Thursday, July 30, 2009


Tomorrow morning six girls plus myself will pile into a vehicle and head to Greensboro, NC.

I am too excited! I will get to sit under Travis Cottrell and his praise team....these people can usher in the presence of God like nothing I have ever seen. Not to mention, I will get to join in corporate worship with thousands of women. If you have never experienced corporate worship on this scale, I highly recommend you go to one of these conferences. There is something indescribable about being in the midst of that many people lifting high the one and only name of Jesus. Goose bumps galore......and not simply a feeling...but a knowing that the Holy Spirit is there in your midst.

As if that weren't good enough, I get to enjoy several teaching sessions by Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur.

It is funny to me that I used to only enjoy the worship part of an event like this and not so much the speakers. I don't know when the change occurred, but now opening the Word of God and listening to it speak is matchless for me. Nothing can is usually in those times of teaching that the Lord hones in and speaks directly to me.

His voice...
His presence...
His affirmation...
His encouragement....
His food for my hungry soul...
His love that fills me to overflowing...
His peace that passes the junk I deal with in my life...

That is what I am expecting!!

Lord, I need you. I am yearning to watch you move in my life this weekend. Fill me with fresh faith. Give me a servant's heart. The secret things that I share with You are causing doubts to creep in. Speak directly to those secret things. Help me endure these days where it seems I question more than I believe. I want to embrace these difficult things because I know they will produce fruit...but sometimes that is too tall of an order for me to do. Remember I am but dust....I want to love you more. Create in me a clean heart...continue to sanctify me even though I hate it.

Speak Lord speak...I am listening.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Extended

My group of church friends have a neat tradition. We try to have a girls night out at the birthday girl's favorite restaurant.
I chose Pappasittos because it is a fun atmosphere and they have insanely delicious tortilla chips and homemade tortilla shells.

There is also this spinach and artichoke cheese dip that is so good I would drive the 35 miles out of my way to eat it anytime. I am not a huge fan of spinach or artichokes, but somehow they mask those flavors so that all you taste is the mouth-watering cheesy goodness.

We had fun. We had a super long wait and I must brag on my friends. I offerred to go somewhere else, but they knew that I really wanted Pappasittos so they waited it out. (It was good for you, Brandi :>)

There is something about breaking bread together. It puts us all on equal ground. We feel free to laugh and truly enjoy each other.
Isn't it sweet that we have a God that encourages us to do just that?!?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Skeptic, Cynic, or Rebel

A friend loaned me a book to read. It is "Faith & Doubt" by John Ortberg.

I am sure you can tell by simply reading the title that it is a book that has held my attention.

This book has spoken to me right where I am....

I doubt.

However, Jesus will allow me to deal with doubt to be driven closer to Him.

-uncertainty adds humility to faith
-uncertainty causes us to learn
-uncertainty pushes us to seek truth
-uncertainty produces growth
(all of these are issues that Mr. Ortberg discusses in his book)

I was particularly interested in his definitions of a skeptic, cynic, and a rebel.
I think you will find that when it comes to faith...most of us fit into one of these categories.

Skeptic-I don't want to be wrong
I don't want to be hurt
I don't want to look like I'm one of the gullible ones.
Underneath the surface of the skeptic is fear-fear of being disappointed.
The skeptic says, "I would rather stand on the sidelines and look like an intelligent observer than risk trusting. I will forgo all that might come with that trust."

Cynic-Not so much looking for answers as offering conclusions
Offer conclusions that paint the world in a negative light
When facing a difficult decision, a moral responsibility, or an unpopular choice, cynics choose to wash their hands and conclude, "Whatever."
B/c of previous pain or disappointment, cynics make their conclusions about life before
the questions have even been asked.

Rebel-Someone who doesn't want to believe
Do not want the story of Jesus to be true
This desire goes so deep that it colors the way they look at every argument and every bit of evidence and makes sure they find a way not to believe.
Rebels are afraid of what would happen if they surrender themselves to God

At my best, I am a my worst, I am a rebellious cynical skeptic. Doubt that is left undone...undealt with...will turn you into one of these. I pray that my doubts force me to seek Truth. To seek Truth is to seek Him. To seek Him is to find Him. To find Him is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him.

Which one are you??

(All of the info. in this entry is from the book...none of these thought are my own, except the prayer at the end). I am sure I have broken all the copyright laws so...I wanted to give credit to Mr. Ortberg.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday

I am so blessed! Last night we continued a long standing tradition that we share with some of our best friends. We gather together for your birthday and you get to choose the menu. I chose pancakes, bacon, hashbrown casserole and a Dairy Queen cake.(can you guess who has the sweet tooth??)
The food and fellowship was wonderful. The last time we did this, we used our time to bless the food to go around the table and everyone got to pray a blessing for the birthday person. I absolutely loved it. I loved praying for my friend in front of them.
Well, last night they did that for me. So humbling!! To hear others pray for you and petition to God on your behalf for blessings, protection, favor, and thanksgiving was pretty awesome.
Have I mentioned I have amazing friends?
This morning I woke up to 3 wiggly giggly children in my bed. They were more excited about my birthday than me. Shep had gone to get me my favorite English Toffee coffee and a Martin's biscuit. He has arranged for me to have a really special day....I am too excited!
Father, thank you for 32 years of life. I love you so much but I want to love you more. Thank you for my family and the friends who are my family. Thank you for abounding grace that I live in every day. Please bless my home. Help me to be the wife, mother, and friend that honors you and leaves the fragrance of Jesus everywhere I go. Be Big in my life Lord....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't want to...

which probably means...I should.

The past week or so has been pretty victorious for me. I have been fed by God's word and nurtured by His presence.

Today should be no different. is.

Have I moved??

It is weird.

I don't feel like I have moved. But, because I know God hasn't inched away from me, I must have moved.

Shep and I have had several unexpected "bumps in the road" the past few days. You know what I mean...things you just could never see coming.

I am embarrassed to say that here I slide back down into some despair.

Is it really that easy?

After over a week of victory, can slipping back down seem this effortless??


I just want easy.
I just want simple.
I just want fun.
I just want ....and want....and want....and want...

Anyway, these are the days that we wish we didn't have. For me...they come along too often. Putting it out there means I have to own it and call it what it is...pride...again.

I want my way....not His.

His way feels too hard, too heavy, too frustrating, too much to handle.

Is it??

I thought His yoke was easy and His burden was light. I am trying to learn how all of this works. How do I exchange my heaviness for His lightness and my difficulty for His ease.

Don't know...not sure.

Ps. 27:13-14
"I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18
"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Lord, I don't understand these really yet I cling to them. I am weary. Forgive my pride and doubt...again. Help me live what these verses tell me to do. I don't know how. I feel like I fail so much I just want to quit while I am ahead. Show me Your ways. Encourage me with Your presence.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

14 Months Ago

I was quite content being the mother of two amazing, beautiful, and very different little girls. I had no clue how much fuller and richer my life would be when Zeke entered our lives 14 months ago today. He has been a delight to all of us.

He smiles easily.
He sleeps good.
He eats pretty much anything.
He melts our hearts on a regular basis.

I just wanted to praise the One who blessed me with these children. I thank Him for pressing me to "have one more"....even when I thought I was done.
He knew how much joy and laughter Zeke would bring to us.
Somehow, it just seems complete!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Few Reasons to Smile

Shep was out of town this past weekend. I was flying solo from Thursday til Sunday. I must say that God was with me. For those of you who don't know me....I am afraid to stay by myself. Don't ask??
Lots of childhood issues dealing with fear and God is very much working with me to give them all to Him and be FREE of it.

Anyway, Shep was due to come home on Sunday. So, me and the kids went to his parents house on the farm. I took a few photos of us playing outside with some of our cousins.
Caroline and Granny had a great time snuggling on the swing.
Zeke looked edible in his way big Georgia football helmet.
Ava huddled in with me for a close-up shot. The others kids you see are my niece, Ella, and my nephew, Henry.
How cute, huh??
The weekend (alone) was pretty uneventful...except....I hit a deer.
Oh, it was awful. The sound of that terrible thud...I can't forget it soon enough. I had never hit a deer before and, of course, it had to happen while Shep was gone.
One highlight of the weekend was getting to sing to a group of kids helping out with Splash Bartow. Their praise and worship was contagious to say the least. If you want to see a picture of the kids during worship...go to Facebook and check it out on my profile. The picture will give you chills. It was taken from the balcony of the church. It is kind of fuzzy, but you just see the kids in full-out, unashamed praise.

So, now we are back to Monday. A new week...a new day...many new mercies from God's hand and I need them all.
Yesterday's message gripped my heart with conviction about witnessing to the lost world around me. I know God is moving me in the direction of seeking out those who I am to tell about Him.
I am asking Him to show me who.......
I am asking Him to guide me how.....
I am asking Him to tell me when....
Father God, thank you for empowering me this past weekend. I felt your Presence with me. Continue to show me that You are enough, that Your Word stands alone and that You have a plan for me each day. I am listening to whatever you have to say to me. Thank you for patiently working with me on contentment. Thank you for fueling my fire of faith. Thank you for giving me a hunger and a thirst after You alone.

Help me Your arms and feet.
Help me not to be offended with others and offer much grace....
Continue to bless my family and raise up my children to love you....
I wait for You.
I believe You.
I trust You.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freedom from floaties

The girls and I spent the afternoon at my parents' neighborhood pool. My mom was watching my niece and nephew and we thought it would be fun to get them all together.

This pool, mind you, is no ordinary neighborhood pool. It has an enormous slide, kid's play area, dumping buckets, slides, sprinklers, guns, basketball nets (in the pool), and many other amenities.

We had a great time.

Ava, who is four years old, is very interested in swimming. She has had no formal lessons, but she is willing to try and wants desperately to do it. She feels pretty confident in the shallow end, but the deep end always makes her ask for her "floaties".

She watched other children swim around in the deep water and she came and asked me if she could remove her floaties. I told her "no". She persisted in asking me several more I relented and told her that she could remove them only to practice swimming to me.

She was very excited to do this.

She stood on the steps and told me to back up about 8 paces from her...and here she came.

I did nothing but stand there.

She just did it!!

I was amazed, shocked, and so proud. She was too!!
She repeated this over and over....until she saw a little girl turning flips under the water.

She said, "Mama, I want to do that".

I said, "O.k., I'll show you how."

Too late....she was already attempting it on her own. She didn't quite make it all the way around the first time, but she did it again and again and again.

Then, as if looking for something bigger and better, she started attempting back flips under water.

(Are you kidding me?? She had just been wearing floaties 15 minutes earlier?? Now she looked so at ease in the water....I was baffled. I had just witnessed her "getting it". She learned to swim right in front of me...on her own...and it was a beautiful sight.)

I couldn't help but just stand right beside her in the water and grin like any other goofy proud parent. I hadn't really done anything there.

I was there to smile really BIG when she came out of the water.

I was there to offer her my body as something she could grab whenever she needed to.

I was just there to witness a BIG milestone for my little girl.

As I held her...I asked the Lord to help me remember each detail about this experience. It was so special.

She couldn't wait to tell everyone about her swimming...WITHOUT floaties. Her jumps, turns, twists, and flips were amazing to even her.

The Lord spoke to me even through this encounter...

-Ava had been convinced that she couldn't handle the water without her floaties. She feared the water. She knew the floaties would hold her up. However, she couldn't possibly enjoy the fullness of the pool with those floaties on. She couldn't flip, twist, or glide under the surface. She couldn't explore all that the pool offered. The floaties did just what they were designed to do....keep her afloat. They kept her head above water....

-Is that how I live my Christian life?? Do I walk around with my "safe" floaties on. Christ beckons us to take them enjoy the fullness of this life experience. Instead we let our floaties immobilize us to the surface.

We miss out on the freedom of the water it feels to do the twists and flips.

The sweet thing is Jesus knows we are a little freaked to learn to do just like the doting parent...He is there. He is available to encourage us when we come up for air, he applauds us when we risk and learn to do new things, and he is accessible to grab when we feel we might be trapped below the surface.

I didn't mean to get super-spiritual but that is how God speaks to me. He uses my ordinary daily things to show me how He feels about me. I thought this one happened to be pretty special.

I knew how it felt to watch Ava learn, risk, and accomplish something she had feared. I was proud and excited for her in a big way.

I think the Lord, our daddy, delights in watching us do similar things.

He is currently watching me walk in the freedom from a fear that I have long battled. I can almost sense His giddiness as He watches me have victory. Isn't that why He died...

for freedom.

I believe nothing makes him happier than to see one of His babies take off their floaties of fear and enjoy freedom to the fullest!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Words with Power

Luke 1:45
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished."

Ps. 119:49-50
"Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this; your promise preserves my life.

Just a couple of the verses that I am carrying on me all the time.

My own words are pretty hollow right now, so I opted for better, stronger, truthful, and more power-filled words.

Last night at praise team practice we were singing an old hymn, "Jesus Paid It All".
Some of the words of that song fell fresh on this girl...

I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all."

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow.

Thank you Lord for regarding my weakness. Thank you for inclining Your ear to me. Help me look outward today. Help me resist the enemy and his lies. Help me NOT to turn inward like a selfish child. You have blessed me with every spiritual blessing that is in Christ Jesus, help me walk in them. Help me live them. Help me show You to others who are lost and bound for hell. Give me a burden. Help me remember Your mighty works. Help me remember I serve a HUGE GOD. Help me have an awesome fear of You.

This "child of weakness" loves you and wants to please you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Staying True

I feel compelled to write something.

When I started this blogging thing. I did it with the intent of journaling these days of my life...good, bad, ugly, fabulous, mind-blowing, surprising...whatever.

I have noticed that lately I have been afraid to blog about the "real" me. I have tried to blog mostly real things with a touch of forced optimism so that you wouldn't think I am having as hard of a time as I really am. Those thoughts I keep to myself. Now, I am NOT saying that some things are not better left unsaid. I would agree whole-heartedly to that.

However, I feel that I have been called to be real.

Not really interesting.
Not really exciting.
Not really smart.
Not really extraordinary.
Not how I want to be.

But REAL. That means the truth. Like it or not. Repetitive and monotonous. Painstaking and pointless at times...

So....this entry is NOT like I want you to think I am...but how I really am.

I don't like this place.
I don't like this season.
I feel far away from Him.
I have so many questions.
I am tired.
I feel helpless and hopeless more than I want to admit.
I wonder where He is and why He isn't speaking.
I wonder if He ever spoke at all.

Having said all of that, I am a blessed woman.

I am bought with the blood of the Lamb.
I am madly in love with my man.
I am head over heels for my 3 amazing children.
I have friends that blow my mind.
I am healthy.
I have a roof over my head and food to eat.

Just because we are blessed and bought does NOT mean that there won't be seasons of unparalleled sadness in our lives. Try as we may to end the time....they are meant to be just that....a season.

That means an entire period of time.

I feel like I have done all I can do to speed up this process.

The truth is.....I am here until He sees fit to bring me out into a spacious place.

So, if this period of blogging is somewhat sad or depressing to you, I am sorry.

But, it is where I am. I am sure I will go back and read these blog entries one day and Jesus and I will have a good laugh at just how badly I am behaving.

But I live it and breathe it....I am not laughing. I am aching. I won't go back....but without hearing more from Him...I can't really go forward. I feel a little bit like I am at a crossroads. Veer right if I believe He is going to heal her or veer left and keep going if I believe we have been wrong all of this time ......which way???

I will choose joy and plant a smile on my face. I will continue to put one foot in front of the other in the complete and utter darkness that I feel I am in.

But I will be real.

I hate to think of the number of people who I have blown off because they were immersed in a tough season of their life. They were hard for me to be around because they just seemed depressed.

Now, I don't want to be THAT person either. I want to live and keep moving. But I MUST acknowledge this pain too.

God's silence is the biggest mystery and the quandary of my heart.

I don't know what else to say.

I am sure Job couldn't wait for better days as he lost family, friends, and scratched himself with pot shards.

We know that David longed for brighter days as he hid in caves for his life.

I want to learn whatever it is that His silence teaches. But, for others out there dealing with this, I won't lie and act as if this is a breeze.

I am ready for brighter days.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Princess Mommy

Don't we all just LOVE Mondays??

This Monday has been a rough one. Not really sure why...although whiny children, overcast skies, and back-to-the-grind routine doesn't really help.

By 9 a.m. it felt like it should have been 3 in the afternoon.

I keep saying to myself, "these days are going to fly by...don't wish them away".

I know that is true.

I just have a difficult time finding contentment in the grind of life. I am always looking forward to the next "fun" thing.

Like next weekend...
a date night
a motorcycle ride
a Deeper Still event
a trip to the beach.

So, in an attempt to change our scenery...the girls and I went downstairs while Zeke slept. I did a little sewing, singing, and answering about a million questions. (thanks to Ava)

After telling Ava again why she couldn't walk around carrying the pins I use while sewing; I spotted something that Ava had been asking me about for weeks. It was a David's Bridal bag on a hanger.

You guessed wedding gown.

She always looks at the pictures and talks about how mommy looks like a princess in her dress.

So, I decided to give it a whirl and try on the beautiful (and a little out-dated) gown.

Ava was ecstatic and Caroline was all smiles.

I slowly and ever so gently worked my way into the dress. I felt pretty dang good considering it was going on just fine. The seams weren't bulging...buttons weren't popping...even the zipper was gliding just fine.

See, I spoke too soon. It just stopped. The zipper wouldn't budge anymore. I wasn't about to rip this gorgeous gown just because I was determined to make it fit. So, I faked it and spun around to show it off to my girls.

They were terribly impressed. They had no clue the zipper was sliding downward the whole time...they just thought mommy looked like a princess.

Funny. I am the child of a King. My daddy reigns from on high. But as I go about my days the enemy tells this princess she is nothing but a pauper.

Don't you wish you could catch a glimpse of yourself the way He sees you?

As hard as I try...I can't really see that girl.

Probably because I know myself too well.

I will say this. The dress may not have fit me now...but the girl wearing the dress is NOT the same girl.

This girl has come a long way. A little more grounded. A little more real. Stronger. Determined. Seeking.

As the refining process continues in my life...I will always be changing. Each day, in spite of how I may feel, I will come a little closer to resembling the King who calls me His daughter.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Still rednecks at this house

My friends have had too much fun laughing at this one.

So, I thought I would share it with my blog friends too.

What you are seeing is an ice tray filled with frozen lemonade. However, the red-neck part of this is too good. When Shep couldn't find toothpicks to hold the popsicles...he opted for tooth flossers.
Priceless, isn't it.
The last entry I posted was very personal to me. I don't think I have fully released this control to God......EVER.
I am having to settle in to the newness of this season.
I know it is right. I know I am being obedient.
I know this is requiring me to actually LIVE OUT in private what I say I believe in PUBLIC.
The thoughts that I battle are tough.
The enemy tells me that I have "let go" of her healing.
The enemy tells me that it is about time for me to give in.
The enemy says, I told you so.....God doesn't heal anymore.
Of course, I go to battle. I fight him with the Word and prayer. I am powerless without those two things.
It is funny because I thought that stepping out on June 12th was difficult....that was nothing compared to this.
The best way I can share this with you so you understand is a little bit like when a loved one dies and you are grieving. As long as you talk often about keeps them alive.
Well, I feel like because I have "let go" and stopped so much of this talking about her healing that it will be forgotten. Gone. Just a memory. Something that people might remember occasionally but not often.
That is what kills. What I have shouted....stood on....believed...prayed being "let go". It is being placed in the hands of the God who really is in control. But, if I don't talk about it...will anyone?
So, I am learning trust...a new kind. The trust that is lived behind closed doors. The kind that even our closest friends cannot guide us near. It is a trust that has to be chosen and lived by me.
Do I trust him with the last 7 years? Do I trust him right now when he is silent? Do I trust by living each day in hope AND contentment? Do I really trust him with my deepest biggest fears?
All I can say is GO TIME for me. The hurt is still there. The longing has never left. The questions still linger.
While still feeling the full weight of these things...there is something new rising up too. Courage, boldness, strength, confidence, trust, and joy are creeping in to places that were closed before.
This is where he has me.
Can't go over it
Can't go around it
Can't go under it
I have to plow straight ahead into these uncharted waters. I won't turn back....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Trying a new place

Clenched tight
my fist is closed.
Do I dare open up
and risk being exposed?

An open hand
means reaching a goal.
No more gripping, clasping,
or sense of control.

This place I know well
I've been here so long.
How do I live life
singing a new song?

I either trust or I don't
believe or doubt...
a clinched fist doesn't make
my faith more stout.

So....I am doing it
a little at a time
opening each finger
beginning the climb.

What I have held tight
in my fist for so long
I am offering to Jesus...
where it has always belonged.

Three different times God spoke to me about humility last week.

I am to stop being foolish, ridiculous, angry, and offended.

Once those things were addressed....I had nothing to hide behind.

So....the best I can...I am opening this hand of control. I have held my fist closed tight around "Caroline's healing" for 7 years. This isn't comfortable, but I know it is right.
I am trying to being Spirit lead...and live EACH DAY for itself.

I must tell you, my flesh feels like this is a death. Like I am somehow "giving up" on her healing.

However, I know that this is just yet another fun side of obedience. Not what I like....but what will PROVE to be good!

Pray hard for me. This is new ground.
May He guard me each step and encourage me at every turn. I know I need it.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I'm always amazed at how tenderly God will reveal my sin.

I may wallow in it and "call it" many different things...anger, self-pity, or injustice.

But it all boils down to one word.

The very word that caused the very first sin.


The enemy doesn't have any new tricks to use against he takes the one thing that he knows will usually work and camouflages it as something different.

No one likes to be called "prideful".

It somehow makes us feel better about ourselves to call it anger or injustice so the blame can ly elsewhere.

However....every single sin has buried beneath it....pride.

Same name.

I have had some new tough stuff to deal with this week and I have shaken my fists at God in anger and injustice. I wanted to feel justified.

What I felt from Him (after He exposed my sin) was love.

Jesus was nothing if not a servant. Our LORD made Himself a lamb.
The One the angels exalted became the target of humiliation and shame.

Humility, selflessness, meekness....who do you know like this?

It isn't common.

However, this is the direction Jesus is taking me right now. Humble myself before Him. Adore Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Be in awe of Him. Serve Him. Bask in the realization that He wants to include me in His plan...something amazing.

If we are not careful we begin to think we deserve His blessings....then the enemy jumps in and tells you of all of the blessings you DON'T have.

That is where I have been lately.

Thankfully a love I cannot explain intervened and bent my heart a little closer to His. My pride was before me, yet I didn't feel condemned. I felt better. I felt like I could breathe. I felt free of that burden.

"Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me."

Thursday, July 2, 2009


"Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos but somehow there's peace..."

-lyric from a Santus Real song

Isn't it weird? It's like you get back from a trip only to find the enemy waiting...with a vengeance.

My weekend away with Shep was almost like a second honeymoon...wonderful doesn't come close to describing it.

My week, however, has been a wreck.

Of course, I have handled it well. (NOT) You would think that a believer since the age of 9 and as one who is not new to hardship that I would be better equipped to handle stuff that happens.

I am truly ashamed and embarrassed. The truth is I don't really know how to handle all that I feel.
-Where are you Lord?
-What was the 12th about?
-Where is your financial provision?
-Will things ever be o.k. again?
-Why did Ava have to fail her vision exam?
-Why does my 4 year old have possibly have to deal with glasses?

(Glasses are NOT a big deal. This is just the icing on the proverbial cake. I already have one daughter that is wheelchair bound who gets many many stares from others... especially kids. Now, my other daughter will have to deal with stares from kids as well. This will be fine. I am sure I sound like a VAIN mother to you but I just think that 4 is so young to already have to deal with her mom I just want to protect her from that.)

Anyway, my point is....I'm not handling this well at all. It feels like crushing waves and chaos coming in from all sides.

In fact, I am turning into the person that I can't stand.

You know the see them coming and you run the other way.

They are constantly negative, pessimistic, and bring you down with the heaviness and injustice of their lives.

That is me right now.

I want to protect my closest friends! I don't want them to have to deal with being around me. I don't even want to be around me.

So, I am going with a plan that Shep and I discussed this morning. This doesn't mean my mood will match at first, but I am praying that God will adjust my mood to match my efforts.

-say scripture all day
-pray during any free time at all
-only talk of negative things with Jesus (the toughest one for me)
-sing praise
-replace thoughts of anger, pride, and groaning with God thoughts

There are so many others around me who are hurting. Disease and devastation are all around us. My chaos quietens down when I minister to others in spite of what I feel...

God-show me who to love today. Help me hold fast to Your truth. Help me not to be offended with you. Give me fulfillment and strength and joy. Bring lightness to my countenance and blessing to my efforts. Guide my steps. Please forgive and rid me of any and all pride and feelings of unmet expectations. Fill me to overflowing with your love. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for covering my sin and remembering it no more. Show up in BIG ways...we want to see you.