Monday, January 31, 2011

It hurts to feel misunderstood! It hurts to feel abandoned by those you thought were your friends! It hurts when it seems your obedience to the Lord doesn't appear to mean much to those you thought would understand the most!

I am trying to take comfort in the fact that Jesus' friends abandoned Him, too! Not sure why, if that was the case, that I should be surprised that some of ours did the same thing!

I must now tend my heart carefully and diligently, though, lest any roots of bitterness begin to sprout! I know I am responsible for my attitude before the Lord and so I lay my hurt at His feet and give Him access to tenderly pull up anything He sees that has the potential to choke out the fruit that is growing on the vine! Just like that wild ivy that rode unnoticed into my garden attached to a chosen plant, so those seeds of unforgiveness can sneak in and mask the beauty if left unchecked!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So often it can be a struggle to let people see who we really are. We may have a small inner circle that knows us pretty well, but to the masses we can look like we have it all together and have never really suffered much in our lifetime!

There is a song by Matthew West that is incredibly powerful. In it there is a line that says...

So don't be afraid to show them your beautiful scars
Cause they're the proof
Yeah, you're the proof

Don't you see it? Our scars truly are living proof of the healing power of Christ. He is able to take the deepest wounds and slowly and gently cause healing to take place in such a way that eventually the only thing left are the glorious scars that are the evidence He has been at work.

If this truly is the case, then shouldn't we be willing to share those scars with others in the hopes that it will encourage them to look to Him for healing, too? Shouldn't we be willing to share our stories...the good, the bad and the hopes that someone else might be able to sense hope that they do not have to remain in a wounded state, but can trust the Healer to begin His work?

Don't hide your wounds! Don't try and cover them up with good works or spiritual vernacular! Don't venture out in the hopes that your polished exterior will keep your secret tucked safely away! Our only hope for unity and health in the body is to quit donning our masks and share who we really are with each other! It's a scary thought for some, but the end result is worth every heart-pounding moment as we begin to peel back that facade and let others see the miraculous work the Father has performed!

Psalm 147:3 ~ He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2 Corinthians 5:8

We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Our friend, Tony, was of good courage all the way until the end and now the end of his physical life on earth simply marks his ushering in to the presence of the One in Whom he had placed his faith and trust! It causes us to rejoice knowing Tony has heard those words, "Well done my good and faithful servant", but it makes us sad to know we must wait for our departure from our own earthly bodies until we see our friend again!

Please pray for Tony's wife, Tina, and his 2 children. Please pray for all Tony's boys in his Bible study who must now continue on with a hole left in their midst. I am sad for Tim because he was going to see Tony today and now he must wait...

We will miss you, Tony, but we watched you run your race well and know that you are now in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Good job, buddy!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Romans 12:1 (The Message)

1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Lunch anyone?!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2 years ago today, Granny's physical body left us! Sometimes it is hard to believe it has been 2 years already, but other times it seems like it has been much longer. Time is like that I guess!

I still think of her so often and find myself wishing many days I could pick up the phone and call her. I wish I could show her things I have made, I wish she could see my garden and things I have done to the house, but most of all I wish she could see my kids! She would be amazed at how they have grown.

She would get a kick out of the fact that Benji would now tower over her and that he could probably throw her over his shoulder and carry her around. She would love for Rachel to be able to come pick her up now that she drives and take her out for some fun. She would laugh at Jesse's magic tricks and love seeing all Caleb's Lego creations. She would think it was amazing to see Hannah's stitched creations as she realizes her crafting gene reached to another generation!

One of our traditions, Granny and me, was for me to buy her tulips as soon as they were available at the grocery. I LOVE tulips and so did she and I always bought her some as a promise that spring had to be just around the corner. I found my throat suddenly constricted the other day as I rounded a corner in the grocery store and saw bunches of tulips gazing back at me. I was drawn to them as I always am and had to brush away a tear or two as I gathered some bunches to take home. Spring is just around the corner in spite of her absence, but I sure do wish she was still here to enjoy the promise with me!!

Love you, Granny, and miss you so very much!!

My dear friend, Jackie Kendall, has written a book called, "Free Yourself to Love". It is a book about forgiveness and it is very good. Jackie knows of what she writes as a survivor of heinous sexual abuse by her father as a child. She writes as one who leads the way out of her own obedience to forgive rather than someone who says "do as I say not as I do".

I just started her book the other day and I already have dog-eared pages that indicate places that stood out to me that I want to go back and copy. One such quote I want to record on paper and in my heart is this...

"It is critical to remember that we are most like Jesus not through our attempts to be perfect, but through our choices to forgive as we have been freely forgiven."

Isn't that where the rubber meets the road? I can look like I might have it all together on the outside, but if I have unforgiveness in my heart then my ability to resemble Jesus fades away. The forgiveness that He has lavished on me is so extravagant that I wonder at the arrogance of myself when I find myself struggling to forgive a wrong committed against me.

Ephesians 4:32

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Lord, I so desire when people look at me that they see Your family resemblance! Help me be a good forgiver as you remind me that I am only offering a small portion of the huge measure I have received from you! Thank You for the gentle way you coax me toward the goal and thank You I can confess and agree with you when I make mistakes and you wipe my slate clean. May I be as generous with that eraser in the lives of others and be willing to offer them a clean slate in our relationship!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Can It Be?

16 years ago today I became a Mama for the second time. I was SURE I was having another girl and could not have been more shocked when a big ole strapping boy emerged!! I cannot imagine my life without baseballs, bats, basketballs and smelly uniforms, though!

Benji is a man now with his 6'3" 220lb frame and his size 15 shoes. He towers over me as he envelops me in a big bear hug. To see the young man he has become and the wise and Godly choices he is making, thrills this Mama to no end!! I am so thankful for a son who truly desires to honour the Lord!

Happy birthday, Benji! You bring me much joy and I am so thankful for the gift of YOU 16 years ago!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have had the best morning bird-watching! I have seen so many different birds and gotten pics of most of them. The male cardinal has avoided my camera lens, though, but I am determined to get him soon! Here are a few of my favourite shots!

My fellow bird-watcher!
Tufted Titmouse
So pretty!
Checking me out!
Dinner conversation!
Sunning itself!
Purple Finch
Eastern Towhee...sometimes called a Southern Robin!
Such big, black eyes!
Sparrow sunning!
I like him...can you tell?
Party of 3!
Mama Cardinal!
I wish she'd bring her man to dine with her!

Photographer Note: All the bird pictures were taken through a screen so are not as clear as they could be. Oh well, such is life...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unseen Yet Seen!

Love this C.S. Lewis quote AND love that the Lord gave me such an amazing visual of it!!

I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen.


At the end of December Tim and I went away for our 20th anniversary. We stayed a t a friend's cabin in Wears Valley, TN and the view was amazing!!! I took so many pictures the first night we got there because the sun was going down and I was overcome with the beauty of the sights I was witnessing! I couldn't help but ponder the verse in Isaiah 6:1 that says...

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.

Want to see what it I was seeing? Here are just a very few glimpses of His glory!!

Isn't His handiwork breath-taking? It was such a powerful reminder of Who He is, what He can do and why He says He will share His glory with no one else!!

Psalm 97:6The heavens declare His righteousness,
all the peoples have seen His glory.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Word For the Year

Every year I pick a word that I feel the Lord is impressing on me to focus on for the year. This year my word was very clear because it is the word I kept hearing echo in the back of INTENTIONAL!

I found the last few months of 2010 that I was getting anxious and distracted by decisions we were trying to make in regards to whether or not Tim would take the pastor job and leave UPI after all these years. I am not one who is big on change so the more I felt anxious the more I felt myself detaching. I read more (not that it is bad, but it can be my escape mode of choice), I wanted to sleep more and I stayed on the computer more.

So as I step into 2011, I am fully committed to being intentional in what I do. I have taken a sabbatical from the FIAR homeschool message boards for a few months so I can focus on my here and now life. I want to be intentional with my husband, I want to be intentional with my children and I want to be intentional in all Papa has set before me to do!

I don't expect it to always be easy, but I am going to put reminders up around the house for myself so when I am tempted to check out I will be reminded of what he is calling me to do!

Care to join me? Got a word? Would love to hear what Papa is whispering to you for 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year...New Slate!

I am not sure what it is about a new year but, although nothing in our lives or circumstances may have changed, it still feels like a fresh start and a clean slate.

In our case, this new year brings with it HUGE changes and a brand-new start. By now I am sure you know Tim is the new lead pastor of The Oasis Church in Loganville, GA and I am the "first lady"! ;O) While I am excited about this new opportunity, the year has not started without much emotion bubbling to the surface.

I guess the best way to describe it is this...I feel like we are laying aside a book with 21 chapters that represent the 21 years with UPI and are picking up a new book with empty pages and we are about to begin to pen "Chapter #1". Laying aside the old book, though, is like saying good-bye to treasured friends and memories. Of course the friendships will not die and the memories will live on in our hearts and minds, but it will be different.

Everything to do with the change is being handled differently by different people. Some are embracing it as God's assignment for Tim (including Tim, which is good ;O) ), some are mourning it (like me) and some are acting like nothing is happening and appear to have just moved on. Different people, different emotions and different ways of coping.

The people at the OC have been incredibly kind and welcoming and we are so thankful for their willingness to embrace us wholeheartedly. It sure helps make the transition easier.

So we begin these first few days of 2011 with new responsibilities, new expectations (some spoken and some unspoken ;O) ) and new opportunities for Papa to show Himself faithful! It's exciting and scary all at the same time and if you can't find me...I'll be in the bed with the covers over my head!