Monday, September 26, 2011

Beyond Borders

Borders. I create them. A skill I have perfected. A skill I thought necessary to my survival. A skill born out of pain, illness, brokenness, and betrayal. My borders, built for protection, safety, comfort. My borders, but not God's borders. You see my borders were created in my own strength, not His.

After years of chronic illness, of feeling trapped within myself, years of learning about my God. His love and grace. His mercy and sovereignty. I am so thankful to know Him. His healing begins, tiny waves, perfectly timed as His timing is always perfect. Like waves crashing on the surf and pulling back into the ocean, these waves are cleansing, healing. In the midst I hear Him whisper, "It's time." Time to move. Move beyond borders. My borders.

Just as the priests carrying the ark stepped into the flooding waters of the Jordan, I am taking that first step into faith. Trusting in Him who whispers, "It's time." Though the fear lingers and panic rushes in, I press on, let go with abandon. Because His plan, His borders are especially chosen for me; and through Him I CAN do all things.

It's time.

By His grace alone,

"The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall." So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.
Joshua 3:13-16 (NLT)

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.
Joshua 29:11 (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

In response to his whispers, I am moving my blog, these little snippets of my journal, to new places, new things. I am not sure of all the pieces yet, I patiently pray and wait for Him to reveal them. What I do know is my blog is moving to; it will have my story, my borders, and my journey beyond those borders.

I am also participating in the Nesters 31 days to change series. My theme, 31 day to moving beyond borders. Yes 31 days of writing. Big commitment. Huge.


The vibrant green slowly yellowing with shades of red. Remarkable beauty, shifting, changing, dying. The glorious display drying up, turning brown, eventually falling. The crisp air telling of the season to come.

The sky glows orange as it fades into night. I am looking back, thinking of Summer, the Spring before. Why do I find my self here? The same place, every year, every Autumn? Reflective. Melancholy. Longing for days of old. Witnessing the slow fade of life into Winter.

Is it a reminder of who I am? What I am? A sinner. Imperfect. Like leaves from trees, we all fall. Or is it a reminder of seasons? Seasons of life? The cold, dark bleak seasons when God felt so far away.

The Autumn wind blows against me, the warmth of Summer still lingering. I find my heart yearning to move on, not looking back. He is speaking to me about moving beyond. Beyond borders, my borders. To fully trust Him, abide, and press on. Leaving fear of the unknown and the dread of the dark lonely days behind. Embracing a new life without fear. Stretching. Growing. Moving beyond into rebirth.

As the leaves fade, so does my old self. Her voice is distant now, barely a whisper. My old ways falling as the leaf. As Winter draws near I find new perspective. His perspective. This season is not a reminder of who or what I am, a sinner. It is not a reminder of the cold, dark bleak seasons of life. It is a season of drawing close to Him. A season of rest, abiding, shedding of the old.

As the tree awaits with hope the Spring that approaches with grace that renews and refreshes; I will await and hope in Him who promises to complete His good work in me.

By His grace alone,

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 1:6

Sunday, September 18, 2011

She Writes

Her heart bursts for Jesus. She longs to find someone who does not know Him, and read them the bible, share His love. But fear enters her heart. Not a fear of the telling. A fear of unbelief. Not hers, but theirs. What if they don't believe how great God's love is? What if they don't believe He sent His only son to die for them? That He loves them that much? How do I make them believe?

She shares with me her heart, breaking for those who do not know. We are driving and I want to pull off the road and just wrap her up in my arms. For my heart is bursting at that moment for her, the love, the faith, the wisdom, of this little girl of nine years. With eyes blurred with tears and a catch in my throat, I tell her how wonderful this is, her heart for God. I explain she only needs to tell, that's all He asks. He does all the rest. I tell her to pray for them. And I pray.

Then she writes...

I woke up today with a story on my mind about the bible verses 1 Corinthians 13
(1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.)
stuck in my mind. I decided to make a story about a girl who has never seen or heard or felt love in her life. Then she came across a store that was selling bibles and she was curious; she bought one and started reading it on the way home. She read all about love, that it never fail, and Jesus died on the cross because of LOVE. The reason he did not get off the cross (which he could have easily done) was because of love! For us who have sinned! He stilled loved us after we broke his heart. How would you feel if your heart was broken, would you still love the person who broke your heart? Well Jesus did. He paid the price we would have to pay, and he said he would COME BACK! How exciting is that to meet him face to face. He died on the cross because of LOVE!

And she writes this story. A chapter at a time. The ultimate love story from the heart of a little girl of nine!

All glory to Him,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Do They Know Him?

Do they know him? I mean really know him? Do they hear His whisper in the loud? Do they feel the caress across their cheek as the tear falls? Do they feel Him right there walking along side? Can they feel His arms wrapped tight, when it seems all else is lost? Do their hearts burst with joy as if it might just leap from their chest when they sing in worship?

Do they know Him... The speakers, preachers, counselors, friends? Those who speak the words that just spill from their lips, just four words... give it to God... Do they really know Him?

Simple. Just do it. Give it. He will take it. Over and over the words spilled out, but never the how. Never. I listened and read and searched for their how. Never an answer. Never the how.

Years filled with illness, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia. Years of giving it to God. Years of not knowing the how. Years of longing, wanting for it to go, God to take it. All of it. Years of just doing it. Giving it. Yet it remained.

Then it came, the connect. Heart with mind. Me to Him. Simple. Complicated. The how? Brokenness, gratitude, surrender, connection, the knowing. Knowing there is not one answer to the how. Each one comes in his own way, His way, for His purpose. The how... individual, unique to all, but still the same.

Do they know Him? Really know Him? I pray they do.

By His grace alone,

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me"
John 10:27

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Life Lesson

Still. A word. A lesson. A knowing. A whisper given to me what seems a lifetime ago. When will I learn this word, this lesson, this knowing, when will it sink deep into my heart? Into my soul? When will it become the inherent will that I turn to in the moment? Instead I run, a full sprint. My mind racing, how do I fix this? What do I do next? Why do I not have answers? Why is every turn so difficult? Shaken. Breathless. Completely broken. Then I hear it. Once again. The whisper. A word. A lesson. A knowing. Still. And I breath it in, and it washes over me, through me, and there it is... peace. Peace in the knowing. Peace that He is my God.

By His grace alone,

"Be still and know that I am God" 
Psalm 46:10

Every Friday Gypsy Mama hosts 5 Minute Friday. Five minutes to just write, be free. Five minutes flat of writing, no editing, just writing. The subject a word, a single word. This is my first time learning of these five minutes. With the word still, the word whispered to my heart over and over. So I had to write. I hope you will too, then link back to Gypsy Mama. And don't forget to check out who wrote before you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


She lives in fear. An irrational fear. A fear with chains bound tight. A fear so powerful that the very sight of a cloud sends her into a downward spiral. A slow downward spiral into the irrational. 

I watch the fear build in her eyes. The awkward fidgeting of her body. I feel the heat of her skin rise. Soon the questions begin... Will they go away? Will it rain? Will it thunder? Will the power go out? Is it far away? I try to comfort her with words, but they fall short, not even heard. The fear blocks them and tightens its grip. Her tiny body wrought with fear of the impending storm. It owns her now.

The battle begins. I try desperately to bring her back. Her eyes are glassy as she gazes into the distance. I hold her, plead with her…  look at me… at my eyes… listen to my words. She is too far gone. Her tiny fingers are plugging her ears and covering her eyes. She cries out la la la la la as loud as she can, to calm herself, to mask the sounds ringing in her ears. Her body hot and sweaty, writhing with fear. Trembling as she feels every vibration. The fear is too strong to fight with my own strength. I fight back the tears as I hold her, rock her. Defeated.   

Defeated, but not surrendered. I cry out to my God to take this fear, this bondage from her, I demand Him to free her little body. Does He not see she is so tiny? I beg for Him to end this storm, I know He is able. She does not know how to fight! She needs someone to fight for her!  My heart is pounding, and I feel the anger rise. Do You not hear me? She is my child. She should be carefree, without fear, without strongholds! She is too young I tell Him! Give her a life. Give her freedom. 

In a heap, I beg for forgiveness. Forgiveness for the anger, the accusations and demands… He hushes me, comforts me. He knows my pain. He watched His Son tortured and nailed to a cross. He watched Him suffer and die. He knows the anguish. He reminds me of the times He has answered my cries and impeded the storms that raged around us. He reminds me what we teach her in the quiet she uses in the storm. That she cries out to Him to help her fear and stop the storms. She prays scripture. She turns to Him. She trusts Him. She leans on Him. She has faith. He has a plan and He loves her. As I peer through the darkness, I realize this is not my battle, it is hers. It is for me to pray and equip and send her out, fully trusting God.    

I watch her battle play out. Her world in chaos with the sounds of wind tearing at the trees. The thunder, lightening, rain pounding. The flicker of lights that slowly submit to the darkness, the silence that follows. I watch her victories unfold as she fights through the fear. From under her blanket held tightly by her daddy's arms, suspended by the Father, between her cries of fear, there are moments of strength. Her voice strong and confident if only for a moment. His strength flowing through her as she walks into the darkness of another room, flashlight in hand. I watch Him stretch her. Mold her. Love her. I see the triumph in her her eyes and hear it in her voice. Her battle has ended, the victory is hers to claim. 

And I praise Him…

by His grace alone, 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7

Sunday, April 3, 2011


A curtain is drawn to the side as the blue of the morning peers through. This is not just any blue, its brilliant and alive, it penetrates your soul. A blue that many have tried to duplicate, but none can compare. A blue made even more brilliant by the branches reaching toward heaven, marked with the budding of spring's green leaves; and the fiery red of a cardinal perched on a limb. A blue that belongs to the One artist and composer. The One Creator. This is His blue and He paints the sky with broad strokes. His sky. God's sky.

As I lie here basking in the beauty of His creation, I hear the symphony. The birds singing their praises, my daughter squealing as she dances and twirls, the plane flying in the distance. A symphony that plays out against the backdrop of this brilliant blue.  The perfect accompaniment. A symphony composed especially for me, by the One composer. 

How great is His love for me, that He gives me this gift of awe and wonder on this early spring morning. My body is weary and I long for sleep, but His creation breathes life into my soul and my heart sings. He loves me. He loves even me.

By His grace alone,

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God...
1 John 3:1 NIV

Friday, April 1, 2011


A few days ago I read a post of a woman I greatly admire, of whom I have never met. At the end of her post she spoke of the SheSpeaks Conference, of connecting hearts, to each other and to the heart of God; about stepping out of comfort zones. As I read the words dancing across the screen, I felt that nudge, the one that you feel in deep in your heart. I ignored it.

I awoke this morning to an inbox bursting at the seams and a day filled with endless tasks. A day that just didn't allow the time to face the daunting task of reading endless emails. I do not like a full Inbox, and began to check off emails that were not personal. As I went down the list the check marks were adding up, my day was definitely getting brighter! But as I started to click the delete button I stopped, an email was standing out on the screen. I did not know the contents, just that it was a blog for which I receive email updates. I paused for a moment and then… the nudge. Curious I open the email to find a post simply written about She Speaks and scholarships, about dreams and nudging. I close the email and walk away.

As the day goes by the nudge becomes a shove and I question what the nudging and shoving could possibly mean, I am not a speaker, writer or even a leader. I am simply me. I am comfortable with this me. She is simple and quiet and she loves her God with an amazing love. She finds Him in the smallest of things and He fills her heart with joy and it pours out of her. She is easily brought to tears at the mention of His name, she worships Him with her whole heart. She is forever grateful for the life He has given her; for the life He has given back to her, for who she is in Him. She has a story, one of betrayal and rebellion, of longing to be loved, of illness and mortality. A story of redemption, grace and love. But that story… it's my story I think to myself. 

I ask my God what it is that He wants from me? My life is messy and complicated, many days are spent in bed with illness, or racing a million miles an hour to make the day perfect for my daughter. Making sure there will be food she can eat that won't make her sick, that the sounds, the crowds, the clothing on her body will not be too much. Days spent interceding on behalf of my father, for his failing health, watching his frailty come into light. Days spent falling short of all that I believe God wants from me. I am so thankful for His grace that overflows and fills in the gaps, that gives me the strength to go on when I am depleted, wanting to run and hide from this life, when there is nothing left of me and I hear the word, "mommy."

What now? Why this nudging? I beg and plead for an answer, but I have none other than to write; to share a piece of me, the simple me. Bending to the nudge, the shove of my glorious God, I leave you with a portion of a letter I wrote to my husband...

I used to think that somewhere in the chaos of debilitating sickness and an autism diagnosis, stepchildren and ex-wives, the realization of mortality, relationships and finances, I lost me. In reality, that me was lost a long time ago. I could say I am not sure of how or when it happened, but again, I don't believe that lie anymore. That me, the real me, was locked away the day I walked away from God. For years I kept her hidden, though she would try to surface at times, I never let her out. With each passing year it became easier to hide her and eventually she did not want to come out. She was finally safe, deep down inside in the darkness, she was safe. 

On the surface everything seemed wonderful. Like a little girl who suddenly becomes famous, thrust into the limelight; into the world to find her way, without any direction, I was suddenly popular and had friends abounding. This was the life, so I thought. Longing and wanting to stay famous I try to please everybody, and soon begin to make wrong choices. Before long I was so far from anything I ever knew of myself; the me that had been hidden away so many years ago. 

I tried and tried to find her again. I thought going back to church would bring her back, or perhaps therapy would help me overcome the past and I would find her. She was nowhere to be found. I tried everything physically possible to find her, was it she in the hair, the clothes, or the work? Still nowhere. Soon panic set in, the reality of my decisions; what if I had gone to far? What if I had become something truly unloveable? What if I had pushed my God away too many times? What if it was too late? 

One day I had a thought, what if she was not really missing,  the me that was hidden away in the darkness, what if she was transformed into someone new? What if God had taken that scared little girl that longed to be loved and cherished; that little girl who turned from God, the One constant in her life, because she felt He had abandoned her; what if He gave her a new life, a new identity? What if she no longer needed to search, no longer needed to know who she was, because He adores her and loves her and cherishes her; because He is her audience of one, and that is all she needs... 

At that very moment, I found me.

By His grace alone,

I will never leave you or forsake you
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 NASB

You did not choose Me but I chose you...
John 15:16a NASB

Do you feel God nudging? Perhaps He is leading you into something new, or like me, there is no certainty of a plan, just a nudge. Maybe the SheSpeaks conference is the answer. Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience is offering an amazing opportunity of a scholarship to attend, you can find the information here. Maybe just maybe this is what He is calling you to, God will answer. Take the chance... I just did!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Nine. The number of years since she took her first breath. Nine. A small number, but this day it might as well be one hundred. I watch as she sleeps by my side and I stroke her hair. She is the image of beauty and grace. I reminisce of the day when I held her in my arms each night; her little hand resting in mine. She needed me. We were one.

It's hard to imagine that anyone could love her more than I, but there is One. The One to whom she truly belongs. The One who chose to bless me, who had faith in me, greater than I have in myself. The One who entrusted me to raise this precious child. 

He has a plan for her life. A plan that is unfolding before my eyes. There are days that I try to do my best for her, and I fail. I am left wondering. Then He whispers to me it's His plan I need to fulfill. I cry out for forgiveness and surrender this little child, for my best is nothing compared His best. And when I do, she blossoms.

Nine. The number of years of looking into the eyes of a child, my child, and receiving nothing less than a glimpse of the heart of God.

By His grace alone, 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A War Rages

Everyday is a struggle. An uphill battle. A war rages inside. An illness that began when I was just 18 years old.  An illness that keeps me homebound and sometimes bedridden. An illness that brings guilt and anger. Anger that I cannot be who I want to be. Anger that  I could give so much more. Guilt that I have robbed my family of a normal life. Guilt that I have taken a life from my husband, a much deserved life, that he sacrifices everyday for me. An illness not life threatening, but debilitating. 

Today I am thankful for the moment I can spend soaking in sunshine. In this moment He ministers to my heart, my soul. I am reminded that he is in control and gone before me. He has a perfect plan for my life. I surrender. The war ceases and I accept His grace. His sovereignty. I am filled with His peace.

By His grace alone,

"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. 
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Be Intentional

Valentine's Day is approaching fast, and I as I think about the celebration of love that this day brings forth, I wonder why we need a holiday to celebrate love. I know I  have been given love beyond compare, undeserved love. And while I have been handed that gift, I often times forget to extend that gift. I neglect those closest to me, I forget to love them. I am talking about real intentional love, an effort put forth to show just how much I love them and how important they are to me.  Life goes by so fast and there are so many tasks to complete, and I often move from one to another without much thought and before you know I am comfortably coexisting with my family. 

God has called me to be a wife, a stay at home homeschooling mommy, and the keeper of this home. And with all the effort I muster, I fail at this calling everyday, not for lack of trying, but because the emphasis of my efforts are misplaced. I have come to realize that clean dishes and laundry, a perfectly organized with everything house in it's place home and gourmet meals on the table every night does not make a home. A home has a spirit of love, an air of security, and the aroma of acceptance. So how do I accomplish this? By asking for His grace every morning, to fill in the gaps when I fail, to lead me through the day, placing emphasis where it is needed and for His love to flow through me to my family, and to make this a place we call home. I pray to be intentional.

By His grace alone,

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine

The wind is howling and the clouds are flying, but then there is the sunshine, finding it's way serenely through my window. The rays stretching out across my floor. It is fleeting and I long for it to stay, even just a moment longer... to soak in all it's peace. I am so glad the real Sonshine is never fleeting, and He never leaves me, He is always there to welcome me and give me peace, all I need to do is show up.

This was my gift, shown through a ray of sunshine, the reassurance that He was in control; a simple reminder that He can calm the storm. The result of a simple prayer, spoken in a moment of desperation; a few jumbled words pulled together in weakness and lifted to Heaven.

By His grace alone,

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV

And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:5 NKJV

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

Summer is Slipping Away

Everything in a blink was laid on my heart nearly a year ago. A blog to share my journey to healing through the amazing grace of God. I went as far as to name the blog, and that is where it ended. I was too busy, my life was in chaos and I just simply did not have time to start and maintain a blog. Not to mention opening my life up to the world, all my failures and shortcomings, the struggles and illnesses. To share my very personal relationship with God, become transparent, humble and vulnerable. I argued this with God over and over, but as usual, He does not settle for no, and  that led to the writing of  my first post. Did I publish it? No, but at least I wrote it. but as you may have guessed, that was not enough...  so here I am bending to His will.

This post was written in September of 2010, and as I now listen to the gentle urging to return to this calling, I feel it is relevant to publish this post written so many months ago. So take a moment to think back to the end of last summer, when the days were getting shorter, and our thoughts of sunshine and dragonflies; picnics and fireflies were slowly fading... 

I'm sitting on the deck tonight, the sun sitting lower in in the sky than usual, it's rays dancing through the branches of the trees. The little bugs flitting about desperate to absorb the warmth of the last few minutes of daylight. It is a beautiful sight. In the midst of the splendor of the setting sun, there is a sadness in my heart, a nagging at my soul. The signs are here... another summer gone in a blink. My thoughts drift to missed opportunities to enjoy life, moment by moment, to soak in the beauty of God's creation and to intentionally share that beauty with my family.

I suddenly feel like those little bugs flitting around in desperation, my life spent blindly going from one task to the next, each moment slipping away. Those moments spilling into days, weeks, months... another season gone. That's life, it gets in the way. I try to accept this notion, but I cannot, and soon regret is flooding these thoughts... the sadness remains, my soul is not settled. Then I realize that this very moment is a gift delivered from God. The gift? A lesson wrapped up in the beauty and wonder of His creation. The lesson? He does not intend for me to flit about as a little bug, worrying over the little things and trying to control my world, but to live life to it's fullest. To come to Him each and every day and make a conscious decision to give Him the little things, the big things, to give Him the control, and let Him give me rest. And in that moment I have peace.

By His grace alone,

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28 NLT

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 NKJV

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NLT


Do you feel every year that goes by seems to get shorter? That everything in life passes by in a blink? If so, I hope you will join me in my journey to soak in each and every moment, to see the miracle of God in everything and to live life intentionally!