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.