Friday, December 31, 2010

Just a tiny little sore

can wreak havoc on a large space.

This is the case with my right hand at the moment. Actually for the past few days.

The skin around my thumb nail has split and created a tiny open sore.

How is it that this tiny open wound can affect me so much?

I am right handed so everything I touch or do in a typical day brings with it an unsettling pain.

Crazy isn't it?!?

You wouldn't think that such a tiny place could cause currents of sharp pain.

With my hurt thumb I dread the sight of soapy dish water...typing on the keyboard....dressing the kids or myself...preparing around the house.

But life goes on...a little sore can't stop us.

It can hurt us. Yes, that is true.

But life has to be lived. Things have to get done. You suck it up...grit against the pain...and keep going.

Does anyone else see a bigger story here?

This past Christmas was wonderful in many ways. We were surrounded by family and friends. We were in a warm house. We had yummy food to eat. We got to celebrate our Savior's birth. We got to experience the wonder of Christmas through our children's faces. But, just like my tiny little open sore, there was something amiss.

Another year passed by. Another Christmas. Another Thanksgiving. Another set of birthdays. Each day that passed on the calendar in 2010 was another possible day for God to heal my girl.

And He chose not to....

So, although we were so blessed there was also a bit of sadness.

We still believe that He has said He will heal her. But each day that passes....each year that passes....each holiday that passes.....just makes us have to cling tighter and believe stronger because what we want to do is give up.

This tiny sore on my hand pales in comparison to the rest of my body. But it hurts and it can affect my mood and what I choose to do and not do.

Our belief about Caroline is like this tiny open sore.

In the grand scheme of our is a tiny thing.

But it affects us deeply.

It hurts daily.

We have to constantly push past our fears and doubts and keep going. We can't stop because of this little tiny open wound~ we must go on in spite of it.

I look forward to the New Year with new hopes and I will continue to live as if any moment could be "the moment" that God chooses to heal our girl.

I pray it is soon.

For now we live with the pain of the little sore.

This little wound has changed us forever. We think differently. We live differently. We hope differently.

Isaiah 26:3-4

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the rock eternal."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Hits

There were lots of holiday hits this year.

First and foremost....we had SNOW!

Seriously....we had a true white Christmas. It was so neat...almost magical.

These are some quick shots of the kids checking out Santa's gifts.

He was awfully good to my kids this year!

I have also included pictures of their favorite toys.

For Ava and Caroline, it was definitely their American Girl dolls.

For Zeke it was his Buzz Lightyear toy and a stand-up microphone.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why He came....

God has lead me to read and study in the book of Isaiah. I didn't quite get past chapter one before my heart was gripped by the reason He came....

the reason for this season...

Isaiah 1:5-6
"Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness-
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with oil.


We are His grand prize.

We are His great treasure.

This particular passage is describing the nation of Israel but it might as well be me at some time or another.

Could this passage be describing you in some way? I can certainly relate.

~injured head or mind
~afflicted heart
~no soundness; only unrest
~wounded, beaten, hurt

As I marvel at my Maker and His crazy love for us I can't believe He gave us Christmas. He gave us Himself....he traded glory for death....perfection for gross imperfection....peace for chaos...a throne for the cross.

What a Savior!

Immanuel has come....He wanted to be God with us.

Pretty amazing....

Monday, December 20, 2010

A New Look

My sweet friend Tess came over this morning to visit and exchange Christmas gifts.

She is several years younger than me and our friendship really started around the notion that I would mentor her.

That just makes me laugh now.

I can't tell you how many times that shoe has switched feet.

The fire of God is shut up in that girl's bones and everyone that comes in contact with her knows it.

She pushes me toward Christ. She pushes me to love His Word. She pushes me to memorize scripture. She pushes me through prayer.

Back to this morning....

Being the young and super hip girl she is, she wanted to give my blog a more updated look. She had some great ideas and she really wanted to use a specific photo.

I was on board completely. Especially given the fact that I am scared to mess with computers and she was offering to do it all herself.

4 hours later it was done. It still needs to be tweaked a bit but right now we are just thankful to still have my blog. Everything that could go wrong DID. Pictures wouldn't work. Templates wouldn't work. The site meter wouldn't work. The colors wouldn't work. And just think I am leaving out all of the details entailing our wonderfully behaved children during this small disaster.

I got tickled at Tess during all of this. She was consistent at calling on the name of Jesus amidst her work at the keyboard. With every stroke it seemed something else would unravel and it was then that I was convinced my computer must have been possessed by the devil himself.

Needless to blog and our friendship survived unscathed.

I love her so much.

She is such a champion and warrior for the faith....and her support for me is relentless as well.

Hope you like the new look!

It was a lot of work....

God Bless you T!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Merry Madness

I absolutely love Christmas.

Always have....always will.

My favorite thing to do is sneaking to the tree at night (or really early in the morning) when all is still, dark and quiet. I still feel like I am 6 years old when I stare and enjoy the simple beauty of white twinkling lights.

I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to come to this keyboard and just ramble on and on about my thoughts, events of the day, or just to share the ways God is working in my life.

However, the madness has taken over! I couldn't even check my e-mail much less blog about my day.

Between music rehearsals for me, music rehearsals for the kids, finishing up shopping, wrapping gifts, getting stuff for the kid's school parties, addressing Christmas cards, fitting everything in on the calendar, AND an out-of-the-blue ice storm....I haven't had a moment to breathe.

I am not complaining nor am I whining. This is just life...especially life in December.

Everyone is busy and everyone is still trying to be merry.

Yesterday I felt like the walls were caving in. They weren't really. I just wasn't really ready spiritually for all that the enemy had ready to throw at me.

I didn't do well under his schemes. It was like the perfect storm at my house. Have you ever had one of those days? The kids were screaming. The phone wouldn't stop ringing. There was more to do than you had time to do it. It seemed like everyone needed something from me and I just needed a padded cell....ALL TO MYSELF.

I will confess that this girl did not win "Mother of the Year" based on my performance yesterday...whew...I am glad it is over.

But this morning...God showed me that I had not been spiritually ready to deal with the enemy.

I didn't have my game face on. I had not prayed or been in the Word. I didn't have a chance.

God lead my to Psalm 27.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident."

I took the bait from the enemy to give in to all that was going wrong around me. I was so suffocated by my surroundings that I didn't cry to my Savior. I tried to be strong and independent...handle my stuff myself.

All the time my Light, my Salvation, my Stronghold was waiting for me to let Him help.

It felt as if war was breaking out against me and I gave in to fear and lost my confidence.


I kept my mind focused on the One who loves me and died for me.

Today was lighter. Sweeter.

I was merry in the midst of my madness.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Habakkuk who??

Please tell me I get to sound super spiritual since God seriously used the book of Habakkuk to speak some encouragement to me?!?

Yes, the book of Habakkuk is tucked into the old testament (you could easily miss it) between the books of Nahum (easy to miss too) and Zephaniah. I have been using God's Word for most of my life and I still have to check the front table of contents the see where these books are located.

Anyway, the passage was a part of our Bible study this week.

Habakkuk 3:19 says, "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to walk on the mountain heights."

I remembered in my mind seeing goats up on these super steep hills when we went to Israel. I could not believe how these animals ran, played, walked and even rested on these straight up and down mountain sides.

I thought about how terrified I would be if I had to maneuver those angled peaks and try to keep my balance at the same time.

Yet, God's Word tells me that I will have to go to some steep places in my life. Some places where the fall would be certain destruction. Places where each step would require proper placement of my feet.

I don't know about you but lots of days I feel like God has allowed me to be out on a ledge. He allows the edges of my life to be jagged and uncertain. What I want is steady and solid ground. He beckons me to run, walk, play, and even rest on these uneven and steep places. He says He will enable my feet to walk with ease.

So, I hope that speaks to you.

My God can make my paths straight but He can also make sturdy my feet on crooked and steep paths. He is just cool like that.

Now...if I will just trust these God guided feet and lift up my eyes to enjoy the view!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Smiling on this Monday..

My weekend was rushed, hectic, long, exhausting, emotional, and WONDERFUL! (all except for that tiny bit of road rage we received from an angry and unruly Birmingham man:)

An answer to prayer and my question from my last blog entry.

I (along with 14,000 other women) left my family and obligations behind for 2 days and 1 night to travel to Birmingham, Alabama to drink from the HUGE cup of blessing and renewal that God Almighty had prepared for me.

I knew I was ready for this.

I was dried up. Sitting on empty. My tank needed filling in a bad way.

Little did I know that tucked into my trip would be sweet surprises that God held in store. We got to shop a little, eat deliciously bad-for-you food, and we got to sit under the kind of praise and worship that takes you to the very throne room of God.

Then...... there was the teaching. The Word of God was opened and read and it did what it does best.

It spoke to us. It challenged us. It's truth clearly dividing truth from darkness.

3 different women. 3 different topics. 3 specific messages from God to my very aching soul.

I don't have time to write everything down that God said to me. Suffice it to say that hopefully you will see it coming through as I blog. Isn't that what the Word is supposed to do?

Come out of us.

God intended for us to KNOW His Word. He wants it to sustain us just like our next meal. He wants it to come alive in our hearts, mind, and being. So, when life becomes hard or we have an unexpected trial....the Word will already be there. Ready to tackle the doubt, discouragement, fear, anger, anxiety, or resentment that tries to set in and take over.

He hasn't failed us.

His Word is available, active and just waiting to be used and believed!

He answered my last blog question.

How is He sufficient? Why does He give us "just enough" of Himself to get us through?

So our fight will mean more.

We remember what we have to fight through and engage in.

He knows that if He completely paved the way or made it too easy for us...then we would also forget easily.

All in all...I am smiling big and bright on this cold Monday morning. My God had a ready Word waiting on me this morning. It was on my scripture flip card right next to my bathroom sink. As I brushed my teeth, fixed my hair, and made up my face... I also strengthened my resolve. God had given me a very specific verse to reflect on and believe in for something we have going on this week. It was a great way to start the day.

The hard part is actually believing it. Trusting it. Abiding in it.

That is my assignment for the rest of today. BELIEVE! TRUST! ABIDE!

It certainly beats the alternative of living defeated, deflated, and depressed!

Thank you Lord for meeting me this weekend. Thank you for the treasures that I have in this season on my life. Thank you for letting me see and touch someone that You knew would instill fresh hope and faith in me. Thank you for letting me rest on her strong shoulders for a few moments. Thank you for her prayers (many at 2 a.m.) and her unrelenting faith. You know I love surprises and You wanted to give that to me. I am so grateful. Thank you for my amazing friends who surround me with love, support, steadfast hope, and flaming fired-up faith. Thank you for my husband who champions me and loves me like crazy. He is truly a gift.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I absolutely hate that word.

But I find that I perfectly fit that word many days.

What can I say? I am a woman.

I FEEL everything.

I noticed my personal alarms sounding off recently.

I am in a funk.

As Thanksgiving passed and Christmas approaches, I find myself feeling a lot more like Scrooge than the festive girl I want to be. I want to be excited! I want to be expectant! I want to enjoy every moment and savor sweetness of this season.

After is the miraculous season, right?

But I mainly just feel numb.

Anyway, like I said, my alarms were blaring in my head. They were reminding me to get into God's Word. The Holy Spirit was telling me not to be mislead by these deceptive feelings but sometimes I put Him off and just soak in my own sadness.

This is where I have been.

Who am I kidding?

This is where I am.

As I forced myself to get into God's Word I went to a passage that my mom had spoken to encourage me.

It was out of 2 Corinthians. Verses 9-10 say this, "but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Do you know the definition of the word sufficient?

I will go ahead and tell you that it doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

No wonder I feel needy......I am.

The dictionary defines sufficient as " enough to meet a need or purpose; adequate"

I will tell you straight out that I want way more of God's grace than I actually need. I want it dripping off of me. I want it to fill every crevice of my insecure mind. I want it to overflow out of my heart. I want it to chase away every fear, doubt, and discouragement that battles for my time and energy.

God doesn't say that He is going to work that way. He just says it will be adequate.

Why do you suppose that is His way?

I don't know. I certainly don't claim to fathom the ways that God uses to get us closer to Him.

For now I will just trust what He says over my own neediness.

I must learn to be satisfied with what He calls sufficient.