Saturday, February 26, 2011

Apples N Lemons Giveaway!

Sponsor Saturday

Apples N Lemons Winner!

Congrats lewalk!

Cute Covers For Apples (Macbooks) and Lemons (PCs)

Have you checked out my new Etsy shop?  I make covers for laptops and am giving one away!  I'm giving away a Baby Dots cover custom made for your laptop.  I'll be updating the site soon with new patterns and colors.  All proceeds from the shop go to send Devotion Mama (me) to Relevant 2011.  So if you're going and you'd like to see me there buy a laptop cover.  :)  They are made to fit snuggly to protect your laptop while fitting in your bag (or in my case diaper bag).

How To Enter:

Complete the mandatory entry first.  Make sure to include a valid email address in your comment if you do not have one available in your profile.  Please write a separate comment for each entry.  The contest will close on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Open to continental US residents only.  Winner will be chosen by an online random number generator.  Winner must respond with mailing address within one week. 

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

“Safe In His Dwelling” - MY Story Part 12

After she recuperated, my mom started looking into online dating.  She exchanged emails and dates with several men, and began a relationship with one.  He was a police officer and they decided to get married rather quickly. 

I didn’t like him and we argued quite a lot.  They argued to.  He would get angry a lot.  One day I came home and my mom told me that he had said he was going to kill his ex-wife.  She had tried to calm him down and he put a gun to her forehead and told her he’d kill her to, if she got in his way.  He left and she called the police.

He was arrested and a restraining order was put in place.  I worked making and selling pretzels at the local mall and remember freaking out when I saw him there one day.  I also remember reading about what was going on in my family in the newspaper.

After a while they began to talk again.  My mom told me she had lied to me and that he had never pulled a gun on her.  She let him back in the house.  They were receiving counseling from our pastor and she was advising them to reconcile.

Then one Saturday morning I was sleeping late.  I was 17 so sleeping late on Saturday morning was nothing out of the ordinary.  The way I woke up was though.  I heard a gunshot.  A LOUD gunshot.  Right above me in my mom’s room.  I jumped out of bed and ran upstairs.  I found a mess.  I saw my stepfather’s body lying on the floor.  His head was completely destroyed and irrecognizable.  I searched for my mom and couldn’t find her.  I couldn’t handle the smell or the sight and ran out of their room. 

I grabbed the phone and dialed 911.  I was shaking.  I was crying.  I was desperately trying to stay under control.  It’s a hard thing, explaining your emergency on the phone while you’re in the middle of it.  They told me to get out of the house.  I kept telling them I had to find my mom.  They told me to leave and that she must be safe somewhere if I couldn’t find her. 
So I ran outside.  I was running down our long driveway toward my neighbor’s house.  Yelling for my mom.  Looking everywhere.  And she slowly emerged from behind our house.  I ran to her terrified.  Sure that I saw blood on her shirt.  As I got closer I realized it was burgundy writing. 

She was fine.  He had come to kill her and then kill himself.  But she escaped.  She couldn’t explain how.  It was as if he couldn’t see her.  That he had been temporarily blinded to where she ran.

It was only by the grace and mercy of God on us that we weren’t hurt.

Several weeks later I was leaving my high school Psychology class and my teacher asked me to stay.  She told me she had followed my family’s story in the news.  She wanted to know how I had stayed sane.  She noticed something in me.  Something that kept me at peace.  Something that kept me going.  What could I say?  So I told her.  “Jesus”

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
 to devour me,

it is my enemies and my foes
 who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
 my heart will not fear;

though war break out against me,
 even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord, 
this only do I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
 and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
 he will keep me safe in his dwelling;

he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
 and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:1-5

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Running - MY Story Part 11

When I was in middle school my mother finished college and found a job in another part of the state.  She was an occupational therapist and got a job in a state owned mental facility.  She worked for a while and really liked it. 

One day she was working with a male patient.  He was holding a bunny and started to squeeze it.  My mom tried to get him to let it go and his rage turned from the bunny to her.  He knocked her down and broke her back once again.  I haven’t mentioned it, but when I was very young she fell down the stairs and broke her back also.

Now I was older.  A different house.  A different time.  A different living room.  A different hospital bed.  But in essence the same story.  I would get her what she needed in the morning.  Go to school.  Come home and take care of her again.

During all of this one of my friends had a sleepover.  I asked her if I could go and she gave me permission. 

So I went.

When I got home the next day she was furious!  How could I have left her alone all night!  The fire went out and she was cold!  She needed me and I was off having fun!  I was grounded.  I was punished.  I wasn’t going to get anything or have a party for my upcoming birthday.  I had abandoned her.

I shut myself in my room and began to pack.  I had to get out.  It was to much.  I was barely a teenager.  Not the adult.  I had permission to go.  Since when was it my responsibility to take care of her.  Wasn’t she supposed to take care of me? 

Justified or not.  My attitude was wrong. 

I can only imagine what it must be like to have to depend on your children when they should be depending on you.  To have your child care for you when you should be caring for them.  To be trapped in a bed day and night without a husband or family to support you. 
But I was a young teen and somewhat irrational.  So I climbed out my window.  My plan was to make it to my friend’s house and call my Dad.  I just needed to get away for a few days. 

Well it didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped.  (Imagine that! LOL)  I got picked up by the police as a runaway instead.  I explained what had happened and they asked me if I’d rather live with my Dad.  Well he was still using so I didn’t really want to live with him either. 

So back home I went.  

I would have saved myself so much trouble if only I had learned early to have the attitude of Christ.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

Monday, February 21, 2011

Salvation - MY Story Part 10

In middle school a friend invited me to her church camp.  I had grown up going from camp to camp during the summers.  I would go to week long camps and was home only to unpack wash clothes and repack on weekends.  So I went.  While I was there a counselor told me something I had never heard before.  I was NOT going to Heaven.  Seriously.  I had no idea and I had been “in church” my whole life. 

Just to be clear I’m not being sarcastic.  I really had been in church almost every Sunday for my whole life and had no clue that you had to accept and confess Christ for salvation!  So the counselor told me what I needed to do, and asked me if I wanted to.  I said yes and it was left at that. 

No, she didn’t pray with me.  But she did put me on the spot when my mom picked me up.  She told me to make sure and tell her about the decision I made.  She said it right in front of her.  So I did. 

I didn’t quite get the reaction I was expecting.  She began to tell me how it was a serious decision to become a Christian and that basically it meant that I had to become perfect.  No more arguing.  No more talking back.  No more messy room.  No more laziness.  No more sleeping late.  No more bad attitudes.  And the list went on and on.  When I talked to my dad I got a similar reaction.

Again, no, she didn’t pray with me.  No one did.  And although I had planned to spend some time with God in a special spot and commit my life to him, I didn’t.  I was put off by the idea that once I officially became a Christian that God would require perfection.  It was something I could never live up to. 

But I continued to read my Bible, pray, and seek Him.  A few weeks later a forgotten memory came back just in time.  I have no idea when I was saved.  I know how, and that no one laid it out for me.  I was young and it was natural.  It was intimate.  It was God and it was me. 

I remember I was in a car parked on the side of the road.  I was alone and there was the most incredible sunset.  An Amy Grant tape was playing (thanks Aunt Christine for being faithful and sending us Christian tapes!).  When it came to the song “Got To Let It Go”, I sang with all my heart and soul.  I prayed.  I was saved.  I was reborn.

Got To Let It Go
Songwriters: Bannister, Brown;Smith, Michael W;Keister, Shane;Chapman, G;Grant, Amy

All my life-time plans,
I got 'em in my hands.
Balancing my fate upon a wire.
Got to let it go.
Everywhere I turn I see
There's nowhere left to go.
All my dreams are far,
Too much for me to hold.
Still I hate to drop them,
Weren't they from you?
What did I do?

You are the one that can see,
Into the heart of me.
Am I really giving up tomorrow?
Got, got, got to let it go.
This is gonna hurt a little,
Still it's right I know.
Got to let it --
Even though I fear
Too much of me might show,
I can't wait any longer for it,
I've had enough!
I'll give it up!

Lord, here's my heart,
I've been keeping it from you,
And I got to let it go.
Holding on just breaks me, worry,
Got to let it go,
Come and take it from me, hurry,
Got to let it go.
Go to let it -- got to let it go.
Got to give up all of my control!

Holding on too tight,
Where do I lose sight?
Where's the lamb that seems to bring frustration,
Go to let it go.
The best of dreams can turn to nightmares,
When my heart takes hold.
How long must I learn?
This lesson's getting old,
I've got to catch a clearer vision,
I'm in Your hands!
You're in command!

Lord, here's my heart
I've been keeping it from you!
And I got to let it go.
Holding on just breaks me, worry,
Got to let it go.
Come and take it from me, hurry,
Got to let it go.
Oh, I've got to let it go.
Got to give up all of my control!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Ephesians 2:8

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

If you’re not sure of your salvation you can be.  Just pray.

Jesus, I know I’ve messed up.  I’ve done the wrong things.  I’ve said the wrong things.  I’ve had the wrong attitude.  I’ve sinned.  Please forgive me.  I know that you died to save me and I recognize you as my King.  You are God and I give my life to you.  Thank you for the gift of salvation and the opportunity to spend eternity with you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Big Vision, A BIGGER GOD! (Mom Heart Conference)

I just got home from the Mom Heart Conference with Sally Clarkson.  Literally I just got home.  Well I picked up a pizza on the way and did eat a few (we won’t mention exactly how many) slices before opening my computer to write this.  But the dishes are still in the sink, the laundry is still on the couch, and I’ve gotta write before going to pick up my boys.  Because I’m inspired.  If you were there you probably are to!

I got some really great notes in-between feedings, diaper changes and teething cries.  In case you didn’t know I took Caleb with me.  I typed things like. 

“Don’t be a toddler before God.  He’s not threatened by your temper tantrums.” 
“Sometimes it’s the parent who is the ‘strong willed child’ not the child”
“Use Character traits to praise your children”
“You have the potential to be a great women in history, but no one will do it for you.”
“God searches the world for a true and willing heart”

But in spite of all the wisdom being spoken and the good stuff getting into my mind and soul.  That’s not what impacted me the most.  And what was on my mind and heart as I left was not said from the stage or spoken into a microphone.  I was spoken by a still small voice that whispered into my heart.  It was what the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I observed and learned from the Godly women who served and spoke. 

As Sally’s husband Clay spoke about the basic structure of their ministry.  The nuts and bolts you could call them.  He explained all they do and plan to do.  And then spoke about their VERY small staff (basically their family).  They have dreams, visions, plans, and a ministry that really is bigger than their small family.  And yet they don’t shrink back.  It would be easy to just announce and put into print what they are doing, but they stepped out in faith to share the plans God is laying out for them even before they have the ability, time, finances, and manpower to do it.  They’re trusting in a BIG God.

I know what it’s like to have dreams that are bigger than myself.  The Lord was speaking to me about and clarifying his vision and the ministry He has for me as I left.  And my response can be to run or to trust that in His greatness, my weakness is insignificant.  I choose to trust that He is big enough for the vision he plants in me.

So what I take from Mom Heart even more than all the teaching and instruction that I graciously receive is an example of walking in faith and trusting that a big God can use a small person to do great things.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:19

When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.  And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.
Ephesians 3:8

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Jeremiah 29:11

A HUGE Thank You to High Point Church for sponsoring my friend Mama Hall and I!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Single Mom’s Bed - MY Story Part 9

Growing up with a single mother brought new experiences into my life.  Yes, I’m going to talk about it.  That three letter word.  S E X.  While I was aware that married couples (including my parents) had sex, the concept of sex outside of marriage had been foreign to me.  As my mother began to date inevitably the men she brought to her bed she also brought into our house.  While she is currently on her fourth husband the number of men she’s shared a bed with is far more. 

While I take full responsibility for my decisions and actions and don’t blame her, the example I was being set was another mixed message.  Just as when my parents were drinking, doing drugs, and teaching Sunday School, now there were sexual relationships outside of marriage being played out before me while I was being taught that it was a sin in church. 

Just to make things clear.  Sex outside of marriage IS a sin.  I will not apologize for that fact.  It is clearly set out in scripture and should not be up for discussion.  But I would like to approach the subject from my perspective as a child and teenager growing up in that environment.  I hope that this can open our eyes to see the effect our sin has on our children and homes.

I saw the attention she received from men and I wanted the same thing.  I saw her dress in revealing clothing.  I wanted to dress that way to.  I saw men buy her things.  I wanted boys to buy me things.  While I knew that what she did and the way she lived was wrong in God’s eyes I was still absorbing it.  I longed to hold that same power over men that she seemed to have, while praying and asking God to protect her. 

I worried.  I was frightened.  I thought I may lose her.  There were times when I couldn’t sleep and cried at night consumed with the fear that she may get AIDS.  Knowing that the lifestyle she lived could lead her to that.  But yet I had no control.  So I cried.  And I prayed.

I worried and grieved out of love.  And I suffered alone out of shame.  I was convinced that if anyone knew they would assume I was just like her.  I was sure that what she did reflected on me.  There’s so much I didn’t know.  So much I didn’t understand.  About how the body of Christ is made to support each other.  About the power of praying together.  I knew that the sins of our parents were a curse to us.  I didn’t understand that Jesus’ sacrifice could break that curse.

I thought I was alone.

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”

1 Corinthians 6:16-17

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Nearly Blank Slate - MY Story Part 8

I’m not sure when it happened, but I know I was young.  
My memories just disappeared, as quickly as they had come.

Ok, so I’ll stop the cheesy rhyming now.  Well . . . maybe.  But it did happen.  I lost my memory.  Not amnesia, but my long term memory.  At some point I went from having a regular memory of my childhood to only remembering a few key events.  And even those I remember without to much detail. 

You may have been wondering why my stories are so vague and if you were, there’s your answer.  I’ve forgotten. 

I saw (or was forced to see) several psychologists and psychiatrists during my childhood.  At one of those appointments the doctor was asking me questions about my past that I didn’t know the answer to.  He specifically asked me about my parents’ motorcycle accident.  He wanted to know how my mother laid in the hospital bed.  On her back, side, or stomach.  I didn’t remember.  I still don’t remember.  He couldn’t believe that I had taken care of her like that for a year and couldn’t remember.

He began to yell at me angrily that I had blocked out my childhood because it was traumatic and that the memories would come back to me in flash backs and haunt me for the rest of my life. 

He was wrong.

Did my memories get blocked out?  Yes.  Have they come back to me in haunting, terrifying flash backs, like he said they would?  No.  Do I have any reason to believe they will?  NO!
My mind has been renewed!  My mind is controlled by the Holy Spirit!  My thoughts are taken captive in obedience to Christ.  I have peace and I have victory.  That’s what God’s word tells me and it’s what I choose to believe.

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

Romans 8:6


Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2


We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Knock On My Window - MY Story Part 7

It woke me with a start.  I opened my eyes looking around my dark bedroom.  There it was again.  Someone was knocking on my second floor window.  I went to look and our neighbor was peering in motioning for me to open the window.  I did and he climbed in.  He told me my parents had been in an accident.

Ok, so you already know they got divorced, but my mom had to take her car to the shop and my dad was giving her a ride home on his motorcycle. 

He took me to their house to spend the night and I later found out how bad the accident had actually been.  They were on a motorcycle and a large truck had turned into oncoming traffic and hit them head on.  My father rolled off the bike and only had some bruises and a few cuts that needed stitches.  My mother went flying and literally crushed one side of her body.  Multiple fractures and internal injuries, it was touch and go for a while. 

I’m not sure how long she was in the hospital, or even who I stayed with, but when she did come home she was in a hospital bed in our living room.  I cared for her for nearly a year.  I was already drawing my strength from the Lord.

I was only 8. 

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 

Isaiah 40:29-31

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Three Wrinkles - MY Story Part 6

“Mommy, look that” says Josiah pointing at my face. 
“What?”  I touch my face thinking I must have something on it. 
“No Mommy, that!” he repeats. 
“What?  My headband?” 
“No.  That.”  He continues pointing. 
“My eyebrows?” I ask. 
“No Mommy, right here. (he touches my forehead) One.  Two.  Three.” 
“Oh, my wrinkles?” 
“Yes Mommy.  Look Caleb don’t have any.” 
“No sweetheart, Baby Caleb doesn’t have wrinkles.”

But I do.  It’s true.  I’ve had them since I was a child.  I remember a doctor telling me with a concerned look that I was way to young to have wrinkles, and that they were the result of extreme stress and trauma.  I remember thinking that I needed to get rid of them somehow, but had no idea how.  So they stayed.  And there they are.  So now Josiah uses them for counting. 

As much as I don’t like how I got my wrinkles, I love how it feels for Josiah to touch my face and count 1, 2, 3.  It makes me smile, and it reminds me of how far God has brought me and how my spirit has been healed even more than my body.

My three wrinkles.  A beautiful reminder of the protection, healing, and grace of God in my life.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The D Word - My Story Part 5

It didn’t take long after my brother’s death for the delicate balance in our house to turn volatile.  Loud arguments became commonplace and now I had no big brother to distract me. 
With no real outlet for their grief my parents took it out on each other and before long the home they made became a battle-zone of words.  But wounding each other didn’t help and soon the relationship was lost.  The family broken. 
I don’t remember who told me about the divorce or how.  What I do remember was relief.  No more fighting.  No more screaming.  My mother was off drugs and I thought finally there would be peace. 
I was wrong.
Divorce is not an instrument of peace.  It’s an instrument of destruction.  It destroys a family.  It destroys a promise.  It destroys a union blessed by God.
I know in some cases it’s necessary, and Biblically it is permitted in some situations.  Regardless it is a destructive force that causes division, not union.

One day the Pharisees were badgering him: “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”  He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female?  And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one.  Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”  They shot back in rebuttal, “If that’s so, why did Moses give instructions for divorce papers and divorce procedures?”  Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hardheartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan.
Matthew 19:3-8

And Then He Was Gone - MY Story Part 4

My big brother was my protector.  He took me with him to play with his friends.  He watched out for me, and on occasion hit kids who weren’t nice to me.  One day in 1987 that all changed.

I was seven and he was ten.  I was playing at my best friend’s house when they were cutting down a tree in the front yard.  The tree fell on the power lines and snapped one.  And the wire was on the ground and it was live.  My brother came to tell me it was time to come home.  His told me we were going to visit my dad at work, and his last words to me were, “If you don’t come now, we’ll leave without you.”  With that he got back on his bike.  Rode up the driveway.  And burst into flames.  The live wire had touched the metal of his bike and he was electrocuted.  He died instantly.  And I stood there watching. 

I froze.  I couldn’t move.  People were running.  People were yelling.  And for me, time stood still.  My friends mom grabbed us.  She took us to the house next door (my friend’s grandparent’s house), fed us aspirin, and locked us in the game room.  We didn’t know what to do.  We were crying.  I tried the antique phone they had on the wall, but but it was just a decoration. 

Time passed.  At some point my mom came to find out what was going on.  No one had called her.  I remember sitting on the counter.  Being interviewed by the police.  And really having no idea of what was really happening. 

As the days passed I wasn’t allowed to go to school.  Black fabric draped our front porch.  Neighbors brought us food.  And it began to sink in.  He was gone. 

I was young.  I was a child.  I adapted quickly to the change.  I recovered from the loss.  I wanted to move on.  To take down the mourning cloths.  To play.  To laugh.  To be joyful.  I can only imagine the pain this caused my grieving parents. 

His name was Sean.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Was Wanted. I Was Loved - MY Story Part 3

My brother wasn’t planned.  But he was welcomed, wanted, and loved.  When my parents got married he was already there.  Growing and developing in my mother’s belly.  But no one knew.  Not even my parents. 

I was planned.  I was wanted.  I was loved.  My parents wanted more children and tried for 3 years after my brother was born until they had me.  My mother loved me.  My father loved me.  And my brother loved me.  I played.  I laughed.  I cried.  I lived.

I was born in 1980.  My parents were so called hippies.  We went to church each Sunday.  They were youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, Christians.  And yet drinking and drugs were common place in our home.  I saw pot on a regular basis and cocaine on occasion. 

And I was loved.  And I was protected.  By my parents and my brother.  It’s how I was raised and for me it was normal.  When things were crazy I would go to mine or my brother’s room and he would bring me snacks.  I was blind to the incongruousness of my life. 

As I think about the beginning of my life my heart hurts for the unwanted babies and children of this world.  And for those who are killed before they ever take their first breath. 

I look at my boys and I praise God that they are wanted and they are loved as I was.

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? 
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?

Psalm 127:3

Monday, February 7, 2011

Because It’s Time - MY Story Part 2

I’ve been told so many times to write my story.  I never have.  I even took a class in college on writing memoirs.  I wrote fiction instead.  I just couldn’t bring myself to write my story.  It was easier to write whatever came into my imagination.  That way I didn’t have to dig deep.  Didn’t have to look into myself, into my past.  I didn’t have to be honest or remember old wounds. 

Since I began to write this blog I’ve written honestly.  I’ve written truthfully.  But I’ve written strictly about the present.  About my children, my husband, my life.  Although it’s truth, it still allows me to avoid my past.  I don’t share the scars.  I don’t share all of who I am.  Although I am honest I’m not completely transparent.  And without knowing the full story, the magnitude of the grace of God in my life may not be fully appreciated.

And now it seems the time has come.  I honestly thought I might never write it down, but the Holy Spirit has made it clear to me that I must.  I’m not sharing it for myself, or for those who have played a role.  I’m not sharing it for my readers.  I’m sharing it out of obedience and a belief that He has a purpose, and it will be completed, even if I don’t know what it is. 

So the time has come to tell my story.  Because it’s mine to tell.  My memories are few and far between.  The facts are blurred.  I saw it with childhood eyes.  I lived it with a childish understanding and innocence.  What I share won’t be perfect.  But it’s what I remember.  And it’s how I remember it.

I’ll write with peace.  I don’t write in anger or with resentment.  I write of things long forgiven.  From a heart that has long been healed.  I write of a life renewed, restored, and redeemed. 

And I ask for grace.  I ask for forgiveness.  I may be wrong.  I’ll surely mess up the details.  It is my story, but also the story of my family, my loved ones, and those who have crossed my path.  I will do all I can to cover them with grace and I will speak of them in love, even when the truth is ugly and the times were difficult.  So forgive me.  I promise I will only share what is necessary and relevant. 

I don’t pretend to write with complete understanding.  I know my hindsight is no where near 20/20.  But I believe it’s a story worth telling.  A story that will bring hope and healing.  A story that will bring freedom.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome To MY Story - MY Story Part 1

I ventured out into the ice today to take some pictures.  It was freezing!  And yet I find peeking out through the ice little bits of green.  Evidence of life.  Small and seemingly insignificant as it may seem.  Life.  Maybe it’s not so insignificant after all.

It can be a struggle to hold on at times.  To cling that bit of life, that glimmer of hope.  When the world around us closes in like the ice.  Trying to snuff out the hope and life we’ve found in Him.

I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to live in a place where Christians are persecuted for their faith, but we do live in a hostile land.  An unseen enemy is there, whether we recognize his presence or not.  I’ve been in the battle all my life.  It’s real.  It always has been.  It just wasn’t as visible before. 

I’ll be taking the next few days to tell my story.  Of the struggle.  The attacks.  And above all the power of God to overcome in a life submitted to Him. 

Welcome to MY story.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

John 16:31


And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong.  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.

Ephesians 6:10-13

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jesus Is Not Forgotten In OUR House

We are ICED in!  Yes I live in TEXAS.  And we’re in the midst of an ice storm.  So today is the second day straight we are stuck inside.  So we spent yesterday making Valentines decorations.  My boys were loving it!  Matthew was very excited about all the red hearts.
He associates the color red and hearts with Jesus and whenever he sees a heart he says “Jesus Loves Me!”  So we had a lot of Jesus loves me’s being said around here. 
After yesterday’s post it was reassuring to hear Jesus’ name being said so much in our house.  Regardless of what we see going on in the world we can take authority and decide what will and will not enter our house!  And Jesus will NOT be forgotten in my house! 
The world can do what they want, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8


But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Holy, Holy Forgotten Son Of God

So I’m singing along with the radio in the car today.  Typical.  I totally messed up the words to the song.  Also typical.  Go on you can say it.  You do it to, don’t you?  Wanting to sing along with a song you don’t know well and all the sudden you’re singing something different from what the radio is playing.  Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

So I’m singing “And we cry Holy, Holy forgotten Son of God, Ancient of Days.”  Oops!  That is NOT how the song goes.  Forgotten?  How could I possibly have just sung that?!?!?  Where did that come from?  Begotten.  It was supposed to be begotten.

But it got me thinking.  Is He the forgotten Son of God?  Have we forgotten who He is?  Remembered of forgotten He’s still Holy and He’s still the Son of God, but have we forgotten?  Forgotten who He is?  Forgotten what He’s done for us?  Forgotten what he spoke?  Forgotten how he lived?  Forgotten what he offers?  Forgotten what He requires from us?

I stopped at a light the other day.  There was a man.  Dirty.  Poor.  Everything he owned was in a backpack.  He held a simple sign.  “Traveling.  Please Help.”  I reached into my purse pulled out a bill and rolled down my window.  When he took it I said “God bless you.”  Later I thought.  Does he know which God I refer to when I say God bless you?  Of course I refer to the only True God.  I know there’s only one.  Does he?

Should I have specified?  Is the Son of God forgotten to him?  How could I have reminded him?  How can I remind this generation.  God has a Son!  He died so we can live eternally with Him.  Don’t you remember?  Did you forget?Maybe if I say his name.  There’s power in that name.  Why don’t I use it?  What was it?  Have I forgotten? 

Jesus!  That’s his name!  That’s right.  Now I remember.  His name is Jesus.

She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus - ‘God saves’ - because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21


In that day you will no longer ask me anything.  Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

John 16:23