Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Behind Those Eyes - Ch 2 - Ms. Perfection

(Quotes by Lisa Whittle in Green)

The great Sunday Morning Fake Out...do I know anyone who attends worship services regularly that has NOT experienced something almost just like this? I don't think so. There is a song by Casting Crowns, Stained Glass Masquerade, that addresses this same issue. The song ministered to me when I first heard it, still does now, and this story and chapter, hit it exactly. However, I realize that it is really not what I long for-no masquerading for me. Not that I always want to be frazzled and imperfect like I sometimes am, but I do want to be real.

So, what is it that makes us want others to see us as "perfect"? Why does it matter?

In my life, I have noticed that I have fooled myself into believing that if I am less than perfect, that might mean that I am failing. Whether it be at marriage, parenthood, housecleaning, weight, whatever...if I am not doing it "right", then I must be doing it "wrong". Then, adding to that pressure, there have been times that "not my best" AKA "NOT perfect" has had the consequences that I fear the most...rejection. Sometimes, we might run across people in our lives who have not loved us unconditionally. They may have ridiculed us, talked negatively behind our backs, or the very worst (in my opinion)- lead us to believe they would love us no matter what and then walk out of our lives over some mistake. Wow. The hurt of someone that you loved and trusted to eliminate you from their lives because you have erred or sinned is painful. Won't we try to protect ourselves from that kind of hurt? Doesn't our silly, human mind (and Satan?) somehow convince us if we pretend to be perfect, than we won't get hurt? People will like us...they will want to be around us?

Look at the description of "The Perfect Package":

"the woman who knows it all, sees it all, does it all, whips it up for dinner, and sells it for a profit. (You know, she's the one you and I are intimidated and annoyed by.) She dressed impeccably, has money to burn, and sews her own curtains. But she calls them window treatments since she knows the importance of semantics. She manages her household, stays in touch with her friends, organized neighborhood get-togethers, and doesn't break a sweat. She returns phone calls promptly, decorates her home professionally, and never misses her boss's birthday. She is overworked yet never stressed. She has a Colgate smile and a size 4 body. She fins time to scrapbook, run marathons, and serve on the town council. She is the personification of a perfect package."

Hasn't society convinced us that this is the type of women we should strive to be? So, if we can't do it, we are busy trying to act like we can, that we make ourselves crazy trying to please everyone except God.

The prayer at the end of the Bible Study guide is lovely and well worth some prayer time on my part.

Heavenly Father,
thank you for seeing us from the inside out. Thank you for desiring a relationship with your daughters that is based on love and grace rather than perfectionism. May we, throught your power, break free from the trap of trying to be perfect. May we replace our old efforts with newer, more spiritually minded ones. In Jesus' name. Amen
Absolutely, I want to be seen as real. It is too difficult to keep up with "The Perfect Package" and attempt to fool others (and myself) into thinking that I am perfect. I am not. But in Christ, I am Holy...that is enough. I have found out that if someone rejects me because of my imperfection, it will hurt, yes, but life goes on. God provides enough people in our lives to give us all we need and teaches us through the losses.
I want to be seen as real, not perfect.
Only God is perfect

Monday, September 29, 2008

Loving My Life!

I just wanted to say that the weekend was lovely. The weather was beautiful, the drive was easy with my daughter's super attitude, music that was jammin', the best mom ever, fantastic food, and we might have been the best looking group of women to ever have our picture taken at J C Penney! Have mercy...we did look great! I can't wait to show you how good the pictures turned out, even with my sister stressing out a little and my lovely niece not wanting to wear her white shirt. We made it through the muddy waters and came out sparkling pretty! I am all rested up and started on the work week. Fred and I started looking at new cars today. Pretty soon we will pass my little Nissan along to Rebecca. Even with gas prices, I am still looking seriously at the Nissan Mirano. Found one today that we almost bought! Ha! Talk about spontaneous. But, we decided to slow down. There is another one that I have my eye on too, so I guess we should not behave irrationally. What happened is, I found a car auction. My husband loves car auctions. If I keep sending him cars at the auction, one will likely be mine in just a matter of time. (tomorrow we might go test drive the one I found)

And one of the best things that happened today? My friend purchased Coldplay tickets so that we can go see them in concert....on MY BIRTHDAY! Thanks, Tricia! You are a great friend!

I love life! God is so good to me!
Much love!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Be Right Back

I am off to spend some time with my daughter at my mom's house, and with my sister and my beautiful niece. We are going to have as much girl time as we can pack in to a weekend, including a professional photograph taken of all of us, but especially the little one!

On my list of things to be grateful for is the fact that I can spend time with my family. For many years, I was half a country away, unable to hop right up to see family whenever the mood struck. Those days were good, but not nearly as good as knowing that I can go "home" when my heart and soul needs a little unconditional lovin' from my family.

See you next week.

Test Me

Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
Psalm 26:2

I know what it is to be deceived and manipulated, so do you. We see it played out on television and in the media. I have experienced it first hand, so might have you. So I guard myself from being taken advantage of by others. But what many of us don't realize is that the most destructive deceit comes from ourselves.

I found that I like to convince myself that what I do in life is okay. I hear others do the same. Self-deceit is one of the ways we try to rationalize our own behavior. It's one way we deal with our sin. We pretend that it never happened. And before long we believe ourselves rather than understanding the truth that our sin has a consequence.

There is one person we can never deceive. God won't be tricked by our justifications and rationalizations. Sin is sin. And it needs to be dealt with radically if we are going to get over the self-deceit and self-destruction.

Psalm 26:2 is a powerful prayer. It's a scary prayer. But it's also a prayer that has the power to change my life, and yours. Ask God to reveal the motives behind what you do. Pray for His love and His truth to become the motivating factors in your life. Because as you do, you'll begin to avoid the danger of self-deceit and instead discover the power of living according to God's will.

Try it. I did.

Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ABC's of the Word - Thursday - J

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;

Psalm 98:4

Joy and Jubilant

J words from God's word that just jump out at me.


For more ABC's of the word visit
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Love My Church

Last night, I attended my Home Group. For those of you who aren't sure what that is, it is a group of friends, old, new, and future, who come together regularly for spending time together. It is a dynamic of "church"...it is "church". At my group, we eat dinner, we talk over the message from the week before, delve into deeper Bible Study, and exchange prayer requests. I am fairly new to this group, but I have to say they have embraced me and loved me. I feel so at home with them and feel like I have known them for years.

What I enjoyed about last night is that I kept thinking of a friend...a very new believer friend....who I wished was there. She was planning on coming, but it didn't work out for her this week. I will keep praying because I know that she would be so encouraged, and also very challenged to grow in her young relationship with God in this group. It is a blessing and a privilege to be part of a group where I am not embarrassed or ashamed to bring my friend, who is new in her walk with Christ, to a meeting of fellow Christians. I know that she will be accepted exactly where she is and not judged. I know that what is discussed is authentic and real and that she will relate.

So, I know God is pleased. I know He is pleased with my Home Group. I am pleased because it is "church" the way I think He wants it to be. I am so happy to be part of this group. They are great ladies, who love God, who accept and exhort and who study and pray. Fun stuff because it is a mixed group of women, nearly 20 year age span, married, divorced, widowed, and from many walks of life. I feel "part".

I rejoice at the wonderful, faithful way that God answers prayer. I prayed for a group just like this! What does He do? He answers. I can't wait to see what else He plans!

Can I say again, I love my church? I am so glad that I love my church! And I am even happier that people who don't like church, also love my church because they are learning how to love my God! Isn't that what it's all about?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Behind Those Eyes

Another internet Bible Study has caught my attention, hosted by Lelia.
It interested me because authenticity is something I strive for, something that I admire, and something that I believe honors God in our relationships.
This book is about seeing what is behind the eyes of women, the untold stories of insecurities or heartaches.
I want to be deeply spiritual in my relationships, caring, supportive, and capable.
So, by doing this study, I hope to get real with my relationships.
In reading the first chapter, the author Lisa Whittle, talks about being a pretender. She says, "Many of us do not go into life wanting to be pretenders, but we have at some point embraced the idea when it suited our desires.
...these cover-ups meet a need at the time to get us more of what we want when we do not believe the truth will."
I can see where I have done that.
I was challenged by this chapter to take authenticity to the next level.
The question to be answered:
Define the word authenticity and what it means to me.

Genuine. Real. Without falsehood or misrepresentation.
To me, it means trustworthy. The act of saying what I mean and meaning what I say and knowing that the person who I am conversing with is doing the same.
It is something that I yearn for.
It is knowing that love (and relationship) will remain in spite of how I really am feeling, doing, or behaving at the time.

What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Psalm 51:6

Sometimes the truth does hurt, but I love knowing that God is able - and He WANTS to - take even the most painful, awful truths and make us whole and holy!

I have been in a situation where I hid the truth because I thought I needed to protect someone. It turned out negatively because I found myself full of bitterness over the situation. Not that I should have revealed all, but I wish that I had gone to someone and asked for advice and help.
The relationships involved in that situation are now broken and I know God was not honored. It did hurt, me and the others involved.
I feel like I have a lot to learn about authenticity, but I am full of hope and desire.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My son and his girlfriend

Thien sent me this picture in an email a couple of days ago. It is she and my son, Adam, having fun at Kings Dominion in Richmond, VA.
I love it that she sends me letters and photos!
These are two of my favorite people in the whole wide world!
I can't wait to see them when we go to Virginia in November! I am counting down the days!

Taking Responsibilty For Ourselves

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.Psalm 51:16-17

I have messed up. She's messed up. We've all messed up.
When I allow God to examine my heart, I discover problems in my life. We all will. Some are painful. Some will be embarrassing. Some may be surprising; and some could be very difficult to overcome. The question we need to ask, though, is this: What should we do about these things when God brings them to our attention?

To help find an answer, there's no better place to look than at the life of David, the shepherd boy who God hand-picked to be King of Israel. He committed some really serious sins. First, he stole another man's wife. Then in order to cover it up, he murdered her husband, his loyal friend. When God confronted David about his sin, David responded the right way. He was heart-broken to realize how far he had strayed from God's ways. He wept with remorse and pleaded with God for forgiveness. He turned from his sin; he did not try to excuse himself, or minimize what he had done.

Pride often keeps us from responding to God with humility. We want to justify what we have done or rationalize it away: "it really wasn't that bad," or "it was someone else's fault." Those kind of responses are not what God is looking for. Only a "broken and contrite" heart can accept the enormity of the sin committed and realize its need for God.

Coming to a place of humility and brokenness is not easy; it is a very vulnerable position. But God is merciful and ready to restore you. To help you through those times, choose one of these verses to memorize:
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Prayer for today:
Lord, I want to own up to my sins today. I ask your forgiveness for the wrongs I've committed against others and against you. Help me to live in humility with a broken and contrite heart, so you can restore me to a place of peace and reconciliation. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Menopause, Women, and Lauging Out Loud

Today was Ladies Day Out for myself and a group of my friends. We went to lunch and then to see
Menopause The Musical.
It was very funny, very entertaining, and we laughed until our cheeks hurt.
The story takes place in a department store where four women meet over a black bra. It goes on from there.
The songs were familiar tunes, but the words have been changed to accompany the theme of

Very funny.

If you get the chance, check it out if the show comes to your area.

Oh, and Tricia and I danced on stage with the cast.


Fun and funny day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So, I sit here and wait...the joys of motherhood. In about an hour I will go pick up Rebecca, her best friend, and her boyfriend from the Flower Mound Homecoming Dance.

Ninth grade Homecoming is coming to a close. There was a parade on Thursday, the game last night (YES, Flower Mound won!) and the dance tonight. It has been as celebratory as Christmas around here. I am dreaming navy and silver. But what fun it has been. I have loved watching my daughter in her first year of High School. It is great that she is enjoying it, participating, and feeling the school spirit. She marched on the Football field last night, she is dancing at the dance tonight. She is dressed up, hanging out with her friends, and enjoying the start of her freshman year. Here are a few pictures just to let you know what we have been experiencing!

It is great stuff for a parent. I am having such a good time, loving every minute of the last child of ours to go through this. I am grateful to have the opportunity, I am thrilled that our relationship is good, and this is just such a fun thing!

The Presentation of the Homecoming Garter before the Game

The best Drill Team show I ever saw

Our daughter is in there somewhere!

Dad trying to capture it all on video

"F" and "M" stand for Flower Mound!
Go Jaguars!

Let's Go to the Dance!

Beautiful Girls!
Rebecca and Robert, looking Good!

Lucky Guy??? Or not!

Off to have a great time!

God's Broken Heart

There is a song by Hillsong United that has touched my heart and caused me to worship in the deepest way the last year or so. The song is beautiful and touches my soul, causing me to seek the God who I know is God of All, God of Eternity, God of Mercy, and the God of my salvation.

Save us!

The chorus in this song has become my prayer, many times, and I have prayed with so much truth and desire that it has changed my life and changed my heart.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to

The prayer, "break my heart for what breaks yours" has changed who I am and how I think about things. Those of you who know me know that "mercy" is not one of my gifts. I am, in my human nature, not a very compassionate person. I break my own heart at how cold-hearted that I can sometimes be so I have found this prayer very in line with one of the things I desire for myself in my desire to become more like my God.

He does answer prayer. He has given me a heart so soft that sometimes I fear that it will kill me. But I find that the things that break my heart, that hurt me deeply, are in fact answer to that very prayer. My heart breaks over some of the more obvious things...the hungry people, the ones without water in Sudan, the political climate in our country and countries around the world, and certainly the people who still need to hear about Jesus.

But what He has also done is broken my heart over things right here, right now, in my sphere of influence and in my life. My heart breaks for those many people I know who battle cancer. My heart breaks for those who I know who are going through divorce. My heart breaks for my own child as he mourns the loss of his dear friend, and my heart breaks for those in who mourn death and loss in their families. My heart breaks for those who are trying to live with alcoholism or abuse and my heart breaks for the many broken and unhealed relationships that I am either aware of or part of. My heart breaks over lack of trust, lack of reconciliation, forgiveness that is in word spoken out of obedience only, but not from the heart and my heart breaks over the self destruction that comes from sin.

I have come to see how God wants us to treat each other and my heart breaks for the many times I have fallen short of His desire in that. I am aware of the depth of His desire for forgiveness; that it is much more than just making the choice out of obedience to what is right in His eyes, but that forgiveness is to bring Him glory in the great work that He can do. My heart breaks when I sin. My sin breaks God's heart.

The verses to the song go like this:

I see the king of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes

I see his love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees

He is my King of Glory. I see His love and mercy, washing over all my sin and I sing...I pray...I seek and I am on my knees.


Friday, September 19, 2008


I just want to give a shout out to my husband, Fred! He only has 5 weeks and 2 more days until he has completed his Master's Degree! I am so, so proud of him, that he has acheived this personal goal! After many, many years of being a student on and off, he will have finally have it!
It has been difficult at times, but God has blessed him, and our entire family during this pursuit. His grades have been good, he has managed to do well in his job, he has been an active father and a great husband during this time.

WOO HOO, FRED! You are almost there. Let's plan the party!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ABC's of the Word Thursday

In Him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28

I love this verse!
It reminds me that He is my everything.
I live in Him.
I move in Him.
Because of Him, I am.

For more ABC's of the word visit
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Only In Texas

There are a few things that I think I would not have ever experienced had I not ever moved to the big, beautiful state of Texas.

One of the reasons that I loved my house and wanted to buy it was because of the huge screened in back porch and the fabulous landscaping. What I have found out is that Texas has a lot of bugs and the porch is wonderful because it keeps me un-bugged by these creatures when I spend time outdoors. Also, we have these little beings called chameleons that live here and they love my back yard. Luckily, I love them too because I find them all over the place. Just a couple of nights ago I picked one up and saved him from drowning in my shower. He was just a baby and would have gone down the drain with one shower, but have pity, I scooped him up and took him outside. A couple of nights before that, Fred said to me, "You might want to check the bed before you get in the covers tonight." My obvious reply was, "Why?" He went on to tell me about the chameleon that was on the pillow. He tried to capture him, but he went into the bed covers and he could not find him again. I looked carefully, but never found him either. So, I went to bed and most likely slept with a chameleon.

Only in Texas.

There is a phrase that goes around the state, about the state, and it is "Everything is bigger in Texas." I laugh when I hear it because it does hold true in many cases. But for those of you who have never lived in Texas during High School Homecoming, you have not seen BIG until you have seen what is called the Homecoming Mum or the Homecoming Garter. These lovely things originated as corsages. They are quite a Texas tradition now and I have been working on mums and garters for more than a week. Traditionally, if you attend the Homecoming football game with someone, the girl receives a mum and the young man receives a garter. Long story made into one sentence, I wound up making both the garter and the mum this year and Friday is the BIG day! Homecoming Game is upon us, after the BIG parade tomorrow. These proud High School students will be allowed to wear their mums and garters all day during the school day on Friday. This is not a quiet, wear a flower on your attire, ordeal. There are bells and whistles - literally - all over these things. They have to wear heavy jackets in order to hold them onto their clothing. The bigger the better, but there are traditions that one must adhere to. A freshman gets one mum, a sophomore, two, and on it goes. By the time the senior mum is worn, it is only silver and white (no matter your school colors which you wear the three years prior) and you can have up to four mums! If you are lucky enough to have four mums, then you will have a ribbon around your neck to hold it up.

Have mercy, dear family and friends! Let me share with you a photograph of these amazing things! As I type, I peel hot glue off of my fingers and brush glitter off of my clothes.

Garter on the left, Mum on the right

The Corsage portion

And Rebecca, holding her mum in her Homecoming dress.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Small World and Big God

I love God!

He does some pretty amazing things when I least expect it!

If you have been reading my blog, or if you know me very well, you might guess that I have felt just a little lonely as of late. It is somewhat ridiculous since I am surrounded by people most of the time, but having just experienced a huge loss of someone very special and very close to me, there is a large hole in my heart that I wonder what to do with sometimes.

So, I pray that God will bless me with people in my life that I can minister to, who will help me, who will walk with me as I grow and take care of myself.

Having lived in this area for only three years, I don't know a lot of people and I have gone many, many, many places and never run into a soul that I know or even recognize.

But last week, I went to visit my new "Home Group" and found my massage therapist is part of the group! Which means she also is part of my church! That was too cool!

Then, I went to a meeting at church and ran into my former Weight Watchers meeting leader. I took that as a sign and went back to that meeting for a little personal health and accountability.

I attended my second meeting tonight and guess what? I ran into a dear friend of mine from last years Bible Study. We still meet every now and then for fellowship, but what a wonderful blessing to have a friend at the meeting that I will attend. And it is funny, because I was just talking to a different friend, who said the one thing she never developed at Weight Watchers was a "friend." God is good, He gave me one that I already know.

From there I went to Target to get a Baby Shower gift and I ran into my doctor. I am laughing out loud by this time, say hello thinking she would hurriedly speak and move on, but she struck up a conversation with me that lasted a little while.

I am ending my day feeling remarkably blessed by a God who clearly loves me and gives me the desires of my heart. And...I feel like I am part of the community. This is my home, until I go to my Father's house in heaven...for now this is where I live and belong.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Authentic Worship

I can always measure my spiritual and emotional health by my ability to worship God. For the first time since June, my mind and heart were totally focused on God during my time of worship this weekend. Praise God!

And can I say for the hundredth time....I LOVE MY CHURCH?! And I love that I love my church, especially wondering if I would ever love my church again! My pastor is cool, he is honest, funny, and teaches God's true and Holy word. I am so grateful for his teaching style, the way he does not mince words and the way he makes us laugh about it. I pray for him, and his family daily, that they will be strong in Christ and not tire of what God has called them to do. (it is so clear that he is called, his gift is great) The Village Church is a No Frills church (his words), growing by leaps and bounds with new believers coming to know God every day. It is beautiful to be witness to it and be a part of it.
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
O how marvelous!
O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be
O how marvelous!
O how wonderful!
Is my Savior's love for me!
He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Last week, I attended a Grief Workshop. I went because it has been suggested to me by people who love me that I am grieving. Although I believed this to be true, I have been frustrated with myself for not being able to "handle this on my own."

So, I did what I like to do...I bought a book...on Grief. Some things that have brought clarity and help so far are words like:

"It's not just about death."

I have experienced death. My brother died at a young age to suicide, my grandmother and great grandmother were tragically killed in a tornado, all my other grandparents have died, many aunts, uncles, friends, and this summer the death of our friend, Jason, rocked my sorrow to the core. I know what loss due to death feels like. And guess what? Grieving feels the same, no matter what the loss. I am grieving the loss of that friendship, the one that was my "best", the one that was suppose to last until old age. I have been embarrassed and angry and denying the amount of pain that this has caused in my life. I thought I should be able to do this thing, it should not be so hard. Let Go and Let God. blah, blah, blah.

I have even tried to rationalize the situation. After all, I agree with the decision. I have tried to end this friendship for years on my own. Every time I tried, she asked me to hang in there, to not give up. I am angry that I allowed her to talk me out of my decision...only to be cut out of her life at her own hand after years of her encouragement to hang on. How embarrassing is that?

I can see that all the things I asked of her, she is unable to give...to me. I am aware of the fact it is not her character as she has moved all of the languages of friendship that I communicated with her into her new friendship. I asked for regular communication, she was unable. She is able now. I asked her to go have coffee regularly, she was unable. She is able now. I asked her to go to many events...concerts, etc...even offering to pay since money was an issue...she was unable. She is able now. I asked for her to participate in girl "group" activities and she declined. She initiates them now. The list goes on and on. And I am grieving - the loss of what could have been.

I accept that now.

So, I am officially declaring myself in "Grief Recovery." I will move through this and come out on the other side with joy and peace and a better person, more pleasing to God. I am certain without a shadow of a doubt that I will be a better friend, I have already experienced that in my friendships that have survived this matter with me and also the new ones that God has so lovingly provided me as I walk through this journey.

"Grief is a process."

There are five stages of grief according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

I hope stage one is over for me today. I accept that the friendship is over. One of the things that is recommended in the book is sharing my grief. Done.

I will not mask my grief, I will accept it. I will experience my pain, be aware of it, accept, and take action.

I have so much to be grateful for. I choose to live today making the most of all the beautiful blessings in my life that God has given me. I will ask for help when I need it. I will accept love and compassion, and I will also give it. I will pray. I will not worry about how long it will take.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Thursday, September 11, 2008

HEALED - ABC's of the Word - H

God's mercy and love is so much bigger than what I can understand today.

As I prayed the He would bring to mind the things from His word that He wanted to to be aware of, to learn about, and to be challenged with, He brought me the words I share on this blog today.

I must admit, when I first began to contemplate my "H" verse for the week, I thought I wanted a "Holy" verse. I remembered verses about being holy, and looked them up in scripture. They were all beautiful, but God kept putting "healed" back into my heart. So, healed it is.

I am in great need of God's healing. Without Him, I am a broken, pathetic person, who hurts and who hurts others. With His love, His Spirit, and my desire to turn my life over to His care and guidance, I can be healed of all that icky stuff in my heart and become like Him...HOLY. (Oh, cool...I did get to use it! 1 Peter 1:16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy")

I remember today, that He is the One who can give me wholeness, peace, and joy!

My verses for the day:

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5


Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 103:1-5

For more ABC's of the word visit
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008


So, wow.

I spent the weekend in the Ozark mountains. The weather was cool, even a little rainy for part of Saturday. This was very refreshing for a Texan who has been suffering in desert type conditions for most of the summer. I loved the way the rain seemed to wash away all my grime, all my worry, and all my sadness.

The topic for the retreat was Unity. I wondered how united I would feel. I always feel unity with my mom, who I was with. After all, I am blood of her blood and flesh of her flesh. We share a lot besides our biological unity as well. We share recovery, which was the unity of this retreat. We share love of many of the same concerns and people and although we are very different in many ways, our hearts have the same desire for good and peace and love in the world. That has always united us.

But, I was not with "my" friends, I was with hers. There are many advantages to that. Sometimes, I feel like I have many "mothers", and I like it. I feel doted upon, something that felt good at this time since I have felt very tossed aside by people as a result of my one dear friend deciding she could not remain friends with me. I did feel more united than I expected with the ladies in my "peer" group. Interesting...

Last year, I spent a good deal of time with one of these ladies and felt a nice connection, but not real deep, if you will. This year, God gave me the opportunity to find out more about her, and find out that she is very involved in one of my favorite ministries...one that has been dear to me since the start of my walk with Him, Bible Study Fellowship. Wow, God! Cool! Thanks for giving me that connection. And also last year, I really enjoyed one lady named Cindy, but this year, I realized part of the reason why is because she has many of the funny, "make me laugh" - even at the wrong time (which is always the right time for me) personality traits that my old friend, Ruth, also has. It made the weekend so fun!

And my word?....Lifted. When I selected it out of the basket, I read it and wished for something different...something like, "Healed" or "Joyful" or anything that meant that this trial was over. But no, Lifted was my word.

As the weekend went on, I purposely processed the pain of losing my best friend. I had other things on my heart that I searched and evaluated, but the main area of healing that I intended on focusing on was regarding the end of this friendship. I am still hurt. I found that I had many regrets as I meditated, prayed and sought answers from God who knows all things, heals all things, and makes all things good.


The one thing that I chose to let go of. I wrote my pain on a slip of paper and burned it in a fire. I released balloons into the sky to symbolize my freedom from regret. I knew it would be work, but I also knew that I am capable of letting go and letting God do His work the way He wants to do it.


The trial is not over. But I am lifted by God. As one friend put it, Jesus is carrying me. Yes, He is!

There is still work to be done. I remain hopeful that the friendship will be reconciled and one day that forgiveness that is in place will actually do what forgiveness does and allow for a new start.

Funny...right after I returned home, still pondering being Lifted, a song came on the radio that I have always liked. Interesting that it was recorded by one of the favorite bands of this same friend who I mourn. But God is good and consistent in bringing words that heal and tell me what He needs me to hear.

Check out the words to this song by Audio Adrenaline:

Get Down

Lavishly our lives are wasted
Humbleness is left untasted
You can't live your life to please yourself, yeah
That's a tip from my mistakes
Exactly what it doesn't take
To win you've got to come in last place
To live your life you've got to lose it
And all the losers get a crown

I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down

All I need's another day
Where I can't seem to get away
From the many things that drag me down
I'm sure you've had a day like me
Where nothing seems to set you free
From the burdens you can't carry all alone
In your weakness He is stronger
In your darkness He shines through
When you're crying He's your comfort
When you're all alone He's carrying you

I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down

This valley is so deep
I can barely see the sun
I cry out for mercy, Lord
You lift me up again

I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down and He lifts me up
I get down


Thursday, September 4, 2008

ABC's of the Word - Thursday - G

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20

This is the first verse that I ever memorized.
I loved it then and I love it even more now.
Whenever I think of this verse, whenever God reminds me of this verse (like He did today), I know there is always purpose in my life. I am about having a relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I am a teacher of what that means.
And no matter what, if I shine bright with His light or stumble and fall in the darkness, my God is always with me.

For more ABC's of the word visit
Grey Like Snuffie

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Heart to Heart

It is that time again and I am counting down the hours. The annual Heart to Heart retreat is this weekend.

My heart and soul longs for the opportunity to retreat with God, to experience peace and quiet and the chance to listen to what He has to say, without interruption and with intention. It has been a tough year. Serenity and the peace of God is my focus and my goal. Instead of dreams of hurt and rejection, I long for dreams of love and joy. Instead of waking with the pang of regret, I yearn for excitement for the future. I know that He can give me these things, and even though every day is a little easier, it is still a challenge, a conscious effort. I am hoping that this weekend will allow me the next level of healing and the courage that I need to change what I can and accept what I can't.

I can't wait to get my "word". I can't wait to see friends. I can't wait to spend time with my mom. I can't wait to evaluate how far I have come in my recovery. I can't wait to eat the fantastic food. I can't wait to throw certain situations in the fire to burn up as I let go of what I cannot change. I can't wait to hear the speakers. I can't wait to see the Ozark mountains, to smell the fresh, clean air. I can't wait to sleep in the dorm. I can't wait to write in my journal.

I can't wait to see what God has to show me, to tell me, to teach me, and to challenge me.

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Behind The Eyes

An entire year has passed since God had me working on authenticity. If you were to read many of my blog entries from last fall, you would know that He was giving me quite a lesson on being real. I do think it is rather ironic that it was almost exactly a year ago, and He has brought me right back to the same lesson. Now I think it is because I have gone over the edge...I have not been respectful as I have spoken very honestly which has brought pain to others. So, when I saw that my blog friend, Lelia, was hosting the book Behind The Eyes by Lisa Whittle for the Blog Bible Study, I checked out the author's blog (Check it out here), liked what I saw, and signed up on Lelia's Blog.
I am looking forward to reading this book and learning more about Godly authenticity. I yearn for relationships that are real, where honesty is priority, and love like the love of God is what is exchanged. Why is it so difficult to be who we really are? Why does it seem that when we are, we are sometimes judged and rejected? This brings about more fear of being real and we become more and more fake, plastic, and afraid. Ok, so I am being a little cynical here, but it does seem like this is what happens more often than it should. I pray that the book will help me take my relationships to the next level of genuine intimacy. I pray that because of it that I will become more like Christ.
If you are interested, check it out yourself.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer of Love

This is the front of the t-shirt that I bought for my (former) best friend to give to her while I was visiting (what I thought would be) her in Virginia. I came home with the shirt still in my suitcase because she canceled the plans we made on the day that I was planning on giving it to her. My heart was broken and love was about the last thing I thought the summer of 2008 would represent.

But as Labor Day weekend comes to a close, and I am exhausted from the pool party that was hosted at my home today, I am recapping the summer and feeling like there was quite a bit of love.

I have made some of the best new friends that I could ask for. One's who know my heart quickly because of the place I was emotionally when we met. Friends who have been here for me all summer, praying, supporting, and just having some plain old fun!

My family is fantastic and I think that the longer my husband and I are married, the better our marriage gets. Talk about love....(wink, wink), it really does get better and better with age.

There was a good amount of change this summer. We lost Jason to a horrible car accident, another good friend lost his son in a car accident, a friend lost her father, and there are lots of loved one's who have been hurt or are fighting serious disease.

My father in law went from this....

To this.........
Seeing my (former) best friend went from looking like this to that.
But my heart for God went from this .............. To this ........... Because not only did I lose my best friend and my father in law became very ill with cancer, but I also have witnessed this.......... And this.................... And this..............
And this...............
Also this.............
And some of this............
Some really good friendship in this.........And some famous excitement in this...........
I enjoyed a whole lot of this.................

And never got tired of looking at this............

I am wonderfully blessed by this...........(family)

And still madly in love with this............

So, it was absolutely the summer of love after all. I am glad that I bought the t-shirt, and even somewhat glad to have been able to bring it home. It helps me remember that God loves me so much that He wants what's best for me....and He gives it to me!

So, a summer of love, full of love, weddings, new friendships, and so aware of the importance of old friendships, being TOTALLY aware of how little time we really do have in this life, kisses from babies, hugs from teenagers, time with my mom, sunbaths, bubble baths, concerts, crazy nights with my girls on the back porch, even a few nights that lasted until the next morning :)

A church that I have fallen in love with, a pastor that I respect. Time under Beth Moore's teaching...LIVE, writing and reading, worship, watching two friends accept Christ. Knowing that He will use me in spite of myself (HE DID!), knowing that He is my everything. I believe God will restore, renew, and revive. I am more in love with Him now than I ever have been.

Watching my son become established in a career, move into his own apartment and have his own health insurance! Watching my other son get totally buff at the gym, muscles like you would not believe.

Watching my daughter with her first "boy friend" and
watching her march at her first football game...........
And so a new season begins.

Farewell, summer of love.

I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 31:7