Wednesday, March 31, 2010

wow, she's what?

Ever hear from another, "Wow, can you believe she is pregnant?" Another may chime in with, "Wow, she's not even married!" I was one of those girls when I was twenty-one having my first baby. I was twenty-three when I had my youngest daughter. Yes, thought I was in love, but this girl was not married.
What is amazing and a blessing to me is this: While I was sinning, while I was having sex outside of marriage, outside of what the Lord asks of us He still chose to bless me with two beautiful baby girls. In the fact that I was not in His will, He still chose to bless. That speaks about who God is and all about His love for us.

A baby is never a mistake. A baby is made by God's loving hands and is a blessing from Him. Babies are beauty and wonder all packaged into a tiny bundle of joy.

When I was growing up I did not grow up in a Christian home. My mom went to put me on birth control when I was fifteen, just in case. Well, what do you do with that just in case? Its your okay to proceed. My mother is beautiful and taught me from her heart of all she knew. I remember hearing from family, "You should never marry a man until you live with him and really get to know him." Now, am I making excuses? No, even though I didn't know the Lord, He knew me. And all that time I was living for me, I could feel a tug, I could feel something pulling me higher.

It wasn't until I met my husband and he shared Jesus with me that I fully understood what that tug was. It was the Lord calling me to Him. Showing me there is a better way. But through my poor choices, He chose to bless me, and bless He did. I couldn't have two more beautiful daughters.

There are times even when we do know Jesus that we make poor choices. But if not for the grace of God there go I. I cannot judge another for their choices, for I could very well be there the same. My poor choices are just different ones at the time.

Every woman should understand it is not meant for us to have sex before marriage. I can now see that so clearly. God wants to protect us from poor choices. He sees what is ahead for us. He knows the path in which He hopes we chose, but sometimes we chose to go our own route. For me, in that route is where I found Jesus. I found Him in my precious girls. I seen His beauty in them them. He showed me His grace when He extended His love even though I didn't deserve it.

We must leave our pasts right where they are. We must leave our poor choices and know that He has a greater way. For every precious child He has a plan.

His love carried me through those times in that I didn't know Him. It was like He was courting me, calling me, and whispering sweet love to me. It just took me a while to understand what that call was.

But as Christians we are called to love all. We don't have to agree with the sin, the poor choice, but it is for us to accept with open arms those who have taken the same steps I did. When others see this acceptance, our open arms they see Jesus and His love.

It is in our poor choices that we find grace. It is that grace that sets us free and through Jesus we are free indeed!

We are to be an encouragement to others. We are to lift others up and accept those around us just as Jesus accepted me that day in church when my feet moved as He spoke straight to my heart. He met me where I was at and I am so thankful.

I don't have anything to wear!

I don't have anything to wear! Ever been standing in front of your closet and scream these words out? Oh, ladies, if I had just a penny for every time I said these words I would have enough money to go by a whole new wardrobe for many girlfriends. Why do we allow ourselves to do this? I have to question myself as I sat in front of my closet Sunday and said, "I have nothing to wear and I can't go to church!" I hear my husband saying, "You have the whole closet! I have one small section." I go on to say, "But yes, but do you see all the stuff I can't wear?" When I know I am wrong there are always "Buts" in my conversations. I can try really hard to think of every excuse in the world for a new outfit. And Easter Sunday is one of them. But like all the Easter's before when I had that new dress or skirt, it was rainy and cold and I didn't get to wear it anyway! Think Jesus is telling me something there?
So after my eighth grade fit over clothes, I jump in the shower to proceed to get ready. Still knowing I cannot go to church because I have nothing to wear! You know what happened? I went to church. Found me a outfit, and got my little pity party behind in the car. And what I found out next was that Jesus filled me with all I needed to hear. I was blessed beyond words by the message I heard.

Satan was trying to keep me home. He was filling my head again with his whispers, and this girl was listening. God always provides. I have a closet filled with clothes. They may all not be exactly what I "Want" at the moment, but they are what I need. Jesus said He would provide our needs, not our every want.

As ladies we can struggle with this not having enough clothes. My husband can put on anything and leave the house. You know why? He isn't worried about what his buddy has on. He isn't worried about looking good in front of his friends. And the last thought on his mind is, "I just might run into someone I know!" He is dressing for him and him alone. He isn't making it all about looks and what others are going to think. As ladies we get caught up in that and it can take hold and make us all about appearances. The Lord looks at the beauty in our hearts, not what is on our backs.

If I would have continued listening to Satan I would have missed out on a beautiful day in the Lord. I would have missed out on worship and praise for my Savior. I would have continued to have myself a party of pity when in fact I do have clothes. We should be clothing ourselves in God's beauty, in kindness, in love, and tenderness for one another. It should never be, "Did you see what Sally was wearing?" Men dress for themselves, and women tend to dress to compete with other women. Ouch! That gets to the heart of the matter doesn't it?

I am learning just to be myself. I am learning it doesn't matter what I have on, I am not here to put on a show for anyone else. I am here to represent Jesus in my walk, and I can do that just fine with all that He provides.

Ladies, look in the mirror today and see yourself through the eyes of Jesus. See the beauty He created in you. You are like no other. He made you special, so why do we try so hard to be like others? Satan knows the beauty you behold, and even he cannot steal that away. You have a beauty in your heart that the Lord placed there. Don't watch all the ads telling you to come in and get that brand new outfit for half off. Don't listen to the world tell you that you are not good enough. If we all could just see ourselves the way Jesus sees us, we would count ourselves blessed.

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."
Philippians 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Can I help you with that Sir?

If you have ever been over the skies and traveled on an airplane, you know the baggage claim area very well. Although this girl has yet to be in the air, I do know a little about carrying baggage. As do you.
We all have baggage. We all try to carry all of our baggage at the same time. I know when I go grocery shopping for my mom and bring all her goodies home I always try to carry everything in at once. Which drives her crazy, but I am thinking, I can just do it all in one trip. I need to have that same attitude with the baggage that I am carrying. I just need to pick it all up and drop it off at the baggage claim of Jesus' feet. I don't need to go back and check it and see how it's doing, or if more has piled up. I just need to leave it, pray and trust Him.

See, He is standing there asking, "Can I help you with that Sir?" I can hear His words, but I ignore them, thinking I got it, I can handle it all, so I continue to carry it all. But that weight gets heavy, just as my mother's grocery's. Your arms get full and you soon are overcome with stress, sickness, anger, bitterness and those accessories that go in our bags.

I know this part, because I was there a few months ago. As we have gone through such struggles, I began feeling as though no one cared. No one reached out, no one was helping, and no one even noticed anymore. But one day I heard Jesus say, "I care." And that is enough. His love is sufficient for me. His care is sufficient for me. His provision is sufficient for me. And all those who I thought didn't care? They did. They were praying, and others were reaching out. I was just stuck listening to Satan say, "No one cares about you. Look around. Who do you see?" If we listen to Satan long enough, his words will drown out all others around us. We all have baggage we need to let go of. See, the thing is we all have baggage, just whats in your bag is different from whats in mine. The load is still the same. Often we try to hide our bags. Put when someone is carrying a heavy load you cannot hide that. You can see it in their eyes, in their face, and in the way they are walking. Ever try to hide yours and put on a smile? It doesn't work. I am learning that trying to hide all I am carrying makes it worse, not just for me, but for those who love me. If you are carrying a heavy load today, don't hide. If we were all honest about our baggage it would be easier to let it go don't you think?

Those baggage claim folks stand with smiles on their faces, wanting to help. We often think we can handle it better, and we want to be in control of our baggage. But see, they are standing with smiles because they know how to care for all the baggage. It is their job. Jesus is standing, waiting to take your baggage so you can be free today. Do you remember what freedom really feels like? For me, it has been a long time, but I am getting there. I am learning to give my baggage to Him, and trust Him with all the dedicates, all those little things you are afraid to let go of.

I never have control over my baggage, and when I think I do, when I try to carry it all, you know what happens? It gets heavier. I get more weighed down, and I begin looking at the down at everything instead of looking up to Jesus.

Whatever you are holding onto today let go of it. Free your hands, your shoulders, your heart. It is such a sweet release to lay it all down. Jesus will handle all the details. That baggage claim ticket your holding? You don't need that anymore. Throw it away when you lay your baggage down, turn around and don't look back. Let your baggage get lost forever in Jesus.

Maybe today your baggage is taken care of, but you have a friend carrying a load. Reach out and help them release their baggage. They don't have to transfer it over to your shoulders, but together in prayer, in sharing, in taking time, you can release it together.

Can you see the drop off point? Run there with your bags. Run there with all your carrying, and drop it off. When we totally trust in Jesus we find ourselves in a sweet time of prayer, of communication with Him. When we allow ourselves the hope He gives, it frees us to life. There is no other freedom like the freedom in Jesus. Seek Him out today. He might not be wearing a baggage claim uniform, but You will be able to spot Him a mile away.

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

Proverbs 18:19 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am blessed to give have a give a way of this wonderful children's book. To enter this give a way just leave a comment under this post or under the review post April 5th. I will announce the winner on April 9th. Here is a sneak peek for you about the book and author:
Author Anthony DeStefano’s adult books, The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven, have sold a quarter-million copies. Illustrator Mark Elliott’s cherished artwork has appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s ever-popular Princess Tales series.Now, these acclaimed inspirational experts have come together to create This Little Prayer of Mine, a beautiful and alluring book designed to guide children into a very simple, real and expressive relationship with God.Through engaging rhymes and alluring illustrations, This Little Prayer of Mine shows children—and their parents and grandparents—that complete dependence on God is what brings peace and fulfillment. It invites children to know and believe that God is always just a simple prayer away and that He longs to respond to them with a resounding, “Yes!”This Little Prayer of Mine appeals to readers from all different faiths. Easy-reader format allows children to read alone, or with someone older, and encourages them to openly express their fears, thanks, and needs directAnthony DeStefano is the author of The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven. He has received prestigious awards from religious organizations worldwide for his efforts to advance Christian beliefs in modern culture.Mark Elliott’s brilliant illustrations have appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales series. His acclaimed artwork delivers inspiration, wonder, and timeless beauty on every page.


I am having another give a way for this blog tour. It is Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze. I will post a review April 5. All you must do to enter is leave a comment under this post or the review post and I will select a winner April 9th. Here is a sneak peak about the book and author:
A mother who cannot face her future.THEIR ELUSIVE ENEMIES TOOK EVERYTHING. NOW THEY WANT MORE. Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family. Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace. The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs, and writing programs.

Monday, March 29, 2010

AN ABSENCE SO GREAT by Jane Kirkpatrick

Jessie Gaebele has a passion for photography and life. The book begins with the phrase, "A photograph like life, often reveals as much about who's absent as who's there." This statement carries you through this entire book. In all of the characters, including Jessie, there is an absence in their hearts. And we learn that with absence we carry on learning to fill that void with gifts that are given to us. This book holds beautiful photos taken that give a glimpse into the lives of those in the photos. Through Jessie's life we learn whats behind the lens, the shadows, and the light. We see how some things are hidden, while others are brought out in beauty. We have love, forgiveness and grace captured in this story of Jessie's life. Jessie, Mr. Fred Bauer, and Mrs. Bower are the main characters before us. We see how their lives are weaved together forever. Jessie leaves her home to make a new life, leavining behind her feelings for Fred. But while she is deeply trying to forget her feelings for him she finds herself in his presence again when he comes to her town to visit. We see Mrs. Bauer, and the life she has dwindle before her, a life with her husband Fred. Fred divorces his wife, still providing for her and their children and marries Jessie, the woman his heart desires. This setting is in the early 1900's. Jane Kirkpatrick brings to light all things we carry in our hearts. This was a slow, quiet read for me. Although the cover beautiful, the words told in third person grab your heart with reality, and learning of a photographer's trade and passion, we see a marriage breaking, and one that is torn apart in the absence of love. I did enjoy the book as far as learning the beauty of photography, the images and passion of Jessie, but this book lost me in the infidelity of ones heart.
This book was a gift by Multnomah WaterBrook Press for its review.

Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.

Friday, March 26, 2010

slow down and laugh

Its funny how plans change so quickly. Today is my husband's 50Th birthday. The big 50! We were to go out to dinner, but plans changed as his brother needed to go to the hospital. As my husband left I too left with our son to go and do my mother's shopping for the week.
When my son and I go out for the day we almost always laugh and have a great time. Today was one of those days. As we are in the store gathering more yarn he is dancing and singing in the aisle. There are those moments I join in and just let lose, but today I was trying to focus on my tasks while he was pestering me. The clerk kindly smiles and asks, "Awe, how old is he?" I almost laughed. It was like I had my toddler saying something cute and she took notice, but as I looked at her I whispered, "He is almost 18." She smiles again, and says, "Oh, just let him play and have himself a good time, my sons are in their 30's and they still cut up and laugh." Of course he liked this idea, and you know after a moment of thought I did too.

We seem to take life much to serious at times. We forget to laugh and enjoy the moment we have. We find ourselves looking around making sure no one sees what we have just done. But does it really matter? If we are having a great time laughing innocently I believe the Lord takes joy in that. I am sure He laughed with His closest friends and they might have had jokes between just them.

As my son is going to turn 18 I know there are changes to come. I am not sure I am ready for them, but the Lord will help me get there. He is helping me get to the place where I can just let go and have fun. Laughter fills the soul. Laughter puts life in our hearts and a bounce in our steps. It brightens the day and fills lonely nights.

As I was coming inside this evening from walking Daisy I looked under the deck and something caught my eye. It was a little blue car. From all the rain we have had this little blue car must have washed up from being buried. See, my son use to bury his cars outside in many places where he played cars. In the places where he found laughter I had the gift of watching him grow. Seeing this little blue car reminded me of just how fast things change and how we must jump in and enjoy the moment before it is gone. Knowing me, I will leave that little car there for as long as I can, just as with all those other little areas in our home that are still the same.

It is hard to see change come and even harder to let go. But in doing so we find a new way of life. We find a life filled with living in the moment and never taking one single day for granite.

May you laugh today as I did watching my son. May your life be lifted up by laughter around you. Praise Jesus for laughter. Praise Him for each moment we have had, for the ones we are sharing now, and those to come. Seize the day took on a whole new meaning for me today. How about you?


The winner of my give a way of "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs is Julie Gorman! Thanks for leaving a post Julie. I will get in touch with you and send this amazing read out to you so you too can enjoy a quiet time in another place and time with these characters that are unforgetable. Congradulations!!


Today I received another package of books. Yay! With this amazing tour comes another give a way. All you must do is leave a comment in this post or the posting of the review on April 19. I will announce the winner on April 23. Here is just a sneak peak about the book and the author:
Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home. Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau. Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man. Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays With Stella. A former high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. Allison makes her home in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Learn more about the author at

going back

As my blog has a new look I too have a new look. As my blog keeps changing I too keep changing. As I am adding more to my blog and giving it a different design, the Lord is adding more to my heart and changing me to fit His design for my life.
My friend Tami is showing me how to go add labels and tabs to my blog. It will make it easier for others to know where to go for a subject they are looking for. So I am now going back to the beginning of my blog and working through each post adding what is needed. As I do this I can see how the Lord is growing me through my writing. I can see where I was and where I am now. I am seeing the changes He has made in me.

When I began writing I was going through a time in which I thought I would never make it through. That was one reason for my writing. Although I was answering a calling, it was God through this calling that brought me through some of the hardest times in my life.

I am able to go back and shed tears, knowing the raw pain I felt. I too am able to see how God gave His strength and courage to this lost girl. Often it when we go back, even though it is hardest, that is where we see just how far the Lord has brought us.

When I read this scripture from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 it washes over me a knowing that He has been with me and He is not leaving anytime soon. Listen: "And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. There I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

When we are the weakest we call upon the Lord. His strength is all we need. I can clearly see that in the trials that have come in my life. Many I have shared here within these posts. Many I have yet to share, but one day will. We never realize how much we need Jesus until Jesus is all we have. Sometimes it takes losing the the things we love the most to find out just how much we really need Him. In losing the things most dear to our heart, in the pain of that loss, He is made strong in us.

I am learning to not look at my trials as the end of the world, but a new beginning, a new turn in my walk with Him. I am finding just who this girl is that He has made. If all was perfect, if nothing failed would I really find those things out about myself? Would I call upon Him as I should? Probably not. As much as I love the Lord, in those really great times, we may praise Him, but we are going through life so smoothly that we forget our time with Him. We lose sight of who He wants us to be. So in these trials I am learning to take each one with joy. I have to say it is hard, and it has been a long road, but this road is not over yet. I am still traveling in these twists and turns, facing the unknown just as you are. But in this ride of life we can learn to call upon Him and know that through each circumstance God is growing us. Remember His grace is sufficient. It is in that grace that we find the child He has called us to be.

So as I still search through my posts recalling the past I see more and more of Jesus in my life. Take time today and take a look back, you too will see Him in the most unexpected places.

need some soothing?

I am one of these girls that carry different lotions in my purse. I also have a collection of Mary Kay lotions in my bathroom. I love lotion. I love the smell, the feel, and the comfort. Putting lotion on makes your rough, dry hands smooth again. It gives moisture to those cracks that seem to peel and hurt as the day goes on.
My husband has the hands of a working man. From cutting wood, and working around the land his hands are always spitting open and cracking, bringing with it pain. As I give my lotion to him he looks at me as though asking, "Are you really serious, you want me to use this girly stuff?" You know what? He does, and as he does he sees his rough, dry hands turn more smooth and warm.

Ever have yourself one of those sunburns that hurts so badly and begins to crack on your shoulders? I have had second and third degree burns before. Second from the sunshine, and third when I spilled my mom's coffee down my chest when I was only three. When your skin is hurting so bad, all you want is comfort. You want relief and you want soothing to come. After a sunburn I love adding those creams to calm the burn and bring relief.

When we are hurting what is that we need the most? Comfort, and in that comfort we need soothing words to wash over us. That is exactly what the Lord's words and love do for us. When we are hurting, when our hearts are dry and thirsty, He is there to bring exactly what we need.

His words are like lotion to our hearts. They bring soothing comfort in a sweetness that satisifies like sweet nectar.

When our hands or feet are so dry they hurt, one drop of lotion doesn't heal them right away. It takes applying that cream over our skin many times a day. The more we continue to use it, the more smooth and healed they become.

The same is with God's word. We need it daily. We need it at times moment by moment. In those times we keep applying His words to our dry, cracked soul, He brings more comfort. Those rough, dry spots are being replaced with smooth, quenching comfort.

My lotion bottle says, "Heals dry problem skin. Skin therapy cream. Penetrates fast and is long lasting." Sounds pretty good doesn't it? That is exactly what my heart needs from the Lord. His word heals my problems. His word is therapy to my soul. His word penetrates fast and it is long lasting. As I continue buying lotion, it reminds me just how much I really need the Lord and how His word is what my heart needs for healing and growth.

Wherever you are today the Lord's word can wash over you cleansing you, healing you, and bringing comfort. Whether is it you in need or a friend in need, you can find your comfort in God's word. Allow Him to bring soothing to your heart. If you have a hurting friend right now, wash God's pure love over them and you will see the love of Christ move through your healing touch.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ."

need a little faith?

There is a story of the paralytic man in Mark 2:1-12. I have always been marveled by this story, and a few years ago at a teen conference I was blessed to be a part of I heard the teaching of this story in a new light. Isn't that how the Lord captures our hearts? In reading His word, in opening our eyes to all He has for us His word is brought to life through the pages before us.Last night at Awana this is the lesson I taught, and the little first graders who sat before me wide eyed loved it. As I teach them, I always ask them to recall the story for me and in that way I know they have listened and can plant the Word of God in their hearts.Here in Mark Jesus is found at a house. Everyone knows He is there, and they are gathering around. They are not just inside, but outside looking in, trying to catch a glimpse of the Savior. Can you picture this day? So many gathered around Jesus that there is not room for any more to come through the front door. Everyone is packed in tight, waiting to see what Jesus is going to do. Waiting with anticipation to hear His word. This makes me think of church today. Often we stay home and skip. Often we keep track of the clock so we do not go over time. Often we are sitting in church letting our minds wander in other directions. We are missing the whole blessing here. People use to stand for hours listening to the Word of God. Here in this house, people are gathered outside trying to move closer. In church we are afraid if someone new sits a little too close for comfort. I can picture our church and the pews filled, and the windows open and people gathered in from everywhere to hear the Word preached. The church bells ringing as people are gathering in while the choir is singing out in praise. We should be excited, waiting in anticipation to see what Jesus is going to do on Sunday mornings, but we sit yawning and tired from the night before. These folks were ready. We should be ready and wanting to seek Him with all our hearts. I have been there with you sitting in church with other things on my mind. Racing to get home to finish chores or take a good long nap. But while I am sitting in that pew I need to be on the edge of my seat in excitement about what God is doing. My heart needs to let everything else go at that front door and come in ready to worship with my full heart before Him.Now we have the paralytic man who cannot walk. He has lived upon this mat before others maybe his whole life. But he has great faith. This man is blessed to have four friends.Once they hear that Jesus is coming, and will be at this house they gather their friend up in hopes, in faith of seeing Jesus. These friends have faith, and they love this friend. They carry their friend upon this mat for no telling how far.Its not like they could just hop in a car and take him to the hosptial. They were making a sacrifice for their friend in faith. I am sure they are tired, and weary. Can you picture them? Once they have walked and their feet are hot and dirty they see the house, but so many are gathered they cannot get in the front door. So what do these friends do? They don't turn around and go home in hopes of seeing Jesus another day. They don't just drop their friend off and ask someone else to provide. They stay. These friends know they cannot make it to the front door, so they have another idea. These are the friends we want in our lives and these are the friends we want to be to others. They make a way to raise their friend on the roof. Can you see these friends gathered around the one who cannot walk? Can you see them trying to decide what to do next and now that they are on the roof what happens now? They dig a hole. These friends are determined to get to Jesus, and you know Jesus knows what is going on. That is the part that really grabs my heart. Jesus knows the faith of these men. Can you see everyone in this room as dirt begins to fall, as this hole begins to form, and now look at what they see. They see this man being lowered in the room right where Jesus is! Can you imagine the looks on the faces around this room?Jesus sees them and turns to the paralytic man and this is what He says from Mark 2:5 "When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, Son your sins are forgiven you."Now the Scribes who were there didn't understand what was going on. They started asking why Jesus was telling blasphemies. They ask who can forgive but God? (Mark 2:7-10) So Jesus asks these men, what is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or pick up your mat and walk. And you know what? Jesus does both. He not only forgives this man's sins, but he then tells this young man to pick up his mat and walk.He clearly shows these men that He is God. In verse 11 it says: "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and to to your house."It tells us next that indeed that is what he did. But for me I see this man running out there with his hands raised in praise. I see his friends with tears in their eyes watching their friend run out of there along with them. A friend that doesn't need a mat any longer for the Savior he trusted in, and had great faith in healed him.I love this story because we find a young man that is surrounded by friends who love him and are willing to go the distance for him. We see great faith in Jesus through these men who never stopped until they seen Him. And we have our Savior teaching, preaching, and healing. We see our Savior in a room filled with some who believed, and others who questioned. What do you think they thought after this man was healed by Jesus? Maybe some came to faith that day as others jeered Jesus calling Him names. But as these men left that day they were witness to the power of Jesus. They were witness to His love and I bet they told everyone that day and on down in time what Jesus did for them that day.This story gives us hope and shows us great and mighty love, along with a powerful faith. Doesn't Jesus tell us that these three are what we are to abide in?1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."Praise Jesus for showing Himself to us through His word. I am so thankful to be able to have His word right here at my fingertips to open and see His wonder and love. I want to worship in a new way. I want to raise my hands in praise to all He has done, is doing, and will do. I want to pick up my mat that I have been laying on for way to long, and get up and run with a new faith and a new found hope in Jesus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

blessings through change

When I woke up this morning and saw the rain falling I thought, "Oh, not today." But as I began my chores, finished up those dishes and sat down to write I found myself wanting change again and look at what happened! I am blessed beyond words at the love I am shown from my talented friend Tami, who set up my page for me today. There is more to come and I couldn't be more excited.

Do you ever feel the need for change? I use to love that comfortable feeling, but as I am growing in the Lord I am learning that He doesn't want me to be too comfortable and I need to be ready for change. Change is something that comes daily. I am one who loves to move my furniture around, change colors in my home, and just create. That change is always good, but then we do have those changes that are scary, like divorce, losing a job, your children leaving home, the death of a parent, your husband going off to war. Those are the very changes that we do not like, and are so unsure of.

You should have been sitting next to me as Tami was talking me through all these changes. I was terrified something would go wrong, or I would lose something needed. But isn't that our general fears in life about change? The anxiety comes, the fear grips hold and we find ourselves shaken.

But what I am slowly, get that word slowly down, learning to let go and let God. There are things in my control. Those things like my choices, my attitude, and how I react to others. I have a choice in how I am going to walk with the Lord, if I will take advice, and if I will follow Him all the way. But there are those 97% of circumstances that we have no control over at all. So what do you do? You trust God. Simply opening up your heart to Him, opening your hands, and trusting Him with all you have is the way to grow in faith. Once we do that, the anxiety is not so strong, and it leaves. The fear, we find is nothing more than Satan taking control of our lives.

Change is good. Change brings us closer each day to who Christ is calling us to be. So let go of those old ways. Leave that past behind, and reach for the future with a new joy and a strengthened trust in the Lord.

It was not in our control when my husband lost his job. With that came change. Scary change of the unknown, but it is through that unknown that the Lord is growing us. It is through those fears that we are learning to trust and come to know that all our circumstances are changing daily, our Lord is never changing. He is forever the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Don't be afraid of change. Don't be afraid of letting go. It just might be the thing that brings you out of your box, and into a new light with Him.

I changed purses yesterday and if you know me well, you know that is a major deal. I went from a bigger purse to a smaller one. To do so I had to let go of a few things that I thought I couldn't leave the house without, and you know what? I left yesterday with my smaller purse and survived! I am realizing I do not have to have all that stuff with me. Letting go of it may bring a big change to me, but it is through that I am seeing that less is really more.

I know there is change coming with our last child at home and ready to spread his wings. Our nest will be empty and new change will hit us right in the heart. But with that change we are honored to watch our son grow, and see who God is calling Him to be.

Just like a butterfly goes through metamorphosis, we too go through change. It is that change that brings about beauty and gives us wings to fly.

Psalm 31:14 "But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

He's got your number

Ever exchange numbers with others in hopes of hearing from them, only later finding out they are never going to call? We often carry with us the numbers of others who are important to us in our phones, and we just down those numbers of people we meet that we hope to connect with later. I have many numbers stashed in my phone and tucked away in a notebook in my purse. I am one to always forget numbers, where my husband never forgets one. He is like a living phone book.
I know being younger and giving your number to that really cute boy in hopes that he would call is something we have all done. You find yourself waiting and waiting by the phone. Every time it rings you are rushing there beating your mom to phone in hopes that it is him calling. But then you go another day, and another with no call to add to your heart.

The sweet day I met my husband he took my number. I knew at that first glance he was the man I was to marry. My mother thought I was nuts, saying, "Honey, you probably will never hear from him again." Only I knew I would. I knew without a doubt he would call. And sure enough he did. It was through those calls, those letters, and those dates that months later we found ourselves getting married to hear the voices of one another forever.

There are those times we forget to call others back. We lose track of time, and we also lose their numbers. I have misplaced many numbers, hence that it the reason for the notebook in the purse. (And people wonder why my purse is so big)

My husband is waiting for the phone to ring in hopes of that job God is calling him to. I soon, next week will be on the phone on that I will be interviewed by Julie Gorman. Now, there is a call I never thought would happen. Aren't those the calls that are the most fun? Those that we least expect, that come just at the right time when the Lord has opened up that line.

Is your line with Him open today? Is is cluttered with other calls and unimportant tasks? Our line with Him should be open all the time. It is that line that is my lifeline for the day, and for the moment. Remember Regis on Millionaire? I can hear him asking now, "Do you want to use a lifeline?" I do. I am need of Him today. He is that lifeline that has all the answers and will lead us through any difficult question. If we do not know, He is your go to Guy.

Even those in jail get one phone call. Let me tell ya if I was in jail(And I hope I never am), but if I were, and I had one call to make, it would be one important call to someone I know was going to be there. Someone who is going to answer, and someone who is going to be there to help me out. The problem is, those around us will fail us not meaning to. Our family or friends will not always be there when we really need them the most. I have been in situations where I really needed to talk with someone and they didn't answer. I have tried to reach my husband, and his phone is on silent.

There is One who will always answer. He will never let it even ring twice. He will pick up on that first ring ready to listen, and to give all He has. Whether in the midst of a busy day, the quiet of the night, He will never cease to answer. He will not lose your number, nor will He replace it with another. He has got your number!

I have friends who hate talking on the phone. I have friends who love texing. I have others who love to write as I do. Jesus doesn't need technology to keep Him up and in the know. He is already there, and He sees all, and hears all.

Do you remember that game as kid where you would start a conversation and go around with it, and by the time it got back to you it was twisted in many different ways? When we go straight to Jesus that will never happen. Our conversations will never get lost with Him. And on those late nights where sleep is failing you, He is there all night to listen.

There is no long distance call for Him. We can call collect and He is right there on the other end ready and waiting. In fact, He is waiting for you to answer His call. He is waiting for you to pick up today and answer. I promise when you answer His call, it will be the most important one you pick up. It will be that call that changes your life forever. It did mine. My life has never been the same since I answered. And now, it is His call that I can't wait to hear from each morning.

I keep my phone with me at all times because of my mother. I have to be ready just in case she needs me. That is Jesus for us. He always has His phone right there waiting just in case, and even in those most glorious times when something grand happens, He wants us to call Him first and shout praise to Him. In the midst of the tears that fall, He too wants to be there to wipe every tear away through the whisper of His voice.

So, whatcha waiting on? Can you hear Him calling? He has a special ring tone that sounds like no other you have ever heard! His call is "Off the hook". It is His call that can "Hook you up"!
John 10:3-4 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they his voice."
Romans 10:13 "For whoever call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

ready go

As my son and I watched Apollo stand at the line poised to skate to the finish line, we listened to the announcer say very strangely, "Ready. Go". Now, in our own unique style this is our newest saying around the house. (I know, a mother and son, what can you say)
I am learning to let go of all around me, and hold on to Jesus. In letting go of the things around me, I am letting the Lord. He has taught me there is nothing to be gained by my "Holding on to control"(a control that I only think I have).

Its scary sometimes standing there at that starting line isn't it? Listening for the "Go" and hoping you make it through to the finish line can get the best of us if we are placing all our hope in our own slippery selves. It is when we place that hope in Jesus Christ that gets our feet planted firmly, and sets us on our way. It is in Him that we not only make it to the finish line, but we make it with grace.

We might not think there is a great amount of grace in falling, but the grace does not come in the fall, but within the getting up. It is that hand that reaches out, that helps us up that is the perfect picture of grace.

We are going to fall, and sometimes those falls are going to hurt as we hit bottom, but once there the climb back up will bring us to the place where Christ is calling. I have learned that in my falls He is there, and as hard as I seem to think I am falling, He is still there grasping for my hand, reaching out, and giving me cushion in my fall. It is His grace that covers me, and protects me.

Often we find ourselves ready with no place to go. Ever been there? I am watching my husband stand there at that gate right now as he is waiting for a job. It has been a long time since he left for work and is so eager to get right back out there. He is at that starting line waiting for the announcer to say, "Go". In those moments of waiting, in those months of preparing, and those years of prayer God is still moving even in our stillness. Just hold on tight, cause in the moment of "Go", through all that prayer and preparation you will be ready to take off.

Now, on the other side of that coin, ever heard "Go" and your not ready? I too have been there for that one. Hearing God call me, and I am not prepared, I am not prayed up, and therefore when "Go" comes I am standing there in my shoes afraid to move.

So, what is the point I am making. Pray. Prepare. Seek. Listen. Move. In the midst of your waiting, get that giddy up ready to shoot out of here. In the midst of moving, stand tall with your head held high knowing God is right there leading you!

Don't give up when things get hard. Don't give in to those voices in your head telling you to quit. When failure seems to knock us down, just hold on, and God will set us free.

I am sure when Apollo is standing there waiting, prepared for that "Go" he is still nervous, and still finds excitement in what is to come. We never know what is around that corner, or when we may fall, but we can be assured that in our race, God is right there with His shoes on, taking each pace and each pass with us. We have nothing to fear with Him at our side.

Be ready, because He is going to call you. Dig your heals into His word. Steady yourself in His grace. Listen for His call with your heart open and ready to "Go".
Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured teh cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize in temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperichable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

where is your passion?

As I sit before this computer again today I am filled with the promise of hope. It is a hope that draws me nearer to Him. He is at work in me today. Many of you know I am an aspiring writer of my own novel some day, but the journey getting there is a long one.
As I take this journey of writing I do so with a passion that Christ has instilled in me. There are mornings I sit here for hours, and nights when all others are sleeping just writing and sharing from my heart. There is something sweet in these hours of writing that I spend with me and the Lord. In all this writing, He is growing me. He is opening up my heart to new ideas, and taking fears away that have held me back for so long. He is showing me glimpses of Him through each line I share.

In my life I have those who inspire me, and those who encourage me. My husband is one of those. Reading is not one of his favorite things in life. He does not share in my passion, but he shares in me.

I have heard many times from others, "Are you getting paid for all that writing, and all those book reviews?" I have heard from others, "Wow, you spend all that time for nothing?" Do you ever just want to shout at someone? I want to shout out to the world, "Everything is not always about money!!" When we lose our passion we lose our self. I did not begin writing to gain monetary claims. I am not writing for the world, for my family, or friends. I am using the gift the Lord gave me for Him and His glory alone. It just so happens that as I write He is growing this girl in many ways. See, its not really about me at all. Not even about my desires. Its all about Him and this beautiful passion He has placed in my heart.

If I sold a book tomorrow and made millions, wow, I would be excited, but again, if I wake up tomorrow with this same passion and write only for my Savior, then this girl is even more excited! I gotta say, I don't want to lose my passion in the midst of chasing money. I don't want each word to only exist for my gain. Nothing I do is for my gain. All that is in me, and all that I am becoming is of the Lord.

What passion do you have? Are you living in the passion that the Lord has given? Learn to listen to Him, and not those around you saying your wasting your time. When we choose to follow the Lord, there is no waste, there is only gain for His glory. Within your passions, if you are able to touch one person then it is all worthwhile.

Life without passion is not really life to me. It is that passion that drives us, that sets us apart, and moves us in the direction of the Lord. In that passion we find beauty and we find stillness in the quiet love of writing with just you and all those words you must share before your eyes close for the night.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

is it really all the details?

I must say I love muscle cars, don't you? The sound of the engine roaring. The sleek body of the car. The tires and wheels that make such a statement. The glimmer of the paint job. You can find some with metallic paint catching your eye as they pass,or any color that adds to who you are . You can add cam, and you can put on headers. You can add detailing in the leather seats, you can add in a gear shift with personality. You might find sleek lines going down the sides, or flames shouting at you. You can even make your car faster by adding in a different engine. Who doesn't love the sound of a roaring engine showing power?
With all these details they add much to the look of the car don't they? As people pass you wave. As your driving by others may be giving you a thumb's up letting you know they like your style.

The more details added the more time in maintenance you spend. There is a lot going on to make that ride appealing.

So, all these details add a lot to the look of your car, but if each one is taken off, what are you left with? A car. It's not all those details that make that car run great. It's the engine, its the inside that people don't often see. It's all the stuff under the hood. Without the inside working you just have a hot looking car sitting in your drive way.

We can get caught up in the details in our lives too. We can work for hours putting on our make up to look just right. We can shop for days looking for that right outfit to add to our entrance into the room. We can do the nails, the toes, and spend lots on the details that make us feel and look good. But, you can do that to a manikin in the store front window that calls you inside to purchase more. Ever see how they make those manikins fancy with the latest styles? We can stand next to them and think we are missing something, when in fact we are. If we are all caught up on the details of the outside and our look we are missing the importance of the inside.

Anything can be fixed up. I have a cousin who loves to restore old furniture and things. She goes out and finds these great buys, brings them home and restores them to look amazing. She doesn't just keep adding to the outside, she strips all that away and starts fresh. It is a lot of work restoring, but in that work is where you find the real beauty.

We have known friends to have a home and want to restore. So, here they are thinking they will begin with tearing up the carpet. Once they get that old, dirty, mismatched carpet up what do they find? A beautiful hardwood floor that would have never been found unless the old was brought up and thrown out.

Every once in awhile we can get ourselves caught up in the details, but its not the details that often bring the beauty. It is the simplicity of things. I am one of those girls who loves simple. For me, the more details just takes away from who I really am.

Many times we try to add details in fact to hide what is really on the inside. Today is a beautiful day to refurbish our lives. To take a good look from the front, the behind and the sides, starting with the heart. If you really want to shine for Jesus, take off all the world and replace it with pure thoughts, pure motives, and pure and simple prayer. We don't need to listen to the world and all its idea's about beauty. If we could just see ourselves the way Jesus sees us, we would stop trying to cover up what He so much wants the world to see in us, and that is Himself. He cannot shine through with all those details we are so worried about.

If you watch many designers of the home, what is it they say? They say," Remove the clutter, get ride of all the stuff you don't need!" When we do the real beauty begins to shine through.

The more stuff, the more our eyes are on the details, the less stuff, the more our eyes are on Him.

2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."

1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Monday, March 22, 2010


Ever sit in a church service and say, "Wow, there aren't many folks here today?" Too often we can get hooked on numbers. Our mindset should instead be, "Wow, look who is all here today!" We can do this with any ministry we are involved in. Take a blog, as mine, sometimes I can look over and check to see how many followers there are. That is the wrong thing for me to do. I just need to focus on what the Lord is laying upon my heart to share, and whether I have the audience of 1000, 100, 10 or 1 the important thing is that I am following Christ. I am being that willing vessel for Him to use.
I know many read and do not follow. Some are daily readers, and others have just stumbled along. But I have found that those who come and stop in and are blessed just by what the Lord intended them to see.

When Jesus was the willing vessel for His ministry, He wasn't counting followers. Ofcourse He would have wanted everyone to come as He does today, but He did focus on those who were there with Him. He was blessed by those who came. Whether Jesus would have just had a few to give His life for, or the entire world as He did, He still would have opened Himself up and gave all He had.

Some have large ministries and they reach thousands if not millions, such as Billy Graham and Beth Moore. We are not all called to be a Billy Graham, but we are called to minister to those around us. Just as my Pastor can reach many each Sunday or through his love of trout fishing, I will come in contact with many he will never meet. God has placed us right where He wants us, and He places those in our paths for a reason.

Your ministry may be a blog, a teacher, a Pastor, a speaker, a writer, or your ministry may be your work place.You may even be a softball coach for your child's team. You may belong to a quilting or scrapbooking club. The first place our ministry begins is in our own hearts, and then it spreads to our home. Whatever your job, what ever your passion you can reach out to those around you. Each moment in time that we get to spend with another is a ministry.

I know in Awana on Wednesday nights, there are times we may say, "We have a low crowd tonight." In that we are saying that we are missing those who are not there, but we are taking each one of those children and acting as if they were the only ones there.

If each person just reached out to one person a day, look at that ministry. Wow! That is a lot of people to reach for the Lord. What is your ministry? You may think you don't have one, but each of us do. We are each called to share the gospel of Christ, and for each one we do reach out to, for each one we open our hearts to we are moving in the ministry God has called us to reach. As we reach out others will reach out, and so on. Hearts are touched when we share from our heart to another.

If you think about it, every ministry started out with just one person, and from there two came, and then is grows with love and prayer.Each ministry grows in God's timing. If you are just starting out, don't worry about numbers. Don't think no one is listening. Just keep pressing forward, obeying Christ, for He has a plan in your life, and He will lead you to the ministry He is calling you to. Each door will open, and when it does you will know without a doubt that it is He that is doing so.
Ephesians 4:11-16 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, but the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ-from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."

WATCH OVER ME by Christa Parrish

What a sweet sweet read this was! We have our police officer who is a vet of the war, a hippy, who he has fallen for, and a deaf boy who come together in this novel and that grabs our hearts. Deputy Benjamin Patil finds a baby left for abandanment out in the woods. This precious baby girl is not wanted by one, but is wanted by Benjamin. He comes home to his wife Abbi, who is not so excited about having the little stay with them. Abbie is going through struggles of her own as she battles an eating disorder she is still trying to find herself in her faith and she is lost in her marriage wanting and needing and not really understanding how to share with Benjamin. As they bring the baby home, thinking on adoption, Abbie's heart becomes stirred and she learns to love this little one pulling her heartstrings. In the midst of their lives, we meet Matthew, who is living with his aunt, is deaf, and is not really wanted. He is living with dialisis. He is in need of a kidney and in need of finding his father he has never met. His search becomes less the need of a kidney and more of the need of knowing his father. This young man is so very smart, and is full of love and honesty.Within these characters I could relate even though I have not been through their trials. Christa knows how to bring us right there in their living rooms, in their emotions, and place them in our hearts. She brings all these characters together in a unique way. We see through this story how God is growing them and that is a beautiful sight to witness. As the little one comes into their lives, they name her Silvia, and we find Matthew helping out. They are becoming a family, but God has different plans before them. Little Silvia has a daddy who wants and needs her, so we see them go through loss, but see this young man come to gain in this tiny baby girl. Although the picture changes for them, healing begins and God shows them the way. We see Benjamin heal from the dreams of war, and we see Abbie grow out of herself and learn to open her heart. I loved this story, each and every chapter filled my heart with hope. Matthew grabbed hold of my heart and will remain there as a gift of hope.

This book was a gift from Bethany House Publishers for its review.
A past winner of Associated Press awards for her journalism, Christa Parrish now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives near Saratoga Springs, New York. Visit


When you open these pages of Liz's newsest novel you will find yourself in Scotland in the midst of the highlands and lowlands. Here you have a tale of secrets buried deep, but within those we find love and redemption. Healing comes from letting go and bringing things to the surface that once held us behind.
In the characters of Lady Elizabeth Kerr, and her mother in law, Lady Marjory we find the story of love between Naomi and Ruth. Liz has a gift for bringing the story of the old into Scotland in the midst of the 1800's right here in the Kerr family. Liz brings Scottish history to life right before us.

These characters are rich and vibrant and fill the pages as though you too are in Scotland seeing yourself in the tales of their families. The emotions of these characters during such a time bring us right to the heart of them. In this tale of love, and betrayal there is a beauty that is seen when all comes together to a sweet sound of redemption.

I enjoyed this book by Liz, and the story of Naomi and Ruth is one close to my heart. This story takes you back to a different time and place where secrets were kept, but honor is always at the cornerstone of breaking free.

This book was a gift from Multnomah WaterBrook Press for its review.

LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at

Here is a special treat for those of you who would like to see more details of this charming book:

We will soon be able to see the remainder of this story of uncondisional love in the next book of the series intitled "Mine is the Night" coming in 2011.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a sweet moment of freedom

Each year as this time rolls around you know what this girl is thinking? Softball. I love the feel of the glove in my hand, the ball coming quickly and chasing after it. I love the dust and the dirt in my shoes. I love laughing and sharing with others as we round the bases counting up runs coming in.
I have played ball every since I can remember and for this girl, I still want to play. Some may say, "How can you play if you are in such pain?" Well, let me try to explain just how I feel on that field. Is my pain gone? No. In fact its very real, and intense, not so much when I'm on the field, but after, when I am walking to the truck, once I get in or crawl in, the tears begin to flow. Once home after that hot shower, and meds, I try to fall asleep, but it doesn't come quickly.

When I put on my shorts, grab my glove, warm up playing catch with my husband, and tie those shoe strings tight I feel at peace. Once I walk up to bat I feel a freedom. When I am at second base or catching I feel like I can conquer anything. I feel for one hour and forty-five minutes like a energized girl again with my back against the pain, and all that is in my mind is the sweet breeze blowing as the night lights flicker on.

For those few months of playing ball it brings with it such a sweet time. A time for me to enjoy in the warmth of the sun with others who have the same passion to feel young again. I am not the only struggling out there on that field. I think many of the men I play with do also. They come after a hard days work, and for them too it is a release, a freedom like being young and climbing trees. Climbing to the top, not afraid to fall.

We all have those sweet spots that bring us such joy and even through the pain we don't want to give that feeling up. So, for me, this girl runs through the pain to find a few moments of joy that fill this girls heart just as I was nine and playing again with my dad watching, cheering me on. Only this time, I have my husband cheering me on and the Lord is there too. He is the Light of this girl's life and without Him I would not be able to move through each day as I do. He fills me with such a sweet Spirit, and sets my dreams before me, those dreams of young that still come alive.

There have been years I have not been able to play, and I am praying this is not one of them, which it very well could be. If so, if its time to hang up my glove, I will still feel the breeze blow by and the ball in my glove, and the dirt in my shoes while I slide into base in the dreams of the night when all the pain is gone, when the Lord has set me free in the midst of the night when all seems right.

learning to say no

I have always been one of those yes girls. You know what I am talking about. Someone asks you to do something and you will not dare say no. Why? Someone might get mad, upset and oh, my, not talk to you! That comes from having the people pleaser syndrome. I have been a long time member. A card carrying member that always said yes.
I have a sweet friend who has spent much time trying to teach me to say no, and ya know, I am finally learning what no means.

No means not right now for you, but it is yes for someone else! For every no there is a yes to follow. I have learned that everything I am asked to do is not a message from the Lord. When He calls I am learning to move and do His will, but every need does not have to be met by me.

When you live with such pain, you want to help in every area, but you just can't. There are those times when the pain is so strong, that you are barely taking care of yourself, much less serving in another area.

The bad thing with living in pain is that not everyone understands. Not all know the depths of pain from fibromyalgia. As it only took me 20 minutes to get ready for church today, it took almost an hour and a half to get out of bed! My good days come and go, but I find blessings in each moment the Lord gives.

As fibro is becoming my friend in life, I think one of the things the Lord has taught me through this is to say no. Did the Lord give me fibro? No, He didn't, but He allowed it, and through it He is teaching me much, just like saying no. He has opened other doors for me to serve and grow in.

When I have to say no, it is not saying no to a person, or the event God is moving in, I must say no to helping in the way they wish. But in saying no to one area, the Lord will open a door to a yes in another.

That is one of the blessings in this ministry of my blog. I can write in bed, and come to the computer when I have the energy to sit for awhile. God calls us all to do different things at different times in our lives, and for me, through this pain, in slowing down, He has opened doors in other areas for me to work in and show His glory and strength through me.

So for all of you in pain, for those of you suffering in any way. It is okay to say no. Its a simple two letter word and only takes a second to share. In your heart if you know you cannot do something, pray for God to open that door for someone else to step in and be used of God and not only serve in that area, but reap the blessings that you once did. You must learn the limits of yourself, and when you know you cannot say yes, its okay. Others will learn to understand. When you are suffering from severe pain, you have those good days and bad ones. Take those good ones and run with them. In those bad ones, slow down, and enjoy the grace the Lord washes over you. I know its very hard to say no. It has taken me a long time and maybe that comes with age, but in saying no, you are not saying I do not care. You are simply saying I cannot and you must learn to be okay with that and have peace in your heart with your no.

God has not called us to be yes girls. He has called us to serve with Him and He will show us where to go and which door to move through, and given the opportunity, He will give us the healing and energy to serve with a willing heart.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

not another one

As I sit here in the quiet of my home writing this morning my head is pounding, my shoulders are stretching the limits of my pain, and my body is weak from doing chores yesterday. Do you wake with pain daily? There are many that do. Many wake each morning wishing it was a different day and a different time in their lives where pain didn't effect everything they did.
As fibromyalgia takes a hold and tries to bring me down, and as these migraines come in the midst of when I have something planned I find myself crying out to God to remove them, just let me have a day without pain. Just let me keep the plans I had with my girlfriend, and allow my attitude not to reflect over on my husband calling out for me.

Yesterday I was living in a fog. As great news came my way I was overjoyed, but the fog still took over my day as it does many of them. I now keep a notebook in my purse to write down everything so I can remember. I also have begun to keep jots of little sayings in my phone to always remind me that God is near. Just as if you are driving home on a foggy day and cannot see what is up ahead, this too is the feeling of fibro. You want your mind to be clear so much, and you fight this battle with others not understanding why your not chipper today.

For me, my pain travels from place to place. Last week is was my back, this week it is in my shoulders, and just about everywhere. My husband tries to hug me gently, but the pain hurts so bad I cringe, making him feel as though he has done something to hurt me. All you want is a hug, and it hurts too bad to receive one.

Please don't think I am whining to you. I am not. I am simply sharing for I know others go through the same pain and are afraid to share. There is nothing to be afraid of, if anything, sharing sets you free. It brings a peace to your soul that is fighting down in the depths of your being.

I am learning to accept this gift of fibromyalgia as my friend. It may not be one that is liked very much, but through this "friend" the Lord has brought blessings, and He has brought understanding where there was none before. This friend has brought others into my life to help one another carry these dark burdens. The Lord has given me the gift of mercy more clearer for others, and has helped to encourage me to reach out to others more than before. I am not going to be defined by these diseases, but as they are part of my life I cannot ignore them, they are real, and alive.

Just as Paul had a thorn in his side, he learned to grow as that thorn brought much more than pain. It brought Him closer to God and God was able to use Paul in his weakest moments and show him that through all nothing is without gain. As Paul carried this thorn, he also moved and never stopped sharing the word of God. If anything he was more aware of those around him.

Whatever you are carrying today, know you are not alone, and you can be used greatly of God just where you are. In the midst of our weakness is where God's strength shines through.

Hold your head up, stay steady in your faith, and walk in such a way that your life points to Christ Jesus.

Lord, in my pain today may I bring you glory. If it is Your will heal my pain, take these diseases away from me, but if it is Your will for them to stay, give me Your strength and guidance to walk this road before me with a new found freedom in You. Give me courage to face each day, and the heart to keep reaching out to others.
Romans 5:1-5 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

need some Son?

Do you ever wake and just find yourself needing a touch from the Savior? Maybe your in the midst of your day and all around you is hectic and all you want to do is feel the peace of the Lord wash upon you? Sometimes I just want to stop what I am doing and reach out to Him, allowing Him to shine upon me giving me all I need.

We do seem to need a lot don't we? We want everything this life has to offer. We want others to appreciate us, and we can even want others to notice us, right? We want the "good" things in life. We want to reach in our pockets and pull out all we need to fill our life with "happiness". We want, we want and we want. The thing with wanting is that no matter how much we have, we always want more. Happiness is an addiction. If we don't have all we want we grow angry, sad and bitter. But if life is throwing us a party everyday we are finding ourselves smiling, but as a drug that smile only lasts while the stuff is coming in.

So where do we find what we really need? In the light of Jesus. In life all that "happiness" comes and goes, but the joy that the Lord places in your heart lasts forever, no matter what the situation.

I find at this time in my life God is bringing me to a place where I am finding that all that "stuff" only takes up room, room that is intended for Him, but when my life is cluttered with "stuff" He isn't able to find room to shine. And that is what this girl wants. I want Him to shine down on me. I want to feel His warmth, and to grow in His guidance and in His timing . Who am I to think life should surrounded by my beck and call? God's timing is always best. Its not always easy to wait upon Him, but in that waiting I am learning there are blessings there to be had. It is in those waiting moments, those times of silence that I hear Him loud and clear. It is then that I see His vision for my life and His has so much more meaning than mine.

I too am finding that things don't happen the way I want them to. See, there are too many wants in our language. I need a lot less wants and more time to see the needs of others. When I am stuck on my wants, I lose track of the needs of those very people standing before me.

Things are tough on many in this season of life. The trials that come upon us are sometimes too much for us to bear, but again I am learning that I can bear much when I have the strength of God in me.

Today you might be thinking you need more "stuff" in your life to make you important. It is not the stuff that makes you who you are. It is the simple fact that you are a child of the King! Today we could be stripped from all that we have, and you know what we would have left? Jesus Christ!

Some may say, "Well, you might see it this way since you don't have a lot of stuff right now." Well, may I share, I have had lots of "stuff" in my life, and found the more I had the more I wanted. Stuff is an addiction that is ignored, its cast away because the world wants us to think the more "stuff" we have the better our lives our. When in fact all we really need is to have the love of God wash over us, and in Him we can be content. In Him, we can find the meaning of our lives.

Wherever you are today my friend, reach your eyes to heaven, stretch out your arms to the Lord, open your heart, and let Him wash His love and all His affection upon you. Once you have Jesus, you will learn to let go of all that stuff, for you will no longer need it to feel important. When you are a child of King, He will take care of all your needs and not only give you joy, but everlasting peace to lift you up in the midst of all that is around you!
1 Timothy 6:6-11 "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and snare, and into may foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in the greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness."
Romans 15:13 " Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Lord, I need a touch from you today. I need to feel Your joy my life and I want to dwell in Your presence every minute. Keep me from "wanting" and open my eyes to all I have in You. Keep all the worldly desires from my heart, and fill me with your everlasting peace and bring me to a place that I am trully content in You.


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