My Inspiration

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's a wrap

2010 is coming to a close and as I review the year I can honestly say it has been a bittersweet year. I lost a few people this year that caused me to stop in my tracks and take a time out to handle the weight of it all. I gained some people that have been a true blessing to my life and I've shed a few toxic people that were constantly dragging me down no matter what I did.

Overall it was a year filled with many life lessons, blessings, and promises of better things to come. I had a sabbatical that allowed me to work through some issues, reconcile myself to certain things that will always be my "thorn" as Paul so eloquently called his trial and purge my past from having control of my present and my future. My counseling is continuing to progress. I am doing well and things at home are going ok. My emotions aren’t running high and low like before. They are now on a even keel fluctuating ever so slightly depending on the events of the day but not out of control. I’ve pretty much stayed at a level place but am still struggling to find time in my busyness to write and release.

This was the first holiday season in several years that I haven’t stressed obsessively over money, the kids, and my family. I just accepted my limitations to do what I wanted for everyone and did what I could. In the end this turned into one of the best holidays we had because of it. It felt good to not have this great expectation hanging over my head but to look at things realistically and acknowledge that certain things weren’t going to happen. We enjoyed each other’s company, celebrating the birth of Christ and focusing in on giving not receiving. The kids were great and have enjoyed their time off from school but they are ready to go back now. I’m excited for the New Year and all the possibilities it holds. No resolutions this year but goals and dreams that are realistic and achievable. I didn’t go overboard and I’m not striving for perfection just forward progress.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And it came anyway

One of my favorite Christmas cartoons is How the Grinch Stole Christmas closely followed by The Little Drummer Boy. It wasn't until I was an adult that I came to realize that these were the only two cartoons of my generation that depicted the meaning of Christmas as something other than gifts and toys from Santa Claus. It quietly made its way into the Grinch through the following passage and quickly became overshadowed by all the hoopla over the stuff being returned but it was enough for me to pick up on. My favorite quote from the movie is:

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Guess what, it does... mean a whole lot more. In Luke 2:9-11 it is explained beautifully.

"And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

A Savior for all the people in the world. What a joyous blessing to behold. That is what Christmas is all about; not Frosty, Rudolf or Santa - not toys, electronics or clothes. It's much simpler than that but greater all the while. Life everlasting what joy to behold to know that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that the little babe born in a manger on Christmas is the Savior of the world and that is why we have celebrated Christmas.

Yes, Mr. Grinch Christmas means so much more than...things from a store. It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. It started in a manger surrounded by animals in the humblest of circumstances. The greatest gift of all a Savior was born and his name was Jesus Christ.

So while you are out hustling and bustling here, there and everywhere; picking up to put down, checking your list once, twice even three times to make sure you've included everyone and gotten everything thing take time to remember that Christmas will come anyway even if you haven't brought anything.

Merry Christmas everybody. May you remember the reason for the season this year and every year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I did it! Nanowrimo Winner

I did it, I did it! Imagine me doing the happy dance... I did it, I did it! I completed 50,000 words of my novel during the month of November. I actually had 58,000 words.

It was a very hard endeavor but I am glad that I stuck with it and got it started. I am no where near finished probably 1/3 of the way there but it is fully outlined and now I just need to fill in the blanks. I truly enjoyed it even on the days that I struggled to find the time and energy to write and especially when writer's block set in and I couldn't put a word on the blank page because my mind was as blank as the page. That was scary the first time it happened. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to write anymore but after two days the words started to come again and all was well.

I learned that sometimes you just have to let it go, walk away and try again another day and that it won't always flow the way you want. Some days I wanted to go left but the story went right and so I learned to go with the flow because that was when I got the best stuff.

I'm going to take a break from the book for a few weeks and then start back at my own pace. Who knows I might finish it next year this time as a Nanowrimo winner again.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

His Guiding Hand

I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me. Psalm 73:23-24 (MSG)

When two uncles and my dad died within six months of each other; when my child support ran dry; when life had me by the throat threatening to choke the life out of me, You were there holding my hand and waiting for me to acknowledge You as You led me out of the muck and mire but I lingered there for a while, basking in the moment. Yet you waited and finally when it threatened to swallow me whole and I cried out, you pulled me out, wiped me off and led me through the trial and into your glory.

Have you ever been bombarded by life's issues and felt lost and alone? That there was no one who understood how you felt or what was truly going on inside of you? I'm sure you have my friend and you are not alone. Not only have I but countless saints over the years have had moments of insecurity, hopelessness and feelings of loss and abandonment. The Word is filled with them, their stories and triumphs. There is hope; there is peace and comfort to be found.

The verses from today are the hope you need the next time you find yourself going through or perhaps stuck in the middle and you don't think you'll make it to shore.

Our heavenly Father wants you to know that He is there to guide you every step of the way if you but reach out your hand so that He may take it and walk you through. At times He may have to carry you but nevertheless, you are not alone in this journey. Won't you put your hand in His?

Dear God, it is my prayer that we seek you, the one who sticks closer than a brother during the dark and uncertain times in our life. Lord it is you who will bring us out on the other side replete with your blessings and for that we are grateful. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Psalm 32:8; Psalm 73:24; Isaiah 30:21; Proverbs 18:24; Matthew 7:7-8; Lamentations 3:41

Friday, November 12, 2010

Living Out Loud

I’m alone, scared, hurt, tired, hungry, and angry; I am frustrated and overwhelmed. My life is not what I thought it would be or how I wanted it to be.

Failure seemed to lurk around every corner. Shame became my name and despair my constant companion. Everything I touched withered and died and my soul rotted from the inside out with bitterness and unforgiveness.

Lord do you hear me? How I long to surrender my all to you. Please take away these dark thoughts and replace them with your light. May my parched lips have a taste of your living water so that my thirst will be forever quenched? May your love, mercy and grace abide in me? Father won’t you let you Son intercede on my behalf so that I may bask in the glory of You.

This nightmare has turned into a new beginning, one that will get better with each step I take that brings me closer to You as I bask in the safety and comfort of your arms; praising you all the days of my life. I'll call out to you dear Lord to save me from myself, the enemy and these thoughts that threaten to consume me daily.

I know that with you all things are possible. I can’t do this alone but I can do this with you by my side. No longer will I suffer in silence dear Lord but I will shout it to the rafters that I need you and want your help. Oh dear God in heaven you have looked down and smiled upon me and turned my ashes into beauty.

I will not hide my light under a bushel but be like a light on a hill shining bright for all to see their way out of the darkness too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas & Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

Hello all. It’s that time again… you know the time where you pull out all the family photos from all year long to see which one will go well on your Christmas card. And… when you can’t find just the right image you’ll head to the mall to have a picture taken.

Well once you’ve gotten the hard part out of the way head over to Shutterfly at and check out over 400+ different card designs, 20 new calendar designs and more styles, colors and choices any one person can make. I love their new designs for 2010 and have already picked out three cards our family just have to do this year to accommodate all their different styles and personalities. I really love Family Wall in Red, Pretty Poinsettia Print, the Classic Red Squares and We Heart You. Hmmm wonder which ones we’ll go for… you’ll just have to wait and see.

Happy Christmas Card Shopping made easy at!

Check out the links below to get started on the most fun you’ll have all holiday season as we prepare to eat, drink and be merry in 2010.

• Christmas cards to
• holiday cards to
• Christmas photo cards to
• wall calendars to

My Fabulous 5

By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

In my devotional today by Melissa Taylor of Proverbs 31 Ministries she talked about Christian friendship and it’s foundation. This prompted me to review my friendships and see if they are founded on Christ and as it turns out I too have 5 fabulous friends that have been there for me in Christian love and friendship.

A friendship grounded in Christ is made up of 5 qualities that make the friendship solid. When a relationship is grounded in Christ, a new level of intimacy is achieved. We know what we say to each other is in Christian love, so we can say just about anything without fear of judgment or abandonment.

1. Love – we love each other unfailingly, the way Christ loves us. A true friend loves you even when you are unlovable.

I have been blessed to have friends who came to me at different stages in my life. One has been there all my life. She’s my sister but over the years she has become my friend. Although we have times when we disagree on things the love of Christ and family brings us back to each other. Another has hung in there with me since high school and although our lives have taken us on two separate paths it has always brought us back full circle as we have reached out to each other for love, support and accountability in our lives and relationships. The last three ladies came to me during the worse period of my life and when I could not do for myself or those in my care they stepped up and did what needed to be done but most of all they just loved on me until I could get myself back to accepting Christ’s love for myself.

2. Encouragement – we intentionally try to build each other up. I want these ladies to know I believe in them.

I love to encourage them and be encouraged by them. It’s like having your own little cheering team as you go through the challenges of life. I know that if I need a little kick in the butt to get me jump started with a little love mixed in that all I need to do is call on them. I love to let them know what they mean to me and how they have encouraged me in my life. They in turn encourage me when I am down and feeling as if I’m not making a difference. Their sphere of influence has been monumental to me as I’ve gone through some very challenging times while we have been friends. The greatest joy has come from knowing that they are just a phone call away night or day and I will have all the encouragement I needed and then some.

3. Forgiveness – forgiveness requires a loving heart and a lot of nerve. The Lord does not keep a record of our sins, and neither should we. Everyone needs forgiveness at some point.

Oh how true these words are because a misspoken word, a forgotten date, task or request can easily cause unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment. So often in friendships the forgiveness factor is a big thing over very little things. It is so very essential to keep it Christ centered. It is hard to have a friendship when another is harboring unforgiveness against the other(s). The ability for us to say “I’m sorry” and be greeted with a hug is huge. The fact that we trust each other enough to say my feelings have been hurt or I didn’t like it when you said or did x, y, or z is a true testament of Christ working on the inside of each of us. So often we are self-absorbed and don’t often pay attention to our words and the affects they have on those around us but in this friendship I feel that we do and our forgiveness is quick and sincere.

4. Accountability – we love each other enough to be real before each other. This is HARD! To give accountability you need to be honest, bold, available, and authentic. To receive it, you need to be humble, open and approachable. Not everyone wants accountability, but we all need it. In our group, we ask for accountability in certain areas of our lives.

We don’t seem to have a problem with this. In fact we look to each other as barometers on our “walking with God scale”. Whether spoken of in the group or individually we have each held the other accountable in loving actions and words. It is very HARD to approach someone and say “Hey you, you’re messing up at _________, and I’m a little worried but that’s when the love of Christ through the Holy Spirit takes over and lets it be received with the love and care it was said in. I want to know if I’m doing wrong in all aspects of my life. I may not like what they say but I receive it and when the time is right adjust things accordingly but what is really cool is that it never has to be confrontational it usually comes out during a conversation and indirectly pricks our heart for thought and prayer later to have the trueness of the words spoken revealed to us. Depression, guilt, dependence on a substance and how we are treating ourselves, our families and our spouses are not off limits. I for one welcome the probing of “what’s going on?” “Something’s not right,” because before I can answer them I have to acknowledge what is taking place within myself or my life and sometimes that is the first glimpse that I’ve gone astray and before I’ve gone to far I can turn things back around.

5. Service – I don’t know what I would do without the service these ladies have provided me with at key times in my life; meals, housecleaning, taking care of kids, a listening ear. Their service is love in action.

This is the area that my friends excel in. Service to me and my family is no light task. I have the most and neediest children out of the bunch. These women have loved them like their own as they have bathed, fed, read and tucked them in. My house has been cleaned and laundry has been folded and put away while I sat helpless to assist. Their ears have been talked off, yelled into and had words flung that no one but a Christ centered friend can handle spoken at them. I can’t thank them enough for their listening ears, their selfless service and their acts of service over and above the call of friendship. They are true examples to me and I hope that one day I can be as great of a friend in service as they have been, are and will be for many more years (I hope!) to come.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Giving up and breaking down

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Six months ago I stopped having my quiet time with God. Prior to that I was up every morning at 5 or 5:30 spending 30 minutes to an hour reading, praying and pondering the things I had read. I kept a prayer journal of sorts and could track the effectiveness of my prayers but one day I allowed the enemy to whisper in my ear “Are you doing this because you want to or because you have to?” and that question was enough to make me stop and question my motives and fore go my quiet time to see if I had an answer.

It didn’t take long for me to continue to lie in the bed when my alarm went off to get an extra 30 minute to an hour of sleep and then when summer hit I would get up and go running through my neighborhood because it was light and I enjoyed the high that came from the exercise. I reasoned that I could take my lunch break and make it my quiet time but I didn’t have a specific time I went to lunch each day and I quickly forgot that idea. Occasionally I would remember the day’s devotional but first I’d have to go back and catch up on the days that had passed since the last time I read. I had left myself drift really far from that faithful servant who gave the first fruits of her day to her Lord and Savior and left home ready to tackle the world for my God and was quickly replaced by a burdened, burnt out, overwhelmed wreck who didn’t have the strength to tackle the day to day issues in my life much less the harder challenges that reared their heads during this time. I was lost and alone in the wilderness but too prideful to come before God, confess my sin, ask for forgiveness and rescue my quiet time with Him and the enemy reveled in this.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy…” John 10:10

Eventually it got so bad I had a break down because the enemy was wreaking havoc in my life and I was too weak to fight him off. I was close to throwing in the towel but God…

I couldn’t do it. I did as I was prompted and reached out for help. I called my doctor and counselor; I emailed my family and friends. I went to my husband and my mother telling them all that I was scared because I was ready to give up. I felt so lost that I couldn’t see a clear path to find my way back.

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:2-9

These past few weeks have been very difficult and I know I’m not out of the woods yet but I know that during this time when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable state my God will step up and carry me if he has to. He will hold me up until I am strong enough to stand on my own and He will surround me with people who can help lead me to the path He desires me to walk down.

“…, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Will I allow the enemy to talk me out of my relationship with God again? Prayerfully not! When I have questions about my faith and obedience I will take them to the Lord and together we will find an answer.

I learned that when I am weak and confused that I can turn to God for his strength. He is not the author of confusion but the giver of hope, life and light in a dark world.

Psalm 51; 1 Corinthian 14:33; Psalm 6:2-9; Psalm 91; Psalm 13;

The Word

Lord your Word speaks to me. It soothes my soul and makes me desire to be in your presence continually. You are a great God full of love, compassion, goodness, grace and mercy.

Thanks be to you for sacrificing you only begotten son to die for me! Me Lord! He died for me! A sinner, while I was still yet a sinner and continue to be to this day, He died for me!

I know that you have me in the palm of your hand and you are watching over me. You will not let one hair on my head fall without it being part of your plan. Thank you Lord for watching over me so diligently these 46 years; you have been protecting me from the enemy and myself.

Oh Lord, my God, I desire to be all that you want me to be. I want to walk out these last days according to your will and not my own. I want to live for you Lord, for to live for self brings the desire to serve self and deny you. I want to be here until you call me home as it is written in your book. So wash me, purge me with hyssop and make me clean and whole once again.

This is my desire in Jesus' name. Amen

Psalms 51; Exodus 33:14; Psalms 29:11, Deuteronomy 33:25; Hebrews 13:20-21

Heartaches Take Time

I have listened to this CD every night for the past two months as I fall asleep. I am trying to find my way back to Him. I am trying to make sense of it all. The songs and the spoken words on this CD are so awesome and inspiring that it is hard to remain stone cold as you listen to it over and over and over.

Here’s the description used on Amazon to describe the CD.

HEARTACHES TAKE TIMEFeaturing Mike Shiflett & Terry Sharpe Life can change in the blink of an eye. It is during these time of heartache and crisis, when our world falls apart, and when the nights are darker than they have ever been, that we can experience God’s love in a deeper, more intimate way. Sometimes when our hearts are hurting, God speaks to us when we cannot utter a word or prayer. It is during this time that He comes to us through friends, family and strangers who care. But what happens when these caring people go home, as they should, and we are once again alone? This CD was created to be placed in the hands of someone going through heartache or needing a special time of reassurance. It acts as a reminder that we are never alone. God walks right beside us through the darkest valleys until we can reach higher ground. Whether you are experiencing the loss of someone you love, a separation or divorce, an injury, illness or addition, loss of a job or home, or receive some shocking news, these events may leave you devastated. Mike Shiflett’s strong tenor voice, accompanied by Terry Sharpe’s soothing words of comfort and hope, assures the listener that someone is praying for them as they begin a new chapter of life, traveling down a different road…a road of faith, hope and joy!

My favorite spoken word on there is the title piece “Heartaches Take Time”. I took the time to write out the words.


By Mike Shiflett & Terry Sharpe

Heartaches do take time and it’s in these moments of brokenness we find ourselves hungering for healing. We’re desperately seeking meaning and direction from this pain which often leaves us feeling crushed and isolated.

I pray Gods mighty hand will offer you protection and the very angels of God will watch over you. He alone is the only one who fully understands where you are hurting; where you need healing and how to bring you hope. No one can fully recognize what you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Only you know the depth of your emotion. You own it. Your struggle right now is not to allow your heartache to own you. You have to walk into the valley, you’ve got to walk through it which means that you’re going to come out on the other side and God will be with you.

It takes healing, it takes hope and it takes time to know that you will be able to walk through it. And on days when you may feel that you can’t walk, know that it is then that God carries you. He will carry you until you have the wings to fly. When you see the dawning of a new day it is then His grace will surround you and you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that His wings of strength will protect you and his presence will be so close to you. It is then that you will be able to hear his whisper of assurance in your ear.

Often God sends godly people into our lives to give us direction and yes to walk down a different road. A road of strength, a road of hope, of new direction and a road of renewing who you are because God has created you to be uniquely you. He knows your name. He cares for you and He loves you.

I am trying to embrace those words. They are like salve on a wound but my heart and mind remain stubborn and try to blot out the feelings these words invoke. But I won’t be thwarted. I will continue to listen to this CD every night as I go to sleep and over time I know they will penetrate the dark recesses of my mind and I will know the truthfulness of it all and start the true healing and recovery process that only God can do in me.

If you know someone who is broken, hurting, lost or suffered from multiple losses this CD can soothe them and give them comfort while allowing His presence to do a mighty work on the inside of them. It’s work the cost to see the joy and peace come back into their lives.

He Will Carry You

Another song on the CD Heartaches Take Time by Mike Shiflett & Terry Sharpe that inspired me to want to do what I needed to do to get myself and my life together. Knowing that He would carry me until I could stand on my own, that He could handle any problem that I had and would see me over the highest mountain and through the lowest valley gave me the extra strength needed to move forward.

This CD has brought me so much peace and understanding. It is full of the truth of God's goodness and mercy during difficult times in our life. If you have the chance to get it and add it to your collection you will definitely be blessed. It has caused me to search deep within and release a lot of hurts and fears over the past couple of months and I just have to share it.

He will carry you
By Mike Shiflett & Terry Sharpe

There is no problem too big God cannot solve it.
There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it.

There is no storm too dark God cannot calm it.
There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it.

If he carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my brother that He will carry you.
If He carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my sister that He will carry you.
He said come unto me all who are weary and I will give you rest.

There is no problem too big God cannot solve it.
There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it.

There is no storm too dark God cannot calm it.
There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it.

If he carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my brother that He will carry you.
If He carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my sister that He will carry you.

If he carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my brother that He will carry you.
If He carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders I know my sister that He will carry you.

He will carry you. He will carry you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Writers' Retreat

The Lake House Writers' Retreat at Chesapeake Bay, VA

Nothing prepared me for the beauty, the peace and the tranquility found in this little slice of heaven right here on Earth. I had the pleasure of spending a weekend at this retreat and it was absolutely one of the best places I've stayed on the East Coast in a very long time.

Pictures do not do justice in showing the peace and tranquility that is found there. I spent hours staring out and being inspired as the lake moved slowly and deliberately down it's chartered course.

To see the two men in the boat fishing was a joy. Although they didn't catch anything just watching them fellowship with each other brought joy and tears to my eyes. I could imagine my brother and father out there although, my father passed in June.

There is not a bad view in the whole house. I truly enjoyed the dining area and The Skipper Room which is where I had my quiet time with God and just felt His presence in that soothing and calming room.

It is truly a "retreat". One I will return to visit time and time again because I know what I found there is not something that can be found everywhere - a chance to be at one with God and to relish and partake of His beauty and bounteous blessings through nature while allowing my creative juices to flow unimpeded by the outside world.

To book your week or weekend at this magnificent place contact Charlyne Meinhard, Retreat Owner.

We the people...

I’ve tried to stay out of the political fray these past 22 months and just let things be but this letter and the things that have been happening lately make it impossible to stay silent.

I am ashamed to be an American right now; ashamed of my fellow countrymen and the beliefs that make up the Constitution. The Constitution was a living, breathing moral compass written up by our forefathers to help establish . They had the mindset that as times changed the Constitution would change to keep up with the times. Instead we have taken that piece of paper and made it our Holy Grail and it’s truly a mockery of the times in which we live. Life in 1776 was nothing compared to life here in 2010 and most of the issues addressed are no longer realistic or relevant to our lifestyles. Depicting our president with his foot on the Constitution is a cruel joke as is how we go around mocking him in print, prose and theatrics. We should be applauding that fact that he is trying to make a change in this country from the archaic way we have been running our government since its inception.

I am in total agreement with, the Canadian journalist, William Thomas’ column from October 1 and take it a step further by saying if I were in Europe, Asia, South Africa, or South America I would look at the people with pity. We look like two opposing teams playing tug of war but instead of a flag in the middle you have the lives of the American people hanging in the balance and all you care about is who’s got the most votes in the house or the senate. I dare say we look like fools and make great fodder for their presses on our stupid antics.

If we spent as much time working on fixing the state of the economy as we spend debating who’s at fault for it, we might be further along in this recovery process. As a middle class citizen I struggle with all of this asinine petty bickering and am ready to fire all your asses and start from scratch. The Tea Party, which would now be considered the independent party, has gotten a strong hold now and so it is a three ring circus; such a pity and what a waste.

To liken the president to the anti-Christ or accuse him of being a Muslim is egregious on our part. We are slandering our own leader. set the tone for racial intolerance with the overthrowing of apartheid. We applauded and supported President Nelson Mandela when he took office. The people of did not do to Mandela what we have done to President Obama.

President Obama has reached out across all lines – party, political, racial and sexual and tried to include everyone in the process of rebuilding our country. We as a people have cloistered ourselves into those parties and turned our back on the hand that is trying to help us out not put us down. He’s reaching out a hand to help and we’re smacking it way. Well keep smacking it down and when the ship sinks and all the life jackets are gone you’ll find out just who is on your side. We are not invincible. We are not acting like world leaders; we are children squabbling in the sand box or boys in a pissing contest to see who can piss the greatest distance. All jokes aside, we need to let him do is job for the next two years with our support no matter what. All differences aside it’s time to pick ourselves up, dust off our clothes, shake hands and play nice. After all, he is our President and “We the people” put him in that position.

You should be hanging your head in shame but you are too proud, too arrogant and too stupid to see that the whole world is laughing at you and waiting and betting on when you will implode. You no longer represent the strongest nation in the world. You no longer set an example of freedom and democracy you are now hypocrites and what’s sad is you don’t even know it.

God bless America don't turn your back on us as we have certainly turned our back on you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dis-Obedience, Un-forgiveness, Busy-ness

There are several things ruminating in my mind that I have struggled with so I just decided to put them out here just to get them out of there.
Disobedience, unforgiveness and busyness can weaken our relationship with God. I am a personal witness to this. As I've struggled with this off and on my entire life but especially in the past year or so. The busier I become the less time I have to spend with Him or in His Word. That allows disobedience to rear it's ugly head and then unforgiveness jumps on the wagon and I am so weighted down that I'm stuck and that is certainly where the enemy wants me to be. But being stuck doesn't have to last if I but come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit He will forgive me, and in my weakness strengthen me so that I can be used by Him so that He may get the glory as others see the changes in my life.

Disobedience provokes the following in God:

Anger - Psalm 78:10, 40 (NIV) "they did not keep God's covenant and refused to live by his law. " 40 "How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wasteland!"

Forfeits His favor - 1 Samuel 13:14 "But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command." (Saul's fall from grace)

Deprived of His Promised blessings - Jeremiah 18:10 "...and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it."

Brings a Curse - Deuteronomy 11:27-28 "the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known."

The Word gives up strict instruction on forgiveness - Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Luke 6:35-38;42 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ... How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Luke 7:47-48 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

Busyness was also an issue that the Lord had and He rebuked people because of it.

Luke 10:38-42 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and HEARD HIS WORD. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him and said, LORD, doest thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Psalm 39:6 NLT "All our busy rushing ends in nothing."

Ecclesiastes 5:3 NLT "Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "

So, in other words, obedience, forgiveness and time spent daily with Him will strengthen and deepen our relationship with Him. And that is one of His greatest desires, to have an intimate relationship with us.

A novel is born

I'm about to embark on a journey like never before. I am starting to write a novel. I am clueless on what I'm doing or how it's going to turn out but I'm willing to give it a try. November is National Novel Writing Month ( It's where you sign up and agree to write 50,000 words in the month of November which is approximately 1,667 words a day. I have been challenged by several people to start writing a book since I am currently hosting 2 blogs and a forum.

I also figured since I was doing all this writing any way I might as well make it count for something. Besides CC has said that I write marvelously well and I should have written several books by now but maybe she'll settle for this one first and we'll see what comes next. Wish me well and keep me lifted in prayer that this will all work out for the good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hallow what?

In a couple of days, all across America, there will be ghosts, goblins, princesses, fairies and all sorts of other scary creatures knocking on doors while the parents stand around talking about how much fun this is - NOT. As you open your door you will be greeted with the words 'trick or treat' and a bag, pillowcase, plastic pumpkin or even a shy little hand will be thrust at you for whatever goodies you are passing out. Some will be funny, some will be crying because they are just as scared of all the other costumes and people as they are of the stranger answering the door. While others will be serious and give you grief if you think that you can get away with giving them only one piece of candy.
And of course let us not forget the older kids with their tricks of egging houses and cars, stealing the little kids’ bags and other dastardly deeds all while at home the adults will be donning their costumes to head to Halloween parties all over the place. I think the adults enjoy this holiday much more than the children because it gives them a chance to cut loose, in costume - anonymous, drink too much and make absolute jerks of themselves all in the name of fun.

Me personally, I hate the holiday and don't participate. My kids will wind up at a Fall Festival activity of some sort adorned in last minute costumes thrown together out of their dress up box and my makeup kit. They will get lots of candy that I will promptly take away and feed to my co-workers shamelessly for about a week. And the next morning life will go on as usual.
Isn’t life grand…

On a Sabbatical

Have you missed me as much as I've missed popping over here blogging? Have you wondered where I was and what was going on with the site? Or were you glad that I had stopped giving you my take on life?

Sorry to have dropped off the face of the earth like that but things got a little hairy for a while and I had to take a break and deal with them.

In fact, I am still dealing with them but I wanted to pop over here and let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. All is not lost.

My sabbatical will continue for a few more weeks but I will be posting here at least once a week during that time and look to be back up to speed by the Thanksgiving Holiday. Can you believe we are almost there right now?

Nevertheless, we will soon be back in the groove again. Until then I'll leave you once again but with a post about the upcoming pagan holiday Halloween.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Perfectionsm, cool give away and some inisght

per·fec·tion·ism - noun: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable especially : the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc. Cite This Source

Rachel Olsen wrote about perfectionism and how it affects us on her blog and as part of the daily devotionals from Proverbs 31. She's giving away a Kindle 3 ebook reader for those interested in owning this totally awesome gadget in several different ways so pop over to her site and make sure you enter for a chance to win.

In the meantime, I too will be discussing my issues with perfectionism in hopes that what I learn from her this week I will be able to apply to my life which is anything but perfect right now on any front.

I was born with a perfectionist attitude. Perfection is my life's goal. I always felt that if I was perfect then everything in my world would be alright. I would have my mother's love, my parents would stay together, I would find someone that loved me for me and not what I could give them, etc. As I grew older it spilled over into my life with kids. If I was the most perfect mom in the world then I would have the best kids in the world.

At my job hearing good job isn't good enough. I don't take time to let those words seek in because I've already moved forward in my mind on how I could have made it better and what I will do next time. I see flaws everywhere I go and especially every time I look in the mirror.

No one is safe from me and my self-critical thinking in the pursuit of perfectionism and it's a sad, lonely, depressing way to live. Which is why I think I've spent the majority of my life wishing I was dead because I just knew I would never measure up to the idea of perfectionism I was born with. It is a daily struggle, sometimes hourly and even minute by minute depending on how far over the edge I've leaned.

Right now I'm in one of those places where I've leaned over so far that the slightest breeze might send me off the edge. I'm trying to seek help but you know what an ordeal that is in admitting that you can't cope or handle the issues and of course that is so far from perfectionism it's not funny. The issue really boils down to can I let go of my preconceived notions of perfectionism and the world's expectations of me and embrace the truth in the scripture reference or do I just give up and let go of the edge.

Friday, August 20, 2010

He Answered

I posed the question earlier this week "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" and today my devotional answered that question explicitly. Directly to me for my purpose. I found myself re-reading it and shaking my head thinking "Wow, He really does know us and our needs." Today was just another confirmation that no matter what I think, feel or imagine in my small mind about myself and all the things I have done, thought or felt in my life there is one who looks beyond my faults, straight to my heart and knows the desires therein to be pleasing to Him, to serve Him and to be all that He desires me to be although I fall short time and time again. What a blessing these words were to me today and will be for many more to come.

I couldn't do justice in trying to tell you what the devotional said so I'm posting it here. No credit comes to me if it touches you as profoundly as it has touched me but to Sarah Young for her obedience in writing this wonderful book of devotionals (Jesus Calling) that continues to inspire and affirm God's love and desire for a deeper, more personal relationship with every single one of us.

Be blessed.

August 20

I Am A God Who Heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships. My very Presence has immense healing powers. You cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing. However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not. You receive the healing that flows naturally from My Presence, whether you seek it or not. But there is more-much more-available to those who ask.

The first step in receiving healing is to live ever so close to Me. The benefits of this practice are too numerous to list. As you grow more and more intimate with Me, I reveal My will to you more directly. When the time is right, I prompt you to ask for healing of some brokenness in you or in another person. The healing may be instantaneous, or it may be a process. That is up to Me. Your part is to trust Me fully and to thank Me for the restoration that has begun.

I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person's life. Even My servant Paul was told, "My grace is sufficient for you," when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh. Nonetheless, much healing is available to those whose lives are intimately interwoven with Mine. Ask, and you will receive.

Psalm 103:3; James 4:2 (KJV); 2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Matthew 7:7

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

This song has been sung by many people over the years but in my opinion Al Green's version was the best. These words sum up how I'm feeling today as I navigate through a very difficult situation in the life of someone I care for very deeply.

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

I am a fixer of broken things or at least that's what I try to be. I feel like that's what I do best - fix things, people, situations. It stems from being broken myself, being told that it (me & my life) was too broken to be fixed and not being able to fix myself.

My husband says I try to save the world but I don't think I'm that bad. I know I have limitations although I admit I don't always realize that I've stretched myself beyond them sometimes.

As a mom, I have spent so many days, weeks and years fixing my kids - bumps, bruises and scrapes; their stuff - broken bikes, trucks, trains and video games; and the messes - forgotten schoolwork, dented fenders, fights with friends. As they grew up, left home and ventured into the big bad world I've rushed to their side and helped put them and their lives back together again one piece at a time, one step at a time, one prayer at a time and for the most part it has been a successful partnership. But now they are at the age and point in their lives where they don't always want my help and when they do it's only for certain things but not others.

Lately, I keep finding myself in situations where as much as I would like to I can't fix the situation, the person or the things; they are greater than anything I, a mere human being with so many faults of my own, can do anything about. Nothing tears me up inside more than to see my children hurting and suffering because of choices that they have made and continue to make that create messes in their lives of monumental proportions that could have been avoided if only they had listened or allowed us to help. It is because of this my heart is broken. I feel stuck, useless and unable to move on; like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and its beating me down.

It's even more exasperating because I know that God can fix it, but without the permission of the parties involved he can't and he won't.

I know that at some point in our lives as parents we are to let our children go and let God but what mother can truly let go of her child. It is inherent in us to nurture, to love, to support and in my case to fix. But until they decide that they want my help to fix it or God finally figures out a way to help me accept that I can't always fix it, I have to step back and pray. Pray for safety, pray for guidance, pray for deliverance and pray for peace and healing of my heart that is broken as I watch my children teeter and totter on the brink of destruction as they gravitate toward the enticing yet harmful things this world is offering them.

Oh how I long for the days when they were two and three and I could grab them before they fell, steady them and set them back on the straight and narrow path out of harms way and into my outstretched arms waiting to love them and keep them safe.

It makes me ponder the depth of heartbreak our Father in heaven must feel as he sits high and looks low over us, watching as we boldly and brashly step out there making wrong choices and decisions daily breaking his heart and rejecting his offers to fix it.

Let the count down begin

In 3 weeks my kids will be back in school! In 21 days they will be back in school. That is 504 hours or 30,240 minutes and if you really want to get technical in 1,814,400 seconds I will put the last child on the bus for school. Whew! Can ya'll see me doing the happy dance while tears are streaming down my face?! All of my kids will be in school. No more babies at home. Freedom!!! It's been a long time coming but it's just around the corner and I can hardly contain my excitement.

Now before you all burst into applause or start hating me because my home is finally empty during the day let's put this in perspective. There is a downside to all of this but I had to put the upside out there first.

I will have 4 kids in one school. You do the math when it comes to the first few days of paperwork times 4. And can I tell you what a nightmare that will be for back to school night, parent teacher conferences and a whole assortment of school activities? They will be in kindergarten, 1, 2 and 5th grade and each one is a milestone in itself so you can't discount one or the other. The really funny thing is that I have had a kid in this elementary school for 14 years. I've seen the staff come and go with the exception of the administrative assistant who has been there since the school was built and outlasted 4 different principals. I know the routine better than they do and we've become fixtures there. They know us and usually by the end of the school year they know our kids.

So over the next 3 weeks I will be packing backpacks, sorting through clothes, getting them back on their school schedule for getting up and going to bed and revving up the review of school work from last year so that they can hit the ground running and I can walk out the door smiling.

I thrive in a world of organization and order and I don't have to tell you that the summertime is anything but that. So yes, I'm happy that the time is winding down and life will soon get back to "normal" for us but I am saddened because my baby is heading off to school and thus closes another chapter in the book but also optimistic about this new phase our life is about to take because I know He has more good things in store for us as we continue to walk out this journey.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She Speaks! A Recap

It's hard to believe that almost two weeks ago I was sitting in the lobby of the Embassy Suites hotel feeling like I had made the most horrific mistake of my life. At first it was fun watching everyone come and go but by the opening session I was deep in the throes of a panic attack in my mind of major proportion and my stomach was in knots. As I watched women of all sizes, shapes and colors flow back and forth through the lobby looking confident, secure and so well put together, even in their travel gear, I found myself comparing myself to them and feeling ever so inadequate. They exuded peace, joy, spirituality and confidence that I was not feeling. Had I not been dropped off by my husband and daughter I dare to think I would have hopped in the car and raced back to Richmond and the security of my own little world. After all, who in the world did I think I was or what right did I have to be there attending that conference. I just didn't feel like I belonged.

In the midst of this tangent going on in my head I had to change from my travel clothes to my conference clothes but I didn't have a room so I headed to the lobby restroom, squeezed into a stall and proceeded to change. It was tight, it was frustrating and I was already feeling so emotional that I thought this was going to do me in. As I stepped out of the stall I realized I was not alone. Out of the stall 3 doors down stepped an angel. My first smiling, friendly face and when she spoke to me my heart leaped. We chatted as we put on makeup and soon became fast buddies. Tammy Nischan was my first conference friend. I was thrilled. We parted and headed to our first session with a promise to hook up there and we did. She had to duck out early for a meeting with a publisher but she sure did help me settle my first round of nerves. We bumped into each other several times over the conference, had our picture taken together and promised to stay in touch and we will. I now have a friend in Kentucky and one of these days when that travel bugs hits me I'll hit the road and look her up. In the meantime thanks to modern technology we'll stay connected via our blogs, facebook and such.

After our first session we had a couple of hours to kill until time for the opening general session and so again I sat in the lobby waiting for the arrival of my roommate and a room to be assigned to us. We were late getting to the opening session as they had finally found a room for us at 3:55 and we took our stuff to the room before going. In the dark we found a seat at the front of the room next to the screens and the speakers. Up close and personal you could call it. Lysa Terkeurst gave the most awesome opening speech, the music was just right and the spirit was high in the room. I was overcome with emotion and feeling very lost and alone as the lights came up and I looked out over this sea of amazing women and thought wow, how awesome is this and in the same breath it was replaced with what are you doing here?

So here I am sitting at a table all alone, caught up in the spirit emotionally and Satan whispering to me when up comes Susanne Scheppmann and she speaks! to me! I tried to speak but all I could do was cry. The dam broke, the tears flowed, she hugged me while I gathered my wits about me and then we talked. She assured me that many of the women there probably felt the same way I did and that over the next two days I would be fine. She gave me her cell phone number and told me to call her if I needed further encouragement or just needed to talk, hugged me and sat down one table over. I had to pinch myself because I couldn't believe that she came up and talked to little ole me, held me while I sobbed into her shoulder and encouraged me in my moment of weakness. It was in that moment I knew I had stepped into something so much greater than I had ever imagined. True unconditional Christ like love in the flesh. These Proverbs 31 women were the real deal. I was flying high.

By that time my table started to fill up and I met 5 very nice ladies and we had a lovely dinner while talking about our families and lives and how excited we were to be at the conference. All of us were first timers except one. She was there for her second go round and just as excited as her first time. As the meal wound down and it was time to go our separate ways I got a little nervous about the speakers group. What would the group be like? Who would be in there? How would the three minute talk go? (I felt ill prepared even though it was my story) And last but not least, how I would measure up against them? I knew we were not supposed to be in competition but using the three minute exercise to break the ice to get us prepared for our five minute presentation but the flesh is weak and it was hard in such an emotional state to put it aside.

But ya'll can I tell you that God is so good and merciful. By the time we were done with our talks I knew that He hand picked everyone of those women for our group for reasons only He knows and the blessings from the introduction was upon us all. We came in strangers and left sisters with a deeper understanding of how God uses us in our weakness to get the glory and the honor. I felt like I could have stayed there and talked all night even though I was tired from a very long and emotional day. I couldn't wait for Saturday evening and our five minute speeches. I just knew that if they were half as powerful as Friday's we were in for a treat.

Saturday's sessions flowed like a well oiled engine. I met more spirit filled women, learned so much about speaking do's and don'ts but mostly just basked in the glory of God. I skipped two sessions to work on my speech and felt that I was ready no matter what but the funny thing is I didn't say a third of what I had rehearsed. The spirit rose up in me and that was the end of that. The words that came out of my mouth were his and his alone. I was just the vessel he chose at that moment to say what he wanted to say.
I was amazed at the breathe of experience in the room and how we had all blossomed into beautiful roses overnight. Everyone did a fantastic job and although our styles were different, our presentations and visual aids varied it was all just as he orchestrated it to be. Our dinner was fabulous. In fact, the food for the entire weekend was very good. But what was truly amazing were all the wonderful speakers they had lined up for us. We had Renee Swope, Lysa Terkeurst, Angela Thomas, Beth Moore and Karen Ehman for our general sessions and for the break outs I had the pleasure of hearing from Micca Campbell, Whitney Capp, Mary Beth Whalen and Rachel Olsen.

I had so much love, wisdom and knowledge poured into me those two days I could scarcely take it in. We closed out with a worship service on Sunday morning that began with a message from Beth Moore and ended with Karen Ehman. Our hearts were full. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. My evaluation group sat together one last time, we took pictures and exchanged our information. Zoe Elmore, our evaluator, offered us a guest spot on her blog over the next couple of months and I am thrilled and in awe of her request.

I look forward to continuing what God has started through the connections with these awesome women. I'm already gearing up for next year's conference and continuing this journey into this calling bigger, better and bolder than before. Although this conference was called She Speaks! HE SPOKE! and I was blessed to be on the receiving end of his words!

Family Reunion 2010

Thurman Oliver Person and Thurman Oliver Person, Sr.

My grandmother Mary Person.

From back to front we have Thurman Person, James Person, Annie Person, Mary Person, Bobby Person, Mary Louise Person, Shirley Person, David Fowlkes, Michael Person and Yvonne Fowlkes.

This weekend we had our family reunion in Crewe, Virginia. This is where Thurman Oliver and Mary Person put down their roots and raised their family. It is where I grew up when we moved from New York to Virginia. And this is where the majority of the siblings make their home today.

We had a great time. There was good food, lots of fun and fellowship. We saw daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, cousins one, twice, three times removed that we hadn't seen in a long time. We had a video camera set up for everyone to leave a message or tell a favorite story to be shared at the next reunion. We had the family tree and a short lesson about where we came from. We ate and then had a family meeting complete with a testimonial period where we got to give thanks and praise to God who is the head of our family. We had a time of remembrance for those that have gone on ahead of us but are never forgotten. This was bittersweet as we have had a few links in the chain broken over the last 9 months and the pain is still fresh.

The kids ran around playing, singing, dancing and acting like kids do. And all too soon it was over. Time to put away the food, pack up the decorations and clean up. Addresses were exchanged and hugs and love abounded. Everyone left on a high note and plates of Aunt Marion's homemade cake for a late night dessert. As we got in our cars to go our separate ways a few of us were already planning what we would do next year and thinking about those that couldn't make it this year and praying that they will be there next year.

Despite being tired, my spirit was full. I felt blessed to be a part of this great family that still carries on the legacy of my grandfather. We are a family that prays together and it is through that prayer that we have stayed the course over the years. We love, we fuss, we fight, we have our disagreements as most every family does but in the end when it's all said and done we are there for one another and that's what it's all about. So I am grateful to my grandfather who ruled with an iron fist and a love of God that rivals no other I've experienced in my life. We grew up reverent and fearful and because of that we have been blessed and it is my prayer that the legacy of love for God, family and friends will continue to carry on for the future generations of the Person family. A family that prays together stays together.

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for[a] you serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:17-24 (NKJV)

Monday, August 9, 2010


The definition is of change is: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; to transform or convert.

I feel several different ways about change. They contradict each other but they are true nonetheless.

Change is good. It brings about lots of new opportunities; exciting adventures, growth and/or transformation into something greater than what you are.

I embrace change and look for it every where I go. As a type A personality change is paramount in my life because I’m always looking for ways to go from good, to better, to best in my quest for perfectionism.

On the other hand, change is hard, it’s scary and I run from it. Life is just fine the way it is so why do things have to change?

Change leaves me feeling lost, discombobulated and totally out of control. I know control is a perception and not a reality but change shatters that perception and I don’t like that.

My life has been fraught with change for the past 9 years. Some good, some bad, some necessary and some too painful to put into words, but change nonetheless.

I can’t say that I want things to go back the way they were but sometimes I long for things to slow down and stay the same just so I can catch my breath. Right now I feel as if my world is spinning out of control at the speed of sound and if it doesn’t stop soon and let me off I’m going to lose my cookies.

The past six weeks have been surreal. I woke up one day, went to work, got a call to come to the hospital and nothing has been the same since then. For 6 days we kept a bedside vigil for the shell of a man that would never have the opportunity to speak to us and impart his wisdom again. We disconnected life support and 20 minutes later my dad died. Not only did he die but a piece of each of us went with him. The most frustrating part of this is that we don’t know why and might never have an answer. We had a week to prepare for the funeral and there was a lot to be done including living our lives which most of us did on automatic pilot. Four weeks ago we put his body to rest in the family cemetery, had a repast at the church and friends and family went home, back to their lives and we were left to do the same except we can’t because life as we knew it doesn’t exist any longer.

Change had landed on my doorstep once again; uninvited, unwelcome and so very unfairly.

Yet I know that this change is meant to stretch me and take me to the next level. Greater dependence and trust in God. Instead of calling my dad each morning I will have to call on God. When I have something weighing heavy on me I can’t call the farm and get the voice of wisdom on all things in the earthly realm I’ll have to retreat to my quiet place and lay it all at the Master’s feet and allow him to minister to my soul, my ear gates and my eye gates. When I need comfort and solace or a swift kick in the rear to get me off my pity pot I’ll have to turn to God who will provide the necessary remedy and just when I think I can’t take anymore He will lift me up and carry me through until I am strong enough to stand again on my own just as He has done time and time again. I know these things, I trust these things but I still resist the changes that take place in my life that bring me back full circle into the arms of the one who is never changing and thankfully so.

Eleven days ago I experienced another change. A life affirming change that has been three years in the making. I attended the She Speaks! Conference in North Carolina hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was a wonderful event. 600 women for all across the United States and Canada together for 2 full days of fellowship, teaching, training and change. I went from wondering to confirmation, from feeling out of place to feeling like I finally belonged. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotions that can only come from the Holy Spirit ministering to your soul and I felt release, healing and awakening. It was revealing and refreshing. I was renewed and inspired. It was a blessed time. I made new friends and reconnected with old ones and look forward to seeing how they will grow from here. The changes that took place this time around were the kind that challenge you to grow, to become, to do something a little different from what you normally would. It's the kind of change that beckons at you emotionally and spiritually. It's a call to change your life and live it to your God given potential.

It made me think about something I read by John Maxwell in his book "Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work."

Thinking for a Change

1. Changing your thinking, changes your beliefs.

2. Changing your beliefs, changes your expectations.

3. Changing your expectations, changes your attitude

4. Changing your attitude, changes your behaviour.

5. When I change my behavior, I change my performance.

6. When I change my performance, I change my LIFE!

This is the kind of change I like. It's full of hope, it's full of promise but it is also dependent on me. So if nothing changes, nothing changes and the fault therein lies with me.

I don't like change, I like things to stay the same and I'm glad that my Heavenly Father is the unchangeable thing in my life.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (NLT)

I like knowing that no matter what I do or don't do that I have his unconditional love as a constant but when/if I do step out and make a change that puts me in tune to what He desires for my life I like knowing that there is a whole other world awaiting me. I can only imagine what blessings, adventures, and experiences that he desires for my life to have when I change my thinking, my beliefs, my expectations, my attitude, my behavior and my performance from my way to His way.

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NLT)