Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Miscellaneous things....

Misc. #1:

This happens to me quite regularly. I'm driving to or from work and so want to kick myself for not having my camera with me. It's usually a beautiful sunrise just screaming to have it's picture taken or like last night, the sunset was something not to be missed. Lucky for me, last night I was only a few miles from home. I called my daughter and asked her to grab my camera and meet me outside (they are so used to this -- don't even roll their eyes at me anymore!). Here are my favorites of the ones I quickly snapped.

I have a strange obsession with black and white, but threw the color one in since I like that one pretty well too. I love the twinkle of the sun.....it's not the typical sunset that has most people ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing that I like. It's the ones that are different and if you don't stop and look you will miss the beauty behind it. That's my kind of sunset.

Misc. #2:

I have attached a link below to one of my most favorite blogs in the world. Out of huge heartache, this blog was born. Out of huge love for Christ, this blog is written. Out of a very smart lady, this post was created. Check it out.....It is sooooo worth the read. Makes me want to see what my canvas is looking like these days.

Misc. #3:

Last Monday night I attended a seminar called "For the Birds" presented by Teri Frana from my church. She is quite a lady and it was so worth the evening. Teri created and runs "There Is More Ministries" right here in Des Moines. Talk about a lady who has taken a HUGE leap of faith and searched her heart for God's direction! Anyway, I know she is looking to expand this seminar to share with more churches and groups so if you ever need a good presenter with fantastic Christ-based material, she is the lady you need to contact. Below is a link to her blog, which takes you to her website, through which you can contact her. I'm an owl with dove tendencies.....which means I'm an anal freak who loves to make peace. OK....OK....those are NOT the official descriptions....just my take on ME. :0)

That's it for my randomness today.

JC is my BFF....!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I don't care what you say, but.....




He does and He did. Not when I wanted Him to and not when I really thought He should, but right on time. His time.

Mark made it home Saturday night, by the way. All in one piece, too. Super tired but home and ok. WHEW.

It was a long weekend for me. I slept and avoided and then realized I needed to CHANGE my typical way of dealing with things. Instead of turning and running away, I stayed and faced my fear. And you know what? Mark stayed too. That is one way God showed up. Just having someone in my life who does NOT do things like everyone else has proved to me that God really does know what He is doing....with my heart and with this relationship.

This morning I received an email from someone I consider a good friend. I won't say his name because I'm not sure how comfortable he will be with me sharing but he wrote something that was brilliant. My friend and I went through Christ Life Solutions together. He read my blog and wanted to tell me he liked it and then said something I absolutely love and need to share. Forgive me, friend, but God showed up in your email today, too, and I really think He wants it to be shared.

Here is what he wrote:

"My car was parked outside and the windshield had frost on it; I knew that if I backed it up just a few feet, that the sun would penetrate and melt the frost quickly. I thought if only the other SON could penetrate my heart that quick and take away the hard shell that has grown around my heart to protect it from getting hurt again."

I love it and he is sooooo right! If ONLY the SON could penetrate our hearts and melt the frost! And you know what??? HE CAN and HE DOES. Our job is to just back the car up. That's the act of faith God needs from us to melt the frost. He can do it....faster than the blink of an eye, but He desires us to bring it to Him first.

So put the car in reverse, friend. You only need to back it up a few small feet and He will meet you right there in the SONlight.

Gotta go.....need to back my car up! :0)

"For I have chosen you and I will NOT throw you away." ~ Isaiah 41:9

JC is my BFF....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

God's grip....

This is my 100th post since I started this blog last summer. Huh. Just thought I'd share that. Hope it ends up being worth the read.

I'm a grump today. I'm tired....although I should not be. I seriously slept nearly 12 hours last night....on and off up for brief moments (texting Mark, letting the dog out, etc.) but I was in my bed for 12 hours. I got up for an hour or so and then went back to bed again....for another couple of hours. I should NOT be tired.

But I am.

Sleep for me is a great way to avoid. Avoid the world. Avoid worry.

Until just now, I had truly no honest clue what I was avoiding. I'm avoiding facing the truth about why I have a need to worry today, that's for sure. It's silly, really, but....it is what it is.

You see....Mark is on his way back from Kansas City. In the snow. A pretty good storm from the looks of the radar. It's about a 3 hour drive on a good day. And while I know he will be fine, my mind cannot help but run immediately to all the "what if's"....and it's exhausting.

What if they are in an accident?

What if they get stranded?

What if....???


It wears me out and I dislike that I do this very much. I know he will be fine, but I already told God, in no uncertain terms, how mad at Him I will be if anything happens to Mark.

And there it is....my need to make sure God knows Mark is MINE and not His to take. Jeez. Look at that complete lack of faith. As I search for the real reason I'm twisting my hands in worry about Mark's fate, it hits me.

Every man I've ever given my heart to has either walked away, hurt me or otherwise been taken from me.

I'm struggling with God's grip. Is He holding Mark tight enough? Is He holding me tight enough? Am I slipping through His fingers? Sometimes I feel like I am barely hanging on to His finger, dangling and God is watching me struggle to get back in His palm. I feel like He is just sitting there and watching.

DO SOMETHING, PLEASE, GOD! Get me back where it's safe in Your palm! What are you waiting for? Why do I dangle here, perilously close to letting go? What do You want from me????????

{Large smack upside the head....}

He wants me to REST. I get to choose if I dangle from His fingers or rest in His palm. My thoughts determine where I sit. He wants me safe in His palm but I'm thinking He can't handle the people I love most in the world. I don't trust Him enough to stay there. I don't trust Him enough to take care of those precious people.


I don't know what next. I don't know how to stop this worry and fear that makes me dangle instead of rest in His palm. All I know is I have to.

I'm asking God for His guidance on this. As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know. But for now, I'm going back to bed. (JUST KIDDING....)

"In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me." ~ Psalm 86:7

"I cast the whole of my care [all my anxieties, all my worries, all my concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for me affectionately and cares about me watchfully." ~ 1 Peter 5:7

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the inside....

About a month or so ago, I mentioned to the pastor at my church that I would like to see Grapple started back up again. Grapple is a 10 week 5th grade ministry meant to pull together this special, awkward age group, get them in the same room learning about God and hopefully give them some life skills to help with the coming (and very much dreaded!) junior high years. I was interested in starting it up for very selfish reasons....my Taylor would NEVER move up to Spark (our junior high ministry) in June without some SERIOUS poking and prodding. She needs to know some other kids and really have a connection so she can be comfortable with the move. It's a different world in Spark.....an AWESOME ministry but scary for some kids as it is quite a transition during what can be a tough life transition as well.

So....Grapple began last night. I really thought 5 kids would show up. We had 19. I really thought it would be HARD. It wasn't. I really thought they would not like it and not come back. They laughed, had fun, were engaged and they learned.


God was there.....just like He always is.

I've begun, when I walk away from anything, to do a quick assessment to see what lesson God may have had in that experience for me. To really make sure that if there was a lesson in there, I learned it. Doesn't always happen but I do try.

I learned last night that 5th grade boys aren't so bad.....waaaayyyy different than girls but overall not so bad. :0) I learned that with the right people in place, God always gets the job done. I learned that being "on the inside" and part of their world can change my perspective.....for the good.

I saw kids who didn't know each other, get to know each other. I saw kids answer some pretty hard questions about how to be accepting of others. I saw kids PRAY.....and pray like they meant it.

I saw parents help. I saw kids laugh. I saw God guide words and teaching. I saw smiles and high fives.

Can't beat that.

Carli was our "official photographer" and I will post pictures later. All I have left to say is TO GOD BE THE GLORY....and thanks, Big Guy, for letting me be a part of Your plan.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." ~ Proverbs 22:6

JC is my BFF!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And along came Prince Charming.....

There is such a thing, ya know. Someone for everyone. A soul mate. The one person God created just for you.

Every morning I wake up struggling to believe that Prince Charming....MY Prince Charming....has come along.

But he has.

I've said it before and I'll say it again....I am NOT who I was just a few short years ago. God got ahold of my heart and has restored it. Given me a new vision of life, family, relationships, His world, His will.

I still have stinkin' thinkin', I'm not gonna lie....not as much as I used to but it does crop up once in a while. I dislike it very much. It makes me second guess, question my worth and want to turn and run. It's funny actually....at one time in my life I had nothing but stinkin' thinkin'. I saw nothing in me that would be of value to anyone else. I believed I deserved nothing more than the crap I got.

Today....with much hard work, sweat and tears, learning through church, pastors, friends and above all God, I see me a bit differently. I see some of the value I have and the things I offer to others around me. It's easy to slip back to the stinkin' thinkin', though, don't get me wrong, but it's a CHOICE I need to make with every thought. Taking every thought captive. Taking every word I say and every word I hear to Christ before I let it stick to my heart and form a negative opinion of me.

And that is hard, but so worth the effort.

So....back to Prince Charming. Nothing like finally having someone in my life that says NICE things, MEANS them and his actions back up his words. And....I BELIEVE him. I see his face and listen to his voice and I BELIEVE him.


Father, THANK YOU for Your Word, Your patience and Your guidance. I release to You the strongholds that are not from You or pleasing to You. You are mighty to save me from the pain that these strongholds cause. I know that my heart is Your heart and You will continue to mold me into what You created me to be. Thank you for Prince Charming....for making him a wonderful, remarkable man because of You that lives within him. I am so thankful that he seeks you just as I do....on his knees. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN and AMEN.

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Me and my Prince Charming..... :0)

JC is my BFF....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Carli turns 9, thank God for miracles and other random thoughts....

Friday was my baby Carli's 9th birthday. Yep....she is getting old. Her last year of single digits and it's all down hill from there! :0) Seriously, she is growing up too fast, if you ask me. We spent the day hanging out - went to see the movie "Race to Witch Mountain" and went out to dinner to celebrate. But as we were walking out of the theatre, my mom called. My nephew Cameron had been in a serious accident with the garage door and THANK GOD he was only injured and nothing worse happened. My sister-in-law is truly my hero and we are all so thankful God wasn't ready to take Cameron from us. CAMERON CHARLES BARRON -- We love you more than you will EVER know, young man, and don't you EVER slide under that garage door again (said in my sternest aunt voice ever...hee hee)! XOXOX....

It was a huge learning experience for me....I have a better understanding of how my girls deal with worry, real fear and the idea of losing someone very close to them. We talked a lot last night when they came home and I need to keep talking and hugging and working that out with them. Carli internalizes everything and that is just not healthy. Alli and Taylor are pretty good about dealing and talking and understanding the importance of asking questions and seeking answers.....maybe it's because they are a little older, but Carli sure does not. She just wants to stick her head in the sand. Huh. Wonder where she gets THAT?? She is so like her momma.....

Carli in a tree....she is my "boy". Taylor would never be caught dead in clothes that don't match. Even if it's just to go outside and climb a tree! Carli could CARE LESS. :0)
Carli hanging from the tree....

Mark and Carli....I think she is happy to have a climbing buddy. :0)

Other random thoughts:

Ran across this quote today....

"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” ~ Eleanor Powell

I. LOVE. IT. Could not think of a better way to explain my spiritual journey and I just had to share.

And a video I just saw....GOOD STUFF right there.

JC is my BFF!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Week two update....

So it's been 14 days. Working downtown is hard at lunchtime. I can find anything and everything I ever wanted for lunch within a few blocks of my office. At first, I would get away from my desk and walk the skywalk but that was too hard....I was starving and everything smelled so good! But since Monday I have had a breakthrough. I have walked with the girls from work to get their lunch and wasn't even hungry! No desire to cheat! I'm finding I have more willpower than I ever thought imaginable.

And that's really the biggest lesson I've learned so far. I've learned that I'm stronger than I thought. Fasting is not about food. It's about refraining from something that could potentially be replacing God or blocking you from Him. It's about releasing the false god of food (in my case....it may be something entirely different for you) and seeking the Truth instead.

Another thing I've learned is it's not about just this 40 days of fasting. What would all of this be for if at the end of the 40 days I am back to my "old ways" of idolizing something other than God? Seems I can't seek God with just my words and not my heart. I must do both and live a life pleasing to God rather than just pleasing me.

Ok. If you know me at all you are probably thinking I've gone off the deep end. In fact, my ex-husband told me he read my blog the other day and that I was "weirding him out." I didn't know what to do with that. I can be honest here, right? Well here goes....I really wanted to knock his head off. Really. I was hurt and offended and frankly a little confused. It was then that I knew I was not the same person as I was when he and I met 13 years ago. There is nothing in me that is the same (except his ability to push my buttons obviously).


I continue to grow and change as God continues to mold me into what He made me to be. Doesn't matter if I'm weirding Tim out....only matters that I'm looking up and seeking His opinion of me.

14 days down, a lifetime of days to go....

JC is my BFF!

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply." ~ Isaiah 58:6-9

Monday, March 16, 2009

The stalker....

I'm 99% sure God is stalking me. I seriously think He is. Oh, don't get your panties all in a bunch. I'm not saying it's a bad thing and I'm honestly (mostly) kidding.

BUT I do feel like every time I turn around, THERE HE IS. He is trying to get my attention. I'm listening and hearing Him, I'm just not ready to do what He is asking me to do.

Ya see.....I feel like as a kid I got jipped and I'm tired of feeling like that.

Sick. And. Tired.

But maybe not sick and tired enough to do anything about it yet. Huh. Better think a little more on that one.

Honestly, I feel very lucky that God is "stalking" me. He'd stalk us all if we let him. AGAIN....NOT A BAD THING SO PLEASE NO COMMENTS! I'm just trying to make a point. For myself as much as for you.

God promised to never leave us or forsake us.

God promised to catch every tear and celebrate every success.

God promised to go before us and pave the way.

God promised to do 1,001 other things.....JUST FOR YOU AND ME.

So why can't I just do what He is asking? Without question or doubt? Without hesitation?

Because it's scary and it's just doesn't FEEL good.

I know.....that's my problem right there in a big, fat nutshell. I'm focusing on how I FEEL right now instead of focusing on what God has promised. I'm focusing on what MIGHT happen instead of what God says He will do WHEN it happens. He'll be there.....and I'm doubting that. Will He REALLY be there? Will He REALLY catch me? OF COURSE HE WILL but for whatever reason I'm struggling with why.

And ya know.....it all goes back to what He is asking me to do. He's asking me to lay it all out on the table. Say whats in my heart and move on. Be the adult in a relationship where the older of the two is not now nor has he ever been the adult. God is NOT asking me to mend the relationship....only to lay it all out there and not leave anything unsaid. I've done this before.....several years ago and got nothing in return. Not even a response. Another ding to an already hurting heart. That's why I believe God is not asking for me to make a step towards mending. He's guiding me to say what I need to say so I can truly let it go. So that He can finish His work in ME in this area. It's really not about the other person, it's about the damage to my heart and His desire to mend it.

So I got some work to do yet, but I'm getting there. I am.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

JC is my BFF.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One week update.....

It's been an interesting week. I went from eating whenever I want to one meal a day (and something very small in order to take my medicine in the morning). I get all the water I care to drink....and today is the first day I am ok with water again because, really, you feel like you might drown in all that water you are chugging down just to curb the hunger.


In the last week I have learned a few very intensely personal things that I have shared with only Mark.....out here is too public for some things. Sorry, folks. I've learned that I CAN go without....it's not easy and it's not fun, but it is possible.

God has showed up. So did fat bastard (FB) but God was right there giving me the TRUTH that I was seeking. It's so hard to decipher who is who sometimes. FB has an incredible ability to sound so not like him....soothing, reassuring and if you don't pay attention you can mix it all up. But God's light was shining on the truth and I have what I can call a victory about my thinking in one area of my life. God is also convicting me on something else and He is showing me the right path to travel. I am SO not happy about it, but you can't only follow when it's fun and painless.

Other than that, all is well. Mark is so inspiring to watch as he does his fast. I think the guy has the willpower of....well....I don't know what, but he is so good about his decision. No cheating (that I know of!) and we decided today that we want to do a 24 hour fast once a month. I know! Crazy, right?! We are only 8 days into this 40 day fast and we are already making plans for others. I'm very proud (and lucky!) to have such an awesome guy like Mark in my life. His desire to seek God is very heartwarming and I am learning so much by watching his faithfulness.

JC is my BFF!

"But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction." ~ Job 36:15

Thursday, March 5, 2009


"By your side" by Tenth Avenue North....turn up your speakers. This song is AWESOME.

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

JC is my BFF.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day One

"Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."
~ Ephesians 6:13-18

I gotta tell you. Never have I been more aware about what is going to happen without having a CLUE about what is going to happen. I know.....totally makes NO sense but it does at the same time make sense!

Every night before I fall asleep I try to read my bible. Maybe it's only one verse or maybe it's a whole chapter, but every night I find something in that Book to read. Most of the time, because I'm usually totally pooped by that point and the fact that I have ADD, I can read it but it isn't until much later that I fully understand what I read.

That's what happened last night.

I'm a big talker. Oh yeah, baby. All tough and capable and relatively fearless about most things. But today? I'm struggling with fear. Full on fear, my friend. And I'm not even really sure why until I just now realized what God was telling me.

You see.....I found the above verse last night. Yeah, I've read it before but last night I believe God was trying to tell me something. I believe that He was telling to be prepared for battle. A battle for my whole heart. A battle for my complete reliance on Him verses only a half reliance on Him and the other half on me.

I cannot do this without Him.

So as I sit here now, I realize I need to put on the "full armor of God" with all that I am and all that I have.

The belt is God's truth....the words He whispers through the darkness of my mind when the fat bastard ("FB") tells me things that are wrong and not to be believed.

The body armor is God's righteousness....the fact that I am within His will and doing as He has directed protects me and lets the world know my actions (so long as they are truly His will) are justified. It is God's shield of protection over me.

The shoes of peace that come from the Good News....well amen and amen! That tells me that God is going to have me on the move and on the offensive against FB. I am to "walk in peace" because I KNOW the Good News and have been saved by the blood of Jesus.

Hold up the shield of faith....I will walk by FAITH and not by sight. I will take God at His word, believe His promises and remember that He is bigger than anything FB can throw at me.

Salvation as my helmet....The war will be taking place in my mind and FB wins if he gets my thoughts and steers me away from what God is telling me to think and believe. The salvation I have received by faith in Jesus Christ will protect me so long as I PUT IT ON! Helmets don't do any good lying on the seat beside us!

Sword of the Spirit....God's Word indeed. By battling with God's truths and promises, the sword is quick, powerful and sharp.

So my fear? GONE. Gone because I have and will continue to put on the full armor of God.

JC is my BFF....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unveiling of Truth -- The Beginning

So today is the day. The last day before the fast officially begins.

The last week has been very interesting to say the least. Nothing major happening, really, just interesting the things I have begun to learn before it even started.

The service Sunday at church was about addictions....how we are all held hostage to some addiction or another.

I am not an alcoholic, but I could be. I l.o.v.e the feeling of the buzz. Love it. But I learned early on that I can and need to control that urge. It has been hard in really tough times in my life, but I have been successful at staying ahead of that "near" addiction.

I am not a drug addict, too scared for that. I am not a gambler, too cheap for that. I am not a sex addict, too hurt for that. I am not a compulsive liar, too honest for that. I am not many, many things and all by the Grace of God.

But I am addicted. To food (I have a strong need to feel "full"). To words of affirmation. To the approval of those around me. To being busy so I don't have to face tough things....I am a classic avoider. It's crazy, really. But I am addicted.

It is very interesting to me, as well, how the fat bastard ("FB") has played with me all week. I've been praying to see God's face in the next 40 days. To really learn what He wants me to learn and right in the middle of that prayer....I see a picture of a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. Not even kidding. Last night I went through the drive thru to get one of those but the machine was broken. And it made me PISSY. I realized that my wanting one last night so that during the fast I would not want one but then the machine was down was all part of FB's big plan. His silly plan to tease me and maybe I'd break down and have one next week. Not a chance, FB. Not a chance.

So let the unveiling of truth begin. I'm scared, nervous, excited and THRILLED that God is leading me to do this. I pray that He will show me where I am strong and remind me that where I am not, He will fill in. I pray that He will show me more of who I am and how He wants me to live. I KNOW that He will BE and DO what He says He is going to do.

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!"
~ Philippians 3:8-11

JC is my BFF!