Monday, March 30, 2015



“Velcro” a friend had called me. Clingy. Codependent.

I’ve long owned the fact that I was a recovering codependent, but I didn’t know how to stop it. When relationship problems spilled into other areas of my life, I decided to ask a professional for help. Inside of a nearly two hour session, this was the turning point:

“So, what does it mean if someone cancels or doesn’t make plans with you?”
“It means they didn’t care enough to make time for me.”
“So, what if nobody ever cared enough to make time for you?”
“Then I would be alone.”
“What does it mean if you are alone? What does that say to you?”
“It means nobody thinks I’m worth spending time with.”
“Why does what they think matter? Who defines your worth?”

How many times have I begged God to show me my worth? I’ve read books and blog posts where other writers had been given huge revelations through some unforeseen incident. Where was mine? “Come on God! Are you really going to prove to me that I’m worthless too?”

But with that question, “Who defines your worth?” I suddenly realized that all the time I had been asking Him to show me my worth, I had kept my eyes on people.

In my heart I believed I was worthless and unlovable. I wanted people to prove me wrong. Every positive interaction left me thinking, “See? You might be okay after all.” Every negative interaction confirmed for me what I already knew, even if the cause of the negative interaction had nothing to do with me.

After all the amazing things God has done for me, bringing me from homelessness to the owner of a thriving and growing business with employees in less than two years, giving me a purpose, forgiving me time and time again as I struggle to get life right... I still questioned my worth… until that conversation.

“So, right now people are tests of your worth. What would people be if they weren’t tests?”
“People. They would just be people.”

I named the system I had been using to determine my worth the “Convince Me” system. Then I asked God to put something else in its place. He answered me. Right there. In the space of a few minutes, after a lifetime of codependency and self-loathing, He made it new.

I’m no longer a recovering codependent. I am healed.

Over the next week, this was put to the test over and over. Several people’s true colors were made clear to me. I was shocked at the things I learned about people that directly affected me. One week before, the things I learned would have crushed me. Now? I am disappointed… but they are just people.

Not only did I not care that I didn’t have a date on Valentine’s Day, I turned down a lunch date with someone who didn't have my best interests at heart. Not because “this is what God would want me to do” (followed by sulking at home) but because I didn’t need him to prove to me that I am not worthless. He is just a person.

It sunk in slowly.

God had made me new without flashes of light or fanfare. I didn’t feel a great wind or a see something amazing. There were not even any witnesses when I realized for sure what He had done. There are plenty now though, because I can’t stop talking about it. I can’t not share what He did for me on Friday, February 13th, 2015.

Writers write to be read. We want people to want to read our work. We want people to share our work with others. We want people to be touched by our writing.

That being said, I hope you enjoyed this post. I pray that God uses it to touch you somehow. But if it doesn’t, if you didn’t like it, if you won’t share it, if you think I’m full of hot air… that’s okay.

You’re just a person, and my worth is defined by my Creator.

Don’t let that statement offend you. As a person, you have worth too… but don’t look to me for it. Look to Him.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
~Ephesians 2:10

Thanks so much to the Brave Girl community for letting me reach out to their readers!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Feeling tested?


So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must
endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—
though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)

Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph's character.
-Psalm 105:19

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Learning from failure

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to come up with a metaphor and asked my oldest daughter, "What is something that dies quickly?" Her answer, "Your relationships?"


(Just laugh. It's okay. I did at the time!)

I saw this not long after...

Now, to be fair, I'm nowhere near 10,000! but I'm thinking I should apply this quote to relationships.

As much I hate being single, as much as I want to get married again, I am finding out that there are traits that I won't "put up with" for the sake of being in a relationship. With each "failure" I am learning what I want and need from the man who will someday be my husband... and I'm learning not to settle... making myself speak up, even if I'm afraid it will end things.

Even though I know my worth in Jesus, I'm quickly realizing that making others see it isn't so easy. If it was, I wouldn't even have to say these things. I'm not talking about any one person either...

If you don't want to be seen in public with me,
If you can't hold my hand where people can see,
If you wouldn't sit with me at church,

If you won't promise not to lie to me,
If your heart isn't ready to commit fully,
If you aren't excited to talk to me today,

If you can't accept my past and love who I am now,
If you refuse to see the silver linings,
If you are only after one thing,

If you still wish you could have her back,
    either as she was or as you thought she was,
If you only think about me when you are feeling
     hungry, angry, lonely or tired...
Then don't start anything with me.

I won't stop standing up for myself.
I may do it through tears and apologies,
because it is still hard for me to do, but
I know what I want, and I know who I am.

I dream big and love without reserve.
I'll fall hard and fast, and say what you will...
I don't ever expect that to change.

If you can't be on board with that,
save us both the heartache, because
I don't want to learn any more ways that won't work.


Do I think anyone that this applies to actually reads my blog? No. But it is all still worth saying.
I prayed for direction in that post I put up about a new relationship and things took a rough turn today. For now at least, I think I have that direction. 

Waiting is so much easier said than done, but I have to believe it will be worth it in the end.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40:31

Monday, March 16, 2015

When you care...

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:12-13

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Perfect or perfect disaster

While I share my journey with others through writing, this blog started out as and continues to be a blog about accountability. Now more than ever I have nobody to answer to as I make my way through where I am now to where He has called me to be. I've come so far these last two years since I started writing... but I know I have a long way to go. 

Some things recently have been hard to write about, knowing people are reading... but I can't stop, and withdraw into myself again. It is when the only eyes I have on my thoughts are my own, that I'm most susceptible to failing.  

Did you ever have something happen 
that could turn out to be perfect 
or could end up a perfect disaster, 
and you don't know which it will be? 
Maybe that's the way it is with everything 
in life, especially when it comes to relationships.

We never really know, do we?

With all I've been struggling through 
over the last few months, I have to stop 
and wonder if I really have any clue what
is actually going on here. I have been 
so easily blinded in situations like this before.

Can I trust myself to see the truth?

Maybe God is answering some prayers, but
maybe Satan is setting us both up with 
what he knows could be the biggest distraction
either one of us might have at this point.

I guess if I stop writing, we'll know.

Distractions keep me from the Word

and not being in the Word is often 
what keeps me from writing.

Hoping for more, not sure how it will play out. 

God is calling him too, and I don't want to be 
what keeps him from following Him.

Praying for direction, and patience. 

Waiting to see what happens next is the hardest part.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, March 13, 2015

Three years

A phone app called Timehop gives me a "This Day in History" for my life from my social media accounts. The posts range from funny to embarrassing to sad. Three years ago this week my kids and I moved to the local camp grounds for six months. What I tried to sell to them as an 'adventure' ended up being something only God could get us out of. Those posts are hard to read.

Most of the Timehop posts would seem fairly normal to those who were on the outside of the situation. But I can read between the lines of the posts. I lived between those lines.

I didn't realize it at the time, but even when I posted the words "in His own time," I didn't really care what His plan or timing was... because I had my own. I called my will His and cared mostly about what people could see. I didn't know I wasn't relying on God, but I did know that as long as I said I was, I couldn't be wrong.

Three years ago this week, my van caught fire while I was driving down the road. Ruptured fuel line. Amazing that the van didn't explode. Burns marked the pavement for over a year afterwards. The tow truck driver compassionately left my payment to him in the van's cup holder. Unless they read this, very few people know to this day that it happened only minutes after I left the casino where I blew $200 while praying for God to get me out of our mess.

 The fuel line ruptured between the second and third rows. 
Thankful I didn't have kids with me in the van.

The pile of stuff in the road on the right is Girl Scout Cookies.
They tried to save them, but were unsuccessful.

Three years ago today, my then six-year-old daughter had knee surgery. I had to get a ride to the hospital since my van was totaled. I don't remember how we got there now. Afterwards, her doctor considered keeping her over night as a precaution, but I decided we should go home. I wonder now if they would have insisted had they known where we were living.

I haven't yet decided if I'm happy to get these daily reminders from TimeHop, but it is very clear we have come a long way. Three years ago today I would have laughed if anyone had told me that I was going to run my own company and speak publicly about the things He's done for us.

Yet, here we are...

People say "Everything happens for a reason." I don't believe God planned all of this to happen so that I could be where I am. I do believe He let me make my own choices and, once I turned to Him for help, wove them together into something amazing.

And we know that God causes everything to work together 
 for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
~Romans 8:28

Saturday, March 7, 2015


I've fought posting this for awhile because I don't want this to come across as a "poor me" post. I am realizing though, that I can't be the only one struggling with similar things. I don't have an answer yet, but maybe part of the reason I'm still struggling is that I haven't written about it... God works like that with me sometimes.

Loneliness has plagued me
for several months now.
No longer able to "fix" the feeling
with my old stand-by salves of
drunkenness and/or sex,
I'm often at a loss.
Even if those were something
God would be okay with (He's not)
they don't fill the needs I have anymore.

It is of little comfort to know
that I'm not the only one.
It is of little comfort to know
that King David was lonely too. (Psalms 25:25-16)

God gave me a huge revelation recently
about my struggle for self-worth.
And while loneliness no longer represents
my lack of worth to me, it is still... lonely.
I don't fit in anywhere at my church.
I have lots of church friends,
but somehow I've lost my church family.
I'm doing church with people,
but not doing life with them.

A few friends have moved on,
my small group disbanded,
I let go of a few of those who
were not healthy for me to keep,
and I'm struggling to get past
the surface with new friends.

Lately everything feels like salt
being rubbed into an open wound.
People gather after every service
making plans to go here or there.
Whether I have my kids or not,
I usually end up going home.
The offer to help someone move
turned down, they "had enough help."
Several people I have tried to connect with
got together and formed a group
I'm not invited to... it's not their fault,
I don't "fit" in that group, and that's okay.
But it doesn't make me feel better
about where I am right now.

God has shown me during this time
how the old me would have settled
for a certain kind of attention from a few,
attention that I can still get if I want.
But that kind of attention, from men who
can't be bothered to have a real conversation
with me beyond a few flirty texts here and there,
has become increasingly unsettling.

I know the devil is using this to try to get a hold on me.
A few nights ago, it hit me really hard.
I opened my Bible and my eyes fell
on a verse in Ecclesiastes, "The dead
are better off than the living."
Really, God? Not the boost I needed.
Then I found another verse about
two people being better than one. Hmm, also not helpful.
After that I gave up, asleep by 9 that night.

I know God can use anything for good,
and He must already have a plan
for this time that I am in right now,
but I hope it ends soon, because it sucks.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”
~Lamentations 3:22-24

And we know that God causes everything 
to work together for the good of those who love God 
and are called according to his purpose for them.
~Romans 8:28

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, 
but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, 
against mighty powers in this dark world, and against 
evil spirits in the heavenly places.
~Ephesians 6:12

Sunday, March 1, 2015

If you are called

These are the words that spurred my pastor, Chuck Tate​, to finally write the book he has had inside of him for about 15 years. The same book that won a publishing deal with Tyndale House Publishing this weekend.

Before I started this blog,
Before God rescued me from myself, 
Before I was ever homeless,
Before God started my business,
Before I was even an adult,
Before I understood that God called people to do anything.
Before I even understood Who God is, I knew I was called to write.

Lately I've been feeling the pull to write more and more, but I don't always have actual words to put on the page. I open the laptop and stare at the keys and nothing comes. Some call it writers block. Some look at my life and wonder how I have time to write at all, much less pull together a readable post.

I would say that God recently showed me the source of my writer's block, but what He actually showed me is the source of my drive and gift and love for writing. It's HIM. When I am in the Word, when I am praying, when I am focusing on and fighting for His will for my life, the words flow more easily.

It truly believe this is another gift from God. I am busy. I am easily distracted. (Really, easily distracted. Like, between the last two sentences I checked Facebook twice.) I run my own business. I have four children. I REALLY like sleep... sometimes (often) more than reading my Bible. God knows sometimes I need a little incentive right now, to focus on what He wants for me instead of all the distractions.
I hope that some day my walk with God will be so solid that I won't need writer's block to remind me I haven't been in my Bible in a couple days. But for now I'm grateful. He is equipping me to do what He has called me to do, and the encouragement to do so just keeps coming. 

Today I not only had a new blog post accepted as a "guest post" for an awesome blog site (, but the women I submitted it to read through my previous posts here and asked to use an older one for another post later this spring. What an awesome blessing!

I wanted to share my news, and then I want to leave you with this thought:
Mark Batterson's quote about living 
in disobedience applies to more than writing. 
What is God calling you to do? 
Are you doing it?

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
~Philipians 2:11

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
~1 Thessalonians 5:23-24