Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Choose

Joining Lisa Jo and the girls for 5 Minute Friday.  No edits, no rewrites and love those that came before you.


Choosing has been front and center in my life lately.  Go left or right, back or forward, stay or go, wait or leave.  Too much on my plate and it makes my heart very heavy tonight.  One thing I have chosen, because none of the rest of this is making a bit of believe.  Just believe.  I'm choosing to believe in big bold prayers, I am choosing to believe that He is in the midst of this.  I am choosing to find some shred of good, however small.  I am choosing His grace over my feelings of complete failure.  I am choosing to believe who He says I am because who I think I am right now just isn't nice.  I am choosing good over what I want. Choosing nice words over anger.  Choosing to let Him hold me while I pitch this fit.  Choosing to say over and over that He is good and faithful and just.  Choosing His heart over mine.  Thankful.



I think about them each morning. These ones He has brought across our path and into our lives. I see how she listens to what they say, how they live their day to day. They think my lunch is weird....perhaps. It's the same lunch I have made for 10 years now. 10 years. And I am reminded that in our days of plenty I was not so easily swayed, so concerned, so curious. Heart changes occur and we don't even notice sometimes. As she would talk about them, their families, their ways, even when they made fun of her, she didn't care. She knew deep down I suppose that sometimes we scoff and poke and jeer at things we so desperately desire, especially when we see it in the hands of another. So what to do, what to do? Share. And so it began. My girl would share that which she had with those who didn't. And at first my concern was my child being hungry, but it turned into a concern for another's child being hungry. My girl shared because she knew....she knew....there is more. There is plenty. She had never known want. And so she knew she could be filled up quite easily. And so I whispered thanks that even on the not-so-great-start morning, I packed extra, because we have plenty. Because when you break bread, share the pieces of what you have to give, there is always leftovers. More than enough. Curious hands share cucumbers and carrots and apples and strawberries. Baby sandwiches because we all like surprises and changing it up and I get to pretend like I'm an awesome chef ;) well, I am a good lunch maker. And so I am inspired by the actions of my girl because they remind me of the words He says.....stretch out your tents.....  When I read the words of Isaiah I get weepy.....

Isaiah 49:18, 21 Raise your head, lift up your eyes,and watch your heart’s desire come—All your children, gathered and returning to you. As I live, so I promise.You will wear them with pride all like shining ornaments;you will put them on as a bride on her wedding day. You’ll say to yourself, “Where in the world did all these people come from?Could these really be mine?I thought I’d been desolated, left empty.Where have you all been? Where did you come from?” 

Beautiful promise, big bold prayers, breakfasts and lunches, notes on napkins, all showing His love for them, for me. God's words inspire me to do more, to reach out, to see beyond my own door.  These children inspire me because they are beautiful bundles of promise and such a privilege it is to sow into them how much they are loved by a God perhaps they haven't been introduced to yet. Thankful.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Philippians 4:6 AMP)

Today I want french fries, a frosty and a one way ticket on a completely different train.....sigh.....two of the three are an option. And that they are speaks volumes to my heart. 
Big bold prayers...her words challenged......
I wished I could unread it, but I can't. And now, NOW He quietly sits and says.....YOUR turn baby girl. 
No way, noooooo thank You very much!!!! I'm done remember? I said so!! He smiles. I hear it. Cause let's be honest. I don't get to run this show. 

What I am allowed to do is pray big bold prayers. Prayers that state my request...with thanksgiving, not reasons why it's fine if He doesn't feel like it. I have to humble myself, let go of my will and lay my heart on the line along with my requests......then trust. Let it drop. No ifs or buts. Big bold prayer, thank You Jesus, Amen. So. Be. It. And He will answer, because I'm His kid. So are you. And He knows what we want, what we need. Maybe He just wants to hear it. I know my kids need dinner. I know. But I ask them....what would you like? Because I want them to have good things. Things they desire. Sometimes I just want to hear it from them. Their hearts (or tummies) desire. And most often they get the very thing they are after and it's always something that will benefit them. Even if its a little broccoli with that side of pizza. Thankful. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

5:00 am.  One eye opened and this was my verse today. Focus on the good. 
I'm up 45 minutes earlier today. Good. Make the coffee, preheat the oven for biscuits. Good. 
Quiet time, writing in my journal. Good. Heat the butter in the pan for eggs. Good. 
Making lunches. Good....but I need to print out the lunch menu for school so I can see what days they can buy. Printing. Good. 
What is that smell?!?.....butter burning!! Not good at all!!! 
Make the eggs for the biscuits after I wash the pan, my boy comes out and asks where are his uniform pants? Why would I have your pants? To let the hem out. 

You never gave them to me and I never got around to asking for them. No pants. To which I promptly came completely unglued. Not so good. 
Pants found hanging in my closet, cause that's how my boys mind works. He is brilliant, I can't forget to mention that. If she sees them she will remember....sigh....our brains are from different planets. I didn't see them. 

Proceed to finish breakfast making and consider ditching lunch making. Not gonna do it. Make lunches, pack breakfasts and drive them to the bus stop. Cause it's raining. Breathe. Good. 

On the bus.....two kids and two meals accounted for. I still feel frustrated at myself. Why can't I handle this better? 
I have a proctored test at 8 am. It's 6:40. I notice that the pool is pretty full. Need to dump some water. Even though its leaky, still the rain has been a blessing. Backwash just a little out. 
Jump in the shower and say some prayers. Focus on good baby girl. Dry off and remember....the water!!! Naked would be bad, so I grab a robe as I dash out the door. Thank You Lord for reminding me. Plenty of water left. 
Let the dog out. Beg him to use the bathroom. I tell him I will not be happy at all if I have a surprise when I get home. No sir. Have faith. 
I have not studied at all for this test. No. Just show up.
Just do your best. Good.
Out the door at 7:15. Thankful that my car issue yesterday was caught early and completely solvable. Protection Lord, thank You
No cavities in the teeth for all  three of us when we visited the dentist yesterday.  Thank You Lord for good health and good teeth that have not required braces. 

I am overwhelmed most days. I am one tiny little girl trying desperately to do this thing called life. This journey was not one I planned, yet here I am. And where I am is good. Not always easy, not always fun and someday's it's kind of lonely. But when I look at what He asks of me, what He is allowing me to do in this.....Good.
How would You ever trust me to do this Lord? Such a task. And I feel like I fail at it most days. Sometimes loving hard makes you look dumb and feel even more dumb. But I know I was made for this. Each time I get back up He says further changes me. It makes the days, the tasks seem do-able. I always said I didn't feel like a grown up. It felt pretend. I don't feel like that anymore. I feel the weight of my years, my choices. And it drives me to something more. Something lasting. Something that will make me look back one day and say, oh, I am so glad I did not quit. Thankful.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It Just Takes One

I had begun to wonder....perhaps I have made the biggest mistake.....maybe this is NOT it! Nothing has been normal, so much is changing and I wonder.....maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe I just got it all wrong.  Maybe this dream was just, well, a dream...a fantasy that belongs on Disney Chanel but not in real life...not in mine.

And it's funny what happens when you throw your hands up in the air, confess that you REALLY cannot do this and up your hands and let go.  Funny how you remember a couple days later that conversation He had with you in the bathroom....(you KNOW He does that to me!!!!) two years ago...I had no idea then, and it isn't what I imagined, yet it is, just better.  And to give me a heart for it, I had to develop a heart for it.  That meant having faith, believing His Word when I lost it all, when my world crashed, when my reality changed, when part of my dream is to help save the very thing I lost.

He made me able.  Able to believe what He has spoken to me is true, believe what I have to say matters and can make a difference, believe that there are those out there who need to hear my story and believe that none of this has been wasted.  He made me believe I could be obedient, that I could succeed, that He would not fail me or let me down and that He still walks on water.  I only needed one thing to load my sling shot with.  Yes.  Thankful.

Monday, February 24, 2014

When You Want To Quit

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. 

This was the very first verse God spoke to me. September 18, 1999. The first date I ever wrote in my Bible. It's how He brings me back to center. How I know it's Him. When He wants to get my attention. I threw my hands up in the air last night and said I quit. I skipped small group (again) and I ate chips and queso and watched Teen Mom 2 just to make sure He knew I was serious. Very serious. My girl crimped my hair, 80's style. Yes. I am through with this. And so I went to bed because my stomach kinda hurt and I was pretty much exhausted. I skipped my first alarm....and the sixth and the seventh..... Coffee in, kids out. Sit down. To the Begin Again..... To His plans for me. For the hope He has for my future. To believe that none of this is for my destruction, but for my good. To just show up. Even on the days I quit. Thankful. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Small

PROMPT - Small...GO..

Small. These days lately I feel very small. These days lately I have fussed about how desperately tired I am. How much I just want help. Just want a shoulder. Just want someone is this with me. Just.....
The rain came in torrents this morning. I had been fussing about dealing with the pool. Too much Lord. Too much. And this morning when I walked outside I smiled. I did. He cares about the small. Right here where I'm at He meets me. He will be my shoulder, my Rock, the One I can depend on. Even in the small, like filling the pool back to the right level until this leak gets resolved. He sees. He cares. He protects. He meets my every need. Thankful.


Thursday, February 20, 2014


These words. They kept pulling at me. It's my voice....your voice. Our all together prayers towards Jesus. And I believe when you take things in, they become your words. Our words come from the outflow of our hearts. And these words were pouring into my heart. So what might come if I let them out again? We take in and let it change us. We speak to what change has come. 

One awkward, awakened leap. 
Ta-da worthy. Renew more cheer. 
Beloved seek simplify. Trust peace overflow. 
Draw near Emanuel. Journey seeking home. 
Obedient applia grace. Present blessing, above all, follow compassion. 
Overcome, devote, hope, yield....bless. Jesus, let me worship intentional. 
Fruitful reflections healthy, happy, fun, undaunted. 
Redeemed. Hidden....come healing light. Plans go, renewal come bold. 
Believe The Word all-in. Savor refuge....prepare, nourish, move. 
Crucible, perseverance....confidence, transition, expectant. 
Count promises, dream, create rest. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In the Silence

These days upon days have brought much change. He's shaking it up again.  I'm learning not to be fearful. "Just do whatever He tells you to" she wrote. Yes. That is the way. Reading these words today scraped my heart "when your upset, it upsets what's really in you". He shakes it up and let's it lay there. To not inspect is something I don't consider anymore. What has all this shown me....I know it because it was me. I would use my words to make another feel my pain when I believed myself invisible or unacknowledged. I think more than once I left an inability for defense, because how do you defend yourself against perception. It was me that needed healing. And I look at things from a different perspective. The uneasiness, the internal struggle, all really just pressing towards home. Where we can rest and be loved and be ourselves without judgement, not-quite-right and not good enoughs. It's a hard thing to journey there when you've left. It's a hard thing to turn around even though you know it's the only relief. I've been there. And now when the hard comes and the words pierce and the expectations are more than I can shoulder He yells loud above the, WHOSE are you? And who does that make you? Sometimes the greatest act of kindness comes from silence.  Not wielding words as weapons, but choosing to lay them at His feet.  Regardless of the outcomes, I am His. And that is the only outcome that truly matters. Thankful.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Garden


Each garden begins the same.  A tilling, a breaking of the foundation.  Preparation for what is to come.  No seed can be planted without a breaking loose of what is already there, unyielding.  The seed is sown, so very slowly.  One by one....verse by verse....word by word..Sown and covered, sown and covered, to protect the small piece of life from what may come to steal it.  It grows deep and solid, opposite of out, it grows in and down and takes root.  And it grows stronger, away from the hidden eye, where nothing is seen, but it pulls nutrient from.  Slowly and without warning, something happens.  It grows.  First slowly then seemingly it's there overnight.  Yet the days and weeks...and perhaps months of preparation, all made it ready for this day, for this time, to show itself strong, to bare its fruit, to be what it was made to be all along, in the quiet, in the hidden, in the places that only the Sower knew existed.  Thankful.


Friday, February 14, 2014


"The prompt is love".....she went there, Yes. She. Did.  Not sure why I'm surprised. He has been going there all week. Actually, He's been going there since 2011, September it was. The crack in the foundation of all that was opened up and this verse, this is what He gave me.  I had no idea......I was going to learn how to love.  And love hard.  And I'm not sorry, no.

4 Love is patient....when the waiting seems like it will never end
love is kind....blessings, not curse to enemies made grace
It does not envy...because this is what He has for you
it does not boast...when we have days of sunshine
it is not proud....because humility is such beauty
5 It does not dishonor others.....words give life or words give death, use them wisely 
it is not self-seeking...even when you want so desperately to be known 
it is not easily angered...when you get knocked down yet again
it keeps no record of practices God's forgiveness
6 Love does not delight in evil....treating others how they want to be treated 
but rejoices with the smiles when it can speak His affirmation 
7 It always is fiercely loyal to the heart 
always trusts...because He said so
always hopes....because He never fails 
always perseveres......because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
8 Love never fails.....because we can never be separated from His love 

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I have learned that faith comes from believing in Him long after things looked like they were going to happen in my own timing.  I have learned to hope because I have decided that His words are true no matter how things may seem.  And I have learned the high cost of loving in the hardest of circumstance.  It's a love that breaks down walls, busts off the chains that have held me to something smaller than what He wants for me.  I have watched it change lives and mend long broken places.  I have watched it change me and perhaps that is the most amazing miracle yet.  Thankful.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


She's my girl. My very own. These days of late are busy. So much to do between the both of my two not-so-littles. Her dance on Saturday left us in a whirlwind of preparation. Her hair she does herself, but her makeup, I have always done for everything big occasion. She does her own mascara. Baby steps :) She is finding her own style, her own likes, her own sense of who she wants to be. But even on the best days, even when we feel most beautiful, we can still feel like we just don't measure up. Comparisons. I want her to never doubt that she is perfect just because she breathes. I want her to fully grasp that when her eyes open to yet another day, He has something important for her to do. Maybe it's just a smile that will help someone hold on a little longer. Maybe it's sharing her lunch or snack or a pencil. Maybe it's just to keep her mom remembering that blessings come at the most unexpected of times. Just like she did. Without warning. And everything changed, for the better. Thankful. 


John 10:28-30
The Voice (VOICE)
28 I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. 29 My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.

When these days seem ever so long, I begin to wonder. What was it like for Him to watch me day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year....drowning. Walking away from all He made me to be. Just barely keeping my head above water.....just barely. Just breathing. He waited for the right time to act. Timing. I wonder if He was ever in a hurry, or wrung His hands knowing the time was coming closer.....knowing. That on that Thursday at 2 pm I would take one step, two step....on this journey back. I wonder if, even though He knew the pain, the flood of excitement surpassed it. Because I was coming back. I was on that long road back home. I wonder some days if He is excited again. I feel it in the pit of my stomach. I feel the twists and turns of something that is more than just my stomach telling me it's lunch time. I wonder. And He whispers. And I smile, at what He might reveal. In His own time. Thankful.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

He Speaks

I have questioned things all along this way. But probably most prominent as of late is why has this road been so very long. It seems that either You are content to leave me in this state or perhaps You have forgotten. And I know neither are true. And I know that I can't deny all that He has done in and around me. And so He whispers to me when I will listen. He tells me what his stubborn daughter knows. I need to be able to grasp the weight of His words, that perhaps only time and experience would allow me to do it, time and experience has also given weight to my own words. My story.  If I said to you trust, it is because my own ability to do so has been stretched far beyond comprehension. If I say to you wait it's because I know the struggle that can bare down on you while in that space. I have learned to measure the weight of my words. Through trial and error and experience. If you have no experience in something, then how can your words hold any influence? And so sometimes the price of our testimony is heavy. But the weight of the blessing I believe will match that of what He asks us to carry. Thankful.

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Write

Joining Lisa Jo and the girls today...5 minutes, no edits and no those that came before.


I strain, I stress, I worry...what if the words don't come.  Yet they do.  They press in and ask to be put down.  They come in a flood and seem to overwhelm.  They come in good days and bad days.  They come to comfort and correct.  They come to instruct and to witness.  But I am just amazed still, that they come at all.  Why this?  Why these?  To comfort those as I have comforted you. And so I wait.  WAIT.  For the words I long to hear, for the words I long to know, for the words I long for others to know.  To share the good and the bad.  To love and to be loved.  To do the thing that I know He created me to do.  To do the thing that I never seem to doubt.  I write.  Thankful.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014


This. This is where it all started. October 14, 2009 was the day. Enough. I began a journey that would lead me here. God sized wasn't in my vocabulary. But God sized this would be. My vision my dream lead me down the path that would sustain me in His vision, His dream in my heart. He reminds me.....this is not what I ever expected, it's better. And so continuing on those words echo loudly. 

I ran this last year. My first long race ever. 9.3 miles. And this year I needed to do it for different reasons. To prove to myself this is still my dream, still my passion and when so much seems questionable to me these days, that yes, I could do it again. My goal was simple. I will not walk. I will start and finish this race. Doing so meant others leaving me behind for a while, it meant being alone, it meant overcoming fear and panic and resisting the thought to ask a nice police office to give me a ride outta there. Just move, ugly run but don't you dare stop. Head down and go just go. Because the beach bridges are steep, kind of like the ones I have encountered along this path of mine. At one point I thought please PLEASE this thing HAS to level out. It did, though it's hard to decipher if I am screaming about this road or THE road I am on.  The way down to the last mile was beautiful. My verse that morning came to mind.....Hebrews 13:5.... be content with what you have because He has said, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.

And when I got to the end of the bridge to flat surface, I thought I was going to die. I felt every muscle, every blister and even though I knew the end was up ahead, I couldn't see it. And the urge to stop overwhelmed me. Do not stop. Do not quit. And I had to say it out loud. It was that hard. And finally I saw it. The last few yards seemed to take forever. But I made it. I did it. I didn't quit. It did end. And I was glad. Glad I ran. Glad I challenged myself again. Glad I didn't give in to all the things telling me to just give up. I feel like I'm at that place again. I know where I am. I just can't quite take it in. And I want to quit. But I won't. 
Head prayer. 
Move..... Don't stop seeking Him. 
Trust.... The eyes of faith. They see the finish line. 

Linking Up In Two of my Favorite places today....

Monday, February 3, 2014


Oh these days of new...and they are terrifying.  Pushing me out into places I do not know and I keep grasping for something that isn't there, looking for the railing that should support me....but then I know, sometimes it is ours to lie humble.  Reading Ann Voskamp today....and it struck me, what she said.

Matthew 10:39
The Voice (VOICE)
39 To find your life, you must lose your life—and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

What if I had to loose to gain.  Loose my fears and find perspective.  Loose my selfishness and find forgiveness.  Loose that which I clung to so very tightly and find the love that I so desperately sought.  What if I had to loose so much to appreciate that which I had been given.  To see it was such the gift that I took for granted.  What days did He remind thankful for I folded laundry or cleaned after my loves.  Because it was a gift.  And I treated it some days as if it were a curse.   In loosing, I dare say, I have found more than I care to.  But what I have gained is an appreciation that I fear may not have arrived any other way.  To learn a thankfulness that might not have come through the ease of days and a carefree life.  But each step gives a new strength.  Each surrender gives a new hope.  Each thank you gives a new appreciation.  For that which has been given...and that which was taken away. Thankful.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Hero

Linking up with 5 Minute Friday. Noe edits, no rewrites and love those that came before.

Prompt: HERO....GO..
Hero.  This stumped me for sure.  And I had no plans to write.  Until yesterday.  My race day, 9.3 miles. I did it last year, but this year it was different.  This year my reasons were not the same.  I needed to know if I could.  And so I did.  And they all passed me, all my friends running.  And I was terrified.  I was running alone, but I had to run it my way.  They only way I knew how.  The way I knew would get me to the finish line.  And this year was much harder.  2 bridges felt like impossibilities.  Head down and go and don't you dare stop.  My goal was to finish without stopping. Period.  And I did.  Yes I did.  My exhaustion kicking in we came home to my girls acceptance letter to college.  Her dream made real.  My boys ROTC ball would follow later in the evening.  His dream, becoming a reality each day.  And as I thought about it, all that we have fought through the past two years, my goodness.  He has brought us here.  He is placing us to be ready to take possession of the land He promised.  And it's scary.  And most days I see giants.....but I am taking hold of the vision of the land flowing with milk and honey and grand provision.  Fruits too much for one person to even carry.  He brought us here to this place.  He will see us through to victory.  And so this week, we are my heros. We three that huddled together, head down and just moving over those mountains. Together.  Thankful.
Stop....this took 7 minutes instead of 5.

Faith Jam - Photo Journal

This year already feels different.  So much new...just like He said.  Yes, I do perceive it.  Just in the past two weeks, so much has changed.....nothing left untouched.

Running my race for the second time.  Proving to myself that my race is important and that He will get me there, to the end.

And so He did.  9.3 miles and thankful for the friends He surrounds me with on this journey.

Home from the race and my girls acceptance letter to college was in the mail.  

My boys ROTC Ball was also later that night.  Big day for all of us.

The early part of the week found us iced in.  Snow in the South.  Miracles preceding God's answers.

Studying Russian.  My boy has big dreams too, just like his sister.

Big changes.  Permit in hand.

These past couple weeks have just shaken everything up.  Everything.  It's left me a little off balance and a little emotional.  So many changes coming all at once.  Nothing is the same, but in a good way.  We have fought long and hard.  And here we are.  Thankful.