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I’ve Moved!

Hello everyone!  Thank you so much for being faithful followers of my blog!  This has been a great start for me, but last Christmas my husband bought me the perfect gift; a blog package from a web designer.  My new website is heathermurdock.com.

I will still be sharing my personal journey with you; only the name has changed!

Remember, no matter where you have been, there is hope…

Join me!

My BFF

Heather Murdock's blogLet me tell you about my best friend.  He is so incredibly loving!  He makes me happy just being around Him.  He doesn’t have to actually do anything; just knowing He’s there makes me feel special.  He’s the one I run to when I’m weak.  He’s the one I run to with my good news. He’s the one I vent to when I’m overwhelmed and rattled.  I never feel like I’m taking too much of His time.  He’s always there, with arms outstretched.

Oh, and He gives the BEST advice!  Sometimes it’s hard to take, but I know He always has my best interest at heart.  He’s really a big picture thinker and knows exactly how to put things into perspective.  His insights are uncanny!

Patience is one of His strengths.  I’m sure He must shake his head at me sometimes, though.  There He is with His amazing wisdom, and there I am digging my heels in.  It must be quite a sight to behold!  But do you know what I love?  I can argue with Him and He doesn’t hold it against me.  In fact, I think He enjoys it.  At least then we are heart to heart. I feel like He knows me better than I know myself.  He sees me differently than anyone else ever has. He makes me want to make Him proud.

One of the things I really respect about Him is that He is so honest.  He expects complete honesty from me, too.  It’s like He can see right through me.   There have been times when I haven’t been honest with Him.  He just stares at me and waits for me to tell the truth.  I can feel His loving, firm presence nudging me, encouraging me, forgiving me.

He wants more for me than I could ever imagine for myself!  He actually has a plan to help me get there!  If only I would follow His lead more often!  I do trust Him completely.  I guess I just like my own way too.  The thing is, when we’re in sync, we are unstoppable!  When I let Him take the wheel, we go places that I never even dreamed!  When I humble myself to His plan, His wisdom, His character He shows me a freedom I’ve never known. 

One of the greatest things about my best friend is that loving Him with my whole heart empowers me to love others the way He does.  I can’t really explain it, but He makes me better at love.  His goodness fills me up and overflows to those around me.  I get to see people the way He does.  He sees what’s true. I don’t have to pretend with Him.  He knows I’m not perfect, but loves me anyway.

I know I can never be just like Him; He’s one of a kind, that’s for sure!  I’d like you to meet Him.  His name is God.  He wants to be  your best friend too!

Click here to watch my Christian talk show, Love, Hope and Faith as I share my testimony and talk about how intimacy with God changed my life.

Click here to watch Love, Hope and Faith as we discuss the restoration of the marriage and family through God.

Click here to watch Love, Hope and Faith as we talk about the grief process and how Jesus can use our grief to help others.

I’m Not Qualified!

Heather Murdock's blogRecently God gave me a beautiful opportunity to work for His Kingdom.  I was asked by a women’s ministry in a nearby town to be the guest speaker at a  weekend retreat in Lake Tahoe. I have written about my struggle to feel worthy when God gives me an opportunity, but I’m still here working on absorbing God’s grace.  I have to admit I feel so unqualifiedI mean I’ve only been a Christian for a few years!

Will I disappoint them?  Do they think I’m more accomplished than I am? Why me?

When I first became a believer I was almost literally on fire!  God performed so many amazing wonders in my heart.  The transformation was remarkable!  He cleansed the old hurts and replaced them with His redeeming love.  Nothing in my life had changed, but I had changed.  I wanted to shout from the rooftops, and practically did!  I just knew that I would spend the rest of my life telling people about Him.  I felt that nothing was impossible in Christ, which is confirmed as a promise in the Bible.  I knew the changes inside me had very little to do with me and everything to do with Him.

Imagine my surprise when a few people told me that I should slow down and start learning more before bounding ahead.  I needed to mature a bit.  I was taken aback, but not defeated because I knew that God inside me wasn’t!  I knew that God had plans to use me. However, as time passed by, I did start to feel more more self conscience about my passion.  This was an easy burden for me to pick up since worrying about the opinions of others had always been an issue.  I began to downplay the things God was doing in my life. I worried that people might think…well I wasn’t sure what they would think but I worried about it.

God has been showing me lately that He doesn’t just want to use my hurts to reach others, but He wants to use my strengths. He knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb with a plan and a purpose.  He knew what He was doing; He was intentional.  It’s time to stop making it about me.  I’m not qualified, but He is!

Many people would say I’m still on fire.  But I pray that my life is SO filled with the Holy Spirit that people look at my life and say “Wow, that’s God!” That’s what Francis Chan says in his book “Forgotten God.”  I pray that people see Jesus through me, supernaturally, and know it has nothing to do with me. Amen!

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Click here to catch the latest episode of my show Love, Hope and Faith.  My guest, Mondo Mariscal and I discuss spiritual gifts.  Plus Mondo performs some original music…so beautiful!

Over the Moon

Heather Murdock's blogHere I sit contemplating the vast power of God, the limitlessness of His character, and the depth of His perfect love. He is the Creator of ALL we know and don’t know.  He hung the moon in the sky and tossed the stars like diamonds into the velvet night.  He made the oceans, the mountains, and the rivers like ribbon in between.  The parched beauty of the desert is just another demonstration of His creativity.  Think of all the worlds within our world that exist to support all of His creatures.  He truly created a masterpiece!

My family and I sometimes lay on our backs on our front lawn and look up into the night.  We are literally giddy as we gaze with wonder at all we see. We laugh and talk over each other as we point out the twinkling points of light.  Then suddenly, there are no more words and we just simply stare.

I lay there with a smile on my lips, a sureness in my heart, and a song in my soul. This Creator knows me!  He knows me intimately.  We talk every single day, many times a day!  He’s never too busy to take my calls.  He’s never out of the office.  He’s never irritated with my same old problems. He’s waiting with eager expectancy for me to call on Him.  He’s like an excited Dad whose child is returning after being away at school. He’s sitting on the porch counting each minute as it passes, waiting until they can be together again.

Not only are we constant companions, but He made me!  He made you too! He made each one of us for a specific plan and purpose.  He knows the hairs on our heads, the hopes in our hearts, and choices we will make.  His heart’s desire is that we will recognize Him as our Dad and come to Him with complete dependency. He can’t wait to share in our lives and take us beyond our wildest dreams! His love is for everyone!  All we have to do is take hold of His hand.  All we have to do is receive His gift and never let go!

What are you waiting for?

1 You have searched me, LORD, 

   and you know me. 
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; 
   you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; 
   you are familiar with all my ways. 
4 Before a word is on my tongue 
   you, LORD, know it completely. 
5 You hem me in behind and before, 
   and you lay your hand upon me. 
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
   too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? 
   Where can I flee from your presence? 
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
   if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
10 even there your hand will guide me, 
   your right hand will hold me fast. 
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 
   and the light become night around me,” 
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
   the night will shine like the day, 
   for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being; 
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful, 
   I know that full well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from you 
   when I was made in the secret place, 
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be. 
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! 
   How vast is the sum of them! 
18 Were I to count them, 
   they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
   when I awake, I am still with you.  Psalm 139:1-18

Attitude of Gratitude

Heather Murdock's blogI am filled with gratitude this Christmas season.  I am also reminded that gratitude should live in my every thought, not just in a season.

On Thanksgiving day I put out a basket of blank index cards and asked family members to write something they were thankful for on each one.  I encouraged them to use as many cards as they wanted.  We used almost the entire box! After dinner, we pulled each one out and read them aloud.  It was amazing to hear all of the things we’re thankful for; everything from our cat’s healing booty (he got in a cat fight) to our love of each other.  I think my husband actually wrote the most cards, and my favorite was the one that read, “I’m grateful for what I have, instead of worried about what I don’t have.”

We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others and “keeping up with the Joneses.”  We falsely think that if we had that new car, new shoes, or new job that we would be happy.  The funny thing is, I’ve had those things, and still wasn’t happy.  I was constantly looking over the horizon for the next thing to fill the void.  The one consistency in each accomplishment was me.  I was still there in each job, each car, and each pair of shoes. I was broken on the inside, so what made me think an item or object, or person for that matter, would make me happy?

My relationship with Jesus is what brought me true, deep joy.  Each day I pray for more closeness with Him.  He is showing me that one path to that closeness is gratitude.  A thankful attitude opens windows of  heaven and enables me to see into His heart.  When I’m grateful, I feel really connected to Him, and that fills me further with joy and peace.

Gratitude is not something you can fake.  If you don’t feel gratitude, I encourage you to ask Him to fill your heart with thanksgiving.  I encourage you to pray for new eyes that will see all the blessings He has poured into your life.  Think of all the wondrous blessings, even small ones, He provided just for you.  Make a list of all those things and read it often; even share it with a family member or friend. This practice will open up your awareness of Him and His provision for your life.

One of the best gifts we can give our children is to teach them this truth. This year give them the gift you can’t put under the tree, but that keeps on giving.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”  Colossians 3:15-16

Check out my show Love, Hope and Faith this week as I interview fitness guru, Alyshia Davis Drake.  She shares how her faith in her Savior and her attitude of thankfulness empowered her to lose over 130 pounds!  Click here.

Great Expectations

Heather Murdock's blog    In my last post I wrote about the challenge of balancing faith, family and  career. It’s not easy.  I recently re-entered the workforce full time, and have struggled with keeping my peace in the midst of this juggling act. I have found myself bringing  my work home with me, at least in my mind.  As a woman, it’s easy to multitask, and that can be a benefit, but it can also be a huge pitfall.  I find myself multitasking when I should be present in the moment God has given me.

Before I was a believer, I was a performer.  I performed in my job, in my community, and in my home.  Not only did I perform, but I expected my family to do the same thing. I expected them to live up to my expectations.  In my job I led a team and was responsible for their accomplishments. It was very hard for me to turn  that drive off when I got home.  At the end of a long day, I was mentally exhausted, and would walk in the door and notice all the things that didn’t live up to my expectations.

At the heart of my performance was the consuming, and well hidden, need for love and approval.  When I turned my life over to God a few years ago, that need was fulfilled.  As His love and grace poured into my soul, I was filled with a peace and joy I had never known.  The performer in me gave way to a new wholeness based in my identity in Jesus.  Sure, I still sometimes struggle with this tendency, but that keeps me seeking a deeper relationship with Him.

Here I am back at work, once again leading a team. Once again meeting expectations.  Once again noticing all the unmet expectations…

But wait, this time it’s different. I’m not alone and God always provides a way out.  He is right by my side, showering me with His grace.  The same grace He gives me, He encourages me to give to myself and others.  He is teaching me that expectations lead to disappointment.  Grace is a beautiful thing.

Every night on the way home from work, I pray that He remove the remnants of the day from my thoughts.  I ask Him to fill me with His love, patience, and contentment so that I can be completely present in the moments to come with my family. I ask Him to empower me to find joy, instead of fault.  We are making great progress, but who’s counting?

The performance is over, the curtain has been called, and the audience has gone home.  There He is waiting for me; His arms outstretched to receive me, not because of how I performed, but because of who He is.  Now it’s just me and Him as He leads me one day at a time.

He’s there for you too, waiting to receive you with open arms.  Go, He’s calling you by name…

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19

Balancing Act

Heather Murdock's blogI have missed you my friend.  Has it really been nearly a month since our last encounter?  I owe you an apology for using you only for practical purposes lately. Oh how I’ve longed for our deep and meaningful conversations!

Yes, I’m referring to my writing.  I typically write a blog post once a week, but have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to even think about writing, much less to actually write! Wait, isn’t that what everybody says about everything?  Aren’t we all just too busy?

God has blessed our family recently with a new job for me.  It’s a wonderful position with a lot of potential and opportunity.  It’s nothing I planned, it just “fell into my lap,” which is code for “God really came through!”

I spent the majority of my thirties as a working mom.  I thought I pulled off a pretty good balancing act.   You would have thought that with each promotion I felt more fulfilled.  In some ways I did, but deep inside my heart I felt empty and dark.  I craved purpose in my life.  My drive to succeed was fueled by an aching for approval and recognition.

I remember saying I could never be a stay at home mom, nor would I want to be.  “I need to have my own identity” I would fiercely proclaim.  All the while, the pangs of mother guilt continued to plague me.

Sometimes in life, change has to be forced on you.  I was laid off from a career I spent eight years building.  This came a year after my husband was laid off from a fifteen year career in the same company.  But wait, there’s more…a year after I was laid off, he was laid off again.  That makes three lay offs in three  years.

Even though this seemed to be a series of unfortunate events, it was really a significant turning point that changed my life. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life?

I wasn’t a Christian when I lost my job.  I was so hungry for real meaning and healing, but didn’t know where to find it.   God was there, waiting for me to reach out to Him.  It took an identity crisis for me to get it.

You probably know the rest of my story, or at least many parts of it if you have been following my blog. God is doing a mighty work in me!  He is dramatically changing who I am.  I’m no longer defined by my accomplishments, failures, looks, image or past. I’m saved by my faith in Jesus, and defined by God’s love and purpose for my life.

So, getting back to my new job.  I’ve spent the past three years growing. Growing in my relationship with Jesus. Growing as a wife. Growing as a mom. Growing as a disciple. Growing as a leader. When I was offered the promotion, I considered turning it down.  Thoughts of the old life tumbled in my brain; the racing from one thing to the next, the words “hurry up” never far from my lips. I was afraid I would fall into old habits. Thank the Lord, I didn’t have to take these thoughts too far.  He offered me a flex schedule.

I’m back in the workforce, but this time I know my priorities.  God and family first!  I’m not willing to sacrifice who and what I was made for.  I’m taking it one step at a time and letting God lead me.  I pray I don’t get lured into the familiar trap of busyness.  The enemy loves to see us overwhelmed with our schedules.

I encourage you to stop and listen; He is there waiting to give you His peace.

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:14

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