Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For Aubrey....

Came across a precious blog this morning  (thanks Jennifer!!) and she shared a link to an amazing song.  This is for you today my love...just hold on.....

Tuesday's God Size Dream

It's Tuesday.  And Each Tuesday Holly Gerth has a God Size Dream assignment.  Here is mine for today:

Write a letter of encouragement to another dreamer in your life. Share your letter by including it in a post.

Hi Sweet Friend,

You have been on my heart this week.  I know the challenges that you face, they are much like my own.  We can walk through completely different circumstances, yet also deal with emotions that are quite similar.  When? Why? HOW? WHAT?!?!?! Yikes....seems like all those have come crashing around both of us lately.  But what God seems to be reminding me of is that first, He loves us.  He does.  And even though this seems like we have been been in the time out corner WAY longer than even seems fair....the fact is, He does want His best for us.  Even on the hard days, even when it hurts. 

The most important thing I believe, for you and I right now, is that God wants to remind us that HE IS GOD.  GOD.  OF EVERYTHING.  Not somethings, not only things that end in Y, but ALL things.  And this journey has made us weary and there are times that we feel like we are walking alone and we tend to forget as the days drag on, that He is in control.  And He can do in a second what we could never accomplish in a lifetime.  And He wants to show us that.  But we just have to hold on.  HOLD ON.  KEEP GOING.  And I see you rolling your eyes....but YES YOU CAN.  And so can I.  And so we will.  Together.  Love you so much. Here's my hand....let's go....  :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Morning

2 Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You.
Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet.
My soul is like this weaned child.  Psalm 131:2

It's Monday....and I did successfully manage to get up just a bit earlier today, so much I have ahead of me, but still....as I go to make my coffee, my thoughts begin to swirl, pressures begin weighing heavy on me....how, I can't, there's no way, seriously Lord still?......and so yet again, I sit, trying to unwind what is beginning to be so very tightly wound....and He reminds me that so a man thinks in his heart, he is......so what do I think in my heart? What is it that I am going to choose to believe this morning? 

Psalm 131 came to mind......I have no answers for all these questions about me.  Not one.  A child doesn't worry how it will be clothed, fed, cleaned, cared for....we as parents continually asses the needs of our children.  We guide them, care for them, get them through the day, always giving direction.  We just do it.  They just trust that we will do it.  Minute by minute....day after day.....they are always on our minds.  As we are always on His mind.....

And so today as I read that, what He whispered in my ear so early this morning, I let Him quiet me.  He's got this....He is my parent, I am His child.  All that I have belongs to Him and therefore, all that I need, I have.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Scripture

Lamentations 3:26 It is good to wait quietly for the Eternal to make things right again.

God has brought me to this passage many times over the past few weeks. As I was given it yet again this morning, I let the words sink in. Because its what He is pressing on me. This picture reminds me of myself sometimes :) Oh how we fight the times of quiet of times when it feels like we are surely alone and the devil has won and we are just out of luck....but wait. Wait on Him. Him who is our Rescuer, our Redeemer, our Comforter, our Strong Tower. He who is coming WILL come and will not delay.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


This week has been about community for me. The people we spend our time with, surround ourselves with, depend on and form bonds with.  This for me is family.  These people that become an ingrained part of our lives.  Whether we befriend them, marry into them, adopt them, whatever God uses to bring them across our paths, some are forever.  Some just in our hearts, but some become a part of who we are to be.  They are used to mold and shape us into the way God intended.  Sandpaper....velvet...tidal waves....streams...fire....ice....each used as God creates His masterpiece in us. 
I am reminded yet again that not all of your family will come by birth.  Some bonds forged will become much stronger, deeper, as we go along.  Today I'll be patient, hopeful, expectant of what God is doing and how He is moving in my life and grateful for the beautiful family, however they came to me, I have been blessed with.

Friday, April 26, 2013

5 Minute Friday

So today is 5 Minute Friday

Write about Friendship for 5 minutes.... Go...
As we walked together yesterday, one sharing her long awaited answer to prayer, the rest of us listening, silently praying...I saw that we are bound.  Bound in this love of Him, love of each other, bearing one anothers burdens.  We can do this with a look, with a touch, with a sigh.  That is friendship from God alone.
I began this journey with only one standing beside me and as I walked across the field last night, I realized that although this has not been an easy path, I've picked up quite a few passengers along the way.  Sharing my journey with me and I with them.  And we are all headed in the same direction :) We will never walk alone and our numbers slowly increase as I pause to look around.  Thankful.  Grateful.  Beautiful.  These sisters I love.  God given friendships.  Eternal. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

When You Doubt Count Them Out....

The Challenge was speak your blessings......so I am doing it.  Speaking Them.  Writing Them.  Listing them here:

Lemons...I love the smell.  It makes me smile.  Clean sheets....they feel amazing.  White...it's the most perfect color ever.  Watermelon....the best food God ever invented.  Ever.  Cupcakes....because they are cupcakes.  And cupcakes are amazing.  Always.  Reading....I love books.  My Bible....I love my Bible.  I love all the history of my life documented in those pages.....reminders, promises, how far He has brought me.  Words....I love that I love to spell things. Perfume....it's an extravagance we take for granted....and one that was given as a gift of great price.  My birthstone....it's Peridot, it's green, my favorite color.  My birthday...because it in August and that is the best month ever...the month of new beginnings.  The book Tiger Eyes...but more specifically the copy my dad gave me when I was 11 for my birthday and he wrote in the front. The plaque my friend Kristie gave me in 2003 before she left for Alaska that says "Remember how far God has brought you".  Hot Chocolate....it's just comfort in a cup.  Tears....I used to hate the fact I cry at EVERYTHING....but you know, tears break down walls, soften hearts and tell others the depth of how we are able to love and empathize.  Flip Flops....because I like shoes, but mostly, I like no shoes.  Tater Tots...Crispy Crowns.....yes they ARE paleo.  The beach....I love being outside and the beach is one of my favorite places.  Running...one of the most substantial answers to prayers in my life.  A huge gift from God.  It has gotten me through days I never thought would end and allowed me to conquer dreams I never thought I would achieve.  Conversation....that I can express myself to others, to God and they can do the same with me.  Breeze....when I run at times while the seasons are changing, I come into pockets of warm or cool air.  Today it was warm...and it was as if God Himself came and surrounded me.  It made me smile, it calmed me.  My eyes....I love the color God made them.  I'm tiny....5'1" and I like that about me.  Cheese....dairy is a love of mine...yes I did say that out loud.  Coffee...oh yes, but my own coffee...turbo jet fuel coffee, instant coffee IN my coffee...early morning goodness....if you know me you are thankful for that too.  My yard....it's big, it's a semi jungle....but it's the place God has held me for 18 years and obviously He has a plan.  Sago...I know you are not a dog...it's why I love you because I am not an animal person, but I picked you and you are awesome.  Jesyca...yep I won the lotto with that kid....she is everything I always wanted to be....and she is amazing and the most perfect daughter you could ever want...cause she's her, just her and that makes her amazing.  Justin Ryan....my cling on kid who now is just conquering the world...he is an amazement.....he is the kindest most gentle soul you have ever met and the most awesome boy I could have ever hoped for.  Those two make my days...the most amazing blessings I could have ever dared hoped for and He gave them to me :)  My dad....I'm a daddy's girl and God uses that relationship to remind me just how much more He loves me, even more than my earthly father (and that's a lot).  B....always my <3.  My truck...2005 was a good year...and it's an awesome truck...even though I'm a tiny little girl in a really big vehicle.  Running shoes...yes, they are a gift....I love them.  My church....cause it's filled with God...with love... and with peeps who aren't afraid to get out there and make a difference.  My friends...aka...family not birthed....they were chosen.  Marci.  My sister who taught me how to laugh again when I was coming out of one of the darkest periods of my entire life.  And she's just a part of my very being and I hope Jesus lets us have mansions next to each other.....Aubrey....she's so me in so many ways..I see myself in her when it comes to determination to overcome whatever obstacle says "no you can't"....we just say, "watch me".  She doesn't see the beauty in that, in her, what God has placed in that precious heart of hers...but I do.   Tamra....oh she is my heart....what a precious gift ....She reminds me of all the good that there is.  Cyndie....my sweet friend who almost wasn't....but thankfully we let God work His will into us and I cannot imagine if we had let our insecurities tell us otherwise.....what a treasure and wealth of godly knowledge I would have missed...she challenges me on every level, to push past and be who God created me to be......and then we have Troy & Tiff......they have been a part of my life since the first brick in this wall tumbled....and they have lifted me up on the days when it would have been really easy to stay down.....there really aren't words to describe what their family is in my life....Kristie...who has been my person for the past 10 years....many of those were spent apart geographically but God brought her back and she has been my backbone, my voice of reason and my shoulder...she has seen me through every step of this crazy ride God has put me on and I know she will rejoice just as much as me when God lets the morning break through this very long night....there are many more friends I am thankful for..online and in person who have let God use them to help me keep moving.  I love you all.  Can't imagine one day without you.  I am thankful for my health, for my strength, for my abilities, for all the opportunities God has placed before me.  For the open doors...ans yes, even the shut doors. 

I am grateful for each breath.  Grateful for the opportunity to serve Him.  Even in the hard times, even when I'm pitching a fit and being Bratty McWhiner...even then Lord, help me to keep counting and remembering all I am blessed with. Psalm 103....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This Hump Feels Like A Mountain......

This week has been a struggle.  All the why Lord why's? And when Lord when's? are making me not even want to listen to myself anymore.  There are days when the pain of remembering is so great that I just can't bear up under it.  And so is as His typical fashion when the pain is so great and my strength is so weak, He whispers.  And then when I seek answers to the questions I don't have answers to, His answer is the same.  "You were made for hard baby girl.  Yes you can".  And His answers are not always easy.  And lets be honest, they are most of the time not what I want to hear.....
 Matthew 5:39-42
39 But I say this, don’t fight against the one who is working evil against you. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, you are to turn and offer him your left cheek. 40 If someone connives to get your shirt, give him your jacket as well. 41 If someone forces you to walk with him for a mile, walk with him for two instead. 42 If someone asks you for something, give it to him. If someone wants to borrow something from you, do not turn away.
Seriously Lord? Yeah.....seriously...because this is not all about me (shocker).  This is about His glory and doing what He has placed me here to do.  Even when it hurts.  Even on the hard days.  Because here's the kicker, the thing I tend to forget in this entire thing that has been my life for the past 15 months. 
1. God Loves Me.  Period.  He does not want to see me harmed in anyway.  He will, however, use every circumstance.. for His purpose and ultimately my good.  And He is not overly concerned about my comfort. 
2.  God IS A Rewarder.  Period.  I may not be able to see it right this second, but if He is asking me to do the hard work, then He will also let me benefit from it.
Hard truths this week.  His timing.  Not mine.  This sucks.  But He will be glorified.  Even on the hard days, even when I want to quit......He sings to me....songs of what is to come, songs of How great His love is for one very tired girl.....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things I Learned At Preschool

It's Tuesday....just another day.  How often do we miss His leading, His will for what our tasks will be?  I get so consumed with the things that aren't or that perhaps could be, should be or would be, that I almost miss the thing He is calling me to right in front of my face.  And when I stop to do what He has asked of me, it seems that He answers my own questions deep inside my heart.  The verse He has given me twice already this morning:

Proverbs 11: 24-25
24 One shares liberally and yet gains even more,
while another hoards more than is right and still has need.
25 A giving person will receive much in return,
and someone who gives water will also receive the water he needs.

He so lovingly reminds me that He is here, He is guiding me if I'm quiet enough to listen, still enough to let Him be God and know that He will never leave me, never forsake me on this journey...I let go of His hand at times, not the reverse.  Keep being just what He has asked me to be.  It may seem like nothing is happening.  It all may seem pointless...but...

Monday, April 22, 2013

And We're Wallking......

He knows the way I take.  Today I am finding comfort in that.  At times putting one foot in front of the other makes me wonder if I even have a clue where I am actually supposed to be going, what I am actually supposed to be doing.  So today, in my confusion I am reminded....He knows the way.  If I'm seeking Him, then I'll get there.  Some days I think maybe it's good to not see the forest for the trees....the things right in front of you, the things that He has given us to do.  Little by little, tree by tree, we will come to the end of the path and look back in the great expanse of what we just emerged from.  And we will see it's greatness, its large consuming size and wonder how?!? By following that narrow path He set before us.  He knows.  He leads.  Even when we can't see.  Even when it's dark, even when we must press through.  This is the way.  Simply follow Him.

Proverbs 5:21 The Voice

21 You see, the Eternal sees our ways before Him.
He watches every move we make and knows where those paths lead.

Friday, April 19, 2013

In The Mourning

"And the depth to which you have grieved losses, shows Me your ability to embrace the joy that is coming". 

My sweet online friend Christine wrote a blog post about What Would Jesus Say To You ?
The statement above really stuck with me.  It makes me wonder....how does our ability to grieve, to mourn, tie in with our ability to love?  I would have to say over the past year my ability for both have been stretched much further than I ever dreamed possible.  Can one be stretched without the other?  Does the ability and the depth of the way we love change when we have deep times of mourning?

For me, I believe the answer is yes.  This grief over the loss I have experienced has changed me in ways that I never expected and it brought me face to face with the love that God has for me tangibly.  I am thankful for things is such a different way.  Things I took for granted before, oh, would be such a joyous thing today.  I have learned that in order to be able to receive the things you most desire, you have to be able to give them first.  Love, compassion, friendship, gratitude, forgiveness, understanding....all these things I desperately needed.  There is something in giving when you yourself are face down in your own pain and grief that changes you.  Forever.  It brings life, the act of giving what you yourself need, brings about a healing inside of you.  Because you don't have anything to give.  And when you are down to nothing, anything He asks you to give has to come straight from Him.  And when that happens, the one who receives is blessed, but the one who gives....changes.  You cannot have God work through you and not be changed.  His very life force etches itself into your being and you are never the same.  Deep wells are filled, wounds are flooded with such amazing rivers of grace and mercy.  That is where the healing comes.  That is where the soul and spirit cry out to God. That is where He changes everything.

And so this stretching...most days it feels like it might be here to stay, like it has settled in like a constant companion that I fear may never leave.  But I know in my heart it's not so.  God promised.  And this stretching to push past the fear and the pain, I pray, pushes me closer to Him.  Closer to His love and more able to receive what is coming....joy.

Psalm 30:5

The Voice (VOICE)
5 His wrath, you see, is fleeting,
but His grace lasts a lifetime.
The deepest pains may linger through the night,
but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Strong Tower

Faithful.  I struggle with that word.  It feels impossible, yet it is what He has called me to.  The words that are used to describe it are piercing to me.  They are strong words.  Sure words.  Unmoving words.

steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal
firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious
given with strong assurance : binding <a faithful promise>
true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original <a faithful copy>
All of these things describe what He has called me to on this journey of mine.  But as I really let it sink in, these are all the things He is to me when I look past my fears and doubts.  He is loyal.  He is conscientious.  He is binding.  Bound.  That is how I can describe my feelings at times.  But bound by things He never meant to hold me.  I need to be reminded that He has bound me to Him, to His promises, not to the things that have held me captive, seperated from Him.  Being bound to sin is death.  Being bound to Him is life. 
He is fatihful.  Not one word returns void.  And as I give Him more and more of my heart, my life, my soul, He shows Himself as the One who never goes back on His promises.  Never fails.  Never leaves.  Never forsakes. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Weight Of It All

Galatians 6:1-3 MSG
[ Nothing but the Cross ] Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Burdens.  They have surrounded me lately.  Pressing in on me until I fear I can't breathe.  And As I pray, God keeps reminding me to bear the burdens of others.  Some days I get angry about that.  Why Lord? Don't You see what I am carrying?  He does.  And He wants me to lay mine down.  You see when we bear anothers burden, we are not attached to it.  We can easily take it to Him and lay it down at His feet.  We are not asking for anything in selfish motive, only God's will. 

It helps me take the focus off myself, see others in their pain, and puts my own burdens in perspective.  It is humbling at times to see how far God has brought me.  It reminds me of how much grace and forgiveness I have needed and still need.  It helps me die to self.  Do the things for others you want done for you.  Love the way you want to be loved.  Forgive the way you want to be forgiven.  Pray for others the way you need to be prayed for.  Sow the seeds into those around you that you so desperately need.  That has been my lesson in the past 15 months.  That is the work God has set me to. When we come to Him with open hands He can take and we can recieve.  And when we carry the load of those around us, there is no room to hold our own.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Step Into The Water

And so it's Monday again. Last week was one that I can only describe as trying at best.  God does that at times, pulls away the old, makes me look my fears in the face and then picks me up when I fall.  This mornings verse is a familiar one to me.  He sends it to me a lot these days.  So, I'm going to share it with you.  I want to encourage you as much as I need to encourage myself, just keep going. 

Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message (MSG) Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Do I think it is a coincidence that God dropped a desire in my heart YEARS ago to be a runner? No, I don't.  That He waited until the bottom was beginning to fall out of the old to start building a new foundation? Nope.  That He made me able to understand long distance and endurance and how much this spiritual journey mirrors my long runs? Nah.  He knows.  He knew this would be a long and hard journey.  He knew what and who I would need along the way to help me become the girl He's making me to be. 
What's holding you back today? Better yet, what are you holding on to that's keeping you from God's best.  Don't worry, I understand.  That thing you think you can't possibly let go of because then how can God ever bring your dream to pass?  If you let go...and let it go....then how? And again, I'm gonna say this to you today because it is something He is speaking to me as well.  Let go.  Open your hands.  Give Him the pieces.  Let God be God.  NOTHING is impossible.  Not your dreams, not your needs, not His ability to comfort and love you and make you be you.  Trust Him.  Let Him grow your faith.  Let Him show you a miracle.  Let Him make you the miracle. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Scripture

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are We There Yet?

I feel like I'm standing still staring at this sign.  It feels like a long way off.  It feels like I might run out of gas.  What if I miss my exit?!?  Is there a turn around? A cross over? As much as I think I want to hit the brakes, part of me wants to hit the accelerator.  To get there already...I'm tired and want to be done with this part of the journey. Waiting is not always easy.  Whether in traffic or on God's timing. 

And as much as I feel like I might somehow miss it, somehow make a wrong turn, somehow completely miss Him....His words are clear.  Love others.  Serve others.  There is work to be done in the waiting.  Not busyness, trying to do anything but wait patiently, but acting as His hands and feet.  Letting our broken pieces feed the 5000.  Because in our brokenness is what we have to offer.  Those are the pieces He will use to not only reconstruct us, but also to fill the needs in those He brings across our paths.  And that's part of the beauty of the broken pieces.  We can share them with others and God still has plenty to make the most lovely masterpiece in us. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


"You can't reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday's junk" Louise Smith
I see this everyday in preschool. Hands filled, they come across something new, something better, something they want, yet in order to take hold of it, they must empty their hands of what they are already holding on to.

How often do I do that? I see the things that God wants me to take hold of, but I am too busy holding on to things I need to let go of, that are keeping from the best God has for me. My hands are full, my heart is heavy, my mind is stuck and unable to let go and fully embrace what lies ahead, because it just seems impossible. Holding on to what I already know is safe, it's tangible. To empty my hands, let go and trust that God will fill them with something better is hard. No looking back. Just let go.

To believe that He has brought me here not to harm me, but to give me hope and a future, some days doesn't exactly seem like it's the real deal.  As much as I see the beauty of what He has created in this brokenness, some days all I see are the shattered pieces and the devastation feels much too real to open myself up and trust that this is what it takes to bring me to healing, to the goodness and fullness of all He desires for me.  Some days I sit clutching these shards of a life, pushing the pain in deeper when I hold on tightly, instead of letting Him have His way, removing the pieces, clearing the way for healing.  I tend to focus on the scars. 

And so He waits.  And He comforts.  I, as is typical for His very stubborn child, finally relent and accept this place where I am.  And I grow yet again.  One day closer to that girl I know I am.  The one He's creating me to be.  Stronger.  More resilient.  Forgiving.  Loving.  Patient.  Kind. Adaptable.  Accepting.  Humbled.  Thankful.  Forgiven.  Accepted.  Approved. Beloved. Changed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hold On For One More Day

As I am walking this road lately, God keeps reminding me....He was calling me here before I ever knew it.  He was preparing me before I ever sensed it.  He was placing dreams and promises in my heart before I even knew what He was asking....My words, my thoughts, my declarations.....and now as He takes me back I see them.  I see His Hand.  I hear His whispers......for days like today.  Days when this seems like the Mount Everest of tasks.  Faith.  Belief.  Sacrifice. Perseverance.  Patience.  Choosing obedience.  Choosing the best for the sake another.

February 15, 2012

I saw this definition come across my computer screen. It's one of those little answers to the big questions I have been asking God of late. Why? How long? This is painful....this makes no sense to me....... And so when I came across this simplest of words and read it's definition, the meaning resounded loud and clear in my heart. Okay Lord, I hear You. Is it an answer to all my questions? No it isn't, but then He never promised to explain to me all the "whys", He just promised me He would always be the answer.


The ability to withstand hardship or adversity...Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The ability to sustain a prolonged or stressful effort or activity....Because God is my refuge and fortress. An ever present help in time of trouble.

The ability to undergo without giving in....Because the Lord will renew my strength if I do not grow weary.

To regard with acceptance and tolerance....Because God gives me the peace that passes all understanding.

To continue on in the same state.....Because I am content in whatever state I am in because He will supply all my needs.

To remain firm without yielding....Because His ways are not my ways. He calls me to lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I must acknowledge Him and HE will make straight my path.

To last...Because God says NEVER will I leave you, NEVER will I forsake you.

Monday, April 8, 2013


The question was asked of me recently, what does mend mean? And these are the things I came up with.  Mend..... to heal, to fix something that has been broken, to bind up, to sew together something that has been seperated. 

While mending means a recovery of something that was torn apart or broken, restoration means revival, renewal...restablishment.  Something made completely new, not just healed or put back together.  It's all together new.  Joel 2:25.

These two beautiful words mean everything to me.  He comes to give life, to heal the sick and mend the brokenhearted, to set captives free, to give eternal life.  Mending, renewing.... hearts that are sick, souls that are lost, prodigals that need to find their way home. 

I have also come to the realization in the last few days that in order for something to even need to be mended in the first place, it must be broken.  Sometimes we need to be broken so God can mend our hearts, our hurts, our pasts, our regrets....and make us stronger in those places than we once were and maybe even stronger than we would have been without them.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Count Your Blessings One By One

I was reminded this morning while reading one of my devotionals how quickly I tend to get stuck in a rut.  By that I mean I get tunnel vision.  A one track mind.  And that can be good.....but that can be bad.  I tend to get so wrapped up in one thing that I don't have and forget to see all the things I DO have.  And let me say, I am blessed beyond measure. 

My devotional spoke of Eve in the Garden.  She had everything.  Except one thing.  One thing God told her no about.  And that's where she got into really big trouble....she focused on what she didn't have and when she finally got it, through her own disobedience, well.....here I am, fighting the same battle she did.  I don't believe God wants to withhold any good thing from us.  But everything has its proper time and place.  And in order to have that, you have to be in obedience to Him.  So today, I'm going to look around and list some of the things I am grateful for.  Try it.  It will make us both smile :)

My List Of Blessings

Jesyca Rene & Justin Ryan
Sago (even when you shed, I love you too)
A roof over my head and a beautiful place to be
I can run.  Everyday.  I have two legs, two arms and I can breathe.
I am strong, inside and out
The bills are paid, God has taught me about being frugal and I can sleep at night.
There is food on the table.  And by making wise choices, I can feed my family healthy food.
We have clean water.
I have a washing machine and Downy Unstoppables.  That is huge people.
I have coffee.  You should be thankful for that too if you see me before 7 am.
I have transportation.
I have a riding lawn mower.  After a year of push mowing 5 acres...yeah, sooo thankful!!!!
I have the most amazing friends EVER.  EVER.  PERIOD..
I get to see my family everyday at work.  And I love them.  And they love me.
I get to go to work each day.
I'm smart.  I can learn new things.  And lately without many tears and freaking out!
I have had the same Bible for 18 years.  And it reminds me where He has taken me.
I have a Bible period.
I have a bed.
I have clothes.
I have running shoes :)
God has taught me a little of how to love unconditionally.  And that has changed me.  For the better.
God teaches me new things each day, even if they hurt, He's still working on me!
I have salvation.  3/1995
Cupcakes.  They are a beautiful thing.

Just a few......cause there are so many things.....and I thankful for the gift of words.  Thankful that I can write them down and share them. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Today I am reminded of something God called me to almost 2 years ago.  This was what He would ask of me, though I didn't know it at the time.  And this says it all.  No matter what I feel, no matter what I think, no matter how things look, obedience wins out everytime.  And what is His command? For me, to love the Lord YOUR GOD, with all your heart, soul and strength and to love my neighbor (everyone else) as you would love yourself. 
1 Corinthians 13:1-7,13  New Living Translation (NLT)
Love Is the Greatest
13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.


The Beginning, Even Though It Feels Like The End

Such an interesting place God has brought me back to.  Sometimes to remember the good, the blessings, we come across the painful and the not so great times.  But we must not stay here, we must not dwell.  These are the times when we praise Him, even if it's through tears.  That we are not who we once were, we are not where we once were.  That we can see His hand and be certain of this very simple truth.  He will not leave us.  He will not forsake us.  Even when we feel like there is no hope left, no good to be found, keep going.  Keep trusting.  Keep praying.

March 26, 2012

I've been pondering a lot lately resurrection. The resurrection of things, situations, circumstance, God. And in truth, this is the part we want to look at, the end result, the fruition of a promise. But how do we get to that point? How do we get TO the resurrection? Well, death.

As much as I am not afraid of a physical death, I know Who holds my very soul, it's the other types that seem to strike such fear in my heart at times I can hardly breathe. Why? I can trust the very Maker of this earth with my soul for eternity, but struggle so much with everyday circumstance.

In order for a resurrection to take place, there must be a death. We see this everyday. A flower is bloomed because the seed died and gave forth to new life. A relationship died and seemed buried beneath so much pain heartache and bad decision, that it could never possibly remain. All the life, all that it was, dead. Buried. Gone.

And then it happens. The old, the seed, died. All the hurts, all the mis-truths, all the failures, all the wrongs....gone. And when Christ breathes life into it again, it becomes something new. Something unseen before, something beautiful, something larger, something stronger, something with purpose. Something resurrected.

Lord, help me trust you when I have days of such unbelief. You who rolled away the stone, can do it again. Help me to remember that You, and You alone, are in control. And help me remember that when my pain is great and I am so weak, that is when Lord, You are strong.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

WAIT is a Four Letter Word

I was looking back over some things....reminding myself of the blessings in my life and all God has given me, trying desperately to keep my head above water it seems.  I found something I wrote a year ago....the words ring true for exactly where I am right now even though I was in a completely different place last year.  Sometimes we just need a reminder that He is a sustainer.  The will to just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other may be all I am called to at times.  But it all has purpose.  It all has meaning.

1 Peter 5:6
King James Version (KJV)
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time

April 5, 2012

WAIT. You might as well tell me to stop breathing. Add Patiently to the end of Wait and the Lord might as well have just asked me to part the Red Sea. But maybe that is exactly what He's asking me to do. Be still, the Lord will fight for you. Waiting is hard. Waiting is silent sometimes. Waiting hurts. Waiting can be lonely. It's easy to think you are supposed to do anything other than wait because what in the world is wait gonna do for me in all this? Wait isn't. God is.

If he told me to go and do, talk it out, anything other than wait, I could do it in my sleep. "I" could. And if I could do this, well then God would not be glorified would He? "I" can't do this. "I" can't fix this. There is nothing in this that I can change. He didn't ask me to. He asked me to be obedient. He asked me to wait. And trust me, waiting for me is an extreme act of obedience. As is Patiently. As is Silently.

Growing hurts. It's painful. We want to run from it, ignore it, escape it, numb it. Or we can surrender to the God that loves us more than we could ever imagine. The One who made us and has a purpose for our lives. To stop now would be to loose whatever blessing lies ahead in obedience. To ignore Him would be to walk away from everything my soul cries out for. And so I do wait, albeit some days, with white knuckles, holding on for dear life, but He honors that. He honors our sacrifice, because in the end He wants to be glorified. Sometimes the biggest act of faith happens with the smallest acts of obedience. Wait.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Do It Afraid

Fear.  A 4 letter word that no one likes.  As God has once again called me into a place where all I can do is look around and say "I am NOT in Kansas anymore!", fear comes in and tries it's best to settle.  Holley Gerth made an interesting statement in her book You're Made For A God Sized Dream, and it really resonated in the walls of my heart: 

“Fear hangs out right next to whatever it is you’re most called to do. That means the closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds. Keep going–fear is a chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman.” — You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Chapter Five.

I have felt so pressed, so fearful, and I believe that if we run from it, we give power to it, kind of like running from that Doberman.....he's likely to chase you!! Speaking our fears keep them from settling.  They give us the chance to offer them up to God in prayer and also release the hold they have on us when we shine the light of who He is in the places that these fears like to hide.  Because the Light and the darkness cannot coexist. 

I'll go first....my fear, the one that has settled so close to me lately is that THIS is it.  My life is a good one.  I have so much to be grateful for, but I know what God has hidden in my heart.  And when He is silent and asking me to wait, and days go by, and NOTHING changes, my fears start screaming.  Told you so.  Told you.  And I fear that alone is what I am left with. Because He pulled me away into a period of aloneness before.  For my own good.  For my own protection.  So when I am still here and I fell that pull again, I get anxious.  And scared.  And I fret.  And I think seriously Lord?!?!?! So today I am throwing it out there.  Into the light.  Because I know what His promises are.  And I believe Him.  And I trust Him.  In spite of what I see.  In spite of what I feel.  His promises are Yes and Amen.

So, what fears are chasing you today?  What fears are nipping at your heals?  Turn around.  He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world if you know Jesus as your Saviour. I believe you will find that big ole' sound fear is making is all bark and no bite.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can You Hear Me?

Reading back through the pages I had journaled on Sunday, I read something that made my breath catch.  It was such a reminder to me how much God is changing my view, my perception of things, even when I feel like I am just sitting here, going round and round the same circle.

"I uttered such a simple and heartfelt conversation".  Conversation.  I was speaking of praying about an issue.  And How He heard.  And how He answered almost immediately.  But what I am seeing in the whole scenario is that first, I had a conversation with God.  I spoke to Him and then I listened.  Because I can pray all the prayers I want, but how many answers might I miss if I don't then in turn give Him a chance to answer me.  Maybe some answers come in the form of a burning bush.  But I think more often, they come in the form of the quietest whisper.

I had been extremely quiet and still in the moments before I needed to pray.  That place where you are wide open and there is very little separation between Heaven and earth.  And the moment came, and I had my conversation with God and He answered.  First in the stillness,  in the quiet came my directive.  Be still.  And then He acted and swiftly at that.  And I think I stood wide eyed and silenced by my own shock for a few minutes.  A lesson learned. 

A very wise woman told me, oh so long ago, when I first began on this journey of mine..."seek not so much to be understood, but more to understand".  I had very little inkling as to what God meant by that way back then.  But that statement she slipped to me on a piece of paper in church one Sunday has stuck with me for over 14 years. 

I believe this holds true in our relationships, but especially in our relationship with God.  I spend so much time trying to get Him to understand what I am saying or where I am coming from when...hello.....He created me!  He knows my thoughts and words before I ever utter them.  So my conversations with Him should be so much less of me and so much more of Him.  Listening.  Because our heart cries out to Him continually.  The Holy Spirit in us beseeches Him on our behalf with utterances and groanings we cannot even understand.  But He can.  He does.  And this drives me to a place where I have never been.....but that's not such a bad thing.  And that's not such an uncommon theme in this journey of mine. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sometimes You Gotta Walk Before You Can Run

When I run, I don't walk.  I can't.  If I walk, I'll stop completely.  And it's over.  So I run.  Keep moving at all costs.  Even when it hurts.  Especially when you are tired.  Because if you keep running, you'll get there.  But today I read something that challenged my thinking.  This may be the way I run in the physical, but perhaps it isn't what God is always asking of me in the spiritual.  Wait.  Be still.  Be quiet.  These have been the recurring theme for me as of late. 

In her blog post The Long Walk,  Melanie Shankle speaks of a conversation she had with her daughter discussing her long awaited dream of becoming a published author.  But I think this conversation just might fit in to many of our own lives as we talk about dreams and goals that seem to be taking forever or might feel like they will never come to pass:

After I hung up the phone I said, “Babe, thanks for being so patient. That was an important call about the book.”
“What, sweetie?”
“It has taken you a really long time to write a book.”
Since I’m never one to miss a teachable moment outside of Subway, I replied “Yes it has. But you know what? Sometimes in life the things we have to wait on the longest or work the hardest for turn out to be the sweetest things in the end.”
And then she said something that I know was God speaking through her right to my heart.
“Mama? Sometimes we have to walk to our future even when it feels like we want to run.”
Walk.  Even though I want to run from this as fast as I can to the other side.  There is no rushing what God has planned.  There is no hurrying it along with our sighs and heavy shoulders....walk.   For those of us that typically know one speed , that can be a tall order.  But walking has a way of reminding us to look around and see the big picture, to not get so focused on a goal or an outcome that we can't see the beauty and the work set right before us.  The ending will come.  The sun will set.  Our dreams will become reality. But what did we do along the way?  How did the journey change us? And did we allow it to change those around us?