Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It has been a good day but a hard day. I know that I don't really have to pack boxes, but doing so gives me a little control over things right now. It is something tangible and real. It also gives me a chance to realize that we are really leaving our little house on the pond, our church and the safety of things known and comfortable. But God is not calling us to be comfortable right now. A verse that I was given not to long ago is:

 20 You will be like the person who tried to sleep
       on a bed that was too short
    and with a blanket that was too narrow
       to wrap around himself. (Isaiah 28:20, New Century Version)

This is what I feel like right now. Someone trying to sleep on a bed that is just too short for them. I sometimes have to lie down with little man on his small youth bed. If I do fall asleep, I usually wake up with a crick in my neck or stiff in the legs from being scrunched on the too small bed. It is just not comfortable and a good rest is hard to get in that bed situation.
Now the covers are a big deal to me. If I am cold, I need to be covered with lots of warm blankets, but if it is too much I get overheated and wake up sweating. Not enough covers, even in the summer, is not a good thing either. I need just the right amount of covers. I used to travel with a blanket so if I got cold I could cover up. The problem was that the blanket was really too small to do much good. A sweater would have been just as good. When I am tired and cold, I want comfort for sweet, restful, peaceful time of being.
Right now, my life feels like a too short bed. As much as I try to rest and turn this way and that, I find that I am scrunched for time, patience, peace, good feelings - generally a peace and happiness. My days are sometimes filled with my pains in the neck and sick feelings in my stomach than anything else. As much as I would like to curl up under the shelter of a nice and cuddly blanket that fully covers me and my family, I seem to feel lots of drafts - emptiness, gaps. Primarily caused by worry, anxiety, stress, - realization of sin and lack of dependance on God.
Yep, I am in a time right now where my bed is too short and the blanket just doesn't seem to be enough. I do know this though, God is near. He has never left me. I may have - did - move away from Him, but He has always been near me. God has us on this short bed for a reason. I don't fully understand why, but He has us there for now and with a small blanket. He has the blanket that fully covers us though. He has grace, mercy and salvation. For now, I need to continue to find things to praise Him for, to thank Him for. It is with the perspective that things could be worse, at least we don't..... that help me through the days. Naming my manna - my blessings and surrounding myself and filling my thoughts with things that pure, lovely, true, praiseworthy and excellent help.
This has been a hard day but a good day. Boxes packed- I have way too many clothes! We have way too much stuff in general. I am overwhelmed by it all - focus on true, lovely, praiseworthy.... I have lots to do - lots I really don't want to face but glad that at the same time.

1. A job that provides income
2. A little rental house
3. A realtor- I count as a new friend
4. New friends to meet
5. New opportunities
6. The little house on the pond
7. Heat
8. Boxes to pack in
9. Nice clothes to pack
10. Memories
11. New adventures
12. Snow
13 Mid- 40s
14. Hubby that misses us
15. Kitties 3
16. Tears
17. Old friends
18. Opportunities past
19. Comfortable life situations
20. Repentance
21. Dependance on God
22. God's faithfulness
23. God's grace
24. Mercy
25. Salvation paid at a great price
26. Holiday lights
27. Holiday music
28. Kids' anticipation of Christmas
29. God is my portion
30. A new day- a do over
31. Comfortable bed
32. Warm blankets
33. A few hours of sleep
34. Hope
35. Peace
36. Joy
37. A Christmas Elf
38. Warm coffee
39. Cold Dr. Pepper
40. Children 2

Friday, December 3, 2010

God Is In Control

I am reminded that while my storms of life seem huge and scary, there are so many others that would trade places with me. I am thankful for good health for all of us, for a job, for family and friends that are concerned, for opportunities past and present and to come- for a God who is in control the whole time and never leaves my side- I just need to stay aware that He is there. My storms are still my storms and scary to me I just need to trust God and allow Him to sustain me through it all. There are many that sing this song, but I like Matt Redman so turn down the playlist at the bottom of this page and remember that God will carry me and you through our individual scary storms of life. We don't need to be afraid.

Even though I walk
Through the valley
Of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear

And even when I’m caught
In the middle
Of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light
That is coming
For the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare

And there will be an end
To these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

I can see a light
That is coming
For the heart that holds on
And there will be an end
To these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You
Still I will praise You

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
You never let go of me

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
You never let go of me

God Has It All Planned Out

Is there a reason I don't fully understand for why my house has not sold? Yes, the economy in general and in particular this area of Georgia have been very hard hit by the economy. Yes, God may be teaching me to let go and trust Him. I don't know. I do know this... God answered prayers about providing a job for Dana when things at the Georgia company looked pretty bleak and no future for him there. God provided people for me to connect with in the Ohio community we are moving to. God provides. Maybe we misread God's intention for us to go to Ohio. We, especially Dana, prayed about it and felt like it was the right thing. I did have some uneasy feelings but who looks forward to selling a house in a bad economy- My simple brain and outlook on world events even recognized the reality of bad timing for house sales. I didn't and don't look forward to moving a long distance with two kids and three cats at Christmas time. So I had a less than peaceful feel for the whole thing. Maybe that was God poking me...I don't know. What I do know is that over the last couple of months, I have had to stand on my own as a mom and not so great at a single parent thing--- appreciate Dana even more. I know that I have spent a lot of time coming to grips with my major weaknesses and failures and trying to reconnect to God and what He wants for me. I do know that I have given up or will completely give up a ton of responsibility at church and the kids' schools and will have the time I need to really refocus on my relationship with God. It has so suffered over the years- Looking good and sounding good to the casual observer but to my God and I know the truth. I will have time to refocus on my hubby and give him the time and attention he deserves and my children. Well, they are my first priority in children's ministry. They need a mom who is not stressed out, busy, distracted and otherwise consumed with ministry and other duties. They need mom - who cooks, keeps a much tidier house, scrapbooks their memories, reads to them again and just laughs again. This move has provided these opportunities. To bring me back to where I should have been all along- closer to my God, my hubby and my kids- following God's calling and will for me as a daughter of His.
What I don't know is how my learning to trust God fully is going to play out. Since Dana has been working in Ohio, he has been so overwhelmed and frustrated. A lot of that comes from just starting a new job with a new company and it didn't help he was up there alone. Now he has started to get a handle on some things but he has repeatedly said he felt frustrated and a bit paranoid. He hasn't felt like he has been pleasing or living up to what his boss wants. He gets little feedback even on the accomplishments- Some of it is this guy's management style and personality but still Dana has felt less than successful and that he may not "make it". During a business trip with this fellow, Dana is even more certain - less paranoid - more sure that he is not making his boss happy. It is actually mutual- a bit of a disappointment for Dana. While he doesn't think he is fired in the immediate future, there may not be a long term future for us in Ohio. So the question comes back to is this the reason our house is not selling? So we have place to return when things end? Is this one more test to see how much I will trust God with all of this? I will admit, I have thought if he is fired - do it now before we all go- but then I think about the rent we have committed to and I know how much we have in savings. -- We need to keep this job for at least 6 months. I really do not have an issue with moving up there. I am actually looking forward to it- just not the drive and moving out/in part. I think I need this time of no committments except to God and family. Perhaps even Dana needs to focus on God, family and of course, work. I don't know what the future holds for us. I do know that God wants me to trust Him totally - completely- fully and to do so with joy- peace. I am not there yet, but I will say that I surprised myself that when Dana told me this today that for a brief and very brief second, I did feel that sinking feeling. However, I really feel okay- a bit reenergized about moving- I will not let Satan use this to defeat me or to defeat my family. Dana needs some encouragement- He needs to feel some accomplishment or hope that this job is going to be okay for longer than a few months. Satan will not use this to sideswipe us and leave us doubting or in despair. My God is bigger than all of this - God is our God forever and ever to the end. He wants to be our Guide, to lead us each step of the way into His perfect Will for us. I will not be defeated and will stand in the Light- trusting God all the way.
I love Jeremeiah 29:10-14. I will use the Message version here. It starts with God's words, "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and NOT A DAY BEFORE, I'll show up and take care of you as I PROMISED and bring you back home. 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. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen, When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, WHEN YOU GET SERIOUS ABOUT FINDING ME AND WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. I'll turn things around for you, I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you - bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it."
Now don't get the idea that I feel like we have been sent into exile or that God is going to bring us back to this one spot. But God has a plan - it is His perfect plan for us- He will carry it out in HIS timing- not my timing- not my plan. His plan will not hurt us - it may not be comfortable or pleasant or easy in the process but His plan is not going to lead us to destruction or danger- He is with us all the way-My plans or desires need to be aligned with God's for me and my family. The only way that will happen is when I am sitting at His feet, talking to Him and leaning on Him no matter what. He will lead us to where we need to be and to do what He wants for us. Right now we are in a place of unreast, unsure of what tomorrow holds- but we can count on God to not leave us there but to bring us back to a place where we are confident that God is in control and that we are doing what He wants-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Home Is Where the Heart Is

As the time comes to a rapid end of our life here in Milledgeville, my heart rate quickens and my blood pressure must rise to a great high. I feel the pressure and weight of all the many tasks still at hand. All of the things I knew should be done, but I had time didn't I? There is no rush... Well, now there is a rush... I still just don't want to really do it all though.
It isn't that I don't want to go to Ohio. I look forward to the adventure there. Yes, it will be cold. We are blessed with clothes to wear. It isn't that I don't think my kids will be happy. They will experience the separation from things and people familiar but my kids are confident kids, always friendly and talkative. They will be great! This will even be a good thing. It is so easy to become complacent and take for granted what you have. This move will be a good lesson for all of us. Leaving a ministry that I have nurtured and lived with for about eight years will be hard, but not really that hard. The children's ministry belongs to God. I was entrusted with its leadership- a huge blessing and opportunity I am forever grateful for. But I leave this ministry in good hands. I will greatly miss the people I have served with for so long. They have been huge blessings to me and to my own kids. But they will continue to serve and bless more kids and they don't need me to do that. I, too, will eventually find where God wants me to serve kids and their families. I have no doubt that is my calling but I don't know what it will look like in Ohio.
I am not afraid or concerned about living in a smaller house- we have a basement for storage and some play area. Less to clean! I am not worried about finding my own contacts - already provided and my bloggy friends are still a screen away. I am not concerned about schooling or even a church home. Schools are great, little man will be okay with me for a few months, and a church will be found. So what is making my heart race? It is my home here- The house that I love, not because of its up-to-date in the late 80s counter tops, light and water fixtures, not because of its huge open floor plan. A bit under 2000 sq ft and not so open by today's plans but a good entertaining home. I love this house because this is house God provided when we moved here almost 10 years ago. I love this house because of the beautiful pond and wildlife in my backyard. I have an amazing yard! I love it because it is in a great neighborhood with Halloween traditions, Christmas luminaries, and occassional summer activities as a neighborhood. All with friendly people who will stop their walk to chat for a minute about the kids. We may not each others names but we are aware of each other's presence and what is happening on the surface as we drive or walk by each house. I love my house because this is where my little ones were brought home and learned to walk, talk, and ride a trike! This is where we have celebrated birthdays, Christmas, and summer days. This has been the place my heart and the hearts of my family have loved with each heartbeat. This has been home! Now I face the reality that I am leaving home in a few weeks and my home will be left without a heart. I have prayed for a buyer for this little house. Someone to just love it and to love in it. Someone to be its heart. For whatever reason, God has not provided that person yet. So my heart beats a little more rapidly when I think about closing the door and locking it for the last time as I move all that I love 550 miles away. I am sure that God will provide a buyer, the ability to have mortgage and rent payments made, my family will transition fine and that He knows my heart. He has much in store for us. I simply must love Him, my family and trust. My heart and the hearts of my family will love each other and love God with each heartbeat. We will be together again under one roof, just not in the "house on the pond" but in the "little rental house in the snow".

I am thankful for:
1. the house on the pond
2. the little rental house in the snow
3. God's provision of a house
4. warm clothes
5. adventures
6. new experiences
7. bloggy friends
8. new friends
9. confident kids
10. provision of a job
11. provision for all our needs
12. God's grace
13. God's compassion
14. God's concern
15. opportunity to serve
16. those that served us
17. new service opportunities
18. new church family
19. friendly neighbors
20. memories
21. new memories to come
22. all things 80s
23. room to entertain and to love
24. the pond
25. wood ducks, turtles, herons, geese, fish, deer galore
26. laughter
27. trike and scooter rides on leaf roads
28. hide and seek among the pines and azaleas
29. quiet and not so quiet afternoons in the sun
30. Christmaas mornings
31. pancakes on Saturdays
32. bringing home babies
33. the family to come soon
34. the hearts that beat
35. the one my heart beats the fastest for the last 19 years
36. the one who created each heart beat
37. home where ever the hearts beat

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Over Doing It All

I have the tendency to over do most things- I will over do what really needs to be done for a party or event and often will do it all by myself because I know exactly what I want and I am the only one who can do it! I over do and over extend myself way more often than not. I have been known, mostly by the waistband of my pants and skirts, to over do the food at a party or holiday event. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that provide me the opportunity to eat way more than I need to at one sitting. Then there is the overdoing it on shopping. I am a recovering shopaholic. I used to shop til I dropped - not kidding. I would shop the before Christmas sales, the after Christmas sales and the Christmas in July sales. I love shopping but there are consequences to pay, literally with all the shopping. Luckily, I have not found myself in dire physical or fiscal problems yet, but that is only because of God's protection and provision. Lysa TerKeurst is one of my absolutely favorite people. No, I have yet to meet her, but she knows me so well because she writes books and blogs that are specifically for me. Her newest book is to be released in January. I am so excited. It gives me something to look forward to when I get to Ohio and slow down to digest everything. While this book is primarily focused on overdoing it with food, I am confident the principles could be applied toward money, relationships with others, technology,etc. Anything that replaces God as your comfort, provider, or focus on life and worship. I do need to lose some 40 pounds. With this book and the opportunity to exercise at a supposedly great Fitness Center in Ohio, I will do it with God's help. But I also know that shopping is a temptation for comfort. It gives me a sense of empowerment. I am looking forward to applying the principles to my wallet as well. Now the other thing that is brought to my mind as I have been looking forward to this book is this. I am known for overdoing it with lots of things in my life- But do I over do it with my relationship with God? Do I over do it with reading and meditating on God's Word? Do over do it with prayer? Serving? Giving to others? What is that God has designed me to Crave? Cheesecake? A new pair of boots? Or is it time with Him- sitting still and listening to Him as He provides Comfort and Direction for my life?
I believe I was made to crave more than amaretto cheesecake and new leather boots. I was made to crave a relationship with my Lord and Savior. Happy Thanksgiving, Ya'll! Enjoy the cheesecake and enjoy the preChristmas sales, but mostly enjoy some time with the people you love and with The Giver and Creator of All!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lead Me

I love this song. I am so thankful for a man that is willing to lead me and to lead my children. God was perfect in providing this amazing and amazingly hunky guy for my lifelong friend and partner. I could never have chosen anyone better for myself. His hand was in the forming of the friendship and mutual respect and admiration of one another. Then the ultimate realization that there was no one else that I even cared to spend time with other than this man. God provided me with a man who loves God more than anything else and who is very wise and wants to serve God. While he is not perfect and does make mistakes, he is growing and searching for God's guidance.
I am blessed as are our children.
Now he does ball up wet dishrags and leave them on the edge of the sink. He often pays more attention to Fox News than to what the kids are saying and doing. He often is in the van ready to go while I am carrying out armloads of stuff for the day. So he is a man. But what a man he is! He is a man of God! How I love him and miss him very much right now. I so need to be with him and have him walk with me, leading me and our children. God is good! I am thankful for my darling, amazing and incredibly hunky man of 18 years of marriage! I pray that God helps him in leading us. I pray that he knows he is not alone in this life - he has God and he has our love and appreciation for his leadership.

God Is In Control

Today, my first born celebrated her seventh birthday! What a glorious day seven years ago when she was first put in my arms. Her birth was 12 years in coming to us. How we prayed, cried out in anguish with our empty arms and womb. We waited and began the adoption process when God allowed a minor medical issue to lead me to a OB/GYN that suggested something the specialist and other doctors didn't think would work with me. We took a chance and VIOLA! Here she is and so is her little brother. God answers prayers but it is in His timing. My plans are not always His plans. His plans are to help me, not to harm me. I know that but too often, I don't live that truth out. While I celebrate her birthday without my hunky hubby and fabulous father of my two little pumpkins, I am reminding myself of this truth. For I have prayed for my little "house on the pond" in Georgia to sell by November 1. November 1 has come and is now two hours short of being gone and not a single potential owner has stepped foot in my house. God is not ready for my house to be sold to another family. I don't know why exactly, but I would guess that maybe He is going to put me to the test to see if I will trust Him with this. If I will be obedient and faithful in the things He has been working on me with in the last few weeks. The pruning and reshaping has been bittersweet. While it is hard to face the ugly reality that I am so undeserving of His grace, forgiveness, compassion, love- just being allowed to call myself His daugher, I also have enjoyed the time we have spent together. I have been able to crawl up on His lap and just cry out to Him for forgiveness and guidance in starting again - making things right in my life. My rebellion and lack of trust in Him has been brought to light and now I am so trying to keep right by His side, in His safety and protection. So while my prayers are not answered and many of the other things that I think should happen may not happen in my timing, God is absolutely in control. I am going to try very hard not to be anxious- (I am the master at worrying, by the way.) But with His help, I will lay the worries, anxieties down at His feet and allow Him to handle it. With God's guidance, I will make the better choices and He will not lead me in a path of harm. God is faithful and enough for me this day and everyday - If I trust Him and Him alone.
Happy Birthday to my little pumpkin eater! God is so incredibly good! He answered my prayers in ways I could never imagine with her! He is amazingly and perfectly good to me! Thank you, God, for my little ones and for your amazing grace!!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Isaiah 30:15-18:21
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore, you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths straight.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So Much More.....

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been that I have had time or the presence of mind to stop in and just ramble.
God has been good! For the past year, we have prayed for God's provision of a better job situation for hubby. God decided in August to answer not with "It is okay - things will better where you are" Nor did He get my memo about south of the Mason-Dixon. No, ma'am! He has been opening doors for a life in Ohio! The Cleveland area!!! We are trading in our Callaway Garden passes for Niagra Falls passes. We are that close for daytrips! This should be quite an adventure and a challenge for a southern girl who lives in her flip flops and crop pants. The kids are excited though! Snow! No school uniforms! A possible basement to play in! They are really excited! I would be more excited except I am quite worried about selling our beloved little house here in Georgia. Everyday someone has asked if we have had any interest and everyday I must say "No". Not one looker except the one fellow Dana hired before he left the company. We weren't what he wanted. He was very kind to endure a tour.
God has been taking some of this time with Dana being gone- Yes, he has been in Ohio since the early part of Sept. working and living in a little furnished apt. We see him every other weekend. But God has been working on my heart. It has been so hard and so necessary. I don't know that He is done with me yet or not. I will confess that I have not been obedient to Him and the consequences are hard.
I have really tried to dig into the Word and spend lots more time talking to Him. I have even arranged things or rather made it a priority to make it to worship every week. The children's ministry will have to get along without me soon enough. That is another chapter in this story. I have been so dry and am thirsty - longing for time with God. I am undeserving!
I will share some of the Word spoken to me- I can't explain my thoughts on it totally yet here but Psalms 25 and Isaiah 30:15-21;29. Especially verse 21 "This is the Way, Walk in it." It is amazing how many times God has put that verse in front of me in the last weeks. I am always amazed at how He uses others to do His teaching and prodding. These are just a few of the scriptures I have spent time with.
God has provided with a good candidate to take my place in Kidsville. I love kidmin. I don't know if that is where God will lead me in the future. I have a lot of maturing to do though. I am at peace in some aspects of leaving Kidsville and all the kids and my team behind. There is another mission field for me to work in up in Ohio. I am not certain where God is leading me. I will have lots to pray about and try to clearly discern what God is leading me to do there. I know it very well may not be in leadership as a kidmin but it isn't about leading. I just want to teach and help little ones and their families.
I have come to the understanding that while we hae been praying for provision in Dana's job and for our family. God was answering this prayer as "Yes, I will provide Dana with a new job (in Ohio) and I will provide your family with what is needed... a mommy that can be singularly focused on God and family again... at least for a season." I have been so wrapped up and out of kilter because of kidmin and MOPS that I ministered great to other kids and families but my own has been robbed. Oh, the difficulty in knowing that fully. God has asked me to be obedient to Him and to walk in faith. I am actually looking forward to curling up on my couch on a cold and snowy day in February under my warmest blankie with my hot chocolate and just spending time talking to God and reading more about what He wants me to know. I don't know if it will be in my own house or a rented house or small apartment. It won't matter. The ultimate goal is for my family to be together as one - healthy and content in our new life as Ohioians or whatever. God has been so good in so much so far. I will Trust and Obey Him! To Him I Surrender All! What an adventure that lies ahead of us. God is good although He does have a great sense of humor- Flip flops in snow?? Do they have grits up there? He will provide as always... Maybe Grit Trees are indigeneous to Ohio......

I am thankful for .....
1. a job in Ohio
2. a family that longs to be together
3. my friend who is willing to lead in kidmin
4. friends who come over at 6am to help with garage sales
5. a house to sell in Ga
6. a realator working for us in Ohio
7. amazing ways God provides for us.
8. bloggy friends -yet unmet in Ohio waiting to help us.
9. the adventure that lies ahead
10. God behind me whispering in my ear and heart
11. the hard stuff
12. the soft landings
13. grace beyond imagining
14. fall football
15. flip flops
16. crop pants
17. grits
18. Fed Ex for BBQ deliveries
19. hot chocolate
20. warm blankies
21. snowy days with God
22. happy kids
23. time with God
24. worship
25. hubby that loves and misses us
26. loving and missing hubby as much or more
27. opportunities provided to serve in kidmin
28. the opportunities ahead
29. a family to serve and minister
30. SO MUCH MORE......

Monday, June 21, 2010

God is Near- Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4-7 (New International Version)
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in the Lord for He is near. Even in times of trouble and anxiety the Lord is near. Rejoice and with thanksgiving bring the Lord my troubles and trials. Rejoice for He is near and ready to handle it all for me. This is a time to feel His presence and to allow Him to shape me into the girl He wants me to be. He is near. He hears my requests and cries, even if I feel unworthy and undeserving. He is near. Feel His peace, His comfort, His presence in my life. He is near. I can not control anything and when things seem to be on the verge of collapse or even when everything is out of control in my life, He is near. He is in control of it all. I may not understand the plan or the reasons, but He is near and He is in control. He is near. Rejoice - Again, Rejoice in it all! Even when I don't feel like rejoicing, Rejoice, He is near!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version)
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

71. My incredibly amazing and hunky husband
72. A beautiful little girl full of laughter and love
73. An adorable little boy who loves his mommy very much
74. Three devoted felines, ever patient and loyal
75. The homey and comforting feeling generated by sun as it reflects in the afternoon on the fireplace mantle
76. The diamonds created on the pond by the same sun throughout the day
77. The wildlife enjoying food, water, shelter and the freedom to play provided by the pond and the trees in our backyard
78. Safe travels for our family
79. Hubby's job
80. Anticipation of reuniting with family in summer
81. Peace and Comfort in knowing God is near
82. Comfort of soft jammies and my bed
83. Praise and worship music by Kari Jobe and Travis Cottrell
84. Resolve in being the mom, wife and child of God only I can be
85. Peace in knowing that is what my ministry really is
86. Joy in starting a new Bible study in the book of Ruth
87. Quiet reading of Southern Sister novel by Anne George
88. Hearing amazing hubby call me incredibly beautful woman and children darling before good night
89. Knowing God is near and waiting on me to decide to be still and wait on Him
90. A passion/desire for children and family ministry despite not knowing where the passion/desire should lead me
91. For each of my struggles today - I give thanks
92. My inability to control and fix things for hubby
93. God's perfect ability to control and arrange things
94. For God's perfect will for me and my precious family
95. God's love, presence and comfort by staying near to us

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First, Let Me.....

Yesterday, my Proverbs 31 Ministry devotional arrived in my inbox with Hold That Thought! as the title. I quickly scanned it and found as usual, but in a particularly strong way, it strike a chord within me. So, I printed it out with the intentions of reading it more intentionally and meditating on it later in the day- when all was quieter. At the time, one screaming baby and two rambunctious kiddos were afoot. Well, needless to say, my day quickly fell apart. At the end of the day, I had sent my first born off to her first church camp, soothed and comforted the little brother left behind, cared for a friend's newborn, picked up Co-op veges, dealt with many phone calls and computer scans that are brought on by a very nasty link sent to ALL of my contacts without my knowledge and definitely without my permission. Laundry still in the dryer, dishes in the dishwasher and sink and ministry emails unsent, devotional not read, meditated on and with the exception of a few prayers sprinted upward in the day as the chaos spilt out, time with God was again last on my list.
All that is said not because I wanted to share my crazy, harried day, but to give one snippet of the things that end up ahead of God in my life. You see, everyday I am dealing with laundry, dishes, menu, fussing, crying, needy children, some errand or other responsibility that screams for my attention and action. Everyday I end up telling God, "First, let me....then I will sit and talk to You. I will then let You talk to Me after I .....". This is exactly what Luanne Prater was talking about in her Proverbs 31 devotional. Putting God second, third, fourth, etc. on the list of things to do and He never gets to on the list.
Like a Good Bible Study Girl, I know better. I know what I need to do. But it is so stinking hard! I have quite a few things I need to change including, developing a new ability to say NO! to additional commitments no matter how good they seem to be. I need to trust others to do the jobs I have been doing. Pray for more leaders to take over some of the tasks I do. Basically, learn or execute some improved leadership skills. My priorities are upside down, inside out, backwards, twisted, out of proportions.
Am I surprised that I feel used up, dry, lost, desperate for God? God made us to need Him, to worship Him, to rely on Him for our every need. I am and have been trying to do everything on my own again and call on Him in my spare time for a that bonus time. Now I know that I can't just dump everything I am committed to or tell everyone who depends on me to deal with it. My kids and husband do need the Mommy around. But I can start by making some better choices by saying, "First, let me spend time with my Father God, then I will...... I will .......after God and I have our time together talking."
This morning as I debated getting up at 5:30am to have that time with God. (My lazy bones won. Hence, exercise and better bedtime hours are needed choices). I tuned into a station that shows nature scenes with scripture and soothing worship music. My eyes managed to focus on a verse that encouraged me to find yesterday's devotional right away.
Psalms 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
What this verse tells me that first thing in the morning I need to sit down so that God can speak to me through His Word, the Bible. I need to be reminded first thing in the morning that God's love will never be taken away from me. He is faithful to provide what I need for the day if I seek Him first (Matt. 6:33),First thing in the morning to start my day off right. He will give me the strength and ability to accomplish what I should be focused on for that day. By seeking His Will for my day, He will show me what/who needs my attention for the day. I will more likely find the blessings or "manna" from heaven that I can be joyful and thankful for throughout the day. I will be able to recognize God's presence in my life and my kids and others wil likely be able to see God do some amazing things in the midst of doing life. I just need to give God my first moments of the day.
I long so for that comfort and reasurance that only God can give. Today's Proverbs 31Ministry devotional by Lysa TerKeurst showed up in my inbox with some thoughts about that. It goes hand in hand with yesterday's thoughts and the verse from Psalms 143. Read the whole Psalm 143 though first and well, God is speaking to me. It is great when I say, "First, let me read this in the Bible, then I will ....." Please don't be offended if I put you off till later in the day or the week or even say "No, I can't". You see, I NEED God to come first in my daily, crazy, harried, busy mommy/wife/ministry leader/etc. life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swagger Wagon

This video has provided so much fun and amusement for us the last couple of weeks. It is so funny because it is so true on lots of different levels. I love the fact that I have a mini van filled with littles and their stuff. I love that hubby and I have progressed in life to raising littles. It is a ton of tiring work but wouldn't trade it in for anything. Now I can't sing or rap like these parents do but my kids do put up with my singing and think I am pretty neat most days.(They are little still). Now to get the dangling pacifier for my rearview mirror.

Plan B

Pete Wilson, Christian blogger on WithoutWax and Senior Pastor at Crosspoint Church, just came out with his first book, Plan B.
I haven't read it yet, but these quotes shared by another blogger are worth thinking about and finding encouragement and hope in God's Word that He is in charge of all things.

"We are going to all get to that place where life hurts and our hearts are broken.
We are all going to find ourselves in the middle of a Plan B… 

Being a Christian doesn’t change this reality at all.”

How do you reconcile two seemingly unmixable things--
on one side you have a God who is all loving all powerful and
on the other side, life that's full of disappointment, crisis and hurt?"

"We must be willing if necessary to abandon the life we planned and dreamed in order to receive the life that our God authored for us."

"Faith is saying I choose to believe in you, God, more than this or that tragedy."

"The choice of faith is the fundamental choice that changes everything in our Plan Bs because it changes who we become."

"The wall is the place where I must relinquish what I cling to for identity... Please understand, please prepare yourself because if you haven't come up against the wall yet, you will eventually."

When Everything Falls Apart

Life hasn't always worked out the way I had it all planned. Plan B,C,D,E,F,.....Z are often employed. I know that God's ways and plans are better than mine. I know more often than I care to admit, that I interrupt His best plans for me, with my rebellion, disobedience and independent ways.
Right now, I am struggling with trusting Him totally. I can give a lot of lip service to trust in Him always in all things. But when it comes down to it. I don't think I do a good job with trust always in all. There is that nagging fear or worry that the shoe is going to drop, the inevitable is about to happen, the worst case scenario is about to become reality that haunts me. If I am being haunted or thinking on these things do I really trust? Can I trust or rather will I trust God when everything falls apart in my world? Will it be the end of the world if things become tough, not as I planned? If my happiness, peace, security in this world relies on my plans for life, I may be in for a large dose of grief. How do I focus on God's love and provision for me? He has never failed me in the past, even when my plans so miserably failed. I know what I should do, but I need the discipline and the desire to really do it before everything does fall apart.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More than a Good Bible Study Girl

This book is an amazing book! I love Lysa' stories about the 80s and family living, but more importantly, she writes about the same issues and struggles I face in my daily walk with God. I, too, feel a lot of doubt about my relationship with God. How can I matter to Him? I am so much of a mess and a failure. Yet, Lysa helps redirect my study and thinking to God's Word. Through her writing, she challenges me to become more than a girl who has a stack of devotional books, attends/leads Bible studies, do a lot of church activities and have a completely checked off to do list. She challenges me to strive to live my faith rather than add to my resume of Good Bible Study Girl. A life with God is so much more than my check list!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Thank you,God for being my portion for times of uncertainity and worry. Spending a day in prayer rather than worry and all the side effects of such thoughts was refreshing and rewarding. You are a great God!

66. Little Man reaching for my hand when we walk.
67. Hubby reaching for my arm or shoulder when we sleep.
68. Little Man saying, "Mommy, I want to be with you forever."
Oh, if only you would and could, My sweet little one.- Mommy sighs with tears.
69. The Isaelites journey in the Wilderness and the lessons I am uncovering from their trip.
70. Quitet time again to read, reflect and pray. - I am dry and thirsty.

Lord, be my portion today. Help me to see You, hear You and know You so I can follow hard after You today!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No One Else But Jesus


No matter what my reality is, I should be able to readily count my joys and blessings.

53. Another year of life.
54. Children that want to love me and make my birthday special with gifts from their own rooms and possessions.
55. Refrigerators at church to hold my warming groceries from my officially dead refrigerator.
56.The soft hum of electricity flowing through a new and improved refrigerator.
57. The money available to make a most expensive and unexpected(not really wanted) birthday purchase.
58. Children with intelligence and academic strengths.
59. My daughter's sweet and beautiful handwriting (She is a lefty) and her gift of writing.
60. The love of books instilled in little hearts.
61. The best birthday gift given by little man- his quiet slumber on birthday day.
62. Additional 90 minutes filled with quiet commune with God in 2 Chronicles and beyond.
63. The gift of God's message to me for the day.
64. Another day of employment for hubby.
65. Plans change resulting in hubby home for my birthday. -Just having him here is enough.

Psalm 36:5-10a
5 Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
9 For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.

10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;

Colossians Chapter 1

Colossaians 1:4-6 (NLT)
4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

Colossians 1:5a (The Message)
The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.

Purpose of life? What is my purpose or role? Of course, a lot does depend on Dana's employment. Here is what I know though. My faith is weak. I am not obedient as I should be as a result of my weak faith and trust in God. I like to think that I have it all in my power and control to decide and manage life. Right! With my disobedient and poor decisions come great and severe consequences. So worry, guilt, shame and even worse mount up against me and leave me feeling powerless and just stuck-unmotivated. I am faced with acknowledging that the source of my anxiety (no peace), my joylessness, my irritablity (no gentleness, patience, kindness or mercy) is that I am not close to God! That is a horrible thing to admit. Sure, I can say all the right words and seem holy. Sure, I can keep myself beyond busy with God-related activities but it is all hollow- empty!
Where is the hope? I know Jesus and the Good News from the time I was a child. But I have lost sight of the faith and the hope and the fruit found from being close to Jesus.

Colossians 1:9-12 (NLT)

9 ... We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,[a] 12 always thanking the Father...

I need and want in my life:
Knowledge of God's Will
Spiritual Wisdom
to Know the way to live so that God is honored and pleased
Produce Good Fruit - peace, joy, kindness, love,etc.
Know God better and better- Abide with Him, Curl up and intimately know Him
Be strengthened
See God's Glorious Power
Have joy, endurance and patience.

"ASK" - translated pray. Lord, please help me to know and understand Your Will for me and for my family.I want to follow Your Will for my role and purpose. I need lots of wisdom: Wisdom to raise kids, lead ministry, be a godly wife, be a faithful, loving and obedient daughter to You. Please reveal to my heart and mind how I should live to glorify and honor You in my family's lives and in my home. I want to be known by my patience, my kindness, my gentleness and my love. Not by the lack of it all. I want my family to benefit and be blessed by the fruits of the Spirit. Help me in my thirst and desire for knowing You more intimately so that I can be strengthened by Your glorious power and have teh endurance and patience to withstand life's difficulties and my failures. Help me to find and count the joys in life no matter what my reality is for each day. Remind me of the hope I have from faith and knowledge of You and life to come. You are a faithful God, loving and providing for me always. You have never failed me or disappointed me. You are glorious and wondeful. I do love You, God! How awesome You are. Thank You for Your faithfulness and provision for my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

The Valley of Berachah

Often as I check in with the blogs I have kept as my favorites or get the few remaining blog updates in my inbox, I read something that bears further thought and study. If I am lucky, that happens sometime during that day. Otherwise, I get to it when I stumble across my notes about what I read. Which is what happened yesterday. I had every intention of journaling about what I read in Colossians (thanks to Lysa TerKeurst's online discussion study of said book) when I stumbled across some scribbled notes about powerlessness, victory and bridges in 2 Chronicles 20:1-24. I was drawn to these notes as I am feeling somewhat powerless over what the future of Dana's employment with this company and what exactly am I suppose to do in life - Did I mention that yesterday was my 43rd birthday? That sounds so old and I feel so immature and uncertain like a young girl. Where, oh, where, is maturity and confidence? I digress.
So I wanted to know more about how to experience victory over powerlessness. The story picks up with Jehoshaphat looking at the armies of Moab and the armies of the Ammonites among OTHERS about to attack the Israelites. Can you imagine so many against you at one time? Well, I can. That is my life! My weaknesses, my sin, insecurities, trials and worries of mothering two blessings, household management in this economy with the threat of unemployment, tying to be a better wife that someone like Dana deserves plus the demands and expectations of children's minsitry - Don't even go there with the feelings of failure and inadequacey! I feel such immense powerlessness just as the Jehoshaphat must have.

Look at what happens in 2 Chronicles 20:4-24 NIV (with some editing by me)

4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD.....6 and said:
"O LORD, Our God .... You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. ......9b we will stand in your presence ....and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.' .....

12 O our God, ... we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

There is the POWERLESSNESS! I do not know what to do, Lord!

15 ..... This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. .... 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, .... Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "

20.... Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith ... and you will be successful." 21 .....sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness ....
"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever."

This is the BRIDGE! The way to victory!

22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against (the enemies), and they were defeated. 23 .... destroyed and annihilated.

25 .... plunder,... more than they could take away.... 26 ....assembled in the Valley of Beracah (Valley of Praises), where they praised the LORD.

27 Then, .... (all) returned joyfully ...., for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

Here is the VICTORY! Overcoming and conquering the enemies of my life!

What I get from this passage is this reminder-- My battles are not mine alone. The battle belongs to God, who is all powerful and mighty to conquer! I am powerless to conquer my enemies, the battles and trials of my life alone. I am constantly trying to go it alone and take care of everything alone. I always end up defeated, pushed down and pushed back. Defeated with only more pity, more frustration, more discouragement and more fear. The battle belongs to God, who is all powerful and mighty to conquer!

Here is the sad part of everything- I know who is my Savior and my Protector. I know what I should do to get help but I don't... sigh

Look what Jehoshaphat reminds me to do... Look to God, Seek Him. Alone I don't have a clue as to what to do or how to manage but God does. God, I am sorry for when I don't cry out to You. I don't trust You to take care of everything. I should know that You are always here for me-always! I am sorry that I get so afraid and so incredibly discouraged about so much of my life! I don't want to be afraid and discouraged! I want to be able to stand firm and watch You do Your mighty and glorious work in my life and in the lives of my family! Amen

I do not have a passive role in this battle. I should be praising God! I should be watching and recognizing the power, might and splendor of God at work and praising Him for all of His love for me and my family!

The means of my leaving my powerlessness behind me and moving on to victory- PRAISES! PRAISES and thanksgiving to God for His love endures forever. His love will last and always be present no matter what! I must turn my sight, my focus to Him, have faith and be aware of His glorious work in my life. PRAISE GOD! I should be living in the Valley of Beracah ! I should name the things I am grateful for daily despite my circumstances, despite my reality. PRAISE GOD!

Victory will be mine because God will ambush, destroy, annihilate my worries, my frustrations, my sin, my weaknesses, my failures, my lack of faith and trust, my insecurities. I will no long be powerless over these things, but finding victories in life because the I stood firm, sought God with faith and watched and praise Him for His love, might and power endure forever. The Valley of Beracah sounds like a lovely place to be settled. Praises and joy that comes from seeking and focusing on God's glory and work in my life against my enemeies. It is time to cross that bridge from powerlessness to victory against the enemies of my life.

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NET)
Stay alert. Stand firm in the faith. Show courage.Be strong.

Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)
O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

Psalm 63:1-5

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


43. A few stolen moments to blog.
44. A speedy appliance repairman.
45. Kind, understanding and knowledgable nurses at pediatricians.
46. A few stolen moments to scrapbook.
47. Sweet birthday wishes.
48. Children and hubby that love me despite my weaknesses.
49. A loving and merciful God who fills in my gaps. 2 Corinthians 12:9
50. Sunshine and the fresh new buds of new life- Spring is coming!
51. Another book study with Lysa TerKeurst- Colossians this time!
52. God's provision- Each day thankful for another day of employment for Dana.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl

Flashback to this past August, 2009. I was traveling six hours with my hubby and kids to visit my family and take my mom to a Beth Moore simulcast. Right before we left, my preordered and much anticipated book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl arrived in the mail. Woohoo!!! The van packed with my sweet little ones and their DVDs and a loving hubby to do all the driving and we set off. I opened my book before we got out of the driveway and settled in for the drive. For almost 6 hours I spent some girl time with my bloggy friend, Lysa TerKeurst, and reminisced about the 80s. Like, is there any other decade?! I read and reread and underlined - okay, underlining was kind of hard in a moving van, but I marked all of the words that were so me. Needless to say, there was a lot of marking going on. I even read sections aloud to my patient hubby who loves me so much that he let me read on this long trip. Did I mention that he willingly took on full kid duty all of Friday night and Saturday morning while I was at the simulcast? Anyway, I got a great hunk - much better than Rick Springfield and Tom Selleck combined!
I had read What Happens When Women Say Yes to God earlier in the year and had written on an index card a prayer that Lysa shared in that book. She shared it again in this new book: "God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. So that I can follow hard after You everyday." This prayer is now my daily prayer. I actually repeat it a few times a day. I realized as I read this book that my actions and my words may appear to be set on God. I do a lot of children's and MOPS ministry work every week but my one on one, just me and God relationship was not at all where it should be, especially if I am a ministry leader. Using Colossians 3:1-2, Lysa reminded me that my heart and my mind should be set on God. His truth should should totally change me. I should not be the same if I am getting my heart and mind daily set in God's Word and His Will for me.
Despite all my efforts and good intentions with children's ministry and MOPS, I was never filling totally satisfied. I was trying to find my signifigance through these good and Godly things, but I was unfullfilled. I felt like a fake and not effective in these ministries. I could say all the right words and even be sincere, however, deep down in my inner most parts, I knew that I was, as Lysa said, a hollow woman, not a holy one. Jesus was the only thing that could satisfy and fullfill me, but I was not there with Him. My time with Jesus was crowded out by all the many demands of motherhood, children's ministry, MOPS, just daily living. I put getting ready for Sunday morning children's programming and MOPS meetings ahead of my daily time with God and even my family. To make matters worse, Sundays were so crazy busy that I didn't get out of the children's department to go to worship. I was depleted and not finding any source of refreshment from God. I made some really not great decisions and my unhappiness and frustration with myself only increased. So I buried myself in more ministry and good deeds for others to find my fullfillment and satisfaction with life, with myself. Now armed with my daily prayer of seeking God, anticipating hearing from Him and expecting to know His Will for me has challenged me to intentionally make my time with God a priority and a special time of the morning. I am not perfect at keeping my daily appointment with Him. Kids waking often in the night make it hard to get up at 5am. But I really miss and long for that time of quiet conversation with God when I don't sit with Him in the mornings.
Lysa is the kind of friend I would want to take shopping with me. She would not be afraid to tell me that those much coveted tapered leg Zena jeans don't look good on me. I know this because she is the kind of friend who challenged me and told me with all honesty that despite all the wonderful ministry things I did, Bible studies and conferences I attended, how godly my husband was, etc. that I needed to make some personal changes with my relationship with God. I need an undivided heart. Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth;give me an undivided heart , that I may fear your name."On the return trip home, I was reading the chapter, "Unlikely Lessons From a Pineapple" when a God thing happened. For several weeks, verses regarding waiting kept cropping up in daily devotionals from Proverbs 31 Ministries and other places. Beth Moore shared at the simulcast about waiting on God from Psalms 37. Then I read about David and Goliath in Chapter 6. David was sent back to the fields after being annointed king to wait on God's timing. Here again in the midst of this book, I was hit again with the notion that I need to wait on God. Allow Him to prepare me where I was with the things I needed to do what He had in store for me. I was in tears on I-65. I so wanted to hear and know more about God's Will for me. I longed to climb up in His lap and have Him reassure me that I was loved and He had it all in control. I didn't have to worry and try to arrange everything all on my own.
Fast Forward to March, 2010. I have read this book twice now. I laughed and cried through this book. Each reading uncovered another challenge and discrepancy in my relationship with God. Yet, I was encouraged to keep going and seeking Him because He was waiting for me and wanting me to come closer. The decisions and my attitude is not always the best still, but I am filling myself and arming myself with God's Word. I am letting it rearrange me, change me and it feels great. Psalm 119:30-32, "I have chosen the way of the truth: I have set my heart on Your laws. I hold fast to Your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free."
I posted some entries in October and Novemeber about the first three chapters as I participated in an online study. Life happens and prevented further postings but I continued with writing my thoughts and prayers in my journal. I am so excited to lead two groups in a study with Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl beginning this week! This book has blessed me and continues to bless me and I pray that the women who read this book are as challenged to be more than just a good Bible study girl.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Oh, for the grace and mercy of my heavenly Father! He is faithful to me!

I give you all the credit, God- You got me out of that mess(again for today), You didn't let (Satan gloat over my sins). God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave (one I dug myself), gave me another chance (for today) when I was down-and-out. All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank Him face to face! He gets angry once in awhile (as well He should with me) but across (my) lifetime there is (and has been) only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter...... I called out to You, O God; I laid my case before You; ....So listen! and be kind! Help me out of this! You did it(again); You changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst out with song; I can't keep quiet about You. God, my God, I can't thank You enough. Psalm 30 (The Message) parantheses are mine.

God is a faithful God. He has always proven faithful to me. I often didn't understand and don't always understand why things happen. When my parents encountered another Christian who dealt them a bad, dishonest business agreement with no recourse for justice in this world which resulted in lots of financial difficulties for our family, God was faithful and provided and provided! Praise God!
When I left home for the very first time to teach out of state even! God provided the most amazing school principal - he proclaimed Jesus to the graduating fifth graders and their families - in a public school with the superintendent there! What a testimony to his faith! I knew during the phone interview to set up the face to face interview that this was the man I wanted to work for and with. God provided the opportunity and the peace within my heart to say "YES!". Over and over during those three years, God proved, such as with that first graduation ceremony, His provision to be faithful for my good. God provided through one relationship to be faithful in leading me to discover the man He chose for my lifelong friend and partner in life. While the pain is almost unbearable in the midst of the death of a relationship, He was faithful in providing good friends who loved me and were supportive, including the man, I later married. So much more to that story and yes, the guy I broke up with was in our wedding. Afterall, he was a good friend to both my darling, hunky man and to me. God is faithful. When my precious Daddy died so unexpectedly while he and Momma were out of the country, God was faithful in providing Christians to minister to my mom before my brother could get to her. God is amazing! He provided so many opportunities for darling, hunky husband and I to travel for business/pleasure and to do ministry abroad and locally that we would not have been able to do if we had children. In the midst of the heart ache of infertility for eleven years, God was faithful. He was faithful in answering the desires of our hearts and prayers with two amazing children! Oh, my God is faithful! Even today, God is faithful in hearing my pleas and prayers. Despite my sin, my rebellion, my unworthiness of His mercy, forgiveness and love, He is faithful! My God is faithful! I praise Him for this day and His faithfulness today!

Today I am grateful for:
36. Another day with a job!
37. Sunshine to play outside in.
38. Hot dogs and hair cuts with my little man.
39. Beth Moore's wise words from Psalm 37.
40. God's faithfulness and love for someone such as I.
41. Warm bubble baths and hot tea.
42. My hunky, darling husband who has such faith- How I deserved him? God must think that I am precious to be given so great a man.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


In the midst of struggles, busyness and just living each day, I am trying to name the things, people, events, and feelings that I am thankful for. I hope to be able to name at least 1000 by the end of the year. This would be a small sampling of everything I should and am thankful for- all good gifts from my Faithful God.

27. Another day with a job.
28. A super pediatrician and his office staff.
29. Antibiotics that will kill the ear infection.
30. Surviving the dentist with sick little one.
31. Being reminded how hard but how amazing it was to be a new mom to new itty bitties.
32. Longing for time with God in worship and prayer.
33. Friends who pray for you.
34. The need for tears to flow and the relief when they finally do.
35. Sunshine reflecting on the pond on a chilly winter day.

God is good and faithful. "If I keep my eyes on God, I won't trip over my own feet. Look at me and help me! I'm all alone and in big trouble. ...Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble; Don't let me down when I run to you." Psalm 25:15-16;20 (The Message)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As Trish Berg described it today in her post, life sometimes comes up with some blind curves. Sometimes you know that the road of life has potential blind curves and you do nothing to prepare for them. They end up catching you off guard, unprepared. Those are the kind that I get so frustrated with myself about. That is the kind of blind curve I am in right now. I just don't know how tight of a curve it is yet. I know that God is faithful and trustworthy. He hears me and yet His ways probably are not my ways. I have witnessed His loving provision in the past. Yet, I don't feel worthy of His care and concern. My rebellion and wretchedness is so great that I feel selfish, self-centered, a bit of spoiled brat coming to Him with my pleas. But I still want to have faith and trust that He will guide me through this nasty stretch of road to a straight and more scenic and relaxing drive. God is good.

John Piper in Future Grace writes, "There is a sense in which gratitude and faith are interwoven joys that strengthen each other. As gratitude joyfully revels in the benefits of past grace, so faith joyfully relies on the benefits of future grace. Therefore when gratitude for God’s past grace is strong, the message is sent that God is supremely trustworthy in the future because of what he has done in the past. In this way faith is strengthened by a lively gratitude for God’s past trustworthiness."

God is a faithful God. He has never changed, nor will He ever. When I can see or remember God's faithfulness in all circumstances, it should be easier for me to give thanks.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:16-17

That same verse in The Message says: "Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
Today I am grateful for:

19. Another day with a job.
20. Energetic children.
21. A picture by DD that says she loves me because she is my little girl.
22. A day of building puzzles with my little man.
23. A day of prayer and crying out to my faithful Savior.
24. Psalms 25.
25. Bloggy friends who pray for me.
26. Winning a gift basket of Johnson and Johnson cocoa butter oil and lotion. Mmmmmm! I need that. God is good.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

God Who Are You? Bible Study

Who is God to me? This is a question I have been mulling over all week as I have undertaken this great online study. I don't know if all of my thoughts will totally make sense to anyone else.
Who is God to me? I have thought how I have viewed Him over my 40 plus years and how I view Him today.
God has always seemed larger than life to me. He is this huge presence that is watching me and keeping up with my good and bad deeds. He is ready to punish me or make things difficult when I don't do what is right. He provides for me wonderfully when I do what is good and right. I was afraid of Him - He knew my thoughts and words before I even thought or said them. With all of this though, I knew He loved me and I loved Him and wanted to please Him.
Then I understood more about the Trinity and the songs, "Jesus Is All the World to Me" and "Anywhere with Jesus", became my themed songs. I sung them all the time. What comfort and peace I felt when I sang these songs to myself and thought about the words. Jesus was my forever friend- He was my everything.
Now, I view God as my Creator and giver of life. He provided a way for my salvation. He is the only one that can provide me with the security and comfort that I need. He is the only one that can know me through and through. However, I still disappoint Him by not trusting Him totally. I take back control of my life decisions over and over thus falling into sin. I am stubborn and willful and do lots of things I know are not beneficial. I deserve any punishment, discipline, negative consequences as a result of my decisions. I still fear Him but also so love being able to crawl up into His lap and lay it all before Him. He is the Great Comforter- My Daddy - My Forever Friend.
I know of His great love for me because He has given me an amazing man for my lifelong partner in marriage (one I don't deserve) and after so many years of infertility, in His perfect timing, God has given me two awesome and beautiful children. I have been blessed by my Heavenly Father for reasons I don't quite understand because I am not deserving. I just know that despite my own failings, He never fails me- He is still all the world to me and I will go anywhere He leads me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

God Who Are You? Bible Study

An online Bible study is getting underway this week! If you stumbled into my little blog, you can learn more about the study, download the study guide and view the weekly video here.... http://www.titus2atthewell.com/ I am anxious to join in as I really feel the need for feeding from God's Word. It is funny how I can be involved in ministry and lead ministry and even studies, yet I don't seem satisfied. Perhaps it is my own weakness that I don't take the time I need to really commune with God. I am getting chapters read and notes made for the next meeting. It has all become just another to do on my endless lists. My prayer is that this study will be a time without deadlines, a time when I can escape for a little while to the computer to watch the video and then spend my few minutes of quite time thinking, reading and praying about who God is amd how He fits into my life.

I am Mary Lynn, a so called stay-at-home mom of two (ages 4 and 6), Little Man is still at home and busting with energy and enthusiasm for all things mechanical, bouncing, and with wheels. Little Princess is in kindergarten. She is a very good student but would prefer to be home wearing her tiaras and playing with most things girlie- growing up is hard - for her and mommy. I am married for the last 18 years to my Prince Charming and best friend. I consider myself extremely blessed with a wonderful family. Currently, I keep way too busy with leading a MOPS ministry. I am retiring after this year as my season of life is changing rapidly. The majority of my "free" time is spent leading the early childhood ministry at our growing church. Getting everyone scheduled, and getting worship and small groups set up for Sunday services is a full time job. I have been put in a place where I can serve and influence in an area that I feel passionate about. However, I often feel torn between being a better mom and wife without the distractions and obligations elsewhere and using the talents and opportunities God has given me to lead other children to a life changing relationship with their forever friend, Jesus. My prayer is that I will be able to intentionally take time each week to watch the video and make the time of reflection and prayer a priority.

Multitude Mondays

Too often I allow external and internal worries and struggles interfere with my pursuit of Joy. It is these times that I truly need to count my multitude of blessings to be reminded of how much I am loved and provided for my God. God is faithful, loving and merciful. I am grateful for that as I am by my own judgement not worthy of His love, provision and mercy.

8. God's faithfulness, love and mercy.
9. A hard working husband.
10. A husband who has a good sense of humor
11. Kids that enjoy one another.
12. God who keeps my family safe when I am not there.
13. A job that hubby enjoys.
14. A warm home.
15. Funny children.
16. Children who are very verbal and problem solvers.(Watch out school system)
17. A home full of love.
18. Late night and early morning hours of silent prayers.

God is good and provides for all my needs. Even when I focus on my own struggles and worries, He is forever faithful to me and my family. Thank you, God!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Win Rosetta Stone for your Family!

Surround your family with language. By taking them there!

Travel to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona with Homeschoolers from all over the United States. Join Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Heart of the Matter and Fusefly on the inaugural Homeschool Language Learning and Networking Trip August 2-11, 2010. Become immersed in new lands, explore history, culture, art and community. And truly speak to the world. For more details visit www.RosettaStone.com/Homeschool/LanguageLearningTrip.

Hurry, registration for the trip ends February 15, 2010.

For your chance to win a Rosetta Stone language product, please visit Heart of the Matter. Entries are being accepted until February 1st.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Multitude Mondays

holy experience

I have been on the search for joy for so long now. I think part of my problem is that I am so busy trying to survive the day and get everything done, that I don't take time each day to intentionally name the the things, my blessings, that do bring me joy. If I would take a few minutes and thank God for the good things in my life, I think that the joy would be uncovered. It has been there all along, but my rush to do life's daily events leave me frustrated, overwhelmed, impatient and full of mommy guilt. So in an effort to intentionally find joy, I am going to count my blessings as the song from my childhood says, "one by one".

1. Time with my kids at the children's museum.
2. A van that is reliable and safe for travel to and from Atlanta and beyond
3. A GPS and cell phone that work and provide me with an extra bit of security in our adventures.
4. A warm pair of fuzzy socks on a chilly January night.
5. Three beautiful and gentle kitties that love my kids as much or almost as much as they love me.
6. Kids who are crazy for animals, especially their cats.
7. A hubby who is crazy for me and his kids.

Thank you, God, for the many blessings you provide me and my family each and every hour of the day. I want to intentionally seek and name the blessings so that I can give You thanks for them and teach my children to be thankful for their blessings. I want greater joy in life and it is found in You alone. Amen.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Goals

Okay,I have said this in the soooo many times in the past, "I am going to get organized in my life!". I have made charts, calendars, schedules, plans and plans on how to fit everything into a 24/7 life with 2 kids. But trying to schedule housework, scrapbooking, time with God, play and instructional time with kids, time with hubby, exercise, cooking, sleep, laundry, all the many, many tasks for MOPS and the children's ministry can't be done. Life happens. A kid is sick, daddy is out of town, a special event happens, headaches, just tired, so tired happens. I get bogged down, overwhelmed and all things slow to almost a halt. The only thing that continues to move somewhat is children's ministry because it will happen somehow each week and tons of kids are affected. So sad other people's kids get the better part of me than my own. Do you feel the mommy guilt heaped on me?

So scheduling each hour is out of the question, but I can organize each day generally and set some goals for the day. Flexiblity is important but so is consistency.
An idea from another mommy blogger is to spend no more, yes, set the timer-kind of 5 minutes on each room a day, except the kitchen, which gets 15 minutes. Do the surface stuff. No deep cleaning. That is saved for another day. After 5 minutes move on. This should be about an hour during the day and can happen at any point- morning, afternoon, evening, whenever there is time in that day's schedule. All the rooms don't even have to be done at the same time! Also, give myself permission to do something halfway. So what if all of the kids toys aren't in the absolute correct bin? At least they are picked up. I don't have to have everything completeley organized perfectly. Everything has a home,yes, but sometimes it can be a messy home.

Taking the 90 Day Bible Challenge is helping me take time to read the Bible. I do get behind, but I don't stress. I just get myself caught up and try again. Exercise and eating better is a little harder. I need to just do it early in the morning. I am eating out of the pantry and freezer for this month so whatever is there is going to be eaten.

Time at the computer is needing to be limited. This means MOPS, children's ministry and my own personal blog reading and writing (not that I write a lot here- MOPS is another story) will be affected. I believe this is my biggest time stealer. So getting a timer an sticking to it at specific times of the day is important.

So I have specific goal areas to work on. All of this, hopefully, will result in the ultimate goal of my family having a more fun, loving, patient, present, happy wife and mom and happy and clean home to rest in.

The verse I am using as my motto this year is from Colossians 3:17. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

My plan for the year is to pray this everyday at meal times(easy way for me to remember) and let all of my activities, speech and attitudes be a reflection of God's Will -to His glory and with thanksgiving to God for the challenges, blessings, opportunities and joys.

Happy New Year!