Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fill Ins


A few of my new bloggy friends have been doing these Friday fill ins, I really enjoy reading their posts so I thought I'd give it a try

I'm happy it's warm outside, I'm ready for spring, I wish it was here to stay.

Why do I have a big chest on a skinny body that leads people to think that I've been surgically enhanced even though that is something I would never ever do and not that there is something terribly wrong with it even though I wouldn't do it personally?

How does this webcam work anyway?

Every morning I put my tired old sweats on my tired old body.

I consider myself lucky because the love of my life is walking hand in hand with me through a horrible storm and he doesn't even complain when he comes home and I am still in my tired old sweats because he knows they are comfort.

One day we'll see with clarity the mighty things our mighty God has done through the storms in our lives.

As for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to visiting Brett, tomorrow my plans include watching Blake run the mile and the two mile at the Virginia High School League State Championships, and Sunday I want to cheer Joel on as he wrestles for the Freshman State Championship.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


So strong, so big

yet in a moment

so tiny

desperately needed

longed for

dark, ominous thoughts

filter in to

chase it away


words come 

words that live 

words that give life  

Once again

it is mine to hold on to


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Look Back: Forget not His Benefits, O My Soul

This chapter was very timely for me. I have spent quite a bit of time looking back recently. Jennifer writes "Remembering is essential to the health of our souls." I thought aha! good for me! 

I loved the analogy of our thought closets being like libraries! Just like a real library I can see my thought closet in sections "the childrens section" Oh how fortunate I am that I had a wonderful blessed childhood. I grew up on an air force base near Fairbanks Alaska. So many wonderful memories. Making snow angels while looking up in wonder at the beautiful Northern Lights. Christmas was always white! Even now as I contemplate this chapter and remember my childhood I am flooded with love and gratitude for this gift from my heavenly Father. My childhood will always be a book to pull from the shelf when I need a healthy dose of happiness.

I would be lying if I did not say that I wished there were only joyful wondrous memories to be found in my thought closet. Alas there are many painful, even agonizing memories to be found alongside the northern lights. " The painful memory is profitable because it adds to my personal peace. It reassures me that I can trust God if another difficulty comes into my life." 
This is a great encouragement that I need to dwell on, since my life recently has been full of painful difficult memories. Even yesterday I found myself reflecting on the terrible days that followed my son's arrest. Instead of focusing on the pain I found myself praising God for carrying me through. ...because in those dark, difficult places, we often become more deeply acquainted with the good and comforting presence of God. Yes we do! I am living proof, I am right in the middle of a dark difficult place and I can truthfully say I have never before felt the presence of God in such a mighty way!

My good friend Liz got me started on journaling years ago, I am so thankful for the wonderful advice to try it because now I have pages and pages of prayers that I have written out over the years to look back on. This helps me in so many ways. It helps me to remember the many answers to prayer. It also helps me for the prayers that have not yet been answered. It causes me to want to persevere as I know God is faithful to hear and answer me. My timeline is not His.

In the last section of this chapter I had to laugh when I read the account of Jennifer's friend Alicia's late husband. I too have "spent five years of emotional energy mourning the death of a man who was stuck in traffic" How silly I felt when he came walking through the door!

I can say that I totally agree with her in that it is never beneficial to dwell on what may happen, even if it is somewhat of a possibility. I used to worry that I would see my son on the evening news. Unfortunately there came a day that indeed he was on our local evening news. God spared me from actually seeing the news story. Did my worry change anything? No, it but it did rob me of peace many, many times.  Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own"

I will forge ahead while from time to time pulling books off the shelves in my thought closet. Books of joy, some of pain, some of peace. Hopefully I will learn from each  the lessons God has  for me. Lessons that will mold me and make me a better servant in His kingdom.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What God has shown me

We are half - hearted creatures,
fooling about with drink and sex and ambition
when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child
who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum
because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer
of a holiday at the sea.

We are far too easily pleased.

C.S. Lewis

This was the meditation in our worship bulletin this weekend.

Quite profound! 

When I think of my life just a few short months ago I can't help but see myself as that child making mud pies.

Content with the knowledge of my salvation yet too busy with the mud to see beyond the grace that has been given me to the possibilities of daily life walking hand in hand with my savior on the shore basking in the warmth of his love, secure in His safekeeping.

My prayer is that never again will I be content in the mud.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul

God's timing is so perfect. As I looked at the title of this chapter I smiled. I would change the wording just a bit "He has stilled and quieted my soul".

When I am weak He is strong. The peace I have today is of Him, there is no doubt about it. This morning before I began my devotional time I perused my prayer journal entries of the last four weeks.  Pain, bewilderment, confusion, desperation, these are but a few of the  emotions that are spilled out across the pages of my journal. Yet today I have a peace that belies what has been written.

 Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus

Jennifer writes "Experiencing real shalom seems nearly impossible in our chaotic lives" Isn't THAT the truth! Of course it is nearly impossible not totally impossible.
She goes on to tell us that "Before we can really appreciate the source of peace, we need to acknowledge why we have angry, smoldering embers in our thought closets to begin with. We must identify  the source of our anger"

Once again I find myself a bit ad odds with this study. As I look into my thought closet I don't see anger. What I do see is fear and doubt. This terrible duo can be just as destructive as anger so I found that as I continued in this chapter the truth of God is just as effective against them as anger.

It was not hard at all to identify the source of my fear and doubt. His name is Brett, I love him with all that I am. He is the oldest of my four children. He is in jail. I have absolutely NO control over him or the outcome of his trial. 

What I DO have control over is: 

my own attitude
my responses to circumstances
my choice to seek God
my determination to be still before God
my choice to acknowledge that He is God and we are not!

In my book I circled something on page 105 and I wrote next to it Lindly.
The text is a bible verse "Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

At a moment of utter weakness and despair my precious daughter sent me a link to a youtube video of Steven Curtis Chapman's song of the same name. I felt as if Jesus himself had come down from the throne room of heaven to give me that message. I took it in and spoke it to my thought closet. The result was peace and sleep that evening. Both of those things had been eluding me up until then.

Of the three Washouts on the Path to Peace that Jennifer mentions I will say that the most difficult for  me has been  A Negative Mind -Set

She writes "Some things in life are simply hard. We don't like them, we don't want them, but we have to deal with them anyway." So true! We can deal with them in our own power and be scorched with the flames of anger or beat down by despair or we can seek God and speak His words of peace into our thought closets which will enable us to overcome even the hardest things in life!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I will post more coherently tomorrow. But for now I must Praise God!!

I Praise Him for His faithfulness! For His mercy! and His grace!

I sat in a jail visiting room this evening and heard my lost boy praise God!

He actually said he is happier than he has ever been!

Only the power of God could do that!!

Three weeks ago as he left my home I told him that I would rather see him in jail than living fine and doing drugs.

Well my friends he is indeed in jail but I will sleep well tonight because I know that my mighty God is with him.

Romans 8: 37 - 39

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Look Up: Hope in God My Soul

So, on to chapter six. I had to laugh at myself when I pulled out the book to read this chapter. I missed out on the last book but did enjoy reading the insights of other bloggers. So it was with much anticipation that I looked forward to finding out what the next book would be as I had determined that I would get it and jump in.

I was initially disappointed. I thought to myself, "I don't really struggle with negative soul talk". Truth is, I had not. At the time I purchased the book I had been doing my best to stock my soul closet with positive thinking. Of course there is no way I could have known the trial I would be facing. In fact I am so glad I did not know for the knowing surely would have debilitated me.

I have shared before that my son has been in a battle with drugs for some time now. One of the things I have said many times about him is "he takes three steps forward and seven back". This has been his struggle.

In the past four and a half years he has had periods where his drug use was minimal or even non existent. I have prayed countless times for his deliverance. For God to send strong christian fellowship into his life, for him to surrender his heart to God. Oh the heartache in my prayers.

Over the past three months his drug use had escalated to include heroin. I had no idea for drug addicts are masters at deception. I knew something was amiss and had began to ask God to reveal the truth to me. Ever faithful God did indeed reveal the truth. The pain of that revelation was more than I could bear! It propelled my husband and I into actions that eventually led to a tragic event that has landed him in jail facing a most probable prison term. The last thing I said to him before he left my house is "I would rather see you in prison than to turn you over to drugs". Two weeks went by before we learned of his actions and fate.

Those two weeks were riddled with  agony, tears and despair, eventually displaced by hope. Just when I was beginning to live in hope I received the news that he was in jail. The weight of this news sent my "table" crashing down! 

Thankfully my table managed the weight long enough for  me to visit him in jail. God bless two of my dearest friends who came alongside to enable me to be there for him. One of them actually saw the local news story about it and called to see if I was alright. Poor gal, she did not want to be the one to tell me but I am eternally grateful to have heard such awful news from a dear friend than to have seen it on T.V. 

She stayed with my other two boys and ordered pizza for them while my other friend drove me to the jail. I prayed my way there and mustered up every bit of mother love I have to pour out to my boy once I got there. Just like on T.V. there he sat on the other side of a jail window. I picked up the phone to talk to him . I hardly remember what was said besides I love you, your heavenly father loves you as well with a more perfect love than I. Run to him now! I told him that I would never give up on him and that we would do everything in our power to help him. 

When I came home I was numb, my husband was still in Las Vegas on a business trip. Thankfully he was due home early the next morning. 

When I say my table collapsed I mean it did in each way. My emotional leg was in a whirlwind. Every evil depiction of prison life that I had ever seen came back to torment me. Physically I was nauseous all night long, my head ached. Mentally I couldn't think straight, and spiritually I was a picture of despair.  I was physically exhausted but sleep evaded me. I did manage a few hours of fitful sleep.  At 2:30 am I woke for the third time and reached out for my bible and began to do some serious soul talking through the psalms. The Holy Spirit led me right to Psalm 119. All 176 verses of it.

This was the beginning of repairing my table. I have been living my life daily seeking His glorious words to stock my soul closet with. I have taken to writing verses down on index cards, there have been so many that have sustained me and kept me from despair. Jennifer writes in this chapter  "I have hope even in blindness because I choose to always believe in the goodness of God. It is not a once and forever choice. Its a choice I make day by day"

Yes it is! I am making it as well. As I said when I began this post I had to laugh at myself. I do not know what I need but thank God my heavenly Father does and he meets those needs daily, sometimes minute by minute. When I looked over the passages at the end of this chapter I saw that several were oh so familiar as God has given them to me recently.

I have been hesitant to share the details of my story because it is so dark but my prayer is that God would be glorified in this tragedy. He cannot be glorified if I hide away. 

So dear sisters please pray for us and know that as 1 John 4:4 states "because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mother Love

My dearest boy

Oh that my love could sprout wings 

It would fly to you now and hold you so tight

It would scoop you up and fly you far far away

To a time long ago when the moon was a cookie

and you were my love

alas my dear there are no wings

but my love is real it is strong

and if you look into your heart you will see it, feel it, know it

For you are my son, my precious one and I carry your love with me and you mine

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Journey

I started to say I stumbled across this wonderful blog but then realized there was no stumbling.
As I am learning to walk this new life of pain and waiting I am steadily seeking God. He is so good, so faithful! He has led me to such wisdom and love in so many blogs. I have been especially blessed by this one "Seedlings in Stone"

The author L.L. Barkat proposed a writers challenge, I thought I'd try it so here it is.

I close my eyes and I can still see...

The Homecoming

Tires crunch against tiny rocks
ears like minutemen jump to attention

clinking jangling keys set a tail in motion

with one swift twist levers give way
the knob turns as the door opens

licking, wagging, jumping, barking, yelping

dust and fur float through the air

highlighted by the setting sun streaming through the kitchen window

kicked up by happy paws and work boots

welcome home my friend I've missed you

Chapter Five: Awake My Soul

Distractions and a roaring lion.

I have to say I don't have too many distractions these days. I can relate to days past but for the present I am only dealing with the lion.

I thought I was alert, careful. Yet here he is, roaring for all he is right at my front door. 

Unfortunately I am acquainted with him. I remember years ago when he came for me. The circumstances of my life could not have been more different than they are now. He came just the same.

He came saying all kinds of ugly things, things that for too long I took onto myself and stuffed into my closet. 

At the time I was a young girl armed only with my salvation in Christ. I had not grown up attending church or bible study to learn how to fully arm myself. I did however have the "helmet of salvation" and the "sword of the spirit". 

I look back on that time with clarity now.

 As I was in the midst, there were dark times. Times of fear, contemplations of suicide, self destruction. Yet there were also many expressions of God's unconditional love for me. My mother who steadfastly prayed for me. Friends who came alongside and loved me. There was also a time of oppression  that I believe I heard almost audibly the voice of the Holy Spirit protecting me. It was not too long after that when God worked circumstances to bring Paul to me. 

He was the beginning of God's calling me to Himself. Paul was a born again believer in Jesus. Unlike me he had enjoyed years of teaching, and growth. He was a solid young man. 
How he fell in love with me has been a mystery to me for many years. I used to tell him that God gave him rose colored glasses that he wears only when he looks at me.

My love for Paul was good, it was from God. His love for me was also. The lion was still there. Suddenly his roars were ineffective. They held no power over the love God had blessed me with.  In time he left.

There was a time years later when he showed up so unexpectedly. At first as he caught me off guard the roars were loud!! This time was different though. I had armor,

Ephesians 6: 14-17

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God." 

I used it. Quickly the roars were snuffed out. God gave me a beautiful picture afterwards.

I was in a tremendous castle with a door fifty feet tall. I could hear pounding but it was faint because of the width of the door. I was safe. 

I am still safe. 

Monday, February 2, 2009





wake up


hang on


i cannot see 


wake up