….everything is small stuff.” I am a natural worrier. I thought I could blame it on my genes, (parents, heritage etc.) but I don’t think I have that as a legitimate excuse anymore. I worry…needlessly, most of the time. It all comes back to submitting myself over and over to God’s sovereignty and everyday claiming the Proverbs 16:9 verse. God is in control. I still have a tendency to worry but when I feel the worry is controlling me and my actions, then I know I need to release it to God. I am so glad He loves me!     Lynn Dove

(Robin) Looking back what advice would you give to yourself at the age of 18 to prepare you for life ahead?
(Dawn) Love unconditionally and don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Do what you know is right and stick to God’s Word and let Him direct your paths.

Learn to laugh at yourself and find confidence in who God has made you.   Dawn Kingston

(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Peggy) The biggest challenge for me has been overcoming the inner struggle with self—accepting who I am weaknesses and strengths, and battling the negative thoughts about self. This challenge affected who I was as a wife, a mother, and a woman of God. It is a struggle that many women deal with and it can be very crippling. It put me in a pit of depression. I thank God for His healing both emotionally and spiritually. Through God I have learned how to overcome this through taking action and replacing satan’s lies with the powerful promises of God’s Word. “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32 It has been a major challenge but I am thankful that because of my struggle I am able to encourage others and help them find freedom is this area.     Peggy Reeves

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Lee) Following through with the passions God has given me.    Lee Warren

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Lisa) I learned a verse as a child I refer to often. Psalm 56:3: "But when I am afraid, I will trust in you." It's so simple, yet so powerful. I also love Zephaniah 3:17. And a song from long ago by Amy Grant called "All I Ever Have to Be" ministers to my soul.     Lisa Reimer Whittle

(Robin) I believe a mistake is only a mistake if we cannot walk away with a greater wisdom. Has there been a time in your life where struggle occurred from a poor decision and if so, how did you overcome?
(Leah) I’m a people pleasure by nature. In the past, saying “yes” to something I should have said “no” to has left me with an over-committed schedule, a frustrated family, and a stressed out me. It’s part of that whole “balancing” thing I talked about early.

I’ve learned from my mistakes that I can’t please everyone all the time. I’ve overcome my need to always please others by choosing to pray first before making a commitment. It takes some discipline but produces great results!       Leah Dipascal

(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Connie) Definitely going through a divorce, empty nest syndrome, a milestone birthday and menopause all at the same time. It’s amazing I didn’t end up in the psych unit. God was so faithful to me during that time… filling my life with friends that held me up when I was too weak to stand, showing me the heart and the love of God. If I was sure of one thing in this life besides having to pay taxes and dying, I would’ve bet the farm that we would’ve stayed married until one of us died. I was so naive. In my book, divorce was something I thought I was exempt from because we were both believers. It never occurred to me that it could be possible. Christians don’t get divorced, right? Wrong!! It was the end of the dream that I had…to grow old with the man who was my husband, the father of my two children. We would baby sit our grand babies together, go on vacations together, see the legacy of a beautiful marriage passed down to our children and grandchildren. So, I had to start all over again. I had to rebuild my life as a single woman This was not something I wanted to do but he made the decision to leave. So I could do one of 2 things…shrivel up, be angry about it my rest of my life and die… or forgive, move on and start a new adventure. I chose to look at it as a new beginning, not a new chapter, but a whole new book. It is definitely a huge part of my story that has molded me into the woman I am today.     Connie Wetzell

(Robin) I would love for you to share your testimony
(Michelle) Wow! Testimony…let’s see. My story is not a short one that is for sure. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. My parents did not come to know a relationship with Christ until I was ten. At ten, I had already decided how I felt about life and God and He was not a part of it. The next ten years would be a struggle. I was a “touch the fire” kind of gal. I didn’t just take someone’s word for it. I had to find out for myself. Unfortunately, choices and consequences pretty much go hand in hand. There were many things that played a part in my years of rebellion, the NO-God Years. Those years were all about ME. I didn’t really know they were about “ME”, but they were. I was very selfish, my heart was hard, and I was angry. There were a few things that played into it.

At fifteen I was date raped by a boy. It was a very big turning point in my life. I had already begun going down a wrong road, but after the rape, I pretty much felt it was the only road I could take. The shame, the disappointment, the failure, the feeling of unworthiness, left me feeling like I deserved nothing. I allowed the enemy to lie to me and keep me believing it for about four years. I harbored hatred, despair, insecurity, anger, disappointment, in my heart for four years and out of that came some bad choices,

God was after my heart.

He never stopped pursuing me. My parents were major prayer warriors and their prayers would no go unheard. At twenty years old, after several years of fighting God, I accepted Him as Lord of my life. I was desperate for Him and at the end of myself. All the answers I had for life were not worth anything to me. They had left me in a pile of broken pieces and now I was crying out to God to put me back together again. I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and for about a year a young woman had been sharing Christ with me. Not by telling me to repent everyday, or letting me know I was going to hell if I didn’t change my ways. Those were both true, but I wasn’t ready to hear those things. Instead, she shared her life with me. She asked me to lunch, to play racquetball, she let me stay at her house when I needed a place for the weekend, and she extended love and grace to me in a way I had never seen. She even slept on a hard floor and let me sleep in her bed when I stayed over. This is a woman who changed my life forever, a woman I would never forget. I have no idea where she is today, but Sally Soderman will one day meet me in heaven again and she will see all the fruit that came from her courage to step out and have faith for my life.    Michelle Borquez Thornton

(Robin) My Pastor says, "If the Lord has done something for you the least we can do is say so." Dear friend, what is the Lord doing for you?
(CeCe) He is teaching me forgiveness and humility. That His unwavering love is covering me even when my back is against the wall. There is a sense of protection. He is my friend and protector.   CeCe Morgan

I want to say a big thank you to all the special people who have stopped in to share their heart with us. It is because of these people that my walk is sweeter. It is so hard to just choose one question from each interview. God is doing a work in the lives of His people. Those who are willing vessels are making a difference in His kingdom. Thank you all for helping to mold this girl and teach me how to walk in faith in light of all the struggles we face daily. It would be so easy to give up on some days. You know those days. Those that knock you down and seem to drag you for miles. You are a source of encouragement and your words words are impacting lives of all those you are reaching out to. I cannot wait to see what is to come. From my interview with Lisa Buffaloe God began a work in my heart. CeCe has challenged me to be a missionary right where I am and to answer God's call. I am excited to see how God will continue to bless through a simple Friday chat. Blessings sweet friends.


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