Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pray and vote and pray some more!!

5 days people. I tell ya, I just can't wait for it to be over. Not because I'm looking forward to a new administration, but because I'm so tired of all the ads and all the banners by the roadside and the media. UGH. The media. Fair, hardly! (that's for another post though) The biggest thing I'm anxious for is that it will be over by Thanksgiving. You see, I'll be with me entire family for Thanksgiving and my brother - who is the only male among 3 girls, and knows everything there is to know about any subject on the planet (in his own mind, that is) - will be there as well. It gets very tense when we talk about politics in my family. Living in WV there were alot of unions. One of my grandfathers was a carpenter - part of a union - the other a coal miner - MAJOR union member!! My dad was a self-employed painter/paper hanger - again, part of a union. Now, I don't have anything against unions, but that just gives you an idea of how I was raised. Since leaving home and since deepening my relationship with God I have become quite convicted about voting from my wallet, thus changing my political stand. THIS makes no sense to my brother making for sometimes quite heated discussions on politics. Unfortunately my brother doesn't have a day to day relationship with Jesus (pray for him by the way) so of course the big topics for him are mostly economic.

All of that to say, it's that time! Election day is right around the corner. Here's the amazing thing to me. At our sleepover last week with my high school girls, this election was one of things they listed as their 'fears'. 9th grade girls stressed over this election. WOW. I don't even know who was President when I was in 9th grade because I was too busy being a majorette and dance team member to worry about something so silly as politics. HAHAHA!! Here's a little peek......

I know, isn't that hilarious?!!! Sorry for the crack in the glass. OLD picture! haha

So anyway, at the sleepover after my 3 hours of sleep, I woke up and hit the Word asking God for SOMETHING to give these girls regarding the election. He was always. Rom 13:1(b) "for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Could there be anything more perfect? This election WILL NOT take God by surprise. In fact, He's sitting on the other side of it waiting for us to catch up. So, here's what I told the girls "Don't be afraid of this election. Pray about it. Encourage your parents to go vote and pray about it more." That's my advice to anyone who is 'stressin' about it. Pray, vote and keep on praying!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good for the soul!!!

Oh y'all. I had the most amazing day! My man came home from work Friday and said "Babe, let's get outta here!" So, we pack up and head to the mountains! Y'all, my man doesn't do that....ever! Especially with all the financial stuff we've battled lately, but sometimes you just gotta suck it up and breathe some fresh air and that's just what we did. It's late and I'm gettin ready to prepare for worship tomorrow, but I'll just share this sweet little image with ya......

I KNOW! Are they the cutest or what? We had such a great day and details will follow, but for now, good night!!

Thank you Jesus for such an amazing weekend! Thank you for the beauty of your creation! Thank you for your protection over our travels! Thank you for my man!! Thank you Jesus for it all!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Broken bones, broken hearts....

Well it's been a LONG couple of days. I haven't gotten much sleep because the princess has had a rough couple of nights. Bless the baby girl's heart! She has, for the most part, been an amazingly strong little girl, but the pain creeps up on her and bam! there's my 6 year old again!

I have to share a bit about our ER experience. Several staff members at the ER didn't believe her arm was broken because Kayley had been so strong and brave. In fact, the x-ray tech was even a bit rough with her. (have I mentioned I wanted to hit her with my flip-flop? haha) But on our way back to the room, after she had shown me the fracture, we passed the ER doc and the tech told him yes there was one. Well once we got settled back in the room the nurses came in and began splinting the 'fracture' and the Dr came and told me about the 'fracture'. It really never dawned on me to stop and make sure that Kayley understood what was happening, but because they were all calling it a fracture I didn't even think to make sure she knew what that meant. Anyway, after we were alone and waiting for our discharge orders I looked down at my baby girl and said "I'm so sorry your arm is broken and I would take it away right now if I could." To which I see shock and horror cross the baby's face. "WHAT? My arm is broken?!" She didn't get it. She began to cry and so did I. I apologized and made sure she understood at that point, but the hurt was done.

That night it really hit me how the Lord grieves over our pain. How often we fall down and get hurt, things get broken - relationships, marriages, kids, jobs - and we don't understand it. We get confused and disoriented in our pain. We get lost in all the 'busyness' going on around us and no one can explain what's happening. Then our Abba Father, in His infinite love and compassion for us, stops, cradles us in His arms of Love and whispers "It's okay, my princess. I understand. I took your pain already. Let me have it so I can make it all better." Don't you just love that about Him? He's willing to heal our boo-boo's, even when it's on the inside!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My weekend saga.....

Well the sleep-over was a blast! We laughed, we cried (because we were laughing so hard), we ate, we watched movies, played games, ate, laughed and just had fun getting to know each other. The Lord has blessed me with an amazing group of girls who really are doing their best to live for Jesus - to be a light in this dark world. They told us about their concern for lost friends, about being a witness 24/7, about other Christian friends walking away from Christ, it was amazing. Believe me that we did our best to make them comfortable enough to not give the "Sunday school" answers and I think it worked because these girls blew my mind. I was nowhere near their spiritual maturity level at their age. AMAZING. Thanks for your prayers.

I spent most of my day recuperating from Friday night (was up from 6am Fri to 4am Sat - UGH!) and then had to run a few errands Sat afternoon. I was in the car with my choir Christmas CD blaring and didn't hear my 4 calls from Jimmy or my text msg saying "911 - CALL ME!!!" So as I pull in the driveway my man comes running out asking where I've been and why my phone was off - OOPS! I walk in to find my baby girl hysterically crying on the couch and one trip to ER later we have this.......

Yes friends, 11 years with 2 boys and not a single broken bone and who ends up being the first? My baby girl!! Fell off the swing at my neighbors. Her shoe came off while she was swinging and she was afraid that if she got off the swing someone would take it so she bent over to try to get the shoe and BAM! down she went. She was so brave at the ER that the x-ray tech gave her that colorful monkey in her hand. The tech didn't think it was broken because Kay was being so strong! I love that about her!! Anyway, be in prayer for her. She's an angel!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well I'm officially plunging head first into the world of high school girls! AGAIN! haha Tomorrow night we're having our first class sleepover and I'm SO anxious for it! I guess a better word would be excited!! We're checking cell phones at the door, but I'm praying that the Lord will move in such a way that they won't WANT to do anything other than what we have planned for them.

If you think of us, pray for Lisa and I as we try to make an impact on these girls for the Kingdom of God! We want them to fall so in love with Jesus that they'll be blinded by His light and beauty to the junk this world is hurling on them! Thanks for praying and I'll keep ya posted on how things go.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How do you see your self?

That's a loaded question isn't it? I wonder how many - if we were COMPLETELY honest - would answer that question with something positive? I know I sure wouldn't. I wouldn't call myself 'Beloved' or 'Chosen' or 'Precious Gift'. It would go something like fat, ugly, selfish. What about you? Why is it we go mostly to the physical when we're asked that question? UGH. Let's see what Brennan Manning says about this topic.

In "Abba's Child" he writes "One of the most shocking contradictions in the American church is the intense dislike many disciples of Jesus have for themselves. They are more displeased with their own short-comings than they would ever dream of being with someone else's. They are sick of their own mediocrity and disgusted by their own inconsistency." Wow. Can anyone relate? He goes further to quote David Seamands with "Many Christians...find themselves defeated by the most psychological weapon that Satan uses against them. This weapon has the effectiveness of a deadly missile. It's name? Low self-esteem." Can I get a witness? OUCH! "This feeling shackles many Christians, in spite of wonderful spiritual experiences and knowledge of God's Word. Although they understand their position as sons and daughters of God, they are tied up in knots, bound by a terrible feeling of inferiority, and chained to a deep sense of worthlessness." Well that pretty much sums up a LOT of my life!

Like Manning - who then tells the story of his traumatic childhood and how he detached his heart from his head in order to 'perform' in the ministry - I have spent a lot of my life beating myself up. Sure, I knew I had done some pretty good things in my life, I knew that I was a child of God, I knew that I had a home in heaven, but I truly believed it was gonna be a little shack in the woods not a mansion on streets of gold. Worthlessness was my middle name. I couldn't let go of my past and accept that God truly had cast my sins as far as the east from the west. I just knew He was just waiting for the perfect time to bring them up again. Little did I know I had those roles reversed. It was Satan who was waiting for the perfect time to remind me. The Father had no idea what sins I was talking about because they had been covered by the blood of Jesus and He couldn't see them.

Also like Manning I finally had a breakdown. I was able to accept Jesus' love and forgiveness COMPLETELY. I knew that I had, like he talks about, projected onto God my feelings about myself. I only felt safe with Him when I had performed perfectly, when I had been noble or generous or loving, not scared, tired, angry or scarred up. Finally though, not too long ago I was able to come out of hiding. I was able to see myself the way God sees me. Like the prodigal, I too limped home, battered and bruised and found the Father running to meet me with open arms. Please don't think that means my life has been a bed of roses since, oh no, quite the contrary. Since then, the enemy has found an even more clever disguise to attack me with. But I'll tell you this as I read this book - and am still reading it - I found myself in the pages.

As Manning writes his story - though it's different in that I've never been a pastor - it was my story. I think it's a lot of our stories. Different circumstances yes, but still the same theme. This is one of my favorite lines in the book. Manning is quoting one of the "most sought-after spiritual guides of our time" Thomas Merton in beating our self-esteem issues "Quit keeping score altogether and surrender yourself with all your sinfulness to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only his child redeemed by Christ." Liberty will follow. It's yours/mine for the taking. Grab that mirror and take a good long look. You'll see it too!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More of the book....

I hope y'all don't get tired of me sharing this amazing book. I certainly hope even more that you'll go and get your own copy. I'm telling you that it's truly transforming me. The Lord is using it to speak to me with almost every line. It's almost like I feel Him reading it to me, speaking my name. I don't usually gush over books like this - well y'all know I'm a bit on the dramatic side, but still - but this really is an incredible book. Go get you one!

So today we're talking more about our self-hatred and how it affects God.
"The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency." OUCH!! Do you get that? I mean Elohim, Jehovah, the El Elyon - in anguish over ME? Wow. "He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence." Does that sound like someone who can't accept you as you are? Like someone who couldn't possibly love you/me because..........(fill in whatever you like there)? Like someone who wouldn't do ANYTHING in your best interest? Like someone who doesn't understand you? I think not!

Manning quotes Thomas Merton here with, "Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon." Manning adds, "God calls us to stop hiding and come openly to Him. God is the father who ran to His prodigal son when he came limping home. (But) God loves who we really are - whether we like it or not. God calls us, as He did Adam, to come out of hiding. No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him." LAND SAKES! Someone wants to say "There is no God like Jehovah!"

Y'all I certainly hope that you read these words and realize that God loves you/me with an everlasting, unconditional, all sufficient love. He longs to show it. He longs to give it. He aches when we see ourselves as unworthy when He allowed His Son to die to make us worthy of it. Stay strong! You're worth it!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Abba's Child"

It's my new addiction, this book! The Lord has been using it to speak VOLUMES to me y'all. I mean VOLUMES! I'm only on the 3rd chapter because I keep going back and rereading things over and over and over. Plus, trying to decide what I wanna share with y'all too. Some of it's not too pretty, so no sharing. (though I've surely shared enough of my ugliness haven't I? UGH)

So here's a few lines from Chpt 2 that I thought I'd pass along. Smacked me right upside my head when I read these. The book begins with a reference to Flannery O'Connor's short story "The Turkey" and the principal character named Ruller. Ruller is an unusual boy who likes to kinda be alone, he spots a wounded turkey, kills it and takes it home for his family to eat. He's strutting thru town showing it off to everyone and as he spots some people who are a bit worse off than he and his family he starts to feel bad for them. However, instead of giving them the turkey he gives them a dime. He then runs into some older, bigger boys and they steal his turkey. Ruller, frozen in fear, finally turns and runs for home. Manning then says, "In Ruller many of us Christians stand revealed, naked, exposed. Our God, it seems, is One who benevolently gives turkeys and capriciously takes them away. When He gives them, it signals His interest in and pleasure with us. We feel close to God and are spurred to generosity. When He takes them away, it signals His displeasure and rejection. We feel cast off by God." He goes on to say "So we unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves. If we feel hateful toward ourselves, we assume that God feels hateful toward us. But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves - unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely and freely. In human form Jesus revealed to us what God is like. It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are - not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them. Though God does not condone or sanction evil, He does not withhold His love because there is evil in us." Whew.

So, how this all spoke to me was that for years I sat just waiting for the day God was going to zap me with a lightning bolt for the times I've blown it. I truly had a "Chicken Little" attitude with God. The sky was falling on me little by little every day. Then praise His precious name I had my "profound conversion"! I finally realized that God is relentlessly trying to love me, trying to show me compassion, trying to heal my wounds, but I was so busy waiting for His Hand of Justice to fall that I wouldn't allow Him to be my Abba Daddy. But like I said, He was relentless...praise His name! I don't know where you are in your walk or in your life, but I will tell you this. The Father is waiting to love you. He's waiting to free you. He's waiting to accept you are...scars and all...wounds and all. He wants to heal them. He can't allow you to continue in sin, but after He heals your heart, trust me sisters, you won't WANT to continue in them.

See why I'm lovin' this book?! I'll be sharing more of it as we go along. Hope you liked it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

15 years ago today......

I did something that I believed I wasn't going to ever do......married the man of my dreams!!! That's right, we've defied the odds and have stayed together longer than anyone gave us credit for. Jimmy and I have always loved being underdogs. Of course, what "they" never knew was that something bigger than Jimmy, myself or anything/anyone else was at work!! God the Father had plans.....plans to prosper us, plans to give us hope and a future! That's exactly what He's done and I thank Him for it EVERY day!!!

Jimmy, I love you more today than I ever thought possible. You are my heartbeat, my soul mate, my lover, my BFF and so much more!! You never cease to amaze me, to make me laugh, to challenge me and to lead me! I love you for that! You are still my hot drummer boy and always will be!!! Keep on rockin' for Jesus babe!!! Happy Anniversary!! I love you so very much!!
Forever Yours -