Sunday, October 26, 2014

From The Dust

While you sit there waiting... Watching, hearing, saying the name of Jesus a million times in your head as well as aloud, it's hard to believe that anything with purpose or beauty will come of this day.

But as sure as I am here typing these words on this day, I know that God will bring beauty from the dust.

Two days ago a man a woman with what seems like nothing but violence on their minds blew through our town. It started a county away, and ended right here, less than a block away from where my oldest was sitting in a dark, motionless, and silent room on school lockdown. Scary day.

There is no preparation for getting that computerized phone call informing you that your child is in danger. There is no preparation for that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach while your husband is out in the thick of it all with all of the many other law enforcement officers. The panic hits hard. All of the many times that you have told yourself that you can be still and know that He is in control comes down to this moment, and failure is once again the winner.

Two days ago two deputies lost their lives. Two wives, two sets of children, two sets of parents, siblings, etc. were met with the reality that their loved one wasn't coming through the door at the end of their shift. My heart is heavy with this reality. My head is spinning with the truth that I have been spared from this sort of tragedy for over 22 years.

My son was held in that dark classroom for over four hours. His class was told that they were the closest to where this dangerously armed man was, so they had to remain completely silent for the entire time to avoid further danger. I texted him several times, each time he sounded completely at rest... Without any type of worry. Thankfully, that gene of mine skipped him. He was confident. He was untouched by what was really happening. I didn't realize what a blessing to me that was until yesterday. As a mother, the last thing you want to do is send your child into danger. You don't want to think that anywhere they go that is supposed to be safe will turn un-safe. You hate to picture your child being afraid... at all. Through the texts from my son, I was also spared from feeling that he was fearful of the danger occurring right outside the door of his classroom. I know it was much more than that though... It was more than texts from him. It was the evidence of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of him! That's where his confidence came from.... It came from his Father! 

It was a horrible day, yet already I have this overwhelming feeling that God is working and the mounds of dust will clear and we will see this beauty unveil itself... A beauty unlike anything we've known before.

God is always good, always sovereign, always love. Forever.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Losing Them

So without sounding like I'm writing an article about depression, I am going to attempt to write about having growing teens in the house. I have three now.

It's Friday night. Everyone is home. It's actually the first time all week since J has been away on business all week. I'm not going to lie and tell you that it's a usual occurrence that everyone is here at home on a Friday night. It's actually not. Tonight is different though. We set it aside since Dad was gone all week. In addition to that fact, J volunteered to make dinner tonight (indian food... his specialty). This night was deemed "special" for these two reasons.... Add to that 'Transformers' out of the Redbox and you got yourself a pretty perfect Friday night. Except for one thing...

Our 17 year old is pacing the house. He either sits with his ear buds comfortably placed inside his ear canals, or he paces the house. It's like he doesn't know what to do here. It's like he all of a sudden feels bored while at home. This makes me so extremely sad.

Have I done something wrong? Have I just failed to do some little (or big) thing right? Why now? Why has he never seemed this uncomfortable before now? Why do I suddenly feel like I'm losing him?

Raising teens isn't easy ( WOW, was that the understatement of the year, or what?). It's such a mind game. My teens are good guys. For the most part, I don't worry about the decisions they are making. They have pretty level heads on their shoulders. That's not to say though that they don't know how to make their Mama's heart hurt.

I try to remind myself that there are MUCH bigger teen related family issues out there. I even think back to some of the crazy stunts I pulled on my own parents. They must have felt some of the very emotions I'm feeling at this very moment.

Mom, Dad, if you still read these pages, please hear me.... I'm SO SORRY. If I would have known then what I know now I might have done some things differently. I would have come to your bedside at the end of the day to just say "Thank you". I would have stopped my fast paced routine of crazy teen life and embraced you for a "just because" hug. I might have even came to you on a Friday night and asked you to stay in for a dinner and movie night... And I wouldn't pace the house.

I would do these things because I would know that our time was nearing an end. I would want you to know that our lives were about to change and go in many different directions, but the importance you play in my life is one thing that would never change. I would want you to know that I knew that you were my biggest fans, and that you would do anything for me! I would want you to know that you weren't losing me.

I am full aware that all of this is so strangely normal. I guess I just want to feel reassured right now that someday these beautiful boys of mine will feel these same feelings. My heart sometimes wants to explode with the love that I have for them. They don't understand this today.... BUT I want to know that someday they will understand this feeling. Who knows... Maybe in that moment I will receive a phone call out of nowhere...

"Mom, what are you doing tonight? How about dinner and a movie?"

Monday, September 22, 2014

To My Colby...

So I'm a little behind.

The words have been making themselves at home inside of my head and heart, but my fingers aren't too good at staying on top of these pages anymore. I want to continue writing here. I really do feel that it is important... Especially during these days. months, and years of raising teens.

It's early, and the house is quiet, so I will start again this morning.

Yesterday was my sweet Colby's 15th birthday. That's actually what motivated me to come back to these pages. A long time ago I started writing birthday letters to my boys here. This year, I unintentionally skipped over Caleb's birthday last month. I will have to come back to his soon. He will have a little belated birthday surprise! With these few quiet moments though... I want to write to you, Colby.

Dearest Colby,

   Happy birthday! Your hopes of becoming an adult are quickly coming to their end, for you are almost there. For the longest time now, you have been the one that has been a little impatient with your childhood. You have always had big dreams and bigger things motivating you into adulthood. My prayer for you this year is that you will discover that childhood is now almost a distant thing, and that you will embrace what you have left of it. There are many things to looks forward to as you become an adult, but there is something so magical about being young and figuring out who you are, what your gifts are, and who you will be. Be where you're at, Colby. Don't let a single moment pass you by unnoticed.

   You are one who has always had something important to say. I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that some people talk just to talk. You are not one of those. Often times you are silent, but when you speak, people listen because what you have to share is good and worth hearing. I've always seen this as a strength of yours, but never as much as I do today. I see you with your peers and I know that as long as you are being obedient to God's calling to share what you know to be true, then you will be the leader of that pack. I know that doing this isn't always easy. In fact, I don't know if it's ever easy. It's much easier to take the road most traveled and be the "typical" teenager. You are not that though. Please always know that and act upon it. Apply the gift of leadership that has been given to you.

   I've seen the look on your face as you compare yourself to others. You've decided not to play sports this year, and I think you made this decision for good reasons, but it breaks my heart to think that maybe ONE of those reasons is because you think you're not good enough. The world we live in is often times a cruel world when it comes to comparison. We are told though, that we were "knit together perfectly", so there is no room for comparison. You cannot compare perfection with anything else. You are perfect! Can I just share something with you? The way your mind works with your hands to create such beautiful lines and color and make them into something so fabulous is incredible to me! When I was younger, at one time I thought I might want to be an artist. Even now, I love the feeling of creating. I love having a paint brush in my hands and making something new, or look new. I, however wasn't naturally gifted with this. There are basic things I can do with a pencil or brush, but nothing anything close to what you can do. You are doing something I have ALWAYS wanted to have the ability to do! God gave you this gift, Colby. I pray that you will always use it to His glory.

   When you came to me last spring and asked me to school you at home this year, I was surprised. Actually, I think you were surprised! After prayer, we decided to take this leap. I'm going to keep it real here. It hasn't been easy. I know that you would agree. We have had our fair share already of "technical difficulties" with the curriculum, and the overall idea of homeschooling a high schooler. There have been more hard days than easy days since we started. Last week though.... It finally felt good. It seems we have found our groove. As I have been praying myself through these days though, I have heard the Lord telling me this: " Just enjoy him. Love him. Know him. This is an opportunity I have given you to be WITH your sweet son. Take this gift with open hands and learn about him." So this is the attitude I am schooling you with this year, son. It's still about math, and language arts and all of that stuff. BUT... It's more about us... About accepting this gift of you and ALL of who you are and coaching you through these teen years into this next stage that you have been so excited to enter into... Adulthood.

   I love you with all of my heart Colby. Everyday you are a sweet reminder of God's goodness to me. You have an incredible amount to offer the world... So many gifts and talents. Be BIG Colby! Be bigger than the ugliness that sometimes tries to get in front of you and tell you lies. That's satan, not your Maker talking to you. Your Maker sees you as perfectly knit together.

I love you,


Monday, August 4, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I am still pinching myself as I type these words on this page! Our journey to "home" has taken us here... To this sweet place. When I stop and think about all of the days, all of the tears and all of the prayers that have made their way to this place I almost lose my breath! God has been SO amazingly good to us!

I remember sitting at my computer last summer. I had a cup of coffee in hand, and I had carved out time to catch up some of the other blogs I enjoy reading. One of those blogs is called 'The Nester'. She is a mom on the East Coast who mothers three boys and has a heart for homemaking and decorating. We are like minded in many ways. Anyhow, I went to her page that day and read about her recent move to her new home. Like us, they had been renting for several years, and the time had come for them to buy again. The pictures were incredible! They bought this sweet little white farmhouse on some acreage. It needed lots of work, but nothing that seemed impossible to her! She wrote about how she was SO up and ready for the challenge to make this dream home their personal dreamy home. I sat there with my coffee and admittedly, became FULL of envy. How I adored the pictures of this little home! Sure it had outdated everything, but my eyes see past that, and I immediately saw exactly what I would do with such a place. As I dreamt about it though, I sat there and told myself that when our time came to purchase another home, it most likely would be something a little more "cookie cutter". Not only because things like this around this part of the country are pretty pricey, but also because I never thought I would talk my hubby into such a thing.

As we have rented these past three years, there have been hard things for me to get over. I LOVE color! I have been surrounded by white walls for three years. You would be surprised how that one simple thing can zap the creativity right out of a person! It hasn't been easy for me to make our houses our homes without being able to slap paint up on the walls. Each time I would voice my discontentment about being a renter, I would be reminded, either by someone listening to me or by the Holy Spirit, that the Lord would be surprising me with something extra special at the end of all of this. I have felt His goodness in many ways over the past three years. He has blessed me with new knowledge about myself and about my family that I never would have known if not for this journey. I had come to a realization that THIS was the "something extra special" that I had been hearing about. It wasn't about a house, it was about me and my heart. This was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow... And what a treasure it is! Never did I imagine that there was more....

When we saw this farmhouse/used to be schoolhouse back in April, I immediately fell in love. Much like 'The Nester's' home, it needed my touches, but when I walked in the door, my touches are what I saw. I saw past the ugly blue-green carpet and the salmon orange walls. I saw every sweet thing about it and I immediately began to dream. However, the price tag turned this dream machine off. It wasn't the home after all. Fast forward a month or so and all of that changed. The price had just come down, and there were literally multiple people offering. We became part of a coin toss... And we won! That's right, we literally won a coin toss for this home. For me though, I knew it was much more than that. It was about God gifting us... Pure and simple. Why did I doubt just HOW good God would be to me?

We have been here for three weeks now. It was a long, frustrating, nail biting journey to get here. It was also a sweet, eye opening, learning experience. We are here because God wants us to be here. He wanted to show this family what He is capable of doing yet once again. He NEVER fails! Since the first night we slept here, we have prayed that this house would continue to be a blessing to us, but that it would be a home that would bless others. It is SO important to us that the walls of this home are not just painted pretty with all of our personal flairs. More importantly, these walls should always hold a strong sense of the Holy Spirit within them. This home was a gift to us... We want to gift others with it.

We have already painted every room except for the master suite. We have replaced the flooring with a beautiful hickory floor. There is much to be done still, but we are here. Our journey has brought us all to this place. Our roots as a family started in a home. During the past few years, our roots have expanded more inside of the walls of our hearts. Now, the roots that have become established have been re-planted in this home. We are feeling blessed beyond words... And I still pinch myself every morning when I wake up.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Taste and See With Me?

Taste and See

~ "Taste and see the fullness of His peace." ~

One has to happen with the other, right? It's something I haven't given much thought to until I was listening to praise music yesterday.

Our senses work that way. One sense gives height to another. When I taste something, I can actually SEE it, FEEL it, TOUCH it, and HEAR it! The fullness of God's peace is greater than I can begin to put into words. During these days, I am asking the Lord to make ALL of my senses completely aware of that peace. Last night was the first night in quite awhile that I slept through the night. I went to bed tasting the peace of God. I slept, and then I woke up FEELING and HEARING His peace from every angle!

I'm so grateful, Jesus. We need you now, and you are HERE! I can FEEL you, HEAR you, SEE you, and even TASTE your goodness. You are moving mountains in front of my very eyes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Wait

       Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

I sat and prayed with my boys yesterday. We do that often, but yesterday was different. We are ALL feeling weighed down with frustration over waiting. We were supposed to have keys to our new house weeks ago, but we sit and wait still.

For me, I take some comfort in knowing that there is purpose in this wait. Even as we sat and prayed together yesterday, I explained to my three young men how the times in my life that I have had to wait on the Lord have been my most defining moments. It was these periods of time that developed character in me and added truth to who I say I am.

If I'm going to be honest, then I have to share that during these days (actually weeks now) I have questioned the purpose. I have looked for it and tried my very best to figure it out. Last week I told others that maybe the purpose in it was that the Lord wanted me to experience and enjoy summer with my boys BEFORE the move. He knows me. He knows how easily I become obsessed with making my home. I'm a nester. So, He wanted to allow time before we moved in for us to spend some fun summer days together. That was the purpose I found last week.

This week I feel differently. I am still enjoying these summer days with my boys, but this week I feel that it's less about fun, and more about feeling the pain of the wait. It's that pain that will refine me... And it will refine these growing young men too. Yesterday I told myself, and I shared with the boys, that every time I wanted to speak or think some negative thought, I needed to stop myself and just pray.

Pray for peace in the wait.
Pray for endurance.
Pray for God's perfect timing to be perfect enough for me, for my sinful heart wants to deny His perfect timing.

It's tempting to hide myself away in my cave. I am afraid to answer calls or texts. I am even more afraid to actually see people. I don't want to try to answer people's questions about why we still don't have keys. The truth is, I don't know why. Maybe I'm not supposed to hide though. Maybe a part of the refining that is happening in me needs to be more public. Maybe my reaction to this mess of sorts is significant.

Last week I texted this photo to my mom who was out on the east coast visiting in laws. I wrote these words on a framed chalk board back in April when we opened escrow. This board still hangs on my living room wall. Everything else has been removed and packed, but not this one. It hangs as a daily reminder. My mom texted back words that have stuck with me. She wrote back:

" Superman got nothin' on you, honey!"

I hope that at the end of this, that still rings true. I pray that I can take each day with God's sufficient amount of grace. I want to take that grace and apply it to whatever comes my way.
I pray that I can always do my best to react in a way that portrays some sort of superhero.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Lucas!

It is a tradition not to be broken....

Even if there is no one here to read it today.

Every year for each of the three boys' birthdays, I write a letter to them on this blog. When they were too little to read them themselves, I would read it to them. Then they became old enough to read it on their own. Today there is nobody here to read the birthday letter.

Today my oldest turns 17, but today he is at camp.

This is the first birthday I have ever spent without him. It feels strange. I sympathize with military moms today since this is what it must feel like to spend your child's birthday without them... Without even the ability to call them! I'm sure that he's having a great birthday today, but I sure am missing him on this day.

Dearest son,

   Today you are seventeen years old. This is the last year that you can call yourself a kid. Next year, I will be the mother of an adult child. Ugh... I always ask myself this question when birthdays come around, so I will ask again... "Why does time march on so quickly?"

   I feel like this year was a year of many milestones for you. Usually I recall the highlights of your year within these birthday letters. My fingers type quickly all the many ways in which you have shown growth in different areas of your life. As I look back on previous letters, I read about how you have grown academically, physically, in your sports abilities, and in your character. This year hasn't been much different... And yet it has.

   This year you have shown me (and SO many others) what you are truly capable of from the inside out. As you have experienced a rather large hurdle thrown in front of you, you haven't given up. You haven't spent a single moment feeling sorry for yourself. I remember the day when we sat in the car in that parking lot... When I told you what the Dr. had told me. I choked tears down. It was MY lip that quivered, not yours. You sat there still. You sat there, bit your lip hard and let me know that YOU WOULD GET THROUGH THIS. Your attitude has been healthy and strong ever since, even when I could not hide the fact that my own attitude about all of this was not.

   I am more convinced than ever that seeing your strength through all of this has been the gift of it all. As your parents, we have always been pretty good about sharing that life is sometimes hard. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand. Sometimes things just don't work out the way we planned them to. Seeing how you have handled exactly the kind of thing we have told you about all of these years is something that not every parent gets to see while their child is still at home. A lot of times, parents don't experience their child's painful life situations until that child is grown and out of the house. I am not saying that I am happy for your pain, but what I am saying is that seeing you cope with it has shown your father and I what a strong man of God you really are! This has been a gift... YOU are such a gift!

   Lucas, I know that there is great reward in this for you. No matter what happens next, God IS using you, and He is going to continue using YOU and this story. I am SURE of this! I feel confident that this set back will not define you. Instead, YOU will define IT.

   I could not be more proud of you than I am on this day... This sixteenth day of June, 2014.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky...

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Fall

When they are little, they fall a lot. When the fall happens, there is either silence for a moment before the wailing begins, or there is immediate wailing. Either way, there is no mistaking the emotions spilling from their little beings.

As their mothers, we tend to them. We scoop them up, kiss their scrapes, bumps or whatever might be causing the hurt, and we love them like there is no tomorrow! Soon after the fall and the "mommy love session" life returns to normal and everything is right again.

This is the cycle.

The cycle changes, but the cycle does not stop.

Mine are older now, and their "boo boos" are no longer the type that disappear after a sweet little kiss. No matter how much I try to fix the things that hurt and torment my three boys at times, I cannot kiss and love them away. Their hurt and torment becomes MY hurt and torment, and there is no end. Usually, the "falls" just continue happening... One on top of the next one. It sometimes feels like we might ALL just break.

I read something in my devotional yesterday that I am trying to really meditate on during this season. This is what it said:

"When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together. Your compulsion to "fix" everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day brings." ~ Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)

No, I cannot fix their burdens. I usually cannot even fix my own. Am I obsessing over what I cannot do, or am I turning away from these burdens and instead looking into the face of His Presence? Am I teaching my young men how to attempt to fix everything, or how to let themselves fall into that deep satisfying connection with the One who knows (and loves) them best?

It doesn't look the same anymore either. When they fall, there is usually just silence... No wailing involved anymore. Sometimes that's what hurts a mother's heart the most. The silence can be deafening. It is still too. They no longer come running for comfort. Often, distance is what heals their hearts faster than my getting involved. I know it's all natural, but even though that knowledge is in me, it is still as uncomfortable to me as the fall itself.

I knew this season would come, but it came earlier than what I had anticipated. I am finding that I am not handling it with the grace that I thought I would. I find myself fighting tears in the middle of the day as I think about the struggles and hurt that my boy is feeling (and sometimes make that plural, boys). Instead of easing into the struggle I have caught myself fighting against it... Trying to figure out how to fix things for the ones I love.

After receiving the reminder in this devotional, I have realized that I CAN fix things. The ONLY way I can fix things is by finding and modeling my own connection with Jesus. If I model connection and a sense of leaning on Him for my children, then that's what they will learn to do too. If I place myself in His presence, then my children will find themselves there also. It doesn't get any more "fixed" than that!

In His presence there is perfect peace.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

The smell here is familiar, yet distant. Sterile, of course being the one word I find most useful to describe the height of all of my senses.

The men and women in blue-green scrubs rushing from hallway to hallway remind me of the day that Luke entered our lives. That day was almost seventeen years ago. Today, of course is a much different day. Today I am separated from my son by many doors and many hallways. There are highly trained doctors and nurses by his side, but I sit here in a waiting room.

It was a surreal moment before they took him. I sat by his bedside and took his very clammy, shaky hand in mine. This boy that has become a man became a boy again before my eyes. I even saw his lip quiver a couple of times, this sixteen year old fighting back his true emotions. He didn't cry, but I know on the inside, there were big crocodile tears flooding him. I held that hand tight and assured him that you're never too old to need your mom. Even I, at the age of 42 came out of my own surgery not that long ago asking for my mom. A smile spread across his face.

My prayers for my son today are mighty ones. God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what the outcome of this surgery will be already. My patience is being tested to a new level today as I wait in this big sterile room for my patient. My heart is at peace though. I love this boy more than words can say, but my Jesus loves and cherishes him even more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


The rain falls heavy outside of the classroom today. As it pounds away, my thoughts lead me to a different pounding.

The pounding of my heart.

My Mama heart is pounding loud these days. It sometimes feels as though it will burst right through the wall of my chest. Being a Mother has always been my heart's strongest desire, and yet my heart feels that this very desire is shredding it into a million pieces at times.

Years ago I moaned and groaned my way through child birth. The pain was horrific, yet at the same time, the best kind of pain imaginable! The early stages of labor bring you to a new kind of excitement. The anticipated moment is finally here, and life sweeps you away in those moments of knowing that everything familiar is about to become unfamiliar. This little person that is half your heart and half of the heart of your love is about to steal all of you. It's kind of a strange thing that the thought of that doesn't seem scary, but invigorating.

And then... transition hits.

It is like a whole ton of stones has come down upon you, bearing down with all of it's weight and heaviness. During these moments it is hard to catch your breath. Everything seems to be moving at a much more rapid pace. Those moments seem to spin out of control! The room suddenly looks different. What was  a few minutes ago a beautiful process, explosively becomes an ugly process. Bringing this new life into the world has become an impossible feat.... That seems to have no end.

But it does.

The baby arrives and the room becomes beautiful again. The ugliness disappears as quickly as it came.

During these days of raising boys in their teens, I feel that I have hit that place of transition once again. The days that preceded were exciting and invigorating. They were full of pain, but nothing that really took my breath away. These days are sometimes explosive, sometimes feeling as though they are rather ugly. Mornings fall into night fall with such speed and disregard of my emotions telling them to halt. Guiding these young men through this life that is so different and much harder than it ever was for me seems impossible.

But I've been here before...

There is an end to this. There will be a day when the ugliness will disappear as quickly as it came to be. This period of transition is just that. It is a necessary place to be to take us to the next place.
I know that the next moment that comes will bring with it it's own unfamiliarity. It too will be a stranger, just as every other moment has been.  

It is all part of the birthing process. This process is thought to be only a short while, but I'm discovering that this process lasts for a lifetime.

I became a mother 17 years ago and I have gone from the early stages to a period of transition. Now I sit in acceptance that this is what the rest of my life as a mother will look like.... Many more years of early stages to transition.

Back and forth with a rhythm that never fails.

But just as a young mother learns more about her body and her capabilities with each subsequent birth, I will learn how to ride these rhythmic waves as each new one comes my way.

Because I love these boys... These men. They are part of me, I am part of them.

Like it's always said... "The pain is ALWAYS worth it!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Grace is weightless.
Grace carries us home and grace covers it all and grace cures this whole bloodied, battered mess and His grace takes all the weight.
Grace is weightless. And the moment you bind up a wound with forgiving grace, you get to fly free.       ~ Ann Voskamp

Friends, these words came to me today with perfect timing. This woman knows exactly how to put my soul to words so much of the time. I am entirely grateful for her gift that she shares so freely.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Boys

They are growing at rapid paces. They are becoming men before my eyes. Part of me is sad, part of me is excited. All of me is relishing every moment of every day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What the Body Wants

Caleb and I are on a 10 day sugar cleanse. Today is day one. At this very moment, we are both suffering from HUGE headaches. As I started explaining the why behind the headache to my 12 year old son, I felt it necessary to record some thoughts down here.

" You have a headache because your body will react in strange ways to the fact that it's not getting what it wants. Our bodies WANT sugar, so our foreheads are throbbing!"

After I explained a little more, I encouraged Caleb to sit down and write a little about how fasting from something is affecting him. He was a little confused at the suggestion.

"Hmmmm..... I feel really bad because I want to eat sugar. My head hurts, my stomach doesn't feel right....." He said.

" No, don't just record your physical state of being. Write down how this is affecting your mental and spiritual sides. How does your body's negative response to not getting something you want relate to your walk with Jesus?"

I think it was too deep for my 12 year old boy to get, but I'm here to write.

Have you ever tried sugar cleansing? You must take out all refined sugars. You also have to limit your natural sugars to one small piece of fruit a day. You cannot eat corn because it is very high in natural sugars. Your diet during a sugar cleanse does not include any wheat, gluten, or starches. You pretty much eat meat, eggs, veggies, nuts, and a little dairy for the duration that you have chosen. Sounds pretty easy, right? I challenge YOU!

It's far from easy, and for the first three days your body and soul obsess over the things you cannot have. It can lead to extreme irritability, a false sense of lethargy, and other bodily symptoms such as headaches. I have one question though..... What if?

What if every time you wanted to give up and dive into that bowl of chips and salsa you instead filled your glass with water and asked Jesus to fill you up and take away the desire? What if you denied your body while supplying your soul?

What if in the process of detoxing, you suddenly feel that what our bodies want, most of the time, IS NOT what our bodies NEED?? Want and need are very different, aren't they? Those two words could actually be antonyms. What my body wants right now is something that also poisons my body. The same can be said about life. Some of the things I want in life are poisonous to my life. Things that I want can also be things that wreck me! Only Jesus knows what these things are, and He will build walls where necessary to protect me from this wreckage. Ugh..... SO hard to come to grips with, but I am here to tell you something.

It's easier to accept when I deny my body. When I deny my body, I'm more able to deny my spirit. Yesterday I felt discouraged about some things, but as the day has gone on, that discouragement has shrunk. I see things from different perspective. It doesn't necessarily make everything feel all better. I may experience a "headache" or two. These are just symptomatic though... Part of the process.

I'll be back to share more during this 10 day journey. Who knows, maybe I'll get my boy to make a guest appearance here with some of his thoughts. I'm really looking forward to ALL that The Lord wants to reveal to me. Clarity.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

All Is Grace

In the end, that's exactly what it is... All grace.

Everyday I make decisions. Some are good, some are bad. I hesitated there for a minute... I didn't want to type "bad". I wanted to put "not so good", but really... Some decisions are bad.

Everyday I respond to life. As I age, I try to respond in more responsible, glorifying ways. Admittedly, I am getting better, but still... Sometimes I really fail at responding to life in a way that is pleasing to others and ultimately, to Jesus.

Everyday I simply mess up. My mess ups aren't always evident to others. A lot of times, my mess ups occur inside of my own heart. I catch myself thinking about something or someone in a way that is NOT positive. People hurt people, and my way of dealing with it a lot of times is to bury it. If my hurt is caused by the same person/people consistently, I bury it. Almost always, I try going to that person and sharing my heart to begin with, but too many failed attempts at being heard cause me to start digging and burying.

I have heard words lately that sting to the core.

All Is Grace.

Jesus extends this grace to me everyday. He pours it over me in all of my decisions, responses, and mess ups. He never stops. He doesn't bury my failures. He covers them. A long time ago He covered them literally with His own blood, and today? Today He continues to do the same.

My heart is heavy with the fact that a lot of times I am not so good at offering grace to others who deserve it no less than I do. Did you catch that? I wrote "not so good". No.... I really SUCK at it a lot of times. I justify in my own head that I have offered up that person's limit of grace. Their grace bank is empty... Moving on now. Time to bury and move on.

Do I want to be someone known for this character? Absolutely not! This is an area of my life that needs refining. I have gone here before too. It's a painful place. I have asked the Lord to improve my character in certain places, and He always does. He can't do it without supplying plenty of opportunities though. I am in the middle of that right now. I am in the refiner's fire, and it is painful.

Grace is here though. It is here to be received. It is here to be extended and to be poured over others.

All IS grace... And grace is all.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


There seems to be this bug going around that wants me to come up with a "Word of the Year". I have received pressure from many different sources. I read about it online and in magazines. I hear others talking about it as I stand in line at Starbucks for my coffee. I haven't really felt the importance of coming up with my "Word of the Year" until late last night.

I had some heart issues to deal with last night, and in the midst of everything, I heard this word....


Am I a believer? Well, sometimes. I believe in what I think is possible. I'm a realist too though, which leads me to NOT believe in things that don't seem like they could really happen. In other words, I often question what is truly possible.

This year I think God is calling me to a higher ground of BELIEVING. He is asking me to put my arms out wide and let go of any unbelief I have. He is wanting me to draw closer to Him and trust Him with circumstances that seem to me like a mountain, but to Him, nothing at all. He is bigger.

For almost three years now, we have debated on where we will live next. Will we stick with a subdivision or go back to property? J and I have always answered the same.

"Well, property is what I really want, but it's too expensive. We probably need to get used to the fact that our next home will be sweet, but it won't be on property."

BELIEVE! If property is the desire of BOTH of our hearts, then that's the page that the Lord has us both on for a good reason. To not believe that God can and WILL provide this desire is wrong of me. I am stagnant in my faith if I continue with this attitude. BELIEVE and pray... The Lord will do the rest.

BELIEVE! During these unfamiliar times of motherhood, while I doubt myself and my abilities to handle raising teen-aged boys into men.... BELIEVE that God is directing my steps. He is equipping me with every tool that I need.... As long as I continue to seek Him. BELIEVE and pray... The Lord will do the rest.

BELIEVE! Only God can heal us completely. No amount of medicines, surgeries and/or natural remedies surpasses the most awesome power of healing that comes from the Lord. He WILL heal. He will be the one to choose to heal our physical brokenness, or the brokenness of our hearts as we face change. As this word sinks deep into my soul, I need and WANT to believe that this mountain in front of me that seems SO big will get smaller if I just simply BELIEVE in the One who makes all things possible. BELIEVE and pray... The Lord will do the rest.

So I guess I have fallen to the pressures of finding my "Word of the Year".... Except that I didn't find it, it found me...

... And I am grateful for this gift of a simple word.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Curve Ball!

Have you ever sat behind home plate at a baseball game and meticulously watched the balls being pitched in to the batter? Most of the time, those curve balls aren't realized until it's just too late. A really good curve ball stuns the batter and causes the crowd to become eerily quiet.

What just happened?

For the past couple of days, I have been processing a very big curve ball that just flew over the home plate.

We have been seeing doctors and physical therapists with Lucas for three months now. It took us until the middle of December to finally get an MRI ordered. On Friday, we received the results from that MRI. Every doctor and PT that we have seen has told us that an MRI wouldn't show anything. They were treating Lucas for "textbook" tennis elbow. Something inside Luke, and inside me told me it wasn't that though. We pushed for the MRI, and the MRI definitely showed something. It showed that Luke has what is called osteo chondritis dissecans in his right elbow. This is a rare bone condition that is a real game changer for Luke. As the doctor spelled out for me on the phone what this meant, he non-chalantly stated, "No baseball, no throwing, no pushing or pulling over 10 lbs. for at least three months, and then we will re-evaluate for possible surgery." He didn't even KNOW how this news would devastate my son (or even the rest of Luke's family). Baseball has been Luke's one true passion since he was FOUR! He hasn't been one of those kids to dabble in many sports. He has stayed completely loyal to his game, and it shows in his ability in playing the sport. I can honestly say that some of my best memories as a mom have included days and nights at the ball park watching my boy bust his moves on the diamond. I cannot tell you what it feels like at this very moment, knowing that will not happen this year. This curve ball is a nasty one!

My son is beside himself with disappointment. He is angry. He has questions. None of this makes sense. When I told him the news, I told him that I wanted him to feel all of these things. Knowing full well that God has allowed many curve balls to come across my plate before now, I assured him that anger would give way to other emotions. I took his hand in mine and told him that these times don't make any sense now, but I believe that someday, it would make more sense. That doesn't mean that the pain would go away. The pain will always stay fresh it seems. When the purpose is clearer though, the pain seems more bearable.

Lucas is such a strong young man. I learn from him every day. I know that he will be alright. Ultimately, he knows his identity doesn't lie in baseball. This is HUGE to him, but I believe that he knows that he has many other gifts just as strong, if not stronger, that God intends on using. I also believe that just like this curve ball came across our plate, a different kind of curve ball could find us too. God can heal him! We are praying for guidance as we seek the avenues we are to take with this, but we are praying for HEALING.... In the end, whatever the Lord does with this, we know that He has not changed. He is the same always.

There are no curve balls regarding who our Jesus is.

~ Malachi 3:6 ~
"I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob are not destroyed."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Digging Deep

He will will be seventeen in less than half a year. With the addition of a set of car keys in his pocket, his wings are getting wider. He's not one to look for excuses to leave the house. He likes it here, and he generally finds no reason to leave. BUT... then a text rings through the house. Some friends want to meet for bowling and movies tonight. He respectfully asks for permission, and even though my insides are screaming the opposite, his dad and I glance at each other and calmly lay out the rules and grant him the permission he was looking for. I go into heavy breathing mode and start my 48 hours of meditating and asking God for peace during this stage of motherhood. I have told my closest friends this stage is BY FAR the hardest of them all. This stage requires things from me that I have to really dig deep to find and maintain.

Yesterday I tried to explain my emotions to Lucas. I know that he won't completely understand it until he's going through it someday, but as we were taking the dogs on a walk down the canal yesterday, I was reminded of a story. Lucas has a golden retriever. Copper is now almost 5 years old. I remember years ago though, when we took Copper for his first run through the woods at the pond. Luke wanted to keep him on his leash. That's not the game that Copper came to play though. He came there to that little pond in the woods to explore a freedom he had never known before. He came to EXPLORE, to CONQUER, to RUN and feel the breezes blow through that beautiful long coat of his. J and I had to literally pry the leash out of Luke's hands as he protested, saying "Please... What if he runs away? What if he's too fast for us to catch? What if he doesn't come back when we call him?" We explained to Luke that these were all valid questions and thoughts, but we can't train him to do these things unless we give him the opportunities. If we love Copper, then we have to let him try. With a fear that gripped Luke like nothing I had really seen before, he took that leash and un-hooked it from his dog. Copper sat there for a few seconds. He did not instantly dart. He actually waited for Luke to tell him that it was okay to run. With that single command, Copper shot off like a bolt! He ran. He ran victoriously. He did lap upon lap around the pond that day. Each time he was called, he came back. He had no desire to run in any direction away from the boys. He wanted to run, but he wanted to run next to them. Well, maybe a little in front of them, but always looking back to see that they were right behind him. That was the first of many trips to the pond. Now we don't live near the pond, but we do live near a canal that runs along the canyon, and Copper LOVES to run along that canal jumping in and out of the water all along the way. I would say his happiest days are the days spent running along side of us... Without a leash.

I think Luke understood my heart a little better after reminding him of this story yesterday. Of course, he's a sixteen year old boy, so he didn't come out and say anything crazy like, "Okay Mom, I get it now." His face told me that he did though. After telling the story, I realized that I needed to hear it just as much as Lucas did. I needed to be reminded that my son is going through the normal stages of life right now, and so am I. My concerns are all valid concerns, but I will miss the opportunity of seeing Lucas find this new freedom if I try to hold him back. I have to trust above all, my Jesus. I have to trust that He is protecting Luke always. Then, I have to trust Luke. I have to know and be confident that he doesn't have any desire to run in the opposite direction of where I'm at. He wants to run beside me, or if ahead of me a bit, he will always be the kind of boy who looks back to check on his mom to make sure I'm still there. Luke has never been a sprinter. He's a slow and steady kind of guy. He will find freedom and that "breeze blowing through his hair" kind of feeling from an occasional trip out on his own. If I love this boy of mine, then I have to let him test these waters.

So... It's time for me to continue unravelling the leash. Over the past couple of years, I have been un-raveling, but now we're down to the last part. The part where I have to take that hook off and watch him use his new found freedom.

It's time to watch him run.