Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beautiful Forever Experience

Beautiful Forever Experience

As many of you may or may not know, I recently finished my first book titled; “Beautiful Forever” and I sent it to the Women of Faith writing contest.  I have been asked to share that experience with you and this might also help you understand why I haven’t written anything for the blog in quite some time.  The experience itself was challenging, consuming, and rewarding.

            The experience was challenging because when I committed to finishing the book I only had the introduction and a small part of chapter one finished.  The deadline for submission to the contest was about two months from the commitment date.  Then the whole family got sick over Christmas break…twice. This was a time when I intended to get a good chunk of writing done.  When God calls us to do something he will give us what is necessary to accomplish that goal, even if it seems impossible!  So I spent the whole month of January writing every chance that I got and most of those chances came late at night when the kids and husband were asleep.  January became a month of little sleep and always a messy house that I had to make myself let go of!  Since the book is based around the concept of transformation as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, I had to do some research regarding caterpillars and butterflies.  This posed a challenge to me because I’m not a huge fan of research and the contest rules did not give clear directions on how things needed to be cited or if that was even necessary.  I submitted citations just in case.

            The experience of writing “Beautiful Forever” was consuming because as you just read above, I was consumed with the goal of finishing the book on time.  It consumed any extra time, energy, and thoughts that I had to give to it, although, the majority of why it was consuming was because of the scope of my experiences that went into the book; which were expanded over the last ten years or so.   Originally, I thought most of the message from the book would come from things that I had learned while Josh was in Afghanistan but as I got further along, I realized this was a message that I had been learning since I gave my life over to Christ ten years ago.  This is a message that consumes my entire being, my thoughts, words, actions and is very near and dear to my heart.  I believe if everyone and specifically women (and their daughters) would take this message of great LOVE, WORTH and VALUE to consume their souls with this truth then we would have a world that is free to love self and others without fear.  Being human poses a challenge sometime and I do get off track and forget this truth, but gratefully since Christ consumes my life it doesn’t take long before He reroutes me back to Him and the truth that sets me free.

            Writing “Beautiful Forever” was rewarding!!  Of course it was because I love to write, because when I put things down on paper whether in my journal or on this computer, it then becomes real, it becomes tangible.  “Beautiful Forever” isn’t just an idea that I came up with because it sounded good.  It is real to me because I have lived it.  I have been the one who hated me and everything about me before meeting Christ.  I had so many issues like anger, fear, comparison issues, perfectionist, insecurities, control, and oh, what? You want me to choose forgiveness Lord?  What?  Are you sure, that I have to forgive somebody really??  Oh, why me?!  Yep, been there done that…and sometimes I still struggle depending on the issue, after all…yes, I’m still human.  This has also been a rewarding experience because I was able to share some of the true stories that God has done in my life and tell about His amazing grace.  It was very rewarding to see my children and husband step up with helping around the house also, that is always worthy of some praise!  J  Most importantly this experience was rewarding because it was something that I promised to finish for myself but also for my Immanuel.  Understanding that I no longer have to live my life to please others and my focus is on pleasing Christ is such a freeing lesson.  Being consumed with God’s love is sometimes challenging because it might not make sense to others but it is also the most rewarding love that ever will be.


Sara M. Podorski        

   ***For anyone who is curious…I won’t know results of the contest until end of March or beginning of April but even if I don’t win anything, I still have completed an awesome goal and will probably go through with publishing on my own, God willing of course!




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Time! Christmas Time!
Enough said in the title. J  When our family first came to Capital City Christian Church, nine years ago, I had many questions.  Some of those questions were centered on Christmas and why we celebrate this special birth.  All births are special right?  Of course they are! We are about to celebrate the birthday of our oldest child, Ethan and my Grandma’s birthday was on Christmas Eve, both are very special  but what is different about  the birth of Jesus? 

Growing up there wasn’t too much emphasis on the spiritual reasons to celebrate Christmas; it was more about food, gifts, Santa Claus and maybe family.  As we began to learn more about Christ, it was amazing to realize what the birth of Jesus really means. It means your life in Christ begins with Jesus’s birth! It means…Freedom!!!  Freedom in Christ!!  This is a concept that is often misunderstood but Christ himself says, “I have come, that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).   Freedom is based on choices as Paul teaches in Galatians.  Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Later on in verse six, the Word states, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  So the birth of Jesus was and still is a deep, deep, expression of love which helps us to see our freedom in Christ because He chose to come to earth for us, because He chose to be born as ‘the least of these’, because He chose to experience life as we do and because later on He chose death on the cross.  Jesus chose love, service, and sacrifice all throughout His life beginning with His birth. Freedom in Christ means that we can choose to receive that love, service, and sacrifice as a gift to bless us and share that free gift with others.
One thing that was very special in opening my eyes to the story behind Jesus’s birth is Journey to Bethlehem.  This is a major production that takes many willing bodies to give of their time, talents, service, and sacrifice, and much more.  It is the church body coming together to bless the community with the truth of Jesus’s birth and why we celebrate Christmas.  It is something that our family has come to cherish being a part of and want to thank all of you who volunteer in any way, and if you haven’t yet, please consider doing so…you will be mighty surprised at the blessing you receive as well!

I hope that his Christmas season will bless you and your families with a gift of freedom that you will cherish and carry with you into the New Year. 

Deuteronomy 30:19 & 20, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose LIFE, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.”




Monday, November 5, 2012

Women of Faith

November 1, 2012

        It is the eve before a few of us depart for Women of Faith in Kansas City….can I tell u that I’m PUMPED!!  (Just a little bit, LOL!)  Actually, life is so busy that I didn’t even connect into that excitement until just a little while ago.  The theme for WOF this year is …Celebrate What Matters!

Wow, can I relate to that in a big way!  If any of you heard my personal testimony on Sunday 10-28-12 @ the Luncheon, you will get my drift!  If not, I want to leave you with this text…Matthew 17:20 & 21.  Verse 20 is well known but verse 21 is overlooked way too often.  Verse 20 is the blessing, but verse 21 consists of the instruction before the blessing.    Yes, I expect you to go look up this verse and comment on here from your response and I will hopefully come home with some valuable insight in my notes from the conference and I will type u and have posted for you.  Have a great weekend all!!  J

                                                          With love from your sister in Christ,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heart Healthy

                                              Heart Healthy

How is your heart?  Is it healthy?  Do you make effort in your diet so that what you are eating is beneficial to your heart?  Or do you think you are still too young to be concerned about the health of your heart? Do you ever read nutrition labels on products before purchasing them?  A lot of information can be gathered in that short nutrition label and it will quickly tell the consumer if the product will be beneficial or harmful to them.  For instance, the very first ingredient listed is the majority of what is in the product.  So if the very first ingredient is sugar, it would be wise to put that product back on the shelf!  Or if the very first ingredient is water then it may be safe to read on.

What if I were to ask you about the health of your internal heart?  The internal heart consists of your mind, soul, thoughts, words, actions, and the very depth of our beings, ultimately our Spirit.   It is very natural for us to harbor dark, unhealthy feelings, thoughts, or emotions in our hearts because we are human.  Plainly put, it is just that, we are human.  Bottom line.  Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so human and sometimes I even wish others weren’t so human!  The good news is that in spite of our humanness, God still loves us and He still sent Jesus to be the final sacrifice for each one of us.  This free blessing of love, grace, and mercy should be what compels us to have love, grace, and mercy towards ourselves and others.

It isn’t always that easy though, is it?  It isn’t always so easy to have love, grace or mercy towards ourselves or others.  At the same time though God doesn’t want us to remain the same, he wants us to change.  He wants us to become more like him, more like his son Jesus.  He wants us to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8: 35-38).   Again, in our humanness this isn’t something we can do on our own.  We begin by asking God what is it that He wants to change within us.  What does He want to cleanse from our hearts?  We can humble ourselves and recognize that we need His help; we need the Holy Spirit to help us with something this big.  Because when you have been hurt by an abuser or unprotected by someone who was neglectful or even hurt by someone who was simply spreading gossip around about you, it is hard to let go of the ugly feelings those hurts leave behind.  So letting God change us or cleanse our hearts isn’t always for the other persons, it brings us to freedom because we don’t have to carry the heavy weight of those feelings any longer. Keeping our physical hearts healthy requires a regimen of eating well and consistent exercise.  So it is the same with keeping our spiritual hearts healthy.  We can release them to the hands of Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discernment and for help focusing on the things that God wants to grow in our hearts, while always looking to the Absolute Truth, God’s word for even more guidance, Philippians 4:8 and Galatians 5:22-26.  Don’t forget, to keep a physical heart healthy it requires a consistent plan and a consistent plan will also be required to keep your spiritual heart healthy!   J



Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Ripple Effect

                                                The Ripple Effect


                A few weeks ago I was taking the dog on his morning walk and noticed the clouds were beginning to form something quite awesome.  I’m not sure how many of you really pay attention to the heavens but we tend to see some neat things that sometimes also come with very significant messages.  This particular morning the heavens would set the stage again for God to speak something profound to my heart and just recently the same message has been brought to light again and again, through different events.  Therefore, I feel I need to share what God was showing me that day.

            As Louie, the dog, and I continued our walk the sun began to shine a bit brighter and the clouds began to thin out.  The clouds continued to thin looking as if they were forming layers but as I watched longer I noticed the clouds turning from layers into rings while leaving a complete circle in the middle of the rings.  They resembled ripples in water from the result of rocks being thrown into a lake or sometimes boats might leave a ripple effect in the water as they speed by.  Let’s remember that in reality, we are talking about the clouds not water but honestly this is the shape in which they formed in the sky.  I remember thinking, “Wow that is really cool God. Those clouds look like ripples in a lake.”  Have you ever noticed anything about ripples?  They have a trickling effect on one another; one ripple is not created without the one before it causing the ripple to be set in motion.  The center of the ripples also stays whole, as a whole circle.  The only thing that could change the center is for something to disrupt the beautiful process of creating ripples and when that happens the center begins to form a new set of ripples.  So as I am studying this process taking place in the sky, it “dawns” (or rather God made it clear ;-) on me that this beautiful example easily resembles our lives as Christians and as human beings.

            With Christ being the center of our lives, our ripples will have lasting value that can affect many generations to come.  We can make choices that honor Him by really living out our faith, meeting people where they are at and really getting to know them while sharing our lives with them as well, meeting their needs by serving and helping in any way that God shows us.  Does this mean that you take on the world’s problems and try to figure out the solutions yourself?  Of course not!  It doesn’t even mean that we should try to take on all the problems of the local church which we may attend.   We can choose to start the ripple effect by doing something for someone that will help them and share the love of Jesus and hopefully that person will continue the ripple effect by passing on the goodness and love of Christ that was shared with them.  Shortly after this beautiful understanding came to light, I heard “Be the Ripple Effect.” 

            Recently it was made clear to me that “The Ripple Effect” can also be used in a negative way.  A person will either choose not to do anything at all or could make choices that are not beneficial to those whom he or she is trying to help.  It has also been made very clear that nothing will ever happen unless it is in God’s timing and  things will also not happen unless they are within God’s will.  This is part of His plan whether we come into agreement with it or not, it’s just reality. As stated earlier, the center will begin to form a new set of ripples if something upsets the process.  If God sees that we know how to talk well but don’t really want to play on the team, well he can choose to start a new set of ripples with those who are willing to let Him lead.

            In summary, ripples represent movement and change and they speak strongly to the old saying, “What goes around comes around!”  I leave you with these thoughts to ponder…Where do you want me to begin The Ripple Effect God?  How do you want me to begin The Ripple Effect God?  Lord, what if I get scared, prideful, nervous or worried?  2 Timothy 1:7/ Joshua 1:9/ 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.  Allow Him to be your stable center and together you will make beautiful ripples ladies.  J                                                                                        SMP*/ 09-06-12


Monday, August 27, 2012

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Can I confess something? I'm pretty good at being joyful and thankful when I'm in Church, when I'm hanging out with my life group, or even when I'm having personal devotion time.  But when the chips are down and I'm looking in the face of adversity, I'm not always that good at it.  Who's with me? I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.  Just today, I left work very harried and stressed after a hectic day, drove across town to pick up my daughter from after-school care.  It was hot, I was sweating, and I had an appointment at 5:00 at Dunn Brothers.  When I got to school my daughter was having a dramatic meltdown because her ice pack had a hole in it.  I talked her down, threw the ice pack away, signed her out, got her into the hot car, buckled her in listening to her chatting about her day and all I could think about was a frosty cold iced mocha at Dunn Brothers.  I put the key in the ignition and turned.  Nothing.  What? No, my car can't be dead - it's a new(ish) car! I tried again and it made a horrendous sound.  Ok, one more time.  Nothing.  I called my husband who had just picked up the baby across the river and he agreed to come get me.  I told him to pick us up at Dunn Brothers.  It was a short walk and I was not missing my appointment - let alone my iced mocha!

I happened to be meeting Miss Lori Noe so that she could show me how to post on this very blog.  I bought my daughter a muffin and a water and ordered my caramel mocha.  Lori arrived just as I was getting my coffee and trying to get my daughter settled and my computer booted.  It was then I realized that they had served me a HOT caramel mocha.  Did I mention I was already sweating? I didn't have time to change my order because my husband was on his way to fix my car. No biggie - I'll just sweat some more.

Lori and I tried and tried and could never get the wi-fi in the restaurant to work.  We even asked the employees and they re-set something or other and it still didn't work.  Lori gave me good enough verbal instructions to get me in here (and I'm hopeful this works!) and by that time my husband had arrived with the baby, so we piled into his van and drove back to the school where he revived my car battery with a jump and the baby screamed the whole time.  At this point, my nerves were shot. AND WHAT WERE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT DINNER?!!! But I had to have a new battery, so Nick sent me to Wal-Mart to have a new battery put in and he took the kids to McDonalds. 

On my way to Wal-Mart I started thinking about how trying the evening had been already, how exhausted I was, and basically throwing myself a little pity party.  And then it hit me.  My husband is going to be out of town tomorrow night.  What if this had happened tomorrow night? And then, suddenly, I was thankful.  Thank you, Lord, that my husband was home tonight and able to come help me and take care of the kids! Thank you, Lord, that it happened in a safe place and thank you, Lord, for (I never say this) Wal-Mart whose auto department is open late and got me fixed right up.

God meets our needs and He takes care of us in every situation. So relax and enjoy those bumps in the road... At the time they may seem like deep potholes, but in hindsight they were probably just rumble strips to keep you awake.

~Liz Roberts

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fear vs. Love

Fear is scary…Fear is sickening…Fear can paralyze…Fear can hinder…Fear is one of Satan’s best weapons…FEAR IS A LIE.
Love is beautiful…Love is hard…
Love can heal…Love can overcome…Love is freedom…Love is God…

by SMP