Deny No More

And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind:
‘Before the rooster crows twice,
you will deny three times that you even know me.’
And he broke down and wept.
Mark 14:72 NLT

I must admit, I’m certain I’ve read this while inserting an eye-roll. Because he had been warned, face-to-face, hours before. Peter had insisted he would do no such thing, and yet, well we know what happened.

Maybe I’m the only one, but I’ve often wondered how the disciples (Peter especially since he was a bit favored) could have messed up as much as they did. I mean, they were able to look into the face of God. Doesn’t that make it easier to believe?!? (John 20:29 comes to mind)

The story of Peter’s betrayal was the last thing I read before bed the other night. And by the time the rooster of my husband’s alarm rang the next morning, I knew.

I’ve done it, too.
In fact, I’ve denied Him more than three times.
I’m so ashamed…

  • When I argue and show God excuses as to why it wouldn’t be a good idea to do what He’s asked of me, I deny Him.
  • When I post something about Him on my personal Facebook page and make it visible to only my “church friends,” I deny knowing Him.
  • When I sat in the lunchroom and overheard conversations with a plethora of open opportunities to share my faith, I betrayed Him.
  • I haven’t even told all of my acquaintances I blog about Him.  Haven’t even given them a chance to respond.

I have never felt more like Peter. Why, I make him look good. For as far as we know, he never made the same mistake again. And he was facing death. Not by dying of embarrassment like myself, no. Actual we’re-going-to-need-another-cross kind of death.

Father, I’m here again, bending low, begging for your forgiveness.
And I’m asking You to provide the strength
and courage I need to proclaim You boldly.

In fact, I’m ready to begin.

I’m getting rid of my “church friends” list on Facebook. But I will continue to post those statuses. And as soon as I figure out a way to not look spammy, I will let my entire friend list know I write this little blog called Simplystriving. I’ll let them know I’m not perfect, but am striving to live the way He made me to be.

And for you, my dear readers, whom I cherish. I beg of your forgiveness, too. Please know I will strive to share things God has asked me to that I’ve previously shrugged off. Because no worldly embarrassment compares to the realization that I’ve denied Him.

When I say I’m ready to be used by Him during my morning prayer time, I’m going to add the word “fully.” Completely. All of me is what I will offer. No reservations. Nothing off-limits. No change backs.

How about you? Have you denied Him? How do you avoid being a Peter? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


NOTE: This post is an addition to what God has shown me during my personal Lenten journey this year. You can catch up on my other posts HERE.

FOR MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS: WELCOME! Yes, it’s me. I’m so sorry it’s taken me 5 months to invite you here. Please let me know you stopped by so I can share what’s on my heart with you.

Linking with:

And so I Write

click for source:

His baby blue eyes were first to give it away. As he drew back in anticipated regret, I knew. My boy had it, too. I breathed in deep as I witnessed a trait being passed down. And struggled to exhale while realizing he would possibly need to fight this through every season of life.

This fear of failure. This yearning for perfection. This tendency to doubt. It doesn’t matter what you call it, they’re all the same to me.

They all hold you back.

Instinctively I reached for imaginary gloves. What else is a mom to do when she sees something that could hold her child back from his greatest achievements? I began to swing. Throwing punches of encouragement in hopes of knocking this roadblock down.

With my last swing I found myself saying, “With God, all things are possible” and that’s when I felt the blow. Just below the ribs. The Holy Spirit seems to get me in that sweet spot every time.

It blew me back. I wasn’t sure where I was struggling with this at first. But He used the Book of Job as my mirror. For while reading it I discovered what God had been trying to show me:

That I was guilty of what Job was found guilty of. I had my eyes on the issue, not the answer. I was focused on my weakness, not His strength. I was quick to give answers, excuses, defend my position, give up, not ask for help. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, it all means the same.

I had put God in a box. I had confined Him.
Held Him back from working through me.

Once again, my eyes were on me and not where they should be.

I needed to take action and begin erasing proof of my doubts. My self-proclaimed limitations. That which held God back.

The part where I mention I’m not a writer on my welcome page? It’s gone.

You see, that wasn’t for me to proclaim. It seems God has other plans. For He’s asked me to write what I’m striving for. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure for whom. I’m not sure who’s reading, but I am sure it’s happening. I’m writing them down. One-by-one.

And who knows how He’ll use me through this outlet. Maybe I’m the only one that needs to hear these words I find within. To Him, I know that’s enough. I know He’d go to these great lengths just to get closer to me. He pursues me like that. Oh how He loves…

So I’m going to strive to get out-of-the-way. No more limiting what He can do through me. No more clinging to the comforts of doubt.  No more proclaiming that which He has not made me yet.

Instead, I will write. I will share what I’m striving for in hopes I bring Him glory. And if others find me along the way and want to join me on this journey, praise God! If we are striving for common goals and can encourage each other, praise God! If these words are intended for me alone, praise God! For it doesn’t matter how you look at it:

He’s worthy of praise.

He’s worth getting out of my comfort zone for.

It’s worth proclaiming that which I can only do through Him.

Friends, God made me a writer.

How about you? What has God done through you lately? How do you stop yourself from putting God in a box? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


I’m linking to:

Layers Exposed

It came slow. Steady. The voice was small at first. Gradual. I would hear it faintly through reading His Word. In-between my husband’s sentences. Through my toddler’s eyes. During prayer. In a blog post here and there. Not one resource of mine did God leave out. He used them all to speak to me. To answer my prayer and show me what I needed to lay down at the cross this year.

And I’ll never forget that moment. The instant I realized I was standing in front of Him fully exposed. Completely ashamed of these layers revealed. The ones I had concealed so well I’d forgotten I had them.

Having my sinful-self exposed to His light stung. I wanted nothing more than to run to a dark corner and hide. Pick up my comfortable layers and pretend this never happened.

But it was what I had asked for. I wanted Him to help me become less so He could fill more of me. It wasn’t until now, however, that I realized how much less I needed to become. And when He asked me to let go I began to see how self-absorbed I was. How much I cling to things familiar. Easy. Painless.

He’s right, though.
I have broken one of the Ten Commandments.
I might have broken two.


The awakening happened in stages. First with reading His Word. The small observation I couldn’t get out of my head. The same one I finally blogged a question about. The very question my sweet friend, Dolly, answered in comments.

It was my toddler God used to finally open my eyes. When my boy asked me what “the day of rest” meant and why I didn’t have to do it, I knew.

I’m no better than the Israelites. I’ve broken the Sabbath.

God has said it time and time again —
nothing is so important we have to do it 7 days.
God has asked time and time again —
would we please take one day out of our lives and focus on Him?
(Exodus 20:8-11)

Father, forgive me, I know not what I do…
No, that’s not true. I didn’t know because I wasn’t looking.

I wasn’t abiding by this Commandment because it was easier. It’s convenient to spread out my cleaning duties into 7 days. Sure I spend Sundays with my family. At a more relaxed pace. Yes I worship Jehovah with a church family. But I still spend my free time at the computer instead of with Him. I still busy myself with miscellaneous tasks on my ever-growing to-do list. Seven days a week.

Lord, I hear You now. Jesus, I’m so sorry this sin was put on You. I am bending low, asking for grace once again.

This is what I will do:
I will intentionally take a day off each week. Off of Social Media. Blogging. Cleaning. Running Errands.

And spend it with my Redeemer and family instead.

But God didn’t stop there. He wasn’t done showing me layers I needed to peel back.

I will also pick a day each week to refrain from eating wheat and sweets — my two biggest crutches. And will pray I learn the manna lesson as a result. (I expanded on this some in another post.)

And I won’t stop at Easter.
These old habits are being left at the cross.
This will become my lifestyle.

Friends, this is only the beginning. The introduction to what God has shown me on my Lenten Journey. And I must confess I didn’t want to post it. I’m not used to being so raw to new friends, old family, people I don’t even know.

But God used Jennifer and this profound post. God used my friend Dolly and her reply. To speak to my calloused heart and encourage me to get over myself.

If it’s okay with you, I plan on revealing a few more things He’s shown me. Layers I need to peel. With His help, I’ll be able to stand at the cross this Easter unashamed, shining in grace. Newly molded.

How about you? What has God been showing you as of late? What layers are you peeling back? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


It’s my first time linking up to:

and am happy to be back at:

Where this week’s topic is a heart healing moment.
Yes. this was one of mine…

Along with:

Confessions of a Stubborn Gal

Confession: I had a post ready to go this morning. It was an “about me” post. And late at night I lost the nerve and cancelled it as I was certain no one would want to read anything about me in that type of format. I even deleted it. That’s how sure I was. Then my friend, Barbie, made me feel differently this morning.

Yesterday, I read something I cannot get out of my head. The post was from TheGypsyMama — you can find it HERE. Lisa-Jo mentioned a variety of things she doesn’t do well and a number of things she does brilliantly. It resonated with me particularly because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to come up with that many things I do well.

And that bothers me as there has to be plenty of things I do exceedingly well. For I know my Creator didn’t hold back while making me.

So, here I am. Forcing myself to give it a try. Will you show me some grace as I bare some confessions with you?



I tend to get in the way of my own successes. I’m stubborn like that.

I tend to assume I know what’s best most of the time. I’m naïve like that.

I tend to delay my reactions to an argument or a clear opportunity sometimes until it’s too late. I’m slow like that.

I tend to procrastinate at doing things I don’t enjoy. I’m lazy like that.

Even though I know His plan is always best, I still argue with God. I’m selfish like that.

Mud puddle splashing, wet sandbox playing, and messy crafting all make my face twitch. But I don’t let that stop my son’s enjoyment of them. I’m determined like that.

Although I struggle with patience, praying for it every morning manages to make me succeed at keeping it. I know where my help comes from. And I’m not afraid to ask for something like that.

My children and husband know I love them. I tell and show them multiple times every day. I’m dedicated like that.

When I tell my husband I could live anywhere God takes us and not complain, I mean it. I can make any house feel like home. I’m not afraid of change. I enjoy a challenge like that.

I have no trouble finding the positive side of a situation or potential in anyone. I’m gifted like that.

Forgiveness comes easy for me as I’m blessed by grace every day and know it. I’m a sinner like that.

I can read my son like a book. With each expression clearly bookmarked. I’ve invested my time like that.

Disciplining is extremely difficult for me (I’d rather just forgive). But I make sure to take the proper opportunities. No matter how much it hurts me. I can love like that.

If I tell you I’m going to pray for you, I do. More than once. I’m sincere like that.

I can build a train track with the best of them. My son is always amazed when I make his curvy drawing come to life. It’s a puzzle challenge for me and I enjoy things like that.

Stopping everything to play with my child is something I make sure to do every day. Not because I’m procrastinating, but because I know a day will come when that won’t be an option. I’m aware of reality like that.


Talking about myself does not come easy for me. But I’m striving to make sure that doesn’t interfere with me being transparent with you. I appreciate you like that.


We both made it through! Thank you for allowing me to share but a glimmer of me–the stubborn gal.

How about you? What are you good at? I know you have plenty. I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,