Sunday, November 30, 2014

Do It Afraid

I sat in church and let it settle on me. The first Sunday of Advent. And I'm not even really sure what it means, but I know this year we need to remember. To take a look at where we have come from. Where we are about to go. The verse that struck me so this morning. Mary, having an angel come to her, and my Bible read that she was greatly troubled and wondered what his greeting might be. And that gave me hope, it did. Mary had plans. She had dreams. She had her future waiting for her.....but God. And she was afraid. She could have said no. She could have stayed comfortable. God asked her to do something she had no answer to.  God asked her to go first. He asked me to go first in this journey of mine. To be uncomfortable and inconvienced. To lose, to be humbled, to let Him have His way. To do it afraid. And I have to believe her answer came not through assurance of anything other than her belief of who her God was....and still is. I'm Your servant. Let Your Word be fulfilled. I'm thankful for her choice. To step into her fear and do something amazing. This day one finds me stepping out, doing this afraid yet again. But somehow I believe that He is bringing a miracle out of this. Out of the quiet, most humbled places, His glory shines even brighter. Thankful. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

So She Came Bearing Gifts

I've got to take Christmas back. It's time. We need to remember. We need our joy. And it doesn't have to look anything like it has in the past. In fact, I don't want it to be. No. Advent is is not something that I have ever deliberately celebrated with the kids. And quite honestly at their age, how would you? But it stuck in me. Made me loose sleep. Made me feel compelled. And well, when that happenes I usually can't rest until it's done. I had visions of how to do it just perfectly....yes. But when has my perfect ever turned out like I thought it should? So we ended up with two overflowing boxes of wrapped gifts, one for each day and my slightly less than perfect notes on each one. I had visions of scriptures and stories....I got my girl threatening to open them all if I didn't wrap them individually. Her box is going to college. And most days she has her mommas patience....we know how scary that can be ;)  so I wrapped each one and stuck a note tag on. I reminded them to be nice, be kind, share and that I love them. Hit the basics if you can't manage anything else.... And such panic and frustration has come up against me since doing this. And so I'm praying. And I'm pushing through. Because enough is just quite enough. Come Lord, just as You promised. "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her WILL be accomplished." Yes. Thankful. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Give

This morning left me seriously contemplating whether or not I had a thing left to give. Seriously. It found me wondering if I even desired it. And so I did the only thing I know to do, I sought the answers in only Place I know. I smiled knowing that three years of storms makes one well able to find Shelter. And so, as I searched for the verse that fell flat on my heart, I asked Him....give me what I need.....and my attention was caught in Acts chapter 27. The Storm. God gave Paul a promise. And He fulfilled it. "So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me..." Yes, just as He has said. And that gives me breath. I see God working in the pages of the verses left for us to read. Left to give us hope. Left to show we are not alone. Left to give rest to the others in the storm. Thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Its my word. It found me. It's a constant reminder. I need it. I have a tendency towards forgetting. As I was driving home, letting the day settle, wondering what the next few days might hold I was reminded yet again. As much as things have been up in the air for so very long, I remember. And so I began to recount all that is right. The amazing job I was blessed with this year after two and a half years of trying and the opportunities it presents to me. Health insurance for the kids and I. Our home. Our very own space that has been in our family since it was built. That I have a safe roof over my head and my own bed to crawl into each night. That my children have their own rooms. That we have a full pantry and refrigerator. That I can feed my children good food. That I had people to teach me how to be a parent. That I have stories to pass down. That I have two children and 18 years of memories with them. That I have been loved and can still love freely. That I can provide them with warm clothes and hot water and heat. That every bill is paid. That I have people to share my days with. That I am healthy and have the ability to exercise and run and move without pain or restriction. That I have things some may never gain in a lifetime. Yes, my heart is full. And I am blessed beyond measure. Thankful. 

All Things

It was Thanksgiving Day 3 years ago. On the way home from visiting friends and family, we were going to change and get ready to go to visit more family. And as I continued driving home, bemoaning how late we would be, I drove through the intersection, my green light signaling the way. And as I crossed through, he never stopped as he turned into the front of my SUV. As he struck the vehicle and glass shattered, we came to an abrupt stop....on a small overpass bridge....over water. He had tried to correct ever so slightly, because had he not, he would have hit where I was sitting straight on. Instead his vehicle ran all the length of my side, making it impossible to open a door and shattering all the glass. My kids. One in front and one in back. They were ok. They were unhurt. I was stuck. I couldn't unlock my phone to call anyone. I started screaming. It was my girl who pushed the numbers to make it all work. Neighbors came because they heard the loud crash. I called the one who was my own then.  We have been in a horrible wreck I cried. Then then phone was dead. But I knew it only meant he was well on his way to come to us. And that he was. The driver was arrested. He had been drinking. And as shaken as we were, we were unharmed. 

When I think about that time, in the middle of what was the hardest point of my marriage, a literal month before the destruction that awaited us, I wonder.  What plan did God have for all of this past three years that perhaps the enemy of our soul wanted to prevent from ever beginning? God protected us, spared our lives only to see the destruction of our family days later. Why?  It reminds me that His plan is greater than any other. It reminds me that His ways don't always make sense. That His purpose in all things will always prevail. That the destruction He sometimes brings is to give life, not bring death, although sometimes that life is preceded by the loss of things we do not understand. I am breathing, so there is purpose today. Thankful. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Taylor Swift somehow made it on to my iPod.... in triplicate. And I love her music, don't get me wrong, but teardrops on her guitar are not encouraging me on my run... And so as I fast forward....many times....I find something suitable to keep me going. And my thoughts wander. And I realize. I am strong. I have become something I never thought would be. And it all has come from this hard road. I made choices and kept going long after what seemed reasonable. Why? Why would He ask such a thing?   I've known God my entire life. I accepted Him as a 22 year old.  And life got harder.  And I went back and forth, learning and running away, coming back and falling short again, confessing my desire to follow Him and then following my own path.  But it all brought me here.  It all is a part of my story, my faith, my words.  And most days I wonder does it have to be this freakin' hard??  I'm always writing verses that come to mind or that He gives me down on anything close by.  As I pondered many things this morning and made my way into the kitchen to make my lists for shopping, I dug out this piece of paper. And the verses I found at the bottom of a recipe gave me pause...we  store up in the silence what we need in the storm.....  I had questioned.  He answered.  Why does this feel unending Lord?  Why does it feel like it is taking so very long?
Exodus 13:17-18
17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[c] Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.[d]
Had I known three years ago what I was facing, I would have run screaming and never even tried.  I was not ready.  I was not strong.  I was not prepared.  I was not able. Such the reminder that He is already up ahead, providing everything we need.  The right answers at the right time.  The right way, never left on our own, no, He is there.  Even when we cannot see, He speaks.  And our heart knows.  I heard something fall as I lay in bed last night...I knew exactly what it was.  And I smiled.  I was questioning yet again, getting all worked up when I needed rest...and the card on my dresser mirror slipped down.  I knew the sound.....His voice in the smallest of things resounded big in my heart....
Joshua 1:9  (NLT)
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


It was late, I was tired and I wanted to go home. Sitting at the stop light seemed to take forever. Minutes passed. And more. And I wondered if I somehow missed the green light, my turn to go. And it kept being red. Over 10 minutes. I started getting upset. Is it broken? Am I stuck here? So I started looking for a way out. Because this couldn't be right. Cars kept coming. I couldn't turn to the right and go the wrong way to turn around and come back the right way. And I couldn't turn left. Because the light was red. Stuck. And then I saw the yellow appear. Really? Is it going to happen finally? And as I turned in the correct direction after waiting much longer than I ever believed, He whispered.....stop being so impatient. And it knew it had nothing to do with the red light. He has saved me many times from taking matters into my own hands, going the wrong way in hopes of getting around waiting to do it the correct way. And many times in the waiting I have felt that big red light screaming no. And I have felt stuck. And wondered if all I believed is somehow broken. If there is something wrong with this wait...or something wrong with me. Some days you can only just sit and wait it out. And you can fill the time with being anxious, or you can choose to spend it acknowledging the One Who created the wait for your safety, to get you on to the next place at the right time and in one whole piece. Thankful. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Notice

Five Minute Friday....5 minutes, just write...

I notice....these questions that come, the ones without answers today, they don't quite sting as they have in the past. I notice, that even on the hard days, there is a knowing that the answer is coming. I notice that thanksgiving comes without the effort it used to take. I notice. Prayers are answered in the order that He deems, but even so, they are answered. I notice that so much has fallen away, but so much has rooted and taken to growing. And I notice that there is a quiet trust in my heart. It is all going to be quite right. I notice how He planted me. And I feel the roots pushing deep. I notice the strength that has grown over three long winters and the sustaining power of what He purposes. I notice this tiniest of girls doing very big things. Things she never dreamed. And I notice that there are even bigger dreams....and He takes notice. Thankful.

Five Minute Friday - 4

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Psalm 130.....a psalm for those journeying to worship......  Indeed. It's where I'm heading. To worship. Because there comes a time when what is required is the sacrifice of praise. And it's a sacrifice I assure you. It's not what you might expect in the middle of all this. But I imagine He listens closely for the one who has learned....eyes on Me.... Not the circumstance or the day or the questions or the impossibility of it all. No. Eyes on the One with Whom all things become possible. Thankful. 


Brave.  It's this word that keeps coming over and over.  It's this thing I know I need to be and need to do.  It means going, turning, moving in a different direction.  And the unknown of that scares me.  Because it is the exact opposite of how I feel this should work.  But how often that is the case anyways.  I was brave before. What made me choose it?  To go against all that looked to be the way to did I know?  I didn't.  It's just I could not shake the deep down belief that it was the only way.  The only way.  It was a step towards my faith and away from all that was comfort.  It was a step to what I wanted, only I had no idea how that was actually going to turn out.  So finding myself here at this place I keep wondering how do I know this is the way, that this is the way I should go?  It's the knowing where you belong, where home is, that allows you to be brave. It let's you step out, set sail all the while knowing you have a place. Home never leaves you, even when it is you who leave home. Whether you are stepping out, staying put, leaving for a year....or maybe three...home is the place you circle back round to.  Home finds you when you are lost and think that all is lost.  So home is settling in on me these days...and He's asking me to be brave.  To wave goodbye if I must for just a little, but that's ok.  All is not lost, no.  He gathers, He brings back, He restores.  Perhaps none of this can ever be if we don't let Him stretch us, reach through us to gather those far off.  Thankful.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

To Follow

It's Sunday. And I'm sitting in bed. Thinking of lists. Things to purchase. Things we need. Things to not forget. And I realize the peace has settled in. I realize that when I seek I find. And I also realize as I take a deep breath, letting His Word settle in deep....this sucks sooooo bad.  Yes, I am scared to death. More scared of what will happen if I don't do it His way. So just be brave. Just hold your nose and jump. Because His promises are true. Yes they are. Even when this feels like I'm heading in a way wrong direction. I'm not. Pockets of thankful and hope and expectation find a way to the surface. They keep bubbling over. I learned how to do it afraid long ago. Doesn't mean it is any easier. I just know to follow peace. To open my hands is to let go, but to prepare to recieve. Little by little. He comforts me. Thankful. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Show Me The Way

So it has been quite the week. Ups and downs and not unexpected. Sometimes you have to keep opening up your hands, letting it go. And then you breathe. Because you have done it a thousand times over it seems. Two steps forward, one step back. Wash, rinse, repeat.  This time though, it's left me a little tired. A little over it. And little wondering if this is pointless and will it ever end? And so I talk it out with the One Who knows it all....the real story. The deep down frustration that comes from this waiting. I pray and pray and question and ask and rant and pray some more and give up and hand it over and wonder am I doing this right Lord? Is this really the way because I'm terrified and every step feels so unsure and all I can do is cry out to You and hang on for dear life.....yes indeed baby girl, yes indeed. Because what if that is exactly what happens when we are going the right way? We can't do it on our own for one second, no. So as we cling to You and cry out and pray and seek, well then, that certainly is right. Because the wrong way never felt wrong until we hit the dead end       The wrong way never requires asking Your for guidance. No. Maybe all this struggle is what is heading me right in the direction I'm supposed to be going. Right decisions aren't without fear and hard work and sacrifice. But in the midst of that, there is always peace. And the command to love is still His way. Thankful. 

#FMF - Still

Five Minute Friday...5 Minutes, unedited, just write....


Be still. All week it has been. In the middle of what could be chaos, be still. He has reminded me that is where my strength comes from, where the answers are found. In the quiet. He calls me to the still to remind me. His is still His way for me. This is still the call. Still His plan. My eyes opened early this morning. I waited patiently for the verse to load. Just like each morning. Yet today my heart was stilled by the verse that began it all. No mistake. This surely isn't, no. It's His plan, I need only be still. Jeremiah 29:11.  Thankful.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There Is Nothing Wrong

There is nothing wrong with me. I realized that. It wasn't earth shattering or a huge revelation. It's just regardless of the bumps, the surprises, change of plans, redirections..... I'm ok. My prayer of late that just won't let me go is I want to be obedient Lord. It's not in me. Help me. And guide my steps.  And He has. Every single time. And some days it makes me squirm with fear. Other times it leaves me panicked and confused....but only for a moment. Because I remember...  I can make all the plans I want. His will always trumps mine. Always. And I can do it His way or mine. Obey or be disobedient. Do it right or do it over. But His plan wins. Obedience may not be popular or win you friends or be the path well traveled. But it's the right way. And I guess I'm tired of worrying about who gets it and who doesn't. Who accepts it and who walks away because if it. There is nothing wrong with me because I have chosen a different way. Thankful. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Turn

It's in the turning that it all changes. It's the turn that changes your direction. It's the turn that makes you run to and not from. The turn puts you face to face with all that you fear. Once we are His there is not turning back. Once we are His there is only turn back arounds. To turn is the scariest thing I've ever done. Turn the corner, turn the page, turn and face all that I lost in hopes that by doing so, I can see what is coming from those ashes torn down so very long ago. Turn and run straight to the thing that scares us to the point of death. And take a step. And do it anyways. Because it's the only way. Thankful. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review - A Mom's Prayers for Her Son

This book was an answer to prayer. Literally. I find myself at a loss at times, praying for and raising this amazing young soul entrusted to me. So many of the pitfalls and battles I just don't understand. And being a single mom on top of it all makes me feel less than equipped most days. And so as I turned my prayers into pleas for help, this book arrived. And my boy was the one who opened it. The look of happiness on his face when he asked "mom what is this?!" I told him it was something to help me in my prayer time for him. Each chapter has verses and a beautifully laid out petition not only for my child but for me as his mom. The author shares personal stories as well throughout the chapters. This is an amazing tool. Sometimes words fail and the direction we need to take for our children in prayer seems confusing. This insight and direction shared in these pages has give. A renewed sense of praying over one of my biggest treasures. Thankful.

was graciously supplied with a copy of this book in order to give a review. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

When Your Sprint Turns Into A Marathon

So I've cried more in the last 4 days than I have in a while. That used to scare me. Today I thought that maybe this is part of the sacrifice of praise. If you can be thankful when your insides are turning inside out, just maybe He's got a hold of you. Just maybe that's the sacrifice of a broken girl who is giving her last two mites. It's all I've got. And when I say that He keeps reminding me about running the half marathon.....I know, you probably want to say enough already!! But I can't help it. You see running that was never a dream of mine. I just wanted to run.I don't want to compete or race. I just want to do my own thing. My thing is finishing. So as I ran it I really had doubts I would finish. But then there is that whole not quitting gene that has surfaced in me and I knew I would somehow make it. I never dreamed it would be what it was. It was not my favorite experience. It was not my best run ever. It was not even fun really. But it was amazing. God is amazing. He uses that experience to help me walk this. He reminds me of the last part of that journey when I thought I had made the biggest mistake in doing it and even worse I didn't believe at one point in could finish. But I did. The end was the worst part and harder than the beginning. But it took the beginning to get to the end. I wanted to quit then. I want to quit now. But that girl at the end saying "don't you see the flags?!? That's it! Don't stop. Keep going!" Yeah. She keeps popping up, she does. So maybe my words are just to keep me moving. Maybe they will be a reminder for you today too. It's so much closer than we realize. Let's finish. We won't be sorry. Thankful. 

Of Beginnings and Endings

Day 1. This ever running theme in my days. These begin agains. Reminders that things change. Beginnings happen. Just like endings. Three times now I have walked through this ending. Three whole times. And perhaps this year I am more honest with myself and my feelings. Perhaps I am more aware of the truth. But more aware that forgiveness is the only way. Every October the 31 Days. And I take it on. And I complete it. And it changes me. The hardest days to write through, yet I committed to finish. There is irony in that. I commited to finish more than 31 days of writing. And perhaps a commitment fulfilled without any sacrifice would hardly mean a thing. Then anyone would do it right? And it would loose it's power of grace and redemption. It would loose its life altering and life giving gift. I keep asking what, WHAT is it that He wants from me that I have not already given. What am I doing wrong that I find myself knee deep in this when surely it should have been over so long ago. Yet that is not even close to the answer. Write it down, make it plain.... You see I make it so much harder than it has to be. He never promised short and simple. Easy was never a part of the agreement. I keep wanting to know what I can do and what I can say and how can I fix this and how can I be enough..... I can't. And that leaves me in a heap of tears wondering why for the love He would ask such a thing of such a tiny little girl who came into this with less than enough to ever hope to stand up to the giant in front of her. And He reminds me of battles past. And I look around for my stones. And when I see them I know them. The sacrifice is the one thing that requires something of me. Not anything that is natural to me. The sacrifice of joy. Of praise. So only One can claim the glory. Which was the whole point of it all anyways. Thankful.