Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lower Your Nets & a #FreshVision

"Praise Me"...those words gently fall in my heart as God nudges me once again. You see, we've been in a struggle for awhile now. God has been asking me to Praise him for the one thing I can't praise him for - losing my daughter. Wouldn't that mean I was glad she was gone? I would NEVER be happy about that. I've tried to dance around his request for a really long time by praising him for all the good things that came out of the situation: the renewed relationships, the excellent healthcare, the friendships. Many of the things I talked about last week, but this wasn't good enough. God wanted ALL of me. We are supposed to praise him in all circumstances.

I rarely get out of my house alone, but I had to run to the store one evening earlier this week. So, I went by myself and boy did God meet me there in my car! As I headed home from the store, one of the songs from my daughter's funeral began to play on the radio. Tears began to flow. "Praise me" he gently nudged. "No" I replied. I can't let her go and I'll never be grateful that she's gone. And just to be sure I was hearing him, a song about Praising God came on and I hear the words "Praise me" again. I started crying hard. I knew I was running with nowhere to hide. He wanted my obedience! I made it home without giving in, but he wasn't done with me yet.

Nicki challenged us to find our white space with God this week; to carve out daily quiet time with him. After watching her video a few nights ago, I sat down to quietly talk to God. "Praise me" he urged once again and I knew, I just knew that I wasn't going anywhere with God until I addressed this issue. My heart began to soften as I wanted to be a woman who said yes to God No Matter What. With tears flowing once again I asked, "Okay God, what exactly does praising you in this situation mean?" He answered that it didn't mean not loving her or being happy about her being gone. It meant that I trusted him in all circumstances and that I believed he was working all things for my good. Sobs racked my body as I broke down and finally praised him in a situation I never thought I'd let go of. "I trust you Lord and I believe you work ALL things for my good, even if I don't like them."

I went on to pray, "Father, I want to know what YOUR plan for my life is. I erase everything I've ever believed or wanted and I ask you to show me what you want me to do with my life." Only one word raced through my mind "Art".

#SayWhat? I'm no good at art. Memories came one after the other. The memory of my art teacher telling me I should have a career in art. My daughter writing "I want to be an artist when I grow up because I'm good at art" (He said that message was for me too). Writing in my daughter's goodbye letter that I would always do something artistic in her memory. How much I enjoyed my summer art programs in high school. How many times I've said that I wanted to take an art class as an adult (a Lot!) and the list goes on.

#SayWhat? Art? I thought I was going to be a writer. That was the plan. I thought that was what you've been telling me all along. Seriously God? Is this really from you? Excitement started to grow as this new thought took root. It's time to wait for the confirmations we've learned about in this study.

Maybe I should have separated this into two blog posts because I don't want the first message of lowering your nets to get lost behind the fresh vision. God wants ALL of us, even if it means giving him the one thing that hurts the very most in our lives, the one thing we don't want to praise him for because it hurts too much...He wants it ALL, because he's the only one that can set all things right. What do you need to give to God today?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I missed last week's blog hop for the Women Who Say Yes to God bible study. It was such a busy week. I had several friends coming in from different states to attend a scrapbook convention with me. We had a blast! But there was cleaning and preparations for that, plus the first full week of school. So, I missed most of last week in the study (except my reading). I was behind. The thought of reading an entire week's worth of blogging and Facebook messages was daunting, but I made the decision to Stick With It! This bible study is so enriching, and I'm learning so much from it, that there is no way I could quit now.

Although, I have to tell you. Chapter 5, A Little Girl's Dance, almost did me in. I had to pick myself up off the floor after that one. I used to reach in the back seat and hold a frightened little girl's hand, too. My arm got so very tired reaching back there, but it made a difference to both of the twins. That part of the book had me thinking I couldn't go on. It was 'too hard' and reminded me once again that losing Macy was 'completely unfair', " I yelled at God for the thousandth time, "Why did you take my little girl whom I loved so very, very much?" I won't know the answer to that until I get to Heaven, but I do know that there are good things that have come out the tragedy as well.

I am thankful for so many things surrounding the tragedy. Even though I would never, ever have wanted it to happen, I'm so thankful that God gives us beauty for ashes. I'm thankful for the wonderful care I received in the hospital. I'm thankful for the support of my family and friends. I'm thankful that I learned how loved I am. I'm thankful for the new friends I made, and am still making because of it. I'm thankful that my level of empathy is much greater now. And I'm thankful that the foundation I started in her name is touching lives by giving cards to sick children. Yes, there are many things to be thankful for. I miss her so much every single day. Oh how I miss her! But God envelopes the pain with his love and with beauty for ashes. Without him I would be nowhere. With him I am a survivor.

Because of him, I can #StickWithIt in this study, and #StickWithIt in this broken life. I will never give up. I have a precious little girl waiting for me on the other side and I want to make her proud! God still has a lot of plans for me and I know that they involve using every bit of all that I've been through, for his glory. Saying Yes to God means accepting all of his decisions, even the ones I don't like or wouldn't have chosen. I know that I can rest in his promise to work ALL things out for good for those who love him. I love you God, and I want to be your Yes Girl!

Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Radical Obedience

It's blog hop Thursday for the Say Yes to God bible study through Proverbs 31. Today I'm going to talk about radical obedience and what I feel God is calling me to do. For me personally, radical obedience is following God with your whole heart and saying Yes to whatever he asks you to do. I know in my heart that God is calling me to do great things in my life, but for right now there are smaller things I need to tackle before I can move on to the larger ones.

My youngest starts Kindergarten today. I'm sad that our special time is up. I feel like I didn't do the best I could with the time that we had together, and I wish that I had done things differently. Do we ever really feel like we've done as much as we could when it comes to our children? There's never enough time to hold their little hands, kiss their boo boos, build forts, save the world from destruction (if you have a little super hero like me), or simply sit and make shapes out of the clouds. They grow up way too fast. I can get caught up in regretting every day I said that I didn't have time to play, or all those missed opportunities in my selfishness for "mommy time", but I know that I have to let those feelings of inadequacy go and move on.

So, the first thing that God is requiring radical obedience for is no internet time between the hours of 3 and 8 pm. Let's face it, the internet is a huge time sucker, and I'm guilty of spending too much time on the internet and not enough time with the people that matter the most to me. I have to build quality time into our lives and stop 'wishing' things were different. The only one that can make things different is me. God is calling me to devote more of the time that I do have with my children to them. He's asked me to do this for one month, and I have a feeling by the time that month is over that I won't want to be sneaking back to the computer to see the latest on FB during those hours anymore.

The second thing is to get my house in order. We have moved A LOT. I don't even know what we own anymore because so much of it has been packed and repacked and just drug along on every move. We only unpack those things we need the most and shove the rest in our storage area. So, it's time to organize! I'm going to be going through every closet, every storage bin, everything, and getting rid of anything we don't need, want, or use anymore. Clutter in your life really does cloud your mind and cause you to not be able to focus or feel at ease. Even though that "stuff" is up in the attic, it's cluttering up my mind. I want everything fresh and clean so that God can work in my life without running into my junk.

There are times when radical obedience is a big thing; a call to be a missionary, or a call to give up your job, or to move across the country. Other times it's something so small as praying for your loved ones, or praising him while you sweep the floor, and then sometimes it's about priorities and getting your life in order so you can function more efficiently. I truly feel this is the area of my life that God is working in right now. So, Yes God, I will make my hours count, and I will declutter my life with my #PalmsUp to receive the blessings you have in store for me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yes to God

Today I'm writing for the Proverbs 31 "Yes to God" bible study blog hop. I really wanted to talk about a time I've said yes to God and saw a glimpse of eternity, but I had a hard time deciding which one to blog about. I finally decided on the most difficult one to talk about.

The night my daughter went to Heaven.

On May 28, 2006 at 3:45 in the morning I woke up with a weird feeling. The electricity was out and there was a strange smell. I got up and went in the living room where I saw one little spark. It was where the television cable crossed a potted tree. My first instinct was to put out this spark so I tried to do that, but it blew up and in horror I watched as this spark ran through the cable and zapped my computer on my desk. That's when flames shot up into my curtains and my living room was suddenly ablaze.

I ran back down the hall to wake up my children. My son and daughter had just turned 7. My son met me in the hall and very calmly asked if the house was on fire. I said Yes and told him to get outside. He immediately went down the hall and outside. My daughter was scared and waited with me. I tried to grab a pair of pants from my room, but immediately thought "We don't have time" and turned around, running back down the hall with her. I ran in front of her to open the door so she could run through, but instead the worst happened. She got scared. While I was holding the door, she stopped and took a step back. I couldn't see any of this as it was too dark and smoke had filled the house by then. Her last words to me were "Mommy, I'm scared." I started screaming for her to please run through the door. I knew that I couldn't let go of the open door or we'd be dead, and by this time I had hit my knees screaming for her and trying to reach into the darkness, stretching as far as I could, with only my toe holding that door. I felt her spirit above me in the room and an angelic presence. I "heard" (without actual words) that I only had about 30 seconds to live, and I saw a mental picture of my son sitting outside, scared and waiting for us. I had to say "Yes" to God to leave that house, with my daughter still inside, and even though I knew she was gone it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I made it outside, grabbed my son and woke the neighbors. He was able to get back in the house and find her body for me. I will be forever grateful to my neighbor for doing that for me. I was transported by ambulance, and airlifted to the burn unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. I woke up 5 days later from a coma where I had barely survived. It was a long journey back to health for me.

I want to talk about seeing God in that night. My son was somehow able to go out the front door, where the fire was, and not have a mark on him. He told me that an angel took him out of the house, though he doesn't remember it now. Also, he was sitting outside EXACTLY where I had seen him in my vision. I would give anything to go back and have held Macy's hand, to carry her out of that house. I've dealt with a lot of guilt over not thinking to do that. My only thought was to open the door for her so she could run out.

I've had to hold tightly to Psalm 139:16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. This verse has saved my sanity. For reasons beyond my comprehension this was supposed to happen.

An angel saved my son. If God had not been ready to take my daughter home, then he would have saved her too because he was there that night. I miss her so much, every day of my life. I'd give anything to change what happened, but I have to believe in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has a plan for my life and wants to use me in big ways. I also believe he has big plans for my son. That's not the first time he's been saved by an angel! Also, he's still using my daughter to touch people all over. Her presence is still felt in big ways. I know she changed me forever!

So, sometimes saying "Yes" to God is a life or death decision. He wants us to choose life for as long as he has given it. We only have so much time here on earth. It's up to us to make the most of it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

#Palms Up!

Today I'll be answering the question of “What is holding you back from going deeper in your relationship with God?” from the Proverbs 31 bible study "When Women Say Yes to God".

Honestly, I've let a lot of things hold me back from going deeper with God, but it all boils down to insecurities. I don't have the perfect life, the perfect marriage, the perfect temperament, the perfect body, etc. I feel like God wants big things from me and I've given him excuse after excuse on why I need to "put off my calling". "I'll do it when" seems to be a common phrase running through my mind. "I'll do it when I lose weight." "I'll do it when my youngest starts Kindergarten" (next week!). "I'll do it when I get my life organized." "I'll do it when" get the idea.

God has finally said, "Your time is NOW. Either you are going to do what I've called you to do or I'm moving on to someone that will." Ouch! Not something you want to hear from our heavenly father. I want to please him so much, but I've let myself get in the way. I've let my life circumstances be my excuse. Frankly, I've ran just about as far away as I can run with the excuses. Yet, he's still here calling my name; telling me that I'm more than I believe and that I am worthy of the task he's called me for - not because of who I am but because of who HE is. What an awesome feeling.

I don't have to do this alone. In fact, I can't do this alone. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. His strength is made perfect in my weakness! He will pick up the slack where I am weak as long as I am walking in accordance to his will.

So what is holding me back? Nothing anymore! I will walk boldly with the Lord. I'm sure I will stumble and fall, but I will get back up every time and press forward into his will for my life.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll sign up to follow my blog. I'm looking forward to writing here. :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Hi and welcome to my new blog. Over the years, I've started and stopped several blogs and I realize now that it's because I have a God given desire to do this, but I just wasn't "ready" yet. Now I know for sure that God is calling me to write, and he wants me to share some of my life with you. I'm excited, and a little nervous, about this journey, but I look forward to sharing it with you. :)