Friday, August 29, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Reach

I am reaching for anything that will hold. Reaching towards Him. Oh, these words that will not let me go. No. I read them late last night. And it is as if God opened up heaven and whispered a little secret. Just between us. Like He was waiting until just now to share it with me when nothing around me is making any sense at all. What do you know baby girl.... And I respond that I know nothing right now. I just don't know. Lean in and let Me show you....

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14 AMP)

What would have become of me had I not believed in God's goodness? That stopped me cold. How has He brought me this far? How can I trust Him in the middle of what looks like I'm going to drown? Because I believed. Some how, some way, in all the chaos that was, I chose to believe in His goodness. I chose to believe His voice when everything was in opposition to it. I believed He had a plan for my good. Not to harm me, but to  give me hope and a future. 

What would have become of this girl had I not chosen to believe the God Who called me. I cringe at what I see. Because I know that girl and all her flaws and weaknesses. But I am not that girl. No. I am not the girl who walked through that door 3 years ago. All that changed when I reached out, when I believed I would see God's goodness. The fulfillment of His promises to me. Yes. And look what has become of that tiniest of girls who had nothing left but a very Big God. 

As I search again for His way, His voice, I find it right there. Right there. It never left me. He never leaves either. Verse 14. Wait. For. Him. 

Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 AMP)

Let Your will be done Lord. Just as You have spoken over me. Just as You have said. Thankful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


It was 3 years ago to the day. It was one of those days I was stepping out of my comfort zone. This was pretty new to me. My dad asked what I wanted for my birthday. I told him I wanted to attended an outdoor boot camp that was starting. I had been wanting to go for about a year. And this one was close to home. The first class was open to the entire community. It was a Saturday.  The day I turned 39. And i made it through and quickly realized that this was not going to be anything I was used to. Quite honestly this was going to change everything....but I had no idea.

My friends that owned it were there. I didn't realize that they weren't going to run this camp. Someone else would. And when I saw him I thought holy cow please do not let me have to exercise with him!! But he was indeed my trainer.  

I had no idea my entire life was about to change. I had no idea God was preparing me even while I was still running from Him. He was setting the stage for this crazy ride I was stepping on to. I had no idea how tattoos and yelling would push me in ways I never dreamed imaginable. I had no idea it was this trainer and his family that would sow into my life what I needed to become the girl I am. They are my family. 

This one choice opened the door to show me what strength I had deep inside, that not giving up would produce something I never dreamed possible and led me back to the church that would help save a girl quickly drowning when she lost it all. Yes, well in advance He set a stage. Friendship and opportunities and people all lined up for an appointed time. 

It is such a huge reminder to me today as I stand here yet again. Three years later on the very same day. Knowing a little more now than I did then about how God works. Knowing He's calling me into a new place. And realizing that I am scared to death. But I know if He had a plan then, He still has one now. And it scares me. Just like it did then. But I know now what He can do. And that gives me hope. Thankful. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I was 23. She was due 3 days before I was to turn 24. And when 3 days past rolled around I say crying, on my birthday. Not the news I wanted to hear. If nothing in a week then, then, we will decide. I bawled. She was late, I was massive and it felt like I would never get the thing I had so desperately waited for. Shouldn't she have arrived by now? It's way past time. I can't take this anymore!! And even through tears my birthday ended up being special.  She will be 18 this week. 18 years. Feels like I'm waiting again. I feel pregnant with this thing God has promised. Yet it still seems so very far away. Hard to lay down our burdens sometimes. And sometimes we get to be uncomfortable right on up to the end. And the end catches us off guard and at times it feels like this was the absolute worst idea we ever had. But He brings us through. And we end up with the most amazing blessing. My girl is the most perfect reminder of that right now. Thankful. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Change

This word...change. I had no idea how all of these changes as of late would rock my world. They have unearthed things long since let to lie. Yes these changes have felt like a wrecking ball came right on through. But what have I learned, what is it that I know?

I have woken myself up praying, tears falling and the panic rising in my chest. And for the life of me I wonder what in the world. The fear of loosing, of being left yet again suddenly makes its way front and center. I can't tell you just how I survived it all before. But the fact is I did. I didn't die. The world didn't stop. And I learned a new normal. And perhaps it's time to unlearn it. It was only for a season it was, but changing things out to best fit what I'm walking into is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. The resistance in my heart is jaw dropping. Not one thing is altered in this. No ground falling out from under. No surprise threatening to be the straw that breaks things. I'm realizing that I'm not bound by anothers choices. I've made mine. And the chains that hold so tightly I am finding are my own two hands holding something that isn't mine to be undone. That changes everything. Thankful.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Been thinking a lot. Lots of verses reminding me to keep my eyes on Him and my head in this race. Because He is the Author and the Finisher. He brought me here. He will bring me to the completion. I was listening to a series by Steven Furtick at Elevation Church. Death To Selfie. He spoke of our sorrows being the thing that creates the greatest strength in us.  That resonated with me. I remember fighting God about writing again. I had written for the entire year of 2012 with pen and paper. It was private. And He wanted something more. And I said no. No way I was putting my words, my struggle, my life back in public view. I had been away from social media for the bulk of the year and had just dared to venture back a bit. You want me to put these words on my blog. The one I have not written on in literal months?!? The one that talks about us and what was?? No. No I won't do it. And round and round we went. Until I knew it was utter disobedience. And so I grudgingly picked the simplest design I could find.  A new space, not the old one. Me, words, and that publish button.  And the name for my blog well, when I saw it, I knew it was mine.  Girl Made Lovely BY was because of what I had been walking that God could begin to come in and change all the old and ugly dying parts of me. It was the deepest, most sorrowful thing I had faced that God used to bring about the change I needed most.  I literally lost what I felt was my security, my world, to realize that apart from Him, none of it mattered.  It would never work, never be enough, never bring satisfaction, wholeness or fill all the places that I sought so hard to cram full of what I thought would make me valuable.

So a year to the day that my world stopped, my words found their way slowly back.  I had no idea, no idea....God has done so much in this, with this.  And even in these days that have left me face down wondering who pulled the rug out from under me....I haven't lost my words.  These sorrows, they carve me out hollow.  Like water on rock, making a way where there was none before.  They carve out a place for Him to fill.  Thankful.

Press and Relax

I decided to go. Last week was my first visit. Today I went back. Dealing with my muscles. Keeping them in order. Not waiting until I'm in complete knots before I seek assistance. Letting myself become undone. I laid there as she pressed down on the knots, the places that were bound. And it was uncomfortable. Yet the result was relief. And as she pushed on my hip I realized how deep within the tissue the hurt lay. It was not easily accessible. It was settled deep within the muscles holding it all together. The pressing was the only way to get the pain to release. But then came the stretching. And it stopped me cold. Press against my hand.... And she slowly counted. Relax. And as I did she moved my leg over just a little further. Over and again we did this. Over and again until my leg was returned to its rightful motion.  Over and again to let it heal. The pressing in let it prepare to be moved. The pressing wasn't painful. The movement after was. But each time further along then the last. 

I have been pressed lately. The pressing finds me in a whirlwind. Numb. And then the release. The quiet. The movement. The pain. Yet I know, I know. Just a little further forward I am.  Thankful. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Of Meltdowns and Day Ones

I ugly cried. Right there as he walked out the door, it founds its way up and I couldn't hold it back. The fear, worry, hit me hard.  Because this is day one on so many levels I can't even say. And He waits, He does until I'm flat level on the ground to whisper it...that too love, that one too.. And oh my lanta.....yeah. Because I just don't have it in me to fight Him on this anymore. This is unknown and I could lose it all. But then I already did...and gained more than I ever imagined. These days right here they suck. I'm just tellin' ya. They are not the kind for the faint of heart. They are the kind that a girl who learned to trust long ago is facing yet again. Test me and see if won't throw open the flood gates.... He tells me. Test me and see where I am anxious....I had said to Him. And so He has. And so I will. Because you either face it now or run smack into it later. This is the .1...... Thankful. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


The words were spoken in a teasing should find a good male role model for him.... And they stung all the same. Because no matter how they were meant, it reminds me that I fear I have failed them. I should have done better. And in the face of all we are walking these days that is a heavy cross to bare. 

I'm reminded, 10 years ago, it was my first year starting the school year as a
Preschool Director. It had been us three for quite a while. We always had each other. They made me brave on levels that I had never known before. Because I was their mom. And even though what I swore would never touch their lives became a reality, I could still change things. I could make it ok. And when things did change that fall, I took a chance. And we have found ourselves right back round to this place again. So much new. But what has not changed ever is that we have each other. 

He was there long before she ever understood what a brother was. He was hers from the beginning. When finally, finally, he would sleep for more than a half hour and without me holding him in the recliner, I would climb into the shower and scrub as much skin as fast as possible before he could wake up and scream. To my surprise and no sound, I would walk quietly to their room to see her in his crib. All 15 months of her. He need me...she would say. Apparently that was true. She could quiet the screams heard down the block with my one who is so desperately quiet now. 

It's always been them. And they have always been mine. And they are still. Mine. That is one constant. She called me yesterday...I want to come home.... And I told her to just come. Even if it's midnight? Even then love. The door never closes. And so when I did hear the door and the excitement of the dog child around said time I knew. It was my girl. And she crawled into her mamas bed to go to sleep. Sometimes we just need to come home. To know that door is always open. To lay our heads down in the familiar where we know we are safe and loved and true rest can be found. Same with God's love for His children. We can always come home. Thankful. 

One step, two step..

This month has truly left my head swirling...mostly taking my words.  I'll admit some of them haven't been very nice anyways.  This level of hard hasn't been seen in quite a while.  And today as I tried to come to grip with anything normal, I dusted the table....and my hip hurt.  Seems as though You and I are wrestling this one out Lord.....I took a deep breath before I uttered the next words because I know the weight of them, I do....I'm not letting go of You, I won't...and I'm not going to stop wrestling You until You bless me...

And those words cut like a double edge sword.  I took my girl to the doorway of her new adventure.  A new chapter..  And it's beautiful and gut-wrenching all at the same time.  How do you let go and yet want to hold on so tightly all at once?  Yes, seems to be a theme running right straight through me these days....

Funny thing in the letting go, He keeps bringing it right back round He does.  Open hands, letting it fall and He fills it right back up.....and asks me to let it go again.  Painful.  Confusing.  Exhausting....yet surprisingly the tiniest bit easier each and every time.

We set out wide-eyed and oblivious yesterday, we did, my girl and me.  Completely trusting Him.  And He met us right there.  Met every need.  Calmed my heart and gave needed distraction and then said open your hands baby girl..... and that pain came rushing right back.  The fear, the panic, the frustration......until He whispered what my heart already knows....You are Mine, they are Mine....all of it Mine....let Me give it back to you My way....

And I whisper thanks as I look around and see all the provision, yes I do.  It is there, it is there.  Big dreams sometimes come with really rocky starts and 5 trips to Target before you get it right....but then you do, yes you do.  And this girl hasn't given up hope that His promises are still right there.  He sends me reminders.....rainbows He found it's way right into a text message sent by a sister who knows a few things about walk besides....yes.  Promises.  His never ever fail.  Thankful.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I wonder why I can't just become hardened to all this. I mean, it's nothing new. No surprises. So why can't I shrug it off and keep going?  I suppose the answer might be found in the fact of what comes from all things hardened. Nothing flows from it. No words, no gifting, no purpose, no gratefulness. Just death. I'm tired this week. Tired of broken promises, tired of feeling like somehow it's just never going to be enough. That I'm never going to be enough. And that is enough to stop me cold. I have struggled all week long with this. I have tried to trade my birthright for a bowl. And it has left me feeling empty. What to do, what to do. In this hardest of places He has met me. He has met the smallest of needs, He has. The ones I whisper. The ones that seem inconsequential yet they are real. All met. Nothing left undone. Just me and my not so happy attitude. Me and all my questions. Me and my pouty little self. Fighting hard to names these blessing right square in front of me. Remebering that He loves me. Not what I do or how I look or what I can bring to the table. He just loves me. And all my ugly messes. All my failed attempts at getting it right and holding this bowl of marbles together. Today I just give up. I don't know how or where or when or why.....I just can't fight this anymore.....and I don't have to. Thankful. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Fill


I know this place of empty well. This past week found me emptied out on every level. Hollowed. Not whole. And so I found myself this morning going through the motions. Battling my emotions. Knowing what to do but surely not wanting to. So I kept on praying. And when I say pray I mean spitting out the only words that are making their way out of me. I just don't know what to do.....yeah, there are times when I loose my words. But not like before. I haven't lost my voice. There's a difference. I made my way to the hair dryer. Still don't want to do this. And as I'm thinking things over again and again, I hear it. My heart says what I already know....I'm not a quitter. I worked to hard to get to this place. I'm not leaving now.....and it had nothing to do with my struggle and everything to do with it all at the same time. And He begins to fill this empty shell of mine. I am going to the place where my words aren't necessarily needed. They know me. They have seen all my ugly and they still love me anyways. I opt for powder and mascara today. I don't have to pretend to put on my best face. I can just recieve, just let Him fill. Thankful. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Troubled Waters

I sobbed all the way home. Seriously. It felt like right back where I began and it overwhelmed me in away that felt like more than I could begin to imagine walking ever again. Ever. No more. I want to run so far and so fast some days that it's all just a very faint memory. But then again that never really got me anywhere before, so I'm pretty sure another do over would be in order. No thank you. Looking back over the last week, I see one thing. He puts my feet into the water and then pulls me back. And the pulling back makes me antsy. I want to jump head first. He wants me to have quiet perspective on what's really in my heart. Cause sometimes once your in, getting out is a whole lotta trouble. He has reminded me all week, in quietness and trust is my strength. So much so that on said evening of my epic meltdown, the card on the counter made me pause. It's from one of my dearest friends. One who has walked this with me for quite sometime. And her verse on Monday prompted her to write to me. Quiet and trust. It made me think of you she said. The answer to my prayers on a Thursday night. Already waiting. Because He is before and after and right here in the middle, yes. Never left. Never forsaken. No not for a moment. Thankful. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014


His grace is made perfect in my weakness. How true. How much He is showing me lately. The thing that I always believed defined me does not. The way I have always done things, I can't. The things I have always accepted, don't hold anything for me anymore. So here I am. Battling all these feelings and insecurities. It was during a treadmill conversation He spoke. I was so tired and if I was going to finish and stay the course, I would have to walk. I hate to walk. It feels like giving up. But to keep running and do it my way would have meant I could not finish. And so I slowed myself. And we began our conversation. And it revealed words my soul needed to hear so badly. You were the first choice for this..... I was chosen. First choice. And more was spoken to me through those words than the surface held. Slow down and you will hear Me. Walk beside, not run ahead. You are the first choice. My choice. Thankful. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Minute Friday- Begin

Joining Lisa Jo and the edits, no rewrites and love those that came before....

Begin...I settled under the covers and peeked one eye at the word.  But I aready's been in my heart.  Last night I had only been 8 months then...well, 7 months 3 weeks and 2 days....cause who was counting anyways....and my world was about to change.  It started with a mixed up date.  My stress more than I could bare and then suddenly. What I prayed for. Just not what I expected. What I needed to prepare me. To begin. So here I I am. I know it's what I have prayed for. I know He will give me what I need.  Whatever it takes to begin. Thankful.