Friday, October 31, 2008

Going Home

Well, so much for a football game. My family received word late this afternoon that my father in law is in his last hours. He was moved to an end of life facility this week and his life is now ending. Thank you so much for the many prayers and please continue to pray them as we go to spend time with the family.

I will be back next week.


Happy Halloween!

I will not be celebrating this holiday tonight though...
It is a BIG football night in Flower Mound, TX.
The two Flower Mound High Schools go to

none other than...

Texas Stadium

to have the



Big Night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Count Our Blessings

I have a dear friend who I love to spend time with. She is a single mom and I am blessed enough to be able to spend time together with her and often times her little guy who has just turned 6 years old. (she also has a 14 year old daughter who I like, but does not thrill me as much since I have one of those myself.)

Tonight, I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with my friend and her son. Through out the meal he said, "We need to count our blessings." If he said it once, he said it a hundred times (not really, but a lot) and finally, in frustration, he said, "WE NEED TO COUNT OUR BLESSINGS!"

So, I went for it. I began listing off the many blessings in my husband, children, family, job, house, health, you know ... all the "normal" blessings. He was not satisfied and I kept going. I listed off the more creative blessings, and he began to help me by adding things that he knew I was blessed by, and things that he was blessed by.

What was really a blessing, was spending time with he and his mother. It is a blessing to have them in my life, to be able to enjoy the fun, innocence of a six year old and give his mom even a few minutes break during dinner by having someone else give him attention.

What a blessing.

Good night all.
I hope you are counting your blessings.

ABC's of the Word - O

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

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

I almost missed "O". Some of you know that I had to take a test at work today! I have been studying for 4 weeks and today it is over! I passed! Hooray!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hair Update

Ok, so I am on my way upstairs to wash my face and get ready for bed and my daughter stops me, ready to take my picture for this blog. So....back to the computer I go (the camera is in the computer desk) and sit for a quick photo shoot, compliments of my 14 year old daughter.

The unveiling of the red hair.


Ok, I can see that pictures don't show how red it really will probably have to click on the photo and blow my face up the size of the moon in order to see.

Boy....I love the thought of that. All you guys who don't know me...looking at my face the size of Texas.

LOL! Well, I guess I have been talking about taking off the concealer and seeing the REAL me!

I guess I will change my profile photo. I can't believe I just did a kid. No, like a child of God. :)
Thanks for having fun with me!


I am hair is red! Photos soon. (in my pj's now) Just wanted to let you know.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Behind Those Eyes - Chapters 6 and 7

Happy Tuesday! It is time for the weekly thoughts on the book study Behind Those Eyes. Check out Lelia's blog for more information and look up the author, Lisa Whittle. Good stuff on both of these blogs!

Chapter 6 is entitled, Cosmetics for the Soul. Lisa shared a story about working a part time job at a cosmetics counter. A woman approached, covered, hat, sunglasses and all, because she was hiding horrible scars from burns. Lisa spent around an hour concealing the woman's scars with cosmetics until she felt a little better about what she saw when she looked in the mirror. She used the story to illustrate how we, as women, try to conceal things about ourselves in order to hide the truth and escape rejection from others. This hit home with me when I read it. I will do almost anything to avoid rejection!

Lisa say in chapter 6:
We use concealer - cosmetics for our souls - that will camouflage those places in our hearts that are uglier than we want to see.
I understand. I have done this.

Lisa also suggest that Satan has been lying to us, but that we seem to buy into those lies. I agree. He says, You are too damaged. You are unworthy of love. You have missed it. You'll never have a future. The back yard bully has gone from subtle whispers to outright yells in our ears as he tries to convince us of our complete hopelessness in life...and we believe him.

Oh, and I have believed him. On bad days. But I do know the truth. I know who I REALLY am and I become free and real as I quit trying to cover up, let go of guilt and regrets, and live the truth! God is merciful and fair. And He wants me to be open, honest, and fully satisfied with my life.

I love Psalm 103:1, 5 Praise the Lord...who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

The challenge question for this chapter, Are you currently satisfied or dissatisfied with your life?

I wish I could say that I am completely satisfied. My life is good and in many areas it is satisfying. But there are still areas that I need to turn over to Him. I think I will try the exercise in the back of the book - writing down the words needy, broken, and hurt and defining how I am these things in my life currently. My desire is to give them to Him.

Chapter 7 - The Feelings We Conceal.

This chapter was difficult for me, and I am not going to cover that up. :) If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that my "best" friendship has disintegrated. The reasons? Insecurity, jealousy, and fear. All the things that Lisa warns about in this chapter (regarding best friendships) is what brought my dear friendship to an end. Both of us. One husband was jealous. This caused deep insecurity because there was always a fear that the friendship would be "forced" to end. (the husband made those threats in angry outbursts) And on and on the insecurity, jealousy, and fear went...until it spun out of control and now the friendship is over.

I don't give up all hope. I have had a glimpse of that wonderful, committed non-jealous friendship that Lisa describes in this chapter. Sometimes, it is what I experienced in that friendship. I know what it is like. And it was beautiful and sweet and Godly. I still long for that UNCONCEALED friendship. And pray that reconciliation will come. And that God will satisfy that desire in my heart - in one way or another.

Once again, I find challenge in the questions in the Bible Study guide of the book. (thank you, Lisa, for putting these in here!)

Have I ever felt the brunt of another woman's jealousy toward me? Oh, yes! And it hurts! Some of it has been revealed on this blog. Some of it has been posted by way of comments. And only out of knowing the truth...that God desires healthy what gives me the courage to continue making female friends.

The challenge question is a challenge! What is the most painful feeling for me to conceal? I will have to think about this and get back to you. I think it has to do with this same longing for real friendships. My husband is a wonderful friend and I can go to him with anything. But there is something special about having a "David / Jonathan" friend that makes life more joyful and satisfying.

And I will write that letter to someone I have hurt out of my feelings of insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, or fear. And I will pray.

What a blessing it is to have this blog, to share what is on my heart, to be real with the hurts, the fears, and the joys of this journey.

Thank you for looking behind my eyes, and I look forward to looking behind yours.
Off to read some blogs.........

Monday, October 27, 2008


What is it about the changing temperatures that make us want to make other changes too?
I picked my 14 year old daughter up from school early today because she had an orthodontist appointment. Afterward, she said, "I REALLY need my haircut, Mom!"
I asked her when she wanted me to make the appointment, and her reply was,
So, I called our hair salon, knowing our normal stylist is off today (and would be too booked to see Rebecca on a moment's notice), but one of the younger girls was available to cut her hair.
She was so ready and I had time, so off we went to the hair salon.
That is her new do!
It is cute and sassy.
She went from this-

To this -

Ok, get ready! I have an appointment on Wednesday!
I am pretty sure that I am going to go
It is time for a change!


God is absolutely, wonderfully, cool!

Yesterday, I committed to reading, living, and learning from Luke 15 this week. (at least a week, maybe more) I posted a blog about my thoughts last night. When I woke up this morning, logged onto the blog to see updates, imagine my surprise when I saw the CWO Bible verse for the day!

My heart soars with joy over the confirmation that He gives. I know He is rejoicing with me and over me as I start life over in the attitude of this one friendship, so dear to my heart but so damaged.

Join me as I pray for reconciliation.

God is good!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What Would Jesus Do? thoughts on Luke 15

Some years ago, there was a phrase that became very popular:

What Would Jesus Do?

I was asked this question (rhetorically) when I was struggling with a relationship. A friend of a friend asked this question by way of comment on this blog, seemingly to point out that I was not doing what Jesus would have done in the same situation. True.

Since then, that relationship has deteriorated and I have been thinking a lot about the question,
"What would Jesus do?"
As a result of seeking God in this situation, I have since that time made choices that I believe that He would have made Himself. (However; being without sin as He was, He would not have been in the same situation) Anyway, I have taken responsibility for my part. I have confessed the wrong doings on my part and asked for forgiveness. I have asked for reconciliation and expressed the truth of my heart...sincere regret and desire to start over.

To no avail.

What would Jesus do?

He would not have posted some of the things I posted. He would not have said what I said. And He would not have done what I have done. But He would have forgiven me for doing so.

He has.

I wonder...would He have responded like they did? Would He have commented with hate and self righteous judgment? I ponder this question, trying to accept the rejection of my friend. Is she right in her decision? Is she doing what Jesus would do? And the friend? I didn't see Jesus in her comments at all. I find myself wanting to ask her the same question that she asked me.

Would Jesus have cut me out of His life because He could not trust me?


Luke 15 is the chapter in which I have found my answer. God's word has spoken to the deepest parts of my heart and soul today.

I will let it settle. I will pray. I will forgive.

What would Jesus do?

He would come after me (He did) when I stray.
He would rejoice over my repentance. (He did)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

So he told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Luke 15:1-7

more to come......

The Girls

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter, Rebecca, and I traveled to Tulsa to have a very special photograph taken.
We had finally talked my sister into taking a "family" photo of my mother, my daughter and me, and my sister, Lynn, and her daughter, Kristin.

One of the reasons that I am thankful to be back in the middle of the United States, is this beautiful littlest girl in the photo - my niece Kristin. She was born three weeks before we moved here and I was determined to spend time with her. That would have proven to be difficult had we stayed in the state of Virginia, because she and the rest of my family all live in Tulsa, OK.

Taking this picture represents many things.
Three generations of women.

We had a great girls day out on this day. We got all cute for the picture, did some shopping, making good on a bribe made to Kristin that required a trip to the candy shop.
We got all dressed up afterward and went to a "fancy" restaurant.

What fun.
And a picture to prove it.

Friday, October 24, 2008



I am grateful for -

A Savior who died for me to live.

Weather that makes me need to wear a sweater.

My health, that I can walk, talk, see, smell, eat, potty, laugh, sing, and cry.

My job, the great people I work for, with, and the great team that works for me.

My husband who is patient and loving when I don't deserve it.

Our son getting excepted at University North Texas today.

Our daughter is making good grades and keeping up with band her first year in High School.

Knowing that we will see our oldest son in less than a month, God willing.

Family- the ones that we don't live with but that are important enough and loved enough to be a regular part of our lives.

Forgiveness, and REAL friends who forgive and continue in relationships in spite of imperfections and hurt, who are willing to work through rather than walk away.

The right to vote.

Lower gas prices.


The ability to write, the freedom to put out here what is on my heart and spell check.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ABC's of the Word - N (and M)

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Proverbs 31:10

I know, I know...I couldn't help but think of this passage for "N" week. I tried and tried to think of something else, but I continued to come back to this verse. Was it me? I doubt it. I have an accountability group and they are praying for me. This week I asked them to pray that I would please God in my marriage. I think it might not be a coincidence that verse continues to roll around in my mind as I have pondered which verse to share today.

It seemed like a good idea to look up the definition of the word "noble". After all, it is not a word we frequently use in our conversations today. What I found made the verse even less appealing for my post today.

1. Of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence.

2. Very impressive or imposing in appearance; stately; magnificent.

3. Having excellent qualities or abilities.

4. Of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.

Need I go on?


I wonder, would my dear husband use the word "noble" to describe is dear wife?


OK, so I missed "M" week last week and I think now is a good time to include it. The verse I am thinking of gives me a little security when contemplating the verse God obviously selected for "N" week.

The Lord god said, it is not good for MAN to be alone. I will MAKE a helper suitable for him.

Genesis 2:18


That's good news.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Behind Those Eyes - Ms. Spirituality - Chapter 5

I know Ms. Spirituality. I spent many years playing her role. I was on the Music team, the discipleship team, writing curriculum, leading a small group, teaching various classes, mentoring one on one, holding a position on a leadership team, and organizing Women's retreats. Whew! Now, I can't say that I was pretending, because I was honestly walking with God and totally enjoyed the ministries that I was involved in...but it was way too much.

The verse, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6 speaks to me now, but didn't so much then. I did not realize how little peace I had. I was too busy doing to enjoy being.

God knew. He showed me. He plucked me right out of that situation and moved my family far away from that entire place. Every time I tried to play Ms. Spirituality in my new circumstances, He stopped me. I had to rest. I had to reestablish my relationship with Him. He urged me to spend all that time that I previously spent "doing" for Him just "being" with Him.

I learned to be more honest, like the woman who was upfront with her fear of bringing her alcoholic husband to the class and also like the woman in Luke who realized she couldn't remain hidden.

The choice was made by me to quit hiding behind Ms. Spirituality, confess my sin, my fears, and my struggles and trust God (and my fellow sisters & brothers in Christ) to deal with it - lovingly.

God is so very faithful in that He did just that.

I have been challenged by Him to be real, authentic. I don't have to hide behind a mask of pretending to be spiritual, I want to live it. My heart's desire is to love God with all of my heart, mind, and soul, then whatever He does with me as I live that way and love Him is what gives me spirituality. It does not mean that I am involved in every ministry opportunity, it does not mean that I never sin, or certainly that my life is perfect.

Sometimes that means my life, behavior, and words reflect my SELF and I sure do not look very spiritual. But this grieves me because I know it grieves my Lord. That is what makes me spiritual.

So, what is it to be spiritual?

I have to go back to that verse in Romans.

Life and peace. I hope that as I live my life, that other's see my faith, the love I have for God, the absolute truth that sometimes I fall down, but I know that God will pick me up. Peace in knowing that because of Him, I have His Holy Spirit in me to guide me, to teach me, to intercede for me, and His Spirit is what gives me any ounce of spirituality. I can't possibly be spiritual without Him.

I am not Ms. Spirituality. I am just Liz and He loves me anyway.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Cleaning

My mom taught me that one should do a thorough cleaning of the house twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. Hmmm.

I do not always follow that advise (neither does she) but every now and then I actually make an attempt and sometimes get a good deal accomplished.

Interesting - my mom recently wrote a blog titled Is Cleaning House Actually Important? and started me to thinking about why I clean house. I was happy to discover it was for the right reasons - according to my mother's blog. I clean because I like my surroundings to be serene and beautiful.

I also realized that the time of year is here and I have found myself cleaning house, really cleaning house, even before my dear mom posted her blog. I have been cleaning drawers and cabinets, sorting through pictures and papers, and even cleaning my computer. (What have we come to in this century? I have to CLEAN my computer??)

I spent a little time thinking about what it actually means to clean or to be clean. And I wondered what it was this fall that was driving me to clean. Like I said, I do love to have my surrounding serene and beautiful. But the motivation is deeper than just that.


To remove unwanted substances from; as in dirt or filth
Remove all contents or possession from
Empty completely

To free from dirt or impurities

Remove unwanted substances.

This resonates with me.

Unwanted cellulite? Yes! It certainly explains the recent surge of healthy diet and exercise. I have renewed my love of tofu and the smell of the gym when I walk in is exhilarating.

Remove all possessions from.

I am driven by this statement.

Painful photographs. Letters that hurt to read. Gifts and jewelry that no longer hold any value. Removed. Paperwork that I no longer need. Why DO I hang on to a Bible Study that I taught 10 years ago?

Empty completely.

Oh, yes. I am ready.

To empty completely my self from myself. To make more room for God. So I make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. To clean. To discover what works in my life and what is no longer useful or necessary. Being aware of what I did yesterday that can help me understand and accept who I am today, so tomorrow I can become the person God wants me to be...who I want to be.



Morally pure; "led a clean life".

It's time for a little fall cleaning.

Serene and beautiful are the results.

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Think About This

Let us not forget..........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Prayer Request

UPDATE 10/19
Thank you for your prayers and the many comments and notes.
My father-in-law made it through surgery and is recovering in his room. My husband has gone to be with him.
Although there is no more treatment that can be done, and Bob is in pain, he is praying aloud to His Savior, expressing his desire to go home.
God has provided a bit more time with his earthly family before taking him to be with his Heavenly Father.

My father in law, who has been battling cancer, is having an arm amputated tomorrow in attempt to save his life. He is very weak and very ill with his cancer and only has a slight chance of surviving the surgery. Please pray that God's absolute and strong presence will be in the operating room and in the hearts of family members as we approach His throne in asking for His best.
Thank you.

Behind Those Eyes - Ms. Happiness - Chapter 4

Yes To God Tuesdays
Hosted by Lelia

Well, I just finished reading chapter 4 in the book Behind Those Eyes...a little late for Tuesday's post, but I thought I would post a little of my thoughts anyway. Because...I have been Ms. Happiness.

I started off thinking other people could make me happy. Ask my husband. He knows the whole story here. For many years I thought it was his "job" as my husband! Whew, did I have a lot to learn here. Then I realized that he wasn't the key, and I began to believe that I could make myself happy. Wrong again. Due to some serious upsets in my "happiness" I began to really seek after my God and discover the difference between happiness and joy. Oh, praise and glory to Him that the lesson came along before I got caught up in believing that something that I have or something that I do can make me happy. I find joy and happiness in my home, in my ministry, and in my job, but these things are not responsible for my happiness. If any of them were lost or changed, sadness would occur, but it would not be the end of my joy.

Don't understand me to say that it is not sometimes a struggle. When times are tough, and I have had a lot of tough times, it is an outright effort for me to remember that God is the source of what is good in my life. When my marriage is not clicking, when I lost my best friend, and my mom's motorcycle wreck, all of these things have threatened my serenity and joy. I love people. I especially love my family and friends. I am committed to them and love having them in my life. I thought I had the "perfect" life a few years husband and I were very happy, I loved my church and the ways God was using me and I had the blessing of the most fabulous friendships in the world...even a best, best friend. I thought life could be no better and was I ever happy! Within a matter of time, my husband lost a job (stress in the marriage to be sure!), we moved across the country and all those friends became acquaintances, my mom was seriously injured and her husband of 22 years was killed. Then, that best friend and I, had a falling out that has caused the deepest of betrayal and we are not speaking at all. Almost everything that I thought that made me happy was now gone, injured, or threatened.

God lead me to the verse that is our memory verse, in the middle of this crisis. (did I say all this stuff happened in rather quick succession.)

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Look at my blog title. I claimed that verse when I had nothing to hang onto but God. He has taught me the truth in it. The path of my life may not always be easy, it might be rocky and I might even wander off of it and get lost, but HE makes it known to me and HE fills me with joy and eternal pleasures.

And wow! Have I ever learned that lesson in the last year.

Do I have true joy? Most of the time, I believe so. But it has been fairly recently that it has become real in my life. I know that my God has my best interest at heart. I know He will take care of me.

Ending with Lisa's quote from the book:

True joy comes from within when we are operating in our life in the way that pleases God.

Lord, no matter what is going on around me, no matter what is good, what is bad, no matter what, let my joy always be in pleasing You!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thank You!

God will always give what is right to His people who cry to Him night and day, and He will not be slow to answer them.
(Luke 18:7 NCV)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


My friend Carol tagged me, so I thought I'd play along, something a little light hearted and fun!

So here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. That would be Carol.
2. Post these Rules.
3. Tell 6 Unspectacular Things About Yourself.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers.

So here are my 6 unspectacular things about me.

1. My house looks clean by appearance, but is really a disaster behind closet and cabinet doors.

2. I own a fabulous set of my very own golf clubs and have not played golf since I bought them.

3. I love to cook but don't think I am a good cook.

4. I could count how many times I watch t.v. in a month on one hand.

5. I have an uncanny ability to remember dates.

6. I like to do many things but don't have a passion about one thing. This bothers me.

So, now I will tag six fellow bloggers:



Leave me a comment if you come and play.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ABC's of the Word - L

Because your LOVE is better than LIFE, my LIPS will glorify you.

Psalm 63:3

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Money Matters

Incoming email at work today gave a report of the financial status of the company I work for. With the current economic crisis in America, with bank shares falling, the roller coaster ride of the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting to levels lower than ever seen before, job security is a little shaky for some folks. Although my company has been affected by the latest tailspin in the US economy, we were assured by our CEO that all is well.

I am thinking much about my money attitude and also that of my family's attitude. We are personally not feeling the effects of what is going on in the nation, at least not yet. I give extra thought to gallivanting around town for no reason, but I continue to commute 50 miles round trip into Dallas for work daily, and do all the things that I normally would do. Our grocery bill is a little higher than it has been, but God has blessed us with the ability to pay the extra and still be comfortable. (as long as I don't look at the 401K)

Life has not always been that way for us. Spending was tight for many years. I worked part time and babysat children to afford shoes and clothes for my school aged boys. We went through a time where my husband worked handy man jobs to help pay the bills because his corporate position had been eliminated.

God has been the great provider. He has blessed us. I have been given the favor of marrying a man who is wise with finances. Debt has always been a bad word in our marriage and to borrow is something we strive not to do.

We were exposed to ministries like Crown Ministry nearly twenty years ago, taking those suggestions to heart and living by them to the best of our ability. We are fans of Larry Burkett and Dave Ramsey and listen closely to wise counsel. I read the book Your Money Or Your Life in 1994 (GREAT book, by the way) and learned how to ask myself these questions:

  • Should I be able to buy whatever I can afford, no matter what the effect on others or the earth?

  • Should I allow credit cards to lure me into excessive debt?

  • When is personal consumption a matter of public concern?

  • Who or what will set limits for me, if I won't do it myself?

  • Does overconsumption really make me happy?
My husband and I have spent a lot of time learning about money matters. We acknowledge that everything that we have is from God. There have been many times in our lives when we had to trust that He would provide what we needed. Whenever we had extra, we knew it was a blessing from Him.

Proverbs 28:25 says,
A greedy man stirs up dissension,
but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

As we find ourselves walking through this time of economic crisis, let us not bicker and worry but trust in the Lord.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fabulous Friends

Here are some of the best friends that I have ever had! Thank you for the unconditional love and support through one of the most difficult "friendship" seasons in my life. God has blessed me with a group that lifts my heart, heals my soul, and helps me remember what REAL friendship, grace, and forgiveness is REALLY all about.

Behind Those Eyes - Chapter 3 - Miss Confidence

I just finished reading chapter 3, Miss Confidence, in the Bible Study Behind Those Eyes. (hosted by Lelia)

Lisa Whittle's quotes will be in purple today.

When reading this chapter, I realized that Miss Confidence is a part I play quite often, although it is getting more and more difficult as God has given me many lessons on how my only sure confidence is in Him.

I found it interesting the way Lisa linked confidence with vulnerability on page 46.

Confidence is so often afraid of rejection - either because of past hurts or past experiences - that she prefers to stay in her confident shell and not let the soft side of her emerge. But she soon begins to realize that it's very confined in there.

In her book, Strong Women, Soft Hearts, counselor Paula Rinehart talks about this issue in her chapter on vulnerability. She says:

The strength of vulnerability is a curious mixture of discovering your heart and sharing your real self, as best you can, with people God has put in your life. You can't shut down on the inside without quelling the very passion that makes the journey worthwhile. Those walls around the heart take buckets of energy to maintain and God has better things for his children to do. When we close off our hearts, we dishonor Him.

So while my friends may admire me for my strength and counsel, the truth is I admire them...women who are open and vulnerable and real and genuine and without pretense. Those are the things that truly take strength.

I agree with this and often have felt the same way. Even though some people might consider me to be open and vulnerable, open...yes, sometimes, but vulnerable, not really. There is an element of strength that goes with vulnerable that I have lost along the way. Being afraid of rejection and having experienced it, I find myself trying to hide behind Miss Confidence so that people think that I am OK, when in fact, I am not.

I love this - God says that when we put our confidence in the right place (in Him), our lives will be blessed! Amen to that! God has given me many challenges to remind me that my confidence is and should be in Him. I have been tested in this as I have had a husband who has traveled a lot in his work. I have been tested in this during a time of unemployment. I have had to know that I only need God in my life on the three occasions that He has taken our family cross country on job relocation where I had to leave all that I knew, family and friends, and rely only on Him. Recently, the loss of my best friend has tested me to my very soul in realizing that He is my very best friend and all I really need.

The definitions of confidence on page 55, are definitions that I am choosing to adopt as I bury the self confident and fake Miss Confidence and live with more confidence in God.

He has my best interest at heart and will take care of me.

He is with me at all times and will help me walk through and bounce back from even the most difficult trials.

I can do all things through Him as He gives me strength.

He is my everything. He is all I need.

Emotionally Healthy
My desire is to please Him above all things.

Everything I do is through Him and for Him.

I made a list of everything that it would cost me to admit my vulnerability and everything it would cost me to deny it. I have to say, I was surprised. The biggest thing I would loose if I chose to be vulnerable is pride. If I denied my vulnerability I would loose authenticity, intimacy, opportunity for help from God and others, and the opportunity to change. (just to list a few)
Hands down, being vulnerable has many more positives.

Why are we so afraid?

Is it hard for me to admit vulnerability to others? You bet. Some of them are kind of easy at times and with certain people. But some of them make my skin get hot, my palms get shaky and wet, and I really, really don't want others to know. Why? Because I am afraid. Afraid they will reject me. Afraid they will hurt me. Sometimes they will. But most of the time, they won't. And am I afraid to admit them to God? Hilariously, yes! Even though I know He knows, I am afraid that if I admit my vulnerabilities, He will ask me to change...sometimes that is scary, sometimes that is difficult, and sometimes I just want to stay comfortably where I am.

A confident woman is a strong woman. I love the poem on page 52.

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a strong woman shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-surefootedly...
But a woman of strength knows that God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.


As I continue to walk with God, may I be more confident in Him. ~Amen

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Flea Markets and Fun

I just woke up from a three hour nap and it is already time to go to bed! The reason that I am exhausted is because I spent my day yesterday at the largest and oldest flea market in the United States, First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX.

My friend in San Antonio came up specifically to shop this flea market. Knowing that I had now been a few times since my move to the area, she was ready to make the trip and find out what all the hype is about this huge flea market!

She found out.

She sort of laughed when I told her that we would be leaving the house to get there when they opened. We arrived only thirty minutes after the gates opened, but there was already a line a mile long to enter the parking areas. Yes, really... a mile long if not more.

She snickered when I told her that we would be taking a cart, a metal cart, loaned to me by a friend, in order to manage all our finds. She asked, "Do you think we will need it?" Well.........
on our way to our car, it was heaped high and we were hoping the woven, pig shaped basket that I bought as a retirement gift for a friend, would not fall out.

We wore our athletic shoes and took bags that we could wear over our shoulders so that our hands could be free. We were armed with cash for easy negotiation over prices, and took turns in lines.

We came home with signs that said "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" to hang in our bedrooms, with Christmas ornaments and gifts in early preparation of the upcoming holidays, yard and garden decor, flags, and yes, I did buy a basket in the shape of a pig!

So, tired is an understatement. We walked for miles in the Texas dust, searching for bargains and items that we could not live without. My wonderful husband had a big pot of chili waiting for us when we drug in and promptly took a nice bath before dinner. We stayed up and talked about life until after midnight before retiring for the night.

I found myself dozing in church...not something that I am normally prone to do! I realized I might want to take a little nap this afternoon. I slept until 7:30 tonight!

Shopping a flea market as big as a city can do that to a girl!

What a great weekend.

I am off to bed, again. ;)

Good night,

First Monday Trade Days

Friday, October 3, 2008

LATE- ABC's of the Word - Letter K

Oops! I somehow forgot that yesterday was Thursday but I do not want to miss out on my weekly posting of God's word. This week represents the letter K. I am looking forward to reading all the verses posted yesterday, I have not looked at them yet.

The word that came to my heart and mind when I realized that I missed the weekly dose of alphabet scripture was KEEP. A few definitions that speak to me are:

to hold or retain in one's possession; hold as one's own.

to maintain (some action), especially in accordance with specific requirements, a promise, etc.

to conform to; follow; fulfill

Psalm 27:5
For in the day of trouble he will KEEP me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 34:13
KEEP your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

Psalm 119:2
Blessed are they who KEEP his statutes and seek him with all their heart.


A word that brings me both comfort and challenge from God's precious word.

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

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Acts 2 at The Village

There was a time in my life, recently, that I wanted to give up on the organized church. My experience had been that of justifying sin in the church, Matthew 18 not being practiced, and mature believers were leaving right and left due to the lack of mature leadership.

I thought I might never go back to church and if I did, I wondered if I would ever be proud of my church family and leadership again.

Praise God!

He would not let me stay in the state of distrust, fear, and skeptism.

My family and I have found a church and I joined a Home Group. I was asked to sign a covenant. Now- my current church is also a Baptist congregation that is reaching seekers faster than we can house them. What I had been "taught" by the leaders of my former church lined up with keeping things easy and comfortable for the unchurched. My current church home speaks the truth in love. Example; take a look at the covenant that I signed:

Confidentiality: What is said in the group stays in the group unless it is determined that a person is in danger of hurting themselves or someone else.

Respect Others: We do not advise, analyze, or “fix” others. We are to support encourage, and admonish each other toward Christ-likeness and always in truth and love.

Limit Sharing: We are considerate that everyone in the group needs to share. We will be sensitive not to dominate the group discussion times and limit our discussion.

Regular Attendance: We will make a commitment to our group to show up at the appointed meeting times, be on time and end on time. When we cannot attend, we will call the leader to let them know.

Listen: Everyone needs a listening ear. When someone is talking, they have the floor. Everyone should actively listen.

Conflict Resolution: Whenever relationships are involved, there will be conflict. We will handle the conflict Biblically according to the guidelines of Matthew 18.

Avoid Offensive Statements and Jokes: We are all on the same team. Therefore, we should guard against offending one another. If someone offends us, we commit to work it out directly with her.

Be Prepared: Come ready to participate fully in your group include completing any homework.

Scripture: Scripture study will focus on application to life and will be in line with The Village Statement of Faith.

Socials and Service Projects: We commit to building community and impacting our world. These activities are just as important to attend as the study time.

Use of Spiritual Gifts: Group members will contribute to the life of the groups by identifying and using their spiritual gifts.

Wow. I immediately thought of how many situations I had been in that would have been pleasing to God had myself and the group members I was involved with before had signed and lived such a covenant. A friend would have talked to me after being angry / hurt for a year and a half instead of talking to everyone else. Another friend would still be my friend instead of shutting me out of her life. Leaders would have really been held accountable. The list goes on and on.

Today, I recieved the weekly letter from my new pastor. Refreshing.

God is being honored and He is using this church to reach people for him. He is not hindered. People see Him and want to be part. Just like in Acts 2. I know that no church is perfect, but some are striving to be Holy and this is what I was beginning to wonder about.

Read the beautiful and Godly words from my pastor and be encouraged. Especially if you, like me, might be a recovering skeptic.

God still the hearts of His people and in His Holy Church!

Good Afternoon,

Sorry I am getting this to you a little later in the day than usual; it's been a crazy week. As I drove into my driveway last Sunday night I was overwhelmed by all the stories I had heard over the past 48 hours.

The 41 people we baptized last weekend were from such different backgrounds. Most didn't grow up in church (probably helped them) and up until a year or so ago were atheists, agnostics, Buddhists and secularists. I was struck by how differently they came to the same conclusion. One studied philosophy and kept finding holes and problems in the dominate philosophical schools of thought and from there came to know Christ, while another came to The Village months ago to see her brother baptized and was so moved that she began asking questions and attending until Christ became real to her, and then there was the young man who grew up in church but never understood the difference between what the Gospel teaches versus the "Christian moralistic therapeutic deism" that is so prevalent in evangelical teaching. Upon hearing the gospel he was overwhelmed and transformed. It seems God saves from the irreligious and the religious! These are just 3 of the 41! How good is the triune God to us? It truly was an amazing weekend.There is a lot going on but I want to make sure you know about one event in particular.

On Friday night Oct. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., we will host another Culture and Theology event. The subject? The Music and Theology of U2. One of the things we want you to be able to see is that the Gospel message is everywhere in everything. Dr. Glenn Kreider will be our guest as he guides us through the hope and ideas in the lyrics of U2. There will be childcare but you have to register for it on our Web site.

This weekend we will be in Luke 13:18-35. When you get a chance, read through the text and write down some of the things that you see.

I'll see you this weekend. Know that you are loved and prayed for.

For the joy of all people,

Matt Chandler
Lead Pastor