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Showing posts from November, 2012

Live Beyond The Mask

Susan wakes to the shine of sun streaming through her window. The dog is licking her cheek. The warmth of the blanket brings a comfort that she wants to remain in forever. Maybe if she lays perfectly still this moment will be lasting. But she knows her feet must hit the floor. She must stand today.
Maybe a shower will do the trick? No, not yet. She hurries back to the comfort of her bed and the gentleness of her pup. A friend who loves her in spite of who she really is.
What if people knew who she really is? Would they still love her? Would they still respect her? She has attended church and sat in the same pew for twenty-five years. She has taught Sunday School and lead in women's ministry. She's out going and beautiful. She is always wearing a smile. That mask covers so much. No one sees. Maybe no one cares. Would they even recognize her if they could see the sins of yesterday upon her forehead? The reality?  She knows what's underneath.
The prostitution when she was…

Finding Grace In My Mess

The day begins and I am already questioning myself. “So, you think your a good daughter?”

I leave that question unanswered as I move on to the next, “Would you win the wife award for the week?”

Oh, I don’t even want to go there. Lets move on, please.

“Mother of the year. Would it be you?”

Over and over again, this self doubt hits me in the gut. Am I really who I say I am or am I just a struggling mess? I’d say pretty much both. I try to walk in truth. I tend not to put on a face. I learned long ago that doesn’t work, but what about this perfection thing?

Each day is a struggle. But you know, I’m finding that it’s okay. Life isn’t easy. The key is to find beauty in all that surrounds us, yep, even those struggles.

Think about it. As long as we are keeping ourselves in check, what more can we do? Friends, we can only do what we can do. We can’t ask any more or less of anyone. We try our best and take each moment with a fresh breath.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is nobl…

A Love That Goes Beyond A Black Friday Event

We love words like, Black Friday. A shopping expedition. A search for that perfect gadget to fill our home. Me personally, I haven't been out on Black Friday. I'm just not a huge crowd person. Thought about traveling out, but I just couldn't bring up the courage.
We search for the biggest bargains. Cheap is what we want. We want to fill our homes with stuff and begin that great adventure of Christmas shopping. We spend a huge amount of time presearching for the sales so we know exactly where to go. Some even camp out for that one and only gadget they have been dreaming of.
I love to hear the words, "Lets to shopping" as much as the next girl. Which there are a few guys out there who could out shop us all. I'm afraid, my words of "Lets go shopping" at times over shadows the words, "Jesus loves you". I often wonder when I stand in front of the Lord one day, which of these two phrases is going to be spoken more from my mouth. I need to be …

Lord Make A Way

She begins by calling each child. Before the numbers are punched, the prayers are quietly said. "Lord, make a way."
Her home, now empty nest, is filled with her husbands words of encouragement. "They will come, Darling. The Lord will make a way." She isn't sure if his words are to comfort her or to encourage his own hurting heart.
Oh, the holidays past. Such joy and laughter they hold. Memories quickly come to mind and bring a smile to the heart.
For the past few years it's been a table set for two. Gracious and sweet are their days together, but this season of Thanksgiving they are hoping for a table of seven.
As soon as she hears the voice of her children on the other end of the line, tears quickly form. Her words begin to wobble and she must take a moment to come back.
"Lord, make a way."
She on one end, her husband on the other, they hear the voices of their children. The invite is given and the words of, "Mom, we will try", a…

So Big

I remember taking my children's hands and stretching them out and saying, "Momma loves you this much". Love stretches wide. In fact, it holds no boundaries. It goes beyond the boundaries. It's past those boundaries that we find the greatest love of all.
I seen a beautiful friend yesterday. She was holding her granddaughter through the resale shop. Oh, she is just precious. Sweet baby girl reached out her arms to me. My heart melted. A Nana knows this great love. I think at times it takes grandchildren to really teach us that love goes beyond all boundaries. Just ask any parent who comes to pick up their children from Nana's house. LOL

See, when I seen my friend, grandma's arms were getting tired. She had been carrying this little bundle of joy for a while. If your a Nana, you know you pick up and carry your grandchild no matter how tired or weary you are. But it reminded me that my Savior's arms are never tired. They never grow weary. It's in His ar…

A Heart Searching

My heart is heavy and light all at the same time. I'm searching. Searching for all the Lord has for me. He is changing me. Molding me. I'm not that girl I was twenty years ago. That girl living lost. I now see my entire life has been a journey. A journey that has set me to where I am today.
God placed that perfect journey before my first breath. Although His plan perfection, I wasn't following. I took lead. But I found Him. I soaked in all He had for me. I open my eyes today and just wait for the exploration to begin. I see things different. It's like my view has changed from the view of that twenty four year old babe that first knew of her Jesus.
I have been dreaming. I envisioned, in hope, to become one of the ladies of my church that helped me grow. That gave me vision. Those ladies who lead me in example and warmed my heart with love. These ladies I speak of are no longer here. They have reached the other side of heaven and are now waiting for that great reunion…

Lessons Learned From An Ugly Pair Of Shoes

You gotta love daughters. That bond. Those truths. The laughter. I am over the top blessed to have two beautifully, amazing daughters.

I use to have a pair of black flats. They were so comfy and cozy. I would wear them with everything. As soon as my oldest would see these shoes she would say, "Mom, no. What are you thinking? Take those off". There were a few times I would go to find my shoes and I'd find myself on a great search. Yes, you got it. My daughter would hide them.

It got to be a joke between us. I would take them out just to get her riled up. She swore she was going to toss them one day when I wasn't looking. Okay, I have no idea what ever happened to those shoes. Just sayin'..

I was at my in laws one day and was heading out to the field with my husband when I realized I had on new shoes. Here comes my mother in law with a pair I could wear to the field. In that moment that they were placed in my hand I burst into laughter. They were almost identica…

If I Must Be Wounded Please Do So With Love

Can you believe she did that? Did she actually say those words? I just can't understand why she would do such a thing. I mean, she's a Christian. She goes to church. What in the world was she thinking? Well, I'm sure she wasn't thinking. That's the point. And another thing, what about the reflection she is sending to those of us who attend church with her?
Is this a conversation you have heard? Maybe you have even said these words. If we are honest, and lets be. We have all been there. On both sides of this conversation. But, boy does it hurt. Why are we so trigger happy? Forget about throwing stones. We enjoy pointing that finger and standing our ground. Sometimes all it takes is a look. If you have been on the other side of that condemning look you know all too well the pain it leaves behind.
But, what I have found is, the whole story isn't privy to our eyes. Most of the time what we see isn't really the whole picture. We are just seeing a small portio…

Morning Son Makes All The Difference

Have you felt as though you are in the pit of darkness? Night settles upon us and we can't seem to see the stars for the tears that cloud our eyes. Hurt echos through the night. Pain strengthens and we wonder when morning will come. Been there, friend? I have been there in that darkness that seems like it is about to swallow me. It's in that moment the anxiety takes hold of me and I'm standing in fear. I fall to my knees and cry out to God. It may be more of a whimper, but He hears me. I hear Him say, "Morning, sweet daughter. Joy comes in the morning".
Have you wondered about morning? I have. I have woke and nothing has changed. The same pain is there. A shot in the heart has left an open wound, bleeding and in need of healing. The same circumstance surrounds me. So, what is this about morning that is different? Because I'm pretty much seeing the same punch in the gut I went to bed with.
But I begin to focus on the verse that carries the words, "Joy …

A Hallelujah Kind Of Table

Picture this: A large wooden table set with delight. Ten chairs gathered around close. The fire place has sparked a warm host of love. You look around. Now the picture gets uncomfortable. Those gathered around the table are not friends. They are not people you would have chosen to be at your dinner party. They are enemies. They are those who have gossiped about you. Those that have held a great anger toward you and haven't found forgiveness. Those filling the chairs are those very people who have let you down. Those who have discouraged you. Those very people who have brought pain, burning hot, searing red pain into your life.
It's time..
Now is the time to sit down with them and break bread. It's time to forgive and retire the anger that boils from your heart. It's time to look into those eyes that have brought tears to your own and forgive. It's time to let go and let God. It's time to erase yesterday from your vivid memory and it's time to create new f…

Placebo by Steven James

This was an interesting read for me. Truth is the subject. One seeks to uncover and one seeks to bury. Gives great insight on our Christian walk. I think at times I have been on both sides of the truth, but nevertheless, the truth always prevails. Jeven is on the side of truth and uncovering not only the truth but seeking to unveil to the world those trying to bury the truth.
This story holds great premise and it written with an intelligent pen. I'm going to be totally honest here. I think most will love this book. I had a hard time diving in and relating to the characters. Not that the story wasn't well written. It was.  This novel was rooted in a LOT of science and for me and that just kind of bored me. I totally understand why the science was there. The character wouldn't be who is was if the author had left out the scientific part.
I just think this wasn't my cup of tea. The beginning was amazing. I was ready to find out more about Jeven's family. We witness…

"Coming Home" by Karen Kingsbury

Oh, how the Baxter family has touched my life and filled it with joy. It's like they are extended family members. I've gotten to know each character just as if we were neighbors, so when Coming Home was out for review, I knew it was one I had to share.
Although this is a stand alone title, it is an extention of the series that began with Redemption. Yes, you could read this title alone and be blessed beyond your imagination, but I encourage you to go back and begin with Redemption. As series go, this is my all time favorite.
Coming Home takes us back to each Baxter family member and we get to catch up once again. Yes, it was like going home for Thanksgiving. This book holds so much more than catching up. Again we see how Jeremiah 29:11 carries this family through more than they could ever forsee on a day that was to hold such happiness.
HOPE. This is what Karen Kingsbury brings with her penned words. I'm not even sure I could call this an ending as much as a new beginni…

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson

I just spent the morning reading, The Christmas Pony, by Melody Carlson. What a treat while we are having an October summer here in Missouri. This book brought to heart the sweetness of Christmas. Oh, I love the snow. As I read I was picturing myself right along side Lucy making snow angels in the newly fallen snow.
The book begins with Lucy asking for a pony for Christmas. We see Christmas through Lucy's eyes. There are unexpected surprises and heart's change to come. It might look like chance, but everything in God's perfect timing.
This was a sweet gem of a read. It was tender. The characters are believable and each brings something of value to the story. Lessons are to be learned here in Maple Grove.
Lucy is that girl who dreams big and hopes new. She sees past the circumstance and believes there is more than the trouble of today. She is ready to find the blessings waiting.
My favorite part was when Lucy couldn't have the part she wanted in the town Christmas…

"A Wreath of Snow" by Liz Curtis Higgs

I devoured this book in just a few hours. Once I began reading I simply couldn't put it down. This is a lovely book. Brings Christmas to the heart early. I love reading books that carry such a passionate message. The message in these penned words? Forgiveness. Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of ourselves.
With that said I am sure you will be able to relate to the characters in this beautiful story of grace and redemption. God never gives up on us. Through His perfect timing He brought these characters together. Liz brings a story that is so real and so transparent that your heart meets Jesus thought every word.
I loved the cover and the title? Oh my, being covered in snow is like being covered in God's grace.
We see a family that has been torn apart by tragedy. We see that sometimes tragedy is caused by others and sometimes it's caused by ourselves. Throughout this story we see hope and what is held in God's redemptive love. He restores us when we are ready …

Fill The Gap With Prayer

"For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him." Colossians 1:9-14
Just what if we followed in the steps of the Colossians and prayed for one another? What if before we uttered a word of anger or of gossip, we first offered our hearts in prayer? If we get real here, we can't gossip and pray at the same time. Anger cannot roll off…