Monday, December 13, 2010

Let God be God

Let Him be Lord. It is the hearts cry of every believer that yearns for Christ, that is looking towards eternity and drawing near to Him who loves us so. It is so hard not to cling to this life and these people who surround us. So hard to keep our eyes on Him who holds our life and the life of those around us. Tonight was pure silliness at our home. We laughed at crazy stuff found on the internet and probably at things that weren't near as funny as we pretended they were. It was a laugh needed after a day of feeling anxiety and I am so glad God knew it and let my household of young adults loose. Between scenes of "epic fail",multiple drug references (guess who),poetry readings, and the joy of watching "SingOff" we had a light evening. The trouble is I don't live in a light world and you don't either. It is hard and our own and others pain weighs heavy.  Sometimes I forget that I cannot fix the human heart; I can be rather arrogant that way. I so long for people to be set free, to know the joy of the Lord in the midst of every circumstance. But I cannot soothe my own grief and pain let alone someone elses. Until I allow myself to be filled completely with God’s love, trusting Him in the details that I cannot work out,  I will be searching for this elusive contentment elsewhere – resulting in an empty heart that is full of anxiety and distress. You see, it is not my circumstances that dictate my joy and contentment; it is the state of my heart and too often I do not rest in Him and Let Him be Lord. I don't want to hurt and I don't want to grieve. And I don't want anyone else to either. I don't want to go through separations. I don't want marriages to fail. I don't want children to suffer in any way. I don't want to live in a world with no answers. No one would learn a lesson in suffering from me because I hate it. When I was younger I used to long to take away the punishment of my brothers and sisters because I could not bear it. Letting God be God sometimes drives me crazy. When it seems I wait for years to see the purpose and good in painful circumstances I go a little nuts. But then I look backwards, way backwards, and I see; sometimes it is only a few things but I do see. God does work for good. Lives are transformed. There is healing. I have seen marriages healed and I have seen prodigal children turn around and walk zealously after God. And I realize I don't want to just Let God be God; I deeply desire God to be God; I want Him to continue this "long slow walk" to eternity in my life. I want to be used and grown and stretched along the way. This past weekend I remarked that I was tired of learning lessons but I am not. I am tired, perhaps of the pain but so glad for the personal work of God in me. Let God be God.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I was  reading one of my favorite blogs and it asked the question, "Are you prepared to fail miserably? I started thinking back over my life and how many times I have played it safe instead of being willing to fail. When I was a sophmore in High School I had the opportunity to spend a year in Japan but plagued by fear I backed out. I have wondered often how my life might have been different if I had taken that risk. Another risk I backed away from was going  away to college. You see, I have always been afraid of people and situations that were in the least unfamiliar. As a young wife I made my husband call for any appointment or business problem we might have. I never made a dctor appointment on my own until I got pregnant. I would either have Bill or someother family member do it. Once I even had a co-worker make me a doctor appointment. Thankfully God takes us the way we are and, if we allow Him, He takes us on a journey, stretches us, and makes us new creatures. I barely remember that girl that I was, who did not speak her first year at community college, who refused to have guests into her home, who would not finish her education because it would have required going away. That girl was so afraid of failing and so afraid of rejection and so afraid of people. Being saved is about more than heaven and more than about forgiveness. It is about life. It is about becoming a whole new person. It is about overcoming what holds us back and using the gifts God gives us. Am I still afraid of failure and rejection and people? Of course; I will always be challenged by what held me back so many years ago. But those things that paralyzed me have lost their grip. Thank you God. That fear did not go away. I had to choose to push past it. Am I afraid of failure? Yes, but I am more afraid of missing life; I am more afraid of wasting what God has given me; I am more afraid of not reaching towards the goal God has set for me. Living without fear does not feel so safe anymore. I would rather feel  the fear and go forward and see what God does.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Psalm 143

Psalm 143
The Highly Unauthorized Cyndi Version

O LORD, in your patience hear me out.
Please help me understand
while I think out loud
in your presence.
Please don't take my thoughts
too seriously,
but help me
as I process some things.

I just don't understand some people, Lord.
I don't.
They mystify me.
I don't understand those
who hold onto and are utterly sure
of their own righteousness;
as their actions and attitudes
stand in direct opposition to your Word,
to the precepts you have taught.

I don't get those
who go their own way; when they have tasted your goodness
and then stray from the road you lead us on.
I wonder why they don't enjoy your blessing.
I can't fathom
how people who call themselves by your name
can be so willful
and stubborn
and critical
and ugly toward others.

It dismays me.
I am getting weary
I long for those days when my faith was fresh
my heart unjaded.

I will turn to you;
my soul longs for your living water

Hear my cry, Lord,
and renew my spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Rain on me.
Flow through me,
renew my dry and barren places
Wash away all weariness;
my dullness
my cynicism.

Draw me near to you;
and let tomorrow dawn
with fresh hope
and renew my spirit.
Walk with me.
Rescue me from my enemy,
 who wants to render me useless,
and from myself,
for I am near a precipice and need you .

Teach me to trust in your will,
for you are my God;
lead me on level ground,
for you are Almighty God.

Silence all doubt,
that I may walk fearlessly;
I am yours; your servant forever

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Today was one of those sermon's that made me squirm. Literally. I wanted to run out, use any excuse to not have to listen anymore. I knew what the topic was going to be and I had a choice. I could have stayed out at the mop's bake sale but I was worried a friend didn't have anyone to sit with and the sale didn't really need two of us during the service so I ducked out. Humility is hard because it is not just about your actions but is also about your motives and even about what you think about. I felt like I was under some sort of test all week. I was sick early on, fought some envy, had to make a difficult decision, alone, wondering if I was making the right one, and then had migraines nearly every day the rest of the week. It was a week I felt very alone which is a trick the enemy often uses with me. In otherwords, I was caught up with me. Humility is difficult to fake. At least it is hard to fake to yourself. I know just how often my thoughts are preoccupied with myself, how easily I am critical of others in order to feel better about my own inadequacies, how easily I can get sucked into feeling sorry for myself, forgetting how much worse it is for many and just how good God is to me. I can't seem to make myself humble or to forcibly throw off pride but I can do those things that can make it possible for God to work His character and attitude in me. I start off every day with the word but I think I need to do better than that. I pray every day, many times a day, but I know I can be more focused and listen much better. I know I can be more careful before I speak and in my actions. The answer is more of Him, less of me. The words of John the Baptist hit home this morning, He must increase in my life. As I empty myself of what is useless and selfish the Spirit of God can fill the empty places.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


One of the reasons I write is to tell my story. I don't write because my thoughts are more profound than others. In fact I am quite sure that there are innumerable multitudes that write the same types of things that I do much much better. But there is something in the telling of my story that wants me to have a better story. It pushes me forward. One of the guys in our church preached His first sermon today. He did an amazing job and while I listened I thought about how that act will push Him to live a better story. When I was in my middle 30's I was asked to lead a Ladies Bible Study. I was quick to say I was too young, that the older women are to teach the younger women and promptly was told that I had crossed that bridge. Not fun. But the act of teaching that Bible Study did more to push me forward than anyting I had done for God before. There is something about both leadership and writing that make us want to be better,  to be used of God to make a difference. When I write it helps me make sense of the place I am at and what I am going through. When I teach I want to be sure I know what I am teaching, that I am ready to be taught, and that I am in a place where I can follow up with those I teach. For me it is all about serving God. But when I first started out it wasn't necessarily about that. It was about finally having friends, it was about being set free from sin, it was about not feeling alone. God was a part of that but I was just learning. While I was "all in" from the beginning I still did not get what that meant and had a long way to go and of course I still do. But God led me, patiently; He taught me, willingly; He loved me when I fumbled my way around. The one thing that was true at the beginning that is still true now is that my God holds the central place of my life and I have willingly exchanged my previous crummy life for the adventure of walking with Him. Some of you have not exchanged your life for His. Some of you are not pressing forward with your story. I urge you to take some time as you read this and go to God and give your all to Him. In every story of every person in the Bible who walked with God one thing is evident. Their lives forever changed when they met Him. And another thing, they pushed forward and had no regrets. I would not trade one day of my life since I met Christ for one of the days before and I have had some bad ones. There is nothing worse than being alone and lost. Now I have family and am set free.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just a Note

Sometimes I fight writing the personal in my blog. It feels somehow wrong and right at the same time. Like so many I struggle with wanting to be seen. There is a part of me that wants to get the words right and make it all about me. At the same time I want to hide. I am afraid if I let out my feelings and thoughts I am only opening myself up to criticism. It is a bit of a contradiction; two thoughts -- both wrong. Because I love to write and feel compelled to do so I  hope that the bits of my story and thoughts along my way will encourage and help. Today I was in a mood. I managed to hide it fairly well at work but by the time I got home it overtook me and I had to apologize to my daughters for my shortness with them. As so often happens it is my family who gets the backlash when I am having a hard time. I feel restless much of the time. I hate being gone and I hate being at home. I don't know what to do and the only time I feel somewhat normal is when I am writing, praying, and when I get to help someone. I am trying way too hard to not think and feel. I am dreading the holidays and the winter. I find myself discouraged and impatient and do not like it. It has always seemed to me that if I were close to God I could skip those things but not so. Reading the book of Job again was an encouragement. Going through Jeremiah right now is also. Both are filled with the raw emotions of grief and discouragement. It seems what I know is this. Life is not easy. Loss is difficult. Being honest is challenging. Sometimes my life seems fragmented and my heart feels like giving up. It is then I turn to Jesus and He is always so very good to me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thoughts on a Sleepless Night

Sleep will not come. They say you shouldn't just lie in bed wide awake so here I am up, trying to quiet these thoughts that swirl through my head, trying to turn them into prayers, wanting in this moment to somehow force happy endings to people's misery. We live in a fallen world, a deeply fallen place and while it bears the beauty of its creator it also bears the mark of the enemy that holds it in his grip. I am so troubled tonight. Perhaps it is the weariness that comes after grief and difficulty. Perhaps it is seeing so much pain. I don't know. I want so badly to help us see how deeply we hurt our children, God's precious ones, (for they belong to Him) when we sin and refuse to forgive and refuse to say we are sorry and refuse to change until the other person does and refuse to put on the character of Christ which He has given us who do not deserve any of it. You might be thinking I had a bad night at youth group. I didn't. But I think a culmination of several difficult conversations this past week has put me perilously close to an edge I don't want to be on. I want to continue to believe God is going to transform us, that we are becoming less selfish and more like Him, that we are going to really repent and turn around and walk differently than we have been. I want to believe that we are going to truly see ourselves and then look to Christ. I want to believe in all of it. I do believe all of it. I believe in God's power and His work in our lives for I know He changed me. I believe in a mighty God. I am just not so sure I believe in His people.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Always With Us

I have felt a little overwhelmed lately. Busy at work and thinking about the holidays. I love how God meets me in my craziness. Wednesday I felt exhausted after work and knew that I needed to be fresh for Life Trek. I was trying to finish up too many things at once and had stared at a computer way toooo long. I needed to be refreshed.  Knowing I was going to be facing a room full of High School students when you are brain dead is so not a good idea. It seemed to me to be a good idea to lock myself in the prayer room for a little while and pray. I didn't spend a lot of time but God met me there in those moments and I came out feeling fresh, peaceful and ready. It was good but what was even better was knowing that we serve a God that meets our needs. At the end of the night I was exhausted and today I don't feel much better but for that space of time that I needed to be fresh God met me in that need. So often I ask Him for things that aren't actual needs. I want Him to take away this space of time that I just need to walk through. I want Him to make me feel less afraid and anxious. I want Him to answer questions when I just need to trust Him. I want Him to quit teaching me hard lessons and help me to just "get it." God is taking us through it all. He has not left us here alone. He is my Father, my husband and my dearest friend. He is so patient. I am so grateful. I love Him so very much.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things that Hinder

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-2
I have been feeling weary lately, weary of feeling so upside down and out of my usual element. I am no longer a wife. My children have all grown up and so I do not feel much like a mother. Lately at work all I can see are my mistakes and there have been plenty. I have noticed that the older I get the more I forget. I used to just joke about it when it only happened once in awhile but now it has been happening with regularity. The more I worry about frustrating those who have to work with me the worse it gets. Sounds like a pity party doesn't it? A few blogs ago I talked about working on my inner narcissism that seems to have crept out into my life. Nicole tells me I am obsessed lately with the word narcissism and I think she is right.  I hate being self absorbed but can't seem to find my way out of it. Part of it is I feel out of my element. For so many years I spent my time mothering and being a wife. That is no longer the case and I am trying to plot out a new course and it is not easy. Lately it seems that I have known just the wrong thing to say to my kids, trying to mother them when they are adults. Not a good idea. I miss my husband. Early this morning I was watching something I had recorded and thought about how much Bill would have loved it and that wave that comes overtook me again. It is part of my life. I was reading in Hebrews this week how it is not just sin that hinders. Sin entangles and it certainly hinders but there are other things that hinder. I want to run the race God has given me until the very end and I can't do that if I am absorbed with what used to be and dwelling on how my life has changed and I don't like it. That hinders and it makes me weary and lose heart. I know it does because I feel it. I don't know the answer in entirety but I have made some changes this week. I am spending extra time in prayer and in the Word. I am reading more again instead of watching things that do not profit. It is all I know to do. I am sharing this because we all have things that hinder us that are a little hidden. They aren't as simple as the sin we easily see. The are hidden and need to be ferreted out and dealt with. Because they are not easily seen we must look for them. It is worth it because when we don't we become weary and we begin to lose heart. God needs our hearts to be fully engaged to accomplish His mission through us. He needs our energy to be His and not lost to sin and entanglements. Hopefully I will soon be through this entangled and hindered portion of life and feel much more useful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have been thinking and praying much about the process of salvation this week. It does not seem as if there is much Biblical back up for much of what we use to lead people in the process. There is no sinners prayer or 4 step method or Romans Road in the Bible. What should the process look like today? As I was praying for the service today and asking God that question I had kind of an aha moment. I thought of that verse in Acts that states that "the Lord added to their number daily such as would be saved." It hit me. Jesus adds those who want to be saved. We often try to add people to church who do not wish to be saved. They may believe in God, not want to go to hell, even like the idea of belonging to a religion or giving space in their schedule to God but they do not want to be saved from this life and their sin. They do not want to be set free and given new purpose. They do not like the idea of God ruling over them. They do not want to be saved. When Jesus called the disciples He asked them to follow Him. Simply that. Of course He told them what that meant. For the rich young ruler it meant leaving his wealth and don't be too sure that isn't being asked of people today! For the Pharisees  he asked them to give up their religion. To the woman at the well He said, "Go, and sin no more." A tall order if you ask me. While it was simple it was not easy, while it is worth everything it can seem costly. Today Jesus asks the very same things of us, Follow. Give. Go. Leave your life of sin. Be a soldier. Do not be entangled in this life. Be content. He is enough. Jesus is adding to the church those who would be saved. We do need to keep it simple. But we also need to make sure it is well understood what salvation is, its true cost and the incredible joy and blessing that accompany it. Just my thoughts on this day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I was thinking about justice this week. I thought about how I don't really understand the meaning of it and how apart from God none of us do. It does not seem just that people die from lack of clean water. It does not feel just that, as believers we rail against the gay agenda, single moms on welfare, and other societal ills and forget that these lost ones are God's children that we are called to love. It does not feel just that we inflict the fallout of our sins on our families, friends, and churches. It does not feel just that we often throw the first stone. There is a God who loves us so very much that He sent His beloved Son to die for us. Because of that love I am free, free to make sure that no one I know suffers the consequences of sin without learning the way out. Free to cover the sins of others with mercy and love them in the mess they are in. Free to invest in the poor of this world instead of heaping possessions to ourselves. Free to live and know and love the God who declared that "Mercy always triumphs over judgment." I know we live under intense pressure and it is easy to feel like the psalmist Asaph in Psalm 73 whose "feet almost slipped" when he saw how easy sinners seem to have it. After thinking about it he remembered, "my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;" We have the Lord. We are of all men most blessed. Our weeping endures for a short space only. If we do not remember our purpose that will not be true of our friends and loved ones. It will not be true of the world's lost and poor if we do not intentionally remember. We are here for a purpose. We exist for a reason. Until that last day He has showed us what is good, and what the Lord requires of us. "We are to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God." We are not to rail against things that are not fair, or to demand rights that we cannot control. We are to trust that the God who loves us will walk with us through this world. We are to trust that His plan and work is greater than any pleasure that this world can give us. We are to grow in our knowledge of Him who is truly Just and absolute Mercy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have been thinking today about how, as a believer, we must choose to trust God. We cannot measure whether to trust God by our minds perception of how trustworthy He is. We cannot because life is dark in spots and it can stay dark for what seems to be a lot of time. That is because God will take whatever time He needs to obtain the result He desires. I think of Joseph, sold into slavery. God had a reason for allowing that and Joseph remained faithful to the God He knew and the God He had chosen to trust. If you look at every story of the Bible you will see it over and over again. God is trustworthy but we must choose to trust Him. If you try and decide in the darkness or try and decide while looking at anothers life when they are going through darkness it will be hard to see His plan and His goodness. That is why believers will mistakenly believe that a person is in some kind of sin when they are going through darkness. We try to find a reason instead of trusting in God's ultimate plan and His promise to use all things for our good as we love and serve Him. The truth is, we want a safety net, a place to walk that is not scary. Sorry. Trusting God is about walking through the darkness and coming out on the other side. It is about saying, "God you are good and whatever you need to allow in my life in order for your plan to be accomplished, have at it." It is saying to the darkness, this is temporary, God is with me, and He always has my best interest in mind. It is a willingness to walk through deep waters. We have His Word as a testimony to the beauty of His plans. They will not fail. He can be trusted. He is good.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thoughts Gained from Reading and at the Office

I still am not feeling very cohesive in my thoughts this week but I often have some random thoughts while reading and at work and thought I would share some of them.

1. I have been thinking alot about whether anyone can actually take advantage of another person. Here is my thought. Give your life away so no one can take anything from you. Remember, no one took Jesus’ life. He laid it down. If you live with a life laid down I don't think anyone can take advantage of you.

2. Some days the only reason I can keep breathing is because I know that my life has been Redeemed. I know that the ugly and discarded have a purpose. God does not always intend for us to suffer the grief’s we bear. What is worse is that they are so often inflicted by those we love. He may not have intended for us to hurt and suffer pain...but everything that comes into our lives He uses for our good.

3. The gospel leads you to do what might seem impossible, because you’ve been captured and thrilled by the impossible love of the cross. I so hope God and I accomplish some impossible things this year.

4.The older I get the more that I realize that there is nothing I would rather do than invest my life in God, that being comfortable is almost always at odds with being fulfilled, and that God’s plans are frustrating and painful and unbelievably good.

5. I sometimes struggle to go home at the end of the day. It feels empty and I lose my sense of purpose. I'm going to work on that.

6. I found a blog while randomly searching the other day. It is called - Jesus. Life. Hard. - That says most of what I have felt the past couple years but I would add - Glorious. - He is so worth it all.

Love this verse

Isaiah 58:11

And the LORD will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters do not fail.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Truly Random Thoughts

My thoughts have been truly random of late so I am going to borrow my dear friend Amber's style and make a kind of list of them.
1. I hate it when you grate your finger instead of the food. That is my whining over my sports injury. I am calling it a sports injury because I grated it making chili for the guys who are picking their fantasy football picks tonight at church. They will eat my food but not let me play. Does that seem somehow wrong? (I'm actually good with it.)
2. Can you really love God and hate His wife? This is for all of us who tend to be overly critical of God's bride.
3. I was filled with an incredible sense of well-being this morning when I turned on the television and saw college football on multiple channels. It gives me this sense that, at least on Saturdays, life goes on. I think that makes me strange.
4. I love having small children in my kitchen. I got to babysit last night and it did me a world of good, felt peaceful the whole evening.
5. The fair looks exactly the same every year. Even the new booths seem to blend into the atmosphere and seem like they have always been there. Thankful for free tickets!
6. On a similar note, so thankful I passed on the steam mop even though it looked like so much fun at the time. My floor is much too small to justify such an expense. Thank you Karly for rescuing me.
7. I feel like I am in a slump, way too emotional, tired of routine, wanting something I can't put my finger on, maybe to feel useful to my King.
8. Each of my girls is a treasure and time has gone by way too fast.
9. Challenge to self: Spend a week without self-indulgent pity parties. I need to put down this creeping narcissim.
10. Jesus called us to follow Him. I think it's interesting and comforting to know that in Christ even leaders must learn to follow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I have been reading a book named "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," by Donald Miller. Mr. Miller and I didn't get off to the best start the first time I read him. I am one of the few that did not care for "Blue Like Jazz." In fact, it got me quite riled up and while I recommended it to others to read because it causes you to think, the book made me angry also, leaving me conflicted and not anxious to pick up another of his books. A friend recommended this one, a friend that I trust, so I managed to borrow it and read it this week. I must say that I liked this book much better than the first. I still feel like he and I  would butt heads quite a little if we met, which can be fun, I loved the concept of this book and it got me thinking. Donald talks about the importance of the story of your life and the book challenged me to look at the story I am living. It moved me to tears in a couple spots because I can see how I have wasted so much of my story and I see how little I have left to write. Don talks about how every story has conflict that has to be overcomed to make the story worthwhile. He talks about how, for a story to "work", one must overcome fear and I liked what he said about fear. He said that overcoming fear is about being afraid and walking through it anyway and how so often we think of fear as self protective when it is actually a major distraction and is highly destructive. Fear keeps us from living our best story. It takes awhile to get into the book, but is worth the effort. It left me determined to write my "story" with much more thought and deliberation and to work hard to overcome some obstacles that have kept me back for so many years. I have decided not to wallow in what I have missed in my story but to instead to walk forward with deliberate thought with the time I have left. I have always been fascinated by the "story" of others lives and have enjoyed the beauty of others ideas. Now I see the need of being purposeful of the "story" my life is writing and telling. It will either bring glory to God or be just a waste of space and time. I know what I want it to be but that will not come by accident. We are each writing a "story" with the time God gives us and while mine may not translate into a book or movie, I hope it will make a difference.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It is a mistaken notion that a life does not count unless one goes to Bible College or becomes a minister or Christian worker. It is a mistaken notion that most of the work that God desires to have done happens within the four walls of a church. What makes a life not count is when we fail to give our life fully to Him. What makes a life not count is when we fail to live for Him in whatever we are doing. What makes a life not count is when we fail to proclaim God in and through whatever we do in our lives. What makes a life not count is when we fail to tell others about the hope that lies within us. Don't get me wrong. I thank God for those who give their lives as ministers. I learn so much from them and from their example. I need them and so do you. But God never meant all of us to be them. Don't get me wrong; I am so grateful that some of my kids got the privilege of going to Bible College. They are richer for it and I do recommend it, but it is not necessary. But what God asks, and He does ask for this, is that we give our lives to Him and spend our lives for Him. Whatever He asks, I will do. Wherever He leads, I will go. To find out what He asks and to know where He leads I will ask and I will look to see what He is doing and then I will join in whatever that is. Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Ephesians 5:17-19. My life is not my own, I have been bought with a price and it is my privilege to give that life to Him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Today would have been my 36th wedding anniversary. A few months ago I joked that I soon would be married longer than I had been alive! I have always hated birthdays and the passage of time in general. Today I found myself pondering what I was grateful for in my marriage. If I asked Bill to vacuum the carpets I knew I would come home and they would be vacuumed. Of course he might leave every dish in the sink dirty, but the carpet would be beautifully vacuumed. Every night when Bill got home he would make me iced tea. I used to tell him that he made the best iced tea (true) and so he would come home and immediately make it. Every Tuesday morning we went out for breakfast. It was a given. With our schedules it was necessary or we would fail to touch base for weeks. We would talk about how Bill felt the book of James shouldn't be in the Bible, while James is one of my favorite books and about music he liked or things we had read. Bill was a great person to travel with. The journey was always as important as the destination and he did not care how many rest areas I needed to stop at.  As in all relationships, ours was not without difficulty, in fact we had faced some very troubled waters even in recent years. I was grateful for what Pastor Sean shared at the memorial service, that Bill had recovered from  difficulty. So many people live their entire lives without facing themselves, not seeing who they are. It is only in facing who we are that we can repent and recover and I am so grateful that Bill had faced himself and gave everything to God. On a day like this you think a lot about regrets. I wish I had been better, more patient, less selfish. I thought today about how you will never regret the forgivness and mercy you extend to your spouse. You will never regret letting go of small things. You will never regret working through big things. You will never regret trusting God with your life and marriage. All things considered, and there are so many things to consider, I feel so honored to have been married to Bill and to walk through his stuff as he walked through mine. It was a hard day today. I could tell it was hard because I cleaned the office. I always clean when I am restless. But I got through it. I miss my husband and these days just seem to emphasize that he is gone but God is with me and stays so close. It is good.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

On Writing

I have had a hard time writing anything lately. Everything I have thought about lately has seemed empty and I have struggled to feel like myself. I decided today that I need the discipline of putting my thoughts down and maybe if I do that part of me that is struggling will figure itself out. Writing has always been a way that I put order in my chaos and sanity to some of my insanity. It is a way to have a voice. I think that is why there are so many blogs and why they are good things. I have heard about how nacissistic they are and that is true to an extent,  but it can be a wonderful thing to write what God shows you and what you have been thinking. It is another way of connection with each other, another way to share and grow. I love to read what others write and visit many blogs each week. I follow several blogs that I never have left a comment on which is sad. I will fix that. I learn and grow from the wisdom of others and from what God is showing others. I intend to get back to the business of writing this week even if some of my writing is disjointed and a little sad for awhile. It does me good. I think I will quit worrying whether what I write sounds too dark or whether my family will worry about me if I write what is on my heart. Writing is one of the ways God works in me so I will keep at it

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yes Every Day

Our church is sending a group to Swaziland to share the love of God through the game of soccer. When I first heard they were going I knew that I could not. I am not in shape and there were some other factors that made it impossible. I didn't question the impossibility but rather embraced the role that I could play in the trip.  I was determined to be the best sender that God would allow me to be. Senders are an absolute necessity. Without them no missions trip would be possible and being a sender is in a sense being a part of the team. Senders give and pray and do any other thing that might help the team get to their destination. This past week I needed a copy of the teams itinerary in order to work on something I was doing for them. As I read it over I got this deep ache in the pit of my stomach. It dawned on me that no matter how much sending I did that I would not be going. I found myself longing to be a part of the going team. Mind you, nothing has changed. I still would need to lose some serious weight, get in much better shape, and have a couple things change in my personal circumstances in order to be a goer; but I still felt that longing. And that is how it should be. Thankfully, I also get to be a goer. Every day I have the opportunity to "go" into the world and share the love of God; "go" into my world and help people grow in their relationship to God: "go" into the world and be a light in a world trapped by sin.

But too many are neither "going" or "sending." They are stuck; going to church but never embracing what it means to follow. If saying yes to Jesus does not require something of us, we have to ask whether it was really Jesus we encountered. In the story "The Lord of the Rings," Frodo did not know his exact destination, but he knew where he was going. He had a purpose. A call. A goal. He was dreaming this dream so that He would save the world. We have been called to be world savers. Christ did the work; gave us His Spirit; and entrusted us with that calling. Do you know who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there? I think I do. I need to embrace the calling to "go" and to "send." I need to live my life daily saying yes. Saying yes until He stops me with a no. Saying yes without worrying that I may make a wrong choice. I will. God will help me through it. Saying yes to going deeper, loving with passion, to making every day count.

Every sender should long to go. Every believer should long to make a difference; to shine their light. When we say YES to God and encounter Him in our yesses just imagine what will happen. I do.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Not Today

 I wrote a list of things I hate but decided to erase it. It was way too depressing. The heat brings that out in me. I have this dark side when the temp goes above 80 and it isn't pretty. I messed up all this paperwork that I was supposed to do and so I had to do it again and that tried my patience and kind of put me over the edge. You see, I had already messed up once and now I did it again. It brought out that out of control feeling where I just want to cry. I am so not a cryer but yesterday and today I explored my weepy side. Thankfully I was around people a lot of the time so it wasn't constant. But once I got in the car it came back. I went directly to the grocery store to make it go away and that worked until I got out. I hate this feeling. It is Shindig weekend and a huge part of me would like to stay home but a little part of me wants to go. I'm not sure which part will win. I miss my husband. I miss him more with each passing week. I am sure that will not last forever but it is my present reality and it is hard and I feel like I have to be okay all of the time and that is hard too. The truth is that I do feel that God is walking through this with me. The truth is that even though that is true it is still hard. The truth is that sometimes it might be okay to just feel bad. The truth is that I keep feeling like I want to go home even though I am home. My home is just not the same and I feel a little lost. It will be okay. It's just not today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was in Youth Group tonight and it was not going well. I'm not sure about the why's of that but it sometimes happens. We did get to talking about the impact negativity and criticism have on us. It got me thinking about how, as believers, we are supposed to have each other's back, and how often we fail at that. Remember the story of the son's of Noah? How two of the son's covered the nakedness of their father and did not look upon it. To me that story is a picture of pure love. Instead of looking at their father's weakness and sin they covered him. They did not look upon him. How many times do we point out the weaknesses and sins of others? How often do we revel in anothers shortcomings or at least point out how their weaknesses affect and annoy us? I was thinking about how often I have pointed out the flaws in others. Maybe it is my own insecurities trying to make myself look better (sin) or maybe I just want to be their Holy Spirit (not my job). Whatever it is, it is ugly and it is sin. One of the things that I have learned through the death of my Bill is that I know that you will never be sorry about having lavished love on those around you after you lose them. You will never regret having covered another's sins and flaws when they are gone. You will, however greatly regret not doing better. You will remember and deeply regret your annoyances with them. You will wish you had more time to do it better. I know this. Recently our Pastor challenged us to go a week without being negative and critical and when we slipped to give money to a home that houses homeless women who have been the brunt of criticism and unkindness their whole lives. The week is up but I am still feeling the challenge.  There is a song with one line that sums it all up. " Love will hold us together, make us a shelter to weather the storm, and I'll be my brothers keeper, so the whole world will know that we're not alone." We desperately do not want to be alone. We want to find shelter in one another. We want to be able to trust that we have each other's back. Life is a storm and we desperately need each other. I have had love, concern, and prayers poured out on me the past few weeks and I am so deeply grateful. It has made such a difference during what has been such a hard time for me and the girls. You know, I have the best life ever. I serve the Creator and have been saved from all of my sins. I get to represent the Savior on a daily basis. I have the message of salvation entrusted to me. I am the daughter of the King. On top of it, I have wonderful friends, a great job and my Father takes such good care of me. Most of these things, if not all are true of most believers. Let's face it, we are all annoying, full of flaws, and slip into sin. Let's aim to be as the son's of Noah. Lets cover each other so that "the whole world will know that we are not alone." What a testimony that will be!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Life goes on. Except for at night. Life seems to stand still at night. It is at night I feel overwhelmed and sometimes even afraid. It is at night that I miss him the most. Sunday too. Sometimes I just want to hide but there is too much to do. That is probably a good thing. It is good that I cannot make life stand still. It is a good thing that I have routine. When I feel like hiding and when I want to scream there are things to do and people I need to be okay for. I am grateful for all of your prayers. I need them. I feel like I am going down a tunnel and I am trying to get through it but I can't see the end yet. I know there is light at the end of it and I will get there but it is a long tunnel. God is with me in this tunnel and while I sometimes feel alone and somehow different than I was He is always there and He is guiding me through it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In a Moment

That Monday started out a little differently than a usual Monday. I had been very upset on Sunday about a situation and Bill knew it was eating at me. He got up before I went to work, not his usual habit, and prayed for me before I left. I knew he was out getting his new sunglasses that day so I called him and asked him to bring me lunch. He had a day off as we had a project that needed attention and a couple errands to run. He brought me lunch at 1:30, we visited a few minutes, and by 4:00 I was a widow.

Life can change in a moment. In fact life is filled with ordinary days and life changing moments. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and love of those around me. God is so very good to me and I will never be able to properly thank those who have loved and cared for me this past week. Yesterday I think it all started to sink in. I  missed Bill terribly, sensing deeply for the first time the permanence of his absence. My car broke down and I had a fresh appreciation for all of the things he took care of. I felt a  sense of being alone even though I have so much love around me and that is because a part of me has been severed away. It is a wrenching that is hard to describe.

 But I know some other things also. There is a bondage in this life that we can never fully be free of until we are free of this flesh. I picture Bill in the presence of God, fully free, filled with a joy that will someday be mine as well and I would never take that from him. But I miss him, and I love him, and it is hard.

Life can change in a moment and it does. God takes us through those moments. He also gives us life beyond those moments. I am learning to navigate a different course. While there is some pain involved I know that God still has plans for me and that I will live. The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thoughts on a Saturday

Walking through life with adult children can be a little like walking through a minefield. I have great kids. They are all hard workers and have very different personalities. I love each of their unique selves and can see various parts of myself in each of them. The trick nowadays is that I must remember that they are grown up. I must respect them even when I do not agree with them. I must allow them to own their decisions even when they head off in a direction I may not like. I was thinking how important it is to maintain relationships even as it gets harder, how important it is not to allow my passion to get in the way of those relationships. I have an opinion about most everything. If I don't have one ready just give me a minute and I will formulate one. But opinions are not worth much. I also know a lot of truth. Truth is good and important but even truth can be a problem at times. Not everyone knows the same amount of truth. Also there have been many times I have been wrong even in things I believe have been the truth. Even truth needs care. Jesus said that other people would know we are Christians by the love we have for each other. That love trumps all of my opinions. That love stands even when our truths don't match up. With my kids it is easier. I always love them. But I was thinking how with others it is easy to have less patience, to hold onto our opinions and put truth on a pedastal and lose love. I have been seeing this happen in the body of Christ and I hate it. I have been guilty of it and I hate that. My truth should be firm, but gentle and kind. My love should come without conditions. My opinions should be held with an open hand and carefully and rarely wielded. With all of my kids home my life has been both harder and richer in the past month. As I dwell in the body of Christ my relationships will mirror that. My life will be richer for their fellowship, love, and what they teach me. It will be harder because I will need to put on the character of Christ to navigate the inevitable minefields that relationships bring. I will need the Spirit of God to control the passion that wells up in me. I will need to put on love every day, the love God has for me, in order to grow myself and to disciple others. The minefields are out there, waiting to make our relationships explode and hinder the Gospel but God has left us weapons to use, love and truth working together to bring many to Him.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today felt strange to me. I felt like I was on the verge of tears all day and had no idea why. I was struggling with a headache but nothing was wrong per se. It just seemed like there was this weight I could not get past. It was strange as there was nothing I could point to. I found myself thinking negative thoughts and going over past disappointments. As I sat at my desk I could hear a voice whisper to me the Word of God. You know, that voice that brings to remembrance those Words God left us with. The ones we need so desperately, and today was one of those days that I needed them. I heard God saying to put on the mind of Christ. I heard Him say that to be eternally minded is life and peace, that this world is not my home. I also heard Him say that He does not willingly crush and afflict us, that it is okay to mourn our losses. Oh, how I love His voice. It is a comfort in the stormy days. Tonight I was visiting a friend who is going through her own set of struggles. As I told her of my day I felt the peace of God wash over me. I know part of the reason for my own hard day was so that I could meet my friend in her struggle. There is something about shared burdens, praying together, and story that help us know we are not alone. Whatever you are walking through I know a few truths. The Savior walked there before and walks with you now. There is purpose in every affliction, even when it is unseen purpose. I know you must fill yourself with God's Word now. Waiting until your day of sorrow will find you empty and vulnerable to the enemy. I know that each bad day holds purpose and we can trust Him that holds our life in His hands. I know that Jesus is enough.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

It has been a long time since I wrote anything here. I kind of wanted to wait until I had something of value to share but I am not sure if that is going to happen any time soon so I will share a few thoughts that have been poking through this head of mine. I am frightfully insecure and hate it. Only I am not so sure how much I hate it. I have been reading Beth Moore's book on insecurity and I am discovering that insecurity is painful but has become far too comfortable. Don't have the answers to that. I guess I will have to pick it up again. I threw it down in frustration at chapter 3!

I missed my flower beds so I planted a bunch of containers. It is amazing what a little beauty does for one. I felt so encouraged just by planing some flowers. It gets me thinking of how much better life could be if we would just "encourage one another."  I wonder if I could get by with just kindness for a week. Even hard truths can be told kindly and gently. I suppose I could even use the law of kindness with my family although that is a little harder. I wonder if I could even see what they do right instead of what they do wrong. I think I will try it this week.

Suffering may be normal but I still hate it and I am not so sure I will ever learn to rejoice in it. I have some dear friends going through suffering right now. I know God is good, and just and righteous. I know that God's word tells us this is all normal, but I still hate it and I still feel overwhelmed at times at the pain of it all. I know it will work for our good and I know that whatever we are going through is worth it, but I still struggle with it. Thank you Pastor Sean for encouraging us this morning on the subject of suffering. I felt fresh and ready to take on the struggle of life again. I needed it.

I love my Monday morning Bible Study. Thank you Debbie for leading us. It is wonderful and I am getting so much from it.

I have a long way to go. I am thankful for my precious, faithful, merciful heavenly Father. I am grateful for everyone who puts up with me. I long for heaven but I do love life. I long to see people saved. I long to see the saved empowered and walking in victory. I am thankful for the indwelling Spirit of God. I will walk forward. I am praying that you will too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I got to see my youngest daughter graduate from Northwest University today. It brought back so many memories of her childhood, of my childhood. I sometimes say that I loved school and hated recess. I thought about how wonderful it was for her to have the opportunity to go to a Christian University and learn and grow and dream. She is a little sad with it being over and of course it is a little hard to switch gears and start a new chapter in life. I thought about how many new chapters in life we make over the years. I went from going to college to marriage, motherhood, teacher of my children. I always kept myself extremely busy; it was like I felt that if I stopped my life would be meaningless. Today I work, and love it; it is only part time although it sometimes seems more than it is. I thought today about what I would tell the students about life. I would tell them that their lives are important; that they have purpose and talents whether they think they do or not. I would encourage them to say yes to opportunities. I always found that I found Gods will in the yesses of life. Sometimes I would be in the middle of something I should have said no to but I don't regret that. I always learned from it. I would tell them to live as though there was almost no time left because there isn't. Now I'm not saying that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, although that would be nice, but there is very little time for those around us who do not believe. We must seek a sense of urgency as we live and that is what I would encourage. I would encourage them to take risks because I wish I had taken more of them. Mostly I would tell them to make God the end all and be all of their existence. Storms are coming; they always do; and God is what makes the storms doable, who is always with me, who rejoices in my joys and comforts me in my sadness. I would tell them that withot my close relationship with God I would not only be lost, I would be very alone. The good news is that I can also speak these things to myself. I can say more yesses, feel a sense of urgency about life, take more risks and cling closer to Jesus. These are timeless truths that can apply to any age. Whoever you are, whatever stage of life you are in, these are truths you can cling to and appropriate in your life. I loved seeing my Karly graduate today. I know God has wonderful plans for her and am excited to see what she does. I know that she loves God and it gives me peace to know she will never be alone during her storms. Graduation is both an event and a transition and God will be with her as she makes her way in this life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Sermons

I am taking a Bible Study on Monday mornings, Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I am both loving and hating it. Just like the sermon this morning it reminds me of what I need to be set free of and the enormity of it. One of the biggest and most deceptive giants that I need deliverance from is denial and its companion avoidance. They like to hang around me and they are lousy company. Denial lets me know part of my problem while shielding me from the rest. Pastor Sean told a story about when he was a new believer, how well meaning people would point out what he needed to change about himself. He told the story about wearing a Tasmanian Devil tie and a lady telling him it was a devil tie. That story instantly brought memories of a group of my friends and myself visiting a friends home, he had just gotten saved, maybe a month old in the Lord if that, and we dropped by to "cleanse" his home of the bad stuff, you know beer, "bad" music, etc. That story cut through me. I wanted to apologize to PS because who knows what I would have done if I had met him as a baby Christian. I have believed the lie that I am kind when I am proud, too quick to see the speck when the log is protruding from my eye. It was a hard sermon to listen to. I have the High School group on Wednesdays and wonder if I have painted the wrong picture of God to them. I wondered a lot of things today. I prayed much today. While studying for Bible study for tomorrow the subject was legalism which went well with today's sermon. All I could say to God was, I am so sorry, I am so so sorry. I am. I told God again how deeply I love Him and gave Him permission to root it all out. So hard, but so good. Too often when the small voice of conviction comes on me I stamp it out, I turn on the TV, read a book; I have even picked up the Bible. Sometimes I want to avoid my logs. I would rather concentrate on others specks but no more. I have asked God to show me all, to root out every speck that sparks of legalism, every spot that is less than love, every root of pride that needs to go. I do not doubt that the battle will be lifelong but if we are to reach those around us to Christ we cannot avoid who we really are. Sundays are my favorite day of the week but this one was a hard one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


"So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength to weep. " 1 Samuel 30:4. David and his men had come back to Ziklag and found that their wives and children had been taken captive. Filled with sorrow and probably with fear they reacted with tears. It was only when they had no more strength to weep that it says that David took comfort in the Lord. It was after the reaction, after the tears. Sometimes I think we feel we have to stifle our reaction to the grief and sorrows of life. We feel we need to be triumphant even in the pain we experience. When we go through our worst we feel like we need to put on a front. But I know that if David, a man after God's own heart, a man of both frailty and strength, wept, and not only wept but wept until he was spent, that it is okay for me not to put on a face or try and be something I'm not. Lately I have been trying to not be quite as dark in my thoughts or in my writing. It is a losing battle. So many that I love are trapped in captivity. Today I was challenged to bring more people to the Lord and I felt this wave of pain come over me. I do not do enough to bring people to Christ. Most weeks I fail to present the gospel clearly. I am grateful that I have opportunity each week to love on and know unbelievers, but I am making so little progress. Tonight I talked to a dear friend who is in deep pain. She does not want to hear about how God loves her, she is beyond weary, she feels disappointed by life and overwhelmed by her life. All I could tell her is that I will not give up on her and that I will be with her through this. What I wanted to do was bring her rest, give her answers, assure her that things will get better but I could not do any of those things. I don't know if things will get better. Earth is such a toss up, and I don't know what her life holds, situationally. I know God loves her. I have seen Him in her life but I don't know how to help her know that. I love her and that is what I can do for her right now. I wish there were more hours to know people, I wish I took hold of every opportunity, I wish I had the eyes and ears of God so I would miss nothing. I wish I understood the reasons for what we go through. One thing I know. If God had not stood with me, I would surely perish, I would be lost and blind, terrified. But God is my fortress, He is my refuge, He has not left me and He speaks to me. I also know that this can be true for all of us. Our circumstances may tell the world that we are not worth effort and are all used up but God does not see us that way. We may walk a path of difficulty and pain but we are not alone, I am not alone, you are not alone. There may be few on earth that understand or know, but our Savior was tempted in every way we are, He was rejected, He was used and left without friends. We can weep over the sorrows and captivity of life but we must trust in the God who saves us to an eternal Kingdom, where weeping will be no more.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Yesterday I talked about how I learned to love golf and a little about the Masters. Today I want to talk about love. It is so inspiring, and gives one sweet pause to see a husband love his wife. I think that is because we too seldom see such unselfish love portrayed in public. Too often what we see is disappoinment, failure, lust, and betrayal played out in the media. But The Masters this weekend gave us a picture of what a marriage should be and seldom is; how sweet love can be and is to watch. Phil Mickelson loves his wife. This year his wife and mother found out they had cancer. Phil immediately withdrew from golf for an indefinite period. After some time had passed his wife told Phil to get back on the course, as any wife who has had a husband at home for too long would. He decided to play at The Masters, a fairly family oriented event. He and His children played at the par 3 game the day before the tournament started but his wife was not there. In fact, she spent the week in bed, still struggling with the treatment she is receiving. On the last day Phil played the game of his life making two very difficult shots and one nearly impossible one to win. His win was sweet. With tears running down both of their faces Phil embraced his wife who was able to come out to watch him on the last few holes. Their affection was obvious and their emotion deep. It was a beautiful day of sports, one fit for a storybook. An almost miraculous round of golf, a loving family, a man of deep conviction and solid values. We need more Phil Mickelson's in this world, who love God and love their families; who know what is truly important and are willing to sacrifice what they love for the greater good. He is a man whose testimony speaks loudly, one whose words are gracious and whose actions speak volumes. Sunday was more than a golf game, it was a picture of life the way God desires it to be lived and I daresay that their will be many in heaven who saw God in a game of golf and a man named Phil Mickelson.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Masters

This week there was this big golf tournament, The Masters. I have learned to love golf over the years but that was not always the case and one of the strangest tournament in my way of thinkng was this one. First off, they play for this hideous green jacket. I mean, that is just crazy, playing for a jacket, and a fairly ugly one at that. Another strike against golf was the lack of teams. I like team sports and the whole individualist aspect of the sport bothered me. It seemed slow paced and devoid of much excitement at first glance.
While it is slow paced I have learned to appreciate the game and I have grown to look forward to The Masters. First, there is so much history involved in this particular tournament. You can't even buy a ticket to it. You have to be on a waiting list, which was formed in 1972. The list is full and no one is being added at this time. A person has to die for another person to be able to get a ticket. Crazy! The course is beautiful, full of flowers, and there is a holiday atmosphere to it. The day before the tournament starts the players take their kids as caddies and play a 9 hole, par 3 course. It is fun to watch and yes, there is a lottery to get tickets to that round. Not quite as exclusive as the Masters, but pretty close.
One thing I love about golf are the outfits. Since they don't have uniforms, and they don't get dirty, the players all look nice while they play. I often tell my husband when one of the golfers is having a bad round it is becuse he picked a bad outfit. Yes, it is slow paced, which is perfect for a Sunday afternoon nap. It lulls you to sleep and even the announcers have hushed tones. You can watch one hole or all eighteen but I guarantee you will rest. Not everyone appreciates having a sports announcer following them. Once, I accompanied my husband on a round of golf and pretended to be the sports announcer, describing his every shot with those same hushed tones. For some reason I was never invited back.
While the game is not exactly spiritual I have been amazed at the sheer number of Christian's who play professional golf. It is a game that takes tremendous discipline and steady nerves. It is a game that is deceptive. It seems like it might be easy. Put the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. But that simple premise sounds easier than it actually is. It is not like miniature golf. The greens slope and break differently. There are traps everywhere. Rather than being a reaction start, you have a static start. You can't just roar back and hit it, you have to have your stance right and hit in a way that is unnatural to the body. Wait, maybe it might be just a little bit spiritual, in my walk with the Lord there are traps everywhere. The walk feels unnatural and I cannot trust my instincts. My stance, how I do things and approach my day and life are perhaps just a little like some of the difficulties of golf.
The craziest thing about golf? The Master's winner got over 1 million dollars today. We are used to high pay days in sports but here is the kicker, the men tied for 18th place got over 94,000! I have never seen a sport that rewards losers so generously. It is with great difficulty that one becomes a pro golfer but once you get there the payday isn't bad. Of course the expenses are huge also. The Masters may not be named after God but it always reminds me of my Master.
I love that even the weakest of Saints gets heaven as a reward. I am thankful that even when I fall into a trap that I can ask my Father to pull me out. I don't have to try and hit myself out of it. In fact, that doesn't work too well in my experience. I am grateful God gave us sports. I know I hit on them a little hard in my last post, along with a lot of other things, but that was a crazy moment. I love that God gave us so many good things to enjoy, that He loves us enough to give us blessings and pleasures on earth as well as heaven. He is so good to this child.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Talking to Myself

Last night I was having the strangest conversation with myself. I can always tell when I've had too quiet of a week by how much I talk to myself but that is another subject! It started with me telling myself that I wish drinking were a sin. I don't but I wish I did. I have seen far too many Christian alcoholics in my years. I went on however. I wish that butter, flour, shortening, pasta, heavy cream, cheese and except for small amounts for my tea, sugar were also sinful. Frankly, I am addicted. You may have noticed I did not put chocolate on the list. I think chocolate is good and I get sick when I eat too much of it. I also wish it were against some sort of law to be unkind and that lightening would strike when people tell lies. Not on them, of course, we would all be dead! I wish the computer were never invented. It astonishes me the evil that happens through it. I wish it were sinful to watch television, go to the movies, and be vulgar in music. I wish we could do away with sports and get rid of most school activities. I also, in this conversation, decided that disrespect and anger should also leave. I can't stand what people do to each other and to themselves, especially me. I hate that I get so distracted, by the televison, the computer, a ballgame. I hate that I set my standards so low instead of aiming for the mark God set for me. I hate that I too often worry more about the success of my church rather than the salvation of souls. I want a way to get rid of every distraction and every ugliness that I see. I want a world where children and adults aren't damaged and where I worship God all of the time. I long for heaven, yet live so far from it. I prayed and asked God to forgive all of the wasted time, to set my heart and affections on Him alone. I wanted to say it wouldn't happen again, but could not. I have not written much lately. My heart has been heavy and I want to walk in joy and confidence. Part of me was just kidding about the things I'd get rid of and some of it I was dead serious. I wish my distractions would just vanish instead of just having to deal with them. It would be easier if eating cake were akin to commiting murder. Maybe I could quit or maybe I am just fooling myself. I feel like I love God so much but I see how flawed this love of mine is. I am so glad for new mercies every morning. I am so glad I serve as flawed among the flawed. I am so thankful that God uses the weak because I fit that description. Amazing Grace.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


One of the girls in my youth group got baptized today! What joy! And that joy was multiplied with many others who stood up and declared publically their faith in Christ and their desire to live for Him. It got me thinking about our mission as believers. Leticia, the girl from my small group shared on Wednesday her desire to be married to God and to serve Him and Him alone. I was touched beyond words and I am so hopeful for her future as she steps out to walk with God. I have a dream that this will be the start of many baptisms yet to come from our small group. I got to thinking how necessary it is to be intentional about sharing Christ. It is not something that will just happen as we go about our daily tasks. Whether you work full time, part time, stay at home, whatever you are engaged in on a daily basis sharing Christ will seldom happen unless we intentionally make it happen and since it is for that reason we exist we had better be intentional. I know that I need help in this area. So many days I am way too focused on what I am doing or need to do instead of what God is doing around me. I find myself more prepared to do my daily tasks than I am to share the gospel. I forget to see, I forget to listen. As believers we must be intentional about seeing the unsaved around us, we must be intentional at hearing God's longing for them to be saved and their need; and we must believe we are here for the purpose of connecting people with God. If our purpose is otherwise then our life is without meaning no matter what we accomplish or create. Baptism should not be a rare occurance but rather a regular celebration and that reality begins with me and with you. We cannot make peoples decisions but we, working with the Holy Spirit, are the only ones who can give mankind the ability to decide. Are we ready?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I know that sometimes I seem less than joyful when I write. I think that is because my blog is where I try and make sense of the senseless, where I share what I think God shows me in the midst of lifes difficulties. It is where I vent a little and fight for God's perspective. Too many people are trying to get through life by hiding in their pain. They believe that if they just lie low maybe things will get better and life will take a right turn but that doesn't happen. It is so easy to get wrapped up in pain and when you lie low or try to hide from it, put on the brave face, for some reason the pain gets worse. God never meant us to carry these big burdens around. He did not mean for us to hide. His plan was not for us to focus on ourselves and our pain by either isolation or self centeredness. His plan is unique and ingenious. Pain dissipates when we look up and when we look out. I spent the week feeling more and more upset with the human race. In my mind I struggled with those who make choices that they know not to with no regard to God or those who love them. I struggled with just the enormity of it all. Hearing one story and then another and then multiplying it over and over and after awhile you see how much misery exists. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Simple words but so true. When I hide His word in my heart and yield those agonies to Him, when I find a way to connect with Him and let all of it out and when I lay my hand on someone who has offended and sinned and struggled and silently whisper, mercy...mercy, it happens. When I do that, when you do that, then the miracle happens. Some who are in pain seek to change the life they have, thinking it will lessen that pain, but it won't work. The remedy for sin is mercy, the remedy for pain is that same mercy. When you combine that with service, saying yes to God, becoming one who denies self and serves others, looking up and realizing that this life is actually a small part of our total life, then you open yourself to the joy of the Lord. There is no greater joy than showing mercy and serving God. There is no greater misery than trying to dig your own way out of pain. The hole just gets deeper. The wound has no way to heal. Look up to the Savior, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame of it, for us, for that healing. You may never have that perfect life while you are here on Earth, but you can have joy and you will have joy as you look up to God, tell Him the all of it, and as you look out to those around you, serve them, forgive them, love them, and say mercy.

Monday, March 8, 2010


In Deuteronomy 8 God tells the Israelites that He allowed them to be hungry and then He fed them with manna. Are you waiting for the manna of the Lord? Have you allowed yourself to feel hungry? So often I fight what God is doing with me. I want quick answers and a smooth road. But if I have that smooth road and those quick answers will I ever truly know the Lord? Am I willing to allow God to let me be hungry? For example, when there is no money to buy the thing I think I need to have am I willing to hunger for it and let God feed me in His time. Am I willing to wait or do I take out the credit card or try and find a little job that will pay for it or panic and sell something? Many times what we want is a need but are we willing to wait it out, trust God, and let Him feed us? I am walking through a very slow situation right now. It is not getting fixed and I struggle with trusting God. I just want delivered from it. I just want it over. The past couple days I have been reminded by looking back that God has never let me down and never left me stranded. So I will be hungry. I will let God feed me with manna which is far tastier and better than any fix I could conjure up for my life. I will trust in God's wisdom and refuse to allow my heart and mind to take over and rush things. It is good to put our lives and situations into the hands of a living and loving God who cares for us. I would rather have manna than to feed myself. The reality is that we exercise no real control over our lives. Even the decisions we make will come back to haunt us if we choose outside of the wisdom of God. I want all of God, wherever that leads and whatever that entails. I do want to be fed by Him alone, even on those days when I am impatient for Him to act. Whenever I have placed my life in my own hands I have failed. Whenever I have plowed ahead and not trusted in Him it has led to disaster. God is a very present God, He is a loving God, and He is our hope in every situation and through every wilderness. He can be relied upon. The children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the desert. Their sandals did not wear out and God fed them daily. He can and will do the same for us; we are His beloved children, cared for and not forgotten, sometimes hungry and waiting, sometimes full and satisfied, but in every situation we are in His care. Since he counts the very hairs on our heads we can trust He will not forget our needs.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Rich Young Ruler

Well, the Olympics are over. I am a little sad but mostly ready. They kept me company during this long illness I have been struggling with. My last post taught me to never write when I am sick, wayyyyy toooooo depressing! So I have been waiting patiently to get well, not that I have anything profound to share. I just miss typing words. I love to write and I love to read, blogs, books, magazines. When I have a free minute I like to write. I just finished a book titled, "The Big Idea." I loved the whole book but there was one part that especially inspired me. The writer was talking about Jesus challenge to the rich young ruler and he made the observation that what the guy wanted was deeper teaching, not a life challenge. He wanted to get teaching, not instruction. It got me wondering if I am not that rich young ruler. I may not have much to sell and I'm not much for stuff but I think that sometimes I would rather learn some new fact and new insight in scripture rather than be inspired to be transformed. I am so thankful that our Pastor majors on transformation. Don't get me wrong, I learn a lot also, but mostly I am getting inspired to change and learning how much change I need. It is easier to hear a great word than to change my life and habits, but it is my life and habits that need the transforming power of Christ. There are several areas in my life that I am feeling challenged in and I will share them as I go through the hard work of change but I challenge you. What is Jesus calling you to change in your life. What big idea is He speaking into your life? What ministry opportunity is He trying to challenge you with? It is good to study the word of God but necessary to allow it to change us. Hard, but worth it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sick Day

I've been struggling with disappointment lately. It is a hard thing to admit as I try to not have expectations. Expectations of anything except what God has promised only lead to disappointment. I thought today of the many times I have disappointed others and myself, when I have failed to meet the standards that seem basic to me. But that's the point. We cannot meet the mark without God and His Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that commends us. It is the Spirit of God that works good in us. All of our righteousness is dirty. I think of it this way. With my own efforts I may have a good day or two, maybe even three, but then I will blow it and blow it badly. Someone will act in a way I don't like; I will be tempted by that bag of chocolate in the pantry; I won't feel like reading God's word. Sound familiar? It happens so often. I cannot live the way God desires and the way I desire without the Spirit of God. I cannot have the Spirit of God unless I choose to follow His leading. He's always there but I have to choose to yield to Him. Today I was sick. I hate being sick or even admitting I am sick but I am. I did not feel like doing anything so most of the day I didn't but later today I got tired of accomplishing nothing and did a few minor chores. That is how it is when I ignore the Spirit. It is like feeling sick. Eventually I get tired of it and get my heart right and step back into the battle. I am a soldier and when I do not appropriate the Spirit it is like being sick and losing my armor. I fall and the enemy gets control. I put expectations on people who fail me instead of keeping my eyes on Christ and letting Him be enough. I feel the full weight of life's burden instead of letting Christ carry it. I don't like being sick physically or spiritually. The physical will run its course but I need to change direction purposefully to become spiritually healthy. I am thankful the mercies of God take only a moment to receive and are always available to us.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Kids desperately want parents who show them Jesus. If I could say one thing to parents about what bothers their kids and what turns so many of them from church and from God I would tell them this. Kids know when you don't show them the character of God and in time they will reject God because of it. Now I know it is not that simple, that kids make their own choices and at some point need to take responsibility for their own choices but we don't need to make it harder for them.

Kids want parents who love each other. They want to see their daddy love their mom, even when she is difficult, even when she is less than lovable. You chose her, you chose God, obey Him. Love your wife. They want to see their mom respect dad. Even when dad is making bad decisions, even when it seems he is just another kids to clean up after. Respect him and love him.

Mom's, I believe that Proverbs says that the "law of kindness" is always on your tongue. Are you kind, in your discipline, in your treatment of your husband, in how you talk about others? Your kids desperately want kindness, a soft spot to land in a hard world. Dad's, are you exasperating your kids, are you consistent in your expectations? Do you enjoy them? Do you spend time with them and lead them? Your kids need to see you as a man of God. Are you obviously a man of God or would you have to try and dig up evidence to convict you of your relationship with Jesus? How about you mom? Is your life about Christ or something else?

As parents and as families are you serving God or living your life? Many times I hear the kids on Wednesday night verbalize how they do not want their lives to be ordinary. How they want to make a difference and feel a sense of purpose. How about you? Have you lost that sense of wanting more and don't quite know how to get it back again? Say yes to God this year. As He brings opportunities your way, purpose to say yes. Give up a few of life's distractions and make time for ministry. Your kids are learning how life is to be lived from you.

Life is hard and God is going to allow us to go through difficulties. These are our opportunities to show our faith in God and grow in it. During your hard times are you as parents trusting in God or giving in to worry and despair? Your kids are watching.

None of us are perfect. Speaking of those imperfections, our kids can handle our imperfections if they see us confess our sins, admit them, say we're sorry, and repent and live differently. They will forgive us over and over if that is true about us. Funny how that is what God expects too. You see, all our kids really want is to see their parents follow what God says and put Him first. They may not verbalize that. They want to live in a house where they can experience the love of God. If we give them that I think many more of them will follow in His direction.

As I write this I am full of regrets. I certainly did not do all of this right and I am so thankful that God is merciful. None of us will get it all right but we can all aim for the mark. Even though my children are grown I am still aiming for that mark because my life is His and I so want to be found perfect and complete at the end of my journey. I am grateful for each new day that I can press forward and do better. I am praying for us all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Looking Back

I had one of those days today. I didn't sleep well last night so I was feeling sensitive which is never good. The struggles of the last year overwhelmed me and all I wanted was relief. from pressure. from responsibility. from problems I cannot solve that loom over me. I felt weary and tired and so I came home and turned on the television. Bad plan. Television does not make anything feel better. I will tell you what helps. I can tell you this not because I am smart but because God knew this day was coming for me and had my Pastor preach a sermon just for me on Sunday. Pretty amazing. He preached about the importance of looking back. I remembered this rather late this afternoon and in obedience to that word I looked back. I looked back on all the times God has been faithful to me. I looked back at the way He saved me. I looked back at what I was before Him. I have written before about how I love the parts of the Bible where the Children of Israel marked the great events God did in their lives by building an altar of stones. In this day, when life is so hard and sin grows worse and worse, we need to build those altars. We need to look back and remember that we are not the same as we were, that God is building us into a holy people for His own possession. We need to remember His goodness. Whether it is a bad day, a bad month, or a bad year, we have good things to remember and to give us hope. I'm not sure what the year has in store for me but glancing back at the past, I know I need not fear. He is with me. He is faithful. His mercies never cease.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

He is Enough

I decided to wait a week before posting a post-fast blog. I wanted to be able to gauge better what happened in my life and how the experience affected me. I am sorry to say that I noticed my appetite coming back today. I had enjoyed not being able to eat much all week and was hoping it would last. I wish I had some momentous insights to share but the biggest insight I came away with came from last weeks sermon. God is my reward and He is enough. Whatever your circumstance in this moment, He is enough. Whatever happens this coming week, my God is enough! For my children and husband, He is enough. When I am afraid, He is enough. I serve the God of the universe, creator of all and He is enough! Fasting is not a formula and I am still waiting for God to answer many of my prayers, but He is enough. I believe Him for big answers still. I am waiting expectantly still. God will not be put on a time limit. He asks that I trust Him to be enough and I will, Lord help my unbelief. God is God. His thoughts are not my thoughts. His ways are not my ways. He is big enough to handle all my stuff and all of yours too. I need some miracles. I am waiting. I believe. He will answer in due time. He is enough.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Almost Done

I am so thankful for these past three weeks. They have humbled me and shown me how far I have to go before I reach the mark God has for me. I went through a cycle over this time. The first week I began excited and ended feeling sick and achy. I would try and pray and feel like I wasn't getting anywhere. Week two I felt better physically and found myself no longer caring about food, at least not as much. That was the good news. The bad news is that I felt that every time I prayed it was a battle. I felt irritable and like I was fighting something. I was very unsure and the only way I could pray with any conviction is when I was praying that everyone elses prayers would be answered so that was my focus. I found myself avoiding God at some points in the week. It was a difficult space and I was glad when the week ended. This week my hunger came back. I am not sure if it was hunger or if I could feel the end was near and so thought about food too much. I felt more temptation this week. It seemed as is I was fighting a "what's the use" type of attitude. Since the fast started I have gone through a couple of personal disappointments and battling some personal demons. It has been hard; much harder than I expected. Not the food part, but the spiritual battle. I feel drained when I expected to feel energized. The good news of this week is that I dug in and prayed. I didn't always feel the presence of God but I pressed through. I turned off the TV for the most part and prayed and read. I needed God's word and I needed the words of a book I was lead to read. Together they helped me get back on track. Tonight I spent a wonderful time in prayer and then listened to a message over at the Mars Hill site. While the message was convicting it also pushed me to want to work harder and draw closer to God. I am still waiting for answers to the prayers I wrote down as my focus and I am hoping for some of those answers, but regardless God has been hard as work on me through this process. This is and has been a transforming experience and although I would not have said so last week, it is an experience I do want to repeat.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Daniel Fast-Believe

I was reading about the Children of Israel in slavery in Egypt. Moses has just told Aaron his brother and the rest that God is going to deliver them. He confirmed his words with signs and I love what happens next. Verse 30 and 31 of Exodus 4 say that when Moses told them God was concerned for them and saw them in their misery, they believed, they bowed down, and worshipped. How good that they believed God and did not question why they had to suffer or whether God was good. They just believed and they worshipped. I sometimes fall short, especially on the "not questioning" God part. I see the misery and wonder why. I have to say that seeing the earthquake in Haiti has made me have moments of wonder even though I know it is a good wake up call for all men and it is a great opportunity for the gospel. But it is hard to see misery and suffering. The earthquake gave me perspective while I am fasting. I could watch the news and see people who had nothing to eat or drink and nowhere to call home and I could be grateful for my beans and my vegetable soup. I could thank God for my water and grapefruit juice. I am so grateful for a place to call home. We are so blessed. I am thankful to be able to take time to bow down and worship. I am no better or worthy than anyone else and it is only a matter of location on earth that I am so well off and not homeless due to an earthquake. But whether I am blessed with much or in the middle of disaster God is good and He is not willing that anyone perish. He does not afflict us willingly but only to draw us to Himself. The gospel is being spread and is going to be spread in a greater way in Haiti, at least for a time. Let's remember to do good and spread His gospel where we are. Let us remember daily that God is good and sees what we live with. Let us remember to hear the voice of God and believe it, every day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 9- Starving and Feeding

"Stop feeding what you want to die, and starving what you want to live." What more can I say. It is so much easier to relax in front of the TV or watch a movie than read my Bible or spend time in prayer. It is so much easier to grab McDonalds than to actually cook. I read the above quote on another blog I read sometimes and it literally took my breath away because it is so true. We pick what is easier over what is better. I am so thankful for this fast, even when I am grumbling about it. It forces me to think about how I am living, how I am spending my time. It has shown me up close and with no way to wiggle around it just how addicted to food and eating what I want to eat that I really am. It gives me a chance to feed what I want to live, to draw close to God and to take inventory of my life in this new year. As for today, I suggest not eating vegetable soup every day (minus one), for a week! Tonight I got sick of it and just a few minutes ago fixed a veggie burger, plain of course. It tasted wonderful. Again, I wonder if I am feeding what I shouldn't. I want to get past even worrying about what I eat. I would have failed the manna test for sure! I am still praying that by the end of this time I will not care so much about food and that I will see the power of God revealed in answered prayer. Let me know your answers to prayer fellow fasters. It is so encouraging to hear what God is doing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 7: Not willing to stay the same

Sometimes when I am in church it seems that God talks to me about different things than what the sermon is actually about. We have been fasting for one week now and I have harbored a fear deep inside me. What if I go through the fast and nothing happens in my life? What if God does great things in everyone else and nothing in me. You see I am very unwilling to live my life the way I always have. I want so badly to see and experience the power of God. In fact, I think I would be thrilled if God answered everyone elses prayers except mine. That would still be powerful. But I still want to change. There have been a couple days when I felt free from the bondage of food but then a day like today comes along when I wake up dreaming about bread. I cannot believe the grip food has on me. I also long to see a breakthrough in my group of High Schoolers on Wednesday night. I so want them to believe in God and know that He is good. So many of them have not had much good in their lives and they cannot see a good God. They are afraid that if there is a God He is not good. I know better but I cannot make them see. Only the Spirit of God can do that. There are also things I want in my family, mostly that we would all serve the Lord with passion and not be distracted. I want so much. I long for so much. Sometimes I feel paralyzed and afraid that it will never happen. Faith is believing what we cannot see, hoping for what is not yet. Today I felt certain that God does not want me to be satisfied with the way things are. He wants me to be unwilling to accept anything but His answer. I feel assured that what I am praying for is His will. I also feel assured that part of the answer to my prayers is being unwilling to live like I always have and being willing to risk a life of faith. It is not about performance. It is about commitment. Those of you who are fasting with me, We've made it through a week!! Let's press forward and see what God does.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thoughts on a sick day.

Today I was sick, yucky, icky, sick. This evening I feel better but for most of the day I felt miserable and guilty because nothing on my "to do" list was getting done. At least being on the fast was not a problem as I did not feel like eating much. The truth is, I am getting a better attitude. I am enjoying the feeling of not being excited about the whole food process. It is a good place to just eat because you are hungry, not because it is necessarily something you want. Eating without it being recreational is good for me. I am starting to focus less on what I am giving up and more on the important part of the Fast, drawing near to God. Oh, how I long to change, to be who he wants me to be. I am so well aware that I am not young anymore and that time is something I cannot afford to waste. At times I feel envious of you that are young and I want to beg you to use your life for God, give it all to Him. I am praying that all of us will be set free from the bondages that keep us so tied to this earth. He made us to be "strangers and aliens," to resist putting down roots. When Abram was called it was a calling to a land He knew not, to a place not on a map, called to simply obey, by faith. His calling is ours, we set out, by faith, commiting our life to Christ, not knowing the direction we are going, not knowing the path or even what we are to do. I have an idea for the new year. Let's say yes. Let's embrace ministry opportunities and quit worrying about whether it is the right direction for us or not. Now, I must add a small disclaimer, if after prayer you hear a definite no, then obey that. But, if you are having trouble hearing God's voice and you are wondering what you should be doing with your life, I suggest saying yes. Let's live actively for Christ, actively seeking a new country, the Kingdom of God, bringing as many with us as we can, helping them grow in the grace and mercy of God until we all go to our true home.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daniel Fast, Day 4

I would like to know how Daniel was able to be "fatter" of face after his Daniel fast. It does not seem possible and I will be very disappointed if that is the outcome of my face, thank you very much. Okay, so we are as a church fasting and it is hard for some and easier for others. For me it is like I have an easy day and then a hard day. Today I can tell is going to be hard. I woke up feeling very hungry but not wanting to eat. I did not want to go off the fast. That is not a temptation, at least at this time, but I did not want to eat what I had. Then I got to thinking about those people in Haiti that have been devastated by the earthquake and how most of them did not have much to begin with. I am pretty sure they would be delighted to eat what I can eat and what I have in my cupboards. I think I am seeing that I am pretty spoiled and that I don't really know what hunger is. Last night at Life Trek I was so encouraged by what our leader, Andy, shared at our leadership meeting. He is fasting and struggling with the irritability, fatigue and other things that we are all dealing with. But he shared how God is moving at his workplace and how God has been moving him to speak to people. It encouraged me to believe God for great things during this time with Him. It encouraged me to quit thinking about the food part of the fast and concentrate on the God part. I slipped a little this morning when I got up so hungry but I did go straight to prayer before I ate. I want to see God move in our church and in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe it will happen. I want to see the kids I minister to on Wednesday nights come to the Lord and am tired of waiting. I need to see the power of God in my own life and in the lives of those around me. I am grateful for this time of fasting and prayer, even on a hungry Thursday morning.