Friday, December 31, 2010


Well, if you have been reading my blog, you know that I fell short of the 40 days. Which in hindsight is okay, because "I" got in the way, again.

The Spirit cannot place HIS words here if I continue to make it about me. The closer it got to my sister's heaven day, the more I wanted/needed something inspiring for me!! So, when I sat down to write, nothing came...and then life happened..

My world came crashing down little by little and I lost sight of who is in control!

My youngest started weekly appointments and then medication was added.
The mission trip planned for the week between Christmas and New Year's was canceled, by my husband due to violence in the area.
The stress of a "traditional" Christmas looming...

I felt like every thing I was hoping for was being flushed away is one swoop of HIS hand. Which of course was far from the truth, as it usually is!!

My youngest is learning life lessons to carry her through adulthood and I am learning about myself as well. (and now finally getting much needed sleep!)

The airfare for the mission trip was used to fly to Texas for a surprise Thanksgiving with my family!!

And my husband and I truly are getting on the same page about changing our celebrations of Christmas, slow steps but steps together!

AND most importantly, I have learned that what we expect and having expectations are two very different things.

Expecting something, like going on the mission trip, I had already planned what would happen, how God would move and what my response would be...

On the other hand, simply expecting means that I am open to HIS leading and excited about how He MIGHT move and HOW He will grow me in the process!

Expectations should equal excitement, not disappointment.

It all goes back to having faith like a child....even if a child know what might happen during a certain event or planned trip, they are still excited even if things don't go as planned...they have no preconceived ideas or plans or wants. They live the moment and enjoy the ride!! AND their expectations are always met and exceeded!

So my goal this year, is to live expectantly, not expecting!

Here to all of HIS expectations for us being fulfilled!!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Storms, Scars, and Healing

It is crazy snowing outside, but there is not a sound to be heard..

The peace in the storm.

Life is like that isn't it? Storms come in the quite and we are taken off guard. We wake and find that the world is not like it was when we went to bed. Even when you are aware of the approaching storm, you are still taken by surprise.

Then there are the storms that just refuse to go unnoticed and leave deep marks(scars) so that their destruction is never forgotten.

Sin is a storm raging wild, sometimes quietly and sometimes brazenly, always leaving scars.

Scars as a reminder not to travel that way again. Scars bearing witness for the forgiven to share the good news. Scars that paid the ransom for my life.

Jesus bore the sin of the world so that we may live. My scars are the reason HE has his. HIS scars have saved me!!

I get lost in the storm and forget the peace of HIM who has set me free. I allow the storm to overwrite the scars that will never be overwritten. I believe the lie that the storm will may not pass, and if it does pass, the damage will be to severe to begin again.

The snow helps me remember that HE washes all things white as snow!!

Watching the world come alive after the rain does the same thing!!

Are you in a storm right now? Look for the washing and believe!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cleaning Closets (not what you think)

Clash of the Titans comes to mind..

A battle raging, hearts breaking and a feeling of losing control.

I revisit here.

A friend of mine described grief as a closet in the hallway, a closet you store lots of things in. Boxes upon boxes neatly and tightly packed in. Once in a while a box will fall out, sometimes two, and you put them back in with no problems. But then, there are those times when the door flies open and every last little item comes sprawling out. And each thing requires looking at and slowly storing it away again.

This is that time. Not as messy as in past years, but messy just the same.

It doesn't help that I am far away from family or that my little brother is moving to AFRICA for FOUR years or that because of finances I cannot hop on a plane and hug my parents when ever I want!!!

So, I have been having a pity party...they are lonely because no one else wants to come.

Jesus didn't have pity parties when he was so far from home.

Jesus didn't sit and wait when he couldn't just hop on a cloud and hug his Dad.

Jesus invited friends to walk with him.

Do you have a closet?

Don't sit alone, invite Jesus to sort with you and you may find that during the sorting you find joy in the most unusual places.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


So, today is Halloween. This time of year was the last time I visited with my sister before she was placed in a coma due to multiple organ failure.

It is hard for me to be excited about Halloween for many reasons, the one above in particular.

Every year since, I have used Halloween as an outreach sister would approve.

See she spent her "good" days during her hospital stay reaching out to those in other rooms who were alone and introducing them to Jesus.

I place Bible verses on the candy I hand out...sometimes I have attached tracs, and one year I had my kids hand thank you notes to every house they visited with a Bible verse inside! People are coming to the door anyway, why not send them home with a little hope!!

It is not much, and most probably get thrown away...but someone is reading them first...a sliver of light is breaking in the dark places. And the smallest of light can shatter the most sturdiest of walls!!

Have a safe Halloween and spread some LIGHT into the darkness!

Friday, October 29, 2010

In the midst of the storm...PEACE

The first big storm system has come and gone. Leaving only a few signs of even being here, at least around me that is. Other places still have the reminders (10 inches of snow!).

The wind was strong and wild and non-stop. I kept thinking about the disciples in the boat and Jesus asleep. He was resting for the work on the "other side" of the lake. The disciples had just witnessed the feeding of 5000 men, but quickly came to the conclusion that this storm was their demise.

The storm is raging in my family. Nothing serious, just lots of little things that drain a person. Continuous things that take time to unravel and smooth out. Some days it seems the storm will be my demise, but that is just not the TRUTH.

PEACE, this word is what calmed the storm and the disciples. A word spoken that changed everything.

Peace is more than a feeling, it is a life style. It is not something that can be found, it has to be lived.

You become Peace. It is fruit of the Spirit that is alive and well in you. Peace becomes apart of your identity.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I know I have not written in a while, dealing with family issues...I will try to catch up :)

(this post was actually written 10 days ago)

Have you ever wished you could just "shake" JESUS into someone??

This is how I have been feeling lately. Actually, it is just impatience and having to 'live' GOD'S timing and not my own!

We spent time at the cabin this past month. I was hoping for some "flash of light" experience as to what and when and how things are going to turn out for my husband and me...yes, you guessed such thing.

I was just grouchy. Of course, while in this state, it seems to me that it is my husband who needs to be shaken. So things were not exactly relaxing. I was preachin' and he was being loving and patient with me in spite of myself.

Was still in a fightin' mood this morning...however I was looking for forgiveness and when that happens hearts soften...usually my own!

And wouldn't know it, GOD has something wonderful for me today!!!

A beautiful sunrise, time with my husband all day, and listening to his Mom share how the HOLY SPIRIT has taken residence within her!! A very "flash of light" experience!!!

Funny how if we can just take ourselves out of the way, GOD can do some pretty amazing things right around us!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


My heart has been so close to bursting the last few days. It teeters between joy and pain.

So much is going on, and yet, at the same time, GOD is so very present.

Have you been here? Struggling with decisions, hoping you are making the right ones, knowing someone is going to get hurt either way?

The past two years have been full of decisions like this, and there are still ones to be made. It has not been easy. Most don't understand. Some would rather not really know. It makes the decision making ever so lonely. {sigh}

I am tired. My husband is tired. My children are tired. But we push on, knowing that GOD has a plan. THE BEST is waiting for us. And we know we are walking in HIS word and HIS ways.

When you decided to follow CHRIST, it was not a one time decision. Jesus, himself, said you have to daily pick up your cross and follow me. (Luke 9:23) It is a daily decision. It is not an automatic like breathing, though there are days that it is, most days require choice...either to FULLY follow or not.

The world as made so many exceptions, that most of us are not really sure if we are FULLY following or is a touchy subject. However, if you believe that the complete Bible is the TRUTH, the WORD of GOD, then you just have to look in the mirror and ask...Do I follow in the footsteps of CHRIST?

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Fall is my most favorite time of year.

I love the colors. I like watching the process of the change. Watching the sunlight just light a tree on fire.

Trees have always fascinated me. The bark, the leaves, the branches...I can stare at trees all day and not get bored! My mom would even tell me to go and hug a tree on a bad day...she knew me better than I knew myself at times.

There are so many references to trees and GOD in the Bible...I can't help but think that GOD really likes trees too!!

Last year was my first year to experience the "change of colors", and I was so taken by the process. This year, I am not so heavy of heart. I see blazing colors dancing in the sunlight. I see the wind dancing with the leaves. I see life transforming.

I suspect that as we grow in faith and life, the same seasons take on different meanings each year. I am no different than any of you. GOD writes HIS message throughout HIS creation. We just have to have our eyes open to see it, our ears ready to hear HIS voice, and our hearts open to receive HIS love.

Enjoy the passing of the torch, from abundant supply to the quite rest of winter. Renew your soul and let the wind take the old away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's all in a NAME

Just wanted to share inspiration this Sunday morning!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Okay then, my identity is with Christ, or is that in Christ or.. exactly, how does that work?

Good question!

I truly believe that it is all the above and more.

Identity is complicated. There are many facets and layers to all of us. If you were to ask a handful of your friends to use one word to describe you, you would get a handful of different answers.

But isn't that our personality you are talking about? Well, kinda, but your personality is just an expression of who you really are in your being. And your being is who you ARE, hence your identity is expressed through your personality. (Note: I am not an expert, these are just my thoughts!)

And, if you are a follower of Christ, it is HE that lives in us and we are to become like HIM.

Complicated, I know, but just hang in there...

When Christ is allowed in, He brings the Holy Spirit to take up permanent residence within us. The Holy Spirit has gifts and fruits to offer. We don't all get the same gifts (1 Corinthians 12), however we all are able to receive the same fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

These fruits don't just all appear at once; they grow and mature just as we do in our faith.

As the gifts mature, we change. Our identity is becoming more and more like Christ.

This identity will survive all this world can throw at us. Such as going from a stay-at-home mom of toddlers to teenagers to an empty nest. Or, single to married to single again. Or, lucrative career to unemployed. All of these can SEEM to change who we are, but they are just circumstances, what might define a moment in our lives..not who we are!

The world views these things as identity markers...and more times than not we do too. And we lose sight of who we are, of who we are meant to be.

There has been many times when I so wanted someone to come along side me and just tell me who I am, what I am to be doing...I have felt so lost at times!!

One day I was finally still long enough to hear GOD say be and do love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

That is a big with GOD's help, I try.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Being robbed by doubt

When I started this 40 day journey, I had no idea what or how or where GOD was leading me. I still really don't. However, there seems to be a pattern starting and I just know that it has GOD written all over it.

After my first post, a friend of mine sent me a message and said that it caught her eye because this year's focus in the group she teaches is on Preventing Identity Theft, Protecting who GOD meant for you to be. Then today over at Faith Barista, she is having a "jam" with the question, Can Faith Change your Personality? AND then Ann talks about having secrets, which cause hurt, pain and falling away. On top of ALL that, during bible study this morning, the focus was on John the Baptist and his sudden doubt of who he thought Jesus was and his own role in it, because now he was locked away and death was sure to come. (Luke 7:18-23)

When the same subject, though under different lenses, keeps getting have to wonder...GOD is up to something and we might just need to stop and take notice.

This is not a new question or even a new problem. It starts in the garden with Eve and the serpent. Doubt was introduced and she questioned who she was and WHO GOD WAS in relation to her. Her identity was being held hostage by a stranger, an enemy, who only wants to cause death and destruction. Just for the record, this happens to men too, though they are less likely to talk about it.

So what do we do?

The problem is that we are caught of guard, just like Eve. We have a relationship with GOD and it is good. We are in small groups, bible studies, on-line blogs sharing our faith. Then something, or someone blind sides us and we fall, fall hard. This is the open door for doubt to come in and sit a spell.

For Eve is was a play on words...Did HE really say...surely HE did not say...

For John the Baptist it was a dark prison cell and he KNEW what he was put on this earth for...making a path for the ONE, and the ONE was there, but he was in jail, how was he to make a path???

DOUBT it is the enemy's "go to" snare especially for believers.

For me, it was my sister dying within 40 days of being diagnosed with cancer. See, GOD had spared her when she had been brutally attacked in her 20's. HE had spared her when she had been involved in a terrible car accident only a few years later. She was my parents first full term baby. SHE was the one who asked hard questions of the pastors at church. SHE was the one who always pointed me in the right direction. SHE was the one ministering in the very hospital halls while she was having treatments, giving hope to those without it. THIS, this can't be happening to HER, not when HE had saved HER so many times!!

I knew what GOD could do, I wondered why HE wasn't.

I knew that heaven is the ultimate healing, I wondered if I really believed.

I knew that GOD knows, I wondered does HE really?

GOD asked me to TRUST HIM and I said yes that I would, but I had already opened the door to DOUBT.

It has taken time, but I know that I know, I fully TRUST GOD with everything. My head knowledge has become my heart knowledge. Does that mean I don't doubt? No. Life is hard. However, doubt does not take is a human response to life in a fallen world. But now, it is also an invitation to prayer.

When doubt comes, I know to draw closer to GOD because the enemy wants just the opposite.

In Luke, Jesus knew that John the Baptist had the head knowledge, the doubt came from his heart because he was in dire straits. Jesus did not rebuke him, but assured him of his knowledge.

The only way to receive that assurance is too seek it. John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus asking, Are you the one, or should we expect someone else? We have to actively seek the TRUTH in worship, prayer and study. TRUTH is the only way to keep out doubt!

Our identities are at risk of being taken from us through doubt of who we are in CHRIST!! KNOW HIM and KNOW who you are!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Awakened but still lost

With the awakening came guilt. How much have I missed? Did everyone else know I was emotionally unconscious? Have I left scars in my children by not being present?

The enemy went to work right away! Luckily, so did GOD!

GOD had not taken me out of every part of ministry, I was still in a women's group at church. My saving grace. I was able to be honest here about my awakening. No condemnation, no guilt, just encouragement. I think I apologized to my table for a year, for I was the table leader...thankfully the HOLY SPIRIT was always present and did the leading!! (Thank you Vicky and Karyn for being faithful to the calling of forming Mom's and Mosaics!)

That winter I started a Beth Moore study on Daniel. I have done other studies before, but this time I could not get enough! I even took it on vacation to Hawaii...downloaded video, had it at the oldest daughter even noticed how I just could not put it down! Something inside me became ALIVE and the WORD BECAME ALIVE in a new and powerful way!

From there GOD had me in two years of Spiritual Transformation classes, getting back to basics as it were. But this was a much deeper level, more profound. I participated in silent retreats, reading Foster, Nouwen and others, learning how to become the BELOVED.

The foundation of my true identity was being reinforced. I was learning who GOD created me to be. I was learning that HE alone held the key to who I am, who I was, and who I am to become.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Life became blurred

Just like the windows in winter, my life became frosted over and blurry.

A numbness settled in.

I was still claiming the Good News, don't get me wrong, but I lost a very large piece of who I was. I no longer knew myself, for I had so entwined who I was with who my sister was. My identity was shaken down to its very core. I was blurred.

The best way to describe it is to say that I went into a emotional deep sleep. I went through the motions of everyday living without really being present. Do you find yourself there at times?

St. John of the Cross describes it in the Dark Night of the Soul. A time when GOD seems distant. A time when you feel much loss and pain. A time when the old ways don't fit you anymore and your not sure of the new path you are walking down.

So, I went to sleep. Really, I slept in the literal sense and the not so literal sense.

I wish I could tell you that something so profound happened to me and I transformed into this amazing creature, but no, nothing like that happened.

I do remember though, the day I woke up! September 15, 2006 How do I remember that day you might ask, I wrote it down!! : )

See, that summer I had several nieces have birthdays, one being my sister's daughter, and I was totally taken back when they told me their age....two full years had passed and I was unaware of the time passing. Does that make sense??

I was shopping in a Christian book store and came across a HOT PINK bible and just knew I had to have it...I went home and wrote the date in it and the words.."Coming out of my slumber!"

GOD even gave me a bible verse..."Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you" Ephesians 5:14

It was from this day forward that I have become my own person in Christ. I am more alive today and sure of who I am (in Christ) than all my days before! However, it did not happen over night...and I am still coming out of my slumber.

Monday, October 4, 2010

There is ALWAYS a choice

I would love to say, that when my sister passed away, a hallelujah chorus came streaming from my lips because of her triumphant entrance into the heaven realms. But that would be a lie.

The truth is, I didn't want to leave the church because that would mean it was real and I really didn't want it to be real. Nobody ever does.

I think that is a struggle for some in the Christian faith. The teachings of everlasting life (eternal life) gets confused with life everlasting (immortal life). We really want life everlasting, that way no one has to say good-bye. That is not what is promised though. Everlasting life is so much bigger and better than the here and is just hard to get to that understanding in the midst of losing someone.

It takes time to get from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

However, some people don't get past the incredible disappointment of Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). They stay angry at GOD for allowing such tragedy to happen and they leave HIS side and the healing is not allowed to take place.

This is the choice. One I had to demonstrate immediately to my husband's family after my sister died.

My wonderful husband took me away to our cabin in Minnesota days after the funeral. The quite of the woods in winter was a healing balm.

My husband lost his Dad in 1993 and his Mom was still angry. Even though my wounds were still so fresh, I knew GOD was asking me to show them (her) there was another way to respond to loss.

You see, we have an advantage over the disciples...we know all about Easter Sunday and we can claim that immediately!! So, I did that week. I never let any regret leave my mouth, only praise!! Was it easy? No. Did it help? Yes, and it helped me too!! Nothing like praise to take the sting out of death!

Claim the good news of Christ crucified, died and buried, and who rose again to everlasting life!! The victory is ours, claim it today and everyday!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Glimse of Heaven

November 19, 2003

It started out as a regular day I suppose.

I was back at home, Mom had sent us all back to our own families. It was going on week 2 since my sister had gone into a coma. There was no progress and decisions were not coming easy. Do they ever?

All four children were at school. The husband was at work. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful November day.

I remember driving to my counseling appointment and suddenly "seeing" my sister dressed in white, standing in the throne room of heaven and petitioning on my behalf!! The vision disappeared as quickly as it had come. Strange. But I had this overwhelming peace and joy that the counselor picked up on right away.

It really was a blessing to have a Christian counselor. I was able to explain the drive over and she understood, God works in mysterious ways!!

My day continued as usual. Picked up the children from school, laundry, cleaning and so forth. And then my husband came home early, very early...I was still floating on my cloud from the vision earlier...and then he just put his arms around me and my world, well my world became blurry.

I found out later that my sister had taken her last breath about the time I had "seen" her in heaven. You can believe me or not, however there are much stranger things listed as fact in the bible!! I believe God knows what we need.

So November 19 is my sister's heaven day!

I still can remember the scene from that day, but what always intrigues me is the prayer she was saying..."Don't give up on her, she will get it"...this is first time I have shared those words with anyone.

As you can imagine the enemy has tried very hard to use those words against me; make me doubt my salvation, my identity in Christ, and all other doubts we have about ourselves. And if I am being honest, I have fallen for a lie or two. GOD is faithful and the TRUTH has always outed the lie and I am getting it!!

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of GOD. Ephesians 3:17-19

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Paying attention to the HOLY SPIRIT

Have you ever experienced the HOLY SPIRIT pressing you do something?

This happens more often than we realize, however, there have only been a few times in my life when it was so palpable that I had no choice but to act.

It happened 2 times during that 40 day period with my sister in the hospital.

The first time was mid October, I wanted to go and visit her, I needed to go and visit her. As I was praying about the timing, Oct 31 kept coming up...literally I heard "You have to go by Oct 31" in my heart!

Not a big deal I thought, I can make that happen. However, my husband was not so sure about it. At the time we had 2 toddlers and Halloween was still being celebrated in our home. He kept saying, "but you will miss them all dressed up!" Actually, I didn't because they had a pre-school party early in that week.

It got down to me telling my husband that GOD has said I NEED to go that weekend, and I was going to buy a ticket, without researching the cost, and he was just gonna have to pay for it if he did not go right then and make arrangements for me. (My husband finds the best deals on the internet for all our travels...he is really good at!) I had my ticket within an hour :)

My visit was strained, Julia had gone through one round of chemo, sinus surgery and was finishing her second round. Her feet were black and purple, signs of no circulation. She had burns on her hands from the chemo, no hair...but when I looked in her eyes...a calmness come over me that brought me to tears. She was still there, my sister, and still full of joy!

She went into a coma and had multiple organ failure within 48 hours of me leaving and going back home.

The other was during the week of waiting. Julia was on life support and tough decisions had to be made, but only her husband could make them.

While seeing her in ICU and watching my parents having to come to terms with losing another child, this would be number 4. I left the room and just faced a white wall, couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't speak. Then I heard the words, "You either trust ME or you don't, but you have to decide now"

Have you encountered GOD like that?? When you are at the end of the rope, end of the money, end of anything and GOD asks DO YOU TRUST ME?

I heard a question asked in the series THE TRUTH PROJECT and it went like this: Do you REALLY believe what you believe? This is what GOD was asking me, do you REALLY TRUST ME, DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE?

Isaiah 46:3-4

3 "Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.

4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

I said YES, and my life has never be the same.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's not about me, really?

The very first sentence of the book read, IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

I shut the book and exclaim to no one in particular, I am not ready for this yet.

This was in June 2003, luckily I did reopen the book and begin reading. GOD was laying the ground work for a very rough journey.

As I said yesterday, my sister was diagnosed and gone within 40 days! However, the correlation did not come quickly, nothing comes quickly when you are in a state of shock...time stands still.

Have you ever witnessed an accident or your child tumbling just out of hands reach? Suddenly you are living in motion. Time stands still and you can not do anything about it.

So I don't remember much of the first week, just updates and my mom going to be with my sister. And I am not sure when, but I called or she called, and it was hard. She was just chatting away and then said, "can you believe I have cancer? I have cancer."

I could not speak, the water was falling faster and faster, and I had no voice, no words of encouragement, nothing.

I was thinking about myself and how much pain this was causing me, and not really what she must be going through. Actually, it was more guilt than anything. Six months earlier I had had a breast cancer scare, but it turned out to be a rare side effect from the hormones I was I had escaped, but she hadn' pain was guilt...why her and not me?

I still think about that phone call and so wish I had had words for her. And yet, still nothing. Maybe that is the point...quietness is sometimes louder than any spoken word. Listening is so much more powerful than talking...she was so good with both and I, well, I still wish....something anything...

That sentence still speaks volumes to me when I am at my wits end...IT IS NOT ABOUT ME...the words echo in my mind and my heart and I remember WHO it really is about. Life is not fair and bad things do happen to good people. GOD however is still GOD and still good!

My sister knew this. She did not feel sorry for herself. The phone call ended with her telling me that she would do it all over again because the blessings she was witnessing were worth it!!

In my times of hardship I try and look for the many blessings; they are there and they have been promised.

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes
1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finding Purpose

God is up to something. Not really sure what that is, but HE is up to something.

Seven years ago my sister was diagnosed with Leukemia, and 40 days later she was gone.

With her, my identity, at least what I thought to be my identity, was also gone.

So for the next 40 days, God has asked me to write, each day, about who I have become, who HE is shaping me into. And if you have ever read anything here, you know that writing EVERY day is NOT my strong suit!! So, please understand if it is not at the exact time each day :)

I will start at the beginning...

It was sometime in August that I remember talking with my sister and she said she was fighting a sinus infection..for some reason I called my mom and said these words, "Julia is sick". How little did I know how sick she really was. It was also around this time that God was pulling me out of most of the work I was doing at our church, specifically children's ministry...I was kinda of freaking out...this had been my life for years, I talking years!! My girlfriends even asked if I had stopped taking my anti depressants...funny now, but I was freaking out and they had to ask, but no, I was still taking them!!

School started, and life got busy and then the phone call came...Julia went to the ER and they are starting chemo THIS afternoon, she has cancer, Leukemia...


And my world stopped, right then and there...all I could think about was GOD KNEW, GOD KNEW...that is why HE was moving me out of so much stuff...I stopped and HE KNEW I would.

It has been seven years, and it is like it was today...sometimes I still just stop.

Currently, I am fighting a cold, same time for the past six years, our bodies remember hard stops. But I am aware of it now and the colds don't last as long as they used to...I focus on JOY more than pain, and remember what GOD has done with me and what HE is still doing.

HE has been showing me my purpose, and refining me for HIS work and I think that after these next 40 days, HE will reveal a new path or an old one that will have better focus.

Please join me as I discover my purpose and heal a little more along the way...

To read a little more visit my post called In Remembrance .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winds are blowing

(This was written a few weeks ago, however, the publish button was not pushed...distracted yet again!)

There is something in the air.

The winds are from the north now, and the leaves are starting to turn.

The Canadians are arriving in large groups. Making preparations for the journey further south.

The summer seemed to disappear rather quickly this time, almost without notice and it was gone.

Funny how that works. When we are living yet are not fully present, life seems to disappear without warning. So I have been trying to relive moments that I was fully present for and have been surprised with how much life I did not live this summer.

Moving has a way of taking you out of living in the moment. Waiting on doctor reports do too.

I spent my moments worrying and waiting, not living in the LIFE that is meant for me to live.

I am still in the old testament (that place is full to overflowing with real food from heaven) learning how God so wanted us to live in constant worship, constant companionship with HIM and how HE made it so easy for us, if only we, me, would just listen!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Unpacked and still Trusting

So most of the boxes have been unpacked and what is not will remain that way!! Thanking God for unfinished basements!!

We have successfully moved all of Bob's office here to Minnesota, and that is a project that will be started next week...hopefully I will not fall into a filing cabinet drawer!! (Trust me I have fallen into much stranger things.)

God is still doing a mighty work here and we are trusting more and more everyday in HIS divine timing, though I will admit that I don't always agree with it or understand it...but that is the trick about trusting, you trust even when you don't understand!

Here are some photos of the "finished project" of moving....

Thanks again for all your prayers, I could not stand, much less walk with out God's grace and support from my friends!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Guided Life

"I am your Lord. Lord of your lives, Controller of your days, your present and your future. Leave all plans to ME. Only act as I bid you. You have entered now, both of you, upon the God-guided life. Think what that means. God-taught, God-guided. Is anything too wonderful for such a life? Do you begin to see how wonderful life with Me can be? Do you see that no evil can befall you?" --God Calling

Still in the midst of packing, but receiving encouragement in the most wonderful of ways!!

Blessings to you all!

Pictures of a recent sunset here...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seeking Peace

Well for starters we have great news...Mary, my mother-in-law has been told that she is in REMISSION!!!!! Shouts of joy!! She finished all 6 rounds of chemo, surgery (twice) and an infection during the last 7 has been a long hard road, but God has been faithful and souls have been changed!! She will not need to have blood work done now for three months and then six months and so on...

My father's health issue is clearing itself up nicely as well...all tests came back negative and no further testing was required! More shouts of joy!!

Which leads me to my journey here in Minnesota and my year of ACTION...

As I posted earlier, we are moving again in August. We found a house to lease last week and will be moving in three weeks time. I am going to become quite busy and wanted to put down in words what God has been showing me...

Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Jeremiah 29:7

I know most of you will catch the last part and wonder if I feel like I am in exile...let me assure that is not the case, a little lost at times but not in exile.. : )

God did however carry us here and to the house we are moving to...He mostly wants me to seek peace here while He is refining us....

This is what I am struggling with...I long for what was, the past, my Egypt so to speak..

Just like the Israelites wandering in the desert...all of sudden Egypt didn't seem so was more "comfortable", more familiar...even if they were slaves!

And that is what my husband and I had become, slaves to a world view...and let me tell you it is not fun, but learning the TRUTH is not easy either...however there is so much more promise in the TRUTH then there is in the world.

So I am learning to seek peace and prosperity in this land...and it is not the world view of peace and prosperity!!

Peace comes in the form of laughter, sunsets, sunrises and good doctor reports. Prosperity is seen in birthday celebrations, sitting down for dinner, and seeing God's provision in all things!!

With each stop in the 40yr travels of the Israelites, a lesson was taught and a test given..So many lessons have been learned and I believe the testing has stay tune, God has amazing things planned for us!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Team Jesus

Okay, so I will admit that I have read the Twilight series and am keeping up to date on the movie releases..however this is NOT about is about finding out someone has a CRUSH on you!!!

I am one of the girls who has always dreamed of "the man" who sweeps you off your feet, will fight to the death for know exactly what I am talking about if you are a hopeless romantic too!! (The fact is I think all women are looking for this, even if they don't want to admit it!!)

The problem is that Hollywood has never failed at making us drool over some character to the point we think the actor playing the character is one in the same {insert any and all male actors who play a romantic hero} ...not only that but they start targeting us at such an early age, when we are just starting to fantasize about Mr. Right!!

I know... I fell young and hard to the lie that there was a man that could match all expectations, even if some of those expectations where as lofty as the clouds.

I came from a loving family. I KNEW that I was loved, that God loved me and I had a great Daddy who not only loved all of us kids, but adores my Mom! Still, by the time I was 16, I so wanted to BE loved...what I really wanted (hindsight is great by the way)was to be the object of some one's desire..what made them want to get up in the morning, to lay down their life for me...anyone know what I am talking about??

So at 18, I was naively honest with someone about my romantic self and I started in a relationship that was not the best for me...I soon got married and then divorced shortly after that...the WHOLE relationship lasted less than 6 years!!

The funny thing, I still wanted to find that person who could/would fit into MY vision!!

Do you remember the movie BRAVEHEART? Well, I was in the movies, with the person I was currently in a relationship with, and made the comment that I wanted the love and commitment that was displayed in that movie, (searching for and hoping for the answer I wanted...) he proceeds to say, in a "matter of fact" way, "you won't be getting that from me"...I left that movie totally crushed.

So another relationship ended and I was broken more this time than the first one in which I had actually been married!!

GOD is good! And HE sent me someone, who does not think the world revolves around me, but..loves me like no other. We have been married for over 13 years and are still acting like it is our honeymoon!

I throw that in there because the truth is I still have yearned for that "object of desire" feeling from someone about ME!! That was until Sunday...

So, my husband has been traveling..a lot, and I was in need of some time without kiddos, and the newest movie in the Twilight series has been out for two I went all by myself to see it. All those thoughts of being that object of desire for someone surfaced again, but differently than as a naive teenager. I know now that expectations are sometimes lies told by the enemy to keep us from the great stuff God has in store for us; and I know that I am truly happily married, so what was with all the old desires surfacing???

Well, as I was driving home and hashing out my thoughts...God started playing HIS own love story in my mind...and guess what...I AM HIS OBJECT OF DESIRE!!! I almost had to pull the car over...

I am the reason Jesus was born and came to live among us
I am the reason Jesus died on the cross for sins of ALL mankind
I am the reason Jesus kicked some evil booty
I am the reason Jesus rose again on the third day
I am the reason Jesus WILL COME AGAIN!!!!

And the best part, YOU are HIS object of desire too!!!

I don't know where you are right now, today...but it has taken me all this time to 'get it' that God wants us so much more than we want him!!

And now that I have gotten that message loud and clear...I have the silliest grin on my face!!


Won't you let HIM have one on you too?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It has been a year!

Well, the year mark has past.

Officially it has been a year since we moved, however the move is not complete, there are still loose ends to tie up and offices to takes a while to move a life.

And with this year mark, we have another move to make, another parent with health problems, and more opportunity to praise GOD!!

First, the move thing...when we moved last year we were renting to buy, because the house in Texas had not sold yet..still is not sold, still cannot buy and therefore another move! But the lessons that we have learned!!

1. The ideal location and perfect house are not always what is best in the long run..

2. What the world views as success is usually a trap set by the enemy and causes more stress than what one person can handle!!

3. So many lies have been revealed and the LIGHT is shining so brightly!!

4. When the sands move it is good to be standing on a ROCK!!

I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of . I will carry you and save you!! --GOD.. Isaiah 46:4

So, we are looking for a different house to rent and will be moving in least I am in Minnesota and not Texas for an August move...praise and thanksgiving all around!!

As for our parents, my mother-in-law has completed six rounds of chemo and will start maintenance treatments in July. Thank you all for your continued prayers for healing, she still has a long road ahead of her.

My own parents have had their share of health issues this year as well. My mom broke her wrist while waiting for my dad to have tests done...what a pair!! Anyway, my dad now has fluid in his lung cavity, not in his lungs, and we are awaiting those test results...

The kiddos are doing well, they are attending a small christian school, which means that even though we are moving again, they will not have to change schools...again, praise and thanksgiving all around!!!

All in all it has been a good year..a lot of growing, praying, trusting, waiting...but isn't that just your everyday ordinary life!!!

Finding GOD'S fingerprints is the key to finding joy in the midst of a storm!

May you find lots of fingerprints in your own journey!!