Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It was only two nights away but the good that it did for my soul was more than I can describe.
Life has been living us for the past two months or so....
This campaign and taking care of our kids, Shep's business, church commitments and everything else can pile up and before you know're running on empty.

God provided some wonderful friends and family to help us out with the kids so we could just get away...briefly!
We laughed....slept in.....laughed some more.....ate yummy food...saw amazing sights on the motorcycle...laughed even more and didn't talk much at all about life's current circumstances. It was great!
(Can you see the famous Fontana Dam behind us in the picture...this is the one Harrison Ford jumps from in the movie "The Fugitive")
Anyway, we got to share our time with some of our dearest and best friends on earth....Derrick and D. (that is my name for her) Usually another couple, JP and Lulu, (my name for her) who are also some of the dearest people to us get to come but they had to pass this time!

We went back to a favorite spot in Waynesville NC. The views are spectacular and the ride is just far enough away to feel like you have really been away.
I will tell you a funny one on me..
Shep and I were lounging at the pool. I was trying to read but somehow I ended up falling asleep. I woke up to my own self snoring really loud and Shep laughing at me!
What can I say???

I told you all that we have been crazy busy and my body desperately needed the rest!
Thank you Lord for the provision to go and the memories that were made!

Anything good I have or experience comes from You and You alone!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do you see it?

Shep and I were on a quick motorcycle ride about a week ago. It is rare for us to even have an hour together much less a couple of hours, but we did so we took off for a ride.

In a lot of ways we are reeling from our life's present circumstances. I wish there was a different word. BUSY doesn't seem to do it justice.

We are BUSY multiplied by 10.

We have a thousand things running through our minds all the time. Mainly questions...
"God, how are we....."
"God, when will you....."
"God, will this ever......"
"God, what is gonna happen when...."

As I rode on the back of that motorcycle I prayed through these questions and many many more. I didn't get an answer.

But I believe I got a beautiful vision sent straight from God to me. It was as if He was saying...." still. Child, I am here. Trust me in all of your chaos. I am in complete control."

I looked up at the sky and I was drawn into it. This cloud took my breath away. The colors were mesmerizing. I pulled out my cell phone and took a picture. It wasn't until after I took the picture that I noticed what looked to be an angel with hands lifted in praise to God Almighty.

Do you see it?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flying without a net

Anyone who knows me knows I am in new territory.

I have believed (because of many spoken prophetic words, dreams, etc..) that Caroline would be healed by now. I actually believed with all of my heart that she would be between the ages of 5 and 7 when her healing took place.

She is 8....and she is not healed.

So where does that leave me and all of the things I have believed for so long?

I am not sure to be quite honest.

I am kind of stuck.

On the one hand God has not said anything different. He had not given us any indication that His plans for her healing have changed. Keep waiting....keep believing....keep hoping.....keep standing....keep praying.

On the other hand most days I wonder if His lack of healing IS His answer. Could it be that He hasn't healed her yet because He isn't going to and we have had it wrong all this time?

That would be a huge shift for me in my life and to even think in that way makes me terribly sad.

I contemplate quitting everything....this blog, Bible study, music ministry, even church. I wouldn't do that.....but questioning all that I have believed for so long has taken me to the very edge.

Strangely I am pressing through. I hate every second of it.

I don't like constantly dealing with these kinds of feelings and fears all day every day. Who does?

But I have to. I am not going to quit.

Shep has been so great during all of this. He is dealing with so much right, his family, and this campaign are taking every moment of his life. But he is heartbroken too. He doesn't understand why Caroline isn't healed and he doesn't have any answers either.

We were talking about what to do now that she is 8. Our best guess of God's plan has been blown to bits and I personally need a game plan. He gave me an answer from God's Word and I didn't like it very much but it was true.

He said, "Baby, we consider it joy. Every day we get up keep going and simply consider it joy that we are enduring these trials and heartaches. God has chosen us and we know that they will produce faith and perseverance."

I did appreciate that it was a biblical solution taken straight from James 1 but I didn't want to hear it.

How do I consider this joy?

I don't know and I am still working on that.

Right now I am just trying to get through a day at a time and not lose heart.

I am trying to hear and obey the gentle nudging of God.

I am trying to push through this pain instead of avoiding it.

I am trying to pray and get to know God in this new place. This place where each step is new and unsteady. This place where I never thought we would be. This place where answers are elusive and a sense of control is a ridiculous thought.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Caroline's birthday fun

We had a really busy and fun day on Friday.
It started off with the last day of VBS at our church.
Then we came home....dropped baby brother off with Ms. Linda to take a nap and we were off for a girl's day.
We had lunch together and then we headed to a girl's favorite destination....THE MALL!!!

We got Caroline's ears pierced, rode the carousel over and over, ate cookies topped with icing, and then went shopping. Caroline really seemed to enjoy picking out some new clothes for herself.

We headed back out that evening and allowed the boys and Ms. Linda to join us.
We went to CC's pizza and loaded up on yummy pizza, bread sticks, and sweets to end our day.
Caroline was all smiles from start to finish. She didn't cry when her ears were pierced but she protested a little. I think she saw that it was all worth it when she caught a glimpse of her pretty self in the mirror.
It was a special blessed we will never forget!
Thank you God for this gift that I have had the pleasure of holding for 8 years. I know her by heart and I love her to pieces. Her personality is pure genius and I see Your handiwork all over her precious little life. We wait for You to do what we believe You will do in her life. Til then we praise You for her...just as she is!

Thursday, June 10, 2010












She turns 8 years old tomorrow. It will be a great day!

My daddy leaves late tonight for a mission trip to Brazil. He has already called our answering machine and left a message of himself singing "happy birthday" to Caroline. This is the first birthday of hers that he will have missed. I am sure we will play it over and over again for her to hear and laugh at the voice of this man that adores her so.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unprecedented attack

I knew when we said "yes" to God about Shep running for State Representative that we would open ourselves up for criticism, gossip, embarrassment, uncertainty, and all the other stuff that goes along with it.

I was NOT prepared for the attack that the enemy would wield. I guess I thought that the campaign stuff, our issues with Caroline, and the economic struggle would be enough to quench the enemy's thirst for us.

Was I ever wrong??

The weight of all of this feels so heavy that breathing seems difficult.

In our prayer time last night we were like two little kids huddled together talking to our daddy and telling on everyone and everything that hurts and overwhelms us. It was a sweet time. There was no religious pretense....just two of God's kids begging Him to show favor, blessing, and guidance. We laid bare our old fears and new ones. We asked more questions than should be allowed. We praised His name in spite of our mounting circumstances and bragged on His faithfulness in the midst of past storms.

He is faithful!
He is in control!

My soul finds rest in Joshua 1 today.

"Be strong and courageous....
Be strong and 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. Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

We Christians want neat, ordered and very safe lives. We actually expect God to give that to us. We think that "safe" is part of His plan and to be dealing with fear is wrong.

Why would He use such strong words like "courageous" and "terrified" if He meant for us to never experience them?

He did expect us to experience them. He knew we would.

His calling on your life almost always guarantees some level of fear, doubt and uncertainty. It will be crazy scary. It can turn your "normal" upside down.

God walk with me today just as you did Joshua.

Left to myself....I am a heap of fear and discouragement, terrified too.

I know that you can literally change every bit of that.

Help your little warrior today. Give me courage. Give me faith.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Week Ahead...

This next week is VBS at our church.

It will be busy, fun, and exhausting!

It is also the week of Caroline's birthday. She will turn 8 years old on Friday.

I don't even know what to think of that.

Her birthday conjures many emotions each year.

I feel most grateful----for having her.
She has changed me and given me depths of compassion I never knew existed.

I feel hopeful---
I feel excited---
I feel sadness---
I feel a loss---

I relive this every year. It is the one event that changed us forever. Her birthday.

I have asked that God would walk me through this with ease. I can't explain why it is still so difficult. Probably because I thought she would be healed by now.

We are still standing.
We are still believing.
We hope it is soon.
Maybe we were wrong and it could be this year June 12th, 2010.

Who knows?

God does and it will be glorious when it happens!

God I am crying out to you. Hold me tight this week. Forgive my thoughts and actions that do not line up with Your will for my life. Don't let me slip into my usual sadness. Give me doses of joy and gladness. You know I miss what I have never known. I am forever grateful for my Caroline. Thank you for her and everything that she is to me and so many others. My weariness wears me out sometimes and holding on to this promise makes me feel crazy. But You are my strength! You make me an over comer! You are my Shield and my Strong Tower. I am running to You because I know I can't do this on my own. I praise You with everything I faith, my fears, my hopes, my doubts, and my dreams. I want to give up because of how hard this is. Don't let me. Show me what You can do in the midst of difficulty. Carry me I pray.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hope is my island....I am ready to get off!

Abraham has always been my hero of the faith.

I feel like God asked him to believe some pretty unbelievable things. Not unlike me....

God told him to leave everything familiar and just follow wherever God lead...

God told him he would be the father of a mighty nation...

God told him that he would have a son although he and his wife were years and years beyond child bearing...

The bible says in Romans 4:18-21 that "against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."

I just wonder about something.

Did Abraham have days that he hated hope?

I don't mean any disrespect to my God or my hero. However, let's be real. Many days passed when nothing happened. It seemed like nothing would ever happen. I am sure Abraham would have loved for God to appear to him every single day and reassure him of his original promise and plan. The flames of his faith would have remained high and hot. But we know the story....he tried to make God's plan happen on his own. So I guess this answers my question. I guess he did hate hope sometimes.

Here is where I am going with this.

The year anniversary of June 12th is coming up. It prompts many negative and disappointing emotions for me. I expected so much last year. I hoped BIG last year. I believed with everything I had.

It didn't happen.

In fact, this past year has been the hardest and most challenging year I have ever lived. I start re-asking all the questions. How did we miss you God? Did we do something wrong? Have the last 8 years been nothing but a sham based on our own selfish desires.

This morning I woke up already drowning in the despair of all of this.

It was no coincidence that I was to give my testimony today.....

So, I cried out to God and told him that I hated this hope that I so desperately cling to.

He gave me a word and a mental picture in my mind. He gave it with no condemnation or disappointment in me. Just understanding and kindness...

He said...."Hope is the island you live on. You shipwrecked there 8 years ago. You were so glad to find that island. You thrived on it. It fed you. It nourished you. It protected you. It gave you solid land to plant you feet on. Now, after 8 years you are tired of the very thing that gives you life. I understand. You want to leave this isn't time yet. You are tempted to jump off of the rocks and see where the sea will take you...but you know you will die without hope. So you stay on the island. You are confused. You are lonely. You long for other things to look at. You feel like you have seen many rescue planes fly overhead only to NOT save you. You are still there. You wonder how long you will have to stay. I know you say you hate hope but you really don't. You really just hate the sameness of it. You really are grateful for it. But be cautioned....stay on the island until I provide way of rescue. It will be worth it."

That may mean nothing to you but He gave me a beautiful illustration that described exactly how I felt...and still feel.

Lord help my unbelief today.