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Thus far the Lord has helped us

Originally published Friday, 28 February 2014.

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.' So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines" (1 Samuel 7:12-13, NIV).

I would like to introduce you to #TheStoneCollective.

My friend Sarah Francis Martin is launching The Stone Collective, a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regularly practice in the art of worship via our creativity.

I love this! Art is such an amazing way to glorify God. If you want to join us, create your own stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. If you're not a blogger you can simply snap a pic and post it on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #TheStoneCollective. Feel free to view other people's stones here: http://liveitoutblog.com/category/the-stone-collective/.

To kick off this month's Stone Collective, I am posting a picture of my new #explore necklace that has my #OneWord365. 

To say the past five months have been hard (and rewarding) is an understatement. I am grateful the Lord has helped me to explore new dreams all the while learning how to dare greatly.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer or deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly" (Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic).

I found that quote from reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. That's one of the reasons why I chose explore as my word for the year. I want to dare greatly without fear of shame or exposure. I also don't want to fear what happens when God actually does fulfill new dreams.

I am also reading Restless by Jennie Allen and I read something most interesting pertaining to this topic. She shared a quote from Larry King about his interview with Daniel Radcliffe about the final Harry Potter movie. I just love his response because I feel this is the crux of what you and I need to remember:

"I always knew that anyone who was given this role would have the same fame. It was never about me. It was about this franchise. I was simply a part of something bigger."

Wow. Just wow.

I love that this points us back to Christ. We are all a part of His Kingdom. If God chooses to use me or use you, we should simply thank God for using the gifts He gave us.

It's not about me.

It was never about us. It was always about God and what He's done for us. That's why I decided to update my list of guest bloggers at Devotional Diva. Can you believe I've had the pleasure of sharing over 100 posts just from women alone? I decided to make a post entitled the top 100 Christian women blogs today to celebrate being a part of something much bigger! You can view the list here. Also, this week I wrote two articles that were not posted on my blog that I wanted to share with you that I hope can encourage you greatly! + My Spirit of Fear on IdentityRenewed.com + He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not on Ungrind.org