Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Condemnation

Sometimes I feel guilty.

Do You?

I mean when things are hard,like the current economic situation most of us are in, being a stay-at-home mom feels kinda weird.

I have worked since I was 15 years old until this past year. God revealed to me that my responsibility was to be a mom to my child.

That's it.

God wants me to teach Austin the ways of righteousness and be available to him with my undivided attention. Believe it or not, this is the hardest job I have ever had. It is, however, the only job I have ever desired. That is, since becoming a mother. It just never seemed possible.

When resources are scarce, it takes a lot of faith to stay at home day after day knowing that if I went out and got a job, relief would be in sight. But, when I even so much as entertain the thought, my peace begins to drift away.

Letting peace be my know...allowing the presence of peace to call the shots, has been the guiding light for me. It has never led me wrong so far. No peace equals no moving on my part.

Really, it has been rather enlightening to trust God utterly and completely for every single need our family has. My husband works hard daily to provide for us, but we have learned that God alone is our provider and He will NEVER fall short!

Sometimes we are just to stay where God has put us until we receive different directions. Even when it gets trying. Even when we get tempted to take things into our own hands and solve the problems. Even when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Where has God placed you? Has He called you to be in a specific place right now that you are unsure of? Are you having to rely on Him for everything?

If that is where you are, then you are in the right place.

That's where He wants us; totally dependent on Him and Him only.

It's truly a good place to be. Excitement comes when we wake up every morning and expectantly wait to see what He has in store for us today! It is amazing to see what He does when we give it all to Him. When we loosen our grip on life and He holds the reigns, wonderful blessings are showered on us!

On those days when I get overwhelmed and discouraged, just one look into my child's eyes confirms to me that I am surely in the right place at the appointed time. All the "I love you, mom" and "You're the best" statements from that little dimpled smile say it all.

Guilt is not something that God sends our way. Conviction is. I was convicted of being a too-busy parent. I obeyed. God has provided. No guilt necessary!

Today, bloom where He has planted you. Trust Him with the details. He NEVER fails.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Being A Survivor

Today I walked in the rain. It wasn't wet when we started out, but it was before we finished. I walk with a group of wonderful gals every week for a time of fellowship and encouragement. It helps us get through the week a little easier.

I decided to put on my daddy's shirt this morning. It is the one he got at the Relay For Life Cancer Walk earlier this year. It says "SURVIVOR" in big letters all across the back. I wear that shirt a lot.

You see, I was with him on that walk. He was fighting the battle of his life at that particular time. We all were. When someone you love has cancer, the whole family gets it in a sense. It's what you live, breath, and ingest for as long as the disease endures. It's a walk that no one chooses to take, but once you get on the path, you can't just step off. You gotta keep walking.

Today I wore that shirt proudly. I always do. Maybe some folks see it and think I am the survivor. Maybe in some sense, I am. My daddy went on in early July to make his new home in heaven. He went out smiling and full of joy. He most assuredly survived!! He is living in eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!

On the other hand, I am left here to continue to fight the battles of every day life. His purple SURVIVOR shirt reminds me to keep on keepin' on. It reminds me that no matter how hard the walk gets, I can make it. How do I know that for sure?

Because I have a Savior that walks with me. He walks on each side to protect me. He walks before me to prepare the way. He walks behind me to cover my back. He holds me up with His Righteous Right Hand of Love. That's encouraging, people! That increases my determination to make it through all the trials that come my way. That gives me the security I need when doubts try to creep in.

Where is your walk leading you? Are you a survivor? Know you are not trudging along by yourself. Other people have been just where you are right now. God WILL get you through, no matter what the outcome is. Trust me, I know. Just because you get wet along the way, doesn't mean you won't finish your walk.

He has brought me and my family through. He escorted my daddy to his new home. He is on the sidelines waiting to escort you to your next season of life.

Walk on, my friend. Wear your SURVIVOR shirt! Live like a survivor! Expect to be a SURVIVOR!! You are!! We all are if we believe God's got us covered. And, I am willing to bet you all I have and all I am that He does.

Monday, September 14, 2009


It's funny how, if you give in, and let everyone be who they are, life is so much easier. I have tried so hard to manage my homeschool day in such a way that we are schedule oriented. I decided that was the best possible scenario for an ADHD child. But, ya know what? I have found that is NOT the best thing for MY child or ME.

One of the best perks of homeschooling in the first place is letting your child be who God created them to be. I should know that after 14 years of homeschooling, but I guess I have to be reminded every once in a while.

How many times have you caught yourself trying to re-invent someone close to you just so they would fit in with your own ideas of perfection? I admit I have done it quite often. Not really intentionally, but nevertheless, I have done it.

My youngest son is the total opposite personality from me. We are night and day; Oil and water. But, there is one thing we share; love and lots of it. That is enough common ground to work together.

In reality, my way is NOT always the best way. Even when it comes to my children. It is hard to admit to your child when you have messed up. But, they always accept your honesty with love and forgiveness. Mine do anyway. Try it. Yours probably will too.

These past few days have been a 180 degree turn from where we were a couple of weeks ago. All because I have stopped being so set in my ways and I have allowed my child to learn in a way that is comfortable to him. He has retained so much more information this way. It has been an enlightening experience for us both.

This approach works for every relationship in your life, not just homeschooling. Let your husband be himself. Let your parents be themselves. Let your best friend be herself. And, the best part of all, do NOT be afraid to be who YOU are. So much more can be accomplished when we all work together accepting each other's flaws and imperfections. As long as we have the same goal, we can co-exist cheerfully. We may just have different ways of getting there.

God places certain people in your life to compliment who you are. Let them do it. As Christians, we most likely have many common goals. We are here to support each other. To encourage each other. If you are having relationship woes, maybe you are falling short in one of those areas. Maybe your communication is lacking in openness and sincerity.

"But, I urge you and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgements."
(1 Corinthians 1:10 AMP)

"There is no room for and there can be neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, nor slave or free man; but Christ is all and is in all. Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), who are purified and holy and well-loved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways and patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]. " (Colossians 3:11-12 AMP)

Is your temper even? Has it flared lately? Do you have mercy on others, or are you quick to expect much and judge often?

God made each of us individually, just the way He desired. We are hand-sculpted by the Master Artist. Enjoy the creativity of the Father. Look at those around you as works of art and accept them as they are. Unity is wonderful and peace swiftly follows. Experience both today with those you love, as well as those who rub you the wrong way. That's God's will for His children!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Since I've been here to visit with you, I have faced a lot of losses. Losses are hard things. Hard on your mental capacities. Hard on you physically.

Hard on your heart.
Mine is currently broken.

The most horrific loss I have endured is the passing of my precious daddy. I have watched him battle cancer for the past seven months. In spite of all the disappointments along the way, I feel blessed to have been able to watch him blossom spiritually.

Indeed, he was the perfect embodiment of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. "So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new everyday. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever."

Yes, my daddy stayed focused on the unseen. He didn't see the weakening effects of the chemotherapy. He never discussed the pain he must have endured. He actually enjoyed his newly discovered, bald, perfectly-round head. He looked forward to witnessing to every person he encountered with each hospital and doctor's visit. He was a beacon of light for his church family. He continued to care for those around him and to meet every need that he was capable of. He saw a bright future for himself. He made sure those he loved saw it too.

On July 1, 2009, he spent the day going in and out of consciousness. When he was alert, he spoke about what a beautiful family we were. He joked around with the grand kids. He repeatedly expressed his pride and joy in each of us. He smiled as long as he was physically able to do so. He questioned our sad countenance. He grasped hands and hearts with every ounce of love in his being. He made positively sure we knew how deeply he cared for each one of us.

Hours later, as each breath became a struggle so intense, I could bare to watch no longer, I heeded God's leading within my spirit and let my daddy go. I had encouraged him to fight for the past few months. Somehow, I now knew the fight was over. I leaned to his ear and spoke how proud I was of him. How he had been the best father a girl could ever have wished for. How he had fought a good fight. Most of all, how he WAS receiving the healing we had all so earnestly prayed for. I gave him my blessing on taking that healing and joining his Creator in the land of his reward. Hardest of all, I kissed him, and spoke the words "I love you, daddy" one last time.

Early in the morning on July 2, 2009, as I laid across my daddy's chest in his hospital bed, I literally felt him embark on his new journey. A strange peace overcame me as I became so intensely aware of his passing over. I knew in my heart that He was in the presence of our God.

Finally, those unseen things that My daddy had stayed focused on were in his line of vision! He had finished the race with flying colors! He was at the feet of Jesus and, without a doubt, in total awe of his new dwelling place! As the song says, "I can only imagine"!!!!!

I miss him terribly. Not a day goes by that I don't shed some tears. My heart is still broken. Maybe it always will be. I don't know. But, I do know that I have been blessed beyond measure with a wonderful family. I am going to live each day to it's fullest. I am going to enjoy my life and all God has given me stewardship over. I am going to follow my daddy's lead and invest in the lives of those around me every chance I get. And, above all, I hope to honor and please my God with every decision, every breath, and every move I make.

You know, losses only leave room for gain. Losses should never be counted or measured. Only faith. May your faith be multiplied. I know mine certainly has been.

Thank You God, for my Daddy's life. And, thank you Daddy, for showing me God in the most vivid ways possible.

Love and Blessings,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Notes

I haven't been home much lately. My daddy is battling cancer right now and I have been traveling back and forth to the coast to be with my parents. I was away all week last week, and as I was preparing to leave for the trip last Monday, I got an idea.

You see, I had felt that my time away from my husband was leaving an empty space in our family. My bright idea was in effect an effort to let him know how much he is loved, even though I was not there in person to tell him every morning. As I got out of the shower, the bathroom mirror was steamed over and I took the opportunity to write a love note to him with my finger over the fogged glass. I knew it would show up every time he got out of the shower all week long while I was gone. He would be able to read my "hidden message" and know I was thinking of and missing him. Am I brilliant or what!!

We talked on the phone every day, but I never mentioned the mirror endeavor. I was sure he'd seen it though. After all, how could he miss the huge words scrolled all over the mirror right in front of his face? I felt good inside about the message I had left behind to greet him every morning!

I finally returned home late in the evening yesterday and after cleaning the house up a bit and doing a few loads of laundry, I decided to take a shower to relax before hitting the bed for the night. It was then that I remembered the love note as I saw it appear magically before me on the fogged up glass.

I smiled to myself at my cleverness and proceeded to the bedroom. I couldn't stand his lack of response any longer!

"What did you think of the note I left for you on the mirror, honey?", I asked my man.

"What note?", He replied, in typical man fashion.

"You mean you didn't see it? Come here and look. How could you have missed it?"

As we both walked into the bathroom, there it was, as plain as the nose on your face, but amazingly, my husband was seeing it for the very first time! He was surprised that he had missed it, but in his defense, he was correct in admitting that he doesn't even fully wake up until he gets halfway to work! He was so busy running around every morning trying to get ready, that the love note in front of him never even got noticed.

You know, God has a love note for you every morning also. He gives you a brand new day to be alive and serve Him and make a difference in the world. He gives you breath and the ability to help others. He fills every day with blessings and all sorts of demonstrations of His love for His children. Are you too busy to see them? Are you sleep-walking through your day missing all He has in store for you?

It is right there in front of your face! He loves you with an everlasting unfailing love. He wants you to know it. He longs to tell you and see your response. He never wants for you to go even one minute without feeling that engulfing love.

Tomorrow when you get up, stay on the lookout all day long for those love notes. They will make your day, let me tell you! They are there in plain sight, you just have to notice them.

Love and Blessings,

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Season Of Change

Fresh and new. That is how everything around me appears today. It has rained for days. Clouds have covered the skies and dreariness has prevailed. Thank God it is over for a season.

My life has been just the same. Darkness has been the normal course of most every day. Changes came that were unwelcome. Funny how those intruders can sometimes turn out to be just what is needed to bring refreshment to a weary soul.

At this moment, flowers are in bloom all around me. Grass is green from the rains. The air seems cleaner somehow as the sun shines brightly over the earth. Dark clouds have been replaced by beautiful snow white shapes in the sky. The heavens are smiling and so am I.

The former ways are being consumed by a new thing. The dross is being revealed and tossed away. The birth of a new attitude and new opportunities are on the horizon. How wonderful that the end result will be a deeper righteousness; a deeper and more effective servant's heart.

I am watching and waiting; stunned with wonder at what I can already see. God is working and something beyond my comprehension is about to take place. Positive change has come and will continue to be manifested in the life of my family.

In my expectation, I ponder why we resist change with such vigor.

Change always requires repentance. Change asks us to give up things that are sometimes very near and dear to us. Change brings refreshment, though. Even if it takes us through storms we want to avoid. There is goodness is everything that God filters into our lives. It all has to get by Him before it reaches us.

Just like today, the rains will eventually subside for a season. The sun will shine brightly again and new life will be waiting to reveal itself to us in a spectacular fashion. We can walk in the promises of our Creator God, The Great I AM, where there is only light(1 John 1:6).

Praise God for the storms, for without them there would be no refreshment. Life is hard, but God is good. Jesus said to David, a man who endured many storms, that one who lives in righteousness and in awe of God is "like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth." (Samuel 23:2-4)

David knew what the prophet Jeremiah spoke of, that "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is (His) faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:23)

Growth takes change. Growth is what is required of us as Christians. Growth is a good thing. "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

It's all good, friends! Great works are happening all around you! Get ready, for positive change is coming!

Read also Habakkuk 1:5 and Ephesians 4:22-24.

Have a wonderful day in the Lord Jesus Christ today and every day!
Love and Blessings,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Comforts of Home

Spring is in the air here in North Carolina. Not sure how long it will stay, but it has been an absolutely glorious weekend!!

As most of you know, we have recently moved. It has taken us 2 months to get our house in order. When we bought it, it was in dire straits, but now we almost have it like we want it. Praise God!

Thanks to the beautiful weather we had this weekend, I finally got a jump on the outside of our new home. It was in rough shape. After a long hard look (allowed by the warm air and sunshine), I was able to determine what needed to be done in order to improve it. I spent all day yesterday raking mounds and mounds of leaves, shoveling dirt and moving rocks. Much to my surprise, we have a lovely patio that I wasn't sure even existed! I jokingly ran into the house and announced to my family that I had "found our backyard"! They were just as surprised as me when they went out to view my discovery! It is amazing what years of neglect can do to a property.

Our new house was most certainly neglected by it's previous owners, but lots of elbow grease, determination, and love, and it is slowing changing into a place that feels good to us; A place that feels like home, inside and out. When your life begins to feel not-so-great, maybe a few things are being neglected. Maybe now is a good time to step back and take a good hard look at your surroundings. Do you see your Creator anywhere? Have you been speaking to Him? Listening to Him? Neglecting Him? Sit a spell and have a one-on-one conversation with Him. You may just find a whole new place of comfort that you never even knew existed!

I am learning that home really is where the heart is. That sounds cliche', I know, but it is so true. Now that I have experienced living in 3 different places since December, I realize that home is not a structure or a building of any sort, it is wherever my family is with me. My family is what fills my heart. My God is what fills my heart. Both were with me every step of the way. Neither ever left me feeling neglected. For that I am truly thankful.

Here's wishing you determination, love and a heart filled with a sense of home.
Love and Blessings,

Thursday, March 5, 2009


"Tattoo Me On You". I remember hearing a Heavy Metal Christian song with those lyrics. Don't know who recorded it, but I really liked it. I can hum it it my head, but since you can't get in my head, I won't be able to sing it for you. Oh well.

I bring that up because my 19 year old son,Chase, got a tattoo today. Actually, I think it's pretty cool. This is a son that, as a child, had to be practically hog-tied to receive a shot or even a throat check from the doctor. Go figure.

It looks awesome! It is a cross with a treble clef running through it. That just says "Chase" to me. It tells the story of who he is. He is deeply devoted to Christ and to his love of music. He eagerly uses his musical gifts to glorify God and to worship Him in a profound way. If I had a digital camera that was working, I would take a picture of it for you. Maybe soon.

I know a lot of people have a variety of opinions when it comes to putting permanent markings on the body that God gave us. I do too. I don't think certain tattoos are appropriate at all. Nor do I think an over-abundant amount of them on one person is becoming. But,I am proud to the core that my son chose to demonstrate his love for God by permanently marking his arm with a distinguishing design that just says "I Love Jesus and I Will Serve Him With My Talents".

The tattoo shop we patronized is actually owned and operated by a member of our church. Isn't that amazing!? I would gladly recommend them to anyone who asked as they are very reliable and trustworthy to work with. It was just an entirely "God Thing" experience.

Brings to mind a verse from Galatians 6:17. "....I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus Christ [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions-these testify to His ownership of me! " (AMP)

I'm sure Chase will be persecuted by some for having gotten the tattoo. I am more sure, though, that he will proudly display it as a banner of God's ownership of his soul and body. And, above all, I am sure glad that God blessed me with a son that I am pleased with; One who lives as an example of what God can accomplish in a life willing to surrender to Him.

What outward evidence of His ownership of you are you displaying today? Maybe it's your godly attitude. Maybe it's your smile or your willingness to help another human being. Think about it and be proud to wear that banner!!

Love and Blessings,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Frigid. Bright. Sunny. Mushy. This is today.

Lazy. Sleepy. Snug. Secure. Comfortable. This is today.

Entire family at home together. Unusual. This is today.

Missing my parents who are four hours away. This is today and this is tough.

Hungry. Bored. Burned out on television. This is today.

Breaking down to finally go play outside with my six year-old. This is hard on an old soul. This is today.

Refreshed. Glad to be alive. Vibrant in spirit. This is today.

This is good!

Here's hoping you the good comfy spot in your day.

Love and Blessings,