Tag Archives: grace

dear Vanessa ~ Who am I?


who am i

Image of VanessaDear Vanessa,

I don’t know who I am anymore.  I am a mom, who loves her children dearly and gives her everything to them.  I am a wife who supports, and loves her husband.  I am a listener who hears the worries, concerns of friends and family.  But who am I really?   I feel so lost… What is left for just me?   I wonder sometimes if others feel the same way.




Dearest Annie,

I believe others are exactly in the same place as you are right now.  Others have gone through this season in their lives, and some have yet to.    You are not alone – that much is for sure!

About three years ago I was going through a similar season.   I sat back one day, and thought – what makes me, “me”.   I know at the time I felt empty.  Strange, considering all of the people I supported and loved, but true.  I had lost some of the core elements that made me feel at peace in my day.  This is when the excavation process began.   For me, tragedy triggered the excavation process, and I am sure for most there is an event that triggers this thought process.    Sometimes these things happen so that we can rediscover who we are and slow down and reflect on what may be missing.

There is nothing wrong with feeling that something is “missing” in our lives when everything appears to be perfect.   This is a trigger that is telling you, it is time for the excavation process!   So although you may be feeling bummed out right now, the truth is you are about to embark on a soul journey towards authenticity!

When you look back on your life, you likely could see a theme.   I want you to grab a big piece of paper, pull out some magazines, and jot a timeline in your life.

  1.  Jot down some of the memorable moments from childhood into your teen years (when you were dependent on your family and no one depended on you ~ the individualist stage).

  2. Also look at the moments where you felt the most energized what would you do as a child/teen to break away from everyone else, what made you feel good about your self-identity?  What formed who you are? (write it all down – this is about YOU!!!)

  3. Then I want you to take a variety of magazines, and cut anything out of it that warms your heart, makes you feel good, or anything you are drawn to.   Paste it around your timeline.

  4. Now take a step back, observe….. You are seeing you!!! 

I went through a similar process, I have always been drawn to rainbows, colors, music, and writing.   I love to be creative, and found that I forgot that… I also love love love helping others, helping them see what is right in front of them – so I had to do something that could combine all elements.   This triggered a new found love for writing and blogging.    My talents were always there, but not used in the way I felt like I could say – this is for me…  I felt there wasn’t time, others needed me or I was tired.  Yes the excuses are easy to believe aren’t they?

The key is my friend, they are simply excuses.  The enemy wants us to believe these things so that we will not use the talents that we have built in our lives for ourselves and for good.     When we take the time for ourselves and use our gifts, we feel full.

I challenge you my friend, can you take 1-2 hours a week for yourself?  Do it!  Start it now J   Maybe you were a runner, swimmer, a musician, a painter, a cook…. The list can go on.  Start today and discover your authentic self – she loves you and is just waiting for you to tap her on the shoulder again.

Nurture you!  It is ok, and you will then be amazed at how everything else – being the mom, daughter, wife, sister and friend will flow with ease.  Once you do this, God will be sitting back smiling and saying – that is the daughter I know J

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NIV)


Dear Lord God,

I pray for you to help us discover who we are, right where we are.  Help us to see our gifts and talents you have given to each one of us for good.  Help us to feel full and abundant as this is the life you promised us.  We look to you to lead us to where we need to be.  Thank-you Father.

I pray for this in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.


May you be blessed beautiful lady,


If you have a question for Vanessa please email her at [email protected]

You can also read Vanessa’s personal blog and journey at www.nesschesters.wordpress.com

Who’s Side Are You On?


“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14


ungluedToday is the first discussion day for our new bible study: “Un-Glued” by Lysa Terkeurst. By now, if you are doing this study with us, you should have already watched the movie and have gone through the discussion questions in the book. We will use the comment section to respond to the questions that I will list at the end of this post.  But first, a review of the first lesson:


In the 5th chapter of the book of Joshua, he encountered an angel on his way to the wall of Jericho, and not just any angel but the commander of God’s army, not knowing at first who he was, he asked him who’s side the angel was on….his or his enemies. The angel replies “neither” leaving Joshua with a very big question to answer in his heart: Whose side am I on?

This is a question that I believe we all must ask ourselves. Are we on God’s side or not, and if we are, why don’t we act like it? The psalmist in 19:14 declares that he desires nothing more than his thoughts and words are pleasing to God. Everything that comes out of his mouth, every idea he entertains in his head. He wants to please his Father.


I wonder if there are times that God is not pleased with things that we say, thoughts that we have. For me, I’m sure that disappointment is a daily occurrence. While I am getting better at holding my tongue, it doesn’t mean that my thoughts haven’t reacted like a runaway freight train! It is a constant daily struggle to be the good daughter. There are days that I make progress, and then others when I seem to be walking backwards, erasing any improvement that I may have made.


The good news is that in this study, our goal isn’t to be perfect, it is to make imperfect progress.  Isn’t that great? This I can do…. I’m imperfect!  Check! Got that one wrapped up!  Seriously, we need to be realistic and know that there will be times that we will fall back or fail miserably, but God is right there with us, passing out grace.


So, let’s start a discussion. We have 4 discussion questions, which I will list below. Consider your responses and write them in a journal if you like (or your study guide if you purchased one) Then leave a comment with your response to one or all of them, or give your viewpoint based on the review above if you are not following in the book.  I will respond to all comments, we could even get a discussion going if you like!


  1. Which of the following animals describes how you respond in an “un-glued” situation?
    1. Wounded bear: I am hurt and unpredictable, so watch out
    2. Agitated skunk: I may or may not creat a stink, but the threat is always there
    3. Deceptive peacock: who me? I’m not upset. Look at my pretty feathers.
    4. Crouching tiger: I may not attack now, but I will strike back when you least expect it.
    5. Screech owl: Prepare for a tirade!
    6. Barricading beaver: No time to say what I’m really feeling. I’m too busy building a wall between us.
  2. Imperfect progress is slow steps of change wrapped in grace. When you think

about trying to make a change, what is your first response to the challenge?

  1. In Joshua 5:13-15, the angel basically says, “I’m not here to take sides, I’m here to take over.” How do you think Joshua’s perspective changed from here on out? How would it change yours in the battles that you face? What questions would you ask, after your perspective changed?
  2. When we are faced with impossible situations, how can we make sure that we are positioned on God’s side? How would you characterize your words and thoughts when you are in those situations? (I’m a runaway train – I don’t think before I spew!) How can God rescue us from ourselves in these situations?


Let the discussion begin!


If you haven’t downloaded my free e-book yet you can get it here: Have yourself a Mary little Christmas