Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gotcha Day!

Today we celebrate that 21 years ago my brother Tyler came to be with my family!  It was a long and hard road, but God was amazingly faithful. So glad to have you as my brother, Tyler!!! Te iubesc.

If you haven't read the story about God's plan for our family coming together across the world, check out the book that my Mom wrote below.  I also have a few copies if you'd like to borrow one!

 Find "We Have a Baby for You" on Amazon!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Unseen Roads

A few months ago, I had the privilege of traveling to New England with a good friend to simply explore and look for little wonders in a new part of the country.  That we did. Explored & appreciated little wonders.  A few times though we were unsure of the circumstances around us.  Such a time happened to be on a night driving home from an outdoor movie in Vermont.

We were driving back and it was pitch black. Not almost pitch black, but SO black that we could only see about 10-15 feet in front of our car. We were driving slow but were in the middle of nowhere, so driving fast enough to ensure that no creepy mountain dwellers could latch themselves onto our car.  When we had driven farther than we thought we should, considering that we had potentially missed our turn, we decided to turn around.  

As we turned right, into the first road that was available to turn on, our lights shown straight into a cavern pass, which we could not see through. We both wide-eyed and thoroughly freaked out immediately decided to turn around QUICK so we could get out of there!!!  As we backed up and our lights hit a road sign on that corner, to our dismay found that that WAS the road we needed. It was our road. The one to take us home. (which at the time, we thought would literally take us our death!) We sat for a second, looking at the sign, confirming that we would have to drive through that black cavernous road, even without being able to see where it was going.

Currently, I'm reading a book on the life of Abraham.  The main subject is how the faith that he had brought him into such a close relationship with God that he was later referred to as "the friend of God." (James 2:23)  This is pretty impressive, considering there is no one like God, not even close! But to be considered the friend of God is pretty significant.  Now some may say yes, but Abraham was not always faithful, he did his own will many times, but don't we all? Aren't there situations in all of our lives where we selfishly choose our own path only to realize that we were wrong and yet God still loves us and was waiting for us to turn around?  

Abraham found himself in a very bad situation, where there were five kings on one side of a great battle and four kings on the other side.  The side that was defeated, took his nephew Lot and his whole family captive.  It was at this point, that God reminded Abram of His promise to him. So Abram took 318 trained men in his service, and went out to get his family back.  Those men, led by God himself, defeated the enemies and returned the conquered kingdoms to their homes, and brought the families back to peace.  When the kings wanted to reward Abram with riches for their freedom, Abram refused because he did not want any man to have the glory that only God deserved. He didn't want any king to be able to claim that it was him that made Abram rich or great. No, Abram only wanted God to have the glory.  This is a faithful servant. Following God into the dismal future, unknowing in fearful circumstances how God would provide, but only that He WOULD.  

Going back to that moment on the road, I remember slight fear,....okay let's be honest there was more than slight we drove into the pitch black darkness.  The road was winding, terribly steep and narrow with boulders and a lurking thick forrest.  What kept us going though, was that we knew without a doubt, that this particular road was the one to take us to our home, a safe place, somewhere we could rest and relax.  But in the meantime, it almost didn't seem worth the drive. I'd rather have just gone back into town and slept in my car than to drive that road. But we knew, we knew, we knew that if we just kept going, letting those 15 feet of lit road guide us, we would eventually make it to our destination.

This seems a lot like what God calls us to each and every day. There are circumstances where we can't see the future, we have no idea what lays ahead. All we know, is that God has called us into something and we really can't back away from it. We need to just face it and try it and trust in faith that the God who has called us to it will fulfill His promise to see it through.  In John 17, Jesus said "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one...." He isn't saying we will be separated from all scary things or tough situations or dark roads, what He is saying is that He desires us to be protected against the evil one. For us to fully rely on HIM during those times and He will deliver us, just as he did Abram, just as he did Noah, just as he did Moses, just as he did Gideon, and so on and so on.  He WILL!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Conviction through Prayer

Last night I was convicted of something.

After a full night of prayer, praying about unity, repentance, evangelism and revival, I had someone surprise me with their presence.  I was so joyed to see them, and something too hit me hard.  See, there's been a lot of undercover turbulence amongst us and people we have in common.  Unspoken strife.  Hidden hurts. Painstakingly pent up pain.

When I saw this person, there was joy and sadness, a pressure of unforgiving that swelled in my temple. Not even towards that person, but towards the situation yet somehow, unknowingly I knew then at that moment that I had built up some kind of impenetrable wall in which the pain I feel towards this situation clouded my view of the innocent in sight.

It's unfair to them.
It's unhealthy for me.
It's unpleasing to the Lord.

So my prayer this morning, is Lord, help me to forgive. Help me to let it go. Help me to glorify You by my life. I'm asking You Lord, to please take away the hurt, the anger I hold onto. Show me how to pray.  Lord, teach me Your Word so that I can see revival and unity in my own heart and in my own family.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Three Years ago

Well thanks to Tenth Ave North for assuring me that my tear ducts do in fact work fine. I was beginning to worry.  Tonight I found myself sitting alone in the stands hearing the words of the song “Worn” and just breaking inside. Three years ago, was the last time that my Mom breathed breath from this world.  Three years ago, my Mom met Jesus. And three years ago on Good Friday we said good bye.  I suspect that these memories might not be the worst that I’ll ever go through on this earth, but in my limited memory, it is by far the worst few days that I’ve had to go through.  One cannot imagine the despair we all felt when they told us my mom had a month left....or the devastation when that “month” turned out to only be five days....almost five days.  

The last real conversation I had with my Mom, she just just held me, and held me and held me. I wept. That was our conversation. We both watched out the window. I was laying beside her in the hospital bed, having just heard the last prognosis we would receive. We really didn’t talk much, just said how much we loved each other. I held her hand tight. I loved holding her hand. Even as an adult, driving to go get coffee, sometimes I would just reach over and grab her hand, squeeze it three times to tell her “I love you” and she’d smile and squeeze back once which meant “I love you too.” 

This was my Mom. Simple and sincere. A lady of love. Always composed & confident. I never feared for anything when my Mom was there. She was a God and in family. She had a discerning heart. Compelled by grace she lived her life with open arms and seeking eyes, finding those people who needed a mom, sister, friend, or mentor. She prayed...fervently. She laughed...all the time. She there was nothing to fear. She lived...thankful for every moment & opportunity. She was more than I could have asked for in a Mom. She was satin & steel. 

I miss her. So much. Somedays I wonder why God had to take her...she was SO wonderful, giving, gracious and loyal....why her? Why do we have to suffer the loss of such a dynamic person? How come her healing couldn’t happen here on earth but instead was brought about in Heaven? No one will have these answers, I don’t expect anyone to have them. But one answer I do that even in these darkest places, even when I’m so worn that I don’t think I can make it another moment, even when I feel like my prayer wasn’t heard, I’m reminded that God is faithful....faithful to hear my cry, faithful to hold my weakness, faithful to guide me through teary blurred eyes, faithful to calm my tumultuous insides, faithful to speak peace over my racing mind, faithful to restore the brokenness, faithful to bring redemption.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed....” Isaiah 54:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Thank you for standing with me & my family through the last three years. It continues to be a daily struggle.....please keep holding us up in prayer. The Lord knows we don't miss her any less today than three years ago. On one of her last nights home with us, we read the book "Love You Forever," and from there I'll leave this message, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living, my Mommy you'll be." 

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Eyes blink open.
Morning alrea.....ALARM!!!
Alarm off.
Phone on, screen bright.
Click through blinking eyes to morning devo.
Thank You for the day God.
maybe not the morning
Roll out and stumble.
The day begins.
HOME......and relax. 
or try
Waste time.
Remember to read devotional. 
or try
Start over.

If you’re anything like me.....this may resemble your day.  Every day is pretty much the same, give or take a few aberrant events now and then.  One thing is definitely consistent though, and that is my “lack of time for prayer”.  Now. I pray. I do. And it’s often throughout the day, while I’m in transit to this or that, but rarely....meaning.....pretty much I stop to listen when I pray. “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.” (Job 23:8-9) I’m being totally honest. When there are huge discrepancies in my thought process of how an event should go, there are times where I’ll try to converse with God.....tell Him how I feel, what I think the options are that He could choose to make happen, tell Him which of those I think would be best, and pause. Green light....GO. New thought process. And so the day goes on.

Yesterday, I was talking with co-workers about prayer. Since we just got done with a time of intentional prayer & fasting the topic has been on the forefront of my mind.  Anyway, we were chatting about prayer, and talking how it’s hard to find the time to pray, or even just thinking of it as an option when we do have the time.  Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:11)

I remembered a time in my senior year of college, where I had decided to get serious about prayer....and actually listening to what God would say back. So I set a date to start, and decided that I would pray for an hour every day until I graduated. I began. and each morning I would wake up, roll out of bed before the sun, read some chapters of the Bible, pray, write down things I wanted to pray about, and then sit for a while and listen. If anything else popped into my head (like a distraction) I’d write it down and tell myself to remember to think about it later because this time was for the Lord.  When I would finish, sometimes I’d go back to sleep for a few minutes before REALLY getting up, but for the nine or so months of my last year in college, I think I only missed a few days....which is probably some record for an initiative I’ve set for myself. But as I remember that time, I remember how God really did answer my prayers, more so than I had ever seen happen before. And it wasn’t always that He answered them in a way I thought he should but it seemed like even if He answered differently, at least I was aware that He did indeed answer. There were a few specific prayers that I prayed and didn’t share with those around me, which months later I got a call that answered almost all of them, in 300 seconds, even quoting exact phrases I had prayed, without ever knowing that was what I was praying! It blew my socks almost literally off. :) “‘Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

So I wonder, if I have those thoughts and memories of such a strong & life-giving experience with God, why wouldn’t I continue, or be able to just tell my will-power to just do this! Have you had any of these same experiences? What’s gotten you back on board? I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) 

Please share your thoughts & tips. I need them. And want to get serious again....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Giving Thanks #215

Getting a row of all green lights. Especially when you're in a time crunch.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Giving Thanks #212

Not knowing how it finishes.

Giving Thanks #211

A good segue in conversation, especially when it doesn't seem to make sense but your friends all stay tracking with you!