01 May 2012

Day One of the 21 Days of Prayer Challenge

"All it takes to lose the truth of the Word of God is one set of parents who fail to teach it.  And the result can be generations of men who don't know and fear the Lord."
(excerpt from Brooke L. McGlothlin's book "Warriar Prayers")

Today is the first day of the 21 Days of Prayer Challenge over at the MOB Society.  I only recently discovered the encouraging website so this is the first year I will participate and I am very excited!  All it takes to join us boy mommas is hop on over to their site, purchase the book (only $3.99), and pray. 

For day one, Brooke discusses the story of Eli.  We all know Eli as the priest who helped Samuel learn to hear the Word of the Lord, but how many of us ever caught the rest of Eli's story? 

"Now the sonsof Eli were worthless men.  They did not know the Lord."  1 Samuel 2:12

I found this very interesting.  Not one of us can take the responsibility of properly training our little warriors lightly.  That is what this challenge is about.  Throwing ourselves at the feet of a merciful God and standing in the gap for our sons. 

As the quote above speaks so clearly, we are only one generation away from losing the truth of the Word of God.  If you are Momma to a boy, won't you join me?

24 February 2012


In the past, Lent is not something I gave a whole lot of thought to.  I grew up in a denomination that did not focus on Lent and while I occasionally gave something up, I never fully embraced the opportunity Lent presents to draw closer to God. 

"Draw near to God
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8
In recent months He has been drawing me closer into his healing embrace.  I wrote recently on drawing near to God and it continues to be on the forefront of my thoughts this Lenten season.  That is why I chose to throw myself unabashedly into this thing called Lent and into the arms of my Father and give up something I depend on each and every day...caffeine. 

I am on day three without my BFF caffeine and this is the first day I can think coherently enough to write something.  I wasn't much fun the last couple of days (just ask my dear son), but this morning I awoke feeling clear-headed and headache free. 

As the days draw us nearer to Easter and I continue to draw nearer to God, it is my hope and prayer that He will change me.  I've felt stuck for so long, trapped in bouts of physical pain and cycles of depression.  It's been three years since my hysterectomy set me free from the physical pain but the ongoing emotional  struggles continue to hold me back.  I've made so much progress but I cannot do it alone.  It is only in throwing myself into His arms that I've begun to find healing.

In this time of Lent as I continue to lean into Him, I hope to move past the things that grip me and into the life He has for me.  I'm ready to let go of who I've been and step out in faith. 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.  What a beautiful thought to carry with me this Lenten season as I draw closer to my Lord.  I was not created to live in bondage but to live in Christ.  God is bigger than my bipolar and He created me for more.  I will always need to be proactive in managing my emotions but I'm ready to move past being controlled by them.  That is why I am giving up caffeine for Lent.  In fact, I just may be giving up caffeine for life.

16 February 2012


Lately when Kelly has an evening meeting I've been trying to make a habit of turning off the TV and soaking up the quiet but last night I kept the TV on.  Now, it's no news that the comedy selections available do not rate too high on the moral compass and last night was no different.  But it was pretty funny, so...I watched it anyway.  And I laughed.  A lot.

I happen to be the mother of a boy with an unusual quality in that he tries very hard to avoid exposing himself to anything inappropriate.  I've always stressed that he should be very careful what he puts into his mind because once it's there he can never get it out and my cautious son has taken it to heart in a very literal way.  I am so thankful for that, even when he turns it around and shines a light into my own heart. 

Since Isaac is not a great sleeper and it frequently takes him a looong time to fall asleep, last night he caught me.  He's seen the previews and heard me comment that he should NEVER watch that show.  He informed me in no uncertain terms that watching this particular show was inappropriate for me as well and he doesn't want to catch me doing it again. 

It struck me as funny, this child of mine scolding me, taking the role of parent.  But he was right.  There are some things that may be okay for me as an adult that he may not be ready for but if I'm honest with myself, there are many things that aren't good for any of us regardless of age.  Just because it's funny and I needed a good laugh does not justify it.  I thanked him for reminding me of that. 

Ephesians 5:4 has this to say on the matter -
Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--
these are not for you.
Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

I guess it doesn't get any clearer than that!

13 February 2012

How we met...

The wedding of my friend was in January, the January after I graduated high school.  I couldn't go to the rehearsal because I still worked at the restaurant and Friday evenings were difficult to get out of, but no matter since my role as guest registrar would not be too difficult.  I could not have known the path I was about to cross.

Saturday morning dawned white with snow.  I breathed a prayer of thanks that I had invited a dear childhood friend to accompany me, for he had a truck and he knew how to drive it.  I had a car, and when roads were white with snow I did not know how to drive it. 

I was shown to my spot and introductions were made.  Two ushers, one a peculiar stranger, uncomfortably friendly.  The other one, the quiet one, with dark hair and dark eyes holding a hint of familiarity, although we had never met before that day.

After the wedding I made small talk with my childhood friend and chatted with my former classmates and searched out the gaze of his dark eyes.  I barely knew his name but when our eyes would meet again and again, I knew him.

At home, my father glanced at the wedding program and asked me if I'd met him.  My father knew him?  Yes, he'd coached my little sister in the BB gun league and she also knew him.  My heart sped. 

Soon after, I talked with a close friend and I told her I had met the man I was going to love.  The man I was going to marry.  I knew it when I looked into his familiar eyes again and again that wedding day.

Spring came, followed quickly and slowly by summer.  On vacation with my family in July, the short walk to the beach took me right by the fire station.  I knew he was a volunteer fireman, I knew he designed firetrucks for his job, and I knew little else.  I had not seen him and I'd thought of him every day since that day in January.  I knew with absolute certainty that one of two things was true.  I was either going to marry that elusive, dark-eyed, almost stranger, or I was losing my mind.  I hoped and prayed it was the former; I was afraid it was the latter.

As summer was coming to a close I found myself still working at the restaurant and still thinking of him.  One evening as I sliced pies and tossed salads, I thought about my life.  I was tired of waiting around for what may never be.  I decided then and there that I was done pining for my non-existent boyfriend.  If he ever showed up, well that would be fantastic, but in the meantime I intended to enjoy this freedom that comes with independence while it lasted.  I stayed long after my shift ended talking with my work-mom, all the while completely oblivious to the end of my freedom and the beginning of my future. 

Eventually my boss turned the corner and told me I had a phone call.  It was my father inquiring as to when I would be home.  He went on to say someone had called for me and would soon be calling back.  That I should hurry home.  That I would not want to miss his call a second time. 

I didn't miss his call and I wasn't losing my mind.  In September we'll be married 15 years and this past month marked 19 years since I first looked into his familiar dark eyes.  Half my life with the one who feels like home. 

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetheart.

28 January 2012

drawing near...

I am discouraged.  Frustrated with myself.  Frustrated with my thorns.  I am very thankful that I do not have cancer but I am still left to deal with my list of inconvenient health issues, a list that seems to grow with each passing year. 

I think about those dreams buried deep in the recesses of my soul.  I will be 38 in three months and I genuinely believed I would have made some progress on them in all those years of life I've lived.  I feel frustrated, broken, weak.

I blame my health.  If my hormones weren't a complete mess.  If I had not inherited my mother's bad back.  If I did not have to deal with bipolar.  If only...

I blame my husband.  If he weren't so stubborn.  If he would communicate more.  If he would...

I spend an evening with a dear woman who has never been anything but a true and kind friend to me and I leave feeling discouraged.  I am horrified by the feelings of envy and discontent that claw at my soul. 

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

While were still sinners.  These are comforting words to me as I examine the ugliness found within.  Deep down I know that I am the one to let myself down.  I am to blame for what I am missing out on.  I am the one who has not been willing to do the hard work my dreams demand. 

I struggle to change myself when I should be letting God change me.  As I sit on my seat next to auctioneer tonight, lost in the rhythm of his cadence and my fingers typing on the keys of the computer in front of me, some words are breathed into my soul. 

"Draw near to God
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8

Draw near to God.  I can't get those words out of my mind.  And he will draw near to you.  I meditate on this as the auction rhythm flows on.  I think about my futile efforts to turn the momentum of my life and I see that I've been trying to do it myself. 

I realize I need to build a stronger foundation.  I need to take some time to focus on drawing closer to God and soaking myself in his Word.  I long to peel back the unnecessary distractions and give myself the mental space to write.  I must lean on His strength as I practice the art of self-discipline.  "Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you," he whispers to my soul. 

So many failures and so much grace.  As I prepare my body for a much-needed night of rest, I prepare my soul to rest in Him.  To draw near.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

27 January 2012

-originally written on 9/16/11 and not published because?  I have no idea...

The temperature outside this morning was 46 degrees.  Yesterday as the cold front was moving in we had rain followed by cloudy skies for the rest of the day.  Those beautiful deep gray textured skies that, when contrasted with the lush, nourished fields make my heart sing.  Many of my closest friends and family are mourning the end of summer and the heat that goes with it, but not I. 

I am happily pulling my sweaters out of hibernation.  I am relishing the silence of a house without fans and air contitioners running.  I am soaking up the cool, fresh air outside.  And I am snuggling under my blankets to sleep more peacefully.  I am happy.

Fall has long been my favorite time of year.  I don't enjoy the heat of summer, for one thing.  Baking in the hot sun is a sure-fire recipe for a headache and I can't sleep when I'm hot.  Spring is nice but fall does not bring with it the overwhelming itching and sneezing that interferes with my life from April through July.  As for winter, I enjoy snow days when I can stay home, play some nice music, and bake something.  Other than that, not so much.
Fall is perfect.  The deep blue skies are beautiful, often featuring big, puffy clouds floating lazily.  It's the time of year when nature puts my favorite colors on display.  Along with the blue of the skies, the gold of the corn, the green of the fields, and the brilliance of the fall leaves give my eyes much to feast on.  Is it a coincidence that I happen to look best in fall colors?  I don't think so. 

(photo taken fall 2008)
My two favorite people in their matching camo sweatshirts,
my little one so proud to be like his Daddy.