Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wise Men.....

Years ago, I bought an outdoor flag and I loved it.  It was a deep midnight blue with a bright white Christmas star on it.  Underneath was a small silhouette of the three wise men.  It said, "Wise Men Still Seek Him".

I proudly hung it and prayed it would find the right eyes to see it and touch someone's heart.

This morning, my kids begged to watch a little bit of the Bible series for Bible class.  So we watched a bit of it.  It was at the part (we've been watching it in bits and pieces for a while now) where Jesus is entering Jerusalem for Passover.  He's greeted by throngs of people laying down palm branches for him and praising Him.  Everything seemed perfect in that moment.  The King has arrived and He's treated as such.

In days, however, those in power have devised a way to tear at the fabric of the the One sought.  By the end of the week, He'll be hanging on a Roman cross, His body battered and unrecognizable.  Those same who proclaimed Him as King and Messiah, spit on Him, cheer or maybe just walk away altogether.

It got me thinking how very  much like the crowd I have been in my Christian walk.  When I think things are going great, I am hailing and praising my King.  When times get tough, I stop following Him, stop laying palms for Him to walk on.

I couldn't get my thoughts to go away from this all day, so I know God is using it to speak to me.  I pray it speaks to you, just as my flag did all those years ago.

Do you seek Him?  I want to be considered wise.... I need to seek Him.... at all times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


This is a post I had on my facebook a few days back.....

Reflecting on what I'm thankful for this past year... there's more than I could ever account for.... God is so good and His promises are true and lasting.... I'll try to put into words where I'm most thankful... some of it is serious and some of the things I'm thankful for are lighthearted... but it's all with a thankful heart.
First, let me tell you that I am thankful beyond reason that I have a Savior who loves me enough to forgive my every screw up..... All I have to do is ask, and He holds NO record of it... if only humans were so forgiving.....
In January, most of you know I was in a very bad car accident.... it totaled our van, and I've had some pretty serious pain ever since.... As my husband and the police officer said, if he was just a few inches off, I may not have been here now... God kept me through that... and so I am trying my hardest to not squander the life He has given me.....
Our late winter/early spring months were spent on our knees going through one of the toughest battles emotionally and spiritually that I've ever gone through..... Can I tell you how thankful I am that I have a Bible? We spent a day finding God's promises for families..... we hand wrote them down and kept looking them over... it was so comforting to know what He promised, not just think it......
At the beginning of summer, Keenan lost his job of 15-ish years.... It was quite surprising and sneaky..... and even though my heart landed in my chest..... I wasn't afraid.... God gave such amazing comfort through a few select people.... it was amazing to see Keenan being offered jobs from places all over... his reputation as a mechanic far surpassed our realizations..... He had a job within about 2.5 weeks..... messed up some of our plans, but then again.... we trusted God and He has more than made up for it.
At the end of summer, we were faced with a very real possibility of loss of someone we love very much.... rushing to their side to comfort, take care of and knowing it was a goodbye, only to see God miraculously work through and and remove this person from death's doorstop, literally.... it was amazing... amazing....
The girls and I sat with the Robertsons during church service in August. We needed it.... we needed that little bright happy.... some may laugh, but most of you know how much I love my Duck Dynasty and well.... yeah... I was very thankful.... and it was a great church service, too!
I'm thankful that God has given me a homeschooling . I have to say I was nervous about homeschooling three children this year but it's going so well.... I never imagined at one point that God would give me another opportunity to teach in my home again.... I cannot thank Him enough.... to be able to watch their growth, their understanding, the changes every single day... it's one of the best things this year.....
We've had our hiccups and snags this past year.... and yet I constantly see the Mighty Hand of God moving in our lives... we've seen distrust restored.... we've seen relationships that were struggling due to outside influences healed.... we've seen forgiveness played out.... we've seen a very real evil invade and then get pushed back.....we've laughed, we've cried, we've felt defeated.... but the one that has not changed is "Trust God". He has been with us every step of the way.
Our enemy is real... our enemy wants godly families destroyed, Christians to waver and shake their faith.... to cause problems in marriages, homes, and jobs. But then.... But then.... there is God. Father. Son. Holy Spirit. All real. All one. ALL powerful.
My life is not the life it started out in January. It is drastically different. I am drastically different. I am more thankful now than I ever have been. Not one thing I listed was because of me. Or Keenan. Or our kids. Or a job. Not one thing. I am here because God has a purpose for me. Our kids are here with us because God wanted them here. Keenan is in a different job because God wanted him out of that dealership. My loved one is here because God has more restoration and healing to do through him.
All this to say:
I am thankful for Jesus Christ and His amazing gift
I am thankful for my husband who is willing to work hard to provide for his family, supports homeschooling, and invests in his kids
I am thankful for my children. I have a son who makes me laugh every single day. I didn't birth him but I couldn't have hand picked a better one.... I have a teenage daughter who blows me away with her Bible knowledge, her passion for band, and her amazing ability to forgive. I'm also thankful for another child I didn't birth, but who as time has moved on, has become so much like me in so many ways. We often think alike; her integrity, grit, and faith are amazing for such a young lady... and then there is my baby. The mere fact she is here is a blessing that I'll never grow tired of and her humor, passion for animals, and her insight to spiritual matters amazes me. God has truly given me the desires of my heart in these wonderful kids.
Thank you, Jesus for my life everlasting.

I'll be there for you.....

According to Webster's Dictionary, the following defines the word, "friend":
a :  one attached to another by affection or esteem
b :  acquaintance
a :  one that is not hostile
b :  one that is of the same nation, party, or group
:  one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
:  a favored companion
capitalized :  a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war —called also Quaker 
It's been said that friends come and go but family is forever.  Some might find this to be true, and others might find it to be the opposite.
Here is what I know a friend to be, and what I hope I have been as a friend:
- a person who loves you through the good times and the bad
- a person you can trust to be yourself with
- a person who will hold you accountable for your decisions and actions
- a person who forgives your faults and loves you in spite of them
- a person you can laugh at you and with you
To me, if I call you my "friend" then you are described by my definition and not Webster's.  I have very few close friends to me in this season of my life.  It is by choice.  Prior to my divorce, I had a long list of people I called "friend" but when the roughest season of my life came upon me, there were very few that truly were that.  It was a hard lesson learned, and yet... it was a good lesson.  I learned much through the "friends" who left my side.
Today is no different. I try to chose my friends wisely... I try to find people who are godly and will hold me accountable, and I them.  I try to find people that I know will be there at my worst and my best... and that I can be there for them.  I don't throw friendships away easily.... most times I will fight for that relationship.  I may not be able to save it but I do try my hardest.
I find the task of teaching my children what friendship is to be easy.  The reason is... I teach them from my life's experiences.  Ironically, the friendships that are the deepest are the ones where they have seen me at my worst and stood next to me... holding me accountable but loving me through my pain and mistakes.
I think of Becki Jo, Sissy, Jackie, and Michele. Oh... what they've endured to stay by my side and me for them. I would not be the person I am today without these special women in my life.  They are sometimes the tools God uses to shape and mold me.  He may provide the fire or He may let satan provide the fire, but God has certainly used them for the molding and filtering of inpurities.

We often think of how satan tries to come between our families/marriages, but what we forget, is he will destroy friendship in a heartbeat.  Normally the sin he uses is the sin of pride.  We are such a prideful race and no one wants to admit their wrongs and ask for forgiveness.  So when a friendship dies, withers or falls apart.. you know he is celebrating his victory.  Yet, when we allow God to show us how to forgive and love, it ruins the enemies plans and God gets the victory.

There are several friendships I see in my children's lives... some are healthy and some are not.  The ones that endure, are the ones where there is forgiveness, love and accountability.  I pray, too, my children will experience as they get older the longevity of true friendship, defined not by Webster or our society, but by God.

Reevaluate your friendships.  Are they based on what you think friendship is or should be, or do you base it on the mercy and forgiveness of the Savior of the world?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rewinding Time

There are days... weeks, even, where all I want to do is press "rewind".  I have thought over my life on more than one occasion and there are a few places I would like to press that button and make different decisions.

Today was one such day.  After several attempts at trying to figure out how and why we are where we are, I kept thinking... "well, if only this had happened or I could say this instead of that..."

The Bible tells us not to live in the past, yet... oh, let's be honest... there are days where I would very much like to park myself at  a particular moment.

For instance, if I would have known that my youngest would outgrow snuggling as early as she did with me, I would park myself on that last morning where she said, "Can we snuggle?"  I would stay there for an eternity if I knew that were the last day.  It was our routine.  Before school, she would lay on me, against me or curl up to me and hold my hand.  No words were spoken, and often times she would fall asleep for a short nap.  Those were some of the best moments of my day, and it ended almost abruptly last year.  Yes.... I would very much like to live in that past moment.....

Another one that creeps into being every once in a while, is parking myself at Timahoe Circle.  Outside, in a green plastic chair watching my child run up and down the sidewalk with her very best friend, all while nursing a sleeping Beka in my arms.  Sharing life's joys and burdens with my sister-friend and deepening my relationship with God, all the while.  Squeals of laughter from Lexi and Caleb and the smell of my sleeping child nestled against me.... Yes, I would park myself there.

There are other moments where I would park myself... and there are some where I would change a decision or hurtful words....

I wish I could impart to my children the truths of what I have learned... and save them the pain of my mistakes or someone else's.  I wish I could hold them tight and rewind time for just a little bit... Even  a year, I would....

Or would I?  Because if I did that... well, I wouldn't have Sarah to kiss goodnight and laughter from Mikey each day....

Hmmm.... I guess that's why we can't hit the rewind, because if we did, we would miss too much of the present.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What I Can't Spare You From: A Letter to My Children

When a mother finds out she is pregnant, her world changes forever, in that one quick breath.  + or | | in a tiny screen and suddenly, nothing is the same.

..... I can remember finding out I was pregnant with Lexi.  Years and years and years of infertility, treatments, surgeries.... giving up hope and then handing it to God... and in that moment: Pregnant.  One of the most joyous days of my life: Your pregnancy test came back positive!

In that one moment, every hope and dream I had for my "children" came rushing forward.  Things I wanted my children to experience, see, enjoy and learn about.... Protection, what and how to protect them from the world and its cruelties.  The desire to protect and be able to take away pain, illness, and sadness.....

Every parent tells their children: these are my hopes and dreams for you and your life.

We all give them examples, try to set them on the right path, teach them to be a better person, than we ourselves have been.  Our shortcomings, we want rectified in our children.  Our bad decisions, why we will plead with them to walk the more narrow path.  When we see their gifts, oh we encourage it, we will go to great lengths to see them shine!

And yet... yet, there are things we can't keep them from experiencing.  Things that hurt them.  Things that scare them; things they should never see; things you hope they never hear....

And so, these things, can be made into blessings.  For I can't keep you from experiencing life, but I can give you the tools and point you to the One who can help you through each moment.

So... let me give you some input as to what I can't shield you from..... and hopefully some insight.

  • Gossip:  At some point, someone is going to talk about you behind your back - and... well, it might be someone that you really like and/or care for.  It will hurt.  You will feel attacked and may even want to lash out at them.....

    My advise: Don't repay them with gossip.  Confront that person directly, alone and in a calm manner.  Let it roll off your back as best as you can.  Whether you are in 4th grade or 12th grade, it never gets any easier and it always stings.  Don't let it define you.  Let God.
  • Broken Heart: First loves can be hard to get over... so can that crush you have had for a long, long time.  There will be that person who leaves your heart shattered - feeling as though you can't go on without him or her.  How can you ever bear to see this person love someone else?

    My advise: It happens.  Let yourself go through the motions of grief.  Yes, grief.  You will be angry, hurt, depressed, even.  You might find hope in a second or third chance.  And... you may get that chance.  But you might not.  Allow your heart to heal before you seek another relationship and talk to someone you can trust.... even though it feels like no one has ever been as hurt as badly as you are now..... trust me... we all have.
  • Bullying: This is one of the toughest things to deal with. This can cause such a deep hopelessness in your life.... there are several forms of bullying, of course.  Most of the time, we think of people who have been hurt physically: shoved into a locker, getting beat up and pushed around.... But there are other forms of bullying... being excluded, neglected.... being gossiped about.... having people talk about you on the internet.....  spreading lies.....

    Whatever form of bullying you may or might be experiencing, remember this.  THERE IS HELP.  Any adult, worth their salt, is going to see this  as a real problem; no matter what form.
    You have to get some help.  It may call for a group intervention, a counselor stepping in and contacting the other parent(s).... don't let this go undealt with.  Bullying in any form can cause such a deep hurt that sometimes people, especially you young people, may only see suicide as the answer, or may take to cutting yourselves.  Trust me... this, too, shall pass.  There are brighter days ahead.  There are new friends to be found.  There is healing and there is hope.
  • Rumors: This somewhat falls under the category of gossip, but it is different.  Have you ever heard about a person at school, church, or elsewhere who has done something wrong or bad?  Is so-and-so a backstabber or is that one a liar?  I'm sure you've heard it before.  If there are girls or gals being talked about and stories flitting about... it's only a matter of time before you are the center of such a rumor.

    My advise: Never believe something negative about another without experiencing it or seeing it with your own eyes.  And even if you do believe it, don't be a party to spreading it around.  Rumors are just an extension of gossip.  And it hurts to be the one who the rumor is about.  If you don't want someone talking negatively about you, then don't partake of it with another.
  • Bad choices: I think this is the one I wish I could protect you from the most.  The consequences of your bad choices.  We all make them; we all regret them.  And... part of it, is having to deal with them.  If you choose to drink alcohol and get drunk... you also take the chance of having sex with someone you don't love; you take the chance of getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant.... you take the chance of contracting an STD.  You also take the chance of getting behind the wheel of a car and driving.  You could kill yourself, a friend, or a stranger.  In just a few years from each other, I lost a friend who rode with her drunk boyfriend; she was killed instantly and then had another person in my school, drive drunk.... and he killed a man who had just found out his wife was pregnant.... 2 lives lost; dozens, including their own - shattered.  Not all bad choices will have, or could have such serious consequences... but they do have consequences. 

    Some learn from them, others dig in farther and end up in a life they wish they had never been in and feel like there is no way out.

    My advise: Seek God before making decisions.  If you already know it's a wrong decision, chose wisely.  Make the better decision, take  the higher road; be different.  Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be like Jesus.
  • Evil: My prayer is you never have to experience it.  Evil comes in many forms.  Abuse, addiction, rape, neglect, murder, accidents....

    ... *sigh* but... you will.  We live in a fallen world.  Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Satan is roaming this world, looking to seek and destroy, to take you off the path God has for you.  He knows your weaknesses.  He knows how to tempt you.  He knows how to maim you.  To steal your joy.  He knows how and who to nudge into your life to hurt you, introduce you to more evil.  Satan uses men to murder each other.  He is the author of hopelessness. 

    Oh, my sweet child... you will see evil. You may recognize it for what it is.  And if you do, flee.  God will always, always ALWAYS give you a way out.  And you may not recognize it.  But it is there.  It will always be lurking around the corner. 

    My advice: Put on the whole armor of Jesus Christ.  Not just part of it, but all of it and be bold.  Ephesians 6:13-18, "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints."
In closing... I wish I could protect you from all of life's hurts, disappointments, failures, evils and let-downs.  I wish I had all the answers and a magic button to make it all better.  I don't have any of those things.  What I do have is the Word.  It never returns void.  It's your guidebook for life.  It IS LIFE.  It is hope.  There is peace there, found like none else.  You will meet Jesus there if you don't know Him already.

When life has you down, look up.  Look up to the Savior.  Imagine climbing onto His lap and sharing your burdens; let His peace wash over you, and drink from His cup.  He is mighty.  He has a plan for you.  Don't wander from it; stay true to who you are IN Christ Jesus.  Not the world.  Not your parents.  Not your friends.  But to Jesus.

I love you.... to the moon and back....
..... to infinity, and beyond.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

To the Man who Hit Me

Dear Driver of the Other Vehicle,

I just read the police report.  And... you need to be called out. 

You said you were going 32mph.
---- That, sir is a lie.  My husband is a mechanic, and a very good one at that.  Automotive glass is made to withstand some pressure and harm to it.  It's made to shatter but there is type of coating, if you will, so that when is shatters, it holds together.  Kind of like a puzzle. To bust out that glass completely takes a lot of power, more than 32mph.  Especially when all the people around me said you were going closer to 55mph.

You said that you swerved to miss the van (me) full of kids.
---- That sir, is another lie.  You had almost hit the vehicle in front of me.  People who saw you down on Three Rivers and Klein Road, well before you got to me, said that you were driving erratically and they moved out of your way.  I had no children with me and had not crossed into your lane.  The vehicle in front of me ...well you almost him too.  He saw you hit me.  AS YOU CROSSED over the yellow line.

You were slurring your words.  I can not believe you did not get a citation; a ticket for reckless driving or something..... you live out by a friend of mine; she said you tailgate and are always speeding and all over the road.  She hates it when she sees you behind her.

I know you are young... in your mid-twenties... but you are old enough to know when you are in the right and when you are in the wrong.  You were in the wrong.  Whether you were asleep at the wheel, texting, or inebriated on something... you were wrong.  You lied to the cops.  More than once.  The police report shows your lies.

You could have been killed.  You could have killed me.  Had you killed me, you would have lived with a terrible regret and a lot of emotional baggage the rest of your life.  You would have made my children orphans, motherless.  My husband a widower.  My parents, without their oldest daughter.  My sister, siblingless.  You would have devastated the world of so many.  I am a mom.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter.  I am a sister.  I am a friend.  I am a niece.  A cousin.  I am a church member.  I am a neighbor. 

Shame on you.  I hope that if you ever find yourself in a position of a serious nature like this again, that you be the man you should be; if you mess up - be truthful and own up to it.

Even though you lied to the police, you have lied to your employer.... you have taken our family vehicle and totaled it.  You have caused me great physical pain.  I forgive you.

❆ch❅ch❇ch❄ch❈chatter ☃

Brrrr, it's cold outside!
South Mississippi has pretty much been "locked down"  since late Monday night, early Tuesday morning.❇ You see, here on the coast, we are known for our beaches, humidity, and the slow genteel way of life.❆ Snow.  Nope.  Icy roads.  Uh, negative.  ❈  I have to admit, it was really cool seeing it after several years.  But..... not cool enough (no pun intended) to move back to a land that has it all the time.❅ Keenan and I have had several laughs over the fact that we don't have snowplows, and sand trucks down here.❄ So they have to use our beach blades to try to scrape the ice and then use dump trucks to spread the sand... and then use the beach blades to try to spread it... ❈ It has made for great amusement in our home.☃  The girls played on the trampoline and had a snowball fight ❆ which was fun to do.  This morning, our driveway was like an ice-skating rink; obviously they had  a wonderful time trying to stay upright.❅I'll admit something here... I could stand to see a little of this white stuff.... ❅.... I'm thinking every other year or so.