It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


December 20, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

December 10, 2010


Spaghetti Thoughts

Sometimes you Feel so alone - like you are reaching for the Savior's hand and it seems to always be just in front of you. Don't give up - Keep trying. Even in your darkest hour. Sometimes God just wants to see how much faith you have. "Be not weary in well doing."(2 Thessalonians 3:13)

It's 2:18 a.m. and I'm wide awake... I had my last treatment of chemo yesterday, and you'd think I'd be sleeping like a baby. Wrong. My mind is going round and round like spaghetti twirling on a fork... I can't sleep. Bad case of insomnia tonight.

I've always been told that I analyze things too much. I "think" to hard. Is that really possible? Its not something new - its just who I am...

We take so many things for granted. Don't we? We live in such a microwave society where we want what we want when we want it. Waiting has never come easy for me. Has it for you? I remember a simpler time in my life. I think I've always been a bit like "Sandra Dee" and naive. I've learned so much more than I ever wanted to know this year... I've learned that we NEED people. I've learned that life isn't always so "cut and dry." I've learned not to judge others... Ohhh boy have I learned that the hard way. I've learned that pride REALLY does come before a fall. I've learned NEVER to say Never. I've learned never to take life for granted. Or your health... And at the same time I've discovered I have so many questions for God. Wouldn't you like to just sit across the table from Jesus right now??? You don't really know what a person is going through or has gone through UNTIL you walk in their shoes. So I've learned to listen. And I've learned that in order to bring someone closer to the Lord - you show COMPASSION. SENSITIVITY and LOVE. And to know that it is okay to admit you don't have all the answers. Wouldn't you trust someone who told you that MORE than you would trust someone who acted like they did? Only God sees the full picture. We only see in part. Sometimes that drives me crazy, other times I'm oh so grateful.

I grew up in Massachusetts. Never left it and have never traveled away from it until three years ago - I have always lived here up until I made the biggest mistake of my life and moved upstate New York where my mother was originally from. I didn't wait for the green light - I just went ahead. I think one of the things I've learned as I did in my post below - is that we all make mistakes. And we can spend eons beating ourselves up for them or we can admit that we are human and allow God to take those mistakes and use them for good.  Isn't it better to learn from one's mistakes instead of denying them? I've always been real transparent - and I'm too old to change now! (Laughing) Well not really - I think God has us changing for as long as we have breathe in our body, don't you? And ironically, due to my breast cancer diagnosis this past June - I had to come back to the best place for treatment - and that was in Massachusetts. So here I am once again... I really do think God gives us lessons to learn and he won't "move us forward" until we pass the class. Then we go on to the next one. I think the older you get in Christ - the harder the classes get and the more you realize about yourself... I think that is the point I'm at now.

I am far from perfect - i don't profess to have ALL the answers - but my Father does. And here is the thing - we can be our own worst critic - we really can. But God doesn't give up on us even when we are at our worst. Even though satan whispers in our ear ALL of our sins before us. But its not by anything we do that makes us earn heaven - its by the blood of the lamb. Our savior Jesus Christ. It's by grace. It's by mercy. It's by admitting that we are powerless without Him. Is that you? I KNOW it's me. Thank you Lord - that you know me so much better than I know myself. That you love me inspite of me. I'm so glad You're God. You didn't say it would be easy. But you DID say that you would be with us until the end of time. Thanks be to God.

December 3, 2010

Posting a 2nd time because it says SOOO much - Casting Crowns - Does Anybody Hear Her

Ouch... Is there Something He is Saying to You? Are You Really Listening?

The Steps of the Righteous are Ordained by God.  (Psalms 37:23)
I think we forget that sometimes...
(Picture from imagebank.org.uk)

I've met this sweet, beautiful young sister online. She is FULL of life. She is a wife, a mother, a student. She has a spark in her beautiful eyes and a strong spirit of determination. I don't know her well - yet I see her strengths. She's beautiful and young with so many things ahead of her. I wondered as I communicated with her - what words of wisdom I could give her? From me, pretty much a stranger. But even being a stranger - her sister in Christ. There was so much inside of me that I wanted to share with her - but I couldn't. Partly because of my prodigal state - I'm not in a place to minister affectively to anyone. I need to get my own house in order. Yet there is so much that I see her going through that I'd like to take her under my wing and share my experiences with her. If it was a different time, if I was in a different place - I would. Here is the one thing I will say:

It is so important to listen to the voice of God when He speaks to you. When you are praying about something - especially when it comes to a direction in life - make SURE you hear what He is saying about it before you step out. Four years ago, I thought the Lord was directing my family to a different state. I begged and pleaded with the Lord to do it. I laid down fleeces before Him. But I didn't listen. I thought He wanted my family and I to step out on faith - and move. But what God was really saying - in retrospect was "no." I didn't listen to it. It was an emotional time in my family. I thought we were doing what was best for our oldest son who was on the verge of being a teenager. I WAS WRONG. We truly do forget that we see in part - and God sees in full. When God says "no." It is usually for a very good reason. Heck - it is ALWAYS for a very good reason. We don't see what decisions we make will do to us later on down the line. If God says NO to you - listen. How I wish I had. How I wish I hadn't made decisions during an emotional time. I thought I was doing the right thing, and indeed my intentions were all good. Naively we moved thinking that we would all "run off into the sunset and live "happily ever after." Oh if I had only listened to what God was quietly saying. If I had not ignored the signs... I think I'd be at a different place in my life than I am now.  Now I'm not saying that God can't take our mistakes and work them for His glory. Because He can. But sometimes we make it so that we have to pay a higher price - by not listening. By not obeying. I don't know how to be anything but transparent. Although in my prodigal state - I only choose to reveal what God leads me to. The decision to move was based on a protectiveness over my children, but it costs me dearly and is still costing me. I lost my footing. There are doors I opened that I would never have even considered opening had I stayed where the Lord had placed us and believed God to work out the issues in my oldest child. For you see - we can direct our children to the Father, we can show them by our actions our own faith - BUT we CANNOT give them OUR WALK.  At some point with our children - we have to remember that God only loaned them to us. He didn't GIVE them to us - for they belong to Him. And we have to trust that He will not let them go - that He will allow them to go through whatever they have to go through in order to choose Him. We try to protect them, shelter them - but sometimes its not what God wants us to do. We have to let them grow. In Him.

God knows our hearts. He does. Not accepting His "no" has costs me so much. I hope someone is reading this blog - and learning from my mistake. I hope this is ministering to you. Listen to God. Even if you feel disappointed when He is saying "no" to a request you are putting before Him. Remember that He sees the whole "story of you" you don't.  Although I know that it is by mercy and grace that I am saved - and there is nothing that I can do to earn heaven (thank you Jesus) - I can't help but feel right now like "Bob Marley" from the Christmas Carol - trying to warn my brothers and sisters in Christ who are teeter-totering on making a decision and not at all sure that it is what God wants them to do. Be prayerful about decisions you make. And LISTEN to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.

I can't go back to how things were before. I've changed too much. Between having had a prodigal experience and also going through breast cancer. I'm on a totally different path than I was before. Sometimes we cause ourselves to take the harder pathways.  Still, I DO believe that God will use my experiences to help others grow in Him. Its not as easy as it may seem for a Prodigal to get back to being on the pathway to God.  I love the Lord with all my heart - I DO. But I'm not the same woman I was four years ago. I think I'm more humble. I think I'm more vulnerable. I'm still transparent - yet I've walked in shoes I'd never dreamed  I'd wear... Not sure if except to another prodigal that makes sense... You know there are lessons we just learn and go on to the next course - but there are OTHERS that we may have to repeat before God allows us to pass. And here is the thing - He won't let us move on to the next level until we've learned what He has put before us. Some of us have to repeat a class over and over again until we truly have learned WHAT lesson it is He is trying to teach us... (Anyone getting me???)  I've learned to leave all the judging to God. I know I'm not in a place to judge anyone. I'm too busy judging myself. I cringe when people tell me "how good I am" for I'm not.  Again I think of Paul who so eloquently said in Romans Chapter 7 verse 15 - Chapter 8 verse 2:
" I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I  know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. or in my inner being I delight in God's law;but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?hanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.herefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

Sometimes we Christians judge other brothers in sisters in Christ - like we have a "right to" I know - I use to do it without even really realizing that that was what I was doing. To some degree i felt "better" than that person who was going through.  After ALL "I would NEVER do what THEY were doing." --- Watch out when you think this way. Pride REALLY does come before a a fall. And the more pride you have - the deeper the fall you will go. For God will try to teach you - that HE is NOT done WITH YOU. Remember the woman who was caught in adultery and Jesus stopped them from stoning her?? And asked them WHO of YOU are without sin???? Maybe you need to take this time to look hard at yourself. For there is a little bit of Prodigal in ALL of us. Remember that with God there is no degree of sin. Sin is sin. Be careful - walk prayerfully - for you may find YOURSELF that adulteress one day. (Ouch... Iron sharpening iron??) Or you may find YOURSELF one of the many of other sins that you thought "YOU would NEVER do." Its not something that happens overnight you know... A prodigal doesn't always "run out the door into temptation." It is a slow process. I once heard that when someone makes a dish like frogs legs (which I would NEVER eat - because I loved frogs when I was growing up). But I heard that people who cook frog's - don't throw them into a boiling pot. They put them in water and slowly turn the heat up - to soothe them to sleep. Lots of sin doesn't happen "right away" it is a process. Sometimes a sloowwww sooothing process...

The prodigal son - had grown up with the law all around him. Its not as if he didn't know his Word. But he thought he knew "better" what he needed. He was so wrong. He took the hard path. But have you ever thought about how hard it was for him to turn around and make his trek back home? I don't know about you but I'm my own worst critic. I don't need someone else condemning me - because I do a pretty good job of it on my own. I'll bet the Prodigal son did it all the way home. Berated himself. Its hard to admit when you're wrong. How long those miles back home must have felt. But he was met with forgiveness AND compassion. His Father was there with open arms. I'm quite sure he changed the course of his life but all that he had learned. But maybe - he was able to take his experiences to minister more affectively to those around him? Maybe he was able to keep others from making the same mistake he had made? Maybe in the end - he was better for it. For using his mistakes to show that God can use ANYONE. If they allow Him to.
I'm not the same woman I was four years ago. The course of my life is on the eclipse of changing. I cannot honestly see beyond the horizon, I am still  "learning" WHO I am. I have been humbled on all sides - spiritually, physically, emotionally this year. But there is one thing I DO know. God is not surprised. When Jesus hung on that cross He saw ME all the way in the future. Although things surprise US they DO NOT surprise Him. I no longer care what people think of me. Let them think what they will. If I dwell on that it will impede my trek back home to the Father and it is already like walking through "deep snow."  Where are you in your walk with Him? Take a deep look at yourself. What things do you need changing? Are you willing to admit what you need work on? Or are you too busy judging sister or brother so&so because YOU aren't willing to take a good hard look at yourself? Careful - or you might find YOURSELF right where that individual you were so busy judging is.... BELIEVE YOU ME. I know.

There go I BUT for the GRACE of God.... Food for thought isn't it? Don't push your chair away from the table and run off. Sit and think a while... Maybe God is trying to tell you something. You be the judge of you...

November 27, 2010


Stormy Weather - is it God or your Emotions?

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:5 - 5:8)
Did you ever realize how the people you love the most can affect your mood?  It's like a weather forecast - you get into an argument with the one you love and all of a sudden a voice goes off in your head kinda like that of a weatherman. "Today's weather will be cold and stormy... buckle up your seatbelts - you're in for quite the ride." Or if you are happy with your loved ones.. "Today's weather will be balmy and spring-like. People around town are 'skipping to their lou." (What does skip to my lou mean anyway?)

I've always been a very emotional person. And I am guilty of doing this often, being easily offended or disappointed. When I do - I often feel discombobulated like a cassette tape that has gotten stuck in its player.  You know what I mean? The times when you've played a tape and all of a sudden you hear a crunching sound.. And yep - you go to examine the tape and out it comes... You try to take a pencil and carefully (while bitting on your lip in concentration) hope you can get it to work again - cuz your favorite songs are on there... Maybe that is why God tells us to keep our eyes focused on Him? When I take my eyes off of Him, I feel like a person driving without a GPS. I easily lose my way.  We make things so difficult - when they should be easy. I often wonder what God thinks of us as He looks down at us from Heaven... (Or perhaps He walks around observing us here... You never know...) He is such a loving, patient God - but I wonder if He sometimes just wants to throw up His hands at us and say "Oh for Heaven sake!"

We are taught as children - that if we get lost or separated from our parents - we are to find a spot and stay there. I think I'll have a seat...Even at the semi-young age of 44 (don't laugh!), I realize there are times when I need to have a seat before the Father and try to be still and listen. We are never too old to listen and learn. In fact, I think that as long as we have breath in our bodies, we will always be changing, learning and hopefully maturing in Him. Although if you're like me - it takes a "little" while longer than the usual person! (Smiling). What can I say? I'm a dork! ;) The important thing is being transparent and open and willing to learn. I think as a prodigal, I can say that I learn my lessons a bit harder than the usual person. I have always been one to ask, "But WHY Lord?" Thank God for his patience with me. There is NO perfect person, and I think we would do well to remember that. So that when someone hurts us, or annoys us - or disappoints us. We can count to ten, take a deep breath and remember - that we ourselves are far from perfect AND we disappoint people too. (Yep even though its hard to believe... I DO too! Grinning). If we tried to take the plank out of our own eyes before removing it from someone else's, I think we'd "see" our situations a whole lot better... Don't you?

November 25, 2010


What season Are You In?

It's Thanksgiving. A time when most people rewind the year and think back to all the things they are thankful for. (At least that is what one SHOULD be doing)...Phillipians 4:11 tells us to "be content no matter WHAT our circumstances are."
When you think of "waiting" how do you feel? Does it bring past feelings to the surface? With me it does... I've learned especially with having been diagnosed with breast cancer this year, that "waiting" can be a luxury that not all of us have. If I was in impatient before - I'm even more so now. And I can't "wait" anymore. Because sometimes that is all people do. They "wait." We take "now" for granted. What if what you want most isn't there tomorrow? How will you feel? Like you missed out.  You waited until it was too late. I think that is when "regrets" come in to place. "I shoulda, woulda, coulda - but I didn't..."

God made us with the natural desire to "live forever" its something that has been instilled within us since our days in the Garden of Eden. But with the fall of man - came death. Something that none of us like to focus on. Instead we plan for "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and the next day..." As if it is a given that it will occur. We are NOT promised tomorrow. Yet still we blindly believe that tomorrow is owed to us. When something happens to someone we love, or to us - we begin to realize how very precious life is. The Bible tells us "Our lives are but breaths"

I don't know about you - but patience is not one of my gifts. Never has been, never will be. And after being a Christian for 23 years - I learned quickly NOT to pray for patience. Big mistake - huge! (Laughing). To pray for patience means that you are asking for more trials and tribulations than you already have - why? So that you can learn to be "patient" through it all. Its not as though we won't go through things anyways... I figure if I have to have a shot - give it to me quickly! Don't prolong it! (See? I told ya I'm not patient... ;) )

When you go through a life threatening disease - you become, "less patient" than perhaps you were before. Time is precious. If waiting was hard before you were diagnosed - it becomes even harder now. You want to love more deeply. Waiting becomes a harder concept to accept. All of a sudden you feel as though there is this timer and you don't know what point you are on the timeline your life... And I suppose its a good thing too. The Bible also tells us that "We see in part, but He sees in full." I think that is because we couldn't "handle" seeing the fullness of our lives. Personally, I think it is God's grace that He gives us increments if indeed He chooses to show us at all.

We've all heard the saying, "Good things come to those that wait." And maybe in some aspects that is true. We live in such a microwave society that we want what we want, when we want it! But on the other hand - one of the lessons I have learned this year, is that I do not have it in me to settle. So many of us "settle for mediocure" because we feel that is all we deserve. That is all we should have. That is one club that I am no longer a member of - I gave back my membership card loooong ago. So let me ask YOU this. What are YOU waiting for? Do you have a desire? A dream? A longing? What is making you put it off? Do you lack confidence in yourself to do it? Are you scared of failure? How do you know you'll fail if you don't even try?

I've never been a fan of "change." I'm a "planner" and I think that is why this year has been doubly hard. You don't "plan" on having cancer. You don't "plan" on losing your job, or your hair, or your eyelashes, or your eyebrows - or for some of my pink sisters - your breasts. And that is only to name a few things. Life is precious. If you are going to give someone flowers - give them to that person TODAY. For they may not be there tomorrow. Show people today. Show yourself today! Don't begin to live "tomorrow." Live TODAY. Fully with plenty of love, laughter and thanks.
                            Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 3:13
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
 know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.

October 12, 2010

MercyMe - Bring The Rain

Spreading my arms out wide and saying - "Ta Da!"

This is called a "Ta-Da" Moment. Brought to you by your Heavenly Father.  So how about truly "letting go and letting God?"
(*image from Imagebank.org.uk)

Have you ever given something over to God - reluctantly? I mean like you say to Him, "Father - I want to give to this to you." And then when you hold your hand out to give it to Him - you're still holding on to the other end? And you kind of have a gentle tug of war going on?  He never yells at you to release. Because our Father is patient. But finally He might say, "When you are ready to let go, let's try this again."

Have you ever asked the Father to change something inside of you - because you can't even make "heads or tails" of what that "something" actually is? You just know that it needs "fixing?" Maybe He has brought you to a point after going around and around like a dog chasing his own tail - where you are ready to throw your hands up in the air and say "I NEED TO GET OFF THIS MERRY GO ROUND!" And then you do one of those flying jumps off it because you just know you can't go around and around it once again?

Or maybe He has brought you to a point where you are running to the Father.  And your "pushing whatever it is" right into His arms. Maybe you are saying, "Okay, Okay - I can't do this anymore. HERE! You win! Take it quick before I change my mind!!!!"  I visualize Him looking at us when we do this - with a cocked eyebrow and an amused smile on His face.  Because you see, He knows the "whole story of you." We only see the situation, or the problem and it seems real intense.

Sometimes we get so frustrated with ourselves - we beat ourselves up. "Why can't I do this? Stupid me. This should be easy! I know my Word...." And we walk away from the Father grumbling at ourselves. Not sure that He will be able to fix whatever it is we've given Him.

But like planting a seed in the soil. We don't see the growth under ground until it comes to the surface of the earth. It doesn't mean that something isn't going on down there. It means that we can't see it with our eyes.  I think that is what God does with us when we give Him something that is too big for us... I think that sometimes we forget or think "He won't DO anything with what we give Him to fix." But think about it - if your child falls, and skins his knee, and comes to you crying? Comes to you frustrated. Comes to you in pain. Do you turn him away? Noooo. You take him by the hand or perhaps you lift him up into your arms, and you carry him gently some place where you can take a look at it. And always the worst part is the "cleaning the wound up" because it stings and your child might cry or try to get out of your arms. But after that - you put some antibiotic on it - and a bandaid. And maybe even afterwards - you lean down to kiss the boo-boo, smooth your child's hair back and reassure him that its going to be okay, that its going to get better.

Matthew 7:11 says, "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

If you truly have struggled with something - and have brought it before the Father and released it (albeit reluctantly).  Don't be surprised - if He changes you... It may be a slow process. We sometimes give something to God and then wait for that "Ta Da" moment.  We may even stand there and say - "Ta Da!!" And then expect to feel rejuvenated... And then we don't so we say it again - "Ta Da!" And we stand back - and nothing happens.  And then we think "God can't change this!" And we grumble some more.  But the things that we need changing with us are usually things that didn't just happen overnight.  Somethings take time.  And it doesn't mean that God can't change a person instantaneously - there are times when I  know He has. But I think there are times when He is in us "tinkering around" like one would in an attic.  And you wake up one morning with an "Aha moment!" A realization that - Hey! Wow! I feel different. This thing that I have struggled with and given to God doesn't seem so "front and center" anymore.  Or maybe you have had a realization that you weren't able to face before - and its not so bad.  We can trust that when we are struggling with something, and we bring it to the Father that He won't disregard it. That it matters to Him. True repentance starts in the heart. It's a heart thing! And your Father sees that. He sees what is going on inside of you. We cannot "change ourselves" somethings only God can. And we have to allow Him to do it. And more than that - we have to trust that He will. And when He does - rejoice. Because He's "cleaned you up, covered you with the salve (his precious blood), applied the band aid of the Holy Spirit - and leaned over and kissed you and said - You are healed for I am the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Now THAT is how MY Father works! He is all the "Ta-Da" we need.

October 10, 2010

Amy Grant - Thy Word

For Michelle - who Always "Hopes and Prays"

I think this picture should be entitled "Hope." God tells us that He will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)  Even at our darkest moments. He IS there. Just like the sun peaking through these leaves.
As I write this, I sit at my computer completely bald from 3 treatments of chemo and from getting my hair buzzed off like GI Jane. I underwent a lumpectomy on July 20th - so my breasts (except for two scars - one under my arm and one where you would place your hand to say I pledge allegiance) look pretty much the same. However, the me inside has been radically changed. My body doesn't feel the same. It's in a war. My lymph nodes under my left arm were removed because of "one bad node" - hence my need for chemotherapy and for later on radiation. Having your lymph nodes removed totally makes your body feel 'different'. "Numb." Like that feeling when your foot falls asleep and you have to shake it back into circulation. I don't quite recognize this girl in the mirror. She is not the one with a tan, with the curls coming over her left eye, with that confident smile. The girl that I see now, has a completely bald round head. Her scalp is white (who knew?) and she has freckles on her head! That was hidden by her curls. Her eyes look sadder and a bit war-struck. Because make no mistake about it- going through chemotherapy is NOT an easy thing.  Her taste buds are gone, and her waist is a bit narrower, because with the loss of flavor comes the loss of desire to eat. (All of which will be restored after chemo is done). There is a wisdom there in her eyes too. One that only those who've gone through a life battle can recognize and understand. She is learning lessons that she never knew she would have to learn, but that she will never forget and that is just the physical side.

Spiritually, I have learned how much I need my Father. How I need to get my spiritual act together. That bad things just don't happen to "Jane over there" - but can happen to us too.  The Bible says, "It rains on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). I know my life is in my Father's hands. I also see my weaknesses and my faults. I also realize that it is God who is in control. It is at this place where you can really be "beaten up" by ol' slewfoot if you allow it. But I've also learned that it is "not by power, not by might but by My Spirit. Says the Lord." And that  in our Word it says (Luke 15:4-6)"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'  Whenever we go through trials or are in a "valley" experience - we can feel abandoned, lost, hopeless. But all those things are lies. He said "He would never leave nor forsake us." And we can trust in Him because if it wasn't true - He wouldn't have said it. I guess this is where we learn that we are not to go by "our feelings." For me that is not an easy thing to do. I'm emotional and don't have a fake bone in my body. Don't know how to be otherwise... but I have to trust that God is in control. Nothing surprises Him.

The other thing this has shown me - is that I have taken a hard good look at myself and I realize that things need changing. Life is short. I always knew that - but NOW I REALLY KNOW that. Life is a gift. No more "wishing, and wanting." No more "settling." I'm looking within myself and asking God about the things that need changing in my life. If you have been in a prodigal stage in your walk - maybe this is a good time to ask God WHY. Why you have made the choices you have? What is it about you that needs changing? And to remember to say to Him - "Lord, I don't have the ability to change it myself. I need YOU to do it." Who understands us better than our Father? Maybe He is just waiting for us to "give it to Him." Realize that it is too big. That we can't handle it. To admit that we don't "know how?" I remember doing this when I was in college - just getting quiet before the Lord and saying, "Lord - I keep tripping over the same problem. WHY? Help me to see the lack in ME and what "we" can do to deliver me from it and heal me." When I reached that point - where I was willing to admit that I could do nothing about it - He showed me what the problem was and helped me to be strong enough to finally "pass this spiritual course." So that I could move on to the next one. But the difference was, I had to be willing to let Him. I had to reach a point of giving it to Him totally. How ironic that I would find myself - 22 years later - having to do that again? Self examine myself. Oops I thought I had been doing that every day. I'm not a baby Christian any longer - I know my Word. I've grown and matured so much in the 22 years I've been saved. Haven't I Lord? Hmmmm you know - we will always have room for growth and change. Its when you don't think you need to that you are really in a dangerous place. Or when your eye is soooo critical of "others" that you are so busy concerning yourself about their walk that you lose focus on YOUR OWN. (Yes I did type that! - ducking down under my desk... peeking my bald head out slowly to make sure its safe...)

One thing I have learned is that I don't want to wait to live life anymore. I want to live it. FULLY. And I intend to... Walking by the mirror - stopping, looking at the girl I see in the reflection... Yep... She's baaaaaaccccckkkk. See that glint in her eye?  And as my almost five year old son says "Mummy I love your cute bald head..." Okay, so I may look like Telly Sevalas or maybe like Uncle Feister (sp?) or maybe like a Genie out of their bottle... But you know - its only for a season... I guess I'm physically "total transparent" now before the Lord.  I'm okay with that...

September 25, 2010

Winans Live Concert ~ Tomorrow~ Don't let the Sun Go Down

Shhhhh - do you hear that? Do you Really?

Is this your life? Is that you? How long do you think you can go at the pace you are going?

I lay in bed this morning thinking about my faults. Taking a good look at "me" analyzing myself and I came to the decision that I need more of Jesus. Have you ever stopped to wonder why you respond to things the way you do? The weaknesses you feel you have - why do you think you have them?  What disappointments have you had and how have you responded to them? What do you NEED? Or think you need?

There is no perfect person - other Jesus. And looking at myself with a "magnifying glass" I realize that although I had thought they had already been "filled" the "pot holes" in me. There is still much work on the "street of Kelly" to do. Like little "mudslides" the places I haven't allowed the Lord to fill - have caved in.  You see, there is something deep inside of us - that hungers for the Lord. We may say "pfffft - yeah, right." But the fact is - its true. God made us that way.  We were created to worship Him.   We try to fill it with "people" or "things" or "life" - but truly, there sometime comes a point where there is no denying that what we needed all along - was Him. I believe the Bible calls it "the peace that passes all understanding." You simply can't get that from another person. Everything has its place. There is a place within us that is meant for God and God alone.

Have you ever sat outside and listened to the sounds around you early in the morning?  We fill our lives with so much activity, so much outside "noise."  Sometimes our lives are so noisy we don't hear the voice of God speaking quietly into our souls.  And the ironic thing about it is - if we stopped, and listened we would be soo blessed.  We would feel all those things we are searching for - acceptance, love, understanding, peace. The LOVE of God.  I can honestly say, that there is nothing that can compare to the love of God.  Feeling your heavenly Father wrap his arms around you and whisper in your ear how special you are.  How He knows the numbers of your hair. How He created YOU for a purpose. How you are one of a kind. How you are His child and He has called YOU by name. How He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. WHY don't we listen??? What we need is right before us. Yet we push Him aside. We say "later." We think "I'll have a relationship with God when I'm "old and grey."  Yet who promised YOU tomorrow? God stands at the door and he knocks NOW.  He is not this "mean" forbidding God - He is a loving Father.

For those of us that are parents - we know that the "no's" we tell our children are with their best in mind.  But they don't see it that way at the time we say "no" do they? I remember my telling my mother "you're a mean mommy!" (Laughing) when all she wanted me to do was stay in my room while she mopped the hallway floor. how many times do we think God is "mean?"  He's not.

Lord - this year has been like no other in my life. I've been humbled beyond my wildest dreams. That is not a complaint Father. I realize that I need you to "fill the potholes" in me. Some of which I had thought years ago had been full. But they are cropping up again Lord and I realize more and more that I need more of You."

Take a good hard look at yourself - faults, weaknesses and all - and bring them before the Father. Ask Him to show you why you continue to struggle in a certain area of your life. Perhaps there was a need inside of you that was never fulfilled. We live in an imperfect world but thank God we have a "perfect Father" who can restore, who can heal, who can bless, who can aid, who can love - and you see - He desires to do all those things inside of you. But here is the thing - He's given us "free will." To choose, to decide - or not to. The choice is up to us.

September 11, 2010

Silly Random Early Morning Thoughts - Sheer Nonsense.

"And so Mister Caterpillar - do you think you will feel the changes taking place within your body when you go into your cocoon? Will you write about your total body transformation experience? Are you worried it will be painful? Do you feel you are less beautiful now than you will be then? Do you dream of flying? Will you miss what it feels like to "inchworm" your way through life? Curious minds want to know, you know."

I fell asleep early last night - unintentionally and woke up at 4 a.m. How quiet the world is at this time. Usually I wake up to hearing birds outside my window - but today, all is quiet and I think I have even "beat" the early bird in catching his worm. (LOL)

A fresh new day, a brand new start - a gift. That is what today is. I'm actually enjoying the quiet of this early morning. I'm unfamiliar to it as I have always been a night person. Its peaceful this morning. Its like choosing a "different unfamiliar flavor." 

I often wonder of all the miscellaneous thoughts that drift in my head like what I wrote above (LOL). And why do we sing lullabies like "Rock a Bye Baby" to our babies before they drift off to sleep? Are we trying to give them nightmares? (Have you ever really thought about the lyrics to that lullaby?)  And i think of all the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes I read when I was a kid. Do we really want to teach our kids to "jump over a candle stick?" (LOL).

Does that happen to you? Sheer nonsense drift through your mind? I sit here giggling like a silly little girl at the thoughts that pop into my head - and I cannot use the excuse that it is just this "early morning hour" or the fact that I have yet to have my first sip of coffee this morning. It's just me. Who I am. I think too much, I ponder, I wonder. Can you imagine the conversations we'll have with Jesus when we are face to face? I know already I talk his ear off probably. Because my prayers are one sided conversations with Him. Although I do hear a word in edgewise every so often (winking). I love my Lord. He is patient, He is loving, He is kind. He is... Tolerant! (LOL).  Its true when they say its a "personal" relationship. It is. And right now, being the only one awake in my childhood room. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling peaceful. I'm feeling silly. I'm feeling ohhh so much love for my God. I think He likes silliness in us from time to time, don't you?

September 10, 2010

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy

Seasons Change - But God Never Does...

Like the water naturally flowing down in this picture  - "The Steps of the Righteous Are Ordained By God." (Psalms 37:23)

(*picture taken by my dear friend, D. Kiely)
There is a saying - one that I'm quite certain you've probably heard. "When life hands you lemons - make lemonade." Optimistic? I suppose if you like lemonade.  For some reason, my life feels like a very popular scene from the I Love Lucy Show - you probably know the one... The one when Lucy and Ethel are working in a chocolate factory? And I think they are suppose to be taking the chocolates off the roller as they come down to them and put them in boxes or wrappers? Not quite sure which... And the roller speeds up and they are trying sooooo hard to keep up with the chocolates, but then they panic and rational thinking goes right out the window. Instead of keeping their senses and figuring out what to do with the fast coming chocolates, their reaction is to take the chocolates and stuff it in their mouths... I hope I'm remembering that right. I'm going to see if I can find it to post. But that - in essence, has been what my life has been over the last two weeks.

When I last posted I had quite literally been holding a pair of cutting sheers to my head. Convinced I could cut off my curls in anticipation of chemo. But I chickened out. Oh how I spent that whole day running into the bathroom, holding a curl in the sheers gonna do it.  But then I decided, I wanted to keep my curls as long as I could. So I decided I would not lose them that day.

Since that day, I (due to the economy & working for a small relatively unknown start up company that has been struggling for the last 6 months), had to leave a job I loved, and after speaking with my husband, we had to make the choice for me and two of our three children to head back to Massachusetts and stay with my mother in my childhood home so I could go through chemotherapy, the kids could go to an excellent public school (while we had enrolled them in Christian private) and he could concentrate on work since I was no longer employed. It was hard dividing up our family. I love all three of my kids. My oldest needed to be near his father. (Anyone who has a teenager can understand that this needs no further explanation).

Through my job loss, I'm reminded again of why I have always put my faith in God and not in people. People disappoint you every day. Its just our nature. I hold on to my faith. I have been a Born-Again believer for 23 years and I have experienced God's hand on my life. I know He provides. When you have held on to God for so long - you go into "automatic pilot mode." My faith is in God - not in people and honestly, I don't know how people live without Him. I could not go through all that I am going through without knowing my God is real. "An ever present help in time of trouble." (Psalms 46:1) He said "He would never leave nor forsake me" ( and He hasn't." And for whatever YOU are experiencing in your life right now - if you choose to trust in Him. You'll see. He is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2:11). My Bible tells me that "the steps of the righteous are ordained by God." It doesn't tell me that He will "reveal ahead of time" what those steps are. But that they are ordained by Him.  I don't think that means that God plans bad things in our lives. I think it means that nothing surprises Him. Nothing.  When you are faced with your mortality, you all of a sudden see all your faults, all your weaknesses, all your sins.  You realize again and again how you "cannot earn" heaven. I truly know that there is NO WAY  I can be "good enough" to go to heaven. Pffft... Was it Paul who said in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do."  There is ALWAYS inside of us - something that needs changing. I am NOT condoning sin. But I am very clear that it is only by the shed blood of Jesus that we can boldly come to the throne of God. I wonder how He did it. As he lay stretched out on that cross - He took on the sins of the world. OUR SINS. Yours and mine. My mind cannot even comprehend the agony of that. I agonize over my own sins. And what I don't agonize over - the devil tries to beat me over the head with reminding me of my short comings. But here is the thing - "It is by grace we have been saved through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is a gift from God, not as the results of works, so that no one may boast. But we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we could walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Seasons change - God never does. Hold fast of His hand. He won't let go. Even when it feels like its only your 'fingertips touching His." His love is unconditional. Unlike people - He simply loves YOU for who you are. Who needs to make lemonade out of lemons? We know the Creator. And even better than THAT - HE KNOWS YOU... "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2) Child YOU are His.

August 29, 2010

Sexiness is an Attitude ONE Wears - How do YOU wear it?

My Curls - last Picture to Show before cutting them off - Sexiness is an Attitude One Wears - and it comes from INSIDE. Its not a fashion, its NOT a weight, Its NOT a look.  It's what is INSIDE of you. Society is so wrong. And when YOU know Jesus as Lord and Savior - you have an inner beauty that is indescribable. It's called "The JOY of the LORD"
I've made a decision. I'm going to cut my hair tonight. ME. I'm going to be the one to cut off my curls. Next to losing my life - my biggest dread has been having to cut off my hair. I won't let breast cancer demoralize me. I won't.  And so after an anquishing day of debating whether or not I should do it. I'm just going to do it and be done with it.  None of my pink sisters are around to discuss it with - so I'm going to just do it. I have to. The decision has weighed heavily on my mind. And I know that may sound ridiculous and very vain perhaps, and maybe it is.  But I am someone who was bald for the first 6 months of my life (as a baby). It has taken forever for my hair to grow - and honestly - I love my curls.  They have made me feel sexy, feminine and attractive. But then I got to thinking of a saying I created almost 2 1/2 years ago - one that I really believe... "Sexiness is an Attitude One Wears.. And I wear it well."   What I mean about that  is that sexiness is NOT a weight, its not a fashion, its not a look. It's what you FEEL about yourself on the inside.

It had taken me a while to be at an age when I was "comfortable" within my own skin. Feeling feminine, attractive and self-confident. (Note: Not conceited. Never that). However a woman in her forties feels - well - Mature, feminine, confident, not so concerned about other peoples opinions. It takes a long time to feel that way. I finally "got that." It really IS an attitude - inside of YOU.

That being said - I am going to find ways to make myself "feel" sexy as I go thru all this. Being a "woman" feeling "Womanly" is something that comes from the inside and shows on the outside. Its time to be creative. And creativity is a gift I definitely have... First and foremost I have the beauty of knowing who my Lord and Savior is.  The peace that passes all understanding is something that "radiates" - its what people SEE in you that is soooo different than anything else.  That is still there.  I'm told that half of the battle of this disease is what goes on in your mind because of it.

I am a child of the UTMOST HIGH GOD. My beauty comes from HIM. Hence, its time to be creative. I can do this.  I will and I will be victorious and God will get ALL the glory, ALL the honor AND all the praise. And come next summer - I'm gonna have hair like a Breck girl! (Laughing)

August 26, 2010


It's Not That Simple, Simon.

Can you imagine God's viewpoint? Ours is soooo small.
Sometimes the hardest part of being a prodigal is not knowing "how" to find your way back. Throughout my 23 years of being a Christian, from the very start - I talked. Simply talked to God. When I first accepted Christ back when I was a Theater Major at UMass Boston - searching for God. I made it clear to Him that IF HE WAS REAL I needed Him to reveal Himself to me. I challenged Him to do so. He did.  Throughout the years of my walk with Him, I always spoke to Him like I would sitting across the dinner table to a friend.  I wanted His opinion. I wanted to be close to Him. As I drew nearer to Him - He drew nearer to me.  It was intimate. It was real.  It was "the peace that passes all understanding." I fell in love with the Lord. My soul desire was to live for Him.  I would read the Bible until I fell asleep with my face in it at night.  I wanted MORE, I wanted to know. And He revealed so much to me.  His Word - the Bible - TRULY is the living Word. I longed for Him, I sought Him and I found Him. I can honestly say there is NO great feeling in this World than feeling God's arms wrapped around you. That is how it was for my first 20 years in Christ. I experienced my ups and downs as one does when they are on a journey with Him.  I prayed diligently that the things He wanted to change within me - that He would change. And He did - NOT by someone telling me "I couldn't do things anymore" but by Him taking away the desire for those things within me. So that I no longer was interested in them.

We each come from different walks. I use to help minister to women. Looking back at that time, I really thought I had it all together. I probably did - but only because I didn't truly know what going "through" the fire was. I was able to be transparent with my walk before women. To sympathize, to pray, to encourage and hopefully to be used by the Lord. I didn't realize how much God wasn't done with me yet. I didn't realize how my footing could quickly slip. I didn't realize that I would compare myself to the prodigal's son. I took my steadfastness for granted. I didn't realize that unknowingly perhaps, I judged people in my head. I "felt sorry" for them. Compassion yes - but sorry too.  I look back on those times when I felt so strong - and I feel like I'm looking at the life of another woman. For I am not that pillar of strength now.  I have been humbled.  I've been brought down to my knees - and in case you think the cancer did this - I can tell you IT HAS NOT. I was already experiencing sooooo many questions, sooo much confusion (which I know isn't of God) before any of that.

The WORST feeling in this world - is feeling far away from the LORD and NOT knowing how to find your way back. You ask yourself time and time again - How do I regain what I loss? How do I and in doing so do it HONESTLY.  What do you do when your heart is not inline with what people are telling you you should do? Oh it is soooo easy to dool out advice to someone. It is sooo easy when you have not walked in their shoes to tell them what they should do. I realize now that in doing that you can cause a person to feel so divided. It's God who does the changing.  It's God's compassion and mercy for those that are in a prodigal's state to bring them out.  I know that for those who truly want to be right with Him - that it is HIM who has to do the changing. Thankfully God looks at the heart.

You have no idea what the person you are sitting, walking , standing, driving next to - is going through in their life. Perhaps they are being tormented? Perhaps they are crying out for help.  I think remembering my Word - Jesus saw this with people. He was compassionate. He was merciful, He was forgiving, He was loving.  Shouldn't we be the same? If we are to be called "Christians" (to be CHRIST LIKE) shouldn't we be the same?

August 19, 2010

Heaven Is The Face Of A Little Girl- Steven Curtis Chapman

Its Alive!!!!!

He's Only A Prayer Away

*Picture from Imagebank.org/uk
Its so true that the Bible is the "living Word." Today, I've been thinking a lot about the woman in the bible who had been bleeding for years. Let me see if I can find the scripture....(Matthew 9:20-22) "Just then a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His cloak.She said to herself 'If only I touch His cloak I will be healed. Jesus turned and saw her, "Take heart daughter." He said. "Your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed at that moment."

What faith that woman had. Twelve years of bleeding. She never accepted it. Can you imagine how hard it was for her to get close enough to "touch him"? Crowds always followed Jesus.  But her determination and her faith - even to the point of saying to herself "IF I COULD ONLY TOUCH HIS CLOAK." How loving was his response. I'm sure that in the Old Testament times this woman was ostracized. I'm sure she probably felt very much alone. Maybe she felt as though she had done something to bring this on herself. Day after day she lived with this ailment. My heart goes out to her.

Although I have only been considered a survivor for almost two months now, my life has changed drastically. I guess the only way I can describe it is the difference between a beautifully painted "water color" picture and a vibrant, brilliant oil painting. The water color was before bc and the oil painting - after.  I wake up each morning thankful that God has given me another day.

That woman - I can almost see her determination that no matter what it would take - she WOULD reach Jesus and touch Him.  How did she feel when He turned around and acknowledged that He knew He had been touched?  Was she scared? But I'm quite sure His loving reaction - "Take heart daughter" was as healing to her as the actual reaching out to touch Him.

"Lord - I'm reaching out to you - as she was. I don't know the words to say, because there is so much going on inside me... I want to touch you. The last two years have been the hardest in my walk with You. I know I'm not telling you something you don't already know. I don't know how to - get back to where I was with You. I've always been honest - you know this. So Lord - I will reach out to you today and I will simply say - "Help me." Two words Lord. For I don't know exactly what to pray. I only know that my life is in Your hands. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen."

I guess the biggest thing I've learned is that you can't "earn" heaven. Its not about "going to church" church doesn't save you - it helps build you up in Christ and surrounds you with other believers (the body). What saves you is the fact that Jesus died on the cross for forgiveness of our sins. Its His love. It's His mercy, its His sacrifice, its His grace. How strongly I'm aware of that..

I'll bet you her life was vibrant and full and she never took life for granted after that moment. I wish the Bible told us more about her - what her life was like before and after... I think tomorrow when I wake up I will picture what it would be like if Jesus was sitting at a table right across from me.  Perhaps even joining me in a D& D Skim Latte with a thick foam (smiling) and what I would say to Him. I think that is how I shall start tomorrow. For now - I simply say "Lord, like that woman - I am reaching out to touch you. Help me and I love you."

August 10, 2010

The Winans ~ Tomorrow

Will the Sun Really Come Out Tomorrow? Who Promised YOU That? Little Orphan Annie?

Its all in your perception, you either see the rainbow or you don't. Which is it?

How quickly time flies. Have you ever thought about it? I've been thinking about "old people" - whatever that means. Its all in perspective isn't it? When you are seven years old you cannot wait to be "double digits" TEN. How magnificient that sounded. When you are ten, you cannot wait to be a "teenager" Thirteen sounds sooooo cooool. When you are thirteen you dream of being a "sweet sixteen" with high heels and lipstick and bras and "boyfriends."  When you are sixteen - eighteen seems like the age when you are college bound a "young adult." When you are eighteen the cool thing is being twenty-one!  There always seems to be a number higher than whatever you were to reach for. What age was it that all of a sudden we wanted to start "counting backwards?" How is that I feel the same at 43 as I did at 16 - only perhaps "wiser." (I hope). I think its because who we are is what is "inside" this outer shell that grows older every year.

If you think about it - we were meant to live "forever" before the fall of Adam and Eve. Can you imagine that? What the Garden of Eden must have been like? More beautiful than we could possibly imagine, I'm quite sure. And think about it - animals that you could understand! LOL I've often thought about how Eve wasn't at all surprised or afraid when the snake started to talk to her.  Was that a "normal day occurence?" I find myself wondering about that... Imagine understanding the songs of a bird. Eat your heart out Dr. Doolittle you had NOTHING on Adam! (LOL)

Who are you? I mean really - what defines you? What is it you've always wanted to do and why haven't you done it already? We are pretty good at excuses, aren't we?  "Well one day perhaps - after this and that... or when so and so happens..." But here is the thing - why not now? What if later is too late?  We put things off assuming that we will have tomorrow.  As if we are "owed" tomorrow.   I have decided to live each day in full. I won't hold back.  I will tell those I love them - that I love them TODAY.  I will not let the little itty bitty things that are annoyances eat at me.  Life is so short. Even if you live to 101.  We were made to live forever, otherwise that desire to do so would not be so strongly instilled within is. The "will" to live.  We each have it.  Although perhaps there are times in our lives when we wonder about "throwing in the towel" "is it all worth it?" "Can I be all that God wants me to be?" "oh woooooe is meeeeee." STOP.  I have learned over the last month and a half - that when we act like that it is like - well it is like - There stands God before you, your Father, giving you this beautiful gift of today of now.  All "wrapped in a sunrise" and we look at it and we look at Him and we say "Is that ALL you got? I don't want it!"  And we sulk or we have a temper tantrum because life isn't what we expected it would be.  "I want this! I want that! You don't care about me! I'm having financial problems! I'm unhappy with my life! Life is not worth living!!!" And we stomp our feet and we act like the spoiled brats we sometimes are.  (Come on - someone is getting this...) and God looks at us, and He looks at His creation that He made around us.  (You know the one - the one we take for granted every day by not stopping to "smell the roses" that by the way He created... or to hear the birds singing in the trees... Or to look with such pleasure and awe at a sunset at the end of the day.) and He is incredulous. I'm quite sure He is.

I'm not talking only to YOU dear reader. But to me as well.  When you are faced with your morality you suddenly see things more "vibrant." Things perhaps were in a "water color hue" before.  But when you are going through a time where you realize that you are mortal, that the one thing we all have in common no matter race, religion, etc... Is that not one of us is going to live forever.  I don't mean to sound morbid.  Not at all.  I mean for you to wake up tomorrow - and notice something about the day that perhaps you hadn't noticed before.  Something perhaps you took for granted or someone. Or perhaps you've always put yourself "last" maybe its time for you to love yourself as God loves you. Maybe its time for you to ask God - why am I here? What do YOU have in mind for me? Maybe its time for you to realize now is the time.

I do not have all the answers. Not even for myself.  In fact, when you are faced with your mortality all of a sudden you feel sooo "inadequate." Almost embarrassed that although you thought you knew how precious life is - you really really didn't. What audacity we have to feel as though we "deserve" tomorrow.  Because the truth is - we don't.  What a loving merciful God we serve. Who's grace and mercy is renewed every day. Don't put off things for tomorrow. Do them TODAY.  There is a saying that I firmly believe - two actually. The first one is one that my father use to say. "Do what you gotta so you can do what you wanna."  That is sometimes harder done than said! But there is truth to that.  Also I always tell people "don't wait to give me flowers tomorrow. Tomorrow I could be gone - Give them to me today!"   In other words. If you love someone - tell them NOW. Don't wait till later.  Later you might not get the chance. Not one of us is perfect. But God is. The Bible tells us "He knew you when you were formed in your mother's womb."(Jeremiah 1:5) How wonderful is that? How special you are to your Heavenly Father. How much He loves you. How much He has tried to show us (in spite of ourselves!) that He does.

Age is nothing BUT a number.  How you live. Your attitude, your mentality, your actions - those are all the things that are important. How about thinking about that when you wake up tomorrow morning? As you hear the birds chirping outside your window. Or the sun shinning warmly on your back.  It's a good day to be alive. Cherish each and every moment. In fact - make every moment count.

August 6, 2010

He sees You When You're Sleeping - He Knows When You're Awake...

Chemo soon trying wigs

I was thinking today - how we often berate ourselves. We are our "own worst critic." We look at the person in the mirror and we critique. We look at all our imperfections. We "beat ourselves up." Its time to stop. Its not conducive and it doesn't build you up. Sometimes we don't need anyone to tear us down because we are too busy doing it ourselves... Hmmmm anyone hearing me? (Winking at you). Take a look in the mirror and see the person who is "inside" that shell. The real you. Not the faults, but the strengths. Everyone has things about themselves that need changing.  Sometimes ol' slewfoot has us so down on ourselves that we can't even "pick ourselves up."  I don't see how God gets the victory in that do you?  We cower. We shrink into the background. So put off by the faults and things that need to be worked on we can't see past that.  I think its time we "change our minds."  The Bible tells us to "fix our thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely, and admirable. Think of things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  God wants us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  But how can we when so many of us haven't even "begun to love ourselves?"

Celebrate the small victories over things you are struggling with. God sees them - in celebrating the small things it makes us stronger to deal with the "bigger things." Getting back from a "prodigal" state is something that may take one step at a time. Its easy to feel discouraged.  I have found that it really helps to be able to have a sister (or two) or a brother in Christ who you can confide in.  Even your darkest fears. The Bible tells us that "Iron sharpens iron." This should be someone who won't "judge you" but will listen and allow God to use them to help restore you. GENTLY in love.  I have heard close sister say "your standing on the brink of hell" - I gotta tell you THAT doesn't help. You can advise people firmly and gently in love without being judmental. Restoration in love and truth makes a big difference. Jesus did that and He's to be our example. I don't want to be the type of sister who makes someone want to walk away from the Lord because they feel they'll "never get it right." God doesn't work like that.

I've been amazed at how we truly only see in part and God sees in full. I have learned that when God says "no" there is a reason for that.  Sometimes when we go ahead and "do what we think is right" - even when God says no. He allows us because we still have free will.  Praise God for a merciful and loving God who allows us to make "mistakes" and uses those "mistakes" for His glory. Turns them around. Let me use an example. My family and I moved from Massachusetts to upstate New York three years ago.  It was a decision made with a lot of prayer but also a lot of fear.  We'd just gone through a very difficult time with one of our kids - and thought that we needed to get him to an environment that would be better for  him.  I thought God had given us the "okay" but it turns out He hadn't. (Never make a decision based on an emotional hardship - you'll be so tied up with your emotions you won't be able to quiet your spirit to hear from God correctly.) We moved and I can see now where we "missed" the mark.  Not to say that God doesn't take our "lemon decisions" and "make lemonade." But sometimes He says no for a reason that we cannot see or foretell. We only know in part - He knows in full. If we had only ridden out the situation, waited and believed we would have saved ourselves so much more aggravation. I can clearly see it now. Instead of continuing to berrate myself I learned a lesson. The lesson was - God knows so much more than I do (Laughing). I really "don't" know it all. (I'm joking). The lesson I learned was that to think of it in a positive light when God says "no." Because its for our best.  Someone remind me to re-read this blog next time I feel impatient (grinning).

August 3, 2010

You Raise Me Up

Road Blocks? Crossroads? We Already Have a GPS - We Just Don't Use it Properly!

Maybe He wants us to be at "the end of our rope" Because then we'll let go of the rope and hold on to Him. "Not by Power, Not by Might but By My Spirit." Says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)
 Life is unpredictable. It just is. Once upon a time things seemed sooo matter of fact. But they're not. Life doesn't equal one easy 123. Good does come out of bad. Maybe God allows it because it makes us more humble. More dependent upon Him. It makes us more aware that we are the "creation" and not the Creator. We use to sing a song in Church that had the words "my life is in Your hands" in it. Up until now I thought I was singing that sincerely. I realized that until you go through something that makes you realize how precious life is. You can't possibly know what the meaning of those words really mean.

Is it enough to be able to say, "Lord - I don't know what to do?" or "Lord I can't see my way through this one - so I'll have to depend upon you?"  Honestly, there are certain things that we can't see our way out of. Maybe we weren't meant to. I've been thinking a lot about this... Maybe we are not meant to have all the answers now. Maybe that's why He says in the Bible "My Grace is Sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Maybe that's why its so important to stay connected with Him through prayer. I'm at a time in my life where I'm holding on to Him with all I have. And you know - it wasn't the breast cancer that brought me to that point. There was something that was already pressing me in to the Father. It is okay for a prodigal daughter/son to admit that they are having a "prodigal moment." Perhaps they don't know the way back home. Perhaps they have soul ties to whatever it is they've encountered. I can only say that during the time I've been a prodigal daughter - I have probably learned more about myself than I have in the whole 22 years I've been a Christian. And the thing is - I'm STILL learning. For me, the hard thing has been to know what to do about what I'm discovering about me. Have you ever come to a cross road in your life where you just don't know what to do because you never expected to BE on the path you are on? Have you ever felt "stuck?" I don't pretend to have all the answers. But I guess that is the point where I am at in my life right now. Having a recent diagnosis of breast cancer doesn't make all the other "problems" disappear. It pushes them to the side but it doesn't make them "go away." I think that God appreciates our honesty. Its ridiculous not to admit what you are thinking or feeling to Him because He already knows your thoughts before you even think them! He's GOD!

This weekend was a difficult one for me. I can't plan, I can't "live in the future" all I can do is live in the present. For someone like me who is a "planner" that is the hardest thing to do. Especially when I'm dealing with the "unexpected." My trust is in God, but also for all those things I'm struggling with right now - I have to give each one of them to Him. Because I don't know what to do. I think it is a time when God makes you realize that "Your life (my life) is in His hands.  How I wish once we decided to make Jesus our Lord and Savior that He did what He wanted with us from there. But its not as simple as that... How I wish it was.

I guess this is just one of those moments where I have to continue to be honest with God. Are you at a point in your walk where you don't know what He is saying to you? It helps me to remember that He promised us "He would never leave nor forsake us." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

I'm uncertain about so many things. The one thing I'm certain about is that I have a Father who loves me (and you do too). I'm not the "perfect daughter" (who of us is?)  I probably have made things harder for myself at times than He ever intended me to. I've got sooo many questions for Him. At this moment in my life I feel "road blocked" at every which way I turn. I envy my brothers and Sisters in Christ who seem to think they have "it" (whatever "it" is) all together.  I don't. I have my insecurities, my disappointments, my desires, my hopes, my uncertainties. Honestly at this point its hard for me to know which "end is up." But here's the thing - God knows my heart. (He knows yours too) and sometimes we have to give the things that are burdening us to Him. The Bible tells us "there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9) So nothing comes as surprise to our Father. Many of the people that we have read about in the Bible - David, Sampson, Joseph, Moses, etc. have gone through things in their lives that WE are STILL going through today! That is why the Bible is full of stories about "real people."

My guess is that with road blocks and crossroads we need to pray them through. Tell God what is on your mind. One thing that one of my Sisters in Christ recently said to me (and it made perfect sense) is that "God's already worked it out while you're trying to figure it out."  Hmmmm makes perfect sense to me. How about to you?

July 31, 2010

Prodigal-Casting Crowns

It IS Amazing Indeed - When You Really Think About It! ~

I woke up yesterday morning thinking about Mark 15:38 "And the curtain the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." The temple in the curtain ripped when the Son of God gave His life. It made it so that instead of being "under the old testament law" we were able - through grace, love and mercy -the blood of the lamb (Jesus) able to come boldly to the throne of God. Can you imagine the look of sheer surprise and perhaps shock on the faces of the priests faces? Can you imagine the sound of the ripping of the heavy material that made up the curtain - since it ripped from top to bottom in two?? Oh what a wonderful God we serve. Who loves us enough to walk amongst us. Who cares enough to leave the glory of Heaven and come down and actually walk among us. We don't deserve His love. But that is what He did. He made it "personal."  He gave His life for the forgiveness of our sins.  There is no way we can wrap our minds around the "hugeness" of that. He rose up from the dead and is seated on the right hand of the Father and He is interceding for us! We have our very own cheerleader! Now doesn't that make you love Him even more?! THAT is the difference between "religion" where you can't approach God directly and a "personal relationship" where you can boldly by the shed blood of the lamb - Jesus go to the Father in prayer.

I've been thinking a lot about how there have been many "curtains" that have ripped in my life from top to bottom (and of course unlike the first paragraph where it really happened in the temple - I'm figuratively speaking). Usually when that has happened it has been a real change that has occurred in my life. Either a change in the way i think, I live or I do things. Has any "curtains" in your life been torn asunder? Recently for me it has been awake up call. We don't mean to do it but we do think we'll have tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and we see things happen to others and perhaps in our mind we think how "terrible it is" but "that wouldn't happen to us."  As if there is a reason that bad things happen to people?! The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:45  "That it rains on the just and unjust." I look at that scripture and I realize for the millionth time that there go I but for the GRACE of GOD. Its only the shed blood of Jesus and the fact that I have made Him my Lord and Savior. That I have said - "Jesus I believe that you were born of the Virgin Mary, that you lived, died on the cross and rose again for the forgiveness of my sins. That you are seated on the right hand of the Father and will come again. I ask you to come into my life - be not only my Savior but Lord of my life." In accordance to John 3:16 "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have ever lasting life." When you "believe in something" you try to live in accordance to that belief. If I tell you "I love you" but I don't act like it - are you going to believe me? I saw a saying the other day that made me nod my head in agreement. It was "Christians aren't perfect - just forgiven." The only difference between a believer and a non-believer is the "blood of Jesus."  I look at my friends who are not Christians and that is the only difference. We struggle with the same sins, have the same problems, breath the same air. The only difference is that I have acknowledged that the only way I can come to the Father is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Which covers me. I've made Jesus my Savior and Lord of my life. And while once I thought it was as easy as pie - that I had it made! I have matured in my walk with the Lord - have you? And I realize that as long as I have breathe in my body I will have things that I need to work on. Shouldn't the "prodigal" moments in our walks bring us closer to the Lord? Making Jesus "Lord of my life" is a DAILY thing. I'm 43 years old - I've only been a Christian since I was 21. That is still 22 years of not knowing Jesus that get in the "way" of my thinking some times. We "aren't perfect" and for those Christians who walk around like they are, well they're about ready for a "prodigal moment" in their own lives. Isn't it better to admit to yourselves where you are in Christ? Acknowledge what you need to work on - what weaknesses or struggles you have? Bring it before your Father (who by the way already knows) in prayer? And even - with someone who can be your prayer partner lift up those struggles with another brother or sister in Christ? "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayers of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:15-16). God did not call us to be "islands" the Bible tells us "we are many members but we are one in the body of Christ." (Romans 12:5). You'd be surprised at once you get over the shyness of sharing how good it makes you feel. How much "stronger" you become - and lastly how whatever you are going through - you're not alone. You'd be SURPRISED how many other people are going through (or have gone through) the SAME thing you're going through right now - and over come it. It's easy to separate yourself and put walls up around yourself. It makes you vulnerable though and sometimes there are certain things we just can't get through or make sense of on our own. Sometimes its really true that "two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their work, if one falls down his friend can help him up!" (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
And there is no shame in needing someone - no shame at all.