Sunday, May 12, 2013


Months ago I thought I was going to have to move my family from Alabama to Atlanta, GA but God changed that plan (YEA!!).  However, it did get me to think about a move that I did need to make and today is finally my moving day.  The best part was I didn't have pack a thing.

Living in Harmony, the blog, is moving to  Some of my friends have already found me there for a preview but I would love for each you join me there and as a little incentive I am running a giveaway on the new site.  Just click on over, have a look around and be sure to leave a comment at let me know what you, what you think needs to change and especially if something isn't working properly.  


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Comfort To Be A Comfort{Five-Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is: Comfort

I remember crawling up in bed between my mom and dad as a little girl.  There was just something about about being snuggled up between them that gave me comfort.  Comfort to go back to sleep after a bad dream. Comfort to talk about anything and everything.  Comfort to just be.  Even as became a teenager and was to really to big to be crashing in their bed I still found my comfort there.  I remember a couple of nights before my wedding when the nerves and excitement were increasing I wanted so much to tap on their door one last time but I couldn't I was grown up.... I was to old to need mommy and daddy to comfort me, right ?  A few minutes later my daddy tapped on my door and asked if I wanted to talk.  I jumped out of my bed, rush past him and jumped in next to mom.  We talked for hours.  That time with my mom and dad was such a comfort as I walked into marriage.

Monday night as my baby girl got home from college I was in bed with a migraine and what did she do but crawl in right next to me and talked until we both fell asleep.  Then tonight my son stop by for a visit and snuggled up right next to me on the couch.  I hope that their dad and I have been as much of a comfort to them as my parent have been to me.  However, I pray even more that we that always pointed them to the One that is the Great Comforter that will be with them always.

Who has been there to comfort you ?  Who are you comforting ?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Things that Go Bump {God-Sized Dreams}

Here is Holley's challenge for this week: take this “do what you can” step for your God-sized dream…Find a way to pay it forward. You’ve been encouraged in your God-sized dreams by your sisters here the last few months. How can you spread that encouragement forward by investing in other dreamers? It can be small and simple or BIG and wild. 


The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. 
He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you, 
but will rejoice over you with singing.”  

                                                                                                 Zephaniah 3:17

The quiet of the night was suddenly awakened with terrorizing cries.  I sat straight up in my
bed.  There was a moment of confusion before I sprinted down the hallway.  Reaching the doorway of my 5 year old’s bedroom I saw him in his bed, on all fours and turning in circles like a dog chasing his tail.  Not knowing what was happening I slowly approached him and quietly called his name.  

The screaming continued.  The ‘tail chasing’ continued.  I realized that even with all the chaos he was sound asleep. This went on for about five minutes and eventually he quieted down, covered back up and was the house was peaceful once again.  What had just happened?  Maybe it was a bad dream?  Maybe it was just something he had eaten?  These were the thoughts that went through my mind.  

However, when I knew there was something more when this scene played out night after night for a full week.  A couple of nights we found him in other rooms of the house.  As a worried momma I called his doctor, asked other moms and searched the internet.  All resources took to the same conclusion: night terrors.  There isn’t much we could do while they are happening except ensure he did not hurt himself.  Finally, after about 6-9 months he seemingly outgrew them.  
Now at 24 he has little to no memory, besides our stories, that those almost night episodes ever happened.  So many times as we slowly take steps to follow our God-Sized dreams we might find ourselves in a tizzy. We have our eyes wide open but unable to see what God is doing behind the scene. However, just as I watched over Anthony, He always has a watchful eye on us.  He is there to protect yet even though He may not save us from the ‘terror’ itself.  No, instead He allows us to fight through to grow and eventually leave it behind.  

Today God the Father is watching over you.  He is there to  encourage you, direct you and yes, even protect you from yourself sometimes.              Rest in that fact but then move forward.

What part of your dream has you in a tizzy?  
I would love to pray for God to give you comfort and direction.


For more posts by God-sized dreamers, click on this button

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's Not Easy Being Green {Five-Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is: Brave

When I was younger, much younger, there was an album (yes I am that old) that I loved for my mom to play.    It had songs like:

Doing the Pegion by Bert and Ernie
I got 2 eyes by Cookie Monster
1-2-3-4 by The Count

But my very favorite was It's Not Easy Being Green by Kermit the Frog.  I think back then I just liked Kermit.  However, when I became a mother and decide to pull out the old album to play for my own little ones just for old times sake.  I begin to really hear the lyrics that my little green friend sang.  I loved the lesson that he was teaching.  Yes it isn't easy being green, looking different or being different in anyway. Kermit first acknowledged that yes things are not easy when you are different but there are are blessings in the differences.  He carries on about how those difference can be seen as and advantage.  By the end of the song Kermie has even decide that he is pretty proud to be green and different.

We all have our own version of being green.  You know the thing that makes is different? That thing that we think makes us stand out, and not in a good way?  What if we looked at ourselves and others with God's eyes.  If we just saw ourselves has He does.  What if we were brave and learned to be the best us He has called us to be?

So my friend be green and proud of it today.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just a Short Note {God-Sized Dream}

Here is Holley's challenge for this week: take this “do what you can” step for your God-sized dream…Write a letter of encouragement to another dreamer in your life.

Dear Tricia,

   I never thought all those years ago, when my family walked through the doors of that little church up on the hill, that God had such a mighty dream waiting. I came in a little batter and very bruised from female friendships of the past. As a teenager, I had place a wall around my heart and vowed to never let anyone (besides family) past that wall. However, when you looked at me you (and a few others) never let that that stop you from loving. You continuously reached out to me and bit by bit knocked that wall away. It was during those times that God restored me. You so beautifully portrayed (and still do) the same type of love for me that He has.

I have watched you to learn what it is like to be a Godly woman. You have been the Titus 2:2 woman to me (since you are a whole 9 days older than me). I have looked to you to learn how to love my husband. Yours and Shane love is so deep, pure and honest. You do not pretend or sugar coat how very hard it is but instead you demonstrate how much it is worth the fight. As a mother you have proven that there is a love that is unconditional. One that both protects and corrects not matter what. I have seen, in you, a endurance that is winning the race.

You ARE my sister dreamer. God has placed in you a dream….A GOD-SIZED DREAM that He has invited you to be a part of. I wish you could look in the mirror, into your own eyes and see what I see. I pray that God would continue to reveal to you just how awesome you really are. That you would see the influence and effect you (yes Him in you) but you never the less do, can and will have for His kingdom.

You know one of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43: 18-19:

But forget all that –
It is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
I am about to do something new.
See I have already begun!


He has been working and preparing you to fly for all these years.  Open your wings and let Him be the wind.
I love you twin !!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Not My Friend {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday ( really yesterday) I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday(well actually Saturday.  I am a day late and many dollars short). If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is: Friend

Needing some fresh air and sunshine I decided to talk a walk in the local park during my lunch.  Two sweet little girls playing in the sandbox caught my attention so I sat on the bench to watch this young friendship play out.  Then I was shocked when the older girl suddenly stood up, put her hands on her hips and yelled, "You're not my friend."  Then she stomped off to her mom.  The cute little one in the yellow sundress sat there for a minute as if she was thinking,"What did I do." Then she lowered her head, began to cry and slowly walked the opposite direction.  My heart was broken for them both.

I have, at one time or another, been like both of them.  I have been the one that was hurt and I have also been the one that did the hurting.  I wondered the rest of the day what had happened that cause these two to so easily and quickly walk away.  Then I began to think of my own life.  My own friendships.  What had happened in my past relationships that caused me to so easily walk away.  Why had I not tried harder. Why had I not fought to stay close.

I have grown to learn how special and precious friendships are.  How much we need to have those connections to "Jesus with skin on." (Lysa TerKeurst's phrase).

How do you nurture your friendships?  Do you take the time and effort to work on your relationships ?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Family Fun {God-Sized Dream}

Here is Holley's challenge for this week: take this “do what you can” step for your God-sized dream…Take some time to play. Do something creative. Snap a picture. Build a Pinterest board. Make a craft. Read a book. Bake a treat. Wrestle with your kids. Whatever energizes you. It can be related to your God-sized Dream in some way or totally different. Sometimes along the way to our dreams we just need a little time to play. It helps us keep going and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.

Have you ever had one of those weekends that you look forward to for a month or more?  You have such big plans of all the fun and family time you are going to have.  Nothing big like a beach trip but just some time spend together relaxing.  Well this past weekend was suppose to that weekend at my house.  Both of my grown kids would be spending the whole weekend with us, Friday night would be dinner with friends and Sunday we would celebrate my birthday.  As a momma I could not have been more excited.   

Several weeks ago we had some thunderstorms with strong straight line winds that wiped out all of the pine trees in our yard.  My hubby had spend every evening cutting up the downed tree to clean up the mess.  Normally my father-in-law would be right by Mike's side in watch and make sure he didn't get hurt but this one night I decided to be the watchman.  With each cut of the chainsaw a cloud of pollen was released in the air over our heads.  I didn't think much of it until we got closer and closer to the weekend.  I began to feel every particle of pollen settled in my sinus.  I woke up on Wednesday with itchy swollen eyes, stuffy nose, a little cough and major headache.  Thursday was worse but I was determined not to let it ruin my weekend so I went on to work and even to dinner Friday night.  Saturday proved to be the end of my plans.  I spent most the day in bed both Saturday and Sunday.

I have to admit that I was a little upset that things did not work out as I planned but once again God taught me that He knew best. See, as I laid in bed I was able to spend some time helping my daughter search the internet for information she need for a research paper.  That may not have been the most exciting thing either one of us would have planned but I can't tell you how much it meant to me.  Since she turned 20 and is off at school, I have struggled to find where our relationship is.  To have her ask for my help (and accept my instructions) lets me know that she does still need her momma some.  
This is them being silly
We finished up later Saturday evening then my son arrived.  As I heard my two kids just talking and laughing together I knew that no matter what they would each always have someone to watch their back.  They may fuss, fight and yell but they also have a deep everlasting love for one another.  
Then Sunday after Samantha left to go back to school, Anthony sat on the edge of my bed and we got to spend a while talking about things. I am so proud to see how much they have grow.  Not much give a mother more peace than to know her children walk 
with the Lord.

So although the weekend did not go as I had planned, looking back I the only thing I would change would be to have had some softer tissue for my nose.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jump {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is: Jump

I slowly took one step at a time up the tall thin ladder finally reaching the second platform.  I had never climbed this high.  My knees began to knock together as I look over the edge at the water below. I thought
to myself, "I can't do it." then took a couple of steps back.  However, I knew the rule was that once you go up you have to jump.  The lifeguard will not allow you to go back down the ladder.  The only way for me to get safely back to my mom was to jump off the 5 meters high platform.  As I walked back to the edge I begin to hear people yelling, "JUMP, JUMP,JUMP!"  Some were yelling out of frustration because I was holding them up.I think some were yelling because they wanted to see if I would end up doing a "belly-flop". I believe that most of the people were shouting simply to encourage me.  Feeling that encouragement, I took just one small step off the end of the platform and the free fall began.  It was such a freeing feeling as I "flew" through the air.  I was worried that hitting the water would hurt. I was able to keep myself straight and when I went into the water I was so invigorated.  As I swam to the side of the pool, mom was there waiting on me, I just said, "I want to try the top one now." (the top platform has since been closed)

My journey of following God has been a lot like my experience at Point Mallard on the diving platform.  Once I committed to following God's calling, I begun to hear all kind of voice yelling at me.  Some were yelling words of judgement, some words of frustration but most have been and still are speaking words of encouragement. It is those words of encouragement (both online and in real life) that has pushed me to take small steps to grow closer and closer to Him.  Now I am just looking to Him saying. "I want to go to the next level."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Just Obey {God-Sized Dream}

Before I move into my God-Sized Dream post for the day I have to express my deepest sympathy and uplifting prayers for the victims of the bombings in Boston along with the whole City of Boston.

 Here is Holley's challenge for this week “Sometimes we feel alone not because we need to be with others but because God wants to be with us. Our lives are busy–especially when we’re pursuing a dream–and God may want to pull us aside for a bit” {You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, Chapter Six}. The most important part of any God-sized dream is the Giver of it. Set aside a particular time this week to be with Him–to pray, journal, take a walk or simply sit quietly and listen. Write a post sharing what your heart hears or receives then link it up next week.


I was startled as the phone rang. Would this be the call I had been dreaming would come one day but was only half-heartedly expecting. I took a quick glace at the caller ID and tried to answer in my most professional voice, while my insides were quivering. She and I talked for a few minutes discussing date, time and place. We went over what she was looking for and what I had to offer. We wished each other a good and hung up. YES !!!! God is faithful. I finally had my very first real speaking event on the calendar.

Once I did a little happy dance, called my husband and friends reality hit. This was my first real speaking event. With reality came fear. I have taught my bible study group almost every Sunday night for 3+ years. I have spoken at several of my own church’s events. I even spoke at one local non-profit event. Some reason this seemed different from the beginning. As I begin to study and practice my talk, I continually felt very inadequate. I kept hearing my own voice in my head telling me, “Your words won’t matter. What you say will not change a thing.”

Then I got Holley’s challenge for us to get alone with God. For us to listen for His voice above others, even our own. I fully expected that God was going to change my message. I tried to cut out certain stories or reword my sentences. I prayed that He would just give me new scripture to teach and new stories to tell. Instead, He simply and wonderfully gave me a new attitude through an old familiar story. The story of Noah and the ark.

One verse in that story especially stood out, Genesis 7:16. Part b of that verse to be specific.

"Then the Lord closed the door behind them."

With this short phrase of a verse, God gave me peace and calmed my spirit. See I am not responsible for how the women at the event receive the message I give. I have no control on how they allow that message to effect their lives after the event. I am only to obey the calling He has given to me. Then end the end He will be the one that will close the door. That is not a burden I have to carry…at least not fully or alone.

Friday, April 12, 2013

We Are Here For A Purpose {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is:   Here


As I sit here at my office, I have to kind of chuckle at just how God’s ways and timing are perfect even when we can’t see it.

Let me explain:

I have worked outside the home all of my adult life. About 3 years ago I had grow weary of the rat race and daily grind. However, with a daughter about to go off to college I know quitting was not an option. I actually enjoyed the work I was doing so I didn’t want to change jobs either. I love my co-workers so I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I caught myself saying way to often, as I would plop down at my desk, “I hate being here.” I had begin to take my position for granted. Then the first bomb dropped. In November 2011 I was told my job would be moving out of state. Yes I would be offered the opportunity to move with my work but for family reasons I knew I could not. To say the next 14 months have stressful would be a major understand.

I tell you story only as a background to tell you how God taught to be happy with my “here”. No matter where or what the “here” is.

During the months of not know if I would be out of work for the first time in over 25 years, God taught me how blessed I was in so many ways:

• That I had a husband and family that loved me for who I was not what I did.
• That I had a friends that supported me with love and prayers
• That I had put to much of my self-esteem in what I did for a living
• That He would provide as He always had
• The most important thing that He has taught me is that He is God and I am not

God holds us all in the palm of His hand. Nothing comes to us that has not already passed through Him. All we are required to do is to worship, serve and bring glory to Him no matter our “here”


PS – Praise God - I have been blessed with a new job within the same company and one that is staying in my same city.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chihuahua of Fear {God-sized Dreams}

 This weeks prompt from Holley is "to have a little talk with the fear in your life. Write a letter that starts out, “Dear Chihuahua of Fear, I have some things I’d like to say to you…” {Is this kinda silly? Um, yes, but that’s the point. Fear always tries to make us take it more seriously than we should.}

Dear Chihuahua of Fear,

I have some things I would like to say to you. You follow me around all day every day nipping at my dreams little by little. All the while, barking words of fear and doubt so often that I think you are an old vinyl record skipping. Whoever made the statement that good things come in small packages may have been right about diamond rings and such but apparently, they never meet you. You think you have it made. That you can rule in my life but there is something you do not know. I have a new puppy in my life. His name is Faith-Praise. Right now, he is not much bigger than you are, but he is growing everyday. His bark is not very strong but it is deep and getting louder. He and I are spending more time together and as we do you will slowly but surely being pushed farther away. Faith-Praise and I may still see you around some but we will face you then move forward. So take this as a warning letter that your effect on my life is ending starting today.

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord,
which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today,
you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.

Exodus 14:13-15

Friday, April 5, 2013

After The Void is Filled {Five-Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can.

The prompt this week is: After


I thought it would happen after I graduated high school. But it didn't.
I thought I would feel different afterI said, "I Do !!".  But I didn't
Then I pictured it to all change after I had children. Yes, things changed but not as I pictured them to.
Each time I thought after this event or after that change the void in my life would be filled and I would finally feel satisfied.  That I would finally feel complete but it didn't happen.

At least not until after one especially stressful week in Aug of 2000. 

I end the week running into church late for the evening service.  I have to be honest, my mind really was not there and I am not sure my heart was either.  I was just going through the motions.  Once settled in my normal pew I noticed there was something different in the church.  The service began with the youth preforming a drama to the song "Arise My Love". 

If you don't know the song there is a verse where Jesus is in the cross and God turns His back because He could not look on the sin Jesus was carrying.  My sin.  As a real 'daddy's girl' the thought of a daddy turning his back on his child for someone else just broke my heart in a way I have never been broken before.  After that night I found the peace, love and satisfaction I have been seeking.  What could not have been found in another human or another thing was finally found after I turn my life over to Christ on that night.


I know my time is up but I can't leave this post without offering you the same gift I recieved that night.  If you are trying to fill an unexplained void you feel let me tell you that Christ is the only one that can fill that space for you.  If you want to know more please contact me at and I will be happy to share with you. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Because I Said So {God-Sized Dream}

Holley's God-sized dream challenge for this week was to tackle the "why" behind our dreams. Why is our dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens? 

I love playing with children. I like to get them all stirred up then send them home for their parents to handle but 2 weeks ago while volunteering in the church nursery God confirmed that working with children is not my calling.  
Since my children are 24 and 20 years old it has been a while since I spent any length of time with 2-3 year olds.  I had forgotten how many times you hear the question, “Why?” 

“Don’t put that in your mouth.”

“Don’t throw the toys.”

“Don’t climb on the table.”

I gave what I thought was clear answers to each of their whys but my replies just brought on more and more whys.  Finally, I did the only thing I knew… I let my mother's voice come out of my month and said, “Because I said so.” 

I knew that they did not need to put the toys in their mouth because it was not spotlessly clean and they might get sick. 

I knew that if they threw the toys they could hurt another child. 

I knew if they climbed on the table, they might fall.

In other words, I knew what was best for them in these situations.

So when I saw Holley’s challenge: Why is your dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens? 
I was taken back to my nursery experience came back to my mind along with the sting of conviction.  I know that God has called me to share His redeeming love with women in order for them to see that there is freedom for the bondage of their past sins.  So why is my dream worth pursuing ? So why is my dream worth fighting for? So why is my dream worth seeing it through?

Because they are worth it, those women that are still listening to the lies in their heads that tells them they are not enough. 
The ones that have heard they are not pretty enough. 

The ones that have heard they are not smart enough.

The ones that have heard that they are not skinny enough.

The any that have heard they are not ________ enough.

They are all worth it to me because we are all worth it to Him.

This seed of a dream that God placed in my heart years ago is worth me pursuing after, fighting  
for and seeing through simply because He said so.  Just like I knew they instructions I gave the toddlers were their best, His instructions to me are always for my best.

What is God calling you to do that you just need to step out and do simply because He said so ?  


Friday, March 29, 2013

Bent, Broken, Mended {Five-Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can. 
The prompt this week is:  Broken

"I didn't do it. I didn't touch her. I wasn't even outside with her."  My son was screaming as he came running down the hall.  His little sister was following close behind crying the big tears I am hurt kind of cry.  As I got closer to her I realized the her was curved like a bow and was already swelling. I was able to calm her down enough to find out that she had walked outside to get her shoes from the trampoline but fell and landed on her arm.  That evening
ended with a trip to the ER, a nice heavy plaster cast and instructions to follow up with our regular orthopedic doctor the next day (yes we are the type of family with a regular ortho doc -- he is on speed dial).  Dr Russell snapped the X-ray up on the screen and pointed out two different problems. First the inner bone (Radius) was broken and it wasn't a clean break. He promised me it could be mended but would take 8-10 week in a cast.  Now on to the second problem was the outer bone (Ulna).  This bone was not broken but it was bend.  He advised us that they would watch her growth until the age of about 13 (she was 7 at the time).  If the bone did not straighten on its own then he would have to surgically break the bone and cast it to repair.  

I have never broken a bone in my body but I have been broken.  I have been knocked-down, beaten up and broken-hearted.  In my younger years I allowed the father of lies to break me by the whispers he spoke in my ear, the thoughts he put in my head and the distorted image he caused me to see in the mirror. Then God, in His grace and mercy, reach out and placed people in my life that point me to Him.  Those broken places were mended. However, there
were still a bents.  I was still bent but worry. By fear. By the unknown. After years of being just
bent last year I was 'surgically' broken by the Great Physician.  Things that I thought I had under control because out of control.  The fear, worry and unknown became to much and I just had to hand myself over to Him.  He carefully placed a cast on this break by placing friends, prayer, and most love in my life until I was mended.  I am sure there are or will be new bends to come but I know He can heal all.

PS.  My daughter's arm did straighten out on it's own and there was no need for surgery.  At least not on that arm but that is a different story for later.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Times Change {God-Sized Dream}

Holley's 'do what you can step' for our God-sized dream this week is to write a post sharing "a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?" 

A typical day ?


If you had asked me 8 or more years ago I could have given you an almost minute by minute schedule of all my days.  As a mother of school age kids my days started early prepping the day by packing lunches and double checking backpacks.  The evening were spent either at the football field, softball field, wrestling gym, dance studio or volleyball court.  Then after the sun had long since set my time was split between making sure one child was taking a bath, while another was doing homework and trying to get something thrown together for dinner.  This is just the week days and the weekends didn't allow for much slow down.  From sporting events to house cleaning to trying to navigate a few friendships filled my Saturday. Sunday was church and family time.  Then you mix in spend the night parties, birthdays and holiday there were many times I just felt like running away.

But I was the momma so I didn't think that would work.

Now that was before August 2011.  Major changes happened in a short time.  My husband and I became empty-nesters.  Our son moved out one weekend, our daughter the next and even our neighbors moved the next.  Talk about a change.  We went from the hustle and bustle of a four person family back to just a couple.  Mike and I have never really been alone - together.  We lived with my in-laws when we were newlyweds as we built our house.  Our son was born 6 months before we moved into the house.  So see we have always been a family not just a couple.

So my typical day has slowly been developing over the last 15 months or so.  Instead of sitting in the standing cheering their games I sit by the phone awaiting their phone calls.  I no longer look across the table to see their face but now look at their Instagram pages to see pictures.  I no longer sit on the edge of my bed with them to hear about their day but I slowly scroll through Facebook post to stay up to date.  

At first it was sad to see the younger days gone but God is teaching me so much as we all continue to process this change. I am learning that the verse, "train up a child" is so true.  God has shown me just how much louder my actions spoke/speak than my words.  He has also shown me how much peace comes when you know that your children walk with the God as they are grown.  

If you are a mom of young children I advise you to cherish the moments as they come but do not begrudge them growing up.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Have to Remember {Five-Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

Today I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can. 
The prompt this week is:  Remember

They told me to just forget it.

I have been told to just get over it.
Once I was told it didn't really matter in my life today.
Others have said it is time to move on and leave that part of me behind.

And I want to.  I wish I could forget all the times I hurt, I wish the memory of all the lies that I told myself would fade away. I have prayed for the slate in my mind to be wiped clean.

But I can't.  In fact I have learned that I have to remember.  That it is necessary for me to always remember,  I must remember the miry pit that He brought me from.  If I don't remember the sting of the hurtful words then I won't recognize the the relief He offered.  If I don't remember the battle in mind then I won't realize the sweetness of the victory.  If I don't remember the death I once desired I will never fully live the life I have been given.

It has become my calling, my burden , my passion to share my remembering with other so that they too can not only remember a pain or a hurt but also remember the peace and comfort of redemption He offers.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Halfhearted or Wholehearted {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo again for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can. The prompt this week is:  Rest

As I link up with my friends at Lisa's place I am amazed at some to the words these writers share and how quickly they write.  I always try to stay up so that I can get the prompt as soon as Lisa post it which is normally around midnight on Thursday night.  However, even when I see the word the words just do not seem to flow as easily or quickly as I would like them to.  I have to chew on it for a while. Digest it into my heart.  And today's word was no exception.  Rest could mean so many different things but our first thought is of time away, doing nothing, just relaxing.  We expect to come away from a time of rest refilled and rejuvenated.  That is not always the case,

Earlier this year I have to have surgery the required me to rest for a few weeks.  Doctor's orders were to 'just lay around and do nothing.'  I was sore from the procedure but I was also very worn down by the stresses of life so I took his directions to heart.  For two weeks I did nothing.  I didn't go to work, cook, wash clothes or dishes. When it was time for me to begin taking back on my normal daily activity I was surprised at the fact that I was still very very tired.  It was no longer a physical weakness. Nor was it even an emotional tiredness.  It was a type of tired I have not really know before.  I have been struggling with it for weeks now.  At times it is not as heavy on me as it is at others but it never goes away.  I just have not been able to put my finger on where it was coming from,  That is until yesterday as I was folding clothes.  (Yes God has a sense of humor. One of the things I dislike doing the most gave me my answer).  

RU? halfhearted ~ wholehearted
 This shirt was the next on in the load I was working on.  It was one my son had gotten at a youth conference years ago.  The phrase, "R U ? halfhearted ~ wholehearted" just jumped out at me.  

That is it.  
That is the struggle that is making me so tired. 
I am tired of just being halfhearted. 
I am tired of comparing what I know God expected to the looks of other that don't understand.
I am tired of only following God when it is convenient of my life. 

I AM TIRED !!!!!!! 

Today I want to learn to just simply rest. 
To rest in Him.  

What about you? R U Halfhearted ~ Wholehearted? 
What is it that is making you so tired ? 

"My presences will go with you, and I will give you rest"
Exodus 33:14

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday in the Word - The Finale

God and I have been wrestling about the Wednesday in the Word weekly posts.  I love being able to keep my sisters updated on our the insight we are finding in our bible study but I am not sure this  is the right place or the right format to do it.  As a part of my God-Sized Dream I want my blog to be a place to encourage others that are hurting, to uplift some with a laugh here and there and maybe teach a little along the way.  Wednesday in the Word post have been strictly teaching which is great but seem to come across better in the classroom setting.  So I have made the decision to suspend this series.  I will still post on Wednesday and many will stem from all that God is teaching me but it will be in a more anecdotal form.  Thank you all for understanding.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Want It All {God-Sized Dream}

Holley's “ 'do what you can step' for our God-sized dream is to write a post sharing the desire(s) of your heart.What do you really want more of in your life? Will you dare to say it out loud?"

I say “I want more peace”
Christ said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV

I say “ I want more security”
Christ said “I am with you, declares the Lord.” Haggai 1:13 ESV

I say “ I want a close friend.”

Christ said “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

I say “ I want more love in my life”

Christ said “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

There are so many things that I want in my life in general and in my God-Sized Dream directly but it really just boils down to that I want… no I need more of Him.

I know that I need more of Him and I have known that for a long time now. So why do I not do the things that would draw me closer to Him.

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want,
but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I
agree with the law, that it is good.”
Romans 7:15-16

Lord, I pray that I never forget that you are all I need.  I ask that you always remind me that you are the one that fills all my needs.  You are my my peace, my hope my security and mostly my love.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Not My Home {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayToday I am joining my friends and Lisa-Jo this morning for Five Minute Friday. If you’re new here (welcome!) the rules are simple: Write, don’t edit, link your post to her page, and then share the encouragement like wildfire. You can do that, I know you can. The prompt this week is:  Home

As newly-weds and soon to be parents, we were trying to save money every chance we could but we knew once the house was completed it would ours. So we spent hours after night and weekends doing all the things that we need to do to build a house. My husband and father-in-law would piece together the piles of boards into the walls of each room while my mom and I were price shopping on everything even down to the plumbing pipes.  Excitement grew as the construction shifted from the structuring of the house to decorating.  We laid tile in the kitchen. Put up ceiling fans. Then  the day came that we had worked towards for about 18 months.....move in day. I was and still am very proud of our house.  Our house.  Knowing the work that we input make the thought of our house even more special.  Just a few years later when I made the last mortgage payment, realizing now it really was our house, the special feeling just increased. I love being able to call it our house.

However, I few years ago I realize that although this is my house it is not our home.

These walls hold so many memories, 23 years worth. Mike chased Anthony around and around for hours as a toddler.  We played a game of peek-a-boo ball (I'll have to explain at another time) with Samantha.  Both kids celebrated birthdays. proms, first dates and broken hearts. Countless dinners have been eaten in the kitchen.  Numerous loads of laundry washed in the laundry closet. I can't even begin to list the conversations, the disagreements, the hugs and the tears that have been poured out here.  It is these things that changed the structure we built to the place we live now. So I will call it my house but they (my family) are my home.
Christmas 2012

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday in the Word 2/27/2013

Today I want to introduce you to the 3rd member of our chronological bible study: Her Name is Suzie and she has become such a dear friend to me.  Suzie, Tricia and I all have joined together to lead the ladies of our church in studying the bible more and more in-depth.  I hope you join us as we just recently started for our 3rd year.

Genesis 4 - Cain and Abel

(1) The birth of Cain.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”
  1. And bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD: The name Cain basically means, “I’ve got him” or “here he is.” It is likely Eve thought that Cain was the seed that God promised, the deliverer who would come from Eve (Genesis 3:15). There is a sense in which Eve said, “I have the man from the LORD.” Eve thought she held in her arms the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world, but she really held in her arms a killer.
 (2-5) The birth of Abel and the offerings of Cain and Abel.

Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.             
  1. Abel’s name means ‘vanity’: Eccl. refers to vanity as temporary. It appears that Eve had begun to realize that there would not be a speedy victory over the serpent.   
  2. Eve’s feeling for each son may have contributed to Cain’s jealous behavior and attitude.  She saw Cain first as a symbol of hope but saw Abel as a symbol of despair.
  3. The boys each had a different occupation. Cain was a farmer while Abel became a shepherd.** Nowhere in the bible does it imply that one of these occupations is better/worse than the other. Cain’s problem was not found in what he did but was within him.
  4. The LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering: Abel brought an offering of blood (the firstborn of his flock) and Cain brought an offering of vegetation (the fruit of the ground). Many assume that this was the difference between their offerings, but grain offerings were acceptable before God (Leviticus 2), though not for an atonement for sin. The writer to the Hebrews makes it plain why the offering of Abel was accepted and the offering of Cain was rejected: By faith Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (Hebrews 11:4). Cain’s offering was the effort of dead religion, while Abel’s offering was made in faith, in a desire to worship God in spirit and in truth.
  5. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat: This shows Abel’s offering was extra special. The fat of the animal was prized as its “luxury,” and was to be given to God when the animal was sacrificed (Leviticus 3:16-17; 7:23-25). The burning of fat in sacrifice before God is called a sweet aroma to the LORD (Leviticus 17:6). The offering of Cain was no doubt more aesthetically pleasing; Abel’s would have been a bloody mess. But God was more concerned with faith in the heart than with artistic beauty.Here, it is one lamb for a man. Later, at the Passover, it will be one lamb for a family. Then, at the Day of Atonement, it was one lamb for the nation. Finally, with Jesus, there was one Lamb who takes away the sin of the whole world (John 1:29).
  6. Respected . . . did not respect: We don’t precisely know how Can and Abel knew their sacrifices were accepted or not accepted. Seemingly, there was some outward evidence making it obvious.There are Biblical examples of having an acceptable sacrifice consumed by fire from God (Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:1). Perhaps an acceptable sacrifice, brought to the cherubim at the tree of life, was consumed by fire from heaven or from the flaming swords of the cherubim (Genesis 3:24).
  7. Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell: Cain’s anger was undoubtedly rooted in pride. He couldn’t bear that his brother was accepted before God and he was not. It is even possible that this was public knowledge, if God consuming the sacrifice with fire indicated acceptance.The epidemic of sin is quickly becoming worse. Cain now commits the rather sophisticated sins of spiritual pride and hypocrisy.
 (6-7) God’s warning to Cain.

So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
  1. Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? God dealt with Cain in terms of loving confrontation instead of automatic affirmation. He made it clear that he would be accepted if he did well.
  2. If you do not do well, sin lies at the door: God warned Cain about the destructive power of sin. Cain can resist sin and find blessing, or he can give in to sin and be devoured.
  3.  And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it: We prevent sin from ruling over us by allowing God to master us first. Without God as our master, we will be slaves to sin.
 (8) Cain murders Abel.

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 
  1. Now Cain talked with Abel his brother: The sense is that Cain planned to catch Abel by surprise, lulling him with pleasant conversation. This shows that Cain committed premeditated murder, and therefore clearly ignored God’s way of escape.
  2. Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him: No human had ever died or been killed before, but Cain saw how animals were be killed for sacrifice. He extinguished Abel’s life in the same way. The downward course of sin has progressed quickly. Now the hoped-for redeemer is a murderer, and the second son is the victim of murder. Sin wasn’t “nipped in the bud,” and it could not be contained. 
 (9) God questions Cain.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 
  1. Where is Abel your brother: God knew the answer to this question. He asked Cain because He wanted to give him the opportunity to confess his sin and start to do right after doing wrong. How futile it was for Cain to lie to God! It was madness for him to think God didn’t know where Abel was, or that he could actually hide his sin from God.
  2.  Am I my brother’s keeper? This reply of Cain is famous. The fact of the matter is that he was supposed to be his brother’s keeper, but was instead his brother’s murderer, and he murdered him for the lowest of reasons. Able had not injured Cain in any way. Cain’s murderous rage was inspired purely by a spiritual jealousy.Jude 11 warns of the way of Cain, which is unbelief, empty religion leading to jealousy, persecution of those truly godly, and murderous anger. There is no greater curse on the earth than empty, vain religion, those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5). Many are deathly afraid of “secular humanism” or atheism, but dead religion sends more people to hell than anything else. 
(10-12) God’s curse upon Cain.

And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”
  1. The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground: The idea of blood crying out to God from the ground is repeated in the Bible. Numbers 35:29-34 describes how the blood of unpunished murderers defiles the land. The blood of Abel spoke, and it spoke of judgment. The blood of Jesus also speaks, but of better things, of grace and of sin having been judged (Hebrews 12:24).
  2. So now you are cursed from the earth: The curse upon Cain was that Adam’s curse would be amplified in regard to him. If bringing forth food from the earth would be hard for Adam (Genesis 3:17-18), it would be impossible for Cain (who was a farmer). If Adam were driven from Eden (Genesis 3:24), Cain would find no resting-place on all the earth (a fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth). 
(13-15) Cain complains of the severity of God’s judgment.

And Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the LORD said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. 
  1. My punishment is greater than I can bear! Cain didn’t feel bad about his sin, but only about his punishment. Many are like him.
  2. Whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold: As significant as God’s judgment against Cain was, God did not want Cain killed by others. This is possibly because the population of the earth was precariously low anyway.
  3. The LORD set a mark on Cain: Therefore, God set an identifying and protective mark upon Cain. Despite the speculation of some, nobody really knows what this mark upon Cain was. 
(16-17) Cain moves away and marries.

Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son; Enoch.  
  1. And Cain knew his wife: We don’t know where did Cain got his wife. Genesis 5:4 says Adam had several sons and daughters. Cain obviously married his sister. Though marrying a sister was against the law of God according to Leviticus 18:9, 18:11, 20:17, and Deuteronomy 27:22 (which even prohibits the marrying of a half-sister), this was long before God spoke that law to Moses and the world.
  2. Here, necessity demanded that Adam’s sons marry his daughters. And at this point, the “gene pool” of humanity was pure enough to allow close marriage without harm of inbreeding. But as a stream can get more polluted the further it gets from the source, there came a time when God decreed there no longer be marriage between close relatives because of the danger of inbreeding. 
(18-22) The generations following Cain.

To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech. Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
  1. To Enoch was born Irad: The picture is one of rapid advancement. Succeeding generations quickly made progress in areas such as the founding of a city (Genesis 4:17), home building, music and the arts, and metalworking. The idea that mankind actually advanced very quickly goes against most modern theories, but archaeology can only evaluate on the basis of what is preserved, and thus is rather speculative.
  2. Lamech took for himself two wives: Lamech was the first bigamist in history, going against God’s original plan for one man and one woman to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-8). 
(23-24) Lamech’s chest-thumping boast.

Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”
  1. I have killed a man for wounding me: The way Lamech boasts about his murder of another, and the way he believes he can promise a greater retribution than God, shows a progressive degeneracy among humanity. Things are going downhill fast, a true devolution.