Tuesday, December 30, 2014


For someone energized by being around people,
a week of being stuck at home sick
proved to be too much for my mind and spirit.
Stomach flu on Christmas Eve Eve, followed by
fever and cough, only a few hours of “well” in between.

By day six, ten minutes without crying was my limit.
"Mind over matter" didn't work. I told the kids to get ready,
we were going out for dinner. Then the sunlight hit my retinas.
There was sneezing and tears, followed by real tears, followed by
a three hour nap after telling the kids, "Eat whatever you want."

We've gone through a lot of cereal this week.

While I know "Greater is He Who is in me,"
Satan is still pretty smart. Smarter than me.
I was weak from all of this, and he knew it, 
calculating the lies I was most likely to believe, 
lying alone there in my room, in the dark. I didn't even fight back.

I did manage to write a guest blog post about how faith
has changed my life. I sent it off feeling like a total fraud,
laying in bed, crying about life. I fought with a few people via text, 
ranted about this and that via IM, even sent off an angry email,
followed by an apology a few hours later.

All because I wasn't fighting back.

I'm feeling 95% better today...
and thinking about how I could have done things differently.
Why didn't I have praise and worship music playing?
Why didn't I stop and pray before I said words I couldn't take back?
Why have I read 127 internet articles this week, but few Bible verses?

Pain and sickness, two of the easiest ways to pull my eyes from Jesus.
In hindsight I see everything I could have done better a little more clearly.
Had I not been so caught up in busyness the week before, that I had
neglected prayer and reading and spending time with Him, it probably
wouldn't have been so far from my mind when I hit this wall this week.

Live and learn? I hope so.I can't believe I was so unprepared.

I still flew off the handle at my kids morning,
not quite as ready for the “normal” as I thought.
Pretty sure that I still owe them a better apology too.
Glad every minute is a chance to make the next right choice
and even failing completely an hour ago, doesn't mean the day is ruined.

Headed to Christmas at Mom's now.
My oldest child is driving while I type.
Looking forward to french toast, bacon and eggs.
Expecting to gain back some of the nearly10lbs I've lost this week... and not care a bit.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Colossians 4:2

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like 
a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Being-Prepared#sthash.NvO6MOYb.dpuf

Friday, December 26, 2014

Why write?

I write to keep a record of this journey,
give others hope, to show that God
doesn't use perfect people, and
that we all stumble, but
keeping our focus on Him
makes every struggle worth it.

I write because I know that
in the grand scheme of things,
while I am special to Him,
I am not any more or less special
than anyone else, and the amazing things
He does for me, He will do for others as well.

I write because I know that
when I pull Him close, He reveals
so much more to me about life
and love and hopes and dreams and
failure and success and what
it truly means to walk by faith
than I could get from any other source.

I write not because I think my writing
is great or that the world needs to hear truths
from me over anyone else. In fact, so many
times I have typed words and sat dumbfounded,
reading a message He clearly had me write
to teach myself something I was missing.

There are many reasons why I write,
and I could go on and on about them,
but the most important one is this: Because He told me to.

I started this blog to hold myself accountable for my issues, to work through them and give myself a visible timeline showing what my walk with Him looks like, to help me learn to rely on God over all else... not to give those who wish to persecute me a list of my mistakes, slip-ups, stumbles, and out-right acts of rebellion. But I haven't written as much lately because some turmoil in my life has been created by someone who wishes to do just that.

Today I'm reminding myself of the reasons I write, and reminding myself that God has a plan here that I can't let go of... even if others will try to twist it to use against me. Three steps forward and two steps back makes the journey slow at times, but it is real and honest. If I am nothing else, I have to be real and honest.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.  
~1 John 4:4

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Resting is hard work

A recent speaker to my church talked about being called a workaholic. He said he laughed when he heard it, "I hate work! I'm not a workaholic." The response was that it isn't the work he was addicted to, it was the finished product. It was the satisfaction of a job well done. It was what he gets from doing the work.

I thought to myself, "So maybe I'm a volunteeraholic?"

That week alone, between a special conference and volunteering for other things, I had spent over 20 hours at the church. I am there, volunteering, several days a week on a slow week. Several times a month I volunteer at the local food pantry that helped me when I needed it most. I recently volunteered to babysit a friend's newborn foster child while she works her third shift job a couple nights a week. And if a friend asks for help with something, I make sure I do what I can.

But why? I am a single mom with four children and a business to run. I could tell anyone on any given day that I'm too busy to do anything else and they would understand.

The opposite of love is self... selfishness... and we are to love one another. That's what I am doing.. serving people Jesus loves. Giving of myself to help further His Kingdom... right?

I'm also having a lot of fun doing some of it. I truly love working in the sound booth and working with the lighting, media, and video. I hope God is giving me this opportunity for a reason, that I am gaining skills that will be useful to Him in the future. All in all though, regardless of how it works out, I know I am doing it for Him.

It is impossible to ignore, however, the sense of satisfaction I get, the boost in my own self-esteem and self worth that comes from being important to others... I sometimes wonder if these positive aspects of volunteering don't push me to do more than I should. 

Why is being appreciated by people so important? I have worth to Him whether I am helping with one more thing or not. While wrestling with this thought lately, God has shown me several times that doing work for Him is a lot easier than resting in Him. 

Easier than resting? Resting is easy. Resting equals laziness. While nobody would come right out and say that, internally it is said loud and clear in the silence, the absence of accolades. 

Too tired to read the Word, too scattered to pray without making it a "multi-tasking" opportunity, I neglect Him more than I should... and I often do it IN HIS NAME! While God loves it when we nurture our relationship with Him, it is harder to explain to people that the reason behind a "no" is because our relationship with God is suffering. So, we tell Him "no" instead. 

Then we continue to push Him farther away by spending so much time doing things for Him instead of just spending time with Him, resting in His presence.

That's the key. Anyone can take a day off. Anyone can turn down duties or quit serving in certain areas. Resting IS easy. Resting in Him isn't.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
~Psalm 62:5-8 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Waiting on God

Constantly on a quest for answers, we humans want to find logic in everything. We want everything to make sense, even though we know life doesn't. I've written before about living by faith, and doing so to an extent that seems foolish to those who strive for logic and reason. Even those of us who believe that this is the best way to live, tend to be astounded by God's timing, precision, and attention to detail when He finally reveals one of His plans... it is an assault on our fleshly desire for reason.  

It's one of the reasons I share the ways God comes through for me time and time again. We need the encouragement of hearing how God came through for others.

This recently happened to a friend of mine.

Getting ready to transition to a new job in just six days, J found out that it had fallen through. Having already been replaced at this current job, he was understandably very upset. I told him about the book that really challenged my faith, Extravagant Fool, by Kevin Adams and he said he would look into it. But, I felt a gentle nudge from the Spirit. Knowing he probably wouldn't go get it, went to the bookstore and bought it for him.

We talked as he read it, and it was awesome hearing someone else with many of the same thoughts and feelings that I had. He ultimately loved the book and told me that he was going to stop worrying and let God be in control.

A few days later, it was Friday, his last day on the job... until someone called in and management asked him to cover Saturday. Then, Monday, the day he should have started his new job came and he received another call as someone didn't show up for work. J talked on the phone to the manager (who managed remotely from Chicago) and talked about changes that needed to be made in the store that J was unable to make because he was not management.

An hour later the manager called back. The decision was made to let the store be managed locally, and they gave J his job back... along with a promotion and a raise.

What gets me the most is that J could have freaked out about being jobless. He could have tried to "fix" it himself. He could have started another job, lined up a bunch of interviews, or even just had a bad attitude about losing his job, and been a jerk to the boss. Any of those things could have made him unavailable the two times that they called him.

Instead, he chose to wait on the Lord, believing there was a plan... and he was shocked to find out just how good of a plan it was.

What decision is stressing you out today? What unexpected happening has thrown you into a frenzy? Take a deep breath and look up. Know that He Who created you, knew this was going to happen before time began, and He has had a plan all along. When you pray for answers, don't forget to be quiet and listen for them. Waiting on the Lord, putting your trust in Him, will take you places you never imagined.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:13-14

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I've written several posts as
I worked through the loss of
a couple of friendships lately.
God kept telling me to let it go,
but I really didn't know how.

When I realized the key to letting
go was forgiveness, I was angrier.
"That's not fair!" I told God.

But I eventually tried...
and failed...
and tried again.
I tried several different ways...

This week I succeeded.

After praying about it, I said
a few things I needed to say
via email, and sent it off.
I woke up the next morning and
realized I felt better, even without
a response or acknowledgment.

While we must still interact on
a regular basis, when I let go,
I suddenly realized my feelings
about the person had changed.

Am I still disappointed? Sure. Am I angry? No.
And because of that, my actions have changed too...

No more being hurt.
No more accepting blame.
No more walking on eggshells.
No more apologizing for every interaction.

Does the enemy know my weaknesses? Yep.
Is he going to try to poke me every now and then? Probably.

But I feel free today, and I'm thankful
that I trusted God when He told me to let go,
and that today I am stronger than I was
a week ago, stronger than I was a month ago,
and so much stronger than I was a year ago.

Thank you, Lord for believing in me, even when I didn't. Thank You for strength and grace. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Remind me of times like this when I doubt my ability to do what You ask of me. Remind me that when I leave You in control, everything works out. Amen.

Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. 
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
The Lord gives his people strength.
~Psalm 28:6-8

Monday, November 3, 2014

Redeeming humanity

Why do we refuse to acknowledge
the battles, the struggles, the pain?

It doesn't make us any less redeemed,
to admit that we are human. It might even
make us more so, as it is our humanity
that makes us worth redeeming.

At some point we must realize that
being redeemed, saved, valued, loved
by the God of all creation, doesn't fix
our lives, resolve our problems, perfect us.

In fact, it often makes our issues
even more glaringly obvious when the
Holy light shines down on them and
reminds us of how far we still have to go.

God is in the business of redeeming humanity,
not taking away choices, even choices that
involve turning away from Him. If we were
perfect upon redemption, our choices would
be gone, we'd know too much to have free will.

So we continue this life, redeemed, but human
while trying to put on a "perfected" facade.
Who are we lying to... God? He knows better.
The world, our friends, maybe just ourselves? Why?

Maybe we fear being called 'hypocrite'
by those who don't understand we are
still on a journey towards perfection.
Maybe we fear acknowledging all
the work we know we have left to do. 

Twice recently, I have been reminded that
sharing my struggles is just as important
as sharing how I've succeeded in Him.

And yet, I couldn't help but think today
what a fraud I am, claiming God has
rescued me from depression and still
reacting to an old trigger with an inability
to function productively for a few hours.

I kept looking for confirmation of all
I was thinking and feeling, knowing
I'm a fraud and a failure, and I found plenty.

I almost believed it all, until the redeemed
within me began fighting back, against
the lies I was hearing, reading, believing.
I still believed most of it when I sat down
to write tonight, prepared for a negative post.

So many things are happening that make me
question my worth on all levels. And yet, I know
that as long as I keep fighting, He'll always
pull me through. And as hard as it is to believe,
it doesn't matter who thinks what of me.
I found this song tonight...

Yes, these struggles chase after me,
threatening to overtake me. But I know
none of those things own me any longer because
He who is in me is greater than all of it... and He will use it for good.

 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
~Psalm 56:2-3

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It doesn't matter

While sharing with a friend about how the ending of the other friendship has really confused me lately, he said something that made me stop and think. "Nobody has to be your friend. The answers you are getting don't make sense, but what does it matter? You aren't owed friendship. Maybe he just changed his mind. So what? The outcome is the same."

My only possible response was, "But he said..." I didn't say it though, because I realized he was right. It doesn't matter. The choice was made and has nothing to do with me. 

God and I were having a conversation about this as I was driving and I heard, "I told you to let it go. You aren't changing any minds by arguing or explaining, and I've already told you I've got this."

"You're right, God. I can do this. I can let it go. In fact, I can not care at all. They'll see. Doesn't bother them? Fine. Doesn't phase me either. If they can not care, I can too."

That's when God said, "Wow, that doesn't sound like forgiveness at all."

Thankfully, He timed that comment with a stretch of straight road, because I froze. "Wait, what!?" It hit me for the first time that letting go means forgiving too. "But, that's just not fair! Didn't You see? Didn't You hear? Didn't You...?"

He got really quiet after that, because I knew the answers to those questions.

He knows. He heard. He saw. It doesn't matter.

I know that when God tells me to do something, I have to do it... regardless of the situation, my feelings, my reasoning, or what anyone else involved is doing. It doesn't matter if I'm still confused or hurt or wish I could say just one more thing... It doesn't matter.

The question of how to do what He's saying? That one is a bit trickier... but if He made everything easy, I wouldn't have anything to write about! And how much fun would that be?

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another.
~John 13:34-35

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wonderfully foolish

Have you ever wondered what God would do, could do, if you gave Him the chance? Have you stopped to consider the potential ramifications of making faith a first response to circumstances instead of having to remind yourself that God is in control after an initial stressed-out period? What if your first response wasn't just to ask God what to do, but to just KNOW He would take care of it.

Some people will tell me that I have to live in reality, that I am being foolish. I say that I'm wonderfully happy with that kind of foolishness. They will tell me that God gives us the ability to reason and use logic so that we will use it. That may be true. But shouldn't that be the route we take after asking God how He wants us to handle something first?

Should we trust him only for big things? Only for little? Time and time again I have given up, loudly proclaimed, "I need you to handle this, God!" and He has... over and over. Whether the issue is big or small, He has come through. Sometimes I forget until I have stressed out about the issue for awhile. Other times He comes through faster than I can decide whether I am meant to let Him fix it or use the resources he's given me to take care of it myself, in His strength and provision.

How many stories can I tell you from just the last few weeks? Many. And the funny thing is, there are probably more times He has come through for me and I don't even know about them.  I'm just going to share this one story for the moment.

Here is what happened yesterday:

Applying for a grant that require that requires I bring original social security cards for the whole family. I grabbed the two I have (of five I needed), and told the woman behind the desk, "I can bring the other two in, I just don't have them. My ex-husband keeps them because he thinks I will lose them."

She told me I have only two weeks to do so or my application will be denied no matter what. Then she said, "Wait, there are five in your household. Whose card are we not accounting for?"

Sheepishly, I told her, "Mine. Um, I can't find it at the moment."

Next she went on to tell me that there were no substitutions allowed. If I didn't find it within two weeks, I would be denied for the program. I assured her I would find it while silently thinking about the boxes I needed to go through on the porch and telling God that I was really going to need His help with this one.

I left the office with the deadline on my mind, but had another appointment to get to. I didn't have time to think about it too much.

A few hours later I asked my ex-husband for the kids' cards. He put three cards in my hand. "You can keep yours if you want," He said. "I guess I've had it for 11 years."

Praise the Lord! :-) He knew exactly what I was going to need and when I would need... 11 years go.

Maybe some will think I was a fool for asking for help for something so small, but He keeps coming through for me... think I'm crazy for giving glory to God for something so "silly"? It's okay... I get you don't understand... you will!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, 
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:18

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Saturday night

Used to spending Saturday nights with
friends I no longer have, it would be easy,
more than easy, to fall back into those
"before-I-was-made-new" habits.

I haven't yet decided what I want to do
as this weekend approaches. It will be
one of just a few "kid-free" Saturday nights
we have not hung out in the last year.

It's not really that I lack possibilities of
finding other Saturday entertainment.
Maybe I'll even go on a date or something
now that I have a Saturday night free... maybe.

But making new plans means concretely accepting
that the time we all enjoyed together is really over.
While I'd love to believe it's fixable and we can
go back, we can't, and I probably shouldn't want to.

But that doesn't make it easier to actually close
the door, admitting I have lost friends I love,
who have been an important part of walking with me
through the changes God has made in me so far.

Maybe it's because the severing is so upsetting
that the enemy believes I will fall. In fact,
he has been putting opportunities directly
into my path, over and over in the last few weeks.

I don't think he realizes that he is only
strengthening my resolve to do what's right.
But what is that? I mean, I could take this
as another crushing blow, like I did last week.

Or, I can shake it off and move on, towards
whatever God has prepared for me instead.

Yeah, I choose that one.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
~Isaiah 41:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 15:13

Monday, October 20, 2014

Not too late

Yesterday at church I sat in my seat and cried
with my arm around  my 16 year old daughter
as I watched two parents embracing, sobbing,
at the front of the small, but crowded sanctuary.

Each the parent of a teen girl lost to suicide,
one this weekend, one a few weeks ago.

This morning I sat on my bed and sobbed
as I read the blog post of a mother whose
baby didn't wake up from his nap last week.
He was perfectly healthy two days before.

But his mother, father and four siblings
spent his 2nd birthday planning a funeral.

I'm often reminded that these kids who
live in my house, eat my food, ask me
for advice, and money, and call me mom,
aren't really mine in any permanent sense.

On loan from God, He could take them back
at any time, in any place, in any fashion.

I've had to ask Him for forgiveness for times
this was forgotten and my will became priority. 
So many times I made life about me, dragging
them along for the ride as if they didn't matter.

And while not to the degree that it once did,
it still happens more often than I'd like to admit.

Several weeks ago after dealing with an afternoon
of abnormal disrespect and back-talk and downright
defiance, I caved, crying on my bed, messaging
a friend about their behavior and my guilt in it all.

How can they talk to me like this? Who do they think
they are? It's official... I've ruined them. Now what?

We bounced back from that day, but the defeat
left a bruise on my heart, and in some ways,
a resignation to the fact that the pain I brought us
in years past, will continue to color our lives.

Don't get me wrong, as kids go, mine are awesome.
But often I wonder how much damage my bad choices
really did to them and how it will affect the rest of their lives
and if it is too late to make an impact by living rightly.

Today I thought about
what those other parents would say,
if I stopped striving for better... because I thought it was already too late.

There is only one way that it is ever too late.

I am so thankful for God who never looked at me and thought, "It's too late to help that one..." 
He saved me from the pit of destruction that I created with my own hands... and in doing so He saved them too. 

17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.
18 For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
parents tell their children
about your faithfulness.
~Isaiah 38:17-19

18 So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 
~Deuteronomy 11:18-20 NLT

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Doing better

Doing much better tonight.

I wish is wasn't so difficult
to remember sometimes,
that God is in control.
I wish lots of things had
worked out differently,
but am thankful tonight
that His grace is enough.

God is good, no matter what happens.
He has a plan and it isn't always clear from where I am standing.

When I asked Him to shine through the cracks yesterday,
and focused on letting Him take care of my heart
I started seeing things differently.

None of the circumstances have changed, and if I dwell on it I could still be upset. But if I've learned nothing else over these last several months, it's that God has a better plan than I do. Holding on to that today.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” 
~Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” 
~Psalm 118:8 (NIV)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shine through

Crushed by the loss of my best friend,
(the friendship ended, nobody died)

I've been reeling for days.

Oddly enough, knowing it's over 
has been easier on me
than the days leading up to,
when I knew that was happening
and was just being told to wait.  
Rip the band-aid off quickly
     quit making me hang in limbo.
Cruel, but not unusual punishment.

No fault was accepted by them
and not one apology offered
by the now absent friend.
And the fallout from the loss
has likely ruined at least
a couple of other friendships.
Praying I can suck it up enough
to not have to change the areas
where I serve at church as well. 

My overly emotional reactions
were blamed for the severing,
proof someone doesn't understand
me as well as I thought, nor
women and their friendships,
or what fear of abandonment
can do to a girl like me.

The most meaningful thing was said to me today:
"You do not deserve to be abandoned—especially for the cause of wanting not to be abandoned." 

The panic and tears overwhelmed me
several times today, forcing me to pray, sing,
or just out loud ask God to make it stop.
It. Make IT stop. It has a name: Grief. 
I'm so tired of losing, grieving losses, of being broken.

Reading today, He reminded me... it is in my weaknesses that His strength is shown. If I had none, then how would anyone see Him in my life? If I am a fragile clay jar, containing His light, nobody will see it unless there are some cracks for the light to shine through.

Well, there is another great big one, God... please find a way to shine through it.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
~2 Corinthians 4:7 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Praying for direction tonight, awaiting some confirmation.
Praying for a quick resolution, but afraid that it won't be the one I hope for.

No heartbreak is worse than one pressed upon you by a close friend.
I've felt a familiar panic tonight as the friend in this scenario holds all the power.

I'm just along for the ride again and it's scary and confusing to me,
waiting to discuss things with them and waiting until they are ready to talk.

I worked so hard to become new and the person who has supported
and cheered me on the most has decided to believe the worst of me.

"Reasons and seasons" I've been told today. Let them go. They've served their purpose.
Considering the state of my heart right now, I could easily fathom it. But it wouldn't be right.

Real friendship means more to me than that, and this was real. I have to do something
Even if that means stepping away until the truth becomes clear, because it will.

Still waiting on direction. Hoping for a conversation.

This quote kept coming to mind tonight, I had to look it up:

"Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother's utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent." -Screwtape Letters
We've all done it before. We'll all do it again. The enemy is slick and knows just how to confuse us best. It's not the whole problem, but it played a big part in this one. So many assumptions floating around tonight, still waiting to be worked out, if there is any chance at all. Praying there is.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those 
who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Showing off

I felt like such a whiner when I put up my last post. But it was truly how I felt, so I hit publish. More than one person thanked me for writing about the desire to be defended and told me they understood because they felt the same. It was a great reminder about why I am writing, even when I don't feel like I have anything positive to write about. Thank you for the encouragement. :-)

Today though, I do have something positive to write about.

I broke my phone.
Like really, unfixably broke it.

Just wait, it gets better... let's back up a tiny bit here.

I think it's important to do things for myself from time to time. Occasionally, I go to the mall and get a massage. I budget that 30 minutes of heaven in carefully and had been thinking that I could go in this week...even though I knew that I was pushing my budget to do so.

Then, at church this morning, I dropped my phone during corporate prayer, rendering it useless. I felt sick. I can't run a business without that phone working. What was I going to do!?! I was already at prayer... Yes, I prayed for my phone. Laid hands on it right there. Someone else even prayed for my phone with me. It still didn't work.

"Well, there goes that massage as well as a lot of other money I don't have," I thought.

I had signed up to volunteer at our local Christian radio station to take fundraising calls today starting after prayer, but I can't do business without a phone... so I briefly considered skipping out in order to try to figure out what to do about my phone. But I couldn't do that. I had said I would be there, and I LOVE the people at the station. They have been a huge part of my story. So, instead I prayed for direction and asked God to show me how He wanted me to take care of this before heading on to the station.

Between calls a friend of mine came back and saw my broken phone and commented. I told her, "I did it just before coming here today and decided God is just going to have to take care of it because I don't know what to do." Almost immediately another station employee, one who had been working with us volunteers, said, "I have an iPhone with a cracked screen. My mom surprised me with a new one. It's just sitting on my table if you want it." Shocked, I thanked her and told her I would only need it a few days until I figured something else out. She shook her head and said, "No, you can have it."

Wow God, I totally did not see that one coming... I'm going to pick it up at her place in the morning.

Awesome, right!?! Wait... it gets better.

A couple of hours later, as I was picking up my things to leave the station, a woman in scrubs came around the corner of cubicles and announced they were there to give chair massages to volunteers if anyone was interested. You mean, similar to the one I can't afford but was hoping to try to fit in anyway?

Now, that's just God showing off... (I love it when He does that!)

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
~Psalm 139:5-6 (NLT)

What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

~Luke 12:6-7 (NLT)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Defensive wounds

My youngest daughter's father wanted to talk about something. So instead of sending a text or calling to say, "When are you free to talk?" He was waiting in the foyer when my church service let out last night. I told him to leave and that I would talk to him later, walking away. Then, partly to keep him from approaching me again, I stood near a male friend.

Just standing near someone who, from the ex's perspective, I may or may not be dating, or who may or may not stand up for me if he pushed the issue was enough to keep him away for awhile. Eventually that friend had to go. So I tried again to get the ex to leave. He tried to start an argument.

My 'Boundaries' reading kicked in and I told him to leave because we were not talking then or there. He went to the parking lot and I refused to walk outside until he got in his car and drove away. I called him shortly thereafter and he refused to talk because it wasn't on his terms.

I think I handled it okay on my own. And to be fair, there was nobody at the church who I expected to step in and back me up. But it doesn't make me long for that any less... to have someone step in and back me up, defend me, tell him that he doesn't have a right to harass me. At the very least, silently put an arm around me and walk me away from the situation without escalating it.

It's something I have always wanted. Even when I was married, my husband wasn't the kind of man who would do that. There were times I begged him to defend me. He wouldn't. No man I've dated since would look at my kids or my mom or someone else who was being disrespectful and say, "I won't allow you to talk that way about/to her."

A few months ago I wrote this about my ex-husband and his wife:

While I have forgiven them for what happened,
it is hard to understand why God would honor a relationship
that tore my marriage apart, letting them find happiness
and marriage in spite of the pain they caused,
while I continue to struggle on my own. (-Not about the boy)

A few days later, my ex-husband showed me the blog post and told me that someone had sent it to him. I don't know who it was, nor do I care. For the record, I had every intention of getting my husband back... of putting my family back together. But what he had with her at the time was new and fun, with no stress, no baggage, nothing that required anything of him... just an eighteen year old girl who hung on his every word and wrote him love notes and put them on his fridge where his wife could see them. So yes, that relationship tore my marriage apart... 

What does that have to do with this post today?

He saw a blog post that, in his mind, called his wife a homewrecker. So he drove to my house, and stood in my kitchen, and defended her honor.

He defended her honor to me.
I tried to emphasize the most ridiculous, hurtful parts of that sentence... "He defended her honor to me." But there was no way to pick it apart. Take from that what you will. I took a lot of things from it. None of them good.

As much as I often wish I had someone to defend me to others, sometimes I need someone to defend me to me...

For all the times and ways God has used me, even recently, despite all my failings, you'd think I'd have more positive things to say... I mean, I know things have to get better. They are going to turn around. I'm going to have something positive to say again soon, I'm sure. Maybe even tomorrow. But I can't see it today.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The last few weeks, as I've neglected
to return his texts with the same
intensity at which he sends them,
things have started to cool with D.

Living fourteen hours from someone
you care about, who is all talk and
no action is not something anyone
can make work. Especially not me.

I finally told him I can't do it anymore,
this is not what God wants for my life,
I don't blame him. He has never changed
since I met him... I just saw what I wanted to see.

I was always believing hope and prayer
would be enough to change his life.
And whether it affected my life or not,
that someday I would get to see his transformation.

I still believe it will happen one day. I know God
is bigger than anything, whether it be PTSD or
general jerkiness (they can be hard to separate).  I doubt
I'll be close enough to see it. I hope I hear about it though.

I have a friend who is back with the guy
that God doesn't have planned for her life.
She knows it. We've talked about it.
But much like me, she can't let go.

Someone else recently said to me
it's funny how I have such good advice
for other people's relationships,
but I can't see it in my own.

How can I keep telling people to let go of
their destructive relationships, to let go of
the people in their lives who cause pain,
who lie, cheat, and steal from them...
If I'm unwilling to do it myself?

As much as I would argue that I hate misery,
I give God control over things knowing that
He can do a better job, and then take them back
and try to make them work myself... and make myself miserable.

Did you just say to yourself,
"Well ____ doesn't steal from me,
so she's not talking about them."
Theft of time is worse than any earthly possession.

Time you could have spent with your family.
Time you could have spent with your real friends.
Time you could have spent with the 'right' one.
Time you could have spent at the feet of Jesus.

I'm still so far from perfect and have a long way to go, but I'm determined to use what God gives me in the ways He wants me to use it... even if I get turned around from time to time in the process. I am so thankful that He is the God of second chances and that He's apparently given me an unlimited supply, as long as I keep asking for them and trying to do it right.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 
~2 Peter 3:9

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
~Phil 1:6

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fighting for new

Just because I'm a new creation,
forgiven, freed and loved, doesn't
mean breaking out of old patterns
is any easier for me than before.
I'm still a human, broken girl
who has trouble making sense of
the world around her, fighting
each step of the way to embrace "new."

When one ex-turned-friend, not D,
sent inappropriate texts last week,
it took me a couple of days
to tell him to please stop.
In fact, just hours before I stopped it,
I had formed a plan in my mind
to follow through on the things he
suggested might be fun to try again.

But, in my heart I knew that simply
attempting to fulfill the longing to be
wanted, touched, and held would
not truly fulfill the real desire
to be loved, honored, cherished.
I could be feeling shame right now
that I was weak in the moment,
but I gave God the chance to step in
and He helped me make a way out.

The Bible says thinking is as bad as doing.
Stopping at that logic, there is no point in resisting.
Instead I choose to see this as another step
to a real victory over my deceitful mind and will.

Don't give up. Don't give in.

Eventually it will get better. 
God's got this, I have to believe.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 
~1 Cor. 10:13

Monday, September 22, 2014

Reminding myself

Yesterday, as I was driving up a hill, my transmission quit working properly. I babied it the remainder of the trip, and it now seems to be working okay, although it has slipped a few more times while driving.

Researching car values and considering the possibility of having to try to trade it in before it is gone completely, I started to worry. I can't afford a tune-up, much less a rebuilt transmission. I started to think that maybe a dealership would be able to get me into something else. I would be upside down on the loan, I'm sure... and deeper in debt. But I would have a car that works. But is that what God really wants for me?

This morning, getting ready to go speak to a great group of women, a thought popped into my head. What happened to the extravagant faith I've been talking about? Where is the fool in me who is supposed to ignore logic and reason and numbers and just have faith that before time began, God knew my transmission was going to give me problems and I was going to turn to Him for help?

Faith is the opposite of logic. Living by faith doesn't come naturally. I have to remind myself constantly that this is what I should be doing... and not just with the big things... with the little things too.

"God please don't let me forget to pick up dinner before 5."
"Please Lord, help me remember to schedule that doctor's appointment today."
"Lord, help me keep my 'umms' to a lower number today than last time I spoke."
"God, please put the words that someone needs to hear in my heart... 
and give me the courage to speak them."

I think I'll try this prayer... "Hey, God? Could you remind me to walk by faith if I forget today? This being human stuff is harder than You think..." So thankful for His mercy and grace today... and very much looking forward to sharing how He works out my transmission problem. :-)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
~2 Corinthians 5:7

Thursday, September 18, 2014


I spent Tuesday in bed.

A truly inspiring Christian author
wrote me yesterday, calling me a
"faithful, humble and bold believer"
and I couldn't help but think,
"If he only knew I was so
discouraged that I spent Tuesday
in bed, sleeping and crying."

How bold and faithful is that?

Since my post about "Worth"
last week, Satan has made it his
mission to see that I don't recognize
mine by bringing to light the
comments, thoughts and actions of
those who often act as if I have none,
from exes to my own children.

This isn't what I asked God to show me.

As I function as this person I am, and
then turn and share about the love, mercy,
and grace of God with others,
I feel like I'm two different people.
The faithful, humble, bold believer, and
the girl who recognized the oncoming train
as an attack by Satan, but didn't run.

No, I laid down on the track in front of it.

I love being the girl who shares with others about
what God has done in my life. I love inspiring
people with hope of what He wants to do
in theirs. I love connecting with people,
sharing, pouring into them, saying something
I feel is random and finding out God put
those words in my heart for just that one person.

Being that girl is awesome.

Some days I just wish I could get THAT girl to knock some sense into THIS one.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Today I was reminded that if God's plan
for my future includes helping teach other
women their worth in Him, that I might need
to have a better grasp on my own.

As much as my life has changed, as much
as I think I understand my worth now,
(I even posted about it last Christmas)
God says, "Nope, you don't quite get it yet."

Someone who knows her worth wouldn't
Let an ex flirt from 14 hours away,
knowing he doesn't really mean a word
just because it's nice to feel wanted.

Someone who knows her worth wouldn't obsess
over blog stats, retweets, and click-throughs
as if they are important, when she knows God
is using her work and that's all that should matter.

Someone who knows her worth wouldn't
dislike being alone so much that she often busies
herself to exhaustion, while putting off solitary,
yet necessary, tasks until the last minute.

Someone who knows her worth wouldn't
keep trying to find it through the eyes
of others when God has made it clear
that the only opinion that matters is His.

Someone who knows her worth wouldn't
long for things God has asked her to put aside,
because she knows her relationship with God
is more important than the things she thinks she misses.

I struggle with the whys of this at the moment because
I know it's not because He hasn't tried to show me.

But I also know that if God really wanted me to understand,
He could open my eyes to it, remove the veil in my mind.

So, why do I still struggle with knowing my worth?
What are You waiting for, God? Lay it on me. I'm ready. I think.

Or am I missing something else here? Maybe there is a reason
for this struggle? Maybe recognizing the struggle is half the battle?

I keep trying to wrap this up with some amazing Heavenly answer
but I don't really have one. When I do, I have a feeling you'll know.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
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.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

~Psalm 139:13-16

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Progress, I guess

Not content to be the slow and steady tortoise.
I know better than to be the high and mighty hare.
Three steps forward and two and a half back is
still progress, right? So slow though. So slow.

I worry tonight that I may never get it right,
that 30 years from now God will say, "I did have
an awesome plan, but it didn't seem as though
you wanted it badly enough to play by My rules.
You missed it, and I moved on. Sucks to be you."

Would He do that? I don't know. 

I recently told a friend "If there was a chance
'A' was available and interested,  it would
take a moment or less to say, " 'D' who?"
Later, another thought crossed my mind...

Am I so much less inspired by God,
the creator of Heaven and Earth, the One who
promises to give me everything I will ever need,
that I would take a leap of faith for a man who will
at some point let me down, but not a God who promises otherwise?

Don't I trust Him more than that? I thought I did.

Tonight I watched reality TV. Bear Grylls
talked about not needing to have a tight grip
on the things of this world because he's
holding tightly to the One that matters most.

My heart swelled to see it on Prime Time,
but inside I felt a little tug that annoyed me.
I'm not asking for fame or fortune or a nice car,
clothes, house, money, I don't care about those.
Why is wanting to love and be loved wrong?

How do I make myself want it less? I don't know.

And as I write I think, "What happened to focusing
on His glory and not on your struggles?"
That's one of those steps back I guess.
If I got it all right the first try (or the 27th)
how real would that be? Writing it out and continuing on...

Faster than the tortoise and smarter than the hare, I hope.
Although, that begs the question, "Where is the finish line?"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Give me strength

I am not one to jump out of bed daily
with a spring in my step, ready to go.
I can be pretty productive in the morning,
but the enemy likes to pounce before
my eyes are even open. My first victory
every day is just getting out of bed.
Sometimes that victory is a first place trophy,
other times it is a participation ribbon that says,
"This is your life, thanks for showing up today."

I need You to soften my heart, to break me apart.
I need You to open my eyes, to see that You're shaping my life.

For awhile now, I've woken up each day
with a different song in my head.
I hadn't thought much about before today.
What if this isn't just the typical craziness
of my brain, but a Gift to encourage me
to get through the attacks that start
when I'm barely conscious and continue
until I'm headed out the door, focused elsewhere,
often having missed out on precious time at His feet.

 Give me strength, to trust what You say
That You're good, and Your love is great

I don't just need faith to believe what He says,
there's no doubt I believe, but the strength
to put His commands into action. To do.
There's a big difference between believing and doing.
I'd love to say I get it right most of the time, but
there are things that I need to change.
Some things I'm aware of, some I am not. 
He knows though, and He has the strength to help.
The problem is relying on His strength instead of my own. 

I may be weak, but your Spirit's strong in me.
My flesh may fail, my God You never will.

As He continues to open my eyes to what
He is doing and planning for my life,
I have to continue to attempt to shift my focus
from my battles to His power, strength, and glory,
and to the gifts He gives me every day...
A song in my heart, and continued grace
as I walk this path. It feels like a crazy winding road,
but it doesn't matter as long as I focus on the Light
that is at my feet, giving me just enough grace to take the next step.

I need You to soften my heart, to break me apart.
I need You to pierce through the dark, and cleanse every part of me
All I am, I surrender...

Monday, September 1, 2014


It's amazing how swiftly
the attacks from the enemy
come once you've made up
your mind to do something
you know God wants you to do.

God's timing may be perfect, but Satan's is pretty good too.

I'm not giving up. Just struggling today.
Funny how I always seem to struggle on holidays.
I'm pretty sure I have no emotional attachment to Labor Day.
Yet, here I am.

Added later...
 As soon as I said I had no emotional attachment to Labor Day
     and hit "post" on this blog, I had a flood of memories of parades
          and cook outs and little kids everywhere and adults sitting around
     and talking for hours. Sometimes we just watched the parades
but I remember the years my stepdad pulled the babies in a wagon
     while I walked along side, reminding them to throw the candy
          and not to eat it... Occasionally digging a slobbery still-wrapped
     tootsie roll from a tiny mouth that didn't have the teeth to chew it.

Everything started to fall apart yesterday at church when I heard people talking about their holiday plans. Throw in a few messages in opposition to the promises I'm trying to keep, and you can see how good the enemy's timing really was.

It will get better. Getting homework and housework done today in addition to some other things. I have a busy week ahead and am planning a trip out of state to visit my brother who I rarely see, but talk to often. Praying for God to provide for that trip.

I need to run or bike today. It's been weeks...
could definitely use some of those endorphins right now though.

God is doing wonderful things... but it's still a battle.
There will always be setbacks and bad days and dealing with the consequences of foolish choices. But we all have the ability to choose to see the good in each day.

Joy is a choice.

The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
~Psalms 28:7

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Starting small

I recently read a book about a man who learned to walk by faith in a way that seemed foolish to those on the outside. Seriously foolish. If your cupboards were almost empty and you had a family to feed, would you turn down a job with a 6-figure income because you knew God wanted you to rely on Him and He had another plan (even though you had no idea what it was)?

Over and over as I read this book, things from the book and things that happened in life both told me that this is something God wanted from me... this kind of faith. There was a reason I was reading this book at this time.

God has already taught me two lessons today... reminding me that I have to leave logic out... that I am not smarter than He is... that He knows what He is doing. Oh, and He's going to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Go buy a Bible. A real paper one, not something on your computer or phone.

I asked Him where to go and show me which one I was supposed to buy. Driving to the store, I thought about the Bible I wanted. I knew I didn't want one with devotionals or commentaries. I spend too much of my study time reading about the Word already. I need to read the actual Word.

I thought it would be great if I could find one with plenty of room to write in it as well. I even thought about inventing a Bible with blank pages between each printed page... so I don't lose my notes. Bibles are expensive, but God will provide, right? I had the money from the house I cleaned today in my pocket, and God would figure out how to plug that hole in the budget when the time came.

As I got out of the van I glanced down at the floor and saw a $5 bill. With a quick Heaven-ward 'Thanks!' I stuck it in my purse and joked to myself and God both, "I guess it IS an expensive Bible if I needed more than what I have on me!"

Inside I went straight for the clearance Bibles... no luck there. On the regular shelves I flipped through Book after Book and began to think that maybe I had already misunderstood His instructions. None were what I wanted and I couldn't really imagine spending everything I had on one that wasn't what I though He wanted me to get. With one more glance at all the shelves before I left, I saw a small book on a bottom shelf with a bright sticker on the cover: $2.97. A complete Bible with no commentaries or devotions, but very little white space either. 

How am I going to take notes in this? Should I get a notebook too?

Then He said something that surprised me.  Those notes you are worried about writing are for you. You aren't writing for you. You are writing for Me.

So, despite all I tried to plan out... I ended up with the Book and some candy for less than the $5 bill I had found on the floor of the van, leaving my budget intact. Oh look at that... You DID know what You were doing. Thanks God.

Driving home from the bookstore and thinking about that experience I started thinking about the guy from the book. Then silly me asked a question. So, what is MY version of passing up a 6-figure income with bare cupboards?

And He told me, driving down the road, as clear as if I had read the words on a billboard. Well, lets start with you taking down your eHarmony profile. Yes, I know today starts free communication weekend. Do it anyway.

Ah yes, Lord, You would pick that. I can't really do anything but laugh though. I did ask for it, and He and I have talked about this before. In the end though, I know that if I can't do something as simple as that, this is going to be a very bumpy roller coaster ride.

I have some studying to do now. God bless.

Upside down and backwards

What an understatement it is
to say living completely by faith
without logic or excuses
is a difficult thing.
It's not that I don't believe
God will sustain and prosper
such a life, lived for His glory.
It's not even that I'm worried
about the times that will be hard.

It's that, for a girl
who has lived her whole life
in constant fear of the unknown,
not knowing what God's plan is
and still saying "Okay, I'm all Yours!"
is like going to an amusement park
and riding all the rides facing backwards,
never knowing if I'll be headed
up or down the next second,
or if the roller coaster
is about to slow down, stop, 
plunge me into a corkscrew,
or send me through a loop
that leaves me dangling upside down.

What I have to cling to
is the belief that when
this roller coaster stops
and it's time to change rides,
I will get off at the platform,
and say, "That was awesome. Which one
do You want me to ride next, Lord?"
And also hope that those standing around,
watching me do things that seem to defy logic
will stop and say, "Riding all the rides backwards?
No concrete knowledge of what's coming?
Just a belief that everything will be okay?
I think that's how I'm supposed to be riding too..."

If Jesus is the Word made flesh, then to know Him, I need to know the Word.

Today as I struggled with getting up and making time for Him, and ultimately chose to write instead of read, that ever faithful (even when I'm not) God of mine said, "You're not going to get anywhere reading on your computer or your phone. Go buy a Bible."

If I look hard enough, I could probably find ten Bibles in my house. I can even see one from where I sit, but I don't think the Kid's Adventure Bible is really what He has in mind. I'll add it to my 'to do' list today and see what happens. I have a busy day ahead of me, but I'm faithful He will give me an opportunity to fit it in, if that's what He wants me to do.

Praying that He remembers that I'm not so great at listening yet, and turns the speakers up a bit for the moment... and that this roller coaster I am on, that I feel slowly and gently clack-clack-clacking up this steep hill, gives me a few minutes to make sure my seat belt is secure, my sunglasses and cell phone are stowed away safely, and my shoes are tied tightly before we plunge down the next drop or into a corkscrew.

I don't know which it will be or how far ahead it is so I'll just prepare and wait.

(He'll like, warn me first... right? Riiight...)

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 
~2 Corinthians 4:7

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


God made me a pretty smart girl.
I have some good ideas from time to time.
If a good idea in a willing servant is God-inspired,
there is very little that can keep it from becoming reality.

As much as I try to be a willing servant
so many "good ideas" have fallen apart for me
when I tried to take action on them.
Even the ones that I thought would bring Him
the glory He wants and so richly deserves.

Don't You see that I am trying to do something amazing here?
When people see it, they will give You the glory!
This will prove to so many that it only takes
faith to move mountains.

Then it doesn't work out, and I am heartbroken.
Tired, depressed, angry, irritated, and unmotivated.
Pray? Why bother? (As if I'm punishing Him.)
Read? I don't feel like it. (As if somehow He will cave to my sulking.)

I'm reading a book, The Extravagant Fool by Kevin Adams. Here is an incident he related in this book between him and his daughter that floored me, probably much like it did Kevin when it happened...
At age four she came bouncing from the bathroom, dripping wet with tears in her eyes, to ask, “Daddy, didn't you say that anything is possible with God if you just believe hard enough?”

“Sure, sweet girl. Absolutely.”

“Well, Daddy . . . I’ve just come from the bathtub, and it was filled up to the top.”

“Uh-huh.” I suddenly imagined myself backhanding the floating chairs, toilet seats, and toothbrushes half submerged in Bathroom Lake.


“Yes, sweetheart?” I’m now reluctantly reaching for the bathroom door, with her close behind me.

“Well, um . . . I’ve been trying and trying to walk on the water the whole time, and I just can’t do it. I’m really sorry, Daddy. I believed I could do it with God’s help, but I can’t — and I’m really sorry.”

With profound silence, I looked at her curious little face and hoped for a routine word ...

... But all I had to offer this time was a hug — one I couldn’t let go of without a little extra help from above.

Help me, Father. Just one thought that gently brought the next one:

Anything is possible with Me, but not everything is useful to Me. Peter only walked after I said, “Come.”
“Sweet girl,” I said on the heels of that thought, “it is possible for you to walk on water, but only if it’s something God wants you to do. Did He tell you to walk on the water?”

“No, Daddy, He didn’t. I just wanted to.”

Before I could finish that brilliant thought, though, she was on to the next subject.

It doesn't matter if I have the best intentions or the worst intentions. It doesn't matter if my end goal is selfish or if I want it to work for His glory. If it isn't His will, I will ultimately fail.

 I can tell God I want to make a relationship work, I want to write a book, 
I want to grow my company into something huge in His name,
I want to bring people to Him with the story He's given me
I want to teach teen moms their self worth and help them 
break free from the negative patterns in their lives, 

I want to walk on water.

The reason why doesn't matter.
Whether trying to bring glory to my name or His.
None of what "I want" means anything...

If I don't first listen for Him to say "Come..."

And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 
~Matthew 14:29

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last night I had a dream

Most of the time, dreams mean nothing... and I believe that is true about this one. But it was so real that I had to write about it.

Last night I had a dream that group of terrorists had taken over. I don't know if it was the whole country, but it was happening where I live. They were dressed like the photos I've seen of ISIS.

Somehow it had become legal for them to kill anyone who spoke to them disrespectfully in public, which included anyone who spoke about the Bible or Christianity. I was walking down the street and saw two women eating on the patio of a restaurant. One said something to one of these men who was "patrolling" the area, machine gun in hand. Immediately he was at her side, gun pressed to her head as her friend begged her to apologize and told her, "You can't say that to them. They can kill you for that!"

I walked on without waiting to see what happened.

The next thing I remember, I was in my own home and one of these men was following me down my hallway. I kept quoting Bible verses to him. One was in Hebrews, but other than that, I don't remember which verses I used. When he got angry I told him, "This is still my home, my private property. I still have religious freedom in my own home."

His response... "You can't hide in here forever."

I don't remember being afraid in the dream, but I know I would have been.
Thinking about it today makes me wonder how brave I would really be.

If I were one of those people with this symbol posted on their properties, what would I do? What a scary reality for some believers, half a world away. More evidence that we Americans, as much as we complain about some things, are more blessed than we can imagine...

Thankful that for me it was just a dream. Praying that that life never becomes a reality.

I believe in religious freedom and religious choice. While I am sad when someone chooses not to believe in the grace that saved me, I know that God gave us free will for a reason... and just as He won't force them to believe, I shouldn't attempt to force them either.

When it comes to religion in a public place, I believe that I should be able to stand on a street corner next to a person who is telling every passer-by that Christians are idiots and be just as free myself to stand next to the them and tell everyone that Jesus loves and provides grace for everyone... even the person calling me an idiot for believing it.

Just because you don't like or agree with what someone is saying, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to say it, nor does it give you the right to treat them badly.

You would think, given the scenario from my dream, that most people would agree. Unfortunately, many people are doing all they can to take away the religious freedoms of Christians in America, a little at a time, because they don't agree with them.

What they don't realize is that someday, their own freedoms will be called into question and they won't have a leg on which to stand.

A little different than my usual post, but that was a little different than my usual dream...

Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do. 
~Hebrews 13:8
Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 
You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. 
Remember the great reward it brings you! 
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you 
will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith.
But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” 
But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. 
We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.~Hebrews 10:32-39
Thankful today for all that I have, and praying for those who only dream of having the problems I 'endure' on a daily basis...

Sunday, August 17, 2014


This guy I knew a long time ago emailed me earlier this week.
I told him I knew he was only after
one thing and he was not going
to be getting it from me... 
     that I'm a different girl now... 
          and I sent him on his way.

Then you basically tell me you want the same things from me... 
     except you live so far away now.

You talk about coming back for me... but admit it would be next year, if at all.
Careful to tell me not to wait, you still throw it out there as a 'what if.'

I tell myself what you want is different 
     than what the other guy wanted, 
        Why? Because I love you... but really it's not fair. 
You had so many opportunities to love me, and you didn't take them. 
Don't tell me how much you regret it now that you are gone.
Don't talk about what 'maybe' could have happened if.
Don't talk about what 'maybe' could happen in the future.

I deserve someone who wants all of me... forever.

I deserve someone who knows how to love me back.

Not just someone who wants to send me sweet text messages
that mean nothing when applied to real daily life.

And I want to tell you to stop. 

But I don't want you to stop. 

Because sometimes a text message 
that makes me feel wanted
feels better than loneliness.
Which makes me wonder if
maybe I'm not a different girl after all.

I know I talk too much. 
You don't want to know any of this. 
You just want me to tell you to stop or don't,
because you said you'd stop if I told you to.

Don't stop.

And I can't help but wonder if this is a test.
Maybe this is the time I'm supposed to make the right choice
and God will decide I'm ready for something else...
or maybe I'm fooling myself with this as well...
     or setting myself up for defeat... 
          because I will never make the right choice every time.
One right choice followed by another followed by maybe even one more... eventually followed by a lot of stupidity... and then I have to start all over again. And anyone who read my last blog post is saying, "This doesn't sound like the girl who was practicing thankfulness and praying over her list."

Three steps forward 
and 2.5 steps back.
Welcome to my life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Prayers are more than a request

I truly wish that being married wasn't something I desired. I've even asked God to take the desire from me. I would like to live a life that doesn't make this topic part of everything I do. And I do know that since I've started dating again, this topic comes up more and more. If you are exasperated by it, know that I am too.

Awhile back, when I was frustrated about the two recent relationships I've had that haven't worked out, a friend told me, "Did you really think God was going to let you marry the first guy you dated when you started dating again? You might have to do this 15 or 20 times before He sends you the right one."

What!?! What a terrifying thought. Especially for a girl who has a track record of picking the wrong guys and sticking with them for way too long... often because I don't want to start over with someone else. Remembering that advice is almost enough to give me panic attack. His heart was in the right place, it just wasn't what I needed to hear at that moment.

I had coffee with my pastor's wife last week and we talked about similar things. She had some different ideas for me.

She told me to first make a list of the qualities I want in my future husband.
I had actually done this before, but that was back before I realized the possibilities. I can tell you now that my new list is much different from my old list... but no, I'm not sharing it. :-)

She then said to pray about it daily, thanking God for preparing him, wherever he is, whoever he is, to be who I need and thanking God for making me into the person he needs.

When I thought about this later, I started to get frustrated again. Daily? That's no problem. I've definitely been doing that. But why does how I ask matter? Why can't God just answer the prayer because He understands?

But really, I know prayer isn't just about getting what you want from God or thanking him for what He has given. Prayer also changes the person who prays. Thanking God for preparing my future husband is saying that I understand he isn't ready yet. Thanking God for preparing me is saying that I understand I'm not ready yet (even though I obviously think I am.)

I can dissect it even farther and focus on that "thanking Him" part. Being thankful for what I hope God is doing is a pretty big attitude change from being frustrated that He hasn't yet or worried that He might not ever... (something I need to be careful not to dwell on.)

She also said it's okay to pray that the right one, whoever he is, and I, will not have any doubts... that we will know, when it does happen, that God planned this.

Unfortunately for me, I have to remember that just because something is at the top of my priority list, it doesn't mean God is going to hand it over any time soon. But I did come away from that conversation hearing that it is okay to ask God to make the next one the right one (though I know He may have other plans) and to keep the wrong ones out of my path.

Continuing to work on being thankful for what I have and what He is going to do instead of being frustrated and depressed about what hasn't happened yet. Thank you for hanging in here with me, those of you who are. I know God has big plans for me and, I hope, a husband someday soon. Please continue to pray for me, that He will help me keep a better attitude and keep bitterness from slipping in... it's so easy sometimes to lose that thankful heart that He wants us to have.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." 
~Philippians 4:6-8