At The Cottage Background

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Glimpses of Yesterday.....

New Years Eve......

How did the year get past me?

It went by with the speed of light..... with the intensity of a birth in progress..... and full of events like a country fair.

Okay.... maybe a little cheesy with the metaphors.... but it is so true!

I can close my eyes and see yesterday..... so many of my yesterdays.
They blur with the speed that they happened in......

My daughters senior year, dances, pictures, performances, graduations, driving my kids to dance classes, rehearsals, shows, endless nights of projects and homework......

Moments alone on the couch gazing out my front window dreaming..... wondering.... doubting... worrying..... reaching out to my Heavenly Father with a desperate grab.....

Being broken.... beat up and torn apart......
Getting rescued.... repaired..... and slowly put back together again.

Laughter...... tears.... and looking into the eyes of my child turned woman, watching my youngest daughter who wants to grow up fast and follow in the footsteps of her sister.... and my son who was just a baby yesterday and is now quickly aproaching the world of a young man.....

I keep wondering where the time has gone......

I have so often this past year wanted to yell and scream for time to stop.....
Slow down. Let me take a breath.
To take in the moments of sweet surrender.
To breath in deep of the rich blessings surrounding me.

Family.... friends who proved their worth more than gold.

Commitments..... broken hearts..... achievements.... and defeats.
Awards and accolades...... reaching goals and attaining things that seemed unattainable.
New people.... new friendships forged...... old ones made new.
Dreams realized..... and goodbyes...... so many goodbyes.
Holding on and letting go.......

I am standing in the middle of a sea of memories.
A world that seems too large to have been made in one year.
Emotions..... and feelings that tumble one after the other.
Over and over again.
Tangible and real..... and even though they have come and gone their imprint is indelible.

I am overwhelmed with gratefulness.... with welled up emotions that come spilling back when conjured up in thought once again.

This past year has been full.... so full.

Questions... some answered.... and some not.
At times confusing... and at others so clear that I could see for miles.

Growing.... changing.... evolving.... redefining..... and rediscovering.
Learning who I am for the first time in my life.... and finding myself when I thought I would stay lost forever.

Learning to dream again..... and hope.
Learning to trust..... and close my eyes and jump into the unknown......
Falling into the arms of grace..... realizing that they were there all along.

I am not sure where your year has been.... or where you have gone......
But I hope that in the midst of it all that you can stand and look back and see God's hands.... ...... and His love carving out the way....
I pray that you will discover that you were never really alone.
That you will know more than anything else that He loves you..... and is still holding you.

Whether you are forging new roads..... or taking different paths.
Whether you are deciding on which fork to take......
I pray that you will look up and all around you..... and that you will see the One who has been there from the very beginning...... all of your beginnings.... and He is walking into this new year with you......

And all that awaits you.

As we look forward I hope we don't forget to look back every now and then......
Not at the disappointments or things that we would rather forget.....
But at the wisps of His healing winds..... and the fresh scents of His abiding love... looking forward to the hope of new beginnings like the fresh smells of spring.

Happy New Year.....

.... until another tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Choose Joy

There are so many things I "could" write about.

So.... many.... things.

But I will choose to write what has been ringing in my ears the past few days.


We wait for it to come.

We long for it's presence.

But so often it eludes us.
It seems to come just close enough to lay a hold of ..... and then just suddenly disappears like a vapor mist.
Slipping through our fingers leaving us wondering where it went and longing for it's return.
Why is this?
Why do we pursue it? Why don't we just choose it?
To have it? To allow it to settle in?
To makes itself at home?
To see it for what it really is and not what we hope it to be?

We are surrounded during this time of the year with so many things joyful.
Christmas lights on houses. Music and bells tinkling and ringing almost everywhere you go.
Laughter and anticipation.

We can choose to focus on what we don't have rather than on what we do.

I do not want to minimize anyones sense of loss during this season.

We ourselves will have an empty seat on the couch during Christmas morning present opening time.
We will be missing our daughters infectious giggles and laughter that usually follows an antidote from her baby sister.
We will be missing a vital piece of our home.

But we will still have what is here.
We will still be surrounded by people who love us and care about us.
We will still have a roof over our heads and food on our table.
We will have the glow of the Christmas lights and the opportunities to bless someone else and see their faces light up at the feelings that they are loved and thought of.

We will have all of that.... and more.

If we want it.

Our daughter will have the care of people who have chosen to bring her into their home and offer her their love and covering.
She will have the opportunity to see how the other side of the world does Christmas.
She will have gifts from home lovingly chosen and thought out for her to open on Christmas morning.
And she will have our hearts.
Melded with hers from miles away..... and distant skies.

We still have each other.

It is just different this year.

We can focus on what isn't and miss what is.

We are lucky.
To still have our daughter even though she is miles and miles away.
I know that others are not so fortunate.
I know that life is often hardest during this time of year.

My prayer is that God will fill those places with new things.
Not to replace..... but cover.
Like a warm blanket of comfort.

That you will know that your heavenly Father knows about loss.... but He also knows about gain.

I pray that you won't miss those right in front of you.
And that in focusing in and honing in on those things that you have been given for the now will bring the comfort and peace that you are so desperately needing and longing for.

I pray that the joy will come.

In the sweet smile of a child.
In the thoughtful gift from a friend.
In the knowing that you are cared for and loved by not only those that you know, but by the One who knows you best.

And I pray more than anything else that you will let God show you....

That you will unwrap and open the gifts He has lovingly chosen just for you.
All the things that He has given you right here and right now to be joyful about.
And that you will feel that love pouring out and over you.... soothing and comforting.
Longing to hold you and whisper that He knows your heart.... and He cares.

I pray that you will feel joy this season.

And I pray that it will bubble up and out onto all those that surround you......

God bless you this season......


Celebrating the most joyful gift to all mankind.

The One who came... and Who chose to live among us just so that we might know the true meaning of what joy is.

Merry Christmas.

..... until another tomorrow.


"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you."
Psalm 5:11

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

"The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes." Psalm 19:8

Monday, December 14, 2009


There seems to be a theme that is going around.
It keeps circling and cycling.
I can't seem to get away from it.... and I am not so certain that I want to.
I wrote about it in my last blog note.... and I feel compelled to continue to share what it would seem God is wanting me to get.

I can't just think that this is for me....
it has to be for you too.

Let me begin at the beginning.....

My daughter hasn't been feeling herself.
She is in a new place with new people, and with new things.
The thing that is most different is the food.
It would be fine for the average Joe... which she is not.... and it is not fine for her. Or her body.

She is like me.
I am lucky to tolerate even the most minutest of foods.
My body likes it natural, unprocessed, and whole.
If I even begin to think outside of my very small little box... well, let's just say things are not well with my soul.... or any other part of me.

And she is like me.

She won't complain. She doesn't.
She will just suffer it in silence.
Until the pain becomes unbearable.

I have often cried about this.
Why has this been passed down to her?
It doesn't seem right.... and it doesn't seem fair.

I can handle the suffering on my own...
But when it is your child... you experience a whole new world of hurt.

Before she went we made sure all her ducks were in a row.
Everything in order.
And since we all knew that this was from God... and His calling on her life... we had to give up some measure of control... and trust.
I felt a pressing on my heart before she left in regards to her well being.

A softly whispered promise.....

A promise of healing.... a word of hope.

I tucked this away.... deep down in my pocket and reached in every now and then to reassure myself it was still there.

I have had to pull it out often lately.
Reminding myself that indeed God spoke this to my heart.

And I have doubted it.

That I even heard it.

And so...... this is where the theme comes in.....

Over and over.

Ever since she told me how she is feeling and what has been going on.
And ever since I have wondered if I had heard right.

"With God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37 (KJV)

It was softly spoken into my heart last week as I prayed fervently for her.....
It was in my daily devotional... on more than one occasion.....
It was the subject of my kindergarten teaching this past Sunday.....
And it has been mentioned in the messages at church.

It is so often easy to misunderstand that portion of scripture.
What is seemingly clear can get so hazy.... especially when faced with hazy circumstances.

But God is who He was back then. And He is the same now.

The God with whom all things are possible.
According to His word.
And lined up with His promises.

Do I think that it is just happenstance that my daughter is surrounded by people who happen to have a ministry of healing? ..... No.
Do I think that it is just coincidence that she is in a place, away from home, and needing a definite touch from God? ..... No.
She is not able to lean on us.... she can only share.
She is not able to depend on what is familiar.... but forced to turn to her Heavenly Father more readily.
None of this has escaped my notice.

And it has obviously not escaped God's.

I want to believe.

Especially during this most special of times of the year.

I want to believe.

More than ever.

What holds me back is my own fear.... my own doubt.... and my own limiting abilities.

But God is not held back.

He is not limited.... nor is His power diminished by my lack of knowing.

But He does want... and requires faith.

Not that He will not heal if I am lacking in any of these..... But He wants so much more than just the mere healing .... He wants what it will bring.

Solid, ground breaking, firm faith.
Faith that is unlimited.
Faith that believes.

The knowing that He is able.
To do more abundantly and far surpassing all that I can think or know.

We struggle with this.
We fight it.
Because it goes against everything sensible in our minds.
We are not capable.... so how can it be?

And this is the very thing that He wants to shake our thinking up about.

We are not..... but He is.

We can not.... but He can.

I don't know when.... and I don't know how.
But I choose to believe that He will.

Whatever the circumstance... whatever it is that you may face.... He can.

He can come.
He can fix.
He can heal.

I could add some.... but.... in there somewhere... but I won't.

I feel strongly that I am to leave that out.

And I am going to choose to trust Him.

And I am going to be praying.
On my knees.
And with my whole heart.

And I am going to wait.

I believe that when God promises something.... He will do it.

I have a lot of promises that I have yet to see.... You might have some as well.

But I am holding out hope.... and I am believing and trusting...... and I hope you will too.

Because He was....
And is....
And is to come.

God bless you today.

May you find Him when you seek Him with all your heart.... soul..... and mind.

..... until another tomorrow.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wonder of It All......


Why would You leave all that You know?
All that You love?
All that You have?

Why would You go to a place that You know will not accept You.... reject You... and even revile You?


Every time I ponder these questions in my head I just have to wonder....

At that kind of choice.
Of that kind of obedience.
Of that kind of love.

Did we deserve this? Do I deserve it still?

These thoughts just tumble one over the other in my head.

The impossible.....
The unimaginable.

The deep deep seeded kind of longing to reconcile with the very ones You created.... to love and be loved by.......
The very ones who consciously choose not to love you back.... and continually push You aside for the somethings in our lives that we see as more important than You at that moment.
So many moments.
And yet.... You don't let this deter You.... You continually love us.... forgive us.... and draw us ever closer to You.
Still longing for relationship with us.... wanting us still.

What kind of love is this?
Can we even begin to grasp the height and depth of it all?

I can not.

I can only sit in wonder of it all.

I can only marvel at what it all means.

The miracle of an impossible choice.... an incredible beginning..... a miraculous birth.

I can only be moved to the depths of my being by the life that followed....
Uncommon life..... what I am sure had more days of pain than joy.
A life of serving those who you created... a life of loving those who were so unlovely.

And then the choice... the conscious decision to lay it all down.
To give everything that You have come to be while here.
The greatness of it can not be measured in mere words.... the vastness of Your love is still not fully understood.....

But it was... and it is.

The impossible.... made possible.
Such great and unending possibilities..... for me.... and for us all.

Because You chose to do what no one else could do for us.

You came to save us.
And offer us what no else can ever give.......

Why do I doubt You?
Why do I think that You are so small? ..... like me?
Why do I think that you can not handle whatever I may face?
Why do I think that you don't want to come in and save me from the very things that I need saving from?
You did it all before.... and You are still doing it.....


I have no reason.
No good ones anyway.
They are all silenced in light of what You did for me.... in how You now choose to want to be a part of my very little life.

In light of Your Word..... that continually reminds me that......

" anything too difficult for Me?"

NOTHING is too difficult for You.

Thank You for reminding me of this fact.
Thank You for my pastor who felt compelled to share this with Your people last night in church.

Thank You Father .... for choosing to love me.... to love us all.

Even when we don't fully understand or can't grasp what it all means.

Please continue to remind us Father that You are much more... much bigger than we think you are.
Forgive us God.... forgive me when I allow doubt and circumstance to dictate how I view You... how I allow this to cause me to forget that You are the God of impossible circumstances.

The God of miracles.

Not just during Christmas.... but in the every day of Your children's lives.

God of wonder.....
God of power....
And a God of love.

I pray that as you gaze at your Christmas tree this season... at your family... children..... or anything else that catches your eye .... that you will wonder too.
I pray that you will feel and be enveloped in the very arms of love that chose to live.... and die...
And Who desires for you to know that He is more alive and able now than ever before.

..... until another tomorrow.


"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

"And one called out to another and said,
"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas.... and Love

I have decided to take a break....
Not exactly in the "break" sort of way you may be thinking... but relatively speaking.

I am going to take a break from my story.... from my past... from me.
I know this blog is about me so to speak.... but I want to take a time out from the things that can tend to get a little heavy.
They will still be there when I get back from this respite.
The memories will still be lingering.... but for now I want to focus on the "now".
And on this most special of seasons.
Oh, and my past... or my childhood... will come up. It's in-evadible during this holiday season.
But I will be focusing on the happier moments during that time. The moments that have created and shaped my love for all things Christmas.

Christmas...... just the sound of it conjures up so much for me.

But I have to be ready for it.
I really dislike walking into a store during October and seeing Christmas decorations up.
It is too soon. I feel like they are missing it. Have missed it.
It makes me realize that the majority of this world is not caring or focusing on what Christmas is really and truly about.
It has become about money.... products.... and the crazy frenzy that surrounds this time of year.
Forgotten that it is about the One who came.... who served.... who loved... and who died for us all.
Who now lives to offer hope... restoration.... grace... and most of all life.

I get frustrated then.... but when December rolls around..... I'm ready!

I want my tree up, my nativity scene set, and my Christmas music playing.... constantly.
I want to bake.... shop.... wrap gifts... and snuggle with my children on the couch while my fireplace is on and a movie is playing on the television.
I want to tell everyone that everything is going to be okay.
I want to hug people who look like they need it. I want to offer the hope that I hold deep in my heart.
I love to burrow deep in my bed with my flannel sheets and reflect on ALL the gifts that God has given and blessed me with.
I want to draw closer to Him just as He drew closer to me.
I want to remember all the good things... and forget the bad.

I..... love.... Christmas.

It is a time to reflect.... to hope.... and to look forward to what we have to hope for.

As I write this I realize that there are so many who don't think that they have that..... or in reality... don't.


But they really do.
You do.
When we hold on to our Heavenly Father..... we always have hope.
Hope for better tomorrows.
Hope for the somethings better than we have right now.
Hope that only He can give..... for restoration.... healing.... and love.
He longs to show us. Each one of us. Just how much He loves us.

It may not be in the way that we think..... or it may.
And for whatever reason... I feel that He wants to share more than ever the kind of blessings that only He can pour out..... give..... and blow us away with.


In it's purest form... in its truest sense.

From our Father above.

Let Him love you this season.

Let go..... and allow yourself to fall into His arms of grace.... into the strongest most capable hands of all.

I hope you let yourself close your eyes.... take a long deep breath..... and release it all.
And I know that if... and when you do.... you will know.
And you will feel a love like no other.
The kind of love that you have been longing to know.... to feel.
To be reminded that He is still here.... that He is still in control....

And that He loves you.

More than you know.... than you will ever know.

God bless you today.

I pray that you will take the time to stop.... let yourself go.... and let Him hold onto you.

..... until another tomorrow.


"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gift Of Not Being Alone

I am standing.....

In those rooms I talked about a few posts ago.

I can visualize them so clearly.
The dust fairy's floating around me...... the piles of stuff stacked about the room.
A big window letting in the sunlight.
I can see them so clearly. Things of my childhood...... things of my past.
A rocking horse...... a favorite doll.... stacks upon stacks of books. Stories that contained my dearest and closest friends. All made up.... not willing to hurt or disappoint me.
Blankets, and nick knacks, treasures that are only qualified as such from the perspective of a little girl.
Collected fall leaves..... rocks used for fairy beds...... small items seen as jeweled treasures.
Records that I would sing to for hours and hours.
I can even smell the childhood of my past.
Vivid triggers of a time so so long ago.

These are the things that got me through so many of my days.

The ones filled with pain... loneliness.... and sometimes profound confusion.
Intermingled with these are the times of comfort that I sought.
Reading in bed with my mom and my brother before going to sleep.
Being allowed to watch the Muppet Show on television.
Such small things.... but when measured up against the things that weighed me down, they rise up so much bigger.

The better memories don't really begin until I began to get older.... and until my mom got rid of the men in her life that I felt deeply held her back..... held us all back.
My dad.... my step dad..... her boyfriend of five years.
I realize that she was searching too.
Needing to feel and know that she was loved.
We have talked about this hours upon hours since then.
Both of us crying and sharing our pain. Letting go.... and finding restoration and healing.

After the upheaval of my parents divorce my mom was set up with her cousins friend.
I'm sure that everyone just wanted to see her happy again.

I didn't like him from the start.
I have this memory of my mom giving him a shoulder rub as he sat against our couch.
I remember being very angry.
It's funny now to think that I was only 3 1/2 at the time..... but even 3 year olds have deep emotions. Those who think otherwise.... are wrong.
I recall getting up, and grabbing my mom's hands. I pulled them away and got in that man's face.
I remember telling him that I did not like him. I told him to go away.

He didn't.
He liked my mom too much.
And she needed to feel loved even more.

So they got married.

And my life went from bad...... to worse.

My step dad was a controlling alcoholic.
He worked graveyard shifts and came home in the mornings. He expected a huge full breakfast upon his arrival. They were demanded not requested.
Afterward he would grab his six pack of beer and plant himself on our couch.
I remember times of just sitting right in front of him and watching him down one beer after another.
Wondering if he would pass out.... or do as he often did.
Get angry.
Get mean.
Not so much with us.... but with our mom.
It's weird.
But I wasn't really afraid of him.
Deep down... I know now, that he had a good heart.
He was just so tangled up in his own hurts, past, and inadequacies that he chose to drown and numb them with whatever would take the sting away.
I felt sorry for him.
I still do.

He wanted children of his own.
I get that.
My brother and I were from a different man.
The problem was.... that at the time, that man didn't want anything to do with us.

So we were fatherless in a sense.
Torn between a dad at home that looked at us with regret and loathing..... and a dad who'd left us and who chose to come around only when he felt the guilt weighing too heavy on his chest.
It was a tough place to be.
I can recall so clearly those feelings of desperation.
Of my brother and I clinging to one another.
Mom was working full time and trying to be the thin, perfect, all capable wife that my step dad was demanding of her.
It was a tense household to say the least........

But in those moments...... when my step dad would lock their bedroom door at night, and I would find my baby brother curled up in a ball on the floor right outside their door... I would choose to grow up......
I would pick him up and walk him to my room.
I would tuck him into my bed and crawl in next to him.
And I would snuggle in close.
Nose to nose.
..... and I would draw comfort from what I saw for me as my gift from God.
My brother.
Because with him... there with me.... no matter the circumstances......

I.... was.... not.... alone.

We were together.

And we still are to this day.

One of my best friends.

He drives me nuts at times.
But during that time..... in those places..... he was with me.
And nothing can sever the tightly wound string that has held us together ever since.

A gift.

One that I am so thankful for.

One that took my mind off of me, and helped me to focus on someone else.
Someone who needed me.
Who was dependent on me.
And as I know now.... set a pattern that I have had to readjust from time to time up until this day.

Yes..... we went through a lot.
But we had each other.
And for that season in time..... it was enough .
I can see the love that our Heavenly Father sprinkled down on us both as we slept close in my tiny bedroom...... so many nights... such a long time ago.

As I look back.... I can catch another glimpse of my Heavenly Father right beside me.

Stationed next to me.

Knowing right where I was at..... And right where I was going.

And loving me in the midst of it all.

He hasn't left my side for one moment.

And He hasn't left yours either.
I hope that when you look back you will catch glimpses too.

.... until another tomorrow.


"He will send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches him who tramples upon me Selah
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth." Psalm 57:3

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Washington-Vancouver.jpg image by orosco82airborne

Where did I leave off.......?
Where do I begin again.......?

I was given a blessed reprieve....... rest.

Time away to think.... and not think so much.

Days given over to the nothings of fun..... and smiles..... and joy.

Given gifts of love.... hugs..... and support.
Not the kind that you can see, or even touch.
But the kind that you can feel.... deeply and profoundly.
Even the givers were not fully aware of their offerings.......
But the impact and the impartation was no less effective.

It was what I dearly needed..... and what I had prayed silently for.

Reaching back and reaching for the things that you don't necessarily want to remember but know very keenly are the key to moving forward..... is never easy.
It can leave you spent and exhausted.
Weary and tired.
When you add the physical debilitations of my current circumstances you end up with a sometimes crippling dilemma.

But I am back now.

I am reflective.
And more in tune.

I am still tired.

But I have been given mercy....... and it's presence is sustaining me.

This season is one that I often sit and wonder at.
Why this?
Why now?

I look forward to the greener pastures of delight.
The flowing waters of preservation.
And the joy of knowing that I get to move forward to deeper and hopefully more profound adventures.

I know that during this time of solitude in mind there are gifts to be found.
Not just for me.

But for those who silently cry themselves to sleep.
....or drive in their cars wondering if God really cares about them anymore.

He does.

As a child I would often open my closet doors and hide in the corner.
I would curl up in a ball and draw my knees in tight.
I would hold on and rest my chin on the top of my legs.
I would just stare.......
Wondering if it was ever going to get better than this.

And it did......

It took time.

Mountains that had to be climbed.
And holes that had to be filled back up.
Ones that I had dug myself.

But I am here.

And I have a story to tell.

I may leave things out.
I might get things wrong.

But I am willing to write as He fills me with the words that need to be said.

For me..... and for the others who need to know.

So for today I will leave you with this......

I am resting for awhile.
Giving myself time to heal.
From this nagging and annoying cough that wracks my body and tires me out.

And from the hurts of my past that have left their mark..... but are beginning to remind me not of what I lost.......

But what I have gained.

And I am praying that you will find the time to rest too.
From whatever it is that is weighing you down..... or holding you back.

God bless you today.

I look forward to digging deeper..... and letting My Heavenly Father open up and show you, and me just how truly amazing He really is........

..... until another tomorrow.


"He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake." Psalm 23:3

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:22

"How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The LORD will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies." Psalm 41:1,2

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Steps From Yesterday.......

Where do I go from here.....?
From where I have been that seems like so long ago.... and like yesterday all at the same time?
Steps forward.... or steps back?

When I close my eyes I can see so much.
I try and block it.... but it is there.
Time has softened the blow a bit.... but it is still present.

God has woven so much into my life.
From the moments of profound hurt..... to so many days of grace that I can not count them accurately.

For so long I was so hurt with Him.
For allowing the pain.... the abuse.... the hurt so deep that I wanted to die at times.
Why would we He do it? Why would He allow so much pain into one persons life?
I don't know......
And at times this question has caused me so much confusion that I have just crawled into my bed.... curled up in a ball, and wept.

I want to offer something....

A morsel of hope and truth.
I want to be more than just a past full of tragedy.
I want to be hope.
I want to offer the love that only comes from the One who loves me so much that He has gently begun to show me what He has felt as I've walked the rocky roads of my life.
An intimate look at the heart of my Father.
This is what He has been at work on for the past few years..... in my life..... and in my heart.

I didn't have a family who didn't care.
They have always loved me very much.
I want to make that clear.
I know that others can not stake a claim to that fact..... but I can.
It doesn't mean that any of us is perfect.
And unfortunately because of the wars of the flesh.... I suffered.

After my mom and dad's divorce I retreated into a place so far into myself that at times even now I have a hard time recollecting what happened when.
I have snap shots of memory...... postmarks of events.

My dad left my mom and I immediately following the birth of my little brother.
My brother almost died.... and my mom went into such a deep depression and fell deathly ill that it threatened my only secure anchor.

I remember visiting my mom.
She looked so sick.... and so sad.
I went back and forth between my grandmas and aunts.
I don't remember a whole lot about those moments.
I just remember the tangible feeling of utter fear.
An enemy that to this day has tried and fought hard to capture me.

My dad was gone.

I was abandoned and lost.

I used to cry... a lot.
But by myself.
I knew that I couldn't let my mommy see the tears.
She was already so sad.
I used to gaze at my brother after they finally brought him home..... just stare.
I felt this pull to protect..... to save.
To be there for him.... and not let go.
It created a bond that we share to this day.
Deeper than most brother / sister relationships.
People have told me that they envy our ability to be there for each other no matter what... no matter how angry we get.... or how disappointed when we have failed the other.
I made a promise....
And I stand by it to this day.
But no one knows the pain that caused the relationship we share.
No one has ever really dug that deep.....
Because I have only allowed what I have wanted to be seen.

Until now.

My dad dated off and on after the divorce. He eventually ended up with the woman that helped rip our family apart.
I have often wondered how you can be okay with that.
With the knowing that you have destroyed some ones life and existence?
How you can face your reflection every day in the mirror...... I guess some people just do.
But deep down I have learned that not even they... who pretend to be okay with it, ever really are.
It changes and impacts you.
For the victim, it either destroys you and makes you into something you were never meant to be.... or it builds you up into the person who can overcome anything thrown your way.
For the other..... the offender.... well, I guess the possibilities are endless.
I know my father has lived with the guilt and pain of knowing what he did and what his choices caused that it kept him entangled and robbed for so much of his life.....
Until the day he let Jesus rescue him.

But I am jumping ahead.....

No matter how much time has passed and no matter how long the scars have been visible, I am amazed at the minds ability to bring forth that which happened so long ago.
Although it may not seem so right now, I am thankful for the scars.
They remind me of where I was.... where I have been.... and where I am headed.

Those days of long ago are a reminder to me now.
Yes.... not a reminder of all things good.... but intwined in the pain are moments of profound joy.
This is where my Heavenly Father was.
And although so many of those moments were the dreaming of a small child.... I know now that they were His gift to me.
I am today deeply touched and moved by that love.
It has begun to open up parts of me that I slammed closed so long ago.

I feel as though sunlight has begun to shine in on the dusty and forgotten rooms of my heart.

So much to clean up..... and so much to rediscover.
I feel so young when I step into these rooms..... just three years old.

And my heart has begun to remember.......

..... until another tomorrow.


"The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying,
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."

Jeremiah 31:3

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beginning of Perfection....

I'm not perfect.

That may seem like such a stupid thing to say.....

But let me explain.

As far back as I can remember I have had an expectation of perfection over my life.
Whether it be by the those around me who put that expectation on me... or myself, wanting to be perfect and thinking that I have to be.

It started so long ago......

When I was three and a half I can remember being told that I was to take care of my brother.
He was a baby then.
I don't believe that when it was spoken to me that it was meant in a literal sense, but in the way of "look out for" your brother.
My mom and dad were in the middle of an ugly divorce and we were being carted back and forth.
From family to strangers.
I can recall so clearly the first time that I felt the feeling that I had failed to be perfect.

It was a day like most back then.
Chaotic and confusing to my childlike mind.
My mom was going out on a date.
I was unsure as how to deal with all the emotion that this brought on me.
Where was my daddy? And why were we being left with this lady that I didn't know and somehow knew could not be trusted?
My mom was hurting and I'm sure feeling the weight of all that she herself was going through at that moment.
I can't fault her for wanting to get away for awhile.
As an adult I have felt that very feeling often when faced with overwhelming circumstances.
Unfortunately for me, it had a heartbreaking outcome.

I just remember my brother crying. And my mom was gone.
He was so little and I felt very protective toward him.
I wanted to help. I wanted to comfort him..... hold him and assure him that all was okay.
Even though I knew that it wasn't.
My thoughts for one so young were not the norm. They never have been.

But our lady babysitter didn't want me to help.
She didn't want me around at all. I knew this. I had begged my mom not to go. I knew this woman didn't love me. I knew that she would hurt me if given the chance.

I was a deeply emotional and hurting child.
Tantrums were a common response for me at that time followed by holding my breath and passing out when I felt everything spinning out of control.
So.... when I carried on I was often ignored. Not because they didn't love me, but because they felt as helpless and I did.

I began to get angry. At my mom.... and at this woman who was not my mom.
He was my brother.
How dare this stranger think that she could keep him from me.
I screamed..... and I fought....... it was the natural reaction that I can still feel so
strongly even today.......
The same emotion that rises up in me when I find myself in the midst of an unjust situation.

She locked me in the closet.

I am amazed at times that I can still remember so many things from my childhood with such clarity and depth of feeling..... but I can.
Like it was yesterday.

Being pushed in while kicking and screaming.
The fear of what she was going to do to me.
It was dark.
I was afraid of the dark.
I screamed and yelled.
I beat my little fists against the door until they stung.
I fought like that until my throat hurt and my body was racked with the sobs.
I was alone.
She left me there until she heard my moms cry pull into the driveway.
She threatened that if I told that she would kill my mom.
And although so many other thoughts should have taken precedence at that moment.....
the one that rose above all the others was this;

"You failed. It was your job to protect your brother..... and you failed."

I was three.
So young.
But the enemy of my soul didn't care how old I was.
He knew I understood what that meant.
My little three year old heart understood what it meant to be let down.
I was being let down every day.
I didn't want to be like all the grown ups around me.
I wanted the world to be right.... and not so out of control.
I wanted it to be different.
I wanted it to be perfect.
I thought that if I was perfect everything else would follow.

But I wasn't.......

And the world didn't.....

But that day began a journey for me that continued all the way through my youth, adolescence, and adult life.

It wasn't just about the control.
Although that is what it grew up to be.
Trying to control everything around me and spiraling into despair when I couldn't do it.
Trying to keep everything perfect...... controlled....... and right.
I have fought against wrong almost my entire life.

And then add to that the others who picked up my perfectionist tendencies.
It became the standard.
And when I failed to produce perfection I received great disappointment.
From myself, and those around me.
I was reprimanded and told to do better.

I loved school back then. It was one of the few things I looked forward to.
I got to escape.
I often played alone.
Other kids thought I was odd.
I lived in a make believe world created by myself, far better than my own.
I was often shunned and made fun of.
I continued to be an outcast..... and unacceptable.
I tried not to care..... I tried to just sit at recess and make up my make believe stories.
I created my own friends.
Ones that loved me.... accepted me. And believed in me.
But I was still very much alone.

It is then that I began to read.
A whole world opened up to me.
It became my escape......
From life, from hurt, and from fear.
It was perfect.

I struggled in my studies.
I was not the smartest kid in class.
And I realized early on that this was an area that no one really paid much attention to.
It wasn't as important as paying bills, getting jobs, and putting food on the table......
So I decided to fail.
I decided that it would be okay not to be perfect in this one area.
It felt good.
To let go and not have to be perfect at this one thing.
But I deceived myself into thinking that I was okay with it.
I began to feel inferior. Stupid. And like the dumbest kid in class.
I began to listen to the lies that I wasn't good enough, and couldn't do it.
Add to that a demeaning teacher or two, being the outcast among my pears, living in a very broken family, and you have a recipe for academic and personal disaster.......

I am going to stop there for now......
I am not done.
There is so much more to tell.
But the words can get tedious and the long-windedness mundane.
So I am going to stop for now.

For today.

For whatever reason I feel that God is calling me to share parts of my story......

I'm not sure how much he is going to ask of me.
But I know that for whatever that reason is.... He is calling me to begin it now.

So I begin.....
At the beginning of a life that has been transformed and redeemed so often that I often have feared that He will tire of rescuing me out of it.

But I know that He never will.

He has proven that over and over.
Again and again.

My hope is that His love and His mercy will shine brighter than all else in my life.

For His glory..... and hopefully resulting in healing and restoration.

Not perfect.....

But whole and complete.

.....until another tomorrow.


"Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New Living Translation)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holding Out...

Life has been a bit busy......
Full and packed with plans, to do's, and running from here to there.
For the most part I have been content with this pace for right now.
It's keeps my mind occupied and wears me out so that I fall into bed every night ready for the sleep that I need.

When I am awake my mind is still going a million miles a minute, and I am thinking in story form more than ever.....

Imagining what my oldest child is doing right at that particular moment... imagining what she is experiencing and what exciting things God has yet in store for her.
Praying for my husband who is overworked and overwhelmed. Praising God for the gift of who he is my life.... the other half of me. And praying that I can be even half of the encourager for him that he is to me.
Thinking about ways to connect with my two younger children.... to meet them where they are at this very moment in time... and how to help them through the transitions and change that we are currently walking in.

In the midst of it all.... I have been very aware of my relationship with my heavenly Father.

And how easy it is to forget.....
Not in the way that I forget about Him or don't talk to Him or worship Him while driving in the car.... or shoot up those random prayers whenever they come to mind....
But in the way of intimacy.
Of taking the time to stop everything that I am doing and just being still.
Sitting at His feet and basking in who He is and who He continues to want to be in my life.

I have neglected this a bit while dealing with my deep emotions over my daughter, and with the fast pace of life that keeps on going even when I am ready for it all to just slow down.....
I realized the other night that I am solely responsible.
I am the only one who can make Him a priority..... shut down all the "stuff", and push away the clutter that will inevitably be there whether I acknowledge it or not.
The only one who can take the time, and allow Him to be more important than everything else that is screaming to be put first.

The simplicity of just sitting and soaking in worship and adoration......
In recalling His faithfulness, and remembering all the times that He has always been there to meet with me when I have chosen to come.

There is nothing like it......
Nothing like Him.
And although this may not seem like the deepest blog I've ever written it is what is in my heart right now... at this moment.
Just writing on my acknowledgment that He is worthy of our time..... of invading our space....
and making Him more important than all the other things that we deem more important seems more noteworthy than anything else I could say right now.

I am not the best at doing all that I should.... at making Him all that he should be.
But I do know that down deep where it matters most, I am always wanting more of Him in my life..... and so much less of what seems to try and crowd Him out.

Nothing else satisfies like God.
Nothing else can come close to His infinite and loving touch.

At my last women's retreat we were given a word.....
To not try and "fit" God into our schedules.... but to let Him submerge us into His life.

It has been what has been on my mind for the past few days...... what that means....
The ways that I need to allow Him to do that.... and how to be conscious of the ways that I am not.

There is nothing that I am going through or facing that is more important than Him.


It can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, because it is easy to allow life to overshadow Him.
It means laying aside my pride.... and what I "think" and giving Him full access to it all.
Acknowledging that He is bigger than any mountain and larger than any ocean.
Why do we so often think that we have to do everything on our own?
That that is what He expects of us to do?

It is in those moments that He wants to come in and show us how much bigger He really is.
How deep His love is for us that He would want to come into those tough situations and stand right in the middle of it all..... with you.
So often I can feel Him reach out to take hold of my hand.... and I can feel myself emotionally pulling away.
Whether it is fear, pride, or rebellion that prompts this response..... doesn't really matter.
It is my loss when I allow myself to respond to Him in this way.

His grip is stronger than any other.
His hold will not let me go when I can not stand.
His arms are able to hold not only me but all that I am holding onto.......

He is that good...
And that is why He is so deserving of what we should be giving Him.
Our time.... our lives..... and most importantly, our hearts.

It is all He really wants..... and we make it the hardest thing to give.

..... until another tomorrow.


"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1

"But Moses said, "Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, 'I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!'22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?"

23 The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you." Numbers 11:21-23

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Settling in.......

It has been a few days now......
Five to be exact since we put our oldest child on a plain bound for parts unknown..... and a life that has the greatest potential for God to do the most amazing things.
The first few days were the hardest.
The missing and gut wrenching hurting that came and hit me unexpectedly.

And then there was the unexpected things that seemed to hit all of us..... like a wave.
My daughters living arrangements.... not being what we thought they were going to be, and not being what my husband or I were expecting for her.
The particulars and the practical. Things you don't give much thought to when you are used to providing them on a regular basis....... from home and not from across the globe.

And then there is the enemy.... always creeping. Always trying to find the smallest crack and opportunity to bring discouragement and discord.
But we are on to him..... and we have been prayerful.

My own emotions have seemed to have settled a bit.

I still miss my sweet daughters face as she enters my kitchen every morning accompanied by a hug and a, "Good morning mommy.", in her sweet voice reserved for me.
I still miss our late night talks with her laying across my bed, usually ending with my eyes slowly drifting closed.
I miss walking into her room and seeing her there reading her favorite book, or laying peacefully napping during one of her favorite past times.... sleep. And envying her for it.
I miss hearing her and her sister giggle from another room. Sharing in their secret making and heart sharing........
I miss so many things so much.
But I am learning to be happy..... in a very different way.

I am happy when I get to talk to her every day.
I love that she wants to see us as much as we want to see her.
My heart fills up with joy when she begins to share the particulars of her new life and the adventures that she is already partaking of.
I love more than anything the people that have already adopted her into their hearts. Showering her with love and feeling protective over her in a way that only speaks of God's hand in the whole thing altogether......
I love all of this.
And although I still have my moments..... and there has been wave after wave of the missing her so much......
I am reveling in the wake of it all.
The calming foamy water that washes up after the waves crash down.
The feeling of peace that God has graciously covered me in, overflowing and bubbling out.
Calming with it's rhythmic motion.

I am aware more than ever that I am an observer for now.
I get the privilege to watch her grow..... expand her wings.... and test her heights.
I get to participate in the joys.... and even the hurts even though we are far away.
The connection that we have.... the deep seeded heart connection, makes us feel just as close as if she were sitting right in front of me.

I am so thankful.
For the advancement of technology that makes our tenuous communication possible.
It has made this separation and letting go process a little easier.......
Day by day. And hour by hour.

Oh, I still miss her........
But we are both settling in.

Getting comfortable with this new life and season that God has brought us all to.
And like the changing of seasons I am trying my best to enjoy them........ every moment.
And not just my daughter's but the precious ones still right in front of me.....
Like the colors of fall.... vivid in their varying hews, and brilliant in the miracles that they represent.
The reds.... oranges.... browns.... and fading greens.
I feel as though I am standing under the most magnificent tree.
Sheltered and covered in it's beauty.
Silent and anticipating the whispering of the wind through it's branches.

All I can do is gaze...... take a deep breath in.... and out.
Feeling the surrounding of so much love.... and so many prayers.
Closing my eyes and turning my face upward.... capturing the sensation that comes with breathing deeply.

He is my covering. Mine and my families.

And I am beginning to allow myself to trust Him with that.....
Settling into it.... slowly......
But with the assurances I need so much every step of the way.
He is a good God.
A faithful God.
A good Father.
And right now...... I feel so loved.......

And covered.

His branches all encompassing....... no matter where we are.

..... until another tomorrow.


"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever." Psalm 52:8

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taking a Breath..... and Letting Go.

I have circled my computer for days.
Blank stare and trying to get up the courage to write what doesn't seem possible to put into words.
I have bottled up the emotions and pushed them down
as far as they will go.
But yesterday..... I was forced...... to let them run free.

It is to date the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

As I held my oldest child in my arms and swallowed down the tears threatening to overwhelm me, I whispered words of encouragement and love in her ear.
She held on tighter and I tried not to cling too much.
And then it came..... the moment to step away.... and watch her ascend the stairs and take her first steps to independence. From me.... from her dad.... from all that is familiar, and from all that she knows and loves.
I stayed composed as she shot us a beaming smile and sent us an excited wave.
I waved back. And gave her my best "I am so proud of you" smile. I was so proud of myself and my complete composure.
I tried not to think about the months that will separate us. And I tried not to dwell on how long it will be until I get to hug her again.
I couldn't. I wouldn't...... not right then anyway.

As my husband, and my youngest children and I climbed back into the car I started to thaw.
The feelings and emotions that I had forcefully held at bay for the last few days began to win the battle over my will.
I began to feel them creeping up. Clogging my throat. I could feel them begin to gain momentum.
As I sat in the car on the drive home I let my eyes drift shut.
Flashes of her in the different stages of her life began to play across my memory.
As a baby. Placed in my arms for the very first time.
Her first smile. The same smile that lights up any room she's in and reminds you of what really matters.
Her pre-school teacher telling her dad and I that she was born to lead. She led her entire pre-school class in imaginary play every day.
Her independence from her peers. In almost every stage of her life.
Never caring what others think if it goes against what she knows to be right and true, having to line it up with the word of God. And although she knows that it will hurt, she has chosen to stand alone..... more than once.
Her love and mercy for the hurting, the outcast, and the broken in spirit.
These things have been evident in her since she was barely even able to form her words in complete sentences.
Every phase...... and favorite memories. One after the other in rapid succession. Every moment leading up to this very day.

And as I walked down the hall toward her room, I could feel my carefully rehearsed self control begin to slip..... and come crashing down.

I can't remember when the tears began.
I just know that all of sudden they were there. And they were coming in earnest.
The hurt and the ache started out slow and quickly escalated into a mind numbing and searing pain.
The sobs that seemed to come from someone else shook my entire body with their force.

I didn't know it would feel this way.
No one prepared me for this! This intense pain and feeling of separation.
I knew I would miss her......
I knew that her going away would create a chasm in our lives that has always been tightly woven and knit together.
But I didn't know that the pain would be so deep and the hole so large.
Un-fillable by anything I try to fill it up with trying to forget why I am feeling this way.

I have tried not to let on. To allow her to have her joy and focus on what is sure to be the one of the greatest adventures of her life.
But I let it slip today.......
My carefully placed mask of control that I had been feebly holding up.
All it took was telling her I love her......
I had to cover my mouth to cover the sob that was choking me.
I saw her face crumble on my screen and called myself every kind of fool.

And then I got it.....
The truth.

The truth is..... I do miss her. And she needed to know that.
I am happy for her.... but so sad for me.
I have lived my whole life in deference to others. Often denying myself the privilege of letting myself feel and being okay with it without beating myself up.
She knows this about me. She often has to remind me that my way of dealing with myself is not okay.
And I am hoping that in allowing her to know that she is this loved and this missed will hopefully motivate and move her forward.
To attempt the challenges that are set before her knowing that she is deeply cared for and fully supported by those who know her best and love her even more.
To believe in herself and the ability that God has given and equipped her with because we believe in her and see all that God has placed in her to share.

I know that this will be a process. For me. For her. For us both.

She continues to challenge me with her wisdom and strength.

Pushing me to push forward.
To attempt this challenge of one of the ultimate tests of my faith.
To believe in myself and the ability God has given me to live out His purposes for my own life as she is doing in hers.
Not allowing the missing and hurting to hinder that and get in the way. For either of us.

I am still smarting from the tear and rip of my heart.
I am still trying to force myself to deal with the the absence that following her calling has created.
And I have realized that letting go of anything we hold close is a day to day process.
But I am also learning that this letting go does not mean giving up.

It is more of a releasing..... and surrendering.
Believing that what God has done so far will pale in comparison with what He has in store for us all.

I have been holding on to this with all my might.
And while I stand here trying to make sense of it all I can feel myself once again......
Take a deep breath...... and let go.

Falling into the same hands that hold my daughter tight.
Taking comfort in the fact that we are both being held close to His heart with the most tenderest of care.

And Lord willing.... when we finally get to travel to where she is.... I already plan to be the first off the plain..... running headlong to wrap my mom arms around her and hold her face with those same hands that are holding her up every night before our God.

.... until another tomorrow.


"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." Joshua 1:7

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ticket to Grace


We are all in need of grace.
For varying reasons and at varying degrees.

Sometimes for a forgivable act. And sometimes for the unforgivable.
Sometimes for a unkind word that was spoken in haste, out of emotion, and not with much thought behind it.
Sometimes for when we are exhausted and beaten down and just need time to pull ourselves together...... and get ourselves back on track.

Grace can look like certain things too and be accompanied by actions.
Like a smile when you deserve the scowl.
A hug when you feel like everything is falling apart.
A kiss on the cheek accompanied by words of kindness when you were just short and not kind.
And the okay given to just escape for the day when you have the whole world waiting to be tended to.
It is being given time to finish a homework assignment when you couldn't get it done on time.
In the faithful words of a friend whom you've hurt, coming to find that they still love you in spite of your missteps.

This is grace.
And I realize that I am given it everyday.
Grace to fall and grace to fail.
Grace to get back up and grace to try again.

I need these kinds of grace most of all.

But I realize that I am my own worst grace giver.
I expect so much out of myself and give myself even less.
I believe that I can do it...... anything.... and when I fail.......
Well, let's just say that a physical beating would be kinder.

I don't rest when I'm tired.
I don't stop when the reserves have run dry.
I have gotten better than I used to be..... but this isn't saying much.

And when I am hit hard like I have been lately. When the world seems to be falling down all around me and I begin to cry and wail because I can't keep it all going.
When my balls that I "thought" I was successfully juggling begin to drop at an alarming rate.
I realize.......... 
And I  stop.
Not because I want to. But because I have to.

This week I have figuratively and physically just dropped from where I have been standing and just sat.
Not a pretty sit. Composed and put together.
But a heap. Legs in sloppy indian style with hands limp by my sides and head down.
Tired and weak.
And not by choice mind you.
Never by choice. But out of desperation and knowing that I can't keep doing it on my own.

It is in this posture that I have allowed it to be possible for others to come around me and help me.
To make me meals and feed me.
To speak words of encouragement and love.
To offer kindnesses and support.

I still feel beat up and bruised.

But I also feel loved and taken care of.

I have felt the effects of grace.
God given and bestowed.
Not because I deserve it and not because I am owed it.
But because it is in His nature to give it.

And that is enough.

My ticket from feeling antiquated and  bereft.

And my pass to being renewed and filled up again.

If we don't accept it, we won't benefit.

And we will only have ourselves to blame.

Thank you Father for the grace givers in my life. The people that You have surrounded me with that choose to love me when I am unlovely.

And for your grace Father that surpasses them all. With a love so full and so deep that I can't even try to understand it.

That love overwhelms me and fills my heart with undying gratitude........
And gives me the motivation to share it with anyone who will hear.

..... until another tomorrow.


"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."
 John 1:16

"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." 
 Jonah 2:8

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Tastes Good

I love to bake.
It is one of my favorite things in the world to do.
I love everything about it.
The creative process of making something that melts  on your tongue and brings a smile to your face the moment it touches your taste buds.
I love that I can make those around me feel loved just by giving them something yummy and well presented.
Who doesn't love cupcakes? Or homemade chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts and white chocolate drizzled on top? And brownies..... toffee covered and topped with fudge?
And don't get me started on pastries....... that is the stuff of my dreams. 

So...... when I found out that I was allergic to wheat and yeast I thought, with my cup is half full mentality, "No problem. I will just improvise."
I had no idea how hard it would be.
I am not a huge bread eater but I do love the occasional biscuit or my favorite..... buttery croissants with even more butter dripping off of them.
But I thought to myself, "You can do this. You can make this work."
Needless to say once the cold hard reality hit, I was sad..... depressed even.

It wasn't fair. 
Jesus got to eat bread right?
Why couldn't I?
And what about making all those people happy?
Although, I still bake for others on occasion, the joy was taken away from me in that I couldn't partake and share in that joy.

It was a huge bummer.
I tease with my family that I feel like a special needs person.
I guess I am.
And the few things I am learning has sparked a mind journey that I am still embarking on.

When you do change and improvise in anything you do, baking... life...... things are going to be different then when you did it otherwise before.
Things will look different, feel different, and in my case taste different.
At first you may not like the results.
You may turn your nose away and feel sorry for yourself.
You may even declare as I have, many a time, that "It's just not fair!"
And it's not.
But sometimes, and usually........ it is for our better good.

Change can be fun. 
But not fun change is....... well..... not fun.
It is uncomfortable and oft times uneasy.
It can be mind boggling and life altering.
It can bring about the best in you, or the very worst.
I have had some of these, and probably most in my own reactions.

But I do know this..... that when I stopped partaking and taking in what wasn't good for me, and what my body had been so tirelessly trying to tell me..... I began to feel better.
No more stomach aches and brain splitting headaches.
No more random pains and unexplained happenings in random areas of my body system.
I just felt good.
And what once was so good to me before, didn't taste so good to me now.
Because I knew the consequences of eating it.
And I was so mad that I did.

I wanted it to be something else.
I was assured that after so long of not eating that way that I might be able to go back.
Unfortunately for me.... now that I have purged my body from what it didn't want there in the first place, it now recognizes it the moment I put it back in.
And the result is immediate.
My body kicks in its defenses and attacks what it now views as foreign.

This is so much like all the other things in our lives that don't belong there.
We want them, therefore we continue to partake of them. And in the process we continue to be sick with our messed up mentalities, and junked up thought processes.
We even get mad when well meaning people try to help us in our state of sickness.
We get defensive. And we shout, "It's not fair!"
We don't like being told that we can't do something that we enjoy....  has become our way of doing things.... or our way of dealing with what we can't control.
Worse yet...... that which has become comfortable to us. 
What we like, and what tastes good.
Even when it is making us sick.
When we secretly know deep down that something is not right.
That something is very wrong.

It is not easy to change your thinking.
We all want things the way we want them.

Our comfort and security.... no matter how false that really is.
Our  timing.
Our  prejudices.
Our choices.
Our  way.

Sounds ugly when you say it like that.
And it is..... ugly.
Always wanting and demanding our way always is.
We just delude ourselves into thinking that we justly deserve this.
That we are owed it and therefore it is our right to demand it.

But it's not.
It is ultimately not what is best for us.
Or in our best interest.
And that is where the rub is.
The uncomfortable knowledge that what we are doing and how we are going about it is not right.
And we know it. And it makes us mad.
We strike out and fight.
We can unmeaningly hurt those we love and even those around us who we know love us very much.
In that moment though...... we don't care.
We are so upset that we know that we have to change.
To change our thinking, our living , and our way of doing things.

In the end we ultimately choose.
To keep being miserable and taking one more bite after the other.
Knowing the consequences.....
Or we choose to change.
Letting God come in and surrendering all that we know is holding us back.

It will look different.
Feel different.
And ultimately taste different.

But it's okay.....
If we let it be.
And if we want to be whole and healed in the way that our bodies and minds so desperately need.

And hey, if your like me..... trying really hard to see the cup half full......
Once you've gotten over the Poor Me syndrome ......
You will begin to discover that there ARE other ways of doing things.
If your willing to open yourself up to the possibility of something new.... and the somethings that can re-open the once closed off parts of your life.
You may discover that what you once thought impossible..... now has possibility.

Like the yummy muffin I ate this morning.
Totally good for me, and totally free from the "stuff" that is not right for me.

There is something to be said for that.

It just tasted good.

..... until another tomorrow.


"Taste and see that the Lord is good.
      Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
  Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
      for those who fear him will have all they need.
  Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
      but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing." Psalm 34:8-10

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pouring Out and Filling Up


I have been sick this week.
The yucky, coughing, feeling terrible sick.
I don't care for being sick any more than the next guy....
But I especially hate it because it stops me from living my day to day, and getting done what needs to be done.
And the real reason..... I don't like having to depend on anyone else to take care of me... or take care of what is mine to do.

I enjoy relaxing and reading a really good book in bed. But when your forced there and left with no choice..... that is not my idea of fun.
I have exhausted my repertoire of movies, I have picked up and put down my Bible over and over again......
I am ready to be well. 
I am ready to get up and see to my obligations.
I have had to let go of a lot this week.
I have been forced to let go of things I would normally hold onto with a tenacious grip.

I have also been thinking... a lot.
About all the things I have no control over.
I have been mulling and turning things over and over in my head.
And I have been examining this road. This trail I am on.
Looking at it.... dissecting and figuring it out.
Trying to gage my progress and trying to see if I am on track with where I think I should be at this date and time.

In the midst of all of this "goings on" a few important things have been happening.
I have tried to take them in stride.
Tried to handle them appropriately.
But yesterday... I couldn't.
My body said no and I listened. Surprising myself with how quickly I did it.....
I called out for help.

And it came.

This once again reminded me of how often I have cried out to God in my greatest need.
How often I have fallen to my knees and begged for His mercy and grace. And how often He has answered and rescued me out of what appeared to be a hopeless situation.
It made me look back and recall all the times He has been faithful to me.
And it filled me up.
Renewed my faith.
And gave me hope again.

I needed it. Once again, my gage was nearing empty.
And I even had reserves left over.
Someone I love would need it later that day, and I was able to share what I had.

It is never for ourselves.
God doesn't give so that we can horde.
He doesn't fill so that we won't pour.
We have been made to give back. We have been created for much more than living for our own purposes and pursuits.
We are God's. Whether we acknowledge that or not.
And one of our many purposes is for just this. 
Not living for ourselves, but for Him and others. 

I am thankful for those who choose to pour into my life.
For those who's agenda is much more and higher than just serving themselves.
I have been changed because of it. 

My hope is that I return the favor..... pouring out from what I have been poured into.
And giving my Heavenly Father the recognition He so justly deserves.
The praise and honor that are His and His alone.
We are His and the only way the world will know that, is if we are reflecting His image, witnessing to His faithfulness.

In that.... I find my greatest reward, and the fulfillment of what I really am searching for.

... until another tomorrow.


9"All the nations have gathered together
         So that the peoples may be assembled 
         Who among them can declare this
         And proclaim to us the former things?
         Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified,
         Or let them hear and say, "It is true." 
    10"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD,
         "And My servant whom I have chosen,
         So that you may know and believe Me
         And understand that I am He 
         Before Me there was no God formed,
         And there will be none after Me. 
    11"I, even I, am the LORD,
         And there is no savior besides Me." Isaiah 43: 9-11