Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Upside Down

I sit down to write because I've let too many days pass since the last time I was here. But, is that a good enough reason? I've not felt inspired, moved, or encouraged to write. I've felt drained and lifeless. What does one write from a tank that is not full? from a life that lacks inspiration? from a heart that is beginning to just feel like giving up?

I have nothing to write that would inspire anyone. have nothing to write that would encourage anyone. I have nothing to write that would make someone smile, or said otherwise, "turn their frown upside down".

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I remember being a young girl and dreaming of my wedding day and the life of "happily ever after". As I find myself generations removed from those dreams that sprang from the blissful ignorance of the unknown and from the naivete' of not understanding that dreams usually don't match reality, I am faced with the realization that the cause and effect of life strikes a deeper blow to the core of who we are than most of us care to admit.

Once, I believed that a year of planning, months of shopping, and a church filled the ones you loved would write the script for the happy ending. that a beautiful gown, a blusher veil and flawless make-up and hair would prepare the way for a life of white picket fences, 2.2 kids, a dog and the perfect partner with whom one would grow old.

Oh, how the dreams of the innocent differ from the realities of life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Perspective Granted

"And sometimes I envy that blissful ignorance [of fresh love, awaiting marriage, untested by trials]. But then I don't. Because a love that cannot be quenched by many waters is more valuable. And that's what I have. A refined love. An action love. The kind of love that took Jesus to the cross. I know that love because I know heartache in love. I know sacrifice in love. I know death in love. Father, You think that's a gift. So I thank You for my hardships! And for this true love that quiets all my expectations. This love makes me more like You."

It's perspective like this - one that my heart desires yet hasn't yet asked for - that I know is brought to me because of God's heart for me to be less like me and more like Him.

Do you, Coli, know how often you bring perspective to me, unbeknownst to you, when I dare to open up my world through words? You are so committed to reading my rants and so good at bringing clarity to my - often times - cloudy eyes.

Thank You, my SisNBff, for doing what you do best... Being a Friend!!!!

Expectations Unmet

Hope and hopelessness
I both watched it and lived it all in the same day
Some eyes radiated joy
Where others showed no signs of life
A room filled with current strangers
Offered the potential of future friends
My heart is saddened by the heaviness of heartache
While being uplifted by the freshness of new love
Though I'm not that far removed
From my new beginnings
Life has crept in like a thief in the night
And stolen precious jewels
Not the ones I wear around my neck
But the jewels I treasure in my heart


Leaving in its wake a constant reminder
of Expectations Unmet
Words of affirmation can fill a heart in one moment
A love tank is full
And a smile is returned
The umbrella of Expectations Unmet safely tucked away for now
Hours pass as we walk in the borrowed happiness of
Two hearts' anticipation for their future
We've watched love grow from afar
And now we're in the midst of celebrating it
But even celebration can't completely cover
The dose of reality that is birthed
from Expectations Unmet
An afternoon of sunshine and smiles
Where revelations were shared and hearts revealed
Has turned into a nighttime of darkness
Where Pandora's Box of the Past
Has once again replaced

strain for Love
heaviness for Joy
chaos for Peace
quick fuses for Patience
harsh words for Kindness
judgment for Goodness
hard hearts for Gentleness
and damage for Self-control

How do I escape the baggage of my past
Of actions and reactions conditioned in me by life
Is it really as easy as climbing into the coffin of daily sacrifice
The one I drag behind me instead of crawling into
When will the line I walk
Of selfishness over selflessness
Cease to exist
My days dawn with the fresh breath of new life
Yet so often they end with the toxic fumes of my struggles

and Expectations Unmet

Re-Presenting Life

A room full of so many hearts broken
While one radiates the glow of new life
Too many still lonely
A few entangled in the bitterness of envy
While they ask the question, "Why not me?"
Others drown in the sea of Unknown
Clinging to the life raft of the renewed hope in her eyes
Time is a constant reminder
Of years passing by
Of life and love lost
So many stories lie behind their eyes
Of vows broken, promises unkept
Yet still she shines in the midst of it all
Her heartache has been healed
By the promise of her Savior
For a future and a hope
Of the plans He knew He had for her
Plans for him... Plans for them
And the promise of love forever
Sealed by a covenant of words
By a vow of, "I Do and I Will"
How dichotomous life can be
When perspectives of opposite ends looms great
Where mountain top highs and death valley lows
Are so obviously represented in the space of one room
Eager expectation shines new for her future of tomorrows
While hopelessness belies the facade so many others want to hide
Only You, Father, can
Restore hope to the hopeless
Renew faith for the faithless
Reveal life in the mirror of lifelessness
Redeem love for the loved-less
She is Your shining star today
Representing restoration, renewal, revelation and redemption
May the reality of her past heartache
And the present of her life anew
Mix with the anticipation of her future days
To bring glory and honor to You
And hope to those who celebrated with her
And all that she represents

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My heart has heard You say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming." ~Psalm 27:8

Last night, after a long day of accomplishing so much - the list of To Do's seemed endless - I breathed a sigh of relief that what I had set out to do, and even more, was finally completed... and it was only 11:00pm. Only 11pm? My busy day was behind me. Well, 99% of it was. I had focused my energies in a purposeful way and had placed check marks next to the list of tasks that constantly run through my head. Done, done, done, done...

And yet, as I sat for a couple minutes finally thinking of nothing - it had been the first time all day - that small voice that I know so well spoke to me, "Get your Bible".

(It's ironic how hearing God's voice can instantly stir two opposite emotions in me - one of excitement that I've just heard God, and the other of guilt that God had to remind me to come spend time with Him. It brings to mind the picture of an angel whispering in my ear as my heart responds with joy to the holy message. And then my enemy wastes not even a second to whisper in my other ear; questioning me, condemning me, making me feel shame over the joy of hearing from my Savior.)

So, I opened my Bible and my heart was prompted to turn to the Psalms and read the one that matched last night's date... Psalm 27. As I read, verse 8 stuck out to me...

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming."

This morning I woke up with the need to start my day with the Lord. Oh, it wasn't but a couple months ago that I woke up daily with the overwhelming need to be in front of God, to hear His voice, to spend time soaking up His presence with worship. But lately, since God has been showering blessing after blessing upon us, that need has faded - bit by bit - until it was only a thought that crossed my mind. I won't lament about that now. I'll just say that even though I often recognized this crisis, I did nothing about the fact that I was allowing myself to become complacent, lazy... self-sufficient.

As I sat in my living room, I opened back up to Psalm 27 and read it again. I listened to a couple praise songs and then was strongly drawn to the outdoors. I picked up my laptop, my earphones, my Bible and my cup o' Joe and headed out my back door. It was warm already. The sun was shining, but it felt good. I instantly knew that God had called my heart and was going to meet me.

I chose my songs, pushed play and closed my eyes. The sun's warmth was at my back and a cool breeze drifted over me. It took but seconds for my heart to be lifted to the heavenlies; to be drawn into God's presence. The only way this moment could have been better is if it was taking place while sitting on cool sand and watching ocean waves roll into shore, one by one.

Singing to the lyrics that I know so well, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Then it happened.

As I sang, "Sweep me away in your love, where nothing else matters", I was reminded of the burden I was choosing to carry; the burden of self-sufficiency and complacency, task lists, and all of my want-to's and supposed need-to's. And in that same moment, Jesus came and removed it all from me. By doing this, He allowed me to feel - for the first time in two months - the full joy of being in His presence... where nothing else matters.

Tears rollin down my face
because of Your mercy and tender embrace
The peace that just overflows
It's here that I know You have been waiting
To sweep me away in your love...
Where nothing else matters

As I finished this song, Jesus moved me on to the next one, where He broke me in the most tender way that I have ever been broken. So sweetly did He do this, that the pain that came from breaking my stubborn heart felt good... necessary. My heart itself wasn't breaking, the self-imposed, reinforced shell of "fear, self-protection, stubbornness and selfishness" was falling off, like shelves of polar ice fall into a waiting ocean of forgiveness, love, mercy and grace.

Here in Your hands, You have remade me...
All of my heart I give you now
Laying aside my fears and doubt
You are the life from which I draw my breath
Breaking my heart, You beckon me
Desperate for You I ever cling
You are the hope for which I gain my strength
I have been Remade

As I sang these words, my heart was overwhelmed by a flood of varying emotions that rushed in like a set of waves that couldn't wait to break on shore. Sobs of hurt, guilt, anger and shame poured out of me as the wall I had built, brick by brick, came crashing down. I literally could not control my tears. From within the deepest part of me, my spirit cried over the condition of my soul. But in the moments that followed, I no longer felt the condemnation of my complacent choices; instead, I felt the longing for Jesus that had been missing. My Spirit so greatly missed the companionship of my Savior. I then cried over the relationship and fellowship I had chosen so carelessly to place on the shelf of "tomorrow".

God has placed in me an incredible capacity to go deep with Him through worship. When I'm lost in worship, my Spirit connects with Him in ways for which I can't seem to find words. It's this initial call to worship that moves me into a greater prayer life and a deeper desire for God's Word; and also changes my heart perspective from me to Him. And yet, it's this door to His throne room that I closed without thought of the repercussions to my soul. God didn't remove the door, I simply kept choosing not to open it.

Instead, I chose the other doors... the ones marked "Tasks", "Chores" and "To Do". I also gladly walked through the doors marked "Fun", "Family" and "Relaxation". Ironically, none of these doors can be labeled as bad choices because all of them have their place of necessity in my life. Unfortunately, what I chose to ignore was the ginormous warning sign that preceded these doors...


God has shown me today that the choices I've made lately - selfish, self-centered, self-focused and self-reliant choices - have kept me from the very source of life that feeds me and from being the very person He created me to be.

Today, I have been Remade... Again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

@ 16%

My battery’s at 16%. Yes, that's the truth; probably much more figurative even though it's quite literal.

I need to plug in
The red line shouts my immediate need
What's left won't last long
What's been used can't be restored
Without tapping into the source of power
It's my choice
Keep pushing on with what remains
Knowing the inevitable outcome
Or spend the time plugged in
To get back to 100%

The needs of my computer are a complete mirror to the needs of my spiritual life... yet the process in which one gets recharged vs. the other couldn't be more opposite. The one I tend too without thought because all I have to do is plug in and walk away, go about my day and return to it fully charged without any effort on my part. The other requires me to stop my world - the obligations, the to do lists, the want to's and need to's - and make the time to listen, pray, read, sing and just be still.

I have only so much battery to run on before I drain it completely - before I have nothing left.

Life would be so much "easier" if I could get recharged the same way my computer does... just plug in and go about my day without any effort, without any thought, without any loss of time.

Today I know that, just like my computer, my "spiritual battery" is red-lining. I see the immediate need and I know the inevitable outcome. And yet, despite my knowledge, my head still is urging me to squeeze as much as I can out of that 16% and tackle my list of to do's.

After all, I can plug in when I get to 2%, can't I?

Friday, July 18, 2008

P.S. I Love You

I'm still in the midst of watching the movie P.S. I Love You but I had to open my laptop and write a quick blog. I'm amazed that the last time I blogged was back in June, but I won't lament about that now otherwise it would lead me down a rabbit trail that I didn't intend to follow.

Teighlor watched this movie a couple days ago and told me that it was cheesy, so my intent was to return it to Blockbuster before I watched it myself. I'm glad I didn't. The movie isn't some Oscar winner with a script destined for a place in history, but it struck something inside me as I watched it... the theme that God has been teaching me this week - the theme that began Sunday in church - "live for each today".

I miss my husband. He's been gone for a day and night in Wisconsin, which isn't so long in the grand scheme of time, but this movie has made me realize that every today includes him; not that I didn't think that it did before but it reminded me that too many times I take today for granted. I take so many of the little moments - the touches, the glances, the smiles - for granted and I shouldn't.

A cheesy movie somehow strikes a chord in me that reminds me - as God has been impressing - that I am to live my "each today" as abundantly as He imagined it.

Tonight I emailed my Groom the lyrics to a song from this movie. It was such a sweet song that I wanted to include those lyrics here to remember.

I just want to see you
When you're all alone
I just want to catch you if I can
I just want to be there
When the morning light explodes
On your face it radiates
I can't escape
I love you till the end

I just want to tell you nothing
You don't want to hear
All I want is for you to say
Why don't you just take me
Where I've never been before
I know you want to hear me
Catch my breath
I love you till the end

I just want to be there
When we're caught in the rain
I just want to see you laugh, not cry
I just want to feel you
When the night puts on its cloak
I'm lost for words don't tell me
All I can say
I love you till the end

P.S. My Groom, I love You Till the End...

Sunday, June 22, 2008


It's 1:50 in the morning on Sunday and I'm sitting here at the kitchen table because I can't sleep. I can't sleep because I am restless. I am restless because my mind is turning. My mind is turning because today something alarmed me. Something alarmed me because Anthony had a moment at the water park that caused me to think that some thing's not right with him physically.

So, tonight after we watched The Bucket List, I listened to him talk to me and I heard something in his voice that made me believe he thought something was wrong, too. When we rolled over to go to sleep I began to pray. Almost immediately I was reminded of the Habitation service coming up next Sunday - a week from now. I was reminded that this Habitation service is one of healing - of what kind and to what extent, we do not know - but it's a service of healing nonetheless.

Was God reminding me for a purpose? Was that His way of confirming that something is wrong and that He plans on healing Anthony? What should have reassured me only made me think more.

And after sharing this with Anthony I had this strong sense that God wanted me to get up because He had something to say to me. I listened to a worship song, had a moment of dealing with the dog and then felt pushed to read Skip's devotion from yesterday... one I had already deleted from my inbox without reading it. This is what it said... this is what God wanted to say to me...

but Jesus was asleep Matthew 8:24

Asleep – Without saying a word, Jesus still reflects an Old Testament perspective on life. To sleep in the midst of a storm reveals complete confidence in the sovereignty of God, just as the Scripture suggests in Leviticus 26:6 (lying down with no concern about trouble), Job 11:18-19 (resting securely) and Psalm 3:5 (the Lord protects the righteous even in sleep). Jesus is the Old Testament man even when He is doing nothing at all.

Sleep is perhaps the truest indicator of our confidence in God. You know this whenever you observe a small child sleeping. No cares, no worries, no wrinkles on the face, the child enters into a refreshing rest confident that someone else is taking care of the world. How tragic it is when children are robbed of this great blessing from God due to circumstances of life! How wonderful to be reminded that God watches over a child in spite of the vulnerability. But too often, we think, “I wish I could sleep like that.” We have allowed the care of the world and the deceit of riches to rob us of God’s outpouring of grace, found only when our eyes are closed.

The disciples couldn’t imagine how Jesus could sleep in the midst of such danger. Jesus couldn’t imagine how they could be so concerned when they were in the presence of God. It’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Most of our stormy Mondays are really a matter of misaligned perspective. Once we forget that God is absolutely sovereign, we are vulnerable to all the chaos around us. That noise and confusion shouts only one message, “Be afraid!” That’s when we need to notice that Jesus is asleep in the boat. His life is governed by the tender care and total control of the Father. If we rest in the Father’s arms, there isn’t a single storm in all the world that can disturb our refreshing slumber.

I remember years ago sitting in the bedroom of my oldest son when he was about three years old. He was sleeping so soundly. His face was radiantly relaxed. He was perfectly at ease. I was weeping. My life wasn’t at all like his. My life was full of sorrow, regret and remorse. My life was chaotic, and that chaos would eventually touch him. I knew even then that my sins were spinning out of control and it was only a matter of time before his tender slumber would be turned into nightmares – all because I was falling apart. I can remember that time like it was yesterday. My tears were not for me. They were for my son. My sins robbed him of his innocence. Within a few months, I was divorced. His life was never the same. Neither was mine. The pain of that lost sleep still haunts me, after nearly thirty years. In those days I didn’t pay attention to the God who was sleeping in my storm-tossed boat. If I had only looked at Him, I might have seen the peace that I so longed to have. But I looked out at those crashing waves and listened to that roaring wind, and decided that I needed to make my own way to the shore. I threw away a child’s rest in order to save myself. And I drowned. No one can save himself.

Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps you looked toward the storm surrounding you. Perhaps you forgot about God asleep in the boat. Look back! The security you need to survive is not on the shore. It’s in the storm-tossed boat with you, asleep under the protection of the compassionate Father. Why don’t you just close your eyes and rest next to Him?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When the Day Ends

I sat here with my fingers on the keys of my laptop for a good 15 seconds before I started typing. My head knows that I have to type this blog before I go to sleep but my heart doesn't want to. Yesterday morning (even though I'm still in the same "day" still), I know God prompted my heart to begin writing blogs again but to write them from a different perspective - one that is totally real, uncensored and unfiltered. When you know random people are reading your thoughts it doesn't make total transparency easy to come by.

How is it that I can have such an incredible day where I know God was moving through conversation and fellowship and where He generously provided through family, and then end it all badly because of a misunderstanding and/or miscommunication?

Why is it that when I feel I'm right - even if I'm not - I push my 'point' past the point of no return simply because I can?

I am struggling to find a balance between my body (the physical) and my heart (the companionship).

Where is the line between doing what's right in acts of selflessness and simply doing?

Why do I react so negatively to what is normal? At times my tongue speaks before I even have a chance to hear my own thoughts.

Lord, help me to understand my faults and flaws; to see beyond my questions to the answers.

Sunlight... Sonbright

Right now it's 2:30am, and I am still awake. I just got through reading some of the entries from Coli's Cambodia blog, but felt I needed to get a few thoughts off my chest before trying to retire for the night.

I had such an awesome day!!! It's been a long time - far too long - since I've had the privilege of spending an entire day with Coli. Long over due! Although my afternoon with her brought fun - a new haircut and prettier hair color - it was the morning hours we spent out in the front yard talking that were the highlight for me. I am always amazed at how God takes our walks with Him through such similar courses even when we have no idea that it's happening until we get together to share with each other.

We have both been struggling with our faith in what our future holds, in our belief that God will deliver what we believe He's promised us, in our ability to continue to hope and the effect it's all taken on our prayer lives at different times. Then there's the shutting down of our MySpace accounts because we both felt drawn to leave them behind - for the same reasons, around the same time. And, we both found our old blogspot accounts and began blogging again - for ourselves, not for others.

I told Coli and Anthony that I feel like Coli is my kin spirit. For years now we have found ourselves on like spiritual paths - uck, that sounds so zen-like - but, it's true. Today was just another confirmation of that. Although our circumstances are different, our struggles so mirror one another's.

There is a connection between us that crosses the age boundary. Even when we haven't talked in weeks - truly talked - we easily come back together and share as sisters.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Revisiting CHOICE

I was reading through a random sampling of my past blog posts and 'just so happened' to stop on this one. I'm posting it again because my past words resonate in such a present way. I will be writing more in depth on what the past 6 months have held and all that God has been doing in that time, but for now I'll just leave this here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Hallelujah... Hallelujah. Whatever's in front of me, help me to sing Hallelujah.
Hallelujah... Hallelujah. Whatever's in front of me, I'll choose to sing Hallelujah"

From the very first time I heard the chorus of this song, I was moved by the simple, yet poignant, transition in the verb usage from the first line to the second. Bethany Dillon very accurately pens in her lyrics the necessary step in moving from asking for the Lord's help in praising Him for whatever lies ahead, to the Believer making a conscious choice to praise the Lord for all that lies ahead in life.

As a Christian, I have access to my awesome God 24/7... and He's always faithful to listen to my prayers and help me. But as I grow in my spiritual maturity and my faith grows deeper, I begin to understand that I have so many choices in life that God can't make for me....

The choice to life joyfully or sorrowfully
The choice to forgive or hold a grudge
The choice to move ahead or fall behind
The choice to live in freedom or stay in bondage
The choice to laugh or cry
The choice to smile or frown
And I have the choice to Praise the Lord (sing Hallelujah) for whatever He allows and purposes in my life or I can blame God and let life defeat me.

What's MY choice?

PS - Today I'm adding a couple choices born out of growth since writing this post 2 years ago...

The choice to bless or curse
The choice to fight or flee
The choice to intercede or stand on the sidelines
The choice to believe or doubt
And still I have the choice the sing Hallelujah

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hide & Seek II

Two days ago I lamented about why it is we feel the need to hide as Christians. I was burdened by the weight of a rampant and perpetual lie that the enemy is so successful at getting us to believe and succumb to. I had no answers to these questions at the time of my ramblings - just the heaviness “of the unresolved” resting on my shoulders.

My intent was to publish my blahg and see if someone could provide me with an answer - a balm to soothe my wounds of doubt and frustration. It turns out that God had another plan. My internet was not working so I had no way of putting my thoughts out into the “world wide web” in hope of receiving words of wisdom from someplace other than the confines of my home.

Was it God’s plan to simply (somehow) download the answers to my questions so that my heart could rest contentedly in peace - satisfied and able to move forward because I no longer carried the burden? No. In fact, God didn’t answer my questions at all - well, in a manner of speaking. Instead, He provided a way for the burden to be lifted.

I received a text message that very evening. A friend was in need and reached out for help. That text message lead to 2 hours of phone conversation where the details of a ‘year in the making’ that lead to ‘this moment in time’ were unloaded. And then three hours later another phone call [from this friend] lead to an intense time of prayer that took us late into the night.

In the end, all of my friend’s problems, struggles and temptations were not immediately resolved, but what the Lord did was prepare the way for his victory to be fulfilled and His glory to be praised.

I sit here this morning understanding that the questions I asked on Wednesday really don’t need answers. I simply need to be available [when called on] to be used by God to bring about His resolution.

Challenged by L.O.V.E.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6

This week has been something else! It all started Sunday night. Anthony and I attended a new worship service at Gateway called Habitation. It’s a mixture of worship and message, lead by a highly respected Elder at Gateway - Steven Dulin - who is also anointed with an incredible prophetic gifting.

This first night [of many] was used to lay the foundation of learning how to love God’s way. The message was awesome and insightful, with several good points that were perfect for taking home for further meditation and life application. The one point that stuck with me is:


I’ve heard this point made before. It’s not original, but for me - that night - it got my attention and caused my wheels to spin. At the end of the night, we were given a challenge. To seek the Lord for a person in our life whom we consider “unlovable” and love them. I sought, and God answered. I won’t reveal the name of that person. I’ll just say that God definitely challenged me.

So, here we are. It’s Friday - almost the end of my first week - and I can say with great assurance that my challenge has been nothing short of a challenge. I can’t say that I’m that surprised. I accepted the challenge. I should have known there would be challenges, right? What I didn’t consider was that I’d be thrown into the deep end right away. I thought I’d at least get one swimming lesson in first.

I wish I could say that I have passed all my tests with flying colors. Nope. I wish I could say that I’ve passed at least one of my tests with flying colors. Nope. I wish I could say that I’ve at least passed one of my tests. Nope. If this was a baseball, I’d be a thousand. But this isn’t a game - it’s my life - and God is doing His best to make sure that my failures become successes. This isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about learning, growing and maturing in my walk with Christ Jesus.

I have struggled today to gain Godly perspective because my “unlovable” has been 100% unlovable for days now. Could God have been any less obvious when He chose this person for me? I have had to fight my flesh all day long. And sadly, it’s taken all day for me to be able to say that “my Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.” Until an hour ago, my Spirit didn’t even play a part in this. I’m not bragging, just being truthful.

I am a bit worn down by this today. I guess one could say that I’ve lived out the exact opposite of Jesus’ words, “My burden is easy and My yoke is light”. I’ve carried MY burden today and MY yoke feels like a ton of bricks.

Oh, that my ox-like heart wouldn’t be quite so ox-like.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hide & Seek

Yesterday afternoon I was “ambushed” by my SisNBff and whisked away to Lifetime Fitness to spend some much-needed, quality talk-time with her. I was treated to a couple hours of pure relaxation with her as we made our way from the eucalyptus sauna, to the wading pool, to the jacuzzi, to the wading pool again, and then back to the sauna for one last blast of steam to soothe our souls. All the while, we did what God created us for... we laid our hearts out to one another in complete honesty and trusted fellowship.

Over the past 6 years God has intertwined our lives in ways that neither one of us would have ever believed had someone told us before-hand the paths our lives would take together. Through those years, our friendship has grown into something that I don’t believe is easily duplicated - if at all. We have a unique relationship that transcends traditional friendships; a bond that is cemented by our relationships with Jesus. This relationship is the very core of who we are to each other, and because of that, we trust that our hearts, our thoughts, our struggles and our joys are safe to share. I am beyond blessed to have this friendship, and I know she feels the same.

During our conversation we shared things that were hard to talk about; things that exposed struggles and temptations. Yes, we are both Christians, and we have an incredible ability to push one another toward the deeper things of Christ, but - alas - we are still human. In our humanity we sin, we are tempted, we fall and we make unwise choices. But - BUT - we know, in the end, that our God has given us relationships to help us get back up and move forward when we feel like we can’t do it on our own; and more often than not... we can’t.

Here’s the catch: the relationships that we are blessed with are only useful if - drum roll, please - WE USE THEM!

What good is family and friendship if we don’t call on the very ones we love when we’re in trouble?
Why do we feel the need to hide away, behind our four walls, so that we can pretend that our lives are just as good as those lives we are hiding from? ... lives of people who are probably doing the same thing we are - hiding!

Why have we believed the lie from the enemy that if we actually tell someone what is going - the real truth, the real struggles, the real temptations, the real dirt - that it will only be used against us? that the dirt will only become fodder for nothing other than gossipy conversations? that prayer won’t actually take place?

Have we blown it too many times that the trust needed to share just isn’t there anymore? Or is it a matter of pride, or shame, or guilt, or condemnation that keeps us wrapped up tightly in our cocoon of false security?

Trust me when I tell you that I am not pointing my finger at you in my ramblings - for if I were, three would be pointing right back at me. Quite frankly, my heart is heavy today with a burden of questions that I simply cannot answer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Throughout the month of January, I have been listening to and reading a daily devotion written by various members of our church - staff and lay-people alike. The devotional (titled FIRST) was written and distributed via CD's (so you could listen) and a book (so you could read), for the entire month of January. This was done in conjunction with a 10 day, church-wide fast that began on January 1st, along with a message series called "First". The basic premise is to focus on putting God first in all - really, ALL - areas of your life. One of the areas where God really challenged me dealt with time. I've been horrible at getting up and giving my morning to Him because... well, I'm not a morning person. I know... you're all in "shock and awe"! I can't count how many times I've prayed, "Starting tomorrow I'm getting up and giving You my time in the morning.” Tomorrow always came, and I always still found myself sleeping through those early hours. But, there was always tomorrow! :)

Well, like God is so capable of doing, He found away around my inability to rise early - He provided Anthony with a work position that required him to be out the door - not just up, but out the door - during my most coveted hour of sleep... between 7 and 8 a.m. You may ask, "How does that affect you?" The answer is simple. Since I am blessed with the ability to be a stay-at-home wife and mom and home school teacher, it would be completely selfish of me to sleep the morning away while Anthony's up and running by 6:45 each weekday. After all, we're going to bed at the same time, and I have the privilege of not having to commute to my job, so why shouldn't I be up at the same time as my husband?

So, starting January 2nd, I began waking up with Anthony - except while he got ready for work, I slumbered out to the kitchen to make breakfast so we could have a few morning minutes together to eat, read our morning devotion and pray before he left for the day. Let me tell you, that first week - okay! the first 2 weeks - were difficult, to say the least. My body was not the slightest bit happy to be up before 7 a.m., let alone have to be functioning enough to make breakfast and read! I quickly realized just how spoiled I had been with Anthony working from home. But there's a silver lining in this cloud of alarm-clocked reality. I also realized just how loved I was by God when He spoke to me one morning and whispered, "Your face was among the many I saw the day I created the coffee bean!"

And now, after almost one month of rising early, I have come to cherish my morning time. Anthony is usually out the door by 7:30 a.m. That's when my time with God starts. My iPod is on for a time of worship, I read through other devotions that I've come to love, I open my Bible to see what God wants to say to me each morning and I pray. I usually have an hour - sometimes a bit more - before I wake the kids up to start their day. My body has adjusted - more easily than I thought - to being up before the sun.

Yesterday morning Anthony woke up with a pounding headache, feeling achy, fatigued, and nauseous - one of those "hit ya quickly" kind of bugs. He decided early on that it was going to be a day of rest for him and no work. It was about 7:15 a.m. when he woke up and told me he wasn't going in to work. My first thought was that I could sleep in, but by 7:20 a.m. my mind was thinking about my morning time with God. I slipped out of bed, came to the kitchen, put on some coffee and sat at the table to have my quiet time. I smiled as I realized the difference 4 weeks had made. A month ago, I would have easily gone back to sleep without another thought. And now, instead of being spoiled with sleep, I'm spoiled by God!

Today I listened to a devotion written by a pastor at Gateway, Marcus Brecheen, who has become a significant and treasured part of both mine and Anthony's lives. I first met him last February at a Prayer and Prophesy night held at my first church here in Texas - Valley Creek Church. He spoke words of prophesy over me that night, which I wrote down and still have today. Then he was the man Anthony and I sat in front of twice for some "adapting to marriage counseling" about 6 months ago. Since that time, Anthony and I have kept a steady schedule of emails, phone calls and lunch dates with him. He went from being a pastor at Gateway to a cherished friend of ours and a mentor to Anthony.

All that to say, this morning's devotion is a great reminder of the need - and challenge - to purposely consider time.

Regardless of what day of the week this is, today you have 1,440 minutes. The chronos of this day will tick by regardless of what else happens. But the kairos is up to you. At the end of the day, it all comes down to this: did you kairos during the chronos? Did you notice the sacred things in the midst of the common? God will make sure they are all around you. Ask Him to show you. (MB)